See this overweight, big-butted, 44 year old woman? She has become a RUNNER!

It’s true. It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. A couple of months ago, I bought a fancy new pair of shoes (that fit my orthotic insoles), checked out this Learn to Run program (thanks to Jamie for the link), and started running. And… surprise, surprise… I love it!

I mostly just run on the weekends (during the week I ride my beloved bike to work – for a total of 22 km/day) and when on vacation (I can tell you a great running path in Maple Grove, Minnesota), so I’m taking my own meandering journey through the learn to run progam. As of this weekend, though, I’m able to run for 4 minutes, walk for 1 and then repeat it four times for a total of 20 minutes of running time. Woot!

As you probably know if you’ve been following this blog for awhile, I had breast reduction surgery back in March. One of the reasons I’ve never run before is that… well… how do I say this?  Flopping sucks. As does the sore back from carrying that excess weight. And… have you ever tried to find a sports bra in a double H? Nope, you won’t find one of those on the racks at Target. It seems bra manufacturers rightfully assume that few people with boobs that big will have “sports” in their vocabulary.

With everything else that’s been going on in my life since then, I haven’t talked much about my post-surgery thoughts. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when I finally made the agonizing decision to go through with it. Would it feel like I’d betrayed my body? Would I feel like a bit of a fraud, especially since I’m not really fond of the plastic surgery trend in North America these days?

Well, let me tell you, there have been NO REGRETS! I feel great! My body is far from perfect, but it finally feels like it is in balance!

I’ve had several people tell me that my posture has improved, and I know that it’s true. My back feels stronger and less weighed down. The bra strap indents in my shoulders are disappearing. Plus there’s the psychological side – I think I was probably hunching my shoulders partly because I felt some self-conscious need to draw less attention to my breasts.

And then there’s the running. I’ve had a bit of a yearning to try running for quite awhile. Being a wanderer at heart, I’m always happiest when my chosen form of exercise includes the opportunity to see things and meander through the neighbourhood. Cycling’s good, but the truth is, I can be a pretty lazy cyclist when I want to be. I wanted to push myself a little harder, sweat a little more, so it was time to try running.

Well, who knew that I’d enjoy it so much? This weekend I even found myself thinking “I need to figure out what equipment/clothing I need to get in order to do this in the winter.” (Time will tell if the love affair lasts through the brutal winters we get.)

I haven’t lost any significant amount of weight since I started running, but the beautiful thing is, I don’t care! Really, I don’t! I’m learning to love this big ol’ body in new ways, I’m finding clothes that fit my new curves, and I feel healthy and strong.

When I dragged my daughter outside yesterday morning to take a post-running photo, it was with the thought that I would post it in a “look at me, not ashamed of showing myself at my worst – in all my red-faced sweaty glory” attitude. (The pictures really don’t do it justice – my face turns BEET red when I exert myself. And MAN do I sweat!)

But then I looked at the close-up and thought “Wow! I look so alive!”

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