The Northern Runner
Paws For Thought
I battled with a series of eating disorders during my teens. I would either starve myself, or I would binge on food and then purge. Controlling what I ate helped me cope with feelings of inadequacy. I also became dependent on alcohol. By the time I reached my mid-twenties, excessive drinking had bloated my figure, and purging had made my face look swollen. I wasn’t overweight; but I was disproportioned.
I came to South Africa to treat my alcohol addiction. Once I had adopted regular eating patterns and cut out alcohol, I started to lose weight quickly.
Initially I couldn’t find a balance between eating and listening to my body. For as long as I could remember, I had been swaying from one extreme to the other.
After two months of sobriety, I took up running to improve my health. I’ve always had a special relationship with running: when I was young, I broke course records in short-distance races at school.
When I ran, I rediscovered my love for nature, and the alone time running afforded me – and most importantly, I began to love myself. The start of a run is always tough; but once I gain momentum, I feel like I can go on forever.
It all boils down to balance: I’m the kind of person who, if I were to look at running as a competition or a goal, then I would go to extreme lengths to reach that goal. For me, running is more a journey than something that has a start and a finish line. Why would I want to run the risk of becoming disheartened, and giving up something I love?
Adopting a sustainable routine has made my life easier; not only mentally, but also physically. Running helps me to feel comfortable in my own skin, to eat more healthily, to perform better – and when the endorphins kick in, it makes my day! – AS TOLD TO LISA ABDELLAH
RUNNING HELPS ME TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN, TO EAT MORE HEALTHILY, TO PERFORM BETTER...