Longtime Oxygen reader Teresa Magula embodies everything a cover winner could possibly represent. She is fit, active and empowered. She is supportive, forward-thinking and funny. She’s a role model for her kids, her peers and her family — and, of course, she’s in kick-ass shape. However, she was not always this way. Magula spent years seesawing between being overweight and over-obsessed, and growing up she was not at all athletic. Sure, she remembers watching her mother do Jazzercise classes at the YMCA, but Magula herself was the last to finish the mile in PE and got cut in the first round of tryouts for her junior high basketball team. What’s more, her weight yo-yoed throughout the years, and while in college at the University of California, Los Angeles, Magula hit her all-time high of 190 pounds. “Freshman year was the perfect storm for weight gain,” she says. “I worked at a campus coffee shop that served Baskin-Robbins (free ice cream is dangerous), dorm food was surprisingly delicious and outings involved late-night greasy foods.”
MAY 7, 1980
LA CRESCENTA, CALIFORNIA
AURORA, 10 JOAQUIN, 8
SPRINTING FROM SORROW
In 2007, Magula discovered a dynamic duo: Oxygen magazine and Spinning. “I became a Spin instructor, lost weight and began doing lifting workouts from Oxygen,” she says. “I still have the workouts I pulled out in 2009!”
But her encounter with lifting was short-lived. “In 2010, I quit my career to be a stay-at-home mom to my daughter and then added my son — making a total of two kids under 2 years old!” Magula says. “My marriage was in trouble, and we moved to the suburbs. I felt lonely and isolated and started running seriously to prove that ‘I was enough.’”
Magula began training with a coach for the Los Angeles Marathon, and at first, she had no expectations. “But as I trained and got faster, we realized that I might be able to achieve a Boston Marathon qualifying time,” she says. “I put everything into hitting that goal time and let it define my worth. But when I crossed the finish line at the LA Marathon, I missed the qualifying cutoff time by just two minutes. I was devastated.”
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