I started my journey to healthy living the week of Thanksgiving 2009. At that point I was considered obese and weighed over 200 pounds. By August 2010 I’d lost 52 pounds and was prepping for my first half-marathon. Fast forward to today: I have completed six of these races and plan on more!
I cannot take all the credit for my success with healthy living; I have to credit my online support system. From the beginning, I chronicled my journey in blog posts, photos on Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Not only do I share my triumphs, but also my challenges. I found that being transparent has not only helped me get through difficult times, but it has helped others see that challenges are a part of the journey. I constantly remind myself that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Some days are going to be better than others, but overall I’ll be successful by sticking to it and never giving up. In addition to documenting my personal journey, I joined communities like The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, Mamavation and Another Mother Runner to surround myself with others on a journey to healthy living. We gain encouragement from each other, and on days when I just don’t want to do anything, these women push me to keep going.
My journey has not only been online, but I’ve been lucky enough to have my story profiled in print and on TV. It’s my hope that I can both inspire and encourage others by sharing my life. I feel a sense of accountability not only to myself but to the folks that have been following my journey.
I truly believe that having a support system is the key to a lifetime of active, healthy living. I know most people will not share the intimate details of their lives like I have, but you can find a support system that works for you. A friend that you can check in with daily can keep you on track. Meet in your neighborhood for a walk, run or bike ride but doing it together will certainly make it easier.
What do you do to stay motivated on the track to active, healthy living?
A self-confessed social media junkie, Renee leverages the power of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness of important social and health-related causes. Over the last year, Renée has lost over 50 pounds and utilized social media to document her journey.