Dream A Better Dream

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When I was contacted by SparkPeople and asked to write about the trials and tribulations of weight loss maintenance, I immediately wrote back and asked Stepfanie how she knew that I had three teenagers in high school?  Tool number 1 for keeping off the weight – a good sense of humor helps!

I’d like to start out by telling you some of my weight loss history and talking to you about your dreams for yours. 

I realized one day at work when I had trouble walking up three flights of stairs after a fire drill that I was in terrible shape.  That same week I was approached by four brave souls who asked me to join a "Biggest Loser" contest.  At first I was stunned, but I now look back in extreme gratitude that friends would step out in intervention to help me.

My dream at that time was just to lose 20 pounds.  I never dreamed I’d lose 95 pounds and keep it off.  My dream was small, but I was committed to it.  I wrote on the memo of my check for the competition “The Winner.”  I was so confident that I could lose that 20 pounds, and I did--and I won.  The second time around I wasn’t such a good dreamer.  I entered but didn’t believe I could win, and I didn’t.  But the good news was that I continued to lose and workout.

Fast forward to a new job, where they were starting a 90 Day Wellness Challenge, and you have the happy ending to my story.  I was introduced to SparkPeople as a part of that challenge and I have never looked back.  I dreamed big that day and wanted to win the challenge for the prize of a complete Wii Fit system right before Christmas.  I won and just kept on dreaming after that.

I read a blog by Coach Nicole in 2009 about her first 5k and thought why not run in my own 5k? I started running then.  In 2010, my best friend and I did three 5ks and improved our speed and weight loss together.  I use the term speed loosely, of course, because it wasn’t fast, and maybe wasn’t even pretty, but we did it.  I celebrated my one year SparkPeople anniversary  and had even bigger dreams.

I remember the day we were leaving a sporting goods store after picking up some new gear.  I asked Susie how many races she wanted to run in 2011 and she didn’t even hesitate – let’s do 12, she said!  We’ve had some crazy races through our journey.  My biggest dream was to run in and finish my first half marathon this year and I did that in March and that’s when I thought, "I’ve been hanging around Coach Nancy too long!"

Just joking Nancy – you’re one of my inspirations!  I’ve also had the joy of running with my daughter (in a tutu no less)! I’ve also struggled through some difficult races and times too. I’ve celebrated (my second SparkPeople anniversary and love this site and this community more every day.

So looking back now, it’s easy to see the scope of the dream I could have started out with.  How about you?  Do you believe in your ability to win this race toward a healthy lifestyle?  Do you have a big dream or a little one?  Can you imagine going from this:


to this AFTER:

If we can do this, then so can you.  Will you join in the dream with us? What questions do you have about losing 95 pounds--and keeping it off?

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KITTYHAWK1949 10/24/2019
WTG. Thanks Report
ANNIEMAROO 3/12/2019
You are an inspiration - you both look great! I am going to look at the 5 km running program you mentioned. It might just be what I need follow... Report
Excellent Report
CECELW 1/7/2019
Oh wow! What a great, encouraging story Report
thanks Report
What is inspirational story. Great job! Report
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. Report
Highly motivating Report
Absolutely Report
way to go Report
Now, that's what's up! They are Sparksisters and we can be there next contenders! Whoo, hoo and way to go! Report
You ladies are AWESOME!
I'm officially inspired. Report
Saved you to my favorites. You're an example of making dreams come true. Report
YOU are an INSPIRATION!!! Thank you for sharing your Joy with us, you've brightened our Journey to better Health & a Longer, Active Life!! Congrats!!!! Report
Congradulations ladies! I did 2 5K walks this year. The feeling of completing them even if I didn't win was total excitement!! Report
So inspiational! Report
So amazing!! Thank you for sharing your story. Just amazing! You both look fab, BTW. Report
Congratulations! I believe in dreams coming true! Report
What a difference! I wouldn't have recognized either of you. Congratulations! Report
WOW! what progress! Report
Michelene, you are such an inspiration to so many including me. You are amazing and my 911 when I am at the end of my rope. love ya girlie, so cool to see your blog on here!!!!!!!! Report
Absolutely awesome before & after pictures! Congrats and thanks for sharing your story with us! Report
What an inspiration you are! I used to run, a long time ago, and I let my dream fall. But I really do feel inspired to pick it back and run with it!! No pun intended. Thank you for sharing with us. The thing is , we have to stay the road and don't look back!! Report
Very inspirational! I'm still on my journey to lose 100 lbs. and so far I'm down 57 lbs. I have inspired several friends with my weight loss and hope that they will check into sparkpeople like I have. Report
Amazing! That was extremely motivating! Thank you. Report
What a motivational story. I am so happy for you to follow through and keep looking at the dream. My dream I have always wanted people tell me that it would not look good on me and that is to get to 150. I am going to get there. Your story does incourages me to keep my dream and to work hard to get to it. I haven't started running but I to am doing the 5k walk. Hopefully soon, walk/jog.
Love the blog and the two of you look amazing. I in the progress of becoming a runner again myself. You absolutely right I can do it to. Thanks for the added motivation to keep running. Report
Wow you are looking amazing just awesome!

Thanks for the inspiration Report
This is just so inspirational! Thanks for the boost! Report
You two look awesome! Congratulations on your weight loss and your finishing your races. That is a great accomplishment. Your story is inspiring and I hope all your dreams come true! Keep on dreaming!!!! Report
How interesting that having a goal and competing to reach it (even if it´s with one´s self) is so motivating. You both look (and feel) wonderful.
I am so inspired by your success. I find myself never quite getting to that goal so hope I can do it this year. Take care and keep smiling and having fun!! Report
Whoa... what a fabulous transformation!!! Great job, both of you!!! Thanks for your story! Report
Wow, you ladies look fantastic! Thanks for an inspiring story. Report
thank you for the inspirational story, definitely a motivator, you two look great! Report
Wow! what an amazing job! Report
BIG CONGRATS to you both. You don't even look the same. Much prettier now. Happy Holidays to you! Report
You guys look amazing! Good job! Report
Wow! Amazing & inspiring!!
Fabulous! Thanks so much for the inspiring blog. Report
Awesome job ladies! You both look fantastic! Be proud of your great accomplishments. Thanks for inspiring me today! Enjoy your day in the Sparklight! Congrats and best wishes for continued success! Report
Wow! You are such an inspiration! I just signed up for my very first 5K on New Years Day - And although I know it won't be pretty or fast, I am determined "just do it". Thank you for being a shining example! Report
Wow! I saw your before pics and then the after! I was just amazed at the difference of you two.

I would like to know how you managed to keep your dream alive to win? What did you use for reinforcements? I struggle so hard to keep going...

Congratulations you two! Report
You're an inspiration for sure. I'm trying to stay on track and when I read inspiring stories like yours it really helps. Thanks for posting it and congratulations on your fabulous achievment.
You girls look amazing!! How wonderful to have such a awesome racing partner...and I am talking to both of you! Your story is inspiring! Report
So proud of you Mich! I'm proud to call you friend, proud to run with you and love the fact that you are a regular now!! Keep inspiring us!

Proud of Susie too.....and yep, proud to call her friend!! Report
Love it! You both look fabulous and it's great that you're doing this together. Thanks for sharing your journey! Report
Not sure which lady you are in the pic, but both of you look great! Report