Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Motivation

Need a little dose of motivation today?

How's this??

Me Before and After
Photo courtesy of Katie at RUNS FOR COOKIES


If you have been a reader or follower for a while then you most likely know "my story" but if not or you just want to be reminded, I am sharing a short version with you today. 
Anyway, I went from 
Fat and miserable 
to 
Fit and ecstatic

Over the weekend, my fellow Fat to Finish Line documentary film (go give us a like on Facebook and Twitter, please!!) and Ragnar Relay team partner, Katie at RUNS FOR COOKIES did a team member profile on me.  

Katie has an absolutely amazing story too so please go check it out!!

Over the next many Mondays I will be doing a Monday Motivation post profiling success stories of my FTF/Ragnar Relay team mates, fellow bloggers & friends who have changed their lives and general motivational tidbits to keep you moving in the right direction!! 

Since I took control of my life and my health, things really are sunshine and roses most days. 
This past year has been SO amazing in so many ways that still, some days, I just have to pinch myself. 
But the biggest change is really in my own perception. When things don't go the way I think they should, I try to sit back and relax, knowing that everything happens for a reason. 


So here is your first dose of MONDAY MOTIVATION.
Remember, anything is possible, if you BELIEVE
____________________________________________
In 2007, I was extremely overweight (well over 250 lbs at last scale check-I avoided those at all costs) and extremely miserable. I was depressed, lost and miserable with the life I was living. I wanted more for myself, so I sat down and took a long, hard, honest look at the where I was heading. I did not like what I saw and decided that I needed to make some changes. I knew I needed to get healthy, and once I was healthy, I could be a much better person and eventually be a great mother.

In September of 2007, I made a plan and a list of goals. I quit drinking, I quit smoking, and I started exercising. The day I quit smoking was my first time in the gym. I could not walk more than 15 minutes on the treadmill but I kept at it. I went back the next day and walked 16 minutes. I kept going back and doing more. I would see these "fit girls" out running on the roads and I wanted to be that "fit girl" out running! I started losing weight slowly. I was feeling good and starting to enjoy life again. The dark clouds were starting to lift!

Then after a few months, my husband and I discovered we were pregnant. I stayed active through my entire pregnancy and learned about nutrition and clean foods. I wanted to be as healthy as I could for my baby. In October of 2008, after 42 long weeks of pregnancy, I finally had my baby girl via unscheduled c-section. I heard horror stories about post c-section recovery but I felt good and I had new goals to achieve! One week after having Lola, I was out walking every day in the warm fall sunshine with my baby and renewed vigor and motivation to reach my goal of being healthy and being a positive role model for my daughter.

I now had new goals to reach and new motivation. I wanted to be a woman my daughter could always look up to. I wanted to live a life that was healthy and positive. I wanted to be strong-for her and for myself. I did not want to be the "fat mom" and I did not want my daughter growing up unhealthy or to struggle with body image issues. I made a promise to her and to myself that I would do anything and everything I needed to do to achieve a healthy weight and do it in a healthy way!

After fourteen months of hard work (meaning working out consistently and eating real food), I reached my first goal of 100 pounds lost! I learned how to juggle motherhood, how to exercise, to continually make new goals, and live the life I had dreamed about for so long. 

I fell in love with my new healthy and active life. I connected with other moms in an online group for new moms to get support, learn about nutrition, share workout tips and get support from one another. I started participating in local road races and enjoyed this tremendously! Running became something I loved to do instead of a means to an end (to burn calories to lose fat).

My husband and parents gave me a great BOB Revolution jogging stroller so I could run any time with the baby. I was learning more and more about myself and found that I was capable of more than I ever gave myself credit for. I placed at several small 5k's and it just pushed me harder to get better. My family would come to each race and it became tradition for me to get a high five from my little girl just after the starting line. I continued setting bigger and better goals and reaching each one of them.

In 2010, I was ready to challenge myself with something new, and I did my first sprint triathlon. It was love at first swim/bike/run. I smiled the entire time and could not believe how much fun I was having. I ended up placing second in my age group at that first race and could not wait to do more! I vowed to learn as much as I could about the sport and immersed myself in the triathlon lifestyle.

I have since competed in many triathlons from sprint distance to half-ironman distance, which is a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride and wraps up with a 13.1 mile run. Next year, I will complete my first Ironman distance triathlon with Revolution 3 in Ohio! 

