It's what most of you newbies want to know, certainly I did when I started: 'how long till I start to lose weight??' Well, in my case, dear blogmates, the answer is 5 months.
Just a quick recap if you haven't been following my progress: I started C25K on 2nd January this year, literally from a start of no running at all, and followed the programme straight through apart from a gap of a couple of weeks when I got a bad chest infection. I did the SportRelief 3 miles/5k at the end of March, and have just done my first 10k, the Bupa London one last weekend. I'm still very slow, but I get there in the end!
This next bit may be too much 'weighty' information..... but when I started in January I weighed 13 stone 1 lb (on a 5' 3" figure that's a lot!) and wanted to lose 4 stone. During the course of the programme I (like many others) was dismayed to find my weight shooting UP! It stuck at 13st 4lb for some weeks. Then about a month ago it started to creep downwards, till today I weighed in at 12 st 9 lb. That's a net loss of 6 lb, but including what I'd put on, it's a total of 9 lb. As you can imagine, I'm really, really chuffed at this great start!
What else have I done besides running, I hear you ask in amazement?
Well - nothing really! Except that running has automatically tuned me in to eating more healthily so I'm properly fuelled for running - also, I really don't want to eat for some time after I've run; it seems to suppress the appetite for me, so if I'm running before dinner I won't eat nearly as much when I do sit down to eat.
The other thing I did, when I was well past graduation and running at least 30 mins three times a week, was to ask myself what smallish change I could make to see if the weight would start to go. I am dead against calorie counting, but even I could see that drinking the amount of wine I did was piling on a few hundred calories every night - and I was concerned about how much I drank too. So I pledged to keep off the booze for the month of May - it was tough at times but not half as bad as it would have been pre-C25K (though I admit to a couple of slips along the way ). Again I was able to remind myself how much better it was for my running. I'm just about to start Georgia Foster's Drink Less Mind programme to help reinforce this new habit.
Well - so far, so good! I'm going to stick with this strategy for now and see whether I continue to lose weight. If the loss stops, I shall try one more small change, and so on until I get the result I want. If I could lose the unwanted weight in time for my ordination in July 2013 that would be wonderful - really symbolic of my new life and vocation. And hopefully by keeping running (and going to the gym, which I now really enjoy) I won't look like a deflated balloon like some older women who lose weight
But the most amazing thing is (as someone else has observed on here) that having started running in order to lose weight, I now want to lose weight in order to be able to run faster. How cool is that?
So if you're reading this and wondering whether to start this programme, be assured: Couch to 5k really DOES change your life - go for it!!!