A couple of weeks ago, Fort4Fitness reached out to Kathy Bumgardner, a Fort Wayne woman who had participated in the Fort4Fitness Fall Festival in 2016. Kathy had left a Facebook review after last fall's race highlighting her 2016 health journey and accomplishments. We spoke with Kathy to capture her story and find out what brought her to enlist a Fort4Fitness race to meet her health and weight loss goals.
Read about Kathy's journey here:
F4F: How did your fitness journey start?
Kathy: There were several health catastrophes in my family beginning a few years ago. In March 2014, my mother was beaten blind during a home invasion. In the next couple of years following, my husband had triple bypass heart surgery and my daughter suffered complications from an autoimmune disease. With all this going on, I knew I didn’t want to be a burden to my family. After losing my mother in January 2016 and helping my husband recover from the heart surgery in May 2016, I decided it was time to do something for me. In July, I was determined to get into shape. I would get on a diet and I would start activity, and keep in mind to start slow. It helped that I was also still helping my husband recover by walking with him. I was so out of shape and so overweight that at first, a mile about killed me. But in time, I was able to increase my time walking and I had cut back on carbs and focused more on lean protein and vegetables. As soon as I gave up the bad carbs, everything started to evolve. In mid-July, I decided to sign up for Fort4Fitnes and that gave me something to strive for. I began walking 5-6 days a week and I increased my pace and distance. I realized I can do this and I kept going! Now, I can complete an hour and a half on the elliptical.
F4F: Why Fort4Fitness as a part of that journey?
Kathy: I work at Lincoln Financial Group which is a sponsor of Fort4Fitness. I would see mentions of the event through work and the timing just fit to use it as a goal.
Don’t talk yourself out it—have a plan and stick to it. Using Fort4Fitness as a goal helped give me something to work towards.
I needed that motivation to get started.
F4F: What was your favorite part of the 2016 Fort4Fitness?
Kathy: My favorite part was that I did run some of the 4 Mile and had a decent time at around 1 hour and 3 minutes. I was very proud of the time—I had done it all by myself. Fort4Fitness has a community camaraderie like no other and I really enjoy that.
F4F: Are you currently training for the 2017 Fort4Fitness? Have you lost more weight?
Kathy: I hit my weight loss goal by losing another 40 pounds since Fort4Fitness. I am now at a healthy weight and not actively trying to lose anymore, just maintain. I continue to work out 6 days a week with varied exercises for at least an hour and a half each time. After work, I go right home and either go to the YMCA or outside for a walk. I have made it a part of my lifestyle, which I know is an important piece of not slipping in my quest to be and stay healthy.
Fort4Fitness has a community camaraderie like no other and I really enjoy that.
F4F: What advice would you give others just getting started?
Kathy: I encourage others to get and keep active. When you hit your weight loss goal, it is really the beginning; you are not done. You need to keep your diet by realizing you are doing it to make yourself a priority. You don’t have to run to lose weight. Vary your activity enough to not risk injury and avoid boredom. I work a desk job and I need to make up for that after work. It would be easy to say I am too tired to work out, but nine times out of ten, if I make myself be active, the endorphins kick in and relieve the stress that I’ve had during the day. Don’t talk yourself out it—have a plan and stick to it. Using Fort4Fitness as a goal helped give me something to work towards. I needed that motivation to get started.
Posted in: Fall Festival, General, Inspirational Stories<