How I lost weight with the Couch to 5K

A reader left me a message the other day and asked,

When you did your couch to 5k did you diet before, during or after?

It’s a good question and, I think, an appropriate one to address at this point on the blog because this week is the THREE YEAR anniversary of when I started the Couch to 5K.

Before going up in a balloon at the 2010 Great Falls Balloon Festival. I started the Couch to 5K program that weekend.

Three years after the Couch to 5K.

The Great Falls Balloon Festival is a special time because it was after that weekend I decided to start running. :) I weighed 195 pounds, and went for long walks at night after work, but hadn’t done much to change my diet at that point.

The first change I made — why I remember the date — was that I started the Couch to 5K program.

Very shortly thereafter (maybe a week or two) I started the Weight Watchers program though work. It wasn’t the first time that I had done WW, but I know I was successful that time because I looked at it as a lifestyle change and not a diet.

Managing what you eat  is so important (as you know). What I liked about weight watchers was that they really guided you to a lifestyle. I liked having a support group to meet up with, though I didn’t do the program the whole time I was losing weight (just the first 6 months or so, then I had the momentum to keep going on my own).

I really never focused on counting calories. And in the past during this blog when I have counted calories, it’s been a bust.

With the Weight Watchers they get you to focus on about points. What I like the most about the points program is that most vegetables and some fruits were 0 points. So you I built meals around filling up on these high fiber, high vitamin foods. That makes budgeting out your sweets over the day feel much more reasonable. It really never felt like a diet.

I know the reason why I was successful three years ago was because I focused on building healthy habits I could stick to. I found things about being healthy that made me happy. And I focused on them.

It hasn’t always been perfect or easy. I was able to lose 50 pounds at my lowest point in 2011, but in the past 6 months I’ve gained about 15 pounds back. I’m still active at least 5 days a week, so I don’t beat myself up about being a pound or two overweight.

Good luck on your journey! Hang in there, because every day is a chance to do it right again.

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Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

By day, I'm the User Experience and Audience Manager for the Bangor Daily News. By night, I'm a new mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, our daughter Felicity, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.