Off Topic But On Target

Sorry for going a little bit off-topic but this IS related to C25K, and intended as a fillip for those who are doing the programme as part of a weight loss regime.


65.7Kg (target was 66) from a starting point of 97Kg last February (2012). I know that some of you have done much more than this, but I was so pleased I went out and bought myself a big box of choclolates. (to hand round my office colleagues ...) I lost 1/3 of my body weight, came off blood pressure medication and dropped from 38 inch waist trousers to 30 inch (and currently wearing a belt to stop them slipping ...)

So if you're running to lose weight, here's proof that C25K doesn't just work - it sets you up for the change of lifestyle that you need to get where you want to be. Of course, as I've often pointed out here, exercise alone doesn't actually result in weight loss - you need to run a mile to burn the calories from one slice of bread. But add exercise to the concept of just not putting as much food in your mouth ... absolutely.

Lessons? Here are my top two tips - the most important of the many I learned.

Read the nutritional information on EVERYTHING you eat - the most calorific foods are often those you would think are OK - and track your intake every day.

The plateau - we all hit those in running as well as weight loss. Be assured that you WILL get over these plateaux. And, if you track your weight day by day, you can monitor your trend by comparing the end-of-month weights. For me, this showed that, even when I was on a plateau, the weight was actually still coming off. So, in a lot of ways, the plateau is in the mind. Just like doing that first 20 minute run, the first 5K, the first 'public' run, the first 10K, half or full marathon.

You CAN do whatever you want. You just need to decide what you want to do, put the pieces in place, then stick to it even when you think it's getting tough. Just tell that little chimp on your shoulder to get back in his cage, and focus on what you CAN do.

Keep on runnin' !


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42 Replies

  • Congratulations - those are impressive stats. The programme is rewarding in so many ways. :)

  • That's excellent, you should be so proud of yourself. Well done. Found I'd lost another 2lb this morning. Like yourself I am combining the exercise with healthy eating (NHS Change 4 Life recipes) and now I'm on the longer runs the weight is starting to shift again.

  • What a fantastic achievement and a really inspirational blog!

    Well done Malcy

  • Hi Malcy. I loved reading about your successes, it will help to motivate others. Even though I didn't have any weight to lose, I've found the cellulite dimples in my legs are finally shifting, and there is much less wobbling of the legs and behind! And yes, I think sticking to it for the long term, through the tough times, has got to be the way forward.

  • Brilliant stats and positive conclusions. Well done you! You've taken your long term aims and at last seen the results of all your hard work and determination. Do 'treat' yourself to a choc or two ;) - you know that you'll be running it off to keep your new gained figure. Many congratulations.

  • Congratulations, that is a fantastic achievement! I'm so pleased for you :D

  • That is really great. Keep it up, it's always exciting when you can see it coming off.

  • Well Done Malcy. So pleased for you - and dropping the meds is a great side effect.

  • A great inspiration to us Malcy. I can feel your pride shining through that blog, and rightly so. A very big and huge well done to you. You really have turned your whole life round for the better.

  • Massive Congratulations Malcy :D

  • Very well done, my weight has been stuck for a long time.

    I need to eat better but find it a bit of a struggle.

  • Brilliant Malcy! The god of hell fire is not only a runner but a shrinking runner!! ;) Yes, exercising along with sensible healthy eating is the key, you are so right. A great positive blog!


  • Well, I suppose I have been "burning the calories" - God of Hell Fire indeed! Maybe I'll have that carved on my headstone (:->) (but not to soon ...)

    Funnily enough, I've been getting the a recurrent comment from a lot of my 'circle' (not here) - it goes something like "but if you fall ill, you don't have any fat reserves to keep you going"


    I guess there might be some truth in that, but aren't we more likely to fall ill when we wer fat? And, being more healthy & fit now, surely we should be able to get over illness quickly and not need those fat reserves? Unless it's something like cancer, in which case it won't matter ...

  • Sometimes its jealousy that makes for this kind of talk I have found. Negative talk to try and scupper the good work you have done. Utter tosh!!

    I dont want or need fat reserves thanks very much! I'm sure elite athletes would have something to say about it too....... :)

  • Yes, a typically negative reponse from those who are a bit jealous of what you have achieved. And a bit of an old wives' tale IMO.

