Saturday, 22 August 2009

First week of Dips Dips

ANOTHER New Regime

Today was my 3rd session of my new weights regime as designed for me by personal trainer Dipesh Patel from Bannatynes. It was legs and arms today so I was really looking forward to it as I always love the feeling I get after pushing my legs really hard - it bit like being tipsy without the hangover and weight gain :-)

Dipesh had shown me, during my 'free' personal trainer session how I could cut down on the exercises I was doing and focus my routine into just an hour. Apparently I had been just repeating the same muscle stimulation with slightly different exercises and it wasn't necessary. My workout totally lived up to my expectation and with the exceptions of the dips which I carried out on a machine, the whole routine could be done at home with a Swiss ball and a set of dumbbells which may come in handy on days I can't get to the gym.

Spent the afternoon eating for England - I had a massive appetite today - and burning it all off while vigorously cleaning my kitchen with the help of my eldest daughter (bless her!). Sounds like a day of hell for some people but I've had a great time :-)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A long long break.

Rest, reality and results.

I have not been blogging since my short break to Bruges - everything has been crazy busy since then and with my NUMBER 1 priority being my sessions at the gym - something had to give, and it was blog - I hang my head in shame.

Cycling in Bruges

Bruges was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys exercise, good food and a bit of historic culture. It isn't cheap, thats for sure but what a wonderful four days I had. The best day being (if I had to choose) the day myself and my OH hired trekking bikes for the day (12 euros each - bargain) and spent 12 hours in the saddle. Belgium is completely flat and so cycling is never too taxing though keeps you heart rate in a nice 'fat burning zone' - fabulous. It has totally got me hooked back in to road cycling (not static - I HATE that). Belgium is completely set up for cyclists with cycle routes clearly marked across the whole country and cycle lanes everywhere - the cyclist is king in Belgium, often the motorised traffic have to give way - how cool!!! Since being back I have been searching for the sort of bike I hired over there is was lovely, comfortable and very practical. I noted the name is was a Metro County Trekking bike (I think made by Raleigh) - so far no joy :-(


After arriving home on Sunday evening and trying to quickly catch up on a bit of washing and sewing up my eldest's new work trousers (thanks a bunch honey!!!) it was straight back to work and afterwards straight back to the gym. I had a bit of a stomach ache from eating off programme for 4 days and I found I just couldn't run on the treadmill, instantly got a stitch and had absolutely no stamina - decided instead to do several 10 minute sessions on various cardio machines and take it very easy. I was so disappointed with myself as I was looking forward to my run and it just goes to show that when you have trained your body to eat clean, not doing so is akin to taking poison (ok, so that is a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean).

Tuesday was the day of my new job interview. I was very excited and a tad nervous, though I do like interviews. I hadn't been looking to move but a friend had emailed me the advert and it is my dream job so I went for it even though I knew (and they would have known) I didn't have the qualifications or experience on paper! I wore my new suit, bought for the ocassion which looked lovely and made me feel very confident and powerful (nothing like a good pair of heels for that!).

Wednesday morning 10.10am - yes I noted the time. I received the phone call and I was offered the job - my heart leapt out of my chest. I am so excited, so flattered that they have taken a gamble on me and just thrilled with what will be my dream job - I've just got work to tell yet, but I can hang on a bit as timing isn't great.

AS and A Levels.

To add to my stress (the good kind) and strife (the ok kind) this week it was AS and A level results day yesterday. My youngest was awaiting her ASs and as a School Marketing Manager the results are very important to my job as well as obviously, good results make my job easier when selling the school. My daughter did well as did the school so I was more than happy and the nervous energy that has been running through my veins over the last few days was put to good use at the gym with great cardio and weight sessions.

Phew....... I feel out of breath just writing this all and remembering that it has been quite a week. I am off today to take my eldest to the hospital and I'm sitting here dressed and ready for the gym. A lovely quiet weekend is what is in order to re-group and spend some time smiling to myself and feeling that life is good with lots to look forward to.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Off to Bruges with a spring in my step!

I'm Off

The train has literally just pulled out of St Pancras and I'm blogging from my Blackberry.

Off for 4 days in Bruges - no kids :-), no work :-), but no gym (boo).

Feeling much more positive about Bannatynes as I had THE BEST personal training session yesterday with Dipesh. He spent 2 1/2 hours with me and really showed me a fantastic 3 day split routine. He worked with me until my form was perfect and I was 'spent'. Can't wait to get going on my own next week. I was so tired I didn't do my running but felt more than happy with my morning.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A busy time

Taking my eye off the blogging ball

Getting ready for my trip to Bruges - very exited but it means that I taking my eye off my blogg a bit as I don't seem to have enough time to think of things entertaining enough to write. I wouldn't wish to bore people with my day to day trivia - oh, ok then I will JUST mention my MBTs.

Have a problem with my toe - long story, on going, very painful. I needed to get some shoes that would love my feet, not punish them so after reading many good things about MBT shoes, I went off to look at them and see whether they were worth the hype and the money. Well, I now believe in love at first sight - or first try on. They are fabulous with a capital F. The comfort - well they are heaven. I tried on the classic sandle (see first pic) but decided that a closed in toe version would get more wear through the winter and at £125 I wanted them to get the wear. Behaved like a 5 year old and told the shop assistant that I wanted to wear them and could I put my trainers in the MBT box.

I then proceeded to go suit shopping in pure foot heaven :-)

Monday, 10 August 2009

Holiday Week

6 Mile Walk

Yesterday my OH and I plus my cousin and her OH all went off for a 6 mile walk in the Chilterns. It was absolutely Fab! The map we had downloaded from the internet was hopeless and so we rather went off track but 3 hours and nearly 600 calories later we felt achey but proud of ourselves and we were more than ready to hit 'The Greyhound' in Aldbury where we had a table booked for dinner.

I had a gorgeous tomato and vegetable soup to start and then a feta cheese salad for my main. A glass of red and a creamy cappucino finished of a really nice day and it was all the better for the lovely weather.

