Anne Farawila hops on a bicycle almost every day -- riding on trails outside when the weather is warmer and using an indoor trainer system in her Richland home when it gets too cold.
The 38-year-old took up cycling about three years ago, part of a lifestyle change that saw her shed 110 pounds. She is happier and healthier these days, and she has earned national recognition for her accomplishment.
Farawila is spotlighted in the January/February edition of Bicycling magazine, the premier cycling publication. She hopes her story serves as inspiration to others, she said.
"I think it's good that people see that somebody just like them -- just a mom and nothing special -- can just change and do it, so they can do it too," she told the Herald.
Farawila is one of six people profiled in the magazine's "Tempt Yourself Thin" package. The interviewees used the prospect of treating themselves to something special -- from a trip to a new bike -- as motivation.
In Farawila's case, she got a sleek new road bike after hitting a weight loss goal.
A native of France, Farawila has lived in the Tri-Cities about 12 years. She works part-time as a radiochemist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She and her husband, Yousef, have three young children, ages 4 to 9.
Farawila was overweight most of her life, she said. She started on her weight loss journey because "I was not happy where I was. ... I needed to have a change."
At that time, she was almost 270 pounds. She adjusted her diet and started cycling -- at first using her husband's cruiser bike. She soon caught the cycling bug. "I always rode motorcycles," she said. "I like the freedom of being on two wheels -- the air, the smell and the things like that."
Farawila is lean and toned now. And she's not going to rest on her accomplishment.
She's considering a new challenge: a triathlon.
To read Farawila's story in Bicycling magazine, go to www.tinyurl.com/bicyclingstory.
-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @saraTCHerald