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to think not many people can go from 25st to running a marathon, and Im stupid to believe I might be one of them

(35 Posts)
elisadoeslittle Thu 22-Sep-11 08:48:06

You read about these transformations, where someone has gone from say 25st down to 10st and is now running every day/swimming/eating healthily and basically looking great.

Well. I would love to be one of those people. Im 16st and have always been terrible at sports. I was always picked last on the team at school. And while I can lose weight by dieting (ive been up and down over the years) I just cant exercise without giving up.

AIBU to think that those people who do manage to go from no exercise to running marathons probably are in a very small minority? And that Weight Watcher Magazine probably exaggerates the amount of exercise they do? If anyone here has done it please chirp up because it might will me along!

tiredemma Thu 22-Sep-11 08:54:57

I dont think anyone just goes from doing nowt to doing a marathon.

I never exercised but two years ago I started getting really fed up with my weight- I wasnt massively overweight but I am only 4'11" and I looked frumpy, clothes looked awful.

I decided to go out for a run one day and almost killed myself, I was so unfit and just thought I could run and beast myself. No surprises that I gave up after just one day. Then I came on here and saw people raving about 'couch to 5k' so I thought I would give it another go.

On the first day I took my boys with me and they left me for dead. I couldnt even run for a minute. However I knew from looking at the plan and reading stories on here that it was achieveable.

Within 6 weeks I was regularly running 5k twice a week.

I now run 10k - its an effort but I no longer run feeling as if I am going to collapse- and I feel amazing at the end of it.

Have just applied to do the Brighton HAlf Marathon in Feb.

two years ago I would never have thought that I could do this.

At my heaviest I was 10st 5lb. Today I weigh 8st 5lb.

You CAN do it. It is POSSIBLE. But you have to put some effort in! Good Luck.

lesley33 Thu 22-Sep-11 08:56:44

Yes I think it is a minority. But tbh there is no reason why you can't exercise at 16 stone. I went from 15 stone and doing no exercise to losing over 2 stone - still losing - and doing exercise 3 times a week. Also eating lots of sweets/cakes, to very rarely eating those. Have been doing this for 18 months.

The secret is to find something you enjoy. Doesn't have to be sports - could be dance classes, line dancing, zumba, regular long walks, etc. You won't keep it up if you hate the exercise you are doing.

I find I enjoy it more if I doing exercise in a group where people are friendly. I started at the gym but struggled to keep it up. But I look forward to my dance classes now and I really love it - and it is very hard work. Also now regularly walk a dog for an elderly neighbour which all helps.

One thing that helped me was hypnotism. What really helped with it was the hypnotist looked at the reasons I overate and ate crap and it ewas all emotional and tied to my child hood. That made an enormous difference. So I'mnot actually on a diet, but I have changed drastically my attitudes to food.

elisadoeslittle Thu 22-Sep-11 08:57:12

Really? Thats cheered me right up. Thankyou and well done smile

lubeybooby Thu 22-Sep-11 08:58:14

Anyone can do it if they put the work in, slowly building up training up to 5k, 10k etc and beyond. Combining that with sensible healthy eating would bring good results. I do plan to do similar myself, but not aiming for a marathon straight away, I just want to get good/fit enough to join the local running club without being embarassingly bad! Maybe one year beyond that first goal though....

tiredemma Thu 22-Sep-11 09:04:41

As lubey says, its about slowly building up.

Read a Low GI food plan book- dont follow it as gospel but take some ideas-
For example- only eat wholewheat bread- steer clear of white.
Throw out refined carbs, go for more starchy as they sit longer in your system and stop you getting hungry. Small changes.

Look at the Bupa 5k plan.
www.bupa.co.uk/running/training/training-programmes/walking-5km/

Might look scary, but trust me, its not!

GypsyMoth Thu 22-Sep-11 09:10:11

Another fan of couch 2 5 k here!!

And shred

Once you start the running you are hooked, it gets addictive and you want more.

Morloth Thu 22-Sep-11 09:13:50

Up you get.

Any exercise is better than none, start small and keep moving.

Be careful running while you are heavy, start with walking, when that gets easy, pick up the pace, then start jogging for a bit and so on.

Forget about what you weigh, focus on being good to yourself. Exercise will make you will better, when you start exercising a lot your body gets a lot clearer about what it wants in and this is rarely junk/refined carbs.

