Jessica Hay

I'm Jessica, I have 2 kids and a wonderful hubby. I'm also morbidly obese (like T-Rex trying to do up their own shoelaces kind of obese - it's hard). Often when I see unplanned, unfiltered and unflattering photos of myself, my first and very 'grown up' response is to make vomit noises while flipping off the pictures. Then my reaction matures slightly and I zoom into the last possible pixel analysing the photos. The only logical conclusion I can come to is clearly I was abducted and and infected with fatso-fatty-mcfattyson-fat serum!

Oh wait nope... Nope, it's all coming back to me now.. I over indulged, wait.. over indulged doesn't do it justice. I wrote myself off, I sabotaged my dedication, I punished my body with food and emotional stress, I flicked on the denial switch and derailed myself on what was a pretty good road (well not really a good road- more like a dirt road, with potholes everywhere and you have to hold your boobies as you go over every bump out of fear of being knocked out by them). The good news is- I thought I had reached rock bottom (maybe at least 10 times now), but turns out all those rock bottoms had roadworks and my actual rock bottom was behind the detour signs. Those spew inducing photos are the detour sign that led me to the real rock bottom! I could NOT even see myself in those pictures, I'm not there! Knock, knock Jess - nope she's not home! I vowed to never see a picture of myself like this again. That girl has left the building, like really left. What's that saying? "If things aren't going right. Go left." Or for the younger crowd- just like Queen Beyoncé said, "To the left. To the left".... 

Fast forward to the start 2017. Something had to change. I shifted my goals to wanting to become a marathon runner (no easy feat at a starting weight of 198kg). Why? I wanted to set a goal that wasn't necessarily weight loss orientated (obviously losing weight is a bonus). I wanted a goal that I could put out there and start working away at it and feel like I'm making progress (versus feeling deflated on my failing weight loss journey). The marathon journey is going to be long, the marathon is many years away but I know I will get there. I'm proud that my children will get to witness Mummy achieving a goal she worked so hard for. 

I started with Parkrun in January, I didn't tell anyone I was going in case I backed out or left the course before finishing the full 5km. That first parkrun was mentally and physically hard. I was so lucky to have so much encouragement from all the regular parkrunners. I've now completed 14 parkrun's, completed the 'For Fitness Sake' challenge which was 50kms in 10 days and I have my eyes on completing the 10km run at the Melbourne Marathon in October. I'm also doing 'Run Down Under', every run I do gets added to my tally and eventually (virtually) I hope to have ran around Australia. Run Down Under is very special to me. Travis actually reached out to me and offered me a free membership to help keep me motivated. When I receive gestures like this it basically adds years to my life. To know someone has so much faith it me really spurs me on to just keep on going. Travis is now on the list of people that will be there when I run that first marathon and I can't wait!! 

To anyone wanting to get out there but are too scared to- I know how hard it is to get out there and try better yourself, I know that the prying eyes of all those watching is overwhelming and I know how much the (intentional/unintentional) remarks can make us never want to go out and try again. 

It's easier just to stay home and avoid it all. BUT my advice is to ignore that one person that may give you a horrible look in public because believe me, you're being watched silently by many others and they admire your bravery. They admire that you're doing something to better your health. Your dedication to not give up has triggered their thought process, 'if they can do it. I can do it'. 

That's what I hope I'm doing, paving the way for those too nervous to try. Just try and keep trying.

Yes it's hard, it most certainly hurts but I would rather be in pain from trying to be active then be in pain from just sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

My favourite quote - "You don't need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection."