After a challenging few weeks trying to get back into a consistent running pattern, I’ve made a decision that I need to make a few other changes before I continue.
One unfortunate realization that I’ve made is that I’m no longer in my 20’s. When I was younger, I could go for long periods without regularly exercising and then return without too much difficulty.
But that’s no longer the case. Now, not only is my cardiovascular stamina poor, but as I begin to run, my bones, tendons, and ligaments all start hurting as well. Plus, I have foot injuries that impact my gait and cause pain in my hip.
All these ailments just make it more and more difficult to find the motivation to exercise.
And to magnify the problem. While age is not on my side, maybe even more significant is the additional weight I’m carrying around.
The last time I ran a half-marathon, I was 5 years and 50 pounds lighter than I am now. And I wasn’t thin back then.
Truth be told, I am nearly 100 pounds overweight. That’s hard to imagine and even harder to say out loud.
You May Not Be Ready to Start Running
When you’re trying to get off the couch and get back in shape, you tend to think that means just getting out and running. The problem is that when you’re severely out of shape, you really cannot run enough to get back into shape.
All the things mentioned above – excess weight, weak muscles, poor cardiovascular stamina – all make it nearly impossible to jump right into a training program.
So I’ve decided that rather than trying to start running right now, my first step will be to lose weight. The approach I’ve been taking over the past few weeks is a combination of daily walking coupled with a pretty massive diet change.
And over the past three weeks, I’ve lost 17 pounds.
Start By Losing Weight
I’ll go into more detail about how I’m losing weight later, but at a high level, I’m eating more vegetables and controlling my portions of fat, protein, grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables.
During this time, I’ve been consuming around 1800 calories per day. And because I’m burning at around 3600 calories per day, the weight has dropped pretty quickly.
The benefit of this approach is that once you get through the first few days (I lost 8 pounds in the initial four days), your energy level increases and you’re more motivated to start moving again.
Next Start Moving
It’s amazing how motivating weight loss is for everything else in your life. I’ll admit the first few days were tough but once I got through it, I have an accomplishment to look back on and use as motivation to keep going.
I’ve started walking every day. Mostly, I’m walking my dogs. But this gets me off the couch. And it’s low impact. My plantar fasciitis still bothers me after a long walk but with continued stretching and movement, I’m hoping that begins to dissipate over time.
I may start adding a little running back into my walking routine. Just enough to get my heart rate up but not too much to risk getting injured.
Although I am a little apprehensive to add something new as my weight loss is going so well, I hate to risk upsetting the balance.
I’ll just see what happens.
Anyone out there have any weight loss success stories they can share?
Emily Martin says
Sounds like you are doing very well, making progress, learning a lot about your abilities, and challenging your comfort zone. Keep it up!