Fat kids nurse wanting to get fit and healthy ! - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Fat kids nurse wanting to get fit and healthy !

KidsnurseJen profile image

So I have finally arrived at that point where you say to yourself 'enough is enough'. After not long qualifying as as paediatric nurse and having been employed on a kids ward/kids A+E for the last 5 months. I am now weighing the heaviest i ever have at 17stone !!!!!!!😔...I am constantly tired, have no energy and look a complete mess. Not to mention that I should be setting an example !

I need an activity that will fit in with my off duty/shifts/day-night rotation that is free and can be done anytime, anywhere. I've never been able to run, I get a really awful burning sensation in my throat and sore knees but I am prepared to give it another go and I have seen first hand the massive rewards and benefits from running. My motivation is 2 weddings and holiday to Croatia this year, so any tips, advice and support will be much appreciated 😊xx

31 Replies

I was a total novice 5 months ago, aged 56. Follow the plan religiously and take it slow and steady. I always have a glass of water/squash before I go out and that stops my wheezing. For weight loss I did slimming world for a year and lost 5 stone!

Wow what an achievement! Well done you. I was looking at joining slimming world too, but my husband does a lot of the low carb cooking from the Joe wicks books, so really I think i just need to be more disciplined when it comes to food and really think about what I am consuming. Thank you for your response it is much appreciated x

Have a go at week 1.... if you’re struggling, do some weeks of fast walking to get your knees/hips etc used to moving. I fit it in around my shifts too.... the beauty being... running is always there.

Good luck and do read the links that someone will put on here for you. 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Liz x

Hi, I think you're right. Starting off with more fast walking to start with will really help me to increase my stamina. I will do that to start with and slowly build up to the running phase. Yes running will definitely fit in with my shifts and like you say it is just there. Thank you for your response it is greatly appreciated x

So not two weddings and a funeral, then......... that's good.

The plan works. Read the guide healthunlocked.com/couchto5... it should help.

Having spent far too much time in hospital over the last six months, I have noticed lots of nurses are overweight, probably because of having to snatch food at odd times, rather than eat calm and balanced meals. I noticed people queuing up in the hospital shop and along with their sandwiches they all seemed to be buying a chocolate bar of some kind and they all had fizzy drinks, whereas water contains no calories. An awareness of your eating habits can make all the difference.

Keep us posted. Shift work and long hours can make this a difficult proposition, but we are here to cheer you on.

Ha ha definitely not ' 2 weddings and a funeral' ....

You are absolutely right lots of nurses are massively overweight because of the chaotic and very unbalanced work/life ratio. I literally get half an hour to go and grab something if I have not planned or prepared for the day which is quite common in all honesty. Although I do avoid the fizzy pops and tend to stick to water and/or coffee. I will most certainly read the plan, I want to learn about and digest the information. Alongside this I intend to be more organised in my preparation of meals to avoid the grabbing of unhealthy snacks. Thank you for your advice and input I really do appreciate it 😊

Jude1963 profile image

The best advice I’ve been given is to keep it as slow as you like and don’t care or worry about what you look like when you’re trotting down the pavement! You’re the one that’s doing something positive and you should be proud of yourself.

Ah that's great advice, I will most certainly look like a blob on legs !!! 🤣... Luckily I live right next to a river where there is quite a decent and fairly discreet pathway !!! This will be my choice of route during the infant stages 😊 Thank you for you much appreciated support x

MummyBerri profile image

Well done for making the decision to get more active. It's tough to be healthy and active when you work shifts, especially going on and off nights.

I hope you enjoy it and see the benefits.

Good luck. Xx

Ah thank you so much, it has been a long time coming but one that has to be put into action !!! I will be calling upon you lovely people for more support as I go along. Thank you for you encouragement x

Welcome, you've come to the right place. You'll find lots of advice, support and encouragement on this forum.

Now get your running shoes on and get out there. Whether you use the podcast or the app it's all the same so choose your coach and do exactly as they say. Always take your rest days, keep it slow, slow, slow and listen to your body and you'll get there.

Keep posting so we know how you're getting on.

Good luck and happy running!

