The SparkPeople Blog

Dream A Better Dream

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/1/2011 6:00 PM   :  60 comments   :  10,592 Views

When I was contacted by SparkPeople and asked to write about the trials and tribulations of weight loss maintenance, I immediately wrote back and asked Stepfanie how she knew that I had three teenagers in high school?  Tool number 1 for keeping off the weight – a good sense of humor helps!

I’d like to start out by telling you some of my weight loss history and talking to you about your dreams for yours. 

I realized one day at work when I had trouble walking up three flights of stairs after a fire drill that I was in terrible shape.  That same week I was approached by four brave souls who asked me to join a "Biggest Loser" contest.  At first I was stunned, but I now look back in extreme gratitude that friends would step out in intervention to help me.

My dream at that time was just to lose 20 pounds.  I never dreamed I’d lose 95 pounds and keep it off.  My dream was small, but I was committed to it.  I wrote on the memo of my check for the competition “The Winner.”  I was so confident that I could lose that 20 pounds, and I did--and I won.  The second time around I wasn’t such a good dreamer.  I entered but didn’t believe I could win, and I didn’t.  But the good news was that I continued to lose and workout.

Fast forward to a new job, where they were starting a 90 Day Wellness Challenge, and you have the happy ending to my story.  I was introduced to SparkPeople as a part of that challenge and I have never looked back.  I dreamed big that day and wanted to win the challenge for the prize of a complete Wii Fit system right before Christmas.  I won and just kept on dreaming after that.

I read a blog by Coach Nicole in 2009 about her first 5k and thought why not run in my own 5k? I started running then.  In 2010, my best friend and I did three 5ks and improved our speed and weight loss together.  I use the term speed loosely, of course, because it wasn’t fast, and maybe wasn’t even pretty, but we did it.  I celebrated my one year SparkPeople anniversary  and had even bigger dreams.

I remember the day we were leaving a sporting goods store after picking up some new gear.  I asked Susie how many races she wanted to run in 2011 and she didn’t even hesitate – let’s do 12, she said!  We’ve had some crazy races through our journey.  My biggest dream was to run in and finish my first half marathon this year and I did that in March and that’s when I thought, "I’ve been hanging around Coach Nancy too long!"

Just joking Nancy – you’re one of my inspirations!  I’ve also had the joy of running with my daughter (in a tutu no less)! I’ve also struggled through some difficult races and times too. I’ve celebrated (my second SparkPeople anniversary and love this site and this community more every day.

So looking back now, it’s easy to see the scope of the dream I could have started out with.  How about you?  Do you believe in your ability to win this race toward a healthy lifestyle?  Do you have a big dream or a little one?  Can you imagine going from this:

BEFORE:


to this AFTER:



If we can do this, then so can you.  Will you join in the dream with us? What questions do you have about losing 95 pounds--and keeping it off?


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Comments

  • 60
    I'm officially inspired. - 4/9/2012   9:51:20 AM
  • 59
    Saved you to my favorites. You're an example of making dreams come true. - 1/1/2012   9:17:03 AM
  • 58
    YOU are an INSPIRATION!!! Thank you for sharing your Joy with us, you've brightened our Journey to better Health & a Longer, Active Life!! Congrats!!!! - 12/18/2011   1:36:05 PM
  • 57
    Congradulations ladies! I did 2 5K walks this year. The feeling of completing them even if I didn't win was total excitement!! - 12/17/2011   12:36:02 PM
  • 56
    So inspiational! - 12/14/2011   6:05:13 AM
  • LOVEXAVIE
    55
    So amazing!! Thank you for sharing your story. Just amazing! You both look fab, BTW. - 12/13/2011   11:36:00 PM
  • 54
    Congratulations! I believe in dreams coming true! - 12/10/2011   9:06:08 AM
  • 53
    What a difference! I wouldn't have recognized either of you. Congratulations! - 12/5/2011   9:59:51 PM
  • SBNORMAL
    52
    WOW! what progress! - 12/5/2011   5:21:00 AM
  • 51
    Michelene, you are such an inspiration to so many including me. You are amazing and my 911 when I am at the end of my rope. love ya girlie, so cool to see your blog on here!!!!!!!! - 12/4/2011   11:40:15 PM
  • 50
    Absolutely awesome before & after pictures! Congrats and thanks for sharing your story with us! - 12/4/2011   8:47:49 PM
  • LAKES232
    49
    What an inspiration you are! I used to run, a long time ago, and I let my dream fall. But I really do feel inspired to pick it back and run with it!! No pun intended. Thank you for sharing with us. The thing is , we have to stay the road and don't look back!! - 12/4/2011   3:59:41 PM
  • MRUNGE54
    48
    Very inspirational! I'm still on my journey to lose 100 lbs. and so far I'm down 57 lbs. I have inspired several friends with my weight loss and hope that they will check into sparkpeople like I have. - 12/4/2011   12:09:18 PM
  • 47
    Amazing! That was extremely motivating! Thank you. - 12/4/2011   11:32:12 AM
  • CMCRAVENS
    46
    What a motivational story. I am so happy for you to follow through and keep looking at the dream. My dream I have always wanted people tell me that it would not look good on me and that is to get to 150. I am going to get there. Your story does incourages me to keep my dream and to work hard to get to it. I haven't started running but I to am doing the 5k walk. Hopefully soon, walk/jog.
    - 12/3/2011   11:11:58 PM
  • 45
    Love the blog and the two of you look amazing. I in the progress of becoming a runner again myself. You absolutely right I can do it to. Thanks for the added motivation to keep running. - 12/3/2011   10:43:46 AM
  • 44
    Wow you are looking amazing just awesome!

