Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mental Shift

Wahoooo!  My very good friend V has been doing awesome on her weight loss journey - in 7 weeks, she's lost 12 pounds and 13 inches!  She emailed me the other day to tell me, and of course I was so thrilled and so proud of her.  I love that she's doing it the good old fashioned way...eating healthy whole foods and moving her body.  When she first told me that she was going to focus on her health, I knew she was going to be successful because she was ready to make the change and she was going about it the right way - slow, steady weight loss done through a lifestyle change, and not some crazy gimmicky fad diet.  I don't doubt that that some of the latest fads result in quick weight loss and some people may find lasting success, but the results aren't sustainable and it's not a long term solution.  In fact, these diets (in my not so humble opinion!) result in a vicious cycle triggered by calorie deprivation resulting in a sluggish metabolism and decreased muscle mass.  OK, getting off soapbox now.  Ha!

Anyways, I was so thrilled on hearing her success that I'm sure she could practically hear me squealing in excitement through her computer.  She replied that one day I'd have to tell her how I got to be so passionate about health.  Hmmmmmm.  I actually sat there for a moment and had to think about that.  When did I turn into the Health Nut Harpy? 

There's no denying that when I first started working out and eating right, my motivation was all about vanity.  Plain and simple, I wanted to get into my skinny jeans.  Then somewhere along the way it changed...I started thinking more about the health benefits and about making this a lifestyle change.  Then I got hooked on running, which completely changed how I viewed my health...if I wanted this body to carry me for 42.2 kilometres, I needed to start treating it with kid gloves.  With all these changes, there's no denying that physically, I feel the best I've ever felt, bar none.

That's not it though.  The most important thing that makes me a Health Nut Harpy is what happened inside...and by that I mean mentally.   I no longer beat up my body with fad or starvation diets, but treat it with is fuel, and as the old cliche goes, my body is a temple.  I'm no longer obsessed with the number I see on the scale...I used to be a scale addict, but I haven't weighed myself in a months.  I've got way more confidence in myself and what I can achieve - training and running last year's marathon made me realize that I'm no longer the athletic misfit (ha!) I was in high school and that once I set my mind to something, I can do it.  Kathrine Switzer words "if you can run a marathon, you can do anything" rings so true for me...yes, running a marathon is physically hard, but the mental part was way harder.  I actually kinda like who I am now and I couldn't have said that five years ago.

So sure...fitting into skinny jeans or being able to run for hours or do a bazillion pushups is great...but I'm passionate about health because of the mental shift that happens when people make their health a priority and start believing in themselves.  Everyone deserves to be happy, right?  Being healthy might not be the answer to everything, but it's definitely a good place to start.

Health Nut Harpy, over and out.


Rena said...

This post made me think about how I got into sort of healthy living. I would say running was a big change. It made me appreciate my body more and be less negative about it.

It sounds like your friend is doing awesomely in her journey to being fit and happy!

Char said...

Some of this could be my story - why I started to exercise, being a slave to the scales, having a mental shift where it's all about health and food as a fuel. I'm a much more considered consumer now. I eat foods because of their value and because they make my body work better.

Your friend has done so well so far. Congratulations to her.

TX Runner Mom said...

Excellent post!