My goal in life is to always be an encouragement, to never make someone feel bad about themselves or the way they present themselves to this world, but to also be a good example of healthy living and hopefully inspiration to those around me. Now I'm not giving myself some big pat on the back or acting like I have to all together. I. DO. NOT. have it all together. :) My eating is the worst on some days. If you know anything about me then you know that I am addicted to sugar, I love sweets, chocolate is my favorite food group, I drink soda some and could live off of baked goods I'm sure. Don't get me wrong, I love fruits and veggies and make lots of home made healthy foods too, but if you gave me the choice between fruit salad and chocolate I'd pick the latter every time. That being said, I try my hardest to make good food decisions and feed myself and my family a balanced diet as often as possible.
I am a running fool as many of you already know, and I hope that my kids and those around me see this as a passion and not an exercise obsession. When I finish a run I don't think about how many calories I burned (most calorie counters are incorrect anyway), I don't go weigh myself to see if I sweated off some pounds. I run for miles and miles and miles for the love of it. I go write down my miles in my log, I blog about it, I add up my miles for the week, the month, the year. I am constantly in a race to better myself, to get faster and fitter, for the love of the run, not for my physique. I hope that is apparent and I hope my children never think of exercise as a chore or a necessity to be accepted. My hope is that they find some form of exercise that they love and they are able to enjoy it for a lifetime. I have been so lucky to find running at a young age and to have people around me that support my "habit" and allow me the time to continue pursuing my goals.
I have caught myself worrying about weight, what woman doesn't? As a runner, now training for a marathon, I am often reading articles about "racing weight" and being light for race day. If you're going to run 26.2 freaking miles you want to carry less weight over that distance if possible. However, this isn't what is really important. Being 5'7" and weighing 120 pounds is unreasonable for me, to get there I'd be a crabby ass and surely weaker as well from restricting what I eat so much. The articles on Runner's World that talk about body fat and being as lean as possible can tear down anyone, even someone who runs 18-20 miles for fun. It just isn't helpful. One of my favorite runner girls, Lauren Fleshman, recently blogged about being truthful and Keeping it Real. In her blog she talks about how hard it is as a woman to focus on the important things and the high standards we are always held to. She is a very wise professional runner and I was so happy to read her honest take on body image. I try to fuel my body and provide my muscles with everything they need to keep going at a reasonable pace without bonking out, and for me that includes chocolate sometimes. Chocolate makes me happy; I could live off of broccoli but I'd be much less pleasant. My point is I'm not going to count calories or worry about every pound and conform to the suggestions of some article I read in a magazine. Maybe they encourage some people, but for me they are just a discouragement. If my times are improving and my legs are feeling good that's what matters most to me. The numbers on my stopwatch are much more important to me than the numbers on the bathroom scale or my pants size. Whew, I'm really getting on a rant here!
As a mother to two beautiful little people, I here by solemnly vow to focus on being healthy and happy and not worry about what the outside world thinks of my body, my skin, my hair or my makeup. I hope you all will do the same.