Things I’ve lost. Thanks, exercise.

Obviously I look nothing like this when I run (thank goodness) - for one thing, this silhouette woman's bosom has a superior pillowy quality when compared to my own).

Obviously, I look nothing like this when I run. For one thing, I tend to wear clothes.

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.

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6 thoughts on “Things I’ve lost. Thanks, exercise.

  1. Deva

    Although I’ve run three 10k races this year (well, people were racing, but I was jogging), I’m still intimidated by trail running. I’ve got this idea that it’s for mega athletic folks who can run up the same hills I struggle to hike. So if you have trail habits, though you have the same (non)athletic background I do, and you only do shorter distances, I think I should woman up!

    I’m so clueless though, I don’t even understand why the shoes are different! Was thrilled to hear I am allowed to walk the hills.

    Reply
    1. miche17 Post author

      Well, my absolute limit for amount of time I can run is 45 minutes at the moment. So I think the furthest I’ve run is 6kms – I don’t think I’d manage a 10km race, so good on you! 🙂 No need to woman up – there are so many different kinds of fitness, and running for 10kms means you’re obviously v cardio-fit, whereas maybe my muscles are stronger but my heart is weaker? Or something? (Clearly am no expert!)

      But yes, I do run up the hills, and try to do a road/trail run at least once a week. The route I usually take is up a constant, steep incline on the road for about 3.5kms, and then a trail run down the mountain and over the beach – so it’s a good mix. I far prefer this to plain old road running – even it’s just for 45 minutes, road running bores me!

      If you feel the urge, give trail running a try sometime – it’s really just hiking with more pace, and once you get going, it’s easier than you’d think, probably because you have to be so aware of where you’re putting your feet that you can’t pay attention to how tired you feel! Obviously you can’t trail run up a cliff face, though – so it’s not exactly running up the hills you struggle to hike (i.e if you would genuinely struggle to hike it, you’d probably not be able to run it, either – if it’s like at a 90-degree angle to the ground, say).

      As far as I’m concerned, the only difference I can see in my trail running shoes vs my running shoes is that they have a lot more grip (so they’re excellent for hiking too) and give more support on the ankle (ditto re hiking). They’re quite cool, actually. (No, really.)

      Let me know how you find it if you do give it a try – it’s really a lot more fun than plodding along on the road.

      Oh, and thanks for your comment! 🙂 Always nice to hear about other non-athletes’ athletic pursuits!

      Reply
  2. Deva

    So I just went for my first trail run and loved it 🙂 It was a mostly gradual rise and fall, so not too demanding, and way more pleasant than running through polluted streets. With the need to slow down and sometimes walk tricky bits and steepish hills, it really feels like you can go for longer than a non-stop, paced run. Still need to get some of those in to prepare for a 10k, but a trail run will definitely be part of my week this autumn (I’m in the northern hemisphere).

    So soft on the joints too!

    Reply
    1. miche17 Post author

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Invest in some shoes with more grip before you start doing trail runs regularly, though. If you turn an ankle, you won’t be able to run AT ALL and that would, like, suck.

      Reply
  3. Neil

    Hi. I stumbled across your post because I was looking for silhouette images of a girl kicking a soccer ball for a desktop wallpaper I’m making. I loved your article, gave me a few chuckles 🙂
    I hope you have a great day!

    Reply

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