Blogger and self-confessed ‘fatty’ Julie Creffield is on a mission to get one million overweight women running, whatever their size.
In 2003, weighing almost 20 stone, Julie was persuaded by a colleague to take part in a 3k fun run. She did no training before and thought she was going to die on the way around. Not only from the unusual strain she was putting on her body, but also from embarrassment when a little boy shouted ‘run, fatty, run’ at her as she went past.
Undeterred, the following day she signed up to the London Triathlon – a swim, cycle and running race, which she completed in a size XL wetsuit that just about fitted.
Julie’s newfound passion turned into a hobby and she started a blog – The Fat Girls’ Guide to Running. Julie says: “Many people think that running is something fat women can’t or shouldn’t do. I am on a mission to prove otherwise. Anyone can enjoy running, you just need to start off slowly and be sensible about integrating the activity into your life so that you remain safe.”
So if you’re feeling inspired to increase your activity levels, but are unsure of the best way to get started, here’s some tips:
1. Buy a pedometer and set yourself the task of walking a certain number of steps each day. The recommendation is 10,000 steps per day, but you could start at 100, 1,000 or however many feels right for you.
2. As you get used to walking more, increase your speed to a power walk. If you’re breaking a sweat and breathing more heavily than normal, you’re doing it right!
3. Once you’ve mastered a power walk, shift it up a gear and start a slow jog. Don’t feel like you have to run miles. Try jogging from one lamp post to the next, walking between the next two, then jogging again.
4. There are loads of smartphone apps that take you through a programme of short walk/run sessions over a number of weeks. Focus on building up slowly.
5. Just do it! Put your trainers on, grab your keys, leave the house and get outside. No excuses, no procrastinating, no “I can’t because…” Just go!
The full version of this article is available in the latest issue of LighterLife magazine. Pick up a copy from your local Counsellor.
You can find Julie’s blog at www.toofattorun.co.uk