In my very first post on this blog, I said that I would love to post a photo with me in it. I was referring to a photo I could be proud of; one that I could look at and not be filled with a sense of distaste or disgust- and perhaps even like the way I look.
Well, here it is:
This picture was taken by a marshal (on her phone) at this week’s Alness ParkRun. For the first time in my life, when I look at this picture I see a runner. I don’t see an overweight middle-aged woman who would like to look like someone else.
I’ve passed a few milestones in the last couple of weeks: I’ve now lost 10kg in weight, achieved a Parkrun PB (I set the last one in 2012, a year in which I ran 5 half marathons), and I’m closing on my goal of running 5km in under 30 minutes. I’m also beginning to ramp up to the summer: to working away more, and to training without Tim to hold me accountable during my peak working season. I’m feeling motivated though – and best of all I realised this week that I couldn’t imagine going back to my previous habits. Of course, time will tell.
I’ve been looking ahead, too, to the next year. An opportunity popped up last week that seemed too good to pass by. In 2019, a new marathon will be running on Harris – possibly my favourite place on the planet. So, I’ve entered! I have new habits, and a newly-rediscovered love of running; I also have 12 months to work out how I can train for it during the busy summer months!
I won’t pretend for a moment that the changes I’ve made in the last few months have been easy. I’ve worked hard, shed tears and been frustrated; but I’ve also learnt an enormous amount, and experienced real joy and satisfaction. I’m nowhere near the end of this journey, though: I’m coming to realise that these changes are for life.
I suppose we all look at ourselves differently, through a lens shaped by our experience and conditioning. Today I feel like I’ve been given a new lens to look at myself through, and I’m beginning to like what I see.