I posted a short version of this on Instagram when it was the 2 year anniversary of this lifestyle change I made and thought I’d expand a bit, and hopefully inspire others to make changes in their life to get healthy and fit too!
2013: I made a choice to change my lifestyle in February with a goal to become the healthiest and fittest I’ve ever been by the age of 30 (May 2014). I knew I wanted to be healthier for myself and my family, so I started running regularly and my diet was overhauled. I said no to soda, artificial sweeteners and dyes, hydrogenated oils, GMO’s, and cut way back on processed foods. I went gluten free in March 2012, as it gives me congestion issues among other problems, so I had cut out a lot of garbage already. I finally started caring about what I ate instead of just caring about what I fed my family. This doesn’t mean I never have sweets though; I am human! They are just much less frequent. I started running regularly, but it didn’t come easy. I couldn’t run a mile without stopping when I began this journey. I was literally running for 30 seconds and then I’d walk for 10-15 seconds, and just kept doing that until I was cutting out more and more of the walk breaks. It was a slow and steady start.
2014: Before I knew it, I had completed my first half marathon in April. I’m not a “fast” runner, but I love the feeling I get from running. There just isn’t anything like it! And crossing that finish line was such a huge accomplishment for me, so I was thrilled! I was about 1 month from turning 30, and I definitely feel like I reached my goal. But, at that point I still had (and still do have) more fitness goals to fulfill. So, I’m continuing to stay active and eat well to be the healthiest and happiest me I can be. I find running to be a great stress reliever.
I started practicing yoga, spinning, or lifting weights on non-running days. Later in the year I bought my first road bike and bike trainer. I went from not doing much for physical activity to being so passionate about fitness over the course of a year or so. Running is what really got me into my other fitness interests.
2015: Finishing my first marathon was definitely one of my greatest personal achievements. There is a quote I came across during my training that said, “The person who starts a marathon is not the same person who finishes.” I know that that race changed me, as cheesy as that sounds. Not just the race, but the training. I feel like I am so much stronger, not just physically but mentally too. There were some really tough times during training and during the race where I wanted to just be done. I wanted to give up. But I didn’t and now I know I can dig a little deeper when it gets rocky.
It’s been a great 2 years of positive change with some hard work and dedication! What’s next? In effort to avoid the “post marathon depression” I had heard about, I signed up for my first Sprint Triathlon as my next big challenge. I love the excitement of conquering something I once thought would be impossible! So for the next several months it’ll be swim, bike, run, swim, bike, run….all the way to the finish line! 🙂 Can’t wait! Until then, I’ll have a few shorter races I’m pretty excited about too.