We never know where life is going to take us or what challenges it brings. In January 2010 I was happy, so happy I wanted to stay that way for as long as I could. I realised that if Ali and I wanted a long and healthy life together, we had to change. I was clinically obese, had a bad back and my knees were feeling the strain. I had various health problems and I was ageing faster than my years. I looked ahead to a life I did not want. It was time to change. By the end of the year I had lost 4 stone - 56lbs. My confidence rocketed - I had taken control and it had worked. I was exercising, enjoying buying clothes, speaking up for myself.

I began to believe in myself again, I began to dream. For years I had watched marathons with admiration and a lump in my throat. In April 2013, I ran my first marathon.

This blog is about living life as a slim person, staying slim and fulfilling my dreams. Come and join me, support me, advise me!

Take care, Sue

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Inspiring People

This week has been one of the most inspirational weeks of my entire life.  With the start of one of the greatest displays of feats of human endeavour on the planet - the Olympics - inspiration is coming thick and fast and I'm feeling almost drunk with it all!

On Wednesday I went to Milton Keynes for a Tesco Diets success story photo session. As I walked in the door, Julie and Claire told me that that morning I was going to meet Dame Kelly Holmes.  My jaw dropped, my brain went numb, Dame Kelly Holmes? There? In Milton Keynes? That morning? To meet us? Surely not! It takes a lot to shut me up, but I was gobsmacked.

But it was indeed true. Dame Kelly had come to meet us; celebrate our achievements; have photos taken and do a spot of Q&A. We sat spell bound as she talked us through how she trained, how she prepared, how she got through hard times and got those two gold medals. It was totally awesome and inspirational and I had to keep pinching myself, I was sitting next to an Olympic double gold medal runner!

This is nothing about being star struck or impressed by celebrity,  I'm really too long in the tooth for that sort of thing. No, this was one of those moments when you meet another human being who has done something remarkable. When faced with adversity and challenge, they fight back and overcome. They make things happen. They build on what they have survived to make them stronger, better human beings. They work to make the world better for others.

Dame Kelly Holmes has been an inspiration in our family and she is to many people; not just runners and not just those of us who have had an injury. She never gave up on her goal, she gave 100%. She made it.

I was also inspired by the lovely TescoDiet ladies and gent I was with that day too. Every one of them had lost a shed load of weight and transformed their lives in the process. They too had set their goals and given it their all and every one of them was inspiring and encouraging others that they too could change their lives.   Those folk are living proof that things can change and that every one of us can do our bit to change our lives and help others too.

It doesn't matter if your goal is a park run or a marathon; to lose three pounds or three stone; to raise a happy child or be a great aunty.  Sometimes, the hardest thing of all is to put on a smile when you're in bits or just get out of bed in the morning. A goal doesn't have to be two gold medals. It just has to mean something important to you.

We humans are truly remarkable when we set our sights on something and go for it, and as I headed home from a far too hot, sweaty (and smoky) Luton Airport, I had lots of food for thought.

Without a goal in life, it is easy to drift, it's far too easy to waste our potential. A goal pulls it all together and points head, heart and spirit in the same direction. With focus and purpose, we begin to change our worlds and we help others change theirs too. Magic happens.

The Olympics inspire us all, and I loved the way they emphasised that these games are also for the gold medal winners of the future. But why should these dreams only be for the young? Sadly there's no Olympic dream for those of us who are a bit past our prime, but wouldn't it be wonderful if there was? Wouldn't it be wonderful to see healthy, active, competing older people; what an inspiration that would be!

These Olympic rings are from the residential home where my Mum lives - they've been talking about the Olympics for weeks and armchair swimming is on the agenda. How lovely to be connected, to feel part of it.

I certainly have been inspired to take up running in the second half of my life by men and women like  Fauja Singh. They've proved that we don't have to stop running just because of what's on our birth certificate. Helen Mirren showed me that I can have great muscle tone (and abs!) well past the age I'm supposed to not care any more.  Dame Kelly reminded me that if we go for what we want, we can make it happen, even when we think it's all over. But it takes work and it takes planning and it takes discipline.

So, I think it's time to stop drifting and time to decide on some goals. What do I want to achieve with my running? Is it time to think again about the marathon? Is that the right goal for me now? Ever? The key to success is setting the right goal and that takes a bit of thought. I know what can happen if you go for the wrong goal at the wrong time - I don't want another injury. 

For now, time to be inspired by the Olympics and train for Speed of Light. After that I will start working towards my next goal. Watch this space!

Wherever you are, whatever your goal, have a great week and take care.