Walking disaster, what went wrong!!

Well week 11 of the 12 week NHS challenge and back to where I started. So disappointed. It went well for the first three weeks, then I started to exercise, which did not go well, could not run and felt like a idiot trying to run with all this fat on me, so tried walking, but it never really happened. tried lots of good ideas and followed lots of good advice. But went to stay with the family a few weeks ago, started eating the usual diet, and never stopped. Such a disaster on legs. So feeling like I will never lose the weight. I have about 20 kgs to shift somewhere, and it won't go.

During the first three weeks peoples encouragement made me feel good about doing the 12 week challenge, then little by little it all fell apart. So are other people in the same situation? Have other people had a total disaster trying to lose weight and get fit? When I was younger it was so much easier because of the busy life style, but now, with a sit down teaching job and driving everywhere, I just don't get all the incidental exercise I used to get.

So confession time, I tried it, but did not get where I thought I would be in week 11. So what is the answer? Have any others out there been in the same situation? and what did you do to make it work?


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31 Replies

  • I think you know what went wrong

    You won't achieve anything unless you make it happen. It has to come from you. No-one else can do it for you. People can support you through the process, but unless you fully engage nothing will change. Change is the thing! Change your bad habits and things will happen for you

    It sounds like you want quick results but it's unrealistic to expect to lose weight and get fit as quick as you seem to think

    It takes time and patience, dogged determination, commitment to eat healthily and take exercise. The rewards are obvious but you have to want it

  • thank you, I agree with everything you have said. I did expect quick results, and did get them the first couple of weeks, I did know to put more exercise into the equation, but did not. I take on board what you have said, it takes determination, commitment, and time and patience.

    Thank you, I'll start again after Easter, when the debris of Easter eggs is over.

    I did not think about determination, patience, and time, as well as felling rewarded for what I am trying to do for myself, Thanks.

  • No you won't. You'll start now. You already know that this "I'll start tomorrow... next week" strategy doesn't work for you, so why sabotage yourself at the start? Easter is two weeks away! It sounds as though you are assuming the process has to be smooth so you have to have a clear run (excuse the pun) at it. But life isn't like that.

    If you know that Easter won't be Easter for you without a chocolate egg (and I am the same - but you do only need one!) or whatever, then even more reason to start now so that extra calories over Easter (and perhaps less time to exercise) will have less impact. All you are doing by postponing is making it harder for yourself when you start again.

    Years ago my husband and I started trying to lose weight together. He lost loads in the first 4 weeks, I lost nothing at all. Who ended up with a healthy BMI two years later having kept it up?

    The thing that distinguishes successful weight losers (and C25kers) from others is how they get back up again when things haven't gone as they hoped or intended.

  • yes you are right, a good excuse to eat the chocolate first. I have been moved to tears by the support and advice from some of you out there, and thank you so much for keeping me on the straight and narrow,

    Yes I have started again today, now, because reading all the replies to my post, makes me realise a lot, we are all moving in the same direction towards health and fitness, some slower, some faster, but we are all helping each other go through it. Thank you, now, today it is. I freaked out when I went backwards, but now I am moving forwards again, from this very minute

  • You sound as though you need regular team support. I would recommend Weightwatchers or Slimming World. You will get regular support and encouragement from the meetings and you will have to take ownership of your own actions. If you are going to combine healthy eating with exercise, there is no better group to join than this forum. C25k is achievable for almost everyone but only YOU can decide to do it.

    Why not give it a go? You might just surprise yourself and actually SUCCEED!!!

  • yes thank you for your reply. I have tried Weightwatchers, and funnily enough the same thing happened, went really well for about a month, I lost the weight, started running, ruined my knees and gave the whole thing up. This time I went well for three weeks, tried running, knees were wonky anyway, then tried walking, but never seemed to get it together. Thanks I see what you are getting at, I do need support, but need to build that in to myself for myself.

  • I am 59 and have never been fit. I don't have any weight to lose as I lost 8 kgs last year but I am still finding it tough. So with extra eeight it is going to take longer. So take it slower and embrace a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix. I feel so much better about myself and you will too. Stick with it and do it for yourself. Best of luck and celebrate every milestone.

  • thank you, yes I should have done that, I did well to start with, but when I lost it I lost it all. Instead of thinking about the couple of success I did have, I dumped the whole thing. Now I will start again after Easter and see how long I can keep going this time. Years ago I stopped smoking, and went through the same type of action plan, stop for a week, start again, stop for a week start again. eventually i had a tough talk to myself about who was I kidding when I said "I could stop smoking" I had to recognize it was n addiction as well as a habit, and it took me a whole year of not smoking to prove to myself I could really stop before I would acknowledge I had stopped smoking. So I will maybe need to take a whole year to learn these new habits of healthy food and walking. Thank you, I'll try again.