Get UP, do it now, don't say 'I am starting tomorrow, blah blah blah', do it right now.

MissPenteuth Thu 22-Sep-11 09:14:10

I hate sports too, always have. But I love running smile When I started I could barely jog for a full minute, but I built up gradually and after a year or so I was running 10 miles regularly. I've lost almost 2 stone since having DD through running and doing the 30 Day Shred DVD.

spiderpig8 Thu 22-Sep-11 09:14:20

i would start with cycling and swimming though because you will damage your joints running at your current weight.

WorzselMummage Thu 22-Sep-11 09:16:39

A friend of mine did this. He went form a 20/21 stone fatty to a really fit sportsman in a year.. I think he lost about 9 stone.

He did the cambridge diet.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 22-Sep-11 09:17:04

You can do it, but it won't happen quickly.

I went from couch potato to running a marathon over a period of time. My aim at the beginning was never to run a marathon though. I started with cycling then moved to running and slowly increased the distance.

I ran the London marathon 18 months after I started running but I was fit anyway from mountain biking for the year prior to that. I won't ever challenge Paula Radcliffe but I have developed a love of running and a new respect for what my body can do.

It's small steps, that's all. That and a commitment to stick with it. If it was easy everyone would do it, but it does get easier if you stick with it.

golemmings Thu 22-Sep-11 09:47:57

I lost 2 stone through kayaking. I hated sport at school - couldn't throw, couldn't catch and couldn't run. I was the fat speccy kid that nobody wanted in their teams.

As a student I started climbing and then in my 30s I started kayaking.

I heard about an annual endurance race from Devizes to Westminster and thought it sounded insane. I had a mad paddling friend so we thought we'd give it a crack. We joined the local racing club and started training. She dropped out after a month or so so I carried on on my own. Afterall, I'd told the world I was going to do this 24hr kayak marathon.

I started training in the September - 3 times a week and got to love it but it was tough.

I remember one winter training session that first year - only me and 2 16 year olds. We were using the paddling machines which are a bit like rowing machines. I was too weak to be able to actually paddle the machine so I was given a paddle and just told to wave my arms around with good technique whilst they did a proper work out. I was mortified but I kept at it and raced the following easter and loved it.

I carried on training and did it the following year with one of the club juniors and we had a fabulous time. Sharing the winter training with somebody else was great. She had a saturday job so we'd be out on the river at 7am with plenty of time for her to get changed and get to work. It didn't matter if it was -7 degrees, that the water dripped off your paddle and had formed balls of ice before they hit the river, that the might river Severn was thick and viscous and beginning to freeze... having somebody to share it with was fun!

I dropped from 10 stone to 8 1/2 stone and had a tiny waist and awesomely strong core muscles. It was fabulous!

I had DD a couple of years ago and never went back to proper training after that but spent a lot of time coaching but after a year of racing again I was pretty much back to my previous speed - although still a stone heavier. I'm now 40 weeks pregnant and can't wait to get back to it. I have so much motivation at the moment but I'm not sure how that will fare following broken nights with 2 kids...

What made the initial training easier was having a regular session to go to. I used to leave work twice a week and go straight to the club. It didn't matter what the weather was doing; it may be dark, hailing, snowing, blowing a hooley but I'd still get to the canal at 6, be on the water at 6:20 and paddle for an hour or so without even thinking about it.

I've done some running since - initially with a colleague and we quickly got to running 10k before work but since DD was born I've been training solo. Its been really hit and miss and when you've not arranged to meet someone its easy to look at the weather and decide to go tomorrow 'cos its a bit damp out there and then miss another session and then find the next one really hard and your motivation wavers more...

I have committed to a 10k next September and I WILL be doing the DW again in 2014.

Sorry - that's a very long post.

If you find something that you want to do, and ideally somebody to do it with (unless you have an iron will) then anything is possible.

let us know how you get on and if you're in Shropshire, I'm looking to start running in 7 or 8 weeks...

Ephiny Thu 22-Sep-11 09:52:01

I think it only happens for a minority because it takes time and hard work to lose a large amount of weight and build up your fitness - and lots of people get discouraged and give up, or find the stresses and demands of real life get in the way. I don't see why you shouldn't achieve it if you're determined and stick with it though.

