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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Post Weight Loss Fitness Success: Supplements and Intervals

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

new_blog_headshotAs I enter week 7 of RunDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon training, [ See #WineDinec210kPrep ] I can’t believe I’m almost halfway through the first phase of training! The weeks are flying by, and the training is going very well. With Pandora’s guidance, I have figured out a style of running that I truly enjoy. Everyone is different when it comes to running. Pace, form, music or no music, brand of shoes. But I always thought running was just that: running. It never really occurred to me after I’d finished C25K that I could still run intervals. I felt like I’d finished the program, now I’m supposed to run and not stop until I am finished. But Pandora set me up on a :60/:60 interval schedule, and I have carried it all the way into week 7. I am able to run very fast for 60 seconds at a time. So I run hard for 60, then walk and recover for 60, repeat. I’m now able to complete a mile in less time that it once took me to run a mile, and I’m essentially walking for half. I have an interval timer that tells me when to run or walk. It keeps me very engaged, having something new to do every 60 seconds. If the idea of running overwhelms you, I really recommend trying intervals! It has changed the way I think about long runs.

1625751_10154024714165347_1531601693_nObviously I’ve made major changes to my diet in the past year to lose 85 pounds. But one thing I hadn’t addressed was supplements. I know I don’t get nearly enough vitamins in my diet, and I would occasionally take a multivitamin for a week before forgetting all about it again. Thankfully my incredible Wine and Dine Half Marathon sponsors have my back, and have set me straight.

First I received a big shipment from Wellesse. It was like Christmas when I opened the box to find so many bottles of their liquid supplements! They included everything I needed, and some fun extras like pens, a Frisbee and a shopping bag. Each supplement is in a fruit-flavored liquid form and comes with a measuring cup on the lid to keep it simple. It was fun sampling all of the supplements, and I knew I’d have an easier time taking them if I could take them all at once, mixed together in a beverage that I make the night before work. I emailed Wellesse to ask if this was ok and got the kindest, most supportive response from Leslie Ellis. It made me feel like I’m really a part of a big team.

photoThen I received an email from another fabulous sponsor, Celebrate Vitamins. I was so surprised to find out they are located only 30 minutes from where I live. What an opportunity! They invited me to come visit their office to learn more about the products and my own unique supplemental needs. Their office is so awesome! Bright colors, lots of windows, and an obviously fun work environment. I got to meet the staff and then I sat down with the president and CEO, Vic Giaconia. He spoke with me about my training, my daily schedule and which form of supplement is best for me. They have so many fun options! There are tons of flavors of hard and soft multivitamin chewables, yummy calcium chews, and flavored drink mixes and capsules. I was given a big bag that included all of the different forms so I could see what I like and how I feel. Honestly, I was so excited when I left that I ate a caramel calcium chew before I was even out of the parking lot! Even though I haven’t had weight loss surgery, I really appreciated Vic’s support of the community and creating a supplement that works so well for both pre and post-op folks. I could tell he truly cares about each individual who uses the product, and that was amazing to witness firsthand.

While I was at Celebrate, I got to learn more about another one of my sponsors, because Celebrate Vitamins offers Kay’s Naturals high protein snacks on their website and at the office. I asked if they were affiliated, and Vic said no, he just loves and believes in the product and thinks people who use Celebrate Vitamins would too. They recommended the crispy parmesan chips, and the cinnamon toast pretzel sticks. Just because we’re losing weight doesn’t mean we don’t need or deserve a snack! The Kay’s Naturals line is loaded with valuable protein that we need in guilt-free and delicious snacks. So I was thrilled to find Kay’s at Celebrate! Double bonus!

1526839_10154027877275347_620018594_nThe support I’ve been given has been overwhelming. In addition to the supplements and personal consultation, Pandora gifted me Bobby Whisland’s “It’s All Heart” system which I use to cross-train on my non-running days. It has really given me some direction in my strength training, and I can feel myself getting stronger each week. It’s really incredible how sticking with a program generates results. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I honestly feel like I just started this program and I’m already halfway to my 10k. So if you’re thinking about starting something…whether it’s running, another type of exercise, or even just a fun hobby that will keep your mind occupied, there’s no better time than today to begin. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see your results. And I highly recommend finding the right supplements to use in your diet, because I can truly tell a difference in my health, from sleep to recovery time after a workout.

Thank you to all of my sponsors, Ameriwell Bariatrics Celebrate Vitamins, Wellesse, Kay’s Naturals, and BariMelts for not only sponsoring the Desperately Seeking Slender Celebrate Success contest, but for taking a true interest in me, my health and my training. I feel the love!

Let’s get moving, Slender Seekers! We’re halfway to our 10k!


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:


AmeriWell Bariatrics
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Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]


Celebrate Vitamins
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Kay’s Naturals
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BariMelts Logo

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#TeamSlenderSeekers would like to thank these early entry Sponsors

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Big Brother, Big Dreams, Life after my 260 lb. Weight Loss

SmileThis year I’ve been working on my bucket list. Recently, that meant sending in an audition tape for the Big Brother reality show.  This was quite a surreal experience for me. Realizing that I was actually doing something that I had dreamed of doing for years and let my struggle with obesity hold me back from was yet another non scale victory moment for me.

