How to start

Hello guys, I have to tell you that I sit here with tears in my eyes with the realisation that in the last however many years I have gone from slim to overweight, top end of overweight and now tipped into the obese range. I'm completely disgusted with myself and wonder how it happened. I became asthmatic maybe 8 years ago and I think I used that as a reason to not do anything, broke my wrist badly 4 years ago and that was really when I put on lots of weight and in the last 2 years I was bullied out of my job after 19 years by my area manager because I was no longer young enough, thin enough or pretty enough to be in one of his high profile stores. I wasn't the first he did it to and I wont be the last but after depression and anxiety I'm getting back to being me. How do I start when I feel like everyone will look at me?

71 Replies

  • Welcome aboard to a group that will not judge you by appearance or ability the support you will get is absolutely brilliant and there is always someone who has been through a similar situation

  • manofkent, thank you. I'm sitting here wondering if i can muster enough oomph to go out at 4am when no-one will see me and try day one.

    Thank you for your response, I feel that I may be able to get back to being me by christmas if I kick myself into gear. My problem is, I'm so unfit it's easier to not do than do.

  • I feel that with you guys here although strangers, I have the start of motivation on my side.

  • I said people on here were brilliant we will travel the journey with you to the end

  • Faceless friends and we rock!!!!

  • Don,t worry about people seeing you remember you are doing it for you and no one else also some people have never I was a swimmer and hated running with a passion but the C25K does not make it impossible to do and now I look forward to going out . If you some of the other starter post some people have never run and now can,t get enough of it.

  • That first run is often the hardest, but think how you will feel when you have done it! Take a deep breath, choose a quiet time of day and place to run, pop your earphones in and go! Take it really slow - this is not about speed at this stage, it is about building up fitness. If it feels hard, slow up some more and don't be afraid to repeat runs if you feel you need to. I promise you, most people will not even notice you. You will just be another runner, and we come in many different shapes and sizes. I am so sorry about your experience at work. Your manager sounds like a horrid person - please don't hold on to what someone like that has made you feel. This is a massive step in taking back control - this is about doing something positive for you and showing yourself that you are better than those who put you down. It is also one of the best things you can do for anxiety and depression. I have struggled with anxiety at various stages of my life and I cannot begin to bore you with what running has done for me! On a more practical level, make sure you have comfy clothing and some decent footwear. The right footwear can make a big difference. And most importantly, come back on here and let us know how it goes. Lot and lots of luck!🙂

  • Ahh, you're making me cry xx Thank you. There's no going back now and I will update you after run one.

  • Will look out for you🙂!

  • Thank you x

  • Wise words sweetie x

  • One of the main reasons I started running was because I was deeply unhappy, stressed and depressed during my PhD. I started C25K so I would get out of the house in the evenings rather than mull things that happened during the day over in my head in front of the telly. It really gives you me-time and helps clear your head. Don't overthink it, just put your clothes and runners beside your bed tonight and head out when you wake up in the morning. You won't regret it!

  • Thank you rmoo, great advice and I will definitely sort my things this eve ready to go early in the morning. There's a park near me that has a one mile marker so I will follow that route. Thank you again. :)

  • Just take one step at a time and do not worry about what anybody else thinks. The sense of achievement drives me further everyday and running soon becomes very addictive. PS this is my first post!!

  • Welcome HappyRunner. You've got the hang of this, haven't you :-)

  • Thank you. I try my best :-)

  • Thank you Happy Runner, you're too kind xT

  • Hi HappyRunner (great name by the way!), good work on your first post! Great advice for a newbie :)

  • Thank you :-)

  • Shoes on and out the door with you! First one is the hardest. Try not to worry about what people think, it's hard, but everyone is busy doing their own things. You probably don't even pay close attention to people exercising when you're out and about.

    This program is all about you. Please give it a go, I promise it can change your life. You can do it. I promise.

  • I will do it; I promise. T x

  • Welcome to our community, How_to.

    Right, we're going to support you in your transition: egging you on, providing encouragement, answering your questions and kicking you up the backside when necessary. We're all friendly here, and there is a whole range of experiences (overweight, underweight, anxiety, depression, bereavement, relationship breakdowns, tragic accidents...). But we're united by wanting to run, and we've all shared improvements in our lives. You'll find this site to be the most uplifting place in all the internet.

