A challenging fundraiser can help you lose weight while you support others
By Lisa Spodak ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com
Provided by WorldNow
Starting weight: 209
Last week: 216
Week 16 weigh in: 212
Weekly change: -4
Overall change: +3
I definitely feel like I’m finally hitting my stride again – four pounds down this week! And that puts me three pounds ahead of my one-pound-per-week goal to hit 190 pounds by my birthday!
In addition to following a meal plan this week, I also managed to make it to the gym six times, which I’m sure made a big difference.
In 2002, a friend of mine started talking about doing the Avon Walk (which, at that time, was a 3-day 60-mile walk) and wanting me to do it with her. I was intrigued by the idea because in addition to it being a substantial physical challenge, I was inspired by my mother, who is a breast cancer survivor.
We made the commitment and started walking… and walking… and walking.
It was fun, a great way to explore New York City (We walked to Coney Island! We crossed the Brooklyn Bridge! We walked to New Jersey!), and so good for us, too.
Then the weather was so bad on the weekend of the event that we only got to walk one day before the rest of the Walk was canceled. I knew I could finish and wanted desperately to finish, so without too much thought, I signed up again for the following year (though the format changed to a 2-day marathon-and-a-half walk).
After a much dryer and more pleasant experience the next year, I was hooked and went on to do the Walk every year, often multiple times in different cities around the country.
In retrospect, I’m grateful for that miserable first Walk because I sometimes think if it had been an unmitigated success, I would have considered my project “done” and moved on to other things. Now I have something special and rewarding to look forward to every year.
This is the perfect time of year to start a training program (you can see in this example from Avon how they build up gradually from 14 miles in a week to more than 40), so the only thing left to do is to find the right event to train for!
Here are some long distance events for you to check out:
- Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
- Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure
- AIDS Lifecycle Ride to End AIDS (this website is specifically for the event in California; you can Google to find other similar events
- The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training
- You can also turn any marathon or half-marathon (running or walking) into a fundraiser for your favorite cause; simply register and then ask people to sponsor you in honor of your chosen charity.
Some helpful resources:
- Sample training schedules (these are from Avon; other sites probably have them as well): http://www.avonwalk.org/new-york/training-plans.html
- The Couch to 5K will help you gradually build up from not running at all to running a 5K (there’s even an iPhone app!): http://www.c25k.com/
- Google Maps pedometer (this is the site I use to plan out all my training walks and to tell how far I’ve walked in a day): http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/
- Map My Walk (a site for mapping out routes, tracking your progress, and connecting with other walkers/runners): http://www.mapmywalk.com/
- Prevention Magazine’s Walking Workout: http://www.prevention.com/health/fitness/walking/walk-off-a-size-in-4-weeks/article/79a798f603127210VgnVCM10000030281eac