Strong Together Fall 2014—Week 2 - MetroFamily Magazine
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Strong Together Fall 2014—Week 2

by Hannah Schmitt

Reading Time: 9 minutes 

Welcome to Week 2 of our Strong Together Fall 2014 Training Program! We are so excited that you are sharing this fitness journey with us and we look forward to providing you with the tools and expertise that you need to get fit.

Here's a welcome from Coach Sara:

Congratulations on completing week 1 of the Sofa2Success program!! I hope everyone had successful workouts and is even more motivated than before.

This training plan is a beginning plan geared for those who have a minimal running/walking base built previously. If it has been quite some time since you have been regularly active, I encourage you to follow this plan closely as possible. I know schedules can be overwhelming so workouts may need to be cut short on some days, and that is okay. As long as you can fit in at least two run/walks during the week and one longer run on the weekend you will be fine; just remember the more consistent you can be, the stronger you will become.

The goal of this program is to fit your busy lifestyle, not overwhelm you. If you know that Tuesdays are always jammed full and adding a run into that day just causes stress, then switch that run on a different day. Take a few minutes to plan your workouts each week. When you schedule a time in your day, you are more likely to actually follow through with your run.

Some participants have mentioned they already have a decent activity level built previous to our program. In this case you may find you are already ahead of the first couple of weeks. No problem! Use this as an opportunity to work on your core and strength training or just simply add in another day of running. Do however, make sure that you rest and give your body enough time to recover in between workouts to prevent over training and injuries.

If you weren't quite as successful as you wanted to be last week, don't give up. You still have plenty of time to get in the training routine. Set those alarms a few minutes earlier, put away your phone/computer and just get moving! Your body will thank you in the end!

As we continue with training I will provide more nutritional tips and suggestions. One of the most important things to remember is to stay hydrated. Your core temperature can increase to dangerous levels very quickly. Take breaks when needed and make sure you keep water close. Follow these tips pre and post run to prevent dehydration. If you still aren't sure if you're taking in enough liquid, use your urine as a guide. A light yellow is optimal to maintain throughout the day, a dark yellow to orange color means you are dehydrated and need to hydrate as soon as possible.

(Pre run) Get 20-24 ounces of water to drink 20-30 minutes before beginning your run or workout.
(During your run) About every 20 minutes get an additional 4-6 ounces of water. Consider a little more fluid and/or electrolyte mix for runs.
(Post run) Recovery should be another 20 ounces of water and/or electrolytes.
Read this guide for tips on running in the heat.

Your "To-Do's" for this week are:

  • Follow the Week 2 schedule in the Sofa2Success training plan.
  • Meet our bloggers! Follow "Extreme Weight Loss" star Georgeanna Johnson, Christina Mushi-Brunt, Piper Riggs, and Shannon Snow as they share their inspiring stories about Strong Together and the road to fitness.
  • Register for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K and join our Strong Together group! Click "Join Strong Together" on the right side, and set a personal fundraising goal for yourself. Enter "STRONG" in the discount code area to receive $10 off.
  • Join the Strong Together Facebook group. Post any questions or concerns that you may have to this group and/or arrange to meet up with other participants in your area if you want to train with others.
  • It's never too late to invite someone! Sign up a friend here.

We asked our Strong Together Fall 2014 bloggers this week to tell us a little about their motivation to get healthy and fit. Read their inspiring answers below.



From Georgeanna: 

Being a part of Strong Together is exactly what I need to stay accountable and stay focused on my fitness. Even though I lost 165 pounds, I am still on a journey. Losing weight doesn’t mean I’ve arrived. It means I am just getting started on a lifelong commitment to staying healthy.

One of the biggest obstacles for me when starting my wellness journey was that I didn’t know how to get started. I also felt very alone. It wasn’t until Chris Powell chose me for "Extreme Weight Loss" that I realized I had support. By being on the show I knew he was going to provide the information I needed to lose weight. That’s when I began to feel I could succeed. 

Strong Together is doing the same thing for you! You have the support of all the women who are in this group along with me. In addition, you have the running plan given to you by runhers. It’s a great way to get moving. They have taken all of the “whats” and “hows” and made it so easy for you to get started. Take advantage of it.  Connect with the women around you. Connect with me on social media, too! Let me know how your training is going. I want to hear about your moments of success.  

he first time I was able to run a 5k, I was just running through my neighborhood, and I realized I was going to be able to keep running straight through with no walking breaks. I ran into my driveway just as my app said I had run 3.1 miles, and I burst into tears. I was so overwhelmed with a feeling of accomplishment. I had come from 315 pounds, unable to run 200 meters, to running a 5k all on my own!

I know that if I can do it, you can do it, too. Not everyone will run the entire race, but the fact that you are getting started is what matters. In the past, I would start something then let it fall away. I would try to eat better, and then stop. I would walk in the mornings for a few days, and then stop. I finally learned when I told myself I was going to do something, I had to do it! I wasn’t going to shortchange myself anymore. My health mattered, and most importantly, I mattered. I began to keep small promises to myself. I drank more water and began to workout. I loved the feeling that I experienced when I was able to build trust in myself. 

I want to encourage you to do the same. Keep this promise to yourself. As you begin this journey, commit to finish. Commit to sticking to the training schedule. Commit to the Saturday training runs. Commit to running the Susan G. Komen OKC Race for the Cure. When your life gets busy in the coming weeks, remember this commitment: Your health matters. You matter! 

