Everyone says that walking is good for you and can help you lose weight, but is that really true? After my car broke down I was forced to walk everywhere but being the glass half full kinda gal that I am, I took this as an experiment to see if I could get fit just by walking.
I used to walk everywhere, I only passed my driving test a few years ago. Slowly over time I found myself using the car for everything. If I needed milk, the shop was only a ten-minute walk around the corner, but I jumped in the car. School run was done in the car. Everything was done via the car. Slowly over the years I found myself getting out of shape. I didn’t bother with the gym because I never needed to go in the past, why would I need it now? It wasn’t like I lay about the house all day. I ran about after the kids and the dogs. But there is a big different between taking the dogs for a dander and having to walk as your only way to get places.
The car broke down a week before the kids started back to school but we didn’t ave to go anywhere. Week 1 really started when I had to get two kids to school on time. Normally if we are running a bit late it’s fine. The car can move a lot quicker than my two legs. But if you are running late and you are walking, it’s a different ball game. All of a sudden I was forced to wrangle children down to school and hoof it back home again. This trip for me takes an hour. I would be forced to do this twice a day. If I wanted to be quicker than an hour, I’d have to power walk up the hill to try and shave a few minutes off the time. I honestly thought I was going to die by the middle of the week. My body was not used to doing this anymore. After only a couple of days of trekking up and down the hill, I was forced to take a nap in the afternoon or a bedtime of 9pm.
By the beginning of week 2, I was more prepared for the struggle of the walk. I changed my usual fashion trainers for a running shoe to help support my feet and legs a bit better. I tried to be more organised because I knew that after dinner, I would crash with tiredness. I prepared myself for early bedtimes and the early start that would come with it. I did notice that I was sleeping better, despite the tiredness. I thought that after a few days I would finally adjust to having to walk everywhere but I still couldn’t get into the groove. Worse still, I was sweating like a champion. By the end of the week I was praying for a miracle (or a million pounds) so that I could get my car back on the road or buy a new one.
I didn’t win the Euro Millions over the weekend so I was forced to start the cycle all over again. By this stage I was getting pretty pissed that I still had no car. But the school run still needed to be done. I was more annoyed that I had to walk to the shopping centre (on the other side of town) and get a taxi home with the groceries. I did notice that I had a bit more money because I wasn’t putting £40 of petrol in the car every week. By this stage my body had adjusted slightly and it wasn’t such a drama having to do an hour round journey on foot. My kids weren’t complaining as much either and they seemed to be sleeping a lot better too. Although my youngest needed a nap everyday he was still sleeping at night, win-win. We all had begun craving more healthy food rather than the usual crap. Dinners became mountains of veg or salads with healthy meat and the thought of a take-away make us all feel sick.
This week was the week that I found my groove! I looked forward to the walk to clear my head before a days work. I didn’t bother with headphones or music, I just pounded up and down the hill and enjoyed a good breakfast when I got in. I didn’t need a nap in the afternoon anymore and bedtime was a more respectable time of 10:30pm. My heart rate had settled into a steady rhythm and my sleep cycle app was showing my that I was getting a really good sleep. Over the course of the month my daily steps levelled out around 9,000 steps per day. And that was just when I remembered to carry my phone around in my pocket, it was probably a lot higher. At the end of the week, I decided to weigh myself and take some measurements. I lost 4kg (nearly 9lbs) just by ditching the car. I lost around an inch of my tummy and thighs too.
This is not a drastic weight loss but it is a win. Keep in mind, I done no other exercise during this time, I was too fecking tired! And I didn’t make a big changes to my diet. I didn’t count calories, I just ate want I wanted. If I had added a weekly exercise class and cut out the nasty foods from day one, I probably would have lost even more. I hope this will inspire you to make some changes to be healthier and happier. The loss of the car might have been a big deal but it helped to make some small but positive changes to my health.