Meet Anne and Bob, Our BIGGEST Success Story Ever

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/9/2011 5:00 AM   :  30 comments   :  10,514 Views

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I'm proud of each and every SparkPeople member, and I'm thrilled each time we're mentioned in the press. However, a recent SparkPeople Success Story, which is featured in the current issue of Woman's Day magazine (on sale now--go get it!), is especially touching for me to see.

Anne (MIAMIA7) and her husband Bob (BOBBYD31) are very special to me. In addition to having lost more than 140 pounds (combined) using SparkPeople, they're among the first members I met in real life. Bob ran alongside me as I finished my first 5K, and Anne was there (with Nancy) with hugs and praise after I crossed the finish line. They spoke at the SparkPeople Convention in Cincinnati, and I got to know them later that night, when some members and employees hung out after dinner. They are two of SparkPeople's biggest supporters, and they give just as much as they get from the site. They've each provided tremendous support to me personally, and I'm not alone. They are kind and generous with all they meet on SparkPeople. They truly are inspiring--and incredibly humble.

I don't want to share too many details of their story (pick up a copy of Woman's Day to learn more), but I did want to highlight their success here on the dailySpark. I asked them to share with us what it was like to be featured in a major magazine, and their best tips and tricks for succeeding using SparkPeople. It's only fitting that Woman's Day devoted a whopping FOUR pages to this amazing couple!



dailySpark: What was it like to see yourselves in Woman's Day?

Bob:That was pretty cool, but really we are no different than anybody else, we just got lucky and they liked our story.

Anne:Quite exciting! We had no idea how large the feature would be and were quite surprised with it! We are hoping it helps others to change their lives toward a healthier living.

dailySpark: What was the most exciting part about the photo shoot and interview?

Bob: the whole process was awesome. They made you feel important but the best part for me was being able to do this with Anne.

Anne:It was so much fun! The stylist and photographers were so kind and made us feel like celebrities!

dailySpark: You two are quite active on SparkPeople. Tell us a bit about what you do on the site, where you spend your time, and why this site is so important to you.

Bob: I don’t know where to begin. I guess to summarize I check in on the Rookie Running Group and Just a Short Run teams almost every day, get into my Friend Feed and from there read some blogs. Then on exercise days, I use the tracker for my minutes and miles. I have been bad about the food tracker, I used it for the first time this week in over 13 months. I need to use it a little more often to drop the weight I put on after giving up tobacco, (Editor's Note: WooHoo! Congrats on kicking the tobacco habit!) but prior to that I was able to maintain for several months without it. SparkPeople has taught me how to eat, what to eat and portion control but the tracker will be a great tool to get rid of the “tobacco pounds.”

I believe that this site has increased my life by years and it will be a much healthier life! THANKS, CHRIS!

Anne:I log on every day, track my fitness, try to track my food and then go to my teams. Rookie Running, Just a Short Run, Lupus - Team Butterfly and a few others have been a great source of support and motivation for me. During my weight loss and until I hit my goal weight, I tracked my food every day and feel it was the biggest factor of my success. Now in maintenance mode I do it sporadically but I do find I eat better and watch closer when tracking.

I know it sounds a bit dramatic but this site has truly saved my life. It has helped me control my symptoms from my autoimmune illness by showing me the correct way to eat and exercise.

dailySpark: I know you two have traveled to SparkPeople conventions, organized rallies and even hosted SparkPeople events in your hometown. Tell us about some of your favorite memories with your SparkPeople friends.

Bob: I guess the SparkPeople convention in 2009 was the first time we got to meet other SparkPeople members and of course the SparkPeople staff (you guys are all fantastic). What I remember best from that was getting to meet Nancy. When she saw Anne and I, she came running down the aisle crying with her arms wide open to give us a hug--we all know Nancy cries. Saturday night after the convention we went out to eat with a group of other members and met up with the SparkPeople staff. You guys sat down with all of us talked and had a few drinks. Also that same weekend we did the Teddy Bear 5k that was just too fun. Then last year, Anne and I went to Buffalo, NY, for a race and to meet some SparkPeople friends. Later that year, Just A Short Run (JASR) 2010 (a small group of runners/walkers from Ohio and Pennsylvania) met here in Pittsburgh. JASR 2011 was incredible--our numbers grew to 50 members from all over the country and Canada. Some may call us crazy but we had 2 different SparkPeople members spend the night at our house Suezette (Suezette-414) from Florida and Mike (Mkkaya) from Oregon. The only way we knew them was from our SparkTeams, but it was like sitting down with old friends. (Coach Nicole and Nancy were there, too!)

