Feeling old and overweight

I'm over 50, a secondary school teacher, stressed and tired all the time and about a stone overweight. Ive got to get fit, loose weight and 8cms off my waist. Today I started with my first run and it felt great, although i'll probably do week one for several weeks till it feels comfortable. I havn't run for 30 years, I hope I can manage to keep going as to begin is fine but to keep going when it gets tough will be hard I know.

65 Replies

  • Getting started is the hardest. You are on your way now. Very best of luck and enjoy.

  • If you find it's getting tough, just come and post on here, and we'll cheer you on. Well done for starting, and don't worry about repeating a week. I did week 1 several times - in fact, I did a pre-week one several times as I couldn't even manage 1 minute. You can do it, and you will feel good about yourself!

  • Hi there Reikiran!

    I turned 60 last month and am two and a bit stone overweight. I'm a freelance translator and although my stress is a different type to yours, I get stressed with deadlines, often work 18+ hours a day, sometimes all through the night to meet them. I just graduated with C25K tonight. I've lost about 12 lbs during the programme, although I have been watching what I eat as well, using the Myftinesspal site to keep track.

    If I can do it, you can! :)

  • what is Myftinesspal?

  • !t is a web site and also an app you can use on your phone. It lets you log everything you eat and the exercise you do. If you enter your lifestyle as "sedentary", any exercise you do will let you eat extra calories over and above your standard daily allowance. It's great fun. I'm just sitting down to a whole pizza and couple of glasses of wine, which nicely uses up the calories left after breakfast and lunch plus the extra 300 odd I earned from my run today! :)


  • Good on yer, can I also recommend MyFitnessPal. Using the 2 together I've lost 36kg and 14" since March 2012.

  • Wow what an amazing success story. You've inspired me to restart using MFP and try harder! Thank you. :)

  • It's not a foregone conclusion that you will need to keep repeating runs. You might just well surprise yourself

    Running is good for stress so make a start asap

    It's a very supportive environment here so you've come to the right place

  • Hey you! Stop that! - you're ONLY 50 and a bit, so not old. I am not even old and I am 66. Old is late 80's or even more! Age is only a number and it's how you feel and behave that matters. Through this programme you will very quickly start to feel so much more alive. And when you start to question if you can keep going you MUST get yourself back on here and tell someone. We are all here for each other and you will not find a better set of peers to support you anywhere. Wacky, even a bid mad some of us - but all very supportive and encouraging.

    Enjoy your journey and make it a good one. :) :)


    p.s. the weight will start to drop off too, probably not straight away, but in time!

  • Yes -- if I were to start dating again ( if my wife would let me, that is!) , I would probably date 50+ year olds -- that's if they didn't think I was too old for them! :)

  • I was walking the dog up a really steep hill the other day when a really old guy ran past us. He looked in his 80's and was floating up the near vertical incline as if it didn't exist. So, there's hope for us all. I was awestruck

  • What an amazing chap. Do you think he was a graduate too?

  • Oh to add to the above and without being too personal. My husband of 27 years has run off to find 'greener grass elsewhere'. I fell apart for a few months and now im trying to build myself up again. if I can do this, it means I'm a surviver and an achiever. When I have to stand next to him at our sons graduation in July, I want to look and feel fabulous, for all the right reasons.

  • Not if you can. You will do this :-) You've taken a step in the right direction by wanting to do this and doing your first run. You've done it once, so you should find it easier the next time to get out there, and the next time. By this, of course, I mean the mental drive and effort to get out there (if it was easy at a physical level, everyone would be doing it). You are already a survior and achiever - week 1, run 1 done and dusted :-) One run at a time.

  • I know how exhausting school can be and it must have been hard for you to keep going with personal s*** as well. But you are a survivor you have proved that by getting on here and putting 'you' first...keep on doing that , you are worth it.Besides which if you do n't put your health and wellbeing first who will????

