I’ve just read through my past blog posts (well someone has to) and I’ve realised that although most of my blog posts are brilliantly entertaining works of literary genius, the last one was WELL BORING. Sorry about that. I pretty much just whinged on about how fat I was for ten minutes and hardly mentioned the super interesting and little known fact that I Nearly Died at all. Epic fail. Everyone knows that the only thing more boring than someone moaning on about how fat they are is someone yapping on about their children, so at least I spared you that I guess.
However, that said, Google Analytics tells me that the Weeble blog post is my second most successful blog post to date, behind only the one where I Nearly Died in terms of its popularity. Thanks guys. If I’d have known before I Nearly Died that all you lot are really interested in are stories about my suffering and pictures of me looking fat I could have saved myself the hassle of having a ton of medical interventions and just blogged about my wedding.
But putting that aside, I do feel that it’s now time to stop banging on about how fat and miserable I was and instead enthrall you with my ‘well fat to summink gawjus’ inspirational weight loss story (DVD coming soon) cos let’s face it EVERYONE loves an inspirational weight loss story.
In my last dullsville blog post my dishy consultant had told me that in order to get the best possible results from the planned reconstructive surgery I’d need to lose weight- a lot of weight in fact- about 4 stone (God how I missed having a neck). I wanted to get back to being fit and healthy anyway but the massive incentive of getting new tits, a flat stomach and lipo to my love handles was enough to make me super determined to shift as much weight as possible in the three or four months before the operation.
I’d already started to binge on water (not as much fun as bingeing on alcohol btw) and reduce my massive portions and had lost about half a stone as result but it was pretty clear that if I was going to seriously attempt to lose another 3 and a half stone between January and the operation in April/May I needed to massively increase my activity levels because walking Charlie dog and bimbling about on a horse was just not going to cut it.
So the week after I saw my dishy consultant I got in touch with the wonderful Sue Browne and asked if I could join her Petersfield running club*. Now, I have to be honest and say I wasn’t a massive fan of the name. ‘Runnyhoneys’ sounded a bit twee and a bit too posh and middle class for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m as rough-as-old-boots and as such would have preferred to have joined a group with a name that matched my own social background- the Running Cunts would have been more appropriate- but what can you do? Sue is clearly a lot more civilised than I am and probably realised quite early on that there was going to be a limited market for ‘Running Cunts’ hoodies in Petersfield (although she probably could have shifted quite a few in Portsmouth…)
Anyway, despite my initial reservations over the name I signed up to become a ‘honey’ and enrolled on the couch to 5k beginners’ course that took place at 7:15 on a Monday night. The reason why I chose this particular course was because it met outside the pub, a superb piece of marketing by Sue I thought.
As many of you will no doubt already have guessed, the best thing about the couch to 5k course is the couch. The rest of it is bloody hard work. And the hard work started as soon as I got off the couch for the first time and tried to put my joggers on. There’s nothing worse than watching a fat person struggling into a pair of running tights but I got them on in the end and as I waddled along to the pub where we were due to meet I made a promise to myself that this was the fattest and unfittest that I was ever going to be. In fact I think I had D:Reams’ ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ playing in my head as I left the house- although unlike John Prescott I knew the words so it became a useful motivational anthem for me rather than the toe curling cringefest that it had been for him.
I’d run a bit before Frog was born so I knew that theoretically I WAS capable of running 5k- and I tried to keep that thought in my tiny pea-brain as I arrived at the pub (already out of breath) and met up with Sue and my co-Couchers for the first time.
Now there have been lots of hugely influential group meetings in my nearly life and Seminar Group C, Room 254 and NCT in particular stand out as being particularly significant. I had lucked out massively with each of these groups and have ended up with some of my bestest friends by virtue of being chucked into a new and unfamiliar situation with a bunch of other randoms and trying to find some common ground. As soon as I turned up to the pub and looked around at my fellow Couchers for the first time I had a feeling that I may have just lucked out again. Of course, now that I’ve written it down it’s pretty clear that the common denominator in all of these awesome groups is me and I think it’s probably fair to say that without my presence Seminar Group C, Room 254, NCT and the Couchers would have been pretty shit and well boring. Lucky for them I was there then really. And now I’ve made them famous with my highly regarded and hugely entertaining blog. Double win for them.
But before I get into the ins and outs of my new training regime and start telling you all about my new running besties, it’s important that you understand exactly what being a Runnyhoney involves. I didn’t realise this at the time of my first run of course, but basically when you become a honey you give up your right to privacy and solitude and become part of something which can only be described as a ‘movement’ (in both the literal and the metaphorical senses).
You have to accept that you are going to see bloody honeys EVERYWHERE. The whole of Petersfield and its outlying villages seem to be a breeding ground for middle-aged women in lycra and ALL of them seem to run with the Runnyhoneys, no doubt due to Sue’s clever ‘let’s meet outside a pub’ marketing strategy. In fact Runnyhoneys is a pretty apt name because just like bees- the honeys swarm down the River Walk, buzz along the bridleways and then lie dying on the pavements when their energy levels drop. (And unlike bees, but just like rats- you are never more than four feet away from one.)
Runnyhoneys is like a middle class, lycra clad mafia and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sue is smuggling contraband under the guise of ‘training’ her running groups. In fact I’m pretty sure that it’s only a matter of time before Run Leader Powners asks me to swallow a condom full of heroin before running to an illicit handover in Steep, all the while tracking my whereabouts on Strava and doing her best to distract the cops with her flashing headgear and crazy Zumba moves.
