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Take pride . . . and have faith!

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GETFIT2LIVE is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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"The miracle is not that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." John "The Penguin" Bingham

"to be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

- ee cummings, poet

Hi, I'm Denise--welcome to my page! I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest outside of Seattle, Washington. I am happily married to my best friend (over 30 years now), mom to one beautiful grown daughter and son-in-law, and grandma to the most amazing little boy in the world.
I am DONE with the roller coaster ride of diet, lose weight, cheat a little, gain a little, lose a bit more, gain even more. I have been on nearly every diet and program there is with varying degrees of success but always seem to end up gaining back everything, but that is the past, and I am DONE with the unhealthy patterns of the past. I am trading in the old way of doing things for a new, healthy way of life that lasts, and SparkPeople is a big part of that.

I have discovered new energy, enthusiasm, and strength within that I never knew were there. My battle is not with food or exercise but with old ways of thinking and responding to life. This is a battle that can be won if we do not lose heart and give up!

In the time since I started seriously using SparkPeople, so much has changed for me. I have lost weight, yes, but I've developed a love for healthy foods, exercise, and especially running. I'm finally beginning to realize that I AM an athlete, because athletes come in all shapes and sizes.

The tools here on SparkPeople are great, but even better is the community that I've found and the friends that I have made along the way. Spark Friends encourage, inspire, and give a loving kick in the pants when it's needed. Thank you--keep sparking!

I am currently working towards being able to run a full 5K, something I never thought I would be able or even WANT to do [DONE!!]. I'm blogging here to help keep me accountable and motivated as well as tracking my food and fitness. My ultimate goal is to just keep moving forward and not settle for less than a healthy, active lifestyle--because I am worth the effort.
Update September 20, 2010:

I am now down over 50 pounds from where I started in January and nearly halfway to my long-term goal. I reached ONEDERLAND (that magical point where the number on the scale starts with a '1') for the first time in years. I'm running regularly and working to extend the distances that I run to a 10K, half marathon, and who knows, maybe a marathon one day.

I'm enjoying life more every day and discovering strength and ability that I never believed were in me. If this kind of change is possible for me, it is possible for anyone. Never, never, never give up!
Update December 1, 2010:

I am now down over 60 pounds from the start of the year, and to say my life has changed is a mild understatement. I am doing things that I would never have imagined at the start of this journey! I've run/walked several 5Ks, one 8K and one 10K, with at least one more 5K to go this month; I've hiked 6+ miles a couple of times; I run and work out regularly; and I'm planning to do some snowshoeing as well as skiing if the budget allows this winter. I went from virtually NO exercise (and hating to exercise) to completing over 18,500 activity minutes so far and loving to run and work out.
Update January 11, 2011:

This is what I consider my real SparkVersary; a year ago is when I began to seriously use the site. I've lost 67 pounds, gained muscle and confidence, made so many wonderful friends, and become a runner. I've run that full 5K race and am now working towards a half marathon. Who'd a thunk that a chubby unathletic girl like me would one day be running and loving it? It's amazing what can happen once a spark is lit; with the right nurturing and fuel, it can turn into a fire. Find your own spark and keep it growing!
Update September 1, 2011:

It's hard to believe that I've been here virtually every day, tracking food, water, and interacting with some amazing people for 20 months now. I have not yet reached my weight loss goal, but I am continuing to make progress. Weight loss has become secondary to a healthy lifestyle, because being healthy and active for life is what really matters to me. As of this date, I have completed three half marathons, one 12K, two 10Ks, and about a dozen 5Ks, with more on the schedule. In 2010, I ran 235 miles between March and December; so far in 2011, I've run over 600 miles and counting, more than twice as far. I'm working on building more muscle through strength training as well as improving my running speed and endurance. This has been an incredible journey and transformation so far, and it's not over yet--I can't wait to see what's next. Life truly is an adventure to be lived passionately!
Update November 29, 2011

