Done with Dieting Episode #72: Learning to Love Running with Jill Angie

Learning to Love Running

An episode for beginner runners.

I hear it all the time! “I just don’t like running!”

I get it. I used to feel that way too.

But if running is available to you and you want to do it, there are huge benefits to developing a running habit: it’s relatively inexpensive to get into; it’s something you can do either by yourself or with a friend or two; you can pretty much do it anywhere; and at any time of the day.

My guest on today’s podcast shares such incredible information, like how to keep yourself motivated even if the climate you live in gets in your way of being a year-round runner, what to look for & pay attention to with gear, and how to start your running practice if you’re a complete beginner.

About Jill Angie:

Jill Angie is the founder and Head Rebel of Not Your Average Runner. When I first started running over 20 years ago, all I wanted to do was burn calories and lose weight. And I hated every minute of it. It felt like punishment and I was always frustrated and disappointed.

In 2009 I decided to stop thinking about running as a means to an end and started using it as a tool to build up my strength and confidence. That mental shift got me through all the times when running wasn’t easy (and there were a lot of those times)!

I became a triathlete. I ran half marathons. I became a personal trainer with my own studio. And I noticed that as vast as the running community was, there weren’t a lot of people out there who looked like me.

I knew how awesome running made me feel, and I wanted to help other women like me get the same benefit – not just improved fitness, but increased self-confidence and self-love.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What you’ll Learn from this Episode

  • How to start running so that it’s easier on your joints and you’ll enjoy it more.
  • What it means to be a runner (it’s probably not what you think) and how to make running work for you.
  • How the right gear can totally change your experience with running & what you want to invest in.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Are you someone who hates running? My guest today on the done with dieting podcast would guarantee that if you hate running, you just haven’t been taught how to do it right. And she has the answer for you.

So, if you’re interested in running, stay tuned.

You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women in midlife, who are done with dieting, but still want to lose weight and feel good in your clothes. You know that diets don’t work long term. But you feel like there’s this secret that everyone else knows that you just haven’t figured it out yet.

I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman. And I’ve helped hundreds of women get off the diet roller coaster change their relationship with food, exercise, and their bodies. Through this podcast, my goal is to help you too.

Welcome. Let’s get started.

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the done with dieting podcast. I am Elizabeth Sherman, your host.

Now, before we get started with today’s podcast, there’s one thing that I just want to put on your mental radar. And that is that on July 11th, the doors for the next cohort of the Feel Good Sisterhood are going to be open.

So, if that’s something that’s been on your mental wish list, I’m going to invite you to join the wait list. People who join the wait list are going to get early access to not only get in the program but get the materials and start working on it. If this is something that’s on your to-do list, if you want to be done with dieting forever and never ever go on a diet again, this is the program for you.

All you need to do to sign up to get on the wait list is to go to and enter in your details. And you will get all of the information that you need in order to make the best decision for you.

Now, today I have a special guest for you. I have Jill Angie on our podcast, and she is the podcast host of not your average runner. Jill and I recently met in the Advanced Certification of Feminist Coaching. And immediately when I met her, I knew I needed to have her on the podcast because she is a running coach for plus size women.

And I know that I have so many folks who are listening to me, who fit that bill. And even if you’re not a plus size woman, Jill has so many amazing tips and strategies for you that you’re going to learn in today’s podcast.

So, be aware that so many of us have a love, hate relationship with running. I know that I don’t love when I’m running, but I love the way that I feel afterwards. And Jill totally identified with that.

If you’re someone who wants to start running, she’s got some really amazing tips and I can’t wait for you to learn from her. So, without further ado, let’s get on with the interview.

Elizabeth: All right everyone, welcome Jill Angie to the show. Jill, I am so excited to have you here today.

Jill: Thank you so excited to be here.

Elizabeth: Jill, you are a running coach, tell us exactly what you do, who you help and yeah, all of that.

Jill: Okay. So, I help plus size women who have never felt athletic, start running so that they can build confidence in themselves, so they can feel empowered and just kind of I don’t know, like it’s sort of a ramp up their lives. Like, there’s something about running that sort of infiltrates everywhere else.

But I specifically like to help plus-size women start running because I think the fitness industry really gives us a stereotype of what runners look like. And I’m on a mission to make running more accessible to everybody.

