Can running really help you lose weight and get you fit? Judging by the amount of runners complaining about lost toe nails, bad backs, wonky knees and shin splints, you’d think “well maybe not.” But a lady with a particularly inspirational story popped up in our facebook group in early November. And I was reminded about how taking up running can become the centre piece of some pretty life changing stuff. Both for the runner in questions and their loved ones.

So I popped Linda Taylor the four little questions to find out her running story that’s seen her shed 11 stone and help her daughter in her fight against thyroid cancer.

1. Why did you start running?

I started running for two main reasons…I had started to try and exercise and just move more as I had begun my weight loss journey and I was advised that any exercise would help..obviously…my daughter Tiffany had just been diagnosed with stage 4 thyroid cancer and was facing a terrible journey fighting the disease, I couldn’t take the cancer away from her but I could stand with her by fighting my food addiction, so that is what I did.

Pound by pound I fought her cancer with her, showing her if I could fight food she could fight cancer.

Running came by accident actually, I was walking miles and miles and it was taking hours to cover the miles I needed to walk in order to keep seeing results…I was getting fitter and fitter and I had always loved athletics just could never participate, so I just started running across the many roads I crossed, then I tried running the entire length of one road and that’s how I built it up…until one day…5 k yay!

I can’t tell you how happy I was…park run followed as did my desire for more.

55 year olds don’t start running do they? Yep they do…my weight came off, my confidence went up and I made my whole family so proud and Tiffany kept fighting into remission…it has got me to the GSR in October and I am looking for my first half next year.

Unfortunately Tiffany isn’t too well atm so it’s given me the push to train more and lose the rest of my weight to get to my goal. I have tried to enter the VLM but as yet no luck.

2. Please tell us a little bit about the charity you support

Cancer research uk is dear to my heart because of my personal experience with cancer unfortunately. I have lost far too many family and friends to this awful disease and with tiff being diagnosed with thyroid cancer it was the obvious choice for me…they do amazing research and it’s a disease that can hit anyone of us at any time. When I run and I’m getting tired I think of all those poor people having chemo or just too weak to get out and I run some more for them.

Check out Linda's fund raising here...

3. For anyone wanting to donate or run for a charity- how can you find a good one?

Donating is easy through just giving or online these days to any charity…or simply go into a charity shop and donate…chose a charity that’s got a meaning to you it makes it personal and gives you a reason to keep training.

4. What’s your “golden tip” for any newbie runners out there?

Golden tip…train…eat well…be kind to yourself…baby steps…most of all believe in yourself and get a good pair of trainers!

So can running help you lose weight? Not just on it’s own. But as Linda shows, with a big chunk of motivation, all round healthy eating, and sticking at it, the results can be extraordinary. You can also leverage your efforts to help the people and causes that are near and dear to you.

We wish Linda all the best and her Daughter Tiff all the strength and power in her fight against cancer.