Popcorn, Pizza and Pinot


The summer holidays are in full swing and last weekend we took the kids swimming and then to watch ‘Inside Out’ at the cinema.  My resolve failed big time and I ended up joining in with the weekend treats of popcorn, pizza and quite a bit of Pinot Grigio ūüėě I felt awful that I had managed to ruin an entire weeks worth of work but I also felt good.  It has been the first time in nearly two months that I have let my guard down and just enjoyed the food around me.  I messed up but I made sure that the guilt only crept in this morning ūüėÉ One bad weekend does not mean I can’t dust myself off and start again.

I’m having a low calorie day today and tomorrow morning I am back at the gym, hopefully the binge will be a distant ( albeit fond) memory by Wednesday.  My taste buds had forgotten how gorgeous pizza tasted and the wine returned to me like a long lost pal.  It was a fabulous weekend – yes, I didn’t stick to the rules but sometimes and only sometimes, rules should be broken!

Previously I would have looked at this episode as a massive failure and would probably eat more today.  My reasoning would be that I had ruined all the weight loss anyway so I may as well carry on.  However as I’ve got older I’ve realised that one lapse does not mean everything is doomed forever.  I feel we’re always too harsh on ourselves, we’re human and we make mistakes, it’s inevitable.  What is key is to get over those mistakes and to do something positive about them.  My kids saw me join in with their food over the weekend, I laughed and ate and had loads of fun with them, that is what I’ll be remembering – not that I have put on a couple of pounds over the weekend.

Enjoy your week folks and don’t forget if like me you over indulged on the weekend, then don’t let it drag down the rest of your week.  Chin (or in my case chins) up!


Fitness at Forty

The children have broken up for the summer and normally this means that all diet and exercise is out of the window as¬†I don’t want them to think that being on a diet is normal behaviour!¬† I have been on a diet for most of my life and it is something that I definitely don’t want my children to do.¬† They asked me why I had started to exercise and I have told them it’s like mummy’s P.E lesson, just like they do P.E at school mummy does it at the gym to stay healthy.¬† When I was eating the diet chef food they wanted to know why I was eating different food to them. ¬†I told them I was trying out new foods to see if I would like them and that it was important to try different things.¬† I think its very important that children don’t fall into the pressures of looking a certain size, which is exactly what I have done in the past.

At the age of 39 I have realised that I am never going to be a size zero and that isn’t something that I am striving for.¬† I want to lose a couple of stone and be healthier in my lifestyle.¬† After five weeks of training I can now see that my hard work is paying off as I have lost around 10 lbs. and I have lost about 4 inches from my waist.¬† It’s been a gruelling five weeks and I have crammed a lot of work in.¬† Last week I did two spin sessions and a personal training (PT) session and burned¬†close to 2000 calories, whilst only consuming around 1200 calories per day.

I’ve also been presented with a Fit Bit which is helping me to monitor my activity during the day, I very rarely meet the 10,000 steps challenge though!¬† Clothes are fitting better and I have more confidence in myself, one woman even commented that I was looking well the other day.¬† Normally when someone says ‘you’re looking well,’ to me it means, ‘you’re looking fat’ but this time I knew that wasn’t the case.¬† It was a refreshing and very alien feeling to have ūüėÄ

I have knocked the Body Chef deliveries on the head as I think I can manage to do a 1200 calorie day by myself with a lot more choice, after all there is only so much hummus that a girl can take!¬† I have planned to make dishes that I enjoy eating and freezing them into calorie controlled portions, this way there is always¬†a meal ready for me.¬† That’s the plan but I know that over the summer we are going away for a few days and I will have to rely on restaurant food, which isn’t always the healthiest.¬† With children in tow I am going to have very little time for exercise as well so I need some sort of idea about how to keep my weight in check as I don’t want to undo the progress that I’ve made so far.

