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Growing As A Coach: Get Over Yourself. It’s Bigger Than You

April started just over a week ago and now #TeamSlenderseekers is in the middle of week 4 of our 13 week couch-to-10k training schedule.

This time things have been a little different for me and I have to say it’s taken me a little bit to get caught up with the crazy deposits this has put in my emotional bank account.

Dallas, Texas, the way we looked at it in 1949Some of you may remember this, some of you might not, but around this time last year I was struggling with some very rough body image issues. I would stand in front of the mirror each morning and ascertain what was wrong with my body and tear myself apart with this overwhelming need I had to try to achieve perfection.  It got so bad that eventually while in Dallas, a group of four women who shared a common concern for me took me out to dinner and we had a conversation about where I was in my journey.

One of them looked at me  and in a tough love moment said to me, “You need to get over yourself and realize that this is much bigger than you.” It’s sounds harsh, but sometimes harsh is what you need to hear. “If I took a pin,” she continued, “and placed one on a map all over the country for every person whose life you have touched and then I put a pin in the map for every person whose life they have touched because you touched theirs, maybe you would start to realize that this is much bigger than you.”

I receive emails daily from Slender Seekers out there whose lives I have touched and it humbles me and makes me realize why I do what I do. I take those emotional deposits and I put them in my bank account and they pile up and I pull from them on those days I need a little extra strength to get me through.

But with this contest, with this contest winner, with this new person training under me as their coach; it has been different.

When Amy first wrote in, attached to her essay entry for the contest was a little note with a line that read “Thank you for inspiring me and so many others! You are a Warrior. This contest will change a life.”

A little bit later, after receiving the confirmation that her email and been received her message included another short note that read;

Again, thank you for this contest. Even if I don’t win, it has really inspired me this week to read the posts on your page, watch your video, look at your pictures, learn more about your victories and what drives you. It has helped me motivate myself to get to the gym when I wanted to lay on the couch. To push harder to run another minute or another two minutes. On Monday I ran 5 minutes on the treadmill before I walked. After entering the contest on Tuesday, I went and ran for 12 minutes. I felt so inspired, so much more strong and capable.

You are a truly special human being, and I hope to one day run by your side.

Each time I receive a note like this it brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. To know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have impacted someone’s life and motivated them into a happy healthier life is the biggest emotional paycheck I could receive.

new_blog_headshotBut it didn’t stop there, not with Amy. Because my “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” contest winner seems just as motivated as I am to motivate others and before I knew it a few things had happened.

First not only did Amy and I get registered for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, but my contest inspired others to do so as well, and both Amy and myself are bringing friends along; friends who signed up on their own to join us in this adventure.

Team Slender Seekers isn’t just Amy Smith and Pandora Williams, it also includes Tammy Beaumont and Stacie Bollon, not to mention Heather Rosenberry who is joining us for the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k.

As we launched the #WineDineC210kPrep Virtual Event the numbers started piling in for people who were participating.  Another 48 pins hit the map of lives I had touched as both mine and Amy’s friends joined up and committed to training alongside us and completing a virtual 10k with us as part of the #TeamSlenderSeekers #WineDineC210KPrep – Virtual Event Group

It is truly amazing watching my dream unfold in front of my eyes. In the last month since we announced the winner of the second “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” contest, the deposits going into my emotional bank account have been huge. It’s like I won the emotional lottery. Watching Amy start working on paying it forward to her community and seeing those pins go in a map and realizing that so far, with one contest and one winner I have touched the lives of so many other people is probably the most rewarding gift I have ever been given.

Next Amy decided that she was going to do a 2k Color Us United run on May 26th as part of her training and invite her friends to go, without my prompting her at all. She named her team “Team Slender Seekers” and without even knowing it, Amy put one of the biggest emotional deposits in my account to date. As I look at the Facebook page for that event ( Team Slender Seekers: Color Us United ) this morning, tears swell in my eyes and all I can think is “My Daddy would be so proud of me.” Thirty-three people are signed up to go participate with her and they are currently waiting for their Team Slender Seeker shirts to arrive. To each and every one of those signed up for that team, thank you for being a part of a dream of mine.

