Hey there HungryRunnerGirl Readers! My name is Theresa and while I do not have a blog of my own (yet, who knows, maybe someday!), I’m an avid blog reader myself. I have been a HRG reader for a while but only started commenting here recently.  I reached out to Janae to share my story with her and she encouraged me to share my story with all you readers out there so…here it goes.

I’m a running/health freak now, but I wasn’t always that way. I’m 26 and very athletic, and am at a great size for me, but I wasn’t always that way. For most of my life, I was quite overweight. My largest was almost to 400 pounds at the age of 22. I decided months after graduating college that I had had enough of being the way that I was.

OldMe2

Old me1

I began slowly, just simply walking on the treadmill for an hour a day. It was quite difficult even managing that, but I was determined. I made a complete overhaul of my diet as well. Educating myself about calories, portion sizes, etc. The weight slowly started coming off. I signed back up for the gym and began going daily, trying out different classes and machines. I really enjoyed being active. I lost around 120 pounds in the first year. I then lost another 80 pounds throughout the next year after that. I unfortunately became overly obsessed with calorie counting and exercising…essentially overexercising and undereating. I was cranky and moody and STARVING all the time. I was also unhappy because I was feeling terribly bored and cooped up being in the gym all the time.

One random September afternoon in 2008, I decided I wanted to go for a run outside and see how long I could last. It was beautiful outside, windy, with leaves all around. I ran a full 3.5 miles that day and I was in love. I signed up for my 1st 5k in November and ran it in 27:00. I was ecstatic and I couldn’t get enough of it.

1stHalfMarathon

Running was the thing that forced me to take a step back, and look at how I was treating my body. My self-esteem was still very low, so I would beat up on myself constantly (which was in the form of starvation). I quickly learned that I could have more energy to run if I would just eat more. I started to eat a more fully balanced diet and decided to sign up for a half marathon in September 2009. Gradually during training, I put on an extra 10 pounds. I was okay with this honestly, because I didn’t feel my body was meant to be that small. I was pretty bony in some areas, and my period wasn’t coming regularly. As soon as I started treating my body better, I felt really good, and became regular again.

Training for the half seemed daunting, but I threw myself into it wholeheartedly. Running was giving me a natural high, a certain euphoria that I wanted more of. I ran my first half in 2:17…it was raining but I loved every single moment of it. At this time in my life, I had become engaged to a boy I had been dating since I was 17. I loved him very much, but I was still unhappy. He loved me when I was bigger, and I know a part of me felt obligated to stay there. Besides that fact, he was not very supportive of my running goals and he had no problem allowing me to be very hard on myself about a lot of things. Running kept me sane, but I felt myself numbing out emotionally over the state of my relationship. I called off the wedding and broke up with him in October 2009.

I felt myself on a downward spiral. I threw myself into running, logging miles and miles in hopes that I could avoid the turmoil I was feeling over everything else. I let myself sink into a dark place emotionally. I began drinking more and slacking off on the hardcore workouts that I used to never miss. At this time, I met Kevin. He grew up in the town that I was currently living in and didn’t have a care in the world. He had suffered from leukemia as a teenager and it had almost killed him (he had heart failure and was in a coma for months, I was in disbelief as he told me his story) He was also a borderline alcoholic. We started dating in December 2009. We fell for each other quickly and this love was very different from what I had with my ex-fiance. He was caring and supportive in ways that I had never experienced before. But his lifestyle was obviously influencing my once very healthy lifestyle.

MeandKevin

I was still running, but I was also drinking much more then I had in the past. I began to feel the physical repercussions of what I was doing to my body. My body was rebelling against what I was doing to it and I knew that I would need to make a choice between continuing this lifestyle, or rededicating myself to my running. I decided to take a break from drinking and signed up for the Philly Rock and Roll ½ marathon in September. Kevin decided to support me and began his journey to sobriety (To this day, he has been sober a full year) After a couple weeks, I began to feel stronger. I was excited to be in training again.

Running was proving to be an essential tool for my emotional and mental stability. Kevin cheered me on as I ran the race in 2:14. That 2nd half was what really solidified what running was for me. It was all about balance in myself. It is one of those important passions to me that make life fulfilling. It taught me to truly take care of myself in a healthy manner. Kevin is one of the big loves of my life and running is my other one. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

1st5K

THANK YOU SO MUCH THERESA for sharing your story with us.  Seriously, the best part about blogging is the friendships that are made and the things we can learn from eachother!!!

I hope you have an amazing Sunday!!!

