Running – it’s a strange thing. Like marmite, you either love it or hate it. For me running has always been tainted by being so useless at it at school. I was the fat kid in my class who failed at anything to do with sport. I tell a lie, I was OK at Netball, but that was only because I was tall! Those early years are so perception forming. Thanks to cruel words like “skinny big tits” “fatty” “you would be pretty if you were skinny”, I have serious body dysmorphia.
Before you copy and paste it into Google, I will tell you what it is. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to have a distorted view of how they look and to spend a lot of time worrying about their appearance. I only discovered it had a name a few months back when I was sat in the hair dressers. I almost cried! I’ve struggled with my weight and appearance all my life. At 12 years old I weighed 12 stone – at 13 years old I was about 7 1/2 stone and for a child of 5ft 10 inches, this was quite underweight. Anorexia ruled my teenage years. It wasn’t until I fell pregnant with my eldest daughter at fifteen, that I started to eat…. and boy did I eat!
I’m now 35 years old (almost 36), with 3 lovely children. Gemma is coming up for 20, Zeeks is almost 15 and little Jonathan is 3 years old. It’s safe to say the perceptions I had about food and exercise in my formative years are still firmly routed. I can’t remember a day when I have not worried about the food I’m eating and I hate exercise with a passion. In February, I failed my Glucose Tolerance Test – meaning my body is likely to be developing type 2 diabetes. Dr Google prescribes “Loose at least 10% of your body weight, exercise, eat healthily.” Since then, I’ve been trying to discover ways to follow the advice. I’m not overweight – my BMI was on the lower side of healthy. I went to the gym a couple of times a week and as you can probably imagine, my diet was fairly healthy. However, the thought of pricking my finger 6+ times a day and injecting insulin into my stomach is frankly enough to make me do more. (If you’re wondering how I know this, I had gestational diabetes with Jonathan – it sucked!)
It’s taken me the best part of 2014 to make a plan – but here it is:
- Quit Sugar
- Run three times a week
- Go to the gym twice a week
- Run a marathon in my 40th year
There I said it. I am planning to run a marathon in my 40th year. Can I do it? Who knows! In 2005, I walked the full Moonwalk and found it exhausting – how can I possibly run it? My dear friend Esther, who is also 40 years old in 2018, has agreed to run it with me. Neither of us are anywhere near the distance right now. We’ve downloaded the C25K app. I ran for 20 minutes yesterday without walking – yipee! I hated every second. No wait, I hated every second until the last one – then I felt accomplished. I can do this. I can change my own perception of food and exercise. I can be free from the fears I’ve held for the past 24 years.
Before Skye Hall died, he said “Make the most of what you’ve got.” Skye, you may have been only 5 years old, but you’ve challenged me to make the most of what I’ve got. Shine brightly little man!
If you haven’t heard Skye’s story, I urge you to visit the Blue Skye Thinking website – or follow my blog as I will tell his story during my running uphill to 40 series.
If you have any tips on running, please feel free to share them. I need all the help I can get.