It’s been 3 years since I wrote this post, where I had met my first weight loss goal of 50 lbs and had set other goals for myself. Rereading the post and thinking back over the past 3 years – a lot has happened since that life-changing moment.
Since October 31, 2014
I lost another 25 lbs (and continue to maintain that weight).
I did get my bookish tattoo. I also got a running tattoo the following year. And my Stay the Path tattoo this past year.
Despite never working out in my life, I started running, fell in love with it, and ran in 12 races last year.
I no longer hate summer time. 😉
Things I’ve learned in the past 3 years
IT’S STILL ALL ABOUT BALANCE
I may not eat fast food or a lot of pasta or bread, but I still love pizza, donuts, and red wine. If I’m going to work my butt off to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I intend to indulge in the things I love once in awhile. Moderation is the key.
MAINTAINING IS HARD
Losing the weight used to seem like the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but maintaining it has proven to be much harder. Not allowing myself to fall back into old habits, always finding the motivation to exercise – it can be really tough. Some days are better than others, as is the case with most things in life. You learn to adjust and find new ways to focus and get back on track when you fall off.
LOVE YOURSELF AND CELEBRATE EVERY NON-SCALE VICTORY
Finding my confidence didn’t happen overnight. I have good days and bad days, and I’m still hard on myself sometimes. But the feeling of happiness and contentment I feel with myself is greater now than it ever was. At 36 years old, I’m feeling better then I did for the entirety of my 20’s. I have learned to accept myself, flaws and all, to be proud of how hard I’ve worked and how far I’ve come.
That goes for all the NSV’s that happened or keep happening along the way:
Going from a size XXL to a SM
Being able to shop online for clothes and not having to try something on before buying it
Running 4-5 days a week and averaging a 9 minute mile
Having more energy
Learning to love working out/running and having the discipline to continue doing it (I used to be a big quitter at everything)
I’m not saying I don’t have days where I wish my stomach was flatter, or my arms were more muscular. It’s not a switch that can be turned off – when you’ve been obese for a long time, it is hard to change the way you think about yourself. But in the past 3 years I have worked really hard on the mental part of this journey – it’s so important to give yourself some grace and to be able to love yourself. I will never be able to afford any kind of surgery for my excess skin issue, so I’ve learned to just accept it. The extra skin on my thighs – oh well! I work damn hard for these legs, and I’m proud of them!
I will never have the perfect body, but I choose to see the beauty in my imperfections and will work on being kinder to myself and being happy with how far I’ve come.
KEEP SETTING GOALS
“You’re never too old to set new goals or dream new dreams”. In order to stay motivated, I have to set little goals for myself all the time. Whether it’s hitting my 5 days of running and stopping for that donut I love. Or after gaining some extra pounds over vacation, setting a goal to get back on track. The reward is always that feeling of accomplishment.
I’m probably never going to run a marathon, which was a goal of mine a year ago. I’ll be lucky if I run a half at some point – right now my hamstring acts up after 4 miles. But I’m grateful every day for the ability to run what I can, and even though I’m not running marathons, I’m getting up and getting out there and pushing myself to be better every day.
I love running, but I do eventually want to try other things. I am not big on strength training (even though I know I should be, because it’s good for runners), but I do have areas I need to work on, my arms being my number one goal.
IT’S A LIFESTYLE
It never stops. Three years later I still count my calories daily. I may not count every single thing like I did before, but I still do it for accountability and to keep myself on track. Will I ever trust myself enough to stop? Probably not. And I’m okay with that. It doesn’t take me a lot of extra time to log my food and exercise, and it makes me feel better to continue doing it.
I’ve learned that my body is continually changing, and I’ve had to adjust my diet and exercise accordingly. I constantly change up my diet and try new foods or cut out unhealthy ones. I had to cut my running mileage back due to a hamstring injury that creeps up on me when I overdo it. Our bodies change, and we have to learn to adjust when they do.
It’s a mindset. “Positive Mind, Positive Vibes, Positive Life.” I’ve learned to focus on the positives, celebrate small victories, remove any negativity from my life, and keep pushing myself to be a better ME every single day. Being a better me includes being healthy, and I’ve learned to embrace it. Running has become my stress reliever and something I can’t live without. My body craves good foods and it wants to move daily. All of these things have made me a better wife, a better mother. And it’s changed how I think and how I approach every day – with a happy heart and determination to stay the path.