JASR 2012 is coming! We are already working on it and hope to top 100 SparkPeople members. (We expect you all to be there too)

One of the best things is when you meet your online friends in person for the first time, the expression on their face when they recognize you but the number one thing I take out of each of these events is new friendships.

Anne:I really can’t add much to what Bobby has said. It is all so true! SparkPeople gatherings are by far some the most enjoyable times we have had! I always walk away feeling so blessed. There is nothing better than being with people who are like-minded in their quest for a healthier way of life. I truly have found some of my best friends on this site!

dailySpark: You two are both runners. What is your next race?

Bob: The first two weekends of July are a 10K and Sprint Triathlon, but I am hoping to throw in a race or two in before then. Triathlon season is starting, so that will be my main focus through the summer. I also plan a couple of adventure races like the Warrior Dash and a trail race or two.

Anne:I will probably do most of the same races as Bobby. For me though racing isn’t as important as running. I use running as my stress relief as well as for exercise.

dailySpark: What are your latest health and fitness goals?

Bob: Right now it will be logging miles on the bike and getting some swimming in once the weather breaks. I would also like to increase my overall fitness and flexibility. As far as health goals, after 34 years, I am almost 8 months tobacco free, which I want to and WILL continue. Secondly, I want to continue to make healthy choices in life.

Anne:I want to incorporate more yoga, Pilates and biking into my workout routine of running and strength training. I also have an exercise bike and elliptical at home I use. My goals have always been and always will be to stay as healthy as my illness allows.

dailySpark: What advice do you have for others who might just be at the beginning of their journey to a healthier self?

Bob: this is easy, follow the SparkPeople program and be patient. This is a lifestyle change, so it will not happen overnight just as their bad habits did not happen overnight.

Anne:I agree with Bob. Follow the program. For me, tracking was the most important tool. It really showed me how to eat correctly. Use your support systems here. Join SparkTeams that interest you and make friends. These people are on the same journey as you and are here to support, motivate and help you. This is it folks, your one and only life. You might as well live it as healthy as possible!

Do Anne and Bobby inspire you?


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Comments

  • 30
    Bob and Anne are both inspirations and friends. They made me feel welcome on Rookie Runners when I first started on Spark and I had the pleasure of running my first half marathon end to end with Bobby, then celebratin afterward with Anne.

    We live near each other, so I get to see them regularly. It's always a good time. - 5/11/2011   10:03:58 PM
  • 29
    I am among the INSPIRED :) from the Cinci convention to JASR 2011 I've been following these SUPERSTARS and count myself blessed to be one of their friends! We share something very special here at Sparkpeople & it has motivated all of us to stay on track with our fitness journeys and to celebrate and share all that's important in our lives.

    Thank you Sparkpeople for making this possible! CONGRATS Bobby n Annie (so proud of you both)! The message of the value of health & friendship will extend far beyond this site thanks to your commitment to your health to this site!! :)

    ~Deej - 5/10/2011   8:37:22 AM
  • 28
    Do they inspire me??? EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! These two people are so incredibly giving and kind and full of knowledge and experience that I am in awe! I cannot wait to meet them in person but I can't imagine loving them any more than I do already! - 5/10/2011   8:06:37 AM
  • DJS-DEBBIE
    27
    I first met Bob and Anne at JASR 2010 - they are two of the nicest and most encouraging people I have ever met. They deserve all the accolades they are receiving! - 5/10/2011   7:24:19 AM
  • 26
    Do bobby and Anne Motivate me - Heck ya! I consider them very good friends! They were 2 of the people I met when I joined spark People in march of 2009 and consider them family! We had such a good time meeting at JASR and it was like meeting old friends even though we had never met! Thanks Bobby and Anne! you guys Rock!!! - 5/10/2011   3:20:31 AM
  • 25
    Great story. - 5/10/2011   1:50:42 AM
  • 24
    Do Anne and Bobby inspire you?

    Awwww yes they do. - 5/10/2011   12:16:45 AM
  • 23
    Thank You!! Can't wait to read the whole article! Very Inspiring!! - 5/9/2011   9:29:39 PM
  • 22
    "Do Anne and Bobby inspire you?"

