The idea of walking or running 5K every day might sound like an impossibility. And three years ago, Sandra Mikulic would’ve agreed with you. Yet, today, she laces up her shoes daily without giving it a second thought!
Sandra shares how this daily task helped shed trauma from her past and transform her relationship with exercise.
Journey To 5K Every Day
Sandra spent the first six years of her life in Croatia before her family moved to Canada.
“I was raised in a household where, unfortunately, the message that was passed on to my mother from her mother who had seven daughters and one son was that women should look a certain way, right? And so here I am, my mom gives birth to this big, beautiful little baby girl.”
Sandra never felt like she fit in, and her cousin branded her with the nickname “Elegantly Filled.”
At 19, she returned to Croatia, where she got married and started having children.
First, she had a son and then a daughter. Following the birth of her daughter, something shifted, and she began struggling with her mental health.
After having another son, her postpartum depression and anxiety were even more intense. And at the time, talking about postpartum mental health struggles wasn’t normalized.
At 32, Sandra and her family moved back to Canada, where she had her fourth child, another son.
Thankfully, she got some great help this time to address her mental wellness.
Sandara’s husband worked two weeks away from home and one week with the family for the next ten years. During his weeks away, Sandra would go into survival mode.
As a busy mother of four, one place Sandra found just for herself was in the basement exercising. She loved to sweat!
Her focus with exercise was mainly weight loss.
Starting in 2017, she got into walking and then jogging on the treadmill.
One magical day in 2018, she went outside and just started running!
“This layer of doubt was shed, and that was the first day of the rest of my life.”
After that, Sandra signed up for a bunch of races and started her @bigfitmomof4_runs Instagram.
Initially, her Instagram page was named Elegantly Filled. Yup, that nickname that poked fun of her size and reminded her of her childhood trauma.
But over time, by plugging into body positive and fitness Instagram communities, things started to shift.
When Sandra learned about runners doing a running streak, she thought of starting a streak of her own.
One day, she decided to do a 5K every day.
A 5K is just over 3 miles.
Up until this point in her life, she hadn’t stuck to a plan. She knew for herself that nothing else worked unless she did it every day.
As the days started going by, the voices of doubt in her head started speaking loudly.
Could she really walk or run a 5K every day?
But she was doing it! And as the months turned into a year, the voices started quieting.
One year into her streak, she found a book that opened her eyes in a way she never expected.
The Body Keeps The Score talks about how to resolve trauma in three ways; medication, therapy, and having your body experience something on repeat that contradicts the helplessness your body felt.
Sandra realized the act of running daily was helping her address childhood trauma and restore her self-worth!
She stepped forward with her journey as Big Fit Mom of 4 Runs, no longer focused on weight loss but fully embracing her fantastic bigger body.
Listen as Sandra shares her story and how she keeps doing a 5K every day during episode 155 of the Plus Mommy Podcast.
Recording & Show Notes: Plus Mommy Podcast Episode 155
Resources Mentioned On The Show:
- Connect with Sandra Mikulic on her website. And be sure to follow her 5K every day journey on Instagram.
- Rich Role Podcast
I am a self-proclaimed plus size runner and triathlete. In March 2018, at the age of 43, I started running for the first time ever outside, and that’s how this story began. On January 1, 2019, I decided to do something scary: running/walking/hiking, 5kms every day (3.1 miles). Along the way, I announced to the world that I was over 250 lbs, and I no longer harbored this secret. It was freeing. This journey has healed me and the trauma I carried and reshaped the neuroplasticity in my brain. It has changed my life and the trajectory in which I was going. Three marathons, over 20 half marathons, 1 50 km race later, I am an athlete! And I inspire other women to keep moving forward, one step at a time.