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No Love for Georgia Race Bandit Who Crashed a Marathon for Selfies

Last week Kelly Roberts ran a New York half marathon and quickly became known as the runner who took selfies with hot guys. Inspired by the silliness, a Georgia woman decided she would do the same thing, only, oopsie, she snuck into the marathon and then bragged about it. A collective, “oh no she di’unt” was heard throughout the running community.

Selfie shenanigans may be tolerated but “banditing” will not.

The Georgia Race Bandit snapped this pic at the beginning and titled it, “The ‘Waiting to Start the Race in a Corral You Snuck Into Because You Don’t Have a Bib Number’ Selfie.”

Georgia Bandit 1

Beware the Bandits

In runner’s lingo, a “bandit” is someone who participates in a race without paying the entry fee. Some latitude will be given to those who jump in for a few minutes of jogging encouragement, but make no mistake, they’re still being watched. Spend too much time on the course and daggers will start shooting from the eyes of legit bib-wearing runners.

Frankly, I was surprised by the backlash. I figured people would write the Georgia Bandit off as a copycat trying to mimic a fun idea that had already been done. Since I’m a mediocre jogger, not a runner, I didn’t realize that within this fit band of brothers and sisters their lies a code. Thou shalt not bandit a race and bogart the swag. I’m paraphrasing, of course.


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Dani Holmes-Kirk Lost 82 Pounds and Completed a Half Marathon on Her Birthday

Dani Holmes-Kirk has a smile that is infectious, and a personality that exudes so much happiness, it comes right through her emails. I’ve never met her in person, but I’d like to think we would get along famously, until she tried to make me run. Dani is a runner, a marathon-er and blogs about her adventures at, “Weight Off My Shoulders.”

It’s hard to believe that a few short years ago she led a sedentary lifestyle and battled an eating disorder. Today, Dani is 82 pounds lighter and she’s keeping it off thanks to smarter food choices and her rekindled love of running.

dani collage 1

This is Dani’s true weight loss story - 

When did your weight struggles begin? For as long as I can remember I was overweight. I can look back at a certain picture of me on the beach in my bathing suit when I was maybe 3 or 4 and thinking, wow, I even had a little belly then. I remember being made fun of in 7th grade and getting MOOed at by a passing car. The overweight mentality was burned into my brain for a long time.


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Kim Emert Lost Nearly 100 Pounds – “I Signed Up For My First 5K and Never Looked Back.”

Last fall, Kim Emert ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and finished with a time of 4:35:39. It was her second marathon and she did it with a 23-minute personal record. For Kim, the event was another milestone in her weight loss journey and proof that all her hard work over the last few years is paying off. The 34-year-old wife and mother from Tennessee has lost 86 pounds, and she did it the way you might expect a runner to, by pacing herself and taking one step at a time.

Kim Emert Collage

“I was average and active as a child,” Kim explained. “My weight struggles began later in life. After marriage, kids and my first sit-down desk job. I made poor food choices, overate and made excuses about why I didn’t exercise.” Like many women, Kim lost a significant amount of weight after her first child, only to gain it all back during her second pregnancy, which put her back at square one. “This wasn’t my first time on the weight loss wagon,” she said. “It wasn’t until my son was 2 that I decided to do this for real and for good because my kids and family needed me. I wanted to be healthy and active for myself and them.”

Kim has been successful with her weight loss because she started with the right mindset. Instead of using starvation tactics or falling for the get-skinny-quick promises of some diet programs, she simply relied on, dedication and determination saying, “I cleaned up my diet and started hitting the gym. Once I got into a regular routine I  took up running and signed up for my first 5k. I haven’t looked back!”


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4 People Who Lost 480 Pounds! Our Fave 2013 True Weight Loss Stories

Happy New Year! Did you wake up this morning with a champagne hangover and the vague recollection of declaring that in 2014 you’ll get healthy and lose weight? If so, you’re not alone. Each year, weight loss is one of the most popular resolutions, and one of the hardest to stick with. At Diets In Review, we celebrate this dedication every Saturday with our True Weight Loss Story (TWLS) segment where we highlight the journey of men and women who have lost at least 50 pounds, safely, and without using fad diets.

True Weight Loss stories 2013

The True Weight Loss Story is inspiring to write and I genuinely root for these people who have fought illness, loss, heartbreak, injury and more, all to get healthy for themselves, and often their families. Once their story has posted I often wonder, “where are they now?” Recently, I tracked down four of our favorite TWLS participants of 2013 to find out.

Greta Funk -

greta collage resize

Greta Funk is our teeny mama of four who struggled with portion control and poor diet choices. After four pregnancies, the weight slowly crept on and didn’t budge. After seeing pictures of herself that she didn’t recognize, Greta tried commercial diet plans but eventually realized that she could have just as much success by using her MyFitness Pal app to gauge portions and make fruits and veggies a staple in her diet.

The picture below shows Greta when she hit her 500-mile run mark this year. Pure joy!

