The photo shows a beaming woman, lean, muscular and triumphant, with a medal around her neck, surrounded by a cheering squad of exuberant family and friends. Deanne Hobba has just completed the Chicago Marathon. There at the finish line are her mom, her two sisters, three cousins, an aunt and her best friend—“my support group,” says Hobba. “What more could you ask for?”
The end of this race is the capstone of a far longer, more arduous journey for Hobba. A journey that took her from poor eating, ill health and obesity to glowing fitness and well-being. A journey that reflects what it takes to transform one’s life, to lose weight or just adopt healthier habits.
In the past decade, Hobba, age 44, has completed three marathons, seven triathlons and more than fifty 5K-, 10K- and 10-mile races. At 5'4", she weighs 145 pounds and wears a size 8. She runs, bikes and swims three times a week and strength-trains twice a week.