Thinking of Running Made Me Fat(ter)

Julie Stubblefield BeforeFor the longest time, I wanted desperately to change my body.  I was tired, grumpy, lethargic, camera-shy, isolated, and more.  It seemed that my entire Facebook news feed contained exciting posts about running.  “Come run with me!” people would write.  “I just completed 2.25 miles” their apps would update.  Media was full of running ads, “inspirational” running pictures, and stories that tugged on your heartstrings.  As someone who was already heavy and out of shape, I can confidently tell you that just thinking about running made me fat(ter).

How could that be?  Well, for starters, being heavy makes it pretty damn hard to run.  No, really.  Achy joints, easily out of breath, and the “jiggle factor” are just the beginning.  (Side note:  the jiggle factor is the amount of jiggle associated with fat on the run and the awareness that you have of everyone seeing it.  If you have any extra jiggle, SURELY you can relate to this sentiment.)

So, yes, running is hard when you are heavy.  But then you see all of these phrases, “Running is healthy!”  “Run to lose weight!”  “I run to eat!”  “Run through the pain”  “No pain, no gain” and so on.  Then began the inner conflict.  I wanted to change my body.  Running was supposed to be “good for me.”  But running hurt, and I was aware of my ineptitude, and running hurt (wait, I said that already).  Isn’t it supposed to hurt and be the hardest thing to make it be worth the struggle?  Some would say so.  And what did I do about it?  Not.a.damn.thing.  My fear, my hesitation, my avoidance of the jiggle factor kept me on the sofa.  In my eyes, running was the only way I could change my body.  Let’s face it, running is everywhere.  And, in my town, there are numerous races and a lot of my friends run.

webIMG_9842-1Well, guess what!?  I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to run to change your body.  In fact, I achieved this look without running once.  Yep, I mean it!  All of my clients know I will run during two instances in my life:  1.) if someone is chasing me  and 2.) if I’m playing with my kids.  I am not a runner.  I am a fat burner.

So how did I do it?  I’m so glad you asked!

I walked away from traditional teachings about cardio and calorie counting.  I live a life full of vibrant food that has few labels.  And I lift weights…heavy ones. Do I look like a body builder?  Nope.  Am I shredded?  Nope.  Do I rock a pair of jeans?  Hell yes.  Can I wear whatever is in my closet on any given day?  You betcha.


Here are my top tips to change your body WITHOUT running:

  • Go heavy, hard, and fast – Lift heavy weights in a metabolic conditioning style, resting frequently, when your body screams at you to.  Stop at 20 minutes.  You can burn about 350-500 calories in that time frame.  Seriously.  Repeat 2-3 times per week.  Honestly.
  • Ditch cardio – no, really.  Long-duration cardio is for maintenance only, and that is even questionable.
  • Find ways to relax – consider this the calmness to your intensity in the first tip.  Walk, do yoga, get a massage, take a bath.  Do this frequently.
  • Do NOT starve yourself – this is our society’s biggest issue.  We are so afraid to eat that we don’t and that actually makes us store fat (ugh!).  Fill your body with lean proteins, lots of fibrous veggies, and healthy starches.  In other words, most of your grocery shopping should come from the perimeter of the store and very little should actually be in your pantry (your fridge and freezer, on the other hand, should be stuffed).
  • When in doubt, stuff your face with protein and veggies and consider that meal a success.  Quit stressing over bacon…eat it!  Be happy with what you eat.  Feel full, satisfied, and use that food to FUEL your BODY to move it, to think, to love, to LIVE.
  • Sleep in when you can – this would be a direct order from your trainer to sleep as much as you can, whenever you can.  Sleep is our fat loss buddy.  And, yes, sometimes it means picking to sleep instead of getting up early to workout.  Whoa.

Want to learn more about how to change your body in a way that’s not painful? Grab a bunch of FREE resources right here.

The best discussion happens here; share your thoughts!