September 9, 2017
I’ve had a bit of a nagging feeling today, a feeling of…I should actually be running.
I have a half marathon in a fortnight and a full marathon in just over 2 months and I simply ain’t running.
My daughter starts primary school on Thursday so my running routine will return and besides I have been doing CrossFit, so my fitness is OK…it’s just my ability to run anything more than 10K that’s the problem.
But it’s OK…my training for races has always been a little hap hazard.
Anyway, that is not what this post is about. This post is to mark my 7 year anniversary of being a blogger. 7 years ago to the weekend, I came home after an eventful 10K (which you can read about here) and set up a simple wordpress site and the rest is history.
But jeez…7 years of my life????
Looking back at September 2010 I had a proper 9-5 job as a project manager. I wasn’t a mum. The Olympics in East London hadn’t happened yet. I had never been on the TV before, or stood up and given a talk…I was a completely different person. A person that I hardly recognise.
700 blog posts, 21K tweets, 40K followers on social media…3 marathons, one 40 mile ultra marathon, a bunch of obstacle course races, at least 30 half marathons, and hundreds of other runs later…and I am still enjoying the sport.
I knew the anniversary was coming up, but wasn’t sure of the exact date. I did a 20 minute Facebook Live video last night about my journey with Too Fat to Run so far (You can check it out here), and today figured I would check out when it was exactly.
It was 7 years ago to the weekend
When I set up this blog I knew nothing of the blogging world, I just figured this would be like an online diary (I have always been an avid diary writer), I never had any intention of turning it into a business or building a personal brand off the back of it…I didn’t even know that was a thing.
I never made a single penny for the first 4 years, never got any freebies either come to think about it, because for me it wasn’t about that…I just wanted to document my experiences. Then once I realised the message resonated with so many, I then wanted to simply spread the word to inspire women living in a bigger body that running (any anything else they set their mind to) is possible.
But what next?
I am still very much a blogger. I love to write and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. In the 4 and a half years since turning the blog into my livelihood, I have self published 6 successful running books (All Available on Amazon), and am writing a new one at the moment which I hope to publish properly. I have sold thousands of branded t-shirts, vests and hoodies and seen about 5000 women or so go through one of my free or paid for fitness challenges or online running courses.
I have just short of 400 women in the “Best running club in the world” their words not mine…and this alone brings me joy every single day since I set it up, these women are superheroes in my eyes.
I have been whisked off to review races in places I would never have visited otherwise (Jerusalem, Geneva, Cape Town), met some of the most influential runners this world has ever seen Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Seb Coe to name a few, and I have privileged to meet some of the most incredible female runners from my community…I have been truly blessed to have been able to create a job that allows me to do all of this alongside the normal requirements of having to pay your bills.
So…what next Julie?
There is still so much I want to do with Too Fat to Run. We have recently received £60,000 of Sport England funding to test my methods on the ground in Barking & Dagenham (one of the least active and most overweight boroughs in the country) and there are plans to train up licensed Too Fat to Run coaches who can help me take the movement out to the areas where it is needed.
I’m not done with the running stuff yet.
But. And it is a BIG BUTT (much like mine I dare say)
I want more.
I want to be able to do more.
I want to be able to help the women I work with more.
One of the things which has hit me quite by surprise is how much I genuinely want to help and support the women I work with, not only with their running, but more generally with their health and happiness.
The past 2 years I have run a Too Fat to Run retreat, and one of the things that I have learned from these wonderful women is that health and happiness is not to do with how far or fast you can run, or what size jeans you wear…it is so much more complex than that, and is wrapped up in so much history, lifestyle and worthiness elements.
I have become such an advocate for women and really do want to help women to overcome the challenges so many of us face in life and truly pursue lives that inspire and excite us.
So the next step for me is I am starting to offer Life Coaching as part of my portfolio of services, it feels like the next step, seeing as I am doing more and more speaking and influencing through my writing.
This isn’t a completely alien concept…I have been coaching, mentoring and supporting people for as long as I can remember, in each and every one of my previous jobs…but this time round I am super excited because the topics I will be exploring women light me up completely
The 3 pillars of all round wellbeing in my opinion. Each impacting so significantly on the other.
Next week is the last week to sign up for the September Living a Bigger Life programme where we have just 14 places left, and to get people in the mood and thinking about some of the issues we are going to be facing all of next week I am going to be running Facebook Lives covering different topics
- Monday 9pm…5 ways to live a bigger life NOW
- Wednesday 9pm…3 F words that are stopping you from reaching your goals
- Friday 9pm…What is a mastermind and why should you join one?
I really hope you can tune in over at www.facebook.com/thefatgirlsguidetorunning and get involved, as these are not just about selling places on my new coaching programme, but celebrating how far I have come in these last 7 years.
I’d like to thank each and every one of you who has read one of my posts. It has been an incredible journey and I am only just getting started.
Here’s to the next 7 years
Places on my Living Bigger Lives mastermind are currently reduced to £359 and will be much more in January when we recruit participants for our second one. Check out the link below for more details, including what you get and ways to split the cost.
PS. The picture at the top of the post was the first picture I ever used on the blog. For the first 12 months at least I was completely anonymous and didn’t post my picture. In part this was about fear of being ridiculed and laughed at, but it was also about fear of standing up and being scene.