Life doesn’t always go as you plan it, and a lot of times, it will throw you a curve ball which can push you off track – or make you change for the better. One of our members, Victoria, was faced with a major setback to her health that could have made her veer away from a fit lifestyle, but instead, forged an incredible new path to success which she’s been on for the past year.
Her story is about overcoming odds and creating the reality you want for yourself instead of letting your circumstances define you. One year and seven lessons have made all the difference in her life, and they could do the same for you and your fitness goals. Here is her story.
“When we decide we are genuinely ready, everything else will fall into place.” – Victoria
Lesson 1: Be honest with yourself
By challenging ourselves and being brutally honest about where we are, we make way for better versions of ourselves. People, circumstances and our limited, mostly 2-dimensional view of who we are and what our potential truly is can distort how we see reality. What we don’t realize is that we are more than the adjectives we attach to ourselves. In our quest to find ourselves, we forget the even greater truth: We can create ourselves.
Lesson 2: Create each day anew
The 365 days that passed were all about challenging and recreating myself. Believe me, it is easier said than done. The whole process is dynamic, and since I’m only human, I lunge forward and fall several steps back over and over again. The key is not to stop. The reward is I continue to surprise myself. I am beginning to genuinely enjoy who I am and make friends with me. The more I learn to like myself, the better I understand others – not for what I see them to be, but for understanding that they too have their struggles to overcome.
Lesson 3: Pay attention to signs
We could all benefit from paying more attention to the messages sent to us. For me, it started with a feeling. One that would not leave me, telling me that I had reached a point where my body could no longer repair itself as fast as I abused it. The diagnosis was not a curse. The diabetes was a gentle nudge, a simple reminder that the laws of nature cannot be ignored and that things needed to be done to avoid the inevitable consequences. And how about Mond Pengpipat, whose Endomondo post started me on the path to taking hold of my life and walking off diabetes? Subtle signs.
Mond shared his Endo run on Facebook. When I saw the post, I downloaded the app to my phone. That’s it. It’s been love ever since. I make it a point to log everything in Endomondo because it works seamlessly with MyFitnessPal.
Lesson 4: Stick to what works for you
When we decide we are genuinely ready everything else will fall into place. Endomondo and I have been together from the very start. It could have been just another app, but we choose things for a reason. Reasons become results. Though I’ve use several other fitness and route trackers, I go back to the one I started with because it works for me.
When I first started on my fitness journey, I started walking. I knew that I needed to start with something that I could do the next day, the day after and so on. My mind resisted the thought of running. I was not ready to run. Despite not being a big fan of running, when I started in November 2014, I knew I would one day start running. That day came in September 2015 when I decided to join the October Pink Run for Breast Cancer Awareness. I walked and ran a bit. I started a Couch to 5K training plan but I could not run all the way at first.
I started running non-stop just this December 25th. I surprised myself when I ran 1.96 mi. I surprised myself even more when I ran again the next day. An article I read in MyFitnessPal’s blog mentioned that many people stop running before they get to their 2nd wind. On the day I started running, I just kept telling myself “2nd wind, wait for it”. On December 27th, I did my first long run. That’s when I realized that the only thing keeping me from running was me!
The thing is, and I don’t know if people like me who also are predisposed to gaining weight have the same issue, but I can lose 10 lbs or 100 lbs. and still not “see” it. In my mind, I am fat. Tracking keeps me going. It tells me the amount of effort I have put in to be where I am. Tracking helps me see myself as I am and not the fat person in my mind’s eye. Tracking is a visual aid for my paradigm shift. It helped me stop thinking I’m overweight no matter what I do and is my constant reminder that I am making progress.
Lesson 4a: I am a creature of habit. This is one tag I remain true to.
Lesson 5: Focus on consistency more than intensity
Sometimes it is not about how fast and how intensely we go. More often it is about being consistent. It is about not giving up even when our sanity is challenged. It took me a long time before I saw and felt changes in me. It took even a longer time before people around me started noticing.
What I learned is to just keep at it. Like the hubby said, you may not see nor feel the results now, but just keep doing it, and he’s right. The most important thing for us is consistency. We walk 7 days a week. It does not matter how far or how near. We walk when it drizzles, and I walk up and down the stairs at home when there’s heavy rain. We go to the gym without making excuses 6 days a week. We stay for 30 minutes, do our routine and get out of there.
The important thing for us is to exercise every day. I got into a meal plan that practically changed my way of eating. I eat 6 times a day, but I choose the food I eat. Hubby and I learned ways to eat well without sacrificing taste. There’s a learning curve involved, but when you are determined to do it right, you will find a way. MyFitnessPal is my other best friend! It is convenient to use with a growing library of food choices. It even has Filipino food in the listing! I love being able to add my recipes. I have several recipes stored in my private library.
I am a Type 2. I suggest anyone who has this type to get moving immediately. I mean literally move. No need to run; just start walking. Do it every single day. Monitor your sugar. Make sure your doctor is in on your meal and exercise plans. Be regular with check-ups. A 10 lb drop in weight really shows some improvement. Educate yourself on low GI meals. Diabetes is a reminder to take charge. Do not let habits and situations dictate your life.
Lesson 6: Find the right support
There are people that are on our side. We just need to recognize them when they present themselves. It is at this point when we all realize we can do this on our own, but doing it with the right group of people can make even greater changes.
My husband and I walked together into the gym in March of 2015. It was not until May of 2015 that we decided to actually go. There were no rainy days for us. No muscle soreness too unbearable, but if I may share a secret: I wanted to give up on the first week. It was my husband’s determination to get me back to the gym every day that kept me going even when this meant fighting on the way there.
Three of my best friends walked with me down the aisle: Ralf Lenz (my groom), Imee Galvarole and Gay Gardose (my bridesmaids). They walked with me then and run with me now. Then, there are all of my friends on Facebook, some of whom I have never met in person. They cheer me on and keep me motivated!
I have few friends on Endomondo, but I always welcome new ones!
Lesson 7: Keep moving forward
Life goes on and it has brought me here. Where it will take me, I have no clue, but that is something that I leave for tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.
Thank you, Victoria, for letting us be a part of your journey from the very start. Your commitment to improving your lifestyle and your focus on your fitness is something to be proud of. You truly are an inspiration.
If you want to keep up with Victoria (Ria) on Endomondo, you can check out her profile. She started the New Year off with a new goal – body building. By the sound of it, she’s off to a great start!
Free your endorphins!
The Endomondo Team