You know those people who fake sickness or cramps to get out of sport classes at school? Yep, that was me. My sister was a fantastic netball player, my Dad has always been a brilliant tennis player, my brother was an ace at any sport he tried…and then there was me, a bit chubbier than the rest of the family and clearly the co-ordination gene had skipped me.
I was married not long after school ended (a child bride at 19) and spent the next 12 years pregnant, birthing and caring for my 6 children, never even thinking about exercise or taking care of myself mainly due to sheer exhaustion. When my youngest child was about 9 months old I started to feel like I needed to find something for me and start looking after myself better. I was overweight and terribly unfit and not a great role model for my kids, so I signed up to do a well known 12 week program. Over the next 12 weeks I worked out like a demon, measured everything I ate down to the gram and accounted for every calorie. I lost weight and become fitter but was a pain in the arse to live with. It wasn’t until my 13 year old daughter questioned why I was weighing my food and wanted to weigh herself that I realized what an unhealthy obsession this was becoming and what a bad example I was setting, especially for my 4 daughters.
Whilst the food aspect wasn’t great I had enjoyed the exercise and felt fitter than I ever had in my life so I knew I wanted that part to continue, although it had to fit in around my family. I had seen the Operation Move hash tag pop up in my IG and twitter feed so decide to join up…and finally I had found my place.
The thing I loved instantly about Operation Move was the overwhelming sense of support & encouragement regardless of level of fitness, and that the real focus was on just moving, whatever way, with whatever ability, whenever you could fit it in to your week. Just move!
I’ve joined in challenges, sought advice and been amazingly inspired watching OpMovers achieve their fitness goals. A few months ago, thanks to lots of support & encouragement, I signed up for my first 5km fun run. On the day I was so nervous I thought I would be sick but as soon as I saw some of our Operation Move team mates all that disappeared. I had a ball that day, who knew exercise could be so much fun? I walked, ran, talked, laughed and made some great friendships along the way. Being part of an amazing team made it all the more special and it really hammered home to me that even though we came in all different shapes and sizes we were all healthy and all achieving our fitness goals. My family all came and cheered me along from the sidelines and were so proud, my eldest daughter even uploaded my photo of me finishing to her Facebook account telling all her friends how proud she was of me for running it.
The first thing I did when I got home, after hanging up my medal, was plan out the runs that I’m hoping to complete in 2014. I’m feeling more motivated, inspired, fitter and prouder of myself than I ever have in my life, and I have the Operation Move team to thank for that. My goalposts have moved too, instead of focusing on needing to get a goal weight I’m now training to be able to run 5km without a walking break and after that to run further. Thank you to all you wonderful ladies and gentlemen for support, encouragement , advice and inspiration and for getting this couch potato moving. My family is very grateful too!