This is a story about Hannah Wetz and what led her to take on the Fairlands Valley Challenge and fundraise for Weight Concern.
I’m having a “fat day.”
It’s totally irrational. All day I’ve been feeling glum and to get through it I’ve tucked into some peanut butter cups and one, two, three, et cetera, bowls of cereal. It’s a typical routine, frustrating and depressing as it reminds me of a daily routine 18 months ago, before I took my weight and health in hand and started apply my dreams of a cleansed, active body. So I’m slumped in my bed watching iPlayer, looking at my body which has morphed into a whale, and decide to sign up to the London 10km race, happening in 8 weeks’ time, and while I’m at it, the Fairlands Valley Challenge 12.3 mile run in 9 weeks.
…It has been nine weeks since my “fat day” and 48 hours since I crossed the finish line at 12.3 miles. It wasn’t the most jubilant finish: My leg muscles were decisively stiff, my ankles not feeling great having stuck loyally to running in my old Reebok hi-tops, and having felt ready to finish for the last four miles. But I crossed the finish line, and I had run the entire route except for orientation at a few points along the cross-country way.
Indeed, I did the run with one of my dearest and oldest school friends, Kate. At school, we had accompanied each other for our crisps and chocolate feasts, and shared the opinion that long-distance running just isn’t for some people. Now, we have lost nearly 8 stones between us (Kate, 5, me, 3) and ran just short of a marathon. About a mile before the end, Kate took the map and really went for it, finishing a few minutes before me. I had time to think about what we had almost done. I was surprised – never thinking that we would be willingly taking part in a cross-country run - and very proud. Rather than not caring about food or exercise, being overweight forced food to rule my life. Everything was a reason for eating, an excuse for eating so much; laziness was a result of being easily worn out, or not finding time between meals to get things done. Isn’t it awful how hard we have to try to eat natural foods that we have evolved to eat? The superbrands and supermarkets and super-economies want to kill us…or at least make us lazy or incompetent enough to avoid making the most obvious decision about food. Which is better for our bodies to function: A snickers, or some fruit and nuts - not sugared or crystallised or salted or honeyed or roasted! The real stuff! The stuff that we ate to survive the ages! See now, the realisation of this blatant fact clicked, and here I am, at a healthy weight and not even thinking about excuses to eat food. The 12 miles were certainly a challenge, but eating normally needn’t be. It’s something we must do in order to survive and of course, to enjoy life (eating is so much more fun when you’re not doing it all the time!).
I wanted to support Weight Concern because obesity is an awful epidemic that is seizing much of the western world, which tries to give us what we want right here, right now, not what we really crave, which is to optimally function as human beings. The most satisfaction is to be and do what you want to do each day, not think about what that is over a chicken korma. Each person that is saved from the tempting lure of obesity is worth running 12 miles for. So, perhaps, if you’re having a fat-day too, try mooching around online for a local run…
Hannah raised a fantastic £260 for Weight Concern. A big thank you to all who sponsored her and to Hannah for deciding to raise money for Weight Concern.