Saturday, December 31, 2011

Is Your Life a Sitcom or a Movie

As 2011 is coming to a close, naturally we start to think about what will happen to us in the next year. What goals will we achieve and how will we ever reach our goals? As I was driving home tonight, I was completely struck by a podcast from a company that I regularly listen to (thanks to Motivation to Move for the idea for this blog).

Is your life a sitcom or a movie?
Well by definition, a sitcom is stagnant. The characters are who the characters are, and nothing really changes. Events happen to the characters and the show is about how they deal with those events, but at the end of the show pretty much everything is back to normal, the way it was when the show started. Think about it, when does the sitcom get old; when the characters finally age because then the same stories cannot be told. The Simpsons is longest running sitcom …because the characters never have to age.
By definition, a movie has to change. There is a beginning of the movie when the hero reluctantly realizes that they are going to have to overcome some situation. Whether they want to or not, change is going to occur. The whole movie is how they deal with the change, and haven’t we all heard the phrase “nothing is ever going to be the same.” At the end of the movie, the main character is changed (usually for the better).

So is your life a sitcom or a movie?
My life used to be a sitcom. You could have made a laugh track for the poor job I did taking care of myself. Crazy job with crazy hours, check! No time for exercise, check! No lunch and living off of junk food, check! Massive weight gain, check! I devoted 100% of my life to my job … and situations just happened to me. Sure I tried to lose weight, but just like a sitcom I would fail and return to my old lifestyle of skipping lunch, cappuccino, and sitting around on the couch in exhaustion.
In 2010 my life became a movie. You see that job that I devoted 100% of my life to … well it left me. My practice was sold … and I was left without a job. I was the reluctant hero that was going to overcome the evil empire that screwed me over. I was going to triumph (well after I ate a cake and had some bon bons).
Luckily, even though it took me 3 months to find another job, it only took me a few weeks to put down the bon bons. I realized that it was time that I put myself first. I started working out regularly, and started running. Yep this heavy girl (about 270ish at the time) started running. I never thought I would be changed for life.
3 months later I started a new job and I agonized to my MFP friends about how I would continue to live the healthy lifestyle. How would I find the time to work out? How would I find the time to run? Well, one of my favorite phrases is “you don’t find time, you make time.” And that’s what I did… I made time to continue my healthy lifestyle. I was forever changed. Sure, I have times when I don’t always get a perfect workout schedule in, or maybe I choose the wrong foods, but just like a movie … this reluctant hero has triumphed with a great new job and a great new lifestyle never again to return to the old me.
Today I walked away from my job. My life had become too much like a sitcom and it was time to move on. I have done well in the job, and I have done my best, but it time to change my life around again. This time though, I have NO DOUBT that I will make time to get my workouts in.
I can officially admit that I am addicted to exercise. I am addicted to the high of making my body accomplish something I didn’t think it could. I spent last year working on running half marathons, and focusing more on running. I completed 8 half marathons in 2011 and plan on completing many more in 2012.  But accomplishing running goals is getting to be more sitcom than movie, so again it’s time to mix it up. I have added spinning, yoga, and dance classes and believe that, in the end, this will change me as an athlete as well. I may not be the best at any of them, but I LOVE competing with myself to do it just a little bit better … be stronger, faster, etc.
I refuse to let my life be a sitcom again!
So how about you; is your life a movie or a sitcom? … is it time for a change?...time to shake things up?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why I Love Running

About one week ago, one of my MFP friends decided to have a short essay contest. The topic was "Why I Love Running" and the essay was limited to 300 words. OMG 300 words to describe my favorite activity in the world... not sure its possible. I toiled over my essay and below are the results. 
I am happy to report that it took first place in the contest!! :) Thanks TopsKing2010! 

Why I Love Running 
When asked to write about why I love running, many different ideas came to mind. Sure, I could talk about how nothing is better than the solitude of a 10 mile run on a Saturday morning on the trail, or the feeling I get when I cross a finish line after a big race, or how awesome I feel to say the words “I’m a runner” and not have to giggle or feel like a liar … but instead I will just say simply… 

I love running because I never thought I could do it. Running reminds me that nothing in this world is impossible as long as I work at it and believe in myself. You see, even when I was a thin teenager, I was never an athlete. I was that skinny girl who got winded running a lap around the gym. I have clear memories of feeling like I was going to die during the mile run-walk and finishing in DEAD last in my class. 

Yet, many pounds heavier and many years older here I am running half marathons (eight this year) and still ready for more. The first day I tried running about 1 ½ years ago, I thought I was going to die during that first 30 second interval – it was hard! But what I wasn’t prepared for was that overwhelming feeling of accomplishment when I finished that workout. I have never felt that feeling of pride with any other exercise prior, only with running. 

Trust me; I am far from an elite athlete. But with running it’s not about how fast you are – it’s about finishing. Running has inspired me to eat healthy and make good choices, not because I want to lose weight, but because every good choice makes me a better runner.