I once had a friend tell me that she gained weight while training for a marathon. At the time, I didn’t believe her. How can you run that much and gain weight? How can you be that in shape and not look it?
Well, now I know. Because I myself have experienced it. Over the course of about 3 years, I have gained over 30 pounds, all while maintaining a rigorous workout routine. Seriously, I’m the strongest and most cardiovascularly fit I’ve ever been…and I’m also the heaviest. Now, I know that some of the weight I have put on is muscle, but, judging by the fact that exactly none of my pants fit–and what I see when I look in the mirror– I’m going to go ahead and assume that the bulk (pun intended) of the weight is fat.
How can this be?
Simple: my body became a direct reflection of what I was putting inside it. Cake. Chips. Candy. Margaritas. Sugar in general and lots of processed foods. Not enough fresh foods.
It showed not only physically (aside from the weight gain, I began to have pain in my feet) but also emotionally. I was tired, felt drained all of the time, and I’m pretty sure I went through some minor depression.
All because of what I was putting in my body.
I am not here to lecture anyone or promote any sort of eating plan or anything like that. But I am here to say that what you’re putting inside your body–regardless of what you look on the outside–matters.
It’s kind of like a car. My car only takes premium gas, which means I pay a lot more at the tank than someone with a car that doesn’t have a turbo engine. Some people say it’s a myth, that no car actually requires premium, that all fuel is created equal and it doesn’t matter if I put regular unleaded gas in my car.
But that’s not a risk I’m willing to take. I want my car to perform well at all times. I want to be able to shift into sport mode and zoom up a hill, or pass people on the freeway, or drive to Vegas in four hours flat. I also want a car I can rely on, one that won’t break down on a road trip or in the middle of rush hour. I want the engine to run smoothly and without problems, so I spend the extra money. I take the time to have it serviced every 10,000 miles, the oil changed regularly, and the tires rotated.
In short, I take the best care of it I can.
And when I think of my body like a car, I remember that the fuel I’m putting inside does matter. I don’t want to put just any old fuel into my body. I want to give it food that will give me maximum performance (energy) and make sure my insides are functioning properly. I want it to be in peak physical condition for a long as possible.
I’ve joined the throes of the general public in embarking on a health journey since the new year began. Although this was originally prompted by a desire to lose weight, it has shifted over to the desire to feel better. I want energy and to not be sick. I want my gizzards to function like a well-oiled machine. I want my outward appearance to reflect what’s going on inside. I want to look and feel like I am in optimal health.
And for that to happen, I need to take care of the outside, but most of the focus needs to be on what’s going in, because it’s true what they say: it’s what’s on the inside that counts.