  • Go you! You show them. This program is great. I haven't found any of the weeks 'easy' and never felt ready to make the next jump up but I've done as I'm told and got on with it because I'm compliant like that. Go with it and if you feel like repeating some weeks then do it, this is for you after all. There is no Offsted, no criteria to meet, no one is observing you. Soon you'll be standing in front of year 9 and you'll feel so energized and positive it will be contagious. As others have said getting started is the hardest part. Do keep posting and let us know how you are getting on. Good luck :-)

  • Hey Reikiran and welcome to HealthUnlocked.

    That's a good summary so why not bookmark this post or print it off so you can remember why you started C25k.

    It may help as you progress through the 9 weeks.

    The C25k program is fairly gentle to start with and if you are at all concerned about your health, perhaps a check up with your GP would be a good place to start.

    There are thousands of people on here and everyone has a different story but I'm sure some of what you say will be familiar to others starting. I hadn't run since school and also wanted to get fitter for myself.

    There are points where you do wonder if you can do it but stay determined and if you find a particular run/week hard then slow down a little or maybe try it again. Often the next run is better so stay determined.

    Keep posting and there are plenty of us here willing to help and give advice / motivation if needed.

    You've made the first important step so just enjoy it and look forward to hearing how you progress.

  • Thanks, how do I bookmark?

  • It depends which web browser you are using but right-click this page and then Add to Favourites or Bookmark This Page should cover it.

  • Oh, BTW, I felt AWFUL when I did Week 1 Run 1! However, after that rather discouraging start, I haven't had to repeat a single run. As many other have discovered before me, I found the secret is to run VERY slowly. In some sessions, I was running slower than I walk. As long as you get the running motion, it is OK and you get the training effect.

    Even now, I am very slow. I've gone from averaging 18 minutes a mile to around 14.5-15 minutes a mile, but that increase in speed just came on its own. I'm hoping that as I continue, I will get a bit faster again. My main problem is not to get discouraged when younger and/or fitter people come here and talk about covering 5K in less than 30 minutes even while still on the programme. My current predicted time for 5K is 47 minutes!

  • Congrats - you have taken the first and biggest step - getting started! I was feeling the same as you starting out but am amazed at the progress and the buzz. It is like a tonic and we can all do with a bit of that for tackling life's challenges. Keep posting - these words of encouragement have been my key to survival . Good luck!

  • Don't fret about the repeats, took me at least a month to do week 1 if I can render that far back :-)

    Stick with it, it really does work :-)

  • Welcome reikiran I am 60 and felt fat and was really down 6months ago (read my profile ) I still cannot believe how much c25k has changed my life You need to focus on 'you' time and come July you will be able to stand tall and proud beside your son A new outfit some lippy and you ll show your ex you are a strong fabulous women who is doing absolutely fine on her own thank you very much. I know it wont be easy and it takes time to build up confidence again but you have taken the hardest descion in wanting to make the changes We are all here to support you Just keep looking at forum for advice and help - we are a friendly lot Remember one step at a time and you will get there Go for it girl

  • Thanks so much for this, dam made me cry...yes your right what a friendly bunch you are and SO supportive. Wonderful

  • Have to say they all made me cry too. What a bunch. Good luck Reikiran. I'm sure you'll enjoy this. Most of us end up hating it when we can't get out & it doesn't take many weeks to reach that point. You'll just feel so amazed as you complete each week & it's ok to feel pleased with yourself (ok Smug) after each run. A bad run comes every now & then & that's when the good folk sort you out. So pleased you're with us.

  • If you've completed three of the Week 1 sessions as Laura 'instructs' you are ready to move on... that took me countless attempts (good job I liked the music but it was starting to pall...)... and then after that I never had to repeat a session, was mostly able to run every other day... but the programme is certainly flexible so that if being kind to yourself one day involves not going for a run (just as other days going for a run will be something you give yourself) that won't be a problem.

    I think you've come up with a brilliant plan to help heal your broken heart by doing something that will strengthen it and have a positive achievable goal to channel your anger into with steady steps and some comforting structure to get there. I'll bet there will be times though when the anger keeps you going to the end of the session (One of the things which motivated me was reading a nasty little piece which said that people with my diagnosis were phobic about exercise). Great time of year to start too! If and when you possibly can, treat yourself to running in some lovely places.

