Here is Carli's story:
"I've always been on the larger side but before I had my little boy five years ago it never really bothered me. When I was pregnant I ate everything in sight and I put on a lot of weight. I used to do Bootcamp and some cardio exercises but diet wise I loved all the wrong foods and my weight yo yo'd for years. I then found out I was pregnant with baby number two, and again the weight piled on. I had my little girl last July but still my weight kept going up and up. I turned 30 in October 2016 and I really wanted to do the Great North Run as it's on my bucket list. To be honest the most running I have done is to the ice cream van!
When I started telling people I was going to do it I felt like although they said good luck they didn't really believe I could do it. I was lucky enough to get a ballot place and decided to run for two charities, MS society and North East Homeless. I searched for a running group on Facebook in March and found These Girls Can Run. When I told my friends they laughed saying I had joined an elite running group.
I was so worried on my first run. None of my clothes fitted, I felt awful, fat and had zero confidence. I walked most of the first run and the second and the third. I cried after every run I felt like such a failure. My husband although supportive, told me to give up if it was upsetting me so much. I remember each time being at the back and Jamie, the Run Group Leader staying with me. She told me she believed in me and no-one had ever said that to me before.
So here I am plodding on. I'm not the fastest but I go four times a week and give it my best shot.The other ladies are lovely and I never feel like a failure anymore. I've made some lovely friends and at times we have a right giggle. In May I completed my first 10km in Sunderland and I've signed up to four more charity runs this year something I never thought would be possible. I have also just been accepted for the London Half Marathon next year oh and I've dropped a dress size! My motto is 'She believed she could so she did'