Wednesday, 30 April 2014


Today has been a good day. I swam 50 x lengths (the old bladder held out for once) and...drum roll please...Rachel from three years and home blogging slickness messaged me via facebook to say guess who's been nominated in the Brit Mums Brilliance in Blogging 2014 awards in the 'health' category and not the this lady has rant issues category. Erm yarp! That would be me! Mind you it wouldn't be for punctuation in that last paragraph - I couldn't believe that 1) it was possible to make the shortlist amongst the hard core and 2) that someone other than me voted! So there you have it.  Rachel had to endure a few expletives (she's used to my potty mouth now) before I settled down to take it all in. So if you could vote for me to get into the FINAL that would me more than smashing as I am actually going to the awards ceremony and would love to do a nice thank you to my lard arse speech and all that jazz. Just click on the badge to the right. Or you can check out my name in lights here and my competition. What do you reckon?

So, as promised I said I'd put the start of April pictures up and end of April. On the left you will see me 8lbs heavier and on the right 8lbs lighter. The top wasn't a great one to wear (I have two versions of pretty much the same thing) as it has fluffy bits on and isn't smooth but I wanted to wear the same one. I think a smoother top will be better next time.  I am standing closer to the camera this time but what do you think? Notice a difference. My stomach has definitely reduced and Em says so have my legs. Also my hair has grown a bit in a month hasn't it - still looks a state though!

Finally, yesterday I had my asthma review check. I have to do this to get my inhalers. I get a little lecture on how to use my inhaler etc etc. I've been using it since I was 13 years old hand over the prescription. Anyhow, the less than charming nurse asks me (with my daughter next to me) "and how much do you weigh?" before I had a chance to tell her she pointed to the scales to step on up. As I did so the needle was 3 stone heavier than my scales at home. I do believe her exactly words were "Crikey!" which she was also able to say in her facial expression should she have chosen to keep her thoughts to herself. I did, whilst still in shock, manage to say (make that wail) "my scales are 3 stone lighter at home!" to which she replied "we'll go with these, they're right".  She then had great pleasure in typing in my new obese weight. I was due to do the Brownie run and ordinarily I might have had a few words but these days I like to pick and choose my battles - the charity shop is due a talking to having put up a barking toy dog in its shop window for £35. I digress. As ever.

In any event, I know they are wrong. If those scales are right it makes my husband and my children 3 stone heavier! So I am confident my scales are correct and bless my daughter she said "I won't tell anyone what the nurse said the number was mummy" I asked "and what was that number?" to which she replied "12". That's my girl. It could actually be an NHS conspiracy as well - what if they've set all their scales to a heavier weight so they can tell people you can't have surgery or get on that waiting less or get a prescription until you've shifted the weight!

When I got to Em's house she confirmed there is no way I am that weight and to go upstairs to her scales but I couldn't. You see I know how my mind works and if it were anywhere near that weight (which was the weight I started at) then I would go into pathetic mode and say "what's the point". Anyhow, a friend is coming around tomorrow who goes to slimming world and I'll get her to test them out like I did a year or so ago with another slimming world friend who confirmed they were correct! SO THERE!

Be back soon....

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Tuesday Weigh In

So April is nearly finished and I am pleased to report that I lost a total of 8lbs - although nothing on Monday. This was down to me being a bit anxious or mildly stressed. I've figured out (took my time) that I generally just grab stuff when I feel like this - see my Sunday Chit Chat post about the murder, x-box live etc etc. 

My kind of technology! Why can't we go back?! It dings and everything when it gets to the end of the line waiting for a return!
The good news is...that I have sorted out x-box live! Tah dah - this was via an email with Microsoft and I may even feel brave enough to sort out my daughter's gamertag. My lovely typewriter arrived today and is proudly sitting on display in my living room. It works a treat and the kids have enjoyed typing on it. You can't type as fast as on a laptop as the hammers start to jam and you have to have a real thumping pumping (matron!) action but all good fun. 

Having a try "I should be ironing but have new toy""
I have made yet another appointment at the Doctors for Friday - I'm getting my monies worth out of the NHS these days. Am I now getting to an age whereby I am a drain on resources? I'll be glad to be 41 at this rate. Anyhow, I went for a power walk yesterday and whilst it felt great etc I could hardly stand on my foot in the evening afterwards.  I have suffered with varying degrees with my heel since November last year and have just put it down to heel spurs or that sort of thing. It probably is but I will ask to have an x-ray - that'll take a few months in any event.

My well packaged box of food from Diet Chef
Tomorrow I'll get Em to take the after shots for my April weight loss which will be my before shots for my 28 day trail with Dief Chef.  I have to say I am impressed with their website - you simply choose 28 items from the breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner menu and that's it! It also (and this is essential for a luddite like me) calculates how many you have chosen so you don't have to count on your hands. Its the simple things in life for me - aim low that's what I say.  I ordered the food on Thursday and a huge box arrived on Monday. 