    On a daily basis. I'm so happy that they are my friends on SP, and can benefit from their wise advise and patient encouragement. SparkPeople is a wonderful site, and having great people like Anne and Bobby are a part of that.

    I love SparkPeople!!!!!!! - 5/9/2011   7:17:24 PM
  • 21
    Anne and Bob!!!!! I just got my copy of Woman's Day in the mail today and YOU are the reason I joined SparkPeople today!!! What an inspirational couple!! Thank you sooo much!!!!!! - 5/9/2011   7:11:43 PM
  • 20
    Thank you so much for sharing! This was a great story! - 5/9/2011   7:07:48 PM
  • DAROSA66
    19
    Very inspirational - thanks for sharing! - 5/9/2011   4:30:21 PM
  • 18
    Heck yeah! They inspire me! And I'm proud to say that they are not only my Spark Friends but my *real life* friends too!

    Way to go Bobby and Anne! You deserve it all!! - 5/9/2011   4:26:45 PM
  • 17
    Bobby and Anne - you are two truly amazing and wonderful people. I am so blessed to call you my friends. :) - 5/9/2011   4:18:36 PM
  • MINTDAWN
    16
    my boyfriend and i have also lost over 120 lbs combined. spark helps a lot. - 5/9/2011   3:34:05 PM
  • VICSINN
    15
    Very inspiring!! I'm picking up my copy of Woman's Day today. - 5/9/2011   12:39:04 PM
  • 14
    Thanks Bobby for investing in so many of us! - 5/9/2011   11:50:24 AM
  • 13
    Wow! Their story is incredibly inspiring, I can't wait to receive my copy in the mail :) - 5/9/2011   11:40:35 AM
  • BTHOMPSON04
    12
    Great advice and good luck with the Warrior Dash. I've got the Tough Mudder on tap in November, so training is underway and strong. I've found it's much more motivating for me to have something to work towards, so I plan on doing more of these intense obstacle courses throughout the year to constantly drive me to stick with my training and dieting! - 5/9/2011   10:18:18 AM
  • 11
    Love it! I'm picking up a copy at the store today. Spark on! - 5/9/2011   9:32:05 AM
  • 10
    Anne & Bobby- Great big squishy hugs & kisses for both of you!
    I'm so proud to call both of you not only SparkFriends, but real life friends too!
    CONGRATS on the article & spreading the Spark!
    (P.S. I'll be wearing my JASR SparkPatch in the Pgh HM this weekend:-) - 5/9/2011   9:18:47 AM
  • 9
    I just love to read stories such as your's! Congratulations. - 5/9/2011   9:08:36 AM
  • 8
    Anne and Bobby--congratulations. So nice to have your hard work and enthusiasm show cased. I'm sure you have just inspired some more to work toward their goals. - 5/9/2011   8:58:48 AM
  • 7
    You are a real team! An inspiration for us all. - 5/9/2011   8:35:20 AM
  • SP_COACH_NANCY
    6
    CONGRATS Bobby and Anne! I am honored to call you not just Sparkers, but friends! You guys are a HUGE inspiration to so many on SparkPeople. I can't think of a more deserving SparkCouple! - 5/9/2011   8:04:33 AM
  • 5
    Yay! So excited for both of you...you are both inspirational to so many! Anne, thanks for mentioning Lupus-Team Butterfly...we love you! - 5/9/2011   7:52:22 AM
  • 4
    Extremely inspirational!!! Thanks so much for sharing. - 5/9/2011   7:43:22 AM
  • 3
    Great job guys! Can't wait to read the full article. - 5/9/2011   7:08:09 AM
  • 2
    Well Bob congrats on the tobacco thing. Sp finally helped me with my weight gain of 30 Lbs 3 yrs ago. I had an AA person tell me giving up tobacco is harder than giving up alcohol!
    Anne I'm presently on the Spring Challenge Butterfly team. I have to deal with my RA so feel an additional bond with you. There is always hope. WD is a favorite magazine but I haven't seen one in several months. Wal-Mart is my closest grocery store and I don't deal with them. I'll have to make a point of getting a copy the next time I'm in a bigger town. Thanks for giving me a lift this morning. - 5/9/2011   7:04:42 AM
  • 1
    Woohoo -- congrats on such a great feature in a major magazine Bob & Anne! Thanks for spreading the spark and being amazing members of the SparkPeople family.

    SparkCheers!

    Chris (SparkGuy) - 5/6/2011   8:18:40 PM

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