Transformation Tuesday #MeVsMe

There is always a time you forget why you even started or what made the change happen, to me I look at these two versions of me and I first off see beauty. Regardless I’ve always been beautiful. 

The picture on the left is a version of me who was just a beach bum. Take me south, let me have drinks and just sit. I was “that can go to the back burner” sort of thinking.

When I hit my 30’s I took myself more serious, I started to realize my doctors just gave me the answers I wanted to hear. I started to push back, demanded more. I joined the gym to be serious. I started to focus on me. 

Many don’t realize this but it will 3 years in a couple of months since I had my last sip of alcohol. I gave it up for me. To be a better version of me. It was not a need for me to be me. 

I took control over foods entering my body. I learned to say no and realize that I don’t need to feel guilty saying it. I cut my food enablers off, told them all no more. I pushed further with my health and learned and got answers as to why on a lot. I tossed away plates and bought smaller plates. Small things lead to big changes. 

I took up running. Yes both versions of me ran but I learned to fall in love with it. I learned to be the voice for the back half. I learned I can do anything if I push myself. 

I made my own transformation when I took back my life and decided to quite hiding behind the “fat Jodie”. I left the safe zone.

My journey has included hills, valleys, mountains and straight stretches, but this is life. My story.  

I’m beautiful. I’m me. I’ve never changed, but my back bone has grown tougher. My confidence is soaring within the clouds. I’m me and this journey as bumping, windy and curvy roads it’s far from over.  

Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle and that includes your determination and goals. 

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iRun 

I was never anticipating, thinking in my wildest mind that I would even make this list just because I’m me. 

I am honoured to be in this magazine, to be acknowledged and let the world see that you don’t need to be a perfect to be a runner. You don’t need the perfect body. Your weight doesn’t define you. Nothing defines you, the only limit you have is yourself and your mind. 

I am taking this to heart that being a good person, honest runner and mostly being true to myself in turn gives you recognition. I truly believe that I’ve inspired just one person. One person to try, to not be afraid of running in the day light, not afraid to start their own personal journey. 

I believe that running never discriminates, which I never felt when I started running at well over 300lbs. I never felt people were looking at me, judging me or looking down at me. This community is full of nothing but supporters, cheerleaders and behind the scenes people. 

I would and wish more people understand that there is no reason not to start. I am not a perfect runner, as you will see from previous blog posts that if you run with me be prepared to walk. I’m not a perfect but I’m damn well trying my best. 

By being showcased in this magazine across Canada, I’m hoping it shows that perfect is just a state in your mind, its not a status, not a thing, its just a word, we all are perfect in our own ways. Just showing up to the start is the victory and that makes you a runner. 

Don’t let fear stop you from trying. Don’t let fear being the excuse. 

I am still humbled and still speechless I even made this magazine, but I’m truly thankful to be given this opportunity. 

Please have a read of iRun magazine and check out the other amazing people who are in the 150, along with myself. 

Sporting Life 10k 

I signed up for this run, not only for the amazing cause that it supports, but for the fact I had not done a 10k since June of 2016 and this one worked out with my schedule. 

I had heard mixed reviews from all levels of runners about this run. I went in with my training with eyes wide open and just to go out and have fun. On Sunday I said the victory was just showing up to the start line. I had no goals in time but to just beat my first ever 10k time, even if only by a second. I talked to my coach all week and just was telling him, I was unsure if my lungs could handle me going full speed, and expressed a lot of concerns. I had a lot of self doubt. 

Run day, I met this amazing woman named Pat in the corral, she is truly a beautiful soul and we discussed the Toronto Island, running the Diva run, her age and everything in between. She showed me that age doesn’t slow one down nor does getting a few new parts. She truly is an inspiration for just showing up. 

This run, I knew right away I took off too fast and talked to myself to slow my pace down by the 3km mark. It was the first run that I can say I randomly just kept pushing myself to keep going, not to give in when my body wanted to walk. I slowed during water stations to grab some water, check my body to see if my puffer was needed. 

