Love stories, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. The following love story, sent to us by Lee Bennett, touched our hearts because he and his wife Tanya were able to change their shapes and sizes as their love for each other, their children, and healthy lifestyles transformed them inside and out. We were so moved by their story that we asked permission to share it with you. They graciously agreed.
My wife and I, for many years, struggled to find that normal balance with proper weight control and physical activity. It even extended as far back as our early dating years in high school. I struggled emotionally with food and looked for any excuse in my life to justify why it was okay to over indulge and not be accountable. It always seemed easier to be the overweight victim and look for pity rather than taking action. Besides, where would I get the mental strength and physical strength to make a change when I felt like I was at ground zero? It was a vicious cycle of mental emotions that were prematurely muted by poor nutrition, oversized portions and inactivity. This lifestyle gave me a quick reprieve from reality and from the health complications I pretended did not exist.
My wife, on the other hand, was active in her school days but my unhealthy lifestyle soon became her unhealthy lifestyle and we were both heading down a dangerous path. Unknowingly at the time we were well on our way to becoming a part of those statistics about the rise of youth obesity in our Country.
Four years ago, just after our daughter’s birth and at the tender age of 30, I was advised by our family physician about health complications related to my unhealthy habits. It wasn’t something that I didn’t already know, but something about that moment was different than the others. My lifestyle of being non-active combined with very bad eating habits was starting to catch-up with me. At that stage in our lives both my wife and I had a turning point. I am not sure where it came from or how it happened, but it happened!!! We started portioning meals and exercising daily, we were committed to change, determined to succeed and be accountable to each other.
We started walking every day and as the weight came off the walking changed to jogging which changed to running. Four years later both my wife and I are in the best shape, both physically and mentally, that we have ever been. We are both passionate about living life to its fullest, valuing proper nutrition, and being active. We finally feel like the role models we should be to our three children and we believe the benefits of this lifestyle are vital to our whole family. My wife and I run together 5 to 6 days a week on our treadmills at 4:30 in the morning while our children are sleeping. I can certainly say that our love for each other is growing by the miles! We have competed in many local running races and are starting plans to run our first Marathon in Disney World.
I now believe that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I love life, I feel so positive about the future and I have confidence in myself and abilities. Just recently I became a partner in an Engineering Consulting firm with upwards of 15 employees. I attribute much of my professional success to my lifestyle change and my rock solid family. I want to be a positive influence for my kids and teach them to never underestimate their abilities and never miss out on moments that you may later regret.
We get one chance at this life and it can be as awesome as we want it to be.
Love stories like this one need to be shared. Lee and Tanya Bennett are role models not only for their children, but for every one of us. We are all powerful enough to make our lives as awesome as we want them to be if we Run The Edge together.