Fat to Fit - Time for change? Me, too!

Hello to anyone listening,

I appreciate this isn't a new story, but I caught sight of myself in a shop window the other day whilst out with friends and realised I was a lot fatter than all of them (though thankfully not all of them out together). I promised myself that I'd change my ways (yeah, yeah, I know - heard it all before right?).

The thing is, I love my food and drink, but I'm around 15 stone and I've a young son and another baby on the way, and I'm 40 next year! I don't want to be an unfit dad, coughing and spluttering and keeling over whilst trying to play with them, so here I am. 

I have run before (only up to 10k distances) and I loved it but lapsed at Christmas and quickly packed on the pounds again. So, please join me and we can help each other reach our weight, fitness, distance, etc., goals. We can then all celebrate with a glass or two of wine (ahem). 



  • So, I took my first, tentative, steps today. It was on a treadmill - far too hot to run outside - but I managed 30 mins of a 5 minute run/3 minute walk pattern. Felt pretty good and I went at a nice, slow pace.

    I was interested in seeing how many calories I could burn in half an hour - my Garmin told me around 300, so I was quite pleased with that. I've also given up the booze (at least, I've told myself that I have) so with any luck the weight will fall off.

    Back again tomorrow for more of the same....

  • I'm in a similarly shaped boat, although I'm the wrong side of 40 and about 12 kilos heavier (and before I started running I hadn't even done 1k never mind 10)

    I'm trying to balance running with learning how to swim and getting some bike work in (guess what I signed up for!) but despite the fact that I find myself drowning 3 times a week it's still the running that I find the hardest. I'm sure it's 10% my knackered knee, 10% my general fitness and 90% in my head but motivation is not my friend at the moment.

    That said, I think I've just shamed myself into going out tonight. I might try that 5min/3min thing that you mentioned.


  • Keep at it Jae!

    As vain as it sounds some topless pictures can be a major boost in confidence. I don't mean upload them to the net, you can keep it to your self, take one each week and if your honest and keep the training up the results will come. You only have to search for a similar story to realise that it can be done.

    Have you entered a race or competition to aim for?

  • Thanks for the responses, guys. 

    The 5min/3min thing only came into being when I realised that I was comfortable enough to run for five minutes, but didn't want to push it at such an embryonic stage. Do what works for you, but from past experience the walk/run thing is a brilliant way to start. If you go out and really push yourself to run, you'll hate yourself for it and get injured. Walk/run worked for me before - soon enough it was just 'run'. 

    Interesting point about the topless pics - not a bad idea, either, for motivation/shaming myself into doing some exercise. 

    No competitiion entered yet. I want to make sure I'm back in the groove, so to speak, before I set more firm goals.

  • Well I went out last night fully intending to try the 5min/3min thing (I've been stuck on 3min/90secs forever) and at the last minute promptly decided that I needed to get over the psychological barrier that I've been busy building since I started training and just started running.

    16:01 later I've made it to race distance. I was properly chuffed (even more so as I'd done race distance on the bike earlier in the day)

    The one thing I will add is that, for me at least, the most important thing was booking a race. It forces me to get out and train for fear of embarrassment of coming last or not finishing (neither of which are the worst thing in the world by the way)

  • Been there image I was over 19 stone when I decided I had better get in shape. I joined the gym, started running, put down the crisps and never looked back. That was a couple of marathons and an ultra a go. I still have a stone or so to lose and really want to shift it this summer. I've been blogging a bit about it if you are interested - here


    The most important thing for me when I started was to just keep going. I ran or went to the gym every day until it became a habit.

    Good luck image

  • what happened to that bag of crisps, they still available?

  • Hi Jae, good stuff on picking up the running again. I'm also a new runner. I'm in week 6 of the couch-to-5k programme. It's been a massive confidence booster. I've lost 10 pounds, my trousers are all too baggy now, and I can run for the bus. Who thought in 5 weeks I'd be able to run for 20 mins flat without having to take a break!


    I'm setting a goal for myself that before Christmas I will run my local parkrun. Perhaps you should set a similar challenge.


    Yesterday I bought a pair of running shoes because I was starting to encounter some knee pain. I went to a specialist running shop and they recording my running style and advised on a pair, so perhaps a set a goal to reach then invest in some nice shoes.


    Best of luck!


    PS. giving up beer is one of the most important things I've done. I now drink spirits with diet mixers. It's ok because Im a girl, but it's fine if you're a guy too! 



