I have never spoken about my transformation before but since it’s Tuesday I thought today would be the perfect day to do it. Most people tell you about how the image on the left was them when they were unhappy, ate unhealthy food, and hated the way they looked. In comparison the image on the right is when they are more confident, eating better, and working out regularly. My Transformation Tuesday story is slightly different as are the pictures I have used.
I wasn’t unhealthy in the picture on the right. I ate junk food and bread and all my vegetables and a lot of fruit. I loved food and savoured every mouthful. Now I probably eat a little less cake but still love junk food and bread and vegetables and fruit. I actually am hungry more often and eat a lot more food now that I train and workout regularly. I have gone out of my way to not restrict my diet or to associate certain goods with ‘cheating’ or ‘guilt’. I ate a balanced diet back then and I still eat a balanced diet now. I also refuse to ‘eat clean’ and all these foodie superstars telling me that bread is the enemy need to go away. I love sandwiches and pasta – there is no way I want to stop eating them!
So while my diet hasn’t changed all that much from the right to the left, the amount of exercise I do has changed drastically. I had always been active but never particularly ambitious with what I did. I went with my dad to the gym once a week or I went swimming. I would walk everywhere, watch my dad run, and think about running but never actually run.
Then Sister started running. And nothing makes me as jealous as my sister when she starts doing something amazing. If she was doing it, I was most certainly doing it. When I see other people’s Transformation Tuesday’s I see these motivational stories of people wanting to better themselves. Me? I was ridiculously jealous of my sister and just wanted to copy her.
And that is hilarious. But at the same time I wanted to write this because I want to make it obvious to anyone who reads this and wants to start you don’t have to be at your personal rock bottom to want to get into sport and fitness. You don’t have to have ‘noble’ reasons for starting to get sweaty. Sport and fitness is fun – I don’t carry on doing it because it’s horrible and painful or because I want to lose weight. I carry on running and lifting weights and sweating because it’s fun. I really, really enjoy it. I am very lucky that I also didn’t have any known underlying health issues which prompted me to start exercising.
I love reading the stories from women and men who get into fitness because they want to change their life and / or improve their health. For me it was different – I got into running loving my life already. This was an addition which quickly became very, very important to me. I have lost no weight since I started working out. None. I am leaner and have a lot more muscle definition. My diet hasn’t drastically changed. I was happy then and I am happy now. But I have transformed. I have fallen deeply and passionately in love with sport, with participating in sport, and with running. And I hope so much that you all know that – that I thoroughly enjoy all the things I do and all the opportunities I am given.
Of course there are things about my body I wish were different – I want abs so, so badly – but I have made a conscious decision to keep my body goals separate from my enjoyment of running or sweating. It’s difficult because everything tells me that I should only work out to ‘look better’ but I really don’t want one to be associated with the other. This is why the pictures I have used for my Transformation Tuesday – almost 7 years apart show me being happy and having a good time. What is different is my mindset, my attitude, and all the positives that fitness has given me. They aren’t obvious when you look at my face or my smile but the impact running has had is etched on my soul*.
*that is the most poetic I will ever be.