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Bariatric Fitness Contest Winner Faces Training Challenges

Guest Blog
By Dawn Brell 

As I am writing this I have been sort of been delaying it.  Let me start by saying I have been having a relatively good time with the running. At times it has almost seemed to easy. But I have found that I hit a brick wall at 3 miles.  But that is the distance I started with during my walking phase. Part of my issue is that I am a worrier. I am an overly critical person.  I take everything personally.  I always want every run to be longer and faster and that is not happening. So after a week of meltdowns I reached out to Pandora for help. She was a god send.  She was able to help me see that maybe I am doing too much to quick. I have plenty of time to prepare for this momentous day. She helped me see I need to relax and not stress about this so much. She told me that our goal is to finish.


I know that I am not going to win or beat anybody. It is a matter of doing something amazing that we could not do before. So I really need to relax and let it happen. I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew that I was not going to instantly be good at this. I should have known that it was going to be harder that I thought especially given that a year ago I couldn’t walk up the stairs in my house without being winded.  I have discussed the run with my surgery team and they did pose an interesting question to me. They asked me when looking back could I have run 3 miles a year ago. I was honest. No I couldn’t run 3 feet a year ago.  I never gave a thought to running. Hell for me the standard joke was I don’t run because I don’t have to. I own a car.

I am a little nervous about the run tomorrow as the mileage starts to pick up.  I do have some aches and pains but nothing unmanageable and nothing like I was worried about previously.  These are just the growing pains of getting in shape.  I am looking forward to seeing how it goes. I do try to not look at my stats until the run is over because I get obsessed with them.  That is not always a bad thing, it keeps me on the path. But it also stresses me out and makes me crazy cause I always want more.  I have also added Bobby Whisnand’s program to what we are doing. I think that strength training will be good for me and help with my 3 mile wall.

I hope that everyone who is doing the virtual training is having a good time and getting your miles in.  My best advice everyone is that if you are struggling ask for help. If you need advice ask for it.  If you need guidance seek it out.  We have some very smart knowledgeable people around us who have the expertise to help us.  Thank you to our fantastic sponsors Kays Naturals, Pace Setter Athletic, Celebrate Vitamins, and Ameriwell Bariatrics for all the support and believing in us.

I do owe a special thank you to Pandora for letting me lean on her, whine and cry to, and just listen and be a friend. I have needed that very much and I am sure that I am going to need more of that in the days to come. You rock girl!!!


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.

Slender Seekers Gold Team Sponsors:

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Kay’s Naturals
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Celebrate Vitamins
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PSA logo red from vector file
Pace Setter Athletic
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Slender Seekers Silver Team Sponsors:


Team Slender and The #20Week2Tink Training Program was made possible by:

The “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” contest sponsors:


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Winner of Bariatric Fitness Contest Shares her Excitement

So while this WLS Exercise enthusiast is laid up recovering from my most recent round of reconstructive plastic surgery I have to say that I am living a vicariously through Dawn Brell, the winner of the Desperately Seeking Slender “How do YOU Celebrate Success” contest that allowed one my blog readers to take on the adventure of heading to Anaheim CA with me in January of 2014 to take on our first official Half Marathon together at Disneyland for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend.

It was so exciting to announce the news and the winner of the contest, but unfortunately the timing came just a couple of days before my surgery and we haven’t had a lot of time to talk since then. I try to avoid blogging when I’m doped up on pain meds and muscle relaxers! LOL

I wanted to take a few moments today before I head off to my next post op appointment this afternoon and get my stitches out to share with you how excited Dawn is to be our winner. Dawn took the time last week to write a guest blog for Desperately Seeking Slender to talk a little about how how excited she is about having been chosen by the judges as our winner.

OMG!! I am so excited to have won this great contest. I think I am still in shock that I won. First let me thank the wonderful sponsors for making this once in a lifetime opportunity possible. Thank you so much to the wonderful people at Pace Setter Athletic, Celebrate Vitamins and Kay’s Naturals. I will do my best to make you all proud.  I am a little nervous but I have a great deal of time and I found that I have some support to make this happen.  I am determined to put in the effort to make my dream of finishing this race a reality.  I have some great people who have stood behind me in my journey to this day to make proud.  I am also blessed to have Pandora in my corner.  She has also been a great inspiration to me. She has made me see that anything is possible and that when I had doubts I could do this she showed me that I could.  She is a great role model.  I will be starting some basic training this week to strength up for this.  I invite you all to follow along and watch as I do all I can to prepare for the biggest moment of my life.  Thank you again to the amazing sponsors and to the judges who also saw something special in me 🙂 – Dawn

Since Dawn hasn’t been running or shall we say jogging just yet, I’m very proud to announce that in addition to taking on the 20-week training program that we will be beginning together at the end of August leading up to the event. Dawn has also decided to start early by starting early with a structured walking program leading up to the launch of our 20-week training program. Talk about being a good sport and being dedicated? This is just the type of person I was hoping would win, someone with the motivation and determination to make this big dream a reality. From the moment I did my own personal half marathon in honor of my Dad on Father’s day, I wanted to be able to give someone else just like Dawn this amazing experience.

We’ll be checking in with Dawn later this week to see how she is doing on her walking program and I’ll be asking her to write again soon. Later this week I will also be sharing some of the other essay entries that we received so that you all have an idea just how hard it was for the judges to make their selections.

I’ll also be working on some of the blogs that I need to write to catch you all up on some of the amazing events that have happened in my life since I have been in Dallas, but for now, it’s time for me to get back to resting and Dawn to get back to training.

Until later, I encourage you all to go get your fit on for me, since I’m laid up in this recliner living vicariously through all of you be sure to stop by the Desperately Seeking Slender Facebook Page and share your WLS Fitness fun with me!

Dawn thanked all of our sponsors in her little letter, but let me take a moment to remind you to go visit all their pages, show them Facebook love and take a moment to post a note on their page thanking them for all they do for the WLS Community.


The “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” contest is sponsored by:

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

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

PSA logo red from vector file
Pace Setter Athletic
Like Pace Setter Athletic on Facebook ]

Please support our sponsors!

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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