  • Some really nice responses above. One of the great things I've found on the forum is that people are very willing to share (tips, milestones, disasters, etc) so keep them coming. Since I'm a few stones overweight, I'd love to hear any success stories - it's all great motivation. 

    Incidentally, I did that same run as yesterday 5min run/3min walk (repeat for around 30 mins). Nothing too strenuous, just getting my body used to the idea of being on my feet again. Next week, all being well, I'll move to 6min/2min. If I'm not ready, I'll dial it back again until I am. 

    One more thing - I'm wrestling with the idea of not drinking alcohol again. I genuinely have a fondness for decent wine and beer (and the odd gin & tonic), which I don't want to give up completely - I think that abstaining from the things that give me pleasure is no way to live. However, I do understand that the booze does pack the weight on. Any thoughts or comments on alcohol and losing weight/getting fit?

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Jae Prowse wrote (see)

     One more thing - I'm wrestling with the idea of not drinking alcohol again. I genuinely have a fondness for decent wine and beer (and the odd gin & tonic), which I don't want to give up completely - I think that abstaining from the things that give me pleasure is no way to live. However, I do understand that the booze does pack the weight on. Any thoughts or comments on alcohol and losing weight/getting fit?

    Reducing the beer intake definitely helps, I'm afraid to say.  Just look at the calories in beer and compare it to how many calories you burn on a 30-min jog.  Check out the myfitnesspal app, if you haven't already.  It may be a bit of eyeopener for you in terms of the calories intake.

    I have struggled with this in the past and, like you, I will never be tea-total.  However, I now try and plan a bit better rather than having beer when I feel like it.  I tend to plan any drinking around holidays (my wife's a teacher) and mainly abstain for the rest of the time.  One thing I found that helped me is that for any week where I go totally without a drink, I stick £20 in a pot (which is conservatively what I used to spend a week on booze).  There's £500 in that pot now which will do for spending money for my summer holiday.

    If you usually drink with friends, expect some reaction from them and plan for that.  Try and explain to them that you're trying to cut back but if your friends are like mine they may well take a while to get used to the new you.  

    Have a look at the no-alchohol stuff.  I'm not saying it's a perfect substitute, but the Beck's Blue isn't too bad.  I'm afraid I've tried a lot of the no-alchohol wines and they always end up down the drain as I find them awful, but you may like them.

    Good luck with it.  Reducing the beer (and losing weight) together with me joining a running club have shown the biggest improvements to my running over the last year.

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    r wills wrote (see)

    I'm setting a goal for myself that before Christmas I will run my local parkrun. Perhaps you should set a similar challenge. 


    I'd definitely recomend this.  Parkruns are great and open to all abilities/speeds.

  • Thanks, Big_G, 

    I've tried a non-alcoholic Cobra lager. It was bloody horrible! I persevered, but it just tasted like a beer that had gone off. In the end, I poured it down the sink. Might give Beck's Blue a try. Could buy a few as a back-up plan for when I really fancy a beer.

    I was wondering, though, if I'd planned all my meals for the day and still had, say, 300 calories spare, would having a beer or glass of wine have any real detrimental effect?

    I think that a running club will be a good option for me, too, once I'm up to speed, so to speak.

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭

    Jae, I'm no expert but here is what I've found for me personally.

    I got from 17st to 14st with no real issues (at 6ft3, 14st is just in the healthy BMI range for me) apart from looking at my diet and very slowly increasing exercise.  I ran the London marathon at 14st in 2010.  14st to 13st was much harder, and the main change was vastly reducing the beer intake; my weekly mileage and other food intake roughly stayed the same going from 14st to 13st.  I then decided I wanted to give myself a fighting chance of getting quicker at running so I plugged my weight at the time (13st) and target weight (12st8) into myfitnesspal and I had a bit of a shock.

    To go from 13st to 12st 8 at 1lb loss a week I needed to eat just 1800 calories a day on days I didn't exercise.  For me, this is quite tough to do whilst still retaining a healthy diet.  2 "normal" beers are 300 calories (i.e., 1/6 of my daily allowed intake) which is what helped me decide to try and keep off the beers.  Also, another way of looking at it is that 300 calories (2 beers) is probably around 30mins of exercise so you have to do quite a lot of exercise just to get rid of the calories consumed from the beer.  Another way of looking at it is that if you have 300 calories from beer 7-days a week (2100 calories a week), you're than effectively having more than 8 days calories in a 7-day week, just due to the beer.

    I'm not trying to preach (apologies if I'm coming across that way), but it took a long time for me to realise that it was the beer that was causing some of my issues with weight.  Also, if I had a few drinks on a Friday night, it made the Saturday morning run much tougher (i.e., dehydration etc etc), so the reduction in beer has helped my running in other ways too.  The reduction in weight has definitley helped me get quicker at running.

