Some Journey notes
Monday, August 29, 2011
I got an email from a friend today who asked, "Running – From you first started changing your lifestyle and worked your way up to running, how long of a process was that? Did it take days? Weeks? Months? I realize that everyone is totally different, but I’m just trying to get some kind of ballpark idea to start from. I’ve got the patience of a firecracker in an active volcano, and I know that I need to adjust my expectations to a more reasonable level. I’ll even entertain any websites or reading material you might recommend."
This is how I answered.
I started slow, had a very fast middle and a slow finish (I’m not done yet!) It was months. I know that isn’t what you wanted to hear, but you would be surprised at how motivating seeing results (and you can get results in weeks) will take you.
I started by having a goal of working out 3 days a week at curves. It was good there because it was a set thing, it wasn’t hard, there were people to talk to if I wanted, and it only took 30 mins. I wasn’t losing weight just exercising. I only had half of the weight loss equation. I decided a little while later that I would take their weight loss course (January 2008). It was a 6 week course about food that had meetings every week. I followed the program and started to see results after the first week. It keep me wanting to keep at it, even though it was hard. It got easier, and by the end of the 6 weeks I was down 20 lbs. I keep doing that for a long time and while the weight loss was slower, the class taught me lifestyle changes that stuck. I ate way more veggies, whole grains, lean meats, lean dairy, and less cookies, chips, chocolate, etc. I still ate those things, just less frequently and littler portions. The biggest help with all of that was tracking what I ate. (sparkpeople has that in their website and they have an app for your phone too.) I kept up with my curves workouts and started walking a bit too. By the end of the summer, a friend turned me on to this website (sparkpeople) where she was having luck. By then I had lost 40 lbs, but I decided I would check it out because I felt like I was going slowly. I learned a lot from the website and it gave me the courage to start running. I would be at the track walking to a fast song, but I couldn’t keep my foot fall up with the music unless I was jogging. So I started to want to run. First my goals were really simple, just to a tree, or something like that. Then I wanted to get a loop around the track. Then I wanted to get a mile down. Then I wanted to run the run I couldn’t do on the high school swim team. I mixed walking in with the running when I needed. So I started running fall of 2008 and by the spring of 2009 I ran my first 5k straight through. (It’s ok if you walk too, I just set the goal for myself that I wanted to run the whole thing.) I keep running and doing races, I decided that I would want to train for longer races. First the 5 mile distance, then the 10k, then a half marathon (13.1 mile) I told myself that if the half went well, I would keep going for a fall 2010 marathon. April 2010 I did my first half and I wouldn’t have done the marathon if it hadn’t been for the running group I joined. (It’s called a Galloway group. It’s a method of walk/run that has been created by Olympian Jeff Galloway.) I love running with my group. I would say that running and eating appropriately for my activity level has helped me get to and maintain (for the most part) a 65 lbs to 70 lbs loss. (With lots of muscle gain). (Size 18-20 plus to a size 10 – 12 misses).
The best thing that you can do is to start with something that you can maintain. Sparkpeople has you focus on 3 different things for 2 weeks straight. One might be to drink 8 glasses of water a day, another to listen to a motivating song every day. You get to choose what’s best for you. When you have that under your belt, those successes will help fuel the following changes that you will make. One week, you might focus on tracking your veggies all week, another, you might focus on getting 10 mins of exercise in a day. The point of doing it this way is so you create in yourself lasting changes that will stay with you. They have a great program to follow that is simple. Remember to reward yourself (never with food) when you do good and to not beat yourself up too bad when you fall down (just enough that you learn from it). I have a saying that I tell myself all the time that I learned from there. Fall seven times, stand up eight. It reminds me to keep trying, and I will get the goals that I want, accomplished.