TIAGAYEPFA   76,985
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Somebody PLEASE sell the WAGON!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Have you heard the phrase "I fell off the wagon" or "gotta get back on the wagon". Well I'm sick of it! These are such "diet" phrases. And believe me, I used to use the phrase all too often.

Let's look at the word "DIET". Notice the first three letters??? D-I-E!!! Isn't that what you really feel like when you're on one? Don't lie, I know I always did. All I did was dream of the food I REALLY wanted to eat so when I was off the diet, I "got off the wagon" and binged! So we really need to get rid of this WAGON.

How do you stop this? It's what Sparkpeople is all about: Leading a Healthy Lifestyle.

How do you do this? Easier said than done? Not really. I'm no expert and don't know nearly everything, but here are a few things I've learned that have helped me:

1) When you eliminate something you love completely, you feel deprived and that only lasts for a while. So, you can do one of two things: 1) find something comparable that's a healthy alternative. For me, I loved French Fries. Someone suggested baked sweet potato fries, and honestly, at first, that sounded gross to me, because I'm not one who likes to mix sweet and savory foods. I always thought of sweet potato like in pie. But I found a recipe (on Sparkpeople) and tried it. It was so good. It totally satisfied my craving for french fries.

Here's 2) don't eliminate it, just THINK ABOUT IT before you eat it. What I mean is, when we crave something and then just go and eat it, it's usually an impulse thing. If we're focused on a healthy lifestyle, we'll put more thought into things. So you're at a baby shower or birthday party and there's CAKE - yummy cake. You're thinking "I shouldn't have it" but "I want some". So we typically either have some, then feel guilty, or don't have it and are in a bad mood. Am I right??? Can I get an Amen??? So, next time you're in this situation, you know ahead of time you're going, so make sure you get your workout in, eat your healthy meals according to schedule, drink plenty of water, schedule it so your most recent meal is just before the event. So now when you go, you're not as hungry. And when you approach the cake, take a moment to THINK ABOUT IT. Think "Do I really want this cake?" Remember, whether you eat the cake or a well balanced healthy meal, within minutes your brain feels satisfied. So if you want to have the cake, think about what you've eaten for the day, what you still need to eat, and your workout and decide if you want to SPEND your calories there. Sometimes you will, but more times you won't if you take a few minutes to think about it. Then, the next time someone sees you near cake and says "Oh that's right, you can't have that..." you can say "I can have anything I want, I just CHOOSE not to." I promise, this really works.

When I started to think of calories like money (I'm a Financial Coach), it made more sense. How do I want to spend it? Just like you budget money to buy something special. We can budget our calories, for something special too...like a new outfit, better self esteem, better health, etc.

Was just something to think about. So let's all get rid of the wagon and lead a healthy lifestyle!

2 Corinthians 7:1 " Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for Yahweh."

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABREEZE64 11/26/2011 6:49AM

    I love the idea of a calorie budget! Thanks! I need to get rid of the wagon too 'cause, of late, I am hardly ever on it.

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LDY_ALI_79 10/19/2011 11:14AM

    Great tip & great blog!

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KJS_MOM 9/27/2011 3:38PM

    That's a good scripture.

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ECHAVEZ2 9/25/2011 10:58PM

    I love the idea! SELL THE WAGON! Okay, I've got to load the Dr. Pepper on a wagon and put up a for sale sign. I guess I will be informing the family that it is not allowed in the house. This should be a first step. It's really got to go! I can increase my walks and incorporate running.........the plan is coming together. Thnks girl!!!

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/23/2011 2:35PM

    I love the idea of selling the wagon.

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IMNOTSTOPPIN 9/19/2011 5:49PM

    Great blog and good food for thought whenever that certain unhealthy food is calling my name!

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 9/18/2011 9:47PM

    Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

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RAINA413 9/18/2011 9:31PM

    Ditched the wagon!! Excellent advice! Thanks for this!!

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SHEMA01 9/18/2011 5:43PM

    Thank you, wagon will no longer be a part of vocabulary. emoticon

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NOSTOPPINMENOW 9/18/2011 8:57AM

    emoticon BLOG! I've sold my wagon!

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JULIA1154 9/17/2011 4:04PM

  You are right on! I've found it very easy to ignore so-called goodies when I know that a piece of cake might represent 1/4 of my calorie budget for the day. I don't feel deprived when I refuse the cake - I feel empowered. So many colleagues talk about not being able to resist cookies at the office or whatever. I think about how unsatisfactory they are and feel strong.

I never talk about dieting or falling off the wagon, and I don't talk with others about anything other than the fact that I've decided to be very choosy about the quality of what I put in my body and about taking care of myself. No one ever talks about what I can or can't eat, I think because I don't frame it that way.

Framing the issue with a comparison to financial planning is something I think all of us can grasp. I hope the concept catches on and spreads like wildfire!

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WEEZYB7881 9/17/2011 11:52AM

    great blog and a good analogy. thanks

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NEWME0519 9/17/2011 11:24AM

    Wow, my calorie budget is exactly how I've explained it to ppl over the past few years!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 9/17/2011 10:18AM

    Love the analogy to $$.

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MZPERSEVERANCE 9/17/2011 9:16AM

    My "WAGON" has been so used and abused, I wouldn't give it to my worst enemy, let alone sell it....I am putting my wagon out with the rest of the garbage...Great Blog! Thanks for sharing.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 9/17/2011 8:36AM

    I love the money analogy too! It's all about the type of fuel we want to put in our bodies ... and how well we want to 'run'. Thanks for sharing!

Have a superb Saturday!

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WE_PA_FIT 9/17/2011 7:32AM

    along that money analogy-- when you charge your body (as in eating things you shouldn't etc..)then you must pay the bill!!! i.e. Workout! To keep your credit balance. ....Balance...it's what it's about too. You charge, you must pay.ANd the billis higher the more you charge. So spend wisely!!!!!!

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ERIN4771 9/17/2011 7:13AM

    so funny!! i threw that wagon under the bus a while back emoticon

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REMONIAT 9/17/2011 7:09AM

    Amen, Amen and Amen! emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 9/17/2011 3:16AM

    I love your comparison, as usual you hit the nail on the head Tia
Great blog emoticon

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BRE7482 9/17/2011 2:14AM

    Love it! I'm selling my wagon!

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JENNYDJENNY 9/17/2011 1:44AM

    its sooooo true......... way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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100STEPSUP 9/17/2011 12:04AM

    Love this comparison! Makes so much more sense now. AMEN!!! emoticon

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PEPPERCHILD 9/16/2011 11:40PM

    Let the church say Amen. emoticon

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SWAYDE 9/16/2011 11:03PM

    I love your comparison of spending calories like we do money. I am extremely frugal with money and that same approach has been working for me. It helped me quit smoking, because I chose to be able to eat and have electric rather than pay for cigarettes. I chose to quit drinking sodas when I became aware of how many calories I was consuming versus what I should have been consuming and how totally devoid of any nutritional value they are, not to mention another total waste of money. I find myself constantly figuring out what all I can eat to feel completely full and satisfied without over spending my calorie budget. And you are right. It DOES work.

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MCMOM11 9/16/2011 10:11PM

    emoticonAMEN!!!!!

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CRYMENIA 9/16/2011 9:35PM

    INGENIOUS! Calories as money I love it it so clicks with me!!!!

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LITTLEKIM4 9/16/2011 9:23PM

    Even though I have used that phrase, I totally agree with your blog. I guess I mean it to mean you fell back into your old ways, if you fell off the wagon. But I so agree....if you try to deny yourself something completely, you're going to feel deprived and eventually just go ape and eat a bunch of it.

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APIRLRAIN888 9/16/2011 9:19PM

    Thank you great post!!!

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Celebrating Two Years at my Goal Size! Woo Hoo!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I will apologize in advance, this is long! emoticon

I'm celebrating my 2nd year of being at my goal and wanted to reflect and share what I've learned, as maybe it can help someone.

I went from Size 14 to Size 4 in 10 months (Dec. 2008 - Sept. 2009), mainly because I stopped dieting and decided to lead a healthy lifestyle and set goals that challenged me.

