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Back To Being the BEST version of ME

DssButton2FB2-150x150Dear Slender Seekers,

Sometimes you just have to stop and write. I’ve been quiet for too long. I’ve gotten off track and felt guilty. But today, I fixed it. Today, my first day off since New Years, today I promised myself to fix it, and from here on out, I am going to keep my promise.

If you only knew how much weight that promise holds.

Here we go.

I’ve shared with you in the past that a wise man once taught me that part of our responsibility in our journey is to have the kindness of heart to reach back to those behind you in the journey and help them along.

He also taught me to have the courage to reach forward to those ahead of me and ask for help when I needed it.

Today, I lived that lesson.

I read a post from a friend on Facebook today that reminded me so much of where I once was in my journey; the day I created Desperately Seeking Slender. I was just coming out of bariatric surgery. I had decided I wanted to help others in their weight loss journey and found myself wanting a career giving people what I felt I needed most right then, someone who had been there and someone who could tell me what sort of exercise to do and teach me about nutrition.

I reached out to my friend and offered to send him a book that would help him in his journey. The extra Cooper Manual I had to buy when I didn’t have it with me when I got there for class.

This did two things.

I allowed me to give someone who is following a similar path as my own, a little guidance as to how I did it and what directions he might want to go in.

It also allowed me to reach out and ask someone who might be willing to help me with something I am struggling with; someone to study with me over the phone. I have this wild image of me running on a treadmill answering flashcards questions while panting and then reading off flashcards for my study buddy to answer during set reps.

Yeah. I’m a little weird.

I’ve also realized that once again I got sucked into my own emotional pit. (I also realized what it is that usually snaps me out of it.)

10314493_1015076241852179_6251278648778862597_nI have a really hard time dealing with grief.

Sometimes it sneaks up on me in placed I don’t expect it. It was really bad for me on Christmas Eve. Missing my Father in combination with my first holiday season away from Oregon, missing my PNW Family and Friends was really hard for me.

But the same friend I reached out to today had reached out to me on Christmas Eve. I was driving to the gym. I had managed to get myself off the couch and into the car but I just wasn’t feeling it at all. In fact, I was already having an internal conversation with myself about how I was only going to do a really short 2 mile run. I got a text from my friend encouraging me to get out of the house and go for a run.

Somehow just knowing that someone else was there cheering me on helped me. I got on that treadmill and put 5 miles on my shoes that day. Guess what? I felt so much better afterwards. I was so grateful to the friends that had helped pull me out of that slump.

I’m a big believer in the “Attitude is Gratitude movement.” as well as the “Pay it Forward” movement.

Today I was able to thank my friend for being there for me when I needed it by being there for him when he needed it and by giving him something I wish I had possessed a little bit more of earlier on in my journey, experience and guidance.

I need to get back to the ABC’s – Back to the basics.

First step, confess. – I got off track again. Guilty of taking on too much and not having enough time to do all the things for me that I need to do. I stopped doing the very thing I teach others to do. Even though I love my father I have a bad habit of letting old ghosts haunt me. Sometimes, it just takes that ghost giving you a little nudge and telling you it’s time to move on. (I do love the way my father can still teach me a lesson to this day.)

Next, reassess. – I can’t do it all but I can do most of it. My running time needs to get worked back in. I need to somehow combine studying and exercise to help make that work. I need to give my clients everything they need from me to help them be successful with this challenge we have going on while still maintaining my exercise and study goals. This is my number one priority. I got this.

Now, commit. – I need a plan.

I’ll schedule my days more carefully to allow for better time management. I will schedule in, travel, exercise and study time.

I will let go of the grief I’ve been feeling. I’ll write more often. I express emotions better in words. Even better if I am the only one reading them.

I’ll keep my promise to myself to not take on any other big projects until I have completed my goals. (This is a big one for me.)

I’ll keep my promise to myself to always use Sunday as a Celebration Day. Celebrating the things I am proud of.

Today is Sunday, and as I shared with you earlier I am proud of myself for the way I was able to live a lesson I believe in today. I’m also proud of myself for the ability to realize that I am not perfect and recognizing my mistakes. As one of my heroes, Heidi Powell would say “I’m Perfectly Imperfect.”I’m also proud of my ability to learn from people like her how to fall without failing and what steps to take to get back up.  Most of all I am proud of myself, for the person I am, the woman I’ve become, and the coach I strive to be.

Now since we’re talking about getting back on track Slender Seekers I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to do the same thing I am doing in the beginning of the year. Don’t make a New Years resolution that might not last past the first few months of the year and set goals you’ll be disappointed in yourself when you don’t achieve. Instead I challenge you to simply be the best version of yourself you can be right now.

