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We met Deborah over sweet potato fries last week so she could tell us about herself! She’s a real powerhouse; a dedicated runner, mother, company secretary, model and has an amazing attitude towards life. She revealed her secrets to having so much energy and maintaining a balanced lifestyle at 48 years young!
- Deborah’s activity of choice is running. Every day, all day if she could! With 30 years of running under her belt, “it’s what keeps me sane!” she told us. The most important thing is to make time for yourself; whatever you love doing should be a priority.
- She’s finished 3 marathons, and managed to finish her last one under 4 hours. “I knew that if I couldn’t finish within 4 hours, I’d have to do it again. The last few miles were excruciating, but I did it!”. And her goal before she turns 50 is to finish the York 10k under 45 minutes. “By the time I’m 50, I want to be able to say I can run 10k in 44 point-something-minutes!”
- She wouldn’t survive without coffee. With her dedication, we’re pretty sure she could – but she emphasised how much she loves coffee. And chocolate. “I’m a chocoholic!”. Did we mention she got a gluten and dairy free chocolate cake to go when we left? We bet it was worth it.
- She runs 3 times a week, no more, no less. In the winter, if the weather doesn’t permit running outdoors, she’ll go the the gym and use the cross-trainer, so no excuses! Even during her marathon training, she knew running more than 3 times a week would lead to injuries. “It’s hard to restrain an activity you love so much, but I knew that if I didn’t back off, I would damage my body.” The takeaway? Listen to your body!
- She’s been a vegetarian since she was 18 years old. And she’s a very conscious eater – which was obvious from the day we booked lunch; “a light lunch will do, I’m going out to dinner this evening!”. And then she proceeded to order a kale, butternut squash and quinoa salad with sweet potato fries – no wonder she’s glowing!
- She runs without music. “It’s my headspace!” Almost like a meditation, she says she focuses on herself and on the run to achieve. “Sometimes, people wave at me and I just don’t see them – I’m lost in my thoughts.”
- She believes in the healing power of foods. “I’m a gluten-free vegan as much as possible over the summer because of my hay fever, which has triggered food sensitivities.” Figuring out a way to make her diet alleviate her symptoms is a great example of tailoring your food intake to your personal needs. Again, listen to your body!
- But… Some foods just can’t be replaced. “I miss sourdough and pizza! Occasionally, I’ll have a bit of bread or a slice of pizza. I pay for it later but sometimes, it’s just worth it!” So don’t beat yourself up for slipping, slipping is part of being balanced. And like she said, sometimes that fresh pizza, straight out of the oven, gluten, cheese and everything else, is just so worth it.
- Restrictive weight-loss diets don’t work. “I went on a sugar-free diet once – I’ve never eaten so much sugar in my life!” If you really want to lose weight in a sustainable way, this is what she’s got to say: “Active lifestyle. Smaller portions. Cook from fresh. Cut back on sugar and alcohol. Anything in moderation.”
- She doesn’t like to cook. “In the summer, I’ll make salads and in the winter, soups that I can freeze.” She can just throw everything in a pot or on a plate without much effort. So if you’re not so keen on spending time in the kitchen, just make it simple for yourself!
Photo credit: Lily North