22 Jan Linda’s Blog #2 – Running for Weight Loss
If you’d have told me this time last year that in 2018 I would be going out running three times a week to boost my weight loss, I’d have laughed and said you’d lost your marbles. But that’s exactly what’s happened and – unlikely as it seems! – in the past week I think I’ve caught the “running bug”.
Diet vs Exercise
They say that weight loss is 75% down to diet and 25% down to exercise, don’t they? And I’ve been good on the diet side of things – I got rid of that box of Christmas chocolates. I’ve been munching on veggies instead. I’ve been cutting down on bread, portions, everything.
So when I got on the scales for the first time last weekend I couldn’t help but feel disappointed … (“WHAT, is that IT??) A pound or two down doesn’t seem like much of an achievement given how hard I’ve been trying. I was tempted to just jack it all in then and there, buy myself a whole family-size bar of dairy milk and worry about it next week (Or the week after. Maybe…)
But that is a mistake I’ve made time and again and this time I am determined to… well – Stick It Out!
So… practical solutions
That 25% exercise part is perhaps where I’m lacking I thought. I drive to work, I sit at a desk all day, I drive home again. If I don’t go out in the evening (and, let’s face it, I rarely have the energy during the week) that’s it. The pedometer on my phone tells me I did 346 steps yesterday. 346 – Shocking.
I’m not going to kid myself by signing up to a gym (I may as well just flush money down the toilet, because I know I won’t go, and it’ll just be another thing to feel guilty about)
Me, a runner??
Then, the other day a colleague was telling me about how she’s recently started running to help with her weight loss, using a podcast called Couch to 5k. It builds up gradually, so at first it’s more walking than running. When she suggested I try it, I thought, no way, I am not built for running (short legs, big bust, not an ideal combination). But then I thought – why on earth not? The lady from work is the same size as me, same age. If she can do it, why can’t I? What have I got to lose? It’ll get me out of doors, get me moving, it’s only 30 mins 3x a week and best of all it’s free!
So, last week, on a cold, damp January evening (why oh why did I choose to start in January of all months??) I dusted off my old trainers, loaded the podcast on my phone and set off.
The first session alternates one minute of running and one and a half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes. The narrator in your earphones tells you when to run and walk, and there’s some pretty cheesy music. (Be warned, it’s quite catchy – I found myself humming it at work the next day!) A little childish, but I felt embarrassed, as if people walking past would know I wasn’t a “proper runner” (maybe that’s why it’s good to start in January, the darkness helped to hide my red, sweaty beacon of a face).
Success at last!
I managed the first couple of minutes running ok and then started to get pretty puffed out – but I pushed through and I made week 1! Can you believe it. My word, the sense of satisfaction was unbelievably good after my disappointment on the scales. Best of all, I checked my pedometer and … 4,522 steps!
Week 2 steps it up to 90 seconds of running, but as I didn’t die in week 1 I don’t feel too daunted – actually I can’t wait to get out there again, despite the rain, despite the cold, despite the darkness. I’ll let you know how it goes! Anyone ready to join me…?
PS I’ve been using this wall planner to keep track of my runs – I’ve decided I will run Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and having it written down helps me stick to those days. Why not download the wall planner to help you track YOUR activities too?