Being overweight was getting Roxanne Cordova down ... literally.
Carrying 220 pounds on her 5-foot-6 frame was zapping her strength, causing her to take medications for her cholesterol, putting her in the diabetes danger zone, and taking its toll on her knees.
A little over a year ago, she was tired of feeling tired and resolved to get fit. She signed up for the "Wealth for my Health Challenge," a competition involving three fitness centers, and became a member of the Body Innovations team.
Beginning in January 2011, she jumped into boot-camp training three times a week, signed up for sessions with a personal trainer, and took a healthy approach to meal preparation. By the time the 16-week challenge ended in April, she began to feel like she did 20 years ago as a member of the women's cross-country team at Creighton University.
With a 75-pound weight loss and a body-mass index now in the "healthy" category, Roxanne has been able to kick the cholesterol medications and is no longer considered a candidate for diabetes.
And, she's not only feeling like she did during her college running days, she's also running like it. Her long-awaited return to marathon competition occurred in May 2011 when she ran the half-marathon version of the Lincoln Marathon in 2 hours, 22 minutes. Continuing to train and kicking it up a notch, she entered the Des Moines (Iowa) Marathon in October and covered the 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 3 minutes - an average of 9 minutes, 38 seconds per mile.
That's quite a transformation for someone who was away from running for 10-plus years because "it was so painful," she recalled.
Now 41, the mother of three enjoys keeping up with her kids (ages 20, 10 and 8) and continuing the running regimen. She plans to return to the Lincoln Marathon in 2012, and by next October, she said, she may be ready for the full 26.2 miles at the Des Moines Marathon.
Healthier living is now a family lifestyle in her home.
"My kids enjoy seeing what's happened to me," she said. "I've got a ton of energy that I didn't have before, yet I require less sleep."
And, the kids have followed suit.
"We're bike-riding together and we're eating healthier," says the new-and-improved Lincoln mom, "and my husband has been very supportive throughout all of this."
Heidi Slaymaker, owner/certified personal trainer for Body Innovations, is proud of her client's progress.
"She's great ... she's done some amazing things the past year," said the fitness center owner.
To go from obese to healthy to marathon runner has been quite a ride for Roxanne ... and it's just beginning.