by Monica Evans
I can't hate on my body while expecting it to be healthy...
The New Year is a great time to reflect on past resolutions. Healthy living has always been a personal goal of mine, and I’ve made some pretty important gains towards a better lifestyle. In 2011, I joined Black Girls Run, a group dedicated to the encouragement of African-American women seeking to make fitness a priority. By 2012, I was running half marathons, which ultimately led to me running my first full marathon. I was living the life I had wanted, while challenging myself to accomplish my goals! I lost weight and looked great; but in the back of my mind, I wondered if this was sustainable. Would I be able to continue to progress at this pace? Did I even want to?
At first, I was disappointed. But then I remembered that my ultimate goal was to create a healthy lifestyle. So for 2015, I have rededicated myself to figuring out what I can do now, living as active a life as I can and for as long as I can. I enjoy running and will continue to run. I’ll even participate in a few races. But I won’t over-train or put too much pressure on myself, and will incorporate new practices, such as yoga, being careful not to obsess over my progress. Meanwhile, I will continue to refine my eating habits, eating more whole foods and less overly processed foods (a habit that should be encouraged as we get older). I will also stop measuring and weighing myself; doing so only adds fuel for self-criticism, and I can't hate on my body while expecting it to be healthy. Making these adjustments has been empowering. This is my ticket to long-term success!
Some people might view this scaling back as giving up, but I see it as wising up. Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be a marathoner or a fitness competitor. But we can still achieve so much more by doing what we can, when we can, to incorporate healthy habits and practices. In 2015 I will love and appreciate my body as it is today. I will care for it so that I can be well now, and in the future.
Monica is a mother, teacher, creative intellectual, and public servant. She enjoys exploring the world through travel, books, and social media. When not working as a health program analyst in the DC area, Monica can be found running and biking through the woods, practicing guitar, or coordinating adventures for her friends. She blogs very occasionally at http://marathonybeyond.blogspot.com/.