Thursday, August 4, 2016

From Fat to Finish Line Film: Pinch Me!!

Holy crap, people.

This is happening.

The film is out, people are watching it and they like it. They really, really like it.

 Amazon Five Stars! 


It's so incredibly humbling and exhilarating all at the same time.

I am still in awe of all of it. It seems like just yesterday where I was grossly obese, out of control, hopeless and desperate. I still sometimes struggle with food, motivation to run, temptation to over-eat, and the desire to be lazy rather than work out. But yet, I find myself in this place of having a film out there, in the universe, about running and making it to the finish line. I am so blessed.

I am even lucky that people like it enough to try to steal! We had to alert YouTube no less than five times this week of people trying to pirate the movie.

And that's not all. We have made it to the top ten ( top 7 as a matter of fact) of all documentaries on iTunes! OMG!! We were featured in the main banner on iTunes and are sitting side by side with heavy hitters - folks who have won OSCARS, folks supported and made by major movie companies... Little 'ol us. Pinch me.

Top banner on iTunes and under News & Newsworthy! 

#7 on iTunes for ALL documentaries! What!?

So here's the deal. If you want to get it, you can get it here on iTunes and here on Amazon.

If you watch it. Let me know what you think!

-----------------------------

In other news outside the whole exciting movie thing and all, I've had a last few months of ups and downs weight wise. I finally decided to do something a little radical and do a few week of really clean, VEGAN eating.

beans, quinoa, avocado, onions, peppers and tomato - delish

The vegan thing is super edgy for me because I have always heavily relied on meat-based protein at every meal but it's been a better than expected experiment. I'm about a week and a half in and while it's been a little challenging it's been very interesting to note that I can be satisfied without animal protein. It definitely takes effort but I'm doing it. I should also tell you that since I'm on Weight Watchers, I am counting points. Even plan based foods can add up quickly and I could easily be an overweight vegan. ;)

As far as running is concerned, I'm getting my groove back. I've been struggling to get in miles when I can (we've been super busy and I've been traveling a lot) and I'm super nervous about being prepared for the NYC Marathon. I'm not where I would like to be for that. But you know, what can you do? I'm going to just keep on trying the best I can and fighting to keep my head in the game.

How are you guys doing?

Any veggie based dishes I should be trying?

Have you seen the movie?

XO
Jen




Friday, July 22, 2016

From Fat to Finish Line Documentary Film Nears Finish Line!

Who would've thunk all those years ago when I first made the incredulous, ridiculous decision to "start running" that the journey would've led me here.

I've had ups and downs. The scale has been kind and evil. Through the years I've had set-backs, injuries, weight gain, and fall-downs. I've also experienced victories, incredible moments, experiences, inspiration, motivation and have gained friends for life.

It took me a long time to say the words, "I am a runner." And now I get to say, "I am a runner... in a movie!"

And this weekend you can own the film via iTunes for only $6.99!  GET IT HERE


You can view the trailer at iTunes too!

From Fat to Finish Line documents the journey of 12 formerly obese people who all lost about 100 pounds each through running. The 12 come from all over the country and team up to run a challenging 200 mile Ragnar Relay Race to celebrate their success and test their limits.

I'm so proud that this film has happened. It's funny, inspirational, entertaining and drives home the point that whether you are losing weight or running 200 miles, if you take one step at a time you can get to your finish line.

Thank you for being a part of this journey of mine. 

XO
Jen 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

San Diego Screening of From Fat to Finish Line Documentary and other stuff

Hi all!

I've become such a bad blogger but that's only because we are kicking booty and working so hard in many other areas.

Just thought I'd do a drive by and update you on some good stuff:

1. It's been slow and not-so-steady but the weight is slowly coming off. I'm back at WW and also using some of the tools at SparkPeople. Since December 27 I'm down 15 pounds and I'm about 7 pounds from my goal weight. I'm feeling good and my clothes are fitting better.

