I originally titled my blog "Maintaining Half My Size", but that didn't fit quite right. I wasn't exactly half my original starting weight, and while that was my goal at the time, the title was kind of boring to me. I decided that I wanted to change it to "Cookies and Wine"--but the .com wasn't available. Eventually, I decided "Runs for Cookies" would be perfect, because it explains in just three words what much of my blog is about: I am a runner; I love cookies (or any dessert); and I run in order to maintain my weight loss and still eat the foods I enjoy. I thought it had a nice ring to it!
My first post was called FAQ #1: How did you lose the weight? because I knew that would be the first thing people would want to know. (There are a few posts dated prior to April 3, 2011; those were copied from my previous blog.)
Having blogged for so long, I got used to answering those kinds of questions. What I was not used to was having more than a handful of readers!
Shortly after starting Runs for Cookies, SparkPeople featured my story on their site, which drove a lot of traffic here. I was terrified. I had always been very candid and personal on my blog, and when I saw how many people were reading it, I immediately worried that I'd made a mistake. However, I continued to write, and when the blog started presenting some pretty awesome opportunities, I was stunned at this world I never knew even existed just a year prior!
Looking back at the last five years, I thought I'd share some of my favorite posts. Here are my personal favorite Top 5:
The Evolution of a First Time Bikini Wearer
The Difference Between Motivation and Determination
How to Support Your Runner
How Running Changed My Brother's Life
Looking through the last several years of photos, I realized that there are SO many things I wouldn't have done if not for this blog. Here is a (very incomplete) list of things that never would have happened if I hadn't started writing Runs for Cookies:
I was a guest on The Dr. Oz Show.
I ran the Ragnar Relay Florida Keys with 11 strangers-turned-friends.
I took part in a documentary called From Fat to Finish Line (to be released soon).
I was on the Today Show.
I started earning an income from doing what I love--writing! When I was a kid, I always said I wanted to be a writer. My teachers said I'd have to choose something else, because it's very hard to make money by writing. That was before the internet ;)
I hosted a Virtual 5K on my 31st birthday, where hundreds of people ran "with" me to celebrate.
I became a certified running coach.
I was in Runner's World, Fitness, and Woman's World magazines.
Mark received HUNDREDS of cards from around the world (from RfC readers) while he was dying. This is probably my favorite item on the list. Because of each of you that sent him a card/letter/gift/etc., he felt very loved when he passed away in 2014.
I formed a team of blog readers for Ragnar SoCal, and they've become some of my best friends.
I hosted an Oscars party, which was so much fun.
I met Bart Yasso (twice)!
I went on trips to NYC, Boston, St. Louis, San Diego, Portland, Indianapolis, Key West, and Bethlehem, PA. Some were for blogging purposes, others were just for fun, but none would have happened if it weren't for Runs for Cookies.
My brother and I were the top fundraisers for Wins for Warriors, and I'm so glad that Nathan got to share his story.
... All of these things happened because I enjoy writing, and I put myself out there on the web. Six years ago, I never could have even imagined that I would have done all of these things. My "dream big" goal back then was simply to get rid of my excess weight!
I feel so fortunate to have gotten these experiences, and I have you, dear Readers, to thank for that. Thank you for reading my almost-daily ramblings; for offering advice when I asked for it; for lending sympathy when I most needed it; for celebrating with me when I reached some major goals; and for encouraging me when I didn't think I could do things. I appreciate all of it!
Right now, I have no idea what the future of Runs for Cookies holds, but I look forward to finding out. Cheers to five years!