Health and Beauty,  Lifestyle

Month 1 Of My Fitness Journey

I decided to get my bum back into gear on the 12th June 2019. I wrote about how I was struggling with the health and fitness side of life after not getting the results I wanted earlier in the year. Retrospectively I can now see the results I got in January (-7lb!) were awesome and I was an idiot to be so upset, but comparison is the thief of joy and so I told myself to give up. And I did…for 6 months. But then in June I finally found something inside to motivate me and a goal to work towards. I weighed myself again on the 12th July and was amazed to find that I’ve lost 8lb in just 4 weeks.

green phone app screenshot showing weight loss over a one month period

Now that I am well and truly back on the wagon, I thought it would be nice to document how the first month went. I know that throughout my weight loss journey there will be so many ups and downs, so being able to look back and read some of the highlights will be motivational, I hope! 

I started off with calorie counting. 

The term ‘calorie counting’ used to sound kind of scary to me. It makes me think of people on the extreme side of things, obsessively counting their calories and logging it all in a notebook, denying themselves the odd slice of cake. I really love cake…so I thought that this would be a real challenge from the get go.

This is the first time I have properly started counting calories and I haven’t actually found it as difficult as I thought I would. 

I set my calorie deficit to around -1.5lb a week, which cut my intake down to just over 1400 calories a day. The first few days were a bit touch and go. It took a little while for me to learn the amount of calories in a lot of the regular food I was consuming. Getting to grips with macros and calories took a good week or so but then I was able to adjust my weekly meal plan and shopping trips so that I could still eat great food, just consume less of the bad stuff and fewer calories. 

There are a few days that I go over — or would have gone over had I not exercised that day.

I do remember watching a PT video that mentioned you shouldn’t need to know how many calories you’ve burned off during the day. I assume that means you shouldn’t count it towards how many calories you’ve got left in your bank for that day. I may have ignored that. There are some days that I’ve had proper ‘naughty’ food. Summer is here and Luke’s school have had their sports day, summer fayres etc, so there have been a few cheeky ice creams, cupcakes and other nibbles. I’ve added them into MyFitnessPal and for the most part I’ve managed to stay in the green thanks to calories burned from working out, running or walking. I may have had a takeaway or two…I didn’t log them. I didn’t see the point as I knew that they’d take me way over the deficit number and I didn’t want to make myself feel guilty. 

I try not to feel guilty about eating food I like.

My friend asked me at the pub {healthy, huh?!} if I was having cheat days each week. I thought about it for a second and then said no. I wasn’t having cheat days because I was being healthy, I was working out, and I wasn’t denying myself little treats here and there. My fitness and health is so strongly linked my mental health, that I knew denying myself things that I really wanted would work out badly for me in the long run. I knew that watching everyone else in my family tuck into cake would make me feel hungry, miserable and rubbish. So instead of denying myself cake, I’d choose the healthiest option there, eat it slowly – savouring every bite – and enjoy that little bit of family time. 

view of aldershot park and fishing lake

First calorie counting, next came HIIT.

I first tried HIIT years ago, when Luke was just a baby. After having Luke, I put on so much weight. I had awful PND, I lost all my friends, my boyfriend and I broke up in a nasty way and I was pretty lonely, skint and fed up. When Luke was around 1, I decided to try and lose weight again. I started doing fitness videos on YouTube and ended up losing a tonne of weight. Then I met Mikey and all the workouts stopped – I was too busy living life, getting better, feeling happy again. I didn’t want to hide in my bathroom and do squats.

When I wanted to start working out again, I knew what had worked for me before and went back to that. 

I did some Davina McCall aerobics videos that I found on YouTube. They were about 30 minutes long and I’d try and get them in when Oscar was napping. After a little bit of fitness started returning – mainly from the blooming squats – I decided to try out HIIT again.

I follow Joe Wicks on social media and I love his attitude to life, so naturally his YouTube channel was the first place I went to.

I really enjoy doing his workouts because I really love how he ‘chats’ to you as you follow along. His content is really motivational and he’s really encouraging throughout. I haven’t started his day by day workouts yet – I have been working on getting the Beginners HIIT workout down before I move onto those. After having two kids, I don’t have any stomach muscles…and I’m not even sure they’re in the right place and it’s safe to work out with them as I’ve not done anything to help train them back into position. That’s something I really need to work on as I’ve seen the rest of his work out videos seem to involve crunches, planks and other ab training exercises. 

