Runner's World SA
Group Therapy Image Credit: Runner's World SA
Group Therapy Image Credit: Runner's World SA

Group Therapy

New friends helped Lindsay become a healthy and happy woman her son can be proud of.

Lisa Abdellah


Losing weight was more challenging once I’d had a baby. Then my father died of cancer in 2012, and I turned to eating as a way of coping with this devastating loss.

Two years ago, my sister posted a picture of me on Facebook. I thought I looked shocking. I wondered what my husband and son thought of me, and how they must have had to lie to me when I asked them how I looked.

I didn’t want to be known as my son’s overweight mom. I wanted him to be proud of who I was and what I looked like. I also wanted to play football and cricket in the garden with him without losing my breath. At that stage, even tying his shoelaces for him felt difficult!


My husband bought me a pair of trail-running shoes for Christmas, but I found running on the grass at my local parkrun difficult. Then a friend suggested I try road running. So early one morning, I attempted my first 5km on the road with a group of women.

Admittedly, I walked more than I ran. But the women were so encouraging and supportive of my efforts; they didn’t seem to care how slow, overweight or out of breath I was, they were just happy I was trying!

Getting up early enough to fit in a run before I took my son to school was challenging. But I found that if I chose not to meet up with the group, I would end up feeling like I’d missed out after I saw pictures of their run on social media. This motivat

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