I like the packaging, again, these things matter to me. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a make-up snob and packaging is everything. I judge a book by its cover - there I've said it! The packaging is purple and green and their slogan "enjoy losing weight" is also cheery. I ordered lots of granola for breakfast, soup and pasta for lunch and a wide range of normal meals for dinner i.e sweet and sour chicken, lamb hotpot etc.  This is what I like about it - its not shakes (although you can get one for lunch if you fancy it but I don't) - its about calories and counting them.  Its basic maths.  I also LOVE the fact that they are on 'my fitness pal' so I can still track my calories and you can add fruit, vegetables, drink tea and coffee etc as the meals don't really exceed 300 calories so it allows for the additional fruit etc.  I had lamb hot pot for tea tonight - I did think oh is it going to taste like an in flight meal but it didn't - it tasted nice.

So far so good.  I shall report back every Monday to give you an update.

Right, I'm off to try and make a dent in my Las Vegas album...I could be some time...

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sunday Chit Chat

Well I was having quite a nice week this week until....a man was murdered outside our house. I kid you not.  More of which later.

I had a good start to the week - a short one what with the kids being off on the Easter Monday.  They went back on the Tuesday as did the little man to his pre-school and I set the alarm to do my weights in the morning.  I went swimming on Wednesday and did 46 lengths, however, my eyes were still dry and being a paranoid 'have I still got a contact lens in my eye' type of person I made an appointment with the local opticians on Thursday.  He had a good look around, took a picture of the back of my eye and even did a prescription (for £25) and basically said I had very dry eyes, blocked glands - the ones that make the tears and is probably the dry eye condition called blepharitis or certainly eczema on my eyelids. Lovely. Old age strikes again. Anyhow, it can be managed and it already looks a bit better - I just have to make sure I moisturise my eyes and be careful with make-up and what not.  So he did cheer me up with the fact I didn't have a foreign object in my eye but cancelled that out straight away when he told me in a couple of years I'd be long sighted and need varifocals. Yeah thanks for that.

I also had some good news on Buddy's tongue tie - well kind of. The GP managed to get hold of the consultants secretary at the hospital who knew all about his case. She said they were just waiting on the speech therapists report - what the one that was issued in March!! For the love of god - what is WRONG with these people. So they had my second complaint letter and they didn't for one minute think mmmmm I might just chase that report?!!  My GP does have common sense and faxed (didn't know that still existing but who's complaining) it to them and highlighted its recommendation that it is carried out urgently.  No doubt I'll probably get his operation date on his birthday which is on 7 May. 

In my last post I was talking about typewriters - well I was successful on ebay making an offer on a lovely Hermes 3000 in pristine condition with the manuel etc and will get it next week. I feel I may start collecting typewriters as they are easy to store aren't they?!  My rug is also on its way - so things felt quite good until....

..on Thursday night I popped to the study (we live at the back of the house as we live on a main road) and I could see all these flashing blue lights. I quickly ran upstairs to the bedroom window and couldn't quite believe the scene unfolding in front of my eyes. I couldn't make out the man except his bare legs and all the police and paramedics around him. The policeman was pumping on his chest for at least 35 mins on the grass. The air ambulance arrived but was sent away. At one point he was put on a stretcher into the road - the police held a blanket up so the doctors could perform surgery on him but I could sense this wasn't going to end well. When ambulances aren't rushing away from a scene and people are desperately trying to save someone's life for 45 minutes you know its a very sad day.  At first I thought it might be gang related but the man was 52 years old and looks like he merely got off the bus to go home. The person who did it was arrested at the scene. What if I had gone upstairs earlier? I may have seen it and been able to stop it in some way. Fate was very cruel that day. I suspect the person is not of sound mental health and its just, although very rare, very tragic. If it is any consolation to the family the emergency services did everything they could to save him. 

The next morning the forensic tent was put up - the police had been there all night and I did have to explain to the kids (in a bumbling kind of way) that someone had been stabbed.  I still feel sad about it now and its Sunday. I really feel for this man and his family - so cruelly taken. I placed some flowers at the scene with the children as we wanted to do something to say we were thinking of him. We had lots of press the next day but even sadder is that it didn't even make national or London news.

Yesterday, I tried to sort out the nightmare that is X-box live - why oh why did I get this for my son?!! He wasn't even pestering me for it - I just though it'd be a nice treat. Little did I know the trouble we would have with this.  I thought the 5 hours I'd spent on resolving the password issue would be the end of it but sadly no it re-occurred again. A problem that thousands have if you look at youtube. Anyhow after 'chatting' for another 2 hours with Microsoft it turns out that the Microsoft account we have for our computer is not the Microsoft account we have for my son's gamertag. But I don't know the password for that account but then the main account's password was invalid when I was trying to resolve it.  So I had to change that much to my husband's delight but there was nothing else I could do!! I hate x-box live!!!! I then had to give them the console ID and am awaiting a call in the next 2 days to re-instate it all and no doubt have more fun with this crap system.

I don't know if I would have lost weight on Monday as I didn't get to exercise Friday or Saturday and felt a bit stressed - see above. If I don't I still would have lost 8lbs for the month of April which I'm happy about.

See you soon ..

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tuesday Weigh In

Hello, hello. Well I couldn't post it on Monday given that it was Easter Monday and we were out and about. At the National Trust no less. Ohhhh get us. Posh innit. Well not really - its very affordable £98 for all the family for the entire year. I was getting a little bored with our usual haunts and what not and now we are buggyless felt a change of scene was due.

