Carole's Running for Weight Loss Success Story
Try Running to Lose Weight

Read Carole’s hints and tips on how to lose weight by combining running and calorie counting.

Carole's Running for Weight Loss Success Story

Carole, Age 50, Height 5ft 7½in
Start Weight 15st 9lbs
Current Weight 11st 7lbs
Weight Lost 4st 2lbs
Inches Lost 22½
Working to Rate of Loss Average of 1-2lbs per week

I hugely regret not measuring myself from Day One, but a few months in. However, in that time, I’ve lost a total of 22.5” from my hips, waist and bust.

About Carole

Happily married with two grown up children, Richard (24) lives in London and our 17 year old daughter Fran currently lives at home with us, but she’ll soon be off to University.

Happily, she’s a size 8, so I cook her meals separately from what I eat, as I know that a bowl of home made soup or a small jacket potato simply wouldn’t be enough for her after a long day’s studying at 6th form!

But she’s also happy to cook things for herself or eats out with friends, so I’m lucky there.

Fran has also discovered running and often joins us during the week, which is great fun.

"My husband Ian has supported me throughout my wlr journey and because he’s eating what I eat (actually a bit more, because he’s a bloke!), he’s lost over 3 stone!"

He’s taken up running again, so he’s helped me with my training. 

Between us, we have had to buy a lot of new clothes during the past 18 months, but at least our local charity shops have benefited!  

I’m a Project Manager with the NHS, with an ultra busy, but very satisfying job working with several medics and a large community team.

I need to attend a lot of meetings each week and regular training courses, so food can become a second thought if I allowed it to.

There’s plenty of running around during the day, although some projects require a lot of concentration and sitting, staring at a PC screen.

I’m awake by 5am every morning (usually to avoid rushed mornings!) but I’m lucky enough to be home by 4.30pm, so I either go running in the evening or take the dog for a walk. 

During the summer, I’ll be in the garden, attacking the weeds and cutting the grass.  We have heavy, clay soil here, so it’s hard work!

As a Project Manager for the NHS, I find my eating regime pretty easy to fit in with work. 

I take in soup or salad, or I’ll bring a loaf of Gluten Free bread in on the Monday (I’m wheat intolerant) and lots of different fillings and salads to keep in the office fridge.  Easy. 

There’s always fruit on my desk and if I really get a sweet tooth, there’s a bag of boiled sweets in my draw.  Not nice enough to eat all at once, but they do the trick instead of resorting to chocolate.

Office parties are difficult.  They hold regular lunchtime buffets – a table heaving with sausage rolls, sandwiches, cakes, crisps, dips, etc.  But because I’m wheat intolerant, I can hardly eat any of these items anyway.  I usually bring in something that I can eat on such occasions.

Dieting History

  • Weight Watchers – twice tried.  Twice failed!
  • Slimfast – Tried for 3 miserable weeks!
  • Slimming World – Tried for nearly 2 months.  Failed!
  • Atkins’s Diet - An almost non-starter.  It felt so unhealthy – even at nearly 16st!
  • Cambridge Diet – Lasted a whole day!
  • Non-Combination Diet – I kept trying with this one, but it was so unsociable!
  • Grapefruit Diet – Lasted erm, half a day I think!
  • Cabbage Diet – Please see Grapefruit diet above!!

Weight Watchers was an absolute disaster for me. Both times. (I’m a sucker for punishment and tried it all again after a 5 year gap).

They didn’t really teach you about portion control. So I ate what I thought was a healthy diet, counting their points and feeling good about myself during the week.

However, when the Weigh-In day arrived, it would be disastrous. Everyone else in the class would lose weight week in, week out. And I couldn’t. I would simply stay the same. 

"Every single week. I would often go home in tears, failing to understand what I was doing wrong."

After enduring this torture far longer than I should have done, the Class Leader had finally had enough. On the last visit, she sighed loudly in front of everyone (cheek!) and suggested that I should perhaps make a visit to my GP and ask for a thyroid test.

I remember wishing (more like praying!) that I had an underactive thyroid to explain why I couldn’t lose weight. Well, surprise, surprise. I didn’t. I was perfectly healthy. Just imperfectly overweight.

This is when I tried all the other diet fads on an almost annual basis.

"Every January (after over-eating every single Christmas) I would stare at my ever-growing body in the mirror and ever-tightening waistbands and promise myself that by the summer, I would be THIN again."

I broke my promise every single year until I discovered wlr.

The problem I found with these ‘fad’ diets, was that they were just telling me what to do instead of teaching me what I was doing wrong. So how on earth could I possibly learn from them?