You see, who says fitness isn't fun :-)

Leisure Time

How great is it, when you have a few days off work and just chillin at home, that you can get to the gym in the day with the rest of the 'off peakers'. I've been to do my run this morning at the gym and then I will be going back to do my shoulders/chest/abs workout, early evening. I've got to squeeze my workouts into 3 days as I'm off on a romantic break to Bruges in Belgium on Thursday. Really looking forward to it.

Personal Trainer

When I joined my new gym (Bannatynes) part of the welcome pack was a free personal trainer session so I've booked mine today. I will be seeing him at on Wednesday morning and I asked that we concentrate on free weights - lets hope he can improve on my experience with 19 year old Katie!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Good Day Bad Day

So Mad!!!

I had a great day yesterday. It was my 5th day of eating 5 meals a day instead of 3 and my energy levels are through the roof even though I sleep so badly and it was TOTM. I was excited about my run in the evening and just felt generally great - listening to UB40 full blast on the way to work helped as well :-)

Went shopping and bought my first ever pair of size 8 trousers - felt fantastic.

Then it all went pear shaped. I had my second induction at the gym and was looking forward to it as it was to be focused on weights. Because I have some knowledge I armed myself with some 'cable' exercises that I would like to be shown for form etc. I also wanted to know if the gym had certain machines (I know I could have looked around but I wanted to be shown). Well first of all my 19 year old (I know, I shouldn't go on about her age) had forgotten our appointment and had to be 'fetched'. She then proceeded to tell me AGAIN how not to bother with the cable exercises because all the man dominate the machine. I asked if the gym had the cuff attachments and she said they did but I'd never find them as the men toss them to one side and they get lost.

I was beginning to get cross so I asked about some hip adductor exercises and was told each one I asked about didn't have the available equipment. She got down on the floor and showed me some floor exercises, which, quite frankly, just wouldn't have been challenging enough for me.

She finished our 5 minute session with saying she had watched me in the gym and my form was 'perfect' and there was nothing else to say. WELL, maybe I should have been flattered but its just not true that I don't need any help and if she's been watching me over this last week I certainly haven't noticed. I get the impression she couldn't be bothered with my induction.

To make matters worse, my partner had his 2 hours later with a different member of staff and got a fantastic induction.

I was so cross and frustrated I let it ruin my day. Got up this morning and weighed myself for the first time in a while and I am now 4lbs off goal so certainly, that has gone some weigh to cheer me up. I'm actually going to my old gym this morning to do my legs routine because, to makes matters worse, the Smith Machine at Bannatynes is broken - grrrrrrrrr.

The question is now, do I complain??????


A new goal

Thanks to SKATZ on WLR for pointing me in the direction of this fitness model's website. Skatz had her picture on her profile as inspiration and I have 'borrowed' it as mine as well. Now I know this girl is a model and probably VERY tall and it looks like she's had her boobs done (see post below :-)) but I can be a 5'4" version of her (ok, plus a few stretch marks). I think 'Jelena' looks absolutely fit and fab. If you want to see more of her pics visit her site by clicking here.

Losing the Fat

You know your fat percentage is low when........

Your heart rate monitor chest strap is more prominent than your boobs! No joke I was watching my self in the mirror at the gym (to keep form you understand) and all I could focus on was the little 'wedge' of my HRM like a third nipple on my chest. Now I have seriously lost my boobs since dieting but this is ridiculous. To add insult to injury when asking my eldest to take some shots of me in my underwear for comparison purposes she asked 'do you think you'll get a boob job mum?' Luckily I have a very positive body image and so can laugh as such things - but honestly you'd think they could make these chest straps a little less obvious for us less than 'endowed' women :-)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

A good start to the day

Swimming Sensations

2 things to make my day start in a good way.
1) The new googles worked a treat. Completely watertight and comfortable and gives great vision - much, MUCH better than standard goggles - my thanks to that anonymous lady at the gym :-)
2) I decided that I needed a focus for my swimmng. So far I had just been doing 60 lenths (of a 25 metre pool) in an hour and as long as I did, I didn't have any other focus. Now I have changed it to gradually increase my speed and distance. Current program:
Heart rate not to go below 60%
20 lengths - 5 x 4 lengths
26 lengths - 4 x 6 lengths
16 lengths - 2 x 8 lengths
10 lengths - 1 x 10 lengths
72 lengths in total.
I will look to improve on this possibly every 2 weeks - see how I go.
Feel great that I have done this - you see, goal setting is sooo important :-)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Disappointed Me

N N N N N N N nineteen!

I don't mean to be agest but I was so disappointed yesterday evening when I arrived at the gym, excited by the fact I was having an induction at the new gym which included a free fitness assessment to find out that my 'senior member of staff' was a 19 year old girl with less maturity and knowledge that my own daughter!! It was hopeless. She acknowledged that I knew my way around a gym and said 'we can skip that part' but I wanted to be shown a couple of cardio machines that I hadn't tried before and she proceeded to tell me what a waste of time they were and if that was what I wanted I should stay at home and run up and down the stairs - OMG! I also wanted to be shown a couple of chest exercises and she said 'I wouldn't bother, the time of day you come you'll never get a chance on those weights all the men are on them'. I felt very deflated and I also saw that my beloved Smith Machine had red 'danger' tapes across it so I assume that is out of action as well - woe is me :-(

The good part was I had my body fat measured properly and it is 18.8% which I am very pleased about as I have been working very hard on this. The machine they used, I was told, can be used anytime I like, so I think I'm going to check this every couple of weeks.

After my woefully inadequate assessment I was told I had to have another one on Friday to be shown the weights (apparently essential for H&S) but at least it won't take long. I then proceeded to get on with my first ever split body session with the exercises I listed yesterday. Afterwards it felt a bit strange not to have aching legs but my chest/shoulders/abs did feel tired and worked. I need to make a couple of adjustments to my routine as I found some things uncomfortable but all in all a good start.

