About Me

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London, United Kingdom
This is the journey of an average girl trying to lose weight and embarking on a new adventure. Everything you read and see posted from me is real. I wear my heart on my sleeve and make mistakes just like everyone! Everything on this page is just my opinion I do not claim to be an expert I am just giving my account of how I feel!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Update Xmas 2012

Hi everyone

I'm so sorry I have been terrible with writing my blog recently - I give myself far too many things to do!

So where am I now?

Well I am 35 pounds lighter!!! I feel so much better and look so much better. One of my goal's was to be able to fit into a ballgown I had made in 2008 and guess what........I did it!. It was tight and I felt uncomfortable after eating my Christmas dinner but I am so pleased I got back into the dress!

I am still on the Cambridge Plan, although I have given myself some days off over Xmas, I put on 4 pounds but have lost a couple since but that's Xmas for you, I would say Xmas is the most difficult time of year to lose weight but I have managed to curb the cravings and reduce the food intake even though it has taken 3 days!

What's next for 2013?

Well I have a few targets set for 2013, I want to be able to wear a bikini again and I would like to get into a size 12 dress and I also really want to become a Cambridge Consultant and help others to lose weight.

In total I would love to lose another 3 stone (35 pounds). I plan to do this by continuing the Cambridge Plan plus continuing my CrossFit that I still love very much.

I'm excited to continue in 2013..............i'll be back!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Cambridge Weight Plan Days 15-21

Week 3 Days 15-21

Still following Stage 2 which is 810 calories daily, this week I had decided to return to exercise so on Day 18 I had my usual porridge in the morning, soup at lunch, shake at 3pm but then I had one of the Cambridge weight plan chocolate bars at 5pm ready for my exercise session at 18.30. My coach at CrossFit is great and scaled the routine down for me as 1000 calories for the day is not ideal to complete a CrossFit session but I am determined not to let my fitness decline as I have already had two weeks off. The session was great I had no dizzy spells and felt I had done just the right amount of exercise without going overboard. I did feel a little more peckish this week and I am putting that down to be due on my period so on two occasions during the week I added a boiled egg to lunch which took the edge of the hunger. The rest of the week remained the same and I enjoyed following some of the recipes from the Cambridge book (see pic of Chinese chicken noodle). I have weighed on my scales just for a sense check and have gone down a few pounds but my official weigh-in is on Tuesday 11th Sept so I will let you all know how I get.

The toughest part of this week was defiantly taking my son to a birthday party and having to watch everyone eat jelly, ice-cream, cakes, crisps, sweets, sausage rolls and so on.  Joshua even got covered in cup cake which I had to touch but I resisted even licking my fingers! Tough but I managed to stay angelic! I am enjoying the fact my clothes are looser!

Roll on weigh in day!!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cambridge Diet Plan - Week 2 days 7-14

Week 2 Days 7 – 14

Nothing has changed with my eating habits since the first week, I am still on stage 2 of the Cambridge plan which consists of 3 products (porridge/soup/shake) plus a main meal of an evening and an allowance of ¾ pint of skimmed milk. If I have felt hungry at any time I pre-prepared some celery and cucumber sticks which I munch on during the day.  I am still drinking 2 litres of water a day plus I have a few herbal teas and coffee so that is more water I am drinking. The only side effect I have experienced is constipation but then if not much is going in then I don't expect much to come out! I have Senkot at the ready.

Weigh-in 2 (Day 12)

The good news is that I weighed in again on day 12 which was a few days earlier but my consultant Val is on holiday this week. So after a further 5 days I had a weight loss of 4lbs. That is a total of 10lbs in 12 days, I am really pleased with this and starting to notice the difference in my clothes, others are also starting to notice.

The things you need to remember when doing this plan:

1.       There is NO point following this diet if you are NOT going to ease yourself back into healthy eating. Your calorie intake has to be increased slowly over a period of time. You will put the weight straight back on if you lose a stone or more and then immediately go back to your old ways of unhealthy eating.

2.       If you get really desperate to eat NEVER GIVE UP just have an extra porridge/shake/soup or some protein i.e. egg, chicken, soya to fill you up – stick to the plan as much as possible.

3.      Your appetite will decrease, I don’t find myself hungry at all at the moment.

4.  Be creative with the foods you can eat for your main meal - I will be uploading some recipes next week which I have made up. You are allowed herbs and spices so use them!!

My next weigh-in is now not for 10 days until my consultant returns so fingers crossed it is good news.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Cambridge Diet Plan - whats it all about?

Shakes, Porridge & Soups

Ok so I have been useless recently when it comes to writing my blog. I have not written anything since June and for that I feel terrible but I have been really busy.

Weight wise not much of a difference – you would think after 2 months I would have dropped a couple of stone but no not with my metabolism!  My fitness has got a LOT better though and I even run now, not very far but it’s still classed as running. Still loving going to CrossFit and will continue to do so.

Although I have always been against short term diets I have decided that I need a boost, I need to see some pounds coming off the scales as I feel my effort levels are high but the results are low (from a weight perspective) so I am going to try the Cambridge Diet Plan and I will be blogging about it as of today. This diet will be a part of my life for a while until I am ready to go back to eating Paleo/healthy to maintain my weight. For the next two weeks I will also be limiting my exercise due to limitation of calorie intake. Let’s see how I get on!

