One year ago, the word “run” only came out of my mouth if I was talking about errands or that Jackson Brown song in Forrest Gump. Though I was making sustainable choices, I was completely unmotivated to become more healthy. After a while of continuing my unhealthy patterns (eating tons of junk food, drinking a lot of beer, watching a lot of TV), I made a promise to myself that I would start making big lifestyle changes.
A lot of those changes came naturally when I got rid of my car. For example, I stopped eating take-out on the way back from running errands and I stopped shopping as much, thus spending less money on stuff I really don’t need. Even with all the great changes that came with a car-less life, I still didn’t have something that I could do for my body (which, by that point, had suffered through four years of college and subsequently many extra pounds of fat). It was around the time I noticed how much weight I had put on that I decided to start running.
Running is not only an amazing workout, but it can be done anywhere. Plus, it doesn’t require any equipment or gym memberships. It’s a hobby and fitness plan that can translate well across my life, no matter where I am living or what my job is.
I never thought I would do it, but I started running this past October. It started off not so great, progressed to mediocre, and then I reached the point of being able to run four or five miles without stopping. In fact, I truly felt unstoppable. Then, the inevitable happened. I hit a plateau. A lot of people in the running community say that it’s common. I guess I just wasn’t ready for it to happen so soon. By January I wasn’t running as much and I was having difficulty staying motivated. I picked things back up in February and then March was/is a disaster. The only great thing that I did was complete a 5K. It taught me a valuable lesson: Don’t stop running.
After finishing my 5K in 32 minutes, I was proud. I just knew that I could do better if I had stayed motivated and trained harder. And while I was on a (really challenging) run a few days ago, I decided that I need to step up my game and get back into running. I’m just missing one thing: motivation. I don’t have a cute boyfriend who I want to look nice for, all my clothes fit me right, my friends and family love me the way I am, and I am not unhealthy by medical standards. I’m just kind of lazy… and a little bit chunky.
To keep myself motivated throughout April, I will be focusing on one motivating quotation or reason for each of the 30 days of the month. I might call it “30 Days of Dedication” or “My Month of Motivation” or something less obvious and more awesome. Whatever I end up calling it won’t matter. What matters is that by the end of April I will have 30 incredible reasons to stay healthy. By focusing on one piece of motivation per day, I will remind myself of all the different reasons why it is so important to stay fit and stay committed to my lifestyle.
Some days I will motivate myself to continue my “(mostly) vegan thang.” Other days my motivation will be more geared toward getting my ass outside for a run. And who knows? Maybe on Day 29 I will meet a cute boy to look nice for and I can make him my motivation for Day 30.