I started my journey at age 40 in Dec. 2008 when I ran into someone I hadn't seen in 2-3 years on a cruise and she commented about how much weight I had gained. It was an "Aha!" moment for me that I needed!

I had done many diets, shots, tricks, etc. all to gain weight back. So this time, I was determined to lead a healthy lifestyle I could live with. A friend of mine told me about Sparkpeople just after New Year's 2009 so I signed up on 1/3/09. I tracked my food EVERY day, good, bad or ugly. I didn't "eliminate" anything. I just made better choices. I went from eating two times a day to 4-5, went from simple carbs to complex, increased my green veggie intake, went from 10 oz of water a day to 150oz. If I "craved" something, instead of immediately acting on it, I would take a moment and have a conversation with myself as to if I really wanted to use my calories for it. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn't. But either way, I TRACKED IT.

A few "Before Photos from 2008 (3rd and 4th pics are from my cruise 12/08, the week I started my Healthy Lifestyle Journey)":

Back in the mid '90's I used to run, 3-4 miles at the most and 2/96 I ran a 15k (9.3 miles) and that was the last time I ran consistently or did a race. So now in 12/2008, I signed up for that same 15k to run it on 2/28/09.

Two things to keep in mind: I had NO friends or family members embarking on this journey with me. 1) While my husband was supportive, he had always been in shape and had heard me say a thousand times "I'm going to do it TIHS time..." so I don't count him. So I started my journey alone. Sparkpeople became my Healthy Lifestyle Buddy! 2) Shortly after starting this journey, in Feb 2009, I had a major family crisis/tragedy happen that took so much out of me emotionally. But I stayed on track because I wasn't dieting. I didn't succumb to the emotional eating I used to. I think in part because I had already signed up for the 15k and told so many people I was doing it so I couldn't back out.
So for those of you who keep saying "I need a partner..." - NO YOU DON'T because this is for YOU, and for those of you who keep saying "But THIS or THAT happened to me..." IT'S JUST AN EXCUSE!

So I completed the 15k on 2/28/09 and felt great and had already dropped a size! I was running 3-4 days a week AND strength training 2-3 days a week. I found great demos on Sparkpeople on how to do the workouts! I was averaging a 12 minute mile but I was moving!

Pics from my 15k:

After that I needed another challenge, so I organized a local Weight Loss Challenge that had 40 people. Everyone paid an entry fee that went toward the cash prizes (top prize was $600). I didn't do this for me to win, but since I was leading it, I knew it would keep me on track. Even had 15 people run their first 5k the week before the final weigh-in! The challenge went from May -- August. By May I was a size 8!!!
Pics from the challenge time, love the one of me and Mom, she was 68 at the time and I ran with her across the finish line. It was one of my most special moments with her to date!

Also, here's a progress pic of me wearing the shorts that fit me snug in 12/08: I'll never get rid of these shorts! emoticon

During this time, I went to visit a friend of mine in NJ in July. I needed some new clothes so when shopping, I went to try on some pants and brought in two sizes of the same pants, an 8 and 6. I figured I'd see how close I was to the 6. I literally screamed out loud when the Size 6 fit me best!!!

Pic of me and my friend with me wearing my new Size 6 pants!

So another challenge, I signed up for the Inaugural St. Pete Women's Half Marathon on 11/28/09. I registered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and trained and raised funds for this great cause! During this time, I went into a Size 4!!! This was beyond anything I had imagined (I initially only wanted to be a Size 8).
Pics of my Half Marathon (11/09) and my "Goal Outfit" (9/09):

So I had reached my goal! I wasn't "skinny". I'm 5'3" and small framed so I was a great size. And since I had been strength training I wasn't flabby either! I had dropped my body fat from 35% to 22%!

Once I hit my goal, I didn't go out for a "celebratory dinner" or eat something I had been dreaming of. Since I wasn't dieting, I didn't change ANYTHING. I just continued doing what I had been doing and it continued to work! It was a LIFESTYLE!!!

Since that time, I continued to set goals and challenge myself. I have been blessed to be featured on Sparkpeople with an article: www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=the
_most_inspiring_7_minutes_of_your_day
and the privilege of meeting and speaking at an event with the founder of Sparkpeople, Chris and have this video played at the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJV2Vbh3bx0
&list=FLtpL6EbtNU2EKFXAY24Q7nQ&index=11.

I have now since run 4 Half Marathons, 2 Full Marathons (26.2 Miles), most recent 1/9/11, and competed in a Figure Competition (7/16/10). I stared slower than a 12 minute mile and now can comfortable run a mile in under 7:30 and a Half Marathon pace around a 8:30/minute mile pace!

Pics from my first Full Marathon and the Figure Comp (took 3rd Place):


Now my focus is more on helping others reach their goals. I have been blessed to coach a group of 5 people run their first 5k last Oct: , another small group complete their first Half Marathon this past April.

So I keep setting goals: I have been selected to be a Pacer at the Inaugural Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon for the 2:30 group, so I'll get to help a lot of people reach their goal!
I'm sponsored by Marathon Bars by Snickers to advertise their brand!
I've been selected to be the local Grassroots Ambassador for the Inaugural St. Pete Rock N Roll Half Marathon which will be 2/12/2012 so I will be the "face of the race" to get the word out in my community and I couldn't be more excited!

So what has kept me focused while losing weight and after reaching my goal?
1) Setting goals, realistic but challenging
2) Eliminating excuses
3) No more "dieting" but eating smart and realizing that 70%+ of results are based on my nutrition
4) Get people involved in cheering on my goals
5) Always have a new goal set before the current one is met
6) Knowing someone is always looking and need that little bit of inspiration
7) HAVE FUN!!!

Here are a few recent pics. While I don't look like I did when I did the competition, I'm happy with ME and just yesterday was rocking my Size 2 Jeans!!! I go between a Size 2 and 4 depending on the brand, but I rarely weight myself. My clothes tell me what I need to know! I maintain and sub 20% body fat and exercising is just part of my life! I love an indulgent meal from time to time, but I eat clean and train dirty! Love lifting weights and now I'm on track to get my Personal Trainer Certification in the new few weeks!

In July, thanks to Sparkpeople, I was featured in a National magazine, First For Women, 7/18/11 issue:

I do hope I've inspired at least ONE person to keep going and make the necessary changes. Dieting is HARD, living a health lifestyle isn't "easy" but it's easier than going from diet to diet and the results are SO worth it. So if you're in the beginning, middle or starting over in your journey, DON'T GIVE UP! Tomorrow is a new day!

Recent pics:

So if you're working toward your goal, don't give up! Make the necessary adjustments and move forward! When I started training for my Figure Competition in 4/10, I found Nutrition Coach, Profession Chef and former competitive Bodybuilder Ruben Sandoval (or I should say he found me), and he gave me the nutritional counseling to get on stage in a figure Competition (did I say I had NEVER worn a bikini before this???). Since then, I have referred numerous friends and farmily member that he has helped with general weight loss, elimination of Diabetes Type 2 and so on and so forth! So I have to give a shout out to Ruben (Sparkname FLEXCHEF and SparkTeam Fit To Be In Your Kitchen). Ruben has become such an incredible resource for everything nutrition!!!

STAY WITH YOUR GOALS! SET NEW ONES! DON'T MAKE OR TAKE EXCUSES! DO THIS FOR YOU AND ONLY YOU!!! HAVE FUN WITH IT! MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE!!! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! YOU CAN DO THIS! DON'T STOP AND DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU CAN'T DO THIS!!!

Thank you so much for all the support my Spark Friends have given me, you will NEVER know how much it means to me or inspires me, but it does. Remember when you start your journey, you are inspiring someone else. You may not realize it at the time, but you are!!!

I give ALL credit and glory to my God YAHWEH, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He is my strength and my Rock and reading and studying His Word the Bible keeps me going!
Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for Yahweh, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from Yahweh as a reward. It is Yahshua Messiah you are serving."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DENISEZAKIYA 11/18/2011 6:57PM

    Congrats!

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IMSMILEY88 10/20/2011 9:44PM

    What an amazing story...and YOU did it! Praise God! I love how you are inspiring others....helping them to acheive their dreams. WONDERFUL!!! I might even have to print this out or something to look back on. Love it!!! It shows what we are capable of when we work HARD!

