I woke up one morning in 1994 and decided I would start running. Someone had given me the gift of the most amazing book of all time, to me at least ‘Fit For Life’ by the Diamonds. I had been reading it loosely, skimming some pages here and there until I got to the nutrition and exercise chapters. I needed to move my body, my body was desperate for movement. I was living in Berlin, Germany at the time and there was this lovely park down the street where I was living. I thought well I will just run there and back, that is easy. My mind and body were not in the sink, totally disconnected. As I placed my tennis shoes on my feet that would be carrying my 170-pound body towards the park, I was determined. I walked out my door and started to lightly jog towards the park. I became incredibly winded and couldn’t breathe in enough air, even with my mouth wide open. I reached the park and my body said to sit down immediately. “No way,” shouted my brain. It was in control. I would turn around and go back home just like the plan. One short block up, one short block back. I barely made it back to my house, I was hyperventilating. But I did. I crawled to my stairs. I was elated I had made it back, although I sat there crying, holding my knees in excruciating pain from the heavyweight that tried so hard to carry my 5’2″ body that once was 115 pounds.
After wiping my tears, my first thought was I will do this again tomorrow. For 6 months I did this. Every morning, same time, same place, although every day I would pass my mark. I passed the bench, I passed the park. Every day I would go a little further, a little bit faster. First 5 min, 7 min, 10 min and so on. This book I felt such a connection to. I understood it and incorporated my new way of moving my body and eating healthy foods. First adding fruit and not eating fruit after 12:00 p.m, then salad and vegetables for lunch and more vegetables and lots of protein for dinner. A drastic change from unhealthy foods that I had consumed for so long. Next was to say goodbye to my beloved coffee (at least for awhile) then sugar and flour. Every day baby steps. Some days were filled with pure joy and others were filled with many tears. This was done all on my own. No support groups, no texting, no cell phones back then. It was me, my beloved journal, my guides and my ‘Fit For Life’ book. When I reached my 6-month goal, I was running nonstop for 45 min, breathing deeply and in that amazing runner’s zone, I always heard about. With clean eating, I woke up with so much energy, it was phenomenal. I lost 50 lbs in 6 months and made a pact with myself never to return to that number again. 22 years later I still have not returned and I just won’t. I understand the struggles, the ups, and the downs, feeling awful and feeling amazing about yourself, but I also know through experience, that whatever you set your mind to, you will indeed succeed!