Wednesday, 29 January 2014

I lost 3 stone and kept it off!

In the final installment on my 'inspirational January slot' is my good friend Em (who blogs here - she'd love a few followers) who tells her story with some fabulous fat suit pictures. She does like an exclamation mark so she does!  She actually talks like this too - very excitable and fast! When she pauses for breath I quickly get a word in - my husband says we are like peas in a pod and I am inclined to agree.  I for one always struggle with the concept that I can actually get lower than what my natural weight seems to be - 13 stone 7lbs but that's just bollocks because ultimately if you put your mind to it you can get down to a healthy weight. Enjoy..

Emma is on the right - 2008 

I've been asked to write this post by my lovely friend who I really got to know because of my weight loss.

So, I was fat! There was no getting around it. I wasn't big boned, it wasn't just baby weight, it was greed!! 

When I got married in 2003 I weighed 12 stone and 4 lbs. I can remember this because I so wanted to weigh less and to look amazing. Instead I looked okay, why? Because I couldn't try hard enough and I couldn't stop eating!!!

I love this pic! Glowing and a rather rounded face - are they marshmallows on the table? 
In 2005 I got pregnant with my first child and put on a large 3.5 stone!! So by the time she was born I was bordering on a size 18. After I had her I walked a lot so some of the weight came off but I was still a size 16. I pretended I didn't mind, didn't mind always being the fat one, didn't mind never finding any clothes to fit...jeans especially!

Then in 2008 I had my second child, not quite so much weight went on but after I have birth I weighed a hefty 14.6 stone and my arse rivalled a barge!!! I then had my son in 2009 and I was huge! Afterwards, still huge, but as always unmotivated. Sleepless nights enslaved me to the biscuit tin and any form of sugar was gratefully received.

August 2010 

So when did I change? I started to go to Zumba in 2010, twice a week with a friend just for a laugh really. It was fun and didn't really feel like exercising. I enjoyed it a lot and started to really feel myself tone up a bit, I was still eating the usual junk and then I had an epiphany!! I thought to myself if I start dieting and do this what will happen??

Bat Girl!! Looking foxy in 2011

I started the Special K diet. I had Special K for breakfast and lunch, fruit for snacks and a normal meal for dinner but scaled down portion sizes.

At the weekend I ate whatever I wanted but sensibly, i.e. one biscuit not ten and a few squares of chocolate not an entire large bar!!

I'm afraid I can't remember how long I did the dieting bit for but it worked! 

The weight started coming off and I started to feel good for the first time in a long time! I started to want to eat healthily and to not gorge myself until my stomach hurt!!

The hard work is paying off - a size 14 and looking proud as punch!

I then stopped Zumba and upped the anti to more cardio and toning classes. At my best I would do three classes a week but I average about two now, unless I know a particular event is coming up and then I will try harder! 

I went to Topshop with sister and tried on everything I could and it fitted!! This was one of the best feelings I have ever had, no tears this time, just dilemmas over what to buy!! 

I have muscles instead of flab now and I love the way I look! I still have bad days, PMT and winter sad can all make me reach for a doughnut! But I never, ever want to go back to being that unhappy again, so I always reign it in and get back to the gym. I don't diet anymore, I just watch what I eat and attend my classes regularly. 

Wow! Size 12 July 2013 - and the weight has stayed off!
When I started the diet I weighed 13 stone 4 and now I weigh 10 stone 4, (10 stone prior to Christmas but hey the quality streets got the better of me!!) It took me years to get in the zone and actually want to do it but I can promise you, once you do you will never ever go back!

Such fun! xx

Monday, 27 January 2014


My finger is a little sore typing this as today was not only Monday but Muppet day. Me being the Muppet. I was behind schedule (2 days to be precise) following on from us not being at home on Saturday and Sunday morning. We dropped the kids off to my parents and had a mosey around the shops before heading to my sisters to get changed for Cath's 40th birthday party. It was a great night (more of which later) but as we didn't get back till Sunday afternoon and I was a little tired/hungover the cleaning schedule took a beating. Namely the changing of the bedsheets.