So as a result of joining the Runnyhoneys Cartel my Facebook feed exploded with friend requests and my Strava became clogged with new followers. I was added to a WhatsApp group with a revolving cast of thousands where we discussed what we were wearing, how much we were drinking and where we were going to go on our nights out- And I loved it! I made a huge number of friends and now, over 18 months later, I’m still running with most of them (and also getting occasionally shit faced). We even went to watch the Polo together- proof for my rough-as-old-boots northern mates that I am now indeed ‘well posh’ despite appearances to the contrary.
But back to that first beginners’ run. It was cold. It was wet. It was dark. It was the beginning of January and I don’t think anyone really wanted to be there (with the possible exception of Sue Browne). I looked miserably around the Wetherspoons car park wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into, and was relieved to see a familiar face. I kinda knew Kay because she had spawned twins at the same time as me and we were part of the same local twin group, so I said hello and we started commiserating with each other about how twins had ruined our lives. Kay was besties with Kate and because their names were similar I hung out with them on the first run to save having to remember two different names at the same time as remembering to breathe. Kay and Kate were awesome. What was best about them was that they were both as shit as me at running and they liked knob jokes. I had found my people.
To be honest I think for most of us trainee honeys it was really Sue Browne’s arse that got us through that first winter. Rumour has it that she can crack walnuts in her sleep and it really deserves its own blog post (coming soon) As Sue jogged ahead of us on those first couple of run/walk/runs, tightly toned bun cheeks bouncing, head light flashing and tooting on her little whistle, we fixed our eyes enviously on her bum, gritted our teeth and slowly jogged behind her down the River Walk, counting down the seconds until she blew her little whistle and we could start walking again.
Soon Monday night running with the Couchers became one of the highlights of my week and it was honestly like being on a hen night. There were lots of double entendres and shrieking laughter and we really gelled as a group within the first couple of runs. There’s nothing like running through Petersfield town centre on a Monday night inhaling curry fumes (from the restaurants not the runners in front thank god) and dodging dog crap on the pavements to bond a bunch of wobbly, unfit and filthy minded women together.
And slowly and steadily, without even realising it, we all began to improve. Each week we ran a little further and it got a little easier and by the end of the course we were all firm friends and all of us were up to running 5k without stopping. I was over the moon with how well I had done and noticed a huge difference in my fitness, my shape and in my weight. It was going down steadily.
By the beginning of February I had graduated from the beginners’ course and I joined the next group up. I ran at least three times a week – between 3 and 5k to start with, but in no time at all I was up to 4 and 5k and I kept incrementally increasing my speed and my distances and unbelievably actually started to really, really enjoy running. By the beginning of March I was clocking up a total of 15 or 20k every week and it felt amazing.
Sometimes I’d run with the Honeys, sometimes I’d run with one, two or a whole pack of my new running besties and sometimes I’d run with Trent Reznor (in my headphones). In fact when I ran with Trent I often found myself singing along with him and on more than one occasion screamed ‘I wanna fuck you like an animal’ as I ran down the aptly named Love Lane on a Sunday morning. And let me tell you I had more than a few offers from idiot pensioners who didn’t realise I was actually just howling along to Nine Inch Nails and not marking myself as open for business.
But it wasn’t just running, oh no. Even the most dedicated runner is not going to be able to run off four stone in three months, especially at the relatively short distances that I was running. I also had to do a whole load of other stuff to burn off the flab and I basically approached it as a full time job- thankfully I was still on maternity leave at this point so didn’t have my actual job to distract me from my mission and I was able to stick to a pretty strict exercise regime.
I had weekly weights and HIIT sessions in my sister’s garage (she’s a PT so not quite as weird as it sounds) and I also did a ‘super fun’ bootcamp every Saturday morning. I went back to doing Pilates once a week at the leisure centre and continued to ride and walk as much as I could. All the time tracking my daily calories, drinking tons of water and avoiding the carb heavy foods. I still had the odd takeaway, pub lunch and glass of wine (or three) but these were occasional treats rather than the norm. I had completely overhauled every aspect of my diet and lifestyle and after two months you could really tell.
By the time the date of my operation rolled round in April I was out of my maternity clothes for good and had gone from weighing 14 stone 2lbs on 3rd Jan 2017 to 11 stone 8lbs on my operation date of 10th April 2017. A loss of 2 stone and 5lbs in three months. I was over the moon.
Of course, I was never really under any illusion that I was going to be able to lose the whole 4 stone in such a short amount of time, it was a ludicrous target. but I figured if you aim for the moon and miss you still reach the stars right? (that’s what my mum has always said anyway) So aiming for 4 stone was a good (if unrealistic) goal and the fact that I managed to lose over half of it in such a short amount of time was pretty awesome. I was super proud of myself and I felt and looked better than I had done for years.
And just before all you schadenfreuders reading this sit back and say ‘well she’ll never keep it off’….. ‘it’s not healthy to lose that amount so quickly’…. ‘She’ll run out of motivation soon and then she’ll be bigger than before’….
Yah Boo Sucks to you. I HAVE kept it off. I’m still a bit fat and could probably do with losing another stone (or two). But I also like chips. And cake. And quite frankly life is too bloody short, anyone who has Nearly Died will tell you that….
Sorry that this post hasn’t had much pain and suffering in it but I promise I’ll make up for it in the next one where you’ll find me back in hospital for the first of my many reconstruction operations.