Tag Archives: motivation monday

Motivation Monday: Lizzie’s Story

Hello friends!  How was your weekend?  It was on the chilly side (for TX) here, and rainy too!  I ran in a marathon relay (more about that soon), had some meetings for a new adventure I will be on soon, did a little babysitting and hung out with a friend who just adopted a lil baby! Needless to say I am pretty tired!

Anyways, it is Monday and time for another Motivation Monday story!! Today Lizzie is sharing from her heart!  Anyways, today is Monday, so I have a great motivational story to share with you! Lizzie and I met this past winter through the Elf 4 Health challenge!  She is a great encourager and has fantastic incites.

Here is her story:

Do It For You. Keep it simple. Baby steps are good.

There – the above are the three rules, or guidelines, or things to ponder. Any changes you’re wanting to make should be for you, and you should keep it very simple in terms of keeping it manageable, while making small changes over time. For you.

I’m thrilled to be writing a Motivational Monday post, but the reason the lovely Chocolate Runner Girl has had to wait so very long for my submission is that I’ve personally been trying to wrap my head around what to write and how to get it done. If I look at the numbers, yes, I’ve had a highest recorded weight of 245 lbs on my 5’8” frame (and if I’m honest, probably more than that, but that’s the biggest number the scale registered when I stepped onto it). I’ve had a lowest of around 145 when I graduated high school. That’s a fair bit of a difference.

Let’s have a chat about numbers. Usually, I’m wandering around somewhere in the 160’s. A couple of years ago, I got down to 152 lbs. I’m currently somewhere in the 170’s, having gained weight in the year after celiac disease diagnosis where it’s pretty common to be a bit bigger as your body can absorb nutrition in food again. Yes, I’m working at getting rid of a muffin top I’ve lovingly grown as my body healed from 37 years of an undiagnosed auto-immune disorder. But here’s the big thing to take away from this blog post: your life rocks no matter what size you are.

Your size is just one part of you. Mass, as a physical force, is just one part of the equation. Yes, you may weigh a certain number when or if you step on a scale, but mass is just one response to the physical laws of the universe. Mass doesn’t tell anyone how kind you are to children, what a wonderful and supportive partner you are. It has nothing to offer regarding your contributions to your workplace, to your community, nor your efforts to leave this world a little more awesome than it was when you got here.

To be sure, the less you weigh, the more health benefits you can reap. Your body, particularly your joints, will have an easier time supporting you. There are numerous studies that show that our health overall increases when there’s a little less of us. So that leads me to how I really got around to losing weight – it was about health, not the number on the scale defining who I am. At 245 lbs, I could go for long walks or hikes and get around quite happily, could keep up with a classroom full of teenagers, and go home and look after my teenage stepson, preschool son, and husband while still feeling good.

However, as awesome as my life and health were, I had a moment that changed my outlook. I attended a conference with around 600 other teachers. I was amazed at how many of my colleagues were overweight. In short, it was a wake up call. I could see where I was going to be if I didn’t do something about it, and fast. I had to do something!

I actually only made small changes to how I ate and how much I move. I switched up home-made baked treats to fruit or yogurt. I cut portions of carbohydrates at meals, and didn’t notice much of a difference. I made sure I tried new vegetables, and stuck with the ones I liked. I was an on-call (substitute) teacher, and if I didn’t get a call to work that day, I’d make sure I got to the gym or go for a long walk pushing a stroller around. The weight slowly but surely came off. I had to be consistent, I’ll admit that. But the point I want to make is that I’m not that person in a weight-loss story of a magazine talking about how I completely overhauled my life to beat the scale. The cumulative effects of making more good choices over time than poor choices will get you where you want to be.

I now teach health to high schoolers, and the biggest tool I can give them is to realize that there is not one food, system, or supplement that will give them the body of their dreams with no work attached. There is huge pressure from the diet industry for women to be skinny (except that it’s being repackaged as ‘strong’ or ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’ instead) and for men to muscular. Instead, I encourage them to eat foods that are minimally processed where possible, figure out which exercises they enjoy (for me, Zumba, spinning, and crossfit make me anxious, but I can go to as many yoga classes and pool running sessions as I can fit into my week!), and make the best choices they can. I encourage you to do the same.
Finally, having been bigger and then progressively smaller, I have a couple of important things I want you to be aware of. All the things that are awesome in your life now will continue to be awesome. I am not a better teacher now because there’s less of me. I’m more effective in the classroom because I have more experience and education guiding my career. I’m not a better wife; I’m just as impatient now about the garbage not being taken as I was seventeen years ago. The stressors in your life (like how the garbage won’t ever take itself out, or the bigger things such as health of a loved one or raising a child with special needs or financial crunches that never seem to go away no matter how hard you try in each pay period to get ahead) will all still be there. Weight loss is great for your health, but life continues to unfold the way it’s going to.

