Thursday, May 24, 2012

It takes time....but anything is possible!

Like anything worth having in life, weight loss and distance running both take a lot of time, dedication and sacrifice. I have had so many thoughts swirling through my brain this week after the disappointment of The Cleveland Marathon and finally came to some conclusions:

  • Five years ago, I couldn't run a mile
  • Five years ago, I was very much overweight
  • Five years ago, I was setting a bad example for my child 
  • Three years ago, I couldn't run a mile
  • Three years ago, although pregnant, I was very much overweight
  • Three years ago, I was setting a bad example for my children
  • Two and a half years ago, I decided to do something about it; I started running
  • Two years ago, I started eating healthy and losing weight
  • Two years ago, I started setting better examples for my children
  • One year ago, I hit my goal weight (the first time)
  • Seven months ago, I ran my first marathon
  • Four days ago, I ran my second marathon
I may not have had the race I WANTED this Sunday, but in the grand scheme of life, it was fantastic. When I started running, I was aiming high, I wanted to be able to run five miles "comfortably". That was my dream goal. No idea if I would ever be able to do it, FIVE MILES was far! Now, I can't imagine not being able to run five miles. Sunday, I completed my SECOND MARATHON. When I was dreaming of running five miles, the thought of running a marathon, let alone TWO never even crossed my mind. 

Pictures that changed my life.
I didn't even recognize myself!

When I started trying to lose weight and be healthier, I honestly didn't think I would reach my goals. Why should I? I never had before. I figured I'd give it a good try, and continue on with life as usual. Luckily, something clicked in me this time. I was losing weight and feeling good. I was buying smaller, much cuter clothes and I LOVED it! 

I was running, I hit five miles and tackled a half marathon. Let me say that again, I RAN 13.1 miles! It took me a while to absorb that I actually did that! At that point, I still had no thoughts/desire/delusions of running a marathon. Then I signed up for half marathon #2 and started training for a time goal. Then I got the itch to run a marathon. Now, two and a half years after starting my running and active life, I have COMPLETED TWO MARATHONS. Up next? I have no idea. I know that I will continue to try to set a good example for my kids but being as healthy as I possibly can. I know that I will continue to try to set a good example by going after my goals and dreams. I know that I will continue to be active and encourage them to be active and healthy as well. I know that I will continue to encourage my friends and family to go after their dreams, to live a healthy and active life, too. 

Before Marathon #2. Two years, five months
after starting my weightloss journey.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

Just like my running journey, my weightloss journey hasn't been "easy". Some people think that because I run (and run a LOT), it's easy to lose or maintain my weight. It's not. My "before" picture above was actually taken after I had been running consistently for about four months. I was under the delusion that I could eat what I wanted because I was running. I WISH! I learned that I had to start watching what I ate AND exercising in order to lose weight. Sure, training for a marathon and running 40 miles a week certainly helps. It allows me the occasional indulgences, but it certainly doesn't give me a free pass to eat whatever I want. I still struggle with making healthy choices. It's easier now than it was two years ago, and I'm hoping that one day it will just be "easy". However, healthy eating has become a way of life. No, I don't eat healthy all day every day. I have found that for myself, moderation is key. I still struggle some days with that moderation, but I think about my choices each and every day.  I continue to work at it. 

If you are looking to lose weight and looking for the magic "instant" skinny pill, then you need to keep looking. I, too, used to look for the fast, easy way to lose weight. It doesn't work! The only real way to lose weight and keep it off is by changing your life. It's one day at a time, one step at a time. Sure, it sucks that it takes a long time. It sucks that it takes a lot of hard work. But if you are ready to change your life, you can do it! Get your support system. Friends, family, on-line, anywhere and everywhere that you can. You will NEED it. But, every day it does get easier. You will have set-backs. You will struggle, but in the end, I think you'll be happy with the decision.

I will keep enjoying every milestone I reach. I will remind myself of where I started and how far I've come. 

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING ENOUGH, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

I'm not sure where my running journey is taking me next, I have some thoughts swirling about that, too. More on those later. Whatever I decide, though, I know that with enough hard work and dedication, that it IS POSSIBLE!

Where are your dreams taking you? How far have they brought you so far?







13 comments:

  1. Is there any wonder why you're my hero?
    You've had an amazing transformation, it's been an honor to witness it.

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    1. Thanks, Jamie! For your kind words and making me cry before 8am! :)

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  2. Two words: You. Rock. I have a picture likes that too. I hate it, but it motivates the heck out of me! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

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    1. Thank you Heather! Sometimes we just need a little reminder, don't we? I keep my "before" picture on my desktop for just that reason!

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  4. You are such an inspiration! I only wish more people could experience what you have...there really is no magic trick or skinny pill as effective as taking the long road. The discoveries you make about yourself along the way are priceless! Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments!

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  5. Love this! I have been telling myself that there's no way I can run a marathon because a half-marathon took everything I had in my tank. It's just a lousy excuse and now you've inspired me to try it. Thank you!!!

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  6. Anne,

    What an amazing journey!! You are such an inspiration! Congrats to you!!!

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  7. Awesome post, Anne! What a journey you have had and now you are an awesome example to many - not just the kids! Way to go!

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  8. Congrats- anything is possible. It is great that you are able to encourage others through your own accomplishments.

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