Welcome back to #SlimmingSunday, the new weightloss, fitness and healthy lifestyle linky with me, MrsShilts and Michelle from Mummy From The Heart.
My lovely co-host Michelle is away on holiday so it’s just me with the linky this week and next. I’ve had a terrible week on plan. I gained again at SW and I know why, I just can’t seem to get my head around it. Also the weather hasn’t helped (we’re always moaning about the weather aren’t we? Even when it’s blooming beautiful and hot outside) as I’ve just not had an appetite for a full meal in the evenings. It’s cooling down over the Bank Holiday weekend (of course it is!) so hopefully my appetite will come back.
I’m handing over to Shilts (my lovely husband) for the rest of this weeks #SlimmingSunday as he’s doing so well and it’s always great to read a bloke’s point of view about slimming and the world of leading a healthier lifestyle.
Slimming World and Shilts
See, I told you I’d be back. One of the things that is great about my new (ish) career, is that I have re-discovered a love for writing, and so fresh from having a couple of my works published in the world of academia, here I am again getting published in a wholly different, but no less rewarding way. Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments from my last contribution to Slimming Sunday, and I am very grateful to everyone who took time to read my thoughts.
So, how have I been doing? If I’m entirely honest, April and early May were a bit of a write-off. April was my birthday month, and I don’t know what May’s excuse was. Either way, shifting the weight has been a bit up and down just lately. I needed a new motivation.
I certainly didn’t expect a trip to London to provide me with that motivation. You may recall that we took a family trip to the capital last month to visit LEGOLAND, and during our time, we also made a decision to head into the city on the Sunday, because it was Marathon day. We both had friends who were taking part, and the idea was to go and give them some vocal and moral support, before heading back up the motorway. Little did either of us realise just what a buzz we were going to get out of the whole event. If you have ever considered going along, you really should. I’ve been watching the marathon on TV since I was a young lad, and it took 36 years to get to spectate in person. I don’t think it will be such a gap until our next visit!
After seeing most of our friends (and what huge admiration we had for you all, by the way!), we made our way back up the M40 that evening and I was driving in thoughtful contemplation (as well as desperately trying to make it back in time to intercept our optimistically timed grocery delivery!). Now, I wasn’t for a minute thinking that I would be rushing to log on to my laptop and recklessly signing up for the 2018 marathon, but I was however thinking about exercise.
Since the turn of the year, exercise is something that has very much taken a back seat. Even before I started shedding the pounds, I did manage to wobble around a squash court about once a week, but when a couple of my regular playing partners’ circumstances changed, the weekly game dropped off the radar. I have never not done something physically active, and I have turned my hand to several sports (all badly, I can hear my team mates past and present shouting!), football, cricket, squash, basketball, table tennis. I’ve tried several things, but oddly enough, running is something I have never really considered up until now.
I wouldn’t say that I plateaued with my weight loss, but you know when you just need a bit of a kick up the bum? Yeah, that was me. So I made another brave move (the Slimming World meeting has inspired me!) and I signed up for a Parkrun profile.
If you have never heard of Parkrun before, this is how it works. Essentially, you turn up at 9am on a Saturday morning at a pre-arranged venue near you, and you walk, jog, shuffle or run a distance of 5,000 metres. (roughly 3.1 miles if you think in imperial measures). The events are run completely free of charge by amazing volunteers, and when you register, you receive a bar code. It is this bar code that enables you to obtain an officially recorded time, which is then displayed online.
So, after signing up, I then looked for my nearest run, which happened to be Walsall Arboretum. So, a few Saturday’s ago, I set an early alarm, got up, had breakfast and drove along to the park. After meandering about like a fish out of water, I found what looked like one of the marshals, who directed me to a ‘new runners’ talk. I listened in to the detail; 3 laps of the marked circuit, keep to the left hand side, faster runners to the front, slower to the back, enjoy it. I was nervous but excited as I made my way to the start. All the new runners got a hearty round of applause, as did people who were celebrating milestone runs. The runners (over 450 of us) assembled into a reasonable order, and off we went. My new Fitbit had kicked in, and after a few shuffling seconds, I was away and into my 5K.
My initial feelings were something the lines of “this isn’t too bad”, followed by “ow, stitch”, followed by “what the hell am I doing”, followed by “surely I’m nearly there”. Did I want to stop? Yes. But I didn’t. I kept going, albeit at a slow pace, but I didn’t stop running all the way from start to finish. I got through lap one, and kept going. Lap two hurt like anything, but I kept going. Once I hit the last lap, I was feeling the effects, but I kept on. I hit the home straight, just another 100m to go, and I summoned up a sprint finish of sorts. Run through the line Shilts, you’ve got this.
I saw the finish line ahead, and fist pumped the air as I completed it. I’d never managed a run of that distance before, and I was elated. I ran past the applauding onlookers (mainly these machine-like athletes who had just knocked off 3 laps as if they were taking a morning stroll) and grabbed my finishing token. I headed over to the scanners, and my barcode was scanned along with my token. After catching my breath, I headed back to the car, feeling like I was walking on air. I’d done it!
It was also quite satisfying to note that by 10am on Saturday, I had achieved almost 9,000 steps on my Fitbit, and so the final thing to do was to wait patiently for my time. Around 3pm, I received the text, finished in position 314 (out of 449) with a time of 33m 43s. I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t even envisage running that sort of distance a few months ago, let alone doing it in just shy of half an hour. I actually felt a bit emotional (masked it well, though) and my next thought was ‘when is my next one’…
I’ve done the same run again since. I’ve now added a new pair of running shoes, an arm strap for my phone and a new pair of earphones to my ensemble. I managed to set a new Personal Best time last weekend of 32 minutes flat, which really pleased me. My next mini goal is to get into the 31m bracket, then the 30m bracket, and if I can get under the half hour any time soon it will be a massive achievement.
Sometimes, when you need a bit of inspiration, you just need to go and do something a little bit scary. That’s my final thought for today. Good luck with all your weight losses this week, and hopefully I will speak to you virtually again really soon.
All the best,
Shilts (2 stone 5.5lb lighter since January 2017)
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Have a good week..x