We are thrilled to have weight-loss success story and marathon runner Stacy Phillips guest blogging for us today! Stacy knew who it was she wanted to be and with the help of Take Shape For Life, the Health Coach division of Medifast, and her own strong will, she became that person. We are honored to share her story!
Epictetus once said “First say what it is you would be, then do what you have to do.”
If there was any one phrase which describes the process that took me from being a Class IV Super Obese individual with a BMI of over 47, to being an optimally healthy individual with a BMI of 22 who was standing at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees on April 6, 2014 to finish my first full Marathon, that is it.
At first, when I began my health journey, I decided that I wanted to be a fit and healthy person. I had no grand plans of running marathons or leaping tall buildings. At the time, I simply wanted to enjoy a measure of health that would allow me to perhaps qualify for health insurance, and life insurance too. I wanted to be able to enter Disneyworld without getting stuck in the turnstiles. To me, these were grand plans.
I began Take Shape For Life because attaining and maintaining optimal health, becoming a fit and healthy woman, was the direction I knew I wanted to go and was the person I knew I wanted to be.
I learned a great deal about the process and mechanism behind change. I learned that true change is indeed possible, if we change our habits. I thank Dr. A with his Habits of Health Book for providing this concept in a way I could understand, and I thank my Health Coach for helping me stay on the right path.
Changing who we are takes time. We, however, like to try to speed up the process and take shortcuts. But I learned that both in my “health gain” process and in my Marathon training there are no shortcuts. I learned that habits and routines, when done with intention and mindfulness, produce absolutely stunning results if practiced daily. I also learned, and of course am still learning, that Epictetus was one smart dude in what he noticeably left out of his advice. He did not say “do what you need to do, if you feel like it.”
I can count on one finger the times I felt like strapping on my running shoes and logging the miles. But I made a commitment to myself that I would run the Paris Marathon on April 6, 2014. I decided who it was I would be and then did what I needed to do to get there.
I had good training in putting my emotions aside and doing what needs to be done, because I had learned that strategy during my optimal health journey. My mind had a good baseline fitness level to look past the temporary discomfort my long runs were giving me – to look past my brain shouting to me that I should stop now (and my emotions agreeing with my brain) – and to continue on despite the opposition raging inside my head. I willed myself to just keep going and take that next step. Those steps added up to me crossing the finish line in Paris, after running 26.2 miles.
I turned my intentions into actions by changing my behavior because I knew who I wanted to be. My health journey took me to Paris, and my health journey is ongoing. Where will your health journey take you?