Me and the kids had a lovely 2 weeks off - it did seem like a long time and they are due another week off in May. I feel I may become a proper hard core day outter. I really enjoyed the day trip to Butlins and am contemplating a trip up to London for the May holiday. Get me. I need a satchel though. Yes I do.  I have large one that has a cow print number going on at the front - don't know if you remember it but the hubster bought it for me pre The Killers concert. Anyhow, its a bit large for days out - I need a smaller one for all my personal belongings and such like.  I normally have a rucksac and it gets right on my tits so it does! I have to keep taking it off my back (I know what a hardship that is!) and digging out my phone, keys etc and then I panic that I've lost them and urgh - I need a small 'to hand' bag if you get my meaning.  So I have been faffing on line tonight looking at various weird and wonderful numbers.

The funky looking Olivetti Valentine - an antique of the future? Pics google pics
 I have also (instead of sorting out my Vegas album, sorting out my ancestry box and sorting out a collage picture of Buddy for the downstairs loo) faffed around on ebay looking at typewriters. Yes you heard right. I fancy a typewriter. At first I wanted one of those old black numbers but now I want Richard Burton's typewriter. Correction, I need Richard Burton's typewriter.  He had a Olivetti Valentine one in the 1970's and prior to that he had a Hermes one which is far cheaper (about £60) than the first one - that one is about £200 on ebay.  Whilst doing my essential research on such matters I came across a fantastic blog on typewriters so I've sent an email to ask which one is better. The kids came across a typewriter at the National Trust property we visited and thought it was amazing! That and an old fashioned 1970's phone.  How funny they see these as really old fashioned and don't actually know what they are when seeing it for the first time.

I think I like this better - there are different versions and colours but like this one - Hermes Switzerland - pic google pics
See what happens when you have time to faff.

Without further ado - I lost a 1lb over Easter. I have 8 little marbles in my jar. I actually think it will be soul destroying to actually have to transfer a marble back don't you?  I set my alarm for 6 am this morning and did my weights for 30 minutes. Tomorrow I am swimming and I also need to order my food from the Diet Chef which I will be reviewing in the month of May and compare to my own calorie counting in the month of April.

See you soon!!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Day Tripper! took me sooooo long to find out ...but I found out! Great Beatles track that one - here's a little clip to remind you that John Lennon was a far superior singer to Paul (sorry to all you Paul fans and my friend Barbara who will not have a bad word said against him).

A nice retro touch - kids loved sitting on this 
I am talking about....asides from The Beatles....BUTLINS!!!!  Now, before you all groan and say urgh and good god woman - which is still the case (take note Butlins PR although I'm sure you are very aware of this hence the drive towards nostalgia and going down the retro route). Yup, many a raised eyebrow and expressions of horror occurred on my facebook when I 'checked in' at Butlins in Bognor Regis.  I don't know why. I spent many a summer holiday (and so did one commentator - Sharon!) at Bognor Regis in the 1970's but now its all centre parcs isn't it. I, incidentally, would have the same urgh expression on my face if someone said they were off to centre parcs for the week. I couldn't think of anything worse - full of the chattering classes (I am an inverse snob as you all know) pottering around on their little bikes, child on the back clutching a copy of The Daily Mail.

Back to Butlins. I loved it! The kids loved it! Now I'm not an ambassador or anything like that even though I do get 16,000 hits a month and ranked 282 out of 10,000 blogs still I'm not bitter Butlins... In fairness, I never applied. I digress. I haven't been given free tickets but I'm going to give Butlins a shout out in any event.  Firstly, a mum at pre-school got me thinking about going there for the day. She is your a typical middle class mum - ballet, swim lessons, worrying about high school already when her child is in reception, areas matter, Daily Mail matters and a vote for David Cameron is as standard. You get the picture. So if she was raving about Butlins then it had to be good. Basically if you pre-book out of term time you get a 25% discount and in term time its 15%. Check them out here for day passes. So it cost me just shy of £53 to take myself and my three to Butlins for the day. I had arranged to meet my friend and we were all very excited about visiting the unknown. I for one, was hoping that there wouldn't be insane queues that make me lose the will to live.

Thankfully my little one didn't quite fancy this when he saw the steps - I was a tad worried the my bum would not fit the end part of this slide!! Maybe they should have a how wide are your thighs chart?!
I have been to Lego Land once - it was lashing down with rain and was on an inset day - that is the only time to visit it let me tell you.  The agony of Legoland for many a parent is legendary.  I have had friends queue for over an hour for a 2 minute ride, couldn't get into the outdoor splash area because the queues were so long, queued 2 hours to get out of the car park and a classic - found out the park was closed on the M25 with 2 excited children in the back. THIS IS NOT MY IDEA OF A FUN DAY OUT FOR THE KIDS. This is my idea of hell.  You couldn't pay me to have a Merlin pass. That would be my worst nightmare. .

