She shed pounds, built lean muscle and gained confidence, all by putting one foot in the front of the other
I am currently in a love/hate relationship with running. In 2011, I ran two half marathons and a dozen 5Ks and 10Ks, which led me to lose 36 pounds. However in the last six months, I’ve been in a dysfunctional relationship with running. We argue, we fight, and there are even days when I think I want totally out of it, but I’m determined to complete my quarter four of the year strong. Running helps me to shed pounds—quickly and safely. According to Livestrong, running can help you shape your body by burning fat and building lean muscle mass, especially in your lower body.
But before I can talk about my goals, I have to discuss how I even began running at 225 pounds. Nineteen months ago, I decided to lace up my old running shoes and hit the pavement (walking at first) so I could be in better health. I could not fit any of my clothes, I got winded quickly and I was sure I would continue to gain unless I took drastic steps—fast. I could barely get up a flight of stairs without being winded. So without thinking about it, I decided I no longer wanted to walk—I wanted to run.
I got dressed and pulled my hair back, but my feet were paralyzed from actually leaving my house and running. At first, I thought about all the reasons I could not run (it was too hard on my knees, I was too out of shape, black women don’t run). After realizing how stupid I sounded, I made my way to the door to open it. Another terrifying thought came to my mind, “What if people laughed at me running?” That was a thought that nearly made me crawl back in bed and try again the next day.
I sat down and collected my thoughts. Without thinking any further, I bolted out the door to my neighborhood run. As I pulled up, I noticed that there were all types of women (big, small, short, skinny) stretching and getting ready to run. As I approached the group, I was welcomed by smiles, so my nerves got better. I was going to run—reluctantly.
I finished the three-mile run, but I can’t lie; there were several times I wanted to literally run (and hide) until everyone went home and I could walk back to my car and never come back. But I didn’t. I kept going through the pain, through the discouraging thoughts and I finished. As I look back at that moment, I can laugh (since I really am a runner now), but I also learned some important lessons about just getting out and hitting the pavement—even when you do not want to.
In the end, I lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of confidence and overall became a better person due to running. So get off your couch, step away from the computer and get out the door! Your body will thank you later.