Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My year in 16 pictures

My old Peace Corps buddy Lydia woke me up with a text in January saying to check my email. My excitement about what it could be was slammed back down when I saw she had signed us up for a half marathon, in April. A full two months before I wanted to run a half marathon. yeaaaah...Merry Christmas to me...
I saw it was on the year anniversary of my weight loss journey so I decided it was serendipitous. This past Saturday Lydia and I went up to Wisconsin and ran our half marathons. Lydia killed it, getting a great time. I ran it... I finished it. I powered through being incredibly sick and having an unbelievable temperature. 

Determination is something I got in spades. And when I struggle through things like a half marathon I have to remind myself I have come a long ways in a short amount of time. I have the marathon in 6 months and I look forward to seeing what lays ahead, but for now I reflect on this is past year in 16 photos.
From May 2012 with one of my favorite comedians. I just want to brag again that I creeped on Kevin McDonald while he tried to use the rest room.

THE BIKE! Again thanks to everyone who donated to it. You all are the best!
I had lost 10% of my body weight and in this photo could see the results of cutting out pop and meat and cycling everywhere.

The Bridesmaid dress. If you loss 42 pounds between taking your measurements and getting your dress there will be some alterations that are needed. Emergency, very expensive alterations were done and it looked fabulous. But I did have to endure some abuse from the seamstress about, "Why? Why? Why would I do this to the bride?!"
Waiting outside iO for my friend Patrick's SNL Showcase. This was the first time I was able to fold my legs up against my body like this, now probably the most common way you'll find me perched in a chair.  

With my first improv teacher Pat Reidy after his show at The Second City. This picture was the first wave of people noticing I looked a little different. I started getting comments about how I was "becoming pretty" and "Who knew Bontekoe had so much potential?" Comments that seemed like they desperately were meant to be complimentary but suck my very delicate and frail confidence about my appearance.

Since I was in middle school I had wanted to kayak the Chicago River (an Urban Canyon) . I was finally small enough to fit in a kayak (just barely) and had a wonderful evening kayaking the Chicago River with my girl Lydia. 

The SKINNY jeans weren't so skinny anymore. 

The GAP dress. I had never been able to fit into GAP clothes. When I a teenager the fact that I couldn't fit in anything from the GAP reflected to me my inability to blend in if I wanted to. 

The struggle will always be to find comfort in my own skin. 

Starting to feel like a grown woman. What are these hips?!

Stepping out of my siblings shadow. I have always been confused for my sister Karen or people have thought I was "Mark in a wig!" Now I feel I'm my own person and hope to be recognized as such. 

Oh I have the perfect picture to split screen this with. NYE with my friend Sam  I told him I had a picture of us from when I had visited him in Ann Arbor. We BOTH are getting better with age. 

Lost a 100 lbs by my 29th birthday. 

Doing yoga's Crow Pose. I assumed I couldn't do it and was terrified to even try. Once I stopped under estimating my own abilities and trusted my own strength I was able to do it. Have to live my life more that way. 
Right after my half marathon. Incredibly ill, running a fever, and looking a hot mess. But I finished. I just gotta keep moving. 

*If you would like to donate towards my bike ride across the Gulf Coast to get girls out and riding their bikes and hopefully changing their lives, you can donate here:

Thanks and so much love!!!!


  1. Unknown said...

    You look beautiful. This was a very touching montage. Still can't forget the chocolate you left on my car on my MCAT test day. I'm in my residency now!! Thinking of you. -Victoria

  2. Anne said...

    You continue to be a huge inspiration to me- Your strength, you're determination, and your ability to stick with it and CHALLENGE yourself along the way have a lot to do with why I kicked my own ass in to gear. <3 Thanks for being brave and for sharing your journey. You helped me change my life.

  3. Becky said...

    This post is awesome!! I love seeing all of these highlights. You are such an inspiration, Carol! I have always loved your positive (but real) attitude and your badass-ness.

  4. Anonymous said...

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your
    sites really nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Cheers

    Feel free to surf to my blog - womens vestal watches

  5. Anonymous said...

    When someone writes an article he/she retains the idea of a user in his/her brain that how a user
    can know it. Thus that's why this paragraph is amazing. Thanks!

    Review my web-site ::

  6. Anonymous said...

    Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell
    you I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums
    that deal with the same topics? Thanks a lot!

    Feel free to surf to my web-site -

  7. Trent Milam said...

    Great work there Carol! I hope someday we can go running together!
    Trent :D