Transformation

This week my #TransformationTuesday showed a huge transformation of my body.

But what you all do not realize is this;

Picture on left; I was over 300lbs. I had this fear of walking on this suspension bridge in the town near me. This was the farthest I’d walk out on it. I had panic attacks that my weight would break the bridge. Yes this is a fear plus size people have. I was so afraid to step on the bridge.

Picture on right; I’ve lost over 140lbs. My fear of my weight breaking bridges is nonexistent. I have confidence in me; in knowing I can’t break items just by standing on them. I walked this bridge without fear.

My life has changed both on the outside and my own mental thinking with my weight loss. I don’t see myself anymore in the sense “I will break things”. I can enjoy life so much more without this mental road block.

#RunningChangedMe #Plussize #Fitness #Healthy #MeVsMe #MentalHealth #Fears #Weightloss #FatGone #ThisIsMe #RunChat #Marathon #BeHappy

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Marathon Training -W2

Well I was excited to start week 2 because I was happy I got through and committed myself to week 1. Dedication is hard when the goal is months away. 

After my long run on week 1, I experienced pains in my chest that were not “heart attack pains”. It felt like ribs had moved or something. I sought out some advice on if I should run, see a doctor or rest. I have broken a few ribs including my chest bone in the past. So with losing weight and losing the added protection around my intercostal muscles I need to see a doctor to be cleared (make sure that my ribs are moving, popping out when I try to sleep). 

So this week I knew my body was going to be the guide. When the pain hits running I stop. Again I’m not going to be a hero. This is a dream that is going to happen. 

On Tuesday I was scheduled to run 7k. I started out on the treadmill and just made it to 5k. I pushed myself and was happy. 

I was scheduled for my cross training / intervals on Wed and I knew there was no way I could do any of that without the pain, which comes and goes depending on how I bend, move. So I crossed it off the plan and added the words “make up” beside it.

Thursday I was scheduled again for 7km. The humidity spiked and I was not going outside. So I was in the treadmill, with AC and fans pointing at me. Again I only made it to 5k. I did learn I cannot have a conversation with a 5yr old while running on a treadmill. Those why questions become too much! 

So at this point I have 4kms I want to make up because I feel it will continue to make me stronger. 

We moved our long run to Saturday because Koren came for a visit. So we spent our Canada Day morning running the Trans Canada Trail just outside of Peterborough. We decided to run this trail as there are no lights or cars to worry about, just snakes! Which we saw zero this time!!!!

We started out strong, even with the intense heat burst we went through. It was cloudy and there was a small breeze which helped. 


The plan was for a 10.5k run. I said to Koren let’s just see what we can do. We kept it up strong until about the 7k mark just when my chest was done. I had to slow up and eventually ended up walking back. 


To me I still am considering this a successful training run because: 1. I listened to my body. 2. We completed 10.5k 3. I didn’t care about the time. 

I knew going into this training program and making this commitment to myself that not every run is going to be pretty, full of rainbows, sunshine, there are going to be ugly ones that just make you wish you were finished, or full of mental battles. 

So my focus for week 3 is nutrition. Most of you are all unaware I have food restrictions and can not consume a lot of “normal” foods. No this is not because of “diet” but because it’s health related. 

I need to learn this week protein before and after a run. How to fuel my body in advance better and afterwards. What carbs might actually work for me that my body will accept. 

My running times have me out running longer than most, so I need to factor in my runs are longer and I need more fuel so my legs don’t feel like cement filled cinder blocks holding me back. 

So bring on week 3: 

Doctor’s appointment to get medically cleared and to make sure nothing is wrong; 

3 runs; and hopefully intervals and cross training. 

And learning nutrition for me. 

Lululemon Waterfront 10k

I am going to start this off with an open letter to Lululemon (Toronto):

Hi Lululemon,

You fine folks surely knew how to throw one hell of a party, the cheer stations were unreal, loud and proud.

Well now on to the race swag, well basically the top I got. I’m going to be real here, I am not a size 12. Check out my Instagram and you’ll see; I’m plus size and I’m a runner, yup I’m a runner (insert a gasp). 

So you see the size 12 shirt just doesn’t work for me, I thought about maybe if I put on my saugage suit (that’s what I call my spanx), it might work, or look maybe some what acceptable to leave my house in, but lets be real also, I need to breathe. So maybe instead of a shirt (which was 68$), you could offer an exchange, or a second option, like socks. You see I wear your socks to run in, train in etc. They fit me perfect, and offer the right amount of comfort. So I’m ok with only getting an 18$ pair of socks, because I’ll use them, I’ll wear them with pride, I’ll incorporate them into my outfits so they match. I’d love the idea of an option for socks, because not every runner has a lululemon body.  I totally get and respect your sizes are your sizes but maybe next year you’ll think of all shapes, sizes and remember its more than just about the miles.

