This past Saturday I accomplished something I never dreamed was possible: I finished a half marathon. I ran (and walked some) 13.1 miles for 2 hours and 32 minutes. Even as I write this I'm shocked by it. (Picture: I'm the one on the left with the white jacket on. I
met the woman I'm hugging while I was running. We met at mile five or six and finished together, encouraging each other on as we ran because it was both our first halves.)
I'm not writing this to you so that you can give me a pat on the back; I've already received that from my friends and family. I'm writing to you to show you that it is possible to turn your life around but you know what? You have to be willing to put in the work. A pill, smoothie mix, fad diet, cleanse and any of the other get slim quick gimmicks out there may last for a few months but will they change your life? I doubt it and before you know it you'll be right back to where you started; and so the cycle will continue. Are you
willing to break the cycle?
I was and I am not turning back. Sure chocolate tastes awesome in the moment but with every bite that I take I'm getting myself sucked into the food addiction that got me into trouble in the first place. I'm not talking about a every once and a while, here and there thing; I'm talking about the day in and day out poor food choices that I used to make.
Gosh, when I think about it and for the sake of being open with you I'll tell you that when my oldest, Brennan, was almost a year old I used to eat a bowl of vanilla ice cream during his naptime. No, vanilla ice cream isn't that bad but listen to what I used to add to
it: about a fourth cup of melted peanut butter and a half cup of melted chocolate chips.
Even writing about it makes my mouth begin to salivate but think about the refined sugar, calories, unhealthy fast that I was consuming in just one afternoon snack. I didn't need my sinful ice cream dish but I certainly wanted it. I justified it by saying that it had been a rough day, I had listened to him whine or cry all more and darn it, this was going to be MY time and I'll do whatever I want!
Little did I realize but that "MY time snack" contributed to my weight skyrocketing to 188 lbs. and since I'm 5'2" that set me into the obese category. That's right; I was obese and I could easily go back there again if I don't watch myself. How will I stay away from
By setting a goal that is not related to weight or clothing size. I've found that when I set a weight loss goal or a dress size goal for some reason I find myself cheating out of healthy eating and regular exercise. This is one of the main reasons why I signed up for
the half marathon. I knew that by signing up and paying for it my husband would "make" me run it. (Okay, as much as you can make a 30 year old do anything.) I could either slack off and walk all of it which would only lead me to being disappointed in myself or I could train for it and feel that sense of accomplishment at the finish line. I trained for it and I finished in one piece.
Focus on healthy eating habits not food rules. I think the more you focus on what you cannot eat the more you want to eat it. It's like the forbidden fruit, just calling your name and really do you want to subject yourself to that kind of temptation? I don't and I know you won't either. Instead find some good recipes and snack ideas that you'll love. Focus on the idea that the food you eat is fueling this wonderful instrument that you've been given in this life. The body is an amazing piece of machinery; treat it well and you'll be surprised by what you can accomplish with it.
Some of my favorite recipe sites are the following:
Set up a support group and be real with yourself. Sometimes when in conversation with people I will reference my weight before the weight loss challenge that I took part in. I will call myself fat and with shocked expressions staring back at me I tell them this, "I have to call it what it was: I was fat. I'm not being self deprecating but if I'm not honest about the state of health that I was in a year ago I will find myself in the same spot eventually." I have given my husband permission to be honest with me too. Now he has to be very gentle about it but if he sees me creeping back into bad habits or slacking off when it comes to my exercising he'll call me out on it. Again, he'll gently call me out!
Find a sport or activity that you love and do it daily! Give yourself a rest on the seventh day of the week but use your body for the other six days! For me, it's running but after training for the half marathon for the last three months I'm a little tired of it.
Fortunately, we have a weight set in our basement that my husband has had since high school (that's what happens when you marry a quarterback) so we've actually started lifting weights together. Here's the link for a free website that a personal trainer friend of
mine suggested using if you're thinking about starting to lift weights; it's called LiveFit.
So what do you say? We're weeks away from the official start of summer. Do you want to change your life? There's no better time than the present. Plus, the influence that you'll have on your kids will be amazing.
Bio: Bert is a stay at home mom of two, wife to college sweetheart, and what she calls a "semi-crunchy" mama. After four years of being overweight related to pregnancies, Bert submitted a video entry into a local Biggest Loser type of fitness challenge; she was chosen and lost 25% of her body weight in 90 days. She blogs at FirstTimeMom about everything from cloth diapers, parenting, life and her recent passion with health and fitness.
Lauren Date 5/18/2013
Congratulations! I would love to do this one day!
Tannis W Date 5/18/2013
Congrats on finishing your first half marathon! I would love to be able to do that someday. What an accomplishment!
Eileen Patterson Date 5/18/2013
Running is something I want to do with my son when he is old enough so I know I need to get into shape now (while he is still a baby)! Thank you for this piece, it was motivating to read!
Alexis Bertch Date 5/20/2013
Denice Vath Date 5/21/2013
What an accomplishment! I read about these kinds of stories, and it motivates me to stay on track (even though it's so HARD at times). Thanks for sharing resources too.