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TMCLEOD4 10/20/2011 4:40PM

    Thanks for the awesome story! Truly inspiring!!

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TRICOTINE 10/20/2011 4:17PM

    AMAZING STORY, AMAZING YOU!!! emoticon

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ERICA-RUNS 10/6/2011 4:42PM

    Wow! Your story is amazing and SO inspiring! I have to admit, it got me misty eyed! You look fantastic and your beautiful persoanlity really comes through in your blog.



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CAZANN2 10/1/2011 4:27PM

    Wow!! I loved reading your story, so inspring ! emoticon emoticon

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ECHAVEZ2 9/25/2011 10:53PM

    YES! This must be the inspiration I'm needing to QUIT the Dr Pepper entirely and begin again. I eat fairly well and exercise regularly. I simply let the juice take over, and it takes only one sip. NO EXCUSES is the key. I'm sure to get results once I simply quit. I loved how you stated how you increased your water intake by drinking nearly 150 oz per day. That is something I need to do too! I know it's the power within and I've got to get that power going strong. Thanks again for posting this blog. It's all REAL.

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POLLKAT 9/22/2011 9:48AM

    WOW - totally awesome job! You are such an inspiration. You have made such great strides in your life. Makes me think there is hope for me yet. lol. Keep up all the hard work!!

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JENMAGS 9/21/2011 6:05PM

    Love your story! Brought tears to my eyes and smiles of course! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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MOOSH29 9/21/2011 9:49AM

    You look fantastic! Congratulations on all your hard work! You give me hope that I can reach my goals if keep working hard! Thank you for posting this!

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MEKMEK2 9/19/2011 12:38PM

    you have motive me to try hared to keep my goal.

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LADYGSC 9/18/2011 11:40PM

    Thank you for the inspiration! You have done an excellent job and you look great. Congratulations are in order!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELIZINJAPAN 9/18/2011 9:57PM

    Wow! Your story is so inspiring!

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YICHE12 9/18/2011 9:13AM

    You are an awesome example for so many out there! emoticon Keep up the great work. emoticon

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TXGRANDMA 9/17/2011 10:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TASHALNZ 9/17/2011 8:47PM

    Awesome! You look amazing xx

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JESSALOU7 9/17/2011 7:43PM

    Wow!!! You are such an inspiration!!

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BLUSTAR 9/17/2011 7:07PM

    Thank you for the inspiration that I needed today.
Congratulations to you!

Glenda

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FANCYSTITCH 9/17/2011 5:35PM

    Loved you story. Thank You!!!!!!!!!!

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KIN59VARA 9/17/2011 3:06PM

    Wow what a great blog, thanks.

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CREAY00 9/17/2011 1:28PM

    Thank you for sharing your story emoticon

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AMOBRASIL83 9/17/2011 11:32AM

    You go girl!!! You're an inspiration to me, and I'm so thankful we can give God the glory for what "He" accomplishes in our lives!

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SHOAPIE 9/17/2011 11:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNJEWELRUN 9/17/2011 10:02AM

    Yay!

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REBYTR 9/17/2011 7:19AM

    Wow, your story is very inspiring! Congratulations!

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MISSLISA1973 9/17/2011 12:04AM

    Thank you for sharing this! You have made me all teary-eyed and have giving me another story of inspiration to carry with me on my journey!
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FOOFIE17 9/16/2011 9:56PM

    Thank you SO much. I love this journey.


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GOLDENRULE2 9/16/2011 9:15PM

  Congratulations! And thank you for your sharing your journey with us. I will be running a 5K on Oct 1st this year. I have been training for awhile. I currently am running a 12 mint mile. But like I keep telling myself I wasnt running before at all. So I am very proud of that and hope to do my 5K in 40 mints or less. Still have a few weeks to go so we shall see. I even got my sister to run it with me.

Once again thank you and congratulations.

Val emoticon

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LORIWV1 9/16/2011 2:08PM

  Congratulations! This entry is going to leave me with a smile for the rest of the day and the resolve to keep working on my own goals. :)
Lori

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EASH5M 9/16/2011 1:16PM

    Wow you look amazing! Great story and enthusiasm. Your truely are a inspiration. emoticon

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SIMPLY827 9/16/2011 10:49AM

    You are amazing and a true inspiration! emoticon

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MOTIVATED-ME 9/16/2011 9:26AM

    I needed to read you blog today, because I was feeling down.

Thanks for the inspiration.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MCJULIEO 9/16/2011 8:56AM

    So inspirational!

And that passage from Colossians is particularly pertinent.... Thanks!

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YOUNGGYRL 9/16/2011 6:58AM

    Reading your blog was exactly what I needed today because I've been struggling with so many people telling me I need a buddy but deep down inside, I want to make these lifelong changes for me and not as a result of some external force. Thank you for confirming what I already knew and thank you for showing me what can happen when you focus your efforts with dedication and commitment. God Bless you and wishing continued success in all your endeavors. Peace and smooches.

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CRES765 9/16/2011 12:39AM

    Your story very inspiring, you inspired me too.

I agree with you, we only need ourself to be challenge. Friends just help to push ups, but ourselves is the most important to do it.

Congrats to your success. I am so happy for your success.

Myself I am also on the maintainer now, but I still keep going my daily work outs.

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FITCHALLENGE44 9/15/2011 11:33PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You are an inspiration for me not to give up. Thanks for my daily boost!

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SWAYDE 9/15/2011 11:13PM

    Congratulations. You give me hope! I love that you give God the glory and I love that you are using your experience to help others achieve their goals and get healthy. God bless you, you are amazing!

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ROYALTY1022 9/15/2011 10:44PM

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story of inspiration/determination/accomplis
hments, it's truly awesome. And thanks for reminding me that YOU DON'T NEED A PARTNER !!! Unfortunately, it's like the old saying that " Misery loves company" and no one wants to get healthy with you and you know that they really need to. They tell you that you'll never be thin because it's not in your age and genetics! Spark people is a great site and the people are wonderful but it can be nice to have a partner actually w/o with ( I Think)! However, I just may prefer staying a loner on this journey because their is always support with the Spark Family!! So thanks for sharing the helpful advice,encouragement and helping others. Congrats and much continued success to you. Peace and blessings to you...


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TERRIPAL1 9/15/2011 10:16PM

    Thanks for sharing your story ! You're amazing look at you!!
Wow you're so right it's your journey only yours!!
Congrats & I love how you're helping people!! emoticon

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APRILAUTUMN1 9/15/2011 10:10PM

    Amazing! You have shared so much and I really appreciate it. Its clear to me that you are a leader, and you lead yourself first down that healthy path;) Thank you for your stories and enthusiasm. I hope to be running my first 5k soon and getting out of my size 16 jeans! Yahoo!

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DIANAOR1 9/15/2011 9:48PM

    You are an inspiration! You look beautiful! emoticon

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XXEDRA 9/15/2011 9:36PM

    emoticon

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CINDYSUNFLOWER 9/15/2011 7:41PM

    Wow.....what a journey you have taken.....and what a blessing that you are sharing it with others to motivate and inspire them! You have done that for me today....thank you! emoticon

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MIISSBARRY 9/15/2011 7:37PM

    This is so inspiring Just AWESOME emoticon

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SNW1126 9/15/2011 6:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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OYAVIBE 9/15/2011 5:08PM

    emoticon

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ANYVAR54 9/15/2011 4:39PM

    You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story. I would like to read it again, when I am not needing to go do my own exercise. Thanks for taking away my excuses.

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KAROLINA82 9/15/2011 3:47PM

  great inspiration

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TRACE_LEW 9/15/2011 3:38PM

    I don't even have words....your story is incredible! You look amazing and I am SO inspired!

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MITCHDY 9/15/2011 3:38PM

    Wow, that was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing... As with many people, I go through times of doubting I can actually do this...but I keep at it. Reading your blog gives me hope that I just need to stay on it. You look amazing, congratulations on your weight loss, your health, and all of your success.

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I'm excited, grateful and blessed! Featured in a national magazine today! Wow!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I think this is the longest I've gone without blogging. It's been a bit of a challenging time for me, as I haven't had any specifically defined goals that I've been working towards. I was scheduled to do a Half Marathon on 4/10 to end the long distance racing season in my area, and this one would have qualified me for Half Fanatic Status (would have done 3 Half's in 90 days). But due to an injury I didn't get to run the race.