This morning I had a blood test for my thyroid and cholesterol levels, it’ll take a week or so for results but I am quite optimistic.¬† After the blood test I had some food and went to the gym for my penultimate PT session, there was no let-up despite my very obvious plaster from the blood test.¬† I have continued with the HiiT (High intensity interval training) and I am pleased with both its results and the fact that I don’t have to spend hours in the gym.¬† I did a warm up on the cross trainer then ten minutes of interval training on the treadmill and the same on the rowing machine, this alone had burned close to 500 calories.¬† After cardio we moved onto¬†toning and I did squats with a 15kg sandbag,¬†15 repetitions of the 5kg slam ball and then¬†15 repetitions of a bar bell leverage squat- I did three sets of each despite my ‘injury’ ūüėČ ¬†It was a pretty heavy workout but I felt like I’d achieved something at the end of it, I don’t know about Frantic at Forty it seems to be more about Fitness at Forty at the moment and I love it!

The Grey Room of Pain

At the moment you can’t ignore the fascination with E.L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey series, sexy Mr Grey with his red room of pain / pleasure.¬† I have my own room of pain except mine is grey and full of sweaty, over weight men ūüė¶ ¬†My ‘grey room of pain’ is the gym and there isn’t much lip biting going on in¬†there.¬† In fact, I spent most of today biting my tongue to stop swearing, as my¬†trainer had me doing some weird acrobatic work with a TRX contraption.¬† To be fair the TRX could be quite happily placed into Mr Grey’s red room, it would fit perfectly with the torturous workout it gives you!

I’m sure¬†my trainer¬†had had a falling out with her other half and was taking out the aggression on me ūüėČ We had a ‘bootcamp’ style of workout today and it was intensely shattering.¬† With the TRX machine she had me suspended by my feet and wanted me to do suspended crunches, followed by the plank and then finishing with another¬†plank¬†that included¬†cycling my legs.¬† I can just about do a plank but the rest of it, she had no chance.¬† I was a failure at it and just collapsed onto the mat with my feet still suspended, it was very comfortable on the mat and I contemplated staying there a bit longer.¬†As my legs hung mid air whilst my body was splatted on the mat, I found myself saying “I’m an old person, get me out of here!” to my trainer.¬†¬† My trainer had other ideas and said that I wasn’t old and that I had quit too soon, she then made me do¬†a plank for a very long time.

The gym as a whole is not making as much difference as I thought it would, four weeks in and I’ve lost around 6lb.¬† I’ve lost more than that by diet alone in the past, and this time I’m dieting¬†as well as¬†going to the gym at least three times a week.¬†¬† Lack of results can be very demotivating but I have to persevere or my trainer will be right about me quitting too soon.¬† Tomorrow I’m off for a spin class which is something that I’m beginning to enjoy – now that’s something I never thought I’d say.¬† Looking back at my previous post of Spin Class Virgin¬†and of how nervous I was about doing¬†a spin class puts a smile on my face, I’m a dab hand at it now!¬† In fact I have achieved quite a lot in the last month, stepping out of my comfort zone and tackling my weight problem.

I’m not a quitter and I’m certainly not going to let that grey room of pain get the upper hand.¬† It’s the beginning of a new week so let’s see how many more pounds I can lose, one more pound and it’s my first half stone.¬† I just need that ‘inner goddess’ to kick in! Wish me luck ūüėÄ

Failings of My Wardrobe

Sometimes my wardrobe can resemble a shop as it houses so many different sizes and styles.¬† Madam can choose anything from a size 10 to a 16 (ssshhh don’t tell anyone) .¬† I’m not a hoarder as such but more of an optimist – a “one day I will fit into those jeans again” type of optimist.¬† My wardrobe tells a story of the different times in my life:

  • Being single – Sexy killer heels and risqu√© necklines that no mother would approve of
  • Finding ‘The One’ – Comfortable jumpers and bottoms for cosy nights in watching the telly
  • Pregnancy – Slightly larger waistbands but still stylish, desperatly trying to pull off the ‘yummy mummy to be’ look
  • Post Labour – Elasticated, comfortable and effortless, desperately covering up the ‘mummy tummy’

What I really need to do is to throw it all away and start again but where to begin?¬† I don’t understand how I can have a wardrobe full of clothes but still have ‘nothing to wear’ when going out.¬† I have stuff in there that I bought a decade ago, even if it did fit now it’d be out of fashion.¬† I sometimes ask myself why I am keeping all these variety of sizes, surely when I lose loads of weight I’m going to want to buy new clothes anyway?