    Thanks for the inspiration - 12/3/2011   3:19:47 AM
  • 43
    This is just so inspirational! Thanks for the boost! - 12/3/2011   12:58:47 AM
  • CYPATAYLOR2
    42
    You two look awesome! Congratulations on your weight loss and your finishing your races. That is a great accomplishment. Your story is inspiring and I hope all your dreams come true! Keep on dreaming!!!! - 12/2/2011   11:06:39 PM
  • 41
    How interesting that having a goal and competing to reach it (even if itīs with oneīs self) is so motivating. You both look (and feel) wonderful.
    - 12/2/2011   7:03:58 PM
  • STORMIELEE7
    40
    I am so inspired by your success. I find myself never quite getting to that goal so hope I can do it this year. Take care and keep smiling and having fun!! - 12/2/2011   6:13:57 PM
  • 39
    Whoa... what a fabulous transformation!!! Great job, both of you!!! Thanks for your story! - 12/2/2011   4:48:02 PM
  • 7WORSHIPS
    38
    Wow, you ladies look fantastic! Thanks for an inspiring story. - 12/2/2011   1:56:55 PM
  • SHARON7773
    37
    thank you for the inspirational story, definitely a motivator, you two look great! - 12/2/2011   12:50:02 PM
  • 36
    Wow! what an amazing job! - 12/2/2011   12:38:10 PM
  • 35
    BIG CONGRATS to you both. You don't even look the same. Much prettier now. Happy Holidays to you! - 12/2/2011   12:26:49 PM
  • DCGAL9
    34
    You guys look amazing! Good job! - 12/2/2011   10:44:55 AM
  • 33
    Wow! Amazing & inspiring!!
    - 12/2/2011   10:07:59 AM
  • 32
    Fabulous! Thanks so much for the inspiring blog. - 12/2/2011   9:10:50 AM
  • 31
    Awesome job ladies! You both look fantastic! Be proud of your great accomplishments. Thanks for inspiring me today! Enjoy your day in the Sparklight! Congrats and best wishes for continued success! - 12/2/2011   9:08:11 AM
  • CARRKM
    30
    Wow! You are such an inspiration! I just signed up for my very first 5K on New Years Day - And although I know it won't be pretty or fast, I am determined "just do it". Thank you for being a shining example! - 12/2/2011   8:52:38 AM
  • 29
    Wow! I saw your before pics and then the after! I was just amazed at the difference of you two.

    I would like to know how you managed to keep your dream alive to win? What did you use for reinforcements? I struggle so hard to keep going...

    Congratulations you two! - 12/2/2011   8:41:54 AM
  • 28
    You're an inspiration for sure. I'm trying to stay on track and when I read inspiring stories like yours it really helps. Thanks for posting it and congratulations on your fabulous achievment.
    - 12/2/2011   7:53:44 AM
  • 27
    You girls look amazing!! How wonderful to have such a awesome racing partner...and I am talking to both of you! Your story is inspiring! - 12/2/2011   7:12:06 AM
  • 26
    So proud of you Mich! I'm proud to call you friend, proud to run with you and love the fact that you are a regular now!! Keep inspiring us!

    Proud of Susie too.....and yep, proud to call her friend!! - 12/2/2011   6:27:44 AM
  • 25
    Love it! You both look fabulous and it's great that you're doing this together. Thanks for sharing your journey! - 12/2/2011   6:09:53 AM
  • 24
    Not sure which lady you are in the pic, but both of you look great! - 12/2/2011   5:23:42 AM
  • 123ELAINE456
    23
    Congratulations to the both of you on all of your accomplishments and being a great inspiration to all of us. Both of you look great. God Bless You and Have a Wongerful Week. - 12/2/2011   4:30:17 AM
  • LOVINGME1017
    22
    This is amazing story and loved it. My dream is one day get a wii fit but most of all to lose 100lbs. Thank you. - 12/2/2011   4:12:00 AM
  • 21
    You are awesome! Congrats! - 12/2/2011   2:39:28 AM
  • 20
    You are doing soooo good. - 12/2/2011   1:55:24 AM
  • 19
    You two look wonderful. The hard work is keeping it off, so I know you won't go back to eating sugars/starches that increase INSULIN and then the stomach pumps out GHERLIN, the Hunger Hormone, & we don't need that. - 12/2/2011   12:34:47 AM
  • 18
    Wow you two look terrific! Did you ever plateau and how did you bust through? I've been plateaued for a while now and I'm trying really hard to make it past. - 12/1/2011   11:46:59 PM
  • 17
    You two look MAH-VA-LOUS!!! Good for you!!!!! - 12/1/2011   11:20:32 PM
  • 16
    Wow! You ladies look great. Good job! - 12/1/2011   11:18:13 PM
  • MJ7DM33
    15
    You guys look great and such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing with us! - 12/1/2011   11:16:59 PM
  • LOOSEIT57
    14
    You look absolutely wonderful WELL DONE - 12/1/2011   11:07:23 PM
  • 13
    Congratulations! You are both beautiful and an inspiration. It seems like tools were there when you were ready, doesn't it?? Thank you! - 12/1/2011   10:20:12 PM
  • 12
    You both look incredible! - 12/1/2011   9:10:25 PM
  • 11
    You guys looks AMAZING!!! Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your story :) - 12/1/2011   8:21:16 PM

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