Why I Love Running

unnamedLizzy, why do you love running so much when you haven’t even run a mile in your life?!

Ok, before I answer that question you need to know a little (a lot) about my fitness background.
I was born with a hole in my heart and deformed bones in my upper body. It’s a rare condition called Holt-Oram Syndrome. Compared to others with this condition I have a fairly mild form, but I do have a pacemaker and some issues with my hand and wrist. Not going to get into that right now, maybe at a later date. But I was not a kid who loved to run. I was active in the sense that I loved outdoor play–I played basketball, took swimming lessons and even played softball for 3 years. I loved to ride my bike and rollerblade around the neighborhood with friends. But I never had to run a mile. In school, they would make me sit out whenever the other kids ran. I’m sure they were just avoiding a lawsuit, but it sucked since it probably would’ve been good for me to develop those skills. My doctor had cleared me for exercise every single visit as I grew.
I was a bit chubby as a kid but never really obese until I was an adolescent. I gained a lot of weight as a teenager and even more as an adult. Failed weight loss attempts, binging on unhealthy food, lacking discipline in regular exercise, and just business and low motivation contributed to my weight gain over the years. At my highest (more recently than I’d like to admit, except I will: January 2017), I weighed a staggeringly high number on my 5’4″ frame. I had to do something.
My highest weight
In the past, my weight loss attempts included all the usual forms of torture: calorie restricting, cutting everything I like out of my diet, boring exercise I didn’t like… all of these led to failure and self-deprecation.
Over the last 8 months I’ve looked very carefully at my diet and exercise regiment. I’ve forced myself to try new things. I hated some of them (read: stair-master) and I found some I loved (hint: it’s in the name of this blog).
I’ve lost 29 pounds in the past 8 months. Could my weight loss have been faster? Yes. Does it matter if instead I’ve actually found a way of eating and some activities that actually feel good and will lead me to sustainable weight loss? That was a rhetorical question. But no, it does not matter.
I freaking love running. I still haven’t explained why, which is a significant question considering I still can’t run longer than 3 minutes or faster than 3.5 miles per hour on the treadmill.
For the few minutes I can run, before the feeling of my leggings giving way underneath me sets in, I feel light and free. For those few minutes my mind is clear of all stress. All the family drama. All the work craziness. All the fear that comes from living paycheck to paycheck. All the feelings of self-hate that normally cloud my mind. All the anxieties that go along with life (and are amplified when you struggle with an anxiety disorder like I do). All that goes away when I’m running. And I can’t wait till I can run longer. I expect it to be very freeing for me.
I cannot wait to look back on this first post in a year, in 2 years, in 5 years and see how far I’ve come.
I cannot wait until I can run a mile or a 5k or a 10k or longer.
I will get there. We’ll do it together. Or at least you’ll hold me accountable.