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From couch to marathon - Kyla's #ReasonToRun

kyla-whitefoot-before-and-after.jpgKyla Whitefoot is a relative newcomer to running. After Kyla had seen the Virgin Money London Marathon on television and been fascinated by the strength it takes to run the distance, she set out on her own course. Helped by her son, Kyla has worked hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle with the ultimate goal of running the London Marathon!

‘I have always wanted to be able to run (even to the point where I regularly had dreams about being able to run, but just wouldn’t be able to), but had been very overweight, even obese, since childhood. I had watched the Virgin Money London Marathon coverage on the television many, many times and been fascinated by what it takes for people to participate, hearing their stories when they were interviewed, and wanting to feel the way the runners obviously did.’ In October of 2015 Kyla’s son, Dan had shown an increasing interest in health and fitness. As a result of this, he drew up a fitness plan for Kyla and promised to go to the gym with her and to eat healthily as well.

Kyla lost a total of six stone preparing for the marathon! What ensued was a steady weight loss of just over 2 pounds per week on average and a loss of over 6 stone in total by summer 2016!

‘I gained control of my overeating, my weight and have maintained a healthy lifestyle since then for the first time in my life. I’m a great believer that things like this only happen when you’re in the ‘right place and time’ in your life!’

‘In the meantime, Dan and I had watched the 2016 marathon coverage and talked about how amazing the event was, and I had a ‘lightbulb moment’ as to what my ultimate goal could be.’ Following this, Kyla applied for one of MS-UK’s Virgin Money London Marathon gold bond places, pledging to raise £2,000 for a cause that is close to her heart. Kyla’s mum was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before she was born and struggled with the disease and resulting symptoms for 30 years. ‘My Mum suffered horrendously during the last few years of her life. My amazing Dad shouldered all of her care when I was growing up so I could 'be a normal kid' as much as possible and neither he nor Mum ever put any responsibility onto me during her illness.’

‘Raising money for MS-UK is my chance to finally give something back in Mum’s honour.’

‘I know that if she had received support such as that is now offered by MS-UK it would have made such a difference to her day-to-day life, not only in that she wouldn’t have felt as if she had to hide away the need to talk to someone, but also the ease of getting in touch with others in her situation.  It breaks my heart that she probably felt as if no one really understood what she was going through.

kyla-2.jpgSupported by friends, family and work colleagues, Kyla has had an extraordinary response in her goal to reach her £2,000 target. Her dad and friend Hilary have been particularly supportive with sponsorship, every time Kyla has taken part in a race, being great motivational forces!

The company Kyla works for, The Litmus Partnership, have also been very supportive, granting permission to add her fundraising link to her email signature. Her work colleagues have donated the proceeds from their annual ‘swear tally’ fundraiser to the fund.

‘It was really difficult not to entertain thoughts of ever-so-temporarily sabotaging the office equipment to annoy everyone, to the point that they let off a stream of obscenities in frustration!’ says Kyla.

Everyone at MS-UK is wishing Kyla every success in the Virgin Money London Marathon; look out for her on the television!

‘I can’t wait for April now…when I’m not feeling a little terrified, that is. Bring it on! #teampurple’