I have been inspired to share my story and hopefully give you some motivation.
March 2020 lockdown happened to be honest it was tough but looking back exactly what I needed. I was able to pause my life and re evaluate everything. Having time to go out for a daily walk became something I looked forward to. I could only manage 20mins. I increased this a bit to half an hour every day and then 1hour longer walk two three times a week. I had muscle aches; my feet hurt this was no longer fun. I didn’t want to slip back into old ways so I decided to go out every other day to try to put a routine into my walking.
Returning to work was difficult as I could no longer go out when I wanted to and so had to find a time that suited me and worked. I am a morning person so thought I would go in then and in the summer it was better before it got too hot. I had increased my walk to 1hr every other day and managed to get quicker I was doing roughly 4 miles.
I was starting to feel better and lose weight. I had lost 13kg.
Then in April 2021 I decided I would go every day for a month. Weight loss was now at 25kg now and I felt fitter.
Then the Miles better challenge happened just at the right time. Jan 2022 I was a few months into the dark mornings and it was hard. I joined a team and suddenly found motivation in supporting others. We would go for evening walks after work or on a Friday night we followed each others watches and I found this really helpful. I thought I walked a lot before the challenge doing 5-6 miles a day…I pushed myself and increased this immensely. After the challenge ended I kept up my increased mileage as this had become manageable in my day now.
Last year I managed to go back to the Lake District too several times walking and I found this so rewarding. I have increased my morning walk to 1.5hrs now and even manage to run! My blood pressure is within a normal range, my resting heart rate was down from 91 to 52. I have lost over 30kg in weight and I felt the fittest I had ever felt.
I hadn’t dieted or tried to lose weight just simply made small choices and walked.
I joined a team again this year for the Miles Better.
-One has a 5month old baby and was trying to get back in shape
-Another has a holiday to go to and wants to feel better
-Another last year was in hospital with breathing disorder and had given up her love of walking
-Another would cancel her gym session.
I thought we can motivate each other. And boy have we done that. I am so proud of my group.
'what matters is that everyone finds inspiration to push themselves during this challenge and remember don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Your story is yours no one else's. Your challenges are yours and how you over come them is unique to you'.
'All you need to do is start, while the kettle is boiling to make a cup of tea walk round the kitchen ten times, if you need to take something upstairs don’t carry it all at once make two trips, park a bit further away in the car park. All these things add up I promise you'.
My journey has taught me that you have to find what works for you. It will be tough sometimes - it’s the process that is important. Make those little changes you won’t regret it I would never have thought I would be where I am today but I am. I also have built it up over time gradually don’t be hard on yourself be realistic.