WineDinePrepC210K

Walt Disney once said “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

To everyone that has gotten involved in this event, from those participating to those cheering us on, from the companies that have stood up to help Amy with photos ( Solid Rock Photos ) to the people who have helped me with travel planning–and especially to the Sponsors that have made this all possible: thank you. Thank you for believing in my dream and for being part of the group of people who have made it a reality.

Today my emotional bank account is full because of you. The message that I hope you get here #SlenderSeekers is that each one of us is just one small pin, but what we do when we start to pay it forward to our community no matter how small it may seem; (Because that first pin hole seems so tiny sometimes) is much bigger than you may realize. Never be afraid to pursue a dream and always have the courage to reach for the stars.

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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

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

Bariatrics_Banner_Ad

AmeriWell Bariatrics
Like AmeriWell Bariatrics on Facebook ]

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WELLESSE
Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]

Celebratecmyk

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

Kay's Logo

Kay’s Naturals
Like Kay’s Naturals on Facebook ]

BariMelts Logo

BariMelts
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#TeamSlenderSeekers would like to thank these early entry Sponsors

Please support our sponsors!

Contest Winner Celebrates Success through Motivating Others

Guest Blog by “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest Winner
Amy Smith

united_way_forms

Well, week one of training is in the books, and there are only 12 weeks left before I’ll run a 10k. When I last wrote, I was still scared about the 10k, but no longer. Week one was amazing! I found out that I can actually run my miles faster by doing intervals of :60 running/:60 walking than just running start to finish. When I set out to run a full mile or more, I hold back, worried that I will run out of energy. But when I’m running for 60 seconds, I push as hard as I can, telling myself, “you can do ANYTHING for 60 seconds.” Runs one and two were on a treadmill to monitor my MPH and heart rate recovery. But I took my 2-mile Saturday run outdoors, and Pandora’s response to my result was, “you’re going to get faster than me!” That felt fantastic.

heathers_walk

The other feel-good moment of the week came via my supporters. I created a Facebook event for Team Slender Seekers and asked my local friends to join my team for a 2k color run to benefit the United Way in my hometown of Dover, Ohio.

I needed four or more people for a team, so I hoped for at least 3 volunteers. But my local Slender Seekers rallied, and I’ve organized a team of 26 people with $530 raised for the United Way. I experienced so many emotions as friends emailed me their fears, saying, “I don’t think I can do this, but I want to.” I promised to finish the race as the last Slender Seeker so I could guarantee each participant that she would not be the last to finish.

My friend started training with her sons and wrote about how much she loves the quality time outdoors with them, and I received an email thanking me for inspiring the sender’s previously inactive relative to begin running. More email poured in that brought me to tears:

“I just want to say thank you for accepting my friend request and allowing me to join your 2k. Your weight loss and journey is such an inspiration. You have given me a spark of hope that has been long lost. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

“Your courage to go public is gonna save lives. I hope that as your team grows, it can become a huge movement!”

“I met a high today. Before when I walked with the kids my calves and back would hurt so bad I’d be in tears. Today I walked 1415 steps without any pain at all. And barely outta breath!”

“Oh Amy I keep looking and looking at this 2K and want to do it so bad, but I’m so scared. PETRIFIED is more like it. I have not been walking or anything all winter and am up to XXX lbs (with tears in my eyes). How do I get over this anxiety of being so scared of doing this 2K? I must sound so silly…”

This last one really hurt my heart, because I could have written it myself one year ago. I replied:

Silly??? Are you kidding me? That’s exactly how I felt when I registered for the Hot Chocolate 5k when i weighed 200+ and hadn’t run one step!

I truly DON’T know if you can walk 1.25 miles. But here’s what I DO know:

You definitely won’t finish it if you don’t try.

You probably will finish it if you do try.