I can truly understand why most dieters gain more weight when they come off these harsh eating regimes. They haven’t learned WHAT causes the weight to go on in the first place.

How Being Overweight Has Affected You…

Losing weight has done far more for me than simply get me to a size 12. 

"I feel far healthier than I have EVER done.">

If you had looked into my handbag two years ago, you’d see it stocked better than Boots the Chemist. 

My ailments included: continual headaches, stomach aches, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, bloatedness, tiredness, anxiety attacks, cramps, etc. etc.  I was a walking disaster.

In fact, it became so bad that whenever we went out to friends to eat, I’d have to think up an excuse to come home (to use our loo) and then going back for the dessert.  Every Christmas, I’d spend more time upstairs in the loo than downstairs with the family. 

My system was simply unable to cope with the sheer amount of calories/fat/carbs I was piling into myself. 

"Within a month of joining wlr, these minor ailments vanished into thin air.  I’m surprised Boots haven’t gone into liquidation!!"

And my overall mood has changed too. I’m more positive-thinking, happier and because of the regular running/exercise, I don’t get stressed as much as I used to. Happy days!

Having said the above, I have lost a few friends during my journey.  It would appear that an overweight friend is good to have around. 

As soon as I started losing weight and running regularly, the invites from a couple of friends just dried up.

"However, on the plus side of friendships, I’ve met some amazing friends through wlr and regularly meet up with them and their families." 

My social diary has never been so busy and I enjoy the fact that we all have something in common. 

Motivation to Lose Weight?

I was really fed up with being fat. I hated having my photo taken – in fact; there are very few holiday snaps of me, as I always hid behind the camera.

"I also hated the fact that I had to go shopping for clothes in “special” shops, which only catered for overweight customers."

I wanted to just be able to go into any retail shop, pick up something from a hanger and know it would fit me.

A holiday in France before I joined wlr broke the final straw for me….I decided I wanted to buy a pair of jeans. And we shopped for days without finding a single pair that would fit.

Oh the despair of standing in the changing room, pulling on something that was never going to fit me in a month of Sundays and knowing that the group of friends we went on holiday with were all standing outside waiting to see me emerge from the curtains wearing the jeans that I’d made them traipse for miles to buy.

I found a pair eventually, but they were enormous – size 24 I think. Remembering how I felt back then still sends shivers through me, even now.

How Weight Loss Resources Helps

I fill in my diary every single day – even taking my laptop on holiday so that I can continue to do so. 

"If I’m nowhere near a PC, then I’ll use the wlr jotters.  The diary keeps me on track and to be honest, I’d be lost without it."

I love the history report, which keeps me from “saving” too many un-eaten calories. I have a habit of doing that, which for me, results in a plateau, so I have to keep a close eye on this.

"I enjoy seeing my graph continue downwards."

Although I’ve reached my ‘goal’ I’m still wishing to lose just a wee bit more.  It’s a habit that’s hard to break, but I’m always sensible and I’ll stop when I need to.

I’ve found the boards really helpful too.  At the beginning I had so many questions, which other members were only too happy to help me with. 

You realise you’re not struggling alone and that whatever lows I’m experiencing, others are going through it too.  And of course it’s lovely to share the highs!

Why Do You Think wlr Has Helped You Lose Weight Where Other Diets Have Failed?

Because it allows me to eat exactly what I want, providing I stay within my calorie allowance. 

"And as I became slimmer and fitter, I naturally started to choose foods that were good for me.  It all happened naturally, without being ‘told’ what to do."

This of course meant that if I wanted to cheat, the ONLY person I would be cheating would be me.  Not the ‘system’.  So I never ever cheated the food diary. 

It also taught me what I can ‘earn’ through exercise and encourages me to exercise in order to have a bit more freedom over what I can eat. 

So simple, yet I just couldn’t see this before I knew wlr.

I’d heard about calorie counting, but to me, this method always seemed laborious. 

"But using the tools on wlr makes a whole world of difference.  It’s been a really enjoyable journey and not once a chore."

In addition to eating less, wlr also shows you the benefits of drinking more water and eating more fruit and vegetables.

The Nutrition Report shows me at a glance how many carbs / fat / protein that I’ve eaten on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  This makes me interested in what I’m eating and how it affects my overall health and fitness. 

"Do all of this repeatedly and it just becomes second nature."

An illustration of this was a recent trip out for the day.  We both felt hungry, so we stopped at a greengrocer’s and bought this huge bag of mixed fruit and a couple of bottles of water. 