Day 1 -Monday

After an hour consultation yesterday with my Cambridge Consultant Val I leave her house feeling a little anxious but also exited and motivated to start this plan. I just need a boost in weight loss, I really have been trying so hard to lose the pounds. My body shape has defiantly changed over the last couple of months so that in itself is a great achievement (pics to come later). Val decides to start me on Stage 2 of the plan which is 3 Cambridge Weight plan sachets consisting of either porridge, milkshake or soup and then a small protein portion with vegetables for dinner. I decided to go for porridge for breakfast, soup for lunch, a milkshake about 15.30 and dinner about 18.30. It’s funny how your mind tricks you into thinking you are hungry the second it knows you are reducing your food! I woke up hungry even though I was not!

I went for the Maple & Pecan porridge this morning which I found a little too sweet tasting but the consistency was good and I felt like I had eaten. Chicken & Mushroom soup for lunch which tasted like cup a soup – TO DO I definitely need one of the hand held whisk’s as I had to break down the lumps of powder. Hungary by 13.30 and looking forward to 3.30pm shake! The 3.30pm shake could have not come any quicker as I really struggled in the afternoon and by the time I got home I literally went straight to the fridge to start the “small” evening meal, I cooked 245g chicken with no skin and 80g of spinach together and mixed in some cayenne pepper and a tiny bit of spray lite. That feeling of hunger disappeared and stayed away for the rest of the evening. When I did feel a little peckish I made a herbal rooibos tea with some of my skimmed milk allowance. I drank 2.5 litres of water throughout the day and evening but I must say I could not wait to get into bed so I could stop thinking about poxy food! They say the first three days are the worst let’s hope that is true!  Hunger level out of 10 is 10!!

Day 2 - Tuesday

I expected to wake up hungry but I was surprised I did not. Breakfast was the original porridge, which was nice. I decided due to struggling so much in the afternoon yesterday that I would try having my main meal at lunchtime rather than the evening, for lunch I had two large boiler eggs and a salad made up of lettuce, cucumber and a couple of olives which I thought were ok but are not on the allowed list (oops). I waited till 4pm for my shake – chocolate & mint and then I had Oriental Chilli soup for dinner which was really tasty. In between I drank 2 litres of water but have 3 rooibos tea’s with my skimmed milk allowance. The feeling of hunger has subsided slightly and I do feel less puffy but I have stayed away from the scales as I would rather have a nice surprise on my weigh in next week. I did feel tired last night but that could also be down to the fact our son woke us up a few times during the night. Roll on day 3. Hunger level is 8

Day 3 - Wednesday

Woke up feeling slimmer but then who would not if you are only eating 810 calories a day. Put my black work trousers on and did they defiantly felt slightly looser. The first week of weight loss is going to be a lot of water so I am under no illusion its fat going just yet! Had Apple & Cinnamon porridge for breakfast (best one of the three porridge choices), then 1 egg, 150g of chicken and salad for lunch, Coconut shake about 4pm and then Oriental Chilli soup for dinner. Drank 2 litres of water plus a few herbal teas with my skimmed milk. Felt fine today although I can feel an underlying tiredness and I did go to bed at 9.45pm! Also asked if I was ok as I was super quiet at work, felt fine but it shows how food affects your energy levels dramatically! Hunger level is 7.

Day 4 - Thursday

Had to get up extra early today (06.30am) so did not get to eat breakfast till 9.30am and I could actually hear my belly rumbling. Breakfast was original porridge which I find quite thick so I add water after the microwave to make it more palatable. I had Leek and potato soup for lunch which I had to spend a little time on adjusting the thickness but it tasted ok. Butterscotch shake at 3pm which was ok but I prefer Strawberry. For dinner I followed one of the recipes in the stage 2 section of the Cambridge book which was Chinese style prawns, I substituted the prawns with chicken, this recipe allows you to have 30g of rice noodles in your portion – woo hoo something different! It tasted amazing and took about 1 minute to eat as the portion size was just enough to keep hunger at bay. About 8pm I felt hungry again so I boiled up my skimmed milk allowance and sprinkled some cinnamon and vanilla into it to make it taste a little sweeter.

Day 5 – Friday

I actually woke up today feeling a little bloated today (must have been the noodles), my partner Matt talked me into going on the scales just for a sanity check and I had gone down 5lbs! But I am not getting excited yet as the Val’s scales were a difference of 7lbs to mine! I just need to keep focused as you find your mind can wonder, I don’t think about giving in to a particular food I just think about how long I can keep this up as I would be looking to be on the plan for at least 6 weeks plus.

Day 6-7 Saturday & Sunday

These days I found the hardest as I was not keeping busy at work to keep my mind off food, I felt light headed if I got up suddenly but that did pass by Sunday. If I did get hungry I nibbled on some celery as suggested by my Cambridge Advisor Val.

Weigh-in day

I had to wait until Tuesday to weigh-in as it was a bank holiday Monday but to my delight I lost 6 pounds in my first week! This is good but I know any new plan you embark on always has a great first week weight loss. I am interested in the long term weight loss and maintenance, but at least it shows I am following it correctly. My biggest pleasure was actually putting on my navy work trousers and they are actually pretty loose! That is a combination of exercise leading up to this plan and this week’s weight loss.

