Joy Sondag

Racing Red Team

I was born and raised in Fort Wayne where I attended Wayne High School before earning a degree in Physical Education at Taylor University.  I have traveled the world and spent time living in Honduras and Japan, where I was a teacher.  I have been happily married for over 18 years and I am a homeschool mom to two wonderful teenage kids.  I am also the head coach for the Fort Wayne Falcons Homeschool Volleyball Team.  Fellowship Missionary Church is my church home, and I have a passion for serving others.  I’m grateful for the chance to participate in FWSW. 

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Tonights the night!!  It is hard to believe the end of the program has come but I have to say--it is the beginning of so much!  I am beyond thankful that I was chosen for this opportunity.  I may not have lost the most, been the fastest, or been the strongest but I do know that I gave it all I had, never missed a training session, followed exactly what my nutritionist said and "left it all on the court" as they say.  I am so proud of myself but I know this would not have been possible with all the people who gave their time and talents to help this rag tag group of contestants and alumni.  I am humbled every time I think about this group of amazingly caring people.  Thank you is not enough but it is all I can say.  My journals have not been eloquent, that is not my gift, but I have been honest and hopefully a little encouraging.  I have fallen in love with this group of people--my new family.  I can not wait to see where this road leads.........



13.1 done!  I feel amazing and pooped.  I can't believe how emotional that was.  Rick said it would happen--I should have listened.  I didn't feel that emotional out on the course but crossing the finish line just hit me.  There are so many people to thank that if I list them all, I will forget someone.  I do want to give a shout out to Abigail!  She came and did part of the race with each of the Racing Red team and ended up staying with me the entire last lap.  She pushed a little but mostly just let me do my race.  I didn't talk much but the support got me through.  My friends and husband who went from place to place on the course to cheer me on were amazing.  I loved seeing them 5 different times.  My Dad, sister, brother-in-law and niece cheering me on at the end and giving me flowers felt really special!  I am ashamed I haven't blogged recently.  So many thoughts going through my head--I have a hard time putting them on "paper".  I don't want this to end but know it has to.  I am making a plan to keep on this journey and feel like I have a support system that will continue on.  Next Saturday will be bittersweet to say the least!


i didn't realize I hadn't blogged for a while.  I feel like I am posting all the time but that isn't the same.  I can't believe we are doing out half marathon tomorrow.  I am excited and nervous all at the same time.  I am ready!   This is what we have trained for!  I am so thankful to all the trainers and running coaches and Rick and Tina who prepared me for this.  Without their encouragement, I would have never pushed through.  My husband, Robbie, has been amazing through this whole journey. He has supported me by not once complaining about the crazy schedule, or having to do extra around the house!  He is my love and wants what is best for me.  This has been what is best for me!  One more week--I am in a sort of mourning.  I am going to miss all of it! 


My day of rest!  I have to say that I am not as sore as I thought I would be after 10 MILES yesterday!!  It was hard but very exciting.  I usually end up running by myself and I did again.  That gives me lots of time to think, pray, reflect and struggle in my brain!  I think about all the blessings I have been given from family to friends to FWSW!  I pray for all the contestants and requests that I can remember (and for myself to make it through the run).  I reflect on where I started and how far I have come. And I struggle to keep going, to be honest.  I never think of quitting, which is huge progress for me.  I am not looking forward to this ending so I am enjoying all the time we have left.  My husband and I talk about the plan after the 15 weeks and I know I need to be strategic but I also want to be in denial!  I am loving my time with this group!  As I write my thoughts for the memory book, I am finding it hard to put what I am feeling into words.  That has never been a strong suit for me but I have so much gratitude in my heart--I hope that comes through!


Weigh in tonight--what can I say?  I lost 2.6 which is good but I was at 200.0--ugh!!  Next week I am going to crush it.  This week I ran the 6.2 miles with barely any pain.  I didn't have to stop and walk any extra!  I was worried about taking the break and then walking but my knee felt good at the Vision Walk also.  By the way--that was so inspiring!  I am so blessed to know Michaela and to give for her.  Her story is inspiring!  Giving back feels better than all that I am doing for me!  My struggle is real and my hurts are real but I have been given perspective.  This morning I ran my 50 minutes at Spiece and it felt really good.  I pushed myself a bit and did a 13:52 pace! I am proud of myself and can't thank the trainers and everyone for the support and pushing!


Down 3 this week.  It is hard to believe we are in the 11th week. We ran our 2nd 5k last night and I felt great.  My time was 9 minutes faster than the 5k we did earlier in the season!  Everyone pushed it and improved.  I love seeing everyone doing so well.  My knee still gives me fits at times and it is frustrating but I am learning to listen to my body, push when needed and back off when needed, and be content and happy with how hard I am working!  I learned a valuable lesson this week about watching what I say--what doesn't sound bad to me may sound horrible to someone else and be hurtful.  I am not the kind of person who would hurt someone intentionally but carelessness and thoughtlessness can hurt just as much.  Boy, this experience of FWSW is changing me on more than just physically!


