When constant snacking pushed Anna Maw, 38, from Brighton, towards a size 20, she slipped on her trainers and transformed more than just her weight.
‘I was already big – a size 18 at just 5ft 4in – when I stopped smoking but it was ditching the cigarettes which really tipped the scales. I started snacking to cope with the cravings and, just three weeks after quitting, I was two sizes bigger. Horrified, I realised I had to ditch the weight along with the cigarettes.’
How I changed
‘It was actually my smoking counsellor who suggested I should take up running. At first I thought I’d never have the time as I’m a full-time mum, plus I was desperately unfit. But then I found a free online programme that promised to transform a couch potato into a 5K runner in just 12 weeks, and decided I had nothing to lose.
5k training plan
‘In my first session, I ran for just a minute on Brighton beach and thought my heart was going to explode. But by the time I’d finished that first half hour of gentle interval training – walking interspersed with 60-second bursts of running – I was really proud of myself. And the results were astonishing, I could feel and see my body changing after just a week.
‘Over the next three months, I increased my running time during each session and overhauled my diet. Instead of eating two big meals, I had small, regular meals throughout the day to maintain my energy for running and swapped sweet snacks for fruit and yogurt. The first time I ran a full 5K – only 12 weeks later – I felt on top of the world. Buoyed by my rapid progress, I joined my local Sweatshop Running Community.
10 healthy eating habits
‘Exercising in a group is such fun and so motivating. We run 5km every Monday night – on my first visit I came in at 43 minutes; now my time is under half an hour. Just seven months after joining the club I ran my first half marathon – a goal I never thought I’d be capable of achieving. Plus, I was three and a half stone lighter – and all from doing an exercise I’d fallen in love with.’
The new me
‘My body has completely changed. I’ve gone from overweight and flabby to toned from top to toe. I feel healthier and more energetic than ever before and I’ve discovered a real passion – I run three times a week now, whatever the weather. And, to top it all off, everyone says that I look ten years younger – I’m not going to argue with a compliment like that!’
Before, Anne's diet and exercise regime consisted of:
LUNCH Brie sandwich, crisps, chocolate cake
DINNER Lasagne, salad, ciabatta, cheesecake
After, Anne's daily routine looked like this:
BREAKFAST Cereal, apple
LUNCH Chicken salad, 3 Ryvita, yogurt
DINNER Fish and veg
EXERCISE Runs 18-20 miles a week; 1 hour of Pilates
Losing weight? Share your progress at our Zest reader blog. Find your local Sweatshop Runners.
Posted: 05/09/2012 at 21:46
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