Saturday, April 28, 2012

Linda's story

I would like to introduce you to another member of the Ragnar Relay team. Some of you may recognize her as "Frickin' Fabulous at 40"--she has been a long-time reader of my blog and she always takes time to comment. I really felt like she was my friend before I even asked her to join our team. She truly is "frickin' fabulous" ;)  Here is her story...



My name is Linda and I have been overweight/fat/obese, whatever you want to call it, ALL my life. I think the only time I was considered a "normal" weight was at birth! I have lost weight, only to stop working out (for some reason or other) and therefore stop caring about my nutrition, which led me to gain it all back and then some. (For me, exercise keeps my diet on track.) This time was different.
 
Linda "before"
I went to the doctor for my annual physical and there were a couple issues. One concern was my blood pressure. That can't come as a surprise to anyone. I was 37 going on 38 years old, weighing 229 pounds at 5' tall. My mother had a quadruple bypass in at the age of 61. It was only a matter of time for me. The thought of leaving my children too soon terrified me. I was tired of feeling exhausted and looking terrible. I was disappointed in missing all of the things I kept myself from participating in because of my size, like parasailing in FL back in July 2009. I no longer wanted to be an observer in life.
 
On August 17, 2009, I put my mind to it and just did it. I ate less and I moved more. I didn't cut out complete food groups, (read: JUNK!), I just ate less of it. I tried not to eat anything after dinner. I did a lot of exercising at home to my Leslie Sansone DVDs and walking outside with the kids I babysit in the double stroller.
 
Linda "before"
I've always enjoyed watching 'Biggest Loser,' wishing I was the one losing 9 pounds in a week! I hoped it would inspire me to get on track. I'll never forget the conversation I had with my husband while watching Tara Costa of Season 7 dominate that marathon in May 2009. He asked me if I ever considered running a marathon. 
 
Well, considering I hadn't even been thinking about losing weight at THAT time, I was no where near running a marathon, but the IDEA of running a marathon always sounded intriguing, an awesome item to cross off the bucket list. My husband said if I ever did it, he would do it with me.
 
When I started taking care of myself, that conversation kept playing over and over in my mind. So, after losing about 40 pounds, I started going to the track in March 2010. My husband would come with me to encourage me to keep going, even when I couldn't run 1/2 a lap. (I'll never forget when I finally ran an entire mile, I turned to my husband and asked him if he was proud of me and he said he was proud of me just for starting.) 
 
Linda "after"
I would just keep trying to add distance every time I went out there. On June 5, 2010, I ran/walked my 1st 5k in 42:42. After that I picked up the Couch to 5k program midway and continued to train at the track. On September 10, 2010, I ran an entire 5k with a time of 34:39. I was in love with running!
 
My weight loss had stalled a bit, so I signed up with My Fitness Pal on April 1, 2011. I have since lost 35 more pounds, for a total weight-loss of 75 pounds. I have run five 5ks, including the Damon Runyon 5k at Yankee Stadium, (a dream come true to run on the warning track at Yankee Stadium!!), a 10k in September, and now I am training for my first half-marathon, the Diva Half-marathon on 10/7/12! 
 
Then it's on to the Ragnar Relay in Key West in January with 11 other runners who have amazing, inspiring weight-loss success stories. While in Key West, I plan to finally parasail without my weight getting in my way. My husband's and my dream of running a marathon together is starting to look like it will become a reality, if I can get my husband to train for it! If I'm going to dream, I'm going to dream big--I have my sights set on the NYC Marathon!
Wearing her "skinny husband's" jeans ;)
 
You can read Linda's blog at Frickin' Fabulous at 40.

One more thing (on a related note): Remember how I mentioned that our adventure may turn into a documentary? Well, it looks like that is now more of a reality! Media Meld Studios is going to turn our weight loss stories and our Ragnar adventure into a film to hopefully inspire other people like us "before" to start moving. The website for the film isn't up yet, but you can check out the Facebook page if you'd like. They've already interviewed a few team members, and they will be coming to Michigan soon to interview me. I will post all about it when it happens. 

27 comments:

  1. Do you cringe when you look at your before shots? My body image was so distorted... I never saw how big I was. I do now! It makes me sad because I wasted good time. Now I'm making up for it! This next year I'm definitely living it up with all of you guys! Thank you so much for this chance!

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    1. I'm registered to run the diva on 10/07/12 too...my sister and I ...I started running in December...I ran a 5k last weekend...I've list 23 lbs so far...I started at 230...I need to start following your blog now...

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    4. I don't know why that posted so many times...

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    5. That's awesome Melissa! I'll have been running 2 1/2 years and I'm finally doing a half! Way to push yourself!

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  2. Linda, your story is so inspiring. I'm so glad that Katie has brought us all together. I hope that we all get to run NY together sometime! ;) Maybe I'll consider that Diva half...

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    1. It looks like the most fun you can have while running 13.1 miles!

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  3. Yay for Linda, she is very supportive on so many blogs, too - and I did not know *you* had a blog, Linda!

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    1. I was trying to keep it on the down-low so my family wouldn't read it. The cat's definitely out of the bag! (And I'd take Pixie if I didn't have a Boxer/Great Dane that might consume her for a snack!)

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  4. Very inspiring Linda! I will start following your blog as well!

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  5. Wow, go Linda - absolutely inspiring! & exciting :)

    That is also so exciting about the film, can't wait to hear more about it.

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    1. I wonder if my other teammates are still pinching themselves!

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  6. This is my first comment! I've been following for a couple of months, and you (and Linda!) are such an inspiration to me. I ran my first half marathon today! I'm hopeful there will be many more...maybe even a full! Keep running and writing. You are helping people. :)

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    1. How'd the half go? I don't have my first until October!

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  7. Thanks for sharing Linda's story. I LOVE reading the stories of the team. Gives me an extra boost! I can't wait to see the documentary, I "liked" their page so I can stay updated. Have a great Sunday! : )

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  8. this is such a great post. Katie I love how you surround yourself with such inspiring people. Everything you do is amazing. You are such an inspiration and I really hope one day I get things back on track on a more consistant basis. (which i know only i can control that) I have been reading you for so long now. (monstly from a phone that was lacking the ability to comment.) I've commented a few times recently but you still are amazing me with your grit. Your practically famous. =) you must be so proud of yourself. your constantly conquoring new adventures and your opportunities are endless. keep doing what your doing katie. cause you are awsome.

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  9. Thanks for sharing Linda's story! That is so neat abou the documentary...Best of luck and I read your blog everyday love it!!

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  10. Wow Linda!! Such an inspiration! All of these stories make me think- what am I waiting for! Congrats Linda, and thanks Katie for the daily dose of inspiration.

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  11. Nice to meet you Linda! Great story! A documentary would be awesome!!

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  12. Katie.....I just love that you introduce us to other "losers". I enjoy reading their stories. Thanks for the continuing inspiration.

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  13. Linda,

    You look fabulous! You are healthy and fit. And it sounds like your husband rocks too. ("I was proud of you for starting.")
    I can't wait to see photos from the Diva Half and the Ragnar Relay. :)

    Michelle

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  14. Wow, what a great story Linda! You look awesome! I can not wait to see the documentary. All of these stories are so inspiring!

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  15. Linda is awesome! She is very inspiring and I love reading her blog!

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  16. How inspiring! I will also be at the Diva for my first 1/2, I also found you on the Daily Mile Linda, hope that is OK!

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    1. Awesome! I think I put myself in the 2:45:00 time bracket. I'm hoping to come in WAY under that, but since it's my 1st half, I have no CLUE how it'll go! Hope to see you there!

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