WW blog: Kirsty talks about how running gives her inner strength
Hello, my name is Kirsty and I'm taking over WW UK blog spot this week to share my family’s running journey!
I walked my first 5k
I started running in 2014, when a friend and I began following the NHS couch to 5K program. We booked ourselves onto a 5K Race for Life, which we completed - although I walked a lot of it. At the time, I remember being super proud of myself.
In 2015 I tried to run again, but after a couple of trial runs my knee was swollen and I lost the motivation to continue. However, I'd passed the running bug to my husband Paul. He continued with his running journey while I supported him from the sidelines.
During this time, my weight was not going in the direction I wanted. In 2016, I decided things needed to change and I joined my local WW group. Five months later, I reached my goal weight for the first time in all my years of trying! I now had a newfound confidence, but it was still over a year before my motivation to run came back.
Paul was training hard and smashing 10K runs. I felt so emotional watching him and secretly wished that I could achieve the same goals. In September 2017, I turned to Paul and said: 'I just want to be able to run 5K without stopping'. He was so supportive. We set up an 8 week time scale and marked a date on the calendar for my first parkrun.
My husband was my inspiration
The following morning, we set out on our run just to see what I could do with no pressure. I RAN 5K WITHOUT STOPPING! As you can imagine, I was ecstatic. We continued to run together and I then booked myself onto my first official race. At the time, I didn't realise I'd signed myself up for a 10K!
During this time I continued on my WW maintenance journey and began to find that having the extra FitPoints® meant I could work in some extra treats and still stay within my goal range.
Our whole family has embraced running
Our families have always supported our running and we have a great support network at home. The children have started to show an interest in running and they have truly embraced the fun. My 15-year-old stepdaughter and I recently completed a 10K race for life, and my eldest daughter is noticing the positive effects it has both physically and mentally.
On Saturdays we all join in with our local parkrun. We love the friendly atmosphere, and there are so many people on hand to help and offer advice. It also gives you the opportunity to really push yourself.
Running definitely gives me an inner strength and the mindset to believe that I can achieve things even when I think they are way out of reach.
My advice would be start gently, take it one step at a time and embrace the moment. Try running with a friend, partner or look up your local running club.
I personally run better with other people as they push and support me at the points where I could quite easily give up and walk instead. As with your weight-loss journey, set yourself small achievable goals and reward yourself when you reach them.
So what are you waiting for - get those running trainers on! Find Kirsty on Instagram and follow her journey @weightwatchers_almostthere.