I've had one of the toughest weeks of my life, at least emotionally. I'm really sad that Mark's cancer is in the final stages, and that's all I've really thought about this week. My mom and I are going to visit him today, which is another reason I wanted to get this post up this morning. I probably won't be home until it's time for my kids to get home from school.
For Motivational Monday, I am proud to say that even though I have wanted to binge several times this week, mostly out of emotional eating, I only acted on it once. I really don't want to let all that's happening with Mark become an excuse to stop taking care of myself, because I know Mark wouldn't want that! So I'm taking it a day (and moment) at a time, doing my very best.
This is a very long MM post, so I have to use a page break. Sorry, but if you're reading this in a reader, you'll have to click through to read the whole post. I discovered that when my posts are too long, or have a ton of pictures, it messes up the feed. So this post will be truncated to avoid any issues. But there is a TON of motivation to be found in these stories... enjoy!
Meg signed up for her first spring half-marathon EVER, and unfortunately, many of us have had a terrible training winter! She's been steadily training through winter, and has done 90% of her runs outdoors (she lives in Michigan, too, so I know how tough that must have been!). She's proud that she hasn't used the weather as an excuse, and she's looking forward to running her first half--the Cocoa Classic in Detroit next month! (Meg's blog)
Charlotte and some friends just ran their first 5K, and were very proud to say that they all beat the goals they'd set for themselves! They were thrilled with their finish times: Herb- 31:40, Chris- 38:21, Adam- 24:31, Charlotte- 39:06, and Emily- 38:07. Chris has lost over 20 pounds, and Charlotte has lost 20 pounds!
Becca weighed 250 pounds when she graduated from high school; she decided to stop worrying about weight, and start thinking of her health. Gradually, over the last 20 years, she's been implementing positive, healthy changes, and is 60 pounds lighter. She does some running, and has completed 5K races with her mom; but she discovered that her true love and passion is for yoga. She loved it so much she decided to get certified to teach! She just completed her 200-hour teacher training certification. (There is a 20-year difference in the photos--is it just me, or does she not look a day older?!)
Jamie just ran her longest distance to date--7 miles! She is training for her first half-marathon, which is just six weeks away. She started running October at 270 pounds, and is now proud to say that she's 50 pounds lighter and extremely active. She does Weight Watchers, and to stay active, running, Zumba, and weight training. (Jamie's blog)
A year and a half ago, Laura never dreamed she'd run a half-marathon one day. She recently did just that--followed by a second half-marathon a week later!! She ran them with her sister (Laura is on the right in both photos), doing the Disney Princess Half (I love those outfits almost enough to make me want to do that race!) and the Seaside School Half in Florida. Next up? She plans to do Disney's Wine & Dine Half in November! Obviously a Disney fan, she wanted to include a quote from Walt himself: "If you can dream it, you can do it".
Renee just ran her longest distance to date--11 miles! She is training for her first half-marathon, which will take place next month. She used to hate running, but two years ago, she made the commitment to do it for her, and she's still going strong. Her mom, Donna, is also training for her first half, so the two do a lot of their runs together; and her sister, Kristen, is training for her first full marathon, to take place on the same day. This photo is after she completed her 11-miler.
Stacy remembers buying a new bicycle in 2012, and how awful it felt to try to ride it. She was 265 pounds, and trying to ride it made her out of breath and humiliated, so she sold the bike after just three months. Two years later, she has now lost 100 pounds, she's a "wogger" (walk/jogger), and she bought a new bike and did her longest ride yet of 8.3 miles last weekend! She's now in the best physical and mental shape of her 45 years. (Stacy's Instagram)
A little over a year ago, Theresa had her second child, and had gained 66 pounds during her pregnancy. She worked hard--she lost the weight and got back to running regularly. She began to increase her mileage for a half-marathon in May. She was doing really well, and then got a big surprise--she's pregnant again! She decided to continue running and training, meaning she would run the half-marathon at five months pregnant. Despite the awful winter weather and freezing cold, she's been out there training! (She said after she took this picture, her phone was SO cold that it shut off!)
Last month, Katina celebrated her one year anniversary since starting Weight Watchers--she's lost over 120 pounds!! She is regularly running and is participating in a half-marathon next month, with a goal of running at least half of it (alternating with walking). She just received her official certificate from Weight Watchers for having lost over 100 pounds :)
Crystal just ran her first half-marathon, the Rock 'n' Roll USA in Washington D.C.! The course was much more difficult than she expected, so she didn't meet her goal of 2:30, but she was very proud to have finished. This time last year, she couldn't even run a single mile; and now she's run 13.1! (Crystal's blog)
Maryann has had a gym membership for several years, but hadn't stepped foot in the gym for over two years. She blamed not going on the fact that nobody in her family wanted to go with her. This year, she decided to ignore everyone else, and take accountability for her own actions--since January 1st, she's been to the gym over 30 times!! She looks forward to zoning out on the cardio machines with music or podcasts. At first, her heart rate would shoot up to 150+ in just 1 minute; but now, it takes 10 minutes to get to the 140-zone and it stays there for the duration of her workout. She's also gone from a 3.2 mph walk at no incline to 3.9 mph at 1% incline! As a bonus, her 16-year old son actually ASKED her if he could go with her after school, so he could swim while she did her workout. He's gone 3-4 days a week, and now her husband has gone along a couple of times, too! She learned just how important it is to set the example, and her family would follow along.
Stephanie has struggled with her weight her entire life, and about four years ago, she was upset to see that she'd gotten over 200 pounds. She joined SparkPeople to track her calories, and she looked forward to dipping below 174--the point that she would be considered "overweight" and not "obese" on the BMI scale. After weighing it at 174, she stopped what she was doing and only made half-hearted attempts at her weight loss, and she stopped losing. She eventually gained some weight back, and in 2014, saw 181 on the scale. More determined than ever, she's worked her butt off and just recently saw 172 on the scale! She was very happy to get past that number 174 :) (This picture is of Stephanie and her sister after a Dirty Girl run--she's on the left).
Bergen ran a couple of races recently, "just for fun"--a 15K with her sister, and then a half-marathon with her parents and other sister. While she didn't set any PR's, she realized that she was proud of a huge victory--a few years ago, she was 320 pounds, and now she's running 15K and 13.1 miles for enjoyment! She's lost 143 pounds, and has just 17 more until she reaches her goal--which she hopes to update us with this year.
Michelle says that every year, she starts out with great intentions to lose weight, saying "THIS is the year I succeed!". She's proud to be off to a great start for 2014--she started training for a sprint triathlon! She ran 3 miles Friday, 2.5 miles Saturday, swam 2500 meters Sunday, and then ran 2 miles Monday. She was very excited to reach her goal of 70 minutes for the swim!
Jarmila ran her first 5K race since losing 48 pounds! She was very excited for the race, and had great weather that day, but when she got to the race, she realized she'd forgotten her timing chip for her shoe (which means her results wouldn't be "official" when she finished). At first she was upset, but then she just decided to enjoy the race and run however she felt like running, without worrying about pace. She ended up finishing in 42:13, a 13:59 pace, and she was thrilled! Nine years ago, her pace was 22:00/mi, so she has come a long way.
Lauren ran her first 15K race! Because it was a small hometown race, they didn't do a very good job setting up markers for the course, and a bunch of the runners (including Lauren) ended up getting lost during the race. They all eventually finished, thankfully! Lauren ended up running 10.5 miles instead of 9.3, and her time was very happy when she saw the finish line ;) She finished with a time of 1:55:30.