Saturday, March 31, 2012

A complete dozen

Our Ragnar Florida Keys team is now complete! We finally made a decision about our 12th team member yesterday, and let me just say, it was HARD. When I first had the idea of filling that open spot by having people write e-mails to "apply" for it, I wasn't thinking about the fact that we were going to have to turn down some amazing people. It was upsetting yesterday when I realized I was going to have to turn people down.

All of the "applicants" (I hate that word, but I guess that's what they would be called) had something unique and amazing about them. We would have been lucky to have any of them on the team, and we had to choose just one. We did toss around the idea of a second team, but putting together a Ragnar team involves a LOT of work--and Rik would be up to his eyeballs in stressful planning, so we decided just one team is plenty for now.

But anyway, we voted as a team and made the final decision yesterday. Our newest team member is a woman named Meredith--and she is extremely inspiring! She's lost 101 pounds and has kept it off for two years now. She's completed three half-marathons, with a PR of 2:10:29. Her husband has even lost weight too--166 pounds!! But I will stop raving and let her share her story. This is the e-mail that she sent our team:

Hi Ragnar Relay Team,

My name is Meredith and I would love to be considered for the last spot on your relay team. I live in Mesa, Arizona.  I am 37 years old and in the best shape I have been in my life.   My friend in California read about this opportunity on your blog and text me to let me know.  As soon as I read the blog I knew this was something I would love to do.

Let me tell you a little about myself and my journey to where I am now.  When I realized I need to lose weight it was May of 2005 and I had just gotten back from my best friend’s rehearsal dinner.  We took a bunch of pictures and when I saw the pictures I wanted to cry.  I always knew I needed to lose weight but I never realized how much I had put on.  I always avoided scales and I always just assumed that I was no bigger than the previous time that I had to lose weight.  My job did not require me to wear any form fitting clothes so I always had elastic hiding my true size.

So as of today I have lost 101 lbs.  I joined Weight Watchers in September of 2005 weighing 256 lbs and have been attending meeting ever since.  My experience in my weight loss journey has completely changed my life.  I would love to say that the weight came off easily and that keeping it off is not a struggle, but that would not be the truth.  This journey though has taught me that I am able to keep the weight off for the first time in my life and I have completely changed the way I live.  I reached my “goal weight” at Weight Watcher’s at the end of May in 2010 and became a Lifetime member 6 weeks later on July 10th 2010.  

I am proud to say that I have been Lifetime ever since and have not gone over my goal weight.  I had taken the first 40 lbs off in a relatively quick manner but the last 61 lbs were a struggle.  My real turning point was in November of 2009, the Saturday before Thanksgiving that year.  I was struggling badly.  I had just realized that in a 42 week span I had gained and lost the same pound over and over again.  When I went to discuss my plateau with my WW leader I couldn’t do so without bursting into tears.  I sat through the entire meeting crying and only my husband and my WW leader knew.  When I left the meeting that day I told myself enough was enough and I was going to get to goal.  This is where my running came into play.

Meredith "after"
I started off walking every day, started at 3 miles and got up to 5 miles.   Once I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to have the same results with just walking I started to run.  We used to go to a rec center near my house that had an indoor track.  Living in Arizona this was a must in the summer time.  The track took 14 times around to equal 1 mile.  I would walk 70 laps, so when I started running I started with 1 lap out of 70.  

Back in September of 2010 I ran my first 5K in which I came in first place in my age group.  I was working on training for my first half marathon in October of 2010 when I tore my right hamstring when I slipped on a wet piece of tile in my house.  That put my running on a stand still for a few months but I never gave up.  I got back to running knowing that I still needed to do my half marathon that I could not do the year before.  I used a few 10Ks and a 12K as training to get ready for the PF Chang’s ½ marathon in January of 2012.  

I successfully ran the half marathon and finished in 2:22:01; my 2nd half marathon was just 1 month later.  I signed up for the Lost Dutchman half marathon and ran that one in February 2012, completing that in 2:17:29.  So I figured what is one more…I ran the Phoenix Half Marathon on March 3rd 2012 and my finishing time there was 2:10:29. 

I typically run 4-5 times a week from 5-10 miles a day depending on my schedule.  I use running as a stress relief and as a way to make sure that I stay in shape.  I love to run.  I have found something healthy that I love to do and that to me is the best feeling in the world.

