I believe we all have a starting point, or event that triggers us to set forth the act of change. For me, being an overweight adolescent, teen, and young adult, was not enough to trigger a change. I didn’t like it, but it was familiar, and even comfortable. It wasn’t until after I had kids that I found my desire for change. I found myself sitting in the passenger seat of our car, buckling my seatbelt. The seatbelt was stretched to the max, leaving me no room to wriggle or move around. I wouldn’t say I am claustrophobic, but I did not like the feeling of being strapped so snuggly into the belt. I felt as if I couldn’t breath, that I was trapped. It was then, that I realized I truly was trapped. Not only was I overweight, out of shape, and unhappy, I also realized I was the one responsible for the situation which I found myself. It’s a scary moment in your life when you have this realization. This was my “rock-bottom” moment.
I joined a weight loss group and attended meetings every week. I started keeping a record of everything I ate. I spent time each week planning out meals. I measured everything I ate. And then, the weight slowly started coming off. My clothes started to fit loser, I could walk up a flight of steps without getting winded, and even better, I just plain started to feel better. I was actively playing with my kids, something I couldn’t do before. No more watching them from the sidelines.
It took me two years to reach my goal at the time. But I had finally done it, by just making dietary changes. I learned about portion sizes, and calories, and how to plan meals. I was in such a better place mentally. I was really enjoying life. It wasn’t easy to lose the weight, it took patience and determination. And I found maintaining my weight loss wasn’t any easier. In fact, it was harder. I started walking in the evenings to help find the balance in this “maintenance” mode.
Several years later, I decided to try to losing a few more pounds. I knew that I was going to need to make some additional changes. I joined a local running group and registered for my first race, the half marathon. Not having ever been a runner, I had no idea what I was getting myself into! Each week I met up with the running group, increasing my miles slowly. This was my first experience using a training plan and setting a real goal for myself. I remember crossing the finish line of that race and the sheer joy I felt. This is where my love for running was discovered. I continued to run and challenge myself by signing up for more races. I have now completed 15 marathons, and countless half marathons and 10 and 5k’s.
Running is my solstice, my center, my rock. Not every run is easy, or glamorous. Some are just plain hard. But I push through the miles and think about that feeling of accomplishment and pride I will have when I am done.
I hope that by sharing my story, it will bring others motivation and inspiration to go after the change they dream of. Change is scary but….it can take us to some really great places!