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Published December 06, 2012, 11:32 PM

Holt: Running goal changes woman’s health, career

MOORHEAD – When Molly Klein started running six years ago, her goal wasn’t to lose weight. She just wanted to say she completed a half marathon. “I was still really heavy when I ran my first half,” she says.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

MOORHEAD – When Molly Klein started running six years ago, her goal wasn’t to lose weight. She just wanted to say she completed a half marathon.

“I was still really heavy when I ran my first half,” she says.

But by continuing to challenge herself, the 35-year-old Moorhead woman lost over 100 pounds and gained a new career.

Previously a preschool teacher, Molly now leads group fitness classes and personal training sessions at Total Balance Fitness & Nutrition in north Fargo.

She uses her own experience to help others reach their goals and says clients feel more comfortable working with her once they learn about her past.

“I feel like it’s easier for people to relate to me as opposed to a trainer who’s never had a struggle with weight loss,” she says.

At her heaviest, Molly weighed almost 300 pounds and wore a size 22/24. Though her weight fluctuates, now she’s happily in an 8/10.

“People fluctuate. Weight fluctuates. It changes,” she says.

When she does gain weight, Molly knows exactly what she needs to do to lose it, and it’s not as difficult as it once was.

“When you learn the right way to get rid of it, then it’s not that daunting task,” she says.

The mother of two also does some nutrition counseling. Her interest in proper diet started to grow about a month into training for her first half.

“About halfway through January (2006), I was like, ‘You know, if I’m doing this, I should probably watch what I eat,’ ” she says with a laugh.

Molly says her tastes changed when she changed her eating habits. She recalls buying a corn dog at the Street Fair last year.

“I took a bite and thought, ‘That’s not as good as I remember,’ and after the second bite, I threw it away and got strawberries instead,” she says.

She dropped 35 pounds by May of that first year after incorporating weight training into her routine.

“That was plenty of weight to light the fire under me,” she says. So she dove in, food journaling, taking group fitness classes, eventually gaining certification to teach them herself.

“My love for fitness kept being fed,” she says.

Though the birth of her second son slowed her progress, Molly was back on the treadmill after three weeks. She encourages her children, now ages 8 and 5, to get outside and play to stay active.

“I want my kids to have a healthy lifestyle,” she says.

Molly has run five more half marathons and a handful of 5Ks and 10Ks since her first half in May 2006, but her full class load at Total Balance keeps her away from the pavement.

“Running is a great all-encompassing workout,” she says. “For me, I miss running because I know it’s a game changer.”

Perhaps what she’s most proud of is completing a 10-mile Tough Mudder in July 2011 on a ski slope at Devil’s Head Resort in south-central Wisconsin.

“If you’d have told me six years ago I would be doing a Tough Mudder, I would have laughed in your face,” she says.

Molly encourages her clients to set their sights on a non-weight-motivated challenge, like a race. The weight loss will come naturally, she says.

“When I look back on it, it doesn’t feel like it was that much work, probably because I hadn’t told myself I was going on a diet or I was going to lose weight; I had chosen something else,” she says.

Do you have a weight-loss story to tell? Email me at mholt@forumcomm.com.


Forum reporter Meredith Holt has lost 105 pounds since May 2010. She shares stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.

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