From now on I am going to do a weekly update of following the plan as the days don’t seem to change much. I do feel much more alert now and I can feel my energy coming back so all good at the moment!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Glitch in the Matrix

Dealing with Occasions

Oh dear....what can I say apart from I have lost my way a little. I have still been going to CrossFit but my diet/eating clean plan needs to go through the dishwasher!

It was all going so well until my birthday 1st June, Matt took me to this wonderful quirky hotel and restaurant called The Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield (I totally recommend it) the meal started with whitebait in breadcrumbs followed by a huge burger and chips (poshly done) and to finish a creamy rice pudding with strawberry compote oh and don't forget the strawberry champagne cocktail on the side. All the food there is organic and a lot of the ingredients are home grown at their farm in Oxford so although an indulgent treat at least I knew the ingredients were not processed. For me it was the alcohol that started the slip into past habits, later that evening we had a Chinese meal at my aunts which I tried to be good by having egg fu yung which is basically an omelet and then a little rice on the side. She then surprised me with a Thornton's fudge cake - I know this is going to sound cliche but how can you say no when someone has gone to the effort for you? I had a very small slice. The next day I woke up with a very upset stomach, I am convinced the re-introduction of the sugar and wheat was to blame. For the next day or so after that I stayed away from the "baddies".

The downhill slope started again when I decided it would be a good idea to make cupcakes for the first time for the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations (see pic to the left), I organised a street party and because we were not flush with cash I wanted to make an effort with the ingredients I did have already in the cupboard, can I just say that I could NEVER be a baker.....OMG I must have licked the bowl and my fingers about 9000 times! I really did try hard at first not to, I even chewed gum so I would not like the mixed flavour but nothing worked. Needless to say I don't think I can ever make them again as I cannot control myself at all. The smell they send around the house when baking is too much for me so note to self "no baking cakes". So after consuming 5 cupcakes (over a two day period) and half a tonne of icing I also consumed 2 bottles of rose wine during the street festivities and loads of meats from the BBQ's. Again I woke with an upset stomach but this time also a hangover. I don't do hangovers very well although I come from a long line of drink lovers I really suffer the next day and of course the only thing that ever helps a hangover are processed carbs and greasy food so I reached for the toast and jam - not good.

After a few not so bad days in between we then made our way down to the south coast of England with my family for a long weekend of fun and frolics in the sun, except there was no sun the whole weekend it just rained and when it rains I feel depressed and want to eat! Also anyone who knows my family know that our favourite past time is eating, our days are scheduled around eating. We had fish and chips Friday night, BBQ Saturday night plus between Matt and I we drunk a bottle of Vodka over the weekend, Sunday night was jacket potatoes and fillings plus half a large bag of thick cut cheddar cheese crisps. My trainers and I did make an appearance though for a 2.2 mile run (I only ran half though and power walked the rest) plus a swim with Josh.

If I ask myself how I truly feel after eating bad over the last week or so I would say "disgusting" although I still made healthier choices than I would normally (for example I said NO to yum yums, tortilla chips and dips, extra chips, side portion of rice etc) have on holiday I still gave in and indulged too much for someone who needs to lose 4 stone! I feel quite down today about myself and keep wondering if I will ever get to my goal. As I am typing I am trying to find that trigger again inside that will motivate me to start fresh again tomorrow.

Starting again

I have faced this feeling so many times now, I am sure like me we all have to deal with occasions such as holidays, birthdays and family gatherings and sometimes they all come at once but I am thinking that it is always better to start again than to give up right? If you are good for 300 days of a year but 65 were not so good is that not better than 365 days of eating poorly? I have to deal with these fresh starts quite regularly but I am not giving up, I try to departmentalise the last week of eating poorly and shut the door on it, there is no point sitting moping about it I just have to start again in the morning and put the past behind me. 

The luxury of tomorrow is that I can learn from this experience, I feel that I need to also up my exercise as before I was doing two crossfit sessions a week plus swimming some lunchtimes at work, however due to my cancellation of the gym I have been relying on CrossFit and I just don't think it is enough! I need to do more!


Monday, 28 May 2012

Right lets tackle this thing called FOOD

Last two weeks!
I was excited all week to attend the Barefoot Coconut workshop on Saturday 19th May as I really wanted to start concentrating on my eating habits. As I have said before I am just doing one thing at a time so I can eliminate the overwhelming feeling you get when start a new diet and exercise plan.

If you would like more details on Barefoot Coconut please check out Rebecca's website: http://www.barefootcoconut.co.uk/
Firstly the word “diet” is not a very positive word to use as it immediately makes me feel under pressure and cries out “lack of food” so I am changing my mind set and following in the footsteps of others by saying I am “Eating Clean” that sounds much better and very healthy!

What is “Eating Clean”?

Eating clean basically is eating foods that nature intended us to eat back in Caveman days, no processed foods, just simple natural ingredients.  Some people call it “Paleo eating”.