Monday weigh in at a different time!  We met at 1:00 because of the holiday.  I lost 4.8 for a total of 31.6--whew!  I was so excited to get over that 30 mark--now I am pushing for onderland!!  I was doing my running this morning thinking back to week one and two and how I couldn't picture myself ever running this much or working this hard.  I think in the beginning (and actually for a long time before that), if I had been doing my run by myself, like I was this morning, I would have made excuses to slow down, walk extra or stop.  My knees hurt some, I am tired, no one will know, I can walk--at least I am still moving, etc...But this morning, it never even crossed my mind to use those excuses--I am doing this for me and I need to keep pushing for me!!  Extra love here I come again--not because I have to but because I want to.  


Extra love! I don't think I have been this sore since 3 a days in college volleyball! With only a .8 loss, I needed the push.  I am tired and sore but have had a great week.  I can say that feeling this way is a good thing.  I may have been getting complacent.  I was still working hard but maybe not pushing myself as hard.  This week I have definitely been pushing!  Lessening my carbs a bit and upping my protein and veggies has been the goal in my eating. I am really loving the connection with all the other ladies! #FWSW10WARRIORWOMEN rock! 


what a week.  I lost 3.4 last Monday and then seemed to struggle this week.  I was fine emotionally and mentally but physically I just seemed extra tired.  The run Wednesday went well even though it was hot but since then I have been dragging.  I didn't quit though and pushed myself to get all my workouts and challenges in.  My body needs my day of rest tomorrow and then back at it Monday. Food was spot on again so we will see what the scale says on Monday. 


I should be folding laundry but I wanted to write about my week.  I felt strong this week.  My eating was spot on, my workouts were hard and good, and I am loving my new FWSW family.  The #season10women started a group text and it is so good to connect to the ladies.  It will be nice to know when others will be at the gym and let them know when I will be there.  With my schedule, a lot of times I end up at Spiece in the afternoon and don't get to see many of the others.  I know I work harder when someone is there--they don't even have to be beside me or with me!  Mother's Day tomorrow and I am proud to be doing something for me--even though I know it benefits the whole family.  My mom passed away in 2009 and I just wish I could be sharing this with her.  She would have loved to see my journey.  I am praying for a good weigh in but I am seeing lots of changes in other areas, too!  Recovery is so much faster, I am running longer, I am in a smaller sports bra, my clothes are looser, I think my wall sit is lower, my squats are deeper, and I am doing stairs (even though they still kill me)!  The list could go on and on.  Ready for some more changes to come!!



Down 3.8 tonight for a total of 22.6!  I was very happy with that but not satisfied.  I want to push even harder this week and keep eating the way I should.  I feel amazing.  I can't thank Rick and Tina enough for their encouragement, belief and pushing.  They are an amazing couple with such giving hearts.  The tour at Kroger tonight was good.  I have to admit, I don't watch my sodium as closely as I should.  That is my goal this week--to be aware of my sodium!  It hasn't been bad but I am just oblivious to it. I can't wait to get it on tomorrow morning!



This week has been a contrast in emotions.  As I said below, my discouragement is gone and I am feeling really good.  I lost 3 pounds for a total of 18.8.  I am still on track to lose at least 50 pounds but I really would like to have another big week.  I feel like I am pushing myself this week more than last week.  Today I learned how to do Jacobs Ladder.  OH MY WORD! I was on it for less than 3 minutes and it killed me--it didn't help I was feeling light headed.  I can't wait to try it again!  There is more that I can do than just the treadmill--I love the creativity for my workouts that I am learning.  Cece was right this morning, it is a lot easier to push it when others are around.  And, it is a lot easier to dog it when no one is watching! I am fighting that!  Looking forward to the pool tomorrow and finally getting a chance to do the sleds this week.  oh, I tried some yummy new recipes this week.  My favorite so far is the quinoa and bean salad!



Today was a brand new day!  The discouragement I had been feeling was gone and I went in with a whole new attitude.  The workout was great and I did the stairs! I was a little apprehensive but, thankfully, Tina pushed me and I did it.  My knees were fine and I even jogged a little between stations and around the gym.  The run tonight is hilly so I will be cautious with my running but I am willing to try.  If it was easy, everyone would do it! 



I have a love/hate relationship with that scale.  I know I am doing the work and felt really good going into the weigh in.  I didn't lose as much as I would have liked but 2.4 is not bad.  The meeting was great at St. Francis.  The dietitians and students really treated us right and gave me a couple things I can't wait to make at home. Thank you Thank you!! I even tried cauliflower rice and liked it.  Then this morning at the gym I broke down.  I don't know if it was seeing all the people getting "extra love" and then feeling my knee and foot hurting or if I just hit an emotional wall I needed to break through.  I hate feeling weak and it is frustrating when your body won't let you do what you really want to do.  A talk with Tina and Mari helped and also the encouragement from Lori and Paula!  I am in this to make me better, not to compare myself with everyone else.  Needing to go see Andreas is not a weakness, it is a necessary step to getting me on the right track and getting me doing what I need to do.  I love the support I got this morning (and everyday!) but I also love that I am not being coddled but pushed to do and be my best.  On to prepping some Egg Muffin Frittatas and Quinoa & Black Bean Salad!



