October… the month that heralds in Fall, crisp air (hopefully), hot coffee, big sweaters, leggings and boots.. well maybe.. here in Texas I’m hopeful for that 😉 October is always a milestone celebratory month for me as it’s one more year on my health and fitness journey to claim success.
It’s hard to believe it has been 8 years since I made a choice to do things differently. To get off my butt and make things happen.
As I’ve shared with you before the plan was simple.
Make more choices in my day that were good and led to my goals over ones that didn’t support getting to my goals.
Don’t beat myself up for days that bombed. Don’t make excuses for myself or any laziness that would hinder my progress.
Be realistic about what I wanted to achieve.
Learn to eat better foods all within appropriate moderation.
Listen to my body’s natural signals.
Move every day to work my body ( for weight loss and because our bodies are designed to be active and move!)
Don’t allow myself any sense of entitlement that I “deserved” to have something.
Love and be kind to myself on my journey.
Take one day at a time.
Heck yes, I’m thrilled. But you know, I’m not just celebrating the fact I lost enough weight to make a hefty size toddler, or the fact I dropped 6 sizes and who knows how many inches.
No, what I celebrate is that I’ve kept that weight OFF… it left… and never bounced back. That to me, is worth celebrating.
You know why it has ? Because along the way I was building new habits, rewiring my mind to embrace new things and make them so habit forming I wouldn’t be able to think of NOT working out or making the choice to eat veggies ( more likely, wanting to eat them now over other things) or learning to balance occasional treats, to look at food as fuel and consider the kinds of fuel I was putting in my body. To find physical activities I enjoyed and wanted to keep at. To learn to eat enough food to support my goals and satisfy my hunger, and stop when I was comfortable.
A daily, consistent, relentless, pursuit to reshape behaviors and habits that had been a part of most of my life.
Today, I am more convinced than ever, if someone wants to be successful and have a lifestyle change they must build new, consistent daily habits that will become second nature to them. Then the weight goes away… for good…
Is it challenging? At times yes.
Does it happen over night ? no.
My body’s transformation has been a slow, steady work in progress of losing fat and building muscle.
Consistency. Patience. Not being focused on it happening in a short time.
Besides the fact in 8 years I’ve kept off weight, gained muscle and strength, I also like to focus on new things I’ve been able to do. Challenges I would have run from and laughed at 8 years ago. Running for casual distances somehow morphed into distance running, which somehow led to me doing a second full marathon Dec 2014 and then on to two half marathons in March of this year (7 so far) followed by a 50k at the end of the month. I’m cycling more than ever now getting in 20-22 mile bike rides at least 3 days a week, sometimes shorter ones too. I can lift more weight and push my body harder than I could even a year ago.
I’m a woman smack in middle age territory and I have less body fat, more muscle, strength and mental toughness than I had 20 years ago. Basically, I’m in the best shape ever and look ahead to continuing that course.
So as I celebrate another milestone year…. I celebrate so many other victories and goals reached on top of “just” keeping my weight gone.
I would say to anyone, wherever they are on their journey, know transformation takes time. Settle in and know that other things are going on too.
How you mentally feel, your increasing confidence and empowerment, your new strength and abilities to take on new challenges, your thought process on eating better, your improving lab work, new habits that begin to feel “normal”… so many things that are good. It’s a win/win thing.
I want nothing more than to encourage you on your journey. To remind you that you can do it. That it’s a slow and steady process but more than worth it. Change does take time but really, are you on a time limit to make it happen? The goal is to get there… to get to your destination and celebrate your victory…. for a lifetime.
Are you on a journey to a permanent lifestyle change ? Where are you? Close to goals ? What steps are you taking to reach them ?