Melbourne mother-of-two Jessica Hay is urging parents of any shape, size and fitness ability to lace up their runners and get active.
With a starting weight of 198 kg, the inspirational mum began running in January, and is using the family event as motivation for training and to help her reach her long-term goal to become a marathon runner.
She'll be tackling Melbourne's newest Father’s Day celebration, the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run in September. The event starts with a 5 or 10 kilometre walk/run around the Tan, followed by a family event village which includes a petting zoo, bubble soccer, healthy food trucks and interactive activities. Jessica will be participating with her husband, daughter Khloe (4 years old) and Archie (2 years old).
But her personal health story has had another impact - she's attracted a huge Instagram following:
Jessica hopes her story inspires individuals of all shapes and sizes to get active:
“I’m morbidly obese. I look like T-Rex trying to do up my own shoelaces. It’s hard. But I keep going because I want to be a good role model to my kids.
“My advice is to ignore that one person that may give you a horrible look in public, because believe me, you’re being watched silently by many others, and they admire your bravery.”
“My family are my biggest supporters. Some mornings my husband has to push me out the door. My daughter gives me high fives when I get home. It keeps me going.
All funds raised at the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run will go towards YMCA programs that help young people build resilience and equipping vulnerable young people with social and emotional skills to foster positive mental health and wellbeing. For more information, click here.