 

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95 comments

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This is an AMAZING story! 2:14 for a half marathon is awesome!

Thanks for sharing, how inspirational!

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Thank you for sharing such an amazing story! I have been struggling with my weight since I was a young girl and trying to get back into shape for 5 years now. There are times that I feel like it is so hard just to START to get in the habit. I loved reading this story, it makes me feel like I can do it too! Thanks Janae and Theresa, you are both inspiring!!!

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wow, this a truly inspirational story. I don’t think most people “need” a blog, but you definitely do. You should share this story with the world as well as your everyday struggles to maintain your weight loss. I think A LOT of people would benefit from your insight.

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MIA…I totally agree with you, I think that Theresa NEEDS to start a blog. I hope you are having a great day!

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Wow! I’m so glad you found running. I’m signed up for my first half marathon in December and I’m so excited. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad to meet you.

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What an inspirational story! Great job Theresa on taking control of your life and making decisions that work for you :D !

Last summer I did quite a bit of running and actually completed my first 10 km race. This past summer I was really busy planning my wedding to my wonderful hubby and running took a back seat. I am going to run inside at my gym over the winter this year and I plan to sign up for at least two races next summer (maybe even a half?) :) I really miss how I felt while running.

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Amazing story and you are absolutely beautiful!! You should start a blog!

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What an awesome story. Each of us has a “how I found running and it changed me” story. I love reading about others’ stories. :)

Congrats on the half!

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This story is amazing!! Thanks for sharing :)

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WOW!! truly inspiring. thanks so much for sharing your story! You really need to start a blog and have HRG inform us all when it begins so we can follow IMMEDIATELY!!!!

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What a beautiful story!

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Janae, thanks for giving Theresa a place to share her amazing story. Theresa, you are an inspiration to me and I’m sure others. Keep going girl!

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Thanks for sharing your journey with us… best of luck in the future and in your future half marathons! :)

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Such an inspiring story. I’m currently injured and have found that I love reading about how others are pushing themselves to get to where they want to be. Congratulations on your success and keep up the good work.

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JESSICA!! Girl, I am so sorry about your bum leg! How is PT going? If you ever want to email about the anxiety you are feeling about races coming up….I am YOUR woman!

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Thanks so much. I changed my blog address as I was having some issues.

I might need ya for the mental support…I feel like a caged animal not running! The elliptical isn’t the same.

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Loved reading your amazing story of overcoming and staying true to yourself! Thanks Janae for letting Theresa share!

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Thanks for sharing your struggles in your beautiful life story. It sounds like right now you and Kevin need each other for support with both of your healthy transformations! Congrats on your races and keep it up!

I too gained a lot of weight through life and after college lost 80 lbs. Running keeps a healthy weight, and necessary fueling in check. It is still a constant battle, but well worth it for a healthy life!

Good luck to you!

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JULIE!!! Congratulations on losing 80 lbs after college, you are incredible!! I am so happy you found running and that it has helped you so much. Thank you so much for your comment!

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What a wonderful story. You are a strong woman, Theresa! Keep it up! & Thanks Janae for giving Theresa the opportunity to share her story here =)

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BEAUTIFUL! I am on the journey you have been through and you are so very inspiring to me! I wish you had a blog :) Best of luck to you Theresa and keep on running!!!

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What a beautiful story!! Awesome, Theresa!

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That IS an awesome story!! Thank you for sharing :)
CONGRATS on all that you have accomplished!!! Keep on doin’ what your doin’ :D

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I really enjoyed this post. I can’t BELIEVE how much weight you lost. That must’ve been so challenging!!! BUT you know what….that beautiful face never changed :) you had it in every single pic you shared! I love this story and I hope Kevin continues to remain sober and you continue to run! You look fantastic.

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WOW! What a journey–and SO inspiring!

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i loved reading your story theresa! take the plunge and start a blog.. you won’t regret it. :)

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This is an amazing story! Very inspiring!

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Wow such an amazing story! Love it.

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Wow – that is an absolutely amazing story. Theresa, you are an inspiration!!

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So inspirational. Wow!!! As a newbie to running, you have inspired me to set that goal for a half!!! You need to definitely blog. I will be your first follower! Janae, thank you once again for sharing this with us. I have met so many people through your blog!!!!! Love you girl!

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What an awesome story!! Thank you so much for sharing!! You should totally start a blog and share this with everyone. You are one inspirational woman!

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What an amazing story! Congratulations Theresa on getting healthy, finding love, and having the courage to tell us about it :)

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My comment = a collection of all those above!

