My Strong Stretch Marks, Love Handles, and Belly Rolls

"Photoshoot". I saw the words and felt intimidated. I knew I'd be shooting in a sports bra and I immediately thought back to what I'd eaten that day. An almond croissant for breakfast and some leftover Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and gravy for lunch. Overwhelmed and insecure, I put my shoes on to go run off that almond croissant. 

On my run, I started thinking about what I could do to lose weight quickly. Two weeks? I can easily switch to a 1,000 calorie diet and drop a few pounds. No problem. Throw in a few extra spin classes, planks, and speed work and I'll be camera ready. I spent four miles thinking about losing weight and, unsurprisingly, I felt panicked and shitty about myself. I didn't take my cotton shirt off during my run, even though it was an oddly warm day for New York and I was sweating my ass off. And then, with about a quarter mile left, I caught myself.

Since when am I motivated to workout and eat healthy just so that I can look a certain way? I realized that I was feeling panicked because I hadn't felt too insecure to run in a sports bra in months.

Shedding my shirt along with my insecurities to create the #SportsBraSquad had a profound impact on the way I saw and felt about my body. The sports bra squad is built on strength, not vanity. (The fact that we all look bad ass while we run down our goals, in our sports bras, is just an added bonus.) So what gives? Why am I struggling to feel confident in my own skin? 

Training for half and full marathons showed me that working out isn't something I needed to suffer through to lose weight. Running helped me embrace my body for what it can do instead of feeling insecure because I don't look like a super model. Health isn't a look, it's a lifestyle. 

When I'm giving 100% of myself and running towards an impossible goal, I give 0 f*cks when that little voice in the back of my head says that I'm not pretty, skinny, or strong enough. That voice is powerless because I know that I'm fighting every single day to put my strongest foot forward.

But I'm not doing that right now. I haven't run regularly since the New York City Marathon which was almost four weeks ago. And while it sounds obvious that I just need to start training for a new goal, it's important that I take this time to step back, run for fun, and recharge my mind because it's really easy to get burnt out. I never want to be in a place where I don't feel grateful that I get to push myself and my limits and finding the balance between taking time off and going 100% is crucial.

As difficult as it is for me to admit it, I've been feeling insecure about what my post marathon body looks like. Which is ironic because I haven't gained or lost weight. My pants and shirts fit the same. The only difference is my Loch Ness Monster abs are a little less visible when I raise my arms over my head.

I'm not perfect. My struggle with my body image isn't something that can be resolved simply by shedding my shirt. That's just one step. The rest takes patience, persistence, and hard work. I've found that whenever I'm struggling to look in the mirror and see my strength, I try to say things that make me feel strong and proud because strength doesn't look a certain way, it feels a certain way. Don't believe me? These two pictures were both taken of me during the same exact marathon. Same body, same day, same strength.

I weigh 166 pounds (according to the number on the scale this morning) and two months ago, I ran through doubt, shaved 18 minutes off my previous marathon personal best to run a marathon in 3 hours and 41 f*cking minutes. I have cellulite, stretch marks, love handles, and belly rolls, and they aren't flaws. They aren't things I want to change about myself. They make me, me. 

Beauty and strength may have an industry standard but you and I know that that standard is bullshit. We all have different body shapes and skin colors and they're all beautiful. Embrace it. Embody it. Empower it.  

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Three Steps To Start Running

Four years ago, I went for my first run. Well, ok, I wouldn't exactly call it a run. It  was more like a brisk three mile walk with a few moments of jogging. And It was horrible. It was nothing like what you see in the movies. You know what I'm talking about, when the main character just can't take it anymore and runs Forest Gump style until the uplifting fight song comes to an end and the actor looks back with a "I'm a different person now, see, I'm smiling" look on their face? Yeah, that didn't happen for me.

Despite the fact that I could barely make it down the block, I was sore the next day from my "run". And then, for some crazy reason, I decided to try it again. I didn't have an app to track how far I was going or how slowly I death marched, I just went. And every time I got back home from my painful two-three mile pilgrimage, I felt a tiny weight lift off of my shoulders. So I kept going.

