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A year ago, if you had told me that I would be running on a regular basis, I would've asked you what kind of drugs you were on.  Running, heck, walking, was furthest from my mind!  I had no interest whatsover in any form of exercise, let alone eating healthy. 


However, I had a change of heart in April.  Actually, my mom offered to pay for me and my husband to go on a Bahamas cruise, so I figured it was as good a time as any to lose weight.  Couldn't be fat in a bathing suit, ya' know!


So I joined Weight Watchers in April and lost 58 lbs. by the week of Christmas, all without exercising.  After the cruise, however, I lost all motivation and figured I'd have to set a new goal to stay in shape.  I found out about the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Race in June, and figured, what the heck?  Go big or go home, so I joined a team to train for the race, and joined a gym.


When I first started out, I was power-walking 2 miles, then slowly increased my speed and distance, cross-training on the treadmill when I can't get outside.  I missed our training run this past Saturday, so I headed to Monument Valley Park today, by myself, to get in my 3-mile run.  The first time I ran it, it was very difficult, and mentally, I struggled the entire distance.  I don't know what has changed between then and now (all the running on the treadmill?), but when I ran it today, I felt like a new woman!  I'm not saying it was a breeze, but it was easier, and I was so pumped up when I finished the 3-mile loop that I pushed myself to do another mile.


As I was heading south on the trail and could see the pedestrian bridge, I became giddy and actually started laughing out loud!  Any passersby would've wondered what my problem was.  If they only knew where I started, and how far I've come in the last 4 weeks, they'd understand my excitement!


But the really unbelievable thing happened as I neared the finish line.  Michael Buble sings a song titled "Feeling Good," and it has become my mantra:  "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, and I'm feelin' good!"  In fact, whenever I have a great weigh-in, or maybe I just need some encouragement, I crank the song up and sing it at the top of my lungs.  Jennifer Hudson, Weight Watcher's celebrity spokesperson, even does a video of the song, and it's a boost every time I hear it, a reminder of my new lifestyle.  Anyway, I'm coming down the home stretch, even giddier than before that I'm actually going to finish, and "Feeling Good" comes on my Pandora line-up on my cell phone.  Unbelievable!  I get a huge smile on my face, a spring in my step, and tears well up in my eyes:  I'm gonna' make it! 


When I cross my starting point, marking 4 miles total, I start jumping around like Sly Stallone in "Rocky," throwing my arms up in victory, and prance around the trail.  Then I remember I'm out in public, gather myself together, slow down to a cool-down walk, and call my mother with the good news.  Keep in mind this is the first time I've ever done anything like this, and I'm 43 years old.


So yeah, now if you tell me I'm going to run a 10-mile race in 3 more months, not only am I going to believe you, but I won't ask what drugs you're on because I know you're speaking truth!  It really does get easier, and I'm living proof.

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Comment by Tim Bergsten on March 10, 2011 at 4:58pm
YES! Way to go Stephanie! Great blog ... One step at a time.

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