When you start any eating plan from scratch it is very easy to feel overwhelmed, you are trying to absorb all the information about foods to eat and avoid but also what nutrients or supplements to make sure you are getting enough of. For me knowing the science behind food is a must, I do have a methodical mind which needs lots of information hence I often ask stupid questions for example, what are Legumes? Rebecca from Barefoot Coconut kept mentioning Legumes and I sat there thinking what the hell are they? Have I missed out on something great to eat? Legumes are also known as pulses – kidney beans, baked beans, chick-peas, soy beans etc doh!

If I can understand how the body digest foods it gives me a greater appreciation of how bad processed foods are for us. To me it is as simple as – the more toxins you plough into your body, the harder the body has to work on fighting them rather than efficiently looking after the rest of it! I see eating processed foods rather like having a petrol car and putting diesel in it. I am totally guilty of eating processed foods such as microwave meals and McDonald's so I knew I was in for a shock when I started to withdraw them.

Baby Steps & Bananas

Rather than do everything that I had learnt at once I decided to break it down into "Baby Steps".

My first change was to eliminate wheat and sugar from my eating regime.

This is much harder than it sounds as when you start to read food labels you realise how these ingredients are in nearly EVERYTHING! The main thing I struggle with are ideas of what to eat for breakfast which are wheat and sugar free as I usually have cereal, toast or a cereal bar. Now when I say no sugar I mean no added sugar as I am still eating fruit but not in huge quantities. In the Barefoot Coconut recipe book I found a recipe for banana pancakes which is basically 3 eggs mixed with a banana and cinnamon to taste, fry it in a little coconut oil and there you have it something chunky to eat in the morning which not only tastes nice but is really filling. You may have to practice as I burnt my first two pancakes I ever made but now I have mastered them!

At lunchtimes I am eating salads with meat, fish or eggs and then I add seeds, nuts (especially pine nuts - love them) and pickles to give the dish variety. I am very lucky at work as we have a subsidised restaurant so we have a lot of choice. If I have a cooked lunch it will be chicken with loads of vegetables. Potatoes are not off the menu but I just don't have as many as I used to but if I want one or two I will have them. Afternoon snacks are nuts, carrots, celery or some Greek yogurt with a bit of fruit like blueberries or raspberries and then a little sprinkle of cinnamon. That is a little secret weapon - CINNAMON or any other sweet spice that you like - it can turn a sour dish sweet without adding any sugar!

Dinner tends to be similar to lunch but I am eating a lot of fish at home. I cooked a nice dish the other night, I chopped up red onion, peppers and cherry tomatoes and pan fried them in a little oil, I added the mackerel chopped up and mixed together, the last thing I chucked in the pan was loads of spinach and some pine nuts - it was lovely.

The one thing I have noticed after 12 days of eating clean is that I feel like i have so much more energy and I defiantly do not feel in the slightest bit bloated. It was hard with the sugar withdrawal at first but after a few days it subsides, don't forget I still have fruit so that is the substitute.

The other change I added was to drink more water. WATER WATER WATER. The more you drink the more the body works efficiently, its like putting oil in a car! I go to bed with a pint of water and drink it all when once I have woken up and and are walking around getting dressed. This is great for hydrating the body and brain after hours of sleep.

So far that is all I have changed, I do have some other things planned but I am doing this slowly so that it becomes a permanent part of my life. When you have been on as many diets as I have you eventually come to the conclusion that it is only ever yourself you constantly disappoint and damage. If you are really serious about changing then you have to put the work in, but that work can be done slowly and in steps which are totally achievable.
I believe it is better to make small changes than none at all! Who said everything has to be done at once?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The G.B.U - CROSSFIT 9th, 10th & 12th May 2012 -

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


I did 3 CrossFit classes last week and survived! Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. I had missed one from the week before so rather than miss out Andy kindly allowed me to catch up with an extra one. It hurt but it was worth it, the first time in ages I glammed up and went to a party Saturday night feeling good, things are beginning to tighten and my energy levels are still high.

Wednesday 9th May

Out of all the workouts I have done this had to be the shortest of all. 5.58mins to be exact. Its hard to get your head around the fact I only did 6 mins of exercise but again it is so intense that its like doing 20 mins of exercise. Today was only two exercises but they had to be repeated in a sequence of 15-12-9, so we would do 15 deadlifts and 15 over the bar burpees, then 12 of each, then 9 of each so in total 36 deadlifts and 36 burpees. I was following the pace of the guy in front and when it got to my 9's I lost count and think I may have left some out - easy to do when you are knackered!

Thursday 10th May

Aching from the day before especially my pecs and  triceps I turned up for more punishment (I love it really). This one I found tough although I really feel I am getting so much stronger on the rower which helps! I still have not jumped a box since a week ago but its something I still need to work on so again Andy scaled the box jumps for me to step ups. I am working on my flexibility in order to jump the box so watch this space. Today was 3 exercises but we had to do 5 rounds of them so in total I rowed 2000m 50 push press and 50 box jumps! I also had healthy competition today which made my butt move faster! Good job overall. All the above in 17m 55 seconds!

I love Saturdays at the box, everyone is fresh and in a good mood as its the start of the weekend, we also tend to do a team exercise as well which is an extra motivator. There were two events today, we were spilt into two teams of 4 and each team had to decide which of the 4 listed exercises we each were going to do, I opted for the row whilst the guys in my team mastered the rest. This meant once I had completed my rowing I had a chance to breathe.

