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Running reignites veteran’s drive to be healthy

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Rhonda Loadholt, left, and Renee Larson cross the finish line during practice with the Team RWB running club. Loadholt is training for a half-marathon in March.

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Rhonda Loadholt couldn’t believe it had come to this point.

After being physically fit throughout her youth and 14-year stint in the Army, things changed.

Her motivation and drive were gone and, as a result, her health would soon follow.

Things came to a head when she struggled to lean down and tie her shoes.

“It was very depressing and very emotional,” Loadholt said. “I have two god-daughters who always want to go out and play, and all I could do is just sit there at the park and watch them. I couldn’t go out and run after them. All I could do is just sit there.”

But that was then. Now, less is more.

The 44-year-old is almost 50 pounds lighter and an aspiring half-marathon runner. She’s also pursuing a criminal justice degree with a minor in psychology to become a probation officer.

In the last four years, Loadholt slimmed down from nearly 230 pounds to 181, but it wasn’t easy.

“I was looking at myself and asked why am I like this?” Loadholt said. “I had no excuse to be like this. It was just laziness, and I didn’t want to do anything with my life as far as exercise.”

Exercise, diet change

She started walking in 2011 and gradually worked up to working out at Curves, then Heritage Park Fitness.

Exercise was only half of the equation. Loadholt also changed her diet. Developing the motivation and discipline to lose the weight was just as difficult as boot camp.

“Being in boot camp is physically and mentally (tiring),” Loadholt said. “Starting back working out is both physically and mentally (tiring). They both weigh on you heavily each and every day.”

Loadholt has been running with the Team RWB running club since June and said friendship and group support helped her achieve her weight loss goals.

She’s gearing up for the Army Marathon II’s half-marathon on March 2.

It’ll be her fourth race, but more importantly, a chance to help support her fellow veterans.

“My fellow soldiers are laying their lives on the line every day and I wanted to show them that there are still people here who care about them and they’re not forgotten,” Loadholt said.

Contact Albert Alvarado at alvarado@kdhnews.com

1 image

Courtesy

Rhonda Loadholt, left, and Renee Larson cross the finish line during practice with the Team RWB running club. Loadholt is training for a half-marathon in March.

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