My journey so far

Hi all!

As I mentioned on my last blog I will not be running for the next month due to Ramadan beginning tomorrow. Ramadan is the Islamic month where Muslim's do not eat or drink during daylight, which will be around 19 hours this year. So I thought this would be a good time to blog about what I have achieved in the past 9 months.

Also I apologise for the length of this post in advance!

Back in October I was at 94kgs and walking up a few flights of stairs got me out of breath. There are a few things that started my weight loss and exercising. A friend passed away last summer of a heart attack at the age of 30 and weight was a contributing factor, so this did get me thinking of my health but i didn't do anything at the time. We also have a gym at work but since joining in 2011 I was too lazy to apply to join it. One day an administrator who looks after the gym was walking by my desk and I decided to ask what I needed to do to join up. I completed a health and safety induction the following day and I had access to the gym!

I started going 3 times a week doing light weights and cycling and it was difficult, however I didn’t change my diet. One day after going to the gym I got home and had fried eggs, chips, beans and garlic bread for dinner. Only after eating did it dawn on me that I had just undone and good I did in the gym. A friend had mentioned an app that they used for a few months to log their food so I researched a few and found one called calorie count. I logged my food for a week and could see I was eating far too much. By reading a few articles on line and by some simple calculations I worked out that I should be eating 1800 calories a day, which gave me a 500 calorie deficit and would lead to weight loss.

At the same time I bought a Nike Fuelband, which is a fancy pedometer. It turns your movements into a score and encourages you to be more active. This really helped me to get out and walk more in evening and weekends and to keep me going to the gym. It was £130 so I wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth! When I began my walks I used the Nike+ running app to log my walks but I did not run at the time because the walks themselves were tiring for me out.

So I kept logging my food, eating healthier, exercising and slowly lost the weight:

Mid Oct – 94kg

Mid Dec – 90kg

End Jan – 81kg

End Feb – 78kg

End Mar – 74kg

End Apr – 73kg

End May – 71kg

End June – 70kg

I felt the improvements to my health early in the year and by the beginning of April I felt confident that I could begin C25K. I also stopped logging my food in April because I had got into good habits after using it for 6 months. The first few weeks of C25K were not difficult because of the gym work I had already done but by week 4 I was finding it hard. I persevered and graduated at the beginning of June!

From there it took me 3 weeks to build up to 10km and I have joined my local Parkrun, where my best time is 25’30” for the 5km. I will also be volunteering at the Parkrun a few times when I am fasting.

So in the last 9 months I have lost 24kgs, improved my health and become a runner. My aim for the rest of the year is to get my 5km time to 23 mins, 10km time to 55 mins and improve my strength. My profile pic is an attempt at a before and after comparison, my photoshop skills are not great but hopefully the weight loss shows.

Thank you to everyone who has had kind words for me over the last few months and I will keep visiting this site in the next few weeks to read your blogs!

18 Replies

  • A brilliant story, brilliant result and a brilliant inspiration for others to follow in your path. Like you, I lost a lot of weight and also did C25K - the trick is to do both ... running alone won't result in significant weight loss. But by running and counting calories, you get the weight loss and improved overall health. Very well done!

  • Thanks for the kind words. I would say that 90% of weight loss is related to diet. You can run for 30 mins and burn 300 calories only to put that back on by eating one chocolate. I had to teach myself an awful lot about food when I began in October.

  • Great post Aftabs, well done.

    Loved reading your post, an inspiration to me to not eat the flapjack i've just been given :-)

    I hope Ramadan goes well for you, don't run too much when you're fasting in this heat!!

    p.s. your pic really does show the difference, well done!

  • Thanks!

  • That's a really inspirational post Aftabs... Thanks for sharing it. Congratulations on all the hard work you've done and having the perseverance to see it through... I just hope that I'll be able to do the same... I did my first run (shuffle) this morning and survived it :) Take it easy through ramadan and good luck :)

  • Thanks fit450! Just stick to it, set some achievable short term targets along with some longer term ones and you will get there. Also reward yourself, when I got to 78kg (so no longer overweight) I rewarded myself with an iPad! I didn't need it but I thought I earned it.

  • Wow... Inspirational, well done you..

  • Thanks!

  • Hey Aftabs, I've been reading some of your posts and they never fail to make me smile. Once you start something there's no holding you back, is there?! This tale of your motivation and progress is a great read - well done!

    And I look forward to reading some more posts once you resume running (I fully expect to see you're training for a marathon!)

    All the best.

  • Thanks! Once I start something I do try to see it through, that's why I bought the fuelband because at the beginning it turned exercise into a game. I'm not sure about the marathon at the moment. One step at a time :-).

  • Well done Aftabs, I always enjoy your posts and your journey to get fit and healthy is down to a lot of hard work and determination. Hope Ramadam is good and enjoy your Parkrun duties,I get a lot of enjoyment out of volunteering and Parkrun can't run without people prepared to do the duties.

  • Thanks! I think this is the best time for me to volunteer, I would be reluctant at other times of the year because i would want to be running!

  • What's a fuelband Aftabs?

  • Here is a link to Nike's website:

    It is a type of pedometer, in the form of a wrist band, it tracks your daily movements and turns it into "fuelpoints" this is a scoring system that Nike have made. My daily target was 2000, which should be acheivable even on a day that doesnt involve a lot of exercise. However to reach this target I needed to use the stairs at work rather than the lidt, walk more during the day, so I would go to peoples desk to speak rather than pick up the phone or I would walk to do some local shopping rather than drive. It tries to encourage you to be more active by turning activity into a game. There is also an ios app than syncs with the fuelband and when you hit a daily target you get a little video, also you get on streaks when you hit your target for 3 days. My longest streak was 27 days and I only managed that because my family were on a long holiday in Pakistan so I could exercise, or go for walks every day. I only lost the streak because I was travelling for work and didnt want to go for a walk because it was -7 degrees in Gothenburg and my hotel didnt have a gym!

    I sold my fuelband recently because I the good habits it encouraged have now become the norm for me and I am about to buy a Garmin GPS watch. I dont want a fuelband on one wrist and a watch on the other! But if you are someone who isn't used to being active I think the fuelband is very good, however it is a bit pricey at £130, but for me it was money well spent.

  • Great blog and you can definitely see the results in your pic, so agree with 90% diet comment. You will be raring to go post Ramadan. Take care

  • Thanks! I should be getting my Garmin today and will have to resist the urge to go for a run in the next month!

  • I have so much to thank you for, you are a great inspiration, wishing you all the best for your future, take care :-)

  • Thanks for the kind words. This forum is a great place to share and if we can motivate other people too that's a bonus!

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