Noelle Lem

CFO: Chief Fun Officer

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I love to eat and drink and therefore I must run. Thankfully, I enjoy running almost as much as a good Chardonnay, so it’s not such a bad compromise.

I didn’t always appreciate running like I do now. It all started with the game of soccer, a game that I have played my entire life. I never had to watch what I was eating because I was so active while I was playing soccer and blessed with a youthful metabolism.

When I graduated college I moved straight to the Big Apple and got my first corporate job. My job was so demanding and I was working 14 hour days so the last thing I wanted to do when I came home was run on a treadmill, instead I ran to the bar to grab a cocktail with my friends! I would reward myself every night by going out in the city and exploring every restaurant and bar I could. My diet consisted of bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches and greasy New York City pizza smothered in ranch dressing at 2am after the bars. All I would do is work, drink, eat and sleep. The hedonistic lifestyle that I loved so much didn’t leave any room to work out and my weight ballooned. I was heavier than I had ever been.

When I went to the doctor for a regular checkup I was told I was unhealthy, obese, and at risk for certain diseases. It truly scared me as I was in my early 20’s and needed to do something about it. I was tired, overweight, and really unhappy. To top it off, my boyfriend at the time told me he found me unattractive and dumped me. (He clearly sucked anyway) My boss at work said that I violated the work dress code because my clothes were too tight. I became really sad and depressed, and I was extremely insecure and stopped dating because I felt so awful about myself.

I am all for embracing whatever size you are and being happy in our own skin. It really is between you and the mirror; and I couldn’t tell that person I was looking at in the mirror that I was happy. I saw and unhealthy, sad girl and knew I needed a change.

That change was a move from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach and I haven’t looked back since. The energy of LA, the sunshine, the beach, the palm trees, and the almost religious devotion to fitness and health was intoxicating.

Living at the beach and having amazing weather easily motivated me to convert myself into a runner. It was a natural transition from soccer to running since they are both intensely physical and wonderfully therapeutic. The long runs I would go on helped me shed the weight, helped with my anxiety, and curbed my emotional eating. Running is great for body and soul and as I got more into running, I looked to be challenged. I started to participate in 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, mud runs, and, I’m proud to say, I’ve run three marathons and have no plans to retire anytime soon. My weight still fluctuates 5 or 10 pounds but I try keep it at a healthy level.

I always love trying a new fitness class or routine and try to never say no to fitness dates with friends. I love to cook, drink wine while I cook, and drink wine when I’m not cooking, run, have fun, and travel.

To sum it all it up, what makes me happy is food, fitness and fun and that is why I created Eat Play Run and my goal is to make you Funners happy when you come to this community.

It has been an interesting journey to finally end up embracing that is who I am and sharing it with you all. It was meant to be, and as they say, it’s about the journey, not the destination. So let’s go on this journey together!