While I was visiting my dad last week, there was a montage of family pictures playing across the television screen. My nephew looked at a picture of me (to the left) from years ago and asked who the person was. He couldn't even recognize the old me. My new sister-in-law was trying to be as polite as possible, and stated that I didn't even look like the same person--and I really don't.
I don't know why, but these old pictures of me used to make me cringe. If I am really honest with myself, I would say they bothered me so much because deep down I was afraid of sliding back. I have never been able to reach my goal weight, and anytime I have even come close, I gained the weight back, and then some. But this time, when looking at this picture, I had a different reaction. Instead of feeling ashamed for what I looked like in the past, I can now look at these pictures and actually feel proud of how far I have come in the last two years.
Why have I changed my perspective? I think I can finally feel comfortable with these old pictures because I know that I am not going back. I know that I have all the tools I need to stay healthy for the rest of my life: a consistent exercise routine, an extremely supportive network of friends and family, and eating habits that allow me to eat the food I love while still making healthy food choices.
The secret to sticking with my exercise is that I have scheduled at least one big race a month. Being an extremely competitive person, I have to train for these events so that I can perform at a level that I can be proud of. For my half marathons, I always shoot to come in at around 2 hours and 20 minutes, give or take a few minutes. In order to stay within my preferred time, I have to work hard to keep in shape. I tend to do Crossfit three days a week, run three days, and then I usually allow one weekend day to recover. I also don't let being away from home keep me from my routine. I have been in North Carolina for a little over a week now, and so far I ran one half marathon, went on two shorter runs, worked out at a local Crossfit three days, and even managed to complete Days 92 through 100 of my Double Under jump rope challenge. Moving my body everyday has become so engrained that I just do not feel like my day is complete if I don't follow through with my routine. I love this new part of my life!
I have shared many times that the support of my friends and family has been invaluable. They keep me inspired, accountable, and push me to do things I never thought I would be able to do. What I haven't shared enough about is how my husband supports me in my healthy eating. Every Sunday he plans meals for the week, makes grocery lists so we know exactly what we need for our meals, and then he makes a fresh and healthy dinner for us every night. Luckily, he, too, has decided to write a blog in which he will share these weekly meals and grocery lists with you and much more: Kegger 2 Six Pack
Often people wait until January 1st to turn over a new leaf. What I want to challenge you to do is to take the theme of Easter and make this your new beginning. Increase your exercise and make it a habit you can't do without. Incorporate healthier meals into your week so you. too, can begin to feel the energy and self-confidence eating the right foods brings you. And then surround yourself with amazing people so you can experience a new life like the one that I have been blessed with.