Thank you for your support and encouragement. It is really refreshing. I am going to give it my best shot with the lovely sarah Millican spurring me on 🤣... I will certainly be re-posting my progress. X

Anthie profile image

WELCOME! Just grab a good pair of running shoes (make sure you feel good in them an they suit your footstrike) and if you don't have any particular problem of joints, go for it! You have to run very slow: don't worry about your pace even if sometimes you feel like you're not running faster than you walk. No wheezing (well a bit of puffing: the first couple of weeks are tough when you haven't done any real cardio exercise in ages): if you can't breathe, it means you're too fast.

Drink a lot of water the day before: small amounts throughout the day (may help you not feeling peckish as well). You said your husband cooked low carb recipes: if you want to lose weight quickly, it's great but when you start running, you may need a bit of carbs. Prefer wholewheat, brown rice, sweet potatoes... And if you start to fix yourself nice lunch/dinner boxes, always include some apples (and you've got some great kinds in England): when I crave for something sweet and rich, I grab an apple lol (well, I do crack up every now and then like having a bar of turon/nougat or some really nice chocolate). But I don't have any weight problem, I just love great food ;-) Almonds are great for snacks too.

Good luck with the organisation! I hope you'll enjoy the programme.

KidsnurseJen profile image
KidsnurseJen in reply to Anthie

Wow fantastic advice ! ...I have a really good pair of Asics running trainers so that's a good start. I will definitely take on board your advice. Maybe that's why I always got the burning sensation at the back of my throat, because I was trying to run to hard and fast at first ??? 🤔🤔🤔.... I have got a good 5 stone to lose and I should have also mentioned I have Polysystic ovarian syndrome which makes it hard to lose weight but my consultant recommended a low carb diet. I guess this will be ok at first but as I build up my stamina and duration of running I will have to incorporate good carbs.

Ah I'm loving this support, thanks folks x

Anthie profile image
AnthieGraduate in reply to KidsnurseJen

I forgot something else which will sound ridiculous to you because of your weight: try to run as lightly as possible... I know, if you've got 5 stones to lose, I can hear your laughing. But you do have some muscles there: use them to land lightly on the ground making sure you don't kick the ground, and avoid landing on your heels even if it means slowing down (small steps).This is important if you want to avoid sore knees or ankles. I've got a pair of cushioned Asics, they're great ;-)

If you're going low carbs, then good fats are your best friend to avoid the energy lows: almonds, walnuts, avocadoes, organic oils (olive, sunflower, rapeseed...) in your salad dressings, soups... or in your natural yogurt (low fat or full fat, no sugar: replace with raisins full of iron or any dry fruit and banana, that's my breakfast because I am on a gluten-free diet owing to thyroid dysfunction) ; the oils have to be virgin, coldly extracted and not used in cooking to get all their benefits. Don't cut on fresh butter (small dose on a toast of brown bread for a sandwich).

Looking forward to reading your first posts!!

KidsnurseJen profile image
KidsnurseJen in reply to Anthie

Brilliant ! ....I am concerned about injuries due to lack of technique so I am going to take it lightly. Great advice on the food element too. I will certainly incorporate all of your advice ... here's to a happy healthy me !! 😊X

Irish-John profile image

I well remember that burning..it was one of the things that had me convinced my whole life that I was not made for running. The programme and this most excellent Forum literally changed my life, not just the fact that I went from never having run more than a hundred paces in my life to graduating the 5 AND 10K programme. It literally seems so unreal even still sometimes : )

This programme is so well designed, after the first week or so not only did I learn to 'run slow' - No burning,.! And over the next few months got to where I haven't to had to use either of my two Asthma inhalers in well over a year, weight has dropped a bit and 'bad' weight been turned into muscle, outlook on the world in general much improved and having so much fun on top of all that I literally am a different person. (well - still a LOT of room for improvement on that last but at least a little bit of improvement ;)

I have so much admiration for Nurses - Medics patch you up, but Nurses get you well : ) I really hope you do for yourself what no doubt you do for the kiddies - give the best of care possible. and Running within the framework of C25K is about the best Healthcare plan I've ever had since June 1st '16 :)

And did I mention how uplifting this Forum is?

