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Cathy Doxey: 'I never thought I'd run a marathon'

Cathy Doxey of Oyster Bay lost 52 pounds

Cathy Doxey of Oyster Bay lost 52 pounds and is now training for the Walt Disney World Marathon. Credit: Newsday.com composite

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Who: Cathy Doxey, 47
Town: Oyster Bay

Occupation: Substitute teacher
Height: 5'7"
Weight before: 180 (March 2009)
Weight after: 128 (Nov. 2009)

>>Click here to see photos of Long Islanders who have lost weight

Her story: Less than a year ago, Cathy Doxey struggled daily with feeling tired and sluggish. After dropping her two boys off at school, Doxey, 47, said she'd sometimes come home and get back into bed for a nap. It was a "vicious cycle" of not eating right, then feeling tired, then not having enough energy to exercise, and on and on, she said. Now, she's training for the Walt Disney World Marathon and has dropped 52 pounds. And although the change was relatively swift, it wasn't easy.

Last March, she received an e-mail asking her to join a local "Biggest Loser" competition. "The competition was a wake-up call," she said, and a good way to change bad habits. Like the NBC show, the competitors would have regular weigh-ins to check their progress, and the winner would take a cash prize, a portion of the $100 fee that more than 20 women paid to join. At the final weigh-in, right after Memorial Day, Doxey came in at 150 pounds and took home first prize, about $1,500.

Since the competition ended, she's maintained new, healthier habits, and her weight loss has continued. "I always thought when you get older, you can't lose it," Doxey said, a statement she proved untrue.

Her diet: Even before the contest, “I thought I was eating healthy,” Doxey said. She figured that if she got the good stuff in, like vegetables, she could indulge in the bad stuff, namely sweets, which she’d eat every day. Instead of making sweeping, drastic changes, she made small substitutions over time.

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Doxey eats scrambled eggs for breakfast with one egg and three egg whites, steel-cut oatmeal and a plate of fresh fruit (instead of juice) on the side. While she used to eat a full sandwich for lunch, now she eats half a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread with a side salad and fruit. Instead of diet soda, she has iced green tea. For dinner she sticks to a lean protein, such as chicken or fish, with vegetables. If her family is having pasta, she'll sub in shrimp and spinach for meatballs and cheese. And while she'll still have sweets on occasion, she won't indulge in a big bowl of ice cream, but will instead have low-fat frozen yogurt.

Her workouts: Once she was eating right and her energy was up, Doxey got the dust off old exercise tapes and starting doing the 45- to 70-minute workouts, combining cardio and strength training, five to six days a week.

She's also training for the 26.2-mile Walt Disney World Marathon, scheduled for Jan. 10, with Nassau County's Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (teamintraining.org). "I never thought I'd run a marathon," she said, "but what better way to meet a personal fitness goal and help people out?"

Cathy Doxey's page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/li/wdw10/cdoxey

>>Click here to see photos of Long Islanders who have lost weight

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