My eldest could barely lift the hammer - my youngest is on the right waiting to have a go
I have no desire to go to Chessington or Thorpe Park. I went to Peppa Pig world last year and foolishly went on a Bank Holiday weekend - we didn't see Peppa's house through the crowds or get to go on most rides (3 in total with queueing time of 45mins).  I don't even like Peppa Pig - I think Daddy Pig could have them all up for emotional abuse so to be snubbed at their abode was another kick in the teeth! Thankfully the rest of the park was okay. We had to just pretend that the main train around the park was, in fact, Grandpa's proper train. My little one still wants to go back. I am considering it as I am a sucker but, it would have to be during thunder storms and a day where the rest of the nation were at school. Or I could just say that Peppa Pig world no longer exisits. So I had high hopes for Butlins. I prayed it would be different and hooray it was!

I called these the flying helicopters!
It was clean, safe, not crowded, friendly, easy to park (£6 for parking opposite the day entrance), not so easy to find with Mr SatNav as he chose not to follow signs for Bognor Regis but take me down the Worthing Road but we still were only 10 mins late. We were meant to meet up at 10.30 (I left at 9 am) and I arrived at 10.40.  We left our swimming gear in the car and heading to the pavilion for the toilets. All clean and let little buddy and the others have a go on all the little rides. We then progressed to the quaint fairground area - my son loved the helter skelker and all the kids had their pic on the big Butlins chair. We then tried out the trampolines - again only a 5 minute wait, the flying helicopters, dodgems and then we went off to the swim area.
This is the space bowl - my eldest was very brave rather him than me - pic google 
The kids loved the wave machine and the slides - my son said he was terrified on the space bowl -see above. He was glad he did it. If you child is under 1.4 metres tall you will need to go on some rides with them and they won't be able to do the rapid area. The pool was busy but not heaving and we still got in the changing rooms and lockers. We then went out to a few more rides and got our tea in one of the many restaurants dotted about - the food was so quick and service was excellent - the kids had their usual healthy! chicken nuggets when out and about and myself and Cath had the fish and chips. It had been a full on day and we thought sod it!

I went over my 1,200 calories that day - was back to normal Thursday, Friday and today. I'll need to fit in some exercise tomorrow to make sure of a loss on Monday.

My youngest wasn't tall enough to sit with me on the dodgems but had great fun at the drive school - you had to pay a £1 for this
Before leaving I did a hands up Billy Butlins and went a bit wild in their gift shop. I purchased coasters, a fridge magnet, 3 x bears for the kids, 4 x chocolate lollies for the hubster and a hessian bag with Butlins written over it.  We didn't get to try everything out like the high ropes etc but we'll just have to do that upon our return. We left about 6.40pm and I got home at 8.10pm. The kids loved it and we will definitely go back for a day trip.

One of my many purchases at the Butlins shop! 

Butlins we will be back!!

Friday, 18 April 2014

I'm Going to BritMums Live!

Name: Natasha 
Blog: The 1970's Diet 
Twitter ID: @the1970sdiet
Height:5ft 5.5 - the .5 makes all the difference
Hair: Long brown and curly - it has been like that since I was 13. I can't be doing with having straight hair as I have a round bear head and feel straight hair makes it look even bigger! So no, I didn't forget to straighten my hair I choose to wear it like this!  I have contemplated getting a fringe in anticipation of more forehead wrinkles but my husband reckons I'll look like Dawn French. Bastard. 
Eyes: Hazel - green on outside brown in middle - will probably be wearing my glasses though after ContactLensGate aka getting a contact lens stuck in my eye for 3 weeks.
Is this your first blogging conference?
Yes and probably my last - I not really a blogger even though I blog, I'm a dieter. I'm not up my own arse and yes I do get free stuff to review and what not but I can take it or leave it. Blogging is a hobby not life or death and I like to be able to write what I want when I want. No arse licking or networking as standard. 
Are you attending both days?
Yes, but will probably leave on the Saturday about 3pm so I can be home in time for tea and to see the kids! 
What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2014?
I am looking forward to meeting Rachel at threeyearsandonestonethenhome - we bonded a few years back over Twitter - she is my virtual Em. Will be great to see and hear each other and get the low down show down. Also really looking forward to seeing Nikki of stressy mummy fame. I have always loved her ability to re-furbish her home with freebies. She is the queen of reviews and what not and I mean that in a lovely not jealous way. Her blog was one of the first I came across and I thought I fancy some of that! The products mind not her.. I digress She's not remotely 'stressy' either and reckon she's a genuine all round good egg.
What are you wearing?

Anything that fits. I would love to wear a Willy Wonka type outfit and make some grand entrance by doing a rolly polly exclaiming "I am The 1970's Diet" however, the reality is I'll wear my sticker and hope people aren't thinking "mmm how's that 1970's diet working out for you?" followed by "clearly not very well".  I intend to leave during the awards and get tipsy on Mojito's and eat food with Rachel (see above). 

What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2014?
A few hours of mingling about and maybe picking up some techno tips as I am, after all, a techno twat.

Here's a picture of me just in case you don't spot my identity badge!

This isn't recommended on a diet - this was my 40th Birthday lunch in Las Vegas baby! 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Nessa is back..

......yes! With an update on her weight loss journey. You may recall that she is on a 'low carb' diet and give you all the necessary details and what not below. More importantly we have the before and after pics - she's still not finished yet but I'm sure you'll agree that you can see a massive difference.

