Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Healthy and More Confident

As most of you know by now, I have been taking English Comp this fall and haven't really had loads of time to sit down and write in my blog.  Since the beginning of the semester I have written two essays and I am working on a third.  The first one was posted here on the last post.  Although it wasn't about running or healthy living, it did contain a lesson that can be applied to many areas of life.

My second essay was a process essay.  I won't go into all the details but I did write mine about how to live a healthy lifestyle.  Before you read it though, I want to give an update on what I've been accomplished since my last post.

I am still training hard for my marathon which is coming up pretty fast.  I have ran my longest distance of 19.1 miles just a few weeks ago and will attempt another 20 miler this coming weekend.  I haven't gotten to run during the week like I should but I've been busy on the road too.  For the most part it has been great weather for training the last few weeks.

Now that that is out of the way, here is the essay that I wrote for my class.  Thanks for taking the time to visit and read it.


Healthy and More Confident
Since I started on my journey to a healthier lifestyle over three years ago, I have heard,  “How did you use lose all that weight?” “What diet are you on?” “I bet you feel so much better.” and “I wish I had your will power.”  I would not have believed it before, but I am convinced, now more than ever, that a person can make small changes in their lives that will make them feel better and more confident to reach any goal.
When I first started on this journey, I set some goals.  I set small goals that I wanted to accomplish in a short period of time and some larger ones that I wanted to accomplish in the coming months and years.  For example, a small goal might be to lose five pounds in a month and walk three times a week for the next six weeks.  However, a larger goal would be to keep those five pounds off for six months or walk one hundred miles in the next four months.
Second, I started weighing myself on Sunday morning, and this was really motivating.  It let me see the progress I was making and let me know if I was headed toward or away from my target.  Experts say people should weigh themselves everyday, but that can be demotivating especially if weight was gained.
After setting my goals and weighing, I decided I would start to exercise.  Since I didn’t want to disturb the normal family routine, I thought it would be best if I woke up early and went for a walk.  I started out walking thirty minutes and then increased it by five minutes every two weeks until I worked up to an hour.  Eventually, I decided that I would try running and now I am half marathoner.
At the same time, eating the right foods plays an important role in my pursuit to a healthier lifestyle.  I began to eat healthier foods.  Instead of eating a candy bar for a snack, I would eat some grapes, a banana, or a serving of almonds.  For breakfast I would eat oatmeal or some other kind of cereal with almond milk.  These changes were gradual and not all at once.  To help me stay focused I used an app on my iPhone to track my calories.
Equally important is getting plenty of sleep and rest.  They are just as important as doing the exercise.  It is during sleep that the body repairs all of the damage.  The body always builds back stronger than it was before.  It is generally accepted that getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night is best.
After a while, I started looking for others that were on a similar journey.  Over the last three years, I have met some of the greatest people too.  These are the ones that have been there to give me advice and encourage me.  It also gave me a chance to help them out as well.
Finally, I began a blog and wrote in it weekly.  This kept me accountable to others and kept me focused on what I wanted to accomplish.  I would write about my activities from the previous week, whether or not I tried any new foods, and how my weight loss was progressing.  I wrote about the good and the bad.  Eventually, I started writing about other running related subjects that I found interesting.

Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t just about being healthier but it is the person that is revealed during the journey.  After losing over forty pounds and becoming a healthy runner, I am confident that I can set any goal and accomplish it.  If I can do it, then anyone can.