The toughest part about getting started for me was feeling totally and completely alone. When I went looking for advice on running blogs or Runner's World, no one seemed to struggle as much as I did. All I saw were smiling runners who looked really, really athletic and ran fast as lightning. All I wanted was tips on how to survive or for someone to tell me that I wasn't doing it wrong, it was supposed to feel like I was moving through peanut butter.

When I launched Run, Selfie, Repeat, one of my goals was to speak as openly and honestly about my running struggles as possible because I think there's great strength in being vulnerable. I know that for every single smiling selfie I post, there were twenty more where I looked exhausted and dead inside. I've cried on more street corners than I can count and I almost always end every single run on the ground. 

Look, I won't sugar coat it, running is really, really, really f*cking hard. But so is life! And anything that is worth doing won't be easy! 

Some people are born runners. They're naturally athletic and they take to running like a fish to water. But if you don't have an athletic bone in your body, that doesn't mean that you can't be a kickass runner. It just means you have to work harder because some runners are made. I was made. It took blood, sweat, mistakes, injuries, and dilemmas like finding the right pair of shoes and learning how to fuel but at the end of the day, the most important lesson was learning how to believe in myself.

If you're looking to get started, here are three pieces of advice,

1. Start today. 

Struggling to get out the door

You don't have to go far and you sure as hell don't have to go fast, all you really need to do is go. Run as far as you can and then take a walking break. Then, when you catch your breath, run again. Run and walk until you're ready to go home. Don't pay attention to time or distance. It doesn't matter if you go 10 minutes or 60, just go.

2. Set a goal. 

Set a goal

Whether your goal is to run a 5K, a 10K, or a half marathon, sign up for a race and hold yourself and your training accountable. It's not going to be easy but remind yourself that tomorrow is going to come whether you go for it or not. Why not start today and start working towards a terrifying goal? You'll be crossing that finish line before you know it, I promise.

3. Embrace your pace.

getting passed

Get ready for 10-15 minute miles. Don't worry about your pace, embrace it! Fast or slow, a mile is a mile. Celebrate the fact that you're doing it and throw the word "slow" out of your vocabulary. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

There you go. No fancy new running words, no special shoes or sports bras or spandex yoga pants. Just go. The rest will come soon enough.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

4 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

What Are You Running Away From?

When I first started running, I had a really hard time finding anyone who was going through what I was going through. No one seemed to be struggling or running from their problems like I was. And I get it, it's hard to share the not so glamorous parts about ourselves and running. It's not easy to write down and share your deepest fears or shame for all the world to see. 

But I've found that the more I share the things I feel most insecure about, the less power my insecurities have over me. It's like ripping off a bandaid or jumping into a really cold body of water. It's terrifying at first but once the moment passes, you realize you really didn't have anything to be afraid of in the first place.

Before I became a blogger, I tried to control what people knew about me. I only opened up about what needed to be shared because I was afraid of being judged. It was exhausting. When I started Run, Selfie, Repeat, I found a way to share the parts of me I'd always been afraid of talking about, namely, what I was running from. I quickly realized that I was never actually alone. 

At the shakeout run I hosted with Finish Line Physical Therapy before this years New York City Marathon, my friend and producer Mayuran and I shot interviews with runners about their running experiences. One of the questions I was most excited to ask was, "What are you running away from?" because, let's be honest, we're all running away from something. 

For most of us, we started running as a way to run from our problems. Then, in what felt like a total plot twist, running turned out to be the solution to whatever problem we were running from. I always tell people that even though running may not actually solve your problems, it's always a step in the right direction. The first thing you need to do is realize that whatever you're running from isn't something to be ashamed of. Shit happens. Life is really, really, really f*cking hard. Running helps. It just does. Just remember that you're not alone.

So, what are you running from? 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

9 Reasons Why You Should Run The Chicago Marathon in 2017

When I ran my first marathon, I didn't know what I was doing. I'd been going back and forth between feeling compelled to run a marathon and feeling too afraid to try. I'd only been running for four months and after I ran my first half marathon (terrified and seriously under prepared), I was ready to rule out 26.2 miles completely. I remember lying in the fetal position only hours after crossing that first finish line when I was asked if I'd want to run a marathon next. "I'd rather die," I whimpered back. "I never want to do that again."

