Running and weight loss: your story

  • Hello,

    I have decided to finally bite the bullet and start running. I choose it because I've always wanted to try it, and it seems to be quite effective alone or mixed w/ a weight lifting routine.

    My question: I'd like to hear from others who have had positive results after starting to run...

    Weight loss itself isn't my goal, it's more so to be more muscular and have a 'tighter' body...

    I've already been fitted for new shoes, I just need the weather to cooperate!

    Currently I do the body for life work out for weight lifting, and trying to stay w/ the bfl way of eating... ( I take medicine for bipolar disorder. Unfortunately all the ones that work really well for me also make it a little more difficult and slower for me to control my eating,)

    My goal is that I want to use running as a time to relax, like therapy on the road.

    thanks for everyone's help

    PS-what are 'runner's thighs'? it seems like the body types of runners are all over the board..
  • Hi OpticalGoddess, I'l tell you about my experiences with running. I started running about a year ago as an outgrowth of my weight loss efforts, but it's come to mean so much more to me. At age 40, I had never been a runner before, but I had started walking, and was looking for something that would give me a little more cardio, and that I could still do outdoors (I am not much of a gym person). To my surprise, I discovered that I actually liked it - to the point now where if I don't get out there for more than a day or two, I almost get cravings to run.

    I do find it to be great therapy, I really feel like getting out there is useful in working through the stresses of the day. And I've actually built my mileage to the point where I am running a marathon in about 6 weeks - a year ago, the idea of being able to run a 5k felt like a dream.

    As to what are runners thighs - well, there is certainly a very lean body type with well-defined leg muscles that you see on elite runners, but that said, you will also pretty much every size and shape out there on the running path. But, if you check out my progress pics (link is in my signature below), you'll see that I've actually developed some reasonable leg muscles thanks to my efforts.

    So, give it a try and hopefully you'll find that you enjoy it too - then you can join us on the coolrunners thread!
  • Hello. I started running before I started trying to lose weight. I always wanted to run, but never really knew where to start. I signed up for a 1 mile fun run in my local park which shamed me into realising how unfit I was, went to the gym where I got weighed for the first time in years, decided to sort myself out and never really looked back from there.

    When I first joined the gym I concentrated on general fitness rather than running as such, to try to give myself a bit of a base before I started running. Then I basically used a run/walk programme (not C25K but similar) to get me up to being able to run 5k. I did my first 5k race just under a year after the original 1 miler, and at that point I'd lost somewhere between 40 and 50lb. From there it just took off, I realised that I love it, I built up to 10k two or three months later, and then took another 4 or 5 months to build up to a half marathon. From there I did a marathon about another 5 months after my first half.

    So far I've done 2 marathons (and broken the 4 hour mark in the second), about 7 half marathons, and a similar number of 10ks, plus various other races like a 20 miler, a 30k, a 14 miler, cross country etc etc.

    I used to always run inside, but since I discovered running outside it has made it so much easier. When you've got countryside to look at the run seems to pass so much quicker, even if it does involve more evil hills. Even living in the city, now I'm running longer distances it doesn't take me long to run out of town and hit country footpaths and woodland trails. I tend to find that my mind goes completely blank when I'm running and I can really switch off from everything about where I'm putting my feet, which is actually really nice when I'm stressed.

    I love running alone, but I've also joined a running club who I run with a couple of times a week and I get a bit of a chat, I get tipped off to up coming races etc, which is nice too.
  • I've run on and off for several years but it really kicked in for me after my daughter was born. I used to run a bit during work at lunch, now I am pretty hardcore about running, training for my second marathon, doing my second endurance relay this weekend. I have made good friends this way too.

    Running is meditation for me. I do my best thinking then, its really my only alone time. Sometimes my mind goes blank, sometimes I wrangle an issue.

    I dont know if I have runners thighs, but I have had 2 people compliment my legs lately. I have short muscular legs, not runners legs, but they still look MUCH better after running.
  • Hi

    I am very new to running, but it has absolutely changed my life. Honestly, Changed My Life.

    I started counting calories in mid-March, and walking. I walked with a plan to be able to walk 5K by June. The first week in June, I started the Couch to 5K programme - and it was hard for me. I weighed about 240 when I started running, and I thought I might die that first couple of weeks, but I kept at it - though those who remember me starting will also remember me posting that I was SUCH a [email protected] that even the DOG stopped running with me!

    For a long time, I didn't FEEL like a runner, either - I felt stupid and gawky and ugly and VERY unfit. And then one day, somewhere in week five or six, something clicked and I just felt - like a runner. I felt like I WANTED to run, and nothing was going to stop me (I'm sure I was only doing about 20 minutes, but it was a HUGE leap from where I had started). It was around this time that I bought a treadmill.

    Now I run at least 5K three or four times a week - I cannot imagine NOT running. I put a film in and I run. It is MY time, and I love it. I love the rhythm of my breathing, and my body - I even like to sweat!

