READER REPORT:

Overtaking everyone on the couch

BEN HAMILTON
Last updated 05:00 20/03/2014

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From couch potato to running bean

Confessions of a running junkie I'm learning to run Overtaking everyone on the couch From binge drinker to Ironwoman Pushing my body forward The reluctant runner After a decade off, I just do it Finding my stride and myself Addicted to running Running's the best 'drug' on the market

Going back to the middle of 2012, I was 19 years old, overweight and troubled by self-confidence issues.

I had been overweight for most of my life, playing rugby (front row forward as you can imagine) and also training in karate two times a week kept my weight from completely ballooning out of control.

I still clocked in on the scales at a whopping 125kg in early November 2012. It was the first time I weighed myself in over a year and I was disgusted.

The reason I decided to weigh myself was because that day I had been invited to attempt my 1st Degree Black Belt Grading. This was something I had dreamed about for so long, so I knew I was going to jump at the opportunity.

With lots of encouragement from people close to me I began running in order to get fit for what would be the most physically and mentally demanding challenge I would have to face in my life. This wasn't easy.

I began running small amounts, like 2km four times a week.

It wasn't the runs that was the hardest thing though. It was getting into the mental state to run. It's easy to take a day off because it's raining or cold.

I decided that if the black belt was something I really wanted, then I would have to push myself to things I never thought I could achieve.

As the days and weeks passed, I eventually increased my run distances, alternating between 10km runs and 5km runs every second day.

The physical changes were massive. Along with an essentially no fat and sugar diet, I cut down to 90kg. I was happy, I was healthy and I was fit.

When the day finally came for me to attempt my black belt grading I felt I had done everything in my power to get myself to a level worthy of such a rank.

The day went perfect and I wouldn't change a single thing.

Jump forward to 2014 and I'm still running, nowhere near the frequency I was doing in 2013 but enough to keep my weight managable and be healthy.

My advice to anyone reading this who is thinking about running in order to lose weight - don't think about how you will look while you are running, just think about how you are overtaking everyone on the couch.


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