My weight struggle began the year after college. I was working long hours, not making much money, choosing bad food and, even though I’d been athletic up to that point, I didn’t really know how to exercise on my own without a coach or a team. Over the next 10 years, I’d work out in spurts. Each time, I stopped and lost any progress I might have made.

Getting healthy was never a priority. The priority was to keep weight off.

The difference between then and now is wanting good health.

All those times I walked at lunch or did Weight Watchers or ran to lose weight (like the time before my wedding in 2002), I didn’t really “want it.” There were brief moments of feeling good and smaller pants sizes, but deep down inside, I didn’t want it for me. It was about appearances.

That’s why I always went back to my old ways of being lazy and eating bad, and making excuses about why I was being lazy and eating bad.

That changed in July of 2009. Suddenly, I wanted to keep weight off.  I wanted to look healthy and be healthy, too. It still had a lot to do with appearance—I looked into the future and I was big. I really didn’t want my son to be embarrassed of me. At the time, my son had just turned one, but I knew the process for me to change would take some time.

Me on July 4, 2009, and me in February 2013.

Change, if you want it to stick, is a slow process.

I started running in July of 2009 and never looked back.

My reasons for wanting to keep weight off, to be and look healthy have changed—like I have—over the years, but what’s important is that I still want it.

Do you want it, too?

“Many are so preoccupied with what others think, it defines their existence. When we fixate externally, it keeps us from truly knowing ourselves and our destiny. Most [people] fear looking inward for worry they won’t find greatness, but when you stop allowing others to define your worth, you’ll see—greatness exists in us all, waiting to be expressed.” -Jillian Michaels