Not forgetting me and my weight loss journey - I lost another 2lbs this week. I got through the 2 week 'starving' barrier (hooray for me but lets face it non of us really know what its like to be truly 'starving').  I duly transferred two of my marbles into the milk bottle.  I didn't complete any additional workouts last week asides from what I told you in my last blog post.  I am setting the alarm tomorrow to fit in a weights workout and possibly some skipping. I am meeting a friend with the kids for a walk in the woods followed by lunch. She is also watching her intake (much slimmer than me) so healthy choices all round tomorrow.  In matters of my eye - the steroid creams etc aren't making that much of a difference so may phone the opticians tomorrow to see if they can fit me in on Thursday. I have to say I have never known so many health issues since I reduced my calorie intake - dry skin patches on my hand and neck, more grey hairs and eyegate - lets hope its only temporary. 

Over to Ness...

Hi everyone, sorry my latest instalment has been rather late however, I don't have Tasha's blog posting mojo and actually putting fingers to keyboard is not something that comes easily!

Tash emailed me the other week wanting to know exactly what I ate as she was rather keen to up her weight loss. As she can testify, its quite restrictive and certainly not for everyone. In fact, I find it much easier in the week as its easier to fall into a routine around the daily dregs of office life.

So, for all those who are interested, here are some do's and dont's. First of all, this is not a no carb diet but a low carb one. All the carbs you need you get from your veg and salad so if you chose to there is plenty of variety.   The main golden rules however is that you have to eat a lot of fat and drink lots of water (at least 3.5 ltrs). Now all of you who diet will probably be recoiling in horror as we have been programmed to think that fat is BAD!. Now I have done a bit of reading around the science which gave me some comfort and actually it seems to work.

My typical day will look like this:

Breakfast -  cheese or mushroom omelet cooked in butter.
Lunch  - cheese and ham salad with mayo.
Dinner - belly pork or chicken thighs with cauliflower cheese or broccoli.

You can eat as much as you like, however the reality is that I am eating less as the fat fills you up far quicker than carbs and you don't feel hungry for ages. In fact there are days when I don't really fancy dinner which would have been unheard of 4 months ago!

Ness at the beginning of her diet 

Ness as she is currently and having to buy her favorite dress in a size 14
Things you absolutely cant eat are bread, potatoes, pasta, sugar in any form, plus some veg are high carb ie carrots so I try to avoid these in large quantities.

To date I have lost 30lbs. March has been rather a social month and I have been dining out or cooking for friends at least twice a week, yet the weight is still coming off, albeit more slowly. I am drinking wine on these occasions too so I don't actually feel like I'm on a diet, which I guess is rather key if I want to sustain this way of eating.

Here is a picture of me in the same dress I wore on the 31st December. I even bought a size 14 dress this week and it fitted really well!!

I'm going to push a bit harder in April. The social calendar is far quieter so I am hoping to have lost another 7lbs by the 5th May. Then I head off to Badminton Horse Trials where my horse is competing so things may slip slightly on the booze front for that weekend!

Until next time.....

Thank you Ness - looking forward to May's update on the weight loss front!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Techno Twat

This week has been a funny old one - its the school holidays which doesn't equate to a 'holiday' - its full on and relentless! Monday was fairly easy - cleaning and what not, Tuesday - my eldest two were booked into multi-sports so I could at least do the weekly shop with just one child. The dreaded X-box has featured also with time restrictions but seriously it does my head in.  More of that later. Wednesday, my friend popped around with her children and buddy had to have his pre-school booster jabs later on in the afternoon. He really cried but needs must. I also booked in an appointment to see the doctor for the following day as my eyes are really sore - the right one in particular.

I am paranoid that I have left my contact lenses in which cannot be possible can it?!! I do remember taking them out in France but last Tuesday the eyelid was really puffy. I bought some conjunctivitis drops but it wasn't really conjunctivitis - anyhow the young doctor reckoned there's nothing in there (I said are you sure as the last doctor said that and I had a contact lens stuck in the corner of my eye for 3 weeks - read all out it here). She reckons its eyelid eczema - lovely.  So I've got some steroid cream which, incidentally, is meant to thin your already thin eyelids and give you irreversible wrinkles and some steroid eye drops. It still feels sore and I'm paranoid something is in it. I'll give it a few more days and see how it goes and failing that it means another trip to the opticians. If it is a contact lens, which I can't see how it would be as I would have been doubtful at the time when I took them out, then I shall NEVER wear them again!! I hate any ailment of any kind as its just hassle to book in the doctors etc - I can't be doing with being ill or anything like that.

So Thursday, my eldest had a friend around and I took the 4 children to McDonalds and then to see Rio 2 (great film) and met another friend and her son for moral support - Buddy can be very whingy at the moment. His nose gets put out of joint when the other two are off and on cue he started having a melt down in McDonalds over his toy!  He was very good in the cinema so we'll let him off that one.  Later on was the doctors appointment (see above) and then the evening just descended into X-box live chaos.