    It might help to reframe your language a bit and say you 'want to' rather than you've 'got to' - you are doing this for you. In all honesty, doing C25K doesn't burn a whole lot of calories in itself but it does help with weight and dimension loss. I was able to get on the right side of the 'obese' BMI line by the end of the programme and it definitely toned bits of me. My weight loss project is ongoing but running definitely makes it easier.

    Please keep us in touch with how you are getting on Reikirun so we can keep cheering for you.

  • Thank you thats so kind, your really wise with your advice.

  • I'm now divorced after 40 years of marriage and I've never been as slim, fit, healthy or happy! I lost three stone (on the 5:2 Diet after I watched an amazing BBC Horizon programme called "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" vimeo.com/54089463 and at 64 that certainly appealed to me!)

    I run three times a week now, just alternating the three C25K+ podcasts and I only 'fast' one day a week and I've been the same weight and a size 10 now since last April. One of the secrets is not to eat your exercise calories - they're a bonus! I hadn't run since hating it at school but I found the C25K podcasts really good and graduated at the end of the nine weeks without repeating any of the weeks. My shape has now completely changed, my tummy is flat, my waist has no flab and I have slim legs at last - hooray!

  • Wow, what a motivational comment. Thanks so much, yes I have to admit I want to do this for myself, even if its to prove I am worthy of being happy again, when I stop crying that is. It was totally out of the blue, last October he left me a complete wreck and although I fell apart I have not resorted to anti-depressants and 'felt' every bit of it, so now i'm beginning to relaunch myself I'm keen to look and feel different if you know what I mean?

  • Just think of it as the start of a brilliant new life for yourself, rather than the end of a previous one. I love the independence I have now - and being mistress of the remote control! I can do exactly what I want nowadays (as long as it's free or costs very little) and now I have all the 'me' time I want. I've joined a local community choir - there are 150 of us - and that's led to a tremendous social life so, wayhay, life is brilliant!

  • Want to chip in on loving my independence too. I am twice divorced. I then lived with someone who turned from being a loving, generous, witty and in all ways wonderful man into a violent alcoholic. He first hit me in the week after I returned from hospital having gone through very major surgery; that was not a good year, nor were the 18 months that followed. He finally succeeded in drinking himself to death nearly four years ago. Finally, after 30-odd years in various relationships, I realised I am SO much happier on my own. My life is immensely rewarding, filled with playing music I love and pursuing lots of other interests, as well as working as a freelance in a job that pleases me from a home in a beautiful part of the country. Working on my physical appearance and strength is a way of honouring the inner worth and strength I have finally discovered within myself.

  • Wow! Totally inspirational!

  • Absolutely brilliant. Thank you SO much ladies, I cant tell you how much this means to me as you will know there are times when just getting up and going to work is tough enough let alone putting on my trainers instead of having hot cross buns and tea after work.

  • NO NO NO!!! - no anti-depressants and no booze!!!! Every time you feel like you need those things, strap on your runners and get outside!!! (in the rain if need be!!)

  • Hi Gingernut49, thank you so much for posting that video, I am definitely going to give it a try. Did you follow a particular book, or did you just do your own thing? If you could recommend any websites/books/ to do with the diet, I'd be very grateful. :)

  • I really like Kate Harrison's book called The 5:2 Diet. It's on kindle as well or at WHSmith etc. I really know what to do until I read it. Here's another little video that sums it up rather well too

  • Thank you :) I am going to start tomorrow and will have Tues and Thurs as fast days, as I run Mon, Wed and Fri. The thing that convinced me more than anything to give it a try, was the halting of brain degeneration. I suspect I have fibromyalgia and have been having difficulty concentrating. The last thing I want is to lose any more brain cells, especially as I'm trying to finish my Masters! I have a feeling that this could be life-changing for me too. Once again, thank you so much for the info; and btw, you look absolutely amazing. :)

  • Thank you! At 64 I'm doing my best to live as long as I can, as long as I'm fit and well. I always ran on my fasting days as it kept me away from the kitchen! I still run three times a week but only fast on Tuesdays when I run to the cinema two and a half miles away, watch a film, then run home again. :)

  • Just...wow!

