Do you have one? If you have been teetering on the edge of making a positive sustainable change in your health and fitness– having a strong why will be the single most important component of your success.
Sounds a bit extreme, I know. But it is nearly impossible to make lasting changes without one. The world sets us up to do what’s easy, not necessarily what is right when it comes to health and fitness. Temptation is everywhere and we only have so much willpower in a given day. If your why is strong, important and visible you will see success. If your why is flimsy, and sort of belongs to someone else, the hard truth is that your changes probably won’t last too long.
Today I want to share my why story with you.
If we’ve been friends on Facebook or Instagram for awhile, I’m sure you have seen a ton of posts about running, exercise and healthy living. You might think I’m this weird crazy lady obsessed with these things. If you don’t know me well, you might even think it’s for shallow reasons.
Bottom line– I want to be that little old lady in her 90s crossing the half marathon (or maybe even marathon!) finish line.
What has led me to that lifelong goal? Let’s back up a bit.
In 2008 I experienced my first panic attack. I was familiar with how panic attacks manifest so, while I was having one, thankfully I wasn’t also freaking out thinking I was dying and needed to go to the ER.
That episode snowballed into getting diagnosed with anxiety.
Doctors are important– however they don’t always try to find and solve the root cause of your health concerns. Instead, they choose to treat your symptoms with medication. It’s easier that way.
As you would expect, my doctor put me on a couple different medications to treat the symptoms of anxiety. I was on that medication for a few years. When I started my full time job, and wasn’t feeling anxious anymore, I ended up going off the medicine. I was fine for a while, then suddenly at the beginning of 2014 it came back. I couldn’t sit in traffic. I couldn’t listen to anyone talk about medical stuff. I had so many triggers and I was making myself sick all over again.
I went back to the doctor, and was put on medicine again. The different this time– it made me very very sick. The doctor claimed in was normal and that it would pass. But quite frankly that’s crap. I made a decision that I would not live a life treating symptoms instead of the root cause.
So many health concerns and diseases can be prevented, controlled, and even reversed with exercise and proper nutrition.
I saw a counselor for a few weeks where we dug into the connection between exercise, nutrition and reduced anxiety.
I already had been running, exercising regularly and eating ok– but once I really made the connection and saw results, I got serious. I have been able to successfully control my anxiety with running, general exercise and a nutritious diet for the last two years.
Fast forward now to May 2016– seemingly out of the blue, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. The diagnosis shocked so many people I know. People who see my healthy lifestyle and think that there’s no way something like that could happen to me.
My doctors all said that my healthy lifestyle is what kept me out of the ER. That if I would have been living the traditional sedentary American life with a poor diet, that I would have ended up in the hospital. My healthy lifestyle saved me. If that isn’t a sobering thought, I don’t know what is.
So now my why has changed a bit. It is more than not experiencing panic attacks. It is more than a number on the scale or the size of my pants. My healthy lifestyle is directly tied to not going blind, or loosing a limb, or a whole slew of other complications associated with being diabetic.
The why behind my healthy lifestyle is so that I can live a long life without worrying about diabetic complications.
Not only will I be that little old lady in her 90s crossing the half marathon finish line– I will be a healthy little old Type 1 diabetic lady in her 90s crossing that finish line.
Running is powerful. Running can save you. Running can give you the ability to chase away your health concerns on so many levels.
Maybe the idea never crossed your mind. Maybe you view yourself as someone who is too sick, too tired, too overweight to even consider the possibility. Let me be the first to tell you– it is possible. Running is about heart and grit. No one cares how fast or slow you are. You are worth it. Your health is worth it.
If this is you, I would love to give you a free copy of my Top Three Tips to Chase Away Your Health Concerns through Running.
It is never too late to make a change.