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Tania: Support Networks

It goes without saying that it helps to have a support network in place while you undertake any significant life change... I'm lucky to have support teams behind, in front and beside me while I undertake this challenge.

It goes without saying that it helps to have a support network in place while you undertake any significant life change... I'm lucky to have support teams behind, in front and beside me while I undertake this challenge.

My colleague Shannon, told me about the TC Health Club Challenge. I got excited about the possibilities and she encouraged me to apply. She is a wonderful friend and I owe her much more than my thanks... But she is part of a much larger network of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues who have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging through this process. They ask lots of questions, they tell me how proud they are and, how inspiring I am (wow... ). They tell me I am courageous for being so public with my efforts. They help me to believe in myself and to work through the insecurities of seeing my weight in print and, admitting publicly that I'm overweight/obese.

I can't talk about support networks without mentioning the amazing groups/companies/people sponsoring this challenge on the larger scale. I think I scored BIG with the West Shore Parks & Recreation staff, trainers and coordinators. The facility is amazing but the people are outstanding. They are full of encouragement and want to help me succeed in the 12 weeks of the challenge - and beyond. Frontrunners, Island Farms and the Market Stores have been generous beyond my wildest dreams. They aren't just handing over a product, they are actually interested and committed to seeing us succeed (and looking good while doing it!). Andrea Carey and the Pacific Institute of Sport Excellence (PISE) team for the metabolic testing, group mental health training, and all round coordination of activities - most impressive and appreciated. Shannon Kowalko from the Times Colonist has arranged everything and always has a smile and a hug to keep us feeling special. Without her, I would not have been introduced to the other TC Challengers with whom I've found a kinship. The 2012 Challengers are amazing individuals and the small support group we have with one another behind the scenes (emails, text messages, face booking) has been overwhelmingly helpful.

There are days when I fall into bed exhilarated with what I've accomplished (proper food choices, amazing workouts, belts and pants I can no longer wear) and there are days that I cry because everything seems so hard, and my body is tired and sore. I am thankful that my husband is there to hold and encourage me, doing much more than he realizes or, than I could ever ask of him.