    Reading Beevor's account of Stalingrad I was suprised (and heartened in a strange way) to see that the thin skinny types apparently lived longer and were more likely to survive the extreme deprivations than those with "fat reserves". Something to look forward to - or maybe not. :D

  • Interesting. Hope not to put it to the test though (:->)

  • Skinny types always live longer. I've thougt this for many years and it's corroborated by something as simple as looking at centenarians - when did you last (or indeed ever) see a fat centenarian?

  • My personal favourite...don't go too far you'll look gaunt / old. Who cares, I'm trying to not to get diabetes (family genetics) :-)

  • Thanks for your good wishes in the following post but, Yep - got that one a few times. I have to say I agreed at times. On reflection, though, it was probably not so much gaunt as just different. I do think that being a little bit older, the skin on my face took a bit of time to tighten into my new shape. It's still a little bit like that, but not as bad as I'd expected. Another couple of months and I'll be looking like a twenty year-old. Or maybe not ... (:->)

  • Firstly congratulations on reaching your target weight, but blog is definately not off topic, so many people come here (C25K) to get a bit fitter,lose a bit of weight, whatever, but it changes their life and even better is sustainable and changes habits.

    Finally, congratulations on reaching you target weight (worth saying twice) :D

  • Well done Malcy! another great achievement for techie God of Hell fire! 30" waist & belt needed, and off BP meds, you must be over the moon! :-)

    I began C25K a few weeks after starting weight watchers, have lost almost 2 stone and am a hell of a lot fitter than 6 months ago; but have a very long way to go to my goal weight; so your blog is just the sort of inspiration I need to carry on to the end of the journey! I haven't weighed in for 2 weeks due to daughters wedding then holiday, but my clothes are not tighter so presume I am the about the same weight; will see on my return home on Sunday... :-)

  • Holidays (and weddings!) are for relaxing, and in my book that means relaxing the regime too. Not too much, though. I guess that's why it took me a while longer to hit target than I expected. 2 x conferences, 2 x holidays and 1 x Christmas/New Year. even with only a couple of Kg each, that adds up to about 6/7 kg extra to lose.

    But I just took the view that if you were strict all the time, I'd get really fed up. Taking an extra couple of months has been frustrating but I could live with it. Seeing the weight gradually come down is what kept me going through the plateaux. They were definitely the worst part. Weeks without any movement on the scales. Yet, when I look back at my records, it was an illusion - the numbers DID fall. Not every day or even every week ... but from month end to month end I never failed to lose. Even in the months with holidays or conferences or Christmases.

    Oops - there I go again. I do need to learn to stop talking ...

    Anyhow, where I was trying to go was - once you get back from what I hope is an amazing holiday, you'll be surprised how easy it is to slip back into the routine and get back on track.

  • Cheers Malcy, it was a lovely break (6 days in Wales) and I have been childminding Grandson while elder daughter has done 3x12 hour shifts at her new job, until my other daughter gets back fron honeymoon on Sunday and normal service resumes...

    Back to work and reality on Monday :-(

  • Oh, well done, you God of Hell Fire and techie whizz! :D Don't you just love it on here!

    I don't think it's at all off-topic either - although I'm not here to lose weight, I am here to change life style, and reading blogs like this are just as inspiring as totally running-based ones. Your recent comments about how we are often capable of far more than we think has really made a difference to me. Thanks again. :)

  • Well done, Skinny Malinky Malcy! :-) I hope you treated yourself to one of the chocolates from the box you offered to your colleagues. It's great to hear you've been able to cut out the medication.

  • Congratulations Malcy!! wow what an achievement and so so motivating!!!

  • Fantastic achievement Malcy. So pleased for you.

  • You are just amazing! This is so helpful to everyone, on all levels. I have followed your story all the way, and I am so thrilled that you have achieved this weight goal. Wow. Determination and guts to follow it through day by day and week by week. You're a star.

  • Thanks TJ. I remember the support you gave when I first started posting (exactly a year ago, when I was visiting my lad in Adelaide). It's exactly a year today since I did Mount Lofty - do you remember that? It was Anzac Day (hence I know it's a year to the day) - I'd been at the war memorial for the dawn service, and amazed to find thousands there. Then did three miles up Mount Lofty and three miles back down. I don't think I had graduated at that time or, if I had, it was only just. So that was the first time I realised that we can do so much more than we think.

