2014 was a great year for me, physically, as a runner. I made it through the year having ran over 500 miles- injury free, and connected with friends and family who have similar running interests.
I found and joined several running groups online, and starting following people (often strangers) on Instagram whose images struck me in a motivational way. As the year came to a close, I realized several things about my “fitlife,” the most important lessons being that:
- I CAN DO IT. Two years ago, I never thought running a half marathon would be on my list of accomplishments… simply because I didn’t think I could do it. BUT GOD! Running has shown me that the only limitations are the ones I set on myself. I keep the 3 race medals and bibs I earned in 2014 above my treadmill to remind myself that I can do ALL THINGS through CHRIST who strengthens me.
- I MAKE THE TIME FOR WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO. Trust me, I had every excuse in the world not to be more active. My man wasn’t complaining, I work full time, I have two small kids, I was tired after cooking and cleaning- you name it, I’ve said it. The reality was that I was holding myself back from being GREAT. I was settling in this area of my life because I wasn’t being pushed or challenged, yet I knew the risks that came with inactivity.
- I CAN SELF MOTIVATE. Man, listen. I’m all for accountability- but it has to be intrinsic. If I ask someone to help push me to be better, or do better, then part of me will begin to depend on that push to keep me going. The MINUTE that support begins to wane, then my focus begins to slack up. I’ve had to learn to motivate myself through improving my own stats, positive imagery, and by remembering that the scale is not the only measure of success. There is nothing like trying on a pair of jeans and having them slip right on- knowing that you couldn’t wear that size a month ago!
- I CAN SET A WEIGHT LOSS GOAL AND REACH IT THE OLD FASHIONED WAY; through healthy eating and exercise! This is not a knock to those who take supplements or and other enhancers, but I’ve lost all my weight to date (35lbs) through consistent running. Everything that I’ve ever read on long term weight loss says that fads don’t work. At the end of the day, you have to burn more calories than you take in. There is no magic formula or product out there that will take the place of that fact. There were some weeks here and there when I didn’t eat as much red meat, or I tried to watch how much bread I ate, but for the most part, there have been no major dietary changes. I know I would have lost more weight had I been more disciplined in that area, but that leads me to the last lesson 2014 taught me.
I’ve learned where my real challenges are- and that is in the kitchen. It’s hard, hard, hard for me to pass up a good steak and loaded baked potato or a creamy pasta dish. I love a good mixed drink-but I can’t outrun the fork…. and I can’t drink my weight in calories. EVERYDAY, before each meal I have to think about my choices. Sometimes I win and make great choices, and sometimes I allow myself to indulge. This lifestyle change forces me to keep a healthy balance. I almost let my insecurities stop me from sharing my journey. I didn’t think people would relate to me. There were so many times I got frustrated and wanted to quit. There were month(s) that I ran over 50 miles and only lost 3 lbs.! But, I never gave up. Encouragement helps. I stopped getting distracted on who it was/wasn’t coming from, and just took accepted the message. Hearing people tell me that I’ve inspired them or that I’ve helped motivate them in some small way also pushes me to keep going because that in itself was an unexpected blessing in this journey. I’ve set some new goals for 2015, all related to running. I certainly want to earn more medals, but more than anything, I want to improve my pace and work towards marathon qualification. My 2015 GW is 150, 5 lbs. lower than last year. To get there, I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing; and I look forward to sharing my results with everyone in 2015!