Monday, January 09, 2006


Over the weekend I had a lightbulb moment. I'm no longer, for want of a better word, a "dieter" (I've said before and I'll say again, I'm not dieting in the traditional deprivation sense, but it's the most convenient word to use to describe someone who's actively trying to lose weight, by whatever means they choose). I'm a runner.

I peruse running websites and magazines rather than slimming websites and magazines. I look for training schedules that will make my running better rather than schedules that will help me lose weight. I look at nutrition tips for runners rather than looking at a simple calories in calories out approach to lose weight. I know that running will help me shift some of my remaining fat anyway, but I run because I want to run, and I train because I want to run, and I want to eat food that will give me energy to run. My goal is no longer solely counted in terms of pounds or kilograms, it's miles and kilometres and minutes and seconds.

A lot of it covers the same ground, afterall, there's a nice big running for weightloss section on the Runners World website, and a lot of people do run to lose weight. A healthy diet is a healthy diet no matter why you want to follow it. But the emphasis is changing, ever so slightly. Instead of running to burn off what I eat, I want to eat appropriate fuel so I can run (without having any much excess to convert to fat). Instead of running for longer because it burns off more calories, I want to run for longer to see how far I can push myself and what I'm capable of.

It still takes some getting used to though. I can cope with the concept of no longer being fat. I see that enough times in the mirror and on the scales. But it's hard to adjust to the concept of running for enjoyment rather than running for necessity. I do, I must do or I wouldn't have gone out for an hour and a half on a bitterly cold morning yesterday when there was a treadmill in a nice warm gym that would have given me as much exercise, but a less enjoyable route (yes, enjoyable hills and all!). I can see the changes in my body, but I can't see the changes in my mind. When I put on my tracksuit bottoms and running top I still look the same as I did, even if my motivation has changed.

One consequence of this is that I really need to go to the running shop this week to get some new running shoes, socks, and maybe even some unflattering sounding running tights. The trainers I've got are fine most of the time (well, if fine includes the insides being ripped to shreds), but once I run over about 8k they start to give me a blister on the instep of my left foot. I've got one there from yesterday as I type. That's not ideal, really, particularly not if the half marathon plan comes off.

My feet deserve someone better than me to look after them. I'm just so pathetic when it comes to stuff like this, doing a hit and run effort in JJB to grab some trainers before anyone notices that I'm there, because I'm not the sort of person who is worthy of assistance in choosing something decent (not that JJB staff would know how to give that assistance anyway!). I've now located a local running shop, which even has a fancy running analysis machine linked up to the treadmill to compare different shoes as you give them a test run, but I'm feeling intimidated about going in there. I feel as though they'll spot me as a big fat fraud. Never mind that I've run a couple of 10ks, that I'm not really that overweight at all, that I'm fit and that I ran 8 miles yesterday. Or that I have a subscription to a running magazine and I'm considering running a half marathon. No, I feel like I'm not the sort of person who should be thinking about buying proper shoes and getting proper expert advice. As though they'll spot me as a fake the second I set foot on the treadmill and attempt to try out some trainers. I'm sure they won't really fall around laughing behind me as I attempt to show off my technique, but why do I feel like they will?

Why do I still feel like this? It's not just a question of not thinking I'm thinner than I was, I know that I am. It's a question of feeling like I'm entitled to be this weight, and that I'm not just getting the opportunity to try it out for a couple of months while I'm still the same old fat person inside. I think it's easier to believe that I'm thinner because of the evidence of mirrors than it is to believe that I'm actually sporty and fit, and I don't know how I'm going to persuade myself that I am really that person rather than the old person in a new body. That I'm a runner, and I deserve proper running shoes.

If they ask me how far I run I need to not mumble "oh, about 5k usually, and not very fast", but tell the truth, no matter how unbelievable it sounds to me, "a couple of shortish runs during the week and a long run at the weekend, up to about 13k at the moment but I'm considering a half marathon, and I run 10ks from time to time". I'm not just some fat chick off the street throwing money at an unrealistic and unsustainable new years resolution. I actually run, I have a perfect right to be there, and I deserve the best shoes for my feet, rather than something that's on offer at JJB. And at the end of the day, they're going to make money when I buy something, so why wouldn't they help me?

I just need to get myself there now, either on Wednesday when I think it's open late, or at the weekend


I don't know whether it was the angelic eating or the long long run that did it, but there's movement on the scales. 1lb down in 1 month might not sound like a lot (OK, it isn't a lot), but it's 1lb in the right direction, and I'll take it. Last year I gained over Christmas and this year I didn't, so that has to be a victory of sorts. So, it's 171, and now only 3lb to a "healthy" weight (but in reality less than that, if I'd only take my trainers off to weigh in. It would mess up my numbers though, so I stick with artificially inflating my weight).


