The breaking point for overweight Melanie Osman came one morning when she dropped off her middle child at pre-school. Here were these other young, attractive mothers dressed in stylish attire. Osman?
As 5 feet, 5 inches, weighing 260 pounds, Osman opted for her every-day black sweat pants.
“I was sick of being fat, sick of looking at the closet with nothing to wear. Sick of being depressed,” said Osman, who lives in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. “I wore nothing but black stretch pants. I said, ‘I’m done. I’m done with this.’”
That was September 2012. Less than three years later, Osman, physically, is less than half the woman she once was. She weighs 128 pounds and brags, “My husband can’t keep his hands off me.”
On May 31, 2015, Osman, 35, showed off that new body in front of thousands of runners, participating in the 18th Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon.
For Osman, who has run four half marathons since Dec. 28, running has enabled her to rediscover the athlete within. She swam competitively in her childhood. At Clairemont High, she participated in track, soccer and tennis. Owing to her environment, she surfed and skateboarded. She ran two marathons in 1999.
But then came motherhood. Osman delivered three children in three years. Aiden is 5. Daughters Sydney and Taylor are 4 and 2, respectively. Pregnant far more often than she was not during those three years, Osman gained weight, stressed out and ate poorly.
She also discovered during that span that she was diabetic.
“I didn’t have a lot of time to recoup my body weight,” she said. “And the diabetes never went away.”
To first attack the flab, Osman hired a personal trainer and changed her eating habits. In one year, she lost 40 pounds. But still at 220, she still felt fat. In January 2014 she underwent a gastric sleeve surgery, which makes the stomach smaller, requiring less food to feel full.
In one year, Osman dropped 92 pounds, down to 128.
A friend told Osman, “You look amazing.”
In June of 2014 she stepped atop a treadmill, seeing if she could jog for five minutes.
“I can do this,” she told herself.
Five minutes turned into seven or eight.
“I really can do this,” she muttered to herself.
The five-minute jog morphed into 15 minutes with a smiling Osman stepping off the treadmill, barely able to contain her happiness.
“I ran the entire time,” she said. “Didn’t stop. I can’t tell you how liberating it felt.”
The next month she joined a twice-a-week mothers jogging club. She ran a 5K in October 2014, a half marathon in late December, then in January 2015 joined a training program for Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego. Now she exercises twice a week with the mothers group, trains twice a week with the marathon program, plus still works out twice a week with her personal trainer.
“I’m hitting it hard,” she said.
“I’m extremely proud of her,” said Osman’s husband, T.J. “She put herself on hold (with the children). Now, she takes more time for herself. I’m definitely happy. The kids are happy. Everyone’s happy.”
Lose weight and there are changes that must be made. Take clothes. When you’re dropping a size or two every month, the wardrobe needs adjusting. But hitting Nordstrom monthly can be expensive. Because she was losing weight so rapidly, Osman adopted for Goodwill as her clothing store of choice for a while.
One day, she celebrated an emotional parting with her black stretchy, sweat pants.
“Thank you,” Osman said to the jeans, crying as she retells the story. “You got me through it. But I don’t need you anymore.” Adds Osman, “Now they’re gone, gone, gone.”
Settled at 128, she purchased skinny jeans and black heels.
Said Osman, “My friends call me a little diva.”
In her heavy state, she hated it when men looked at her in the gym. Today, they still eye her, but she senses the stares are for different reasons. Come May 31, the one-time 260-pound woman will take off early in the morning in Balboa Park, not stopping until she jogs into Petco Park 26.2 miles later, knocking off her first marathon in 16 years.
“I feel great and kind of sexy,” said Osman. ”I’m happy. I’m in the prime of my life. I feel like the ‘Comeback Momma.’”