20 May 2014

The Small Things About a Big Weight Loss

I've lost a lot of weight, seven stone is a lot of weight by anyone's standards.

It has come off gradually, over eighteen or so months.

Losing a lot of weight has made a massive difference to my life. I can buy clothes anywhere on the high street (goodbye forever, Evans) and I have boundless energy, but I've also noticed other changes, smaller changes.

I'm no longer the biggest person in the room.

I can sit on swings at the park without fear they will collapse beneath me.

I can accompany my boys on the dodgems, and join them in the soft play (I didn't say that all changes were for the better...).

I've had to tighten my watch strap by five notches.

I can sit on the rickety chair without worrying that it will break.

I had to buy a cheap ring from Claire's Accessories to keep my wedding and engagement rings on. The ring I bought is size S. It's not tight either.

I'm not embarrassed going into McDonalds. Well, I am, I'm embarrassed that I let my children have Happy Meals as a treat. I'm not embarrassed about going in there as a fat person.

I can park anywhere, confident that I can get in or out of my car.

I no longer have to turn sideways to get through gaps.

My laptop now fits on my lap.

I run up the stairs to my hairdresser and don't have to pause near the top to get my breath back before I open the door and go in.

My skin is clear.

My entire wardrobe is a rainbow of colour, it used to be 95% black.

I hardly ever have a headache.

People who haven't seen me for a while walk straight past me.

I can get into child's pose for the first since I started doing yoga thirteen years ago.

I no longer get indigestion or heartburn.

My children can get their arms round me for a hug.

Actually, on reflection, these are big things.


12 May 2014

How I Started Running

How do you start running?

Well, you just have to run.

I've always watched the London Marathon and thought that I'd love to be able to run. Being inactive and overweight pretty much my whole life meant that this was not a serious consideration. I'd call runners 'freaks' as I drove past them, one hand on the steering wheel, the other in a family bag of Maltesers.

In 2012 I had Cognitive Hypnotherapy and joined Slimming World. By September 2013 I'd lost around three stone, but was in a yo yo/plateau holding pattern. I was more active, choosing to walk short distances instead of taking the car, but hadn't taken that next big step: to exercise.

I mentioned to a school mum friend that I'd like to see if I could run. She suggested that I walk around the football field near the school and when I got to the short end I could try running - very gently - along that end. That was all, then I could walk back to the car.

I was nervous, in fact I was terrified. I had NEVER run anywhere ever.

I walked along the long edge of the football field. I turned the corner at the end of the field and started a gentle ambling jog. By the time I was half way along, I was out of breath This was hard work. I wondered if I'd make it to the end. I kept going. At three quarters of the way along I was struggling. I felt my whole body wobbling as I panted. The arms of my rain jacket rubbed rhythmically against my sides as my elbows pumped. Still I kept going. Somehow I made it to the next corner before I started walking again. Puffing and walking.

I had 'run' 100 metres.

I walked back to the car, triumphant.

What a buzz.

If I could do it once, I could do it again.

A couple of days later I went out for a walk with another school mum friend. She had a running app on her phone. I was going to try to run for 60 seconds, then walk for a few minutes, then run again. She was my personal trainer that day, encouraging me, cheering me on, keeping time. I managed almost 4 minutes of running that day.

I downloaded this Couch to 5k app onto my phone. This changed my life.

I followed the app religiously. After I dropped the boys at school, three mornings per week, I set off walking around the football field. I kept up with all the running segments. The sense of achievement from ticking off another run was huge. I went out rain or shine. I was hooked.

I sneaked a peak at later weeks on Couch to 5k. I thought I'd never EVER manage to run continuously for 3 minutes, or 5 minutes, or 8 minutes. The thought of running for 20 minutes seemed unattainable, but as the weeks went by I managed all of these. I soon left the football field behind and ran alone, or with a friend, around one of the smaller lakes nearby.

This is how I started running.

In December 2013 I ran my first 5k.

In April 2014 I ran my first 10k.

Maybe one day I'll run the London Marathon after all.

Blah blah never start an exercise programme without checking with your GP first blah blah


6 May 2014

Ten Things I Thought I'd Never Say

  1. I just ran 10k
  2. I love running
  3. I can't wait to run again
  4. I can't sit still for long
  5. I feel fit and strong
  6. I love going to the gym
  7. I enjoy getting hot and sweaty
  8. I love the buzz I get from being active
  9. I am full of energy
  10. I tried on those size 12 trousers, and they did up
I hardly recognise myself these days...

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