It wasn’t until some time later we realised what we had done automatically – and how well we remembered our ‘old’ selves, who would have stopped at a garage to buy crisps, a chocolate bar and bottle of fizzy drink. 

What Has Kept You Motivated?

I think the only time I’ve struggled is when I hit not one, but two plateaus.

This frustrated me so much that I decided to run a weekly thread on the Advice/Support board called “Plateau City” to reach out to others going through the same nightmare.

"I was delighted to see I wasn’t alone and started to research into this phenomenon."

After a few weeks, I was able to offer support and guidance to others and we were all able to help each other through it. 

Carole Now

Major Changes

I have a lot more confidence.  Not only about myself, but about what I can accomplish, both at work and at home.

I like the feeling that when I meet someone for the first time, they’re not automatically thinking “she’s big”.  I love running up the stairs at work, when all my colleagues are struggling and out of breath! 

"Since joining wlr, my lifestyle has changed in a major way."

At my biggest, I would be happy to spend most weekends eating what I considered to be luxury foods or treats as a reward for working hard during the week and curling up on the sofa to read the papers and various books.

These ‘treats’ would be croissants, triple decker sandwiches, crisps, nuts, cakes, biscuits and at least a chocolate bar every single day. Sometimes two. And fizzy drinks. Oh the shame…

My only exercise would be walking from the car door to the kerb. Seriously!

I had joined a gym, but could never get motivated to keep it going.

And when I broke into a sweat, I didn’t like the feeling and therefore slowed down whatever exercise I was attempting in order to avoid sweating!  No wonder my weight crept up each year…

Now?  A total change I’m delighted to say! 

"I run about 150 miles a month and have joined my local Running Club, The New Forest Runners."

I’m currently training to take part in the Reading Half Marathon on 29 March 2009 and so far, I’ve taken part in two 10k running events, which were either cross country or multi terrain.

I’ve even introduced running to my work colleagues.  I’ve gathered together a group of nurses and we’re all doing the 5k Race For Life on June 21 in Bournemouth.  

"On the days that I don’t run, I do an aerobics class or I take the dog for a vigorous walk along the clifftops where I live."

Sunday mornings, my husband and I are up at 6am and out running.  It’s the best way to start the day – no one is around and we watch the sun rise over the sea on the way back.  Magical.

"I’ve grown to enjoy eating what I’ve earned."

I like the fact that I have control over my body and that if I want to eat a dessert or a bar of chocolate, then I have to earn it first. 

It’s amazing how wlr has taught me to think before I put any food item into my mouth.  The “old me” would have just eaten until I was full without a second’s hesitation to what I was doing. 

My taste in food has changed too.  A take-away is a rarity.  I haven’t eaten fish & chips in all the time I’ve been on wlr. 

They’re just way too calorific and greasy now.  A Friday night treat would be a Waitrose chilled Indian meal – something that’s actually far tastier than a take away (and less oily) and I know exactly how many calories it contains. 

Exercise Changes

I’ve learned to try and diversify my exercise as much as possible, as this really helps with losing those stubborn pounds.

I go running three to four times per week.  I also do an aerobics class each week too, as this helps toning – especially my arms.

Other routines will include circuit training, free weights, power walking and cycling when better weather conditions permit! 

It’s odd – but reading that last paragraph back, I felt I was reading about someone else…I was such a couch potato before wlr and the change has been pretty dramatic.

What You Love About Your Body Now

I’m happy with my mirror reflection! I love my clothes fitting properly and that a size 12 sits happily on me with a little room to spare up top. I enjoy seeing my collar bone and feeling my hip bone when I lay down!

I also love shopping for clothes now – I always had to be dragged shopping before.

Oh – and I love my rings jingle-jangling on my fingers! Before wlr, I couldn’t even take them off.

Carole's Tips

I think the main thing is to keep ‘in the zone’. 

To keep a vision in your head of why you’re doing this and to view your journey as a change in your eating habits.  24/7.  For life.  wlr isn’t a diet. 

I can’t simply return to the kind of eating habits I had before wlr – and I certainly wouldn’t wish to.  I don’t want to trade in my size 12 figure and healthy system for anything – and there is no food on this earth that is worth risking that.  

Start a Free Trial Today

Use the wlr Exercise Diary to track your progress and add any extra exercise calories to your daily quota. Chat to like-minded people on the wlr Runners message board. Try them free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by wlr members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.

Lose a Stone for Christmas Challenge

If you enjoyed this article, try our newsletter. It's free.

Receive the latest on what works for weight loss straight to your inbox. We won't share your email address. Privacy policy