I agree the Couch to 5K program is a good way to get started. You start with what you can do, however little, and build it up slowly but steadily as you feel able. If you're very sedentary/unfit/overweight you could even start with brisk walking at first, before moving to the jog/walk combination.

peterpan99 Thu 22-Sep-11 09:56:58

i think if you really want to do it you most def can!smile

FetchezLaVache Thu 22-Sep-11 09:57:46

I belong to an online running forum and you wouldn't believe how MANY people do this! They start off small (that's the key), maybe do Couch to 5K, then they end up getting hooked on running and just keep adding more and more distance. I have become friends with one girl who lost 6 stone and started running to make sure she kept it off- she ran the London Marathon this year. Try the Couch to 5k, that will give you a good idea of whether you enjoy it or not. But don't try to do too much too soon- you need to build up veeeeeery slowly to avoid injury.

Get yourself a proper sports bra and some decent trainers, and off you go!

emsyj Thu 22-Sep-11 10:00:19

16 stone isn't that much. You could lose your excess weight within a fairly short time (certainly within 12 months) if you were disciplined about it.

Of course the people who do this are in a minority, but for the reasons Ephiny states: it takes a lot of effort and a lot of people start but give up. Your body is no different from that of someone who runs regularly - it will respond if you treat it differently. Feed it different food and exercise it regularly and it will become slimmer and fitter. You may not have the natural make-up to be an athlete, but you can certainly get to a position where you are a healthy weight and can run 5-10k. Of course you can - if you put the effort in.

FWIW, I was terrible at sports at school, but that doesn't have any bearing on whether you can enjoy sport and fitness as an adult. I started going to an aerobics class when I was 22 and really got into it. Then I started swimming, then spinning, then before I knew it I was reasonably fit. Then one evening I went to my usual aerobics class and there was a girl from school at the back of the class. She had been one of the sporty girls at school, but you know what? She couldn't do my class! I know it's a bit wrong, but I was delighted - she couldn't follow the steps and had to sit down half way through. Being good (or bad) at something when you're at school doesn't define whether you'll be any good at it later on.

Exercise can take time to get into IME. You might have to force yourself to do it for the first couple of months, but you will feel better for it and you will want to do it after a while - it will stop feeling like a chore. Just keep at it.

lynniep Thu 22-Sep-11 10:04:20

yes its a minority. course it is. but it can be done. my mate Anna went from 17st to 11st (on a vlcd). She's managed to keep her weight down for two and a half years. and she runs all the time. She's done a half marathon, and had she the time to train, she'd probably manage a marathon.

I did a 10k even at 12st. I came (nearly) last, but I kept going and didnt stop. I'm one of these people who have always said 'I'm not a runner, I just can't do distance' but its not true. I can do it if I train up. Your body gets used to the process and the breathing and heartrate (which was always the killer for me) regulates, and it becomes just a little bit addictive to go for longer and longer.

northerngirl41 Thu 22-Sep-11 10:07:41

The key is to build it into your lifestyle so it becomes second nature and also to do stuff which rewards you fast so you can really see the results...

I lost a stack of weight a few years back by using a personal trainer (yes, very middle class and very expensive, I know!!) but really it made it so easy to lose the weight.... Firstly because he'd hunt me down if I missed a session and secondly because the training he did for one hour a week was equivalent to about 5 hours in the gym on my own - it's all about finding the right kind of exercise and making sure you do it properly to get maximum effect for your effort.

So for me, running in the pouring rain is no fun whatsoever, so I didn't do any running - instead we did tons of kettlebell exercises and sit ups and press ups, combined with some swimming and a little tiny bit of cross training on the machines.

Realistically it's entirely possible to shed a few stones over 6 months if you are willing to change your lifestyle.

AngryFeet Thu 22-Sep-11 10:17:42

Of course you can if you really want to. You can do anything if you really want to. I was running 10ks easily a couple of years ago and only 18-24 months before that I was nearly 14st (I am 5ft 3) and completely sedentary.

