Monday, September 12, 2011

Decade: Then and Now

Ten years ago, this girl sat down in health class:
She was depressed. She didn't understand how to fix her predicament. She knew she was fat. She felt invisible to most, and unfortunately noticeable to those without the class to be polite. Uncomfortable in her own skin, she didn't know where to start. Somehow, she found the courage to make one change, one tiny little change. She started bringing her lunch to school and eating less food. She found the time to use the rugged old stair-stepper in her basement at home.

This year, that girl, now a woman entered and finished her first 10K.

She thought about how people who knew her 10 years ago would barely even recognize her.
Sometimes I barely even recognize myself. The girl I used to be and the woman I've become are very different people. What's changed?

#1: I'm "awake" when I make choices about food.
To put it simply, this means I am paying attention to the food that I put in my mouth. I rarely eat mindlessly, and generally know the nutrition content of my food.

#2: I enjoy creating my own food.
It's so much fun to treat your food as a regular experiment to optimize for a particular quality. I'm a scientist at heart and experiments are something I enjoy. I have even started a list of all the things I want to try to make from scratch. Convenience is great for some people, but there is nothing more satisfying to me than creating something from scratch with less ingredients and no processed-food taste.

#3: I cannot envision my life without exercise.
I feel terrible if I don't exercise. Exercise makes me happy, I love it! I even own a workout t-shirt that says "Just Say Yes to Endorphins."

#4: It isn't that I enjoy being thin but more that I enjoy being healthy and fit.
I consider being thin and fitting into smaller sizes a happy byproduct of my healthy lifestyle. The primary motivation for me is not my appearance, but my health.

 #5: Motivation is overrated, but I still want to be healthy and fit as much as I did the day I started my journey.
I honestly believe that if you want it badly enough, you'll find a way to succeed. You have to be honest with yourself about how bad you really want it. You can say you want it and think you want it, but you don't really want it if you can't make some sacrifices to get there.

Are you radically different than you were 10 years ago? What's changed? Let me know in a comment below! I'd love to hear. :)