    By joining us, your spirits will lift, and very soon, we'll have you confident to go out of the door and beat Week 1 Run 1. Then there will be no stopping you!

    This is your first step: don't put on any running gear. At a time to suit you, just go out for a 30 minute walk. Have a look at who is about, find a route that is not too busy, but not too quiet. Once you've eyeballed the route in regular clothes, the next time you can go out in something a little more suitable for running. The first week is a mixture of walking and running, so it does not require lycra, just a tee-shirt and loose trousers. Ask the girls here about recommendations for a suitable bra. That's the No1 item to get right.

    I guarantee that anyone who sees you out running is not secretly laughing at you. No, they are thinking "I should be doing that".

    I wish you all the best. Happy running.


  • Wow Mark, you guys just blow me away, all I hear from my family is "well you have put weight on but that's understandable", "now you're feeling better you can lose weight", "you're not fat but you have put on weight".... blah blah blah.

    Thank you, I feel more supported from strangers than I have in years. T x

  • Welcome aboard , its good to have you here .

    I am so sorry to read of your experience at work, that mustve been so upsetting for you . Big hugs ((( )))

    You CAN do this , there are so many of us on here who felt EXACTLY the same as you. On my first run, I just wore normal clothes and when the podcast got to the running bit , I just hurried up a bit as if I was in a rush to get somewhere .

    You are going to feel so good once you get that first session under your belt . The hardest part of change is always the first bit, the middle bit is the messiest , but the end is amazing !

    This is YOUR journey, you are doing this for YOU. It doesn't matter if you have to repeat runs, it doesn't matter if you take longer than 9 weeks to do the programme . You are in control.

    Please give it a go. What have you got to lose ? The benefits to your health, fitness and general well being are immense .

    Good Luck, we are all here to support you . Let us know how you go on .

    Slow, steady, believe ....... xxx

  • Look at that How_to ... our sweet PoppyPug has a badge after her name saying [Mentor]. That's the kind of community that you've joined.

  • (((HUG)))

  • Thank you Mark xxx

  • Thank you poppy, you guys are so wonderful, I can't stop the tears running xx

  • Once the tears have stopped running, let your feet start running :-)

  • Yes boss!! ....

  • Now get yourself off to bed. You have an early start in the morning, then a report to write on here once you've got your breath back.

  • I'm going to follow your lead with the "in a hurry" to start with. Thank you.Tx

  • Good Luck , you can do this , you really can xxx

  • Thanks Poppypug; thank you. :)

  • :-) xxx

  • You are amazing! I wish I was starting all over again! :)

  • Just do it! Stick your nose in the air and mentally flick the v's. Seriously tho, far fewer people will take notice of you than you fear; hold on to the courage of being out there and doing something that loads of people don't (ie getting fit and taking responsibility for their health). There's loads of support here and loads of people have felt like you. Trust the program, go as slow as you need to and be proud of yourself (and if you can't be proud of yourself I'll do it for you until you can!).

  • PollyP you are so lovely. Thank you for all your kind words and support.T x

  • First off - read a LOT of posts here. You are neither unique nor alone. I was one of those who 'knew' I could 'never' run (or lose weight). Yet - here I am, week 6. Took me a bit longer than 6 weeks to get here alright - but its been a wonderful experience. The weight might not be dropping off as fast I thought - but it sure as heck is getting redistributed and will continue to drop off anyway. As for people looking at you - had exactly the same fears. However - they look at me anyway, most of them are not even thinking about me beyond a superficial glance because I am not that important anyway, the walkers wish they were runners and the runners know absolutely where we come from and where we are headed because they too are on the journey. And no matter how 'slow' you run, or how 'big' you are right now - you're going to be a damn sight faster than sitting on an easy chair and sooner than you think you will have a different perspective on your weight, self image, mode of thinking etc. I did Week1Day1 out of sheer curiosity and boredom. I thought I would not be able to but I did. I was doubled over doing the 5 minute cool down was at the end and my breathing sounded like a train whistle, my lungs were heaving and - deformed foot bones - feet felt like they had been skinned and salt rubbed into them. But you know what - I figured if W1D1 was 'doable' just maybe W1D2 would be - and it was. And now its where I am impatient to try my first fifteen minute continuous run to see if a) I can do it and b) for the great feeling of running as far as I actually get if not the whole way on the first try.

