Something about something and Ryan Gosling
Once upon a time I wanted to be a runner (about 3 1/2 years ago to be exact.) Running seemed like an elite club that I wanted to be a part of. Runners are sleek, committed and thin. I epitomized runners, I wanted to have their stamina, their endurance, their faith to a sport. As I would drive into work, in the wee hours of the morning, I would marvel at the runners…so committed, so focused and seemingly so very happy. These people were using their bodies to make their lives better, and I would imagine myself as one of them. I made a mental note nearly every day, runner’s aren’t fat, Kell…you should really be a runner.
So, like any rational adult with a desire I started running (on the treadmill) very slowly. You know what? It sucked. In my mind I was a svelte, sleek runner with amazing stride and miles long endurance….buuuutttt, in reality I suffered exercise induced asthma (yeah, that’s a thing!) and my legs would burn out, and all my wobbly bits would wobble, making me feel completely ridiculous. I felt like I was running (and quite honestly living) in a fat suit, but that time on the treadmill was therapeutic, I would let my mind wander, I would see myself as athletic, I would imagine I was fast, and most of all I would see myself as thin and beautiful. My favorite mental landscape (to this day really) is to imagine I am running on the beach, the morning of some future wedding…and we (me and my soon to be husband, Ryan Gosling) are having one of those movie montage moments, where I flash back to the time when I was going through the roughest part of my life. We laugh, then we make out a little. Then we run together as the sun rises and the waves lap our feet, and my dogs are frolicking in the surf. I’m sorry what were we talking about again?
Visualizing took my mind off the fact that I was actually miserable on the treadmill (and in general, honestly). It also made me look forward to a future of possibilities in a time when things in my life seemed to be ending. When I ran, it was a physical manifestation of what I was trying to do mentally, which was move forward. Maybe that’s why the treadmill was so tough for me, I wasn’t really going anywhere. I was just stuck in the same place frustrated that I hadn’t really moved. It was an emotional time, but exercise became my beacon, it tied me to my body and it forced me to focus on something other than my heartache. I realized that my life did not have to be defined by the hard things, but I could literally reshape my life and my body, should I choose to do so.
The last 3 years of my life have been fueled by this blazing want for change. In my quest for a thinner, more fit version of myself I have changed everything from friends, to habits to jobs. It hasn’t been an easy path, and I still have so far to go, but the bottom line is that in order to achieve what I want to achieve, I have to choose a better life for myself every moment, every day. From the time I started running, I have lost weight, gained weight, been inspired and been bereft, but I keep coming back to what makes me feel the best. Hard work, sweat and eating a healthy diet.
I have never seen my body the way it was designed, I have always had excess, and I want more than anything (ok there are a few prayers that I have sent up that I want even more*ahem…cough Ryan Gosling…) – but this is one thing I can do. I can, through intense work, and focused desire, I can change the way I look, I can have the physique that God intended me to have, and I hope to have a body that matches the heart he has given me. I often think of myself as a giant block of granite, and everyday I chisel a little more away, revealing a new detail, a new muscle, and a little more of the beauty I feel on the inside starts to manifest on the exterior.
PS: SNOWMAGGEDON 2013 starts tonight! Don’t disappoint me snowstorm!
Also…I still hate running on the treadmill. For real.