Anyhow, I managed to lose my keys IN the house today. WTF! My worse nightmare - my keys are always kicking around normally in the kitchen but its always a bit of a scramble to find them.  I had the front door unlocked to take receipt of the many parcels that seem to turn up at our door and locked the back door whilst I was cleaning upstairs.  Downstairs was a state - sheets, washing in, washing out, recycling (I work my way down you see) cleaning bucket etc etc. I had 10 minutes to get Buddy and I was frantically searching for my keys. I re-traced my steps but nope and panic set in. I had already imagined keygate before so I exited the building using the patio door keys. The only thing is I can't get out of our garden as the gates are locked - the key to the gate is on the keys that I have lost! The gates are also quite high and have anti-climb paint. You know the black stuff. By the way, we don't have anything really worth stealing its just that extra bit of security living in this manor. Innit.

So, I have to crawl through my neighbours hedge. Yup, thick woody bramble type hedge which managed to tear my finger and my cleaning leggings (thankfully not my Zaggora wear). Having emerged from the thick undergrowth I found myself standing on my elderly neighbours lawn shamelessly waving to her whilst she was eating a bowl of soup.  She was quite startled (naturally) and scurried to the back door assuming, like any sane person, that something major must be up for her neighbour to crawl through her hedge on a Monday.

I think she was just relieved I wasn't escaping a killer of some description and that, in fact, I was just a twat. After all of this, I realised that I actually could have exited via the front door and thus only having to do one hedge (with Buddy) manoeuvre.

I tried to get hold of my friend who is equally capable of such a Monday but no reply. I've now in the lead on the scatty twat standings. To tell or not to tell the husband that was the question. I could potentially get back through the hedge and I would have at least 3 hours to find my keys and he would have been non the wiser. Maybe in a few months our neighbour might have said something about Hedgegate or I may have been rumbled by my own son with something along the lines of "me and mummy went through the hedge today."

Anyhow, I thought I would text and say did he need to come home for any reason? Cue suspicious reply "why do you need something?" I telephoned to say "mmmm, nothing major its just I can't get into the house in the traditional manner but its not a problem if you're busy". Of course, he came home and I narrowly avoided a lecture on key maintenance although I fear this may be stored in the 'you are scatty' archives to be used against me at a later date.

Apart from that, today has been a good day on the weight loss front -1lb. That's all my Christmas weight! Yay - okay its nearly the end of January but its still January and that's good. I managed to more or less stick to my calories 1,700 which is what myfitnesspal tells me to eat but I think that's too much so this week I'm going to try to aim at 1,400/1,500. I did drink and eat the buffet at the party but promptly threw it up at 2 am Sunday morning. I haven't developed bulimia - I had mixed vodka tonic and red wine (3 glasses) that's a lot of drink for me as I'm not a great drinker. Whilst I was lying down I started to get heartburn and my husband was making me laugh - a lot - when that happens it makes me feel sick and that's exactly what I did. Lovely.

The party was a great night and it was nice to be out dancing and drinking. Here are some pics as promised. I think I'm going to up the pressure and put another picture up at the end of February to check on my progress.

Sorry about the stupid expression on my face - I have no idea how to pose and I hate it! 

Slightly better pose - my arms are huge still - legs are better

Arm and bear head alert! Cath looking the picture of health in her lovely phase-eight dress. There were quite a few there that night - a firm favourite with us middle agers!

And remember Nessa? She's lost a stone I think since her last blog post on here - she'll be back soon filling us all in on the details 
In other news, my replacement Wii arrived today so a spot of Wii dance is in order this week as the weather is on the turn. Its getting cold out there!

Until next time...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Run Cancer Run!

As promised, my oldest friend Cath, has written a very moving, honest and hopefully inspirational account of her fairly new fitness regime following on from her breast cancer diagnosis. You can read all about Cath's journey on her fantastic blog Oh Marvellous. Its a great read and she'd love some more followers. Now if this doesn't get you dusting out your trainers for a walk, jog or run then I don't know what will! 

I’m in the midst of celebrating my 40th birthday.  Cake, flowers and presents last week, and looking forward to a big party this coming Saturday.  I am celebrating not only my birthday, but life in general. This is because back in 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Stage 3, triple negative breast cancer.  During that year I underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  I’m not going to dwell on this grim diagnosis, because I am still here, and now fighting fit! Thanks to some wise words from my Oncologist, I have decided to make fitness my No.1 priority. I have two wonderful children and a very supportive, caring husband, so obviously THEY come first, but after that – it’s fitness! I am fortunate enough not to have to work, so aside from doing my motherly and housewifely duties, my time is my own.