  • Welcome to the programme. If you want or need to repeat any runs or weeks, that is fine. If you can move on without repeating, that is also fine. You will find your own way as you go along and you've already done the hard part - getting started. Use the forum for support - it's good. Enjoy the programme. Best wishes.

  • Hi Riekiran

    What a great challlenge you've set yourself. 50 years young and plenty of good years ahead to make the most of . All great advise from everyone, you've just got to believe in yourself and you will be standing at the graduation looking great.

    Get yourself a good balance of diet, running and cardio exercise, and get one of your friends to do it with you as there will be times that you need that extra bit of encouragement and reminder about why you are doing it.

    The myfitnesspal site is great but if you need extra cardio exercise workouts to do at home have a look at ptprograms.com.au

    You are on your way to feeling young, fit and healthy

  • Well done Gingernut! That's awesome. I've lost nearly 4 stone and had quite a bit of spare flesh round my waist, and at 56 years of age it's not easy to get rid of, but with running I'm getting there! Running is good for the waist and belly so it's firming up. I'm doing exercise DVD's at home too and noticing a difference already.

    If you keep up with the running Riekiran you will be a new woman by the time you next meet your husband. I hope his jaw hits the floor when he sees the new you! LOL

    Dewines don't fret about your 5 k times. This is not a site for top athletes running 19 minute 5ks. It's for normal people like us. Getting round and past the finish line is what motivates us. Happy running!

  • I am 47 and have just done run 1 of week 3. In week 1 you run for 60 secs and it seems so hard but doable. In week 2 you do 90 secs and that is hard but doable. I am in 3 mins now and it is hard but doable and now a 60 sec or a 90 sec run seem easily achievable now. I am still struggling with 3 mins runs but I know in abfew weeks a 3 min run will seem easy having built up my stamina and endurance. You will too. Just keep at it. You will start to feel focused and alive and feel yourself full of energy and a need to get out there and do it. You will have good days and bad days but I think you will start to unwind and feel better about yourself because you are doing something to tackle your stress and your weight issues.

    We are all here for each other and we all want the same things really so you are not alone.

  • Keep going, I m working towards just being a stone over weight! Being able to run further each time is very empowering and it's a way of taking control in a really positive way :) sorry to hear of your news you re now in a position to run on greener pastures don't forget revenge is living well you go girl !! :) :) you won't regret it.

  • Hi and welcome. Judging from your photo. You already look fabulous!! Take each week as it comes (from small acorns....) Your confidence will grow with each weekly goal achieved. Laura will become your mentor and trust her you can and will do this. Try not to think too much about the weight dropping off (and it will!) Find a beautiful spot to run (I run along the Grand Western Canal) and enjoy the wonders that surround you. Fate brought you here and and your new life will fall into place naturally. Who knows?? at the end of the programme meeting the man of your dreams doing your local parkrun. My sister found hers on match.com after her husband did the same.If you are on Facebook there is a group called the positive society. They send daily motivational news and happy stories that lift your spirits. Lots of support on here for you though. Good luck and happy running :)

  • Thanks so much Carole01, so motivational. Although the idea of trusting another man is a long way off, the idea of just feeling 'happy' is the goal i'm going for first. Funnily enough I went to the Osteopath today to sort out a 'twinge' in my neck and shoulders. She said she thought running was not a good idea and takes years off ones life and she couldn't understand why some people would choose to run instead of gently exercising at a gym? Then I had my blood pressure checked later at the doctors, and the nurse said she thought it was a great thing to do, but had never heard of the NHS App 'couch to 5k' and she's an NHS Nurse!!!! Anyway I shall continue and hopefully find my feet and along the way discover my new life and new adventures. I'm going to grow my hair so that in the summer I can run along the beach on Holkham sands with the wind lifting me along, hair blowing in the wind feeling alive, like in that 'special K' advert on the telly. (might avoid the red bikini though). Ha ha

  • Welcome, welcome, welcome. You are now a runner. Anyone who gets off their bottom, gets out of the door and runs is a fully fledged runner in my book. OK, there are some seriously dedicated runners, and there are some casual runners, but whichever group you eventually fall into, you can still call yourself a runner ~ and I am proud of you.

