"So I am following your lead to fitness! Too bad I feel like I might die in the process. Keep up your awesome work!"First of all, this is about the 10th friend of mine to say to me that I have inspired them to do something about their lives. Which is still unbelievable every time it happens to me.
But the point of this post really is thinking about the changes I've made as I have still continued through this weight loss and maintenance journey. I read the above message on my phone as I was in Target, incidentally, standing in front of the boxes of protein bars, at which I'd stopped to investigate when I happened to check my phone.
After reading the message, I turned back to the protein bars to see that Luna bar boxes were on sale for $5. I instantly thought, "OOOH! Luna bars on sale!"
Standing the middle of Target, still sweating from my half marathon training run (my gym is right next door to Target and I needed a few groceries on my way home), I sort of stopped myself in thought for a moment. I'm actually excited about Luna bars being on sale right now. Luna bars.
I thought about the things I used to get excited about being on sale.
Back when I was 230 lbs, it was:
"OOOH! Pringles are on sale!" I'd then eat an entire canister in about an hour.
"OOOH! DiGiorno frozen pizzas are only $3!" I'd then eat an entire pizza in one night for "dinner."
"OOOH! Kraft Mac and Cheese boxes are 3 for a dollar!" I'd then eat at least one entire prepared box in one sitting.
"OOOH! Lean Pockets are on sale!" Then convincing myself, that "hey, they're LEAN Pockets" I'd eat at least two in a serving and tell myself it was OK because they're LEAN, right?!
My, my, how times have changed. I used to get excited about Pringles being on sale. Now I'm psyched when protein bars are on sale, having them in mind to eat following my 10 mile training runs.
Once again, perspective hit me. I ran 7 miles last Saturday for my long run like it was no big deal. I did it in a little over an hour and felt pretty awesome during and after.
I remember how hard it was to run for three straight minutes during my Couch to 5K training. It felt like imminent death. Now I'm running 7, 8, 9 miles like it's no big thing.
Which brings me back to the original comment from my friend. "I feel like I might die in the process." A year ago, I thought running three consecutive minutes at 5 mph was agony. Now I'm running 7 miles at around 6.4 mph -- and that was considered an easy run.
Consider the changes in one year. You can get excited over a sale on protein bars. You can run 7 miles in shortly over an hour as part of an easy run. You can if you work your ass off. It's not easy. It's not a temporary change. It is part of lifelong process of lifestyle reform.
But it is possible. It's not just my ego talking: I really am proof.