Black Eyes and Swimming Goggles

I had been swimming yesterday morning and had suffered with black, puffy and wrinkled eyes for several hours afterwards due to my fantastic, but unflattering swim goggles. I thought that I must do something about it because it made me look so old/beaten up (I don't know which is worse :-)) and I felt very self conci0us. I made a mental note to look into some different types. By sheer coincidence. When I arrived at the gym changing room a lady in there was about to go swimming and had the exact style I was thinking of. We got chatting (I love a reason to start up a chat with a stranger) and she said she bought them at the gym and they were wonderful. £16.99 later (I know, a bit pricey) and I now have a lovely pair of goggles that I can't wait to try tomorrow.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Tonight's Routine


From my list of exercises I put together last week I have slightly jigged them around before I started this week as the beginning of my split routine training. I have put together tonight's schedule for Shoulders/Chest/Abs. Whilst looking for good quality photographs of each exercise I came across a new website called 'FitTracker' and its got great colour photographs, a comprehensive list of exercise for each muscle group and good text explanations to ensure good form.

I'm off to my induction (again) at my new gym and apart from a couple of cardio machines I wouldn't mind demonstrating I would like 'Natasha' to show me the cable weights as I haven't used these before and you will see below I have one included in my routine tonight:

Dumbell Flyes
Barbell Bench Press
Cable Crossover
Push Ups
Incline 2 arm deltoid dumbell raises
Seated twisting dumbbel presses
Standing military press
Lying rear deltoid raises
Leg pull ins
Leg raises
Swiss ball ab crunches (legs on ball)
Swiss ball ab crunches (laying on ball)
Barbell oblique side bends

I put all this info using 'FitTracker' onto a sheet with space to write the weights I use with the photograph and explanation taken from the site. I've made a pdf of this file and was going to post it here but I can't find anywhere that facilitates uploading pdfs :-( I think I will be sore tomorrow - wish me luck!

New regime has started - yippee

A Rutt No More

I had got myself in a bit of a rutt. I had a dose of the typical holiday blues when I got back from Mallorca and needed to shake things up a bit, diet wise, exercise wise and work wise. I had devised my new split routine for my weights, I had started my new 5k-8k training and I just had my diet left to sort out. I decided to go for the 5 meals a day - I know I'm a bit late doing this 'common sense' approach to eating but I was just LAZY in having to think about 5 different meals/snacks as I'm not a big fan of meal replacements/shakes. So this weekend I've done a lot of reading, shopping and planning and I think I have the bare bones of my new diet sorted. Today's diet (yesterday's was a variation on this) is as follows:

1 codliver oil capsule, 1 wellwoman multi-vit & min.
'All Bran Porridge' - made with 50g All Bran. 25g Impact Whey Protein (choc this morning) and 160ml water. 1 Starchy Carb 1 Protein
Mid-morning snack

Tuna, peas and sweetcorn. 1 Fibrous Carb 1 Protein
'Risotto' - made with Brown Rice, River Cobbler and Red Peppers. 1 Starchy Carb, 1 Fibrous Carb, 1 Protein.
Mid-afternoon snack
Sweet potato chunks & cottage cheese. 1 Starchy Carb, 1 Protein
Turkey breast, Courgettes and Broccoli. 2 Fibrous Carbs, 1 Protein
2L Water
1 de-caf tea
5 de-caf coffee (I know but I can't give it up!)
200ml skimmed milk (for tea & coffee)

Now this is all very plain at the moment (though I love this sort of food) and my plan is to use this as a frame work and start adding different foods and being a bit more creative with my presentation and mixing. The big step - getting it all nutritionally balanced and calorie counted to as close to perfect for me as I can make it, is now done - yippee! My big challenge to cut out sugar completely. I'm a real 'sweet sucker'. Only a couple a day and often in the car but I can't claim to be eating 'clean' if I'm still sneaking the odd sugar fix so I'm going to stop doing it. I have a pot of travel sweets in the car and a bag of gums at home and I'm going to throw them out tonight.

5k to 8k

I'm on my second week of my 'Gateway to 8k' training (Podrunner Intervals). The music this week is supposed to be 'house' and I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as last week. Here is a printable version of the training program. It was my first run at my new gym and I LOVE their treadmills. They have a leaver on each side of the machine that you can just tap up or down to increase/decrease the speed and incline. So much better than having to try and tap a touch sensitive screen when your running full pelt. Week 2 sees you running for 8 minutes and walking for 1 x 4 with a 5 minute warmup/cooldown. The idea is to keep your pace in time with the beat of the music so that you are covering the correct amount of distance, though I think, I have such short legs surely I don't cover as much as someone who is 6ft odd with long legs. Still, I continue to enjoy.....

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Split Routine Sorted

So I've finally sorted out my new split routine. Not sure whether to start tonight or start it with a new week - I'll see how busy the gym is. Now I'm doing all of this without the advice of a trainer (Terry has left - boo!) and purely on what I've researched and tried out at the gym (with a bit of help from the grunting men!) For anyone interested this is what I have devised.

Day 1
Barbell Bench Press (wide arms)
Dumbbell Fly
Dumbbell Bench Press
Wide Hand Push Ups
Barbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Upright Row
Bent-over Lateral Raise (on include bench)
Leg Raises (flat on bench)
Knee in (on bench)
Pelvic Lift with Swiss Ball

Day 2
Squats (Smith)
Leg Press
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Good Morning
Dumbbell Straight Leg Dead Lift
Glute-Ham Raise
Standing Calf Raise

Day 3
Bicep Curl
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Concentrated Curl
Lying Triceps Extension
Dumbbell Kick Backs
Cable Push Down
Close Hand Push Ups
Dumbbell One Armed Row
Lateral Pull Down
Seated Cable Row

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Blackberry and Bannantynes

So I've finally caved in and bought myself a Blackberry - well not bought, upgraded my current phone contract and the Blackberry came free. They also gave me £85 for my old Nokia so I actually came out of Carphone Warehouse better off - hurray! Went to a conference in London yesterday and spent the train journey on WLR on the phone - very small type but easily do-able (until I'm old and loosing my eye sight that is!).

Went to have a look round my local Bannatynes Gym at the weekend and will be switching across to their from September when my current gym membership runs out. It means that during the month of August I will have membership at both gyms because at the moment Bannatynes are doing an offer where if you sign up in July you get August for free. My OH is joining with me as he is taking his first tentative steps towards fitness and hopefully I can encourage him with his cardio as he hates it.

