By Running Divas Ambassador Jade Cranton
“You run, you don’t look like a runner” or “yeah my friend runs marathons and stuff, crazy ha?” is the standard reaction when I tell people I run.
Yes it’s true I don’t look like a runner that’s on the TV, that stands on the podium representing their country, the runner that is on the front cover of the running mags, yes I don’t look like the runner that is the legs and face of a brand but I have the heart of a runner and that my friend is what makes us an amazing, diverse and supportive community.
I am as guilty of this as anyone, if someone asks me if I run, I follow up with “I don’t look like a runner but yeah I run”. How dare I, how dare I question my body, how dare I assist with the stereotypes, fuel the medias message of what a runner is! I run there for I am…. a RUNNER!
There is no such thing as a runners body, just like there is no such thing as a bikini body, it’s as simple as you run, you’re a runner, you wear a bikini, you have a bikini body, full stop the end!
My life long punch on with food
- Food is my drug of choice, that might sound dramatic, but when you break it down that’s how it is! I’ve always had an issue with food, from an early age it was my go to, my coping strategy, I’m sad, I eat, I’m happy, I eat, I’m sick, I eat, you can see where I’m going with this right?! It’s not that I love food, I’m a very plain eater of meat and veg (I do love my veg), or even that I love what I’m eating at the time, its just that I eat and I love rubbish, think 10 year olds food list and I’m right there with them!
- I’ve had a problem with food my whole life and have been on both ends of it. A few years ago, before I started running I lost 30kgs through exercise and calorie restriction, everything was accounted for before I ate it, it become a ‘I wonder how much I can not eat today’ it was about the numbers, weighing in once a week, then twice, then daily then twice daily, allowing a number to affect my whole day, then I started running.
- My body wouldn’t do what I needed it to if I didn’t feed it, so there came a new challenge, trying to balance how much I needed to eat without putting the weight on, fast forward 3 years and I’ve gained a lot of the weight back, yes I am a different shape and hold it differently but it’s back.
- Then the justifications start, it’s OK I can still run, my body will still do what I ask it to, I can still chase my kids, I can now go out and eat with my family without thinking of food all the time. My struggle is I am an all or nothing, I struggle to eat healthy and like everyone I want from that list without rubbish, but I know that I was on a slippery slope so am mindful of that too, that my body will break if I get back to that point.
- People that don’t have a problem with food struggle to understand the daily, lifelong punch on, they don’t understand why you would want to eat rubbish, why would you want to feed your body crap and that’s OK, but for those of us at the other end it is a life long battle, we need new coping strategies, we need to find what our issue is and deal with it, we need to ensure we don’t pass these habits onto our children, we need to believe we are worth more because we are worth more!
Your selfish, where is your child while you’re out running?
- Yep, normally the first question as a mum you get is “who looks after your kids while you’re running” now I’m not a single parent and it wasn’t immaculate conception so the fact that in 2017 I am still asked the question, blows my mind! My husband runs and he gets “Wow that’s great, well done”, no guilt trip there. I find that I justify my running to most people in my world, even ex runners have had a word or something to say.
- For me personally I am a stupid o’clock runner and I do everything I can to make sure my running doesn’t negatively impact my family, long run days I am walking in the door as they are getting up or have just finished breakfast, week day runs I get out before work and have breakfast at my desk, but people still feel the need to comment. “I would rather my kids remembering me in the kitchen baking cookies than be out running all the time” is a comment I’ve heard, as well as many others. My answer to this, my family has been to some amazing places, had holidays we would never have done, experienced incredible things, made life long friends all because of my running.
- Running allows me to be the best Mum, wife, mate, person I can be and the normality of my child saying ‘yeah she ran here, she’s training for 100kms’ or the pride he and my husband have, the transformation I’ve watched take place in people’s lives that outweighs any possible negative moment, an early night or missing out on the occasional breakfast are things not remembered.