My Running and Weight Loss Journey Part I
My 2012 New Year's Resolution was to lose weight. At 30 years old I weighed in at 192 lbs. Having recently given birth to my second child, instead of "losing the baby weight" I had just continued to pack on the pounds. I didn't like the way I looked. I didn't like the way I felt. So on the evening of January 1, 2012, I found myself attending my first-ever Weight Watchers meeting.
|Before 11-11-11 Size 16|
The Points Plus Program assigned me thirty-some "points" a day and allowed for unlimited "free" fruits and veggies. The first meeting was fun and I liked the idea of being held accountable with weekly weigh-ins. The program structure seemed very supportive and conducive to my weight loss needs. One of my favorites tenets of the program was that you didn't HAVE to exercise!
This appealed to me because I was not a big fan of exercising. Over the course of my adult life, there have been a few brief periods of time where I would get on an 'exercising kick' and I probably even lost a few pounds here and there. Still, I despised exercising. It was hard. It made my body sore. It took a lot of effort. It was expensive. I didn't have the time. And, at the end of a long work day, I certainly didn't have the energy. (Sound familiar?)
It didn't take me long to realize that I was WAY off-base with the whole "no exercise" thing. While it wasn't required as part of the WW program, participants could earn extra Points, called Activity Points, for exercising. And extra Points = extra FOOD. I may have not been motivated to exercise for the sake of exercise, but the idea of having extra Points to splurge on that slice of pizza on Friday nights was sure motivating!
I decided it wouldn't hurt to exercise for 15-30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. But, I was NOT going to RUN. Running was not my thing. No way.
When I was in middle school some of my friends got the bright idea to join cross country. They did great. They loved gossiping back and forth as we traversed the trail behind the school. They held full conversations during those runs. Meanwhile I was red-faced and panting and praying I wouldn't trip and fall flat on my face. Eventually I would have to stop and walk while they ran on. In middle school cross country the races were only 2 miles but it took me the entire season to be able to run the full race without taking walking breaks. While my friends were running 7 minute miles, mine were 13 minutes. Needless to say that was the first and only season I participated in cross country.
My only other running experience ever was a 5k race that I ran/walked with no prior training or conditioning. The race was sponsored by an agency I used to work for so I felt obligated by my role in the agency to participate in the race. Yeah. Probably the sorest I have ever been in my LIFE.
No running for me. I would use the elliptical machine or walk on the treadmill to earn my Activity Points.
My husband was very supportive of my weight loss efforts. We stopping buying soda pop and began buying more fruits and vegetables. I would plan my meals in advance and log my Points prior to each meal. (I found it helpful to log the Points before I ate so I would be less tempted to overeat.) I started setting aside two or three nights a week to go to the gym. My husband would 'pick up the slack' by making dinner on those nights - which has become our new routine to this very day.
Slowly, I began losing weight.
|2-18-12 Weight Loss 12 lbs. Size 14|
One day - a few weeks into my new exercising routine - I decided to run for one minute at the end of my treadmill session. Then next day I broke my 20 minute treadmill session into two, 10 minute halves, and I walked for 9 minutes and ran for the other minute. By February I was able to run for 6 minutes straight. It had been about 6 weeks since I started WW and I had lost about 12 pounds and I was feeling GOOD!
Then, something unexpected happened and my Weight Watchers journey and my newly founded exercise routine came to a screeching halt...