There was a time that a list of things I wanted to do in life included names of foods I wanted to try and restaurants I wanted to eat at. It included a few other things as well; my life didn’t totally revolve around food. But I did feel like food was all I could do.

I dreamed of things like traveling to different countries, but I knew that it wouldn’t happen because I was intimidated about not being able to fit in an airline seat or not being able to physically do all the touristy stuff you do when you travel.

I thought about things like bungee jumping, skydiving, zip lining, going to amusement parks, riding roller coasters and truth be told, ever since I watched the show in 2009 when Jeff and Jordan were on it, I dreamed of auditioning for Big Brother.

My Dad–who I lost in the middle of my weight loss journey but remains with me through my passion for exercise and my determination to live the happy healthy life he wanted for me–used to watch the show too and he’d always tell me, “You’d be really good on this show kid.” My Dad was a game show guy, he always dreamed of being on Wheel of Fortune or the Big Spin, he always wanted a chance to go on TV and win big money and when the era of reality shows that gave you a chance to do that started he always encouraged me to try.

Of course I never did. Because when it came to something like physical challenges or having to do something that required any sort of strength, dexterity or endurance, at over 400 lbs. I never felt like I was even close to a feasible casting option.  Not to put myself down, but the only show I felt I might get cast on if I tried was The Biggest Loser; and truthfully my weight stopped me from applying for that one as well. In a world where I was already self-conscious about my weight, my appearance and myself, why would I put myself out there for everyone else to talk about and shame? That was what I really felt I would be doing by auditioning for ANYTHING.

All I could think about was being a kid and having our entire class going out for PE (Physical Education) Class together. It didn’t matter what we were playing: softball, basketball, volleyball, dodge-ball. When it came time to pick teams, my name was never called. I was always the last one standing there, and whoever ended up with me was forced to take me and I stood there fearful of what they would say. Let’s face it; we all knew what they were thinking “She’s no good at this game; she’s too fat to play.”

Every single time I thought about auditioning for Big Brother that fear and that memory paralyzed me. But I am NOT that scared little girl anymore. I’m not afraid to put myself out there. If there is anything I have learned since I lost the weight it’s that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I can accomplish anything that I am determined to accomplish.

In the last year I have managed to:

  1. Go to school to pursue my desire to become a Transformation Specialist and Personal Trainer.
  2. Go to school to become a Cooper Approved Wellness Coach
  3. Met my heroes Chris and Heidi Powell
  4. Ran My First Half Marathon
  5. Gifted One of my Blog Readers with a Disney Half Marathon Adventure.
  6. Ran three more Half Marathons during my training for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon
  7. Completed the Tinker Bell Half Marathon
  8. Moved across the country to take a new job at a Ladies only Gym Facility as their Weight Loss and Wellness Coach
  9. Gifted Another of my Blog Readers with a Disney Half Marathon Adventure.

671e345ec71811e39d0724be059614f0_8And I still have another month left before a calendar year is up. I’ve accomplished amazing things in the last year.  All of these things have led me in the same direction; they enable me to make sure that I make my father proud of me, that I follow my dreams and keep myself motivated, that I pay it forward to others on a regular basis and that I help others in the fight against obesity.

It was with those four major motivations in mind that I decided; “You’re damn right. I’m going to audition for Big Brother 16!”

I am sure that thousands upon thousands of people enter. I’m NOT sure that in the few minutes I had on video that I convinced them that I would make a good addition to the house. But I am sure that just by applying I achieved something. I achieved the courage of knowing that this is something I can do. I achieve the accomplishment of knowing that if chosen, my weight won’t hold me back. I achieved the excitement of realizing that if I was selected, I would be able to share my story with millions and millions of people watching and that I wouldn’t be worried about what they said or about being ashamed of myself. In fact, I’d be hoping that if nothing else came out of being in that house, that I was able to touch the life of just one more person and motivate them. I’d be hoping that by hearing my story someone else realizes that if I can win the fight against obesity and go on to accomplish dreams like this, that they could too.

The house guests selected will enter the Big Brother House in just 62 days. I may or may not be one of them; I have no idea when house guests are selected, when they know if they are chosen or what not, but I know that if I was picked I wouldn’t be allowed to tell you. Which means you’ll just have to tune into the show on June 25th to find out for sure.

When they extended the original audition date from April 4th to April 25th there was a part of me that said “Well, I guess they haven’t found what they were looking for just yet,” and felt a smidgen of disappointment.

But then I realized that whether I get on or not, I accomplished great things and learned a great lesson just by auditioning for the show. And guess what? I was able to share that with you. So whether they pick me or not, I will know without a shadow of a doubt that I wasn’t the last one standing there and that my weight had nothing to do with it and I will walk away from this whole thing knowing that no matter what happens, when it comes to the fight against obesity, there are a lot of people out there who have already chosen me. After all, I’m the captain of #TeamSlenderSeekers!


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.

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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