Where I live it's just too hot for me to do races during the summer especially since they start at 8am when it's already hot and humid and the longest distance is 5k. I did do one 5k mid Mid and did okay, took 7th in my age group, but it was SO hot!

Anyway, between that injury and having sinus surgery which kept me from working out for almost a month, it has been challenging. But I always love a challenge. Prior to surgery, I got back in the gym for my cardio and went back to lifting heavy again and loved it. Had surgery on 5/18 and didn't workout again until 6/15 and let me tell you, it was SO great to get back in that gym!!! I'm really enjoying it! Been doing well on the eating, though the first two weeks after surgery I really didn't want to eat and could hardly open my mouth, so I mainly had soup.

Back in December, Bruce from Sparkpeople sent a Sparkmail saying the magazine First for Women was looking for people who had lost weight using capsacium (hot peppers) and I had definitely been doing that. So end of Jan, I had a phone interview with someone from the magazine, and and I didn't know if they were going to use me or not. Then end of April, I got an email that I was chosen and they wanted to do a professional photo shoot in two weeks! Yikes!!!

The photo shoot was fun, but very exhausting (I have a newfound respect for full time models). Took 4 hours, 4 wardrobe changes and over 500 pictures!

Well, the magazine came out today and I had to go pick one (or 5) up on my way to the gym this morning. I was expecting a tiny blurb and picture in a corner, but it's like a half page picture and article! The pic came out ok, but I'm most grateful for Sparkpeople for the opportunity and happy they mentioned Sparkpeople in the article.

Also happy they mentioned my Nutrition Coach Ruben Sandoval (Sparkname FLEXCHEF)! He's helped me SO much! This guy knows his stuff! He's helped me find the right balance of carbs and protein, cardio and strength training and just the right combinations of food to lose fat!

I never want to come across as bragging, but as hope for others who are on their journey! In two months it will be two years since it hit my goal size and I'm happy I've made exercise and eating right a part of my life. If you're strugging right now, don't give up. Eat frequently, drink lots of water, find exercise you can enjoy, make sure strength training is a part of it and set goals, goal after goal after goal! Keep it fun and keeps you motivated!

And for a new goal? Well, a friend of mine started working with Ruben earlier this year, and since she started having such great results, I encouraged her to do a Figure Competition like I did last year. So now, she's working towards that so I told her I would train with her even though I won't be competing. My 25th class reunion is end of August so I'd love to get close to Figure Comp shape as possible! It's fun watching someone else go through the process for the first time and she's doing incredible.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading this and I wish you a wonderful day! Yahweh has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams in so many ways! Matthew 22:36-37.

You know me, here's some pics!

Here's the magazine:


Here's my friend who's currently working with Ruben, doesn't she look incredible? This is about 12-15 weeks:


Here's a before and after (before taking 10/08, after taken a few weeks ago):


And here's a recent pic of me and my wonderful husband on my 43rd birthday June 12th:


And here's just me on my birthday:

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIA1154 9/18/2011 12:28AM

  Thank you for sharing your insights and story. They bring a smile to my face and a nod of understanding, too.

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BLACKBEAUTY54 9/13/2011 12:13PM

  AWESOME

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SNOOKUMS19 9/1/2011 9:53PM

    You are an amazing inspiration! I've just begun maintenance and needed that blog. You look awesome! Enjoy!

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MISSILENE 7/28/2011 9:45AM

    That article was incredible. Congrats..

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WALKWITME 7/24/2011 8:05PM

    Hey You!

Awesome Blog !

As always you are an Inspiration to me.

Keep pushing onward emoticon emoticon

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KJS_MOM 7/19/2011 3:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You are such a breath of fresh air!!

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IAMBEEBEE 7/13/2011 10:32PM

    wow. good for you. youre an inspiration.

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DEVOTCHKA2 7/12/2011 1:16AM

    I too am working with Ruben (fro about a month now) and picked up a copy of that magazine so I could read the article about you. Way to go, girl!! So awesome!!

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MAAYOTTE 7/8/2011 9:12AM

    Congratulations!

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LIL_EZZY 7/8/2011 6:36AM

    So Gorgeous


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ALLONS-Y10 7/8/2011 3:16AM

    Ran across the First Magazine that has your picture in it. Looks great!! What an inspiration you are! emoticon

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DWILCZKO 7/7/2011 12:11AM

  great job!

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KULASPARK 7/6/2011 11:06PM

    I picked up the First magazine...and was reading it this evening...when I came across a picture and said "hey I know her! That's Tia!!) WOW...what an accomplishment! You must be so proud! I am so happy for you!

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DEFINEMINE 7/6/2011 5:07PM

    I love the mag pic! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments! Thank you for sticking around; inspiring and encouraging us all. Glad you took plenty of time to recover and your back to 100 pushing it to the max! Have a great time!

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SAMBIDEXTROUS 7/6/2011 10:09AM

    emoticon

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STORM2012 7/6/2011 8:25AM

    You look / are awesome ! Thanks for taking the time to be an inspiration.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 7/6/2011 3:33AM

    emoticon

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HDHAWK 7/5/2011 8:57PM

    You look fantastic! Congratulations!

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BORIQUANMAMI 7/5/2011 8:49PM

    You look FABULOUS! Thanks for being an inspiration for the rest of us. Definitely going to be looking up Ruben and seeing what advice he has for the rest of us!

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RUNANDRUN 7/5/2011 7:48PM

  COngratulations! You look beautiful.

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MIPALADY23 7/5/2011 7:29PM

    Congrats! So very exciting!

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SUECHRIS50 7/5/2011 7:26PM

    You Go Girl!!!Im so proud that you will live your life knowing you overcame weight issues...YOU look amazing!!! emoticonSUSAN!

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NEW_PARADIGM 7/5/2011 7:25PM

    emoticon

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NKECHI711 7/5/2011 7:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDA! 7/5/2011 7:08PM

    You look fabulous! I am so happy for you!

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/5/2011 7:05PM

    emoticon

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ROOKERA1 7/5/2011 3:24PM

    Excellent, so proud of you. How were you using the capsicum? Is this a regular pepper or a weight loss mix? Please provide more information, thank you.

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RHONDA423 7/5/2011 9:36AM

  I loved this article and have added more capsicum to my diet after reading it! Congrats!

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VANILLAMAMA 7/5/2011 8:47AM

  You are stunning. What a amazing body you have!

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SPARKGUY 7/5/2011 8:44AM

    Congrats Tia -- what a great reward for all of your work. Thanks for spreading the spark!

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ANGEL0101 7/5/2011 8:22AM

    you are a true inspiration... I have been trying to loose weight and have been on SP for only a month now .. but if I can get the results you got in a year I will be over the moon :) emoticon

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MSMARGO1 7/5/2011 5:28AM

  CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR COVER!!! You and your friend look amazing!

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MBSHAZZER 7/4/2011 2:52PM

    Tia, congratulations!!! What an honor!

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ROBINROSE3 7/4/2011 9:54AM

    OMG You look AMAZING!!!!! Congratulations. You fought hard and won, I hope they let you keep that suit, you make it look incredible. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSPEACHYJONES 7/4/2011 8:20AM

    WOW!!! You look fantastic! And congratulations on now being a celebrity model!! Long may your success continue emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SISSYFEB48 7/3/2011 9:42AM

    Congratulations. You are amazing, and you look great! emoticon emoticon

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APPLECAKES1977 7/3/2011 9:42AM

    What an accomplishment! Congrats!!!!

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46SHADOW 7/2/2011 8:54PM

    Too cool!

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NANA717 7/2/2011 6:58PM

    emoticon

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RSWIFE 7/2/2011 1:56PM

    Congratulations! You look amazing!

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KIN59VARA 7/2/2011 11:37AM

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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IN102WIN 7/2/2011 11:01AM

    There is no shame in bragging because you worked hard to look that way!!! emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 7/2/2011 6:55AM

    You look wonderful

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KATHYJSPARK 7/2/2011 1:30AM

    I read that Magazine a few days ago and dog eared your page. You rock! Stay hot!! =)

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BRAVEHEART4ME 7/1/2011 12:05PM

  You look awesome! emoticon

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DELERIOUS64 7/1/2011 9:18AM

    You look healthy, happy and AMAZING!!

