In the last year I’ve ran well over 600 miles, done two road races, 5 virtual races and a challenge where I had to run or be active every day In January. I’ve found new friends, officially joined a local running club and got two more races to run before the end of the year.
An earlier blog post about running was just a small introduction to my running journey, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue writing about running as one of my main hobbies. It’s something that I’ve learned to enjoy if not fully love and I’m thankful for the love and support I’ve found in the running community. It’s not something I expected or understood how much I’d need but it’s something worth shouting about occasionally.
Anyway, to get back to this post. I began running to clear my head, get away from being a parent for an hour or so (often a lot less) and to just be free (cheesy right?) but I also began running to shift some of the weight I’d gained not only during pregnancy but over the past ten years.
Weight is a difficult issue for me, I was a very slim teenager who had no idea of curves and hips when I was 16. When I met my now ex-husband, I put on weight like many people in relationships do and became less bothered about my image – not that I’d been too bothered before, mind. I went to the gym occasionally and tried to eat healthily but having previously been able to eat what i wanted and not put weight on, i struggled to get used to my expanding waist line and how to reduce it or even dress for it correctly, i ended up looking frumpy and fatter than I was with ill-fitting clothes to hide my lumps and bumps. I even tried running, but thought I couldn’t do it, so like many things over the years; i gave up.
Fast forward to 2017, I’ve given birth and even though I’ve ‘bounced back’, as my lovely nurse stated, to my pre-pregnancy weight I knew I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked and thought of how to change it, running came creeping up on me again and so I went for it.
And I am happy to report/brag/gloat etc that after a year of running/walking and generally being a bit of a weirdo about exercise I have dropped a dress size, my thighs don’t rub together when I walk and I feel better in myself. To top it all off, I’m under 10 stone for the first time IN TEN YEARS! It feels amazing to say that! I’m extremely proud of myself and more than anything, proud that I actually stuck at something to achieve an outcome (my partner is proud of this too, he knows more than most how often I change my mind regarding a new hobby/interest/career change).
I have to say that whilst I was very happy when I was bigger, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. Women are constantly made to feel like they have to look, act, feel a certain way to be sexy or attractive but if you feel sexy in the body you have, you don’t need to change it to conform to a societal norm. I wasn’t happy, so I changed for me. He likes the new figure, he doesn’t like how much it’s going to cost him in a new wardrobe!
Now I just have to keep up with it, carry on my hard work so it doesn’t go to waste. Most of all, I want people to realise that you can achieve something if you set your mind to it, work hard and have a goal to work towards. Running has helped me achieve a goal, it’ll help me achieve a whole lot more (maybe even a marathon or two) and that is worth all the sweat and tears of the last 12 months.