BGIM goes running…sorta

Last fall I went to the doctor for some seemingly small reason and learned that for the first time ever my blood pressure was elevated. It wasn’t in the danger zone and frankly I was more annoyed by the doc’s insistence that it wasn’t a “really” bad thing. Trust me, while my mother’s high blood pressure didn’t exactly kill her, a decade plus of high blood pressure wasn’t exactly a plus either when she was critically ill. I take things like high blood pressure pretty seriously since being Black, slightly overweight and having high blood pressure is one of those norms in the Black community that I am convinced plays a huge role in our leaving this dusty rock sooner than our white counterparts.

Since last fall, I have been quietly making changes in my eating habits, while I am not sure I will ever go back to the vegetarian life, meat continues to play an ever decreasing role in my diet. Most of the mindless snacking that I am prone to doing under stress has been replaced with more intentional eating and healthier snacks. Raw nuts anyone? I broke up with Starbucks and gave up my daily coffee like after work beverage and my digestive tract has been thanking me ever since.  The results after several months are that I am no longer gaining weight, my weight has stabilized and as I learned a couple of weeks ago, my blood pressure is back in the comfort zone.

Now I wish all these changes were enough but the truth, they are not. I need consistent physical activity and more importantly that extra 15 pounds that is comfortably settled in my mid-section has got to go. Mid-section excess is more than just unsightly when trying to look sweet and sexy, it seems it can cause health issues and I am finally willing to acknowledge that and actually do something about it.

The problem is that deep down, I am still the same person with the dubious distinction of failing gym in high school for three years straight. I hate gyms; I am not a work out gal. Yet 40 year old me no longer responds to just diet changes alone and while yoga is the one physical thing that I love, it is not enough. So I have been trying to figure out what I can do that can fit into my life more or less every day, and won’t cost me an arm and a leg. Enter running.

It seems most of my friends are into running, on the surface what is not to love? Relatively cheap, and it seems easy to do. After all, the last time I ran I am pretty sure it involved catching a train or bus in Chicago…back in 2002.

Getting ready to run
Getting ready to run

So yesterday I grabbed the ole man and we made our way over to the local cemetery that also serves as a local trail and broke out into a light jog. You can start laughing at this point. Lawdie B… that was really uncomfortable. For starters, I was jiggling, I was trying to focus on my breath and all I could notice was my ample derriere going up and down. OK. Then there was the twins known in adult language as breasts. Slap, slap, slap. How is that even possible, I don’t exactly have a rack, yet that up and down jiggle was actually hurting me. Lastly the knees, ouch squared. Let’s just say that run/jog ended quickly and instead I went for the power walk around the trail that ended with a mild sweat and some pressure in my legs.

Not a bad first step and thanks to Mother Nature deciding we should have rain today, I don’t have to try it again today. But make no mistake, I will try again…so BGIM went running, or was it more of a prance, gallop or sashay?

Change isn’t always easy or wanted but sometimes we do it anyway. So here is to new beginnings. Besides if running doesn’t stick, I can get some leg weights and take up prancercising instead.  


Note: I know for some people talk of diet/life changes is hard but as always this is just one Black girl in Maine telling her story. People need to do what works best for them and their bodies. I know my family history and I know what is best for me.

10 thoughts on “BGIM goes running…sorta”

  1. Thank you all, I am definitely on the hunt for the good sports bra and have been looking into that couch to 5K. I will keep y’all posted.

  2. You can do this! Start slow and definitely start with a couch to 5K program. Sometimes it seems WAY easier than you need, but going slow eliminates crazy injuries from jumping in too fast. Nothing wrong with slow (I’m trying my best to feel good about my slowness). My running group has ladies all the way into their 70s.

    Clothing-wise, compression tights will change your life!! I used to work out in the boot cut workout pants, but once I started wearing the compression capris (from Old Navy – not Lululemon or anything special), things stopped trying to escape on the run. For a heavy duty sports bra, you may have to shop online, or at a running store – the Fiona bra by Moving Comfort is a fave amongst my BGR group, it gets the job done for real, nobody moves..nobody gets hurt :). Sierra Trading Post online usually has them for sale at a great price.

  3. Hi Shay…I run as you know but I still have to be careful with injuries esp since the older I get the less wear and tear the body can endure AND I wanna be able to run later in life for fun because (as much as it hurts to get back in shape) it’s the only thing my body responds quickly to.

    Now, I tend to bike as much as I run which can be hard too sometimes but less impact so no knee/shin pain. Do you have a bike? I got mine off Craigslist. For running, the more time on your feet usually counts more than anything so keep at it….go long and ignore pace/speed.

    I know several friends who love the Couch to 5K program. And, as everyone said, get a good sports bra lol jiggling can be distracting. I’m happy you’re trying and I’m sure, 60 days from now, you’ll look and feel great(er)!!

  4. hi I’m new to your blog but really appreciate it. and on the running….perhaps look for the app “couch to 5k” which is a run/walk program. I started it last year. It’s awesome (especially the british NHS version which really holds your hand). I still haven’t run a 5k though, but I’m out pounding the pavement and loving the challenge (and I lost 18 lbs in the last 12 months).

  5. Get a good sports bra. They work wonders for keeping the girls, umm, contained. Nothing worse than trying to run and getting smacked. I hate running. Loathe it. But I always come back to it when I need to get back and shape or just need to get in exercise. It’s a great all over body exercise!

  6. I am a running convert (a new runner is like an ex-smoker, I’m also one of those) and got started (and still do) intervals. Couch 2 5K is the most popular one, and now I just mix it up and might do 8 run/1 walk, or 4/1 or 10/2 or whatever. I do it for health and not weight, and I feel so much better since picking up running. And Maine Running Co is awesome and sells moving comfort bras, which are GREAT. MRC is NOT one of those jocks-only stores, they are nothing but awesome when ever I or any of my other nontraditional athlete friends have been.

  7. Every day the sun rises and God graciously gives us a “do over” Don’t let the discouragement demon get you down….Good luck!

  8. Powerwalking should be sufficient, but hey, if you insist on running…get an industrial strength bra. I hate running. Walking seems to be the most practical and least painful way to go, and if you have any speed at all, you will get results.
    I got the Zumba cds, because it looked so fun and kinda sexy, but ugh, it seems I am not intelligent enough to learn dance steps. I got a bike (not the stationary kind) and didn’t know what saddle sores are, but I do now. I will try that again, I was a pretty avid cycler until I got a drivers license and about 50 pounds ago. I’m okay with my weight, more or less, but I do worry about health.
    Good luck on your exercising journey…and do keep us posted!

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