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I never thought I would be the person excited about exercise, but it has happened. Here is the story of how it happened.
I started my “weight loss journey” in January. It started great, I was highly focused on eating better and drinking enough water, and I quickly lost 10lbs. Then I lost focus. I started eating ice cream all of the time again. Tortilla chips with cheese melted on them became a reasonable substitute for a healthy lunch. I stopped losing weight, even though my goal was another 40 lbs, but convinced myself I’d start working on it again soon. The weight I had already lost stayed off, until it didn’t.
I went to Arizona for a conference and to visit family at the end of May/beginning of June, and by the time I got home I had gained back all of the weight I had previously lost. I started feeling bad for myself, which is quite honestly ridiculous as I was the one who stopped eating well, I was the one who started eating poorly and I was the one who never started exercising. But, here we were, I was starting to feel bad for myself.
One morning I was getting ready to take my son to the doctor, standing in my closet, looking at my clothes and I thought “I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna lose the weight, I’ll start eating healthy, I will turn this around.” Then I thought, “I wish Adam (*my husband) wanted to lose weight too. It would be so much easier if I didn’t have to do this alone, if he didn’t do things like suggest pizza for dinner, or want dessert all of the time or….” I’m going to stop there, but in my head I became super blamey for a bit. It was not my finest moment. In fact, it was a terrible moment of blaming outside influences for my own personal obstacles. To be clear, I totally understand it is no one’s fault but my own that I am still up 60 lbs from my first pregnancy. I also understand that it is no one’s fault that I gained 85 lbs to begin with, other than my own. And maybe ice cream, it’s kind of ice cream’s fault.
See, that’s kind of the thing, isn’t it? It is so much easier to blame other people, obstacles, events, schedules, life, than to take responsibility and say “yeah, I probably didn’t need an ice cream a day while I was pregnant.” And, “maybe tortilla chips and cheese isn’t a balanced meal”.
Back to my morning of blame. While I was internally blaming, (and immediately feeling bad for doing so) the universe heard, “Universe, I need help. This is what I want, this is what I think will make it easier to achieve”. You guys need to know here and now, I believe in Big Magic. I believe in the law of attraction, The Secret, whatever you want to call it; I believe the Universe is working for us, it just needs to know what the hell we want. This day, I apparently made it clear enough to the universe, and the universe came through. Because, while I was at my son’s doctor appointment, I received text from my husband, about HealthyWage. He had stumbled upon a site where we could bet on ourselves to lose weight, and he was excited.
Excited, like 9 messages in a half hour about how we can do this. Excited as in, researching exercises, calories needed for each of us to maintain our weight and how many to cut out to lose weight. I had recipe upon recipe, and workout upon workout being sent to me for all 4 days between that doctor’s appointment and when we started. 100% honesty? He was way more excited than I was.
At first I did what I needed out of obligation to the universe and guilt to my husband, not my own drive and determination. However, it did not take long for me to shift my thinking and feel totally motivated. Watching the first easy pounds drop off was a huge part of that motivation shift, but also just feeling better and better everyday. It wasn’t an instant shift. I didn’t feel amazing after that first day of eating healthy and exercising, but I showed up for myself again the next day, and the next, and after that first week my mindset started to shift, and I was excited about exercise and working out every day.
The universe heard it; My mindset shift.
It heard and it said, “Hold on, I have something for you.” I had just dropped my son off at school and was driving home listening to the end of “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. Have you read it? If not, you should- it was literally a life changer for me. (You can click the title to check it out, I made it a link for you.) So, this book is amazing and super motivating, and towards the end she starts talking about how she ran a Disney half marathon. (I promise I’m not spoiling the whole book here..) She was never a runner, she was the chubby kid in school, but she decided to do it, and she did. She proved to herself that she could. Now, here I am driving home, listening to this thinking, “I have never been a runner. I love Disney World. I am working on weight loss, and changing my life. I’m the only one who can change my life. I’m going to run the Disney half marathon!”
This was almost an out-of-body conversation with myself which just happened to take place inside my head. Have you ever had an idea come to you like that? Just strong and out of nowhere, and after you think it you feel great- then you immediately question your sanity? That was this.
Something else you should know, I have been working very hard on keeping promises to myself. If I state I am going to do something, I am going to do it.
So here I am, I have stated to myself that this is my intention, now I have to do it.
The words are scary to say out loud. It’s so far off course from where I am at and who I am. So, I write it down on our “future plans” board. Up in the corner, where my husband won’t see it first thing to give me a chance to digest it on my own. It was super important to me though, to write it down. I had declared it, and now I had to stick to it. Writing it down meant I couldn’t pretend like the whole thing never happened. It meant I would have to hold myself accountable.
That was the day I committed to run a half marathon.
Which meant I had to train, of course. After looking up the dates of Disney Run weekend, I realized it wasn’t financially feasible to do the next run. Which worked out lovely, because that gives me a extra year to train.
I have been exercising and/or walking everyday since then. We have turned my walk into family time, and Adam and I do a wonderful job of pushing each other to go faster and longer. We have upped our pace by almost 3 minutes in just a week. Even more amazingly, to me at least, is that I crave my daily walk.
I can’t believe how quickly my mind went from dreading exercise to craving it. I became excited about exercise.
The universe clearly knew what it was doing when it pushed me to commit to a half marathon. That was the true turning point of my journey. Exercising went from just trying to lose some weight, to having a purpose, to exciting and energizing me.
For the first time in my life, I am pushing myself daily to do better than I did the day before, and it feels amazing.
Want to hear all about my journey to change my life? Start here.