But the next day, I felt different. Despite my sore legs and hilarious zombie shuffle, I felt like a giant weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I was amazed that I actually finished a half marathon. But running a marathon? Impossible. Only athletes ran marathons, not terrible runners like me who could barely survive a half marathon.

But I couldn't stop thinking about running a marathon. I didn't think I could do it and I knew that I needed to try to prove to myself that I was stronger than the limits I put on myself. So I woke up one morning, grabbed my laptop, and registered for the first local marathon I could find. I didn't realize that there was a difference between races and while I don't regret my decision to run the marathon I ran, I wish I would have waited until the fall to run a huge world marathon major like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Some people love smaller marathons, I'm not one of them. I crave the crowd support and the excitement that accompanies a giant race like a world marathon major. I love being surrounded by runners from all around the world, both young and old, all fighting to make impossible possible.

Whether you're trying to muster the courage to run your very first marathon or if you're trying to chase down an impossible goal, here are 10 reasons why you should run the Bank Of America Chicago Marathon in 2017. 

1. There is Goose Island Beer at the Finish Line. 

You may cross the finish line and ask yourself if you've died and gone to heaven.

YES. YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY, when you cross the finish line, there is a table full of cold Goose Island beer ready for you. When I was struggling during the race, I visualized that table and a spark of hope knocked at least 5 seconds off my average pace per mile. 

2. It's flat!

#AllTheExcitement

If you're looking for a race that isn't plagued with horrible inclines and painful hills, this race will leave you crossing the finish line with a smile on your face. 

3. The crowd support is INCREDIBLE.

The Bank Of America Chicago Marathon is LOUD! Look, I won't sugar coat it, running a marathon is really, really, really hard but having THOUSANDS of strangers scream nice things at you THE ENTIRE WAY gives you hope when everything hurts and you feel like you're dying.  

4. The weather is perfect.

Smiles for miles.

October in Chicago means one thing, PERFECT running weather. 

5. Training through the summer > Training through the winter.

Running in the heat isn't easy but training through the winter is HORRIFIC. Finding the time to train for a marathon is always going to be a struggle but at least in the summer, you get light. Running in the winter almost always means dark and cold training runs. Fall marathons > Spring marathons.

6. It's the best way to see Chicago!

Are we there yet?

There is nothing worse than being bored during a marathon and I can guarantee you there won't be a single dull moment when you're touring one of the greatest cities in America. From the architecture to the suburbs, every turn is exciting. (And there are TONS of turns. Keeps it interesting.)

7. It's the perfect place to run down a goal.

That moment you shave 18 minutes off of your PR.

This year I set a goal to shave 28 minutes off of my personal best marathon time to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It was an impossible goal that took an overwhelming amount of hard work, drive, and dedication. Every day was a battle with my own self doubt and come race day, even though I didn't walk away with that BQ I worked really hard for, I walked away with a HUGE PR and the proof that it's not impossible. Sometimes an impossible goal is the best way to prove to yourself that you're stronger than you give yourself credit for. Set a huge goal and chase it down in Chicago. It's the perfect race to do it.

8. The starting line is the best starting line I've ever experienced.

When you get to walk right into your starting corral #blessed.

When you get to walk right into your starting corral #blessed.

The worst part about other world marathon majors and huge races is the wait before the start. Just in NYC alone, you're trip from your door to the moment you cross the starting line is close to 3 hours. In Chicago, it takes 15 MINUTES! The best pre-race starting experience I've ever seen in my life.

9. Why not?

Will it be easy? NOPE. Will it change your life? YUP! 

Every year I see people doubt themselves or hold themselves back. I always say the only way you'll fail is if you fail to try. You can do hard things! All you have to do is hit that register button and take that first step. Then you take it one day at a time. Why not do something HUGE in 2017? Why not show the world that you're strong and unstoppable? Go for it, I know you can do it.

SO EXCITED TO RUN A MARATHON! 