Every single one of us who ran on Saturday, ran the streets of Toronto with pride and happiness. But some of us just can’t be fully part of the “cool kids” cause our shirts just don’t fit. So think about it for next year…. socks. (Cause I’d take a pair of socks now). My shirt is just going to the back of the closet.

But thank you again for an amazing experience but really think about the socks.

Yours in running

Jodie.

Now on to the guts….

Last year this was my come back run from having major life surgery. I had never ran a 10k before, and this was all new to me. I was nervous, I had my new found running buddy Alex (who I met day of run), running with me, keeping me going and not letting me stop. When I was coming to the finish my whole running family brought me home. I felt and still cry when I tell people this story, I felt like I was coming home and all I still feel is the love from that day.

This year it was #MeVsMe my goal was to finish and if possible set a new course record. This run had a first for me; I was not that last corral before the walkers, I was a corral up. I was the leader of the back of the pack. I was going to make sure everyone got to the finish.

I knew from the start I went out to fast, I felt like I made a rookie move and the whole time running down University I kept saying I need to slow down. When Blair sees these splits hes going to be upset. Once I got into the grove of things which took about a km I readjusted my goal, to just maintain a pace, run more and walk less. Push my body, but listen to my body. My goal was only to walk the “ramps” and pay attention to my asthma as it was HOT and sunny again, with no breeze.

Once I got to the area where I was meeting runners coming back into the finish, I started seeing my running family, this is where these people became my wings. I saw them, heard the cheers, the claps and the yelling to dig deep. So I dug deep.

I crossed the finish with a new course personal record and took 9mins off last years time. I pushed myself and I am proud of myself. I actually surprised myself.

I ran 10k to get my medal from Allison, who volunteered. I had my family giving me this medal in which I loved the journey to get it. So it was completely special to me. 


Lulu paid for all participants to get their race pictures for free. I don’t honestly remember seeing any photographers on course but this picture is me. This is my runners body.

Now on to a more ethical note about this run, they had towels that they were handing out at the finish (you know those ones you get from buffet restaurants or riding the VIA first class), but by the time I got to the finish there was none left, to me if you do the math they should of had one for each participant…. I actually stopped a group of runners who each had approximately 10 or so in their check bag, and basically told them to give me one, as there is none left and runners still out on the course. I said really one per person is the rule, common sense and a respect thing. But I smiled when I said all this.
People often forget there is a back half of a run, who have paid the same fee as you, ran the same distance as you, so next time you grab 2-3 banana’s or multiple bagels, ask yourself this….

Are there still runners out there?

Do they deserve to have food/water/treats when they finish?

Remember what took you 40 or so minutes to run a 10k, there is still a runner out there who will cross at 1:31 (ie me), who deserves the same as what you get, because really I might want a banana (the bananas on Saturday looked like they had been squished, opened and there was only about 20 left). So think before you grab! 

I will be back next year, regardless that again I said again its too hot, but this run is becoming tradition to be my “spring finale” until the fall season kicks in. My asthma wins in July and August and this year I am listening to the team of specialists. I only have one body.

So thank you CRS for the excitement of the run, happy crowds and awesome medal.

I’ll see you next year.  


The run family (missing a few!)

Those “fat pants”…. 

Sometimes when a person starts a journey to change their life, whether that be to find inner peace, happiness, a dream job or weight loss, they don’t often realize how far they’ve come until something happens, they do something minor and the change is there, more or less the victory. 

I’ve always kept the pair of jeans, I was in love with, when I was at my heaviest. I remember we had to drive over to the US to get them as they didn’t have “cool jeans” here in Canada in my size. I lived in these jeans, loved them and just loved how they made me feel, like I fit in, I was just like everyone else with the “cool jeans”.

As I started my weight loss journey many moons ago, I always kept these pants as the “reminder how far you’ve come”. I’d try them on every once and awhile and see the change. I tucked them away and haven’t brought them back out, until this weekend when I discovered them again.

 This is me trying them on yesterday.

I can’t tell you I see a smaller version of myself when I look in the mirror, I can’t tell you I go right to the size M/L on a rack in a store over the 2X (or higher). I still have trouble looking in the mirror and seeing this version of me. Nothing on the inside has changed. I am still me. But the battle is still real of #MeVsMe.

When I started running at over 300lbs, I never thought it could and would end up changing my life. I never thought (please ask one of my former gym teachers, Mr. Larry), I’d learn to love it. Love the life and feeling running and even working out at a gym brings me. Running does not discriminate, what you put in it gives back. I train and follow a plan, I may not post my pictures daily of it, but I do it. I give and it gives back, it tests me daily and in every run I sign up for.

