I am Megan. I was a UK size 20 back in 2013 and found it hard to even walk up and down the stairs in my house let alone run. I thought enough was enough especially as I was sick of hearing myself moan! I have suffered with depression/anxiety for over 20 yrs and was on anti-depressants for about 15 of those years (I am currently free of all medication). I have been battling an internal battle for years and started my external battle when I realized enough was enough. A size 20 in the UK is a size 16 in the US, just for a point of reference.
I started by simply changing my eating habits, instead of following a specific diet. For the first three months I also went alcohol free. I cut back on portion sizes, ate fresh foods (protein and vegetables/salads) but allowed myself one little treat a day and Saturday’s I allowed myself a little extra.
I started walking at first – just a mile. I remember panting and and being out of breath anytime I went up stairs or a hill, but I was so determined. When I started to feel better, I kept adding to that mile until I got to 3 miles. I then added a jog into that – using lampposts as guides (so walking two lampposts and then jogging two around the 3mile route). Mentally I had a target and I gave myself walk breaks for making it to the goal lamp post.
I built that up and within 8 months I was running half marathon distance and had lost 75lb. I run 3-4 times a week and also did a HIIT workout in my garage with weights 1-2 times a week.
So I went from a UK size 20 to a UK size 10 (US size 8)
Finding running was the best medicine I have ever found for my mental health. It gives me opportunity to clear my head and have ‘my’ space away from everyday life and worries/stresses. I have lost my running mojo lately but slowly getting it back and its pages like yours on social media that really help inspire and motivate me (and I am sure others). All thanks to running I am now off all my medications. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I am here. For me, it’s just getting over the front door to go out is the hardest bit! I put a lot of pressure on myself and running is the only time I get a clear head and I am in control of my brain – albeit as you know with running the mind is a powerful tool and it often says “you can’t do this” but you know after that run/race you feel awesome (best drug in the world).
I completed my first full marathon last year (London Marathon 2016) and it was awesome. I am not fast and have suffered running injuries but it has been an amazing journey. I am proud of my pub’s and what I have been able to accomplish! I never thought I would be running marathons!!
5k = 26:13
10k = 55:08
Half Marathon = 2:02:29
Full Marathon = 5:27:37 (not a great time considering I was hoping for a 4:30 but picked up an injury at mile 18 L)!
I truly didn’t think I would ever achieve the things I have over the last 3-4yrs, including jumping out of a plane (I have a fear of heights and hate flying) – ok that was the worst experience of my life and one that will never be repeated but I did it.
I was due to trek Peru (Machu Picchu) two years ago but my anxiety stopped me – truly gutted with that. So it is a constant battle. It never really ends, but it gets better and I have faith that I will reach these goals.
My goals now are to do London Marathon again next year and also do the NYC Marathon next year (so two major races to work on). If I have these goals I am hoping it will help my mental health.
THANK YOU Run Like a Girl…I love all the posts and it shows how strong and wonderful us women are. We come in all shapes and sizes with different stories, but this community truly brings us together.