Event 2 was not on the board at the time so I thought that was it (wishful thinking) and even joked to a newcomer that its not that bad! lol Event 2's exercises were spilt between us all but I am afraid to say I could not do the push press as the weight was too heavy for me, the guys gave me a helping hand but I opted saved my energy for my 200m run - does not sound much but when you have my boobs running is problem, my moto is slowly but surely! Only the team that came in first had to do the sled - which was not us! Another great session and set me up for the weekend!


My diet is “the bad” I just can’t quite get to grips with it, I am at 60% good, 10% fair and 30% bad. The good is always whilst at work as we have a restaurant with a healthy salad bar which makes it easy as we have choices. I found a great new treat rice cake (see pic below) they are only 57 calories a pop and really are nice but when you know they are low it’s easy to eat 4! Also our catering staff have been making these Granola Pots (see pic below) honey at the bottom and then a mix of low fat natural yogurt and Greek yogurt then granola on the top –apparently they are good for you they are so nice but its feels naughty eating them! I have one for breakfast about 3 times a week or sometimes in the afternoon. Carbs are still taking centre stage in my life, everything is still served with rice, pasta, bread or potatoes, don’t get me wrong I know we need carbs especially when working out but I know 100% I eat too many!

I drank enough Saturday night to fuel a jet, I have never been a glass a night/week drinker I make up for it when I do get the night off and go out, we attended a wonderful wedding reception at a venue where I missed brushing shoulders with Brad and Angelina, Russell Crowe and the Royal brothers – never mind its only 10 mins from my house so a lunch visit is in order!

The influence of alcohol always plays havoc with my willpower as the buffet table seemed to move towards me not the other way round, miniature fish & chips, miniature burgers they all looked so cute I had to eat them! So Sunday morning arrived with an over bloated stomach and a mouth as dry as Gandhi's flip flop, it took until 12pm to feel anything close to normal. One English breakfast, 2 hour snooze and chicken fajitas for dinner later and I am back to myself again but the intoxication of alcohol and processed carbs left their mark.

That’s the good thing about being realistic and human, we all have bad moments but it’s how we overcome them that counts. Monday is here and I am back on drinking 2 litres of water and a healthy lunch, the weekend’s over indulgences are behind me now! Forget them and move on!

Really can’t wait for the nutritional workshop Saturday 19th May to refresh my knowledge and learn something new!


Was me on Sunday morning. Simple.


This week I plan to drink lots of water, have lots of salads, attend 2 crossfit sessions and try and get some running in on my treadmill at home as my younger cousin wants to do a 5k charity run with me in June so I need to show her I still have it! Although I find running with big boobs is the equivalent of a man running with elephantitus in his groin area, everything seems to wobble these days even my love handles have their own pace!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

CROSSFIT - 5th May 2012 Hardest session so far!

It’s been a long week. Apologies for being quiet – If you know me well you will know I am never quiet!

I only managed to get one CrossFit class in last week as Wednesday night I attended a birthday meal at a curry house and ended up not feeling too good the next day. Note to self: must start to sort my diet out. Up until now I did not want to add anymore pressure, historically I have always tried to do everything in one go – start a new diet the day I start a new gym but then what happens? I don’t get to the gym, feel miserable and then eat a huge chelsea bun (they are nice though).  So I am doing things differently this time as I want to break my past habits and succeed! One thing at a time (baby steps – remember). So in preparation for this dietary change I have booked myself in with my CrossFit club who are hosting a visit from Rebecca Hughes who is a wellness coach, apparently she is big on eating simple, clean and lots of – so already I like her for the “lots of” bit! She is also a crossfitter so she understands the nutrition needed to fuel the body correctly when training. The session is booked in for Saturday 19th May between 11-2 so I will keep you all posted! In the meantime she runs this website if you would like a peek www.barefootcoconut.co.uk. I am excited about this session!

Saturday 5th May

Well……..I can honestly say that this session was the hardest by far!

I arrived in good spirits to see approx 12 of us (CrossFitters to outsiders -smug moment J) and a couple of new faces to me but they had been with the Camberley box for a while. The WOD (workout of the day) was set and we were split into two teams of 6. The WOD was row 10,000m and then complete as many reps as possible on the following: air squats, the plank, deadlifts, burpees and dips. Don't forget this was all to come after the warm up (see writing in red on picture). When I originally saw 10,000m I thought Jesus there is no way I could row that on my own especially if he wanted to close that night - can you imagine me in the dark rowing through the night until Andy turned up the next morning?

I am so glad we don't have captains that have to pick teams, do you remember those days at school where you were the last one to be picked? oh you don't, must have just been me then! Saying that if they were picking for the Shotput trials I was number 1 all the way! I used to think that if I wanted a body like a certain person at school I should follow the same sport they do for example the gymnasts were always quite short but had great muscly legs and amazingly toned stomachs, the long jumpers and runners had the long legs and the shot putters looked just like me! No, not really I was not too bad at school, although at the time I thought I was but didn't we all?