    Anyway, I've appreciated the advice you've given not just to me but to countless others too. I've tried to do the same and I guess sometimes have gone a bit over the top (if you met me in person you'd soon learn I can't stop talking - something I inherited from my mother)

    What a happy band of brothers and sisters we are, and I have to say that the grouping that has come together in the last couple of months has been particularly good - well done to all of you!

  • Gosh, was that a year ago? Time flies quickly, as they say. It's funny how the groupings come and go, but people are extraordinarily supportive, including yourself! Running just seems to bring out the best in people :)

    Keep talking Malcy...we love your posts!

  • Thanks to everyone for their good wishes - I really do appreciate it. I had planned to have a nice meal with my wife and daughter this evening but ended up working late. So I'm settling for a plate of Heinz tomato soup followed by beans on toast! Some celebration ... but at least I won't be putting on any weight tonight (:->)

    Ouch! I just realised - I'm replying to myself!

  • Superb Malcy!

    It's a virtuous circle you're describing. Doing some exercise which has helped lose a bit of weight. Lost a bit of weight so it's easier to exercise .... and repeat :-)

  • Hey magnificent Malcy! What is the little running man and the star now showing on the malcymeter?? Just saw it. Hope this isnt why you were working late and missing your meal tonight???!!


  • Ha Ha! No, I'm just going through some, shall we say, choppy waters at the moment, thinking about dropping out of university (as a lecturer - maybe been doing it too long) and was really just talking things through with one of the other guys. We need a C25K-like forum for such circumstances!

    I've been dipping into it during the week as and when, and finished it lunchtime today. Cool, huh? Haven't had BoT for goodness knows how many years, but it sounded good for a change. Not bad, but I wouldn't worry if it was many more years until I had it again (:->) Then again, if I do decide to drop out, it might become my staple diet ...

  • :D Cant beat BoT - nice comfort food and good for you too!

    Hope you sort things out Malcy....

  • Thanks - it'll be fine. Just standing on the edge of the cliff looking over. I know it'll be OK but ...

    A bit like starting C25K - you know you should do it, it's the right thing to do & you know you'll be better off if you do it. But we tend to prefer to stay in the comfort zone.

    My real problem is, as always, a mental one. Am I taking the success in running & weight loss and assuming that if I can do that I really could give up teaching, go back to self employment and keep paying the mortgage? I'm not sure you can transfer one onto the other. Or is that just the chimp whispering in my ear again?

    Scary - but if I'm going to jump I need to do it in the next month or so. Otherwise I'm committed to another academic year.

    Did I say committed? I should be (:->)

  • Congratulations, Malcy - well done on such a magnificent weight loss. Coming off BP medication is a great change as well. It isn't just the weight loss, though - as you say, it's a complete life style change - and what a result :) Good luck with the decision about work etc. All the best with it x

  • Well done what a fab achievement.. You must be on top of the world! Fantastic:)

  • Congratulations, Malcy! So nice to see you've achieved another goal. I am half way to my weight loss goal — slow, but steady. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and encouragement. It's great to see all the health benefits you're enjoying since starting your C25K journey!

  • Thanks for the kind thoughts. Getting half way is a great achievement - most give up long before they reach that point. Also, slow and steady is the best approach - all the studies show that if you take weight off quickly, you'll just put it back on again even quicker!

    It doesn't get any easier I'm afraid - in fact, the closer I got to target, the slower it became. The calorie count had to go down further, and the exercise went up a gear. But I did get there, and feeling so much better for it.

    I also struggled at times to discuss my experiences - even with my family - because unless you're going through these changes, it's difficult to really empathise. So if you ever need encouragement or advice or just someone to shout at through frustration, just send me a PM.

    Best of luck - stick with it and you WILL get there.

  • Congratulations - I find your blogs, messages and many replies to the questions beginners have( including me) really helpful and inspirational.

    I'm looking forward to what I will be able to achieve (and what I will look like!) in a year's time


  • Hi Jen - thanks for your encouragement. I didn't recognise your excellent name and checked your profile. Wow - you've come through much more than I had to contend with! I'm glad to see you're getting better and are now up to running. Did I see that you've been doing the 5k Parkruns? Fantastic!

    A year from now, you could be a different woman! It just takes a decision to do it and to stick with it through the good and not so good times. We've had some celebrations here over the last couple of weeks and I hate to say that I put on about 3kg. Ouch! But I'm on the way back down again. 1kg down - 2 to go to get back to that target weight ...

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