IT’S FITNESS FRIDAY!!! (Ironic because today is my rest day, but hey rest days are an important part of any training plan.) So, I was talking to a woman at an event last night who was familiar with my story and paid me a wonderful back handed compliment I've received about every other day since my selfies went viral; “It’s inspiring because you’re not skinny.” (It was one of those conversations where you meet a stranger and start to wonder if it would be rude to stop mid conversation and walk away.) But hey, we can’t all be pleasant and wonderful now can we? So I smiled and said “nope and I doubt I ever will be. But I can run a marathon. That’s pretty cool.”
Read any article online “the 6 Benefits of Running,” or “the 6 Ways Running Improves Your Health” or just google health benefits of running and right behind #1 which is always running makes you happier (very accurate) is #2 running helps you lose weight. It’s true, running is the second most effective way to burn calories behind cross country skiing. (Am I dazzling you with my running knowledge? I’m dazzling myself.)
When I decided to sign up for the Rock N Roll San Diego marathon in 2013 I told everyone how excited I was to finally have a bangin’ bikini body (that I wasn’t ashamed of-I added silently). It’s not a secret, I have struggled with my weight and image since I was a little girl. Don’t get me wrong, I rarely let that get in my way. I am lucky to be overtly confident and outgoing but in the back of my mind I’m always thinking, as I stand next to my teeny tiny friends, "if I was a skinny girl instead of a chubby girl people would like me better or find me more attractive." (I know it’s messed up. But I will admit it. It’s a difficult self-image to crack.)
Losing weight is incredibly hard. Gaining weight is incredibly easy. I was 200 lbs at my heaviest and it took me 6 months to lose 50 (ok about 40-45) of those pounds. The biggest kicker is that I didn’t feel myself gaining weight. It happened gradually, yes, but it literally felt like it happened overnight. After I lost the weight I began to realize being thin wasn’t the result I wanted and I started running towards health. I am an emotional eater coupled with a beautiful body dysmorphic disorder. Because of my new found passion for running, I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life (mentally and physically) and I can outrun my teeny tiny sister by miles and minutes. (And that brings me so much sick joy and satisfaction. I will admit that with freedom and abandon.)
SO HEALTH BENEFITS OF RUNNING: Physically, running strengthens your lung’s, arteries and heart, builds muscle mass, helps you lose weight and increases your stamina. But best of all, mentally running builds self-confidence, drive, self-worth, helps manage depression, relieves stress and gives you control and power over your life. In the word's of Ell Woods "excercising gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands." Isn’t it easier to go for a run, swim, or get to the gym when you feel happy? It’s attainable once you put one foot in front of the other.
And this is why I am raising money for Team for Kids. I was on the subway last week and I heard two girls discussing how they wanted to lose weight. I felt my heart constrict and I wanted to scream. Those words should never come out of a kid's mouth. It was the deciding factor for me as to why I would start training and fundraising for the marathon. Team For Kids is an organization I could have benefited from as a girl. I started saying “I want to lose weight” in the fifth grade. When you're that young you don't know any better and Team for Kids brings education and programs to kids to help fight childhood obesity. A fight I think is extremely crucial and critical to combat from a young age.
SO FITNESS FRIDAY-if you’re not a runner I challenge you to take the “couch to 5k challenge.” (Click here to see the 10 stages of taking the “couch to 5k challenge”) If you are a runner, I challenge you to go bigger. Train for a half marathon, a full marathon or train for a triathlon. Just take that next step. Try for something you said you could never do. Or just get outside today and go on a walk, run or bike ride with your friends or family. Take a step in the healthy direction not because you want to “lose a few pounds” but because you want to maintain your health.
A new gallery featuring all you fierce runners hottie hunting, training and being all around bad ass!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Is anyone racing? Keep those selfies coming-remember to include #RunSelfieRepeat or email me RunSelfieRepeat@gmail.com
& Thanks for listening, that was a long one. <3 Kelly