Run Clinic: Get off the couch if you want to lose the weight
Reading a book on running won’t help you lose weight, but getting out and actually running will
Q Grit doctor, I need advice on how to lose weight. I have read “Run, Fat Bitch, Run” but I don’t know how often I need to run before I see results. ZR
A I realise that because this question came to me via Twitter, you were constrained by brevity. Nevertheless, the first thing that struck me about it was that you claim to have read Run, Fat Bitch, Run.
You claim to have read it but not, I note, to have nailed your circuit and to have transformed into a running evangelist. Because, of course, had you acted upon what you had read, you might not have had cause to ask this question in the first place.
I am not a real doctor or a nutritionist, but I recommend that you do the following.
The first thing is to stop reading and pondering when you will see any results. Remind yourself of step 1 in Run, Fat Bitch, Run and get up off the sofa, out the front door and start moving so that you can begin the process by which results become possible. That process doesn’t begin while you are sitting on the sofa reading.
If you are very overweight, and are not used to taking regular exercise, all the better.
The weight will fall off as the exercise kickstarts your metabolism into burning more calories. The more often you do it and the less crap you eat between your runs (once you have completed the six steps and can run comfortably round your circuit), the more weight you will lose.
At some stage, your weight will plateau, at which point you will need to eat even less crap and “grittify” your runs in order to lose more.
But by the time you reach this stage, you will no longer be racing towards some fantasy number on a set of scales. You will be running for so many other reasons because the discipline of regular running enables you to access your better self: the one who genuinely aspires to be fitter and healthier; the one who actually wants to eat less crap and enjoys guzzling water; the one who is sofa-averse and more of a getting-shit-done fiend.
It just so happens that regular running also keeps your waistline in check. In short, it’s a win, win, win situation.
So, you are overweight and want to do something about it. Great. Get moving. While moving, think about where you are going wrong in terms of eating and set about addressing it.
One obvious and relatively easy step to take on the eating front is to rid your home of anything unhealthy, so that come 10pm when your previous bad habit of reaching for the biscuit tin – or whatever and whenever it is – rears its ugly head, you are unable to activate it.