My five year 180lbs. journey …

5-180Can it really be five years already? Time really does fly. But, five years ago today I made a decision. A decision to change my life. It wasn’t just a decision to lose weight, but a decision to find happiness, live life to the fullest and to follow my dreams.

The day five years ago didn’t start with an immaculate entrance into a gym or a day of blissful eating. In fact it was nothing like that. After months, if not years, of starting a diet nearly every Monday I just made an effort to work on it.

This time I didn’t even start on a Monday. It was actually an ordinary Thursday. I wasn’t going for all or nothing this time. I was done with feeling unhappy. I was done feeling defeated. I was done just dreaming. So I was taking an actual step forward. I was now working towards happiness and my dreams.

I started by simply writing down everything I ate in a notebook. It wasn’t fancy, it didn’t include calories, etc. It was simply what I ate and what time I ate them. After a week of doing this I reviewed my notebook and made changes here and there to eat healthier. I did this for a month.

I also just made a conscious effort to walk more at work and throughout my day. The thought of running or becoming a runner wasn’t even entertained. I was literally going forward step by step … forward.

After about a month of taking those small steps and losing around 30lbs. I started getting more serious about my journey. I hired a personal trainer who helped me overcome my fears of working out, but especially of the gym. He really helped get me into a groove.

Less than a year after that he challenged me to run a 5K and … well … I guess that’s where the real addiction started. The 5K lead into another 5K which lead to a 10K which lead to a half marathon which then in turn naturally lead to a marathon. It’s been a cycle that hasn’t really ended in the past four or so years since I laced up my running shoes.

But, more than anything I found something that I enjoyed in running. Not just because running was a great weight-loss and fitness exercise, but because I started to embrace the running community as well. It seemed like every new race that I ran I found and met new people who also loved running as much as I did.

More than any distance, race or feat that I accomplished what kept me running was the people. Whether it’s life long friends, people in my Facebook groups, people I meet at mile 6, 12 or 24 of a race I have always loved the people that I run with. Each has a story, each has a reason to run, and each has fought a battle to get to that point. I’ve always loved getting to know what that personal fight was for each runner I meet.

I really haven’t expected that running would take me here. When I ran my first half marathon I didn’t have the goal of running 180 races over 13.1 set. Actually, I didn’t even know how many half marathons I would end up running. Maybe 5? Maybe 10? If that? And, a marathon took me another year to finally commit to.

But, I when made the goal to run 180 races over 13.1 before I turned 40. I picked that number of a number of reasons-

  • It’s how much weight I’ve lost (a race per pound).
  • Running has helped turn my life around 180 degrees.
  • It’s the name of this blog, Running180.

And, now that I am 83 races into this journey I can’t wait for the remaining 97 races. Unlike where I was five years ago today, I am excited for the future. I can actually see the future. My dreams are becoming reality, but above all of that … I am happy. My happiness has come not just from my successes, but also being a part of other people successes in running, weight-loss and life.

And, what excites me is that this journey of a thousand miles that I started with that single step is nowhere near to being complete. Here’s to another five years. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

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