So we proceed to the workout which would end once we had rowed 10,000m as a team (phew) little did I know at that point how long that would take. In turn we had to row 500m each at a time but someone had to be rowing the whole duration of the workout (so no rowing breaks). Usually our workouts vary between 16-20 mins but not this one, as I was struggling with moving from exercise to exercise I looked up at the clock to see 21:05 and then I swear I heard a voice shout "keep it up you are half way there" half way there? OMG I was knackered already and was not sure I had much left in the tank. By 30 mins the fruit and fibre I had for breakfast was beginning to work its way back up from the stomach. To be honest by 39 mins I had to get water I really felt dizzy (by the way you can get water at anytime I just chose to keep going). The last few minutes saw a race between teams and the good news was that we WON!! woo hoo I was on a winning team again (I could get used to this) in total it was a 45 min WOD which is going to sound like nothing to some of you who do an hour of aerobics on a regular basis but its not the same. If I had to compare the energy required to complete a session of CrossFit it would be like cramming your 60 aerobic workout into 10 mins.

I felt proud that I had held on until the end but I promise you I felt shattered, when I pulled into my drive after the workout I actually wondered if I had the energy to get out of the car. After approx 30 mins of the workout I experienced something not very nice, I started seeing blotches in my vision which then lead to what I can only describe as kaleidoscope patterns which very quickly expanded taking up the whole of my sight. I have had this once before so I knew not to panic but instead I grabbed my bottle of water, laid down on the sofa with a towel over my head for darkness and sipped water until it stopped. 45mins later I can see normally again but I had a hell of a migraine. To cut a long story short I had basically done 3 things wrong that morning, firstly my breakfast was not enough to provide the correct energy needed for that sort of workout, secondly I had not drunk enough water and lastly I ignored my body when it did tell me to slow down during the workout. My blood pressure had shot up and my hydration levels had gone down a lesson I do not wish to repeat.

It really taught me the importance of drinking plenty of water and also fuelling the body with the right foods before a workout - that's one of the reasons I am excited about the nutrition workshop. As they say, Knowledge is Power!

So although I only made one session, that session felt like a weeks worth anyway! I ached for 3 days after and had plank wounds on my forearms/elbows but I still loved every minute of it and think it is 100% worth the effort.

I can proudly say my black trousers are starting to get looser and I will be doing my stats soon to measure the difference!

If there is anyone out there brave enough to do a taster session of CrossFit then give me a shout! I promise it is addictive! J

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Something that has only really occurred to me recently is the effect that all this weight loss and image talk has had on the young adults and children of the world.
I think we are all guilty of saying "I look fat in this" in front of children not giving it a second thought that they may absorb and copy our behaviour.

Just recently my 12 year old cousin commented on a number of occasions that she was "fat", not only is she far from fat but she is the perfect size for her age, height and of course she is very beautiful. The fact she thinks she is fat disturbed me and got me really thinking about how much some of us do not realise the impact we have on the young.

I am 100% certain that my younger cousin has repeatedly heard me rabbit on about my weight on at least 150 occasions, she is also influenced by magazines, TV and the girls at her school. Most girls her age are watching "The Only Way is Essex" which is almost like a UK version of "Jersey Shore" whereby the girls are very image conscious and obsessed with their body shapes and sizes. I hold my hands up and confess I was very guilty of these conversations and have realised that this 'innocent' talk is actually damaging.

Children and young adults do not fully understand "airbrushing", they are not all fully aware that in real life not all these models and celebrities look like they do in photoshoots, young adults are comparing themselves to something that does not even exist!

Do you think if we never mentioned weight loss or weight related issues in front of the young but instead talked about the importance of healthy eating to benefit the inside and outside of our bodies it would make a difference to how they feel about themselves?

We protect our children from so many things when they are young like swearing, horror films and violence but why don't we do more to protect them from destroying themselves emotionally? Why do we not invest more time in our children's mental and emotional well-being so they have a wonderful well-balanced self confidence?
What if we encouraged our children to see the best parts of people rather than someones imperfections, would this make them see a person for their personality rather than because they have a funny lip or limp?

The competition to look amazing is simply overwhelming and it starts so young, you must have all seen these TV programmes with girls as young as 5 wearing a full face of make-up, heels, bras and short skirts - WHY? Because they have seen women on TV wearing them in music videos etc.

Every single one of us is a role model and it really angers me to see people give no consideration those young around them. Those who smoke in the presence of a child, give their children fried chicken and chips every night because they cant be bothered to cook something healthy and different, even a tuna pasta dish with frozen peas is better and cheaper - so money is no excuse! Those who let their 6 year old watch Babe Station, cover their face in make-up to go to school or let them watch explicit music videos with women wearing less than I floss my teeth with!
Just so you know, I am no angel or prude, I grew up on a council estate, am the daughter of an alcoholic, had a colourful past with men & relationships and are the victim of a weight obsessed society but that is exactly what makes me feel so strongly about it because it just simply does not have to be that way!

Where does this leave us in the future?

The obesity rate in children is growing rapidly, bulling in schools is getting worse and the age children are initiating sex or sexual activities is getting younger, I am totally convinced that there is a link with these issues, low self esteem and a lack of self respect which has been inherited by the behaviour of the adult world.

