A Single Step

I watched a video today that someone shared, and it made me pretty emotional. It showed a man who has lost 300lb through doing Yoga at home. Here’s the link:

Jared Mollenkopf – 300lb Weight Loss

The reason I think this got to me wasn’t because of the weight loss itself – which is completely incredible. It was what he said. He said that something changed in his mindset – something clicked that made him want to change, to make a difference. He named the reasons he had to lose weight, but said he couldn’t pinpoint ‘why’ exactly it just changed in his mind.

I get that.

The first time I went for a run, I felt a bit crazy. I was wearing £8 trainers from Tesco, dressed in my OH’s t-shirt and my materinty joggers. I couldn’t tell you why I went.

I also can’t explain to you how hard it was – how much it hurt, how uncomfortable I was, how sad I was to find I couldn’t actually run for more than one minute at a time. I really can’t explain why I went, and I really can’t explain why I carried on. I just know that I wasn’t happy, I was tired of not being happy, and I knew my health and fitness  were making me unhappy.

It wasn’t my clothes size that made me sad. It wasn’t my measurements or the number on the scale. It was that I didn’t fit into myself – I was bigger than I was happy with, I wasn’t comfortable. I’d had health problems so I needed to be in good health and I really, really wasn’t.

I don’t think I looked awful! You have to bear in mind, even on the cruelest day I wasn’t going to get anyone stare at me as I passed in the street – I was a size 16, which is a perfectly okay size that many people are very healthy being. I wasn’t. My weight didn’t fit my frame, or my build – none of it was muscle, none of it was natural for me. I wasn’t healthy. That’s the most important thing to note – I wasn’t healthy. Forget skinny or slim or even fit. Healthy is the word.

And I lost the weight and I’m fine now and whatever. That’s not the point. The point is – when I started, I don’t know why I did. I can’t pinpoint what happened. And this video got to me because I SO wish I knew – I wish I could bottle it and give it away and show people what happened, because being happy with yourself is so precious and important. Again – there is no ‘right size’ to be, there is no ‘correct weight’. The goal is, always should be, being fit and healthy enough to do the things you want to do. If your size is holding you back (as mine was), that’s the time to change.

I wish I’d taken more ‘before’ photographs. I wish I’d written it down, I wish I’d made more of a record of where I was. I guess it’s OK to reflect on it from where I am now. And remember it, the next time I have a goal I don’t think I can achieve.

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The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

 

How do I run?

More often than not, what I do on a day to day basis is defined by my children. The things we do, where they are, what plans and appointments we make. Toddlers with both – or one at nursery and one with me , or play dates and play parks and what we’re doing that weekend.

So I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve been asked, more than once, how I ‘run’ with two toddlers. My partner works full time, and I don’t drive, so it’s not a simple ‘drop them off and go’ kind of thing. So how do I do it?

  

The answer is simple – I miss things. 

For starters, I miss them; on a weekend long run, I’ll sacrifice sleepy toddler cuddles and Thomas the Tank for wet leaves, hill climbs, and hoping my knee doesn’t give out. Sometimes I miss a ‘normal’ morning routine; getting up before everyone else to climb out of bed, get my run in, and shower while the house is still stirring. Or I’ll miss a quiet evening meal; lacing up my trainers the second the boys are in bed and getting out before the chill really sets in. I miss my family, I miss my sleep. I miss my book!

There’s things I don’t miss, though. I don’t miss the feeling of struggling to breathe climbing the stairs. I don’t miss my legs chafing on long walks. I don’t miss wearing maternity jeans long past the ‘acceptable’ stage because nothing else fits. I don’t miss sweating for no reason, I don’t miss dreading long walks, I don’t miss feeling self conscious.

And there’s things that I, quite literally, don’t miss. I don’t miss buses anymore; I run for them all. I don’t miss sunrises; I’m right there with them. I don’t miss the rain because I feel it on my skin (because I also don’t miss a run just because it’s wet out!).

So I miss my babies sometimes – but no more than any mum who does ‘something else’. And yes, I miss my bed – but so what? I gain my health, I gain my freedom, I gain a few more years at the end to spend with my family because I’m looking after myself. The things I lose are not really a loss, not when counted against the whole. 

And when my eldest son, with his beautiful grin full of mischief, sees me lacing up my trainers and asks “You runnin’ Mummy? Shall I run too?” – that’s worth it. That’s how I run. And, I suppose, that’s why.