2. I've completed 30 days of no alcohol and super hydrating. I gave up the alcohol because I was drinking too much. Nearly every day I would look forward to a glass of wine (or if the day was particularly stressful) a martini. The fact that I was starting to 'count down' the minutes until wine-o'clock scared me and I just felt like it was undermining all the healthy things I've done. I have read that it takes 21 days to make a habit and 30 to really cement it. I'm at 31 days and feel really great. I don't miss the drinking and I think it's sped up my weight loss. I sleep better and wake up better. The super hydrating has been a win for me too. This has always been a place where I've struggled. My weight loss has been much better since incorporating both of these things. For the hydration, I've been using an app called Plant Nanny. Every time you drink water you 'water' your plant and it grows. Forget to water it and it gets sicks and dies. That's a lot of pressure. LOL.

3. We are having a special From Fat to Finish Line Documentary screening in San Diego!  On May 23, 2016 we will be having a pre-release sneak preview screening at the Green Flash Brew Co.! I will be there, alongside our director Angela Lee and a few of the runners from the film. It will be a night of beer and cheer you won't want to miss. :) Please find all the details here!

4. The film will be released world-wide this summer! I will update with an official announcement as soon as I can.  If you don't know what the movie is about it's basically about 12 runners (moi included) that have all lost a lot of weight and team up to run a 200 mile Ragnar Relay Race from Miami to Key West. It's funny, emotional, and inspirational (if I do say so myself). We are proud of it.

5. Don't forget to sign up here to get updates and news on the film, soon to be released running app, and more. :) 

Hope all is well with you!

Do you have any special apps you use to help you drink water or get to your health goals? 

XO
Jen 



Monday, March 21, 2016

Checking out The Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation Experience

My first time doing Yoga 2011 with Cynthia 

There are a few things I've been saying to myself I need to do for years and kind of never achieve for one reason or another. As annoying as it is to keep trying and failing at some of these things, I'm a big believer in never giving up.

The "I should will do list" includes:

1. Strength train more.
2. Consistently drink 8 glasses of water a day.
3. Take daily vitamin.
4. Yoga
5. Meditation

Just writing this list out has just made me refill my glass of water and pop a vitamin so there's that - so far so good!

The one thing I've never actually have given a good try to though is meditation. I've read in many a self-help book how powerful and transformative meditating can be but just never knew where to start.

About a week ago, my friend Cynthia sent me this link. (Cynthia is also the first person to teach me some yoga moves.) The link is for "The Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience." I didn't even think twice about it at first. I knew I should try meditation but, really, who has time? And like yoga and strength training, I would probably not really follow through on it anyway. But still, something about it made me click the link and I signed up. (It's free, so why not?)

Today was day one. Today's centering thought was: "My struggle has ended. I am in harmony with myself" and the mantra was: Om Laghu Bhavam. Of course half way through, my mind wandered for all of 5 seconds and I couldn't quite remember the mantra or the centering thought but I did my best. By the way,"Om Laghu Bhavam" means "I am lightness itself" which I forgot as soon as Deepak said it and just had to re-look it up for this blog post. Oy. I mean, Om. 

The centering thought really resonated with me. "My struggle has ended. I am in harmony with myself." I've been struggling with the scale. Ironically, I feel strong, healthy and a recent physical has proven that my healthy eating and consistent running has me in optimal health. But. I'm still up about 13 pounds from my goal weight and the A student in me is on fire about it. And I've been frustrated because I've been following the Weight Watchers Program to the "T." Dutifully weighing and measuring my food and logging it. I actually enjoy the process of all of that. I adore the women in my meeting and my leader, and I personally do much better when I'm following a regiment vs just "winging it." Yet the scale barely budges. If the scale didn't matter I'd be very happy, but the scale does matter in a way, and I've allowed it to get the best of me lately.

The centering thought has me rethinking the scale though. I am happy. I am in harmony with myself. I am strong and healthy, I have so much to be grateful for and everyday I want to wake up and thank the universe for my strong healthy body. It's such a blessing to be able to run! To move! To not be on medication to not face disease because of poor habits. So I'm ending my struggle with the scale. My body might want to be healthy at this weight or something will kick in at some point but either way, I am going to believe that I am in harmony with myself.  I will continue to go to WW because I love the friendship and it provides me the tools and balance I need to keep moving forward but I'm truly going to work at letting go of the numbers. 