I wish you health and happiness.
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Thank you so much Lizzie for sharing your story and life experiences with us!  You shared much wisdom!!!

If you have a motivational story to share, please let me know.  You can email me at chocolaterunnergirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Motivation Monday: Kaseedee’s story!

Hello friends!  Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  The weather here in TX was absolutely gorgeous!  And I spent my weekend with a dear friend and her precious son! (More about the weekend soon).

It is time for another Motivational Monday story!  This time Kaseedee is sharing her story!

How I Gained It: Growing up I felt I was an “average” size. I was active, played sports, never worried about what I ate. Then I got pregnant, and it all went downhill quickly! I was eating for two and didn’t really watch what I ate. I felt because I was pregnant I could eat whatever I wanted. I later learned what a huge mistake that was, when I weighed 273 pounds after I had my son!
Breaking Point: I realized about a month after my son was born that something had to change. I had no energy, and I was depressed and irritable beyond what I felt was normal. I wanted to be able to carry my son, take him for walks, play with him. I wanted to be there and be healthy for him.
How I Lost It: My journey has had it ups and downs. With encouragement from my husband, I joined the local gym. I had no idea what to do, and my first day there I broke down in tears on the gym floor! I found the gym scary and intimidating, but I found a trainer who helped me get started and has motivated me ever since. I have also enlisted help with my eating habits and found that I needed workout buddies to keep me going. Motivation is tough if you are on your own! I have been working for 10 years to lose the weight and keep it off. I have had setbacks, I have worked through injuries, but all in all I just keep pushing forward!
I have learned that I would rather be a strong woman than fit any “mold” out there. I have learned that skinny is not necessarily healthy, and you have to strive to be your healthiest, not a number on the scale. I am always looking for a challenge, and mix up my workouts day to day.
Now, I am doing things I never dreamed possible! I run endurance races with my son, I’m running marathons, I lift weights. I never in a million years thought I would complete obstacle races, but I have. I am just loving life more! I have energy, I am genuinely happy! We focus on clean farm-to-table eating with my son. Setting an example for him is my main goal. I don’t want him to go through the experiences I went through. I have also devoted my career to motivating others reach their goals: I now work full time in health and fitness! I feel I have found my purpose.
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Thank you so much Kaseedee for sharing your story!  Congrats on working hard to achieve your dreams!

You can find Kaseedee here:

Twitter: @kaseedeej
Instagram: https://instagram.com/kaseedeej
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Kaseedee-J/142141549148604
Email: coachkaseedeej@gmail.com

If you have a motivational story to share, please let me know.  You can email me at chocolaterunnergirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Motivation Monday: Tom’s story

It is Monday, so you know what that means, it is time for another motivational story!  Today we have Tom from Runs and Places sharing his story!  Tom and I connected on Instagram, and he is always on the run!  Find out why below!

Tom’s Story:
Having to hold your breath so you can bend over and tie your shoes is not fun.  Neither is breaking out in a sweat and feeling like your heart is going to pound out of your chest after you walk up a single flight of stairs.  But these are some of the things that I started noticing were happening to me when I was only 25 years old.

This isn’t something that happened overnight.  When I was a teenager, I played a few sports in high school and was in really good shape.  Then I graduated, started going to college, and quickly learned how much I enjoyed staying out all night drinking and eating junk food.  So as the years went by, my weight started to increase and any athletic prowess that I had built up when I was younger started to gradually vanish.  By 2001, I was in terrible shape…. but luckily for me I had started a new job working for a boss who happened to be a runner.  When he invited me to go out running with him at lunch time, I jumped at the chance and even though I couldn’t run more than half a mile without stopping to catch my breath at the time, I kept at it.  After a few weeks, I felt myself starting to improve.  It was a slow process at first, but every time I went for a run, even if I was only able to make it a few steps further or a few minutes longer than the day before, I considered it to be major progress and it kept motivating me to push myself even harder.  Before I knew it, I was going for 3 and 4 mile runs at lunchtime and still finishing up with enough time to take a shower, eat, and be back at my desk within an hour.  No more holding my breath to tie my shoes… no more losing my breath when I walked up the stairs.  I felt like a completely different person.
 
