Small Lifestyle Changes Can Make Big Differences

Muz Khan ready for the BUPA run

On Sunday 15th May 2011, I will be running the BUPA Great Manchester Run. You may be wondering why am I doing this hard task of running 10km, have I got nothing better to do! What’s my motivation for doing this?


Well, let me begin by saying, that I have never run before apart from playing sports when I was at school, sports such as football, badminton, snooker, long jump, 800 metres, table tennis and more recently, last October/November, when I led a group of English, Scottish and British Bangladeshis on a historic 377 miles bicycle tour from Sylhet to Cox’s Bazaar.


So why I have taken up running now you may ask?

After my return from the cycle tour in November 2010, many of you will know that my father left this world, this was a massive loss to me personally as I have been very close to him.  Then 2 weeks after the funeral it was my youngest sister’s wedding, and a further 2 weeks later I was in Bangladesh again with younger brother, sister, cousins, nieces and nephews to feed the poor.  The shirni (feeding poor people) is a traditional activity usually performed within 40 days of someone passing away.  In the space of 12 weeks I had been comfort eating, eating so much that I had put on 1 stone 6 pounds in body weight without even realising. This increase in body weight was causing me some discomfort.


Enough is Enough

One day I woke up and said to myself, ‘ENOUGH is ENOUGH’, and went for a short run in Alexandra Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Oldham, which received over £3.5m worth of improvements in the early part of the last decade. I was so disappointed with myself, that this short run was so hard and I walked most of it, never mind running.  After many months of persuasion from Phil Buckley, I had taken my first steps and I couldn’t even run properly.  Anyway I took Phil’s advice and decided to take up Park Run at Heaton Park every Saturday morning with nearly 300 other ordinary people. The Park run is 5km and is a timed run where you get your time every week and you make improvements. Once again I walked more than I ran and found the 5km run to be very difficult, but this time I was inspired by watching the people who were older than me leaving me behind, people who were bigger in size than me leaving me behind.


So I had to improve for the sake of improving my well being, and I took this activity very seriously, by starting to run 5km 3 times a week.  Immediately I started noticing the weight beginning to drop, so I got more motivated to push myself.  I even changed my nutritional diet, which now meant eating food that is slow release of energy, cutting out fizzy sugary drinks, chocolates, fatty foods, oil based food, carbs, and eating low GI brown bread, hot water with freshly squeezed lemon in the morning and wholemeal chapatis and steamed vegetables at lunchtime followed by grilled salmon or mackerels or tuna at night with steamed vegetables…of course fresh fruits also made their way into my life.


I am now running 5km 3 times a week and the routine of running in Dovestones, the most beautiful scenic place in Oldham; Hollingworth lake, another beautiful scenic spot in Rochdale; Chadderton Hall park with its really pleasant stream has become very enjoyable to the point that I feel like running or jogging almost every day; and of course running up and down Middleton Road is a challenge.


The Result

8 weeks later, I have lost 1 stone 6 pounds in weight and I feel better, lighter, and running a 10km run for the first time in my life.   With this run, I hope to raise awareness about amana foundation and motivate myself to achieve even greater feats in the near future.  One of the interesting developments since I started this routine has been that lots of my friends and colleagues have joined me, after following my tweets and facebook updates showing the gradual change in my weight loss and lifestyle improvements and the current number is around 14 people.


So if you want to change your lifestyle and improve your well-being, why not join us at least once a week and commit to better health and well-being.

by Muzahid Khan
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on weight loss or nutrition, therefore please consult your physician before starting any lifestyle changes or physical activities.