I was never a runner.
In middle school gym class, when we had to run around the building, I used to be one of the girls who stopped and walked with friends once we were behind the building and out of sight from the teachers. When we started running during high school cheerleading practice, I struggled to run ONE lap. After that, thankfully, running got easier… and I went to the gym on a regular basis. However, I was only running one mile and I thought that was pretty damn good. And it was good for me at the time, I guess. But never in a million years would I have thought that one day I would be running 3+ miles.
In college, I gained the freshman 500… aka not just the freshman 15. But then, I lost it. I am one to obsess. I always need to be setting goals for myself and multi-tasking, so taking on the weight loss challenge wasn’t that hard for me. I stopped using the elliptical and started running/walking on the treadmill. You sweat so much more from running, and I could see a bigger change in my endurance. Unfortunately, my actual diet was not as healthy as my awesome work out routine… so I had to change something up.
I realized that if I ate more and worked out longer, I lost more weight rather than burning more calories than I was taking in. So, I started going on the treadmill for 45 minutes to an hour every day… I would run a mile, walk a little, run some more, walk some more, etc… I started running 2 to 3 miles everyday – but not straight. My goal was to run 2 miles straight. And I think during my junior year of college, I was finally able to run 2 miles straight – but it was a HUGE struggle and only happened a few times.
Finding time to constantly work out and be extremely healthy was hard during my senior year of college, since I wasn’t going to stop hanging out with friends, drinking, and eating late night pizza – AKA be boring – during my last few months of college. After I graduated, I vowed to get back to an intense work out routine and start dieting & counting calories again… but as I learned, the “college life” doesn’t exactly end after college… I drank just as much as I did in college, if not more. I tried to work out as much as I could, but my ever changing work schedule made it hard for me to have a routine – and without a routine, I was lost. What I needed was a full-time job…
After I started my first full-time job, I decided to start dieting for real for the summer and get in an awesome work out routine. Obviously, this would mean hanging out with no one during the week and going out less on the weekends… but I decided to try it. The summer I lost all my Freshman-year-of-college weight, I barely drank and stopped going out to eat. Unfortunately, in society the 2 ways to socialize are drinking & eating. Of course there is also shopping – but that involves spending money, and as a recent grad, that is something I lack.
My diet wasn’t really having much progress, as I had trouble giving up my social life for shedding a few pounds. I would lose weight during the week, and gain it back over the weekend after drinking and eating late night snacks – hence my motto of “Dieting for the Weekend.” I kept that up for a few months, and then realized that although I wasn’t losing much weight in numbers – I was gaining muscle and I actually felt better.
I learned that dieting and working out is not just about losing weight – It’s about feeling good and being healthy. So, I decided to try and not obsess so much over my weight (even though I do still weight myself every morning) and to make a goal that wasn’t weight related – to run a 5k before the summer starts.
Friends have told me before that running is mental – You can do it, you just have to push yourself… But I could never push myself to run more than 2 miles straight. WELL, the other day I ran 3 miles straight – and it was such an amazing accomplishment for myself. I finally did it… and its not even summer yet. I even went for my first run outside not around a track too – and that opened up a whole new world for me. The past 2+ months, I’ve been running, lifting weights, doing over 300 crunches a day, and eating healthy… and I feel great. I might not be losing a ton of weight, but I’m gaining muscle, feeling better, and the pounds will slowly shed (I hope). I don’t even care about losing a ton of weight anymore – I just want to look good and most importantly – feel good.
Working out puts you in a much better mood, as does eating healthy. If you work out, you automatically usually eat healthier because you don’t want to put your work out to waste. You will be happier and you will find waking up in the morning easier – seriously. The more I run, the earlier I wake up in the morning. It’s weird. But in all honesty, the way you view yourself is mental… and to have great mental health, get yourself to the gym! Go for a run outside. Lift weights to tone your arms. Be active!! It’s okay to pig out once in a while, but try to eat healthy the majority of the time… and I promise that you will feel happier and healthier without losing weight 🙂