The journey I have been on the last several years has not only changed me physically (now ~120lbs gone!) but mentally as well. If only there were a way to show the INSIDE changes that occur... I am strong, determined and have found true joy and passion in my life. Each day is an opportunity to be amazing-in big and small ways. I have become the woman I envisioned just four short years ago-and then some! I am someone that makes my family proud and I am a role model for my daughter. 

I live to inspire and want everyone to know that no matter what your goals are, you CAN achieve them. I am now a sponsored triathlete with Revolution 3 triathlon--literally, a dream come true! It is about finding that passion inside of you and chasing those dreams with wild abandon. Once you find that inner fire, that inner drive--there is nothing that can stop you but you!

I am a positive person that is full of energy--every day I have a smile plastered across my face because I cannot believe I am living my dreams...

...and it all started with just one step in the right direction and not stopping. Don't be afraid to take that step.


27 comments:

Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing said...

I just recently found your blog. Such an AMAZING transformation. Thank you for sharing. :)

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Your story is SO inspiring because you had several bad habits to break, Jen, but you stopped making excuses and believed you could do it and you DID!! Anyone reading your story can't say, "Yeah, she lost all that weight, but I'm a smoker and if I quit, I'll GAIN weight." You did it DESPITE quitting AND getting pregnant! That sweaty shot of you flexing your bicep... could never tell you were EVER overweight!!! H.O.T.!

Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb said...

You rock. That is all. xo

Robin said...

You are extremely motivational! Continuing being a strong, healthy, woman.

Maggie said...

You are SUCH an inspiration!!!! Lola is lucky to have such a fabulous mom and role model to look up to! :)

misszippy said...

You are amazing! What an incredible transformation. No wonder Chrissie likes to hang out with you! ; )

BTW--she is coming to town here next weekend to race the Columbia Tri and is doing some book signing while here

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!!

fancy nancy said...

Look at those guns!!! You are such an inspiration!!!

ratherbeswimming said...

You are awesome and inspiring! Can't wait to meet you at a Rev3 race!

Carolina John said...

Every journey starts with the first step. Great story!

Colleen said...

I love reading about your story... you are one amazing chick! :)

katdoesdiets said...

Amazing story! Sharing this. So inspirational.

Teamarcia said...

Fantastic Jen! Beyond fantastic. Wow those guns are LOADED! :)

Kierston said...

Wow! Amazing transformation!!! Thank you for sharing your story!

Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom said...

You know I love you! Super proud to say I've "known" you since you started your journey and am so incredibly inspired everyday by how much you've accomplished since then. You are such an incredible person :)

Emz said...

Jen. You are incredible.
What a journey.
What a legacy.
What an inspiration.
What an influence.....you have made. For yourself and for me and 4,444 people.

Emily Manship, CPT, RYT, CF-L1 said...

You never cease to amaze me. Every time I a read your journey you blow me away. Thank you for sharing your journey w/ me. May it continue to inspire others. <3 <3

John said...

That's an amazing story! Congrats on your journey...very motivational!

David said...

Lets hear it for us former smokers turned endurance athletes! Incredibly inspiring!

Jason said...

I need a bodyguard. Who do I call to hire you and those guns?

TriMOEngr said...

Your story is one among several that I turn to when I feel like I will never get to where I want to go. Constantly inspired. Love this reminder of how far you've come and can't wait to see where you go.

jendoestri said...

Didn't know your story before reading this and it brought me to tears. How awesome that you changed your whole life to be a great role model for your daughter. She is one lucky girl to have you as her mom. The sky's the limit for you with your awesome attitude and everything you have already achieved.

Jamie said...

The fact that you give credit to someone else for that picture of your guns is ridiculous.

baker said...

Jen! I had no idea. What a great story! So motivating and inspiring to anyone who might wish to make a change!

stumblingwithperseverance said...

Beautiful inspiring story!! Thanks for sharing!!

hillary said...

this is seriously amazing, jen. i keep coming back and staring at the before and after because i am still in disbelief that the "before" is you. i LOVE stories like this! i must say i am now even more honored that you wear my kit :)

Runningmyspace said...

You are an inspiration, wow! What a beautiful jouney! My subscribers will love to hear your story for motivation!