My weight loss journey began a few years back, eight years to be precise. It was the week after Christmas; I was feeling bloated and out of control, and knew something had to change. What addicts call rock bottom; my drug of choice being food.

In a health magazine I bought to try to inspire me, I saw an article on the challenge of running a half-marathon. Something clicked: I thought, this is what will get me to where I want to be. I brought my brother-in-law into the challenge with me, and away we went.

Very few people believed I could go through with it. I was on the edge of the obese index, and the scale was only moving in one direction. But I read as much as I could, made a program, and went for it. My goal was the Ottawa half-marathon the following May.

My training went through all kinds of ups and downs, but I slogged through, running in snow, rain, freezing wind, hot sun... you name it, I lived it. Something had definitely lit up inside me; I was not to be denied that finish line.

By race day I had lost about 20 pounds, still heavy, but in pretty decent shape. I was nervous as hell, but had it fixed in my head that come hell or high water, I would cross the finish line.

Around the 17 km mark (21 kilometers in a half-marathon for all you Yanks!), I arrived at an overpass to cross the Rideau Canal. It was a slow uphill grade, and fatigue swept through my body. Worse, I was letting the voices start to take over. We all know those voices, and how persistent they can be. The ones that tell you it's OK to quit, that it's the sensible thing to do. To add to the misery, a car went by, reeking of pot. At 10:30 in the morning, on a Sunday. As a former pot head, the car smelled of escape to me.  There were easy ways out, the first being to give up on this stupid idea of running until my body ached all over.

Then, the miracle happened. Well, miracle is a strong word, but at that moment it felt like one. Another car went by, this one with ‘I'm Yours’ by Jason Mraz drifting out of its open windows. I had never been a huge fan of the song, but at that moment it was pure manna. The runners around me and I starting singing, and instantly we were transformed from a bunch of lonely runners stuck in our fatigue into a community of people moving towards a common goal. We laughed and encouraged each other a bit, and away we went.

The moment only lasted a few seconds, but it took me through the last 4 km to a strong finish. To this day, hearing that song takes me back to that overpass and the sense of belonging I had at that moment.

I continued to run distance for a few more years, but my training was not balanced, only running with no core strengthening. Ultimately, I hurt my sciatic nerve, and had to abandon distance running. From there, the scale reversed course and inched back ever closer to where I had began.

Fast forward to May 2014, when I discovered this community and the power it brings. It has led me back to that overpass, experiencing community with strangers. If I have success, it is because I have finally wised up to the fact that this is a journey best done together.

I’m Yours is on my phone, and is my go-to song for moments when I feel like lying on the couch instead of doing what needs doing. The clarity of memory it brings when I really listen to it is overwhelming.