I quit smoking on May 11, 2011. The day after I quit smoking, my sister and I walked a half-marathon. We did this without any preparation. It was funny, and I am happy to say we finished. I gained 40 pounds over the next three-and-a-half years. I laughed about it until I realized that I was trading smoking for obesity. It is May 2014, and I have finally decided to lose the weight I have gained.
I am not a very disciplined eater. I tried a vegan diet about a year ago in an attempt to lower my cholesterol. I didn’t have any problems with the menu, in fact, I found the selections available to me very palatable. The problems I had were in the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as having to prepare two meals, three times a day, one for myself and another for my family. This diet fell by the wayside.
I was taking an evening writing class, and the instructor was a dedicated runner. He ran a marathon almost every weekend throughout the summer. Some of the races he participated in were themed. I remember him going to Philadelphia for the Run with the Rockies…a 26.2 mile run dressed as Rocky Balboa! This instructor’s name is Mark. The thing you notice most of all about Mark, besides the fact that he is extremely fit and you are embarrassed to stand by him, is the fact the he exudes happiness. Mark is happy when he talks about running, happy when he talks about running apparel, running trails, his running friends, locations, shoes, well, you get the picture. Plus he is just all around happy, and I started to wonder if those endorphins would work magic on me as well.
I did some looking around online and found John Bingham, AKA The Penguin.This man writes a column in Runner’s World. He is an overweight couch potato turned full-marathon runner. I thought about all the fit and toned people I saw at the starting line of the race I was in. I started to dream that maybe it wasn’t too late for me to turn my ship around.
I purchased “Run Your Butt Off!” A breakthrough plan to start running and lose weight. This book explains how anyone can be a runner. It explains that you either have to diet or exercise more to lose weight, that weight loss is work. But it also says that given the choice between moving more or eating less, it is more fun to do the former! Or, even better, you can do both at the same time!
This book explains how to ease yourself into fitness. You learn how to calculate your body mass index, how to calculate how many calories you need in a day to promote weight loss, and how to start running to burn more of them!
I would love to tell you I have lost all of my weight. I have lost 8 pounds. I have only been following this plan for two weeks. I am still at the walking phase. I walk for 30 minutes four days a week. I drive to a rural road nearby and walk about two to three miles. It isn’t nearly as painful as you may imagine. This book explains the walking will get me ready to run. I have already seen the weight difference, and I do feel good and good about myself every day I get out and walk. Sooner or later I will start to run and it will be a great accomplishment. I plan on sticking with this plan and will write a follow up article to state my success or failure in my weight loss journey.
This is a good plan for just about everyone because it doesn’t require special food, equipment or a gym membership or other hefty financial commitments. All “Run Your Butt Off!” requires is a motivated booty and a place to go and walk or run. I hope to be writing again by the end of summer and reporting my success in getting my body back in shape!