Wednesday, August 22, 2012


My fitness Aha moment didn't come the time I looked in the mirror and cringed at the strange overweight girl staring back at me.  I hated what I saw.  I wondered how I let myself get so far out of hand.  I wondered what happened to the old me, the thin me, the cute me?  I made a decision in that moment, that it was time to get my act together and to lose weight, but that wasn't my aha moment.  The real aha moment didn't come until much later.  You see, I did the lose the weight.  Fairly quickly actually.  I started running and limiting my calories.  Run a lot, don't eat a lot.  It was a formula that I thought worked for me.  I gave up carbohydrates almost completely.  I gave up everything "bad."  I limited my calories and I got thin.  I was happy, or so I thought.  Over time, I couldn't maintain all the restrictions I was putting on myself.  I usually either got sick, injured or bored.  I would start eating carbs again. My brain would start to flip.  I would start to eat more and run less.  I would eventually gain the weight back, plus some.  Eventually I would I have the mirror moment again and repeat the process. Again and again.  It got to the point where I knew at any given time I could get small in three months.  It was easy.  Run too much, eat too little.  It was a cycle that I repeated more times than I care to admit.

I traded a Diet Coke in my right hand for a half marathon finishers medal.
My real aha moment came when I finally came to the realization that living a healthy life did not have a start and end date.  In the past, I would circle the day on the calendar 90 days later and know from experience that I could be skinny in that time frame, it just required a ton of running and a ton of not eating a lot.  A vacation, a wedding, a trip to my hometown? No problem, just give me 90 days.  The goal was always a magic number on the scale.  Once I reached that goal, I felt like I was done.  I had the all-or-nothing mentality.  I was that crazy person who would miss a work-out and double up the next day.  I wouldn't dare eat anything unhealthy, ever.  I was great at losing weight.  I was terrible at maintaining it. I was either in it 110% or I was not in it at all.  I got sick of tired of being sick and tired.  I was worn out on starting over.  I didn't want to start over anymore.  I wanted to be healthy.  I didn't want it to be about losing weight anymore, I wanted to be strong.  I wanted to be fit but also to enjoy life.  Could I have both? Were those two things even possible together?

My fitness aha moment came when I truly learned to practice moderation.  Too much of a good thing is still too much.  I learned how to eat whole natural foods to fuel my healthy body instead of surviving on processed foods & Diet Coke.  I learned  that being skinny or achieving a number on the scale was not the goal.  The goals were to be healthy, strong, and athletic.  Once I realigned my thinking, everything changed.  Now I have a well rounded work-out routine that includes some running, because I will always love to run, but also includes weight training and Yoga.  I eat healthy, whole foods most days, but enjoy a couple of indulgence meals every single week-end without fail, and most importantly, without guilt.  I eat carbs. I drink wine. One bad meal is no longer a trigger for weeks or months of bad eating.  If I miss a work-out or overindulge, I just move on.  This is a healthy lifestyle. One bad day is merely a small blip on the big radar of life and has no long term effect on my health and fitness progress.  You can't do any real damage in one meal or one missed work-out.  I eat more, run less and I am more fit than I have ever been in my life.  Once I came to realize that this was my healthy lifestyle, not a diet, not a 90 day challenge, that is when everything changed.

What was your fitness aha moment?

Keep Running,


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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!!! You're so right about balanced living and moderation! I'm very proud for you hat you discovered how to do it And do it right! Spalove!

  2. What an amazing story girl!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  3. I agree with your statement, no start or end date. It's a lifestyle. Love it!

  4. My aha moment was that I needed to love myself for where I am at the moment. I found that even when I was down in weight, I always wanted more. I would reach a goal then say. I can get lower. So happiness never happened. I decided that I would work to be healthy and love where I at right now. It's perfect for me right now. So love your self in the present moment and run for health.

  5. Good for you! I am so glad to hear that you found your healthy balance! There is no "quick fix" in life if you want to remain healthy, and that is something that most people do not understand or want to understand. It's all mental and it makes me happy to know that you fought that voice inside your head and won!!

  6. Lea I could have been reading about ME! You'll probably hear that from a lot of people...
    I gained and lost the same 15/20lbs so many times!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Awesome, Lea. My aha moment was when I realized that I had done the running/stop/start/running/stop/start thing too many times and I wanted to be a REAL runner. Committed. Serious. Goal setter. It was in May this year. I told myself I'd start reading everything. Master it all and do it right this time.

    I had also gained some weight but that wasn't my true goal here. I have always fluctuated and that is certainly true following the birth of my kids. But my weight wasn't the issue - it was becoming an athlete. A real athlete. Wellrounded. Forgiving. Flawed. But true, committed, serious.

    Love this post.

  8. Love your honest review - I had an ah, ha moment and it was eye openeing like you wouldn't believe!

  9. I'm in the middle of my "ah-ha" moment and learning every day :-)

  10. Thanks for sharing. I added your blog to my follow list so looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing on the FitFluential board.

  11. Such a great post! I think my a ha moment came when I started CrossFit and realized that I wasn't working out to get "skinny" I was working out for my health and to be fitter!


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