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This body of mine

July 26, 2010

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!”

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Kirsten Alicia permalink
    July 26, 2010 9:13 am

    Wow Heather, that is a wonderful post & I love the photos, you look terrific. Keep on runnin’, girl!! PS my very best to your sister-in-law.

  2. July 26, 2010 9:15 am

    Yay!! How wonderful! And yes, you do look alive, vibrantly, beautifully alive!

  3. July 26, 2010 9:46 am

    beautiful, alive, radiant body-being! go, Heather!

  4. July 26, 2010 10:09 am

    Thank you for posting this! I’m in middle of the breast reduction process — my doctors think it will take another five to six months to get my insurance company to approve the surgery. I haven’t found many people willing to talk about their experience, which is why I started my own blog earlier this month. Today I wrote about some exercises I’m doing to strengthen my shoulders and back pre-surgery. I’m curious to know what, if anything, your doctors suggested you do to prepare yourself for a successful surgery.

    And, kudos on the running! I tell people, very matter of factly, all the time, “I don’t run.” With these giant things hanging off of me, no one expects me to either. But, your post makes me wonder if I’ll change my stance after my surgery.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. July 26, 2010 12:01 pm

    Yay! A few years ago I came to the realization that nothing I can do will make me lose weight, my metabolism’s that bad. So I decided I’d just keep it all in shape. One karate black belt later, I’m proud of my large bod!

    As for you… when I met you in April I thought you looked pretty darn good already. So all this extra exercise is just going to be the icing on the cake. Stay healthy and don’t worry about the rest.

  6. Danielle permalink
    July 26, 2010 1:15 pm

    You go girl!

  7. Deb permalink
    July 26, 2010 3:13 pm

    You go girl! I’ve been on a journey of my own. Running has helped me lose 80 pounds.Check out my blog if you like. ! Has a little bit of everything in it. Running, weightloss, movies, books, crafts….. ! My first abandoned blog has more running pictures.

  8. Eveline permalink
    July 26, 2010 5:06 pm

    WOW………welcome to the new Heather, you look great.

  9. July 26, 2010 5:52 pm

    Like you I was surprised to discover that I enjoy running! My constraint is time (single mum, two preschoolers, another in primary) and im also studying fulltime via distance education. I take the kids walking/hiking as much as I can and Ill wait patiently until next year when all three are in school and I can start exercising again. I think it is funny how we exercise for our body yet in the end it is our mind that benefits the most!
    Happy running Heather, you look beautiful ❤

  10. Renee permalink
    July 26, 2010 7:25 pm

    Congratulations on your new “love affair”, Heather! You look fabulous! I hope your love of running continues through those tough winter months. 🙂

  11. heatherplett permalink*
    July 27, 2010 7:38 am

    Thanks for the lovely comments and encouragement, everyone! I’ll have to pull this out to remind myself once I’m in the throws of winter and the thought of running makes me quiver.

    Rhi – I didn’t really get any good advice from my doctor about preparing for the surgery. I had to do my own research on that. I didn’t do a lot, but I was doing some yoga, etc.

  12. July 27, 2010 11:52 am

    Way to go! My niece just started a running club and we’re following the same program. This morning, I did day one of week 1. We’re planning to do this for 8 weeks and who knows, maybe a 5 km run in September.

  13. Janie permalink
    July 27, 2010 5:47 pm

    Yay you – it’s a start isn’t it? Forward!!

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