Enter the Techno Twat - that would be me. Basically I purchased a voucher code off Amazon for X-box live but the parlarva you go through to get it up and running. After 2 hours the kids went to bed and then I remained trying to put in microsoft emails and passwords and eventually got it working at about 11pm. There are some games that only play with X-box live plus his friend has it and you can play against each other etc. The next morning I was all proud of myself and declared I had sorted it all out to find that, in fact, I couldn't log in etc.

Anyhow, I messaged X-box live chat and spent another 2 hours deleting my sons 'gamertag', deleting caches ?! and we were in! Yay, only thing is if my daughter wants to play I have to open a microsoft account for her with an email plus download it to X-box and that, my friends, is a bridge too far and quite frankly I'm scared of the whole process!!  No doubt if I do end up completing the X-box assignment I won't ever be able to log in again.

I took great comfort from the fact my friend's husband who designs apps, computer games etc and is generally not a techno twat in any way shape or form found it just as frustrating when he set it up for his son. Turns out my other friend said she and her husband have not watched any telly for 2 nights trying to set up their X-box one.  So X-box why can't you just make it simple for all us adult luddites?!!

I seriously hate technology that's why this blog is as basic as it comes and why I haven't switched to owning my own material and having my own website as it scares me too much. At some point, no doubt, if I blog beyond my 3 year anniversary I may become but until that time I'm sticking with blogger.

Friday, we went to a lovely park then to a Wimpy type place and today my son had a bowling party where I managed to spend an obscene amount in Boots (£74 that was after £7 taken off for rewards) on various potions, creams and make-up stuff.  In addition, I purchased some Butlins canvas prints for a bargain price of £10 for the summer house and other bits and bobs.  My son had a nice time at the bowling party but coming home I looked down at his shoes and realised that he was still wearing his bowling shoes! Urgh I had to do a kamikaze spin around and belt back to the bowling alley to retrieve his civilian shoes.

Speaking of which I have booked a day pass for next week - wish me luck! 
So that has been the week the was in the Easter holidays.  I have got up twice in the week to do my weights and a little Wii dance. My eating has been very good more or less keeping it to 1200 calories so am confident for Monday.

Talk to you soon....

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Review of Helly Hansen Workout Wear

The good people of Helly Hansen sent me some workout wear to try out and review. As you know, I'm always open to reviewing anything to do with fitness and was delighted when they sent me a training top and weather proof jacket to wear. Now, I have to be honest I hadn't heard of this company before, have you?

Having a gander through their site, not only do they make colourful workout wear the range also stretches to beachwear and funky footwear. I quite fancy the Garibaldi boots - I like the name as its my favourite biscuit which is also a bonus. I digress. Back to the workout wear.

I love these - although its not what I'm meant to be reviewing but if they want to send me a pair in size 6 I wouldn't say no!  Check them out here
The training top is lovely and bright and I like the purple and yellow combination. It has funky mesh paneling to the side to keep you cool and dry during training. I wore it doing my weights workout this morning and it was very light and comfortable.  I am pictured wearing it here (looking slightly more round than their model!) - I'm wearing an XL and am a size 16 on top and bottom, so hopefully that'll give you an indication as to what size you would need to order.

I always have these pictures taken whilst I am sans make-up and looking at my most roughest - I have no ideal why but keeping it real people, keeping it real! 

Funky colour scheme 
This top has now been reduced from £40 to £24 in their sale and I think its well worth that. They also do a whole range of other colours. You can check them out here. Here comes the science bit:-

This women´s version of our successful men´s Pace 1/2 zip SS is one of the best 1/2 zip training tops on the market! With a combination of lightweight and quick-dry HH®Cool and mesh fabrics this short-sleeve t-shirt for women is perfect for high-intensity activities both indoors and outdoors. The HH®Cool main fabric and the result of 4 decades of research and testing in moisture management guarantees you the best technology available. The 1/2 zip in front helps vent out excess heat and moisture. The flatlocked seams and the regular fit add comfort. Features reflective elements for safety when the sun sets on a long workout.

I was also sent their wind feather jacket - it was a little snug but I could do it up and what I love about it is the colour. I am definitely wearing this when I go cycling along with my high vise bib - the London Buses should have no problems avoiding me - I hope! 

Can't wait to show you this combo once I've lost more weight 
The jacket is priced at £80 which is a little pricey - I don't know if I would spend £80 on a weather proof but having said that if I was a hard core runner (which I'm not) and I ran come rain or shine I'm sure its very good value.  You'd get so much wear out of it and there's nothing worse than working out and not feeling comfortable. The jackets can be purchased via this link and here's the science bit...

The Feather jacket for women is a feminine and extremely lightweight hooded wind jacket. It has its own self-storing packet so you can easily carry it with you on a run, to the gym or on the go. The lightweight fabric provides the right amount of protection, the hood construction adds style and attitude. The elastic cuffs adds comfort and the back pocket holds all your essentials.

I really like the site and enjoyed trying out their range. In addition to all of this they also run the event Helly Hansen Beauty and the Beast - its an INSANE marathon (or you can do a half marathon). I'm not a runner but if I were and proper hard core I would certainly enter this. Any offers out there?  Its billed as the 'UK's toughest multi-lap marathon' and has 1,500 metres of ascent!!! I am exhausted just looking at the pictures. I have great admiration for people who 1) are fit enough to complete such an event and 2) have the inclination! If you fancy it - you best get training as its on 20 September 2014 this year.

