So I finally got my s**t together, I think! It’s weird isn’t it? / by Ali Burden-Blake

I’ve spent the last couple of years not really bothered about the fact that I’d been steadily gaining a few stone. Well I say not really bothered, more like very bothered, but not actually doing anything about it, which in the long term makes you feel even more shit about yourself.

However, I knew that until my head was properly in the exercise and weight loss game there was no point in turning up to play.

Back in 2008 I got into running, I read a book called The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer and it was life changing. I was obsessed with all things running. I would even turn down Friday after-work drinks in favour of my Friday afterwork run. I dropped to 13 stone - still not what I’d call svelte, but lighter than I’d been in years. And my long runs were 12 miles on a Saturday.

Then it all fell apart. I wish I could remember and put my finger on what prompted the collapse of my running lifestyle, but right now I can’t. It may have had something to do with losing my job through redundancy, but I can’t be certain. I’ll do some more digging into my memory banks later.

Anyway, around October 2014 I topped the scales at around 19st 7lbs and I joined weight-watchers, mostly because a friend of mine was going and it was nice to do something with a friend on a Saturday morning.

But my head wasn’t in the game.

I wanted to exercise, but had no clothes that fit well enough to be able to go out the door. So I bought a pair of XXXXL - yep 4 x XL - ladies tracksuit bottoms that promised to be a size 22. They weren’t. When they arrived I held them up and I just knew. I did try them on for certainty, but the indignity of having bought size XXXXL bottoms and they didn’t fit made me shove them in the back of a cupboard and turn my back.

So I went back to ignoring my weight problem for a bit longer.

Then in December my friend in the States sent us a huge box of stuff for Christmas. From cycle shorts to jeans and jumpers, and a pair of thick stretchy leggings, and THEY FIT!!!! Woohoo!

I wish I could understand what flicks that switch in your head that makes you ‘all in’. But having read another very inspirational book called Secrets of a Former Fat Girl by Lisa Delaney, I was all in. I had just turned 40, and I guess something just said to me that if I didn’t do this now, sort out my life, my eating, my exercise routine, then I would likely still be hating myself at 50, and where the hell is the fun in that, another 10 years of self-hatred?

So I dug out my running trainers, my hat (vital for anonymity!), my new leggings, and my iphone and on the 26th December 2014, with 119 lbs to lose and not much else, I went for a run in the dark.