Greta way after

Today, Greta is maintaining her weight loss by running 3-5 times per week. She’s currently in training for the Disney half-marathon in 2014. “Last January, I made myself a goal to run 500 miles in 2013,” she said. “And by the end of December, I should be close to 650 miles this year.” Greta knows she has trouble maintaining portion sizes when she stops tracking but for now, all that running is off-setting any extra holiday nibbling. Total weight lost: 50 Pounds!

Eli Sapharti -

Eli Sapharti resize collage

Eli Sapharti was on a business trip when an airport cashier made an offhand remark that may have saved his life, “You know, you’re very good looking for a big guy.” Bullied as a child, Eli knew “big guy” was just a nice way of saying, “overweight.” By making small changes, the first being to eliminate soda and walk for just 15 minutes a day, he gradually lost pounds and inches. Instead of overwhelming himself with an overhauled diet and rigorous workout routine, Eli made changes he knew he could stick with.

The “big guy” is now a Muscle Club Finalist -

Eli Way After

Eli is a motivational speaker whose book, From Fat Boy to Fit Man, chronicles is journey and details the plan that helped him achieve success. So much success, in fact, that he recently made it to the top 3 spot (out of 330) in the Muscle Club Apparel spokes model search contest. Currently, he’s training for the Miami ING half-marathon.  ”I truly hope this inspires and motivates others to realize that anything is possible if we believe,” he said. “Persevere and consistently take one step at a time.” Total weight lost: 105 pounds!

Angela VanBuskirk - 

angela van buskirk

Angela VanBuskirk is our rockstar who lost 70 pounds, TWICE! After losing a significant amount of weight with the help of a personal trainer, doctors discovered an aggressive bone tumor that destroyed her femur and hip joint. Though the tumor was benign, the invasive surgery to insert pins and a titanium rod, coupled with a lengthy recovery period caused her to gain back 100 pounds. In 2011, she found out she was going to be a grandmother. Though Angela was in her early 40s, she felt tired knew she needed a life-change. “I wanted to be the cool active Grandma GiGi who takes her granddaughter to Disney World,” she said. “I wanted to watch her be a kid, and be one with her.”

Angela finishing her 20th 5K race of 2013 -

angela way after

After losing weight with the help of a commercial weight loss program and walk/running program, she is just shy of her goal to be in “one-derland” (weight in the 100s) by January 2014. This year, she competed in TWENTY 5K races, one half-marathon and one 10K. She’s currently in training to run the Nike Women’s Half-marathon in Washington DC in April with the Leukemia Lymphoma society team in training.  Her mother is in lymphoma remission. Her advice for holiday eating: “Love the special delights that only come around this time of the year,” she urged. ” What you don’t need are those crappy cookies that you can eat any time. Save indulgences for the magnificent things that are truly a delicious treat.” Total weight lost: 75 pounds!

Josh Steele - 

Josh Steele - Before and After

Josh Steele has one of the biggest weight loss stories we’ve ever featured. Although his 7-foot-tall frame allowed him to carry a few extra pounds, when he tipped the scales at 600 pounds, Josh knew he needed help. He wrote to the Biggest Loser on several occasions but was never chosen for the show. Eventually, Josh embraced his own inner Dolvett, Jillian and Bob, and decided he could be successful by following the old-school rule of weight loss, “eat less and move more.”  He started with the Chris Powell Carb Cycling Plan and then just got up and moved – and kept moving – until he had lost over 250 pounds.

josh way afterJosh today after weight loss and skin-reduction surgery -

Due to his significant weight loss, Josh recently had 11 pounds of skin removed from his chest and stomach. Recovering from surgery has put a temporary damper on his gym time but he continues to eat “clean,” and work out as doctors allow.  In a few weeks he’s scheduled to take his ACSM certified personal training exam. After that, he’ll be able to train at FIT Personal Training where he lives in Wabash. He’s excited for the opportunity to give back, saying, “Once certified I will be picking a pay it forward client to train free for 6 months.” Total weight lost: 250 pounds!

If you or someone you know has lost at least 50 pounds and would like to inspire others next year, please send a request to Dani Stone at danistone1@gmail.com for more information.

Also Read:

Jillian Michaels Overtakes Weight Watchers on 2013 Most Popular Diets of the Year

7 Years Younger in 7 Weeks. That’s the Good Housekeeping Promise for the New Year

Our Top Food Trend Predictions for 2014

 



Start the Year with a Commitment Day 5K

New Year’s resolutions. Are you making one this year? If you’re like most Americans, you’ll resolve to take better care of yourself. And if you’re even more like most Americans, you’re not sure where to start. Consider starting on the first of January, with a commitment, a Commitment Run, that is.

NYE race

The Commitment Day 5K is a nationwide, family-friendly run/walk. The purpose is for people to help start a national conversation about living a healthier life. The races take place all over the country and have partnered with the American Heart Association to support their “My Heart, My Life” healthy living initiative. By joining in this run or walk on January 1st, you are helping the American Heart Association (AMA) reach their goal of improving cardiovascular health of all Americans. (No time to register and train? Commit to doing a 5K in early 2014 then use our guide to help you select the right one.)


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