Murphy Runs talks about her physical and mental transformation.
The photos you see here are a comparison of me in 2017 (left) and me now, in 2020 (right).
Arguably, the changes are not that noticeable. My hair colour has changed and my legs are now much more toned, but my physical transformation is not as drastic as you may see advertised by weight loss companies.
That’s because the biggest change between these two photos is one you cannot physically see.
The photo from 2017 is just before I started running properly. I am standing in a theme park on a roasting hot day.
I remember the dread that rushed through me that morning when I realised that I would stand out like a sore thumb if I refused to wear shorts and a vest on that hot summer day.
I spent the entire day worrying about how my legs appeared and analysing each photo taken of me to see how ‘fat’ I looked, rather than enjoying the day.
The girl in that photo felt ashamed, constantly anxious about her appearance and therefore used exercise once in a blue moon in the hope that it would change my body.
The girl on the right in this photo is a completely different person. One that is body confident and values mental health, physical health, and strength over aesthetics.
Through running, I learnt to exercise only to improve how I felt, not how I look.
By signing up to my first race, I forced myself to be consistent with my running and set myself goals.
I remember how strong and fit I felt after my first 10km run.
After my first 20-mile run, I remember thinking that I could face anything.
I stopped chasing those aesthetic goals that actually meant nothing to anyone. Very soon, I even forgot about them.
By choosing to exercise for my mind, physical changes very slowly started to follow.
Of course, for me, that was a small bonus, but never again will it be my goal.
A Kim-K bum won’t make you happy – but that Saturday morning 5km run? That will!
Follow Anastasia’s running adventures on Instagram @MurphyRuns