What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes

Just over a year ago I was over 4.5 stone heavier and could hardly run for my train in the mornings.

A year ago I turned 50. I had made a start on losing weight (Weightwatchers) and was walking more, but was still pretty unfit. My plans for my birthday mostly revolved around food and drink! I had booked a holiday cottage down in North Devon with my boyfriend (soon to be my ex).

On the big day, I had a lie in (having had a fair amount of wine the night before), coffee in bed (never have liked reakfast in bed, which was just as well as it was me that cooked breakfast !), got up, had a full English, then read all day (it was very rainy) and then in the evening went to a very nice pub restaurant where I ate 3 courses and drank several different wines including port with the cheese course. I felt very sick the next day!

This morning, I CHOSE to get up at 6.30, had a quick cuppa and banana, & drove 8 miles to the prettiest part of the Afan valley, where, accompanied by two very happy dogs, I ran a 10k circuit (gently inclines plus two steep bits). It was misty, quite cool and autumnal as I set out, very pleasant, then the sun came over the mountain and the mist evaporated. It was such a beautiful sight, and as I jogged happily along, I felt glad to be alive.

I got back to the hotel where I had parked and had a celebratory bacon bap and coffee (both very rare treats now and more appreciated).

Then I had a lovely day with family, with just a little champagne, and another lovely dog walk this afternoon.

Tomorrow I will be up early again, walk the dogs and then have my 4th riding lesson at 9am.

Making up for lost time I think!


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59 Replies

  • Well done on everything you've achieved. Today sounds fantastic :-)

  • Thanks a million, we are amazing when we put our minds to it x

  • Yep, very well done ! I'm slightly envious about the riding lessons............;-)

  • thanks, i have fancied riding lessons for a few years, my niece has two horses and has said I can ride the steadier of the two but I wanted to get a few lessons under my belt first, and the school I go to is brilliant! Not cheap(£22 per half hour private lesson, half an hour flies by but it is very intense and tiring!) but I am loving it and hopefully will soon be up to riding in a group/trek.

  • Thats the way to enjoy things, look how far you have come in the last year, you should be so proud.

  • Thanks very much, I never ever thought I would run - and more to the point, enjoy running!

  • Sounds wonderful except the 6.30am!!! Your heart was dancing round that 10k. Dogs must be tired - mine just flop and we are not covering that sort of mileage!

  • I didnt mind the early start, I hadnt taken my friends dog out running before and wanted to get out early to avoid the other walkers/runners/mountain bikers, it was fab!

  • That is just brilliant Deryn61 ! You are one of my benchmarkers on this site and I look forward to reading about you running even further and get even fitter xox delia

  • Bless, thank you so much for that lovely comment, Andrea x

  • Happy birthday! What a difference a year makes indeed!

  • Wonder what the next year will bring! My main concern is not be injured and to stay well!

  • This is inspiratational to read! How you have transformed your life! Send this into a magazine like Zest and I'm sure they would love to hear your success story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Thanks so much, that is an interesting suggestion!

  • Excellent! What a difference indeed. Well done you.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Wow, you are a real inspiration and it sounds like life is good! :)

  • Aw, thanks, I am blessed.

  • Well done you :) I will be sharing this with my friend and hopefully encurage herto come out and join me for a run.

    You have somuch to be proud of it has inspired me to stick with running andin a years time be where yo are.

    Happy Birthday.

  • That is very sweet. The only downside to my current busy more active lifestyle is that one or two of my old friends dont want to (or can't) get more active themselves and are making me feel I am neglecting them a bit, quite a balancing act!

  • Happy Birthday!! An inspiring blog and it is amazing how far you (and us all!) have come on this journey.

  • Thanks for the lovely comment and I agree, "we can be heroes" to quote one of my favourite David Bowie songs (and not just for one day!)

  • WOW! Well done you!

    What a difference indeed. Very inspirational.

  • Thank you so much :-)

  • Love it, especially the part about your 4th riding lesson! I want to learn to ride too!

  • Well I had too much fear/respect for horses for many years but my niece has two horses now and I just love them. When I started losing the weight I told myself I could try horseriding once I had lost 5 stone. I hadnt quite got to 5 stone but figured the horse wouldnt mind the few extra pounds lol! and I am very lucky that the nearest riding school (about 2 miles away) is just brilliant!

  • I was so inspired by you that I've googled horse riding lessons for myself! Only AU$70!!! I might give some lessons to myself as a present after I complete the programme!! I'm starting week 4 tomorrow, I'm excited!

  • Not sure what that is in real money lol! Where in Oz are you? Good luck with week 4 x

  • I'm in Melbourne. I think AU$70 is about 20 quid?

    Week 4 has been really hard, it's the last run tomorrow, then I'm on the Week 5!

  • Sorry Deryn61 I forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  • Ta tons x

  • That sounds like a fabulous birthday, and a fabulous change in your life. Totally inspiring, thank you for sharing!

  • My pleasure, Wish I had done it before lol!

  • Happy Brithday! It's posts like these that remind me why I am doing this and that I WILL do it as the long term lifestyle benefits will far outweigh any short term pain! What a great programme and a great community!

  • Love your user name! Thanks, from Andrea x

  • First of all, belated very HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes! :D It sounds like a lovely day, and I feel so tempted to plan something similar for myself when my next birthday rolls around. I wonder if I'll be able to run 10K in 7 months time? I haven't reached 5K yet!! Do you run 10K very often? How long did it take you to get there after starting c25k? I think I have a long way to go yet, but running somewhere like you describe sounds so motivating. :) Are there any nice (cheap!) B&Bs or similar nearby?