Look at your current situation, confess anything you’ve fallen short on to yourself. Reassess the situation and decide what your priorities are and then commit to a plan to get yourself back on track. I’d love to share this journey with you and celebrate the steps you take to get to where you want to be along the way. In fact, why don’t you write to me and tell me what successes you are celebrating and I’ll celebrate them with you.

That gives me a whole new idea. But more on that later. Now, it’s time for me to get some sleep.

Sending you lots of virtual hugs,


 Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Contest Winner Experiences Pre Half Marathon Jitters

Dear Slender Seekers,
Running a Half Marathon is no small venture. Especially with the background of fighting obesity that many of us come from. It can be scary and it can be intimidating. I still get pre-event jitters on a regular basis. In fact you’ll read my blog about pre-event jitters later this week. But for today I want to take you back to the day before Amy, our How do YOU Celebrate Success contest winner got on the plane.
Facing a serious knee injury and worried about whether or not she could do this Amy was really nervous. She was kind enough to write a blog about her pre-race head space and now that the event is over and those emotions are not so raw and frightening I wanted to share it with you.
Guest Blog by “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest Winner
Amy Smith

new_blog_headshotWell, here I am. It’s 1:00 am, and in five short hours my friend Stacie and I will get on a plane to Orlando for the Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon weekend. When I won the How Do You Celebrate Success contest, Stacie vowed to train with me and signed herself up for the race so she could run beside me. In April we “tested the waters” by running a half-marathon in Canton, Ohio, and we made it. So it seemed like we had it in the bag.

In May, Stacie fractured her foot. She was in a boot for six weeks. This girl hobbled through the Team Slender Seekers Color Run I organized in my community in her boot, but she was sidelined from running for a while. In October, injury found me, via my knee. What I hoped was just a “tweak” became chronic pain when running or walking down steps. As this weekend loomed closer, I was torn between taking it easy and not stressing it out more, but wanting to keep my training up.

I went from looking forward to the race to fearing it. I watched my per-mile time slip from 12 minute miles to 15 minute miles. I saw my ability to really endure long runs slip from a comfortable 10 miles to 7 miles. Then 3 miles. I unofficially saw a doctor, a family friend, who told me, “I would tell a normal patient to sit out this half-marathon. But I know you’re not going to, and what’s at stake, so here’s my best advice on getting through it.” That advice was to maintain short intervals the entire way, walking as much as possible. And in the meantime, no more impact exercise…only rest, ice, compression and elevation. 10362372_10154909288810347_2560319719682960177_n

So I walked out of that office knowing two things: 1) I have the ability to finish this race given enough time. 2) I could not finish this race under the 16-minute-mile pace required in order to not be swept off the course. I did some math and knew I’d need around 17 minutes a mile to walk as much as I’d need in order to keep my knee intact.

I called Pandora in a panic. We’ve trained for months, my sponsors have trusted me to carry their message through this race, my friends, family and community are all watching me and cheering for me…and I may let them down! It took several nights of phone calls and a letter to me via blog for Pandora to talk me off of the ledge. We realized I’d already completed what I’d set out to do – lose weight, run a half marathon, set goals and train for months. She reminded me that this race was simply one day of my life, not the end of the world. She also told me I should not run the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k the morning of the half marathon to save my knee. I’m disappointed, but I understand.

So now my bags are packed, and I can’t sleep. I’m excited! And I’m scared to death. I keep picturing that race and what will happen if my knee doesn’t hold up, or if I get swept. I’m trying to remain positive and imagine myself crossing the finish line, but I am also trying to be realistic and visualize being swept, to prepare myself for that possibility. Most of all, I just want to make everyone proud. I want all of the people who have made this dream a reality to know they made the right choice when they picked me to go on this adventure. It’s not myself I’m worried about letting down, it’s everyone else. Pandora says, “knock that off, we’re already all so proud.”

Pandora, the Slender Seekers and the sponsors have become like family to me, and I’m sad that the end of this chapter is drawing near. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through the months of training. No matter what happens this weekend, I promise to give it absolutely everything I have to give, just as you have all given me


Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

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About (Pandora) The Author

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender
Jaime "Pandora" Williams

Check Out BariLife

The kind people at BariLife have been generous enough to send me to Paris to represent the WLS Community in the inaugural RunDisney Paris Disney Half Marathon.
Please take the time to visit their website and check them out! Be sure to tell them Pandora sent you!

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