I remember seeing pictures of people who¬†had lost loads of weight standing in an old pair of massive jeans.¬† In the old ‘fat’ days those jeans fitted them but after losing so much weight¬†the jeans can now accommodate two people.¬† Maybe that’s why I’m saving the massive clothes, to show how much I’ve lost.¬† That must be it! I’m keeping loads of my ‘fat’ clothes so I can have a celebratory photo shoot when I’m skinny ūüėÄ It would probably be easier to buy some random size 24 jeans now, stand in one leg and show off at how much I’ve lost ūüėČ However considering I’ve never been anywhere near a size 24 my deceit would be uncovered quite quickly.

Buying clothes when you’re between sizes can be a nightmare.¬† The amount of times I have brought something a size too small thinking that I’ll fit into it soon.¬† The reverse of this is to buy the correct size and then get complacent about being that size.¬† If everything you have fits then where is the incentive to lose any weight?

I hate buying a bigger size but¬†it’s more of a psychological battle than anything else.¬† Every shop has a different version of a dress size.¬† I now know which shops are more generous in sizing than others and I will buy from them, but who am I fooling?¬† I have a cut off point that I will never go over a dress size 14.¬†There have been times when a size 14 from certain shops is tight, that’s when I’ll stop shopping for a while and ‘make do’ with what I have.¬† I can’t go to a size 16 as it would be like admitting defeat – even though sizing can vary dramatically between the different retailers.

It’s only been very recently that shops have started to cater for having a different size top to bottoms.¬† Years ago if you wanted a bikini then you had to be a certain size.¬† I might have been a 14 on top but I was a size 10¬†in bottoms – no one catered for that.¬†¬† Back then I would have described myself as voluptuous but now I say I’m¬†fat – it’s a very thin (ha ha) line between being voluptuous and being fat.¬† A line that I have crossed ūüėĘ

Some people get offended at the word fat, I don’t see why.¬† It’s political correctness gone a bit mad, I am over weight and I am fat.¬† It doesn’t mean I’m morbidly obese and require a crane to lift me out of the house.¬† I’ve¬†given birth to¬†children,¬†I suffer from¬†hypothyroidism and I eat and drink¬†a bit more than I should – I am fat ūüėĀ

Looking back at the title it probably shouldn’t be about the failings of my wardrobe but more about the failings of me!

On the plus side at least I’m doing something about it. I had another training session this morning and my measurements are all going down ūüôĆ It’s slow progress but it’s all going the right way. ¬†The more I lose, the more motivated I become.

I can do this and more importantly I will do this ūüėÄ

Carry on Lifting

gymAt most gyms women tend to use the cardio area and men dominate the weights section.¬† This trend is also true for the gym that I go to.¬† I used to stick to the standard cardio equipment – cross trainer, treadmill and rowing machine, the weights area just didn’t look like the place for me.¬† Muscular, vain men ogling themselves in the mirror whilst trying to out-do each other in what weights they could handle.¬† The amount of men that just stand in front of the mirrored walls admiring their muscles, smiling with that knowing look of, ¬†‘Damn, I look good’ – ¬†is quite high.¬† It must be fabulous to have that confidence in yourself, to know you’re happy with yourself and to not care what others think.

I booked myself in for a gym induction and one of the instructors took me all around the different machines that were available.¬† I always thought that by lifting weights I would put on muscle and that is one thing I didn’t want.¬† Women and muscle always conjures up that image of the¬†body builder¬†women in tiny bikinis¬†who lift weights and look like they’ve drunk too much tango.¬† That is definitely not the look I’m going for, orange really isn’t my colour.

Apparently if I keep the weight low but the repetitions high then I can burn fat and not make muscle.¬† The instructor told me I would burn more calories with weights than I would with cardio!¬† Why didn’t anyone tell me this before?¬† Obviously the guys are there trying to make muscles, you can tell by the sheer weights they lift accompanied by the groans that they make whilst lifting them.¬† All very undignified but worth it for the results they’ve achieved and fair play to them.

