What inspired you to adopt a healthier lifestyle?
I was always involved in sports growing up, but as I aged, that slowed down and the weight sped up! In 2014, I decided enough was enough. My clothes were always tight, I had no energy, and I just spent money on unhealthy food. I worked at a school at the time, and we started a Biggest Loser contest. I joined, started running, and making smarter choices about what I consumed. I ended up winning the contest, and have been setting new health goals every year since.

Had you tried other things in the past that did or didn’t work for you?  What was it about “this time” that helped you reach that PR?
If I’m not intentional I will eat when I get bored or just eat to finish what’s in front of me. After we had kids, it was like a race to eat my food so we could feed the kids. As they grew older and began feeding themselves I found I was still speeding through meals, rushing to get seconds, and over eating. Being intentional active and making intentional decisions about food is critical for me to stay healthy and in shape.

What’s your favorite activity or challenge within the Sonic Boom program?
I’m a runner so I love when there are step or mile challenges! Whether it’s a week, a month, or a year, I love joining those challenges and checking it every morning before I start my work. It’s amazing to see some of the numbers people will put up, and to see the leaderboards change daily.

If you’ve experienced weight-loss, how much have you lost and over what period of time?  (If you’d feel more comfortable, you can choose to share percentage of weight reduction instead of pounds.)
My heaviest was 220 lbs. I never want to get close to the 200 again. Currently, I am working to lose 15-20 lbs. in order to run my first full marathon. Over the past 5 weeks I’ve lost 7 lbs. and just that small amount of weight has such a huge impact on all aspects of running.

Sonic Boom isn’t only about losing weight, but living an all-around healthier lifestyle.  How has yours improved?  (A few examples include improving your “numbers” or being taken off medication, improving your nutritional intake, noticing improvements in your marriage/personal relationships, increasing work productivity or overall energy levels, better confidence, reaching those PR goals, completing your first marathon etc.)
Sonic Boom is definitely a great motivator to stay active every day. About the same time that our company started using Sonic Boom, I also joined a free peer-led workout group in our area. Over the past 2 years I’ve learned about and completed so many things I’d never think of doing! Being a part of a 12-man relay team that runs over 200 miles from Virginia to Asheville, NC, moving on to a 6-man relay team that runs over 200 miles through South Carolina, multiple obstacle course (mud) races, half marathons, trail races, and more. This year I will be running my first full marathon in March. Along with that race, I’m also registered to run two other marathons this year, one of them being the Chicago Marathon! The biggest goal of the year, however, is running the actual year. Yes, I plan to run 2,018 miles this year. I’ve run a 1,000 miles in one year, and that seemed big then so this year’s goal is massive! It has taken (and will take) time and commitment!

Is there anything you’d like to say to help inspire other Sonic Boomers at Blackbaud? Tips, tricks, or motivation?
There will always be someone faster and stronger. There will always be someone not as fast and not as strong. Be the best you and keep at it.

Have you always been a runner? If this is a recently developed hobby, do you have before-and-after photos you’d like to share?  If so, do we have permission to share them as a Sonic Success Story?  And do we have permission to use your name in the story?
Growing up I played sports and hated when it was time to run. As I got older, running was the easy and free way to try to lose weight. When I saw the impact it had on my health I started setting goals. In 2014, it was 500 miles. In 2015, it was 750, then that turned into 1,000 by June. In 2016, I joined a local work out group that gave me the fellowship and accountability that a lot of people need, especially when it comes to health and fitness. The running events we do are things that many people call us crazy for doing, but they’re so challenging and fun! Whether it’s running a 2.62 mile loop 10 times, or running for 24 hours straight, or running the year, we enjoy doing it to push ourselves and each other. I even have my own Instagram handle (@floppy_running) and blog to share my running journey!

Anything else you’d like to share?  Feel free to elaborate on any key aspects of your journey to a healthier lifestyle – especially through Sonic Boom.
One of my favorite things that happens around the office, because of Sonic Boom is when we have a quarterly challenge, and I walk pass other people in the office that I know are participating in the challenge. Often times, there’s a lot of “Getting in your steps, huh?” or “Will you just go sit? You already passed me on the leaderboard today!” I think that competition, comradery, and accountability is what makes Sonic Boom such a fun program. I love that our company participates in the program.

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