Today’s Blog is a Guest Blog from our  first big Bariatric Fitness contest  winner  Dawn Brell. Dawn is checking in with us to let us know how she has been doing since she won the “How do YOU Celebrate Success” contest earlier this month and what she is doing to work out getting ready for our Half Marathon together at Disneyland in Anaheim CA. You know this WLS Fitness Enthusiast is happy to hear from her. As I lay in the recliner healing from my latest round of reconstructive plastic surgery I am living through her vicariously.

936382_10200489586141009_103579076_nMy guest spot this month will cover my moments from winning this amazing contest to today. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to find out that I had won this amazing opportunity. However that joy was replaced with fear and panic almost immediately. The doubters came at me hard and fast. From being asked if I knew how much work this was going to be to being told I was crazy, nuts and in general stupid for thinking I could do this. Even people who supported me through this entire journey suddenly thought I can’t do this. That hurt me a great deal. I lost a step or two. But after an amazing Pandora pep talk and word in my area spreading of what had happened. I found new support. I reconnected with people I have not spoken to in nearly 20 years. I had training offers and tons of kind words. My faith that I can do this was restored.

I’m a lot like Pandora I don’t sugar coat things. My first walk was hard. Its hot where I am. 90 to 100 degrees and average 90{6e74c841b8f362d8aea590534016dc569fd3035eeb9e530df8846b42682c6656} humidity. So we have some ugly days. My first walk was 3.75 miles at an average of 18.56 minutes per mile. Not a blistering pace but doable. The first mile seemed easy. The next one seemed to take forever. By mile 2.5 I was tired and probably delusional. I was talking to myself (out loud) saying I can do this and the next minute thinking Oh my god I am crazy. This is awful. But as has always been the case in my life music helps me. I put on my favorite Halestorm and channeled my inner Lzzy Hale and just sang my heart out. The last mile flew by. Once I could see town again it sank in that I had made it. The joys of walking in the country is no cars or people. The cows didn’t run away so the whining,crying and singing must have been ok. I won’t lie the next day was a little painful but not nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be. My next big walk was a local parade we have here. 3 miles in about 18 minute average. We had music and shade so it was not bad at all. It seemed almost to easy.

391566_10200489583300938_918036526_nThe next walks after that were terrible. I felt like it was getting easier but when I saw the time it was 20.21 minutes per mile. I was devastated. I couldn’t figure out how that happened and I had even run a few parts because I have to cross a busy highway.  Add to it that since I started the walking program I have GAINED 3 pounds was a huge blow to the ego. My apologies to those who got their heads ripped off when they told me “Muscle weighs more than fat”. That is true but the last last last thing that I wanted to hear.  Its hard when you have a goal of when you want to make it to Onederland and that is slipping away quickly. But I try to keep some focus on the reality of the situation I promised myself I would never freak out over a number on the scale again. I would not obsess and get nuts if I have a set back or two.  It’s gonna happen. That’s life, that’s reality.  So I just keep walking. I did take a week and not track them so that I can not focus on the pace so much as just getting it done. I am starting back on the tracking now after hopefully letting that break ease my mind that I don’t need to get so worked up over my pace just yet. I know that I can do this I’m just one of those people who wants everything to be easy and perfect from the get go and that is just not how my life seems to go so I need to just relax and let it happen. It is gonna happen. I know that, I knew that when I entered this contest. I saw that medal and I knew that come hell or high water even if it’s the last thing I do and I drop dead at the finish line (which could happen) I will get that medal. I won’t BS anyone. I was not an exercise person even after my surgery. I did the walking that they ask because I’ll be honest its easy and I have a recumbent bike and it’s not to hard so I do those. Elliptical until this contest was a clothes hanger. I bought it thinking it would be easy but the road to hell is paved with good intentions and that machine was hell. I hated it but I also learned I hated it because I wanted to run the Boston marathon on it the first day and I learned painfully that was not even remotely possible. 20 minutes and I all but fell off it after maintaining a 9 mile per hour pace. I was jello. Why do I tell you all of this? Simply because if I can find it in me (a self-proclaimed lazy ass) to enter this contest and start a walking program well ahead of my scheduled training that anyone can do this. I have talked to people in semi good shape and are exercise people who tell me they couldn’t do this and I say “Oh yes you can” “If I can do this………anyone can!!!” The blind faith of my sponsors to take such a leap of faith on a person they don’t know (to sponsor such a huge life changing contest)also propels me to do this. I have many people to make proud and to show that no matter where we come from and how slow we start that a little faith can lead to huge success. So if you want to start walking…I say walk. If you want to start running….I say run. Nothing is impossible if you believe you can do it .

Thanks for the update Dawn! We’re so proud of you and how well you are doing!


The “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” and our participating in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon has been made possible by our Sponsors:

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