**TUNE-IN REMINDER! Watch “Home & Family” at 10am/9c on the Hallmark Channel tomorrow (Tuesday 12/31) to see me get interviewed about how I’ve lost and kept off 160 pounds! Is your DVR set?**
I just got back from nearly a week in Mexico, and one of my favorite parts of the trip were the views. I can’t complain about views like this!
I had a great time spending Christmas with my family in Cabo San Lucas, which is surrounded by interesting and beautiful hills and rock formations.
Check out this awesome panorama of the entire city and marina! (Click on it to see a bigger version of it.)
The best part about all these vistas? I found them, and took these photos, while I was out running. I have the selfies to prove it!
This one has a cruise ship in the distance…
…and here’s one overlooking the beach, just after sunset…
…and from the summit where I took the panorama:
I went on three runs during my week, and since the area where we were staying was very hilly, they all had significant (and challenging!) elevation changes. On the days that I didn’t run, I did a lot of walking – also up and down hills – including, on Christmas Day, a 2 hour, 20 minute walk into town and back.
It was important for me to stay active on vacation, simply because exercise is important, and specifically because I’m trying to ramp up my activity after being sidelined with a bruised rib. I knew that if I stayed active, and didn’t go overboard with eating, then I wouldn’t return home with a big weight gain, and that was the goal. So, for food, I made healthy choices for breakfast and lunch, and indulged a little more during dinners, because there were some amazing foods that I really wanted to try.
My runs were literally eye-opening, thanks to the views I saw. They were all roughly 35-45 minutes long, and during each one I ran about 3 miles. It’s a slow pace, but that’s because each run had a hill or two (or three of four) that I ended up walking up because they were just too steep.
I took the opportunity to explore during my runs, so each one had a different route. By the time I got to my third run, there was an area I hadn’t seen yet, so I hightailed it over there. That was where I found the summit where I took the panorama – which was the highest point I reached all week… until, about 10 minutes later, when I found myself at the top of the next hill, looking down on that first summit!
It was an extraordinary feeling being at the tops of these hills. As I wound my way back down on that third run, I thought, “what an amazing, fantastic run this turned out to be.” Then it occurred to me that that thought marks a pretty monumental shift in how I think about exercise. It’s an epiphany about exercise that I had while exercising!
I don’t know if, historically, I’ve ever loved exercise. I’d like to think that if I did, I would’ve done a lot more of it, and perhaps never allowed myself to get to over 400 pounds. When I started focusing on exercising at the beginning of this weight loss effort, it was something I had to do. I didn’t enjoy it. It was just a necessity. It was a task.
Somewhere along the line, things changed. It wasn’t an abrupt shift that happened overnight. It was gradual. Taking Richard Simmons’ classes at Slimmons probably helped nudge along that shift, because it’s hard not to have a great time when Richard Simmons is in the room. Starting to compete in charity races probably also helped, because those are a lot of fun, and they’re also goals to work towards and reach.
But the fact remains that during the past few years, I’ve grown to love working out. Sure, I have my days where it’s difficult to rally for the gym and it’s the last thing I want to do, but more often than not I look forward to spending part of my day sweating and doing something wonderful for myself and my body. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I’m peeling off perspiration-soaked clothes. I experience so much pride when I figure out that I can now climb so many more steps on the StairMaster that I could just a few months ago, and that pride is magnified exponentially when I find myself on the roof of a skyscraper, knowing it was only my legs that brought me up 1,000+ steps to get me there.
And that I had such an exciting epiphany during a run that had such extraordinary views… well, that third run will go down as one my favorite runs of all time.
Keep it up, David!