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THEIS58 7/1/2011 4:37AM

    You look great! emoticon emoticon

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NELLBELLA26 6/30/2011 10:42PM

    Wow! You look so amazing. Be proud of who you are and how far you've come! You are an inspirational figure here on Spark! emoticon emoticon

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VIAFREE 6/30/2011 10:25PM

    What an amazing story, I am so grateful I stopped by your blog. You have given me a needed boost and reminded me of how much hard work, dedication and self will can pay off.
To be featured in a magazine has got to be the Icing on the cake- literally. I know you have made yourself and your family extremely proud. Heck you have made me proud too!
Congrats on your success. Thank you for the humble way you shared your story.
I am curious about the capsacium , so if you have time to drop me a link or two and any info, I will be very thankful.
Way to go, you are looking so happy and beautiful. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINNAMONCAT9 6/30/2011 7:59PM

    Thunderous applause!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

18 Months since hitting my Goal Size! (Notice I didn't say "Goal Weight")

Monday, March 28, 2011

I started my healthy lifestyle the first week of December 2008 and joined Sparkpeople Jan. 3, 2009. I'm the kind of person that once I make my mind to do something I see it through. I had realized that each time before when I wanted to lose weight, I had not made the decision to lead a healthy lifestyle. I just wanted to lose weight. That never worked because I'd do some crazy diet, lose weight, feel deprived, then eat everything I had been craving and gain the weight back, feel bad about it, so I wouldn't work out...can anyone relate to this?

So in Dec. 2008, I had my "Aha!" moment, when I saw someone I hadn't seen in over 2 years and she told me she barely recognized me because I had gained so much weight. That was a god send statement for me. I knew the basics of what to do, eat right, eat often, exercise regularly.

So I did some research on what to do (google can find anything) so I learned how important it was to eat breakfast, which I never did, drink a lot of water, which I never did, strength train, which I hadn't done in a long time, etc. Then a friend told me about Sparkpeople and I joined immediately. I couldn't believe how much information was right here! I stopped Googling and devoured the info on the Sparkpeople site! I think I spent 2-3 hours a day for the first several weeks (of course I had to get my 100 points every day too). I started using their recipes since they could be put right in the tracker. I tracked my food EVERY day, never missing a day for almost a year. Good, bad or ugly, I tracked it. I used the mobile app on my phone and Ipod when I needed to. I made no excuses.

I didn't "eliminate" any foods, but I just made better decisions. Since I had to track it, I wanted to stay within the ranges Sparkpeople gave me. I weighed myself once a week, but it really never mattered much what the scale said. From Sparkpeople I learned that muscle weighs more than fat, and I was strength training 3 days a week and doing cardio 5 days. So at the beginning of each month I measured and recorded the measurements and that's where I saw the success! The sizes were going down consistently. I didn't care about it being fast, I had done fast weight loss before. I wanted this to be FOREVER, so I just made sure what I did was something I could do FOR LIFE. When I had a craving, I thought about it instead of just indulging, and I decided whether I wanted to use my calories for that. Sometimes I did, but more often I chose not to. But it was my choice, it wasn't that I "couldn't".

By the way, I had no friends or anyone else doing this with me. That was another excuse I used to use. "I need a partner..." That's a bunch of crap! This was about me and no one else! I signed up for a 15k (I chose this distance as it was the last race I had done 13 years earlier). I told everyone I was doing this 15k and did every training run by myself, as I didn't know any runners at the time.

I started at size 14, and by September I was wearing a size 4. It was amazing even for me to see. I had learned about eating clean so I focused on that as much as possible as well.

Since achieving that goal, I've run 4 Half Marathons, 2 Full Marathons, several other races, placed in my Age Group in a couple of them, competed in a Figure Competition and even attempted to qualify for the Boston Marathon (still a goal for me). When I trained for the Figure Competition, I had a Nutrition Coach and from there truly learned how much nutrition plays a part in weight and fat loss. He is awesome, Ruben Sandoval (Sparkname FLEXCHEF) and his SparkTeam is Fit To Be In Your Kitchen. I highly encourage you to join it, as you will learn so much! So when I trained for the Figure Competition, I was on a "diet", very strict. But for me, it was like an ultimate goal to see if I had that much discipline. I'm so happy I did it, but I would never want to live that way, though I admire all the people who compete regularly! I've since referred Ruben to so many of my friends and family members (including my Mom) who have also seen amazing results eating regular foods, delicious easy recipes and basically they feel like they're eating more than they ever have so never feel deprived. So I've learned so much from Ruben too and continue to use him in a more limited way. He will always be my coach!

So it's March 2011 and 18 months since hitting my goal size. I'm between a size 2 and 4 and I'm very happy. I still watch what I eat and exercise regularly. I'm currently coaching a small group of women to complete their first Half Marathon and I'm really enjoying seeing their progress! Exercise and eating right is just a part of my life now, nothing I have to work at or even think about. Certain things are just daily habits: reading my Bible, brushing my teeth, bathing, eating 5-6 times a day, exercising. Good habits to have!

Just wanted to share because I know there are so many who are still in the stage I was in before making my decision to lead a healthy lifestyle. I want everyone to know you CAN get off the diet rollercoaster and make a lifelong change. You just have to be READY to do it! I'm no one special, but along the journey have met so many special people who continue to inspire me. And now people tell ME I inspire them. So remember, someone is waiting to be inspired by YOU...yes YOU!

Thanks for reading this and I wish you a wonderful day!

Here's a pic from the week I started my healthy lifestyle journey in 12/3/08 and picture of me from my 20th anniversary dinner taken 1/26/2011.

Here's a pic from a recent training run on 3/5/2011, my friend on the left is now working with Ruben and is seeing amazing results:

Here's a pic with a Sparkfriend NSG4729 who is doing a great job with her journey, taken 3/11/2011! She's about to start working with Ruben!

And here's a pic with my friend Grace who will be completing her first Half Marathon in 2 weeks, and 6 months ago she would have never dreamed she'd be doing this! She's down 45 lbs and looking fab!

Grace and I were recently featured in a Women's Day online article (2/18/2011). Even though she started about 6 months after me, she's continued ever since!
www.womansday.com/Articles/Health/He
althy-Diet/Weight-Loss-Transformations
-Best-Friends-Edition.html


I GIVE ALL GLORY AND CREDIT TO MY GOD YAHWEH AND ALWAYS ASK FOR HIS GUIDANCE IN SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE IN EVERY AREA OF MY LIFE, BUT MAKING SURE HE IS FIRST BEYOND ALL. MATT. 22:36, 37.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINER_T 6/27/2011 5:43PM

    emoticon

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LIABOOTY 6/27/2011 12:24PM

    Thanks for sharing. This is exactly what I needed to keep my motivation up for the day :) Truly inspiring

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 6/23/2011 6:06AM

    Great blog, pictures, and testimony.

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IGOTVICTORY 6/17/2011 2:47PM

    Just amazing!!!! Just encouraging terrific! Take away! Someone is waiting to be encouraged by me! Keep up the good work~ emoticon

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NYARAMULA 6/13/2011 7:54AM

    Amazing!

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CHARRI4251 6/3/2011 7:18AM

    Goal SIZE, not WEIGHT. Excellent take-away - I'm going to borrow that from you, if I may!

The true heroes in life are the ordinary people doing extraordinary things. You don't see yourself as a hero and that's what makes you honorable. Thank you for sharing your story.

While reading your blog post, I noticed that you measured your success more by the difference in size by the numbers off the scale. On Wednesday I did my weigh in and measurements for the month. I saw one pound gained on the scale but my measurements and ENERGY showed me that I had done well (in the past I would have let it get me down).

Please keep posting. One of the best motivators is to see proof of others sustaining their success and getting glimpses into what works for others.

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PAIGESMAMA 6/3/2011 7:14AM

    It is so nice to see someone else who is about getting to a size and not a number on a box. I have and idea of the weight I will need to be but my goal is single digit jeans.

