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‘That tremendous loss really just sat with me’: Mother who weighed 320LBS details how she lost 135LBS and ran the NYC Marathon three years after her father died at age 61
- Emily Conley Baker, 34, from New York, underwent bariatric surgery in 2021
- She started running after the procedure and has lost a total of 135 pounds
- Baker, a mother of three, completed the New York City Marathon in November
A mother of three who struggled with her weight for most of her life has opened up about how she lost 135 pounds and ran the New York City Marathon three years after her father died at the age of 61.
Emily Conley Baker, 34, a pediatric nurse living in Queens, New York, overhauled her lifestyle and went from 320 pounds to 185 pounds after undergoing bariatric surgery two years ago.
In an interview with the Today show, she explained that everyone in her family was overweight, and after years of unsuccessful diets, she became resigned to what she thought was her fate.
‘I’ve always been someone who put on this face every day that I had everything together, but inside I really struggled emotionally, specifically surrounding my weight and my physical appearance,’ she said.
Emily Conley Baker, 34, a pediatric nurse living in Queens, New York, overhauled her lifestyle and went from 320 pounds to 185 pounds after undergoing bariatric surgery in May 2021
The mother of three decided to have weight loss surgery after her father died at the age of 61 in 2019. He passed away just three weeks after the birth of her youngest child
Baker has lost a total of 135 pounds and has maintained her weight for the past year
Baker started to rethink her beliefs about herself and her health after her father died in January 2019, three weeks after the birth of her youngest child.
‘His size was a massive comorbidity of his, and ultimately it didn’t allow him to effectively get the care he needed,’ she explained. ‘So witnessing that tremendous loss really just sat with me.’
Baker couldn’t stand the thought of her children losing their mother, and she credits her brothers with helping her admit that she was struggling.
‘My brother said to me, “Emily, I know you don’t feel like physically you’re at rock bottom, but emotionally, I think you’re there,” she recalled. ‘I am so thankful they said that to me because for the first I recognized that rock bottom didn’t have to be about what I looked like physically.’
In May 2021, she underwent a vertical sleeve gastrectomy and lost 30 pounds in the first month after her surgery. That August, she started running. At first, she could only run for 15 seconds, but she built up her stamina by alternating between running and walking.
After less than a month of training, she challenged herself to run a 5K on her treadmill on her 33rd birthday. In November 2021, ran her first official 5K, a turkey trot, on Thanksgiving Day.
Baker joined a running group and ran her first half-marathon in March 2022. Nine months later, she completed the New York City Marathon.
She lost a total of 135 pounds following her weight loss surgery and has kept it off. She is now a certified run instructor and a health and wellness coach.
Baker started running after her vertical sleeve gastrectomy. At first, she could only run for 15 seconds, but she built up her stamina by alternating between running and walking
In November, Baker ran the New York City Marathon for the first time
In celebration of her success, Today hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager invited her onto the show for a head-to-toe makeover with stylist Melissa Garcia
Baker was the picture of confidence when she strutted on stage to join her family and running coach, who were blown away by her new look
‘For the first 33 years of my life, I would have told you I was going to die young. I don’t have that feeling anymore,’ she told Today last November.
She noted in her latest interview that she ‘couldn’t have done any of this’ without the support of her family and the community she created.
‘When I think about all of this change, I think about my children,’ she said. ‘I have a nine-year-old. I don’t think she recognizes how much of a driving force she’s been for me.’
In celebration of her success, Today hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager invited her onto the show for a head-to-toe makeover with stylist Melissa Garcia.
Baker was the picture of confidence when she strutted on stage to join her family and running coach, who were blown away by her new look.
‘I just feel so beautiful, inside and out,’ said the mom, who was modeling a red Karen Millen dress and heels.
‘I struggle to put it into words,’ she added, ‘because it’s very overwhelming when your outside catches up with your inside.
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