Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Big Picture

This morning I was checking out some old vacation photos in an online album and was blown away. Who is THAT girl?? Oh, wait. That's me. Over 40lbs heavier than I am today. At first I was horrified, then happy, and something weird happened, I began to feel sad. Though I've shed the weight, it didn't dawn on me I had to get rid of the emotional excess I had also carried with it. The embarrassment, insecurity, and shame of letting myself reach an unhealthily weight hit me as soon as my eyes registered it was me. How did I let it happen? Does it even matter now? To be honest, I have no idea what the trigger was for my weight gain, but my guess is bad eating habits and teenage laziness are to blame. In my twenties there were periods of gym memberships and weight loss but no lifestyle change to make it stick. The light switch never turned on and I remained in the darkness, because quite frankly, I didn't care enough. I knew what I was supposed to do but didn't have the motivation to carry it out. Everyone knows to eat right and exercise but how many are WILLING to do it? I was not, until I was.

I wish I could tell you I had an "Aha!" moment, but I didn't. I just stopped accepting my excuses. The journey began with a free three month membership to a gym. After three months and 15lbs I started going to group boot camps at a local park where I met people who inspired and supported me. To me, that is what made the difference. Surrounding myself with a community who encouraged and had the same drive for fitness was the link I needed to make a fluke a habit. I also began to look at the big picture. It was about my health, not my jean size. Vanity, I've found, only motivates for so long. Another key factor was finding the workout best suited for my personality. You won't catch me in Zumba (though fun) but you can find me getting sweaty with a group of friends at boot camp. The biggest lesson I've learned throughout all of this is motivation comes from within, if you want it bad enough, change can be yours. The picture below is proof.

Then and Now

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