back on the wagon: C25K

You guys have heard me talk about my latest workout/get healthy attempts before. I try really hard to keep up with something once I start it, but the reality is that I just don’t love working out, and I just don’t love healthy foods, so it’s easy to fall off the wagon. I am within the healthy weight and BMI range for my height and I have an okay body image, but I’d still like to feel a bit healthier and be on the lower end of the weight range for my height. And, sure, I’ll admit, I’m a little vain — I want to be able to feel comfortable and attractive in a cute bathing suit on the beach this summer.

A few months ago I was doing the 30-Day Shred. I was keeping up with it really well, and was feeling/seeing a difference… but then I got sick. About a week before my Vegas trip, I came down with a terrible cold that had me out of commission for a while, and I didn’t work out at all that week, after about 20 days of consistently keeping up with the Shred. I went to Vegas and still wasn’t feeling 100% health-wise, but I did feel comfortable in my clothes (and felt that my arms were definitely more toned due to the Shred — WIN!). Then I came home, still couldn’t shake that cold, and didn’t work out again that week. And two weeks is all it takes for me to totally fall off the wagon. I pretty much didn’t work out at all for the rest of March, and got back into my old habits of choosing the unhealthiest thing on the menu when eating out and regretting it an hour later. (I love me some greasy food.) FAIL.

A few weeks ago I kept reading about Couch to 5K on Twitter, and I decided that maybe I should try it. For me, when I don’t have the money for a gym membership, finding something that has some accountability attached to it or a set time line that will help me to stay motivated is key. I’ve never been a runner, but everyone kept saying how great this program is for easing into it. My blog friend Amy raved so much about how it has been empowering and life-changing for her (she has completed two 5K races now! Go, Amy!), so I couldn’t not try it.

There are several C25K apps out there for the iPhone (most run $2.99); I chose the variation by Felt Tip, mostly because I’m a design snob and I liked the way it looked :)

I am about to begin week 3, and while it’s still not what I would call easy for a 100% non-runner like me, it has been doable and, for the most part, an exciting challenge. I really, really hope I can keep up with it and turn a corner in my fitness routine. I will keep you posted.

On top of doing C25K, I’ve been trying to make smarter decisions with the way I eat, particularly after watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I love me some French fries, but I don’t need them every time I eat out, and I need to start looking at the big picture a bit more (because I’m not getting any younger). The realities of how poorly we eat in this country have been setting in for me, and hopefully the impact won’t wear off anytime soon!

Anyone else trying to turn over a new leaf before summer hits?


  1. Wait… you mean french fries aren't a vegetable? Uh oh!

    Thanks for the love! You can totally do this.

  2. Oooh, I'm on week 6. Love C25K. Haven't been able to do it for a week because of other commitments, and then I got sick :-(

    I did it once before, and wound up being able to run 6 miles! And I also was never a runner. What keeps me going is the sense of accomplishment.

  3. I'm on the same boat as you.. I just don't love to excercise or eat healthy. I'm glad you posted this because now I feel more motivated to try something!

  4. I am definitely in the "couch" area of fitness. I might be allergic to running. Even in high school, it took me 13 minutes to "run" the mile. Seriously, can't people WALK it faster than that?

    But the idea of running is appealing. I've tried it twice in my life, and I lasted ONE DAY each time. Pathetic, I know. Should I even bother trying this out? I DO like that iPhone app! :) But I kinda don't want people to see me gasping for air.

  5. You're singing my song. I reached a breaking point in February when I realized I was inching dangerously close to the super chubby zone. I've since (mostly) recommmitted to getting back on the healthy train. I'm doing the Shred twice a week (I can't stomach doing it any more than that — too boring for me) and I'm doing Couch to 5k again. I'm also doing the 200 squat/200 sit-up and 100 push up challenge. (That bit is really recent — I'm just on week two now.) Doing the Shred twice a week, eating healthier and doing other forms of exercise has resulted in "just" a 4 lb loss but my body feels SO much better. I'm wearing pants today that used to give me major muffin top. They fit like a glove today. It's amazing what exercise can do!! Keep it up!

  6. Just bought the Couch to 5K, although I have no actual intention of running any big kids marathon, it's about time something keeps me accountable.

    (Also got their food diary app) I think finding out what I actually eat might be enlightening…

  7. This is one of my goals as well. I downloaded a podcast on my ipod that I'm starting tonight. I've been jogging/walking for a week now.

    I live in a very hilly neighborhood so I have this goal of being able to run up that hill a block over (well, that and running a 5K this summer).

  8. @Melissa – "allergic to running" is pretty much accurate for me. That's why easing into it is the only way I'm going to be able to do it. I am a total slowpoke when I'm actually running, but at least I'm running!

    @Kim – let's do it together!

  9. Okay. I just downloaded the app. Now I actually have to start using it, right? Yikes! I've walked two 1/2 marathons before and LOVED it, but now I want to be able to run a 5k in under 30 minutes. Doable? YES! I just have to get off my butt…

  10. I'm further proof of the awesomeness of C25k! I have always always hated running and have said time and time again that I didn't think I could EVER feel differently about it. In fact, I've never been athletic in ANY way. But one day, like you, I just decided to try it… I had tried jumping into running a few times before (my husband is a long-time runner) but I always gave up quickly. With the C25K, I had a greater focus and when any particular day or week was too difficult (or I got sick), I just repeated it the next week before going ahead. And last weekend I ran my first 5k! I'm now slooowwwly training for a half marathon, though I'm not sure that beyond that I'll stick to such long distances. And did I mention I actually like running now? :) Not every single time I go, but most times. And I swear to you that almost every single time I go out and do it, I feel a little bit better (or less awful :)), a little bit faster, a little bit less overwhelmed…

    Ok, that was really long, sorry about that.

    My main thought though is not to push yourself too hard/too fast–I've heard that's the reason a lot of beginner runners give up. I still run super slowly, but faster than I had been! It will get better!

  11. ooh, i'm so glad i stumbled on to your post, i've been nursing a hamstring injury for about 6 months and i've been trying to get back into running. i can't wait to try out this app and see how it goes.

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