I know this sounds obvious, but hear me out. My journey to getting healthy started with wanting to run 1 mile without stopping. I enlisted the help of a personal trainer which was available for free from my university (holler at Hofstra University for doing it right!) She used a heart rate monitor and basically a couchto5k program to get me going. She ran with me my first mile, it was amazing!
I fell off the bandwagon, became really depressed in college and gained 30 pounds (more to come on that story).
I just started to get into running because I moved to Boston for school and turned a new leaf. Around that time my friend pushed me to run my first ever 5k, which happened to be the Boston Athletic Association’s first ever 5k on Marathon Weekend too! I made her promise I wouldn’t be last, and she promised. She also promised to run the whole thing with me, only one of those promises came true (I didn’t finish last) but I finished all the same! I really credit her and my personal trainer for getting me started. Unfortunately, she and I argued on Facebook over whether a couple should live together before marriage and she blocked me. I’ll post about that a different day.
Since then running became a part of my life. When I fell off the bandwagon the first few times it was because I pushed myself too hard and tried to workout everyday. I wasn’t ready for that. So when I picked running back up again, I aimed for every other day for 30 minutes. On my run days all I could think was “Thank God I have tomorrow off”. Being in college and everything that comes with it, it was relieving to have that pressure off of me from being perfect.
I lost my first 20 pounds only doing this. Running 3o minutes every other day. No diet change, no weightlifting, not even any intervals during my runs. I would run a consistent pace for 30 minutes every other day. Honestly it was usually only 3 times a week.
Step 1- When you get started do what you know you will do. I knew I wouldn’t workout every day. I knew I wouldn’t sprint. I knew I wouldn’t lift weights. I knew I would run for thirty minutes at a steady pace every other day. If I tried to run every day I would set unrealistic expectations of how fast my progress should be. When my progress didn’t meet those expectations, I’d get discouraged and quit. I didn’t change my diet because saying no to food would be too mentally difficult, especially on top of running every other day. I’d feel like I was missing out on life when I turned away good food, at least that’s what I’d tell myself. In a later post I’ll talk about how that has changed recently.