Friday, December 28, 2012

The Magic Secret

(Quick note - One week after getting so sick, Noah is finally being able to be fed normally without throwing up. This rotavirus is NO JOKE. I got hit with it yesterday and was down and out with a high fever and violently sick stomach. Today is the first day I have ever taken off from running because of illness. I am feeling a lot better today though, just a little washed out, and think with another day of normal eating I will be back to full strength).

This time of year everyone is writing posts on reviewing their past year, setting goals for the new year, and how to make and keep resolutions. I am not quite ready to review 2012 since it isn't over yet and time goes by way too fast as it is, but that post will be coming soon. :)

For now I do have some very real advice for people who want to make changes in 2013 to their life style, who want to lose weight, who want to get faster at running, who are setting a big goal, who want to chase after a dream, or who want to make any big, positive change in their life.

I am not going to make bullet points or give you "ten simple ways" to stick to your goal or resolution.

I am going to be honest with you and give it to you straight.

The only way to make a change that lasts... the only way to lose weight... the only way to get faster... the only way to achieve anything big...is to work hard. Anyone promising anything else is selling something, or missing the point.

We live in a society where hard work is often looked at as something bad and something to be avoided at all costs. People decide they want something, then realize it will take a whole lot of work to get it, and then  decide they don't really want it that bad. People decide they are going to lose weight or start running or whatever, and work at it for a few days or a few weeks and then realize that it is HARD and that progress is slow, and they give up.

There is no easy way. There is no magic pill, magic shake, magic cleanse, magic diet, magic training plan, or magic anything else. The magic is the hard work, dedication and heart you are willing to put in, day in and day out. The magic is the time, not just a few days or a few weeks, but extended periods of time, you are willing to stay committed. The magic is what you are willing to invest in yourself, and how bad you want what you say you want. The magic is hard work.

Four years ago today, I changed my life. Literally.

Four years ago today, a Wii Fit told me I was obese. Four years ago today, I decided I was DONE being obese. I was done feeling sorry for myself. I was done feeling sad and insecure. I was done feeling fat and out of shape and unattractive. I was done feeling weak both mentally and physically. I was done being less than I could and should be. I was done putting myself at the bottom of my own priority list. I was done taking care of everyone but myself. I was done wasting the talents and dreams that my Heavenly Father gave me.

Four years ago today, I was 80lbs heavier and I had never run a mile. I had no idea how much weight I would lose or that I was going to become a runner, never mind a marathoner. All I knew is that I was ready for a change, and ready to put in the work.

Every day I had to work hard to make good eating choices. Every day I had to work hard to build new habits to replace years of old (bad) ones. Every day I had to force myself out of bed early. Every day I pushed myself through exercises that made me feel fat, out of shape, and very un-athletic.

Progress was SLOW. I averaged six pounds of weight loss a month. But I did not get discouraged. I did not give up. I found that it felt good to work hard, and even the slow progress fueled my drive.

As the pounds came off and new habits formed, I found that along with the new habits I had new confidence, new strength, new outlooks, renewed happiness, renewed patience, and new dreams.

Now that I have dreamed the dream and set the goal to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials, I remind myself often that the "magic" is daily hard work. It is the 22 milers on the treadmill when the roads are covered in ice, it is the 10x800m repeats alone on a track in the dark before sunrise, it is getting out of bed every morning while the rest of the house sleeps, it is getting all my runs in - no excuses, it is not slacking on my core and strength work, it is not letting negative/hurtful people or setbacks get me down, it is consistent hard work, every single day.

Four years ago I truly could not run even a single mile at any pace. Now a sub-3 hour marathon in 2013 is the (very realistic) plan, and a stepping stone to a bigger goal and dream. I recently had to buy myself new jeans because none of mine fit. My new jeans are a size 0. Seriously. I keep looking at the tags in disbelief. Four years ago today, I wore a size 20. I don't say this to brag in any way, but to show that hard work and commitment are worth it if you really want something.

Whatever your resolution, goal, dream, or plan is for 2013, do yourself a favor and find the magic to make it happen inside of yourself. Embrace the hard work. Believe in yourself and care about yourself enough to put in the hard work. Remember, it is supposed to be hard. Be willing to put in the work to go after your dreams and to make your reality what you want it to be. That is the secret. That is the magic.

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand." - Vince Lombardi

"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." - Colin Powell

"The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work."  - Thomas A. Edison

"Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." - Gail Devers

"Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there." - Haile Gebreselassie 

"Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit." - Helena Rubinstein


"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." - Babe Ruth

27 comments:

giraffy said...

I LOVE THIS.

Katrin said...

