Beavercreek woman celebrates weight loss with new challenge

Most recently York participated in the 2013 Florida Keys Ragnar Relay in January. The race was 200 miles, starting in Miami and ending in Key West, Fla.

York, 30, ran the race with 11 strangers who formed the team From Fat to Finish Line. The team members lost 1,200 pounds total.

“Everyone on the team lost an average of 100 pounds and I lost 100 exactly,” York said. “We all first met on Thursday and the race started Friday.”

The dozen runners used conference calls and chat rooms to organize the race logistics. They originally met through Facebook.

“We used a private Facebook group to stay in touch and plan the race,” York said. “We became best friends before meeting. Everyone on the team had to have lost their weight and maintained it for a period of time. So this was a celebration for all of us.”

One of the runners works for a production company, and the group’s weekend was filmed for a documentary. The group’s effort and filming was featured on “Today” as well.

“I was 349 pounds and I saw a picture of myself after I was in a friend’s wedding and was shocked by how I looked,” York said. “I didn’t see myself that big until I saw those pictures. I have a four-year-old son and felt like I was on the road to death. I wanted to see him grow up.”

York, who grew up in Xenia, started her weight loss by changing her eating and running. She runs every other day and goes to gym or does a DVD at home on her off day.

“I use and tracked my calories on there,” she said. “As time went on I started to learn more about what I should and shouldn’t be eating. I focus on eating clean; not eating frozen entrees or processed food.”

For York, the hardest part of her journey is the food aspect.

“I formed a love of exercise, so that’s not hard, but it’s hard to eat right,” she said. “It is hard to say no when your friends and family are eating pizza and you know you need to not eat it.”

York is not too strict; if she wants something she eats it, and knows she has to work off the calories.

The rewards far outweigh the struggle for York. She loves having the energy to run and play with her son at the park.

“I think I am a better mom. The best part is being able to accomplish goals,” York said. “For my part of the Ragnar relay I ran over a bridge into Key West as the sun was setting. It was a celebration of everything I’ve been able to accomplish.”

York is preparing for her third half marathon and hopes to weigh less than 200 pounds.

“I’m taking it one step at a time,” she said. “It is possible. All of us on this team are ordinary couch potatoes. We got off the couch. Start slow, keep moving and eat less.”

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