A Celebration of Change

I saw this post on a friend's facebook page, and just had to ask if I could share it...

At 245 pounds, Amy was unhealthy and unhappy. She had tried to lose weight so many times that she classified herself as a Yo-Yo dieter: the weight never stayed off...until this time.  

How many of you can relate to Amy?  Check out where she is today:

A Celebration of Change 
by Amy Harris
Amy Harris Medalist!

Earlier this weekend I read an e-mail, but I didn’t have time to reply to it.  As I washed dishes, I started to compose the response in my head.  It started with the words “I am currently training for my second marathon”.  I pondered that for a moment, and it was a bit mind boggling.  Those are words that three years ago I NEVER would have thought would come out of my mouth.

Three years ago, I was still in the “I hate running” camp.  Three years ago I was losing weight after my second child, but I didn’t feel all that great about myself.  Three years ago I most likely had an unhealthy relationship with the scale.  Three years ago, I was still eating things that were countering whatever movement I was doing....and three years ago, I was probably mad at myself about it.

But then, not quite three years ago, I met Jonathan, and that’s when my life changed–one baby step at a time.  I began to see that I was important enough to make time for me.  I began to see that one slip up doesn’t mean I quit completely.  I began to see that as long as I continue to make better choices–not perfect choices, but better choices–I am still in the game.  I began to see that the past does NOT determine my future.  I began to see that there was a better version of me inside....and I began to see that I am stronger than I ever thought possible.

My body started to change, but more importantly, so did my mind.  I found myself willing to try things I wouldn’t have tried with my bigger, unhealthy body.  (Kayaking, anyone?)  I found myself looking in the mirror and thinking maybe my husband is right–maybe I am beautiful.  I found myself happier and better able to cope with life.  I found myself pushing myself to new challenges.

Then one day an e-mail from Jonathan said he thought I could run a marathon–26.2 miles!  I knew then and there that my mind had shifted from fat, lazy thinking to fit, active thinking because I didn’t fall out of my chair laughing.  Okay, so I may have chuckled at the thought at first, but it quickly became a goal.  A crazy goal, admittedly, but a goal nonetheless.  I didn’t think it was a crazy goal because it was unreachable–as I once would have–but I thought it was a crazy goal because it was so far from anything I had ever done in the life I had known up to that point.  For over a year I planned and trained–longer runs and longer races–until last October, when I ran–and FINISHED–my first marathon.

The fantastic thing about this story is that almost three years after the journey started, I am still “the new me”.  I haven’t reverted to the way things used to be.  This baby step thing really works to make things a permanent change.

So wherever you are on your journey, don’t give up.  You are worth more than that.  You had a bad day yesterday and ate a candy bar?  That doesn’t mean you need one today.  Missed a workout yesterday?  Who cares?  Do one today.  Your past does NOT dictate your future.  A favorite quote says “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Your body and your mind will not change completely in one day, but the process can certainly START in one day.

Make that day today.  Start your new ending now.  Never quit.  Before you know it, you will be amazed at yourself.