I have never been a runner, in fact during my adult life I have never been into any type of exercise. I was your typical yo-yo dieter, always looking for a quick fix and then giving up and putting all the weight back on plus a little bit more. Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Slim Fast, Soup diet you name it I have probably tried it. I was an active child and enjoyed sports at school, but once I left school and entered the big wide world I just stopped exercising and never started again until recently…
I’m married to John, we have twins, aged 10 and a busy life. It always seemed easier to grab a takeaway on an evening and over time the weight crept on, John too. John went for an annual health check and was shocked at the difference in the results from the previous year and that was enough for us to sit up and take action.
The next day I got on the scales and was shocked at what was in front of me. We made changes to our diet there and then and started off on a journey that would see us shed nearly 10 stone between us over the next 18 months.
Here’s one of my favourite running quotes:
“No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.” – Author Unknown
Exercise was tough at first, I joined a gym, got a training plan and over 5 months persevered and lost a decent amount of weight, however I couldn’t run for any more than 2 minutes on the treadmill without wanting to collapse, so I took to the streets. Walk a minute, run a minute at first and then gradually increasing until before I knew it I was running 5k without stopping. What was more important was that I was really enjoying it. Trainers on, headphones in, music on and just run.
I thought about entering a few races, but really all I was interested in was the Great North Run. Being a South Shields lass, I’ve stood at the finish line every year since 1981 and cheered in the thousands of runners to pass my door. I never ever thought that I could do it. So I set myself some mini goals, I entered into a few smaller races to test the water and in 2012 I completed 3 Race for Life’s, Great North 10K, Sunderland 10k and the Lambton 10k. I used these as practice races for the big one and on 16th September 2012 John and I completed the Great North Run together with a finishing time of 2 hours and 22 minutes. Not the fastest, but for 2 people who 7 months earlier couldn’t run for a minute without stopping its not that bad!
Running has become a huge part of my life now, along with healthy eating it has helped me achieve my current weight loss of 6 stone 7lbs.