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Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Week 1

MiNDFOOD’s associate editor Carolyn Enting begins an eleven-month journey back to wellness with the goal of dropping a dress size and running a half marathon.

Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Week 1


Hi, my name is Carolyn and my goal is to regain wellness, lose 10kg and run a half marathon without injuring myself.

Like most women, I’ve always struggled with my weight. My silhouette is curvy: I have big boobs, a sway back and my stomach has NEVER been flat. Many times over the years, I’ve been asked if I’m expecting. Here are my current stats.

Age: 43
Height: 163cm
Weighing in: 74kg
Facts: Can’t fit most clothes in my wardrobe. Feel uncomfortable as well as lethargic. Breathless when jogging. Carrying injuries that need attention.
Status: Officially overweight and unfit.

Here’s how it happened. 17 months ago. I moved from Wellington to Auckland. My lifestyle changed dramatically and I piled on the pounds; I’d moved from a hilltop house that could only be reached by climbing 92 stairs to a city apartment with a drive-in garage and lift.

I began eating a lot more too, because I’m lucky enough to be invited to lots of wonderful events where delicious wine and food is always on offer. I love wine and food and feel it is disrespectful to the chef as well as wasteful if I don’t consume everything presented to me, which is a lot. It’s really not surprising that I’m currently overweight!

I’m also not moving enough for several reasons, including lack energy, time and inclination. My knee and lower back have also been giving me trouble, and that has been my excuse, not to mention a bit of a handicap. You see, three years ago I ran a half marathon all by myself. What I mean by “all by myself” was that I did it with no outside advice and thought I was so clever because all you have to do is put on some running shoes and run, right? Wrong.

To put this into context, I’d never run before. I hated running at school and was always among the last five stragglers in the class to cross the finish line. Then one day, my man got me to hit the tarmac with him. I grumbled and moaned the whole way. When we’d finished the run he said, ‘how far do you think we ran?’ I shook my head, gasping for breath. I had no idea. “5km,” was his response. Suddenly, I was excited. I could run 5km!

So I completed the half marathon (it was a joy to run) but injured my knee in the process, because, as it turns out, I wasn’t using all the right muscle groups required for running efficiently and effectively (namely the glutes). Instead, when running, I was mainly using my quads, which was putting pressure on my knees and back.

This was revealed to me when I finally sought professional help from Sports Lab, who specialise in sport-specific biomechanics and rehab. They have assessed my biomechanics, including my stride angle, and have put their findings in a detailed 10-page report.

The good news is that, by working to strengthen my glutes (among other things), I can change this. I’m also sick of feeling lethargic, sore and not being able to fit my wardrobe.

So, no more excuses. It’s a new year – 2014 – and I’ve enlisted the help of the experts: running coach, Gaz Brown of Getting Running, and Vaughan Craddock and Aaron Jackson of Sports Lab. They’re going to get me running the right way, as well as fit enough to run another half marathon. Part of that is losing the flab.

I’ll be sharing what I learn as I go, so you can tune into my regular blog which will detail my journey.

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