Not long after that, I noticed that there was a 5K in my neighborhood so I decided to sign up for it. Even though it was a local race, I instantly hooked on the feelings I got when I lined up at the start line with all of the other runners and then pushing myself even harder than I did in my normal workouts and then having a medal placed around my neck when I crossed the finish line…. as soon as I finished, all I could think about was when I would get to do another race.
 
It wasn’t long before 5Ks turned into 10Ks, which turned into half marathons and then full marathons…. and then I started setting some longer term goals: mainly to run at least a half marathon in every US state and a full marathon on every continent but I have a couple others as well (complete all of the world marathon majors, all of the Canadian provinces, and there are also a few specific races that I also want to do).  So far I’m up to 38 half marathons and 6 marathons in 29 different states, 3 different countries, and 2 continents.  During my time as a runner, I’ve had the opportunity to run through some of the most amazing cities in the world and I’ve also seen some stunning scenery on a variety of different terrains and environments.  I’ve run across the Golden Gate Bridge, done a lap around the Indy 500 track and the infield at Churchill Downs, run near the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and past the vortexes in Sedona, Arizona… I’ve run down both US coasts, through all of the Disney parks and down the Las Vegas Strip and the Atlantic City Boardwalk…. and those are just a few highlights.
 
With all of the different changes that have gone on in my life over the past several years (moving, changing jobs, the birth of my daughter, my mom and some other friends and family members passing away, etc…), running is about the only thing I can say that’s really been consistent.  It’s what I do when I need to motivate myself or when I just need to get away from things and clear my head for a little while.  It’s what I do when I need to cope with something that I’m struggling with or when I want to celebrate an accomplishment.  Most of the solutions to problems that I’ve needed to solve at work life or in my personal life have come to me while I was out running and whenever I meet another runner, I find myself sharing stories about past runs, favorite types of gear, and future races and becoming friends with them within minutes. Ten years ago, I never would have thought that running would play such a big part of my life, but today I have no plans to ever stop.
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Go Tom!!!
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Look at all that amazing bling!!!

You can find Tom here!
Blog: http://www.runsandplaces.com
Twitter: tomruns_262
Instagram: tomruns_262

Thank you for sharing your story Tom!  It is making me want to go run right now!

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Weekend Recap and Motivation Monday is Back!

Hello all!  How was your weekend?  After a few cold and rainy days, we had a weekend of perfect weather!  It was sunny and in the 60s!  Just amazing!  I love this kind of weather and could live in it all year!  It was another busy weekend.
Brief recap:
Friday night- Date night & exploring my new essential oils!
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Saturday- Painting, bike ride, birthday party and babysitting.
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Sunday- Church, babysitting, lots of laundry and dinner with a friend & her kiddos while their daddy is out of town.  Also enjoying my new oils and admiring my hard work!
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I want to welcome back Motivation Monday with my first guest Paula from Run Far Wine Often!
She is a fellow Sweat Pink, Girls Gone Sporty & My Soxy Feet Ambassador!  We have a lot in common and her story is certainly an inspiration to me!!

Here is her story:
My story is similar to what a lot of people go through I’m sure 🙂 I was never athletic (definitely not a runner). My brothers were the athletic ones – I was the bookworm.

In my early 20s I started to put on a little more weight. Then a little more. Until one day, at 25, I realized I had gained 60 pounds over the past 3 years.

So, I did what a lot of girls do – I tried every fad diet. I took diet pills. I drank slim fast. I ate lean cuisines for every meal. And some of the weight would come off, but it would inevitably show back up. What I was not doing – what I HATED doing – was work out.

Finally, after a year of yoyo dieting I realized I had to do something different. It was then that I finally started working out. I started doing the Couch to 5k program to get me running. Within six months I had completed my first 5k and 10k and became obsessed. By the end of the first year of running I had done my first half.

Five years later, I’m training for my first full marathon and achieved a PR in the half of 1:44. It’s become my lifestyle. I still struggle to maintain good nutrition (I love food), but I’ve never stopped running.

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Paula is training for her first marathon to top off all her hard work!!  Let’s leave her some love and encouragement!!

Thank you for sharing your story Paula!
To find more of Paula you can check out her blog:  http://www.runfarwineoften.com
or find her on instagram: http://instagram.com/paulashelly

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