At the 7km point the sun was out full blazing and I kept thinking, I am soon going to see my Tribe Fitness family and that will be the push I need. I know this cheer section is going to get me across. 

When I finally saw Heather and the gang, coming up in the straight stretch this was the push I needed, the high fives and the fact I knew I had this. I was ready to almost beg one of them to run me home, I was ready to stop, my lungs were screaming at me, but I knew I had this. To anyone who has never heard of Tribe fitness please check them out, they are the real deal. 

I crossed that finish line, was able to get my garmin stopped before I had 2 medics with me asking where my puffer was, I pushed myself. I had to have assistance in getting out of the way. Once I got my puffer in me, walked a bit, got some oxygen I was fine. 

I turned the corner and saw Koren dancing, she had yet to go and get her medal, she waited for me so we could go together. She was yelling out to me about my new PB. I was still grasping that I did this run, by more running than walking, faster than I was thought I could do. 

The light went off. I searched my time and realized I had a new PB. I took 12mins and 29 seconds off my previous 10k time. I still was in shock, and not sure it was true. 

So this positive run and everything that came with pushing myself a bit farther in being uncomfortable has me mentally prepared for my Ottawa Marathon weekend half. I know I can do it, I know that digging deep is just that digging deep.

So I’m now preparing mentally and physically for my next challenge, Ottawa Half marathon. 

Runiversary  – May 5

View from a recent run

Yesterday it was my running anniversary. My first every registered run was Toronto Goodlife on May 5, 2013. I love how Facebook reminds me of such events. I did my first ever 5k in 51:46 mins. I’ve improved over the last four years but this doesn’t mean that I haven’t had set backs, crawl backs and stumbles, this journey has not been perfect and that is perfectly ok with me. 

I’ve often had people ask me why I started running or what got me involved to become a runner, it was pretty simple after always being the cheerleader for my friends, I couldn’t come up with a justifiable reason on why I couldn’t be a runner. There was no reason a plus size person could not be a runner. 

When I first started out the biggest hurdle I faced was trying to find clothing to fit a plus size person that didn’t make me feel like I was wearing a snow suit, which just made the sweat even worse, plus there was no such thing as “pretty clothing”. My next hurdle was going to running stores to discuss shoes. Not many people understood my concerns with needing shoes that take the weight of my body and keep my body from not hurting. People were looking at me like I was crazy at being over 300lbs and saying I’m a runner. 

Now that I look back at it, I never once looked at a my weight as an excuse not to run, not to try. My weight never defined me. I never said I can’t to any run that I’ve come across. I never once thought to myself I can’t do this as people will stop and stare, or judge me. I was tired of letting people judge me, they didn’t mean a thing to me. 

In the last four years I have grown more confident. I believe in me and love myself more now. I’ve changed as a person and grown more as a person. I’ve grown more confident in the goals that I’ve set, the dreams I’ve drummed up. I don’t back down, I chase the finish line just like everyone else. 

I’ve learn to trust my body, trust the process and realize it never will let me down. What I put in, it gives back. It doesn’t cheat me. I can only cheat myself in not training. 

This journey has brought some pretty amazing people into my life, I’ve met random strangers now turned friends in race corrals while waiting for the horn, I’ve travelled to run in their hometowns and I know I also have a support team ready to help me if I should ever hit a low point, they make sure I keep going. These people are family. 

Although I’ve lost over 110lbs, changed my looks, my heart has not changed. I always will be the leader of the back of the pack, I’ll never podium, but I’ll always continue to be me. You don’t need to be perfect to be a runner. 

So thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me, 2017 is looking to be another excellent year for me to continue to grow as a runner. Your support always means the world to me and I keep it close to my heart. Knowing I have each of you at times gets me through those tough moments. 

So happy Runiversary to me! Am I allowed to buy myself a race entry as a gift?