However, when I was training with one of my buddies, she mentioned that she was a little disappointed that even though she had been super careful that week, the scale was not showing the results she had expected. It was this conversation that inspired this blog, because our road to healthy living is not a sprint--it is a marathon.
I think in my case, my journey has been more like an ultra marathon with tons of detours and pit stops along the way. In the beginning, I treated my fitness more like a sprint to the end goal, so inevitably I ran out too fast, depleted all my energy, and ended up giving up in discouragement when the weight didn't fall off me each week. I didn't see this as a lifestyle change--I wanted a quick fix, and I wanted it now.
The key to running a great marathon is to train consistently, but nutrition is the next most important thing. If you don't eat and drink the right amounts of what your body needs, you can end up running out of steam, getting cramps, and just not being able to complete your race. Getting healthy has similar needs. You must get your exercise in to ramp up your metabolism, but getting your eating under control is equally important. I learned that over the last year or so. I have been exercising more than I ever have, and yet the scale hardly moved at all. I was not tracking, which meant that I had no idea what exactly was going into my body. I have only been using MyFitnessPal for less than a month, and because I have been watching what I eat, I have already lost almost 9 pounds. In addition, I am in the 150s for the first time in more than 20 years. At that time I weighed 154 pounds, but I was in the throws of bulimia. So this is the first time I have done this without cheating, and all it took was me adding monitoring my nutrition to my training routine.
Another way my journey has been like a marathon is that I have needed to consistently ramp up my training as my body has gotten used to my workout levels. At first I moved my body by going on long walks. When that became too easy for me, I added a little running into the routine. Once a 5K was too easy for me, I challenged myself by training for a half marathon. Now I am not saying that you all need to work up to an Ironman, because that would be crazy, but when what you are doing becomes too easy for you, you need a change. Try adding more time, adding more miles, or bump up the intensity. All these things will keep your body on its toes so it doesn't get too used to your routine.
You could also try mixing other forms of exercise into your training. If all I did was run, I would end up with tons of injuries from the repetitiveness. Before I started training for triathlons, I often mixed in days of biking and Crossfit to work out different parts of my body and strengthen my core muscles. Zumba sound interesting? How about trying paddle boarding or surfing? Make exercise fun and you are more likely to stick with it.
I think what I want to get across this week is that you need to be patient with yourself as you train your body to be at its best and most efficient. For most of us it has taken years for us to build up bad habits and put on the weight, so we need to be patient as we break those habits and drop the extra pounds. Don't get impatient--remember good things come to those that wait!