On the Road with Janie Barber

Women Run Arkansas-Batesville Spirit Award winner

EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out our archive for previous travels On the Road, and remember we invite you to share your own story, cause or advice with our members.

January 2010 — 187 pounds and climbing! I was in extra-large tops and size 16 bottoms, and I was getting to the point of needing a larger size!

Totally out of control, hadn't paid attention to diet OR exercise. Life for me was as a caregiver for my husband, Reggie, who was suffering from lymphocytic leukemia, running back and forth to Bentonville (five-hour drive) to help with grandbaby and ailing son-in-law, and in my "spare" time I cleaned houses.

OK, I asked myself, what happens if YOU get down? Here I had a dear husband fighting for his health and I was ruining mine by eating to oblivion and sitting on my ***!

Sooo, I decided, it's time to change.

Janie Barber with Reggie and grandbaby Rain

I started logging everything I put in my mouth: I didn't go cold turkey but I was honest with myself. I also decided to exercise. I heard about the Women Can Run clinic and decided I would give it a try. I joined as a walker, thought I'd die, but wouldn't give up. My goal has always been to finish no matter my pace. By the day of the race in Conway, I had lost 20 pounds, and I placed third out of 38 women in my age group! HOOKED, INDEED!

This was my new antidepressant!

I "walked" one more 5k and decided to start running ("wogging"). I was down 30 pounds, to 157, and to size 10. Talk 'bout GIDDY!

Reggie was SO proud of me, not because of the weight loss (he said I looked great to him, anyway — just sayin'). He was proud that I had actually stuck with something for the first time in my life (I'm not a stick-to-it kinda gal).

In 2012, as Reggie's health declined, I lost momentum and finally, on July 24, he lost his battle and I lost my drive for about everything else. I just couldn't get the joy back. I realized how much I had relied on him to encourage me on.

But now, eight months later, I think I may be getting the spark back. I have 10 pounds to get off and to pick up my pace by a whole lot!

OH, YEAH, and to do a half!