Job Interview

I heard on Saturday that I have an interview for a job that I applied for a couple of weeks ago. I don't stand much chance of getting it as I am punching above my weight a bit but I'm very excited. Will be purchasing a new suit but will wait until just before as this morning my size 10 'Next' work trousers are feeling decidedly loose and I don't want to make any MORE expensive mistakes.


Today, if I have a quiet slot, I'm going to be devising a new weights regime for tonight as after 6 weeks I'm feeling a bit bored with my current one and want a bit more of a challenge. Better get started....................

Friday, 24 July 2009

Back at it - hurray

I was back in the gym yesterday evening and it felt sooooooo good. I had gone with the mindset to take it easy and thought I would try some new lifts that I had seen on various website/in books. I had watched a short video clip yesterday 'to get bigger triceps' and I tried those as I liked the 'fluid' look of the exercises. My triceps are so weak and I can really feel them aching this morning - great!

I also gave my new 5k to 8k running programme a trial run in the safety of the gym. I had downloaded the podrunner intervals podcast and was quite excited about it. The pace was so fast! I only have short legs and I just couldn't keep up, even on the walking intervals. I'll give it a try on the streets this weekend and see how I get on. Because I'd been 2 weeks out of the gym after my legs workout with the free weights and then the 'fast' running I could feel they were going a bit wobbly so stopped my cardio after 45 mins instead of putting in the full hour (weakling :-))

Woe is me, my coach, Terry, is leaving the gym - apparently going to some trendy gym in London to work (much more fun I'm sure). I'm now a bit lost. Terry was the 'weights specialist' at my gym and unless they get someone else with his expertise to replace him I'll have to go it alone. I'm hoping to make some time on Saturday/Sunday to trawl through my books and put together something to try out - I do like a challenge and I'm actually looking forward to it but I will miss Terry even though he has recently been spending an awful lot of his time chatting up the younger, prettier girls on the cross trainers :-)

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

It never hurts to refresh the basics

I'm still nursing 2 very sore ears and unable to train (going to try my first workout tomorrow!) and so I'm spending my time refreshing my mind with some basic information. Re-read a really good 'beginners' article on 'Figure Athlete' and thought I'd link to it here for any one reading this and wondering where to start.

Thought I'd post a picture taken on my Hols. That's me, Matt (Eldest's BF) and my daughter. This was quite early on so at this stage I was relying on fake tan - you should see me now!!!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Back from Mallorca. Raring to go but.........

So I booked a last minute week in the sun - and I got it! It was SO hot it was glorious. Gave myself a complete week off the exercise, good too as you couldn't MOVE without breaking out in a sweat. Mind you I spent a lot of time in the pool. BUT, I was itching to get back to the gym and get my body moving again when on the last day felt an earache coming on. Now have a full blown ear infection in both ears, am on anti-biotics and feel VERY sorry for myself. Even walking makes the pain THROB and so am reluctant to do any rigorous exercise at all.

To prevent myself going completely stir crazy I've been planning a new exercise schedule to fit in better with my work and home life and also I have been writing out some food plans, so my sedentary days are not completed wasted.

Note to self - too much time in a 2 star swimming pool is not good for the ears :-(

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

German Gym

I've been in Hamburg over the weekend with work. A beautiful, beautiful city to which I intend to return in my own time. Stayed at a fab hotel which boasted a spa, gym and running track. I went to the gym twice and as the equipment was limited (as was my time) I did a mini circuit as follows:
5 minutes treadmill
5 minutes cross trainer
5 minutes bike
5 minutes stepper
5 minutes rowing
x 2
I then did a workout on their weight machines which was similar to what I expect a home gym to look like but it did the job.
I fully intended to use the pool as well but then I discovered the gigantic bath in my room. I had a bath after the gym and it was so deep and gorgeous that the next morning, instead of swimming I had another one! It took an hour and half to run it - FAB!!!
I spent yesterday walking round Hamburg so that got me a bit of exercise though it was more of a saunter than a walk and the hour and a half I spent on an open top bus tour didn't shift many calories - hey ho, we all have to take a break sometime.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Hello to the Bench Press and a 'naughty' flat stomach.

Well after struggling with the dumb bell bench press I have finally had some help by the saviour that is 'Trevor'. No, not Terry the Trainer, but Trevor the bodybuilder who works out at the gym A LOT!

Though I was doing the dumb bell bench press, my arms were like wobbly spaghetti and my form was RUBBISH. Trevor kindly pointed that out to me!

Yesterday he was there so I asked him to show me the bench press with a bar and it was fab. I had much better control and Trevor showed me the various hand positions and chest positions to really feel it working the chest. It was great. See here for an illustration.


I did something I feel quite guilty about this morning. Today is 'Speach Day' at my school. For the first time I will be attending not only in a professional sense but as a proud Mum. My youngest daughter is picking up her GCSE certificate from last year's exams. I have a new dress (obviously) and it is very slimming but also quite clingy. Over the last couple of days I've felt a bit bloaty and I so wanted my stomach to be flat as a pancake today I didn't eat dinner last night so there is nothing much in my system to ruin my silhouette! Now I know how wrong this is (though I did have 2 protein shakes) but it is totally a one off. In fact, I'm now thinking, I can't believe I'm feeling guilty about not eating when I used to feel guilty about eating - how things have changed :-)

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Good and Bad Days

So yesterday was a good day. Had a really REALLY good work out at the gym felt like I could have gone on and on forever and this was after a full day shopping. One of my fellow gym buddies came over and gave me some help with my 'form' and I have to say it made all the difference.

Got up this morning after a really bad night's sleep - just toooooo hot and I couldn't do my run. I set of as usual at 5am, did my five minute warm and started a slow jog and I just couldn't do it. I felt tired, my butt cheeks (sorry, glutes :-)) hurt so much from the gym and I generally felt blurgh so I walked my route instead and as a reward for being so sensible I saw 2 beautiful herons in my local park - fabulous - if I'd been jogging I wouldn't have gone that route and I would have missed them.

I have to say, I feel a bit rubbish that I haven't done my usual exercise this morning, I like to do somethng everyday, and that has to be more than a walk! I think I will try again tomorrow after, hopefully, a better night.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

In The Company of (rude) Friends?

I have just read JAG's blog and feel I have to post on mine my response to her post that a few of her friends/colleagues had made negative remarks about her 'new shape'.

