Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work- both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Robyn Messenger who recently lost 140 lbs! She’s always had a passion for our military personnel and Wounded Warriors Project has a special place in her heart.
What has been your greatest accomplishment as of late?
My weight loss. I grew up in West Virginia and like most “southern” cultures, we love our food! It is present when we celebrate, mourn or are just visiting with friends. At some point in my life, my relationship with food took a very unhealthy turn and my weight was out of control. In June 2012, I took control of that aspect of my life. I joined a gym and started walking (eventually running-yes RUNNING!) in the mornings before work. That November I participated in my first 5K and it was for Wounded Warrior Project and I was so happy to be a part of it. Since June 2012, I have lost a total of 140lbs. I have a little bit more to go but I’m so happy to be where I am.
How did you achieve it?
I achieved this by a lot of prayer, hard work, determination, blood, sweat and tears. It has been the hardest thing I’ve ever taken on. Since the beginning, Charity Miles has been a part of that journey. Getting up at 5:15 am isn’t easy. When I discovered the Charity Miles app and that I could give to WWP by walking/running, I let that be my motivation to get up each morning. I think about the sacrifice of our veterans and their families and how some of them are struggling or can no longer run and it motives me to get up and go. Being able to give to them makes me smile and puts an incredible purpose to my morning run.
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
My life motto is, “Be Love.” I think that the world is full of negativity and it is our place as humans to be love to each other. In my mind it is a command. We are called to be love to others and that looks different to everyone. The key is to find out how you can be love to someone and then be proactive about it. For some, it is doing acts of service while others may need your time or laughter. My goal and I’ll confess I do fail at this often, is to be aware of the people in my life and the ways they need love and then actively find ways to meet that need in their life. If we all do this, everyone has their needs met and is happy. So, using Charity Miles allows me to be love to our veterans.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I run/walk daily. I also started going to Zumba, Kettle Bell and piloxing classes. I need variety to keep working out fun. If it becomes mundane, my interest is gone. I also participate in a “bootcamp” style class as well and that challenges me and makes me realize I can push myself a lot further than I thought. Often times our minds give up before our bodies do. I eat healthy meals and snacks now and am more aware of what goes in my body.
What is the best piece of advise you’ve ever received?
The best advice I received and now give is to start with something you know will bring you success. You have to be realistic about your goals and NEVER compare yourself to someone else and their success. If you have never walked for exercise, don’t start off by saying you are going to walk a mile in 10 minutes. Maybe what your goal needs to be is to just walk for 10 minutes. I think a lot of people decide to work out and then set these unreachable goals for themselves as soon as they start and when they don’t meet those goals they are disappointed and tend to quit. I always tell people to start small and build up and if that build up happens quickly-that’s great! If not, no worries because the most important thing is that you are moving and trying!
What is your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
The fact that I can give to Wounded Warrior Project. My hope in life is to work with veterans but until then I can do my part by using the Charity Miles app and selecting WWP as my charity. The coolest thing is that there is something for everyone. You can give to AIDS, Cancer, Food Banks, Autism-really there seems to be something that is close to anyone’s heart and that is the coolest thing. I think we tend to get caught up in this idea that we have to give or participate in the big ways and that can be discouraging. Using the Charity Miles app allows me to give regularly to an organization and group of people I care deeply about and stay motivated to maintain a healthy life.
Who do you exercise for, and why?
Ultimately, I exercise for me and my future. I have spent the majority of my life being unhealthy and unhappy and I’m honestly not going back to that again. I want to be a wife and possibly a mother one day and I want to be healthy and present for my family. With the addition of the Charity Miles app in my workout routine, I’ve been able to include those whom have served our country to my list and that makes me incredibly happy and gives me a sense of purpose.