Once I knew which machines were good for my upper body there was no stopping me.¬† I was the only female in the weights area and the weights I was lifting were miniscule but I didn’t care.¬† Some of the guys were giving me weird looks as though I had entered a restricted area but I carried on regardless.¬† The chest press was a bit awkward, it was a bit like when we were younger and used to do the ‘I must.¬† I must.¬†¬†Improve my bust’ exercise that most girls did.¬† The only problem was that the machine was facing some bloke doing lateral pull downs.¬† If there was ever a time when two people tried hard to avoid eye contact, it was then.¬† Maybe that’s why a lot of women don’t do weights, to avoid embarrassment?¬† I can understand that, as to be honest¬†doing the chest press¬†did feel a¬†bit like Barbara Windsor in the Carry On¬†films…..ooooh Matron!

The whole diet and exercise thing is having very slow results for me and sometimes I feel maybe diet alone is the step forward.¬† I was ill last week and didn’t manage to get to the gym for a few days, I had more weight loss than I usually get which was unexpected.¬†¬†The body chef diet is giving me around 1200 calories a day and I’m burning around 1500 calories a week. The good news is that I’m losing the weight slowly and steadily but sometimes I get impatient and want to lose it all straight away!¬† I’ve calculated that I’m about two stone over weight and I have ten months or so before I hit 40.¬† I have given myself loads of time but if I’m honest I expected more progress by now ūüė¶¬† Lack of progress can be disheartening but I have to be patient and persevere – easier said than done!

Whenever people lose weight they always have one area where the weight goes from first.¬† I would like to say that it’s my tummy that loses weight first but its actually my face.¬† It’s all a bit weird as my face starts to look gaunt but my stomach is very much still there.¬† I end up with a small head on a massive body, which is a bit like those body builders that I definitely don’t want to look like¬†ūüė¶

The diet is going well but I’m getting bored of the lunches.¬† Most days I’m stuck with hummus and oatcakes as I don’t like cold meats.¬† Hummus is surprisingly good for you despite the high calorie content of it, I just feel like I’ve eaten more hummus than your average Greek does but then again I’m single handily helping their floundering economy with hummus sales.¬† I’m missing my normal food…not necessarily the junk but the flavour of the foods I used to eat.¬† However, it’s eating that flavoursome food that got me into this mess in the first place.¬† So, off I go to lunch and yes you’ve guessed it, it is hummus and oatcakes!

Meals on Wheels

chefI’ve decided that I need an overhaul of my diet as well going to the gym.¬† In the past I have tried almost every diet going from Weight Watchers, Slimming World, 5:2 and even the revolting cabbage soup diet.¬† Each has had some degree of success but the only way to permanently keep weight off, is to combine diet and exercise.¬† I’ve done it before and managed to lose two stone but then my thyroid problems started and I piled it all back on.

The question is which diet plan to follow?¬† A few weeks back I was watching (well ogling) my favourite presenter on the tele – Phillip Schofield.¬† As part of the This Morning programme they had looked through quite a few diets and rated them against each other, one of these was Body Chef.¬† It’s a system where you choose a food plan based on a daily calorie intake and then get the food delivered to you.¬† I like the idea of this as I’m one of those dieters who happily starves herself all day just to save calories,¬†for treats and snacks in the evening.¬†¬†This way at least I will be eating three¬†nutritional meals a day which will mean¬†I can still¬†maintain my gym routines.¬† Starving myself all day, then filling up on junk is not going to give me the energy for my workouts.¬† I’ve chosen 1200 calories a day, which combined with exercise may be too low, but we’ll see how I get on.

I have had a delivery and I have one major criticism, the packaging is not discreet.¬† In fact it’s about as discreet as an EDL march.¬† A fairly large box with Body Chef plastered all over it in bright green and red, no other external packaging.¬† You might as well have one of those delivery vans that speaks as it moves – The ones that say ‘Attention, this vehicle is reversing’.¬† We could have one of those when the delivery comes and it could say ‘Attention, this woman is a bloater’.

