Thoughts and brain dumps

Thoughts and brain dumps

By Andy Hawthorne. Words, photos, code and running…

31 Dec 2019

Running DOES help you lose weight

Reading time: 4 minute(s) - 900 words

I’m getting tired of reading crap about how jogging (whatever that is) doesn’t help you lose weight. I’m going to set the record straight, right now.

“Let’s take a photo!” Came the cry. It was my mums birthday in 2013. I felt like a swollen blimp but got up to join the photo anyway. And so it was taken.

A few days later I saw the photo. There was this bloke in it, wearing a tent for a shirt. But even under that voluminous garment, you could see the huge gut and general level of fatness.

Then, I saw the bloke was me.

So, I said to my wife: “I have to do something about my weight,” and she suggested we go for a walk. So we did, sort of.

I managed half a mile or so before I was sweating profusely and had pain all over the place. It was July, 2013.

So early the next morning, I set off again. The result was the same. Sweat, blood (from my already blistered feet) and yes, some internal tears.

Being ex-army, I knew there would be some suffering involved to get fit - and it didn’t bother me.

So the next day, I did it again. A bit further this time. The result was the same, of course. But I was moving.

Fast forward a couple of months and while stood in the kitchen at work, someone carefully suggested I may have lost some timber.

Then, my usual barber said the same thing later that week. I thought, blimey, this is working. But I was determined to keep going.

Fast forward a year later. I’d been through a multitude of minor injuries. Crippling shin splints being the worse. But I was fast walking for at least 8 miles a day.

It was a Saturday morning and I was on the way back from an 8-miler. I was moving fast. So fast, my shins started to ache again.

So, I started to run (NOT jog, right? Jog is the offensive verb gym-goers use when they mean RUN). My original intention was to run for a few yards to take the pressure out of my legs.

I ran all the way home. It was only about a mile and a half but still. I hadn’t run for years and years. Anyway, that warm morning in July, 2014 was the day I started running.

It was also the day when I started to lose weight in a more significant way. I dropped more than three stone over the next four months. My resting heart rate dropped and I felt great.

Then, I made a mistake.

I ate pretty much what I liked. Because as my running got more serious (marathons and even ultra marathons) I figured I was burning so many calories what I ate simply didn’t matter.


This year (2019), I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I had some other complications too.

It made me take a serious look at my whole health and fitness regime. I decided that I needed to lose more weight so that doctors knew I was serious about getting well again.

Since August (2019) I’ve lost a further 4 stone. I now weigh 15 stone, 3 pounds. My waist is 36 inches and I’m 54 years old. Oh and I’m 6’ 2” tall.

I did all that through running AND calorie control. Not a diet as such, I just minded how many calories I was putting in.


So, all the so-called fitness experts that are going to tell you jogging doesn’t work need to be ignored.

Oh, and about that jogging crap…

I don’t know what jogging is. It sounds like a fast walk or something. Well, it’s true that you won’t lose loads of weight like that. Walking will help you shift weight. It takes longer and you have to do a lot of it.

What the experts are going to say is you should be doing high intensity training. Short bursts of intense activity. That’s more effective, they’ll say.

Bollocks, I say. You need cardio work. And you need it to be consistent and consistently tough. Running is the second hardest sport you can do after cross-country skiing. I do some high intensity sessions too - push ups, sit ups etc. Just for core strength fitness.

Running, will (with calorie control) have you shedding weight nice and steady. I’m living proof. It also helps with beating medical conditions - like cancer.

For me, the idea of going to a sweaty indoor gym is horrible. I admire people that do hit the gym because something is better than nothing. But don’t believe the rubbish about it being the only real way to lose weight.

Because I for one, can discredit that argument. And I’m sure many others can too.

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