Friday, September 26, 2014

Is There a Magic Formula?

If I had a dollar for every comment I've gotten about my weight loss...well I'd have a lot of dollars. My favorites are "I wish I could lose 20 pounds" or "I need that problem". Not only did I not have 20 pounds to lose, but I was having the fittest spring/summer of my adult life. I felt amazing. My running times were off the charts (for me). Having two surgeries and losing 20 pounds was not in the cards. It's been really challenging to get back to a normal weight and feel like I'm no longer weak.

I know, I know. #skinnygirlproblems. Here's the thing about being in shape: there's no magic formula. Every body type is different, and some people are just going to be naturally thinner or more muscular or more athletic. But it takes work. I left my house at 5:15 this morning to go to the pool. Do you think I wanted to wake up that early? I can assure you that I most certainly did not. Once I got in the pool, however, it felt awesome. I pushed to about 200 meters more than I'd planned to do. My shoulders were burning. I just kept telling myself, "You can push harder than this. No excuses." It's not easy, and it takes work.

I have a small frame, and having Crohn's has made me skinnier in general. But to have the body I want that makes me happy, it takes constant work. Early running, early swimming. I love food, and I want to be able to eat essentially whatever I want. But that means that the rest of my life has to be filled with activity to balance whatever I want to eat. I like ice cream. And fast food. And wine. I don't want to give those things up.

I walk to work, and my dogs get walked twice a day. That alone is three miles of walking, and I don't even consider that part of my exercise routine. For me being in shape means being active in all facets of my life. Take the stairs, walk when you can, and just keep moving. I am basically always moving. I would probably be relatively skinny even if I stopped working out, but what would be the challenge in that?

I've gained back about half of the weight I lost this summer, and I'm finally starting to feel stronger, healthier and on the way back to a fit version of myself.  Being in shape will take lots of early morning workouts and an active life. There's no magic formula - you've just got to do the work. So the next time someone says, "I wish I could lose 20 pounds" I may have to be snarkier. You can. Set the alarm and get up. Or don't if you don't want to, but then shut it about how much weight you *wish* you could lose. It's not about wishing. It's about making it happen. I'll be hitting the pavement at 6 am probably wishing I'd stayed in bed. But you never regret a workout once it's over. We all make choices, and you've got to choose what's most important to you. 

My weight loss this summer was certainly not by choice, and I won't apologize for it or take the extra fat that you don't want. I'll be in the pool working to get back to my triathlon arms if you need me.    

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