What a year it has been! I'm down almost 100 pounds now, which was my original goal when I started here in January 2010. I couldn't imagine back then being able to lose that much, but now I know it is not only possible, I am going to go beyond that. I'm not sure what my ultimate goal weight will be, but I'm close to it--maybe 15-25 pounds away. I set a goal at the beginning of the year of running one race a month, with one or two of those being half marathons; well, to date I've run 15 official (and 2 unofficial) races: 7 half marathons, one 10-miler, one 12K, one 10K, one 4-miler, and four 5Ks. Three more are scheduled for December--one 5K, one 10K, and one half marathon. No one told me races could become so addictive--especially half marathons! I'm Half Fanatic #1279 . . .
Update January 3, 2012

It's hard to believe I'm coming up on my (unofficial) two-year anniversary here on SparkPeople, but I am a different person today because of this place. Last year I set a goal to participate in one race a month; I didn't meet that goal, I blew it out of the water by doing 18 races. I wanted to run a half marathon, then added a second (and a third and on); by the end of the year, I had completed 8 half marathons. Running and being active is now second nature to me, something I could never have imagined when I started with SP.

So what is ahead in 2012? I am going to work on losing the last stubborn pounds. I don't have a firm 'goal weight' in mind so much as a goal range, so I'm aiming to lose another 15-25 pounds. I'm also planning on doing fewer races this year (though there are so many fun ones available, it's hard to choose!) and will be working toward doing a full marathon in June.

Anything is possible if you will start making small changes that move you forward in the right direction. Circumstances may not ever line up perfectly, but beginning is half the battle; need to exercise but can't find the motivation? Stop analyzing and just start. Put on the clothes and start with 5 or 10 minutes; chances are it will feel good enough that you want to do more. Having trouble keeping your calories in check? Just start tracking your food, then start making small changes. They really do add up!
Update March 5, 2012

I finally met my original goal to lose at least 100 pounds! That doesn't mean I'm done; there is more work to be done in becoming stronger and more fit. My focus now is more on toning and strengthening my muscles than on losing weight; I'd like to lose maybe another 10 pounds, but as I continue to eat healthy, do strength training, and run, I suspect those will slowly come off. It's hard to be dissatisfied with wearing size 6-8 and small when I wore size 20-22 and 2X just two years ago! I'm excited to start transitioning toward maintenance while supporting and encouraging all my Spark Friends. I never expected to be considered a motivator or an inspiration to anyone else, but if I can do this, anyone can--it IS possible to make a lifestyle change!
Update September 6, 2012

My weight has settled at 108 pounds down total. That's just above a healthy BMI (by about 4 pounds--so close!). I had my body fat analyzed in a Bod Pod, and as I suspected, my body fat percentage is higher than I'd like it to be (36.6%), so my primary goal now is to reduce that down to around 30% or slightly less. That means time to get serious with strength training along with my running as well as evaluate the quality of the food I'm eating. I'm not aiming to be a fitness model, just a healthy, fit, active woman; that's achievable!

Update February 19, 2013

I am in maintenance now and actively working out what it takes to keep the weight off for life. My life is so radically different now than when I started with SparkPeople. I'm a regular at my gym, I'm active and running 15-25 miles or more a week, and I'm thoroughly enjoying trying new things and ways of being active. I've recently taken on the challenge of raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation as a walker in the 60-mile 3-Day. I love my life!

Member Since: 7/26/2009

Fitness Minutes: 156,272

My Goals:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy BMI ; gone from 44.6 (morbid obesity) to 25!
- Run or walk 4-6X a week
- Strength train 2-3X a week
- Repeat for LIFE!

My Program:
- Tracking food and exercise here on SP
- Monitoring my calorie burn vs. intake with a BodyMedia FIT
- Keeping a journal or blog
- Connecting with SparkFriends for mutual support and accountability
- Participating in team challenges
- Running
- Regular strength training
- Exercise bike
- Hiking
- Anything else active that I can think of to do!

Personal Information:
Seattle area

Other Information:
The choice is mine to make, and I choose to be DONE with the past, DONE with old habits, DONE with excuses, DONE waiting for 'someday,' DONE with settling for less than all that I can be!

"Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells 'CAN'T", but you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper 'can.' And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are." - Unknown

"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."
- Aldous Huxley, writer

Read More About GETFIT2LIVE - Profile Information moved here. (Updated September 25)

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