Pretty soon I’ll approach the one year anniversary of my decision to lose weight. I didn’t start running for a couple of months, but I really do think running continued to push me through my weight loss, as did training for a triathlon.
Before I started losing weight I remember hating it when people talked about how you have to run to lose weight. I still think this is fundamentally untrue and when people I know decide to take up running, partly because I’ve had success with it, I warn them to only run because it’s enjoyable, not because it’s a necessity.
Awhile ago I read this blog post from someone else about how she lost a lot of weight running and hated every minute of it. Once the weight was gone she kept running and she still hated it and hated it until one day she decided that if running was what she had to do to maintain her weight loss then it wasn’t worth it to her. I think this is the healthiest attitude anyone could ever have about weight loss.
I never thought I would be a runner, but I gave it a try–and here I am. The trick for me was easing into running instead of just trying to go outside and run a mile, panting and wheezing the whole way. Here are some other things that kept me running.
- Accepting that I was slow and would continue to be slow. When I first stated running it took me 10+ minutes to run a mile. Last night I ran three 8:40 minute miles, and this is in less than a year of running. Is 8:40 particularly fast? Not really, but it’s lightning fast for me.
- Realizing I was not the kind of person who could run every day. Some people only run. They run 5, 6, even 7 times a week. And then the next week they go out and do it again. I learned pretty quickly that this would not work for me. I mean, variety is the spice of life right? I have to do other things in addition to running, like cycling and swimming, otherwise I get bored and injured. And sometimes…
- It’s okay not to run at all. The week after my wedding was the fair and I decided I just wasn’t going to exercise. I did a lot of walking and some cycling, but no running. I ate ridiculously and you know what? By the end of the week I couldn’t wait to get back to running and healthy eating. It left me feeling totally refreshed and I clocked my fastest run this week.
This evening I’ll do my first 10 mile run as I continue working towards my half marathon. Wish me luck!