|"The most important lesson I’ve learned over the years is that running is a metaphor for success. Take things one step at a time, keep moving forward (even when you have to walk or crawl), and eventually you’ll reach your goal. Let go of unrealistic expectations while simultaneously pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s the magic formula." Jill Angie, Running With Curves: Why You’re Not Too Fat Too Run, and the Skinny on How to Start Today (Difference Press, 2013)
Right from the first page, this delightful and inspiring book had me cheering for Jill, and every other human being who has ever wanted to feel stronger, fitter and to create a greater sense of self-worth. Jill writes with the authority of 15 years as a curvy runner, and the humour, insight and compassion of a good friend. Currently a fitness trainer and weight loss coach, she is adamant that no one is too fat (too old, too unfit; insert excuse-of-choice here) to run. The key is to focus on the journey, not an end goal.
This book is as much about the inner struggle of making a positive change in our life as it is about dealing with weight, muscles and sinews. While I found Jill’s expert advice on how to get started, taking it to the next level, appropriate dress (including the all-important sports bra) and equipment, and dealing with injuries to be very valuable, the most important section in the book for me was the one on how to take charge of our attitude. Success in any venture depends as much, if not more, on mastering your inner “mental game” as it does on mastering new technical skills. And, every time we try to make a significant change externally, internally a whole new battle begins.
Enter the Inner Mean Girl
As hard as it may be to deal with muscle soreness, fatigue and blisters, dealing with your Inner Mean Girl can be much more difficult. You know the Inner Mean Girl – we all have one (mine’s called Vampirella, by the way, but I digress). She delights in tormenting us with such questions as: “Who are you to think you can run (write a book, score a promotion, or insert any longed-for goal that takes you out of your comfort zone)? You’re too fat (old, out of shape, untalented … whatever) to do this. You’ll never be any good at it - so why bother?” Jill does a masterful and witty job of helping us beat our Inner Mean Girl at her own game.
This book is for you if you want to feel better about yourself now, not some far-off day when you are thinner or fitter. Many of Jill's tips can be applied to other challenging areas, too. As Jill writes, “It’s time to run your way back to self-esteem, confidence, and fabulosity.” Fabulosity – such a great word! Running with Curves is available on Amazon.com
After I finished the book, I had the opportunity to sit down and ask Jill a few questions: You can read our interview here
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