Sunday, 9 September 2012

What I've Learned in 50 Days

For those of you just joining me, I started a challenge 50 days ago. The challenge is to walk/run/cycle 5km a day for 100 days. It started off as 50 but in a moment of madness I decided to increase it! Today is Day 50. I'm halfway there. I felt this was a good day for a pause to evaluate and reset goals. The initial purpose was to lose weight and to make activity a part of my daily life. I decided to raise money for charity at the same time which you can read about here.I originally joined up with the 5x50 team but as I started early I have been doing the last 50 days on my own. Today I join the other 4423 challengers for the last chapter of my challenge, the final 50!

What I've Learned About Myself

  • I like planning what I am going to do but I'm not that enthusiastic about actually doing it. 
  • I have an 'inside' voice that tries to sabotage me by telling me things like; "Nobody would know if walked to a café and sat there for hour, just run for the last 5 mins to get home and arrive sweaty". Resisting this inner voice is really difficult. 
  • Finding an hour in the day for myself is nearly impossible. 
  • The biggest obstacle to my weight loss and fitness is my utter lack of endurance and consistency. 
Just back from a walk together

What I've Learned About Walking

  • I like it. It's my favourite activity! I find that for an overweight person I am actually quite good at it and I'm reasonably fast paced. 
  • My favourite time of day for walking is either sunrise or sunset. I like to take photos on my walk and this is the best time of day for it. 
  • Blisters are awful and the type of socks you wear really make the difference. My feet eventually adjust to the trainers and the pain of blisters reduces. 
  • It's easier to do the hilly part of the walk first and get it over with. It's a great warm up then the rest seems like a breeze. 

I just love walking/running when the sun is setting
What I've Learned About Running

  • I'm not awful at it but I am most definitely a beginner. I am amazed how quickly my body adapts though. I went from not being able to run for more than a minute to running for 15 mins by the end of the week. 
  • My pelvic floor muscles are not what the used to be. Running is like the equivalent of sneezing for me.
  • Carrying the amount of weight that I do is not great on the joints when I'm running. I think running will be something that will be easier for me when I'm lighter. 
  • Blisters are worse when I run compared to walking. They appear in different places so my running feet technique must differ from my walking feet. 
  • Running downhill is easy, running on the straight is manageable, running up a hill is stupidity. 

What I've Learned About Cycling

  • Bum Sores - need I say more?
  • Any women who have had a baby really need a bigger bike seat or it simply disappears. 
  • Cycling is much harder than walking or running but you can complete the challenge in much less time.
  • Despite it being quicker, the pain last twice as long. 
  • If you find it too hard you can get off and walk but you look like a loser and you should really come up with an excuse like "My bike has lost it's pedals, that's why a walking, I'm not a lazy git". 
  • There is nothing quite like the exhilarating feeling of zooming down a hill on a bike. It releases the inner child. 
What I've Learned About Weight Loss

  • It's 70% diet and 30% exercise. On the weeks I only exercise I lose less or stay the same. It really takes both. Exercise is brilliant for tone, fitness and wellbeing but alone it won't shift the pounds. 
  • It shouldn't be a diet, it should be something that fits well with your life. If I exercise regularly and show some self restraint around food I'd be thinner. 
  • I don't feel better after I go on a food bender.
  • My stomach is flatter when I eat more protein than carbs. 
  • I've lost a stone in the last 50 days but it's been really slow. I jump from one diet to another which totally confuses my body. I find it really difficult to be consistent with a food program. 

Where Do I Go From Here?

  • I am really excited about the next 50 days. I am going to focus more on walking faster and increasing the periods of running. 
  • As I like the mornings and the evenings for walking, I aim to walk at these times. I think if I walk before work I will have more energy but this means committing to going to bed earlier at night.
  • I'm going to eat well and make positive choices towards food. I am going to think less about dieting and more about fuelling my body effectively. I am going to eat things I know make me feel good, cutting back but not eliminating carbs and increasing but not overdoing the protein. 


  1. Well done Claire! You've done so well to get to 50 days, and that's great weight loss. It's Day 1 for me today, going to start with a nice easy walk! Keep up the good work :) xx

  2. Wow, I have just found your blog and think you are doing great! I would love to be consistent and keep a routine, but I struggle with an inner voice that just yells, no! I need to over come that. I wish you all the best along your next 50 days and look forward to reading more.

  3. Thanks Claire! I've really enjoyed it but the darker mornings and evenings are making it a little harder! Good luck for your next 50 days! X

  4. Welcome to the blog Mamadragon! Thanks for your support. I'm not good at being consistent either but I've forced myself to try and it does get easier. Thanks for stopping by! X

  5. WOW well done.  I really really enjoyed this post.  And a stone? Super stuff! You've inspired me more than the Olympics did :-)
    Love ya

  6. wow way to go you xx

  7.  your site is very informative thank you
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  8. Thanks Susan! Great to 'see' you.x

  9. Thanks Liska, I enjoyed writing this post. It nice to stop and take stock of the successes rather than the failures! Hope you are well, I am struggling to keep up with the blogging now that I am back to working full time. I'm on holiday this week so I am going to make a big effort and I'll be stopping by your blog for a visit. x


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