People often ask how I did this, why I got started and how I kept going. I seem to have a form answer to give but really I don’t think I was as conscious of this all in the moment as I am now. I’ll never forget that month of August in 2008 when I lost my job while my Mom was terminally ill in the hospital. A week later, shortly after she was allowed to go home (not because she was better but because there was nothing more, medically they could do to improve her health) I lost my Mom. About a week after that, I lost my grandmother who’d been battling heart disease. What a four weeks right?!
Although it may seem like it, this isn’t some “aha moment” that happens where something “clicks” and all of a sudden this whole process becomes easy. Quite the contrary…and it took a while too! But at the time I did know one thing, genetics wasn’t in my favor (from both sides) and while I didn’t have control over that, I did have the option to have control over my weight. Don’t get me wrong though, I didn’t do this because I was afraid dying. I don’t fear dying–we are all here for a purpose, once we fulfill it, that’s it and we don’t have control over that. I made changes to my health because I wanted to start living my life. I realized just how precious and (possibly) short it can be and I wasn’t going to take it for granted. In my current state of being at the time, I was far from living life. I wanted to thrive and I was barely surviving.
So that’s how I started. I guess the “easy” part was that I did have a clear start and a why. That all evolved over time, what was rooted in the passing of my Mom and grandma internalized and was more focused on me. It all happens with one step at a time and a consistent focus forward. Looking back to learn is ok, but staying there isn’t an option that you can keep while on this journey.
Even now, maintaining a healthy weight seems more challenging than losing-I’ve spent most of my life losing weight but rarely if ever maintaining a healthy one. So how does one maintain a healthy weight, live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the life they’ve been blessed with? Great question and I plan to find out! Some of my favorite (and regular “go to” movies have themes like this. While I don’t have the means to jetset off to Europe or Asia or anywhere else in the world, I know that I can have similar growth wherever I am (now a days that’s a moving target, LOL).
So I invite you to join me on my journey I’m deeming “EAT PRAY RUN” where I find my balance in living healthy and happy–both inside and out, because a Healthy Mind + Healthy Body = Well Being.
My activity of choice may be obvious to many of you who know me, but for those who don’t I’ll share some details….When I first started trying to live healthier staying active was challenging, I was over 345lbs. So I started by walking, my Mom was an avid walker and I felt more connected to her when I’d go out for these walks. Over time, my walking has evolved into running and in August of 2012 I ran my first half marathon. Now I’ve completed 12 more and counting! If you’ve never done one, the training programs alone can seem daunting. 13 weeks of running with long runs ranging from 5-12 miles long. Now that doesn’t seem as long to me anymore but doing them on a regular basis since 2012 has and I recently hit burn out mode. But in my heart I love running and know I don’t want to give it up, but we have been on a bit of a break.
So enter in my “EAT PRAY RUN”!! We all know what’s best to eat vs what’s not, but many of us don’t do it. But I know how good I feel when my body is fueled vs fed. By that I mean, when my eating habits are centered around fueling my body for optimal performance (day in and day out, in training, or competition) versus feeding my body either based on emotions or feelings. When I “feed” myself, it’s usually higher in fat, salt, and sugar. When I fuel myself it’s usually healthy fats, low sodium, minimal/no sugars and lots of water. I feel my best when I eat like this, I end up having better and more sustained energy and sleep better too! So there’s the EAT of my “EAT PRAY RUN”.
The PRAY is more about allowing myself time to reflect internally. I’d confidently say that most of my energy/focus in a day is externally given–work, family, friends, etc. It’s not a complaint, just an observation on my part that there needs to be more of a balance there in order for me to be able to provide my best self to those that I love and care for. My PRAY will be spent in morning “me time” where I quietly reflect on what my day has in store, morning yoga and a motivational short read. Additionally, in the evening I’ll plan to do some “me time” through reflection and meditation. I figure that’s a good way to wind down my day. I don’t know that I’ll have something to check in with here daily, but if I do, you can be sure that part of my PM PRAY will be a blog.
Finally, RUN. Kinda obvious what that will consist of, right? LOL. But in all seriousness, I want to fall back in love with running–whole heartedly. I know that part of that is realizing that I do run (as a wise person told me once) because I can and want to, not because I have to. Also, someone else shared some wisdom with me in that, not every run needs (or should be) treated as a competition. PRs (personal records) don’t need to be achieved at every race. These are both important for many reasons, one being self care for my body. Even elite athletes have time off from competing, and I’m far from an elite athlete! But seem to neglect working in the balance of training and resting. Finding and practicing this balance will be part of the RUN of my EAT PRAY RUN.
All three aspects are key in me learning the balance of living this weight and healthy lifestyle, which is ultimately my goal. I know the yo-yo living of training hard to burning out is a reflection of the way I used to live. In order to truly not go back to that, I need to change how I live day in and day out–internally. What I think, I do. So I will do my best to keep it mostly positive because I know that ripples to many other aspects of my life. It can easily break me when I’m struggling with food or a workout. Which can just as easily domino beyond just one day!
This year August will be different…I will do more than survive…I WILL thrive. I will take what I learn each day to build on to the next. Each small step leads to bigger change. I will stumble but that’s part of the process. I will get back up, dust myself off, and continue on…I’m that determined to find the balance in my healthy lifestyle–i prefer and enjoy it over the alternative and I want it to become easier over time.
Stay tuned for more on my #EatPrayRun, #FindingBalance and #DreGetsHerGrooveBack!!
For daily check ins, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter at @ReNewedMe