rebecca meyer

Rebecca Meyer

Rebecca Meyer’s life has transformed markedly over the past three years.

And she likes to tell her story to others.

Meyer, the Season 8 $100,000 at-home winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” in 2009, will be in Fayette County on April 14 to compete in the annual 5-K (3.1 miles) run/walk associated with the Babcock Gristmill Grinder Half-Marathon as part of her 50 in 50 by 30 Challenge.

“It’s been so much fun. When I initially decided to do this, it was sort of impromptu,” Meyer said of the challenge. “I had so much energy” after The Biggest Loser, she said. That’s when the idea to run a road race in all 50 states by the time she turns 30 was borne. “I love running, biking. It helps me stay active.”

At the time of her participation on the NBC show, she was approaching 26 years of age. “I thought it was completely do-able,” Meyer, a Des Moines, Iowa native and a former nanny, said of the challenge. “Last fall, I woke up and said, “Oh, I’m 27.’ I decided to really get after it.”

The Biggest Loser competition, during which she shed about 140 pounds, gave her the impetus to make drastic alterations in her life, Meyer said.

“It helped me get my life back” and gave me love with my fiancé (Daniel Wright, also a The Biggest Loser alum with whom she has since formed a company, FitnessWrightNow).”

Making appearances around the country, Meyer — now a certified ISCA personal trainer — stresses to people that they can make changes in their lives if they so desire.

“I let people know they can be their own normal,” she says. While pursuing a “fit and healthy” lifestyle, she says, “Whether you’re running a 15-minute mile or a 6-minute mile, get out there and enjoy yourself.”

“The journey of lifelong health and fitness has no end,” she continued.

While making progress in accomplishing an ambitious goal, the challenge also has given Meyer the chance to see the country. She says she traveled to “about 40 states” with her family in a pop-up camper when she was young, but it took a while to appreciate what she had seen on her adventures.

It wasn’t until she was 17 or 18 that she “realized what my parents were trying to show me,” she said. “Now, it’s been nice to experience (travel) with my fiancé.”

“I have driven through West Virginia but have never done more than stop to get gas,” she added. “I’m excited to visit.”

For more, visit www.rebeccaameyer.com.

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Meyer’s West Virginia stop will be the 18th race of the 50-event tour.

She plans on arriving April 13 to soak in a little of the local scenery and prepare for the Saturday race. She won’t linger long after competing at Babcock, as she must travel to Stevensville, Md. for the Kent Island Metric Marathon and Half Metric Marathon the next day.

Other races planned in 2012 include the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio, Sprint Triathlons in New York, Washington state and Wisconsin, the Women’s Running Magazine Half Marathon in Nashville, Tenn. in September, and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Ill. in October.

“It’s already been a really busy year,” said Meyer. “I’m looking forward to traveling and racing throughout the country, but what I’m most excited about is adding triathlons to the mix.”

One of her races was the Boston Marathon two years ago, and she expects to complete four or five of the 26.2-mile events before she’s through.

“I’m built a lot more for the half-marathon,” said Meyer, who credits Giant Bicycles, Bike World and Champion System for support in accomplishing her training and racing load. “And you can train for a 5-K on a treadmill.”

The marathon, she points out, requires much more attention to the thought process concerning shoe selection, nutrition and other areas, in addition to more of a time commitment.

Donnie Hudspeth, director of the Gristmill Grinder, is excited that Meyer chose Fayette County for her West Virginia race.

“We are honored to have Rebecca join us this year for our Babcock event,” said Hudspeth. “She represents our philosophy of exercise and healthy lifestyle choices, and she walks the walk — no pun intended.

“Rebecca would be the first to tell you that wellness is a journey, not a destination. We sincerely hope folks will come to meet her and talk with her while she is here.”

The field for the Gristmill 13.1-mile race is full, but entries are still being accepted for the fun run/walk. For information, visit www.gristmillgrinder.com.

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com

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