Two years ago, tipping the scales at nearly 20 stone, morbidly obese and as unfit as it is humanely possible to be, I decided it was time for a change.
Like many overweight people, I had convinced everyone but myself that I was happy. So, I joined a well known weight loss group and although the weight didn’t drop of, the scales were moving in the right direction.
A chance conversation with my brother one night led to my decision to become a runner. My big brother is pretty awesome although it took me until my twenties to even like him let alone anything else. Having climbed Kilimanjaro twice, he had decided on an ‘easy’ trek to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Now I’m not one for snow but sunshine is a different matter and I decided that a mountain was no match for me and I signed up in a moment of madness (you will come to learn that these moments happen pretty frequently).
There was only one place to start my fitness campaign; couch 2 5k of course! I mean, how hard could it be to run for 60 seconds? Well, really hard as it turned out! But, with determination, some snazzy trainers (the most expensive piece of clothing I own) and lots of heavy breathing, I managed 60 seconds before collapsing in a heap on the floor.
Fast forward 2 years and I’m a regular park runner and park run volunteer, have a few 10ks under my belt, even a half marathon, regularly scale Pen Y Fan and have a wonderful personal trainer. I’m returning to Morocco next year to climb the highest peak in North Africa and am contemplating Machu Picchu the year after. Despite swearing to never run a half marathon again, everyone knows it will happen at some point.
I have discovered a love of running and exercise that I never thought possible. I’m by no way a record breaking runner. My 5k PB is over 41 minutes, 10k 1 hour 20 something and I just slipped under 3 1/2 hours for a half marathon. But, for me it’s finish lines and not finish times that matter. I look at it as getting the most of my entry fee, the atmosphere and volunteers. I’m always cheered on by fellow members of Beafit Nelson, the most diverse and wonderful group of people imaginable, and my running buddy Esther (both of which you’ll learn more about in the months to come). I’ve also shrunk from a size 26 to a size 16, am healthier than I’ve ever been and have baby guns from trips to the gym. More than that, I’m a runner (and I do rather like a selfie!) If you want to know more or just can’t wait for the next instalment, I’m on Instagram and facebook as underweightandundertall.