I feel a little funny writing about this, but at the same time I wanted to simply remember this day as a motivating factor for myself and hopefully for others. No, I’m not turning 40… yet (thankfully I still have 1 yr, 8 months and 9 days before that happens… gee no counting here! J ) but I wanted to mark another big 40 in my life …. 40 pounds… gone! I started this journey in early April and I gave myself 1 year to lose 60 pounds. Even though I knew I had been seeing results over these last few months, I was still surprised to realize early this month that I was very close to reaching the 40 pound mark. At first my goal was to make it through the holidays without gaining anything but then when I realized I was so close to such a big marker, my motivation grew and I was able to lose this last little bit and hit my 40 pound mark this past Saturday!!
It is strange to be in this deep on my journey. I am a different person, with different cravings and different motivations than I have ever had in my entire life. I still LOVE food, I still LOVE to cook food, I still show MY LOVE to others with food, I just don't "live to eat" anymore; rather, I try to simply "eat to live". I still enjoy all the food I make, just much less of it. I can also recognize now that exercise and daily life can go hand in hand. Running is something I now desire to do, always. I am perusing a book right now titled Run Your Butt Off and one of the writers describes being “hooked on exercise” in the following way.
“For a while – a long time, it seems – we only appreciate exercise when it is over. We feel virtuous for having done it, and we’re glad we pushed ourselves out the door. Whew. Check that off the day’s to-do list. But there comes a point when the actual “during” portion of exercise isn’t so bad, either. You’re out there and you start running, and it feels much easier than you anticipated it would before you started. You feel like you’ve got a good stride going. In fact, it’s downright invigorating. It goes by quickly, and you’re sort of sorry it has to end. “
When I began running this spring, I remember praying that I would just stick with this, stick with something that could make a difference. The Lord graciously answered my prayers. Now it is not a matter of sticking to it, but the simple fact that as someone who initially detested running, I now truly enjoy it. As strange as it seems to type it, I think I can officially say … I am a runner. I am not a fast runner, I am not a long runner, but I run. The beauty is that anyone can run. One thing I have learned over these months is that my view of who a runner is has been skewed. I have always thought of running as this elite group of people who must be super- human in their desire, motivation and skill. What I have learned is that there is a vast gamut of runners out there. Very definitely there are your “super-human amazing runners”, but there are also your overweight, clumsy, absolutely NOT athletic, slow runners out there and everything in between. Another very special factor is that those who are amazing runners are extremely encouraging to those of us who definitely are not. Wow. It has been a very sweet journey for certain.
These last few months have also further revealed something special that I was aware of but have been blessed to experience to the fullest recently. I am surrounded by encouraging and generous people who love me. Family and friends who are generous with their words of love and encouragement and truly take joy in seeing you succeed. WOW, what a treasure they are to me. My biggest encourager has been my dear husband. God has used these last few years and in particular the last few months, to further reveal to me the depth of the man I am married to. NEVER in all our years of marriage has he said a negative word about my weight, no matter where I have landed on the scale. He has loved me as equally and fervently in recent years as he did almost 19 years ago when we said “I do”. I cannot tell you the countless, (literally countless) times in the last few months that he has told me “I am so proud of you” as we kiss goodnight. His words are true, honest and like gold to me.
It is strange to be at a weight I haven’t seen in years. To be in a size I haven’t worn since before Mitchell was born. This past Sunday I wore a dress, a full-fledged dress … something I haven’t done in probably 9 or so years….my girls were thrilled! Over the years they have asked me why I don’t wear dresses and I simply had to say I didn’t feel comfortable in them. I know I still have a bit of a journey left. My initial goal of 60 pounds might change to 70, I don’t know. I do suspect that these last 20 pounds will be harder than the first 40, but I am ready for the challenge. Excel still more.
(sorry for the crummy lighting)