So, I have a way of teaching running that is awesome for a plus size people of which I am one. And also great for women who are maybe over 40, 50, or even over 60 who want to get started and running.

So, I feel like that serves us to the demographic of women who aren’t really served by the current running industry. And so, I’ve decided to help those folks get started.

Elizabeth: Yeah. I love that because when we think about a runner or someone who is fit, we think about someone who is quote unquote slender. What I loved in my running journey and when I was working in groups is that runners are all sizes. So, I love that you’re serving that here.

Jill: Yeah, for sure. And I find that running is almost more rewarding to somebody who is plus size because they’ve been told their whole life, they can’t do it. So, to find a way to do it is it’s more than just like, oh, I feel good after I run. It’s like, wow, I didn’t think I could do that, and I can. I wonder what else I can do.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, how did you get started in this?

Jill: Oh, my God. It’s a long story. I’ve actually been a runner; I did the math the other day. And I think it’s about 25 years, maybe even 26 years. But when I first started running, I’ve been plus-sized basically since I was in college. So, when I first started running, I was plus-sized and in my late twenties and I thought, okay, running is going to help me lose weight.

So, I’m going to run, but I’m fat and I don’t want anybody to see me. So, I would wear these really big baggy. I would go to the Nike outdoor store near me and buy these huge men’s t-shirts that like practically hung down to my knees. And I’d run after dark because I didn’t want anybody to see me. And fortunately, I lived in a neighborhood where it was fairly safe to run after dark.

And I did that for a while, and I didn’t lose any weight. But I did find that right running made me actually feel pretty good and made me feel mentally stronger. But I was still doing it in secret for a while until somebody that I worked with found out.

So, somebody in my neighborhood that I worked with told somebody else, and long story short I’m at work one day and this woman came up to me and she said, I just want you to know, I know what you’re doing and you’re my hero.

And I’m like, wait, what? She’s like, I could never do that, or I never thought I could do that. And hearing that you’re running while you’re plus size, it means a lot to me, and it’s inspired me to try as well. I think I filed that away as like, oh, that’s good to know. But then that built my confidence a little bit, so then I started running in the daytime.

Elizabeth: It was like you’re outed as a runner.

Jill: I was outed. I was like, all right, I guess I got to run in the daytime. But I did a 5k and I enjoyed it. So, over the years I played around with running and so forth and then. I think towards, I don’t know, I was like heading into my forties and realizing I was so not happy with my work life, and I had a great career.

I was just like; this is not what I was put on the planet to do. And I started thinking about different things I could do besides that. And I started thinking like, Hey, maybe I could help plus size women get fit, build confidence. And I actually started out as a personal trainer. I opened a small studio and that was going really well.

But then, I wrote this book about how to be a runner when you’re plus size and the reaction and the response to it was almost overwhelming. Like I was getting emails from people saying, oh my gosh, I had no idea. Thank you for writing this book.

And I thought, oh, that’s it. That’s the thing I need to be doing. And that was about 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve built the business up from then. And I think my signature course, which is called up and running, I think about 2500 women have taken that course so far, which kind of blows my mind. So, then I’m like, Ooh, maybe I could help a million women start running. So, that’s the new goal?

Elizabeth: That’s your goal having a million.

Jill: 2500 down, yeah.

Elizabeth: That’s amazing.

Jill: 997,500 lefts ago.

Elizabeth: Oh my God, that’s fantastic. I love that. And it’s so interesting from what you just said, our stories are actually somewhat parallel. I did the same thing. I started off as a personal trainer and then moved into nutrition then life coaching.

Jill: Oh, that’s so fun.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And I think that we also have birthdays in November, in the 1960s.

Jill: Yes, we do. I love that. The late sixties. It was a great time for November birthdays. All the people I know that were born in the sixties in November are just spectacular humans.

Elizabeth: So, what you say to women who say that they don’t like to run? I think that when I started running, I really didn’t like it, but I did it for the same reason that you did which was to try to control my weight. How do you help people who say, I don’t like to run.

Jill: Well, first I tell them like, you haven’t run my way.

Elizabeth: Oh, okay. Cool.

Jill: So, I teach running in a way that is a little bit different. And so, I have a slightly different running form that I teach. I call it corgi running. And it’s basically at somewhat of a shortened stride so that you’re not like putting a lot of stress on your joints. And then, also I teach people to do the run -walk method, which is you run for a bit, and you walk for a bit.

