Since moving to Dubai I have managed to gain rather a bit of weight (alright almost a stone) and I have also become unfit. Having been a size 6-8 in the UK which I maintained by walking miles every day it’s come as a shock to me to find that I am lucky if a size ten really fits and running up the stairs is a challenge. I am not the only person who has gained the Dubai equivalent of the Freshmen 15 and so I decided it was time to take charge and make a change.
Now I have made this decision before and never stuck to it. I find it all too easy to make excuses not to go to the gym (for months it was not having the correct sports bra and when Bond said I could buy one I just looked at him in disgust!) and then once I have convinced myself that I can’t possibly go to the gym I eat cake. It’s not hard to see where the weight gain has come from! This time though I decided I would bring in a ringer…my friend Nat (she of the gym kit buying) has also said that she wants to lose weight and she HATES the gym too. I figured that the two of us would motivate each other to stick with it. Once we had agreed to go to the gym together and Nat had her kit sorted it was time to decide what we would do once we got there.
Enter Tara (do read her blog, it’s a delight!!) who blogged about C25K and had intrigued me with it…now I had a friend to do it with me perhaps it would take off. The concept of the C25K is that it takes you literally from a couch potato to the sort of running machine that pounds out 5k with ease. Nat and I thought that sounded just our thing. We are lucky to have a gym as part of our work complex and our colleagues who were already there proved to be very supportive of our endeavour which was great. I downloaded the app ‘couch to 5K’ from the BBC. You can choose from Jo Whiley, Sanjeev Kohli, Sarah Millican or Michael Johnson to be your motivating voice. Nat and I agreed Sarah Millican was our sort of woman so got her set up.
We did ten minutes on the bike to loosen up (I had NO idea I had it in me!) and then we took to the treadmill to commence ‘C25K’ with Sarah. We were proved right to have chosen her when she said encouraging things like ‘you’re doing really well Pet’. Far better than someone telling me to move faster etc which is just discouraging when you’re a beginner. You do a five minute walk to warm up and then you run for a minute and then walk for 90 seconds, you alternate this routine for 25 minutes before you do a five minute walk to cool down. Well we both surprised ourselves by getting through it and not dying! We walked at 5k/h and ran at 7k/h which we were told by our gym buddies was respectable for beginners.
Even though we are beginners we were wise and did a proper stretch routine that I also got from an app called ‘Sworkit’. You can choose how long you want to stretch for – we did five minutes which seems to have paid off, we both woke up and felt great. Nat has massively shown me up by going home and having a strawberry smoothie…I will have to up my dietary game ASAP.
Tomorrow we are off again and I have to admit I am looking forward to it, a first! There is a lot to be said for having company to do something like this. We are also going to work on goals and rewards – any ideas for realistic goals and suitable treats?