By Brianne, Foot Tools token brunette and “former fat chick”
When customers come into Foot Tools and talk to me, I can tell at first that for some, they are intimidated. They are intimidated by the store, even though we are small, and they are intimidated by the staff. Some customers are quick to point out that they aren’t very fast or that they are just getting into running or walking or working out to make a change. I can tell they aren’t comfortable sharing their story because they don’t want to be judged. Some will even look at me and say, “I’m not an athlete like you.”
Let’s be honest – I don’t really think of myself as an “athlete”. I never have. I have no aspirations of winning any races in the near and far future, nor do I harbour any illusions that Nike or Saucony will be knocking on my door looking to sponsor me because I am so amazing. I run because I love it – I work out my stress, I feel free of obligations and worry, and I enjoy the “me” time, even when I’m running with other people. Same goes for Crossfit – I feel powerful even if I’m lifting the lightest amount of weight, I feel strong even when I can’t do a pull-up without the red band, and the smallest achievements, like climbing a rope or doing a hand stand, can make my week. Of course, I attempt to explain this, because I don’t want them to be so down on themselves, which sometimes make them feel a little better and then they relax. Those that are trying to make a change such as weight loss, however, still look at me and say, “But look at you! You can run and you can lift weights…I can barely bend over to tie up my shoes.”
That’s when I know it’s time I let them in on a little secret…
I’m 5’4″, I weigh a solid 145 lbs, and I’m proud of it. But I wasn’t always like this – I used to weigh almost 250lbs and (true story) I could drink an entire 24 pack of beer in a night.
It’s a really long story about how I lost over 100 lbs but it doesn’t involve any super crazy diets or pills or surgery. I didn’t drink miracle shakes and miraculously lose 10 pounds in 2 days, which of course is super healthy and obviously that weight will never come back! Nope…I lost over 100 lbs the slow and boring way of becoming more physically active and slowly changing how I ate. It took me almost 7 years, which I know is extremely encouraging. But I did it, and by now, those skeptical customers are finally feeling comfortable and confident in their decision to make a change, because they are now seeing someone in the flesh who can prove to them it is possible.
Individual staff here at Foot Tools will each be blogging every once in a while about their experiences and their interests. We all have stories to tell, ones that our customers and clients can identify with in their own way. We have a track star; a long distance junkie who just raced in the Great Canadian Death Race; someone who blew 20-somethings out of the water at races when she was in her 40s and 50s; an amazing crossfitter who recently returned from the World Crossfit Games in California; a guy who can give you tips that you should listen to if you want to get faster; and then you have me, that former fat chick who wants to help you make a difference in your life.
So keep reading and get to know us here at Foot Tools. We aren’t scary and intimidating – we’re just like you.