For new readers, please introduce yourself, including what you are up to now and how you are connected to the Running Room:
Hi! My name is Charmaine Broughton, I’m the mom of two teen boys (Tyler 17 and Colgan 16) and a female Goldendoodle. I fell in love with running shortly after the birth of my second son. For close to a dozen years I was the food writer for Running Room Magazine–a role I took a tremendous amount of pride in. I currently work as a food media specialist and have recently started a part-time dog walking biz (in Muskoka, where I live) – Pawketz Dog Walking (named after our two-year-old pup, Pockets). After years of distance running [a handful of full marathons, countless half marathons and a half Ironman (how I celebrated my 40th birthday)], these days you can find me with excitement at the start line of 5K s–nothing like easily getting on and off the toilet in the days post-race. Those who are distance runners know what I’m talking about.
Summary of your success story:
I had always struggled with my weight. After the birth of my second son (16 years ago), I weighed well over 200 lb. I took the advice of a chiropractor friend of mine: to make myself my number one priority. He told me how he schedules in his daily exercise just as he does his patients. I took that advice and ran with it–literally!!
Does it ever surprise you how how far you’ve come?
Commiting to physical fitness changed my life drastically. If gave me the confidence to set and achieve goals I never dreamed possible.
Why do you think behaviour change works for some but others go back to their old habits rather quickly?
I’d say 99.9% of people who go back to their old habits never wanted to change in the first place. And that’s okay; if you are not ready to make a change, own that decision. Why pretend to want to do something when you really don’t want to? It took me 27 years of dieting (losing 5 lb. just to gain back 8 lb.) and saying I wanted to lose weight before I did anything about it – I “dieted” myself to 220 lb. When people ask me for advice now – I always say “I can give you all the advice you need – but are you REALLY ready to make a change? If you are, awesome!! If you’re not – that’s okay too!!” Just own your decision.
What has running taught you:
That anything is possible.
What qualities do you feel you have that have helped you the most in your varied career?
Enthusiasm and curiosity.
Are there any upcoming goals and plans (running, health, career) that you would like to share?
I always have something up my sleeve – stay tuned. Wink! Wink!
As it is the new year, do you make resolutions? If so, how do you make them work for you?
I set goals, not resolutions. Writing them down has always worked for me. There is no better feeling than grabbing a Sharpie and crossing those goals off your list with a satisfying grin.
You and your family have been featured as an ‘Active Family Profile’ in the Running Room Magazine. How do you continue to be physically active as a family as well as supporting your teenage sons in their respective sports?
We actually don’t exercise together (other than a few family fun runs a year i.e: The Terry Fox Walk is one of our favourite family traditions). We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders, however, you will never see a picture of my family on social media sipping green smoothies post-family workout. That’s just not us. Different things work for different families. My best advice: do what works for you and your family. Second piece of advice: my solo runs have saved my marriage countless times = best. stress. relief. ever.
As you work in the food industry and you used to run a catering business, what have you found to be the best approach towards food and diet:
Eat everything and sweat daily. I spent years depriving myself and I ended up weighing over 200 lb. Clearly deprivation didn’t work for me! I exercise daily and choose to fuel my body with quality foods such as: fruits and veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats (I love peanuts and peanut butter). Having said that, I also eat bread and pasta and I rarely turn down dessert. Life is far too short not to enjoy the food you love.
Charmaine Broughton is a food media specialist, avid runner and eater, and mother of two active (and always hungry) teenage boys, Tyler and Colgan. See more of what she is up to at charmainebroughton.com.