Dear Desperately Seeking Slender,
I’ve noticed reading your blog that you often had a lot of down time between your running events. How do you stay motivated to get back into the swing of things so quickly?
Dear Slender Seeker,
You’re right; I’ve had a lot of down time between my running adventures. I started running sometime around July of 2011 when I lost my Father due to a stroke nearly smack dab in the middle of my weight loss journey. I had lost 132 lbs.–about half of the 260 lb. total loss I achieved–and my Father had really been the champion of that weight loss journey for me.
When I got the call that my Father was passing away I was on a flight back to California that evening to make sure that whatever time I had left wasn’t wasted. I’ll never forget walking into that hospital room. I walked over to his bed and I took his hand and I told him “Papa, I need to know that you’re not in any pain.” He squeezed my hand and told me he wasn’t in pain and that he loved me. As the tears swelled in my eyes I told him, “I have no idea how to say good-bye to you.” He shook his head at me and said “I never say goodbye, kiddo.”
It was true, during my entire life my Father had made a point never to say good-bye. He’d always say “I’ll see you soon.”
My Father’s desire to know that I was going to live a happy, healthy life and that I would not spend my life suffering from the comorbidities of obesity was the incentive that started the ball rolling in my decision to lose the weight. I needed to know that even though he was leaving this world, he was going to be there to see then end of this journey with me.
As a victim of childhood abuse, faith, god, or the existence of a higher power that never answered the prayers of a hurt little girl had been something I questioned and struggled with. But I told my Dad that day, “Daddy I don’t know what I believe in. I don’t know where we go after this. But the one thing I know for sure is that if there is a place that you can go where you get to look out after me and watch over me, you’ll be there. So I’ll make a deal with you Papa: I need to know that you’re going to see the end of this journey when I get there. So I’m going to believe that every time I exercise you’ll be there with me, listening and watching over me.”
Most of the times that I have been “benched” or had downtime during my running adventures have been due to reconstructive plastic surgery procedures that I have had to get my body back after massive weight loss. I’ve had a total of six different procedures since February of 2012 and each one has taken me out of exercise for 2-10 weeks depending on the intensity or complexity of the procedure.
In that same time frame I have walked one half Marathon, ran 5 half Marathons, ran a 17K, walked 20 miles for charity, participated in several 5Ks and ran several 5Ks and 10Ks as a part of routine training.
My motivation to get back into running, build my pace back up and get off the bench so quickly usually comes from three things: my desire to feel connected to my Father, my own desire to help motivate and inspire others, and the fact that I have some very amazing sponsors helping me do that.
In June of 2013 when I completed my first half marathon I instantly set out to give others the opportunity to have that same experience with the launch of my “How do YOU Celebrate Success” contests. Since then we’ve almost always been in a steady state of training for either the Tinker Bell Half Marathon or now, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Paying it forward and coaching others in their post weight loss running adventure has been a huge factor in keeping me motivated.
Finding those intrinsic motivators. the things inside you that propel you do to something for you, is quintessential to the weight loss journey. Finding these things along with finding the fun in fitness has been one of the key ingredients to successful weight loss and weight maintenance in my journey.
I’d like to take a moment to thank the very special sponsors of the current “How do you Celebrate Success” contest, #TeamSlenderSeekers and our current #WineDineC210kPrep Training Program; Ameriwell Bariatrics, Celebrate Vitamins, Kay’s Naturals, Wellese and BariMelts.
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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