Monday “What Went Well”: Five years ago, a woman lost 40 pounds. Today…

I’m writing this post with a tummy full of Mediterranean calzone (pesto, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, tomatoes) and ice cream. I just wanted to let you know, because I would never want the word to get out that in order to lose a major amount of weight and keep it off for five years, you have to eat rabbit food and run marathons. (Well, I kind of like the running marathons part…but the bunny food? Never, never, never.)
This just in: you do not have to eat rabbit food and run marathons to maintain a large weight loss for a long period of time. The marathon part is up to you...but take my word for it, weight loss can be done, and it can be kept. It just means learning how our bodies work, and acting accordingly. (Image courtesy of SweetCrisis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
This just in: you do not have to eat rabbit food and run marathons to maintain a large weight loss for a long period of time. The marathon part is up to you…but take my word for it, weight loss can be done, and it can be kept. It just means learning how our bodies work, and acting accordingly. (Image courtesy of SweetCrisis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

So what went well this week? On a bum knee (not as bummed as I thought…more news later, but it’s not a major injury at all, as I learned this week), when I couldn’t run…I ran and swam and lifted my way to a great exercise week, ate fairly healthfully most of the time, forgave myself (more or less) in the few times that it went haywire, and weighed in a few ounces lighter than when I hit my lifetime goal weight five years ago this weekend. For five years now, I’ve been able to live life at a normal size. Thanks to a lot of things…but in no small part, thanks to an active lifestyle in which I just decided to try everything and see what worked.

What’s worked? Prioritizing my health, that’s what. I remember going to REI after I’d lost quite a bit of weight and suddenly fitting into the small-sized workout gear. Then I made sure I had a gym membership for the days when working out outdoors wasn’t going to be a good choice. Then I got a better gym membership when I decided I wanted a place with a ton of options, and classes, and just awesomeness. I got coached for running. All of this was affordable because I wasn’t eating junk food anymore. Life got better.

And then it got even better than that.

When we put our health first, lovely and surprising things happen. We make better decisions. We get more sleep. We decide what’s important in life. We stop working in ways that drain us and start working in ways that build us up.  We remove the safety nets that aren’t so safe, after all – because they keep us “busy” without really moving us forward. We challenge ourselves more.

That’s what the last five years of life have been like, all because I made a huge, huge decision at a fairly tough time in my life to put my health first. It has been a miraculous journey…and dare I say it? I’d like to think I’m just getting started.

Here’s one of my favorite fitness memes from the Fitness Meme of the Week series at Every48. I’m posting it below, with the original caption I wrote for it when I first posted it on the blog:

And imagine how you'll feel five years from today if you start right now. Awesome. That's how you'll feel.
And imagine how you’ll feel five years from today if you start right now. Awesome. That’s how you’ll feel.

Seriously. I wrote the “five years from today” caption when I first published it…and then thought about that meme this morning while writing this post…and there it is, right there: imagine what will happen in your life five years from now….or one year from now…or today…if you start prioritizing yourself.

How to start? Get your workout on. It will lead to more great decisions than you can even imagine. It just takes getting started…and then, getting started again tomorrow.

Have a great Monday.

Recent #Every48 workouts: Saturday – a SWIM/STRENGTH combo that I’ll feature in tomorrow’s Workout of the Week. A “land and sea” workout for when you want to get a hard workout in, quickly. Sunday – lots of WALKING, to and from the I-90 bridge on Mercer Island, WA to watch the Seafair air show – and the return of the Blue Angels!

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