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“Treat my body like its the only one I’ve got.”

Sarah, my running partner, just introduced me to a fellow runner’s blog, A Marathon Leap, which incidentally quoted Sarah’s blog on Marathon Spectating Dos and Don’ts the other day. I’ve signed up to read the RSS feed, and today, lifestudent wrote that she is promising to “treat her body like it’s the only one she’s got.” I think she kind of meant it as a joke and as an inspiration to really get and stay serious about her training until her marathon which is a few weeks away. When I read that, it really hit me.

Just getting older makes our bodies break down, and let’s not even think about the setbacks we get genetically–I’m more at risk for breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and blood problems just because of my DNA. Liz got serious about her diet and exercise regimen when her father was diagnosed with diabetes, and she looks the healthiest I’ve ever seen her. Am I really going to wait around for a family member’s diagnosis to spur me to get really serious about eating right and exercising? This actually is the only body I’ve got, and the power to get it healthy and keep it that way lies with me and only with me.

If I am going to do that, it will include giving up Dr. Pepper (my weakness) and actually getting serious about changing my eating habits. I’ve dabbled in it before, and running always helps me cut down my soda consumption, but I have a hard time avoiding unhealthy food and controlling the amount of food I eat in the long term. I don’t believe in “dieting”; I’d rather commit to a “lifestyle change.” “Diet” sounds like something temporary, something that you commit to until you fit into that dress from freshman year. “Lifestyle change” sounds so much more permanent.

I’ve been saying that “I’m trying to make a lifestyle change,” and what I need to say is “I am making a lifestyle change.” What was it that little guy from Star Wars always said?

*This is my 100th post!

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