    I am not into those trite and cheesy 'Inspirational' dreck pictures of soaring Eagles and sun-lapped beaches with banal qoutes - but I promise you that what someone posted to me here a few days is absolutely true - 'One run will change your day, several runs will change your life'.

    As I say - read as many posts as you can, don't take just my word for it. I really hope you will join us on this journey because you sure as heck sound like you are where I was for a lifetime until I went out of the door that first morning on June 1st on my deformed feet, accompanied by Exercise-Induced Asthmatic lungs, just under fifty pounds overweight, over forty years of heavy smoking and non existent self esteem.

    And today I feel like I can remember that person less and less as each day - running days and rest days - go by.

    It is EMINENTLY doable for you also. I promise.

  • Hello Irish-John, wow, we are very similar. I am 2 stone overweight, non smoker but asthmatic all the same and like you always letting day one go by because I know I can't run a mile to save my life. Running for a bus leaves my chest so tight it's pathetic and pathetic is what I've become. I'm so pleased to read that you are at week 6 which just shows that i can get there. I go on holiday with my brother and didn't go last year as the previous yer he asked why I have become so fat. I am going in just less than 10 weeks and i don't want him to say that to me again and try to remain covered the entire holiday as he was so disgusted with the weight I've gained.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me your story and give me encouragement. Tx And good luck getting to week nine!!

  • Yeesh, brothers can be real dummies sometimes eh? Your weight and appearance is none of his *&!% business.

  • It's all been said by so many wonderful people on this forum. But we are all here for you and you won't regret the first steps. Looking forward to your posts!

  • Gosh thank you so much!! You guys are unbelievable!! Tx

  • The main 'Unbelievable' bit about us is - none of us ever thought we could do it! :) and now we are! And YOU can too, I promise.

  • Not only can you start, but you can make it to the end of Week 9, running for 30 minutes and loving it! Many of us felt like you when we started; self conscious, exercise phobic, never run in our lives. I completed the first 7 weeks on a treadmill and the first time I went outside I went out in the dark at 10pm and was shaking like a leaf! I loved outside running so much I couldn't imagine ever getting back on a treadmill.

    The C25k programme is just amazing, following it is one of the best decisions you'll ever make. You just need to take that first step. The pride you will feel when you complete that first run (even if it takes a couple of attempts) and you post on here to tell everyone you've done it will be like nothing you've ever felt before! That feeling will get greater and greater as the programme goes on. Go slow, listen to Laura, take your rest days and you'll be a runner! Yes, you will!

    Remember to go slow! There is no such thing as 'too slow' on this programme. Take two rest days if you need, there's no problem doing that. You'll soon see the progress and become addicted. If it's hard, slow down. Some runs are difficult with no rhyme or reason but as long as you push through then you can move onto the next one. :)

    The forum is one of the best places on the internet. I wouldn't have completed the programme without it. It's full of incredible, inspirational people so do post for advice, encouragement and to let everyone celebrate your successes with you! If you feel lack of motivation post here and people will encourage you to get out there and push you through! You CAN do this! We'll all be with you every step of the way :)

  • Ahh Melly4012 thank you so much. I'm blown away by all the comments and that people make time to tell me how great it will be, how good I will feel and to offer a total stranger so much encouragement. Thank you so much!!! T xx

  • The only moment we have is now and now that you have decided to take action you will and I promise it will pay off. Any one who has tried running and knows how hard it is to begin with will be silently encouraging you and wishing you well. We are all here to believe in you while you learn to believe in yourself again. Put one foot in front of the other, hold your head high and know that you are on an amazing journey x

  • Thank you so much for your words of faith and encouragement. I can't thank you enough. Tx

  • You can do it How_to! Every one here (as you've seen)is so supportive and you'll find talking to all of us and sharing any worries and triumphs makes for a much more positive outlook on life. And the programme really is do-able!! Go for it and well done for starting😊😆

  • Thank you aliboo70, you guys are amazing!! x

  • Glad we've brightened your day😊😆

  • I just want to wish you all the best X I hid behind bins on day 1 whilst doing a warm up as I didn't want to be seen, now I'm wandering round shops after running in my running gear......fight the good fight

  • Brilliant!! Thank you so much for taking the time to be here, I appreciate it so much. x

  • The places I will go post-run with tights or short-shorts is ever expanding :). Glad to hear I'm not alone.