It’s made me realise one thing though, I¬†HAVE to be in for every delivery, there is no way they’re leaving that package with a neighbour.¬† The neighbours will think one of two things:

1.  The fat woman next door is finally doing something about her weight or

2. The old fat woman next door is having meals on wheels delivered.

Either way, it’s not looking good for my reputation ūüėČ

The problem with people knowing you’re on a diet is that they expect to see results.¬† As soon as I tell someone I’m on a diet (believe me it’s happened quite a few times) they’ll starts monitoring my progress.¬† Some do it mentally, eyeing you up and down to see if they notice a difference.¬† Others are less discreet (usually family) and they’ll say ‘I thought you were going to start a diet?’¬† I just don’t need that pressure, none of my friends or family know I’m doing this and that is the way it stays.¬†¬†After I’ve lost a couple of dress sizes¬†they may ask how I’ve done it.¬† I say ‘may ask’ as some people blatantly know you look different¬†– i.e. your arm has dropped off, but they wont say anything, it’s all very ‘English’.¬† Me on the other hand would wade in and ask ‘what the hell¬†happened to your arm?’

I have my PT (personal training) session later and I’m getting on really well with my trainer.¬† I think I do push her boundaries a bit though, She’s still quite na√Įve –¬†bless.¬† When we started to use the monitoring belt the other day to see how my heart rate was going, there was a¬†problem getting it to work.¬† I strapped the belt on and my name still didn’t show on the big screen alongside all the other gym users.¬† PT tried her best to get it to work with no luck, in the end I looked at her deadpan and asked whether my pace maker might be interfering with the signal?¬† Her face went very pale and her jaw dropped, you could tell she was thinking of all the tough workouts she’d given my over the past fortnight and how lucky she was I hadn’t died.¬† Her short-lived career was flashing in front of her eyes.¬† I relished the moment for a tad longer than necessary (naughty, naughty) and then smiled and said ‘only joking’.

It’s a wonder she didn’t punch me then, or indeed when she told me there was a ten year gap between her and her siblings, and I asked if she should have been named ‘accident’.¬† It’s all banter and she thinks I’m very funny, but I told her that most overweight people are funny, not all, but most.¬† In fact, I’m one of the funniest people I know ūüėČ

Now, off to open the box of food delights, apparently I have granola for breakfast.¬† Granola and the silver fox on the tele, can the day get any better ūüôā

Taking Cover

It is a sweltering hot day and we’re all being given the advice to¬†cover up when the sun is at its hottest, in order to protect our skin.¬† For me covering up comes as second nature, I hate exposing my¬†flesh.¬† This isn’t for some deep rooted religious belief but because, quite simply, I¬†don’t like the way I look.¬† I have no body confidence and summer is a pain for me.¬†Most people love the sunshine and the chance to get their summer clothes on.¬† For people with low body confidence such as me, it can be a nightmare to decide what to wear.¬† You have to wear something ‘summery’ or you’ll stand out even more – ¬†you’ll be the weirdo in a cardigan when everyone else is wearing a vest top.¬† I am normally that weirdo!¬† Even though I’m not forty yet, I get told that I dress older than I am. I love wearing cardigans, jackets, long tunics with leggings.¬† Those type of clothes hide many a lump and bump.¬† I’m hoping that once I lose the weight I can start to wear clothes more appropriate for my age and size.¬† I want to look fabulous (not frumpy)¬†at forty.¬† Maybe Gok Wan could give me a makeover, tell me how brilliant my bangers are and then take me for a photo-shoot!

It’s not just larger ladies who have body confidence issues, I’m sure there are plenty of women who are considered the ‘perfect size’ but who still have their hang-ups.¬† I suppose looking back at my post yesterday¬†The naked truth, there is an element of envy on my part.¬† The woman standing confidently at the mirror in her birthday suit is something I could never do.¬† Ok, she might have been in the wrong section of the changing¬†area but she didn’t care.¬† She was obviously proud¬†of her¬†body and sod everyone else.¬† I’m more of a¬†“find a¬†cubicle and quickly get changed” type of girl, its never taken me long to get ready.¬† I suppose some may look at my appearance and say that I was stating the obvious!¬† However, spending hours getting ready and standing staring in the mirror has never been my thing.

During my workout sessions sometimes I’m told to look in the mirror to ensure that my posture is correct.¬† I hate doing that because up until then I can imagine how great I look.¬† As soon as I look in the mirror I see the reality¬†of an over weight, over stressed mum of two; who will never be an advertisement for Lycra. This post isn’t a cry for help or indeed for pity, it’s just how I feel and I’m sure there are many more out there who feel the same.

Talking of children it’s nearly time for the school run, I’d better go and dig out my best cardigan!¬† Enjoy the sunshine peeps.