Monday, October 5, 2015

Secrets to my Running and Weight Loss Success

I feel really fortunate that I've been able to take this running journey. I started my weight loss journey in 2007, stalled and then found running in 2010. Along the way I've lost (and have mostly kept off!) a hundred pounds while logging thousands of miles.

I get many emails from friends, family and strangers who read this blog for the "secrets sauce" to my success so I figured I'd lay it out here. Most of these are not secrets per se but I've found through my own experience, in talking to others, and in research that this is a few ingredients in the recipe:

I'm in the middle of my two running buddies who keep me
on track and accountable as we train for 26.2!


1. Accountability. By far the number one thing that helped to keep me motivated was accountability. Whether I was connecting with others in a weight loss group or chatting with other runners through this blog, accountability kept me going. Athleta's Chi Blog nicely discusses this issue in their "importance of accountability" article.

2.  Running Buddies. This plays hand and hand with accountability but when you have a friend with you it makes the time go by so much faster! As I train for the NYC marathon, those long miles seem to fly by with a friend by my side. The Active Times goes more in depth on this issue in this interesting article about the benefits of working out with a friend. By the way, I must give a shout out to my running group Jersey Women Strong - I love these ladies and Dana our leader and the founder of the group has really brought us all together! Before meeting them, I ran alone but it's made all the difference finding this group. 

3.  Keeping Track. Keeping track of both my weight loss and my fitness progress kept me highly motivated and on track! If the scale was stalling I had other successes like being able to run faster or further than the week before. I'm not alone with thinking according to this NPR.Org article, tracking helps us regulate our behavior, by keeping us mindful and vigilant.

4. Having a goal. I started this blog because I took the incredulous leap of faith in signing up for a half marathon before I had even ever had run for even a minute. Having a goal forced me to make "someday" today. And because I made myself accountable by putting it in a public blog and by telling all of my friends, I felt a certain (good) pressure to keep going forward even when I wanted to quit. To this day I almost always have some kind of "outside my comfort zone" race on the calendar. It really motivates me to keep on running and training when I might otherwise use that time to sleep, shop or do anything else but workout! They say a goal is a dream with a deadline. I'm a big fan of Jack Canfield. He wrote a book called, The Success Principles. I learned about goal setting and its importance in that book and took the leap of that one big goal because of that book. I can say that putting that goal on my calendar is one of the biggest reasons for my overall success.

What are some of the factors that help you succeed?

XO
Jen

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