I believe the number one benefit from my new lifestyle is how healthy I look. Honestly, when people tell me I am looking skinny, it almost makes me feel uncomfortable. I guess I don't really see that I am skinny, because I still have all the flabby, stretch marked spots that will not go away no matter how hard I work. One thing that has made me very proud over the last month is that I have had several people tell me that I am looking fit. I don't know why that choice of words is better, but I am really proud and thankful when people say that to me. Maybe it is because I feel I really have control over my exercise. I am consistent, I work hard, and I know that I am really doing a good job in this area of my life. My eating, while much better with MyFitnessPal, can still be erratic. This is why I think being fit is much better than just being skinny.
I also find that I am more proud of the progress I have made in my training, than in the weight I have lost. While being lighter makes it easier to do my workouts, it is really the consistent time and effort I have put in that shows how far I have come. When I first started training for Ironman, I couldn't swim 50 yards with gasping at the end of the pool sure I was going to drown. I could barely ride 25 miles, and I hadn't yet completed a full marathon. Today I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon training. I swam 1,400 yards, easily biked 26 miles, and then ran 6.2 miles. I did not stop during my swim, and even though it was 90 degrees during my run, I was able to run the entire time without walking (except when hydrating twice). I could not have done this six months ago, and today it was almost easy. I think being a better swimmer, biker, and runner is much more impressive than being skinnier.
Because of my previous eating disorder, I find it healthier for me to focus on getting fitter, making better food choices, and getting stronger and faster at my triathlon sports than putting so much focus on my actual weight. Don't get me wrong, I am happy I am finally getting close to my goal weight. I have just realized that losing the weight is not the biggest accomplishment I have achieved in the last few years--it is just a by product of all the hard work I have put in!