Tomorrow is the 5K.  I am excited to see how it goes and how I do.  I have had a good week and know I worked really hard so I am just hoping it shows.  I am really working on not worrying about what others think about how I am doing and just doing the work! 


Honesty time--I am a bit discouraged.  I feel like everyone is improving and seeing changes and I am not.  I know that is a lie and I am getting stronger but feelings can be strong and deceptive!  I am working my tail off and feel like I give my all at every workout and with my eating so I need to get out of my head (like CiCi said today) and trust the process.  I am going to stay positive--encouraging others will keep me encouraged!



well, weigh in tonight.  I was hoping for a big number but ended up losing 2.6 again.  I would be lying if I didn't admit to being a little frustrated.  Last week was hard to get in my second workouts.  I did more at home than I want to.  I did them but I always feel like I do better when I am at Spiece.  My eating was good so that isn't my issue.  Today was the first day I got on the treadmill at Spiece and just hurt and didn't want to continue. That is until Miranda got on the one beside me.  She didn't need to say anything but just having someone working hard next to me made me keep going! I am ready for this week and all the challenges and work! 


The second weigh in was last night and I was nervous.  To be totally honest, I feel bloated and crampy, so that was worrying me.  I did fine--down 2.6.  So I am at a total loss of 10.8 and am very happy about that.  My team really stepped it up, too.  We went from last to second in total weight lost and Mike and Rhonda were the weekly percentage winners.  They gave Dan and I the prize but realized they did cumulative instead of weekly.  That is ok--I will go for it for next week!  I am really trying to stay positive and encouraging to my team and everyone else.  I struggle with coming home and sitting down and falling asleep.  I need to keep going with my day so that I get things done and am available to my family.  If I nap, I have trouble falling asleep at night, then I am tired the next morning which makes me want to nap when I get home from my workout and the whole cycle starts over again.  I won't have a chance to nap this week so I will hopefully break that habit.  This week will be a little different because the TV show Todays Homeowner with Danny Lipford is shooting a show from our house.  I need to come home, shower and be ready for whatever they need me to do for the next 2 to 3 days.  Luckily, they will be gone by 5ish each evening so I can get my second workout in! The workouts are really hard when I am doing them but immediately after, I feel great.  I just have to remember that feeling in the hard moments!


Sunday--our day of rest.  I truly believe that if God rested one day a week, so should I. I have worked hard this week and nailed my food.  I don't know why, but it feels like I didn't do as well as last week but I know I put in the work.  I have to trust the process, keep my attitude right and keep pushing.  A spinning class at 5:15 tomorrow morning, a 40 minute walk/run in the afternoon and then weigh in. I am really looking forward to seeing my new family every day! 



Another pool day.  The workouts on the pool are really hard but I love them!  I have little scratches on the bottom of my big toes so I might try to find some aqua socks or something.  I struggle with going back in the evening for a 2nd workout.  It is easier to jump on the treadmill at home but I don't want to take the easy way! 



Today's workout was tough!!  I was feeling pretty lightheaded.  A different before workout snack will hopefully help that, an apple isn't enough or right.  I was ok with it last week but upping the intensity means I need more carbs and protein.  That is what the trainers and nutritionist recommend. Coming home, the sky was amazing which reminded me that God is with me and His mercies are new every morning!



I was really nervous for our second weigh in tonight.  I would see how all my hard work paid off--and it did!!  I lose 8.2 and had the highest percentage for the women.  I am proud of myself--if I keep doing the work, it will keep working!  My food has been going good and I am drinking a ton of water.  I plan to get a few extra workouts in this week.  



Pool day!  Being a former swimmer and lifeguard, I thought, no problem.  Oops, that was a man stake! It was tough but so much fun.  I loved it but really enjoyed the camaraderie and encouragement from all the other contestants, alumni and trainers. My food is going well but I miss protein.  Learning to adjust and enjoy smaller amounts. 




4:30 came awfully early this morning.  After the 1st weigh in and nutritional meeting last night I was ready to go.  It was hard but felt really good.  The people on my team and everyone else is so encouraging.  That is what I hope to be for them, too.  The weigh in was hard emotionally.  I weighed in last so I was encouraged to see everyone else make it through.  I was expecting a menu to just follow (no thinking) but that is not how it works.  I need to figure out what is best for me and plan it myself so that is my goal today--write out my menu for the week!




I was so excited at orientation today. It was fun to meet my team and all the others. Can't wait for the start.