When we launched the second “How do you Celebrate Success Contest” there were several people who wrote in entries. 5 Judges selected our winner, Amy Smith, based on the essay that she submitted. Amy is currently in the middle of training for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon which we will do together in November. This time around, I promised that I would share the essays of the other entrants. Each one of them touched my heart in a special way and because of that I want to share their stories with you. I truly wish that I could have more than one winner each time we do this contest and I just want you all to know that every one of them is a winner in my book just for having the courage to enter and to share their remarkable stories. So this week in honor of #TransformationTuesday in the fitness world, I’d like to introduce you to another of the amazing contest entrants. She has achieved an astounding 123 lbs of weight loss and now we share a similar passion and goal.

Let me introduce you too….

MFP6“How do you Celebrate Success” Contest Entrant
Jessica Luster, Bellevue, NE

How do I celebrate success? I celebrate it in many ways and not in the form that many people would choose to “celebrate”. I celebrate my success by continuing to push myself further physically. Whether it be pushing that extra mile on a run, speeding up my pace, or setting a new weight/set record while I’m lifting at the gym. I celebrate by pushing onward to limits I never once dreamed I’d be able to reach.

As a formerly obese woman with a plethora of auto-immune health issues.. I never thought I’d see myself where I am today. Before I decided to take the “leap” into a new life, I struggled with basic daily routines. Just getting myself off the couch, dressing my toddler for preschool and getting him on the bus, and doing household chores was enough to exhaust me to the point where I would question my self-worth on a daily basis. I felt helpless and hopeless. I knew I needed to change.

beforeandafter I started with c25k and found a love for running. My first 5k was a local one that helped inner city children, a race I’ll always cherish because I ran it with a friend that has recently passed away some months back. He and his wife pushed me through that race and I was so proud to finish it with a 40 minute total race time after only finishing week 3 of c25k.. while still being an “obese” BMI. That race sparked something deep within me. I found my true passion for fitness. I have since run 5 – 5ks and my ultimate goal is to do a full marathon someday!

I have lost over 123 pounds but gained so much more because of it, and for that I celebrate. Fitness IS my celebration because it has been a major part of my success, and without it, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. Now I can keep up with the house without breaking a sweat, I can chase after my son and play with him instead of being barely able to stay awake while watching him play all alone since I felt too sick and tired to play with him, now I can run a 5k with ease when I never thought I’d be able to run for half a mile, and most importantly.. now I have a life that I enjoy living to the fullest.

 Thank you  Ameriwell BariatricsCelebrate VitaminsKay’s NaturalsWellese and BariMelts for being the sponsors of a contest that helps people celebrate their weight loss success and share these amazing stories with us.

Thank you for your entry Jessica. Your story is so touching. Like you I would love to do a full marathon someday. Perhaps we can work on that goal together in the future. I’d love to share an experience like that with a fellow running enthusiast as a celebration of our weight loss. I hope things are going great with you since you entered and I hope that we see your name on the list of entries for the next How do You Celebrate Success Contest.


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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