AND WHO KNOWS, you may be toeing the line with me next year to kick ass and take names come race day. Running the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this year was one of the most transformative days of my life. Setting the goal to BQ was so much more than running as fast as I could. It was about proving to myself that just because something is going to be really hard and impossible doesn't mean that I shouldn't try. Every day I had to run down my own doubts and insecurities and even though I didn't hit my goal, I feel like I won. And I want to see what I can do next year. I want to do it again. This race is one of the best races I've ever run in my life. That's no joke. It's one of the best ones out there.

So why not? CLICK HERE and throw your name in the lottery! What do you have to lose? This could be you come October next year! 

Welcome to the starting line!

Welcome to the starting line!

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

This post was created in collaboration with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

4 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

We Asked Runners What They Hate About Running

Running....it's one of those things that people LOVE to hate. We asked runners what they hate most about the sport they love, running! Their answers will make you laugh out loud! CLICK HERE to watch!

One things for sure, the struggle is real! Running may not be easy but it's buckets of fun if you can stick with it! 

What do you hate about running? Let me know in the comments below! 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

** Video produced and shot by the incredible Mayuran Tiruchelvam
http://Instagram.com/Mayurantiru

2 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Thanksgiving Struggles

 

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it's always time that I get to be trapped with my giant, loud, and hilarious family. Holidays are CRAZY in our house. They're full of unique traditions, tons of food, and endless laughs. But despite the fun we have, it took a while to get to a place where I didn't feel guilty for being thankful and happy during the holidays. Ever since my younger brother Scott passed away in 2009, the holidays became overwhelmingly difficult and fragmented. It's impossible to feel thankful or hopeful when an integral member of your family unit has been taken before their time. And it's especially hard not to fall down the rabbit hole and want to pretend that the holidays aren't happening at all.

When I get sad, I tend to take my frustrations and grief out on the people I love most. I have a really hard time opening up to my family about my pain and sadness and at first, it was a nightmare. No one knew what to do and the first Thanksgiving without my brother was just awful. We all tried to pretend that everything was fine until my cousin accidentally called my other cousin Scott, we fell apart. I remember sitting in the car with my sister crying, wondering how we'd ever be able to go on without him.

I've found that the only way I can cope is to lean into my grief. To not pretend that I'm not sad and to talk about my brother as much as possible. Finding the balance between feeling sad and happy seems impossible at times but that dichotomy has become our new normal. I miss my brother a lot. And holidays are still a giant reminder that he's not with us anymore. But I try to smile every single chance I get because at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade a single second I had with him and I'm grateful for every laugh we got to share together (mostly at one another's expense). Finding joy and laughter doesn't come easily during the holidays anymore and it requires us to make a conscious effort to find hope, joy, and love whenever we're missing my brother.

The biggest lesson I've learned from being forced to survive an unimaginable loss is how important it is to be patient around the holidays with my family, friends, loved ones, and most importantly, strangers within my community. You never know who is struggling to make it through the day. Anything you can do to help someone else smile is a win. Try to be thoughtful whenever you can of the people around you. We have to make sure that we're all taken care of.  

If you're struggling this holiday season, try to find laughter. Surround yourself with people who care about you be that your family who is related by blood or the people you've chosen over the years. The holidays are all about giving back and making memories with the ones you care about most.

Thanksgiving day is the anniversary of the day I hit bottom and decided to go for my first run so I'm always reminded that strength can come out of despair. I couldn't make it down my block that first day and four years later, I just completed my seventh marathon. It hasn't been easy but neither has grief.  

Gifts aren't always physical objects. The ones I cherish most are the memories I get to take with me for the rest of my life. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Runnings Greatest Life Lesson

When I started running, I didn't think I was going to  become a runner. All I wanted was to find a way to mute the never ending self destructive inner monologue that played in my brain on repeat. I was so overwhelmed with surviving each painful run that I didn't have time to feel sorry for myself. 

And the more I ran, the more I started asking myself what if? What if I ran a half marathon? And then what if became why not. As the miles and finish lines started accumulating, I changed. I stopped feeling ashamed when someone asked me what I was doing with my life. Initially, running felt impossible, and the more I ran, the more confident I felt about challenging my fears and my self doubts. 

