Tub on the Run

One of those light bulb moments


A few weeks ago, Matt brought home a magbook by Runner’s World.  I have to admit I was a bit surprised as Matt will generally be happy to follow my lead when it comes to weight loss methods and he has had absolutely zero interest in running after I dragged him out of the house last spring as I was getting towards the end of Couch to 5k.  The book is “Run Your Belly Off” (or RYBO from this point on).

My current reading pile

My current reading pile

He read a few chapters himself and liked the sound of it.  A few days later, I picked it up and started leafing through it.  It was at this point I had a bit of a light bulb moment.  I know this won’t come as a shock to many people, and if I am honest, I suppose I’ve known this all along…

Weight loss is simple maths.  Calories in versus calories out.  There must be a deficit.  Everything else is just advice or diet industry spiel.

Deep down, I know all of this.

I know this is probably a bit “durr” to some people, but for years I almost feel like I have sought for the magical solution to it all.  Slimming World gloss over the simple fact that it’s maths by introducing “syns” (though there is logic in restricting some fats and sugars etc), and Weight Watchers have their points system.  Distractions? Maybe.  I guess it depends on your mindset, and clearly some people do really well following these kinds of plans and I am in no way knocking it.  For me, I’ve used it as a crutch, going to the classes and feeling as if that alone, that small commitment in itself should be enough to yield spectacular losses on a weekly basis.  Sustainable?  Not for me at this moment in time.  That much is evident by my own journey so far.  Meal plans, syns, points have all meant that I have become lazy and reliant on just doing what I’m told and not really thinking for myself, eventually “rebelling” and ordering Domino’s, Chinese, Indian etc.

This really shouldn’t be surprising news to me.  My sister lost a large amount of weight a few years back just by being more mindful.  There was no cutting food groups out, no deprivation, but tweaks like more veggies, better meat, more fish, less processed food.

Can I calorie count?  Yes, of course.  There are plenty of apps and websites out there to help you do just that.  Will I calorie count?  I would be interested to see what I am shovelling in every day or week, definitely.  Longer term?  I won’t rule it out, but I suspect that after a period of re-educating myself on labels and portion sizes, I will have it as a fall back tool.  It is not something I see myself doing on a daily basis in the long term.  How many calories do I need?

I did the maths…

Right now, my basal metabolic rate (BMR) is 2,021 calories.  That is what I use per day.  Without doubt I eat more than that as I have gained weight since January (5lbs up – whoops!).  The book then goes on to say that in order for a person to lose 1lb of fat per week, there needs to be a weekly 3,500 calorie deficit.  The deficit can come from exercise and/or cutting down on the calories.

There is a running plan in the book too.  It takes 12 weeks to complete, at the end of which you’ll be running for 30 minutes.  The first week is all about walking.  I have to admit I was surprised that it is 3 weeks longer than Couch to 5k, but I’ll be seeing how it goes.  It is time to build my confidence back up and get back to running for 30 minutes in one hit.  I have things that I want to do at the end of the year which mean I need to stick at this (I WILL be beating my 10k time set at the Weston Christmas Cracker, and I am literally counting down the days to the day that they accept entries).

Pleasantly surprising is that Matt also wants to start running with me.  As I mentioned before, he doesn’t like running.  Despite this, I think he had a nasty shock courtesy of the scales.  Also having had a conversation with his friend J recently, where J is now studying to become a personal trainer and needs a victim guinea pig person to practice on, Matt has volunteered to be just that.  However, rather than be completely unfit, he wants to build a base level of fitness in preparation for his PT sessions.  Woo – I have a running buddy!

Watch this space!

Now I must go and plan some meals!  What are you having for tea tonight?

Author: Steph

Blogger learning to live a healthier life, losing weight and starting to run.

21 thoughts on “One of those light bulb moments

  1. It is great that the two of you will be running together! Hopefully you find the plan works well. I looked at the couch to 5k but I found it so complicated that in the end I found a simpler one to follow. I don’t think there is any harm in taking longer as that will build confidence and stamina too.
    I am having pizza and salad for tea- we have treated ourselves to a Waitrose chilled one to share.

    • I didn’t mind C25k the first time but I am keen to try something different, and if it works for Matt and gets him in to it, then that is definitely a good thing.

      Gotta love pizza and salad – that reminds me of summer tea times with my family 🙂 bon apetit!

  2. I had that lightbulb moment about three years ago, and I still log my calories every day. It works for me.

  3. Best wishes for the journey!

  4. I am currently logging on fitness pal, it is very user and Steph friendly!) I like it. Weight loss us not happening but that is me, am sure it will come off eventually. I like you can add your own recipes, v good. A big thumbs up to Matt and good luck to you both! X

  5. I got that magbook too, need to sit down and read it properly. I wish I could get my boyfriend to run with me. He used to sometimes come out with me on his bike, but thats not really the same.
    I’ve started using my fitness pal again, I find it really useful. Even if you don’t use it really strictly, it’s a good way of making you aware of the calorie content of things. Some foods are so much higher than you would think!
    I had tea out today, a chill pork ramen, very tasty!
    Anna x

    • It took me a while to get through the whole book but it seems to make perfect sense. I suspect that when I want to go for longer than 30 minutes, Matt probably will cycle instead but it is a good start 🙂

      Chilli pork ramen sounds amazing! I keep saying that next time I go to Wagamama’s I will have ramen but I always fall back on something with soba noodles! X

  6. I tried to count calories in the past but it just didn’t work for me. I’m a fan of mindful eating and have benefited from it this year.
    Yay that Matt’s going to start running with you! My boyfriend has recently started back on the Park runs and it’s great that we can enjoy something like that together at the weekend.

    • I think there is a lot to be said for mindful eating. My sister didn’t calorie count but was just more mindful.

      That is nice that you can both parkrun together! Matt comes to support me but doesn’t run himself. Though he might do it if he gets in to running.

  7. i LOVE those moments when everything just makes sense! For me calorie counting/sensible eating is how I lost 4 stone..I’ve kept it off by a little calorie counting (I used to love MFP but became too obsessed and that’s never good for me), running and eating intuitively. The reason I used to fail at diets is the simple fact that if I felt I could not have something I’d crave it more..As I am maintaining now I try and eat as intuitively as possible (aka when I’m really hungry and work with what fuel I need for what I’m doing aka if I’m running 10miles I’ll eat 500calories of balanced carbs&protein) and really limit processed diet food in favor of real food. My only advise with MFP is please don’t go for 1,200 cals and please don’t beat yourself up if you go over…I wasted a lot of time doing this and your energy is best spent being your fabulous self and not feeling guilty 🙂 Go Go Steph!
    Oh…It’s salad & sweet pot for tea but for lunch right now it’s a wholemeal wrap with salad and ham & I’ve just demolished a bowl of parsnip and apple soup on the side – YUM! 🙂

    • I have definite lunch envy!! Love parsnip soups!

      Thank you for the tips. I am on 1,460 calories a day at the moment, but I didnt set that. I think that when I am running I may up it to 1,600 if I am feeling tired. It definitely needs to be sustainable.

  8. Pingback: Reflecting and readjusting | Tub on the Run

  9. Pingback: Time for a catch up | Tub on the Run

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.