What is the phenomena of friends, colleagues, associates, people you don't really know that well etc etc thinking it is perfectly ok, once you start to loose weight/change body shape, to make really quite personal comments. I've had:-
"oh, poor your, you've lost your boobs"
"don't you think you've done enough now"
"you're beginning to look like Dot Cotton" (this was an 'ex-husband' comment JEALOUS:-))
"honestly, you look so skinny you look awful" - can you BELIEVE this one.

Now my question is - would they say the equivalent negative comments to someone who had gained weight. e.g. "oh, poor you, your boobs are massive" or "Don't you think you've put on enough weight now".

Just a tip for these people - don't be so RUDE and as my mother would say - if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

JAG - you look amazing and most of all I bet you feel amazing and that is what counts - go girl!

Must also share a funny conversation I had with a colleague on Thursday. She was asking me why I was still 'bothering' (she was the one that made the boob comment above). I told her that I may have lost weight but I want to be strong and healthy into my old age and that resistance training is particularly beneficial for women (I happen to know she is just beginning to go through the menapouse). She said to me, "oh, there is no need for me to do that - I have massive muscles". Now, I don't wish to be rude (see above) but maybe she has, you just can't see them as they are covered by a layer of fat - she obviously does a lot of dusting as according to her the housework she has to do is the reason she can't exercise :-)

Saturday Satisfaction and Very Sore Thighs!

I knew before I went that going to the gym Friday night and then again on Saturday morning was a bit silly but I don't like my routine going off track and so I went Saturday anyway. I knew it would be nice and quiet in the free weights section and wanted to try some new exercises (and make a fool of myself in private!). I went on to ExRx.Net and looked up the 'Muscle Directroy' to find muscles to target my thighs - my target muscle group 'of the moment'. I had no idea there were so many versions of the squat and lunge:
Barbell front squat
Full squat
Barbell hack squat
Safety squat
Barbell single let squat
Barbell lunge
Barbell rear lunge
Side lunge
and more........................

So in my enthusiasm I tried a few! A FEW! am I mad. My thighs were so sore afterwards I could barely walk down the stairs - still, I have to admit - don't you just love that burn :-)

I woken this morning (Sunday) and everything seems back to normal so I'm off to the gym again to practice some new moves :-) This afternoon I'm off to buy a lovely dress for 'Speech Day' on Friday - I'm very excited as shopping now is such a pleasurable experience as I'm a standard size and can fit into anything I want to - even if it looks blinking stupid on me :-)

Friday, 26 June 2009

A Quiet Friday at the Gym

Great gym session tonight. I don't usually go on a Friday but missed out yesterday as i was in Birmingham with youngest daughter looking at the University for next year. The gym was so quiet I did my usual thing and started looking at other machines and trying new things. I decided, as I am not pleased with the progress on my legs, to do some lunges along with my squats and I'm off in a mo to look it up on the webiste.

I have been very tired and thought I was struggling with my squats and then noticed that I had accidentally upped the weights without realising it so I'm pleased with that. I also found that my shoulder press was easier and I could actually complete the whole set of 3 x 10 reps without having to resort to mini reps to get me through.

All in all a good session - I am pleased :-)

Thought I'd upload this pic from yesterday - just because it is a rare one of me I actually like and it is showing my progress to date:

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Fred Perry Sweat Patches and White Van Man

Great gym workout last night. All weights and exercises stayed the same but it just felt sooooo good. It might have been the gym bunny music mix I had made for my ipod - nothing like Run DMC 'It's like that' for getting you pumping those bars! Might also have been my delivery from 'My Protein' that arrived yesterday. I had a choc/nut shake before my weights and a vanilla after (before cardio) and I really felt the benefits. Eldest daughter's BF said I'd ordered enough to last for 80 days - he obviously thought I was mad, but you have to have an assortment of flavours don't you?


I also think I might have done my first GRUNT whilst doing a shoulder press - WHAT HORROR. I couldn't actually hear myself because I was listening to 'Buttons' at the time by the Pussy Cat Dolls but I definately felt vibration in my throat. Nobody looked over but probably because they were all grunting louder than me!

When doing my cardio stuff I was behind a woman who had sweated a patch on her shirt that was exactly the same as the Fred Perry logo - no joke. I tried to take a photo on my mobile but was jiggling around to much and it was blurry so I thought I'd post this instead and you can imagine!

5am Run

Nothing much to report on the 'nature watch' of my 5am run this morning though I did observe some common creatures - WHITE VAN MAN - they were everywhere this morning. I think a lot of these guys leave their homes at 5.30am because proportionately there were more of them than cars on the road today.

I have also become a road side 'bouncer'. I always thought joggers who couldn't just stand still whilst waiting to cross the road were rather silly - and now I do it. This morning I had to do it 3 times and all 3 times the cars waved me across - bless them!!!

Monday, 22 June 2009

New Jogging Buddy and shall I buy him a cup?

Ok, so he's not really a buddy but I have a new jogger that I have started 'nodding' to in the morning. Though not a word is said I think we all have a kinship of being the mad morning runners who truly revel in this beautiful time of the day. I might try smiling on Wednesday - if I'm brave enough.

Nature watch

Nature watching so far I have seen, on my early morning runs, a deer, many foxes, 2 kingfishers and this morning a duck. Ok, so ducks are two a penny but this one was walking down a residential street without a drop of water in sight - I wonder if she was lost?

Car safety and a coffee dilemma

Everyday, at the same time, in the same road a blue cinquecento car. I first noticed it because the 2 men in the front are rather large and for those than know the cinquecento is a VERY small car. I digress from my main point. The driver always has a cup of coffee in his hand - a proper one, white china with a handle and I can't help being concerned for his, and his passenger's safety. I am thinking of buying him a proper 'car' coffee mug and flagging him down one morning to give it to him - do you think I should tie a ribbon around it?

Adding a bit to my 'Abs' workout.

I tried to move my weight schedule on a bit this weekend. I upped a few of my weights but also - shame, shame - had to decrease the weights for my shoulder press - I just couldn't lift it without seriously loosing form and arching my back. I was about to give it up, on Thursday, and go home v disappointed (I HATE not completing things) when Trainer Terry arrived - I didn't even let him get his jacket off and I hot footed it over to the 'coach stand' and asked him to help. He said I should bring the weights down, even use a 'naked' bar and then build up. I felt better and decided to have a go at the weenkend.