And I work with my clients to figure out individually for them, what is the best ratio of running to walking for them. Because for some people, it might be running for five minutes and walking for a minute. For somebody else, it might be running for 30 seconds and walking for a minute.

In my mind, the run-walk method is just one way to be a runner but it’s a way that can help somebody who is plus size or new to running, or older, or maybe has a little bit of joint pain going on. It can help that person access the sport and do 5Ks, 10Ks, like whatever they want to do. I mean, a lot of my clients that do run-walk intervals have done marathons and ultra-marathons and an in plus size bodies.

So, it unlocks running for a lot of people. That’s it. Like, if somebody says I hate running, I’m like, oh, you just haven’t done it my way. That’s all.

Elizabeth: Well, yeah. And I think also that once you see the success in running, it’s inspiring, right? That I cannot like running. And I do-do some running today, and I don’t love it when I’m doing it, but I love the way I feel after I do it. And it’s also self -referencing that I feel good after and I’m proud of myself.

Jill: Yeah, for sure. Actually, I just did a podcast about this because a lot of humans struggle with staying motivated. And they’re like, I know that I should be running, or we have that like, I should be doing this or whatever.

But I just don’t feel like it right now too tired or whatever. And I always say, just think about the instant gratification of the endorphins because there’s this misconception that a runner’s high means, while you’re running, you feel high.

Absolutely, not how it works for probably 99.9% of people. Most of us, we go for a run, and it feels a little uncomfortable in the beginning. And then, maybe you get to a part where it feels not the worst. And then, when you stop, you get this flood of endorphins which is the body’s response to stress and pain. And endorphins are in the same chemical classes, opiates.

So, it does have this sort of euphoric feeling afterwards. And so, I’m like, if you’re struggling to stay motivated, just be like, listen, I need a little euphoria and all I got to do is run for 30 minutes.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, one of the things that I teach my clients, I have this tool that I call a body scan. And what you do is you just scan your body and check in with yourself like, what’s happening with my eyes, or my ears, or my mouth, or what’s going on. And so, I recommend that after they’ve exercised the very first time, because the first time is always the hardest.

And so, after you exercise the first time, do a body scan, and notice how you feel. Because then, you can talk yourself into it knowing that the discomfort of getting out there and doing the thing is going to pay off afterwards with the pleasure of how you feel afterwards.

Yeah. Oh, I love that because you really can scan and say, oh, my legs feel so energized. Maybe you just got this warm, relaxed feeling throughout your body and to really go body part by body part. I absolutely love that idea. That’s great.

Elizabeth: Yeah. I remember when I started running, I went to the running store, and they fit me with these shoes. And I don’t even remember what I was using before. I think I was just like had some Nike’s that I had purchased it, like the basic sports store.

And I knew that I needed to get some proper running shoes and I went to this place, and it was a new balance store and they put me on these shoes that honestly felt like, I was running in combat boots. This cannot be right.

And so, then I went to another store, actual running store and they’re like, oh yeah, you have like stability control shoes. You really don’t need those; you need these other ones. So, let’s talk about the proper gear that a new runner needs in order to feel good when they actually run.

Jill: Yeah. And I love that you talked about shoes because good shoes and a good sports bra are absolute must haves. I have a lot of recommendations for both but basically with shoes. The wrong shoes can cause you pain. They can be hard to run in. They can cause blisters, but they can also shift your gait and your foot strike such that you actually end up getting injured.

So, actually going to a running store and getting fitted for running shoes, where they measure your feet and maybe even watch you run barefoot on a treadmill. So, they can see what your natural, whether you’re a pronator, under pronator, overpronator, and so forth is super important.

And then, going to a store also where you can talk to them about, this is the type of running that I’m doing. I’m a new runner, or I’m training for a marathon, or whatever it is. And have them give you recommendations. And then, let you bring the shoes back after a couple of runs if they don’t work out.

I think that’s super important. Most running stores will let you exchange, cause that’s a thing that folks tend to say, well, I don’t really want to spend $150 on running shoes if I can’t return them. Like, you can almost always return it, but definitely ask first.

But getting fitted is probably the most important thing that you’ll do as a runner. Especially, if you’re having pain or discomfort, it’s probably your shoes.

