Fit & Fab: How Running Changed My Life

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I am currently in a love/hate relationship with running. In 2011, I ran two half marathons and a dozen 5Ks and 10Ks which led me to lose 36 pounds. However in the last six months of this year I’ve been in a dysfunctional relationship with running. We argue, we fight, and there are even days when I think I want totally out of it, but I'm determined to complete my quarter four of the year strong. Running helps me to shed pounds—quickly and safely. According to Livestrong, running can help you shape your body by burning fat and building lean muscle mass especially in your lower body.

But before I can talk about my goals I have to discuss how I even began running at 225 pounds. Nineteen months ago, I decided to lace up my old running shoes and hit the pavement (walking at first) so that I could be in better health. I could not fit any of my clothes, I got winded quickly and I was sure that I would continue to gain unless I took drastic steps—fast. I could barely get up a flight of stairs without being winded. So without thinking about it, I decided I no longer wanted to walk—I wanted to run.

I got dressed, pulled my hair back but my feet were paralyzed from actually leaving my house and running. At first, I thought about all the reasons I could not run (it was too hard on my knees, I was too out of shape, black women don’t run). After realizing how stupid I sounded I made my way to the door to open it. Another terrifying thought came to my mind, “What if people laughed at me running?” That was a thought that nearly made me crawl back in bed and try again the next day.

I sat down and collected my thoughts. Without thinking any further, I bolted out the door to my neighborhood run. As I pulled up, I noticed that there were all types of women (big, small, short, skinny) stretching and getting ready to run. As I approached the group, I was welcomed by smiles so my nerves got better. I was going to run—reluctantly.

I finished the three-mile run but I can’t lie, there were several times I wanted to literally run (and hide) until everyone went home and I could walk back to my car and never come back. But I didn’t. I kept going through the pain, through the discouraging thoughts and I finished. As I look back at that moment, I can now laugh (since I really am a runner now) but I also learned some important lessons about just getting out and hitting the pavement—even when you do NOT want to.

In the end, I lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of confidence and overall became a better person due to running. So get off your couch, step away from the computer and get out the door! Your body will thank you later. Now my MommyNoire family, what is your relationship with running? Are you reluctant to run or are you a running machine?

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Comments

  • LaLa Fisher

    My sister who is an avid runner and ran the NYC Marathon for the first time last year, signed me up to run my first race, a 3m course, this past March. I don’t like to run,not even on a treadmill – I started running outside in the cold preparing for the race. Nervous as I was, I completed the run and was on such a high that I signed up to run race, after race, after race – 5k, 10k, 4m – you name it, I wanted to race. I even ran a in the Women’s Mini 10k with my sister and my boss’ wife. Now, I still do not like to run, but the thrill of the race is what gets me out there. The fact that I can run faster than some, slower than other, and have even experienced speed walkers zoom by me has not stopped or deterred me from running. It’s personal. I have days that I don’t want to run but I do, and other days that I feel like I can run forever. My body usually lets me know. I too will be preparing for the NYC Marathon next year and I can’t wait. I can’t say that I have experienced any significant weight loss….as much as I would like to lose some more weight, the fact that I am overly active all the time (running, dancing,yoga, walking), my body hit a plateau years ago. I have to do extreme dieting in order to lose a pound and I love to eat so, so that is not realistic.