Couch to 5K

Weight loss has started (she said cautiously)...... a very quiet 'woop'!

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!!!

13 Replies

Hey Dee good to hear that the weight is starting to come off. I've lost about 8lbs since I started, around the same time as you and I'm sure that would have been quite a bit more if I could only stop eating crap (not all the time) and drinking as much wine!! So once I'm back from holiday (next Monday) I am going to be eat more healthily (like you don't want to calories count), drink less wine and when reaching for the goodies ask myself 'Do I really want this?'. I too want to lose weight so I can run faster!!

Like everything else I've done on my running journey by saying it out loud on here means I WILL do it!!


That's brilliant that you are now thinking of wanting to lose weight to improve your running! I'm at 14 stone 1 and would really like to get down to 11,7 (well 10,7 in an ideal world but it isn't likely!) My weight hasn't really started to come off yet although I'm supposed to be following Slimming World but considering how many naughty things I'm eating and drinking I think the running is doing a great job of keeping my weight steady!! ;-)

Huge congratulations on your weight loss so far! Wishing you lots of success for the future - especially to get it off in time for your ordination!


I have cut out the wine and the fat percent is starting to drop down again. I don't drink for 2 or 3 weeks at a time and then have a gin and tonic or two. I was 35% fat before C25K (18 months ago) and now I am 26% Running and cutting out the wine was the big factor.


Interesting - how do you measure your fat percentage? I've always wondered!


Theresa, how do you get the body fat %age?

Have you got some of those fancy scales?


I do have the scales that measures it. I got the scales years and years ago, I'm sure they're much cheaper now. Definitely worth it because you don't know what is 'making up' your weight. For example, I lost 10 pounds in 10 days once and wondered why my body shape looked the same: it turned out to be mainly water and muscle loss, and definitely not the fat! It takes approx. ten weeks to lose 2 or 3% fat.


I love that self-fulfilling cycle you can get into where you start to moderate stuff so your running doesn't suffer - if we could bottle that somehow we would somehow we would be millionaires!

I eat much more sensibly and drink very little alcohol now (except when I go see a band but it would be rude not to :-) ). Strangely I am also losing my desire for a lot of stuff I used to eat and drink as well, my tastes are evolving along with running. Had a cholesterol test recently and that is in much better shape than it was but still a little work to do there.

Dee is bang on though, it can change your life, if you let it.


I also had a cholesterol test last week! Results on Wednesday. It'll be interesting to see what the result is because running is supposed to help to lower cholesterol I believe.


I'm am so glad to hear others say the weight balances out, up till today i was beginning to think it might never happen! 12 weeks of running and I gained 10lb (I did quit the cigs 8 wks ago too so increased appetite is also to blame) today I got weighed and finally I've lost 3.5lb! It's a small yet very significant loss in my eyes as it now appears the corner has been turned :)

My alcohol consumption is and always has been minimal, I had probably 3 drinks over Christmas and new year and I've not touched it since, no reason other than I've not fancied it. I drink plenty though if I'm out with a large group of people, not sure why. So, I can't use alcohol as an excuse for anything, better just face facts, I WAS a lazy lard arse ;)


Well done on your achievements so far!

I have lost a stone, down to 11s 5 since October, with Slimming World, but got a bit bored because I have done it so many times before. but stone better off than on! My cholesterol was up a touch last month and I have been feeling sluggish and lacking in energy and interest in food anyway, so had been eating a bit rubbishy! So, following the mantra 'if you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always got' I started c25k 2 weeks ago.

Now feeling fab and on track!


Thanks for sharing your story.

I have just finished week six and while I am really please to still be getting up, going out and completing the runs I was starting to wonder if i would ever lose any weight. I am 14st and have not moved at all in six weeks, but hopefully at some point (soon) i will start to notice a difference!


Hey dee that's great, small changes are defiantly the way to go then you don't feel like you're taking on everything at once. Alcohol does pack a lot of calories so that's probably a good place to start when trying to cut down. Just be careful when you do have a drink because if you stop for a while it can effect you a lot quicker since your tolerance for it can decrease. I know what you mean about not feeling as hungry after a run. A few times last week I had to force myself to have some dinner after my run despite not feeling hungry.

I've made a few small changes myself and have managed to get my weight loss going again. I've started asking myself if I'm really hungry or just bored and try to snack on healthier things like fruit or nuts instead of reaching for the biscuit tin. I was stuck at the same weight for ages post C25K but since I upped my exercise by including some swimming/cycling and a bit of body weight exercises I've dropped 6lbs in about 3 weeks. That's over a stone since I started the C25K at the end of February :D

So for anyone out there feeling disappointed about the lack of weight loss just stick at it. C25K will get you exercising and put you on track to a healthier lifestyle and then the weight loss will come naturally.


That's really helpful, Rose, thanks so much. I have been a bit alarmed looking at things like myfitnesspal that suggest dropping to 1500 calories a day on top of running the amount we all do. I know the old thing about it taking a 3,500 calories deficit to shift 1 lb of fat, but I'm convinced there's also a lot in the other thing that says 'it's not just about the calories you use while exercising - you also use more at rest when you exercise regularly'. Plus all the mental benefits you mention, which get us in a much healthier frame of mind. I've found myself embracing things like school outings involving walking up hills (which still hurts but I no longer feel ill and have to stop), taking the stairs (at a jog!) rather than the lift, and generally taking the 'active' option wherever possible.

So it's great to hear how you've been successful with just small adjustments (and this also fits with what the bloke in the running shop said when I got my gait analysis for my new trainers.)

I really hope this will encourage people just starting out - week 9 run 3 and graduation are just the beginning, folks!! :-D


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