As part of my New Years resolution, I plan to make this blog a place where I can speak a little more candidly about that journey and hopefully offer some insight and advice to those attempting the same journey in the new year.
For the past two years in review - here is a little photo montage.
This was me in December of 2009 - so just over 2 years ago.
I weighed around 155 and was barely exercising - maybe once or twice a week.
Notably, this is also just as I met Colin who has been a huge influence in my diet, nutrition and fitness goals.
Although we still have very different ideas, having a partner who can keep you motivated is so important!
I weighed about 135-140 in this picture so I had taken off about 15 or 20 pounds since May.
These are all photos of me in the recent months. I am now stable around 120 pounds and have gained a significant amount of muscle. I exercise 5-6 days a week and maintain a plant-based diet low in refined and processed products. I eat real, whole foods and I never starve myself. Ever. I absolutely adore food, adore cooking and the experience of food.
It's all about making it right and treating your body right in the process.
Please note that this is the one and only time you will hear me discuss my weight on this blog. I think weight is arbitrary and that if you do all the right things for yourself, your body will stabilize at a weight that is healthy and normal for it. I will never weight below 115 because my body would never be happy there - I would not be doing the right things for it. Everyone's body is different. Don't have a "goal" weight in mind - just make changes to your lifestyle that will help your body be where it is supposed to be and find a way to be happy with that.
Additionally, as part of my New Year's Blog I am going to start logging my exercise patterns as I train for races throughout the year that will - hopefully - culminate in running the Portland Marathon in October. As many of you know, I was not born a runner and becoming someone who actually enjoys running has taken me about 3 straight years of ups and downs now. But I do believe it IS possible for anyone to enjoy running and I think that, with the right motivation and support, anyone can start to run and eventually, complete the goal of running a half or full marathon.
That being said, without paying attention to nutrition I think it is impossible to treat your body well while running.
You have to know how to fuel, how to put the right things into your system, and how to recover. I will have been vegan for 3 years on the 22nd of this month and I promise you, it IS possible to maintain a healthy vegan diet while being a distance runner or extreme athlete. For more evidence on this, check out Brendan Brazier's Thrive diet. It's really amazing what one can accomplish and how healthy and happy you can feel maintaining both an active lifestyle and a plant-based diet.
It has taken me well over 2 years to understand what it will take to make my diet and my lifestyle healthy and nearly a year and a half to get to a place where I feel confident about myself, happy with my body and ready to take on a challenge of a feat like running a marathon.
So here is to a New Year! Commit to making healthy LIFESTYLE changes. This is not a "diet". This is your life and your body so treat it the best you can. Start now.
Live long and prosper in the new year!!