The advice I could give anyone is never doubt yourself. Never quit on you and only ever do it for you. This change is mine and it has been done for me. Not for me to be more accepted by a society that still has labels, because really, I still have the label attached to me as being plus size. Do this for your own happiness, to have these small victories that just make you sit and cry. Remember no scale ever defines your worth, no time in a run defines your ability as a runner.

I am me

I am a runner

 

Dedicated to me….

I did a side by side picture from 3 years ago to just a couple of days ago. It’s amazing how much my body has changed. But more importantly how much my mental thinking has changed. 
When I started running I was beyond heavier than what I am today. I was always told by my doctors and sports medicine folks every time my foot connected with pavement my body felt like approximately 700+lbs was hitting it. 

I was sore, exhausted and just hurt for days after any big run when I first started running. I felt like my legs became concrete posts. But the thing I tell anyone who is plus size who debates to run. A few days of pain can’t take away the accomplishment of doing the run and earning that medal.

But the thing I tell people, you are the only one who puts restrictions on yourself. Who uses being plus size as a negative. I don’t care what I look like running. I’m running. Running is something that doesn’t discriminate. Health benefits out weigh the excuse “I’m too fat”. 

Mentally I’ve reached a point where I just don’t care what you think of me running. I’m running. You’re not. Mentally I push myself, talk to myself and get myself across the finish line. I always say at the end it’s my heart not my legs. 

Since I started running over three and half years ago I’ve faced my fair share of injuries (dics bulged, moved spine with brokenness, stress fracture), pneumonia (twice) and of course my ever faithful asthma. I won’t even touch in on having to carry an epipen everywhere I go. But I tell people I had a choices every time something wrong happened: fight or flight. 

Do you fight your body and keep on a path to continue to find a better version of the current you? Or do you flight and run back to the couch? Do you give up because of an obstacle that comes along? 

I look at running as anything in life: you just don’t give up.  

In recent weeks I’ve met people who I’ve shown this picture to and they can’t believe the change.I said everyone has a journey inside of them. I just don’t give up. At the end of the day. I’m failing myself. I feel I can be a role model to many people. I can show them excuses are wasted air and words coming from your mouth. 

Now that I’m over 80lbs lighter, my running has changed. My stride has changed and my centre of balance is not the same. I face back issue when running. But you know what, it doesn’t make me want to quit. My biggest issue are my runners. I’m a forefoot runner so everything has changed! (see I need a job ASAP to support my running shoe needs) 

I’m dedicated. Dedicated to myself. The commitment I’ve made since running is to myself. To better myself. To push myself beyond what limits I set. To face fears head on. 

So to anyone who starts to run remember there is no finish line so love the journey. 

Your journey is yours and only yours. 

I am dedicated to me. To this journey. To continue to better myself and be open to helping anyone. Running with anyone who is afraid to be left behind. I’ve been in your shoes. I’m still the leader of the back of the pack. Don’t give up on yourself. 

A Small Victory

I had one of those moments people call “none scale victories”. I never thought really truly about those moments, I know that each person experiences a different “ahhh moment”, some are big and some are small. I never paid attention to them before for myself.

Last weekend, I was away camping. While out for a morning walk around the park, we came across the kids play ground, which was pretty impressive. I looked at the swing. I stared it down, and was curious, will I fit on this? I don’t know if I can properly tell you what it felt like getting on the swing, I didn’t move, I just sat there, my only question was, will it hold my weight? With encouragement, I let my legs leave the ground, I swayed just a little bit as I tested myself.

As a plus size person, as much as I love myself, my weight has defined me. I was nervous, I had fear and I was just afraid to start moving. I had to ask Koren, how do I move? The last time I was on a swing was when I was a child, after that, I sidelined myself, even in public school. 

I went on the swing, I pumped my legs and was going higher and higher, it was that exhilarating moment, when the wind was blowing on me, I was doing this. I was able to wash away the fear that I was going to break the chains, crash down to the sand. Mind you my motion sickness kicked in and well I had to stop.   

This picture below fully expresses my experience….

To those who have never had to worry about the extra 20lbs, the love handles, the double chin, or even more so, living with fear, you may not understand this, you may not understand a friend when they casually decline to do something. I’m going to tell you, we all live with fear. I lived with fear with my weight, that I would break a swing, which is held on with metal chains. We grow these small fears, which always sit on our minds, whether we are out on a patio, we think, will this chair hold me? Or at an amusement park, will the seat restraint keep me in? 

My weight has been a chain holding me securely to the earth. It hasn’t allowed me to soar, be free. Each day is a new day with my weight loss, this is not a “diet” or a “fad”, and this is not me just trying to get the summer body (which by now I’m working on 2017 body). This is me choosing to break the chains that hold me down. I don’t want to live with fear. 

