Despite it’s title, this blog really has no focus. It’s more of a venue for my thoughts and questions than anything else. I used to use blogging as a means of keeping my self accountable. When Lindsey and I were Pig Bloggers, fear of failing knowing we had readers and people cheering us on kept us accountable (and terrified) and hitting the pavement.
A lot has changed since then. There comes a point when a challenge becomes a way of life, and a diet becomes a lifestyle. I started running to lose weight. I set a goal of running a 5k. I ran a 5K and set a goal to run a 10k. I knew that if I stopped setting goals, I would end up right back where I started – fat and unhealthy. After the 10k I set the “ultimate” goal – run a marathon. Somewhere along the way to 26.2, it stopped becoming about goals, and even about running, and some sort of switch inside me flipped.
A few weeks before we started training for the marathon, Casey and I started doing some basic weight-lifting in order to build strength. I never really thought it was very important. I complained a lot, and was incredibly self-conscious in the weight room (our gym is 90% muscle-man meat heads). But Casey stayed patient and convinced me to go 3 times a week despite my whining and groaning. And then about a month later, I caught myself in the gym mirror and realized I had visible muscles. Something was actually working. I don’t think I had ever stuck with anything long enough to see results, and it felt awesome.
At the same time, my eating started to change. It didn’t happen overnight, or even consciously at first, but I started making better choices, and more importantly, making efforts to learn about nutrition. I honestly didn’t know about calories, nutrition facts, etc. – it wasn’t something we talked about at my house. Growing up, my sister had an eating disorder, so talking about food, calories, weight was a major no-no. As a result, I never really learned healthy choices and basic nutrition, and it caught up with me around age 23. My heaviest weight ever – almost 160 pounds. Please keep in mind, I’m not saying 160lbs is bad – for other people. But I am small – only 5’3” – and it was a lot of excess bulge on my small frame.
Between running, weights, and eating well, I am amazed at how much I’ve changed. I am faster, stronger, happier, have more energy – you name it. I’ve finally reached a point where I don’t even need accountability – I simply enjoy exercising and eating well. Sometimes I feel embarrassed telling people how often we go to the gym, because it makes us seem obsessive and strange. I’ll be honest. We go to the gym every day. Yes, every day – sometimes twice – weights in the morning, cardio in the afternoon. But I find it relaxing. I like the feeling of knowing I’m doing something to better myself, and make myself healthier and stronger.
And I really like eating. I eat a LOT. I count my calories every day, and don’t let myself go over. I treat it like a bank account. And the more I workout, the more calories I burn and can EAT when I get home! So I make a bargain with myself – if I want to eat a lot, I have to move a lot too. And it works – it gets me to the gym every single day, knowing I can have a yummy, healthy dinner when I get home. But that’s just me.
I also have to recognize that I am totally spoiled by having a boyfriend/fiance who does all this with me, encourages and pushes me, and most importantly cooks for me. It’s not even funny how good his food is. Like last night, we had curried swordfish served over grilled eggplant and grape tomatoes. Seriously. Left to my own devices, I would eat yogurt and oatmeal all day because that is the only edible thing I can produce.
Bottom line, I’m so much happier. I’m not sure how it all happened, or even where it’s headed, but I’m happy with the healthier person I am today. I hope I can keep learning new recipes and activities, and setting and reaching more goals. I’m grateful for having such a great support system to keep me encouraged and feeling proud.
And I’m sure as hell looking forward to not dreading putting on a bathing suit on my honeymoon!
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