    It has definitely aided my weight loss - especially on those days when I crave something sugary (it rarely affects my scale because I have run, although I never go crazy and eat like a whole cake or anything!) - and my body shape is changing by the week. I have lost more than 13 inches off hips, and my thighs weren't this slim and strong even when I weighed LESS than this. I was NEVER an athletic person, not even in school, and some days I still giggle at the IDEA of me as any kind of 'athlete' - okay, I'm not ready to accept THAT yet, but I am definitely a runner!

    I can't imagine not running, honestly, I can't. I am a total newbie, but I have two 5Ks coming up in October, and I can't wait

  • I LOVE TO RUN!!!! Can ya tell!
    It is so what helped me in my weight loss. I absolutly
    need it every morning to function during the day. I
    don't even do a whole lot of miles depending on the
    weather I do any where from 2-5 miles at least 4-5days
    a week. Good luck to you-it is hard at first but get over
    that and you will also lovestorun!!! HA
  • Well, my story isnít all that inspiring, but takes all kinds I guess? I started running after a shoulder injury was keeping me out of the pool and off the cross-trainer. Iíd always professed that I HATED running. The 1 mile run for presidential physical fitness test used to give me major anxiety. But I thought, hey I do yoga and spin and lift weights, etc, all this stuff I never used to do and lost all this fat, maybe I can run now. My bother runs marathons and my sisters run long distance cross country, I must have it in me somewhere! So I started c25k, and it was really hard. But I stuck with it and made it! So instead of hating running, I can say I now tolerate running! Iíve been sort of on and off with my commitment to running, but Iíve finally started going a little farther than 5k, and some days itís not even that hard. Other days running still feels like torture. But I am pretty impressed that I can run, I even did a couple 5k races this summer and didnít do too bad.

    As far as weight loss, Iíve mostly been maintaining over the last year since I started running, so running itself in the amount I was doing wasnít enough to overcome my slack in other areas. Iíve finally budged a few pounds, but thatís mostly due to consistency with my diet and exercise as a whole. Running alone wonít make me lose weight Iím afraid.
  • I'm a fairly new runner (started about 3 months ago) and it has been awesome! Although I've lost 62 lbs. I lost the first 40 a while ago, without any real exercise, then I maintained for a year and have recently lost another 27 lbs with running. I definitely notice a positive difference in the way it has made me look and feel as opposed to when I was just losing weight based on my eating habits.

    I have TONS more energy and stamina now. I've recently been noticing a major change in my legs, more muscle and they just feel so much stronger. I've also noticed my abs are WAY stronger now...just from running, who knew?

    Mentally it has been simply amazing! I feel so strong and capable when I run....even though I can't run very fast or far without a walk break. I never run indoors (no access to a treadmill) and 75% of the time I'm trail running in the mountain preserve down the road. I don't like running as much on the streets but when I'm out in nature in the middle of nowhere running a trail I feel very calm, focused and content. I call it my "happy time" when talking to others, lol! When I'm done with my run I always end up feeling proud of myself and very satisfied and accomplished. I can't stress how much it has helped my self image!

    I encourage everyone to run, yes it's hard at first, and certainly can be discouraging (I couldn't even run for 60 whole seconds when I started!) but just keep working at it and it will start to get easier, it will start to feel more natural and pretty soon you'll want to do it all the time!
  • Thank you all for your support and stories. The weather has finally turned agreeable, so tomorrow is my first go with my new shoes. It seems the weather, my health and my mentality have aligned...

    I got a job writing a monthly article for a magazine, and have decided to use the money I earn from it toward running/fitness. I have the shoes. My next step is a bigger ipod.
  • Bumping this just cuz it's inspired me!

    I'm gonna start doing the Couch to 5k Coolrunners plan!
  • Ahh, I must've missed this thread before. Thanks for the bump.

    I started changing my eating at age 37 and decided to add exercise at 38. Not having a lot of time then to devote to exercise, I figured with running, I could finish faster, so that's what led me to start it up. I think ANY exercise would've had the same results...doubling my weight loss from the loss I got from just eating right...but I still enjoy the running. At first it was because of the time constraints, but as I went along it was more for the rush of adrenaline, and...well...just because I could. LOL

    I once had a friend watch me workout on my stair stepper while she was visiting and she made the remark, "Your leg muscles are amazing." I also think running has helped to tone my tummy. I try focusing on it, keeping it taut, as much as I can while running.
  • I thank you for posting. I've been ill for the last 3 weeks and haven't done much save for a few days of walking. I will honestly say I'm not in a very good frame of mind for health/fitness/working out/ eating right because I feel like I've lost anything I've built up from being sick... I'm also doing some research to see what role my medication is playing in making it almost impossible to lose weight/size...but seeing other people's positive stories and even that a thread I started could be inspiring to others in turn inspires me.