I have dabbled in exercise over the years. Aerobics, swimming, Pilates, zumba, I have had a go and persisted with these to varying degrees.  But prior to my diagnosis, due to the pressures of life and work (at the time) I had stopped making time to exercise.  I think this was a contributing factor to my getting cancer.   I have since learned that if you exercise regularly, not only do you become physically strong and fit but your mind benefits and you can cope with stress easier AND your immune system is given a boost.

So, my Oncologist said to me, the first time I met him “the best thing you can do to your help yourself is EXERCISE”.  I took that, and ran with it! Even during my chemo treatment I entered and completed my local Race for Life. Yes, I walked the 5k (3 miles) but it was the furthest I had walked in a very long time.  It was an empowering experience and I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my friends. It was December 2012 when I started exercising seriously.  I bought new trainers and started to learn to jog.   Before cancer I would have laughed at anyone who suggest I take up jogging.  I used to say “I don’t do running” and honestly felt I wasn’t built for it.  At size 12 and averaging 9.5 stone, I’m not sure why I thought that, other than it being an excuse.

I love this picture - Cath wearing the T-shirt I picked up for her in Las Vegas - I think it looks fab! 
I started out by walking a little way and then running for a minute, but then I found this App for my phone – C25K.  It basically coaches you to run 5k over an 8 week period. You need to commit to going out 3 times a week which I did, and before I knew it, I was running (read jogging).  Running, jogging, whatever you want to call it, I was covering the 5k and not walking it. At first it was hard and I had a few times out when I thought, “Why am I doing this?!” but of course the answer was obvious. I knew I couldn’t just give up.  I used to imagine that a big fat blubbery cancer tumour was running after me!  That helped to move me along I can tell you!

Since December 2012 I have run 3 times a week most weeks, trained and completed a 10K race in Brighton and am now training for a second 10K race.  I also love doing my weekly yoga class and a session of Bootcamp style training. I’m out whatever the weather.  I’m not Wonder Woman though, of course I have my weeks where I lose my “mojo” and find it hard to get out. Over Christmas I had 2 weeks of barely any exercise, and boy did I know it when I got back to it! But I soon got into the groove again and felt fabulous when I started to feel and see the rewards. The rewards are being leaner and fitter than I’ve been most of my adult life, feeling a buzz from pushing myself and achieving my goals and knowing that something positive has come out of my cancer diagnosis. So, yes having cancer has changed my life for the better.  I hope this feeling will apply to the rest of my life. I fully appreciate that I am one of the lucky ones. The cancer I had was the “busy” spreading kind, but fortunately for me, it hadn’t.  I’m confident it won’t return, but if it does, I will be fitter and even more determined to fight it off again.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Warning! Horrific Pics Alert!

And my Monday weigh in of course! Well lets get down to business -1lb off this week. You can see how my week panned out in my last post.  I wore the Zaggora wear for a total of 10 days, managed to walk at least 10,000 steps and way beyond some days except on my son's birthday - I managed just shy of 10,000. So, the crux of my minor weight loss would have to be the licking of butter cream and 3 small glasses of red wine Friday and consuming cake on Saturday and a Chinese take-away. No kidding Sherlock. We always have a take-away on my son's birthday. Having said all this, had I not have put in some serious walking etc then it could have been a gain.

Anyhow, another week approaches and I need to lose -1lb to get shot of the Xmas pudding pounds and we are back onto an even playing field.  I am going to my friend's 40th birthday party and will post pics of my dress next week. As promised, here are my Zaggora pictures - the before and after.

I apologise in advance for the grim photo's here - the 1st on the left was taken two weeks ago whilst in the process of cleaning sans make-up etc and I'm liking the deodorant stain on the side. The second was today again in cleaning mode. I can't see any difference to be honest but then again I've lost 3lbs which is hardly going to make a difference in pics.

Again rough pictures alert!! The one of the left is me two weeks ago and the right is me today - I actually think I look worse in the second picture!! This belly needs to go. I also look like I've grown taller.  Sorry if you're eating your dinner whilst reading this.

Today, I ordered a replacement Wii Console to replace my worn out one and did my weights DVD. I also ordered one x 8kg weight for the single weight repetition. The lady on the dvd says, in an American accent, "if you're not feeling this then you need to go harder" and that's what I've done.

Until next time..