But then a sports bra, oh, my goodness. And I see a lot of women they’re like, I’m just going to wear two sports bras to keep. I’m like, no, just get one that works. My absolute all-time favorite sports bra is by a company called enell, E N E L L. And I’m a 42H. Like, I have really big boobs, especially for a runner. And the enell bra keeps everything just strapped down and motionless.

So, highly recommend the enell. Actually, I have a free shipping code if anybody wants it, Jill ship, you can put that interview if you buy it on their website. But regardless, enell is the one that I recommend. There are other bras out there that I think, if you’re a D cup bra higher, you need like the highest motion rated bra.

But if you’re like maybe a B cup, you can get away with something like a shefit or a knix. Lane Bryant actually has a good line of sports bras as well. So, I would say like C cup, B cup, or smaller you don’t necessarily need the motion control bra.

If you’re a D cup or higher, please get a motion control bra, because it’s going to make things so much more comfortable for you. It’s not just like the discomfort of the bouncing, but if your boobs aren’t bouncing around, like it’s going to change how you run. And then again, you might end up getting injured because you’re like not running with a natural gait.

So, those are the two biggest things. But then, I also recommend wearing tights and a lot of my clients when they first come to me, I’m like, listen, I’m going to put you in some spandex. And they’re like, no, no, no, nobody needs to see that. And I’m like, all right, that’s a whole other thing.

But when you wear spandex, or light gear, or some sort of like stretchy tights, it cuts down on chafing. It keeps the jiggle under control, right? If you’re overweight and you’ve got like a belly or a butt, like I’ve got both. And if I try to run in just yoga pants like everything’s bouncing and it’s really uncomfortable.

So, spandex with a little bit of compression will definitely make you more comfortable, cut down on chafing, and that’s what runners wear. So, also you get to feel like a runner. Those are like my top three tips for getting gear.

Elizabeth: Yeah. I love that because I even get chafing around like between my thighs, if I’m not wearing the right gear. And what you said about the movement, even if my hair is like in a loose ponytail, if it’s bouncing around, it drives me nuts.

So, I totally get that. Good tips. And I was thinking about it like when I first started running, there really wasn’t a lot of tech gear. Like I was doing what you were doing, which was like wearing the race t-shirts, the cotton t-shirts. And those are the worst for running because they’re heavy and they’re hot. But yeah, getting some good, like breathable wear or tech gear is helpful too.

Jill: And tech here comes in all kinds of sizes now like, you can go to Target or Old Navy, like you don’t have to spend a ton of money. You can spend a ton of money and there’s like definitely some companies out there that are making amazing gear at a higher price point, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Like, you can go get a decent pair of running tights at Old Navy for 25 bucks. And the quality will be fine.

But if I look at Lululemon and Athleta, they’re making things in the sizes up to a three X, like they could do better but it’s an improvement and it’s like they’re good stuff too. It’s not like some like crappy. Oh, this is just for the plus sized people. It’s basically all their gear is now available in sizes up to three X.

There’s a company called Super Fit Hero, they make tights in sizes up to a 6X and they are my favorite hands down, my favorite running tights. They’re absolutely amazing. They’re more expensive, but they’re super durable.

And then, there’s another company called Skirts Sports that I absolutely love. They make running skirts that have tights underneath. So, if you’re somebody who’s like maybe wants to be a little bit more modest or like, Hey, I want to be super fashionable. When I run, skirt sports has like lots of really cute gear, and they go up to a 3X as well.

Elizabeth: Oh, super cute. Yeah. I love having running skirts. I haven’t had one in a while. But yeah, love that. Awesome. And I will try to put all of these companies in the show notes. I hope I don’t miss any, but if I do, I apologize.

Jill: I’ll send you the links.

Elizabeth: Perfect. So, yeah. Backing up a little bit, you are very specific, I don’t want to say open up but so many don’t define themselves as runners. Who do you define as a runner?

Jill: Anybody who runs. And I think that’s such a great question because a lot of my folks come to me and they say, I can’t call myself a runner because I do the run-walk method. I’m like, the word run is in that. But they’ll say, I’m more of a wagger. And I’m like, what the F is a wagger. It’s like somebody who walks in jogs. I’m like, please don’t call yourself a wagger.

That’s just sounds weird. Like you’re a runner. If you run, you’re a runner and whether you’ve just gone on your first couple of runs or whether you’ve been doing it for 20 years. When you call yourself a runner, you enter into this community of people that is really supportive and happy because they’re full of endorphins.

