And how I turned my life around.

Thump. Thump.

My hips were hurting and I could taste the blood in my throat. I had been running for the greater part of an hour now on the treadmill, struggling to stay focused.

I had been running day in, day out, week after week, month after month for years now. I lost some weight, but it was nowhere close to what I had hoped.

I had read dozens of books, magazines and online articles and they all gave me the same weight loss advice: eat healthy and run more. Run lots more.

So I did both, especially the running. I ran even when I had the cramps, even when I was sick, under the weather. I ran even when I had a fever — it’s a good idea to ‘sweat it out’, I’d tell myself. I kept running because I wanted to lose weight and running was the only way I knew how.

Got sunburned too 🙁

Eventually as with all things given the effort, I succeeded. I not only lost the weight I had gained, but a lot more than I had wanted. I would often feel tired, exhausted throughout the day. My bones felt brittle and I felt weak. At one point, I had run so much I could barely recognize myself — I had turned into a sack of skin and bones. My friends and family were concerned; I was now too skinny and it showed.

I realized I needed stop, but there were several questions holding me back:
If I don’t run, how can I get the body I want? How can I stay fit without losing all the progress I’ve made all these years?

3 years later

It’s been 3 years since I started weightlifting. I’ve gained weight, but it’s mostly muscle and I’m looking just as lean while being a lot stronger than I ever had in all my years of running.

The last 3 years have taught me two valuable lessons:
1) There’s always another solution, another path. 
2) Assumptions are assumptions until proven otherwise.

At first, I didn’t believe in anything besides running. A friend had suggested that I weightlift, but I brushed his suggestion aside; I thought he was joking because looking masculine and bulky was the last thing I would’ve wanted. But he kept insisting, telling me not to be skeptical without actually doing the research, so eventually I did. I went online and did the research.

I found out that he was right. Weightlifting won’t make a girl manlier or bulkier — we don’t have the testosterone for it. I had always assumed the worst because that was what everyone else had said. And I had willingly believed in what others have said because I was too narrow-minded, focused only on the solution I knew could exist.

Had I not attempted weight lifting, I would’ve never achieved the body I have now. I would’ve still felt weak and frail, and worse, I would’ve kept running.

The next time you need to make a decision, remember that there’s probably another choice, an alternative path, one that you simply don’t see becauseyou’re too biased towards what you’re already familiar with. And don’t allow yourself to make excuses and claim lack of choices based on the assumptions of yourself or others. Until the facts show otherwise, assumptions will always be just that: assumptions.