As I was about to turn 40 this year, I noticed that I was becoming increasing dissatisfied with my physical appearance. I always have been good at the “no sugar,” “no carbs,” “no junk food,” “no air” challenges. Unfortunately, throughout my life, I have had an eating pattern that is rightfully labeled an eating disorder. While I was not throwing up in bathrooms- I hate the taste of anything coming up after it goes down- I had a habit of fasting, binging, and working out. I struggled for years to reach a healthy balance. However, I now realize that I frequently failed, because I focused much of my attention on my outward appearance. I did not care that much about what my lifestyle choices were doing to my body (my spirit) on the inside.
Sometimes, the scale lies.
Two weeks after my fortieth birthday, a switch flipped. I began to get serious about maintaining my health- not just fitting into a pair of jeans or so that my arms would stop flapping like a turkey’s neck whenever I moved them. I was so committed to making a change that I did what I never thought I would do again- I started running.
At first, it was challenging. I thought that my heart would beat out my chest and I would die on the pavement. I couldn’t make it much more than two minutes without stopping. Nevertheless, I kept going. I kept going despite the scale saying that all the running, portion controlled eating, and weight lifting were not working. The numbers were not moving to my liking, but I kept going. It is now two months later.
Yesterday, I was sick from heat exhaustion. Today, this 40-year-old body ran the fastest mile it has run since it was 14. My goal was to run it in less than my pervious fastest time- 12:13m. I ran it in 9:27m. I not only shattered my running goal, I also am doing what I told myself for years that I could not do. I am controlling my eating habits without the unhealthy dieting and doing push backs- pushing back from the table. I am mastering balanced eating without deprivation. I am focused on being a better me from the inside out.
If you are on the healthier lifestyle journey, follow Dory’s advice, “Just keep swimming.” You can do it. Baby steps add up to giant leaps. Don’t let the scale, a temporary lapse in judgment, or years of telling yourself that you “can’t do it” stop you from achieving your goals. You got this!