Meggie Sexton Is Open About Her Struggles To Self-Acceptance
My guest today is a lady that has experienced running from a lot of different angles over the years, which will lead to no shortage of topics to cover.
In addition to her running life, she’s also an author, entrepreneur, and mom of 4 who has somehow found the time to chat with me today.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Meggie Sexton today!
A Natural Talent
Meggie Sexton and running go way back.
She first started running around the age of 12 and hasn’t stopped since.
Meggie and her sisters are all tall, lanky, and in her words uncoordinated.
They tried various sports, but when they landed on running it was a natural fit.
While watching her sisters compete in cross country, Meggie knew she wanted to give it a try as well.
Meggie continued running in both high school and collegiately as well.
She ran for Ohio Wesleyan, a small division 3 school where she mostly competed in the 5k.
It wasn’t until after college that Meggie set her sights on the marathon.
Lifelong Running Is the Goal
Meggie has been running for over 30 years and has no plans to stop anytime soon.
She has a goal to be a lifelong runner and has her mom to look to as inspiration.
Her mom is running strong in her 70s and completed a half marathon in the last few years.
Meggie relies on running for her sanity as a mom of 4, but it’s also her passion.
She has dabbled in other activities over the years but always comes back to running.
Some of her greatest friendships have been born from running.
Her reasons for running have changed throughout the years.
Meggie no longer focuses on her time as much but prefers to do her best with where she is at in life and training.
A Slippery Slope
Meggie is open about her struggle with anorexia, bulimia, and over-exercising.
She is in a good place at the moment, but it wasn’t an easy place to get to or stay at.
Her struggle with disordered eating began during her senior year of college.
There is a genetic component to the disease that Meggie attributes in part to her disordered relationship with food.
After graduating from college and not having a team to rely on, Meggie felt a loss of identity.
She decided to focus on running marathons and getting faster.
The more she ran and restricted the thinner she got.
Her times did get faster for a short period before her health took a turn and could no longer perform in a depleted state.
Meggie is thankful to her family and friends for encouraging her to get help.
After 6 years of struggle, she checked-in to an in-patient therapy program in Arizona.
There were two culminating factors that convinced her it was time to face her demons.
She was in a serious relationship with her now husband and knew she wanted to start a family with him someday.
Meggie knew she couldn’t be the partner or mother she wanted to be if she didn’t start taking care of herself.
The second eye-opening moment was during a marathon when she blacked out at mile 24.
She was able to walk/jog to the finish after being treated but knew she couldn’t continue her lifestyle.
Meggie came out of the program recovered, but there have been lots of relapses in between.
Sharing Her Story
Meggie knew she wanted to help others by sharing her story.
In 2013, her book To the Moon and Back- A Daughter/Mother Journey Towards Eating Disorder Recovery was published.
She wants others in similar situations to realize they are not alone and that eating disorders are serious illnesses.
Certain sports (gymnastics, dance, running, etc.) put the focus on specific body types which can lead to negative outcomes.
Meggie may be out of the weeds, but she acknowledged that it’s easy to fall back into old habits.
Remaining diligent about support is a big factor in Meggie not succumbing to the disease.
Food is a normal part of daily life and there is no magic pill that makes her relationship with it effortless.
Her biggest piece of advice for someone that is struggling is to talk with someone that they trust.
Meggie is a mom to 4 young boys.
She had relatively easy pregnancies and was able to run right up until delivery with 3 of the 4.
During her last pregnancy, Meggie stopped running around 35 weeks because she began to feel uncomfortable.
Post-partum running began as soon as she was given the green light by her doctor.
With each subsequent pregnancy, Meggie became more attuned to her body and pulled back when needed.
The biggest struggle Meggie faces now is finding the time to fit in running.
Multiple times a week, Meggie can be found running while pushing a double stroller.
In regards to both food and exercise, Meggie is trying to model healthy behavior for her children.
Mixing It Up
Though Meggie prefers to run and only run, she knows that mixing up her routine is ideal.
She joined a local gym with friends and consistently participates in strength and yoga classes each week.
Her friends provide accountability and know if she is or isn’t in class.
Meggie hasn’t run a marathon since her recovery.
Her last marathon ended on a bad note when her disordered eating finally caught up to her performance.
She has unfinished business with the marathon and hopes to one day be able to train again when her kids get a bit older.
After running for 30 years, it is likely that Meggie’s PRs are in her past.
That doesn’t change the fact that she is a competitor and will always give her all.
Mentioned In This Article:
- To the Moon and Back: A Daughter/Mother Journey Toward Eating Disorder Recovery. Book by: Meghan Feran Sexton
- Sexton Events & Marketing
- She Runs This Town
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus 1/2 Marathon
Stay connected to Meggie Sexton by following her on Instagram.
Meggie Sexton is a literal open book on her journey to self-acceptance. Click To Tweet
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