I love the New Year. I love stationery. I love notebooks. I love the idea of starting with a clean slate. And I love setting goals. Bold, audacious goals – just not resolutions.

Fitness and inspiration for fitness are interesting. For the most part, the initial motivating factor is aesthetics, or on a deeper level being comfortable in your own skin. For a lot of people, myself included – the whole reason I started to run was because I wanted to lose some weight, specifically some baby weight. Or a lot of baby weight. It was a lot. You are making a rod for your own back if you try to do that without loving your body. It can make it pretty hard to absolutely love your body but also want to change it.  I’ve written about that desire for change and overcoming the belief that you can’t, because you can. And I’ve also written about how the big changes are the one’s that you can’t see here and here. But at some level before you can make changes I think you need to love and respect your body for what it can do. If you think about your body as the enemy it is an uneasy partnership for fitness. So I gained 40kg during my pregnancy. It was a lot. But at the end of my pregnancy my beautiful baby was born healthy. For a whole lot of reasons due to miscarriages and the pregnancy itself I always feared she would not make it. But she did. And my body did an amazing thing of having a natural birth after a c-section. So whatever my body had to do to get from point A to point B was worth it. I would do it again. I found that keeping the focus on what my body could do and had done set me up to succeed when I started running because I had a lot of faith in my body from the start.



The first photo taken after 21km in September 2013, the last one after about 49km in December 2014.

Performance and Weight are linked. You will hear me saying things like I want to get down to a lower body fat percentage to improve performance. But weight loss can also sabotage your performance too. So although I often do have a weight-based goal in mind it is always secondary to the goal of performance. This helps me put my goals fixed on things like how far I can run, how fast I can run and how much weight I can lift. And during periods where maybe I’m not overly comfortable in my body I can rely on the performance of my body to see my progress and to love my body for the awesome things it can do. I don’t have a typical long distance runner’s body type. Those marathon runners on TV? I don’t look like them. But I can set a pretty cracking pace for a half marathon and I can run a really long way. Those are things that will keep me going when I’m not feeling so comfortable in my own skin. But I also really love the changes I can see in my body from my fitness too.

Which is what I love about what we do at Operation Move. I LOVE IT. We are all about getting women to see how amazing their bodies are and then empowering them to go out and achieve their goals of performance and aesthetics. You see these photos of Kate and I after the huge amount of work we have put in to our training?


There are so many things I love about this. It’s not just how confident we are compared to where we started, it’s not just the actual muscle definition (although that’s pretty ace!) and it’s not just all of the really hard work that I know went into it. Two people who let’s face it a few years ago were probably top contenders for the least athletic people on the planet can both run a marathon. That’s a really long way.

Kate can bench press 34kg. I was really impressed by that until I tried to do a benchpress and 25kg was my absolute maximum and now I’m incredibly blown away by it. And I am so close to deadlifting my own body weight. SO CLOSE. I am so proud of everything Kate has done this year. She took great adversities in her personal life and with her injuries and became an incredibly strong athlete.

And for myself, this year has been a big one and I don’t think I could write down one thing that I’m proud of, but I am really proud of the fact that I’ve continued to push my limits and my comfort zone this year.

2015. It’s your turn.

If I learnt one thing this year it’s that strength is in friendship and community. I couldn’t have done half of what I have done if I didn’t have plenty people holding my hand along the way (sometimes literally).

I am so excited to see what everyone achieves in 2015. I think it’s going to be a big year for Kate and I and and even bigger year for our community. You have until midnight to sign up for Operation MOVE IT, and you can sign up to Learn to Run or Far and Fast or One-on-One coaching at any time. Whatever you want your future to look like, you get to decide. I think that’s the most amazing part.

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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