This 21 day meditation journey is literally about "shedding weight" in every sense of the word. Most importantly the heavy stuff weighing on your heart, soul and mind. Who can't use a little lightening up? 

By the way, shortly after my first time meditating this morning, as if to confirm that I am on the right path, I saw this NY Times Article, Meditation Plus Running as a Treatment for Depression pop up on my FB newsfeed. Running has definitely helped to ease my depression so this was a particularly interesting read for me. 

I'm pretty sure you can still sign up for The Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience if you want to give it a shot. If you do, let me know what you think!

Have you ever meditated before? What are your thoughts? 

XO 
Jen

PS: I'm still raising money for Autism by running the NYC Marathon this November. I have a goal of $3000 and it's going to take a lot of help to get there! If you are so moved, please consider supporting the cause - You can donate here: https://www.crowdrise.com/OrgforAutismResearchNYC2016/fundraiser/jenniferroe2

PSS: If you want to check out the cool, FREE From Fat to Finish Line Running App click here to sign up to get on the list! I promise it's not going to be your average running app :) 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Start Spreading the News I'm running the NYC Marathon again!

Pre-run selfie with my pink NYC marathon hat

It was that day of the year again. The day of refreshing email, calling the credit card for "latest activity" and stalking the New York Road Runners page for any and all updates regarding the TCS New York City Marathon lottery. Honestly, I wasn't quite as obsessed this year. I was actually OK with the idea of not getting in. There is sooooo much going on with the From Fat to Finish Line film release coming this year, and building the From Fat to Finish Line app and business - I figured time to train for a marathon would be ridiculous, so if I don't get in, all is fine. Right?

Er. Well.

Then this email came through:

Whadda ya mean I didn't get selected!?
And somehow, despite being "totally OK with not getting in" and actually "totally OK with never running another marathon ever again," I got bummed. 

So I had some wine. Not a lot. But enough. And after finding out Angela was going to run it (my BFF and biz partner) AND finding out that Ann my training and running buddy from last year got in. Well...

Let's just put it this way. Some people drunk text, some drunk Facebook. Me? I drunk sign up to run 26.2 miles for charity. 

I began researching my different options for all of the different charities. I knew I wanted to raise money for autism and after careful consideration, I confidently chose "Run For Autism" For OAR (Organization for Autism Research). I looked them up on Charity Navigator and not only did they have a good rating but after reading about their missions and work, I had a deep desire to run for them. As you might know, I have an autistic son and while we've had our challenges I'm very, very lucky. I have amazing resources and services available for him. Not all families are so lucky. I have been feeling this need to give back and I'm proud to be able to do so for OAR. 

It's exciting to be on another running journey. I never really wanted to fundraise. I hate asking people for money and I have to raise a lot - $3000. But this is different. I want to fundraise for these folks. They are a smaller organization making big differences for people like my son and my family. So the only thing that stands between me and this finish line is 26.2 miles and $3000 - piece of cake! ;) 


Have you ever raised money for a charity through running? 

XO
Jen

PS: Hey! By the way, if you want to sign up early for our FREE From Fat to Finish Line App - CLICK HERE to get on the list! 




Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From Fat to Finish Line the Continually Amazing Journey

Hello all -

It's been a few months since my last big race The New York City Marathon and I haven't really blogged since.

I thought I would just check in and let ya all know what's been going down.

Week after NYC marathon ran the Vegas Rock N Roll Half.  Cool Race
(left to right - Carly, Angela, Michele and me - all wearing cool team FFTFL shirts!)


ON THE PERSONAL FRONT:

I am still running! I'm at a nice little place in my running - getting in runs of between 2 and 4 miles most days of the week. I'm going to start training for my next race pretty soon (The NJ Half Marathon) but it's been nice not worrying about really long runs. (Though I did throw my name back into the pool for the NYC marathon so we'll see what happens.)

I am back at Weight Watchers.