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BORICUAWARRIOR 6/2/2011 3:00PM

    Very inspiring. I like the whole blog. Keep up the good work.

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ANNIE1114 5/28/2011 9:07PM

  You are an inspiration and you look great!

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NATURALSTYLE 5/28/2011 4:36PM

    Thank you for sharing!!!!

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JIBBIE49 5/28/2011 12:32AM

    emoticonU certainly are an athlete at heart.

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COOKWITHME65 5/23/2011 3:00PM

    What a great dstory. You have done amazing. Im going to check out flex chef's team.

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CALGAL16 5/17/2011 3:06AM

    So many people have inspired me before, but for some reason, I feel that you have the most out of all the weight loss stories I have ever read (a lot). What you're saying clicks in my head and it's so nice the way you have structured your post. It's easy for anyone to try and follow in your footsteps. What you say is doable and true. Now I feel like anything is possible. Thank you so much!

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AMJSATURN 5/8/2011 7:15PM

    emoticon

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LBDB001 5/6/2011 3:56PM

    Thanks for reminding me that my ultimate goal is my SIZE not my weight!!! I have been working really hard and see results in my measurements, which I've learned is creating the ultimate body I want!! A Strong, Lean Body in about a size 6 to 8!! With your inspirational journey, I not only believe it is possible, I know it to be true :-). God Bless You :-).
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APMAC_D 5/4/2011 8:44AM

    You are so amazing, thank you for sharing this with us sparkers

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TAKINBACKMYBODY 5/3/2011 9:35PM

    All I can say is wow - wow - wow - you have worked hard and have fabulous results Tia!! You are definately an inspiration - thanks so much for sharing your story & your tips!!!! -Shanna emoticon emoticon

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DESYACV2 4/28/2011 11:14PM

    wow what an amazing transformation, thank you for sharing and for being such an inspiration....

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BIGOLEDIVA 4/28/2011 6:00PM

    Great inspiration! I Was a 4/6 my whole life until 8 years ago...now I am a 14( was a 16/18) but looking for that size 6 again! Reading your story reinforced that I am on the right track both mentally and physically! Thanks for posting!

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HAPPYWALKER 4/25/2011 11:17AM

    What a great blog! It's not the weightloss, it's the sustainability. I have lost 40-60 lbs. so many times in my life but have had trouble with maintaining it.

I don't feel as I can claim victory until I've maintained my goal weight for at least a year or more. You are clearly victorious. You look beautiful, healthy, and happy. Maintaining for a year and a half, you're not likely to ever revert back to those old habits. I like that your call it goal "size" because it's not the number that counts, but how you feel.

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SPARKIE1964 4/24/2011 5:56PM

    You are truly an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story.

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ANDREA0301 4/21/2011 11:44AM

    Tia!! I hadn't seen the online Woman's Day article. That's fantastic! Congrats to you for sticking to your healthy lifestyle. You're an inspiration and motivation to so many!

To God be the glory!! Hallelu-Yahweh!

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SLDRGIRL 4/14/2011 12:51PM

  Inspirational!

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ROGERSBABE1 4/14/2011 9:06AM

    You look wonderful and are an inspiration! emoticon

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GIRL_WALKING 4/13/2011 6:11PM

    I don't know how I missed when you posted this blog?! I always stop by your page when I need a little extra inspiration, so glad you shared this blog! Especially the partner part, it's so true! I'm always telling myself to do this for me, alone or not alone, we have to do it!

And CONGRATS on the Women's Day article, you 2 look beautiful!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/13/2011 6:17:31 PM

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YELLOWBRICKRD 4/13/2011 6:23AM

    Fabulous! emoticon

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LUBAML 4/12/2011 10:44PM

    Just great! Thanks for sharing! emoticonLuba

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ALYFITN 4/12/2011 3:47PM

    Wow!! You look great!

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LINDY2202 4/12/2011 11:55AM

    You look amazing! Way to go!

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PENGUINROSS 4/12/2011 12:54AM

    You look great!

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RUNJEWELRUN 4/11/2011 11:30PM

    Whoo hoo! God bless you :)

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REDLACED 4/11/2011 7:53PM

    Very Inspirational!

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JULIA1154 4/11/2011 7:10PM

  Thank you for sharing your story. You must be SO proud of yourself!

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COUNTRY273 4/11/2011 2:19PM

  This is so AWESOME! And you look incredible. this is just what I needed to read today. Thank you! (Must check out this Ruben!)

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AZCHICA2006 4/11/2011 1:48PM

    Wow! You look great! What an inspiration to others, if you can do it we all can do it.

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EMILY088 4/11/2011 1:10PM

    You are very inspirational. Thank you for sharing!

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JPRICE217 4/11/2011 12:03PM

    emoticonlooking goooooooooooood

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ILUVTHE80S 4/11/2011 9:52AM

    You look GREAT! Thanks for the inspiration!! emoticon

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MASE72 4/11/2011 4:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SMOKEY412 4/10/2011 8:08PM

  wow. I just started sparke people. If you can do it. I can do it

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CMERLE1 4/10/2011 11:56AM

    You have come a long way, wonderful transformation. You are truly an inspiration.

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MONGO2TEN 4/10/2011 8:39AM

    You look fantastic!

~Nancy

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OPALMOMMYFIRST 4/10/2011 7:46AM

    You are truly an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story.

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JIBBIE49 4/10/2011 12:36AM

    What an honor to have your Blog featured. emoticon

http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=this_weeks_best_member_blogs_4811 emoticon

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RUNANDRUN 4/9/2011 10:30PM

  Thanks for the inspiration! Good luck making it to the Boston Maraton!

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DEECANDOITAGAIN 4/9/2011 10:14PM

    Beautiful blog from a beautiful lady! Thanks for sharing your story!

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HONEYBUNCH24 4/9/2011 5:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CYPATAYLOR2 4/9/2011 4:49PM

  Congratulations and thank you for sharing! You have given all of us encouragement to succeed in our journey also. Keep up the great job and continue spreading the word about SparkPeople!

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 4/9/2011 1:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TOOFATNANNA 4/9/2011 11:05AM

  Wow!!!! You are definitely an inspiration. You have done awesome. Thank you for the "I CAN DO IT " attitude you have given me. emoticon emoticon

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Race Report from WDW Marathon 2011! My Best Race EVER!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Apologize in advance that this is long...

Here's my race report, but before I go into it, I need to thank the hundreds of you who gave me so much support and love through messages, blog comments, FB, etc. It was so overwhelming (in a good way), and I have to thank POCOHANTAZ for having the BBQ Spark Team send so much love! And friend KC for dedicating her blog the day before to me ( networkedblogs.com/cFEMT )! And so many others! Needless to say, I felt the pressure to achieve the goal to make everyone proud. But I learned, that achieving the goal is not as important as knowing you've done everything towards the goal TO achieve it. There are some things you just can't control, and it's okay.

So here goes:
Saturday night before the race, we met my friend Lisa and family/friends for dinner. This was going to be Lisa's first Marathon and we planned to start together.
Pic of us at dinner:

Pic of Lisa and I:

We were both so nervous! My trainer Stefanie told me to get some peppermints to suck on, and they did help settle my stomach. So got back to the hotel (stayed at Disney Pop Century) and went to bed around 9:20pm. Was hoping to get a little sleep, as the wake-up time was 2:15am so we could get on the 3am shuttle to the race site. Race was starting at 5:35am. Lisa and I both went to the bathroom 4 times before the race, mostly from nerves and not wanting to have to stop during the race! We had over 2 hours to kill before the race, but it seemed to quickly. The weather was perfect, not too cold, guessing around 50 some degrees. We both had our "throwaway" clothes on to stay warm.
Pic of us waiting before the race:


So we get to the corral, we were in "B" out of A through H and we start looking for our Pacer. No where to be found. Finally, about 10 minutes before the race, the Pacers show up. We're pretty far from the port-a-potties now and we both had to go pee one last time! Not enough time to go back, so we, along with a few dozen others, ran across the way to the grass and "went" behind a truck. New bonding experience ha ha! (Sorry if this is grossing anyone out.)

