Run?!!?? Say WHAT???
I was NEVER a runner and would do anything to get out of running! Running hurt my teeth, it hurt my lungs and quite frankly, I just hated, hated, hated running! (My dad would always say, “Hate is an awful strong word!” and my younger brother, at a sweet innocent age, said in reply to my dad one day, “Well, I meant it in an awful strong way!” That’s how I felt about running! Hahaha.)
So fast forward, well, my whole life, till just 4 years ago (2011). My daughter wanted to participate in a school running club. I was in full support of her getting active. I signed her permission form and she was on her way!
Now, at that time, I was about 190 pounds. I had lots of reasons why the weight kept coming on. I was a busy mom of 4 little people. I worked many hours. I worked as an interpreter (it’s a ‘grab food and run’ kind of job). I had my own self doubt and lack of motivation. I was motivated to do many things but quite often taking care of myself seemed to slide right off my list. Shopping, especially clothes shopping, was NOT a hobby of mine. Most of the time, I cried when it came to shopping.
One day after practice, my daughter came home and said she wanted me to run with her in their upcoming 5k. I was a little scared about that idea, as I knew I really disliked running, and I also knew how much weight I had on me. But I also wanted to support her. So I accepted her invite.
At that time, I didn’t have any running shoes at all! We were very, very poor and I was hesitant to buy some, in fear I would break the bank. Some how, Ryan and I managed to spare $20 for some shoes. That was a sacred moment for me at the shoe store. I took the purchasing of these shoes very seriously, although I knew my shoes wouldn’t be the top-of-the-line, I still wanted the best I could find for the money I had. I felt very blessed that day as the shoes I liked the most were on sale and I walked out, more committed to train for this 5k.
I began training that night. I found a ‘Couch to 5k’ (C25K) app that would help me along the way. I remember the first day – I thought I was going to DIE!!! I wasn’t sure how I would be able to keep doing it. But I had to keep going because I really didn’t want to waste our family’s $20.
The next “WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I GET MYSELF INTO” moment was when I hit the mile mark (over a month into running). First, it was amazing that I, Susan Layton, ran a WHOLE mile!!! But then I thought, HOW in the world will I be able to do THREE of those??? That was a hill I had to get over. But I did!
At the same time, our family changed what we were eating. We realized that what we had on our plates was food that was not entirely healthy. We started learning about what was good for us and what wasn’t. It was a wonderful learning curve! I loved it! I loved it all! I felt motivated! My pants started getting a little looser. I had more energy. It was a great feeling.
The race day came. It was cloudy and cold. But I was PUMPED! We ran the entire way! We definitely were not the fastest but we didn’t stop. It was an AWESOME feeling! Finishing that race made me feel like a winner! I was a winner! I put my mind to something and I accomplished it. Numbers didn’t matter. It was truly the best feeling in the world!
Throughout this time, I lost over 50 pounds. My clothes were falling off me. It was a great feeling. The first time I went to go get a new outfit, I couldn’t believe shopping could be that exhilarating! It was a JOY that I had not ever felt! I was by no means SKINNY, nor did I want that. What I started to realize throughout this time was the beauty of being healthy. HEALTHY is what felt good! Sure, I still had “leftovers” (tummy from stretching) from four births. But that didn’t matter to me anymore. I was on my way to being healthy and healthy was happy!
*Pictures: 1- Me in the green blouse. One of the very few pictures I have of myself. My weight was up and down but mostly up. This was taken about 2008; 2- My first pair of running shoes. I still am so grateful we sacrificed that $20 to buy those life-changing shoes; 3- My daughter and I at the end of the 5k! That was a proud moment for me as a mom and well, for me!; 4- In the dressing room trying on clothes. I shot this and sent it to my hubby – “Can you believe I’m wearing this? I love shopping!!!” He replied something like, “Is this my wife speaking?” (Haha…) and then, “You worked for it! You deserve it! Enjoy your time! You look fabulous!” I felt fabulous! Working for it gave me such a huge satisfaction, because I did this! And I wanted to keep going!