I've learned a lot about myself since I first started running four years ago. This year, I set what felt like an impossible goal to shave 20 something minutes off of my marathon time. That goal forced me out of my comfort zone and I struggled more than I did when I first started running. I started training with runners who intimidated me, and I quickly learned a lesson I will keep with me for the rest of my life. How important it is not to compare yourself to others.

That being said, it's impossible not to compare yourself to the people around you both in your running and personal life. Why fight it? It's going to happen. Comparing yourself isn't a death sentence, putting yourself in fake competition with other people is. I've found that using the people around me as a gauge keeps me motivated, inspired, and challenged. AND when you surround yourself with people who are busting their ass just as hard as you are, you get a killer support system who just gets it. 

It started when I joined Gotham City Runners, my coach Josh's kick ass team of super strong and fast women. (There's a handful of dudes who run with us as well and they're all supportive, fast, and incredible teammates. Shout out to our men.) I was terrified to run with them because at first, I couldn't hang. I felt like I was struggling ten times harder than they were and I was drowning in shame and fear. I was convinced I was doing something wrong because a month went by and I didn't feel like I was getting stronger. So I did what I always do whenever my insecurities start to overwhelm me, I got vocal and I came clean.

I told them what I was afraid of and what I was experiencing and to my surprise, we were all on the same page. Everyone felt like they were struggling or was afraid of holding someone back and instantly, a giant weight came off my shoulders. Now when I fell behind, someone was always there to remind me that I could do it. I stopped feeling ashamed for being what I thought was the weakest link and I started feeling really grateful that I had such a killer support system that I could be apart of.

Then Dr. Bob gave me the incredible gift of no regrets, no excuses and it put every single insecurity I had (ok continue to have) into perspective. Perfection isn't an unattainable quality, perfection is your personal best, whatever that means that day. And the only way you'll get to that place is if you use the people around you as a support system. Can you do it alone? Yes. Will it be easier if you have people to build you up? Absolutely. 

Running isn't as easy as give it your all. Pushing through doubt and my own personal insecurities has proven to be the hardest mountain I've ever climbed in my life. Every single time I feel like I've reached the top, I feel like I'm back at the bottom. I'm constantly having to prove to myself that I'm stronger than I give myself credit for. The pain is temporary thing doesn't feel true in the moment. When pain is at a 10/10, it's hard to remember that that's to be expected. Having someone there to remind me, "We got this. I feel like shit too but this is almost over, eyes on the prize" makes the biggest difference. 

Whenever I struggled to push through the discomfort and pain, I used to compare myself and feel inadequate. Now? I remind myself that I have good days and bad days and giving 100% looks different for everyone. That whole "stronger together" slogan? That's real life. It works. There's nothing wrong with using the people around you to gauge your progress just so long as at the end of the day, you want to see all the men and women you compare yourself to kick ass and take names as well. The only person we should ever be in competition with is with ourselves. 

Your perfect is different than someone else's perfect. It's not about how fast or far you can go, it's about having the courage to give it your all. You only regret the things you don't do right? Doubt is inevitable and when it rears it's ugly head, remind yourself that running isn't a chore, it's a choice. You get to show up and give it your all. Find a mantra that shines brighter than your doubts and smack a smile on your face. You can do anything you put your mind to. You may fall flat on your face a few times or stumble before you surge but that's a part of being perfect. You have to walk before you can run and you have to trip and fall before you can cross the finish line like a boss.

Build the people who challenge you up. Be their biggest cheerleader and push one another towards your own version of perfection.

Now go kick ass.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat. 

2 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

How I Lost Over 75 Pounds

Growing up, I was thought I was overweight. I never looked in the mirror and saw a healthy girl. When I looked at my own reflection, I saw my perceived flaws, fat, love handles, cellulite, giant thighs, and stretch marks and they made me feel self conscious and defeated. Then my younger brother passed away suddenly and within six months, I found myself topping the scale at over 200 pounds and for the first time in my life, I wasn't overweight, I was obese.  

