Too fat to start?


A little back ground, I'm 25 years old and started piling on the weight at around age 16/17 due to family troubles. I was quite fit before that, I used to skateboard miles to a skate park with friends, spend hours there skating, and then skate back. I ran a 5K when I was 14/15 on a whim with not training at all, I signed up on the day. I ran it in 32 minutes. My goal would be to get back to that level of fitness.


Right now I weigh a whopping 159.5 kg 0.5kg down from last week, I'm 180cm so I'm thinking my goal weight should be 80 kg (ish). At this weight can I realistically expect to be able to start running? I've looking at the c25k and I have to admit I think week one would be quite a struggle. I think I could manage to run 60 seconds (very slowly) but I'm not sure I could manage it 8 times in 20 minutes. Perhaps I should create a week 0 with running 30 seconds?


I'm in generally OK health besides my weight, apart from having a kidney stone, which I'm waiting to be zapped (they run in my family).


Any input or advice would be greatly welcomed.




  • I'd try fast walking for a bit to break yourself in gently. Age is on your side but as I'm sure you know it's the diet that will help you lose the weight. The calories you can burn off running is pretty minimal compared to what you can take on.

    Good luck with it !
  • Start walking, keep working hard to loose weight, and over time build up with the odd jog from one lamppost to another, and slowly take it from there.

    you know the weight is a big issue. I was 100kg when I started dieting n running. Realistically get the diet going first. Running does not burn that many calories it's great for your overall health, but the key to dieting is very, very dull. It's just counting the calories going in and enduring you limit them,

    at 100kg and 5ft 3 I worked out online my average calorie intake was around 3500 a day to maintain a weight would be around 2000 so I knew I had to cut down to less than 1500 daily.

    if you face the facts they are horribly blunt you are probably eating 4-5000 calories at least a day on aversge. You need to get this down to around 1800 a day.  I cheated I decided fresh fruit as long as it's whole not pulped it in a pie image I decided would not count. whole fruit only image so if you did something similar it's 1800 calories plus fruit. 

    basically I found it far easier to go cold turkey for a period of time. So I threw out all sweets, crisps n nice things, refused to buy any ore oavkaged or microwave meals. Cooked all meals from fresh, if I wanted something sweet it had to be fruit.

    i lost 5 stone in six months and managed to very slowly stagger around a marathon.

    so yes it's doable, but in my opinion only if you don't make half arsed efforts... You really need to want to do it for YOURSELF! and then just go for it. 

  • Oh with regards to trainers. I just went for the ones I could find with the most cushioning image there are lots that say less padding in the trainers is better, but I'd look at a decent pair of walking shoes, and start walking a decent amount first, and then get trainers when you have a few miles under your belt. 

    go to a ooxsl running shop for advice on trainers, or places like go outdoors or Cotswold outdoors for more walking shoe based advice. 

  • Hello & welcome! Excellent advice from cougie & booktrunk image

    I'm new to running check out the fat to fit thread & join in, everyone is very supportive.

    one thing I've found very useful is the my fitness pal app for your phone, log in your weight height etc & it will give you an estimated calorie goal per day. Then all you have to do is make good food choices & log them in your diary on the app, it will find most of the foods you have eaten. It's an excellent way of making you think before you eat! Meal planning for the week is a must, I have found doing this(especially with a family to feed) stops you getting home & reaching for anything that's to hand.

    also runkeeper is another app that will log your time & distance for walking just now, then when you progress to running for a bit ie c25k it will keep all that you have done & keep you motivated by comparing what you do week to week.

    Good luck & get out there, the first steps are the hardest but soooo worth it & you'll feel fantastic! Don't let the "but I'm not running" buts get to you just start off slow & when YOU feel able to run for a bit go for it image

  • +1 to MyFitnessPal

    +1 to anything booktrunk and cougie says - they are two of the most helpful people here

    Personally I used to be 140kg. I dropped to about 120kg before I started running through diet alone - so by introducing walking early you stand a much better chance of losing weight early along with a calorie controlled diet and it will make the running easier.

    Once you feel comfortable with the walking, try the Couch to 5k program (Search for C25K in your Phone's Appstore) and its perfect to take you from walker to runner.


  • yes myfitness pal is very good especially if its on your phone as you can use the scan in function to log food if you are eating something that has a barcode!
    walking is definitely key to start with. just keep increasing your distance a bit each week, try to get out every day if you can (although its not easy i know!) - start with a mile or whatever you can manage and go from there. the important thing is to keep increasing slowly.
    you will get to the point where you can run again, well done on taking the first step back to fitness! image

  • Hi everyone,


    Thanks for the support and words of encouragement. I'll try for a 2 mile walk over the weekend, and see how I go, I've been using MyFitnessPal but only to monitor my weight, so I have a nice graph to look at. I might start to track my food too, but no-doubt I'll forget to add things on.