    Keep going, keep us informed and enjoy the coming spring and summer. What better time of year for you to start?

    PS. Running shoes are the only remotely expensive bit of kit, and these can be bought quite cheaply if you get last years model.

    PPS. Get a Gait Analysis done at you local running shop/Go Outdoors/Sweat Shop etc.These should be free.

  • Brilliant that you have started. You've done the hardest bit now.

    This site is wonderful for encouragement but you need to become the kind of runner you want to be. I started just before my 60th birthday. I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of money on gear (apart from shoes) but others find that the opportunity to buy new clothes and gadgets really keeps them going. I know I'm not competitive but others love park runs and marathons. I don't run on pavements, I love running on Hampstead Heath, on earth paths through woods, so I don't run in the rain as I don't want to slip over. I graduated and now run occasionally for about 10 or 15 minutes and it's enough for me - others run for hours every week. I'm fitter, have better balance, and can eat Cadbury's Wholenut and mashed potato all winter without putting on (too much) weight. What more could an old girl want? Enjoy the support offered here but don't get depressed by comparing yourself with others.

  • Reikiran, just want to wish you all the best with your running. You can do this! I think most of us have thought, at some point during the plan "No way can I do the next run" (especially the dreaded Week 5 Run 3 ;-)) but we all get there in the end, even if it might take a bit longer for some. The great thing is you can go at your own pace, fit the running in with your work, and within a few weeks you start to see and feel the results. It's brilliant! I find it hard to believe that I really struggled with running the one- minute runs, 6 months ago, when a few days ago I came home after a run and realised I'd run for nearly 90 minutes, (without any walking). I'm really slow, but I don't care. Had never run before, am in my fifties, and fitter than at any time in my life. Looking forward to hearing about your progress!

  • I too am over 50 and a secondary school teacher!! And haven't run for 40 years - I used to be a hurdler. By doing the c25k I have lost a stone in weight and have just completed the first of the week 9 runs. Keep going with the plan! I have been astonished at how much more energy I have altogether. I also am better able to manage the workload which you will identify with. Running has provided me with mental space and a sense of achievement which in the perpetual unfinished-ness of teaching proves a welcome positive state. Good luck - you can do it!!!

  • You will be surprised how your fitness improves over the week, I am 51, was 4 stone overweight (have lost 16lb ) and have just done w6r1 and feel great. I have never been a runner and it would be fair to say unfit but now I am so motivated and am beginning to believe I will succeed on my quest to complete the c25k. Well done

  • Great, thanks denisebro for the motivational comments, and well done to you too, sounds like you've done brilliantly. Running with extra pounds is tough but you seem to have overcome those feelings and are pushing ahead towards your goal.

  • You are not old I ran my first half marathon yesterday, I am 51 next Sunday! I had to lose 3.5 stones last year to be a heathy weight:(

  • You will...my mum did it in her 60's... Follow the programme to the letter, it's not easy but you will see changes... Honestly :)

  • There's one thing for sure Reiki, you'll have some laughs along the way with the folks on here! It's really uplifting

  • Your right there 'misswobble', lots of laughs. I did my second run last night after a heavy and stressful day at school and half way in my route went uphill. Then I completely ran out of puff. I then felt dizzy and faint, so I slowed down and walked slowly for a bit, then gradually wound my way back home, feeling a tad trembly. I spoke to a PE teacher at school today and he said he carries jelly babies in his pocket when he runs, for a quick fix of energy. Plus he eats a banana about half a hour before he starts. My knees today still ache, so I know i reached my limit yesterday. What do we think folks, any advice?

  • There seem to be a lot of teachers on here! I'm going back to school on a phased return after Easter after 6 months off work with depression - my second long absence in the last couple of years. Determined to make it work this time as I can't afford to lose my job! I'm trying to get fit and build up some stamina before I go back and have done Wk 4 Run 2 this morning. I'm also trying to pluck up courage to go to the yoga class I've been promising myself since the new year so I can learn to relax. Anybody out there with experience of running to help fight depression, or advice on returning to work? I'm concerned I won't be able to keep it up once the 60 hour weeks kick in again!