I also know there’s no section of the paper where they print the names of the people who tried and didn’t finish.

And I know it would be a lot of fun to have you there, and that I’d be so proud of you for even trying.

And I know that you have 2.5 months to just move a tiny bit every day to prepare.

I also know that they don’t chase you. They don’t throw things at you or poke you with hot sticks. All that happens is they say “go,” and you start moving with your friends, and you keep moving until you finish or until you feel like you can’t or don’t want to move anymore. There’s no pressure, no rules, it’s just fun, and it’s for a good cause. Nothing scary.

And do you know what happened next? She signed up. And THEN she walked .75 miles, more than HALF of the 2k distance she will need. She’s got it in the bag! I told her to start with .15 miles per day, and she hauls out .75? THAT’S MY ROCKSTAR!

So now tons of people are moving, feeling confident, and getting excited about the journey, and I couldn’t be more…. miserable. Wait. WHAT?

Trust me, I’m THRILLED about the above developments. Inspiring people and making them feel like anything is possible has been a dream come true. But somewhere in the mix, I briefly lost my focus and willpower almost entirely. I invested a ton of time in gathering 2k registrations, planning team t-shirts and tutus, and promoting the event. Then I also tried to cram in every social activity possible before my training began. I totally over-indulged in some food and beverages, stayed up way too late night after night, and I didn’t get (or make) the time I needed in the gym before training began. To say I’ve stretched myself thin is an understatement. So now I’ve actually managed to gain a few pounds and totally screw up my mojo. I’m over here emailing words of encouragement to others while thinking, “I’d better get some wine and fondue into muh belly before things get too serious!” I know. IN-SANE. By the end of last week I was getting headaches and was in a bad mood, and my mom even asked if I was having a nervous breakdown. No good.

new_blog_headshotSo here’s the plan: I hereby declare this to be THE WEEK OF AMY. I’m going off of the grid. No non-emergency social events, email, phone calls, Facebook messages, smoke signals or texts, please. I’ve stressed myself out, and I need a week for just me. I’m 12 hours into a 5.5-day body, mind and spirit detox. My priorities are going to be eating right, exercising enough, sleeping 8 hours, getting my taxes done, and cleaning my house. And if I have a few minutes to spare, I’d love to either finish the book I started a month ago, or watch one of the episodes of Parenthood on my DVR, which has sat untouched for 3 weeks now. I feel like a big dumb jerk saying “don’t call me, don’t talk to me, don’t ask to see me (unless you want to go to the gym with me, which would totally rock).” But it’s what I desperately need in order to get focused, and I hope everyone will understand. I’ll rejoin the world next Saturday at 1:00 when I’m having lunch with an old friend and our moms.

Until then… work hard, Slender Seekers. But most importantly, stay true to yourself, and make YOU your own first priority. Treat yourself to time in your day for working on your goals. You’ll end up being a better friend, co-worker or family member because of it. Right now I’m kind of no good to anyone, so I’m checking out. But I’ll be cheering for you from behind the scenes all week. Make me proud, and I’ll do my best to reciprocate.

As always, a great big, huge, very large, monstrosity of a thank you to my incredible sponsors, Wellese, Kay’s Naturals, Ameriwell Bariatrics, BariMelts, Celebrate Vitamins and Desperately Seeking Slender for making all of this possible. Not only for my trip to the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, but for the domino effect it’s had on my community. People are running, walking, spending time getting fit as families, and even $530 raised for a fantastic organization. I’m pretty sure I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

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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

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

Bariatrics_Banner_Ad

AmeriWell Bariatrics
Like AmeriWell Bariatrics on Facebook ]

logo

WELLESSE
Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]

Celebratecmyk

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

Kay's Logo

Kay’s Naturals
Like Kay’s Naturals on Facebook ]

BariMelts Logo

BariMelts
Like BariMelts on Facebook ]

#TeamSlenderSeekers would like to thank these early entry Sponsors

Please support our sponsors!

 

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
Please take the time to visit their website and check them out!

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