    I'll also be using Endomondo too to track time / distance walked. I used it a little in the summer last year, and found it to be (mostly) accurate.


    If anyone else has any tips I'd love to hear them. I'll be sure to become part of the "fat to fit" thread too.


    I'm determine I won't become one of the no doubt hundreds of members that appear for a few days / weeks motivated before disappearing into the abyss.



  • Good luck image

    This sounds a bit of a moody post... It's not, it's a realistic post... From my own experience and others.

    With regards to tracking food etc... either you count calories or you don't once you've done it for a few months it gets easier to estimate and judge, but at the beginning you have to be really strict and count everything,

    To put it in context... with regards to running you might loose 130 calories a mile being overweight, going down to 100 or maybe even only 80 or so as you get thinner, but you would have to run 18-22 miles to run off the equivalent of a large pizza hut take away pizza. So the running side of it is not the answer to a diet.  It's awesome for toning the body and is good for your diet, but fundamentally it's all down to the calories coming in and going out. I ran 11.3 miles last night, and that took nearly 2 hours, and only burnt around 900ish calories.

    The iphone walking apps are great saying you've lost x calories when doing x walk, most of them seem to be on the generous side in the amount of calories they think you've burnt. So don't think you can 'eat' the equivalent calories to those that you've walked off.

    Non diet sport drinks are the worlds worst thing if you are dieting, and exercising, you exercise at the gym for an hour, then swig down a bottle of lucozade congrats, you've just drunk more calories than you burnt off.

    If you are serious, then you need to  take these sorts of things into account.

    On the good side.  I suggest you start measuring around your waist, thighs, and upper arms.  You might have periods where for 3 or 4 weeks your weight hardly seems to be going at all, if you keep an eye on your measurements, you can see if you are still shrinking even though the weight isn't necessarily going, I found this was a good confidence boost at times.


  • Is a 2 mile walk ambitious enough ? You'd probably do that walking round the shops in an afternoon. 3mph is average walking pace - so see what you can do - but the more active you are the easier it will be.

    My Fitness Pal is excellent.
  • Ohhh more actually, I tried it out the other week being silly.  Walked around the shops in Nottingham for 3 hours (included lunch in that time) according to my Garmin i'd gone 5.6km image  so 3.5 miles I know it's silly as it looses you in some shops etc... but it was fun just to get a ball park idea of how much you walk when out and about.


    Oh.... and don't wear a HRM when doing it, totally buggered up my Vo2 thought that I was very lightweight.

  • I know 2 miles doesn't exactly sound like a lot. But when I was walking in the summer the furthest I managed to walk is 2.2 miles in 43 minutes, and it involved a lot of back pain.


    I'm technically classified as super morbidly obese (BMI over 45). So I don't want to set goals too difficult to start with, I'd rather be in the position of revising my goals up instead of down.


    I'm also considering getting a fitbit flex to track my activity day to day.

  • Get out for a couple of miles a day, that would be a great start image

  • Main advantage of being out is that you aren't near the biscuit cupboard. That might just be me though.

    In fact you shouldn't have biccies in the house. If they aren't there - you cant eat them.
  • That's how I did it... for the first six months i threw out all sweets n crisps n nice things, and only allowed fresh fruit in the house as snacks. It was fruit or cook something, so I got used to eating fruit instead.

  • +1 for myfitnesspal. It's a great app and not only for counting calories. I was getting tired and lethargic between runs and it showed up the lack of protein in my diet. It really helps to see what I can allow myself as sometimes I wasn't getting enough fuel on board for the longer runs. I used a bike when I first started to lose weight as running really wasn't doing my knees any good. Smaller portions at meal times helped and I binned the snacks. Once the weight started to come off I followed a walk/run program to very slowly ease into running. The first time I did 30 minutes non stop I was ecstatic. Running has helped keep me (reasonably) in shape but diet does top exercise every time for weight loss. Food swaps are a good idea. Swap 2 chocolate digestives for 2 jaffa cakes, swap any bag of crisps for a bag of quavers etc. 

    I have dropped 3 stone from an original 104.5kg. I have 10lbs left to lose to hit my goal which has been sitting there for a while now. This year! image

    Good luck and keep posting, there are some great people on here with some great advice. 

  • As Booktrunk says taking measurements can really help. I hadn't lost any weight for a month after i hit 3 stone but people kept telling me to stop losing weight as i'd apparently lost more since they last saw me. I couldn't figure it out but it was simply down to my body toning up. 

    This whole lifestyle change you're talking about here is one long trip so don't panic if things don't always go to plan. It's a marathon, not a sprint! 

