The doc said absolutely no running…and when he was talking to a certain rather large woman, he was right too because just normal walking was too much for her joints. We say large these days not fat…you get the picture.
Before I digress too far, let me clarify, this woman, at 122kgs had the proverbial light bulb moment while trying walk across a shopping mall with the kids, and not being able to keep up. As far as light bulb moments go it was sad, devastating and cruel but it did the job pretty darn well and for the first time in years she got off the couch.
Fast forward a couple of months and a few kgs lighter, this woman had managed to lose some weight and joined a gym. While increasing her exercise activity and reading everything she could about making a LIFESTYLE change and not following a diet, she decided that running was the way to go.
What other exercise is there that can efficiently burn calories in short spaces of time, is cost-effective and really requires no equipment other than a decent pair of shoes? And off she went…at least she tried to until she was forced to hobble into the doctor’s rooms in agony for a good dose of the “doc-said-no-blues”.
But what happened then? I’ll tell you, and I’ll try to keep it short…
That woman was me. That fat person who spent her life trying to drown her stresses and worries in a glass (or 3) of wine only to learn that not only do they float but they multiply into layers of body fat too.
That fat person who had no energy, couldn’t sleep more than 20 minutes at a stretch and ate enough at one meal to feed a small African country…was me.
I say was and I mean it. That person is no more.
It’s been a journey of self-discovery for me – 12 months, 30kgs lost, 5 dress sizes down and I really am a new person.
It hasn’t been easy but I’ve also never been this happy, I chose to follow the lifestyle route as opposed to the diet route which has its own challenges with plenty of emotional or psychological trauma as you deal with the ugly side of your “weak” personality.
At the outset I refused to deny myself anything on the food front and had to learn the hard way about making the right choices. I also decided that I would actually LIVE an active lifestyle not just exercise to keep the weight off and that was a challenge too.
Somewhere in my head I figured I’d just become this skinny happy person overnight until I learned a shocking truth – skinny people actually work hard to maintain their figures.
Oh, and they have bad days too.
On my journey, I’ve had setbacks and fast forwards, highs and lows – the biggest setback I had was the instruction to do no running of any sort because of the stress on my joints. Thankfully I was already 8 months into my transformation and I shrugged it off quite easily, settling on the shunned sport of….powerwalking.
There I followed the running community with a few 5km fun runs and walks, I started walking every Friday night to the DVD store instead of driving…yes, I dragged the whole family with too. And then one day I had the ingenious idea to walk a half marathon, but not just walk the distance, I wanted to finish in the 3 hour cut off time.
With 6 weeks of intense training, on my own, I stood at the stat line of my selected HM event, so nervous I wasn’t sure whether to vomit or cry. I consciously decided to save my dignity and blubbed instead, and I’m fairly sure no-one noticed.
That was 13 November 2010. Within three weeks I was to meet up with an old school friend, a fitness nazi who introduced me to the concept of jog/walking. 1 training session together and I realised that I didn’t have any pain…a quick check with the doc and to my shock I was told I could make a serious effort at jogging and then running.
And here I am today, with a million goals and thoughts and ideas zipping around my head. What do I want to do, how far do I want to go? I have some ideas, actually wildly colourful ideas, and I’ll share those very soon, but for now my immediate goal is to get through my half-marathon event this Saturday at a jog/walking pace and hopefully shave plenty of minutes off the official time from my walking half.
The very next goal is to get up to running 10km without stopping, and I want to do this soon, very soon.
Will I do it? Absolutely, you better believe it. Will I have more to say in future blogs? Now that, as they say, is a story for another day…
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