I have managed to keep most of my weight off but about 20 pounds have crept back on over the course of the last few years (particularly post marathon where I continued to eat like I was training). And decided to go back because my twin was going. I figured I could support her and she could support me. Plus it's a nice way to make sure we see each other at least once a week.. I am enjoying the new program and being back in a meeting. I am an old lady at heart and look forward to 'shooting the shit' with others about healthy recipes and the highs and lows of weight loss.

I've lost a little weight and am about 12 pounds from goal.

ON THE BUSINESS FRONT:

Very exciting news. For those who don't know, I produced a documentary also called "From Fat to Finish Line" (not about me or this blog - you can read about it and see the trailer if you click the film tab above) and things are going great. The film looks so good and we landed a major distribution deal! We are wrapping up details but it seems that we'll be releasing it someplace between mid-May and mid-June 2016! I will keep you posted.



We are in the process of developing a From Fat to Finish Line app that will be geared towards runners who really like to connect with a community as they run and train. More to come on that too. Drop me an email if you want to be added to the list to try the app for free when we're testing it. If you email via the "contact me" button here, please make sure to include your email address in the body of the message or I won't be able to get back in touch with you or add you to the list.



We are also going to be doing team "From Fat to Finish Line" Races. We are working with our friends at Road Runner Sports and will be at their inaugural races which are scheduled for San Diego on July 17, Atlanta on September 10th and Phoenix on October 16th.  We are securing lots of goodies for our "FFTFL" friends and team including discount codes and special swag. You can learn more about the race series itself here. We will also have a team race at Rock N Roll Virginia Beach on Sept. 4th. If you want to be counted as a team From Fat to Finish Line person you can check out our race events here: From Fat to Finish Line Facebook group


So there's some of the scoop. I feel so blessed that my decisions to lose weight and start running took me on this path. I'm so lucky that my business partner and BFF, Angela was also a runner and saw a vision in all this. Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned where this journey would lead me! A movie! An app! Team races.

How are things with you? What unexpected gifts and moments has running given you?

xo
Jen


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2015 TCS New York City Marathon Race Report: Victory


I have tried to write this post since Monday but the enormity of it all has left me at a loss to where to start.

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude that I was able to do this race.



The night before the race my friends Linda and Charlie came to stay with me (read Linda's report here). This was pretty great. Linda and I have been friends for a long time and we've dreamed of doing the TCS New York marathon together for quite a few years now. A few years ago we got to run in Central Park together for a fun run and then 2 years ago we ran the "Dash to The Finish Line" 5K that takes place the day before the marathon and ends at the same finish line. During both those runs we wondered, "what would it be like to do the big one?" And lucky for us, this year we'd find out.

I woke up at 3:45 AM excited. My running hypnotherapy worked, I felt ready for this race! I got dressed, checked the weather (yes! good weather!) and we got under way. By 5AM Linda, Charlie and I hopped the buses from the Meadowlands to head out to Staten Island. I kissed my husband and son goodbye and told them that the next time I'd see them, I would be a marathoner. 

Arriving at Athlete's village at 6AM!
We arrived at the athlete's village and the buzz in the air was awesome. Channel 7 news was set up in our village and people from around the globe were getting ready to get their "New York" on. Interestingly, I saw plenty of people catching some sleep. SLEEP!? I know we had hours to kill but I couldn't have slept if I was placed on a cloud of pillows and angels were singing lullabies in my ear! I marveled at these people who could catch a doze so close to running this epic race.

My running buddies and training partners this whole time finally arrived too! Ann, Jen and I have spent hours together doing long runs. They both were in the "Orange" village and Ann could've started earlier but we decided we wanted to run this thing together. I was excited about that. I wanted to run together too. :)

Running buddies Jen, Ann and new friend Megan chilling pre-race

So finally it was our time to head to the corral. We head on up and wait, excitement growing by the minutes and then finally... The cannon booms and we hear Sinatra crooning his iconic, "New York, New York." I choke back tears and we get going. 