Congrats girl :)

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This was EXACTLY what I needed to read today. I began my weight loss/healthy living journey about 6 months ago and it’s still so easy for me to get off track and discouraged. It’s nice to see a success story from someone with a background closer to mine (not that I don’t love your running and biking success stories too, Janae!). Teresa’s story was just what I needed to reaffirm my commitment to myself and my health. I’m bookmarking this post so I can refer back to it when I start to get lost. Thank you so much Teresa for sharing, and thank you Janae for encouraging her to write this guest post!

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Jenny, I am thrilled that Theresa’s story was exactly what you needed to hear. CONGRATS on your 6 month healthy living journey. You CAN do this and please refer back to this post whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. I also make a great email buddy if you ever need someone to talk to. I believe in you Jenny!

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What an inspirational story!It’s amazing the power that running has in turning a life around and you are a true example of that. You should definitely start a blog. I’ll read it :-)

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I really haven’t been this inspired in a such a long time. You deserve a HUGE pat on the back (& hug!) for your dedication. Congrats!!

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Girl- you are INCREDIBLE. The positive influence you have on everyone around you must be immeasurable. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Great story!! Congratulations Theresa for transforming your self and your life. You are very inspiring girl!! :):):)

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Amazing. Keep up the great work. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you for sharing!! Continue to keep yourself healthy, girl. You deserve it!! :)

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You’re awesome girl and not to mention beautiful! Keep up the good work and good luck to both of you.

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I love hearing/reading about people who inspire one another to be their best selves. So happy you and Kevin found one another, Theresa!

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Thanks for sharing your story!! i hope to read a blog by you some day!! Awesome half marathon time too!!

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OMG! amazing story! this is truly inspirational. I love hearing about why others love running and what its done for them. Congratulations on acheiving so many things and coming through so many struggles Theresa!!

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Woohoooo!! What an inspirational success story!! Way to go!!! Thanks for sharing!

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I was feeling terrible today. I decided to look around for some inspiration and I found it! Thank you for sharing this amazing story. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

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HEY GIRL….I am so glad this helped your day:)

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Theresa, you have an amazing story and I am so glad that you have found someone that supports you and your goals! And you look amazing!
It’s so beautiful when people choose to share their stories, I am truly touched by your journey and wish you the best in the future!

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THIS IS THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL STORY EVER! you go girl honestly you did all of that through self motivation! and i thought i was motivated?! HECK NO compared to you! YOU ARE AMAZINGGG thank you so much for sharing Theresa!

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Wow! That is such a great story! I love the world of blogging that lets people share their stories and other people are able to learn from them! What an inspiration!

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This story is SOOO inspiring!! Thank you Theresa for sharing it with everyone! I love how blogging allows people to learn from others and gain inspiration from people like YOU. You inspire me so much!

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Loved reading this story! The before/after pics are amazing. And goes to show that we all struggle – heavy or thin.

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LOVED this! Absolutely loved it. Theresa, you ROCK. YOU ROCK.

Janae, thanks for featuring Theresa’s story!

Made my day.

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what an AMAZING story! Theresa you look great and your story is inspriing! that is a great time for a marathon! I am so happy to see that you are striving to become healthier not only physically but also emotional with relationships etc.

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wow, what a powerful story! thanks for sharing. you are so awesome and I’m glad that you have found your balance and a strong supportive boyfriend!

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Hey Janae & Teresa — thanks so much for sharing your story – it is absolutely AMAZING!!! You’ve found a way back home to yourself — thru running – and I’m sure that others would love to hear about your journey… blog it girlfriend! Way to go — am absolutely thrilled for you and so moved by the strength you have shown in perservering in taking care of yourself!

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I have to echo all of the other comments, this is such an amazing and inspirational post! What an amazing woman, you rock!

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AH-MAZZZZZZZZZZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Thank you!!!!!!

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Theresa, you should have a blog, I loved reading your story! I wish you all the best!

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Incredible! Thanks for sharing your story! What an amazing journey!

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What a great story!! I applaud Theresa for being so BRAVE and telling her story with so much honesty! I’m so happy that she’s at such a great place in her life right now. Good luck to her in the future, and good luck to her man – a year of sobriety is an amazing accomplishment. Janae, thanks for letting her share this!

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Amazing story!

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Theresa,
So glad to have read your story today. Best of luck for you and Kevin as you guys continue your journey! (btw, your smile is amazing and so beautiful!) Thank you for sharing!!

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What an inspiration you are! And you are a very beautiful woman!

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Awesome! That is so inspiring. Way to go girl! :)

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Amazing! Happy for you. Thanks for sharing!

