I ended 2018 unhappy with how I had treated my body and mind in 2018. Towards the end of the year, I was happier in general (work-related stress had gone) but I knew that I had yet again failed to shift the excess weight that I have been (half-heartedly, I now admit) trying to get rid of for years. Each year, I added on a little more until by the end of 2018, I had set another new record for being the heaviest I had ever been. I vowed not to beat myself up over it but knowing that I had found something I loved doing, I resolved to be fitter and healthier in 2019.
I decided to give up alcohol for 3 months while in training for my first half-marathon. As it happened, I had my last drink on 28 December. I was designated driver at Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) simply because my husband drove last time round but it made it easier to start the new year feeling fresh. I woke on the 1st of January and went for my first run. On 2nd January, I did the same again. I had started as I meant to go on. Some weeks it’s difficult to plan runs because my husband’s work finishing time is never the same from one day to the next but I averaged two a week in January. I have been consistent and I am motivated to continue in this way. I have joined a gym – just so I have a back-up option in case snow stops me running outside. I can’t be put off as easily this time round. I have also been doing HIIT workouts, trampoline workouts, indoor running and yoga if I am not able to get out. I love this feeling of motivation and determination to become the fittest, healthiest version of myself. My daughter also likes to join in at home!
The highlight of the month was the practice half-marathon I ran on 27th January. I doubted I could do it. I thought I could but I didn’t know for sure, having never ran as far as that before. 9 miles is the furthest I had ran before. My focus was on completing it. I knew I wasn’t going to be fast and it took me around 2.5 hours to run 13.1 miles. It wasn’t easy (I had the wind in my face for approximately 5 miles) but I did it. I DID IT. Because I know I have done it once, I know I can do it again. I plan to run at least one more practice half-marathon before 31 March and I want to shave some time off – 30 minutes if possible.
I’m looking forward to challenging myself again. Small challenges achieved = small wins = big feeling of satisfaction 🙂
Sick of piling on weight over the years and yo-yo dieting to no real effect, in early 2018, I decided I would take up running. I found the gym boring and exercise classes only held my interest short-term. It was easy to find excuses not to go. I admit, I started running as a new way to lose weight. I thought it might be torture but maybe I deserved to be tortured. After all, I hadn’t been looking after my body over the years. It was my own fault I was overweight. If I had to suffer to slim down, so be it.
I started strong in 2018 but suffered a few set backs. I talk about this in more detail in my post “Overview – 2018” but the gist is, I ended the year heavier than I started, not super slim and fit as I had hoped. However, it’s a new year and I have a renewed enthusiasm for running. I never talk myself out of a run. I always want to go and I always enjoy it. I have found a new love. If you have to find excuses not to do something, it’s not for you. Find something you love. That’s half the battle. Today, weight loss is not my priority. I run because I want to. Weight loss is a positive side effect but it’s not my focus. I love the fresh air, the greenery and scenery (I live near hills) and I love the way I feel when I have exercised. It has huge mental benefits as well as physical. I’m glad I chose to start, even if my intentions were wrong in the beginning. I’ll never stop now I’ve started. Well, until my legs give in – decades down the line, I hope!
I started my love affair with running in February 2018 right before the heavy snow came. The Beast From The East knocked me off stride before I had even really got going. Being cooped up in the house led to boredom eating and some evenings, boredom drinking. When I returned to work, stress helped contribute to these destructive habits - mainly stress eating.
It was to be a while before I got back into positive habits but I did.
Some highlights from my first year as a runner
Running with the kids while they cycled
Ran with hubby once – it’s a rarity due to childcare
I probably pulled off some of my best runs on own
I competed in my first race
AND…I signed up for my first half marathon – March 2019
Obstacles in 2018 Extreme stress at work/anxiety - the worst I have ever felt mentally and physically. I made this note in my phone of the symptoms:
Boozy week away for my friend’s hen do – it was HUGE fun at the time but wrecked my good habits and was hard to come back from.
Binge eating / mindless eating – looking back now, I’m assuming it was a coping mechanism to combat stress. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
Poor overall diet / relationship with alcohol
Ended the year the heaviest weight I have ever been
How I overcame these obstacles
Vowed to look after my body better – starting with swearing off alcohol for at least 3 months while I train for the half marathon.
Diet has also improved – making the best choices I can but not stressing if I fancy a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps. Using MyFitnessPal to track calories in and exercise.
Generally finding better coping mechanisms i.e not turning to food or alcohol in an attempt to feel better. Running, reading, writing, breathing exercises.
Feeling fitter, healthier and happier already, one month in. Long may it continue.