Yeah, I define anybody as a runner who runs sometimes. And even if you’re injured and taking time off for running to heal, I’ve had people say, I’m not a runner right now. I’m like, no, no, you wouldn’t say, I’m not a walker right now because you’re not actually walking at the moment. You’re a runner whether you are actively running at the moment or not.

Elizabeth: And I think that that goes into seasonal running, right? So, I live in a warm part of the world and it’s difficult for me to run during the summer months when it’s hot. I know that there are people who love to run in the heat, I don’t understand that.

Jill: I don’t either.

Elizabeth: But you live in a very cold part of the world and not a very cold part but in the winter, I’m sure it’s more difficult to keep up your running. So, right?

Jill: For me, I live in Philadelphia, so we get in the nineties in the summer, but then it’ll be like on the chiles. For me, I’m originally from Western New York. So, I’m kind of like, listen, unless it’s below zero, it’s not actually that bad.

But yeah, if there’s a lot of snow on the ground and so forth, that can be like a physical impediment to running and you definitely need to dress a little bit differently. And the same goes for the summer, if you’re in the Southern part of the U S, or below, and you’re in Mexico, right? It’s like hundred degrees on the regular, there’s a lot of different ways you can think about it.

So, some folks are like, I’m going to run outside no matter what all year long. And I’m just going to get the gear and figure out how to make it happen. And that’s totally an option. You could also say, Hey, I have a season when I run, and then a season when I don’t run, and I do other things.

And that’s totally an option. Or you could say, well, during this season, I run outside and during this other season, I either have a treadmill, or I belong to a gym, and I can run on that, or I find an indoor track, or whatever.

So, there’s space for all of it whatever works for you. But I know plenty of runners who they’re like, I run nine months out of the year. And then, I just don’t run in December, January, and February cause I don’t want to deal with the snow and the ice. And I spend that time working on my strength training. That’s totally, legit.

Elizabeth: I love that because so many of us are all or nothing. We’re like, oh, I have to be running every week, otherwise I’m not considered a runner. And if I fall off of it, then I’m just never going to do it again because I fell off, I got out of my routine, right?

Jill: Yeah.

Elizabeth: That just doesn’t help anyway.

Jill: Yeah. We think, if I’m going to be consistent, I have to do it at a hundred percent. And it’s like, no consistency is perfection or two different words.

Elizabeth: That’s a really good point. Yeah, what is consistent?

Jill: I say, you get to define it for yourself. Like to me, consistently is doing it more often than not doing it. Technically, that’s 51% of the time. And I feel like somebody who is a consistent runner, even if they just define consistency as half the time or more 60% of the time. It’s going to get way more results than somebody who’s like, perfect at it for three weeks and then misses a workout cause their alarm didn’t go off.

And then, they’re like, well, that’s it. And then, they do nothing for six weeks. Whereas if instead of running three times a week, you say I’m going to run two times a week, that’s my level of consistency. You give yourself a lot more space to just make it fit into your routine and your lifestyle.

And so, yeah. To me, consistency is like doing it more often than not. And then, that’s when you actually get results versus, I’m perfect for two weeks, and then I quit for six weeks, and then I’m perfect again for two weeks. That’s not how you make progress.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, let’s talk about progress for a little bit. I know that so many people are like, okay, I’m going to start running. Even though, I haven’t run in six months, or a year, or five years, I’m going to run 30 minutes every day for the next week. I love it that you’re laughing.

Jill: I have heard this before.

Elizabeth: So, how do we start? How do we progress?

Jill: Yeah. So, I say start out doing way less than you think you can do and just see what happens. Sometimes we get so excited that it overrules our bodies, and we just say, well, I’m out for my first run and I have 20 minutes in, I feel really good. So, I’m going to do it for two hours, and then we can come back, and we can’t walk for a week.

So, I always say, do less than you think you can do. And then, wait a couple of days. And then, go out and maybe do a little bit more, and then wait a couple of days. And it’s like, you’re chomping at the bit thinking, well, my motivation is high, so I need to take advantage of it.

But motivation is like the weather. It’s not like a sunny day and we’re like, oh, we need to go outside cause it’s a sunny day. We create motivation with our thinking. And so, that means it’s actually accessible to you at any point in time. And there’s actually nothing more demotivating than getting injured because you overdid it.