Losing weight is truly hard work but it is also one of the most gratifying things I have done for myself in a long, long time.

abbi said...

Wonderful post!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

awesome!

Lauren {sweat junkie} said...

Well said!! Thanks for yet another inspiring post. I think I might print this one and put it on my wall to read when I just want to give up.

therunningteacher.com said...

Straight to the point and very TRUE! If you want to change your life for the long term, you have to be willing to put in hard work, time, and dedication.

Amy Lauren said...

I love those quotes and this post, it's very inspiring. I hate to hear that you were sick with the virus and am glad Noah is finally doing a bit better. Totally agree with you on hard work and you are an example of just how true this really is!

Mom on the Move said...

This is so true. You are an inspiration. Thanks for giving me another kick in the butt, getting me out the door to run!

Christina Williams said...

Very wonderful post! I agree - and I need to remind myself that I shouldn't shy away from reminding friends who struggle, to find that inner drive, work hard for it, and do it for yourself.

Unknown said...

Great quote - 'the magic is the hard work'
100% for real.

ryanandginger said...

Thanks for this post! I'm going to copy it and paste it to my computer.

Momto16 said...

This will be read and re read by me. Wonderful post!

Jen@runfortheboys said...

Fantastic beautiful awesome post! I have a dream...to beat one fast chick in a 50 yard dash. Let the trash talk begin!!!! :-) love you my bff

greengirlrunning said...

You are SO right on! The results of hard work are the most rewarding :)

Raina said...

Nothing could be more true! Thanks for showing us how far you have come with hard work- and what is possible with dedication.

So sorry you are feeling sick. :( Get well, Erin.

Vicky Cook said...

The harder you work the 'luckier' you are perceived to be by others right?! ;)
I totally agree it's just about being consistent. I don't even know that I'd call it hard work, I truly believe it gets easier and easier the fitter and stronger you become. I put in no more effort now than I did when I was 20+ lbs heavier and was doing 3 miles at 10 min/mile pace, infact I think that those days presented a tougher challenge. When people allude to the fact they are fast because they are tough, it bugs me, I think those people running a marathon in 4+ hours are hard core, I don't know if I could do it! You're not faster because you're tougher you're simply fitter and being fit is EASY, becoming fit is TOUGH!!!!!
Sorry you're under the weather, get well soon and that baby boy of yours :)

Carissa @ Sole Sisters Running said...

Yes! Hard work is the key and you are the epitome of someone working hard to reach a goal. This is such an inspiring post. I just linked it to my fb page in hopes of inspiring others too. God bless you Erin!

Christie said...

I cant believe how far you have come! I had no idea you started running such a short time ago. I too just started running not to long ago and have learned how much dedication to something can pay off in a short period of time. I think there is a huge difference between working hard and working efficiently. At first I was working my butt off but it wasn't until I learned how to channel that hard work correctly I started seeing returns:)

You are a ROCKSTAR - not just because of the weight loss, or how freaking fast you have become; but more so that you are using your story to help inspire others.

i Run said...

Thanks Erin for this post. I needed it spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I've been running on empty for far too long. You provide me with infinite inspiration. I need to
push the reset button and make 2013 the year of me!!!! If you can do this crazy thing called fitness with 12 kids, I can do it with 1!!!!!!! Looking forward to more of your blogging inspiration in 2013 (no pressure though....)

Amylee said...

I've heard about you and your blog for a long time, bug it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I learned that I've seen you before. It turns out that you are in my in-laws ward (Mark and Kristie Nicoll). Small world :)

You are inspiring to me. I love that you have the dedication to such big goals (and to yourself) all while raising your family. Great work! Thank you for this post- it gave me some fire to keep running even though it feels so very hard for me right now. I look forward to watching your progress in the future.

Amy said...

This is one of the most motivating things I've read in a long time. True stuff. Thanks for sharing!

Adrienne said...

Your post inspires me through mile repeats today!

Mommy Run Fast said...

You have such an inspiring story. And you're absolutely right, that it's about hard work. Thanks for modeling such a healthy way to make those changes, and congrats on your amazing progress in four years!

Laura Dantin said...

Great post!!

lindsay said...

I hate to use such a general comment but truly a GREAT POST!! Hard work is not valued or appreciated these days and that frustrates me. I would never wish for something to be handed to me-I want to work for it, earn it. Best wishes to you and your family in 2013! And merry belated Christmas because I think I am just that far behind...

Annie Crow said...

Awesome, thank you!

(And so glad Noah is feeling better. Poor wee thing!)

mms said...

Is there a post where you describe your optimum training diet? "Eating healthy" means different things to different people. I would like to see what your take is and how you fuel for your running schedule.