Run For Your Life!
If you were to tell me 2 months ago, that in September I would run 100 miles, I would have laughed in your face.
"Oh no. Not I."
Not the girl who couldn't keep up with her 40 year old aunt and so decided to run Cross Country and Track in high school.
Not the girl who came in 2nd to LAST place during her 1st Cross Country Meet as her big sister and record-breaking runner brother-in-law watched.
And yet here I am, on the other side of 100+ miles, and attempting to do it again this month (I'm a two miles shy of 75).
For the most part, since High School, running has always been my physical activity of choice. (Thankfully, my time improved significantly after that first meet, I was never 2nd to Last again in my high school career!)
In college, my friend Kelly introduced me to weight training, and going to the gym a few times a week wasn't so bad because of the accountability. Still, every so often, I would run again. My runs were sporadic, a few times a month - 15 minutes in one direction and 15 minutes back.
I still ran a few times a month when I moved to Georgia. But around the time of our wedding, I became more and more consistent in the gym, thanks to Danny.
My point is running has been around.
(We even left the resort to run while on our honeymoon in Jamaica.)
But I certainly didn't consider myself good at it, and I would have never in my wildest dreams believed that I could run 100 miles in a month. But I did it.
(I also stopped biting my nails, a bad habit I had given up on. Oh they would grow every now and then but once anxiety struck, I would be biting them before I even realized what was happening and it would be too late.)
I have struggled with excelling in (or in the case of breaking bad habits, moving past) certain areas of my life.
Last October, right after my birthday, I attempted to start a rigorous fitness regimen,
but then the holidays hit! And I more or less gave up.
Around July this year, I realized that to find success in the area of physical fitness, I needed a different approach.
I didn't want another crash diet—the last one I did was a low-carb, no meat, and no cheese diet this past June—and I didn't want an exercise program that was super complicated.
Before starting any kind of regimen I came to several conclusions -
1. My physical fitness matters to ME (who cares what anyone else thinks), for a number of reasons:
It's good for me!
It will help me to remain comfortable in my skin at all times.
Exercise extends life expectancy.
And MOST importantly, this body is the temple of GOD! HE has a purpose for my life, and my body is the vehicle for accomplishing that purpose—that is, my body needs to be able to do all GOD wants me to do.
2. I want a healthy lifestyle that I can enjoy and maintain.
I didn't want another 12-week exercise plan, and I sure didn't want to deny myself of certain foods anymore—pizza, queso, ice cream, french fries, wings, bread! LOL. Seriously, for me, that was miserable.
I'm smart enough to know I can't live off pizza and ice cream. BUT I also know that there's nothing wrong with eating those things on occasion, especially if you're active.
I actually like eating fruit and veggies, so incorporating, and eating, more plant-based meals on a regular basis is something that I could do and maintain.
3. The number on the scale does not define me.
Checking the scale every day, or even every week was simply not helping me. It didn't do anything to motivate me at all. It did quite the opposite.
I had to decide that I was more than number on a scale. Physical fitness is about more than the number on the scale.
4. Consistency starts with simplicity.
I realized that if I wanted to be more consistent with working out, I would have to keep it simple.
Going to the gym 5 days a week for a 2 hour workout, was simply not realistic for me with my current schedule.
But that didn't mean I should give up on a more active lifestyle altogether. What I needed was a simple, yet rigorous workout that I could stick to regardless of my schedule.
5. Discipline is key.
Reaching all these conclusions really didn't matter, if I wasn't willing to become more disciplined.
Of course, simplicity is helpful, but even that would only go so far.
Even a simple regimen would one day be something that I would not want to stick to, for whatever reason, and what would I do then? Give up (like I almost always do, when it comes to regular exercise)?
Discipline - training, or conditions, imposed for the improvement of physical powers; self-control
Implementing a routine, creating a good habit is the path to discipline.
Discipline is consistent.
It's intentionality that is repeated time, after time, after time, and makes no excuses.
Discipline doesn't wait to "feel like it" and it always finishes what it's started.
Discipline does not leave room for excuses.
I didn't just need discipline to succeed at exercising more, I needed discipline to succeed at life.
And so I made a commitment to myself at the end of August that September 1 would be the start of a more disciplined life.
Running is not necessarily my favorite physical activity,
but it is a minimalist activity that I knew I could stick to. Even without going to the gym.
(I absolutely prefer running outdoors to running on a treadmill! Ugh, I loathe the treadmill, lol)
All I need is sneakers, as far as simplicity, it doesn't get any simpler than that.
I knew it would be a challenge, but I changed my perspective and became excited about testing the limits of my body.
Danny put the scale away. (I honestly can't tell you the last time I weighed myself.)
I created a routine, and developed the discipline to stick to it.
Then as I started seeing the miles adding up, running 100 miles in September became a goal. And, I've seen changes.
I run for MY life.
You don't have to run 100 miles. You don't have to "run for your life."
BUT. You should
MOVE for your life.
Committing to some sort of physical activity will help you develop self-discipline in other areas as well.
And discipline is the key to long term success.
- Your Physical fitness must first matter to YOU - don't do it to please others or to meet body/fitness #goals that may be unrealistic for you and your body type
- Don't adapt a fitness program that you won't enjoy, because chances are you won't maintain it.
- Your weight does not define you - physical fitness is about more than a number on the scale.
- Consistency starts with simplicity - just get moving! Walk, run, dance, jump rope, do jumping jacks, just get moving.
- Discipline is key.
It's your body. Your life. Nurture it.
Let's get moving!