A Fresh Start

 “You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” 
-Mary Pickford 

Excuse #1 – I left my running shoes in Decatur three weeks ago.

Excuse #2- I sprained my ankle on an outdoor run (in my old running shoes) two weeks ago.

Excuse #3- I’m not currently training for a race.

Excuse #4- I’m way too busy.

Excuse #5- I’ll run tomorrow.

Excuse #6- Did I say I was way too busy?

Excuse #7- I’m too tired.

Excuse #8- I’m too full.

Excuse #9- It’s too cold outside.

Excuse #10- The gym is too crowded.

My list of excuses for not working out could keep going and going.

And it certainly did.

 Every single day I was justifying my laziness.

I was fine with just staying in and doing nothing.

What was wrong with me!?

I did not like who I was becoming….exhausted, stressed, annoyed, etc, etc.

My lack of motivation and drive to become healthy came crashing down on me yesterday afternoon.

I went shopping.

My favorite hobby.

But not yesterday.

Yesterday was awful.

Yesterday I cried in the fitting room.

Yesterday I couldn’t find a SINGLE PAIR OF PANTS that would button without giving me a muffin top.

And I absolutely refused to buy a size larger.

I tried on two dresses.

Both of them a size large.

Both of them were so tight on my arms I truly thought I was going to bust out of the shirts Hulk Hogan style.

Shopping is only fun when you are skinny.

Or at least when you are using shopping sprees as a celebration of weight loss.

It’s not an unsolved mystery episode. I know what happened.

I’ve been eating like crap and not working out. Plain and simple. I gained all my weight back.

Prior to my fitting room disaster, I was craving a sweet tea. I couldn’t stop dreaming about a cheeseburger.

But instead of hitting up a fast food restaurant and hiding the evidence in the trash when I got home, I grabbed Bandit and took off running.

I ran as FAST as I could to the end of the road.

My heart was beating fast.

My emotions were running high my quick feet.

I felt like I was going to cry; it was the most emotional run ever.

Bandit kept looking back at me, encouraging me to keep going.

I reached the end of the road and looked down at Bandit.

I could hardly breathe, but I said, “Mommy’s back, buddy.”

And yes, I talk to my dog.

Often.

Later that night, I went to the gym and had a great workout. No one is going to stop me now, especially because the only person holding me back before was myself….

This morning, my motivation was high again. I woke up early so I could finish up a project for work, and then Justin and I went on a date to the indoor rock climbing place.

All dressed up for my date.

A year ago, I could barely make up a single wall.

Today, I pushed myself up 4.5 walls. The .5 got me because it was a slanted wall, and my upper body strength just wasn’t all the way there toward the end.

I did some bouldering on a few other walls (which I NEVER did before). 

When I reached the top of the first wall, besides thinking of the camel-toe I probably had hanging 20 feet in the air, I realized how far I’ve grown over the last year.

Sure, I weigh more than I would like.

And my pants are tighter than I prefer on any given day.

But I have confidence.

More confidence than I’ve had in YEARS!

I believe in myself.

I push myself to new limits.

Instead of saying, “I can’t.”

I say, “I’ll do my best.”

Tomorrow, I start training for my fourth half marathon.

Next month, I’ll compete in my first race of 2012 with my mom and brother by my side. 

And thankfully, I have a lot more “miles of motivation” posts to complete. I’m not giving up on those, even though the posts took the back burner for a few weeks.

In the meantime, I’ll do my best to catch myself before I fall into the deep valley of excuses and self-pity again.

I have a fresh start.

And it feels good. 

Much love,
Ashley

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