Let’s face it, weight loss and fitness are on most people’s plates. And to most people weight loss is the modern story of Sisyphus. It’s the never ending boulder being pushed up the hill only to see it roll back down again. Tell me you don’t know at least five people whose goal is to lose weight and get in shape? That’s what I thought.
Consider me one of your five. The difference however is that I finally pushed my boulder up the hill and I completely obliterated it. It has been a long journey and it is surely not over but I feel I have a handle on it now.
I have struggled most of my life with my weight, even with the multitude of sports I played. I would manage to lose some weight and then gain it back again. Last year however, things changed. I decided that I was sick of constantly struggling with my health and my weight. I wanted to lose the weight for good but what I believe helped make the difference is that I put more emphasis on being healthy and happy than on the number on the scale.
I started eating healthier, and limited the “treats” that I allowed myself. It’s okay to have treats now and again, it’s not about limiting yourself, but finding moderation. I took up running again and slowly worked up my mileage. Then, I started challenging myself. I wanted to work my way up to at least a half marathon. First, I ran a 4-mile race on Thanksgiving, then I found myself signed up for the Spartan Sprint in Amesbury, MA. Now I am signed up for the Spartan Beast and also training for my first marathon. I want to constantly challenge my body and my mind and I think running the Spartan race really sparked that fire within me. I want to be my own hero, my own model and my own beast.
I also started adding more weight training into my workouts and eating at least 5 meals a day. I realized that the way that I used to try and lose weight, was by not eating a lot and doing a lot of cardio. What makes the difference is trying to lift heavy weights and eating enough food to nourish your body. You won’t see results if you’re starving yourself. You won’t see changes in your body if you aren’t lifting weights. Being able to open your own jars without relying on someone is sexy, being able to pull your own body weight over a 7 foot wall is sexier (weight training helps with both).
Once of the most important lessons that I’ve learned is to have the right mindset. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle is not always easy, but you have to learn to be positive about everything. Success comes in believing you can do it even when you fail the first time. This is a lifestyle change and to be successful it takes determination and it takes patience. Small healthy changes over time help to make them permanent. There will be failures and face plants, but it’s important to get back up and keep going because that’s where you will find the victories.
Find your limits and push beyond them.