Andy Hawthorne

Andy Hawthorne

Projects, photos and running

19 May 2020

Running and losing weight - part 2

Reading time: 3 minute(s) - 600 words

We’ve established that running on it’s own is not enough to lose weight. But once you start to lose some fat how do you keep going?

The answer is to keep running and to keep controlling those calories. You don’t have to change anything.

Once your weight is dropping it will continue as long as you don’t start eating more again. And when you get that right…

In the gloom of early morning I pulled on my shorts while in my home office. Then, I grabbed a t-shirt and dragged that over my weary head.

Something felt weird. I looked down and saw my clothes were hanging off me. I tightened the waist chord on my shorts but then the waistband folded in on itself. It was uncomfortable but it would have to do.

I thought: “Blimey, I’m a thin man in a fat mans clothes,” and I must admit, it felt good.

The early morning March air nipped at my skin as I set off down our road.

But I could feel the strength in my legs. And while my lungs were working hard, they were pumping like an efficient turbine. I pushed the pace harder and the turbines kept giving.

My baggy clothes billowed around me like sails in tempestuous weather. But still I pushed on. I could feel that something was happening to my running. Something I’d dreamed of for years. Like a child dreaming for that one toy at Christmas.

I was running fast.

Not like athlete fast. Not even like good amateur runner fast. But fast for me. It felt like I could run forever and never get tired.

I ran ten miles during which time I set my 5K, 10K and ten-mile personal best times.

When I got home, I weighed myself. That backlit digital display blinked and then gave me the number. I’d fallen below 90kg for the first time.

Here I was, 6’ 2” in my socks, 55 years old and now 14 stone in weight. I called (and still call) that a result.

The proof was in the pudding I wasn’t eating.

I was still avoiding the high carb, sugary stuff as much as I could. My daily calorie intake hovered around 1,000 kcal per day. Sometimes less.

I was running at least 40 miles a week, often more. And the weight was still coming off. Slower than before, but still falling.

It’s all about momentum. Once you get in to a cycle of running and weight loss it keeps working.

You apply yourself to it and your reward is that readout showing more weight lost. But that’s not the real reward.

No, that’s a number.

The real reward is feeling good pulling on a size medium t-shirt and thinking: “Ooh, that’s roomy.”

Even better is finishing a run and looking at your time. And knowing that you’ve run well - again.

Those are the simple pleasures that make all that food control worth it.

I keep one of my old t-shirts in my wardrobe. I like to look at it and sometimes pull it on. It hangs like a sackcloth where it was once a bit tight. And I say to myself: “_I’m never going back to this shirt being a bit tight._”

Simple, I know. But it works.

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