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday Chit Chat

Is this month just whizzing by or what?  I think so - Christmas seems a long and distant memory. I have managed to walk well in excess of 10,000 steps (except Saturday 9,000+) for the most part of the week. When I do my power walking its in excess of 20,000 steps. I managed to do this on Monday (in the drizzle I'll have you know) and on Wednesday - wearing my Fitbit and Zaggorra wear. However, on Wednesday it suddenly occurred to me that I had a birthday cake to make. My son's birthday cake. He is the grand total of 10 years! Ekk double digits. So Thursday I set about trying to re-create a Minecraft cake. Now, if anyone doesn't know what it is here. But essentially its a virtual lego with (in my opinion) pretty naff graphics but the kids love it and schools are now teaching it in ICT. It is actually very educational as its not instantaneous, so creative and promotes team work.  My childrens' school has their own version - so you can imagine my son's delight when he found out they would be having Minecraft lessons in ICT.

So, I had to make a start on this cake on Thursday - when I'm making a birthday cake all my fitness regime just seems to exit the building pretty swiftly.  I forgot to wear my Zaggora wear (I forgot on Tuesday as well) and as buddy was at pre-school on Friday, I decided to use that time (it was raining) to finish the cake. Now, if I was a proper hard core fitness guru, I would have put the power/zaggora wear on the top of my priorities but alas I am not. And I'm not Wonder Woman either! This cake took me all morning and the best part of Friday afternoon to complete. This meant I wasn't working on it until 12pm Friday night so a good trade off I think. 

I will take pictures tomorrow wearing my Zaggora wear as the 2 week challenge is over on Monday.  As ever, I haven't managed to wear them for the full 2 weeks - only 10 days.  One day that will be a triumph in itself. This week I have a filling to look forward to. I blame Slimming World I really do.  They should have a disclaimer on their 'syn free' drinks which says "although diet fizzy drinks are syn free and we say drink as much as you like it will actually rot the enamel off your teeth and you will require lots of fillings you never needed before". Suffice to say I only drink diet lemonade/coke if I'm out which as you all know is generally a yearly event.

I have posted the cake pictures below. What do you think? I had little to work from really as if you google Minecraft cake a lot of naff ones come up - that's because its all about computer squares which is incredibly difficult to recreate. So I thought I'd base it on the front cover of the X-box game (which is £12 by the way so not expensive). I was quite pleased with the way it turned out and my son loved it.  

The sponge was lovely - my friend's 225g of everything and 4 eggs - a classic. If I'm shaping a cake I'll use a Madeira recipe 
 Did you know that Sainsbury's now sell individual fondant icing and the colours were just perfect

This is always the point where I just want to call it a day!

Tah Dah - There's 'Steve' and his dog and I guess it kind of looks 3D - I cut out the lettering by hand on black fondant and then painted it with a cake silver paint

In other news, it does appear that it is my turn to get the "ohhh you'll be going back to work then" comments (my friend was subjected to this by her in-laws when her youngest went to school) when Buddy starts school in September. I did touch on it in my post called Get Back which did provoke some strong comments but I stand by this. This time it was parents, in particular, my mother who said I could go 'temping' have a change of scenery, engage my brain, meet new people, not bother with housework (only at the weekends), shake the washing (I don't know about you but if you shake creased clothes they're still creased) and that will be much better for me. Why? I wouldn't say to someone don't go out to work as soon as your kids go to school, stay at home if you can, always drop them off/pick them up, go to school open days, plays, be at home on strike/inset days, 13 week school holidays, clean the house, make home cook meals, work out, meet up with people you actually like as opposed to the office pricks, break away from the go to work, do the same thing, come home and then run around like a headless chicken now do I?! I always find with people that if you don't go along with the majority train of thought then you're wrong and they can tell you that but you can't say that actually you think they're wrong. Why is that?  

Anyhow, I have lots planned when buddy goes to school full-time - which (shock of horrors as most people see it as a perfect chance to off load their child finally) I was thinking of deferring so I can have him at home for longer. I will exercise more without the interruption of pre-school pick ups and will get a straight 6 hour run of getting things done. As in the post I mentioned I did have a career and also did an 'A' Level in Law in my spare time (one year in the evening) whilst working for a bank. I gained a respectable 'C' if you please! I suppose I could try and squeeze into my old suits (vacum packed in the loft) or buy some new ones and head out and look like these smart guys in their suits but on the other hand I might just do the things I like doing and feel blessed that I'm able to. 

Finally, the sewing machine has now come out of its case and I can officially work the thing!

Be back tomorrow...

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Better Later..