Finally, the race starts, we were in the 2nd wave and it was cool, fireworks to start each wave off! Our goal was to stick with our pacer who would be running at a pace to finish at 3:50. It was pitch dark and super crowded (over 17,000 participants), and for the first couple miles all I wanted to do was not trip and fall! For the first 4-5 miles, I thought, "this isn't too bad, I can hang." and stayed right with the pacer, a few times running slightly ahead just because I was comfortable.

The pacer never even slowed down for any water stops, which were every 1.25 miles, so I was challenged to grab my water or powerade and actually drink some without choking myself. Finally, around mile 12 I got it down how to do it. Was still with the Pace team going strong.

Around Mile 15, I started to have some breathing problems and had to stop completely for about 15 seconds, then walk about 10 seconds, then I sprinted to catch up close to the Pace team again. Still hanging strong! I just kept thinking "Let's just get to mile 17, then only single digit miles to go!". I knew a lot of people were tracking me and thought about every time I ran over the tracking block (miles 5, 10, half and 20), and I thought about Mom, Grace and hubby waiting for me at the finish line. I was doing well, surprising myself. It was getting harder but I was keeping up. There were a lot of "inclines" like overpasses. They weren't steep, but they were long. Wasn't expecting that!

Hit mile 20 and still on track! 6.2 to go! I can do this! ...then my body starts acting up in mile 21. I started experiencing a pain in my side that hurt when I would inhale and my calves were cramping so bad. I could actually feel them spasm as I ran, but tried to avoid it all. My quads and hip were on fire but I knew I could ignore that. As mile 22 hit, I had to start walking, my body was just not cooperating. Up until now, I had been averaging my goal pace of 8:46. Mile 22 I did 9:03, then Mile 23, 9:09, then Mile 24, 10:16. I was having to walk more and more and it was killing me. In Mile 24, I knew I only had 2.2 miles to go and I had enough time to make my goal. So I started running, but just couldn't continue, the pain was too bad and I was getting dizzy. I didn't want to not be able to complete the race! I dug deep to find the mental capacity to run, and would start, but would have to stop. Mile 25 in 10:25.

Somewhere in Mile 25, I see a friend of mine, Brian who was calling for me to come on, keep running! He was so encouraging and I started running with him, but after only a few feet, I had to stop, so he stopped with me and then said 10 seconds, then let's go. So we went, but I just couldn't. So he went on and I kept walking. I'm looking at my Garmin and when I saw the point where I knew for sure I wouldn't make the 3:50:59, all I could think about was everyone who was rooting for me, especially my dear husband.

But at that moment, I made peace with myself that I knew I was doing the absolute best that I could do and I had run a great race, better than I would have ever dreamed. So I smiled, turned off my music, said a prayer to Yahweh and kept going. I pretty much walked most of the last mile and when I got to the turn where I could see the finish line, I knew I had to run through it. So with everything I had in me, I "ran" though it was really slow and practically limping through the finish line. Usually at races, as I'm crossing, I'm all smiles and holding my hands up, but this time, I just made through then went over to the side to rest. I just wanted water and to lay down.

I was done. My goal was 3:50:59. I finished in 4:02:05. Am I disappointed I didn't qualify for Boston? Yes, a little, but not as much as I thought I would be. I think it's because I knew I gave it everything I had. There's a saying "I'll do it or be found dead on the side of the road trying." That was practically me! I never stopped focusing on finishing the best I could. My first and only marathon in Feb. 2010 I finished in 4:46:21, so I shaved off 44 minutes from that, so I really can't be disappointed in myself. That's a huge accomplishment. And it also let me know that with a little better training, I could definitely do it. So while I was in sheer agony after the race. This is how you know I was in agony, I didn't take ANY post race pictures (you know how I love pictures). Grace took a pic of me just after crossing the finish line. Can you see the agony in me? :-) (That's me in the yellow and black.)


I asked my hubby if his heart sank when he saw 3:51 come and no sign of me. He said, he, Mom and BFF Grace had a little cry and hug. But they were all very proud of me, and I knew they really were. I know I was proud of myself! I did my 2nd marathon at age 42 at 4:02:05 and 2 years ago, I had never even thought of doing a marathon, let alone two and going for Boston!

I say this because sometimes we don't hit our goal, but as long as we know in our heart we've done the right things, it's okay. We keep going! I thought about the Chumbawamba song "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down!" It's about giving our best in our goals, no matter how big or small. I did the right training, did the right things, it just wasn't my day to qualify...and it's OKAY. I'm proud of ME!

So what's next? I'm not giving up on Boston. I've already started looking at the best Boston Qualifying Marathons and currently have my sights set on the Nashville Country Music Marathon on 4/30. It's part of the Rock N Roll series. It gives me enough time to recover and train, and I'll use a more aggressive training schedule. I know what to do better to get my body more prepared. I'm determined to run Boston 2012 with my dear husband!

So I'm excited about the next one, and the races I'll do in between, a Half, maybe a few 5k's and a Half Marathon with Mom and Grace on 4/10 (their first). So I have a lot of great things ahead!

Thanks for reading about my best race ever! May you reach your best goals ever too in 2011!
- Tia





And here's a finish line video (me in the bright yellow and black around 4:06:16) and some pics that Disney got:

www.asiorders.com/view_user_event_vi
deo.asp?EVENTID=74488&BIB=5519&LNSEARCH=1

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MFLYNN8 6/29/2011 11:54PM

    Wow! I did my first 5k feeling great afterwards, but my second I felt terrible even though I improved. I cannot imagine doing a marathon without agony! You are amazing!

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GKPAZZIE 5/24/2011 9:10AM

    Wow amazing job!! I recently ran my first marathon and am also contemplating qualifying for Boston. After reading your blogs I'm gonna go for it!! Any advice??? I did my first marathon in 4:28 but I was running with a slower friend and could've finished around 4:00 by myself. I'd need a 3:20 to qualify.

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LOREENYK 4/23/2011 1:20PM

    Loved reading this! I just posted a question on Sparky Marathoners and MBSHAZZER directed me to your page. I was curious how long it might take to improve my first marathon time (4:55:51) enough to qualify for Boston. I now am encouraged that shaving an hour off is not entirely out of the question, although I know it will take a lot of hard work.
Thanks for the inspiration, and good luck on your next one!
Happy Running!
Loreen

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DEFINEMINE 2/3/2011 12:21PM

    I'm in awe of course because you are AWESOME and so inspirational. THANK YOU!
I fell off my training for my first 5k; I'm back on and definitley going to do the 5k but I agree "that achieving the goal is not as important as knowing you've done everything towards the goal TO achieve it".


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAREN_NY 1/24/2011 3:25PM

    Fanfreakingtastic!!!!
Thanks so much for a great read, and a great reality-check!
Your perseverence is so impressive -- you'll surely be in Boston. Rock the day,
K:)

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LINDSAYLSU2 1/24/2011 12:05PM

    Well done! I also ran that marathon (my second, my sister's first) but she hurt her knee around mile 6, so we were no where near our 6 hour goal. But she finished. You quote "I'll do it or be found dead on the side of the road trying" was my sister!
Thank you for sharing your story and good luck qualifying for Boston! Maybe I'll see you next year =)

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CATHIMOMMY 1/23/2011 7:30PM

    So proud of you...26.2(and could've been more--I always trust the Garmin!)


Hugs,
Cathim
ommy

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WALKWITME 1/22/2011 1:32PM

    emoticon Just emoticon

Giving Up Is Not An Option

You will reach your Boston Marathon Goal



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SHELLEY81 1/20/2011 2:45PM

    Great work! Even though you didn't reach your time goal, you still stuck it out and persevered, even though it was uncomfortable (painful?) I'm planning on my 1st half marathon in august, something I never thought I'd do! Thanks for inspiring me!

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DOODIE59 1/20/2011 2:06PM

    You're a winner! emoticon emoticon

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CMKOBE 1/20/2011 1:56PM

    Amazing. I have it on my bucket list to run ONE marathon so if I finished in a DAY I'd be happy. You're truly an inspiration. Great job!

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BETHIE_BOO 1/19/2011 10:21AM

    As somebody who was thrilled to run 3.1 miles in 53 minutes last night (week 1, day 1 of bridge to 10k) I bow down to you :o) So true about finding peace when you have done your best. Great blog!

