Tell us a bit about yourself Joanne
I’m 47, married and mother to four children aged 14-20. I’m currently working as an administrator for the NHS. I don’t enjoy it but until I find something more fulfilling it’ll have to do!
I am @girlwotruns on Twitter and you can also find me on Facebook.
When did you decide to start exercising regularly and why was that?
I’ve always been active and sporty but put on weight after having each child and found it hard to get motivated and lose the weight.
In the summer of 2006 I’d become the heaviest I’d ever been and after seeing a few horrendous photos of me after our holiday, that was it. I hated the way I looked and felt so that triggered off a new fitness and weight loss regime.
I started off by cutting out alcohol and snacks mainly, I also cut down on my portion sizes. I started going to the gym regularly and the weight began to come off. I enjoyed running on the treadmill and decided to try ‘proper’ running outside which I’d not done before. That was it. I loved running and it was really helping with my weight loss. I ended up losing 3 stone and becoming very fit and healthy.
What activities have you tried and what’s your favourite?
So far I’ve tried the gym, running, cycling, netball, swimming, kettlebell, kettlercise, HIIT classes and walking.
I like them all but running is what I love and I’m not bad at it. I’ve run two marathons, eight half marathons and many more races. I’ve also got into cycling and usually manage to go out twice a week.
What has been the biggest barrier you’ve had to overcome in your fitness journey?
My biggest barrier has probably been depression. I’ve had a few ups and downs. Last year was the worst; I just couldn’t motivate myself to get out and do anything. It was tough.
Have you had any negative comments and how have you dealt with them?
Some people can’t understand why I run and exercise so much and have commented negatively about it. I think they just can’t understand how someone can enjoy exercise this much and don’t relate to it at all. I see it as their loss and don’t let it bother me.
What goals have you set and have you reached any of them yet?
My goals were to keep challenging myself. I decided to go for a marathon and have now completed 2 so I’ve achieved that. I make sure I keep challenging myself – it keeps me motivated.
What benefits has being active brought you?
There have been many benefits for me. I’ve lost weight. It’s good for my mental health and helps e get rid of stress. I feel fit. I’ve made new friends. It gets me out and about and I’ve discovered lots of lovely places. I’m just happier.
What advice would you give to other women who want to start exercising?
My advice would be to get out and find an exercise you enjoy. Try lots of different things and you’ll find something that clicks. When you do, make time for yourself by doing whatever it is regularly. It’s good for your body and your mind and you deserve it.