...than never and all that.  I've lost 2lb.  So that's 4lb off my Christmas weight of which I never intended on putting on at all! Remember that blog post? I have 2lb to go to shift the Christmas pudding and the lack of exercise for that two week period.  I am confident it will come off by next week.  Today, I went for another power walk in the drizzle and found that the steep hill wasn't as bad as last week. Could it be that my fitness levels are returning?!  I hope so.  I am still enjoying my fitbit (see previous post) the only thing I'm not too sure about all these weight loss apps is the calorie side of things.  They all say you can eat the calories that you've burnt up exercising. Now call me old fashioned but I don't think you should. I have eaten some exercise calories but certainly not all.  The jury does seem to be out on the various forums - many say they eat their exercise calories and still lose weight others say what's the point of burning calories if you then go and eat them again.  What do you think?

Be back soon....

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Sunday Chit Chat

Well I have managed to walk at least 10,000 steps (some days its in the 20,000) with the help of my new lovely gadget -  It is harder at the weekend as I'm less active so I made sure I went for a hill walk on Saturday otherwise I would not have made my quota.  During the week, it is fairly easy to walk 10,000 steps doing the school runs and what not. I managed to wear my Zaggora wear everyday which is a first for me for the two week challenge pictures I will be putting up shortly.  I managed to do 1 x pilates workout and 3 x 5 mile power walks so getting back to a level of fitness. The walk involves lots of little hills and one killer one. I am hoping for good things tomorrow on the scales front as I've also kept within my calorie allowance. I need to update my food diary on here though even if its repeating it from my fitness pal.

I am able to sync my fitness pal (where I record what I've eaten) with my fitbit so it does all the maths for me.  The band reminds me of that old fashioned method of putting on an elastic band to ping to remind yourself not to do something - in this case eat rubbish! I love that it records (very accurately) how much sleep I've had. I know my husband is quietly thinking "why do you need a device to tell you that you haven't slept well or haven't done much activity?" "Well I do! I need the funky little syncing and charts and what not and it keeps me in check. 

Failing that I stumbled across an account by my Great, Great Grand Uncle's wife of their journey to Utah. As some of you may know, my ancestors on my dad's mother's side, were Mormons. My Great Great Grand Uncle was Ebenezer Beesley - he wrote the hymns for the Mormon church. In 1865, on his honeymoon no less, he made the arduous journey to Salt Lake City - obviously by boat but then by hand cart. Many died along the way and my ancestors were on the brink of starvation. Here is the link to her account which makes me feel very humble and blessed with my lot I can tell you. 

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

4 Stone To Lose

Well as promised, my sister, Nessa has agreed to write a guest post about her new diet. She is 42, separated (amicable split) and has never wanted children. I hope you enjoy reading this honest account of her weight issues to date and why things are different this time around. Enjoy! 

Hello Blog fans!

Well I've never blogged before however was asked by my sister to contribute. She is right when she says that I am overweight and have been for a long time. We are usually poles apart when it comes to most things (such as politics, religion, benefits..yes we have lively debates!) but what we do have in common is a love of food. Tash loves her sweet things and I love tasty roasts and vats of wine.  I consider myself a real foodie and love to cook for friends. Unfortunately this normally involves several practice sessions which doesn't work well on the waistline!

I've not always been big. In my 30's I competed very seriously on my horse and kept myself in shape. Here is me in 2003 eventing my horse Merlot (yes, I had a fondness of wine even then!)

Nessa in 2003 on Merlot 
However, injuries including a broken leg, a loss of confidence following some serious falls and a period of general depression meant I lost my desire to compete. I separated from my husband and went from 3 horses to 1. I no longer mucked out or rode everyday and the weight just crept up.

I cant say it hasn't bothered me. I have an identical twin, who is slim and fit. She exercises most days and nags me to join her but honestly my heart just isn't in it! I look at her and think she looks gorgeous. I WANT to be like that but felt I never could achieve it.

So what has changed? Well, I'm far more settled in my life now. I feel ready to change and I want to make my family proud of me. So, on the 1st January I signed up to a Tesco low carb diet. I know Tash isn't a fan of 'diet fads', however I felt it was a diet that could work for me.

Nessa in 2014 

So the first week has been surprisingly easy. I haven't felt hungry (which is a first!) and I actually feel awake in the afternoons! Before, Red Bull was my friend. I couldn't actually function without a can after lunch. I confess to having 5 minute power naps sat on the loo. I haven't missed the booze and I'm saving a fortune (may have already spent the money on flights to Las Vegas but that's another story!).

