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.

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