  • How-do How-to :). It's all true. Everything the everyone has said. I have never been in the company of so many caring and non-judgemental people. I would never have carried on without the help and encouragement here. I still haven't managed to run properly outside of my garden (but I know I will). I didn't think I would manage certain weeks but the folk on here kept right with me until I did, even when I had to try 2 or even 3 times. Hand on heart, I never believed I would even get to week 3. This programme will change you. It will gradually, at a pace you can handle (you may not think now that you can handle it but you can), give you a new belief system almost. It will train you to run but also train you to believe in yourself again. The first one is the hardest. Go for it, so we can cheer you when you get back :) :) :)

  • Ahh, you are all so generous and kind. Thank you so much, I will update you all tomorrow after day 1 but it may only be a walk, just to let you know. xx

  • That garden gate is opening.. i can hear the hinges squeaking! :)

  • You know what makes me feel both sad and angry about this group -- is the number of people who come here worrying about what people "might" think about them!!!! I am almost 70YO - so perhaps I am past what people think about me :) - but there seems to be an epidemic of it here. Where does it come from?

    Be happy!! - that you have realised something about yourself before it is too late!! Be happy! - that you have come to the right place to overcome this affliction of yours.

    I can see that there are already 51 replies to you now - I have not read any of them but I do know you will find wisdom and support here.

    BTW - if you ever see me out running , I am the bald, fat (well maybe not so fat these days) old guy who wears glasses !!! - who wears ridiculously coloured running clothes and shoes and should know better !!! :)

  • Before starting the program I was bullied out of a job by an insecure manager who saw me as a 'threat'. I then broke my elbow-it took a long time and a lot of physio exercises before I could use it properly. I had been told it would never get back to normal but I it is (almost) now. I also let my weight get out of control; I don't know how much I weighed but was easily in the obese category. Looking back these things were a turning point. I followed the program and yes it works😀 I'm a healthy weight and regularly run 10k and half marathon races. My advice is take it slowly and don't focus on trying to lose weight quickly. If the running is difficult think about the bullies and idiots in life and how you are stronger than them-I found it works every time😀 Good luck

  • I really can't give any more or any better advice than the others have but I just wanted to say welcome & good luck! We're all right there with you for every step. x

  • Welcome... And you've made a great step by looking to start this programme. My advice is to start by walking loads if you don't do a lot of exercise, and take each week at a time, do it twice if you need to. I suggest combining with a weight loss programme as that works best. This will help you in so many ways and give you your 'you' back. Keep us posted on your progress so we can encourage you :)

  • 'Disgust' too often means that people punish their bodies with exercise, instead of thinking of it as a gift they give to themselves.

  • Well the hardest thing is getting out of the door for the first time. Once you've done that you've cracked it! That jangly intro music just grabs you and the "hello, I'm laura" gets you walking briskly, you can't resist! You will be so concentrating on what she says you won't notice that so many of the other runners you encounter are exactly like you. Or have been, and well remember their journey. Anyone else doesn't count. You might be just the person who inspires someone else to have a go! The high you get having done week one run one doesn't come in any bottle!

    It is hard, but eminently doable. The first thing you note is how much quicker you take to recover between runs. Your speed takes a while but that quicker recovery is a sure sign you are getting fitter. Go on, we dares you! You'll find all the support you need on this happy family forum. Some weeks will be better than others. Don't over analyse it, that just happens sometimes, but just plod on with the next. You'll do it eventually! We all do!

  • Can I echo what everyone else has said! This is a fabulous supportive forum and we are all right there cheering you on. Good luck for starting and remember anything you do today is better than the nothing you would have done!! It took me several goes to get week one run one done but stick at it take rest days and go slow!!!

  • I think you've already started by posting here.

    I don't know if this will help but when I see anyone exercising, I think they are impressive, regardless of their shape or size, and I think most people secretly mutter 'Good on you!' towards bigger people having a go at making themselves fitter.

    If anyone is going to judge, you will still be okay and you can look forward to the day when they judge your lovely physique and toned muscles.

    Workplace bullying is ghastly but every step of a run may help you to stamp out the terrible emotions you must have experienced throughout your ordeal. All those lovely endorphins you will release will make you feel like a superhero and you'll realise how much better you are than the appalling people who have brought you so low.