I truly believe it would take years to undo the damage that our society has done to itself but its not irreversible, as a mother I take full responsibility of making a huge effort to make sure my son grows up to have:

an understanding of healthy eating
an appreciation of imperfections (as NOBODY is PERFECT)
the ability to look past the exterior
the art of "everything in moderation"
and most importantly self respect

Now I may fail completely, fall flat on my face and my son ends up 19 stone at aged 12, smoking cigars and jumping 13 year old girls, but I will never give up trying to guide him the right way than do nothing at all?

In my opinion it is NEVER too late to try and change any behaviours, you could be aged 5, 8, 12, 16, 30, 45, 65 or 90, we all have the choice, opportunity and power to start fresh every single day. If we complimented our children when they have achieved something or just when they simply look "nice", you would not believe the amount of parents who do not EVER compliment their children.

If you don't know how, ASK. Don't you think asking a health visitor advice on children's meals is better than seeing your 10 year old son obese at 15 stone and struggling to walk up a step? Does it not take less energy to read a book about self confidence than find out that your 14 daughter is having sex with boys who tell her she is beautiful so they can sleep with her? I know this sounds a little far fetched but actually it is not! It is happening all over the world every day. Only yesterday in the news was a story about the death of a 19 year old girl dying from Anorexia which was the direct result of the impact magazines had on her: 


We can do something about it, we can make changes in our families that will filter through the generations to make a more civilised and balanced society.

If you have a child or any interactions with children or young adults just remember you have the power to change the way they see the world and themselves.

Every single one of us is a role model and the way we behave and speak is being watched, analysed and copied by the young of this world - lets start to make this mimicking something to be proud of!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

CrossFit - Week of the Box - April 2012

I DID IT!!!!!!

I did what, you ask? I cant keep it a secret till later in the Blog! Finally after 6 sessions at CrossFit I finally managed to jump on the wooden 20" box. To loads of people this is NOTHING but to me it is EVERYTHING. It is an example of an obstacle I have managed to overcome. Since the first CrossFit session I have looked and attempted to jump on the box but a lack of fitness and sheer fear I just could not do it.......but now I have and everything seems that little bit different. I now feel like I have moved up a step in my journey. When you face a fear (small or large) and you overcome it the sense of pride is enormous, you gain a little bit more freedom towards a new life! 

I am now on a high from just jumping a box!

Wednesday 25th April

Really starting to enjoy the classes now in a more "come on" kind of way whereas before it was more "oh god". Today was the first time I felt a bit more fitter, I did a burpee and rather than looking an OAP trying to break dance I did something that resembled a burpee (I think after now jumping the box I might start working on completing an amazing looking burpee!). Also really getting to know the guys and gals and enjoying meeting new members and telling them its all ok. Completely forgot to jot down my WOD for today but one thing I do distinctly remember is that one of the exercises was to pull your lower body up the rope. So we grabbed the rope as high up as possible (so you are on tip toes) and then bring your knees up to your chest! Yes you read right ROPE - just like back in school - I could not do it back then and I could not do it tonight, instead to build up my abs and strength Andy gave me all alternative exercise of laying on the floor holding the rack above my head and then bringing my knees into my chest, can I just tell you that my abs ached for 3 days and hurt every time I tried to laugh or cough! Another challenge for later - climb the rope!

Saturday 28th April  

Saturday is my favourite class for a number of reasons: firstly because it is my ideal time to exercise 11am (its changing to 9am as of Monday!), secondly, it really sets me up for the day and lastly everyone is always in a great mood and ready for the workout! Today's workout started a little confusing as we were split into two teams and had the attached (see pic) tasks to complete as a team, the confusing thing was that we had to work out what each person was going to do, it took us a while! lol I opted to row and do the box jumps (although I did do 20 burpees too). Whilst the rest of the guys spilt the rest of the exercises between them. There were only 4 of us so to our delight Andy said he would join our team (you know you have a chance when the head coach joins your team). We pushed hard and by the time I had rowed 1000m I was already knackered somehow though I always seem to find the energy to move on when there are others involved as you never want to be the one to let the team down and guess what....our team won! Not used to being on winning teams but I liked it a lot! So in the end I rowed 2000m, did 30 box jumps (step ups) and 20 burpees all in 16 minutes!

I walked out with a VERY red face and sat at the traffic lights on the way home wondering if the person in the car next to me as just worked as hard! I could not wait to get home and tell Matt that I had finally jumped the "BOX" Matt was so pleased for me and got the tape measure out to show my brother exactly how high that is (thanks Matt). Next week I think I may try TWO box jumps in a row!!

Check me out!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Are you like me that when you have exercised at least 3 times in one week that you feel like you should of dropped a dress size already? Do you feel that because you got off your butt and walked around the park for 20 minutes that you deserve to have that beautiful cream cake which was sitting in the bakers window? That’s ok if you are already at your goal or maintaining your weight, as I do believe you can have whatever you like in moderation, but if you have 4+ stone to lose like me I don’t think this way of thinking is quite right!