    So, I've gone around the houses a bit, but to answer your question for me those 300 calories consumed with beer did/do have a detrimental effect (I'm sorry to say....).

    Like I said, I'll never be tea-total and I don't want to be but I realised I had to cut back if I wanted to lose the weight to help with the running.

  • Thanks Big_G, that all makes sense - and does help strengthen the resolve somewhat. I don't want to be teetotal either, but if I can stick to having a beer or a glass of wine once a week as a treat then hopefully I'll be ok. Generally, though, I'll try and steer clear if I want to lose weight. 

    Thanks for taking the time to explain how it worked for you. I suspect it's the same for most of us. Right, I need to go for a run now....



  • I'm also finding it hardest to get from 14st - 13st and I don't even have beer to cut out image

    I haven't drunk since I started running. This wasn't really a deliberate decision but I have found the more I run, the better I eat, the less interested I am in drinking. The idea of it now makes me feel quite sick which is a pity as once in a while I think it might be quite nice to have a cold beer.

  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭

    Herbifit - it is tough, isn't it?  Not sure what to advise really except the obvious thing around looking at what you're eating, which I'm sure you're doing anyway.

    I know I've mentioned myfitnesspal a couple of times (I don't work for them, honest!) but that helped me a bit to regulate what calories were going in Vs what exercise I was doing to burn calories.  Basically, it's a food diary but it shows what calories food has and plots the calories against a daily calorie target based on what your weight goal is.  You can then offset your calories burned through running (I use the figure that my Garmin says I've burned although I don't know how accurate it is) so you can eat more on those days.  I.E., I did a 20-miler on Sunday (2000 calories burned aproximately) so could eat quite a bit more that day.

  • Hi Jae, nice to see you back to running again!

    As a fattie myself, I do know that beer is the thing that slows my weight loss down considerably! Most weeks DH and I don't drink (he's Triathlon training), but the summer makes it more difficult as BBQ's and beer are meant for each other. The best that I can do is to make sure that we save it and only drink one night a week, which limits the damage.

    Oh, and another vote for My Fitness Pal, as Big G says, it enables you to be quite accurate in terms of input v.s output (as long as you are honestimage).

  • Jae,  I started this year having to lose 4 stone too, have lost 3 of them, it's the last one that will take the longest. I'm pretty religious about recording everything and that is helping me the most. But I record both out AND in. I use a Fitbit to track all my steps (and therefore calorie output) and MyFitnessPal for logging food (definitely one of the best given the database of UK food it has). I've set up my targets - 1lb a week - and that gives me a gap of 500 calories a day. So more moving around means more food. and it's not just exercise, it's taking the stairs, it getting off one bus stop early etc etc. Everything counts. So far this has been a brilliant diet - I often get home and have to eat more food to hit the daily target. Which is great for the mental motivationimage. So this does allow me to drink wine etc, as long as it's within the limits. 

  • Hey Tina, how are you? Yes, I'm back again - knee problems and general laziness have subsided.

    I'm five days in now and, to be honest, I don't really feel like drinking (unless you're buying image) In all seriousness, it's starting to feel like I'm cheating myself if I do drink. I did buy one bottle of on of my favourite beers, Brooklyn Lager, and I'm saving it for Saturday night, but I'm not sure I'll want it. Two days ago I may have thought differently, but the longer I go the less I want it. We'll see, I guess.

    As for MyFitnessPal - I've been using Nutracheck, which isn't free, but I'd paid for it a few months back so I thought I may as well use it until my subscription runs out. I'm actually enjoying adding all the foods that I've eaten, even if it's a little fiddly, and seeing what I've got left in calories and fat. The great thing is that I feel like I'm doing it right and I'm not starving myself. 

    On the running front, I ran for the third time this week, today, and I feel good. Still following the 5 min run/3 min walk routine but next week, as mentioned, I'll move to a 6/2 pattern and so on until I'm running solidly, then I'll build on my time, then book a race. No rush, would rather just enjoy it at the moment without putting pressure on myself. 

    By the way - Rachelcgen, brilliant stuff! It's your sort of success that's a real motivator for me (and others, no doubt) so keep it up and let me know how you get on with that final stone. Best of luck!


  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Hi Jae:

    Running is great, but as others have said it's the diet that is the key to actually loosing weight.  The running will tone your body and make it look a lot better, you can actually do that and not loose any weight at all, heck you can gain weight, but have friends say wow you look great, but the reality is to properly loose weight it's down to having less calories going in then you use so you are effectively burning off the fat.

