I’m going to be away for a couple of days, so I’ve got a couple fabulous women lined up for some guest posts on how they’ve found their personal revolution, kicking off a series called Your Revolution.
Hi everyone! I’m Beth from Will Run for Books. Mindy recruited some guest bloggers for while she’s away, and I was more than happy to volunteer! She asked me to talk about a revolution in my healthy lifestyle journey, and I’d like to share with you all how I found and fell in love with running.
I should disclose first that I have never been at an unhealthy weight for my height. Throughout my early teen years, I had what might be seen as a bit of “baby fat.” My senior year, I simultaneously lost this “baby fat” and started dating a boy who would remain my boyfriend for the next four years. He was an long distance cyclist and very into health, which was something I liked about him. At first, he encouraged me to live a healthy lifestyle, and by the end of my senior year I was down to 108 pounds. Then, I thought I looked great, but in retrospect (and after seeing pictures years later), I was too thin – my head looked far too large for my body!
My first year in college, I gained about five pounds, nothing significant, but my boyfriend started getting controlling about my weight, telling me I didn’t need to eat certain things and constantly asking if I had worked out that day. I started to feel bad about my weight and myself. He praised me when I lost weight and chastised me when I gained it. My second year in college, I moved into an apartment with friends and gained about ten more pounds. He got more controlling. He rationed my food and forced me onto the scale on more than one occasion so he could see how much I weighed. He told me I would have to start running to get “skinny.” So I tried it. I started out too fast, and hated it. I felt terrible about my weight, my body, my fitness, and myself.
I searched online for workout plans. Sometime during the summer after my sophomore year of college, I found coolrunning.com’s Couch to 5k program. I started it as a way to lose weight, but found that the incremental increase in running was what I had been looking for all along. I loved it and the confidence it gave me. The first time I ran 5k I was on top of the world. For the first time, I was more interested in numbers besides what the scale showed me – mileage and running time.
I broke things off with that boyfriend in the spring of my junior year of college, but five years later, I am still running. I weigh closer to what I did my sophomore year of college than what I did my senior yaer of high school, and that’s okay. What started as 60 seconds of running to 90 seconds of walking has evolved into a 2:11:50 half marathon – no walking. Running has given me strong legs, strong lungs, and a strong heart. I’ve taken breaks, but I always come back to it. And a bonus – in September 2011 I will marry a man who loves running even more than I do – and me, just the way I am.
Thanks for sharing your running revolution, Beth! Be sure to visit her site and give her some love!