Boy pushing a buggy through the rain on a family run

Then…I started running?!

This was 100% unplanned. I was as shocked as you are! I hadn’t been on ‘a run’ since before Luke was born. Even then, running was hard work and I was rubbish at it. Luke had started ‘Running Club’ at school which was a 5 or 6 week programme with Olympian Steph Twell to get the kids (and a parent/guardian) running 2k by the end of it. He’d been doing this with his auntie and after the programme was up, I watched him (with so much pride!) run his first ever 2k Junior Parkrun. It was awesome! 

When it was all over, Luke wanted to carry on doing Parkruns every Sunday and who was I to say no to that?

I know his auntie was happy to run with him but I thought he’d be missing out on his Wednesday afternoon run now, so he wouldn’t be getting any training in. I went with him and his auntie to the park where there’s a 2k running track and watched them train for their weekend Parkrun together. My sister used to run a lot and she’d mentioned that they were doing the Couch To 5k programme with an app on her phone. In a moment of madness, I said that next time, I’d do it with them. And I did. 

The first time I ran, I felt amazing. 

I was so nervous to run around this blooming field with my sister and my kids. I remember messaging my boyfriend and having a mini freak out. Why was I doing this? I am overweight, unfit and likely to throw up after 1 minute of running. However, I downloaded a C25K app and ran around the field, taking it in turns with my sister to push Oscar in the buggy. My old running trainers from the pre-Luke days were knackered, so after the first minute of running I took them off and threw them in the bottom of the buggy. I ran the rest of the 2k in my socks! When I finished, I felt amazing. I was so proud of myself and I had one hell of an endorphin rush. Within 2 days I’d gone and ordered myself a new pair of running shoes. 

Post run selfie of woman walking back through Tildford, Farnham

Then came the knee injury.

I learnt the hard way that someone who’s overweight, not used to running and has dodgy knees to start with probably shouldn’t run on tarmac in barefoot style shoes. Queue the knee injury!

After only one week of Couch To 5K running, I had to stop running for a week or two because my knee felt awful. Every time I moved, I felt like my knee was going to pop out! It was delicate, but I still managed to get some hour long walks in when I could. My boyfriend convinced me that, even though I’d just spent £59 on a new pair of running shoes, they couldn’t be the only pair I owned and I needed to get another pair that was more cushioned. Thankfully, we live a stone’s throw away from Decathlon. I bought a new pair of cheap running shoes – around £30 – and they have been a million times better for me so far.

I can run again!

After spending a couple of weeks walking and icing my knee, I was ready to get back to running. I decided to start the Couch To 5K programme all over again, but this time I purchased an app (the BBC one is rubbish by the way, it crashes all the time) and I also signed up to Strava so I could track my run details. 

hand pushing baby through a trail in Alice Holt, Farnham

The new shoes make a huge difference and it’s a lot easier to run with them. Most of my runs are on tarmac, which isn’t ideal, but it’s what I’ve got to work with in the area that I live in. If I hadn’t bought the new shoes, I wouldn’t have been able to keep up the running, so it was a worthy investment! 

Since I had to start again, I’m just about to enter week 3 of the C25K training programme.

I have been working out on days that I’ve not been running and I have repeated one or two runs that I found particularly tricky. To people who are fit and healthy, the C25K plan probably looks insanely easy, but for me starting off, just running for 1 minute in week one was a challenge. Of course it’s okay the first one or two times, but when you have to complete it 8 times, it got difficult. As I load up week 3, I can see that I have to run for 3 minutes non-stop. That’s going to be a challenge but I know that I can do it and I know that by the end of the run, I will feel amazing! 

The running bug.

It’s safe to say that even though I can’t even ‘run’ properly, I have definitely got the bug. It’s frustrating and hard sometimes to find the time to get outside and run, especially when I live in a really busy and built up area. It’s not really motivational to run past teens on bikes smoking and families that love to take up the entire pavement so you have to run on the road to get past them, but it’s what I have to work with! It does give me anxiety to go out and run on my own though. If I run with my sister, it doesn’t really phase me, but when I am on my own I’m conscious that I’m running past the same people over and over again and probably look like a sweaty idiot! I know it’s something I’ll probably get used to but it still makes me feel a bit sicky when I consider going it alone. 

I managed to get a nice early morning run in over the weekend. 

