I’ll go ahead and apologize for today’s long post. Yall know I love fashion and mainly do posts about that, but today I decided to something more out of the norm, so bear with me. I would hate for people to see my outfit posts or see pictures of me working out and think that I’ve always been this size. First, let me say that I do not think I’m in wonderful shape or anything like that. I still want to tone up A LOT, but I’m finally pretty happy with where I am for right now. The grass is definitely not always greener on the other side. Everyone struggles with something at some time in their life. I’ve been around a size 2-6 most of my adult life, but a couple of years ago, I got up to a size 10. Double digits. Even looking back now, I’m still not quite sure how it happened. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that a size 10 is even big, but when you go from a 2 to a 10, that is a big difference, especially when you’re 5’2. I know my story may not be as significant as others’, but it’s important to me. I knew that person wasn’t me; that wasn’t who I wanted to be. I’ve always been really active my whole life. Dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, track, cycling, pilates, kickboxing, karate, rock climbing, water skiing, snowskiing – I love it all, especially if it involves the outdoors. And even when I gained this weight, I was still really active. I was working out at least 5 hours per week, but usually more. I was running 12 5K’s per year and did a 150 mile bike ride in the summer, and did hundreds more of miles cycling in the spring and summer even preparing for it. I felt like all the working out I was doing was really just keeping me where I was. I kept thinking what if I didn’t work out this much or eat pretty healthy, what would I look like then? I was scared to know the answer. At the time, I always thought I ate pretty healthy. I only drank water (not coke, tea, etc.), didn’t really drink alcohol, didn’t eat sweets or anything fried. I ate lots of fruits and veggies. Of course I also ate lots of carbs too – mainly bread. It was on the food pyramid, so it must be healthy, right? Apparently not. I thought I was eating healthy, but it turns out I wasn’t. Just because something isn’t fried doesn’t mean it’s not chock full of processed crap or sugar. I didnt’ even eat sweets. I thought that was enough for cutting out sugar. I finally decided to completely change the way I ate a couple of years ago and ended up losing 24 lbs in 2 months. 24 lbs, I didn’t even realize I had that much to lose, but how quickly we don’t notice little weight gains like that. I went from a size 10 to a size 2 and have remained within 3 lbs of that ever since then. Though most people advise against it, I weight at least every other day to try to make sure that I haven’t lost track of where I’m at. I am by no means an expert, but I just realized that exercise alone does no good for me. I have to focus on diet and exercise or else I’m just going to stay where I’m at, and that’s not what I want. Thank goodness I love eating meat, fruits, veggies and nuts, so it works out. I also stopped counting calories a couple of years ago, and it’s worked out perfectly. I eat when I’m hungry and don’t when I’m not. It turned out to be much easier than I ever thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my ups and down with eating paleo/primal, but anytime I’ve cheated I’ve immediately regretted it. A stomach ache after eating dairy or a cupcake, I can count on that every time. Everyone is different, but for me I don’t just do anything halfway. It’s either all in or all out. I’ve been known to go a little overboard on things sometimes, oops. So for me I have to completely cut out the dairy, sweets, carbs, etc because if I don’t then I suddenly think it’s okay for me to do it again. Now I’m getting excited about all these runs coming up over the next week with my friends. It’s time to get toned for bikini season! Though running is a great workout, I orignally started doing it again because it is my me time when I can just relax. I know it sounds crazy that you could relax while running and barely being able to breathe, but it’s so peaceful for me. Just me and the road (and my iPod!) That is the same thing that attracted my husband and I to cycling too. When we pull up at Shelby Farms and take our bikes off the rack, we immediately forget any problems we were previously consumed with. It’s such a nice escape. I promise I’ll be back tomorrow with a good outfit post, and something a little more fun and not so serious. = ) By the way, I completely typed this up and then it got deleted so this is the second time I’m typing this entire post so I can guarantee you that I left something out that I thought was important. I hope you enjoyed the post though. And if you’re in the Memphis area (or St. Louis for the half) and want to run some of the races with me below, let me know! I’m always looking for more running buddies.