I don't know what my weight was when I was at my heaviest because I wouldn't look down when I weighed in at my Doctor's office. The last time I saw my weight before I adopted a healthier lifestyle, I was over 215 pounds. 

Having gone through a major weight loss, I'll be the first to admit that losing weight isn't easy. But anything worth doing isn't easy so why I expected the fat to "melt" away quickly is beyond me. I fell victim to articles with headlines that read "How I lost over 75 pounds" or "How to lose 25 pounds quickly". Looking at other people's before and after pictures never motivated me, they just made me feel intimidated. 

I HATE articles with headlines like "How I Lost Over 75 Pounds" because I didn't simply lose 75 pounds. I lost 8 pounds, gained 3, lost 2 more, gained 1, lost 1, lost none, lost 2, gained 3, lost 1, gained 2, and that went on for an entire year. You don't just eat healthy, workout, and wakeup 75 pounds lighter. I became obsessed with my weekly weigh in and if I didn't lose weight or if I gained weight, I hated myself. I started making myself sick if I ate something that I didn't think I should be eating. I didn't know what healthy looked or felt like, I just wanted to hit my goal weight so that I could be happy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

Then, a year later, when I finally came close to my magic goal weight, CURVE BALL, I still wasn't happy. I'd look in the mirror and feel insecure and I kept asking myself when I would wake up and not dread going to the gym. My "weight loss journey" was never about getting healthy or loving the skin I was in. Even though my therapist worked with me on positive self talk, it wasn't until I started running that I realized how I needed more than a goal weight to motivate me.

Working towards something I could feel proud of, like crossing a finish line, shaped the way I saw myself. After I ran my first half and full marathon, I felt proud of what my body could do instead of wishing it looked a certain way. I started embracing my own strength and I started feeling empowered by my size and strength. I finally understood that strength didn't look a certain way, it felt a certain way. It didn't happen overnight, but I slowly started believing in myself and loving the body I worked really, really hard for. 

Look, everyone's different. Some people actually enjoy being in a gym. I don't. I hate working out just for the sake of working out. I need a finish line or some kind huge goal to get me out of bed every morning. I need the sense of accomplishment I get when I cross a finish line to help me fight when I'm struggling or having a really shitty run. People always ask me when running gets better or easier. The answer for me is that it doesn't. I still cry on street corners more than I'd like to admit.  

So why do I do it? How do I stay motivated when half my runs really, really suck? Well, because I need the constant reminder that I'm stronger than my doubts and insecurities. Just because something isn't hard isn't a good enough reason not to keep doing it. Running isn't easy for me but the feeling I get when I run down an impossible goal is addicting. Doubt is one tricky mother f*cker and if you let it, it will run your life. The only way I can beat it is if I run it down and prove it wrong as often as I can.

Running a marathon and having fun. WHO KNEW THAT WAS POSSIBLE?

Running a marathon and having fun. WHO KNEW THAT WAS POSSIBLE?

If you're looking to make a change, do it to get healthy. Set a huge and seemingly impossible goal. Then focus on what you can do today and during the week at hand. It's easy to feel intimidated or overwhelmed when you're first getting started. Don't let fear win. Start small and celebrate every tiny victory.

Look at what you eat and how you fuel your body. You should enjoy eating because food is wonderful. It's not about counting calories, it's about adopting healthy habits. Measure out proper portion sizes until you know what those look like. (It sounds obsessive but I still check in because I'm always forgetting what a serving size actually looks like. I'm a big fan of eating until I'm Thanksgiving full. Fun? Yes. The healthier option? No.) Learn to prepare and enjoy different lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Eating healthy really can be delicious. 

If you're someone motivated by a challenge, sign up to run a terrifying distance. Get a training plan and take yourself and your goal seriously. The only way you'll fail is if you fail to try.

Just remember that nothing is impossible. It's never about how badly you want something, it's always about how hard you're wiling to work for it. Stop focusing on what you want to change and start looking in the mirror and naming things you love about yourself three or four (or twenty) times a day. You're already the best version of you possible. Everyday is a new chance to kick ass, take names, and put your strongest foot forward.

F*ck weight loss journeys. Life is complicated enough. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.