Throughout my childhood and as a pre-teen I ate more than I needed to and I barely worked out. From time to time I would start a "diet" (ugh I hate that word), I would cut out basically everything I enjoyed and eat fruits and vegetables. Of course, this never worked. What I learned through my entire experience of getting to where I am today, is that diets do not work for me. Maybe out there, there are huge success stories of people who dieted, but I know for sure I would never be one of them. Completely cutting out things you enjoy can never be a good thing because if you love it, chances are you will have it again at some point in life. 

Every time I went on a "diet" I also worked out. I used to have random phases of eating healthier food and doing Blogilates videos. These phases would last max 2 weeks and after the "diet" passes, I would once again get back to my regular eating habits and never worked out. I always participated in our gym classes at school, but of course that did not balance with what I was eating. 

One thing I will forever remember is always wishing I could finish the 5K in high school without stopping. Every year in high school the dreaded 5K run would come back and my gym teacher would take us to the trail to start. I distinctly remember listening to the Jonas Brothers while trying my absolute best. After every kilometre I would stop to breathe and by the final kilometre I would walk. For some reason, this always bugged me and after high school I made it a goal to finish a 5K without stopping. 

After graduating from high school I made it a goal to run in the upcoming Race Weekend in 2016. I think all I needed was a solid goal that didn't have anything to do with losing weight to get the ball rolling. I first started running on the treadmill in September when University began. My workouts were one hour of full cardio. I would slowly jog and walk whenever I needed to. I never pushed myself too far, if I was out of breath I would simply turn down the speed and walk. I did this from Monday to Friday and would relax during the weekend. I was never motivated by weight loss, of course after only one week of working out changes are never seen. What truly motivated me to keep going back every Monday was how much progress I would make week to week. Each week I ran a little more than I would walk and boy was that a massive motivation. 

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My eating habits took a 360 after I started to run consistently. Because I was improving in running everyday, I never wanted to eat junk food that would make me feel overly full. I cut down on my portion sizes, but still ate what I enjoyed. The key for my eating became moderation. Before I started running I would eat far too much and never burn any of it off. 

Warmer weather finally arrived in May and I started to run outside to practice for the 5K. I would run 5K with my sister on a daily basis. This practice helped a ton when it came time to do the race. On May 28th 2016, I finally ran the Race Weekend 5K. It was so much FUN. Everyone at the race was supportive and energetic, which made the atmosphere super welcoming. The race began and I started to run, I was filled with happiness. At around 4K I had to stop to breath, but I didn't walk and after my quick break I started to run again. Even though my goal of "running and not stopping" wasn't fully reached, I knew from experience that I was much better than I was in high school. When the race ended I laid on the ground in joy... I finally ran a 5K. After the race I bumped into my high school gym teacher, she looked surprised and happy to see me, there was no better way to end my first 5K race. 

Via hannahmunshi

By this time I had already lost a lot of weight. One thing I barely did was weigh myself. I weighed myself at the end of high school and then I weighed myself at the end of summer. Losing 50 pounds took an entire year, but I didn't want to obsess over my weight, so looking at the scale was rare. In high school during my "diets" I used to stare at the scale and obsess over the numbers. To this day, I don't remember the last time I stepped on a scale. To me there is absolutely no need to obsess over a silly number. All that matters is that I feel good. 

My love for running just blossomed after the 2016 Race Weekend. My running routine has remained pretty consistent since the last race. During winter I run for 30 minutes on the treadmill and then do some pilates. When summer comes I ditch the gym and get outside to run 7K everyday. When it came time to run the 2017 Race Weekend, I reached my goal of "running without stopping", but at that point the goal didn't matter half as much as the fact that I have developed a genuine LOVE for running. 

Via @hannahmunshi

It's now 2018 and the annual Race Weekend is a few weeks away! I have been running outside again now that it's finally warm and I can't wait to run in the race. A day without running feels incomplete. If I met my high school self I would never believe it if I was told that in the future I would love running. I run for happiness, fitness, focus, clarity, and for the fun of it! In a span of a year I lost about 50 pounds purely because I developed a love for the simple act of running. From better eating habits to staying active, my entire life has improved because of running. 

Everyone's fitness journey is different. One thing I have taken away through my own, is that it took me failing several times before finally achieving my goal. 

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