Transformation Tuesday: Cindy Coates

Time for another great Transformation Tuesday!  This week I am happy to welcome Cindy who has been running at Disney since 2009!  I love her determination and dedication to getting fit and healthy…can you guess what her secret is??


How I did it: runDisney, PbRC & FitBit


My passion with runDisney begins here in the year 2009: I went back to school for my Masters a few years ago and when the time came for my final paper, there was no doubt that it would be Disney. After thorough research, I chose the runDisney Volunteer section. My observation with the runners perplexed me. The thought of someone, never mind myself, running a half marathon sent me into a fit of laughter. Who would in their right mind want to do this?

After I graduated I slacked off running and the weight piled on.
After I graduated I slacked off running and the weight piled on.

Aside from all the great volunteers that I am still friends with today, I quickly signed up myself and my husband for what was to be the very last 3K Race for the Taste at Disney. A whole 1.8 miles, I cringed immediately after signing up and my husband had cold sweats! But I soon became “hooked” and signed up for the 5k’s. I was pretty content with that.


I can’t tell you if there was one specific thing that finally put me over the edge to weight loss. I never really had a problem with my weight when I was younger; I was 105 lbs. when I got married. Even after having kids, I lost the weight. A pound here and there gained never bothered me until it was 40 or 50 lbs. I always ate healthy and resigned myself to the fact that I was old and weight loss was impossible. Then I simply decided one day that I no longer wanted to feel “stuffed”!

logoI transitioned back into running to celebrate runDisney’s Expedition Everest 5th anniversary. I was still volunteering and familiar with runDisney so this was the easy part and runDisney was a perfect place to start. I set up a runDisney 3 part plan ->1) 2012 was my year to “Get Moving”, 2) 2013 was my year to “Get it Done”, and 3) 2014 was my year to “Achieve”! I was immediately “hooked” which was a good thing because mind you that at this point I am now registered for the Tower 10 Miler, Wine and Dine ½ Marathon & the Marathon Weekend half. Before Everest occurred I started searching around Facebook for running support groups. I soon found the PbRC running club and my life and obsession has not been the same since.

My first “long” race was the Inaugural Tower of Terror 10 Miler.
My first “long” race was the Inaugural Tower of Terror 10 Miler.

My weight was a roller coaster of up and down weight. At any point in time I would get the scale to 150 but just couldn’t budge it below that. I had minimal clothes to wear because I refused to buy bigger sizes and nothing fit. Frustrated, I started keeping track of food (Calories, Fats, etc.). A friend put me on to the FitBit app which you can put on your phone and made tracking easy. Once I was comfortable with that I asked for and receive the personal tracker for Christmas. I created my food plan on the very aggressive side. But I knew that if I didn’t start right out of the gate with a big nudge it just wasn’t going to work. I needed to see results quickly. The nudge worked! I tried not to go to crazy looking at calories-in vs. calories-out and even if I went over on a day, I didn’t “beat” myself up over it because most days I was under. The first 10 days were probably the hardest but I was determined to succeed.


I like to weigh myself every morning.  I bought a digital scale because the small amounts of weight loss can be seen and this was really gratifying and motivating!

I lost my weight the old fashion way, runDisney really helped me achieve this. No “Shakes”, “pills”, “pre-packaged” weight-loss food or “Drill” Sargent workouts.  Don’t get me wrong, if that works for someone – GREAT – but it didn’t work for me.

I missed my first official weight loss goal by 5 lbs. this past February but I was ok with that because I had just lost 10 lbs. and accomplished my first PR at the runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge. I shaved 18 minutes off my last half marathon time and I now have a time that I can “officially” submit.


I reached that initial weight loss goal a month later, hit my second goal on schedule and I am currently working on my 3rd.

I now fit “back” into my clothes. It’s like having a whole new wardrobe!  What I did realize through all this was that even though I was eating healthy, I was eating to maintain my weight and not lose.

Since then I have also PR’d twice for my 5k’s shaving a total of 3 ½ minutes off my total time. And all the “BIG” clothes that fit 6 months ago are being donated!

My secret: runDisney without a doubt! I have also found a way to go to Disney several times throughout the year, meet-up with friends and have fun. But I also eat clean which includes minimal red meat, lots of fruits and vegetables and I discovered soy. I run on the treadmill every morning for at least 30 minutes. I have found that I am most hungry in the evening so I use most of my calories then. This gets me to bed and I am not hungry. I don’t skip meals. I have egg whites for breakfast, salad for lunch, watermelon juice in between to ward off hunger pains and a healthy dinner.  I can even have ice cream (90% fat free, of course)!



Cindy Coates is a 57 year old Data Specialist at Johnson & Wales University. She is a mom to 2 grown children – Pamela & Nicholas – dog Holly and grand dog Lucy. She started running to be healthy but was taken by the social aspect and the desire to loose weight to improve my running. Cindy runs a Disney Training Group where she posts the weekly training for the current runDisney races, a FitBit group for Disney Addicts, an occasional blog called Disney Runs Through Me, and she is Team Captain to a fitness group in Rhode Island.

Cindy is currently training for 3 half marathons in order to qualify for Half Fanatics which includes Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Disney’s Tower of Terror 10 Miler!


Has running at Disney helped to transform your life?  If so, I want to hear your story!  Send me an email at to be featured on an upcoming Transformation Tuesday!

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