    And if none of this helps, you could resort to the philosophy of my dear old, departed dad; 'Just bl**dy well do it!'

    Best wishes and knock 'em dead! I'm willing you on.

  • You have started!! :) Clever!

    Here you are... ready for action and taking back control of you :)

    Lots of us folk on here, with all sorts of worries and issues, moving forward and becoming strong, confident and healthy :) and enjoying it too!

    You do this, at your pace, in your own time... but make sure that pace is slow, and really steady.. think a snail on a go-slow. Wear decent running shoes... but comfy whatever else. Time for funky gear later.... ( I have the funky stuff tips! ) and you will get there.

    Folk on here, will support, encourage, sympathise, comfort and give you the odd shove.. all the way to Graduation. :)

    Forget the grotty manager.. not worth another thought.

    So... time to stop being so unkind to yourself about everything you are not... and time to start loving yourself, for what you are surely going to become... :)

    Will be watching out for your next post!!! :)

  • You can absolutely do this and it'll be such a sense of achievement! Every week for me made me feel good about myself, even when I found it hard. People do look at you because you're running and they're not, but the good thing is you quickly stop caring. Today I ran through a busy street and across a road in front of waiting traffic (safely!) and I know people were looking, but I was away before I could be bothered. Soon that will be you :)

  • How did you get on?

  • This was Saturday, I couldn't post all weekend, no permission apparently.

    Thank you for taking the time to check in on me. T x

    So, Day 1, Run 1.

    So, I know you're dying to know.... Good news or bad news? Ok, so the bad news is I have looked like an overweight 80's throwback all day, yes, all day. I wore leggings with a check skirt over the top, a long vest with a t over the top, my hair in a top knot, fished out my ipod but had to charge it only then it became too busy and warm to be seen in public, couldn't sync my ipod with my mac (it kept thinking it was my ipad??) eventually fished out my old iphone 4 (broke my phone this week, it has stickers over the broken screen) and ran a bath. But you know what, I thought about all you guys and the encouragement and reaised if I put it off for another day I would be letting myself down so..... I did it in my flat. What??? Yes, that's correct. Luckily I live in a ground floor flat so ran and walked between my lounge and kitchen or on the spot. Yeah, that probably wasn't the right pace but you know what; I didn't stop. I will admit that at 15 minutes my brisk walk was becoming a stroll whilst waiting for 90 sec run again but although I can hear a slight wheeze in my chest, my chest isn't tight at all which surprises me. I do have to find a solution for 36F boobs though!! A sports bra does not hold these bad boys down. I tried my own bra on top but because sports bras flatten boobs (well mine anyway) my bra cup was half empty. That made me think how lovely it will be when I can wear smaller bras again. Smaller bras = smaller clothes.

    I have quite literally just finished and although sweating profusely, I feel relaxed and positive that I am on my way back to being me and that makes me feel better than I have for the past 4 years.

    Thank you, thank you thank you. I know you guys and this forum are what will keep me going. Love from T xx

  • T, you are doing it! You are bloody well doing it! That is fantastic. Now go and get yourself some proper gear - the shoes and the bra are the most important parts - smart lycra leggings, t-shirts, special running socks, belts, caps and the like will inevitably follow :-) :-)

  • Hey How_to...WELL DONE!! You have made a start and we are all proud of you...:) Now, the bra thing...I'm a 38F so I feel your pain! Thankfully I decided not to buy online first time around, so took myself off to good old M&S where the ladies are trained to advise on fit...had I been left to myself I would have bought my normal size which would have been all wrong.

    I called the adviser once I had on the one which I thought was going to be right and in fact it was far too big, although it felt fine to me! The adviser got me the size she recommended and I fought my way into it - it's tight underbust, but they are supposed to be. Its a front zip fastening and I've remarked in a previous post about the 'ninja bra dance' which I have to do to get it fastened! HOWEVER does the job as long as I hoik the straps up and the back down so that the boobies are in a high position and pretty well tethered! Makes the whole jogging experience much more comfortable - just take care with the zip if you get one as I have accidentally 'caught' myself whilst zipping up and boy did that make me yelp! So try on and take advice, it will pay off! I gather that Shock Absorber bras come highly recommended as well, but for me, to start with M&S was more affordable. Hope that you find something which you like and which feels right! :)

    Congratulations on completing your first session! Result! :)

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