Cindi Hachey loses 240 pounds running at Regent Mall

Cindi Hachey celebrated her 50th birthday this month, but seven years ago, she wasn’t sure she was going to make it to 50.

Fredericton woman says she turned her life around after weighing around 400 pounds

Cindi Hachey celebrated her 50th birthday this month, but seven years ago, she wasn’t sure she was going to make it to 50. 0:49

Cindi Hachey celebrated her 50th birthday this month, but seven years ago she wasn't sure she was going to make it to 50.

Hachey says she weighed around 400 pounds, but that's only an estimate as she was too ashamed to step on a scale

That's when Hachey completely changed her lifestyle, which eventually led her to running at the Regent Mall in Fredericton.

Cindi Hachey has changed her life by walking and running in Regent Mall, helping her lose about 240 pounds. (CBC)
"I looked in the mirror one day and had a good long look at myself and realized how humongous I was and it was like a baseball bat over the head really," said Hachey.

"I realized that if I didn't stop living the lifestyle that I was, that I would probably die before I was 50, instead of actually making it to 50."

Now, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Hachey runs at the mall, but that wasn't the first exercise she tried. She started by swimming at the Fredericton Indoor Pool.

"That was probably one of the most difficult things for me to do because at that size and getting into a bathing suit and going out into a public place. Yeah, that was the hardest day I ever had just to get started," said Hachey.

Lifestyle changes

She also changed her diet. She stopped drinking pop, and had chocolate only once a week.

As Hachey started losing weight, she felt she needed to do more than swim. She made walking at the mall her full-time exercise routine.

Though she never stepped on a scale, Hachey estimates she weighed around 400 pounds based on the clothes she was buying. (CBC News)
"I've had so much support with all the running people and the people who work in the mall and they're such a wonderful group and they just keep me going," said Hachey.

She says there wasn't a moment where she felt like slipping back into her old ways.

Even when she pulled a muscle, she would still go to the mall and do what she could.

A group of men have coffee together in the mall food court every morning and they say hi to her as she runs by. They've been amazed with her persistence.

"She waves hi and says hello to us and jokes around and continues around on her little jaunt around without stopping while she's doing it," said Bob Wilson.

Hachey's persistence has paid off. Over the past seven years, she has lost around 240 pounds.

"I see pictures of me from time to time and I just have to stop and go, `Holy crap, that's actually me,'" said Hachey.

Favourite changes

Hachey made a list of her top 10 favourite things about being smaller. It includes things people take for granted, like pulling her chair close to the table when eating and fitting in a normal bathroom stall.

It also includes bigger things, like not feeling so many aches and pains, and having enough energy to do what she wants each day.

Hachey has made many friends while walking and running in the mall to lose weight. (CBC)
"When I get up in the morning I'm ready to go and take on the day and I know that I'll be able to go and do everything I want in a day and I won't have an energy loss," she said.

"Once I'm done my exercises I'm still full of pep and zip and can keep going and it feels so good."

Even though she has lost the weight and is a lot healthier now, she isn't going to stop running at the mall. She says the changes she made are for life.

She hopes she can be an inspiration to anyone out there who wants to be healthier.

"I am living proof that it is actually possible to take your life into your hands and change it and be a better person," she said.

About the Author

Philip Drost

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.


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