When I started this blog in April 2011, I never expected it to become what it is now. I'd written a blog since 2000, and had just a handful of readers all those years; when I switched over to Blogger and started Runs for Cookies as a maintenance blog, the number of readers grew so quickly it scared me. I always shared such personal things about my life, and having a larger audience made me nervous.
I originally intended for Runs for Cookies to be an online journal where I could keep track of my diet and exercise. I had just lost 125 pounds, and was terrified of gaining the weight back. All the odds were against me, and I thought that if I wrote everything down, I would have a record to look back on if I gained the weight back--I would be able to see exactly where it went wrong. Talk about pessimistic! ;)
As my readership grew, so did my accountability. Knowing that people were reading helped me to stay on track (well, for the most part!) and I started to get a sense of this huge online community of people that support each other in weight loss and maintenance. I started to get e-mails from people who were inspired to start running, which I thought was awesome!
I have had some incredible experiences over the past few years, and it's all because of this blog. Here are just a few things that never would have happened, if not for Runs for Cookies:
I was a guest on The Dr. Oz Show in November 2011. It was such a fun experience!
I was selected by Fitness magazine as Best Weight Loss Blog in 2012.
I hosted a Virtual 5K last year, and about 500 people ran with me on my 31st birthday! (This Saturday is the 2014 Virtual 5K, which you can sign up for here).
I met Rik, a reader of my blog, who later became a good friend and captain of my Ragnar Relay Florida Keys team. He came out to Michigan to run the Detroit Free Press Marathon with me!
Purina ONE invited me to their headquarters in St. Louis for an amazing learning experience about one of my favorite subjects--cats! I was only there for about 24 hours, but the whole thing was amazing.
Because I get asked a lot of questions about running, I decided to make it official and become certified as an RRCA coach! Now, at least I have some credibility ;)
I've met quite a few readers! A few people have recognized me at races, and I love it when they say hello. This photo was from when Stephanie and I met up with Kelly from Sublurban Mama at my favorite restaurant--La Pita. I'm still very shy, but having the blog has helped me become more social and step out of my comfort zone.
I've had the opportunity to try out some really cool products for review on my blog! One of my very favorites was this CamelBack Marathoner vest.
I met Andrea, a reader of Runs for Cookies, and told her I'd run the Chicago Marathon with her. She ended up getting injured, so she couldn't do the race, but I went anyway. It ended up being one of my favorite races of all time!
Because of this blog, Mark has gotten literally HUNDREDS of get-well cards! All he has to do is look around his room to see how many people are thinking of him.
I met some of the most inspirational people and ran from Miami to Key West with them! We've become very close, and the whole team feels like family to me.
None of these things would have happened if not for this little blog! There are tons more, but these are some of the most significant things that come to mind. As you can see, my blog has evolved from a diet/exercise journal to an enormous part of my life. I honestly cannot picture what my life would be like if it didn't include my blog. Thank you, every single one of you, for reading!