I started properly “working out” (ugh) three months ago to the day, and to commemorate this milestone in my life, I weighed myself properly for the first time today. It would appear that my running (do note that when I write “running”, I mean shuffling and, at the very most, gentle jogging) has shaken about 5 kilograms off me. This is significant for me, considering how hard it is for me to shift my weight and that the last time I lost any weight in a similar length of time was in the first trimester of my pregnancy (although that was a much more effective weight-loss strategy, kilogram for kilogram. I should write a book about it: excellent weight-loss tip: get pregnant, get
morning- evening-sick, stop drinking alcohol and don’t eat anything after 2pm for about 13 weeks. Like most fad-y, dubious weight-loss strategies, the effects of this one would be disappointingly short-lived.) So I went from a BMI of 21 to a BMI of, like, 20, which must be worth something. Not that BMI is necessarily a good indicator of being in shape. My 6’4″ husband is really slim and trim, thanks to a combination of Jujitsu and kick-boxing and our largely vegetarian, low-GI dinners (though he’s still quite broad-shouldered, it must be said), but keeps getting BMI results that put him in the “pre-obese” category – as if it’s his destiny to be obese and he just needs to keep trying. He is not carrying any extra weight, so it’s clearly a ridiculous indicator that is most likely skewed to shorter people and those of average height.
But I’d never really wanted to lose weight. When I do, it all goes off my face and chest first (FFS). I’ve never been overweight except for that one year at university when it was probably touch-and-go, and also, having had a baby, I think it’s quite respectable to carry a little extra junk in the belly region (not that there’s anything wrong with having a belly if you haven’t had a baby – I just mean that since having Lil A I’ve been less conscious of my weight).
What I had wanted to lose by starting my foray into running was my fear of the thing I’d stigmatised for the last, oh, 20 years: exercise.
And it’s done exactly that. In three months, I’ve run the fear of exertion right out of my mind and now I’m signing up for a trail series, going for runs on the weekends, spending my savings on trail running shoes and a spare pair for running, and forgoing after-work drinks so I can hit the treadmill. This is the biggest victory for me: losing a long-nursed fear. I suppose I’ve also gained something, too (win some, lose some): an alarmingly fierce addiction.
Not that I ever run further than 5 kms, you understand. I’m still a bookworm with couch-potato tendencies at heart, after all.