Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Penny Drops...

I have felt very motivated since I last posted. I think it is due to a new perspective that I have adopted. That new perspective is to do with 'this' not being about 'skinny' anymore, but about being healthy. That in mind, I have traded my car in for my legs and I am walking wherever possible. The distance doesn't matter - If there is a safe pedestrian footpath all the way there, the car stays at home.

I suddenly realised I don't need to depend on my husband to babysit so that I can go running, or wait until the children are all in bed (when I may be too tired) to do an exercise DVD: I can get exercise every day just by walking instead of driving! I got my car less than 2 years ago, and since then I have gained about 3.5 stone. I think my body may be trying to tell me something! It's time I pricked up my ears and really listened to what my body is saying.

Just to prove what I am saying is true, here is a photo of me when I was pregnant with my twins, before I started driving:


I wasn't on any special diet to keep my weight in check. I didn't ever think about what I ate - I just used to walk everywhere. I think walking is under-rated as exercise goes, so I'm giving it a real go leaving the car at home at every opportunity.

I think the penny has finally dropped, that could make all the difference for me now. It's not about getting thin anymore, it's about getting healthy - and I've really surprised myself in realising that I want that much more than I care about what my body looks like! Losing weight will be a bonus. A big bonus, but it's not the focal point. Getting fit is. And being healthy.

When I was in college, I used to get up at 6 every day to jog the 16 miles there. Then I'd get the bus home, have dinner, and get on my bike to cycle 16 miles to my boyfriend's house - and cycle back again afterwards, too. I loved exercise and being active, and I want to get back to that. When I started college and started walking and cycling everywhere, I dropped 5 dress sizes (went from an 18 to an 8) without even trying OR noticing. I just noticed the fitness aspect and how much I was enjoying myself and loving the exercise and the 'runners high' that I used to get.

As I'm becoming more active now, it's all flooding back. The post-run-euphoria, the enjoyment of walking for miles in the evening sunshine, the sense of satisfaction upon arriving after working hard to get somewhere. I've found that I don't care quite so much about 'skinny' anymore. I want to be fit and healthy. That's what I really care about.

And I think that's what's kept me on track since I last posted as well. I don't think 'skinny' is a realistic, healthy or sustainable goal or motivator, because it's long-term, it's too far off in the future. I think I would grow bored or frustrated if skinny was my only goal, and would be at risk of giving up long before my goal was within grasp. Because I'm the type of person who has to see results to keep myself in the game. Fitness and Health are long-term goals but they are ongoing goals as well. I can see results each time it easier to walk that distance, each time I walk a little further, run a little faster, get less out of breath... I can see my improvement in bite sizes and can set mini-goals along the way as well that will keep me motivated and on-course.

So, with these mini-motivating-goals in mind, I have decided to enter this: It gives me something to think and work and train towards. It's not until October, so I have plenty of time to train, prepare and make sure that I am capable. I'll only go for the 6.55km as it's the first event like this that I'll have entered. Next year I can go for 13km or 26 depending on how fit I am by then. I feel very excited thinking about all that is to come - my growing fitness, entering events, being fit enough to run these long distances. Any weight lost will be a bonus in my eyes. But it's not what it's about. Not anymore.

It really helps to have a goal, which is ongoing. It's no good having a goal like, "Skinny". Skinny is not my friend. So, I get skinny.... then what? I stop trying and put weight on again? Skinny is not my goal. Healthy is. And in my goal being to be healthy, it means I am not on a diet. I am not running to get skinny. I am running to be healthy and eating healthy foods that will nourish my body and give me energy. It is a lifestyle change and it is a lifeLONG change.

This thought used to fill me with dread. I used to sit and think, "I can never eat like I want to again - Even once I am skinny, I'll have to stay on a diet for the rest of my life, or I'll just get fat again!". Now I think about my healthy future, being a fit and keen running person... and I am excited! I want to be that person! As Winston Churchill said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts". This is ongoing. I am turning my life around. I may well have some days where I don't get out there and run like I should, or where I take the car down the road into town rather than walking it, or where I eat gluten or sit on the couch all day - But failure is not fatal, because I can pick it up where I left off. I have the courage to continue. My goal (success - skinny?) is not final - My goal is ongoing. My goal is continuance.

I can't wait to enjoy the rest of my life as a fit, active and healthy person. Right now, I put on my running clothes and I'm aware I look ridicules at a size 16 with a bulging belly and wobbly thighs, but it's all for a purpose, and when I hit the street eventually in size 10 running clothes to go for a 10k run, people who sniggered at me now will not be sniggering then.

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