So let’s define running. I am a runner. For me that means when I am running, I am moving far faster than I normally do when I am walking. On average I walk a 15 minute mile. When I “run” I can usually get somewhere between a 12-13 minute mile.

I run slow, I won’t ever qualify for the Boston Half Marathon and I will probably never try, because running to me isn’t about being fast, it’s about being free.

I run because I can. When I get tired I remember a time that I weighed 420 lbs and I couldn’t run if my life depended on it. I think of those that still struggle with obesity and I run for them. When I think I have reached my limit, I think of my Father, the promise I made to him to live a happy and healthy life, and how proud of me he would be today, and I run harder, and farther.

TheSlender05I run because I am free from the bondage of my weight. Because I am blessed with good health rather than struggling with co-morbid conditions that obesity brings with it; diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, edema; I had them all, and today I have none of those conditions or contraindications.

I run because I am no longer that sad little girl battling depression; with thoughts of suicide and self-harm. I run because it is a natural antidepressant, and because it gives my mind which is normally chaotic and clustered with all the things on my “to-do list”; a chance to relax, focus and enjoy a few moments of silent.

I run because it is a huge Non-Scale victory for me that my body is capable of it and most the time when people ask me why I run, I smile and ask them back, “Why don’t you run?” – Because more often than not, that is the question they are really looking for the answer too.

And THAT is why I hold these contests on my website. That is why I stopped focusing on small little monthly reader appreciation giveaways and started focusing on a contest that would help answer that question for someone who was looking for the answer.

These contests allow me to do all the things that I am most passionate about; Motivate the post weight loss community into finding the fun in fitness and exercise, giving to a community I care greatly for without taking from them, and I get to run, and encourage others to run with me.

“It’s a big commitment to training, Pandora.” Someone said that to me the other day when they heard about the launch of this second contest. They are absolutely right; it is a big commitment to training. It’s also a big giveaway, and a big financial commitment from our sponsors. When was the last time you saw one of your favorite bloggers do a giveaway that had over a $1,400.00 value? It’s a 33-week training commitment, but if it’s something you’ve ever even remotely had a dream or desire to do, it’s like the massive-weight-loss-make-a-wish-come-true giveaway.

“Why did you pick another RunDisney Half Marathon Pandora?” I know, I asked myself the same thing. RunDisney forces me to do everything last-minute and short notice as far as getting the sponsorship and funding together because of their late announcements about when registrations open. In fact, just like last July when we did the first contest, at the time of the contest launch I have really only secured half of the budget. What that means for my readers is that ONE person can go, and just like last year, I’ve decided that one person needs to be my contest winner and if I absolutely have to, I will figure out how to pay my own way myself. But giving this opportunity to someone else is my first priority. But I choose RunDisney for a few reasons.

1546018_10151839935267447_249017529_nFirst and foremost the races are fun, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon was an amazing experience for me and the first “How do YOU Celebrate Success” contest winner.

Second, choosing these races provides me the opportunity to not just give you a Half Marathon Experience but also provides the additional experience of going to an amusement park and riding rides that you probably couldn’t have ridden before as well as the experience of going to a huge Fitness Expo; which not all Half Marathons have to offer.

Finally, participating in RunDisney event’s gives me an opportunity to send a message that I believe in. It allows me to remind you that our weight loss journey is a never-ending one. That it doesn’t end after surgery, after the weight loss, when we hit “Onderland”, or when we reach our 3rd year Surgiversary. It is a journey we embark on for the rest of our lives. Where we go with that journey is dependent on what our dreams are. If it is your dream to run a half marathon; whether it’s your first half marathon or your fifth, whether it will be the first of many or something you do just one time to prove to yourself that you can do it; choosing RunDisney Half Marathons allows me to remind you that just like Walt Disney himself said…

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

I invite you to have the courage to pursue your dreams with me, to allow me the opportunity to help feed your desire by adding guidance, training and motivation to your journey.

You see my friends, it’s my dream to help motivate, inspire and assist others in their weight loss journeys. To be a part of helping people achieve their goals both big and small. It’s my dream to be a part of bringing the importance of fitness in your post weight loss lifestyle into the forefront and to help others find that fitness doesn’t have to be daunting; it can be freeing and fun.

In fulfilling your dreams, I fulfill my own.

That is why I run. That is why I do these contests. That is why I invite you to run with me.

Now then, who wants to do a Half Marathon with 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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