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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2017; Thank you

thank you 2017

How does one sum up a year full of runs, let alone a year that gave me huge life changes? Well I’m going to try my best!

2017 my only goal was to complete a marathon. When I did my first half in October 2016, I knew I could set the bar higher. I knew it was in me to keep pushing myself. I could have listened to everyone who told me not to try, but that was not me. I needed a goal.

Most people who know me, know that time is just time to me, I get excited when my training and life works together and I happen to get a new PB. My goals always are just to chase the finish line. Most runs are day related decisions with weather and how my body is doing.

My asthma doesn’t stay controlled by a magical wand.

I started 2017 on the injury reserve list, after having an emergency surgery on my birthday in December. Once I was cleared I was back to fully training as I was doing my first half marathon in Alabama in Feb.

In the meantime, life sort of settled out in the aspect of my job, I was able to secure a quick employment contract. Which was amazing and a stress relief.

February arrived and so did our road trip to Alabama. I was beyond happy to spend time with my run family and just relax. Just meeting the amazing people connected to the run family in “Bama was memorable. These people are friends for life. This half marathon turned out to be a new PB. I still am not sure how this happened as this course was hills. I mean hills! I even did an ugly cry to a police officer at km 18, asking when the hills would end. I stopped for selfies on the course just to give my asthma a break, chatted with the fire department but mostly decided to have fun. I even used a port-a-potty. I learned pulling your pants up is not all that easy after running in the heat and sweat.

To this day, I am still thankful for the memories and love I got from the Alabama family.

March brought the Chilly Half, which was going from one extreme for weather to the other. My coach told me how to dress and said I was prepared and ready. No I wasn’t. The cold weather and a half didn’t work out well with me. I finished. It was a beautiful course along the water. It just was a cold day, but at least the sunshine was shining. I would tell anyone wanting to find a run to train during the winter for, use this one as the starter for the year.

March further brought more personal changes, which involved the need to move, job ending and more hospital visits from Feb and March. It was truly a month to deal with the changes and learning new normals.

I was also interviewed in March by the Canadian Running Magazine for an article on the back half of the runs and how I continue to be me. How time is not everything to me and just the success of crossing the finish line is the victory.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/06/26/canadian-running-magazine/

Since I was accepting a new normal, I knew this would be a time of change, reflecting and changing my training plan to accommodate changes.

Spring or was it an early summer month of May arrived;

I did Sporting Life 10k, which was a first for me and I did get a new PB. I was proud of myself, but mostly the memory was talking to a beautiful lady in the corral beforehand. I pushed myself as much as I could and the results were worth it. The atmosphere in this run is crazy and it’s very well organized. Plus the cause is something that is worth it to partake in.

I was in the iRun magazine for athletes for Canada’s 150 birthday. I was honoured to be considered and featured as number 1. I still don’t even know how to deal with this when people bring it up. I am just humble and don’t know how to answer.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/05/23/irun/

I was an ambassador to the Run Ottawa Marathon weekend. Which brought a weekend away in Ottawa. This run needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. The city just has a vibe that is amazing. Everyone chats with everyone and it’s just surreal. The day of this run, it was hot, so my goal was just to finish. While in the corral I met another girl who was running her first half, she asked if I could help her stay safe and keep her going. I of course said yes. I got her to the finish. She was thankful as she was completely unprepared.

I am still thankful for the Ottawa Marathon organization in taking me on as a member of Team Awesome. I am in the back half of runs and it was an honour to be considered equal and part of the family for this.

June brought the Diva’s half marathon, which I was blessed enough to be an ambassador for this event. The weather did not play well with the run, which caused flooding on the Island in Toronto, so the run was moved with last minute, so it was not the beautiful scene, but it still was fun. The weather was crazy crazy hot. This run is amazing. Just imagine running with 3000 women, who are all supporting each other and cheering, singing and dancing. It was truly a remarkable experience. You saw nothing but a sea of pink, tutu’s, and everything in between. https://justmejodie.com/2017/06/12/run-like-a-diva-half-marathon/ & https://justmejodie.com/2017/11/13/run-like-a-diva-2018-2nd-chance/

End of June was the waterfront 10k which was taken over by lululemon. I didn’t get any PB and the experience was fun, had some bumps but it has been ironed out. The day like the rest of my patterns of runs was hot, sunny, but had a bit of a breeze.

July and August, I take off from “organized” runs. I had my marathon training plan set out, I was following the plan, running and training and it worked out. I was happy with how well it was turning out.

My mom became my side line coach, with the water head offs, she would show up with bananas and just check up on me. Especially on long runs. I am grateful in her support. My long runs I would work in with Koren’s schedule so we could do them together, until her injury set her on the sidelines.

My anaphylaxis never stopped and I had several hospital visits during the spring and summer, which put me down for a week or so after each attack.  In August I was bit by a poisonous spider, which resulted in me not feeling well for a few weeks, which included a heavy dose of medication for a bone infection.

September brought the RBC Race For the Kids and Army run weekend, yup, they both were on the same weekend. I did the 5k with RBC and raised money for Youth mental Health, which I am it believer in. If you are in Toronto on this weekend, please consider signing up this year. Lots of fun.

