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Friday, June 29, 2012

I can't even tell you how many times over the past few weeks I have thought to myself, "Who ARE you, Leah??? Where did this person come from? When did you change so much? How did this even happen?" In a GOOD way! Haha.

So, I thought, "Why not try and figure this out?" I went back and started to read all my old blogs...because I distinctly remember there being a turning point where something permanently changed and I never looked back. It was really fun going back through old blogs. The funniest for me was when I got all emotional and thankful over FOUR comments on a blog. HA! Seems crazy to me now...

Anyway, the progression is very interesting and I thought it would maybe be encouraging for some of you...to show you that, no matter how overwhelming your odds are (whether you have to lose 108 lbs - like me) or you just can't imagine walking more than a mile...THINGS CHANGE, FRIENDS. And sometimes, when you least expect it, they change quickly. You CAN turn your entire life around in a short period of time...I am proof of this. It's not easy...but it is not as difficult as I always thought it would be either. Need proof? OK, let's begin...

FEBRUARY 27, 2012

So, yesterday I was at my "Made To Crave" Bible Study (week 2) and was telling my group that I feel like my issues with food/health have kept me from victory, specifically in the fact that I feel like I can never do anything fun again because I'm afraid of re-breaking my ankle and elbow. It makes me very upset and I was sobbing as I told them, "I can't even run! I've tried and I just can't do it!"

But, I've always wondered if I really physically can't run or if it was just a mental block, completely based on fear. I suspected it was the latter.

Yesterday I took my kids for a walk. About halfway through our 1.5 mile walk, I said to my daughter, "Should I try to jog to that sign? Just to see if I can do it?" I actually jogged!!! My daughter was behind me and she started shouting, "Mommy is jogging!!!!! Oh my gosh!!!" After that short distance, I felt like I wanted to jog again! I ended up jogging, then walking, then jogging, then walking...the entire way and I felt AMAZING!!! No pain. Just sweet, sweet joy.

I am beyond excited about this. And now I want to go again today!

MARCH 13, 2012

Apparently, there's a runners' store in town that will do all the measurements on my feet and even watch me run and figure out the perfect shoe for me.

The real shocker here is this...WHY do I want to spend so much time to do this? WHY do I want to go to this store and have some stranger watch me shake my fatness and have him fit me with what is sure to be a SUPER expensive shoe that I probably can't afford and then WHY do I WANT to do this Couch 2 5K so badly and eventually sign up for a 5K and, later on, who knows what? I HATE running. Right????

It is shocking even to me. I don't know where this desire came from.

MAY 2, 2012 (57 DAYS AGO!!!!)

I've read a LOT of blogs over the past couple of weeks. As you know, I feel specifically drawn to the stories of SparkPeople that have lost 100+ lbs. I began to see a common thread in many of these success stories: running. And not just running when they had walked enough to shed a ton of weight...running when they were STILL out of shape. When they were STILL over 300 lbs, over 250 lbs. Running a 5K non-stop at 230 lbs. It has quite literally blown my mind!

And, I don't know...I just thought, "If these people have done it...then I can do it." I can't keep making excuses.

Sunday morning, I knew I'd have a 6-hour car ride in front of me. At 7am, I went and started over with Couch 2 5K. But, this time, I ran all the running intervals. I cut my personal best mile interval time by 3 whole minutes!!! I was THRILLED! I felt SO GREAT! Yeah, it was a rough run, but not as rough as I thought it would be.

This morning, I woke up at 5:30am to take care of my 4 year old. He went back to sleep and I realized I was wide awake and just ITCHING for the sun to come up, so I could go for another run. I cut my mile interval time by another minute this morning. But that wasn't even my biggest victory today. The victory today was that I was able to breathe! I focused on my running form and, do you know, that made things so much easier?! I wasn't in pain. It was exponentially easier than it was on Sunday.

This is just TWO DAYS of work, folks. And I already feel like it's getting easier. I just can't tell you how amazing I feel. This running thing, once you get the hang of it, is really quite addicting.

If you only knew me two years ago, you'd understand how shocking this is. I am the girl who used to HATE any exercise. I am the rude person that would post on my runner friends' Facebook statuses that running is disgusting. I am the one who would say, "Who cares if I'm overweight? I'm already married and at least I'll die happy (eating delicious things and living life to the full)!"

But I so wasn't living life! And, to have this chance to truly LIVE...well, I refuse to take it for granted. I just can't wait to see what's ahead!!!!

JUNE 28, 2012 (TODAY)

It has only been 57 days since I wrote that. Less than two months, you guys. Tomorrow morning, I will run my longest distance yet - 6.2 miles. And I plan on running the entire thing...with a total of 15-20 minutes of walking interspersed throughout the entire run.

57 days ago, I was thrilled to able to run a 1:30 minute interval. Tomorrow I will run for over an hour.

57 days ago, running in a 5k race was a pipe dream. Something that could only happen "someday". Today, I have run and finished two 5k races.

57 days ago, I thought, "Maybe when I've lost a bunch of weight, I'll be able to do a 5k".

Tomorrow, I will run 10k as a part of my training for a half marathon...which I will run just 15 weeks from now.

In light of these facts, it is understandable that I am constantly looking in the mirror and asking, "Who ARE you?!" Well, I have some ideas:

I am Leah.
I am stronger than I ever imagined I could be.
I am a healed woman - physically, mentally, emotionally.
I am tenacious and empowered.
I am beautiful.
I am not afraid anymore.
I am not giving up.
I am blessed.
I am a runner.
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