Nessa - side shot - she's as good as me on the selfie front! 

My first weigh in was on Tuesday. I have lost 7.5 pounds in a week!! Only another 57lbs to go...hmm. No one said it was going to be easy but I hope I can keep it up!

Here is a pic of me currently. I have 4 stone to lose to get into a healthy BMI. Wish me luck!

Yes, wish her luck and comments - she'd love to hear from you. She'll keep us posted on our journey and I hope she will provide some inspiration to us all!  

Monday, 6 January 2014

If All The Gadgets...

....and apps can't help you to lose weight then I really don't know what can! Have you seen the wealth of apps and what not you can now obtain in your quest for fitness and weight perfection? Well let me tell you about some that I have got going on.  Firstly, My Fitness Pal which is great for recording what you've eaten. Its free. It has all the brands, calories and what not and will tell you (based on your food intake) what you can expect to weigh in 5 weeks time if everyday were like today. I like that bit the best. It gives you hope! 

Sorry about the pic - the slate coloured fitbit - I look like I've either just come out of the hospital or Glastonbury
I also have the Map My Ride app - I love this one too and always use it out and about on my bike - it gives me great statistics - how fast, how long and how many calories I've burnt.  My latest addition to the miracle cure of all things fat is FitBit.  I purchased a slate coloured one (not my preferred choice but it was down to £66 on Amazon) and it arrived today. Its easy to sync up to the computer and on my smart phone too.  Its essentially a fancy pedometer - my one doesn't count stairs or I think cycling (mmm why have I purchased this?) - but it shows you fancy graphs and will tell me how well I've slept. So in the 6 hours that I have owned it I am liking it. I'm meant to be walking 10,000 steps a day and given that I have been indoors today I think I'm just shy off 5,000 which is a lot considering I haven't done much. I shall give you a proper review (no I didn't get a free one - boo hoo) in a few weeks.  I do believe I can sync My Fitness Pal which records my food (the fitbit is American so all their food is American based) so will give me a much better calorie in take.

Speaking of which I have lost 2lbs but given I put on 6lbs (that's a lot much more than last year but we couldn't get out it rained practically non-stop) nothing to be celebrated.

I also have my Zaggora wear (which I did receive free to review) which I shoe horned on today, took pics and will give you the 14 day challenge result. My husband had the honor of taking the photos today so hopefully they will look better than my pathetic selfie attempts.

The old fashionned fitness aid - a notebook. Its simple and to the point "just ride" - love it.
Now another diet tool I received at Christmas is the least sophisticated of the lot. Quite simply its a notebook and a lovely one at that. My good and oldest friend Cath purchased it for me and it could potentially be the hands down winner of the lot. Who really needs all these gadgets and apps? Maybe we all need to go back to basics and just write down what we eat and what we've done exercise wise to keep us focused. There is a whole industry built on our desire to be fit and healthy. It used to be the weight watchers foods and the old guard slimming clubs but now its the app/gadget.  Ultimately none of the above will work if the desire isn't there.

I personally never start to re-focus on my diet on January 1st. I think its a stupid date to start any diet. You are still well and truly in holiday mode and have probably eaten and drunk lots the night before. There are still lots of left overs and the weather is generally dire. There is some talk on facebook of waiting until next week when all treats have been eaten. That's fine if you're not that fat but seriously you need to get going before that and if you do polish the left overs (of which there are lots here) then you will just increase your net gain.

The kids are all back to school tomorrow. Yay! I decided to do my housework today - bad mother alert. I thought sod it I've done lots with them - farm, walks, woods, games, baking etc etc and whilst some will want to cherish the last day I want to have 3 hours to myself tomorrow. Genius I say.  So tomorrow once buddy has been dropped off its pilates and weights and lots of faffing with my vegas photo album book.

I have asked my friend Cath to write a guest post about her fairly recent exercise regime of running. You may recall she had a battle with breast cancer and the most positive outcome of this is that she implemented a training regime when previously she had none. I hope it inspires you as it does for me. Also my sister (yes you will be doing this!) is going to give us an account of her diet journey. My sister is overweight and has been for a long time. My other sister (her twin) gives her a hard time in a Sargent Major type of way (she is fit and healthy) and so far it hasn't had any impact. This time may be different I feel.

