A blog by runners. For runners.

Yo-yo dieter grabbed by the running bug loses 42 lbs

Yo-yo dieter grabbed by the running bug

Runner of the week Denise E. describes how a combination of slimming world, running and under-active thyroid medication helped her lose 3 stone (42 lbs).

Favorite Candy Cadbury creme eggs (notice the plural lol)

Favorite Quote If life deals you lemons, make lemonade

Location Redditch, UK


WalkJogRun Tell us about yourself!

I am 38 years old and determined never to be 40! I have been married for 16 years and have a 5 year old daughter and an 8 year old son. I currently work part time in a supermarket as well as doing a bit of volunteer work helping to raise money for my children's school.

In October 2011 I finally got a diagnosis and medication for an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism), this has changed my life and enabled me to do things I never thought possible! I am also a member of slimming world and since January this year I have lost 3 stone. I love my group and the support I get there. Without slimming world I'd never have even tried running.

WalkJogRun How did you get started running? What's your running “story”?

I have been a yoyo dieter most of my adult life, but have never been massively over weight. That is until I had my second child. I found it impossible to lose weight and couldn't get through the day without an afternoon nap. After a few years of being monitored my consultant finally put me on thyroxine in October 2011. I then went to slimming world in January 2012 and quickly started losing weight and feeling great.

My energy levels were better than they had been for a long time and as my consultant was talking one night in May about body magic (slimming world terminology for exercise) I suddenly felt that I was ready. I wanted something that would be fun, easy to fit into my schedule and also cheap! Everywhere I looked people seemed to be getting into running. A TV show I watch, people I follow on twitter, even a mum at school. I had never ran in my life, not even for a bus. I was the only child in my high school that never took part in a single sports day event because I hated it that much and got so anxious about it the staff agreed to let me and my friend officiate. But now, at 38 years old it suddenly felt like a challenge. I found an app on my phone that said it could get me from the couch to running 5K in 8 weeks. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try, if only to say that once in my life I had ran 5k.

Walk Running to lose 42 lbs

My husband had bought a treadmill the previous Christmas and it had sat collecting dust ever since. I decided the great British public had no need to see me pant and wheeze my way through 5k so started the training in private on the treadmill. I think the first session was walk a minute, jog a minute. When I got off the treadmill I thought I was going to die. My throat was burning and I could hardly breathe but strangely I felt I'd accomplished something. After about 6 weeks I was ready to go out and run in public. I completed the training and to my surprise was enjoying it that much I carried on! I've now been running for 6 months and my biggest distance is 7k. I'm hoping to increase this to 10k but find it hard getting time for longer runs. I have entered myself for the race for life next summer in aid of cancer research UK. So now I have to keep it up!

WalkJogRun Why running?

I have no idea, it still makes me laugh when I think about it! My usual reply when asked why I started running is to say I'm having a mid life crisis! I think it was an accumulation of circumstances. Lots of actors I follow on twitter seem to be running, I saw people out running a lot and I read Richard Hammond's book About his recovery after his jet car accident and he described the feeling the first time he went back out running during his recovery. Something about it that had never appealed before just seemed to grab me.

WalkJogRun What's the best thing about running? What's the worst thing?

The best thing is how strong I feel. You expect your legs to feel fitter and stronger but actually it's my lungs and heart that I feel the difference in the most. I can walk up a hill without getting out of breath! The worst thing at the moment I'd say is finding time during daylight hours to actually get out there and run. I've also had a bit of a hamstring injury which wasn't nice either.

WalkJogRun Do you have any advice for another running newbie?

Just take it one run at a time. Don't try and do too much too soon. Build up slowly and before you know it you'll be running 5k easily. Definitely download a proper training plan and follow it. Oh and definitely get the walkjogrun app :-) its so motivational to have an accurate log of your routes and times.

WalkJogRun Tell us a bit about your training – what does a typical week look like?

I have only been training 3 times a week. I try and do a 5k run twice a week and one 7k run at the weekend. It doesn't always go to plan as I work different shifts but even if I only do 3k I figure it's better than nothing. Last week I decided to get my bike out the shed too so hopefully I'll fit a bike ride in once a week from now on too.

WalkJogRun Tell us about your running or fitness goals.

My only goal is to keep running. I'm happy running 7k for now but might push myself to 10k next year.