Until next time....

I was sent a training top and wind proof jacket free of charge for the purpose of this review. I feel these products are relevant to my weight loss blog and wished to share them with you. My views are always honest. I was also happy to promote their marathon as if you're a runner it looks more exciting than your bog standard marathon. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ta Dah!

-5lbs!!!!! You heard correct my friends. I have properly calorie counted for 8 days now and this is the result. I only did two work outs - 1 x weight session and 1 x pilates so I do need to get some proper exercise in this week even with the kids off.

I have been reading recently - she's lost an incredible 23 stone and has lots of useful tips and motivational posts. I pinched one the other day. Its very simple but very effective and here it is...

On the left are the 1lbs (represented by marbles - I figured this was better than mini eggs - why torture yourself?) I have lost at the start of my proper calorie counting and on the right are the 1lbs I need to lose. I merely transfer them into the jar on the left. My daughter wants to keep the marbles once I've finished the transfer, which is an added incentive, as I know she'll be pestering the life out of me about when she can have her marbles.

I have to say though that I haven't had the easiest of times trying to eat 1,200 calories a day - some days I was under as I was aiming for 1,000 so made me under the 1,200 and I think on Saturday I was over by 200.  I am counting my drinks also. I have felt properly hungry and at times could be rather cranky but then I figured I'm cranky after over eating and beating myself up so might as well be cranky but actually losing some weight.  I have to get through the end of this week as the first 14 days are the hardest.

Next up will be a review on some funky workout wear by Helly Hansen. I have to admit I'd never heard of them before but glad I have now and about an exciting event they are holding in the Autumn.

Be back soon...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sharon's Guide to a Half Marathon

As promised my sister has written another guest post for me all about her running efforts.  I hope you enjoy it and feel a bit inspired to get out there and try it - I might even have a go myself! 

This next blog is all about my efforts in training for a half marathon- Hope you enjoy it!

Date:  Several months before Xmas: - For some insane reason, I decided it would be a good idea to enter another race – It had been several years since my last foray into long distance running and I had clearly forgotten what it was like! In addition, I was five years older, about 1 ½ stone heavier and now had disabilities resulting from two badly broken ankles. I had been keeping fit mainly by cycling but I was finding it difficult to lose the weight as effectively as running could do. I had done a few ‘Race for Life’s’ in between but they are all 5k races which didn’t really fit the bill. I had once completed a marathon (in 2008), but the words ‘Never again’ had been uttered after that and the memories of the after race effects were still there. So I decided to do a half marathon – which mentally, is much more do-able (and its all about mental belief for long distance running!).

Runners waiting to start a half marathon

So I entered the Silverstone Half Marathon which takes place on the 3rd March 2014 around the F1 circuit.

Several moons passed and Christmas,with all its eating and drinking and then, along with half the population, I start a Diet on the 1st Jan – I also dig out the ’12 week training plan’ I had printed it off the internet some while ago and, to my horror, I realise that I had actually only 8 weeks to go until the race!! EEK- I was already 4 weeks behind plan!!
So..Week 1 (4!)  I did a 3 mile on the Saturday - into a driving headwind and still feeling the after effects of a cold – so with a lung being coughed up too! Not a good start.  On Sunday, I managed a stop start 4 miler…grim…

Week 2 (5!) 4 x 4 miles to run and a 6 miler on the Sunday. I had to try and fit in some running during my lunch hour as I work in London and I’m out of the house for 12 hours a day- so running in the evening is difficult as a) its dark and I live in a village with no lights down the road, and b) I can’t be arsed.

Sharon in 2007 completing a race for life!

I found a lovely quiet route in London which took in Tower Bridge, round St Katherine’s Dock and down to Wapping. There are some lovely docks that all the city runners go round.  I had to keep stopping to walk for parts of the run as my legs were now fully complaining!

The only downside to lunchtime running is the bad hair and beetroot face look for the afternoon!

Weeks 3 and 4 - I’m now running 5 times per week and my long-run on a Sunday is up to 8 miles. I’ve been a bit worried about shin splints as I’ve had stress fractures in the past (I’m not really designed for running, I have flat feet and run heavily). I’m running around 20 -25 miles per week. Hopefully it won't get any worse, but I’ve probably over-trained due to starting the programme 4 weeks in. I’ll stick with it and see how it goes.

At the end of Week 4 I miss the Sunday run (mainly due to a hangover and the worst wet and windy weather known to man) I got stuck on the sofa by the fire (it happens).  The downside to this was that I then had to go for a 9 mile run on Monday evening! Ouch – I didn’t get home until 7 and then I set off (with lovely Husband to keep me company) for an hour ½ run! My sister was in shock at the thought of that much exercise in one go. It was fairly easy except the last two miles where my legs really felt like lead. I had turned the corner though;- the corner where you no longer actually get out of puff…all the pain is only muscular etc (Hint: Ibuprofen is your friend – before and after runs).