  • You sound as though you have some grit and determination. It's like the others have said - it won't be quick but if you make lifestyle changes you will eventually get results. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to forgive yourself for lapses but to put them behind you immediately. If you fall off the wagon a bit one day, don't treat that as a failure and go back to bad eating habits because you feel bad. You are human, after all! I totally get what you said about the family visit etc. These things will happen and holidays and easter and Christmas and leaving dos ..... but if your main life is 'under control ' you will be able to handle the inevitable blips. Good grief, I sound like a psychotherapist! Sorry!

  • thank you for your reply. And you are right, I am normally pretty tough and determined (when I get around to it), in the meantime go up and down like a yoyo. I agree I have to make those lifestyle changes to help me to be fit and healthy. Part of that is losing weight and getting my body fit and felling good. I should be able to handle the ups and downs of life, I know, and sometimes I can, but sometimes it all gets too scary. A few years ago I had a Post Traumatic Stress Disorders from workplace bullying and really very bad workplace situations. I ended up after five years of trying to survive the bullying very depressed and on medication. This year I got off the medication (very hard to do) and wanted to lose the weight that had accumulated over the years of workplace bullying and my inadequate attempts to deal with it on my own. I never told my family about the medication or depression. I had been so used to coping and getting through everything on my own. Yes, it was my determination to get off the medication, my determination to stop smoking, my determination to get better educated, and my determination to try and lose 20 kgs. You are so right, I have done it before, I will do it again. A heartfelt thank you for pointing this out to me, I am strong and determined. Thank you

  • Goodness you've had it tough! You'll get plenty of support on here, so keep logging on. If the running gets tough, don't be tempted to give up exercising altogether - walking 5k is similar to running 5k caloriewise but it just takes a lot longer! Anyhoo, there are some amazing weightloss and lifestyle change stories on here which should keep you going if you are having a wobble (speaking of which, our very own Miss Wobble is just about the most vocal ambassador on this site and ALWAYS comes up with something inspirational :) ).

  • 20 kg is not that much, but it could take 6 months if you base it on 1/2k a week. The issue is motivation, why are you doing this? Because you should is probably not enough. I was 40kg overweight until the doc said I was borderline diabetic. Not wanting to be on permanent medication was enough to get me to diet and exercise. I'm 69 next month and fitter than I have ever been, and able to enjoy life. 5k parkruns are now not only possible, but enjoyable.

    Yes you will find support here, it is possible to lose 20 kg, but you have to find the motivation. Try thinking what your life is going to be like in the years ahead, if you continue on your original path? My Zimmer frame is back in the loft- wher is yours?

  • Thank you, yes and you are right, motivation is the key. I started off really motivated, then gradually the old bad habits crept in. Also I had never been on a forum like this before, and found the first few weeks I had lots of people who were also starting, then they all seemed to get fitter and started running, which is what i wanted to do. And you are right, it is down to me. So will start again. And the zimmer frame? man I hate those things. Will get back on track. Thanks for the advice

  • You really need to take things slow & steady. I've lost 25kg but it's taken me nearly 2 years. The exercise will speed up your weight loss as I'm on week 8 of C25K & have lost 10kgs in that time. But don't expect miracles over night. Set ureself small goals & you'll get a buzz each time you achieve it. Don't focus on how hard it is to do the run, focus on that awesome feeling you'll get when you've completed it. If you have a bit of a blip, accept it & move forward. Don't dwell on it & go backwards. You will get there if you put have patience & determination. Good luck at Easter, you CAN do it!

  • thank you for your vote of confidence, I think you are right, I can do it, I just need to be a bit more settled in not freaking out when I go backwards. Thanks for the info, I'll look forward to restarting after Easter, and learn to walk before running. thanks

  • The thing is, DoniMac, is it sounds like you need a different mindset.

    For example, by your own admission, you want it all to happen within weeks, but it takes time. Don't think "I want to lose X KGs within X weeks" rather "I'm going to change the way I eat and exercise for life" and accept you'll have good days when everything falls into place and you feel proud and healthy and motivated and bad days where it all falls apart and you feel fed-up and want to give up, that is completely normal. But you need to be in it for the long haul and when you have a difficult day, start again the next.

    And why start after Easter? That's several weeks away. You're effectively giving yourself permission to eat a lot of eggs and do no exercise!

    Start today! Eat sensibly, don't deny yourself food you think is sinful just eat less and more of the healthy stuff and if you overindulge over Easter just get back on the wagon, don't give up. And keep exercising regularly, not just when you're trying to lose weight.

    Changing a lifestyle is a lifelong exercise and full of fits and starts.

    Running is hard, really hard in my experience, but doable!

    Good luck, you can do it.

  • This sounds like excellent advice. All I would add is that running is not only hard and doable, but can become addictive and a great stress reliever.

  • thank you for the good advice and you are so right. When I saw things were working and my weight going don it felt so good, then when I started to over eat and flip out, it felt so bad and then I added more fuel to the fire by eating even more. I do tend to think in 'either or' circles, so that is correct. Yes you are right, I should start now and not wait till after Easter. That was just giving me permission to eat all the chocolates and ice cream, then start again. You must have been there, to read my mind.

