Couch to 5K
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Kick up the proverbial, please?

Apologies in advance: I am about to moan.

Cannot get myself out to run, can't find time or motivation. Work is really busy, but I'm also desperately trying to gain weight so am having to overeat and it's making me feel like absolute sh*t - queasy and sluggish and lethargic, and food is a chore because I'm never really hungry anymore. I'm eating good stuff, but uncomfortably too much of it.

Two things, then:

Thing one: help! Encouragement/b*llockings both welcome. I'm slipping into a bit of a dark place.

Thing two: if you're a habitual over-eater and struggle for motivation and energy, it could be worth cutting down your calories - I cannot believe how much less energy I seem to have since I've started counting calories to gain weight, and I've not changed anything else. Weird and unexpected, but there it is.

Oh. And really sorry. I needed a bit of a vent. Hope you're all good.

21 Replies

Hi TF, well I'm not sure I'm very good at b*ll*cking anyone, and anyway think you need to cut yourself some slack.

It's understandable you feel like crap if your eating habits have had to change so dramatically. Set yourself a run date this weekend and stick to it, remember how much better you feel after a run and don't put too much pressure on yourself.

Keep us posted x

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Oh, poor Tea Fairy. :( I'm not going to yell at you. Here, have a big squeezy hug, does that help? I've found that often I can't keep up with too many goals at the same time - while I've been running, I've ended up paying little attention to another of my passions, and I'm only just getting back to it now. The more I worry about it, the less I find that I'm able to do it again. Trying to gain weight must be hard, particularly when you are running at the same time. I'm sorry you're finding food a chore - how about trying out some new stuff to break the monotony? Maybe there's stuff that's more calorific (without being sickening) that you can eat in smaller portions and leave yourself longer between meals to get that 'keen' appetite before the next meal? Chin up, sweetie xoxo


Hi TF. :-) I've recently been in The Dark Place (TDP) myself, feeling a huge lack of motivation, brought about mainly by anaemia and generally not wanting to run in fear of it being another awful, horrible slog. I won't berate you as personally, I find that counter productive, but honestly, if you get out there, you'll thank yourself in the longer term. The first few runs might not be great, but just think back to before C25K, at pre-running you. If you fall deeper into The Dark Place, you might be there again and it's easier to keep momentum than it is to start again. I certainly don't want to be back at the start again, unfit and fed up *shudders* so I forced myself out and if you do the same, you'll be glad you did.

We're all here to giddy you along. :)

Good luck and keep running!

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Hi Tea , Vent away, thats what we are here for :-)

I cant give you a bollocking either, I just want to give you a massive hug ((( )))

Maybe if you just tried a slow, steady walk/run , just to get some fresh air into your lungs ? No pressure :-)

I really hope you feel brighter soon, feeling down is soo crap.

We are here for you :-) xxx


Oh tea fairy :-(

It's okay, quite okay, you have a good moan ... you have the most unusual issues to cope with. I do hope you'll be able to dig your fleet-of-foot heels in and halt your slide into TDP (#M_Y) before you build up momentum.

I admit to never in my life having to find a way to gain weight so my specific knowledge is nil. I might say tho that perhaps you don't have to force feed yourself to the point you detest the thought of eating entirely. If losing weight is best achieved slowly and steadily, would it not be true for you too, trying to gain kilos? 400g a week? Is that do-able to you think? Like mfam says, some unusual food combos may help you - obviously you're not used to eating big portions ... can you seek professional guidance from a nutritionist or dietician? Pocket portions of super-fuel?

Lastly, if, for me, running doesn't particularly trigger weight loss, why would it inhibit your weight gain? I know you're running longer distances over hills and dales but perhaps, for your now, to reset your motivation, you could mix things up a bit more and get out and do something unusual? Maybe those short, intense drills with big loping strides, running with lunges and stuff included, fast short runs etc etc ... you know you want to :-) :-) :-)

Lastly lastly - don't lose those steely abs!!!


Vent away. I remember your previous posts about being told to gain weight, and the reasons why. This may be of no help at all, but, do you really have to? These BMI charts they wave around are so prescriptive and one-size-fits-all. And looking at the pic you posted on your hilly HM you look incredibly healthy and happy and long-muscled - just right for your naturally slender build. Can the medics not realise you are just made that way and ignore the numbers? Or is it not as simple as that...

No bollockings, just encouragement ... xx


My BMI tells me that I am 5KG overweight ( even though I have already lost 10KG) -- and all my friends are telling me that I am thin and shouldn't lose any more weight!! pp Seems to be the exact opposite of Tea Fairys situation.


OK. Here's my suggestion. Think about why running is important to you - and perhaps I mean think about if it is. Tomorrow I am due to do my second run of the week and frankly I am dreading it. So why will I get myself out of bed early tomorrow to run - for just half an hour tops? For me the answers are: 1.) because I like the challenge 2.) I like being outside 3.) it feels great afterwards 4.) it's good for me. This may be of precious little help; we are all different. Do you need some professional advice from a nutritionist ( via your GP?) if your current diet is making you feel rubbish?


I feel for you, I really do. Take care, it's easier to fall into that dark place than it is to climb out of it. Running is great for raising the mood. Just keep going. You know you can. Keep us posted.


Hi TTF, I was sad for you when I read your post. I know that you need to gain half a stone before you qualify for some medical treatment. It must be so hard for you to have that target, but for the increased calorie intake to make you feel so rubbish. You're going to have to trust that you're doing the right thing. Is there any merit in reducing your calorie intake, so that you put on the weight a little slower? If you met your BMI target in 12 months instead of 6 months, is that OK?

