A Cautionary Tale

It was a crazy summer.

We went a lot of places and did a lot of things.  Vacations, camps, road trips, and time spent out and about amounted to a lot of meals eaten, a lot of snacks devoured, and a whole lot calories consumed. I run six miles a day, though, so I figured it was all good anyway.  I took a PE class in college (because I was forced to, of course) where the graduate student who was teaching us boasted that he ran forty-five minutes a day and could, therefore, eat anything without ever gaining weight.  As I was enjoying myself this summer, I kept hearing his voice in the back of my head.  “Seriously, I can eat a cheeseburger every day and never gain an ounce!”
Well, guess what?  What’s true for a man in his early twenties is not always true for a woman in her late thirties who has had two children.  Say it isn’t so, right?  It IS so, friends.
I stepped on the scale a couple of weeks ago and honestly thought that the thing was broken.  That’s never a good sign.  I had Wes step on it to confirm that it was all messed up, and he told me that it was accurate.  What?!  My clothes quickly seconded this unfortunate truth as they were extra-squeezy and harder to button.  
Ten pounds, y’all.  I had gained ten pounds over the summer.  While running six miles a day!
Ten pounds isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, I know, and I would just chalk it up to being one of those things.  But my knees had begun hurting after long runs, and they’ve never hurt like that before.  I switched to a new pair of shoes… and my knees were still hurting.  Apparently, ten pounds for me was enough extra strain to make a difference, suggesting the very real possibility that my body was (gasp!) not designed to function at its best with even a little extra weight added on.
Well, enough of that.  I stopped eating junk, went back to portion control, kept on running (even on hurting knees) and began losing the weight.  And now?  My knees don’t hurt.  Which means the running is easier, which means I can run longer, which means the weight is coming off faster.  (Wow!  Imagine that!)  
Why am I telling you all of this?  Because I want to retract every statement I’ve ever made about how you can lose weight and be healthy if you just go out and run.  It isn’t enough, y’all.  You can’t eat garbage and expect that exercise will make up for it.  (And I say this as Blue Bell has come back.  Oh, the cruel timing of it all!)
There is, very simply put, no easy fix to staying healthy.
I’m challenged to think differently about what real health and wellness looks like.  I think we make it into a more simplistic thing than it is, isolating it to a few different factors, when it’s got to be a whole lot of factors all playing in together.  Exercise, diet, activity level — all of it has to work together.  
So, here we go.  Back to eating right and getting active, because there’s no easy way to stay healthy…

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