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So inspiring janae and Theresa! As someone who suffered disordered eating for most of college this post hit home and I have so much admiration and respect for you both. <3

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Wow – very inspiring! Thanks so much Theresa for sharing your story, this is awesome! And thanks HRG for sharing :)

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You are an inspiration!!! Thank you for sharing your story! :)

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Wow what an amazing story, hats off to you. What an inspiration u are to alot of people. Its hard being overweight and we all now its a lifetime goal to beable to keep the weight off.

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great story Theresa, I agree that a lot of people could benefit from reading about your experiences. Keep up the great work.

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Loved reading this story. Good for you Theresa!! Keep up the amazing work. I’m so inspired by what you accomplished, and I truly respect how you have come to be in such a healthy place physically, emotionally, and mentally <3!!

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What a great story! That is fantastic that you’ve been able to find a healthy balance with your life. So many women out there can learn from your story. Keep up the great work! :)

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AWESOME post. thank you. i’ve lost 120+ pounds this past year and am running my first full marathon next saturday (i’ve run 3 half marathons so far this year already), but i’m finding myself in a stressful place right now (the post breakup, little bit extra drinking than normal place). not loving it. thank you for the after part of the dark side … moving forward and reclaiming myself is definitely a constant effort. you totally rock theresa!!

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Congratulations for everything you’ve accomplished and for having the courage to leave a relationship that wasn’t good for you. I had to do the same with my ex-husband and I haven’t regretted a second. It is very difficult to make that decision and takes a lot of strength.

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Way to go…congrats on an awesome job!

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This was an AMAZING story Janae!! Thanks for sharing with us!! :)

Theresa you are an awesome gal and I hope you stick with all of your goals from this point on. Don’t let anyone get you down. It’s so important to stick with friends that are supportive of your goals. “YOU ROCK!!” :)

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Such a great story!

You’ve overcome a lot and I admire that. I’m so glad you’re in a better place now. We’re all stronger than we ever think we can be and you’ve proven that. Yeah!

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Wow such an inspirational story….So many things I’m amazed at including your ability to run 3.5miles in your first run! I am so glad you have found true happiness and congrats to Kevin on his sobriety!

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400 pound!!! I would short myself, I haven’t run in 2 weeks and I’ve put on 4 pounds and I’m crancky… So it blows me away that you you didn’t throw in the towel, you said no more and turned your life around. I wish more people would have your drive.

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What an inspirational story! It takes great inner strength to accomplish what you have. Congrats on finding balance in life and love! Always do what makes you happy! :)

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WOW. This story has definitely brought me to tears because I almost felt like I was reading about myself. Thank you for sharing your story. Keeping on running and keep on staying beautiful. Keep chasing those fears. <3

Janae: I don't know if you have ever seen the article that was published about me, but I wanted to share it with you. (http://fitbie.msn.com/lose-weight/she-lost-110-pounds-and-training-marathon) I also want to share with you the fact that I got sweat in my eye the other day and thought of you. Is that weird? LOLOLOL.

Have an awesome week. Eat a lot of broccoli and a lot of froyo, and I don't know…a lot of PEACHES.

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OH MY GOODNESS!! ADRIAN!!! Your article gave me the biggest goosebumps!! Seriously, you are incredible and if you ever want to share your story hear please let me know. You better write a book about your journey and I am expecting a autographed copy!! SWEAT IN YOUR EYE….best ever:) Ha, I hope you eat a lot of peaches this week too!

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Aww, you’re too sweet! :D Of course, you’d get an autographed copy!!!!!!! <3

I would love to share my story. The more people I can inspire, the better. Just let me know what I have to do! :D

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Email me!!!!!

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What an amazing story, so inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

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Amazing and inspiring story, Theresa!! You should be bloggin’, girl! *hug*

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Great work Theresa! Keep it up because YOU ARE WORTH IT.

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WOW WOW WOW!!! What an incredible story. Look what running does for people!! You go girl! You are amazing!

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Theresa, Your story is so inspirational! Thank you for sharing. You have strong determination and it is contagious!

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What an amazing journey. Theresa – Thank you for sharing your story. Janae – Thank you for allowing her to share it with us.

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Ah, what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing Theresa, and good luck with all of your running goals in the future!!

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Oh my gosh what an amazing story! How beautiful is Theresa?!?

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Great story!!! Get a blog of your own so I can stalk you! You are soooo freaking amazing girl. A real inspiration for all of us to get our bootys moving. Keep it up! You Go Girl!

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