On the Sunday in Ottawa I did the commander challenge, which was a 5k and a half. It was hot. If you haven’t ever done the army run, you need to add it as well as to your bucket list. It’s emotional. It’s an honour and mostly it’s a huge sense of Canadian pride. I love this run.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/09/22/canada-army-run/

Right after this weekend, I ended up having a bad experience with my anaphylaxis and put me behind on my training, which mentally I had a hard time dealing with.

The end of September brought more new changes, with a job that took me back to the City and working an odd shift. Which I was unable to honestly adjust to.

October came in like a rush, I had the Niagara Falls International Marathon 10k just before the weekend of my first Marathon. The course for Niagara is beautiful (again the weather was all over). Running beside and ending at the falls is beautiful. I will be doing this run again. The town is alive and the community is full of support.

My marathon weekend came. I don’t even know how to re talk about this, but you can read it again here, or for the first time. https://justmejodie.com/2017/10/26/my-try-at-a-marathon/

I took a step back from running after my attempt at my first marathon. My heart broke. I had to heal. I had to reflect and accept as well as know I am capable of finishing. It was hard to find my grove again, but I knew that I would not quit. It was a matter of figuring and finding.

I learned more about myself this year as a person, what I am capable of. I learned I can accept change, I can handle curve balls and it’s ok to have a new normal. I was able to process my own thoughts and fears.

With the end of November brought more personal changes as after years of bouncing and playing the game, I finally secured the long awaited forever dream job. So I’ve learned to adjust, make new routines and make a new normal.

I closed off 2017 feeling my own self pride, my own sense of accomplishment knowing I can do all that I am capable of. When I set goals, I will push myself to the limit. I have been knocked around and faced many hills but through it all, I never gave up. I learned I am strong. I am ok being uncomfortable.

I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who have believed in me, helped me with the journey and lifted me when I did struggle. The messages and comments have been appreciated. The companies that took a risk on me, stood by me and supported me even when I didn’t feel like they should, thank you.

I do represent the back half of all runs and the runners within, but I hope that if anyone can take something away from my 2017 experience is that, you are capable of everything, you can do anything you put your mind to, and mostly, set and dream large.

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The Official Marathon Re-Start 

Well I am officially back “in the saddle” or in other words, my running shoes and I have been happily reunited. My infection has cleared, my body is recovered and I feel much more like myself than I have for over a month. 

Earlier this week I was speaking to my coach, I almost felt like a bad student being called to the principals office as I wasn’t sure what he was going to tell me, how the conversation was going to be. I was ready anything, he knows me well enough to know what my commitment is, my goals are and that I am full of determination. I knew it was going to be a tough conversation. 

So I have a new marathon training plan. A restart, revised schedule, call it what we want, but I got a fresh start, starting yesterday (Sunday). I am now in the mode of “holy shit” this is fast approaching. This new plan is a just a wee bit more intense, but I am up for the challenge, so I can accomplish my goal.

When I set out to do this full marathon, I knew it wouldn’t be a straight easy road. I knew it would be full of curves, hills, blind corners and mostly a road as Rumi said- 

Yesterday I went out for a 10.5km run. It was in the plan, but around 8kms the heat was so intense that I was thinking to myself, maybe I should of just ran 5k to get my feet back wet into running. I’m stubborn, so I couldn’t give up. I have a plan and I am sticking too it. I completed the 10.5km, also drank over 2 litres of nuun from the heat. I was hot. 

So this past weekend was my starting over.

On a completely different note, but it’s still hooked in with my training because you can train all you want but you also need to properly fuel your body. 

I am still slowly adjusting to this plant based, no soy or rice eating plan. I am still struggling I will admit that. I have days I wander around the kitchen because I am craving something and I know I can’t have it, or I am just lost. 

I do my best with meal prep. I am still reading labels because a couple of things surprised me. Did you know that the bread you buy from the store almost all of it contains soy? What happened to the days when bread contained the simple 5ish ingredients like our Grandma’s used to make? Not all this added crap our bodies don’t need. So I have went back to basics and make my own bread, where I can control everything that is in it, as well as what goes into my body. My food is all mostly from scratch. The local markets are my friend. 

I am working on being creative and making sure I refuel after runs, so its a matter of figuring calories burnt to what I need to add in. It’s almost like its an exam from high school. 

I’ve reached out to people via SM and asked questions as I am a believer you won’t know until you ask. I’ve found a protein powder (lean fit) that does not contain soy, which I am excited try when I get it. 

I think if people who read calories as part of their daily lives should also include in ingredients. There are so many added ingredients to our food, which is a wee bit scary. With not being able to consume Soy I’ve learned quickly how much it is in stuff that it doesn’t need to be there. 

To run its not just about your legs and heart its about the fuel that you need, so you are not always on empty.

So I’ve hit reset. Which is allowed. This is my journey. 

I have the support of my friends and family to continue with this more intense program. The finish line I will cross, all the extra running times and added kms is going to make this journey even more worth it.

My outlook now its one training run at a time. One day at a time. This medal will be well earned and not given.

Thanks again to everyone who has checked in. Offered help regarding meal plans, ideas and where to look. It’s been appreciated. 

Well lets see what this week and running have in store for me, I am going to be comfortable being uncomfortable! 


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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. 

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

 

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.