    I will do it, and I'll start now, Thank you

  • You talk about a 12 week course......is that a weight loss plan? This forum is for the NHS Couch to 5K programme, a nine week plan designed to get non runners running. It is not clear from your post if you were following a running programme or not. If not, then I would thoroughly recommend C25k, because it works, for just about anybody. It is tough at times, but the structure makes each step attainable and this forum will give you all the support you need to transform your life and your approach to exercise. Couch potatoes become running addicts in just a few weeks. Honestly. It is a life changer, but in itself won't make you lose weight.

    Go to nhs.uk/livewell/c25k/Pages/... for more info and ways to download the app or podcasts. You won't regret it.

  • I would love to be able to do that, run again after all these years

    thank you

  • You've had loads of advice already, but have you thought about where you're walking? If you go somewhere beautiful, where you can't hop on a bus and give up, you'll do better and enjoy it more. Get an OS map of where you live and seek out footpaths and green spaces!

    And best of luck. :)

  • PS: teaching is the most stressful job I've ever done. Running is the best stress-buster I've ever tried (including yoga, meditation, therapy and wine). Just a thought!

  • thank you, yes teaching is stressful, but the whole of working in education is stressful where I am, I work in a remote community between Australia and PNG, the cyclones are ravaging us at the moment, so everything a bit stressful. I would love to be running somewhere in the Uk anywhere would do. So I am now back on track for the eating calories counting, being sensible thanks to all the advice I have got. Now need to get the walking then the running happening. So next month hope to have it started, will start the caloric counting today and get the weight back off, gradually build in some exercise them hopefully walking then running

    Then when I get back to the UK I will be running and a healthy weight, thanks for your reply

  • Hi DoniMac,

    Please don't feel down, we all struggle and have to regroup. I started running a year ago and it took a while for me to make it a habit. But I didn't start losing weight until I started a specific eating plan. I found I need lots more structure and routine to put new habits firmly in place, so I joined Slimming World. Not sure if you've heard of it, but in can't recommend it enough. It helps you decide what foods you can eat in unlimited amounts, and the structure of having a food diary and weekly weigh ins help. I lost 3 stone in 5 months. And I had the most unhealthy eating habits...fast food for breakfast and takeaways most nights. The support of the group is great, and there's a Facebook page for checkins any time.

    I still run. It's more of a mental thing now, to make me feel centered and good. I credit both running and my eating plan with how different I feel this year.

    I wish you the best of luck, message me if you want more information. x

  • thank you, I started on the 12 week challenge as the eating plan, and it is great, then tried the Couch to 5K and could not do it, so down I went. Now I will get back on the 12 week challenge and then try the 12 week walking plan before I attempt the Couch to 5K again. Many thanks for your support. I can't wait to be there and running again after many years of not running at all.

  • I think it would help if you try to set achievement based goals rather than time or weight based goals. If your goal is "lose 20 kg", then any time you step on the scales and have not lost 20 kg, that feels like a failure: it simply serves to highlight what you have not yet done. I would also recommend avoiding something that is too time-based. If you go for the 12 week challenge, and find in week 3 you are not where you feel you need to be in week 3, then weeks 4 to 12 suddenly feel like a waste of time.

    Take a piece of paper, and write down the numbers 1 to 27 on it. These are the runs in the C25k program. Schedule time three times a week to go out on a run. It isn't 12 weeks, it isn't 9 weeks, it isn't any length of time. It is just something you are going to do. It's a routine like eating breakfast or doing the shopping. Each time you go out, try to do what Laura tells you in the podcast. If you manage it, cross the number off your list. That is a positive achievement. That is a definite, measurable, quantifiable thing you have done that you had not done before. Then, next time, try the next run on the list. If you don't manage a run, you haven't failed. You have still achieved all the other runs up to that point, and in a couple of days you'll be out there having another go.

    The objective here is not "lose 20 kg", it is not "complete 12 weeks". The objective is to do each of the runs from 1 to 27. There is no deadline and there is no failure. All there is is positive achievement.

  • thank you I get your point

  • I wouldn't wait! I'd start today!! Don't put things off! No excuses. Get moving!

  • thank you, and your right

    started back again today, thanks for the reply

  • I took ONE STEP at a time. It took a while but I got there. I am now at my target weight and running. It is a lifetime thing though. If I go back to eating the way I used to the weight goes back on. If I stop running the weight goes back on! It is a lifestyle change. It doesn't happen overnight but it does happen if you persevere. We all succumb to temptation, I just draw a line on it and carry on. I do not give up, neither should you, it takes time to get your head around it, it's only taken me 30 odd years but the good habits ive learnt are starting to become the norm, after all I know what the alternative is and I choose not to go there. It has to come from you, there is no quick fix only a worthwhile conclusion. I wish you all you wish yourself. You can do it, if you really want it. Do you really want it, do you really, then take it. You can do this.

  • thank you for those wise words. I am pleased you have made it, and got where you want to be. I agree it is a lifestyle change, and I think that is where it gets hard for me. I take a long time to learn new habits. I will keep going, one step at a time, and keep eating the right food, and get there. Thank you for your words, they are so true.

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