Rene Day figured one solid way to restrain her food intake on Thanksgiving — and guesses it could come in as handy as good wishes on Christmas.

”I wore the tightest jeans (in the waist) I possibly could,” Day said with a laugh.

The 45-year-old Seymour resident is probably best known among her friends these days for another kind of fit — one that has given her a 5-foot-6-inch, 125-pound frame with biceps that draw compliments.

”And I’ve (previously) been kind of a big girl almost all of my life,” she said.

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That is, until two years ago, when she began working out for the first time in her couch-potato life while losing 50 pounds.

She now races through mud runs and related competitions nearly every weekend, sometimes finishing in the top 10 in her gender and age group.

» Briefly describe your daily/weekly workout routine.

Cardio consisting of four to seven miles five or six days per week. And alternating days of lifting between upper and lower body.

Also, I’ll be doing two half marathons in the same weekend. When I work out, I’m like a sweat hog. (Laughter).

» What inspired you to begin a regular fitness routine?

My relatives tend to have a little obesity. And my grandmother died at 65 of diabetes.

» Why is it something you have stuck with?

I just have a lot of willpower and determination. I’m stubborn. And I have decided that nothing tastes as good as feeling good.

» How do you make time to work out?

I get up most days at 4 a.m.

» Have you lost weight or gained muscle mass through working out?

I used to wear a size 12. Now, I can wear a 2. I’m much smaller than I was in high school. And (personal trainer) Athena Crump has taught me that leg muscle and strength is everything. Legs contain the largest group of muscles in the body. If you can give 110 percent on only one day of workouts, do it on leg day. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn while at rest.

» Do you take supplements?

Only two multivitamins per day.

» Do you follow any special diet or eating plan? If so, describe briefly. Do you “cheat” much?

I eat a lot of lean, healthy protein — grilled chicken and fish, nice green, leafy vegetables, and you want some carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice. If I go to maybe a Mexican restaurant with my friends, that doesn’t mean I have to eat chips and salsa until I explode. I have willpower. But I love pepperoni pizza on a carb-loading Friday night before a Saturday race.

» Do you have a favorite fitness moment, such as when you reached a certain goal or overcame a plateau?

Competing in my first spartan race (with various obstacles) and competition in May after my doctor cleared me to get back to exercise four weeks after a serious surgery.

» What do you do to motivate yourself when you just don’t want to work out?

I go the gym anyway. Like I said, I’m stubborn.

» What advice would you give someone who wants to begin working out?

Any movement is better than no movement. Do whatever you can do.

About Rene Day

Age: 45.

City: Seymour.

Occupation: Administrative coordinator at Dr. John Hiester’s American Family Orthodontics office in Seymour.

Family: Stepson Logan, 25. Dog Mattie, a boxer.

Where you work out: Columbus Fit and Seymour’s Fitness 1440.

Hours per week: About 10, not counting weekend races and competition.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.