So, motivation is not a finite resource. And if you’re thinking like, I got to do all the things right now when I’m excited about it. Like just slow your roll, figure out ways to stay excited over the long-term which will come if you ease back into it.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And one thing that I talk about is that there are a lot of other emotions that we can use other than motivation in order to get the job done, right?

Jill: Yeah.

Elizabeth: This is just what I do. This is like commitment. This is determination. This is discipline.

Jill: Yes, exactly. Motivation is actually not necessary for running.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Jill: There’s plenty of other desire like what we talked about earlier, the desire to have the physical sensations that you’re going to have after you’ve done your running. Even that is something that moves us forward.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And what I just was thinking about was bad runs. So, we’re all going to have bad runs, right? Using that against us to say, oh, well, this isn’t meant to be like, how do you talk about bad runs with your client?

Jill: Well, first of all, everybody’s going to have bad runs and it doesn’t mean that anything has gone horribly wrong. When you have a bad day, you don’t say, well, obviously I’m doing life wrong. That’s it, I’m out. Right? We don’t say that. We’re like, I just had a bad day. I hope tomorrow gets a little bit better. I wonder what I can do to make tomorrow a little bit better.

So, there are going to be sometimes when you just have a crappy run and that’s just it. But I do like to do a little detective work and say, okay, let’s talk about how you’ve been sleeping for the past week. Let’s talk about how much water you’ve been drinking, what kind of foods you’ve been eating, how much alcohol you may have had, what other activities you were doing.

And Hey, maybe you had an injury coming along that just been developing and you haven’t been noticing it until today. Maybe you’re really stressed out. And also, maybe you just had a bad run. But I do like sometimes we do a little bit of detective work.

I had one client that came to me, and she’s a physician. She lives in a really small town in North Carolina. And so, she’s the only doctor and she tends to work like 12 to 14 hour shifts. And she’s like super committed to her patients. And I think she was training for a marathon.

She came home from work one day, she got home at 11 o’clock and she went out to do her very long training run after having been at work since probably nine o’clock that morning. And she came to me on a coaching call and said, I don’t know, my run yesterday was awful.

I think that I’m doing something wrong and I’m like, well, let’s talk about it. What time did you run? 11 o’clock at night. I’m like, okay, well, that’s an unusual time for you to be running. Why? Well, I had to work an 18 hour shift. I’m like, oh, okay. So, you worked 18 hours, and then you came home, and then 11 o’clock at night when you normally are sleeping, you decided to go out and run time off. Yeah.

I’m like, what was the rest of your week? Well, I’ve been working really long shifts all week, so I haven’t really been running all week. And so, I thought it was just going to get it all in at once. And I’m like, actually, I don’t think you had a bad run. I think all things considered you probably just had an amazing run.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

Jill: Given the circumstances. So, I think that it’s really important to just look at all the factors and not just immediately blame yourself as being a terrible runner because 99% of the time, it’s not. It’s really something that you can point to and say, oh, all right, this is exactly why that happened.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And so, do you talk to your clients about nutrition? Like pre-run nutrition, post run nutrition, all that stuff.

Jill: Because I work mostly with plus size women, I tend to stay away from talking about what to eat in to specific of terms because a lot of plus size people have a little bit of PTSD from the diet industry. And I know you probably have a lot of people that come to you like that as well.

So, I’ll give them suggestions on all right, after you finished your run within 30 minutes, I want you to eat something with protein in it. And if you’re going to be running more than say four or five miles, I suggest you bring along an easily digestible carbohydrate type of food to feed yourself every 30 minutes or so.

But beyond that, I really don’t. I think the more important thing is for you to pay attention to what you’re eating and then pay attention to how you feel afterwards. And what your run is like the next day cause I know if I have an entire pizza on Friday night and like a couple of beers, my Saturday morning run is going to feel different than if I had something less pizza like.

I said, I don’t want to call it a bad food cause I don’t believe that there’s any bad foods. But there are certain foods that enhance our performance and certain foods that don’t. And so, I think for me, that’s what I really encourage my folks to do is to just pay attention, and then make their decisions based on how they want to feel on their upcoming training.

And sometimes you’re like, you know what? I have this pizza and I know my run tomorrow is going to suck and I’m okay with it.

Elizabeth: Absolutely. Yes, exactly. You go into it knowing the consequences of your actions and it’s not a surprise. Then, the next day when you’re like, oh, I have a shitty run. I wonder why.

