Operation: Motivation – Size 14 to 4 and a Duathalon… Deanna’s Story

Note:  Deanna is a sweet pal on MFP.  She is a rockstar in that she hasn’t let some pesky setbacks and knee problems stop her from conquering her goals!  Totally inspiring to me.  Thanks, Deanna.  I needed to read this right now… gives me a nice square kick in the patootie! 


My story is success story may not seem as grand as most, but for me it was more than just weight loss. I didn’t have a ton of weight to lose, but I think that where I started was similar to many others out there. After the birth of my son, I looked in the mirror and realized that I wasn’t happy with my body and was sick of making excuses for myself.

Years ago, I was the thin girl that could eat almost anything and never gain an ounce. Then again, I was very active too. In my early-twenties, I stopped taking care of myself the way that I once had. I let a very angry man get inside my head and fill it with lies about how I was worthless and ugly. I lived those lies for years to come. He physically hurt me regularly and it took time, but I finally had the courage to leave. I thought I had moved on, but inside it was still affecting my ability to love myself. This toxic relationship left me with emotional and physical wounds which would prove to be difficult to heal from. I left this relationship in 2000, but after many unexplained falls found that it actually left me with a pretty ugly knee injury. I had an ACL replaced (not repaired) and meniscus repaired/removed in 2005. For the first 3 months, I was in bed if I wasn’t at physical therapy. It was depressing and very painful. I gained a lot of weight during this time. In all, it took over 6 months to get full range back in my knee and to this day I experience pain on occasion.

Years down the road, I have found happiness with my husband and in 2007 we welcomed our son Noah into our lives. As most new mothers, I had expected to have extra weight. What I didn’t expect was to hang on to every extra ounce of the nearly 50 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy. In 2008, I had lost about 20 pounds by dieting alone. The next 2 years were a constant attempt at dieting, but it was always a yo-yo. At this point, I have not resumed exercise since my knee surgery.

On June 1st 2010, I decided that today was my day. I would not make excuses and I was going to regain control of my weight and my self-esteem. I weighed 158 pounds at this time. I began exercising right away, along with a healthy diet. Within 2 months, I was at the orthopedic specialist due to knee problems. Due to the lack of activity, I would have to start off slowly and rebuild my muscles in my legs that support my knees. I began strength training 3 times per week immediately. By January 1st 2011, I had weighed in at my lowest weight since high school. I weighed 130 pounds. I have never felt better! I had gone from a size 14 to a size 4.

In February, I began to train for a 5K. It was very difficult for me to run, but for me this wasn’t about the exercise. This was to prove a point. In May, I competed in my first 5K finishing in 29 minutes and 24 seconds. I then continued to train all summer and in September competed in the Iron Girl duathalon. I finished this 2 mile run-22 mile bike ride-2 mile run in 2 hours and 15 minutes. This was nearly 30 minutes faster than my training pace.

I look back on what I’ve been through in the last 12 years and I wouldn’t change a thing. Today, I am stronger because of it. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. Sure, weight loss for me was the goal but in the end I gained so much more. I have proven to myself that the only person that can hold me back from my dreams is me. I let this man hold me back for years, even once I had the courage to leave. The ability to run after the injury he inflicted on me was symbolic to me in so many ways.

Whitney’s Note:  She rocks, right!?  Hit up the comments to give her a high five or 12! 

Deanna Before...

Deanna After...







Filed under Operation: Motivation

10 responses to “Operation: Motivation – Size 14 to 4 and a Duathalon… Deanna’s Story

  1. Dessa Wade

    Thanks for inspiring us. Goes to show that we can do anything we put our minds to.

  2. Avster

    Way to go, Deanna! I’ve injured both my knees multiple times, thankfully never badly enough to warrant surgery, and know how easy it is to use knee pain as an excuse not to exercise. Good job! 🙂

  3. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Wonderfully inspiring !!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    Love your attitude and truthfulness with yourself and your journey….amazing.

    High 5’s all around – keep up the great work!

  4. submisselyserving-joann

    your story is just what i needed. you look great and i know your family is so proud of you and blessed to have you in their lives. awesome job girl

  5. Deanna

    Thanks so much! You guys are great!

  6. Lindsay

    No matter what weight you are or how much you have to loose it is the same grueling process! Thanks for giving us insight!

    How did you change your eating during your weight loss journey?

    • Deanna

      Thank you Lindsay! It was a slow process. At first it was just drastic calorie restriction, then as I began exercising it became more about WHAT I was eating. I currently eat a high protein diet for muscle repair/growth with mostly fruits and veggies. I consume bread/pasta sparingly, or in conjunction with protein.

  7. Jen

    Love it when Whit shares these stories with us. What a great time you had on your 5K! You definitely beat mine from a year ago!

  8. Wow! You’re amazing! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!

  9. Thank you for sharing. You are amazing!

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