One of the things I have had to learn how to do to lose weight, get healthy, and become a runner is how to listen to my body.
I used to just eat whatever and whenever I felt like it, just because I could. I used to eat way past when I was full just because food tasted good. I used to stay up way too late. I used to let myself get exhausted. I used to get sick a lot. I used to never exercise. I used to put little thought or care into taking care of myself. My body felt tired, slow, fat, uncomfortable, unhealthy, unhappy, and worn out. But I didn't listen to it.
I was really good at taking care of everyone else. I made sure the kids got meals, naps, sleep, medications, and everything else done on a schedule. I took care of Josh and kids and the house and clients... I gave and gave and gave to everyone but myself.
When I decided to get healthy, one of the first things I had to do was pay attention to myself. I had to figure out what I needed. I had to learn how to eat when I was hungry and stop eating when I was full. I had to make sure I got enough sleep. I had to make sure I didn't let myself get worn out emotionally or physically (as much as that is possible). I had to make some time for myself and put some energy into myself.
I had to figure out how to make myself a priority in my own life.
It was a totally foreign concept at first.
As I got into running casually, then more seriously, and now really seriously, I have had to get even better at listening to my body and taking care of myself.
Am I getting enough to eat? (Running 80+ miles a week makes a girl HUNGRY). Am I eating too much? Am I eating good food and fueling my body well?
Am I getting enough rest? Am I worn down? Am I overtired? Do I have plenty of energy for the day?
How does my body feel? Any sore spots? Are my legs fresh? Am I hitting my paces without too much effort? Am I having successful workouts? Am I stretching, rolling, ice-bathing, cross-training, and doing all that I can to stay healthy and free from injury?
And maybe the most important - Do I feel happy? Do I feel strong? Do I feel confident? Do I feel content? Am I smiling (inside and out)?
It took me quite a while to find the right balance in life. It took me a while to figure out that I could do a first rate job taking care of my family and home, and do my "work" job, and take care of myself and chase my own dreams too. In fact, I fact I realized that I am happier and better for the people in my life since I figured that out.
By giving to myself, I have more to give to everyone else.
"Don't ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world
needs is people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman