Talk to anyone who’s ever run a marathon, a 5K, or any of the other Ks and they will tell you the best motivation is the crowd on the sidelines. The applause, and shouts of “come on, you can do it” are sometimes all the push they need to hoof it another mile.
Now, thanks to apps like Nike+ Running that sync with Facebook, runners can experience the same race-day rush during their daily trek through the neighborhood or park.
Angela VanBuskirk is an avid runner who participates in several races per year. She competes because they make her feel strong, alive, and also, she admits to being a medal hoarder – the bigger the better. The best thing by far, she says, are the cheering crowds.
“It’s a thing where your body is working so, so hard,” VanBuskirk explained. “You push harder than you ever knew you could and then seeing that finish line, hearing people who have never met screaming ‘YOU GOT THIS! GO! FINISH STRONG!’ It’s better than anything.”
“Out of nowhere you will hear the roar of a crowd, then another, it’s friggin awesome.”
She was introduced to the Nike+ Running app by her buddies in the Ozark Mountain Ridge Running Club. It offers the option to sync with your Facebook account and each time you run, the following message is delivered to your followers: Angela is out on a run with Nike -Send me cheers along the way by liking or commenting on this post.
Angela says it was a surreal but wonderful experience to hear the applause and cheering noises through her ear buds as each like and comment came in.
After years of looking for the weight loss “quick fix,” Ginnie Wade realized there was no shortcut, just hard work. Instead of joining an expensive gym or eating pricey organic food, her journey to a healthier life started with a ten dollar DVD. Now, 55 pounds lighter, Ginnie says she’s learned a lot and “really enjoyed the journey – mostly.”
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I started to put on weight when I was working as a dog groomer in my early 20’s. I didn’t get much exercise and would go home exhausted and eat whatever I could find or stop and get fast food. Then I had my first child and gained about 60 pounds. I stayed home with her and found myself around food all day. When I was bored, I would eat.
I was able to lose most of the weight at a local gym, but not long after I got to my goal weight, I started putting the weight back on. I only changed temporary things and went right back to my old lifestyle.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? One day my sister and I went shopping for a dress and nothing fit. I couldn’t understand why. That day my sister gave me painful but needed advice, “You’re fat and you need to do something about it.” I had been hearing the same thing from my doctor. After hearing it from my sister I knew I finally needed to make some changes.
How did you lose the weight? I purchased a 9.99 fitness DVD at Walmart. Even though the DVD had been there collecting dust for a year, I brushed it off and popped it in the VCR. I started slow and did what I could, aiming for three days a week. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. That helped me stay on track eating real food.
Kristy Brock remembers the day she saw the scale hit 300 pounds. “I felt like I had hit bottom,” she admitted. “I had no where to look but up, and I came to a place where I realized I had to surrender. I let go of the food issues. I wanted to be an example of self-control, love and life, not loss of control and laziness.”
Kristy Brock used a combination of “real food” and running to lose an amazing 93 pounds.
More from Kristy –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. Weight has been a personal struggle for me for as long as I can remember. I joined “Diet Workshop” in 4th grade and went from 90 pounds to 70. In high school I struggled with anorexia and bulimia. After high school I married someone who struggled with drug addiction, and I dealt with the stress of that by seeking comfort in food. I also had three children and gained weight with each of them.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I didn’t have any control over portion size, or what I was eating. I ate foods that tasted good and made me feel good. I felt like the food controlled me. I ate when I was bored, when I was tired, when I was stressed
What caused you to realize you needed to change? When the scale hit 300 pounds, it scared me. I had little to no energy, and had four active kids (two of whom are on the autism spectrum) to take care of. I started to feel like the “fat mom”, and was embarrassed for my kids. I kept thinking of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and how they felt about their obese mom.
Personal trainers are supposed to be the cheerleaders of the gym. Their role is to guide us through our weight loss journey by challenging us to work harder, demonstrating proper technique, answering questions, and giving the all-important pep talk. Unfortunately, they can also be overzealous, insensitive, inappropriate, and downright rude.
If you have a bad experience with a personal trainer but love your gym, it can seem like an inequitable fitness divorce. The personal trainer gets to keep the house (gym) with the pool while you sulk away with your bag of funky sweaty towels and workout clothes.
The Bored Trainer
After the birth of my second daughter I joined a local YMCA to get back in shape and eliminate my “bingo wings.” I was a tired mama looking for a beacon of weight loss hope. Instead, I was introduced to my personal trainer, the apathetic chubby lady babysitter. I talked about my goals. He yawned. I didn’t know how to turn on a stair climbing machine. He told me to get on, pushed all the buttons for me, and then watched Judge Judy on the gym TV while I tried not to pass out. (more…)
“I was always considered the big girl with a pretty face my entire life. From the age of 20 to 30 I gained over 100 pounds dealing with low self-esteem, taking care of two children and not taking care of me.” Cynthia Arnold says her weight never really bothered her, but as a diabetic with high blood pressure, she knew the extra pounds were taking a toll on her body.
One day, the woman who put everyone else first decided she needed to take top priority. “On May 6, 2013 I started to love me,” she admitted. “I dedicated one year to a journey of self-discovery and made a vow to get healthy.” After losing 76 pounds, Cynthia is declaring the journey a complete success, in more ways than one.
More from Cynthia in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Binge eating. I would go days without eating and then eat until I was sick. I didn’t know portion control and used food as a comfort zone. When I was sad, angry or depressed, food was my best friend.
How did you lose the weight? I realized that it was going to take discipline to get the rewards I was looking for, so I started out with NO white carbs at all for about a week so my body could detox from the sugar. After that I did no carbs after noon and tried to eat clean. I made sure I shopped the outer edges of the store, didn’t eat too much processed food and did lots of research.