This morning BM and I took part in the Tees Barrage Parkrun. I have run here before but this time was different. Local Slimming World groups in association with Cancer Research UK came out in force to take part. A fundraising event for the additional runners or walkers, arranged alongside the local Parkrun volunteers. A huge turnout for a very special collaboration.
My Slimming World Journey
Those of you following my blog know that I don’t talk about my running journey in the context of weight loss. This is because my running isn’t for the sole purpose of dropping pounds but more about finding my sanity in the crazy world of monkey juggling. However, in light of today’s event I thought I should tell you a little about what Slimming World means to me. I have been a member for approximately 15 years. It has been an organisation I have always returned to whenever I have struggled with my weight. The reason for this has been the support.
I have always been lucky to have had great consultants who have helped me, sometimes unknown to them, with some major events throughout my adult life. Everything from leaving an abusive relationship, preparing for a wedding and three pregnancies. Currently it is my one night out a week just for me. However sad that might sound, but put it into context, it’s a night off from the bedtime routine. Everyone knows it is my night out, no question. BM has been coming with me since she was a week old and there is always a friendly pair of arms ready to cuddle and play with her so that I can have a cuppa and a chat.
Part of a winning team
Soon BM won’t be coming anymore which is ok. A night out which is totally for me. A night to focus and talk about how I have felt that week. Not just about my weight and food, but my running achievements, any nightmares I have had with the monkeys and how I have coped. A place to unload some baggage and find a positive solution. Each member given time to speak and be heard. Over the years that I have attended Slimming World, I have come to appreciate more and more the importance of this support. I’ve spoken before about my team. I would put my Slimming World group in my team any day of the week.
Good health, wether it is mental health or physical health, Slimming World offers support for both. The inclusiveness of a room of likeminded people, sharing the same goal for different reasons. Supporting each other through losses, gains or maintains. Offering support to one another individually or part of the group. It’s not just about healthy eating but about healthy relationships, with both yourself and others. I’ve made friendships through Slimming World that I know will last many years.
Today at the Tees Barage Park run, many new participants stood on the start line, this was their first experience of Parkrun. Many of them surprised that the event is free and held every week without fail. No pressure to run the course but an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, much like Slimming World, was provided. All ages and abilities represented, very much like my recent Race for Life.
The result of this collaboration? Money raised for a charity whose purpose touches us all; an awareness of a weekly event whose purpose is to encourage motivation for regular exercises and; a coming together of groups of people wanting to improve their health and lives. A win, win, win all round. Sometimes it is just better to bring people and ideas together. Together you can achieve your goals.