Friday, April 5, 2013

Color Me Rad

I have never been the athletic type.  I am the type of person that when something does not come easily to me, I don't do it.  Although my parents did all of the right things of putting me in tee ball, basketball at the YMCA, and gymnastics, I quit them all because I was not good at them.  In my young mind, I didn't understand the importance of being active.  As I grew, I drifted more towards the arts and further away from  physically demanding activities.

I had always been on the hefty end of the spectrum, but as I approached those all impressionable years of junior high, I became overweight...not obese...but unhealthy and overweight.  Even though my parents were always so encouraging and expressed how beautiful I was to them, I was very self-conscious and unhappy with the way I looked.  Due to my low self-esteem, I would convince myself that I couldn't do things like all the other kids of my age.  "You can't run for student body treasurer.  You won't win." "You can't try out for dance team.  You will look fat in those uniforms."  I know now that these were lies that I told myself, and I let myself miss out on what could have been some amazing experiences.

As I grew older, I decided to take control of my weight by adjusting what I was eating.  I started Weight Watchers and lost a whopping 20 lbs!  I felt so much better, but the lies in my mind were still controlling me. It wasn't until I got to college that I was able to break free from this twisted view that I had of myself.  A lot of that had to do with meeting my wonderful husband.  He worked for years to break through the barriers I had put up, and I feel so blessed to have him in my life.  He also encouraged me to become more active.  Throughout my freshman year, I lost another 20 lbs simply from walking to class and involving myself in campus activities.

One thing that was missing was a regular workout routine.  I was no longer overweight and blissfully happy with my college sweetheart, but I couldn't run a block if I was trying to save my life.  This past year, I decided to conquer one last lingering lie.  "You can't run."  I decided to train to run a 5K.  I have tried to run a few in the past and they all turned out to be disasters and reinforced the lies in my head.  But this year, I was not going to give up.  One thing that kept me going is the knowledge that my mom, who I won't tell her exact age, but is older than 45 and runs 4 miles three times a week.  If she can do that, her 26 year old daughter certainly can.  So, I signed up for the Color Me Rad race.  I can't tell you how much I doubted myself when I registered.  All of the lies I had been telling myself resurfaced.

My sweet friend, Karla, who is an amazing athlete
 ran with me and encouraged me through it.

I was so nervous before we started.  I was battling with the "You can't do it" lies.

We made it!  My first 5K to run the whole way.  It felt amazing!

When my grandma saw the pictures, she kept saying, "You don't look very painted."  But I got pulverized with pink paint, and it just made my painfully white skin look like normal skin.  I promise I got painted!  Just ask my shower.

It was such a fun experience, and although these memories of my past are painful for me to share with people, I hope it gives someone who is struggling with getting healthy some encouragement.  I know those New Years resolutions have waned for most of us, but get back at it.  You can do this and don't fall into those lies you are telling yourself. 

 "For I can do all things through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13