Friday, June 10, 2011

TGIF: Becky Roemen and Chelsea Dennison

This Goal Is Finished

Good morning achievers! Hope you've had a wonderful week!

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This week we're doing something a little different -- we have two friends who set and achieved TWO awesome goals together.

The Achievers

Becky & Chelsea
This picture was taken before they each lost 25 pounds!
My name is Becky Roemen and I live in Alexandria, VA. I am originally from the Midwest but have been in the DC area for the past 12 years.

My name is Chelsea Dennison and I live in Arlington, VA. I’m originally from New Jersey but moved to DC for a job about 3 years ago!

We both work together in Alexandria at the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

The Goal

The goal was to lose weight and get physically healthy, which included running our first race.

Why This Goal?

Becky: I knew that I needed to set a goal to stay motivated with my exercise and diet. I chose to do the Race for the Cure because I could join a team of friends that were all running to honor a friend’s mother that is a breast cancer survivor. It was important to me to set a goal not only to keep me motivated, but that was meaningful.

Chelsea: I was finally in a place in my life where I was mentally ready to commit to getting healthy. Although I never considered myself an athlete, I knew that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to and was determined to become a runner. By training for a race, it helped my goal to lose weight along the way.

The First Step

The first step was actually getting out of the house and onto the treadmill. We researched a variety of plans and both opted to try the couch to 5k. I’m not sure either of us completed the training program as it was laid out, but it got us out and moving for the first month.


Becky: The first obstacle I faced was a mental one. I needed to overcome any doubts I had about being able to accomplish my goals. For me these were not easy to overcome but there are a few things that helped. The first was the encouragement from those who knew about my goal(s) and would check in on my progress. People believing in me was inspiring. The second was celebrating the small wins and sharing them. As I recognized each small victory, I gained confidence that I could make it to the next milestone.

The other obstacle I faced was travel. How would I continue to work out and eat healthy while I was away from home, especially when I was in another country? For this obstacle, I was surprised by the outpouring of good advice from everyone I asked regarding this challenge. I was clearly not the only one facing this dilemma. My lesson learned here was to share my fears and concerns because you may get more solutions than you ever expected.

Chelsea: I have always had issues with tight hamstrings and calf muscles, so running has never been the easiest for me. I am prone to shin splints and these tend to sideline me for quite some time. As I expected, I experienced a few bouts of the beginnings of shin splints and needed to step back and figure out a way to work through this obstacle. I did a lot of research and talked to friends about how they had overcome the problem of shin splints and then invested in compression sleeves for my shins as well as remembering to ice and stretch after every run. I also know that in building up my running, I can’t run more than 2-3 times a week to give my legs time to recover.

Staying Motivated
Chelsea & Becky on race day

Becky: I stayed motivated by reading blogs and magazines that were stories of people doing similar things or that had advice on how to accomplish my goal. It also helped to talk about what I was doing.

Chelsea: I read a lot of healthy living and fitness blogs and reading through other people’s goals, struggles and successes really helped to motivate me and inspire me to continue on my journey. I also kept a log of all my workouts to see how I was progressing towards my goal.

For our weight loss, we stayed motivated by sharing recipes, trying new things, cooking some of our meals together. We were also having a 15 week Biggest Loser competition in the office and that ignited both of our competitive spirits.

Who Helped?

We leaned a lot on each other in this process. If one of us was going to give up, the other would have too. This put the pressure on to keep going because suddenly we were responsible for more than our own success, we were responsible for the success of the other.

Becky: For me I also started taking classes at FitOne Studio. I signed up for their circuit training class to improve my overall strength and knew that having a trainer run those classes would help motivate me and encourage me to push myself.

Chelsea: Since I struggle with getting shin splints from running, I knew that cross-training was going to be extremely important in building my running base. I found that wearing compression sleeves on my calves was so instrumental to my recovery during and after a run. Since I consider myself a cyclist, I found that continuing my cycling workouts really helped improve my overall fitness.

TGIF – Celebrate!

Set a new one and registered for a 10k this fall! We also treated ourselves to some new clothes now that we are both over 25lbs lighter!

Chelsea, Right, and Becky, Left
Down 25 pounds!


Tell your friends what you are doing and find someone to keep you accountable. You will be surprised by the amount of support you receive. Also, celebrate the wins and small milestones during the journey.

What’s Next?

After our 10k to End Women’s Cancer in November, we have our sights set on a half marathon. Perhaps the Disney one in January. We will keep you posted!

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