The bridge was a blur and then we were in Brooklyn. Brooklyn was phenomenal and I enjoyed every minute of high-fiving kids and thanking strangers who called my name. I ran many miles trying to play "pace police" to my two running buddies, Ann and Jen who were starting off pretty fast for what our training was. I was afraid that the speed so early would burn us out. I struggled to keep up so I just did the best I could. They were having fun and I didn't want to be too much of a drag.

I think this is at the start line :) 
Around 8 miles in I spot my friend Joe Pryor! And how could I miss him - check out the sign he had for me!! This was soooooo beyond awesome I can't even tell you. I never really have spectators at races and I can't remember ever really having a sign like this. It meant the world to me that Joe and his girl Jess were out there waiting for me. It was great. I hugged him and Jess and it was just joyous. They wished me well, updated my Facebook friends and I was back on my way. 




We just kept running. Queens was fun but short and soon we were going over the Queensboro bridge into Manhattan. Manhattan was great. We ran for miles. Again, I was trailing my friends for a lot of this run but managed to keep them in sight. We'd usually catch up through aide stations and then I'd fall behind again. It was a little discouraging but we had all agreed to run our own races if we wanted to so I couldn't blame them for doing their thing. 

Jen wound up seeing a few friends along the course and her family came out for her as well! Her husband and parents looked so proud. It was really nice seeing them all :) 

Some where along the way, I've seriously lost track of miles. I have no idea how many we were in but somewhere out there things started to get tough. I'm pretty sure it was somewhere between Harlem, the Bronx and back into NYC, the legs started to feel tight. Which is fine. It's a friggen marathon - things should be hurting after running for hour upon hour. Jen began to struggle a bit too. I think the fast pace earlier was catching up. Ann was strong and powered on we soon lost sight of her and she went to finish strong on her own.

Me and Ann chugging along earlier in the race
Jen and I did a lot of walking the last miles of the race as we were running/jogging/walking/crawling up first avenue, we started to hear the police announce, "The New York City Marathon is now concluded" please move to the sidewalk - I was like, "No it's not! I'm still running!". It was now pitch dark. We were out there a long time but we kept on chugging. Jen was feeling a little bit dejected.  A jerk of a guy (liar/ahole) told us that they ran out of medals. We wondered if we would still get one. We had goals of finishing between 5:30 and 5:45 and now we were way past that. We were hurting and it was tough. I kept reminding Jen that this was a great day even though we were towards the "back of the pack", that we were doing something amazing. Personally, I wasn't concerned with time. She fretted what people who were "tracking her" might think of this time, I reminded her that if they were tracking, they weren't moving their bodies 26.2 miles like we were!! ;) I get it though. I used to worry about time too. I finally let go of that. I run because I love it. I will never win. I will never be all that fast and that's OK. I'm grateful I can move this body and celebrate running. 

With the last half mile or so we turned down the final stretch - despite night-fall, people were still out there cheering (not many but some) and I felt overwhelmed with joy and emotion. I ran proudly to the finish line. We had done it. We had set a goal, put in the training, believed in the journey and moved ourselves from Staten Island to Central Park. Our Jersey Women Strong friends had volunteered for the race and were there at the finish line. They gave us our medals, heat sheets and hugs, they wiped away my 'ugly cry' tears of joy and it was spectacular to see them there. 


the ugly cry/smile is happening, people


Crossing the finish line
It took me 6:55:59 seconds to do it. (that included 3 potty stops, lots of high-fives, one hug, a chat with Joe and a bunch of walking through water stations). It was a long day - almost 7 hours on our feet! That time was an hour more than I had anticipated but you know what - who cares? I loved this day. I fully embrace my "back of the pack" status. I'm so proud of the effort. I make no apologies for being slow. It's who I am. I could've gone faster, could've high-fived a few less kids, spent a few extra seconds not talking to Joe, skipped the potty, ran a little faster but for what? I enjoyed my time out there and took on the city the way I wanted to.  To quote another Sinatra song, "I did it My Way."

Victory with Kim from Jersey Women Strong xo


My heart is bursting with gratitude for having this day. It was so special. It was so hard. It was such a challenge and a mountain to climb. It's a finish line that has forever changed me and I'm a lucky girl to have experienced it. 

XO
Jen