So those of you who have never had to understand, I ask that the next time you are out with friends, don’t look down on them, if they decline, look at the chair they will be sitting in or even something smaller. You don’t know the fear that chains down a plus size person, or even any person at that matter. 

To those of you who feel like your journey is going to take too long, trust me, it is well worth it. I’ve been on this journey since 2009, I’ve hit slippery patches, I’ve stumbled, but mostly, I never gave up. If you have any amount to lose, just do it for you. For you to look in the mirror love the new you. But always remember if you stumble, tumble, don’t ever stay down. Get up, dust yourself off, and cowboy up. We always fall, it’s life, but it’s how you get back that defines you. 

So I continue to live it day by day, each day I learn something new. I set goals and crush the hell out of them. I am training for a 15k in September and my first half (which I will finish if I’m crawling up Bay Street in Toronto). I’ve lost over 70lbs so far in 2016 and I’m not done. 

My friends, don’t ever be afraid to dream and set goals for yourself. The chains you have, they are not you. Chains can be broken with the right will & determination.  

Asthma Runner

Oh summer how I’ve waited for you to arrived. I survived the cold winter, the damp spring all in the anticipation of sunshine, blue skies, but I quietly dread the humidity that comes with the lazy summer days.

I am an asthma runner. 

By no means is this a pity post. It’s a post for you non asthma runners to understand. 

Today, I had to refill 2 prescriptions that totalled over $150. This is just a months supply. I have a specialist who has provided me with the other puffers I need free of charge. (I do not have a drug plan). 


Humidity, sucks the air from my lungs. I wheeze like a 90 year old, smoking bingo playing grandma. I have pains in my lungs. I can’t take deep breathes. I actually talk less. Shocking!

Going outside is planned around times of days, weather reports & what needs to actually get done. God bless AC! 

So with all this, I have to look at the big plan. How the hell does one train for a 15k in September and a Half in October. 

Well my answer is: weights. Build strength. Do small gym treadmill runs. Keep it simple. 

I may be on the large side of the scale, but that doesn’t change my commitment. Doesn’t change the struggle of trying to breathe. 

In the real world the perfect plan would be have a plan. Never wander from it. Keep it. But that’s not my world. I grab at those days when we get a heat break. Leave my bed at 4am. The evenings when it’s cool. My plan as of now. Is just to keep moving. Keep going to the gym. Run when I can. 

It’s constantly a daily struggle. But I won’t give up. Summer may give me all sorts of breathing troubles etc but I’m getting my vitamin d and a perfect tan. 

So summer, keep kicking my ass. I got a plan not to plan. I will train. I won’t give up. 

Don’t Fear Daylight

When it comes to running and training, it happens anytime of the day for me. Day or night, it takes place.

So it brings me to this reason for this post, over the years and more recently I’ve heard plus size runners say how they never ran during the day. How they only trained at night away from eyes.

First things first, love your body, mind and heart. You who is reading this is beautiful.

Now what you also need to know about this wonderful running family, we don’t play “sandbox” games. We are genuine, honest, kind, caring folks. We WANT you to succeed.

I’ve never cared about running during the day, if people look, so be it. Are they looking as they drive by? Sitting on their ass from the comforts of their house? I am running. I am making my plus size body healthier. I run for me. Not for what others think. I don’t allow others thoughts enter my mind. I’m stronger than any thoughts they might have.

My experience running during the day:

This past weekend I had a random stranger run past me, turn around and just say “you’re doing great”. I didn’t know this person, yet she provided me with words of encouragement.

During runs: I’ve had people tap me when passing, give me a smile and say “don’t give up”.

These are honest people being humble and kind. I return the same thing during runs. If I’m passing someone who has the look of wanting to give up. I’ll slow to get them back focused. Run with your heart when your mind is done. It’s simple but I’ve returned what I’ve been given to others. Encouragement is free to give.

I don’t feel that people are judging me or looking at me any different when I run. I’m doing something that is making me a better person. I’m not the fastest runner, nor will I ever be an elite. I’d rather be slow and still moving forward.

I want someone to see that they are beautiful and know they are strong enough to toss their fears aside and run in the day light.

If you have a few extra pounds, that doesn’t define you. You are putting yourself under a label. The wrong label. You need to say “yes I’m a runner”. So as a runner you can run anytime of the day. You can run beside anyone at the gym. You’re training. Training for life. Don’t let useless people take up residence in your mind. Let the fear go. No matter of anything we all can run in the day light. Be proud of yourself.

Now to you faster than turtle runners, I challenge you on your next organized run, when you pass someone who appears to be struggling, encourage them. It’s free and harmless a few quick words, thumbs up and a smile. You’re not going to make the Olympic team, you’re not going to win a giant prize. So give back to your running family.

Make me proud to have you a part of my Ohana.