After losing almost 100 kilograms, Monique McGrath has another goal she’d like to conquer: the Dubbo Stampede.
Ms McGrath will be participating in the 10 kilometre Cheetah Chase.
It’s a big change from just a few years ago when Ms McGrath couldn’t even run.
In September 2015 the Dubbo resident had gastric sleeve surgery. The surgery reduces the size of the stomach, making people feel full after eating less food.
When she was ten-years-old Ms McGrath said she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and told she would be in a wheelchair by the time she was 21-years-old. While she didn’t end up in a wheelchair, Ms McGrath said two years ago her weight – she was over 200 kilograms at the time – stopped the arthritis injections working.
The weight loss changed everything, Ms McGrath said.
“I had high blood pressure, I don’t have that any more. I had heart conditions, I don’t have that any more and I can run. I’ve never been able to run before in my life,” she said.
While she’ll have her friends Sally Carter and Julie Webster keeping her motivated around the Taronga Western Plains Zoo track, and her family cheering her on at the finish line, Ms McGrath also has added motivation for the run. The Stampede will be completed in honour of her mother, Glenis McGrath, who died of cancer in 2009.
“She’d be one proud mum. She was always the one who used to push me with my weight. I was always a big girl but never as big as what I was when I lost Mum,” Ms McGrath said.
“I lost all motivation to do anything and it was only that the doctors and specialists said that if you don’t do something you’re not going to be here in six months. That was a big wake up call.”
The Stampede entrant said her only regret was that she had held back on doing what she wanted for so many years.
“I regret the years that I did hold back and I look back and think ‘why did I do that? why didn’t I get off the lounge?’ Get yourself moving. Don’t care what people say about you at the gym,” she said.
Ms McGrath said nothing would stop her from crossing the finish line at Stampede, even if she had to crawl.