One night in January 2017, I had the most wonderful, enlightening dream.
In my dream, I was running and in magnificent shape.
I could feel the wind at my back and I felt weightless. I didn’t have a care in the world, and I felt happiness as I was literally flying through my run. I could feel the adrenaline and taste the sweet feelings of accomplishment.
I couldn’t believe this was really me! I was free as the breeze!
As I started to wake up I suddenly realized that my body in it’s current state was most definitely not capable of that physical activity and endurance. At one point, 17 years ago, this dream could have been a reality. But, today I was trapped in an obese and unhealthy body and depressed state of mind that was aching desperately to be the girl in that dream.
As I sat there feeling down and discouraged about my situation, I decided that I was going to add a new goal to my list of Weight Watchers weight loss goals. I was going to sign myself up for two races and train to successfully finish them.
So, before I even started the training of a running program, I got out my laptop and signed up for the Deseret News 10K Race on July 24th and then signed up for the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival 5K Race in April. Now I had goals to work towards and deadlines to meet.
By this time I had already been a Weight Watchers member for one year and had lost 60 pounds. Once I began training for these races, I had lost 100 pounds by May.
I began to realize that I really could lose weight, and that I was really enjoying how well my mind and body felt and how therapeutic running was in my life. It was a stress-reliever, a hobby, a challenge and a great physical and healthy outlet for my emotions.
Since losing 111 pounds, I’ve noticed that I’m a happier person, a more fun and energetic mother, and I enjoy my life much more than I ever did before.
Other people notice this positivity and want to be surrounded by it. I’ve received messages and comments from acquaintances and friends that are searching for this feeling and passion for life. They tell me I’ve inspired them and they want to do it too.
We may not be able to permanently change our situations or circumstances, but we can change ourselves to be the healthiest, happiest, strongest and energized human beings to better face our problems and trials in our lives by making one small change at a time.
I had always been a happy person and was athletic during High School and into my College years. Then, after I became a mother, I put my child’s needs and cares far before my own. I didn’t eat healthy or exercise consistently. After two more babies, I found myself in a very depressed and unhealthy, overwhelming state of mind and body. I self-medicated my depression and began down a long and painful road of addiction.
I was miserable and needed to free myself of this monster that had swallowed me up.
After gaining over 200 pounds, I realized that I needed help.
I had used food to cover up every emotion that I was feeling and ones that I wanted to numb and suppress. We moved back to Utah from Fort Worth, Texas to be closer to family, and I joined Weight Watchers with my mom.
I will never forget that first week.
I weighed in after having done the program, and I had lost 3.2 pounds! I couldn’t believe it. I COULD actually do this and lose weight and succeed.
I had told myself for years that I was too heavy, too undisciplined and what was the point because I had too much weight to lose.
Seeing that it was possible and that I could do this was a game-changer for me. I started making small goals by weight increments to hit and then rewarded myself with small, non-food rewards. I worked hard for things that I really wanted and that kept me motivated. I kept track of everything I ate and drank and wrote it all down every day of every week.
The happiness that I feel physically doesn’t even compare to the true joy that I feel mentally and emotionally.
I had tried to get this feeling so many different ways and THIS was how to get it: Eat healthy foods, find an exercise or workout routine that you like and stick to it.
Consistency and patience are two of the biggest things that I have learned through this journey.
We are all in charge of our own happiness.
We have to love ourselves before we can truly and deeply love others.
January 2017 I began running very short distances and slowly began lengthening the distance. In April I completed my first 5K Run at the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival with my sister. Then I began training harder, and in June I began an 8 week 10K Training Program. It was difficult and intense but I knew I had a deadline to meet and a race to finish.
On Monday morning July 24, 2017 I woke up at 3:30 am to ride up to Salt Lake City for the 6 am race. I was nervous, scared and excited all at the same time. Did I train enough? Would I even finish?
As we lined up at the Staring Line and the shot was fired to start I began to think, “Was this the race I was running in my dream?” About 1 mile in to the 6.2 miles I would be running, we ran past the Rice Eccles Stadium and we were cruising downhill.
The wind was at my back and I put both of my arms out as if I was flying.
This was it.
This was what I had dreamed of and now I was living my dream.
I had turned my dream into a reality and I was elated and choked up.
The race got increasingly more difficult as we approached the Finish Line. The last 500 feet were a mental and physical battle. But as I neared the finish, I could hear my sisters, mom, my husband and 2 daughters cheering me on. That gave me those last few ounces of energy to push to the end.
My weight loss journey has not been easy. It’s been bumpy and tearful and discouraging and humbling. But, I would’ve never learned the things that I have about myself and what I’m capable of if I would’ve never began.
Everybody’s got to start somewhere and making that decision is the hardest part.
I promise you that if I can do it, ANYONE can do it.
Don’t ever think you’re too far gone to undo the damage.
You’re worth it and if you could feel how you’re going to feel afterwards……every person would be doing it. The gratification and happiness you feel filters into every aspect of your life.
You will amaze yourself and help others do the same.