Its been a funny old weekend. I couldn't do my Saturday weights session due to work so I had to do it on Sunday. Being such an 'anally retentive' person, I felt 'all over the place'. Used Saturday as a rest day instead, as I don't get enough of these. The gym was empty at 7.30 on Sunday morning so I took the opportunity to try out a couple of new exercises. My routine went as follows:

Warm Up
Cross trainer - 15 minutes forwards
Squats - 25kg bar - 1 set (3 x 10 reps)
Flat dumb bell press - 10kg dumb bells - 1 set (3 x 10 reps)
Deadlift - 22kg bar - 1 set (3 x 10 reps)
Shoulder press - 5kg bar - 1 set (6 x 5 reps)
Crunch/Leg raises - body weight - 1 set (3 x 10 reps)
Bicep Curl - 6kg dumb bells - 1 set (6 x 5 reps)
Inclined situp - body weight - 1 set (3 x 10 reps) *new*
Lat pull down - 30kg - 1 set (6 x 5 reps)
Leg raises - body weight - 1 set (3 x 5 reps) *new*
(Lat pull down and leg raises done as a mini-circuit)
Seated cable row - 22kg - 1 set (3 x 10 reps)
Tricep pull down - 5kg - 1 set (6 x 5 reps)
Push ups (lady) - 1 set (3 x 10 reps) *new*
Treadmill - 20 mins - 15 incline (heart rate 70%-80%)
Stairmaster - 20 mins - level 7 (heart rate 70%-80%)
Treadmaster - 20 mins - 4.5 (heart rate 70%-80%)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Leaping into the Lion's Laire

I have never felt less like going to the gym as I did last night. I arrived home from work and found every excuse under the sun NOT to get my gear on and go. I was just suffering from the fear of going where only the brave female has been before - the free weights section of the gym. In the end I gave myself a swift talking to and before I could find one more 'essential' job to do at home I jumped in the car and drove off.

O M Gosh - the gym was packed. Nothing was free in the weights section and there were so many grunts and groans I could practically taste the testosterone. Intimidated is an understatement of how I was feeling. I warmed up for 15 mins on the cross trainer hopefully scanning the room for a lull in activity. I spotted Terry and went over and asked him if it was essential that I do the weights in order and he said no so I went for the easy ones first - basically the weights I could pick up and move to the quiet corner (and you thought they only had those at primary school!). As I moved through the programme the weights section quietened down and my confidence grew. The biggest error was on the seated row. I couldn't remember the correct handle to attach and the whole exercise felt a little uncomfortable. It was only when I spotted someone later on doing it properly that I realised I hadn't set up my mat and foot support correctly and noted for Thursday the correct handle to use!

The hardest exercise to complete from the shoulder press with the 17kg bar. I really struggled and my face pulling was so off putting in the mirror I think I shall wear a terrorists scarf type face cover next Thursday or a balaclava Les Dawson had nothing on me. Does anyone else find that they can't control the muscles of their face when straining - I was horrified :-)

Thursday's gym outfit!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Swimming in the Fast Lane and George Foreman came to tea

So I stopped off at the gym on the way home from work yesterday evening and did an hour's swim to make up for my missed running in the morning (not the same but better than nothing). I used my Polar 7F underwater for the 2nd time and it was great. I had set my HR for 70%-80% and managed to stay within it burning 50% fat which is great for swimming.

The latest thing I am pondering is does everyone feel under as much pressure as I do when choosing a lane to swim in. Am I really fast or just medium? On Sunday when I went to a grotty public pool I joined the fast lane as I assessed the speed of the other two and they were relatively slow. In the end I had to ask a gentleman to move out of the fast lane as he was doing no more than floating whilst wiggling his legs and he was a bit of a liability. I felt a bit embarrassed but when I'd done it someone else thanked me so that made me feel better.

Any hoo, at my gym I couldn't decide as on the whole people seem to be taking their swimming more seriously as a form of exercise. There were only 2 lanes open - fast and medium and in the medium were several ladies desperately trying to keep their hair out of the water so I thought I'd join the fast lane again. Initially I was alone but as others arrived I started to feel intimidated about not being fast enough and pausing for too long after each 2 lengths - honestly I'm far to obssessive about things. I even follow people who are doing breast stroke to see their stroke underwater hoping to improve mine - I think I may be weird :-)

George Foreman

When I got home my George Foreman grill had been delivered. Hurray! I'm looking forward to grilling all my lean proteins on it - also secretly hoping the kids (sorry, young adults) will be encouraged to use it and cook for themselves occassionally! I live in hope.

Weight Regime

If you look at yesterday's post, I have updated it to add links to mini clips of the weights I am due to start today - more to help me visualise what I have to do as Saturday now seems so far away and all trainer Terry's tips are fading in my mind - I'm going to study these before I go to the gym to ensure I get my form correct.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Feel the Fear and do it Anyway

So i've been learning all about creatine this weekend as Trainer Terry said I should take it as did my daughter's OH (and they both have good physics so I'm going to listen to them :-)). The most helpful article I found, particularly directed at women was on one of my fav websites, figure athlete and you can read it
here. My new weight regime begins tomorrow now I have my new routine and so today I shall start taking creatine at a dose of 5g per day - I'll let you know if I think I feel the benefits.

Terry had given me an initial full body plan and in 6 weeks will update it to split sessions but he said I need to build up some upper body strength first - I think he thought I was a bit puny - particularly my triceps apparently! My workout will go as follows (excuse the fact that I don't yet know the proper names!)

All exercises sets = 3 x 10 reps

Squats - down for 3, hold for 2 up for (1.5 minute rests) 10kg

Flat dumb bell press - push up for 1 hold for 2 lower for 3 (1.5 minute rests) start with 8kg
Deadlifts - 22kg bar
Leg raises on bench

Seated cable row pull for 1 hold for 2 release for 3 (1 minute rests) 22.5kg
Tricep pull down (1 minute rests) 2.5kg (I do this standing though the link shows the seated version)
Lat pull down again, 1,2,3 (1 minute rests) 30kg
Shoulder press - 1,2,3 (1 minute rests) 17kg bar
Bicep curls - 4kg dumb bells

I didn't get up for my 5am run this morning. Had some family stuff to deal with and got to bed gone 12, seeing as I ususally go to bed at 9 before a run I thought I'd not have the energy. Will swim at the gym for an hour tonight as a (poor) substitution.