    Running is fab, But, you need to decide are you running as your thing or is your thing, to loose weight, and running is part of that.  It doesn't really matter how you start actually as running is very addictive image but anyway, don't go overboard eating extra because you run.

    Remember you would need to run 30 miles plus a week to loose 1 lb, as long as you don't eat a single extra calorie after any of your runs image So running is part of it but the diet is key. image

  • hi booktrunk,

    Losing weight is first for me, hence the calorie counting, but I also think losing weight will make a better (or more efficient) runner. 

    When I ran before I lost a ton of weight, but I didn't really nail down the diet part, so I'm trying to get on top of that this time. I'm still eating bread, pasta, etc., but it's part of my daily calorie limit and I include fish, veggies, fruit and so on to ensure I'm eating well enough. Once the weight starts to shift then I can focus more on the running. As I mentioned above somewhere, I'm not going to start planning too far ahead with running, but just see where it takes me (quite literally).


  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Good luck image

  • Jae Prowse wrote (see)

    Hey Tina, how are you? Yes, I'm back again - knee problems and general laziness have subsided.

    Well I did manage my Half, and was chuffed to bits with it, also worked up the courage to take part in our own club's 10k, ate something dodgy the night before and was violently ill image. But, still running (although only back to it this week after three weeks off due to sore knee). Not losing weight at the moment, but maintaining and have kept the 5 1/2 stone off, so well pleased with that. Will get back to it after my holidays (which will include beer and running, but not at the same time).



  • Morning all,

    Well, I did have a beer last night. Just the one bottle, mind (which came in at 132 calories) but I was well within my calorie 'budget' and it was a reward for my first week in lifestyle change land. 

    Went for a run this morning - only a couple of miles as I'll build it up slowly - so feel pretty good at the moment. 

    Not sure if someone mentioned it on here, but I had scrambled eggs on toast rather than porridge for breakfast and it does fill you up for longer. Ate about 8am and still feel pretty full. Could be a trick of the...er....belly, though. I might be ravenous in a minute. 

    Looking forward to next week. Will move to 6mins running / 2 mins walking, then the following week, 7mins / 1min, then run consistently for 25 mins, then stretch the time on my feet/distance by small increments each week. Any comments around this welcome....

    Anyway, have a great weekend, everyone! 



  • Hi all,

    Well, I lost six pounds last week. Probably mostly water and the lack of chocolate and booze, but a nice (if surprising) start anyway. Will settle into losing a pound or two each week from now on. 

    Went for a run this morning intending to step up from running 5 mins / walking 3 mins, but confused myself and ran 7 mins / walked 2 mins rather than 6 / 2. Was fairly comfortable, though, so I'm quite happy to stick with that for the week. 

    What's everybody else up to this week on the running/diet front?

  • Mind over body Jae!

    This week I will be recovering most for the first part then a OW swim session thursday. Run before a wedding friday. Hungover Saturday and possibly out of the bike Sunday.

    Monday and Tuesday rest as I did the London tri yesterday. Maybe a weights session tomorrow morning sleep dependant.

    Good luck with the 7/2 ratio keep it up. If you have done it once you ca do it again.

    losing 6 pounds by the way is a great start, progress image

  • Thanks, Kritter,

    I have a colleague who did the London tri. Did you enjoy it? 

    And thanks - I know it'll be slow and sure from now on (with the odd plateau along the way), but if I up the exercise in a sensible fashion, I shouldn't have too many problems.

  • Yes it was great, although no goodie bag at the end which was a little upsetting. Still first olympic distance is a good tick in the box and I now know where I am time wise so will be aiming for a sub 2:30 time next time. Not to come up with excuses but the transition was incredibly long so there is certainly more time to be gained.

    Just keep it going. It's so much harder to start again if you stop. Keeping it going with little to no gain is better than not at all. It seems you are a lot more sensible than me. When I come back from injury my first thought is I must make up all the time I've lost rather than, I need to take things easy.

  • No goodie bag? Poor form! Still, bet it was a great experience, nonetheless. It's something I'd love to do one day. 

    I'm much like you, but I've had a couple of false starts. I very much want to be back where I was NOW, but I've also had to admit to myself that the right way is the sensible way. I'm a week in already so at least I'm over the first hurdle.

  • Jae, there were people of all shapes and sizes so you would be more than capable of doing it.

    Sounds like you've learnt from past errors, wish I could say I learnt as quickly.

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