The majority of people began 2012 with new hopes, dreams, and goals. A new year symbolizes a fresh start and a second chance to many. For me, this was no exception. Upon my return from Ireland, I needed to take a good hard look around and re-establish myself in the States and back into my patterns and routines. One of such routines was my healthy habits: they were seriously lacking. In Ireland, food became my comfort on rainy days, (of which there were many), and spending a few hours reading or blogging were a substitute for hitting the gym as hard as I used to. For me, my 2012 resolution was to transform the negativity I was surrounding my body with and get back out there. This time, I turned my focus on the simple statement, “Strong, not skinny.”
In a world that places far too much importance and value upon being wafer-thin; women literally have to disappear before they are considered small enough. Our ideals have been warped by heavily photo-shopped images in glossy magazines and splashed on ads everywhere we turn. This false reality painted by the media is killing us and it is sickening. Struggling with body image my whole life, 2012 became my year to transform myself- inside and out. No, this doesn’t mean any crazy fad diets or weight loss “supplements”, but simply a total mind-change. What I put into my body should fuel me, leaving me feeling great and full of energy. However, I will not deprive myself of that cupcake every now and then, and darn it, I looooove big, juicy burgers. Changing my relationship with my food is an on-going process, but as I go along I see the progression from what I crave: while sweets used to rule my nights, sometimes a cup of tea and stove top popcorn will do.
And then there are the work outs. Through a combination of running, P90X, yoga, and spinning (when I am home), I have found that changing up my routine leave me actually enjoying myself as I sweat- and that sure keeps me going! I get excited watching what began as 3-4 mile runs escalate to 6-7 miles, keeping my goal of a half-marathon before the year is up and a full marathon before I graduate a definite possibility, leaving those shin splints in the dust. The energy from my workouts also transfer into my daily life. Often times on busy days workouts are the first things to go. But, by setting them as a priority, I feel better, sleep better, eat better, and work better as I go throughout my week. Though there are a few days when rest wins out, I realize that this is OK. Getting fit and staying fit is a lifetime process. Just taking it day by day, I get closer to my 2012 goals and closer to a stronger me.