Running Made Me a Super Hero

 These are my current sneakers and I love them. An honest running shoe with low pitch to accomplish a mid foot running strike. 

These are my current sneakers and I love them. An honest running shoe with low pitch to accomplish a mid foot running strike. 

When I’m running I feel like I am saving myself. A job, I have realized no one else is going to do for me.  Running helps me feels like I'm the super hero swooping in to save me from stress, anxiety, and a mind that likes to think a lot.....about the wrong stuff! Running helps me tune out. It helps me get creative. Amazingly, it even helps me problem solve. I feel in control when I run.  When I am running, the noise around me quiets down, I hear my breathe, I feel the burn of my legs, and I enjoy a moment of what is almost like a trance. I watch the ground in front of me as it bounces side to side. I feel the rythem of steps and my mind begins to escape the day, the week, the year, the NOISE of life. Each step I get further and further from my stress monster and back in the body of a capable, confident, and creative woman. Stress takes all those good qualities away. Running makes me remember them. 

I didn’t always love running. In fact, I don’t go running with any kind of consistency. The truth is that, I run when I feel like it. I run when I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything that day. And sometimes, I just say screw it ‘I don’t feel like running,’ and that pattern can go on for a week at a time or more. I didn’t grow up running. Neither of my parents are runners. I always thought runners were insane. Who would punish themselves by running miles when they could walk, bike, or drive. 

 Me 20 pounds heavier

Me 20 pounds heavier

 


Then I got fat...

 

 

 

 

As my friend said, I was the cutest chubby chick they knew. I had never gained this much weight. In fact, I was thin my whole life till this point. But there came one day when I finally looked in the mirror and just said “ugh, I hate my body.” I went to every doctor who confirmed:

  • I had no thyroid problem
  • Maybe I had IBS (aka irritable bullshit syndrome**)  **I say that because I have come to realize it’s a blanket term doctors love to say when they can give you a clear diagnosis
  •  I wasn’t allergic to gluten
  • I had no food allergies

Truth was:

  •  I ate too much
  • I drank too much
  • I never went to the gym because it seemed like a place for meat heads and Barbie’s
  • And I had always been thin so watching my weight was never an issue

It was time to take responsibility for what I did to myself. No one was to blame, but me.  And, no one could fix it but me. I hated myself for situation I ended up in. 

But here I was……Pudgy. AND, I was getting married in a year. I knew I hated the gym and going to classes. In fact, I have always been the girl that liked to do things my own way. So, I bought my first pair of running shoes and made the following agreement to myself:

  • I would be patient with myself
  • I wouldn’t weight myself for 3 weeks
  • I would track my food intake for 1 week, BUT not change a thing in the way I ate. Only after that first week when I was really aware of how many calories I was taking in would I start actually cutting back slowly. (I Used the Lose It! App shown on left)
  • When I got down on myself I would say ‘this is a temporary state of being’
  • If something just didn’t taste satisfying and worth the calories I would spit it out.
  •  I would start running slowly and build up
  •  would not compare myself to anyone else, but aspire to be like people I admired in the world of health

The first time I put my sneakers on I ran a total of ¼ mile! I was huffing and puffing. I realized two thing:

1) It was more than I had run in 10 years  

2) I needed to find a pace that worked for me.

While I easily could have been discouraged….I applauded myself and promised to do more the next time. I added it my daily food and exercise tracker and called it a day! That was how it all started. 

I won't say losing the weight was easy, but I did it at a pace that not only made me feel empowered, but I started to play games with myself to see how far I could push it. When I started calorie counting, running became a great way to be able to eat a bit more! When I got on the scale four weeks later, I was so happy to see the pounds coming off! Couple that with eating right and it was a game of losing it and feeling good. I was starting to really like me!

While that was the beginning of my weight loss journey, it was also the beginning of my running hobby. I ran for my health the first 3 years. Now though I run for me. I run to challenge myself. I run to feel like I achieved a feat of strength....even if it is just 1 mile that day. This year I made my new years resolution to run in 6 "races". I use the word  "races" lightly because I am racing no body but myself! I even bought a GPS watch to track my times and where I go! I like to make it fun! Here are some highlights of my running below:

 Alexandra Janelli Photo after a 5k in New York City Central Park

Alexandra Janelli
Photo after a 5k in New York City Central Park




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