5 years ago I was 120 pounds heavier and I had not run, let alone raced, for 17 years.
To be where I am today is something I am so happy and thankful for.
I put in a lot of hard work. I set a lot of goals, never really sure which ones I would be able to reach and to what extent.
Yes, they were somewhat ambiguous. No pressure. Just get something done. Here were the goals I set and went to reach:
Goal 1 – Lose Weight
I was so unhappy carrying so much weight. I hated every bit of it. Constantly trying to find clothes to cover the awful truth, be comfortable but yet still appear to be slimming. If you have been there, you know one thing. It is sad and frustrating.
That was my goal. Lose weight. I had no specific weight in mind. To get to the weight I was when I graduated high school, or got married I would have to lose 110 pounds. I didn’t even consider my high school weight a possibility. I had abused my body, I had 3 kids. I just set the goal – to lose weight.
I would never have imagined that I would now weight less than when I graduated high school. That I would take a standard size 10/12 figure and become a size 4 figure. Never, ever, ever. But I did. I am proof it can be done.
Goal 2 – Exercise
I bought my beloved treadmill 6 years ago. I started walking. 3.0 mph was a lot for me to accomplish. But I did. I walked every day for at least an hour. I went through another pregnancy and began walking again after my son’s delivery. I had really started to watch what I was eating. As the weight slowly began to come off, I could go a little faster. I could walk at 3.3 mph, 3.5 mph. I had realized it wasn’t a quick workout where I would see results. I needed to pick a pace that I could carry FOR A LONG TIME. I did not nap when my son napped for 2 hours. I would do some chores and WALK.
Weight came off. Walking became jogging. Jogging became running. By the time I had 90 pounds off I was happy. I thought I was done. But my body just kept letting it all go. Fine with me!
Goal 3 – Change my food lifestyle
I have never really eaten badly. I am not a fast food girl. I am not a “let’s go out and eat everyday” girl. I didn’t really eat bad, I just ate a lot I guess. I never really lost my pregnancy weight in between kids. I never really exercised. I just ate a lot and bought bigger clothes.
I started with Weight Watchers, but realized with that diet I still had the potential to be eating a lot of fake and processed food. Knowing the impact of portion sizes, I still did Weight Watchers, but from a whole foods perspective. I really focus on whole foods, organic foods. After losing the weight I became a vegetarian to enhance my running performance. No complaints there! I agree a plant-based diet has helped me run faster! Some problems with soy and dairy and I have added Shrimp and Salmon back into my diet occasionally. But still feel pretty plant based and keep the weight off.
Goal 4 – Racing
I had been able to reach so many goals to this point. I had lost weight. I was able to run again. I felt so good. One thing I had always loved to do was race. Maybe I would try again?
So I signed up for a local trail 10K. It felt so good to be back out running. With a number pinned to my shirt. It felt so good.
I continued to run races. I found that signing up for a $15-$20 race was perfect for me – it was experience. It was a goal. It gave me something to work for. The races sponsored by my local running companies were inexpensive, short and nearby.
In short, they were affordable and doable and great motivators.
Wasn’t just me. Many times at those races I would find myself talking to someone else saying this was their race for the month. Their motivator to keep in shape. High 5! Me too!
I was so unhappy 120 pounds ago. Everything was SO HARD. Today when I carry my 55 pound son I am gasping. I am not weak – because I have to carry him so much, I am pretty strong! But the weight. Sometimes I can’t imagine having to try and carry 120 pounds again. And I hope I will never ever ever have to.
One of the best parts of my weight loss journey – through the years, favorite clothes that were too small got boxed and put into the basement for when I could fit in them again. Once I had lost 110 pounds, I went to get that box. The exercise, the food, the racing – my too small-clothes WERE TOO BIG for me! Something I never ever imagined possible. I still keep them, some of my favorite bigger clothes, but am happy to say I got rid of all of my BIG girl clothes!