On The Fast Track: Crossing the Finish Line

I wasn’t always the healthiest person. When up against the choice between a piece of cake or an apple, I’m honest when I say I’d take the cake every time. Fresh fruits and vegetables were sparse in my diet, and processed foods like frozen mini pizzas, cookies, and chips were well in abundance. I never cared for exercise, and coupled with my unhealthy diet, I was on the road to bad health and a long list of future medical issues.

holly

My own personal before and after. Total weight loss: 40lbs. 5x Half Marathoner (and counting). Always a journey, always improving.

Of course, it’s not uncommon for people to have body image issues, and I was no exception. At my heaviest, I would constantly feel sad about my appearance and was sometimes even teased about my weight. Yeah, bullies suck. But while they’re stuffing their faces in front of the television, I’m off running half marathons. Ha!

So what made me change?  Well, I broke up with my very first boyfriend and they say that “the best form of revenge is a great body.” No, no, that wasn’t my main goal. In all honesty, I wanted to reverse the damage I had caused on my body through my lack of exercise and nutritious food. I wanted to start off with a fresh, clean slate. So the cookies were replaced with fruit and the packaged, crunchy, salty snacks were switched out for veggies. It was tough, especially with the constant stream of advertising tempting us with processed, prackaged food. But I kept pluggin’ along and working towards my goals despite the distractions. I even started to run as my primary form of exercise, and although I hated it at first, the more I pushed myself, the more I actually loved how I felt. Oh, wonderful endorphins! How I adore thee! Not long after my switch I ran my first 5K, then the Times Colonist 10K with my aunt, and then a half marathon. I was (and still am) hooked!

It wasn’t a complete 360 degree turnaround from my previous habits though. As much as I’d love to tell you it wasn’t, the journey was hard. While my friends were eating junk food at lunch time, I was busting out a spinach salad. It’s difficult to convince your brain that a chocolate cupcake is less appealing than a bunch of kale, but I learned that you can make healthy eating taste good. Even now, I’ll always opt for whole foods over their processed counterparts. It’s all a lifestyle and attitude change, but it is worth every up and down, especially when you look in the mirror and see your hard work paying off. Take that, exboyfriend! (I’m only kidding)

Slowly but surely, within the span of two years I lost 40 pounds. That was huge for me! Not only was I feeling better about my appearance, my skin looked better, my energy levels were through the roof, and I was starting to enjoy exercise. Yep, I  literally went from couch potato to half marathon runner, and I am now on my way to running my sixth half marathon in June. It’s incredible what your body can do when you push it out of your comfort zone. It’s where change happens.
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