But going back to the pre-workout nutrition, I guess what I find with so many is that it’s different for everybody. And there are guidelines that say you should never run fasted, but some people are feel better when they run fasted.

Jill: Yes. I actually don’t eat before I go for a run because it does not feel good. I need at least six hours of digestion time between a meal and running. So, for me, it’s much easier to just eat the night before, and then get up, and go and run in the morning. Unless it’s like a half marathon or something in which case, yeah, I might have a granola bar or something. But it’s still it won’t be a ton.

And I’ve tried a lot of those pre-workout powders, I’ve found zero difference. And it’s actually, I don’t do caffeine. So, caffeine does not resonate well in my body. And it’s really hard to find pre-workout powders and drinks and stuff that don’t have it. So, I just avoid that stuff.

But then, I have clients who use it and swear by it. Like you said, everyone’s different.

Elizabeth: Yeah, everyone’s different. And so, yeah, you just need to figure out what works best for you and your body.

Jill: I think that’s it. It’s a lot of experimentation without judgment. Just say, when I eat this, when I drink this, this is what happens. And just leave that as the circumstance. And make your decision from there rather than being like, oh, I can’t believe I did that again. That’s not helpful at all.

The thing I’d like to leave folks with is just give it a try and see if you can make running work for you. Because it’s definitely not for everybody, there are some people that maybe that they have literal physical limitations, right? Like, they’ve got like a torn ACL or they’ve got some sort of like physical situation that actually does prevent them from running, and that’s fine.

But if you don’t, I suggest just giving it a try. And try it with the intervals, try the run-walk interval method. I have free starter kit for folks if they’re interested. Over on my website, that kind of explains how to do it. But give it a try and just see how it feels because running looks different ways for different people, right?

Some people, if you’re an Olympic sprinter, it’s going to look one way. But if you’re just Josephine runner, that’s like Saturday afternoon runner. It’s going to look totally different from 18 year old Trak star too.

So, there’s so many different ways to be a runner. I think the benefits both mental and physical from running are so powerful that I suggest people give it like a few tries, right? Try it and then go back out a couple more days later, and then a couple of days after that.

Give it a whole week with maybe three runs and just see how you feel because it is addictive when you do it, it is a little bit. I would never have considered like, when I was in high school, I hated running cause they made me do it in a certain way and I was terrible at it.

And once they figured out how to do it in a way that worked for me, it was like, oh, I get it. I can do this. And then, the benefits are amazing. So, just give it a try, just open your mind, and give it a try. That’s my advice.

Elizabeth: What’s so interesting about what you just said, are you familiar with the NLP logical levels of change?

Jill: I am not, but tell me everything.

Elizabeth: I did a podcast about it. I’ll put it in the show notes. But anyway, if you think about a pyramid and the things that are at the top of the pyramid are easy to change but don’t stick. And the things that the bottom of the pyramid are more difficult to change. But once we do change them, then they do stick as far as changing our behaviors.

And so, there’s five different layers. And the very top of the layer is environment. So, like for example, when we want to change our eating habits. We will create environmental change. We will clean out our pantries. We will stock our refrigerator with healthy foods. We will move to an area that has sidewalks where the environment supports our new healthy habits. Breaking ashtrays and throwing away cigarettes if we want to quit smoking.

The second layer down is habits or behaviors. And so, when we think about creating new habits, we will peg one habit to another. So, an example of that is when people say, well, you should pack your gym bag the night before so that when you bring it in your car the next day and drive by the gym that you should then go to the gym. So, you’re creating these patterns in your life that then support this new habit that you want.

And then, the third layer down is skills and abilities. So, being able to run is a skill. Being able to cook and have knife skills is a skill or an ability. Now, when I first started in like personal training and working with clients, I was really focusing on those top three areas, environment, behaviors, and skills and abilities.

But the problem with those is that they require maintenance, and they also require free will. Right?

Jill: Yes.

Elizabeth: But when we get to the bottom layer, so jumping down to number five is identity. And then, the next layer up from that is beliefs and values. And so, when we have an identity shift, then the beliefs and values that we have about that identity will then just bubble up. And we no longer have to work on keeping our kitchen free of quote unquote junk food.

Because it will just be something that we naturally do. We naturally go to the store and we buy vegetables and we put our clothes out the night before because we’re excited to run. And the reason I’m bringing this up is because when I was in my early thirties, I did a bodybuilding competition. And I had lots of consequences to that. Like, I developed an eating disorder and still had some problems.