I do seriously have high expectations when it comes to weight loss or is it that I am really impatient? So far in the last few weeks I have attended 4 CrossFit classes, walked Virginia Water lake which is 4.7 miles, been swimming 5 times for 20 mins at a time so I think (in my pea sized warped brain) it is reasonable that when I put on my work trousers this week they should be starting to feel a little looser? What if I tell you that my trousers are not looser yet? Would you be secretly disappointed like me? I think sometimes I forget how long it took for the weight to go on yet I expect it to come off the second I start to exercise. The danger with expectations is that it has a direct link with your motivation. There are a lot of people out there struggling with their weight that start exercise plans do a couple of weeks expect to drop loads of pounds and inches and when they don’t, they give up! I have done this many times in the past, 60 minutes of legs, bums and tums and I think I have the god given right to walk out of that class with abs like J-Lo and legs like Cindy Crawford. Because I struggle with being overweight my effort and emotional stress level to commit to an exercise or class is probably much higher than someone of normal weight who regularly attends the gym therefore in my mind I feel like I deserve a bigger pat on the back when I have done it – the problem is that no one else cares and that also it is a misconception that just because someone weighs less than you that they don’t have trouble getting themselves to the gym, as we know for most of us the battle is in the mind not the body!
I often ask myself what it is I actually want to look like when I get to my goal?  Well in my dreams it is Exhibit A  but realistically it is Exhibit B (what I was before), in my opinion I could still do with a bit of shaving off here and there in that picture but basically I remember I was pretty happy with that weight and wearing a UK size 12-14. I do like having curves and being womanly but I do 100% admire Exhibit A who is a fitness model in the US, she used to weigh 200lbs and lost 80lbs to look like that, she is also a mother of 2, so although I see her body as a dream body who said it was not achievable?

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Fashion has always been an interest of mine, I love watching the catwalk shows and reading Vogue (when I can afford it or someone leaves it behind on a train) I admire those who can put an outfit together effortlessly, one of my best friends always looks amazing even going to Tesco’s (Char – I love ya) and being slim helps! Retailers have started cottoning onto the larger ladies now and supplying nicer clothes which is about time as overweight people do have money to spend too you know, maybe retailers thought we spent it all on cakes and burgers! Even so, personally I prefer to reduce my size for a healthy future.

Do you ever hear people say “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”? I do a lot and would like to explore this a bit more. Firstly I would have to disagree with the taste bit – the person who wrote that had obviously not tasted a burger from The Gourmet Kitchen with chunky chips or eaten freshly made bread with melted Brie on (dare I say a Sausage and Egg McMuffin from McDonald's) note that it was quoted recently by a stick thin model who’s whole career depends on it!  I am not totally sure what being skinny feels like, the closest I got to skinny was about age 8 where I could breath in really tightly and you could see my ribs – does that count? 

I prefer to ask myself the question “How would I like to feel when I reach my goal?” maybe by asking this question it can help me really capture and visualise the end result.  I would like to feel FREEDOM, freedom to go into my wardrobe and only not wear something because I was not feeling that colour that day rather than I can’t get the skirt over my shins let along my thighs! I would like to put on a nice pencil skirt and be able to move it all the way around my waist fully zipped! I would like to be able to decline an invitation to an event on the grounds of being double booked rather than because I have no idea what to wear or what out of all my plus sized clothes would be suitable – you can only jazz up a pair of black trousers so many times with scarves, shoes and handbags. I would like to wear an outfit without the need to hide behind a pillow when I sit down or hold a jacket in front of me when I go out. Photographed, I would like to be able to have a photo taken of me without taking 30 minutes beforehand of getting into the Liz Hurley foot forward pose and asking the photographer to stand up on a table or step ladder to take the picture from above (you don’t get a double chin then). I have missed out of loads of great photographs of me and my family due to feeling embarrassed about being heavier, when Josh grows up he will look back and think his dad gave birth to him (can u imagine?).

When you embark on a weight loss journey no-one ever tells you that potentially it could take you a year or so depending on how much you have to lose. Can you imagine joining Weight Watchers and their signs said "Lose weight in one Year" "Drop 80lbs in 600 days" it just does not look as good as "Lose 14lbs in 14 days" and what happens when you don't lose the 14lbs in 14 days? You either feel cheated and give up because you spent the last two weeks miserable or you feel like a failure and then switch to some other faddy diet. If we were to give ourselves more realistic mini goals like lose 5lbs in 14 days not only would we be more likely to achieve it but can you imagine the boost you would feel when you did. The fact that you said something and followed through (not literally)!

Losing weight is a commitment. It does not matter if you have ups and downs as we are all human and make mistakes. I reckon this journey for me will continue for the next year and then the next journey of maintaining my weight will continue forever after that. If I can manage my own expectations and are realistic with myself on how long it will take me to lose this weight then maybe that will stop me giving up. I find the more pressure I put on myself and the less time I give myself to lose weight the higher the chance I fail.

I feel you have to look at your history of weight loss and analyse why it did not work, for me its because I lose the weight quickly through fad diets and then think "I am ok now, I can eat bad again" for it to all pile back on and some. Maybe for some it is the fact that they really did not try hard enough and gave up because they gave themselves unrealistic goals.

So adding to what I have previously said in "Motivation" blog my formula is now growing:

Exercise/sport u like doing +
Music +
Baby Steps +
A realistic timeline =

Baggy Trousers!