Today marks exactly one year since I started jogging. It was after a fortnight of extreme gluttony that I finally pulled on my trainers, listened to the first Couch to 5k and went for the first run.

It turned out to be the best way of doing it, with the podcasts slowly easing me into it and building up my stamina, within the 9 weeks I was already feeling the health benefits and discovering that I was actually enjoying doing it.

Once the course was up I kept going, increasing the length of my runs over time until I’ve reached the current stage where I run for a full hour.

Running for an hour is still a challenge, I’m always tired by the end, but its a tiredness I’ve come to enjoy, a feeling that you’ve put in a decent effort and that the tiredness has been earned. Its also a tiredness that passes quicker and quicker after the runs, leaving me riding an endorphin high and feeling good.

This time last year I couldn’t see myself running for that long, but now its something I can do fairly easily 3-4 times a week. I’m surprised by the changes in myself and also quite proud of myself for sticking with it.

There have been times when its been rough, and times when I’ve let Lazy Chris take over, but for the most part running has become a part of my life, if I don’t run I fell guilty and a bit fed up, getting out there and pounding the pavement clears my head, gives me a chance to think things through and makes me feel good.

I’ve lost at least 2 stone since I started running, which means I’m now the healthiest I’ve been in years. I’m more confident in myself and I feel more comfortable and happy with my body, in a way I haven’t for years. I know there’s still work to be done, but I’m definitely much more positive about it now, even if we’re still a long, long way away from me being comfortable going swimming or topless on the beach.

So, my advice to anyone out there who wants to lose a bit of weight is to check out the Couch to 5K podcasts and give them a whirl. I know at times it’ll be difficult, it’ll be cold or raining outside, or you’ll be tired, but push on through and you get some pretty good things out of it. The satisfaction and pride I got when I did the Sport Relief 3 mile run earlier this year was one of the best feelings I’ve experienced, and next year I hope to have it again when I run a 10K.

So give it a go, let me know how it works out and if you don’t enjoy it, maybe look into other exercises and find one that suits you best.

I didn’t run today, it being one of my days off from running (I ran yesterday) and now I’m sitting here wondering how I should mark/celebrate this event, having a cake or treating myself to something similar kind of feels like going against the whole point of it, but at the same time I kind of want to celebrate it somehow. Any ideas?

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

P.S. Here’s a link to the Couch to 5K stuff

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