It was nice to get out at 7am when most people were still in bed. It was quiet and most importantly, it was cool! It’s been so hot lately that it’s added an extra dimension to learning to run which has made it a little difficult, but I am still determined to try and get 3 runs a week in – the minimum I can settle for is 2. Unfortunately I can’t do that during the week unless I get up at 5am due to Mikey’s work hours…and with a baby, I just can’t cope on the little amount of sleep! It was nice being up and outside so early too, the only people around were either other runners or people walking home from their night out before. Neither gave me a second look, which was nice!

woman wearing My Protein workout top

I’ve lost 8lb in one month.

All of those things must have been doing something good for me as I’ve lost over half a stone in one month. I’ve also sunk so much money into running clothes that it’s actually mad, but running is becoming sort of addictive. It’s so nice to finish a run and feel proud and impressed with yourself. I love being able to watch my pace improve and try and beat my fastest 1k/fastest mile record each time I run. I enjoy it so much that even though we are going on holiday shortly, Luke and I will be packing our running gear so we can enjoy the change of scenery and still get our weekly runs in. 

I have a few goals that I’d like to achieve.

This month I signed up to Race At Your Pace and set my goal as 25 miles. You can run or walk the 25 miles and I’ve already walked well over that goal for the month, so I know regardless of how many miles I run, I’ve got my medal in the bag. However, I’d really like to try and rack up as many running miles as I can. We’re half way through the month now and I’ve run about 10 miles, so I reckon if I put my all into it, I could probably just about achieve the 25 miles with just runs, which would be such a huge achievement for me! 

I’d like to also join in with Luke’s 2k junior Parkruns. It’s just the probably is that his PB is 15:08 and that’s way faster than me. I’d be slowing him down! So I suppose at the end of C25K, I’ll start joining in with Saturday morning Parkruns.

I still aim to lose another 2 stone in weight, so hopefully if I keep everything that i’m doing up, I’ll get there eventually! 

I have no idea how long it takes someone to lose 2 stone and at the beginning of the month I would have been obsessively Googling the fastest way to do it, but I think over the course of the month, my attitude towards everything has changed. I still want to lose weight, but I’m focusing each week on finishing my runs and getting that instant buzz and worrying less about the number on the scales. 

Speaking of scales though, I did invest in some smart scales designed especially for fitness.

They’ve really helped shape my attitude towards the number on the scales as I now know that even if I weigh more one week than I did before, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve put on weight. I bought the {affiliate} RENPHO Bluetooth Smart Scales which work with an app on your phone. It measures your BMI, body fat percentage, water weight percentage, visceral fat, muscle mass, bone mass, your metabolic age and loads more. They’ve been such a great investment for me as they’ve reassured me that I’m doing the right things to reach a healthier, fitter and happier me. I’d really recommend getting some, and they’re not expensive either!

Follow My Fitness Journey

Although I don’t feel I need to hold myself accountable on this fitness journey, I thought it would a nice thing to track. I started a brand new Instagram account where I have started to record my runs, share my story and post pictures of pretty views I come across while working out. It’s not exclusively for running, I’ll be covering all aspects of health and fitness, from food to workouts, so if you’re interested, come and follow me! You can find me here: @raygetsfiit (yes, 2 i’s!)

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Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.


  • Valerie

    Congratulations on the 8 pound loss and keep up the good work! I bet that road in the woods provides some nice shade as well as beauty.

  • Sarah

    Well done.

    The best way to get faster and further with running is just to get up and run! I have days when I can easily run a. 10km and other days when 5km feels a struggle. I find it’s a really great way to clear my mind xx

    • Lukeosaurus And Me

      Oh thank you so much! I had every intention of getting up and going for a run this morning now that I’m back from Cornwall, but we’ve moved both kids into the same room now and I just did not want to get out of bed this morning. I don’t know if, after a week of not running, I’ll be able to cope with the next week on C25K…I wonder if I’ll have a go at maybe repeating the previous week and working my way back into it. x

  • Rebecca Smith

    You are doing so well! I am also on a fitness journey, I’ve been doing a lot more walking and I’ve lost 13lb so far. I’m looking to add workouts back into my routine soon and also want to get back into running. Can’t wait to see your journey, I’m now following your Instagram.

  • Elizabeth Williams

    Well done on getting back to your fitness and congratulations on the weight loss. I’m also on a fitness kick and have been using a cross trainer at home and cutting down on carbs which has worked wonders for my weight loss. Good luck with your goals.

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