Weeks 5- This goes by without too many problems. The main thing is the endless wind and rain – I’ve even taken to running on the treadmill in the gym when I’m at work rather than get battered outside. It’s the worst thing EVER. I always say that if I was on death row and my last minutes were ticking by, then I would be on the treadmill as it’s like time slows down on that thing!! Argghh.....

At the end of week 5 however, I go off to Nice for a weekend of DIY in my apartment. I also managed to do a 4 miler and a 9 miler. It was a pure delight to run in the warm sun and have the sea to one side of me and snow capped mountains to the other. It was a real lift.

Week 6 – Pretty uneventful – One good thing however, is that I’ve lost 12 lbs in weight since this started and lots of inches from my waist and legs…feeling really fit too.

Week 7 – Disaster strikes!! I get Cystitis….. For those who have ever had this, then you will know that running is a NO GO!!  I managed to get through the week on pain killers, did an agonising 3 miler on the Saturday and did a 2 hour walk on Sunday instead of my long run.

Week 8- Monday -08.45 – I’m battering down the door of the Doctors to get some antibiotics! I’ve still not able to run since last week and the race is only 6 days away. I spend Monday and Tuesday cycling at 9.30 in the evening (as super busy at work, a horse to look after etc). Luckily by Wednesday, I’m feeling a lot better, so I try a test run of 3 miles…still not perfect but I should just about be okay to run.  A totally drunken and mad Friday night was perhaps not the best preparation (but I’m blaming Tasha for that one!) as I stagger around a 4 mile run on Saturday with a monster hangover….

One day to go!!!

Sun 3rd March- Race day dawns…..the weather forecast was not great – driving wind and rain (what else is new?). We also have to be at the racetrack by 10.30 so it’s an early start. As with most racetracks, the wind is always even stronger than everywhere else.  It was also bitterly cold.

I went with two friends, Sarah and Caroline, but Sarah is much quicker so she ran her own race, whilst Caroline ran with me. We have run together in the past so know we are at similar standards. We had a laugh at some of the characters in the race. There were 11,000 entries and there are lots of funny costumes… Banana-Man kept up alongside us most of the way, but we beat the Sheep on the line!

Things were going well for most of the way; we were keeping up a 10 minute mile pace- until around Mile 8 and then the pace slacked off a bit. By this time, the wind was almost stopping us in our tracks and it made the last few miles home very tough. Still, we got round all the way without stopping in a time of 2hrs, 19mins and 58 seconds! Not the best time in the world, but I was pleased to finish J

Collected our lovely medals and the usual goody bag (filled with sweets, energy drinks, T-shirt etc) and headed off home. We stopped off and had a large Big Mac and fries which was best food EVER!!

Thank you to my sister for writing another inspiration guest post.  That is dedication isn't it?! Just goes to show that hard work and effort pays off and is ultimately is what is required to shift the pounds. Well done on the 12lbs lost - that's an incredible amount of weight to lose and makes taking up running very appealing......

Thursday, 3 April 2014


Emma doing the honours with the before and after pics. One day I will know how to pose properly but until that day this is how I roll as the youngsters say! 

Still wearing my ankle strap  - the belly is going - its been around for too long! 

Chunky monkey!

Loving the classy hole in my sock and expression!
Howdy, following on from my last post, I have embarked on a 1,200 (allowing for 1,000 plus errors) calorie counting diet. I'm not cut out for no carbs, atkins, dukan, cambridge and all that jazz - its simple isn't it? Eat less. I've still been eating too much. I can easily maintain but the loss has been slow.  Its about to speed up. I'm just counting everything and logging it into my fitness pal. Its amazing the amount of calories that you think you're consuming compared to what you are actually consuming.

I have had a headache today and have felt hungry since I started getting precise on Monday.  I'm sure this will pass and I will get through the first two weeks.  In addition, the whole can't function without food is a bit of a modern day myth isn't it?  I know this isn't ideal but prisoners of war built the Burma Railway on little or no food.  I'm certainly not advocating starving and the brutal treatment of others - merely pointing out the human body is capable of doing a great deal with very little in the fuel tank.

So, to put myself out there - I asked Em to take some photo's today so that we can compare at the end of April.  I am also excited to say that I shall be comparing my own calorie counting to that of the meals prepared for you by In the month of May I will try out their 1,200 calorie controlled plan (and no shakes! yay!) compared to my own.  I like the sound of it as it fits in with my own 1970's concept - 3 x meals a day and a couple of snacks. They've just done all the hard work for you.  The breakfasts are porridge and other healthy calorie controlled options, lunch mainly soup (which I have been doing in any event) and in the evening a meal with your own veg. You can also eat fruit and drink tea and coffee. I will, of course, do before and after pics for May and let you all know how it fits in with my lifestyle etc.

In other news, I really need to sort my hair out! Maybe I should start straightening it - I've always had it 'curly' although in these pictures its more frizzy.  I also, for the 3rd week running, set the alarm for 6 am and did 45 minutes of Pilates.  This is unheard of - to cut short my sleep by one hour - I must mean business!

Finally, my sister (Sharon - not Nessa who needs to give us all an update on her low carb diet) has written a great post about running.  It'll be coming up very soon.

Ta ta for now