I think I would make a great addition to your team because I feel like I have learned a lot from my weight loss journey.  I have learned how to overcome struggle, how to never give up, and how I can do anything I put my mind to.  I am so inspired by other people and their weight loss journeys and I love to hear about them and to be surrounded by people that have done what I have done and what I continue to do.  Although technically I am at my goal weight I do not feel like my journey is over.  I feel like I will be on this journey for life and am excited to do so.  I learn new things about myself on a daily basis and I have an amazing support team around me including my husband who is also down 166 pounds.

I do not have a blog or a website.

I have attached a before and after picture.  My before picture was the one that inspired me to change my life and the after picture if the day I made Lifetime at Weight Watchers. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
Meredith 



Our team is very happy to have Meredith on board!

32 comments:

  1. I think you made a great choice. Meredith sounds like she will be a super addition to your team, so happy for her and for you.

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  2. I too think you made a great choice and I live in AZ too so go Meredith!!

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  3. I think you made a great choice, too. Of course, I may be a bit biased, as Meredith is a friend of mine. We attend the same WW meeting, and she and her husband have become VERY inspirational to many others!

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  4. Congrats to Meredith!

    Perhaps you can connect the other applicants with each other so they can get in touch and plan their own team?

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    1. I'm hoping something like that will happen... but it's hard to find anyone willing to take on the challenge of captaining a team!

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  5. Wow. What a great lady you have found for your team! So inspiring! Good Luck!

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  6. Just wanted to say I read some of the other blogs on the Fitness site and none of them can compare!! :)

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  7. I have known Meredith since we were in high school. You have picked an awesome person, beautiful both outside and inside, no matter what her weight! I have been able to watch Meredith's weight loss. She has been an inspiration to so many people. I cannot wait until January to cheer on the team!

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  8. Way to go Meredith!! So proud of you for all your hard work on your weight loss and your new running accomplishments.

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  9. Sp proud to be a part of this amazing team!

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  10. Congratulations Meredith! So inspiring! Looks like you guys have a great Ragnar team!

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  11. Awesome, congrats Meredith! What an inspiration you are :)

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  12. She is amazing, good luck with your team!

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  13. Wow! Congrats to Meredith! I hope you guys have a fantastic relay! Thanks for sharing your story Meredith!

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  14. Congrats on making the Team Meredith! Thank you for sharing the story Katie.

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  15. What an inspiring story!
    It sounds like you will be a perfect addition to the team!

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  16. Another inspirational weight loss story! CONGRATS Meredith!

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  17. Wow Meredith's before and after pictures are very inspirational! I think you guys made the perfect choice! :) I'm excited for you all.

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  18. Sounds like you've put together a great team! What can the rest of us do to support the team? Will you have sponsors or something like that? Or maybe we should just plan our vacations in the keys in January ;)

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    1. I would also like to know what we can do to support the team... and totally in for the January Keys vacation if that's what it takes. ;)

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    2. We're still working out the details, but there is a *chance* that this will be funded as part of a documentary film. But I would love for everyone to plan a Keys vacation while we're there! How FUN would that be?!

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  19. She has a very inspirational story and I think you made a great choice! Cannot wait to hear how the team does and root you guys on from here!!

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  20. I know you don't like the donate button, and I wont suggest you put one on your page again, but will your team be making a page for us to follow? Would that page have a place for us to contribute?

    Following the formation of this team, and being able to see the training and at least a little of what is involved makes me feel very connected, and I'd love to donate something towards the trip.

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    1. We won't be taking donations for the team, but we were tossing around the idea of donating to a charity--not sure yet! I love the idea of documenting the whole thing over the next 8 months, so I'll definitely keep you posted on any news :)

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  21. Holy bucket of tears!!!! I cant imagine how hard it was to pick, but i love Meredith's letter!!! She sounds perfect!!!! And Im with the others....what can I do to help???

    Also, (wow im sounding bossy) i would love if you either had a ragnar team page with bios of everyone...or did a "spotlight on ragnar member so-and-so" every few weeks leading up to it. Ive never been SOOOOOOOO excited for a race of yours before!!! its going to be a long 10 months!!!!

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    1. Love this idea!! I'm going to try and do a spotlight Ragnar member once a week, so you can get to know the team :)

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  22. Hi Katie. Sounds like Meredith is a PERFECT addition to your team.

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  23. It was next to impossible to pick just one person! I struggled, and so did everyone on the team, going back and forth through all the amazing letters and stories. Meredith is going to be a great addition to the team, but there really wasn't a bad choice to be made.

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  24. She's amazing!! what a great addition to your team!!! I'm so excited for you guys!

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  25. Congratulations Meredith on all of your success so far, and for your position on the team! Have fun!!

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  26. Excellent choice! Congrats Meredith, your story is inspiring! Thank you for sharing. Have fun!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)