Broad Street runner making a dream come true

Friday, May 04, 2012

On Sunday, 30,000 runners will take part in the annual Broad Street Run. They'll make the journey for many reasons.

We met one runner taking part to celebrate her new, healthier life.

Four years ago, Lisa Cephas left home after work one day on a mission. 40 years old, weighing nearly 400 pounds, with high blood pressure and borderline Type 2 Diabetes, Lisa was heading to FDR Park to begin changing her life.

"If I didn't change, I would end up like some of my relatives, who died at an early age," Lisa told Action News.

Those relatives included her father, who died just short of his 50th birthday.

Lisa, a high school science teacher, went into her project with a plan.

"I started out changing my diet," she said. "I monitored what I ate, I kept a food journal, I researched on what portion control looked like, and I just started walking. The first 30 days were the hardest."

Once the changes started, Lisa became more determined. Walking turned into running and more.

"Running, walking, toning, weightlifting, Pilates, stretching," she said. "Keep the body moving, stay active."

Lisa says she's learned the human body is a magnificent machine, like a car. And like a car, it needs care.

"When we put gas in our car, we fill it up," she said. "We don't overfill it, so why are we overfilling our bodies? A lot of people put premium gas in their car, but they don't put premium gas in their body."

Now, more than 210 pounds lighter, Lisa is realizing her dream to be in the Broad Street Run.

"My goal for the race, number one, is to finish, and number 2, is to finish in under 2 hours," said Lisa.

By the way, Lisa's transformation was virtually free. Most of her exercise was done in Philadelphia's public parks.

She wants to salute the park workers she's gotten to know over the past 4 years.

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