Time for a short fish update. What's with the tuna shortage in Leeds? I've (seriously) been trying to get hold of some tuna to try, and everytime I go to look in the fish cabinet in Tesco there isn't any in there. I swear that this isn't just me putting off the fateful moment, but it seems that the gods are conspiring to stop me trying it. I suppose I could try some tinned tuna, but that doesn't hold the same appeal really as proper fresh stuff. It remains to be seen whether, once there is some, I'll actually pick it up and buy it, but at the moment I'm being denied the opportunity to even consider it. So frustrating!


Blogger Shauna said...

what a cracker of a post :) a runner, not a dieter. that is brilliant.

running shops are great places. i went in there at about 95kg feeling like a fraud, i was so terrified. but they were very helpful, even when i explained i hadn't even STARTED running and just wanted the shoes. but you are a bona fide runner so be bold and tell em you're training for the half and they will fall over themselves fetching those shoeboxes :)

11:04 PM  
Blogger el said...

I have spent the last week reading your entire blog you are an inspiration,I hope I make the transition from dieter to runner as well. I used to run and I think you'll find that runners love new runners, they'll fall over themselves to help you and try to sign you up for a race to boot.
On the fish front I'm a fish eater and there really are better fish (less fishy tasting)then tuna. Steelhead is my personal fave, I don't know if you have it there but it's really mild tasting.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Most specialist running shops are fantastic, no need to worry about going in there at all. Once you get info about the type of shoe you need and fork over the money, have a look at the online shoe shops, in the adverts in RW. Oh, and at least you are getting some proper trainers. I lost count of the amount of people I saw limping after the Robin Hood Marathon because they'd ran in fashion trainers.

1lb loss is fantastic. I haven't weighed myself yet. Don't need to, don't agree with it. Prefer the waist measurement system now I've realised the BMI is pants.

re: tuna. For some reason it is difficult to get it at the moment. The only place I managed to get some was Asda fresh fish counter.

8:01 AM  
Blogger einalem said...

Hey YP. I'm beginning to feel I'm stalking you (I'm not - honest). I live in Leeds and did the Abbey Dash in 2004. Since then I've given up running (it just wasn't for me at the time - glad to see you loving it! I still dabble in treadmills, but have prefer hillwalking when outdoors). Up and Running are lovely peeps - the shop is quite small, but Lou and her staff are very helpful. Lou used to run a small women's club on a Friday night, might still do. There's also a specialist running shop in the centre of Bradford - quite close to the train station, which friends swear by.

I also used to run round the same park as you occasionally. As for fish in Leeds, try the market? I've given up buying fruit, veg and meat in supermarkets (I go to a couple of decent shops in Roundhay), but I can't find a decent fishmonger in north Leeds - the market seems the only choice. BTW my blog isn't here at blogger. If you're interested I can be found at

9:23 AM  
Blogger K said...

Yes, I went to the same running shop as DG looking for a sports bra, and they were very helpful and nice, even though I didn't end up buying anything.

10:28 AM  
Blogger YP said...

I bet you are stalking me, einalem, I live in Roundhay...

6:38 PM  
Blogger skinnyminny8 said...

I love love tinned tuna .. tastes nicer ( in my completely subjective opinion) to fresh tuna..
If you want to be healthy, buy it in brine, not sunflower oil.
Its also a lot cheaper.

Put it in a salad ( with lettuce/ cherry toms/ pepper et.c)

or use it as part of a tomato sauce for pasta. Steamed tinned tuna is delicious too.

Tinned sardines are grogeous, especially on toast.

Try it, I dare you!

Runner... WOW!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Kykaree said...

Oh no, you have another stalker, I used to be your cyberstalker ;)

Don't try tinned tuna, you will not like it, I don't think. Fresh tuna is to die for. I think though, for your first time, you might be better to try it in a restaurant (yes I know a big commitment if you don't like it) but it can be a tricky animal to cook so it's not tough and stringy. Or come to Manchester during the week and I will smuggle you into our works cafeteria, where they do it for £2.50!!! LOL

You are a runner for sure, and deserve the best. Pics of your trainers on this blog by this time next week or else I'll tell your stalker where you live.........muahahahahahahaha

10:48 PM  
Blogger James & Kenya the Duck Toller. said...

And people tell me I'm an inspiration to them! You've done amazing! Keep it up!

12:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home