But it wasn’t until I crossed the line at my first half marathon that I actually had an emotional experience. I started crying. My husband met me at the goal line, and he was like, what is wrong with you? Like, why are you crying? Is something wrong? And I was like, no, it was just like this huge identity shift that now I am an athlete.

The reason I bring this up is just because of the benefits that we get. And it was really interesting because once I did that, then everything else in my life changed. Like, I was a consistent exerciser after that. After I saw myself as a runner, after I saw myself as an athlete, everything else just took care of itself.

Jill: Oh, I love that. And it’s so true, right? Like when you create that identity, there’s no way you can’t do it. Whatever your identity is that is what drives all of your behaviors. And so, I love that. Just like shifting it from the bottom up. Yeah, for sure.

And so, I think, the way you can start to identify yourself as an athlete or as a runner is recognizing, okay, if I stick with it, if I find a way that it works for me, if I start to recognize the benefits of how good it feels like I’ll do it more and more. And then, eventually you’re like, oh, I’m just somebody who runs.

Elizabeth: Exactly. And then, when you identify as someone who runs, you no longer need that motivation in order to get out and put your shoes on and do it. You’re just someone that that’s what you do.

Jill: Yeah. Oh, I love this so much. What’s it called again? I got to read this book.

Elizabeth: It’s the NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming logical levels of change. So, it’s one of their models within that type of psychology. And I don’t necessarily subscribe to the other parts of that tool or that coaching model. But that one piece has really stuck with me because when I learned that piece, I was like, oh, that totally makes sense.

Because for the longest time I would work with my clients, and they would be consistent to a certain point. But then something would happen, and everything would just fall apart. And so, it was like, how do we get to that identity level shift? And that’s what you and I do through life coaching is we help people get rid of their limiting beliefs that support another story, the thing that they don’t want.

Jill: Yeah. Oh, I love us so much, so good.

Elizabeth: Awesome. So, how do you help your clients Jill, tell us all about everything that you offer and how people can work with.

Jill: Okay. Well, I have a podcast called not your average runner.

Elizabeth: That’s awesome, by the way.

Jill: Thank you. I have a book called not your average runner and my website is

Elizabeth: I’m sensing a theme here.

Jill: I know, right. If you had to, I do have a free running start. It’s basically, like a getting started for the beginner guide or for somebody who’s maybe coming back to running after a while. And then, I also teach a class called up and running, which is like a 30 day virtual course where I teach you all of the basics of running and the mindset work that goes along with it.

The next live class for that starts in September, although we are going to try and offer self-study version over the summer. So, if you head to my website and sign up for my running start kit, you’ll actually, get on the list for the self-study version of that 30 day class over the summer.

But you can also find me on Instagram @notyouraveragerunner. And I have a huge Facebook group called the “Not Your Average Runner Podcast Community,” and there’s actually over 20,000 women in that group. And so, if you’re looking for support, especially the support of other plus size women who are running, that is definitely the place to be and that’s a free group.

Elizabeth: Oh, my God. That’s fantastic. Good for you.

Jill: It’s so crazy too because I started the group in 2014, I guess when I first realized, oh my gosh, like I need to be helping runners. And it had like maybe 300 people in it in the very beginning. And now, it’s over 20,000 people and I don’t want to say, eight years later. Yeah, it’s grown tremendously. So fun.

Elizabeth: I’m shocked. I’m not shocked, but I think that that’s amazing that there’s such a support system out there for women who want to run.

Jill: Yeah. Super fun.

Elizabeth: Cool. Well, thank you so much for being on the show today. I really appreciate it.

Jill: Thank you for having me. This is great.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Awesome. All right.

Oh, my goodness. That was such an amazing interview. I learned so much from Jill. Reach out to Jill, if you want to get better at running. She’s got an amazing membership program and she really is just such a wealth of knowledge from technique of being able to run as well as what it is that you need in order to get consistent with that as your goal.

Have a great week, everyone. And I will talk to you next time. Bye-bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out the Feel Good Sisterhood.

It’s my small group coaching program where we take all this material, and we apply it. We figure out what works for us, and we don’t ever look at another diet ever again.

Join me over at I’d love to have you join me in the Feel Good Sisterhood. See you there.

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