I am anxious about my first session on the weights tomorrow. Tuesday is always really busy and the weights section will be full of beefy guys. But I will feel the fear and do it anyway - wish me luck!

Friday, 12 June 2009

I did it, I did it, I did it.

Well I haven't been this proud of myself in so long. Today I ran for 40 minutes, non stop and covered a distance of 3.79m which is 6.1k. My first running goal was 5k and so I have well and truly gone through that barrier. It was a beautiful morning out there at 5.15am and I just felt elated when I got home. I can't tell you how chuffed I am - believe me, the achievements I make it running far outway any figures on the scales. My next goal, of course, is 10K.

To add to the excitement I also took my Polar 7F Heart Rate Monitor out for a trial. It worked really well except that I was running in over 90% zone most of the time, which I shouldn't have been (and didn't feel like I was). When I go to the gym tonight I will ensure I keep in the 70% to 80% zone. I ready all about heart rate zones on a new website I found called 'Brian Mac Sports Coach' - see my list on the left. It was very imformative and having read it through a couple of times I understand it and can now put this information to use in my gym programme.

Did I mention I was excited today :-)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Disappointment, Distance and Deprivation

Well after attending a fabulous conference in London yesterday, I was all excited about my session with Terry at David Lloyd. I arrived at the gym at 5.30 and did 2 hours workout - felt great, waiting for Terry and he didn't arrive - apparently the time sheets had been changed and the admin person who switched the diaries over didn't transpose them properly (I was very disappointed). I have rebooked for Saturday at 8am. At least by then I should have my diet sorted. I've been sticking very rigidly to my new protein enhanced diet and I really felt the benefits during my workout yesterday - I just felt energised and stronger. Did a great abs work out and even under my horrible stretch marks (yes I have loads from pregnancy) I can see a huge improvement. Looking for ways to make the workout harder now.

To help me over my disappointment I really did a push to run for 30 mins this morning and I achieve it. I have mapped it this morning on Map My Run and it was a distance of 2.69 miles - I'm chuffed. My run went like this:

5 minute warm up walk
8.5 minute jog
2.5 minute walk
30 minute run
Total : 46 minutes

I'm so pleased with myself. I'm going to run this for my next few sessions until I'm really comfortable with it and then push for longer.

The deprivation I mention is that my HRM monitor has arrived. No time to check it out last night so I have it in my bag at work - I'm itching to open the box but am depriving myself of the pleasure. I have so much work to do as I had a day out yesterday. Better get on..........

Monday, 8 June 2009

Protein Muffins Disaster!

Well I give my self points for trying - and the picture looks good but my protein muffin #1 experiment was a disaster. They are dry (edible but v dry). They are too high in calories and too high in fat so I won't bother posting the recipe here. What I will do, is try again and update with protein muffin #2.

I did make a successful mackerel egg white omlete. I just nibbled the crumbs as it is really for breakfast tomorrow but initial testing is making me look forward to having it, on the train, tomorrow. I'm off to London for a conference so the day will probably be difficult food wise but I'm going armed with my omlete, some nakd gear and some bottled water so I should be able to feel that I've made an effort - especially as I have my gym session with Terry in the evening - can't wait :-)


Today I'm learning about water. I know we all need to drink more and infact, should make it our main beverage (and no that's not mixed with squash, tea, coffee, hot choc etc). The Body Sculpting Bible says "in order to determine how much water your body needs each day, multiple your lean body weight by 0.66. This indicates how many ounces (remember this is an American book) of water your body needs in a day for optimum function. Here goes.....

I weigh 128 llbs.
My body fat is 24.3%.
So if 128 is 100% then 1.28 is 1%. 24.3 x 1.28 = 31.104
Take away this number from 128= 97.
My lean body weight is 97lbs.
Multiply this by .66 and you get 64.02.
This is the number of ounces of water I should be drinking a day.
Convert that to litres = 1.89 - so in reality, 2 litres a day minimum.

A rather long winded way to find out I'm drinking enough - but I'm glad I know now :-)

First Day of Food Trials and NAKD delivery!

Today I weighed myself and I am now 9st 2lb which is 128lbs or as 1 pound = 0.45359237 kilograms, I weigh 58 kilos. This is useful in that I can now work out by daily calorie allowance so that I ensure I eating the correct amount for training. According to WLR I have 24.3% body fat and my bmi is 22

Didn't run this morning as I stayed up late (for me!) to watch The Apprentice Final (Yasmina won - boo hiss) and I just wouldn't have got enough sleep getting up at 5. I'm just treating today as a rest day as I haven't had one in a couple of weeks.

Food trial

Today I am beginning to experiment with different foods to begin my new eating regime starting properly next Monday. I thought I'd play around this week so that by next, I will have it down. This morning I made a Cod and Cottage Cheese omelet. It tasted nice. The ingredients were:

1 large egg
1 large egg white
88g cottage cheese (what was left in the pot)
80g cod
1 tsp olive oil
Teeny bit of salt

After looking at the nutritional make up of it using WLR I have now decided to remove/change some of the ingredients as it is too high in fat so tomorrow it will be:

2 large egg whites
80g cod
Teeny bit of salt

Doesn't sound as appetising but you never know. Not having enough time to consult my 'body sculpting bible' book before work I was not sure what carbs I should be eating with this omelet so I grabbed 100g cherry tomatoes. Now having looked, I was right. Because I did not workout this morning my meal should have been:

1 serving of protein (omelet)
1 serving of complex carbs (tomatoes)


Yummy - I have just had my nakd delivery - nibbling on pineapple infused raisins as we speak - according to my latest readings I should keep these for post workout, but as they have just arrived and today is my rest day, for scientific purposes I'm trying them :-). I am assuming they are a serving of simple carbs

Friday, 5 June 2009

Trainer Terry and Twenty Two Minutes


I bit the bullet and have booked in a coaching session at the gym next Tuesday. Josh, my original coach has handed me over to Terry who, apparently, is a lot more knowledgeable about weight training. I'm really looking forward to it even though he did say 'so whose arse do you want to kick' - I hope he hasn't got the wrong idea bout me :-) He also went on and on about eating more protein and taking 'creatine' (must find out what this is). Had a good session at the gym on my current, and soon to be old, routine. Really built up a sweat and lifted heavier weights than last time - though now I know, according to Terry, not heavy enough!!