I cannot wait to share in your success as we cross the finish line together in October! 

From Christina: 

It is interesting that the first topic for our weekly blog is motivation. As a behavioral scientist and college professor, I am well-versed in the theory of motivation. I teach about motivation in health behavior change theory courses to undergraduate and graduate students year-round. However, it is one thing to know and teach it, it is another to apply it. Motivation is an interesting concept; one that requires a concept known as “value-expectancy” (the value we place on achieving a task/engaging in a behavior and the expectation we have of succeeding in a task). Without motivation, it is difficult to move from thinking about a behavior change to actually doing it.

For me, a bunch of life circumstances (a diagnosis of a rare gestational trophoblastic tumor and thyroid cancer within three months of the premature birth to our youngest child; biopsies, surgeries, radiation treatment, PET scans, etc) that occurred all at once in 2012 reduced my motivation to be physically active. I valued spending time with and taking care of my family more than worrying about myself; I wanted to create a sense of normalcy for my family and friends.  I also didn’t expect to succeed because I felt that I didn’t have the time or energy to exercise. Bottom line, I had very little motivation to get fit.

We moved to Oklahoma City in July 2014 and it feels like a ‘reset’ button has been pressed on my life. I am officially ‘cancer-free’ and I am motivated to take control of my health to remain cancer-free. While I know that adopting a healthier lifestyle isn’t a guarantee that my cancer won’t return, I now value physical activity as a means of maintaining my overall wellbeing. I value the benefits of being fit enough to play tennis with my five-year-old daughter who has recently developed an interest; or to run alongside my eight-year-old son on the basketball court; or to I have tumbling contests with my two-year-old. 

Strong Together appealed to me because it requires what is known as ‘intrinsic motivation,’ motivation that is driven from within. While Strong Together gives us training advice from knowledgeable experts and a support network of women with a similar goals, at the end of the day we, individually, make the choice to utilize the resources on our own terms, to our own benefit. There’s no carrot at the end of the stick (mmm…carrots might be a good snack right about now) to give us temporary motivation. We are driven to do this for our own sakes. I want this for my sake, which will ultimately have a downstream impact on my family. I have experienced first-hand how important Mama’s wellbeing is to her family. We laugh more when I’m in a good place. We play more when I’m in a good place. Life is too short to not play and laugh when you have the chance to do so.  A healthier me is a healthier family (inside and out).

From Shannon: 

Every mom has her own reasons to get fit. It is personal and unique to each. Some moms want to “lose the baby weight,” some choose to get fit because of health reasons like to lose weight and some chose to get fit to feel better mentally. I had goals, for example, to weigh a certain weight, to run a 5K, to beat my personal record in my 5K and then eventually the goal to run the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon. My goals are constantly changing.

Find a reason to start to join the Strong Together program. Once you find your why, tell someone or write it down privately. My motivation to be a part of this program is that I know the importance of being a part of a program when it comes to getting exercise and wellness to be surrounded with like-minded individuals who share the same goals.

I have lost 50 pounds over the course of the last school year! It was slow, no fancy pills or diets. Just hard work (exercise) and eating healthier, although I didn’t cut out any single type of food. Nothing was off-limits. Sometimes I had to tell myself, “I don’t eat that”  and eventually I began to believe it. I had a support group and we motivated each other.

Find a 5K such as the Susan G. Komen OKC Race for the Cure, and find your reason to run. Unfortunately my mother-in-law passed away in 2013 with breast cancer, and you may personally be impacted with this horrible cancer. Now for the plan, and how to become a runner. Use a program like Sofa2Success that will allow you to have a plan and a goal. Running helps me personally to become a better mom, wife and friend. Put yourself first, and your family will benefit. I feel mentally and emotionally a better after I run, or crosstrain. It truly has changed my life. Is it easy? After a year of running, it is still tough. The first mile is the hardest. No, it is not easy, but is it worth it? Yes! 

From Piper: 

In November of 2012, only six months after marrying the love of my life, we got a huge surprise and after seven positive pregnancy tests (yes, seven) we found out we were pregnant. While some people would have been ecstatic, I actually fell on the bed in a puddle of tears. I had no idea what we were going to do with a baby and felt very overwhelmed. A couple of weeks passed and the excitement grew inside of me, most days it took everything I had not to tell every single person I came into contact with.

At roughly eight weeks pregnant, something did not feel right and I later found out that I had a miscarriage. The Monday after we lost the baby, I actually began a new career and did everything possible to forget about it. I pushed all of my feelings and emotions aside and did not take any time to take care for myself. We were extremely lucky in that I did get pregnant again about six months later with our sweet baby boy, who is healthy and brings more joy to our family than I ever thought possible. While all these experiences have molded who I am, one thing has become clear: taking care of my mental health and physical wellness had not been a priority for a really long time.

I fell into the trap of putting everything ahead of myself. There were errands to run, mouths to be fed, and a nagging voice inside of me that always said I would start exercising tomorrow. Well, tomorrow came and it just never happened. Finding the Strong Together group has given me a built-in motivational team to work with on my journey back to a fit and healthy me.

You only get one chance at the body you have been given and being able to play with my son, go on runs with my husband and enjoy our time together to the fullest is the reason I am ready to become healthy. While some may look at this journey as being selfish, I know the changes I make will not only trickle down to my son but also be a great example to others. I have the ability to positively impact my family and it is my hope that by participating in the Strong Together group, I will be able to encourage those around me who are looking for their motivation.

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