  • Dear cre55y, your not going to like my advice but i'll say it anyway. If youve been off work (teaching) with depression, i'm afraid there is a good chance that once you go back to the same routine, it may come back. CBT counselling is very effective. But to me the root of the cause is NOT YOU, its predominantly the way schools are going forward these days, the pressure to perform and put up with behaviour issues, lesson planning and meetings for the sake of meetings is ridiculous. its a young persons job. If you want my opinion, work to your strengths, let the 'noise' of job calm down before you even consider standing in front of the class, and as yourself when you are standing there 'do I really want to do this anymore?' then you will know the answer. I did, I gave it all up and left an amazing school, now I do supply currently a years contract, and its pretty stress free...and nobody knows me, which is wonderful. ( I had depression just like you) Sounds odd but you can literally reinvent yourself, say what you feel is right, talk to new people you like the look of, no baggage! Your running will keep you focussed on yourself, so your work/life balance is tipped towards You not the job. Good luck! Oh and the depression bit, love yourself. Be kind to yourself, Don't beat yourself up if plans change. I started running a month ago, then stopped after 2 weeks, I wasn't ready, but soon will be to begin again, it just takes time and we all have plenty of that if we look for it hard enough. I don't have the demons in my head anymore which is wonderful.

  • Hi Reikiran. Thanks for your reply. I agree completely with what you say. If I could afford to, I would walk away tomorrow but however I do the sums, I can't find a way to make it work unless my husband can get a reasonably secure job. As soon as the kids are through university and the mortgage is paid off, you won't see me for dust. I have so many ex-colleagues who resigned or took early retirement when things got really bad. They were all good dedicated teachers but not one of them would go back even if you doubled their salary and they all look 10 years younger!

    Luckily I now have a supportive Head who has been fantastic and arranged a return that feels manageable, but I get the impression she is increasingly under pressure herself from the governors to resolve the 'problem'. I'm trying hard not to look too far ahead. I'm only working 3 mornings next week and I'm confident I can manage that so that's what I'm trying to focus on for now.

    I'm glad things are starting to work out for you. I'll let you know how next week goes. Thanks again x

  • Good luck with the running and the teaching. Running is a wonderful way to de-stress. I hope it works for you. Teaching is one of the most important professions in the world, but sadly doesn't get the respect it deserves. You'll get lots of respect here on the forum though! I truly wish you well!

  • Thanks for your reply and good wishes. First day back today - gulp! Just need to remember Laura's advice to concentrate on breathing!

  • This C25K program is excellent. You can't go wrong. Just stick with the program, go slow, and do as Laura tells you and you'll start to reap the rewards after the first run! I'm now in week 6 and have enjoyed every minute. I look forward to my runs and enjoy the minor victories each week. I couldn't have done it without the program. If you start to flag, just come to this forum and this hardy bunch of C25K-ers will get you back on track, and as much as they're inspiring you, always remember, you're inspiring us too! Enjoy! (Gosh, I sound like an info-mercial. I'm not. I just really believe in this program!)

  • Good luck and your grass will be greener too. Enjoy that fresh air and the feeling that you are making a difference to your mental and physical health. Your school children will be proud.

  • Ok, here goes. I stopped altogether after 2 weeks (repeated each week 2 times) . Now I hate myself for quitting as all you lot will be whizzing past me with your success stories. It was too hard, I was so exhausted when i get home from work (teaching) I just slump down and can hardly stay awake. This feel so hard to admit but i'm sure there are people out there who have found this just as hard? I'm going to get my thyroid checked out at my GP's.

  • Good luck - I was a teacher and it was another teacher who recommended this programme to me. Will always be grateful she did! The main problem for teachers is finding the time and motivation when you come home from school with loads of marking and planning to do - but make sure you give yourself 30 mins to do this plan and you won't be sorry!!! I'm 49 but feel better and look better than I ever have before!

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