In January 2014 I remember sitting on my couch and telling myself and probably my mum that ‘this year I was going to change everything, I was going to lose weight and become everything that I have always wanted to be’. As I washed down my mince pie with a large glass of Baileys, I really did believe what I was saying, but my actions spoke louder than my words and I would spend another 6 months inactive, over-indulging and overweight.
January 2014 came, January went. February came and February went. Months went by but the stress of wanting to change my body and lifestyle stayed with me through the year. It was always there, eating at me, as I ate everything else.
While exercise comes easy for me these days, I will never forget the feeling of getting dressed in my exercise gear to work out and stopping short of the door, crippled with anxiety that someone would laugh at the fat girl jogging. Ironically, in spring -time of that year, when I plucked up the courage to go for my first ever jog, it turned out my fears weren’t completely unfounded as a ‘yummy mummy’ shouted at me ‘You should never run again!’. I would have caught up with her to have a word, but she was walking quite fast.
So, I was thinking what was different about my mind-set in July of 2014 when I succeeded and January when I failed to start? What made that attempt at losing weight the one that stuck? And it dawned on me, I liked myself. Maybe not my body as such, but I had just got a new job that I loved and I was in a good place. I wasn’t thinking I needed to change myself, I was thinking that I wanted to better myself; fuelled with desire to see what I could achieve rather than an anxiety of what I could fail at. That was the difference.
This is me crossing the finish line at Race for Life 2014. In that moment I was so proud of myself, I was happy my family got to see me succeed at something sporty, glowing with the endorphins of the run. And do you know what never crossed my mind?…the hateful words of that ‘yummy mummy’, in that moment I couldn’t give a crap what I looked like, because I was a runner.
This week, thousands of people across the country are going to be stepping into the trainers they have never worn and walking into gyms or parks, repeatedly telling themselves the mantra ‘New Year, New Me’. To those people I just want to say ‘Stop it!, you’re alright as you are, now go and get better’