Your posts tell us how much you gain mentally from running, and so it would be a real pity if the extra calories stop you doing something that you love so much. There must be a middle ground of running + a lower calorie intake, at the expense of reaching your target weight more slowly. No doubt you'll need to be on tip-top physical health before you start your treatment, so running must be compulsory, surely?

Anyway, I wanted to remind you that you are fantastic. Let's see:

1) You can run a HM over Moel Famau;

2) You look 100% amazing in your running photos;

3) Swishy pony-tailed girls get offended by your brazen midriff;

4) You have a body-shape that most women (And us men) would die for;

5) You write with such humour (who can forget 'bone and sinew held together by stubbornness'?);

6) You're a fantastic, sweary teacher;

7) You have the humility to share your tackling of anxiety and depression by running over those mountains.

Need any inspiration, motivation for going out running? Just a little reminder about your upcoming 9 Edges Endurance race in September...

Best wishes.


Ugh, gaining weight. Not so easy. Still I've managed to put on 6lb. So from 7 stone to 7.6. Its taken nearly 18 months though. I cannot stuff myself, hate that feeling so just slightly increased calories. Using real butter, full fat yoghurt, putting cream with fruit etc, i have managed to sneak a few extra in, without feeling stuffed. Do you have to eat so much, slow gains so you don't feel so rubbish??

good luck anyway, hope you motivate yourself to run soon too. X


Gaining weight.

My daughter has just had spinal surgery, and she's on high calories drink supplements. Are they worth a try ? Ensure Plus Juce 1.5 calories per ml. So a 220 bottle has 330 calories. Doctor can prescribe them, but don't know under what circumstances, daughter got them because of her surgery. Apparently the chocolate one tastes the best.


Thank you all, you are lovely. Trying to cut myself some slack but it's all a bit troublesome. So fed up with waking up tired and sad; it makes it really hard to get perspective.


Oh TF, you poor sausage, my sympathies but definitely no bollocking. I had the treatment you're waiting for, in my late 30s. I too was really slender due to a combination of a naturally slim frame and years of living on my nerves. Nobody ever mentioned my BMI at the time, although I weighed less than 8 stone at 5'5" I was however told that eating dairy fats would be a good thing- cream, cheese and butter. In my darkest days, I always tried to 'keep my eyes on the prize' ; why I was putting myself through it all, and that kept me going. So chin up , Sweetie. You're an amazing lady. You have such determination and grit. You can get through this, you really can xxx

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Thanks AM, that's good to hear. I think the reason they're concerned about BMI is that it's IVF with PGD to avoid passing on a genetic mutation (so a drawn out and expensive process - they have to develop specialised tests to screen for the exact and unique type of DNA wonkiness my husband doesn't want to share) rather than for infertility. I guess because it's expensive and complex, they want to control all the risk factors they can - but have our first proper appointment with the PGD people in a couple of weeks, so I guess they'll be able to tell me how strict it is. So far have only spoken to the genetic counsellor, who is brilliant but wasn't able to help much on the weight thing.


Ouch!! That sounds expensive, no wonder they want to control everything. However, if you're not the one with the difficulty, then surely making you completely change how you eat can't be justified. Having said that, if you're anything like me, if they'd told me to walk on a high wire above Trafalgar Square wearing nothing but clogs and a smile, I'd probably have done it. As I said, eyes on the prize. Very very best of luck, Sweetie. I've got my fingers crossed for you xxx


I'm so sorry you're feeling like this :( No kicks or bollockings from me, just encouragement and support and sympathy. I can't help with the eating, I'm afraid, and I'm sure all the ideas here will be good ones combined with what your medical people are saying. But the running? You can do that, you know. You can lace up and get out there for just a short run in the fresh air. Think how nice that would be, just for you, and how good you'd feel afterwards :) I hope you can manage it, squeezing out the time to look after you. All the very best to you, and I hope things improve for you very soon x


Hey Tea, I'll keep it short... as everybody else has already said all. Big hugs xxx

high calorie and not junk:

Protein bars:

This is for a fake cheesecake, it's really good and a tiny bit packs quite a good amount of calories


Screw all that wishy washy tree-hugging custom-insole-wearing tea-drinking cambalaya-singing veggie-eating bollocks!

We both know that the only way to get your motivation back is by getting out there for a good run. 5 km at your favourite pace, and just to make sure you stay motivated, you can go borrow Rig's bricks and run with them. Through mud. And up a hill. A BIG hill! And when you're done, drop and give me twenty. NOW, on the double, c'mon, c'mon, we don't have all day young lady! The sooner you start, the sooner you'll get it over with, and you WILL feel better afterwards. Trust me! For if you don't feel any better, you can go do it again, but with Rig's spare bricks as well! Any question? No? Excellent!!


Try the weight loss milkshakes to gain weight if you can't get the nutritional drinks from your GP or otherwise, don't actually use them as a meal replacement but on top of the meals you normally eat. They are 2-300 calories per drink so could stop you feeling sluggish.


I just read this TF. Sorry you're feeling so crap. It's just cos it's new to you though isn't it. You're eating good stuff to help you gain weight I'm sure. As a WW I put on weight most easily if I eat too much bread. I only eat good bread, mostly what I've made myself but it's good to eat and tastes wonderful so no hardship to get down. I make my own high protein energy bars too and they are absolutely delish and would help you with a few extra calories. Eating one of those after/during a longer run is what keeps my legs turning

You'll crack it TF, and it's not going to be forever is it. You only have to go through this process once (hopefully) so see it as a means to and end. It will be worth the minor irritation of feeling sluggish if you get the result you both want

You know if you get peed off you can get your shoes on and go for a run.

Big hug and a squeeze. You'll be reyt lass!


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