    I'm also hoping to go horse-riding again when I've lost enough weight. I haven't ridden in years now and do miss it. Well done for starting lessons. It's a lot harder work than most people imagine (no, you don't just sit there and let the horse do all the work!). ;)

    It really is amazing how much your life can change in a year. I was just thinking this morning about 'who' I used to be and how we change over time. There are bits of the 'old me' I hope to reclaim, and bits I'm very glad to let go of. ;) Keep on running and keep on blogging. You always manage to inspire me and remind me why I'm doing this. :)

  • This means a lot to me. I built up to 7 miles once a week VERY slowly after graduating following the RunnersWorld plan I had downloaded to do that 10k race in July (that I ended up missing due to chest infection!). I hadnt got back up to 10 k but then did that Merthyr Police 10k race a few weeks ago and it was fine. Parkrun definitely helps - if only to build confidence that you can do a set distance at your own pace and relax when every other bugger runs away from you lol! I have done 10k twice since (including my birthday run) and just gone slowly and tried to enjoy.

    My run Sunday included two or three enforced stops to put dogs on leads (very grateful for the breathers) offset by running a bit faster than my plan required almost throughout (not up the steep hill when I walked the last third!).

  • I once heard it said (and I have no idea of the validity) that E.M.Forster claimed to have the best day of his life at age 56. I have huge admiration for people who change their lives at an age that is considered "past it", there's no such thing.

    Well done Deryn, you have my respect and admiration.

  • Hope I have the best day of my life in the next 11 months, I was 56 on Sunday. Here's hoping!

  • Happy Birthday to you too, and here's hoping . . . !

  • Thank you for this lovely comment.

    Andrea x

  • Go girl. I feel inspired. Happy Birthday

  • Thank you so much, look forward to hearing of your own achievements x

  • I hope to graduate on Friday and I'm inspired by your story! I've no wish to ride having attempted a hack a few years back. My thighs set and I couldn't move them! I tried to leap up and found I was older and stiffer than the last time I rode a horse! BUT I really would love to be able to do 10K so I'm determined to keep going after graduating. Think I might do a Parkrun too. The world's my oyster and I just hope I'm still running in a years time. Well done!

  • Well done and good luck, parkrun is really fun and I am putting money on you doing your first 10k by Easter! x

  • How inspiring and wonderful to hear of the changes you've made in your life! A belated happy birthday to you, and this present of transformation to yourself must be better than anything anyone else could give. Congratulations and thank you for posting such a wonderful blog.

  • Bless you thanks for that lovely comment. :-)

  • Belated Happy Birthday to you :) What an inspiration to us all you are. Keep up the good work.... One day I'll be there too, although I'm not sure about getting back on a horse, haven't been on one since I was 18...... a long long time ago!

  • Thanks so much, i am sure the novelty will wear off (once I have to go out in the real world on a horse as opposed to in the school!) but it is great fun at the moment. I have bruised knees from (we think) gripping too tight when cantering for the first time yesterday, am investing in jodhpurs and persevering for now!

  • I've only just started, wonder where I'll be in a year... If it's anywhere near where you have reached I'll be a very happy bunny :)

  • Bless! I honestly never ever would have imagined I could do this! My old school games teacher who had me down as a lazy clown 35 years ago would be turning in her grave lol!

  • What a fabulous inspiring post; thank you and happy birthday. I'm 48 and done W1R1tonight...you have given me confidence. :-)

  • Thank you so much, keep up the good work, and enjoy

    Andrea x

  • I don't usually comment here (too shy!) but your post has really inspired me. I've just turned 50 and I'm about to start week 7 of the plan. I never thought I would be a runner, but these podcasts and posts like yours are truely life changing! I used to ride as a teenager, have always hankered after having another go, may just go and book my first lesson for 35 years. Thank you for sharing your fabulous journey.

  • Thank you so much for your kind comments :-)

    Yesterday I noticed my my first proper riding induced aches! Bruised inner knees which my niece tells me might be because I was gripping too much in the canter I achieved on Monday and she also said that I need jodhpurs, which is great news as I had just ordered them lol!

  • What an inspiration! Think you should go on radio 4's Thought for the Day! C25k really does turn your life around. Well done for losing 4.5 stone (awesome), and continuing with the running, you are amazing. Belatedly wishing you a happy birthday, too. Thanks so much for your blog, it's come along when I needed a bit of motivation.

  • Aw thank you so much x

  • I am very heartened to read of your journey, Deryn61, as I turned 50 last birthday, also with 4 1/2 stone to lose, unfit and contemplating what the future held if I continued in my unhealthy way of living: diabetes, high cholestorol, high blood pressure etc., etc. Life events conspired to force me to walk 2 miles to work and back every day and I completely changed my diet to veggie/vegan over the past 6 months. 1 1/2 stone dropped with 3 to go - and last night I did W4R3 and am wondering how 5 mins running will convert into 20 mins in one go next week!? BUT, reading your post (and all the other wonderful people on here) - I know that it's totally do-able. What you said though about being glad to be alive is the real motivator. Rather than shuffling into middle-age and beyond with diet-induced ailments, it will be wonderful to be fit, active and ready to get up and get moving - to get out there and really live!

  • Wonderful post, thanks, Andrea x

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