There comes a point in every distance run when I get emotional. (I know some are surprised by this, but yes…even I have actual emotions.) I never know exactly when it’s going to happen and most times, I forget it’s going to until it does. And there it is – that little lump in my throat, moisture in my eyes (it doesn’t sting, so I know it’s more than sweat), a tightness in my chest (that is not from shortness of breath – I am a freakin’ cardio queen now). Part of it is simply the release that running brings me, a clarity of mind and simple joy in BEING. When I take a step back and think on it, I could probably pinpoint when it will happen. Any time during my second hour. At a point along my route when I am more surrounded by nature and less by traffic. When a really great song opens up on my ipod. It may happen at different points and on different routes, but the feeling is always the same. It is not only a gut reaction to my surroundings or the physicality of the moment. It is the same feeling I get when I watch my daughter execute a perfect bar routine; when my son runs the football; when the babe has a new word to use every day. It’s pride. Just this time, it’s in myself.
That’s right. Proud of ME. A year ago, I had not yet decided to run that half marathon. I was in the midst of my first round of TurboFire and eating at the diner down the street three to four times a week. I did not view myself as an athlete and my only concern was working my way from a size 10 to a size 8 and shedding the remaining baby weight. Seriously – LOOK AT ME NOW. I have no doubts about running that full marathon in two weeks. My legs are itchin’ for it. I run because I LOVE it. I add weighted gloves to every TurboFire workout and I lift with P90X. I worked out live with Shaun T. I drink Shakeology every single day and am going organic. When I eat at the diner, I order things broiled, fresh, and healthy. It all came down to a single decision. Did I want to enjoy my life or regret it?
I’ve been called obsessed, told it’s just a phase, that I’ve lost too much weight. People feel they have the right to judge my lifestyle, I suppose, because I am so public about it. Guess what? I’m open with my choices because I want everyone to share them. I actually want others to experience the fabulousness I have found. And there is NO REASON that can’t happen. I am the same as you. There is nothing in me that you cannot find within yourself.
I will not judge you for your shape, your weight, your size, your ability. I will judge you for your inactivity and your conscious decisions to live an unhealthy life. I will judge you for clinging to a lifestyle that will shorten your time with those you love. When you run out of breath walking up the stairs or playing with your children – it’s time to change things. Stop telling me to “eat a cheeseburger” or that “big is beautiful.” You can love yourself as you are – but you need to love yourself enough to change.
Your first step is simply making a commitment. Walk. Stretch. Drink more water. You don’t have to jump into the deep end of the pool. Not everyone has to run marathons or participate in obstacle races. But everyone does need to fuel their bodies and shake them out now and again. This isn’t a debate anymore. It isn’t about discrimination. It’s about HEALTH. It’s about YOUR LIFE. Who wants to live it on the sidelines? And how do you want your children to grow up?
Obesity is on the rise. We all know it. We all see it. Some of us are doing something about it. I don’t only want to make myself fit. I want my family to be fit. I want my friends to be fit. I want friends of friends to be fit. I didn’t sign on to be a Beachbody coach just to get discounts or just to make a profit. I did it because these programs opened my eyes to a whole new world of possiblities and fitness levels I never imagined I could reach. In less than a year, I became an athlete. I no longer dabble in fitness; it is now what I do and who I am. And it is my goal to make that happen for you, too. If you’re reading this now, you’ve thought about it. Maybe you’ve already made that change. Maybe now you’re feeling defensive because I’ve called you out. I don’t care. What I do care about is that you get off your ass and stop making excuses.
We aren’t so different, you and I. I used to make excuses for the food I ate and how I spent my time. And then one day, I just had enough. I was done being weak. I was done with losing my breath, watching my kids play instead of playing with them, telling my kids to do their best while I did nothing.
When your day comes, and you’re ready to make that step, be sure to let me know. You’ve never had a bigger or more relentless cheerleader than this gal right here. I will annoy the living piss out of you when you try to explain why you’re backsliding. I will get in your face and refuse to accept whatever lameass excuse you’re offering.
You can thank me a year from now.