I have heard of a few 40 something health scares recently. I think you can get away with lots when you're younger but as you head on up to 40 and beyond illnesses and what not do start to creep up.  I think if you can get from 40-50 relatively health scare free then you're doing well.  I think diet and exercise plays a huge part doesn't it? I don't want to have one to make me re-think what I consume. So lets crack the whip this year.

I'm looking forward to continuing with the diet 1970's style. I'm going to post more pics this year just to give me some added pressure. So stay tuned for the Zaggorra challenge pics and I have a 40th party to go to on 25th - dress pics to follow!

Until next time....

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

My New Year's Resolution... to go out tomorrow. That's it! By the way, Happy New Year to all you folks that follow me or occasionally pop on over to see if I've lost any weight. I hope you continue to pop on over as I do like my followers so I do. Didn't want to aim too high on the resolution front. Its been raining for 3 days now. Its like Las Vegas all over again. I jest with the resolution but I don't really like to make grand lists as they don't ever pan out do they? Aim low that's what I say. I want to be slimmer this year, like properly slimmer not marginally slimmer than the last year. I want to jump back on my bike as soon as the weather picks up and re-start my exercise plan whatever it may be - weights, pilates, swimming etc.

We went to a farm before Xmas with the kids - it said on their website come and see the reindeers - the failed to mention they were plastic as were the penguins! Trade Descriptions Act anyone?

I had an interesting summary from the Map My Ride app I have. It said I did 88 workouts last year (I started it in April and stopped in November due to my heel injury) and burned over 33,000 calories working out. Wow how am I not skinny?! My longest cycle was 11 miles and the fastest was the same (11) miles per hour.  Thank goodness for apps to get you re-motivated.

So how was your Christmas? Ours has been very relaxed - as a household we have not been rising until 9.30 am at the earliest and the days just seem to close in so quickly. No sooner have you had brunch it seems to get dark.  I haven't managed to stay the same weight mind. I reckon its 6lbs on.  I had a false sense of security where the scales hadn't moved at all a couple of days after Xmas but they have now! I think sometimes it takes a while for your body to register the gluttony. It was 6lbs a few days ago. We are nearly back to normal eating habits and if I can get out between now and Monday (weigh in day) I reckon I can shift 3lbs of it by then. My husbands belly is also rather round which makes me feel so much better.

We managed to get out to the farm before Xmas and it was empty more or less. A tad disappointing that the reindeer's and penguins were plastic but hey ho. The turkey wasn't dry but its still a boring bird - there's a reason we only eat it once a year! I did fancy taking the kids to church at 4pm Christmas Eve but we all have had colds (excuses, excuses) and the rain has been incredible over the Xmas period. I also had to take my little man to hospital that day. I can thoroughly recommend having an appointment on Christmas Eve. Our appointement was 9.30 am and we were out at 9.39 am as we were seen early. The parking was ample too!

The little fella will have some speech therapy to see that the tongue tie is definitely affecting his speech. I was told he would be seen very quickly - no long waiting lists. We also took a trip out to see Father Christmas on the same day, however, he had decided to shut up shop at 1.10pm that day. I did email the garden centre as their website had said he was there till 3pm - they were very apologetic and yesterday I picked up 3 x free mini Christmas Trees for the kids.  They weren't too fussed as the Santa tracking device on google lets them see where he is.  They quite rightly questioned how he could he be in the garden centre when a few minutes ago he was in Russia delivering presents!

My retro Christmas Cake 

Christmas biscuits the kids love to decorate. We also made mince pies

Looking festive

The Turkey - was free range from butchers but I missed the goose. Maybe duck next year?

I have got it out the box - that's a start right? I need my madre to show me the how to set it up as it just looks complicated. I have visions of making cushions and curtains. Watch this space......

I did get some lovely bangles from the hubster and various leopard print numbers  i.e gloves scarfs but this baby is the business. The glass bowl for my kitchenaid. It is a thing of beauty. I like kitchenalia what can I say!

Another gift from my parents - a casserole dish you can cook on the hob then sling in the oven - see above as to why this is a good gift for me! 

Another pic of the turkey
I have continued to spend a bit of money over Christmas courtesy of the internet. Its my son's birthday soon and two friends will be turning 40.  I ordered some clutch bags in the sales and a fitbit which I'm very excited about. Its basically a fancy pedometer but it tracks your sleep etc. This should help me stay on track and my mini targets are a 40th birthday party on 25th of this month and my husband's 50th in March.

See you very soon and I hope you all have a wonderful start to 2014!