I’m half a month into my 2019 Fat to Fit journey and already a lot has happened. Boxes have been ticked. Pounds have been lost. And I’m still enjoying the challenge. So here’s a mid-month update of my progress so far.
Tuesday 2nd January
Is this what it’s like to be a born-again Christian? Some people find religion in later life; I’ve found a focus on fitness. Like a middle-aged Bible-basher, I’ve suddenly become evangelical about my diet and fitness. They swear on the Bible; I swear on MyFitnessPal data.
That’s frustrating for Heather because she’s been nagging me to do something about my health for years. And basically all I’m doing now is heeding her advice – and taking the credit for myself.
Anyhow, I’m back at work today. I’m easing back into my weekday routine – a carb-free lunch and a 3.5km walk – and then a light session on the cross-trainer in the evening.
A little research tonight too. I’m going to start the ‘Couch to 5K’ programme, so that means three runs a week(ish) and reworking my other exercise around it. Given that I’m about as flexible as an oak tree bound by a strait-jacket, I’m even investigating yoga apps.
Who is this person? I barely recognise myself any more.
Saturday 5th January
Downloaded the ‘Daily Yoga’ app and did a 15-minute beginner’s session. Lessons learned: I’m even less flexible than I thought, I have the balance of an upside-down traffic cone and I should never attempt yoga in front of a mirror ever again.
Having said that, I quite enjoyed it. I’ll be as bendy as an Olympic gymnast in no time, right?
Sunday 6th January
I’m going for a run. No, I’m not. Yes, I am.
Let me make this abundantly clear: I hate running. I’m not a natural runner. I’m ‘slow’ – I don’t run so much as ‘shuffle slightly less slowly’. And I have zero stamina, bad knees and a low boredom threshold.
All of the above are just the excuses of a stubbornly unfit person, really.
So, with my new positive mindset, I’ve dusted off my running shoes (last used seven years ago), set myself up with the Couch to 5K app and plugged in my new Apple AirPods so I can listen to music wirelessly to alleviate the boredom. Here goes.
35 minutes later …
I did it! In truth, the initial run sets a low bar – eight 60-second intervals of running only – but that’s not the point. I got off my backside, set all my usual excuses to one side and I completed it.
Now to see how much it hurts once the endorphins have worn off.
Monday 7th January
It hurts. A lot.
Tuesday 8th January
So much for my plans to do a second run this evening. I’m back doing a light session on the cross-trainer, though.
Wednesday 9th January
My legs are finally starting to recover, although my thighs, quads and shins are still screaming. If they could speak, they would be saying something like, “how about we subject you to something similar next time – like waterboarding?”
I’m not really that surprised, in truth. The last time I attempted Couch to 5K, it was five days before I could attempt a second run. However, while I’ve been reminded that running creates different muscular stresses to walking, I’m pleased that my cardiovascular fitness held up okay. I ran out of legs but not out of breath, so all the hard work I’ve put into walking further and faster over the past couple of months has had a definite effect.
Bring on tomorrow.
Thursday 10th January
My day started at 5:30am. I spent five hours driving either side of a four-hour meeting. I came home tired and with a small twinge in my calf. But I did my second run anyway.
And it felt good. Well, not good, necessarily, but certainly less painful. Three hours after my run on Sunday I could barely climb the stairs. Tonight I have heavy legs but only a little soreness. So my body’s already adjusting and my mindset is in the right place. Good.
Saturday 12th January
I’ve set up a new Fitbit weekend challenge with some blogging-related friends. I’m hoping it will give me a little extra competitive push and encourage me to do a few extra steps.
Given that I went out for a run at 7:30am and finished the day above 30,000 steps for the first time ever, I’d say it worked.
It’s great being able to build virtual groups like this where we’re mostly at a similar level. We can lean on each other for support and encouragement, and a little friendly rivalry never hurts. Especially if I win …
Sunday 13th January
Nearly 52,000 steps for the weekend – my best two-day total ever. I can barely stand. But it feels good.
Isaac joined me for a walk up on Greenham Common this afternoon. We talked about how it would be good if we did a Parkrun together one day. Just the thought of it makes my legs ache but, yes, it would be a great thing for us to aim for.
Thursday 17th January
I got home from work, tired and still a bit sore from my run on Tuesday. It was -1°C outside. But Isaac and I went out for a run together anyway, even if it was more than a little embarrassing how much slower than him I am. Anyhow, we did it. That’s five runs for me in 12 days for me. Not bad.
I’m starting to learn to ignore that little voice in my head now. The one that keeps whispering that I’m tired. And that I went for a 4km walk at lunchtime. And that I have a tight calf and a sore shin, and why don’t I just leave it until tomorrow and pour myself a G&T instead?
That voice is the enemy. And I’m not listening to it any more.
Friday 18th January
Weigh-in day! Actually, every day is a weigh-in day because I’m a little obsessive like that.
14 stone 11! A small whoop of delight. I may even have punched the air.
This is a significant number for me. For one thing, it marks 25 pounds lost since the beginning of October. But it is also the weight at which my Body Mass Index (BMI) dips below 30 for the first time since … I don’t know when exactly, but dinosaurs were still roaming the Earth.
I am no longer officially obese. I am now merely overweight.
Yay me. Cake, please.
I’ll be honest – I never thought I’d make it this far. 14-11 felt like a good goal to aim for but I had zero confidence I would succeed. After all, I’ve tried and failed to lose weight on pretty much an annual basis for the past dozen or more years. But I haven’t failed this time – quite the opposite – and that’s worth celebrating.
I’ve been lucky that Heather and the kids have all been really supportive. They’ve put up with me meticulously weighing every bit of food I put in my body. I’ve been able to go out on regular walks at all hours of the day. And Heather has had to put up with me talking obsessively about my weight, my carb intake and my aching joints throughout. I’m lucky that they have all been so accommodating. And hopefully they will reap the benefits of a husband and father who is healthier, fitter and more energetic.
But this story is only just beginning. There’s more weight to lose, more fitness to gain. Let’s see where the next chapter leads.