Really, really happy this morning. I ran for 22 minutes without stopping. I mapped it on Map My Run and it was 2.1 miles. This is a massive achievement for me and I really felt like a 'runner' this morning. I could have gone on as well but my 45 minutes were up and I had to get readly for work (boo hiss). My schedule this morning was:

5 minute warm up walk

5 minute jog
1 minute walk
5 minute jog
1 minute walk
5 minute jog
1 minute walk
22 minute jog

Total : 45 minutes.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

2 New Books and I'm nearly ready to go (protein samples on the way!)

Today i have received in the post 2 new books from Amazon. 1) The New High Protein Diet Cook Book - and 2) The Body Sculpting Bible for Women - I'll review them once I have had a chance to read through them and heed (hopefully) some of the advice.

I have also placed an order for some samples of protein drinks from 'My Protein' as recommended by JAG (see my blog list). Can't wait to try them. I also got a tip about NAKD products and I have ordered some treats from them to try.

I struggle to eat enough protein as I'm not a big meat fan and now I am consciously trying to increase my protein intake I'm getting in a frustrating 'pickle' about how much I need in grams or calories and percentages - its all such a muddle at the moment. But I WILL LEARN.

My gym coach

Something else I must do is book a new session with my gym coach. He isn't a PT (personal trainer) just someone who does the induction and then checks up on you every so often. I want him to show me some weight lifting stuff in the free weights area of the gym - I've not wandered over there yet - too many huge men making very odd grunting noises!

I always start with books!

Where I am before I REALLY start to reshape my 40s?

4th June 2009
Age 41 and 8 months
Height 5ft 4in
Weight 9st 5lb
UK Size 10 (top) and 10/12 (bottom - depending on shop!)

Books, books, more books and websites

On January 5th 2009 I gave up smoking after reading Alan Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. I can't recommend this book enough. I was recommended it by a lady I met at a exhibition - Kit (thank you Kit) and I read it through, had my last cigarette and that was it - I am now officially a non smoker - and don't I feel great. Available from Amazon -

After badly spraining my ankle whilst 'gently' playing badminton I thought - MY goodness, I am SO unfit (I sit all day!) and even the smallest amount of exercise has managed to knock me off my feet. How will I be in 5 years, 10 years........ So, whilst giving up smoking I thought 'in for a penny in for a pound' and decided to radically change my life by seriously looking at my diet and fitness.

I started running using the beginners system in the Zest book 'Running Made Easy' (note the 'easy' reference again :-)) and I have now reached, through much trial and error, the last week of the program and only yesterday managed to run the following :

5 minute warm up walk
3 minute run
1 minute walk
4 minute run
1 minute walk
4 minute run
1 minute walk
10 minute run
2 minute walk
15 minute run
(Total 46 minutes)

Again the book is available from Amazon -

From the beginning of January I listened to the podcast 'Inside Out Weightloss'. I listened to it every day, sometimes more than once and it really hit home that the only way to become slim for ever was to think and eat like a naturally slim person. I also watched the repeats of Paul McKenna's 'I can make you thin' and followed his advice to the letter. I completely changed the way I ate and improved on what I ate. You can find the podcast at - Not suprisingly I read another book called 'Shrink Yourself' as I thought an element to my eating was emotional - no deep dark secrets just boredom and occasionally frustration - This was also a useful and inspiring book and I would recommend it for anyone who emotionally eats for any reason.

I came across the website and signed up to a monthly subscription for £9.95 - very useful for tracking your nutrition and using their calculators. The forums are a bit of fun too and I have even received some answers to perplexing problems I have encountered from other members.

The weight started going down (I started at just over 12 stone) and the fitness going up and I signed up to David Lloyd Gym at the end of May spurred on by my renewed confidence. I had my 'session' with a coach who put together the following programme;

10 minutes warm up on cross trainer (5 minutes forwards, 5 minutes backwards)
Core strengthening : 20 crunches (x2) 20 side crunches (x 2 each side) 20 marches (x 2) and the 'bench' x 2 working up to 30 seconds.
10 minutes on the stairmaster
10 minutes walking on treadmill at 15% include
10 minutes on exercise bike
3 x 15 bicep curls
3 x 15 tricep lifts
2 x 10 chest press on stability ball
2 x 10 lateral raise on stability ball
3 x 15 chest press machine
3 x 15 should pull down machine
5 minutes cool down on cross trainer.

I have since added to this programme and also swim, step and do pilates and of course I am back playing badminton on a Sunday jut for fun!

I love cooking and get a lot of my recepies from Good Food website and I have recently purchased 'Food for Fitness' - And where would I be without Tesco online shopping - ok so they are not perfect but they save me so much time and I've been using them for so long now I'm a whizz at it (ok so the 6 packs of bananas that came last week was my fault :-))

My next step - and, this is why I want to blog my progress, is to get from a normal middle aged women who has successfully lost weight, got fit and given up smoking in 5 months to someone who is SERIOUSLY fit and healthy and educated in nutrition and exercise.

I have big plans (but will keep them to myself for now).

I know nothing about weights, real nutrition, physiology, sport etc. I plan to educate myself through trial and error and reading lots of my favourite things - BOOKS. I will also use websites and the advice of others.

I want to inspire others to get fit by being a normal, honest women with 2 kids a dog a mortgage a job, a restriction on what I can spend and a very ordinary life. I do however possess a great deal of will power, determination and dedication. I am quite organised and I LOVE to get up early in the morning (which really helps with time management). I couldn't do without my ipod on to which I download audible books from I get through several a month, and my very supportive partner who encourages me all the way and puts up with me going on and on and on about it.