Wishing you many happy miles in your future Jen :)

Aw.. what a lovely response. Thank you for your very kind comments about us nurses, we/I try so hard to make a different to people's lives. I'm feeling quite humbled by everyone's generous and genuine input in the attempt to make a difference to my life (and health). This forum is so uplifting and I can't wait to start now. The burning is exactly what made me think 'I simply cannot run' ....and that's that !!! But I know this isn't true. I'm going to try hard to overcome the barriers and with determination I will be running a 10k by the end of the year !!! #said with optimism 🤣

Thank you

Irish-John profile image
Irish-JohnGraduate in reply to KidsnurseJen

Slow..and slower still :) That's what gets us to Graduation and beyond :) Stick with it and sooner than you can presently imagine you too will have 'graduate' beside your Avatar :)

Absolutely !!! 👌🏽

Duddles profile image

The first thing is to just get out there and make a start. That is the hardest bit. Starting from your base, the best advice, already given, is slow and steady. Perhaps consider a couple of weeks of walking first, as fast as you can, increasing distances each day. Then when on to the Couch to 5k - which really DOES work - consider repeating Week 1 two or three times before you go onto longer distances. That will extend the programme from nine weeks to twelve, but you will feel more confident moving onto the later weeks, and be in a better condition to take them on. But as said at the start - the hardest bit is the first step, but in the long run, that is the best bit.

KidsnurseJen profile image
KidsnurseJen in reply to Duddles

Excellent advice and yes I am going to take it slowly to start with. That's a good idea to extend the programme, especially as this is going to be an ongoing new found way of life, (pardon the pun) but 'it's not a race' .... or maybe one day it will be ???? 🤣

Thank you so much 😊 X

I really disliked running before doing C25K but I am enjoying it now. My advice as someone only on W4, is to run slow and steady. Defo makes a difference. There have been times that I felt unmotivated to go running but I forced myself out into the cold and dark evenings and felt much better having done so. I quite like running in the dark but I am not getting more confident to run in the day - not mornings I might hasten to add! I run after work and when the children (teenagers)/family have been looked after which means at least 19:30 and have started to develop a routine and to be honest, I am finding it quite satisfying. I know there will be times when I feel disheartened but my mindset is that this running lark is a long term plan for my continued health and fitness and personal growth. Do stick with it even if it doesn't always go to plan.

Sounds like you are getting into the swing of it. I am not by nature a fitness freak or a gym bunny so I'm sure there will be times when I struggle. But I have to do this, my unhealthy way of life cannot carry on. Thank you so much for your support and advice and good luck with your running 😊

DeterminedBear profile image
DeterminedBearGraduate in reply to KidsnurseJen

Thank you. You too!

Good for you! I agree with the advice to start with walking, that’s what I did and my legs were so much better for it. Also you can do this on low carbs if you are sensible, the runs are not that long ( yeh, I know it seems like it!) Also considering investing in a step counter, somehow keeping track of steps .... aiming at 10000 a day is really motivating. And as a nurse you probably clock up a lot at work. One more thing, if you are going to run get a good sports bra - so much more comfortable! Good luck and keep going!

KidsnurseJen profile image
KidsnurseJen in reply to Danfeng

Walking to start with is definitely the way forward. You are right, I must walk miles during my shift and a step counter would be beneficial and motivating. Yes, I have invested in 2 good sports bras and I'm going to have a look at some good running attire. But for now my good old leggings and a T shirt will have to do 😂...ah thanks for your input, much appreciated x


I am a paediatric nurse and over weight to!! It’s tough working long shifts with no breaks, u quickly fall into bad habits ofjust grabbing unhealthy snacks u can eat quickly! I’ve never run before but this really does work if you take it slow and follow the programme! I’m just coming to the end of week 4 and feeling so much better with more energy and starting to eat a lot better to!

Good luck xx

KidsnurseJen profile image
KidsnurseJen in reply to Wocka81

Oh fab, the struggles are real aren't they ???!!!.... it is so difficult especially when the patients parents bring in continuous supplies of thank you biscuits and chocolate ! .... I just have to be more disciplined and strict with myself though. It's great to hear of someone in the same proffesion managing to get a grip and I'm really looking forward to being a runner !!! I'm starting my programme today, wish me luck and thanks for your input 😊X

Wocka81 profile image
Wocka81 in reply to KidsnurseJen

Yeah the choc and biscuits are a killer! I find having lots of healthy snacks near by helps and just filling up on nutritional meals helps!

Good luck xx

DeterminedBear profile image
DeterminedBearGraduate in reply to Wocka81

Excellent! Thank you for posting!

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