Spring has sprung in Northeast Ohio. With the advent of warmer temperatures, I resumed my running routine. I am definitely a fair weather runner.
I began running last year at the urging of my best friend Chuck. As a runner, it is his passion. I started training with a couch to 5K program under his guidance. I needed to see what made him passionate about the sport.
I found that running offered a challenge that was missing in my life. I tend to choose activities in which I have a chance of exceling. After that couch to 5K program, I knew it was a sport in which I could never excel. I knew that it was a sport I needed to pursue for my health and enjoyment.
Over the past year I discovered many lessons learned from running that apply to my weight loss journey. Here are ten lessons running taught me about weight loss.
- You need a routine. The need for a routine when running makes each subsequent run easier and more enjoyable. In weight loss, you succeed when you establish good eating, physical activity, and wellness practices. Repeatable practices help us succeed.
- Perseverance pays in the long run. You need to keep moving forward once you are in your routine. The benefit of repeatable practices pays off when you repeat them, over and over and over.
- Always have a plan. You have to know where you are heading. A plan maps your journey to success. Set challenging and attainable goals. The miles add up and the pounds drop with each step.
- You have to crawl before you run. I could not run a 5K the day I started my couch to 5K training. The program replaced minutes walking with minutes running over eight weeks. In the end, I was running. It is the same with weight loss. Consistent slow weight loss adds up over time.
- Victory is at the starting line. It took encouragement to get me to my first 5K starting line. I was intimidated by the “real” runners. I found that the excitement at the starting line edged me on my journey. Having the courage to start or even restart your journey gives you that excitement.
- We come in all shapes and sizes. There are tall, short, fat, slim, old, young, and many other flavors of people at the starting line. You cannot judge the winner based on appearance. Do not let your preconceived notion of a winner deprive you of your victory.
- Winners are not always first. Racing is equated with speed. We learned in our early years that the winner is first to cross the finish line. That is only true if you are running for the glory and the money. If you run for your pride and self-confidence, the clock is much less important.
- It is OK to lose. A common saying is that “You can’t win them all”. That is true in running and weight loss. There will be setbacks when you fall short of the finish line. What counts is that you learn from the setback and find yourself at the next starting line.
- It about the attitude. There is no doubt that elite runners have the talent to run. Beyond that talent, they have a strong focused drive to be a winner. Each of us has the ability to develop a winning attitude that is critical to success in our life.
- Victory is sweet. The feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming each time you cross the finish line. Each of us needs motivation to reach our goals. Take time to savor the runner’s high when you cross the finish line. Celebrate and do not minimize your achievement.