I actually ran tonight. It was only for a little while, in the midst of a walk with my mother-in-law (I ran ahead and then looped around and met back up with her, but it was then that I realized something. This is what happiness feels like. And it was really liberating.
I grew up in an area with a lot of hills and not much traffic, so I biked quite a bit and walked/ran sometimes. I was kind of pudgy from middle school onward, but I put on a lot of weight when I went to college. About 30 months ago, I hit my highest weight, just over 180 pounds. It physically hurt my knees and ankles to climb the stairs up to the bedroom and bathroom in my ridiculous little apartment and to walk the half-mile from home to class, and even further to go to the library; my back always hurt, my feet were always swollen. And it hurt me so much emotionally to look at myself in the mirror, to leave the house, to think about having to buy new clothes for any reason. Today I drink more water, make better food choices (usually, though fattening coffee drinks and ice cream are still huge weaknesses I have to conquer), get up and move more, and have gotten my weight to a more manageable level (usually between 125 and 130 pounds).
It felt like my feet never touched the ground. When I first started trying to lose weight in early 2011, I tried to run, and felt awful. I was huffing, puffing, sweating, and embarrassing myself in general. I kind of gave up trying after that. Everybody around me on the treadmills at the gym this winter was running, and I was walking as fast as I could without having to break into a run. I might’ve gone faster had I been outside, but it was too cold and too dangerous because of the ice. This year, I can’t fall back on that excuse. It doesn’t get that cold in Georgia. I’m actually finding myself hoping that the weather will be decent tomorrow so I can get out there again. More than anything, I want to feel that happiness again. I’ve been pretty stressed out and a bit depressed lately, and it was awesome to feel good, even if it was only for a few minutes.