When I first decided to get serious about eating healthy and working out, it was to lose weight. That was it. I had always been pretty thin, but had gained some weight (about 15 pounds) and I didn’t like the way my body looked and felt anymore.
So I did it. I started working out every day and eating semi-healthy (I always found it easier to workout than to “diet,” and I still do). I lost the 15 pounds and got to the weight I was before college. (you can read more about how I did it here).
Then one day I went running (I don’t run often) and I was able to run 3 miles without stopping. Then one day I went skiing and I was able to ski a whole day without my knees hurting. Then one day I did 10 push-ups on my toes. Then one day I did a split that I wasn’t able to do since high school.
It was that feeling of strong that made me realize that fitness is not about weight loss. It’s not about obtaining the “perfect body” or obtaining the magic number on the scale. It’s about pursuing a better life. A healthier life. A more active life.
It’s about being able to always say “yes” to any exciting adventure that comes my way, without having to worry if my body is up for it.
It’s about doing things I couldn’t do before.
Even when I surpassed my goal weight loss, I still wanted to keep working out. It was no longer about losing anymore weight but about how I could be better, stronger, more flexible, have better balance, all the things that make up a healthy body.
I could have easily just said, “OK, I reached my goal weight, now I can just be lazy and eat junk.” But, that was not the lifestyle that I wanted anymore.
I hear older people say things like “I don’t think I could do that anymore” or “my body isn’t up for that” and I think it’s heartbreaking. I know that getting older is inevitable and our bodies do begin to wear out as they get older, but I also think a lot of it is our responsibility too.
If we choose to ignore our health and fitness when we’re able to control it, we will likely suffer the consequences when we’re older.
I want to be able to be as active when I’m 70 as I am now. I want to be able to ski, to hike, to run, to climb.
Even though I know some of it may be out of my control, a lot of it depends on me. How well I take care of myself now will reflect in my lifestyle when I am older.
So to me, fitness is no longer about weight loss. The weight loss (or weight maintenance) is going to be secondary to how I live my life. I have a thirst for being active, being healthy, being adventurous, and I hope to continue to be able to have those experiences and live the same lifestyle for many many years to come. I plan to make that happen by taking care of my body NOW.
Do you agree or disagree?
Who’s with me in the pursuit of a fit life?!