  • As you get into it, you'll find it does come off quite easily. I was 18st and a bit this time last year, and am now aiming for the 14st 3 pounds for the top of the "healthy" BMI. It was simple things for me at first. Stop the packet of cookies for breakfast, stop buying them in the first place, eat less in general, and realise it's ok not to be to full, etc. controverisaly, i do end up weighing myself most days (first thing in the morning, before breakfast, but after the morning loo trip :P). This helped to keep me aware of where im at and how im doing. i learnt that weight does fluctuate over days, so i accept a few pounds margin in the numbers from day to day.

    running wise, sub 30min 5km was one of my first long term goals myself. Parkrun helped to do this, so when you're ready to do the distance of 5km, have alook around for your local parkrun and join in. Start at the back and dont go off to fast, and see how you do. in the mean time, walk breaks are your friend image. You'll be suprised at how quickly you can recover from some exersion. my tip is not to walk for to long, or to try and give yourself a set amount of time for walking (1min jog, 2 min walk etc), otherwise it's very easy to keep walking image.

    However you do it, just give it a go. Even if its less then the C25K plan first suggests, it doesnt matter. After a week or so, you'll already be feeling the benefit and be upping it yourself. just remember the catchphrase of everyone on this forum,.. take it slow! (yeah a strange catchphrase for a "running" forum, but there you do :P)

  • Peter M I did the scales every day to begin with, I'm a month away from 2 years since I started so down to a two or three times a week just out of curiosity mainly, but I still have a official weigh in each Thursday post morning looimage


    it is a lifestyle change not really a diet, you just make different choices, as you say Peter the biggest thing I found was learning to accept it's fine to have the odd grumble from your tummy saying I'm peckish, once I learnt thst itcouldgrumble away quite happily and not actually make a blind bit of difference I gained a lot in confidence.

  • agreed Booktrunk, also sometimes just a glass of water does the trick,.. and also the grumbles do get less as the appetite and stomach decrease as well. 

    Spreading out breakfast helped me. I started just having a proper bowl of cereal (still a bit more then suggested amount, but not much), and would end up being hungry and peckish at 11 isn with lunch so far away. Then i got into have toast/bagel at breakfast as well, which helped, but still come late 11-12 lunch is to far away image. now i have cereal for breakfast, and my toast/bagel at 11,.. and I'm happy and fine until lunch on the same calories and stops me raiding the biscuit tin at work :P.  spread out the meals, smaller portions, etc etc. works wonders image 

  • I've gone from 108 kilos to 93 kilos in about two years. My Garmin reckons that at my height and weight, or however it calculates it, I burn 100 calories per km, give or take (never been able to work out if it takes hills into account). So now I'm doing up to 53km per week (this week) that means I've burnt 32,000 calories running and hiking so far this year. So I guess what I'm saying is, keep at it, build up your capacity and the effects will increase (I know they will flatten off again, but I still haven't reached that point.

    I started out by setting myself a monthly goal of 12 outings- either walking (hills), running (including r/w) and cycling. I found that weekly targets were just setting myself up for failure, as weeks can go wrong for any number of reasons, but a month gives you some leeway. Also, I allowed myself to give up when running if it just got too painful- next time will be better.

  • Also, I've learnt since that if it was so.uncomfortable that I had to stop, I was.going too fast.
  • KronicSonic wrote (see

    Right now I weigh a whopping 159.5 kg 0.5kg down from last week, I'm 180cm


        I'm NOT you and whats good for ME might not be good for YOU but looking back at Garmin Connect I ran 9.5 miles average pace 11:02/miles when I weighted in at 151kg I am admittedly taller than you.

    I'm now nearly 20kg lighter not by worrying how fast or how far or how many times I was running but just getting out there and doing it.

     I've found my Garmin (currently a 620hr but I've had them all going back to the 201) a huge help & motivator think virtual pacer/racer along with Garmin Connect and its Personal Records etc.

    At the end of the YOU need to be putting the effort in.

    Good luck image

  • KronicSonic wrote (see)

    Right now I weigh a whopping 159.5 kg 0.5kg down from last week, I'm 180cmThanks,

       I'm NOT you and whats good for ME might not be good for YOU but looking back at Garmin Connect I ran 9.5 miles average pace 11:02/miles when I weighted in at 151kg I am admittedly taller than you.

    I'm now nearly 20kg lighter not by worrying how fast or how far or how many times I was running but just getting out there and doing it.

     I've found my Garmin (currently a 620hr but I've had them all going back to the 201) a huge help & motivator think virtual pacer/racer along with Garmin Connect and its Personal Records etc.

    At the end of the YOU need to be putting the effort in.

    Good luck image

     Sorry for the double post (can't delete it now) but the "quoting" system is a nightmare!!

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