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CHEVELLEM 1/17/2011 8:40PM

    fabulous job on the marathon! you'll get it next time...i'm sure! congratulations! emoticon

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MJASR5 1/17/2011 3:31PM

    Congrats Tia! What an awesome experience it must have been! I know you will get to Boston! emoticon

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ERIN4771 1/16/2011 10:41AM

    oh tia....i am so proud of you!! i have tears in my eyes while i write this....i love that you didn;t give up, and are already looking for the next race and ways to improve so you can run that boston with that awesome hubby of yours!!! keep strong, i have no doubt in my mind that you will do awesome at your next race, and can't wait to see those pictures as well!!! you are awesome lady!!!! emoticon

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KJS_MOM 1/15/2011 5:10PM

    You still did awesome to me! I can't even do 500 feet. You are still an inspiration! God Bless!

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ASPICANNIE 1/15/2011 1:54AM

    What amazing courage you have shown to finish this race. Hold your head high and be proud you really are a champion!Your time was great too. To take that much time off your marathon time is incredible. Good on you! All the best for your next challenge! emoticon

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OBXFIREGUY 1/15/2011 12:14AM

    Way to go girl! You will get to Boston. Get that weekly milage up. I was 10 minutes off of a BQ but I wasn't shooting for it either because of doing the goofy thing. I hope I can get a BQ and run 2012 with you. You did great!

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MYLIDDLEDALLAS 1/14/2011 4:32PM

    Tia, you can't believe how very proud of you I am. [I know perfect stranger huh?] But seriously, reading through your race I was elated at your perseverance. As I read through I was right there with you cheering you on. You never gave up! Not even when you were hurting and I could tell you were hurting too in those shots! You shaved off almost 45 minutes from your last time, incredible. You're an amazing woman, congratulations on your wonderful journey so far, I know we'll be cheering you on for Boston 2012!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FIRENUT34 1/14/2011 7:31AM

    Tia, you should be very proud of yourself and not just for this race but for all your accomplishments. Your pictures sum up alot of that. Your wonderful spirit that you give off gives other including myself inspiration. I ran my first 5k at Disney Jan 08 and just finished the Goofy. I will never see Boston, but you will never take away my accomplishments. Be proud of yourself because we are very proud of you.

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IWIN4LIFE 1/13/2011 4:34PM

    Ur such a motivation! A huge congratulations to you my sistah!

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LILLYBIRD20 1/13/2011 2:43PM

    I'm so happy for u. My eyes were literally filled with water when u said ur family cried....I love ur willpower in everything u do. COngrats on all ur accomplishments thus far emoticon

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ABSOLUTZER0 1/13/2011 1:34PM

    This is a great post! What an awesome account of the race. I felt like I was there with you. Wish I could have been there cheering you on! You did great! I know you will not give up! There is nothing that can keep a fighter like you down. I hope you are enjoying your rest. We both know that you will qualify for Boston. It is only a matter of time.

Again, awesome job and congratulations! Woohoo!

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GOOFY4RUNNING 1/13/2011 12:52PM

    Loved your race report! Girl.... Been there, done that. That is what makes the marathon so awesome... You never know what is going to happen. You did wonderful and should be proud!
Do you do nutrition during your race? It sounds like your electrolytes were low.

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RUNNINGITOFF 1/12/2011 2:50PM

  I am so inspired by your race report. I am running my first marathon in June at age 41. I am trying to figure out how to calculate my target splits. At first, I just wanted a goal to finish but now I want a target finish time and target splits. Now I too want to qualify for Boston and I haven't even ran my first marathon yet. Congratulations and I know with your determination you will meet your goals!

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EMPOWEREDRUNNER 1/12/2011 12:49PM

    Absolutely wonderful!! you've encouraged me to keep going and never give up!!

You will qualify and when u do, we want to see the pictures!!!

Enjoy and respect your training and your REST!!

gloria

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MIAMILAW96 1/12/2011 12:06PM

    I am so very proud of you!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 1/12/2011 11:44AM

    As I said in my text msg to you. I am so proud of you. You will be my inspiration forever - even though I won't be running any marathons. I will follow your inspiration in the half.

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MARATHON_MOM 1/12/2011 7:20AM

    Congratulations on a great race!!

One of the best BQ marathons is the Snickers Marathon in Albany, Ga. I think it's 11th in the nation or something for percentage of ppl who qualify for Boston. I am shooting for a BQ time there in 2012.

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JUNEPA 1/12/2011 12:35AM

   
Awesome time for your second marathon, great blog of your race !!

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SSGBRAVO 1/12/2011 12:20AM

    Great job!!! You've made some incredible gains!

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HEALTHYELEPHANT 1/11/2011 10:53PM

    I am sooooooooo proud of you, and I am so INSPIRED by you! Congratulations on finishing so strongly!!! And congrats on such a wonderful time! BQ will come...just keep plugging away! :)

Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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CRZYRUNRGRL 1/11/2011 9:25PM

    You did simply amazing Tia! I am so proud of you girl! I love your spirit!
You will qualify for Boston!

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 1/11/2011 9:17PM

    You and your husband are such a lovely couple. I really thought this blog was uplifting and inspiring. It shows the power of perseverance and dedication. You kept your eyes on the prize and still improved your time dramatically. I have complete faith that you'll be qualifying with Boston and running alongside your hubby because you're a fighter. Keep fighting, T!

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RUNJEWELRUN 1/11/2011 1:18PM

    You did awesome! Like another person said, Boston isn't going anywhere :) I don't think you realize how difficult it is to knock that kind of time off! Keep up the good work :)

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COOKWITHME65 1/11/2011 12:51PM

    You did fantastic. So proud of you. The Boston Marathons not going anywhere. It will be here waiting for you when your ready.

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LAROSEBAUGH 1/11/2011 11:54AM

    Congrats! Great thought about goals and how sometimes not meeting them is NOT failure! So proud of your new time, and I know you will be qualifing for Boston soon enough!

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REMEMBER2BME 1/11/2011 11:47AM

    What a great blog and what an incredible job you did ... while in pain. YIKES 44 minutes off your last marathon. My first marathon is Saturday and I will be happy with 5:30... yes over 5 hours. I am 42 also but you are in GREAT shape. YOU GO GIRL!

Keep it up!
emoticon emoticon

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DONTGIVEUP7 1/11/2011 11:33AM

    Hey you did an awesome job. I wish you the best for Boston. Thanks for the encouraging words about never giving up. Nice pictures.

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LCHADBOURNE 1/11/2011 10:38AM

    What a great blog! I was litterally crying for you towards the end! You have such an amazing outlook and positive vibe and just...wow. Thank you for sharing!

Best of luck on your next. I have no doubt you will make it to Boston. Amazing!

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ALESHABEE 1/11/2011 10:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ANDREA0301 1/11/2011 10:18AM

    What a emoticon blog from an emoticon lady!

Keep up the great work! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRYSBROWN1 1/11/2011 10:02AM

    Your finish time was still incredibly amazing & with your attitude (the right attitude!) I know that you will reach your goal of qualifying for Boston. You ran a great race! Congratulations of a HUGE PR & marathon finish!

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SEEAMANDARUN 1/11/2011 9:45AM

    You did such an awesome job! You'll definitely get there next time. Way to go! You are such an inspiration to me!

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WE_PA_FIT 1/11/2011 8:48AM

    you did great!!!! shaved 44 minutes!?!?! CRAZY!!! I've read horror stories about those last 6.2. You pushed through them like a champ. I can only DREAM of doing what you did. Amazing!

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COUNTING_DOWN 1/11/2011 8:05AM

    You gave it your all, and that is exactly what you set out to do. You are right. This isn't the end, it's only the beginning!!! Way to go.

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FUNFROG79 1/11/2011 7:51AM

    Fantastic! So proud of you! emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 1/11/2011 3:08AM

    emoticon emoticon you did a great job! emoticon

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SHANN1530 1/11/2011 12:09AM

    Tia!! Congrats on what sounded like a GREAT race! I know you'll get your goal next time. :)

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SARASHAPESUP 1/10/2011 11:15PM

    Tia you did SO GREAT!! Congrats!! :)

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