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Indiana Weight-Loss Challenge Winner Drops the Baby Weight and Gets Her Run On

Posted Jun 08 2011 6:00am

We get so many inspiring emails from readers, and today we’re sharing another  with you! Today’s is from Arica Shetler, April 2011 Indiana Weight-Loss Challenge leader and winner—and all-around awesome chick who’s also a mom!

In the last 10 years or so, I have been into fitness and being  healthy. I enjoyed running and ran track and cross country in high school, and I was on the dance team in high school and college. But once I moved back home after a semester in college and started attending a local college and living at home, my exercising went to the wayside.

Taking on a full-time load at school along with working, I just didn’t make time for myself. When I started beauty school and met my husband through a friend at school and later got engaged, I knew that I wanted to look hot for my wedding!

Well, I did do that—but after the wedding, the weight came back on slowly. About four years ago, I decided that I was going to get serious again and really get down to my goal weight. I started running again and working out and eating healthy. I ran in my first 5K in May 2009, and I set a personal goal of doing it in less than 30 minutes. I did it in 26 minutes! I was so excited.

A Happy Hiccup in Arica’s Fitness Plans

A month later, I ran in my first half marathon, setting a goal of two-and-a-half hours. I completed that in two hours and five minutes! I was super excited about that. I reached my “happy goal-weight” in April 2010. I was so proud of myself—and happy with the way I looked and felt. Then I found out that I was pregnant. I was thrilled that I was expecting, but at the same time, I was upset because I had just worked so hard to get to where I wanted to be with my body and now I was going to be gaining weight back. I struggled with it for about the first 9 weeks of my pregnancy, but I continued to work out.

Entering my third month of , I was determined to gain the recommended weight and continue to run and work out. I wanted to have a water birth, and I needed to stay within a healthy range. I ran up until I was seven months pregnant, and I kickboxed the morning I went into labor ! My daughter arrived 12 days early, and I was able to have her naturally in the water.

After the birth, sitting and doing nothing for two weeks was like death to me! I’m an active person, so once the midwife gave me the green light to start doing things, I was back at it. I was determined to quickly lose the 50 pounds that I had gained.

Now that my daughter is five months old, I am running again and just competed in my first 5K since having her. There were 75 runners in the race, and I set a goal to win my age group. Well, not only did I do that in 26 minutes, but I was also the first female in! I was so proud of myself. I’ll run in more races in the months to come, including another half marathon.

Her Next Healthy Chapter

Now I’m 5 pounds away from reaching my pre-baby weight. I have days when I get frustrated, but I just tell myself that it will take time. Learning the tools that I didn’t know through the FBG Weight-Loss Challenge has helped me a lot. I loved leading my group and helping others get fit and healthy. I look forward to reading all the other success stories that will be coming in as the challenges continue! —Arica Shelter

If you’d like to read more about Arica’s inspiring journey, check out her blog ! If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Weight-Loss Challenge leader, check this out !


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