You need to lose some of the weight before you start running though. Find a good weight loss regime - WW, SW, cal counting or whatever you prefer. Start walking more, using stairs, try and do some swimming or light aerobics. If you can exercise for say 3-4 days a week at about an hour a time (nothing too full on at the start as I say just start with the simple things above but try and get your heartrate up and get a bit out of breath/sweaty). After 6 weeks you should find all these things pretty easy and most likely if on a weight loss regime will be near a stone loss. At this point try and up the exercise a bit but again don't overdo it (but don't just go for a stroll if you are walking, you need to exert yourself). If you think you can try running for 30 secs and then walking for a minute or so try that. Make sure you get some proper running shoes fitted (but be prepared that you may shrink a show size when you lose weight - honestly I did!) and some comfortable clothes to run in that you don't feel self consious in. You need to up the level of exertion and the amount you are exercising every 6 weeks or you get used to it.

Good luck!

MarKettle Thu 22-Sep-11 10:38:23

elisadoeslittle, I have always hated exercise and thought I was just one of those people that wasn't good at any sport. Always hated PE at school etc and the thought of joining a gym makes me feel sick!

After DS was born I felt horrible about my weight, I'd always been good at dieting and always focused more on food than on getting exercise - but this time controlling food intake just wasn't making a difference! My friend talked me into going to a Zumba class with her and it was so much fun I forgot I was exercising. Don't get me wrong, I actually thought I was dying after that first hour but it was great. I always imagined these gym classes being fully of incredibly toned and thin people, but there was a mixture of all ages and sizes.

After about a month of doing 2 or 3 hours of Zumba a week, I wanted to try other things and decided to start running in the mornings. Get yourself a great pair of running shoes and just go. I feel fantastic after a run, and it sets me up for the day.
I can't believe that I really am one of those people that likes exercise after all hmm

aldiwhore Thu 22-Sep-11 10:45:00

I don't think they're in the minority out of people who are part of a group and losing weight.

I do slimming world and a big part of that is 'body magic' - basically upping regular exercise to make it habit. You get an shiney and everything is you achieve certain targets! wink

I hate exercising for exercising's sake, but go to the gym once a week with a swim after - I don't get bored if its just once a week! I also do Zumba, go for long walks and I WILL get my running shoes on one day... I'm a lot fitter already than I was, and as long as I don't try and run a marathon on the first day there's no reason why one day, if I wanted to, and put in the training, that I couldn't.

One lady at our club has gone all Forrest Gump on us, she runs everywhere, and its definitely accelerated her weight loss (8stone so far), others have taken up tennis, or bought a dog. The emphasis is on moving regularly, rather than exercising like a gym bunny and many people get the 'bug', most though just make moving a lot a regular normal habit. It takes time.

I find it tough because I think I was a Sloth in a pervious life!

kenobi Thu 22-Sep-11 10:46:49

elisadoeslittle - I had a work colleague who did precisely this - went from being the kind of woman who people stared and sniggered at to running a 10k race. I would guess she was about 25st at the start, yes.
She worked incredibly, incredibly hard for a solid year, weight watchers and a work programme at her local gym, who were very supportive. She looked wonderful at the end of it, not whip-thin (poss a 14-16?) but toned and glowing. TBH The weight is slowly creeping back on for her, though she's nothing like as big.

But yes it's doable. It's keeping the weight off that's a bugger sad but she still looks 1000% better and she's happier and healthier.

kenobi Thu 22-Sep-11 10:48:17

Oh god that reads like I think people stare and snigger at you blush blush please don't take it that way. I am hideous at estimating weight.

HellonHeels Thu 22-Sep-11 11:02:23

You can do it if you want to and if you're willing to make the time for yourself to do it and make a committment to work on it regularly.

Eight years ago I weighed 17 stone and hated all forms of exercise. I puffed on a half mile walk to the post office.

My final straw was realising I was getting osteoarthritis in my knee at age 35 because of the strain the joints were under from my weight. I started going to weight watchers with a work colleague and joined a gym. I had to be careful about exercising because of my knee. The gym gave me a weights programme to strengthen my leg muscles, I began walking. As I lost weight over a year the joint pain disappeared, I began to run on the treadmill and eventually trained for 5k and then 10k runs.

I no longer run because it aggravates a neck problem but in the last year I have learned to swim and now swim a kilometre several times a week. I bought a bike and love going out cycling. I go on long hikes at the weekend and on hiking holidays. My outlook on life is completely different, I love being active.

I've regained some weight after reaching my goal but I still love exercise. There's no reason why you shouldn't train for running events. Running is almost free - you just need good, properly fitted shoes and a sports bra. Go on, you can do it!

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