Category Archives: gym


This has not been as good a week for “moving more”. I caught a cold at the start of the week and, having learned from the last where I suspect too much exercise contributed to a chest infection lasting for 6 weeks, decided not to push things too much.

But there has still been a bit of a reduction in the numbers including 0.5% in fat % which now stands at 36.5%.

No print out this morning as we were a bit rushed. The Boy had karate grading as well as swimming today…I think I have lost a further 2lbs as my home scales which are nicer to me than the Gym ones give me a reading of 11st 6lb…

I am still 4 pints of water a day and keeping a food log plus….(see previous 2 weeks).

This week I also tried Eating more unrefined carbs although this did end up being mostly beans and some pearl barley as I had a cupboard clear out…this may continue into next week as there is a big bag of brown rice that also needs using up. The FitBit has been assisting me with counting calories and I suspect this is the aspect of this week which will continue for the rest of the year.

Less successful was the use smaller plates which only really applies to the evening meal but on the other hand the Man (who did most of the cooking this week) is attempting portion control. Also less successful was weight or resistance exercise this was due to the cold I mentioned earlier which meant I only managed 1 session… however I hope to build this in as a regular thing over the next 8 weeks.

The final tip was better sleep.  I have been trying to get at least 7 solid hours in but as a light sleeper at the best of times I find this difficult.

All in all I am still feeling reasonably upbeat but I know that the next 5 weeks will be tougher simply because it’s cold and grey out there at the moment and I do not cope well in the winter as my normally positive attitude to life takes a severe dip when light levels are low.

Haven’t decided what tips to try for the week to come yet… I try and mix the sensible in with at least one slightly quirky suggestion if I can but I am having problems of focusing on a plan for the week.


Stats: week 1


I don’t have a start weight for the new year as I didn’t go to the gym last Saturday. The Boy was ill so missed swimming. My home scales said 12 stones plus and a fat % of about 40%.

so pretty much back to where I was last July 😕

When I finally managed to get myself on the gyms official scales it wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped…I also seemed to have gained a cm in height to go with the lb (note singular) that I had managed to shed…



so yeah, not very impressive…also gym scales turned out not to have a fat monitor so I still had to weigh myself at home to find out I was 39% fat…and 11 stone 11…

So, some other statistics to try and cheer myself up…and because the Man bought me a running log…for reasons I will explain another time.

i have run a total of 6 miles…at an average of 4.9mph outside and just over 4mph if I am on a treadmill…I can do a mile in a pb of 12 minutes and 17 seconds…I can currently run just over 2 miles without stopping.

i have upped the spin class to twice a week and on average burn 350 calories in a 45 minutes…and can keep up with the rest of the class


i have been trying to drink about 4 pints of water a day excluding that during or after exercise…I am almost meeting this but it’s taking awhile to make it a habit.

i also tried eating eggs for breakfast rather than porridge…because not only does it mean I start the day with protein but it is easier to include vegetables with eggs…spinach and porridge does not appeal !

oh and I am also dry until February 2nd

not really seek the benefits from this week though…but still a lb is a lb


Drop a Jeans size  aka PT on steroids

 Today was the first session of a small group training programme at our gym called “Drop a Jeans size”. I signed up for it the same time I joined the gym.  It is a 6 week programme of Hiit cardio exercises involving a goup of about 6-8 people…

When I turned up there were about 4 people including me…we were joined the following week by a 5th person but by the 3rd week one of the original attendees had also dropped out so, a small select group!

The majority of the group were slender and fit, one of them turned up everyweek in a T-shirt advertising the fact she’d been in this half marathon or that… they all looked as if their jeans already fitted. Fortunately I was not alone, there was 1 other lady of a curvy persuasion…

It was a HARD session. Seriously hard. Even the fit ones in the group were struggling. The trainer Dave laughed at me with my nose to the floor having failed to even pull off one press up and said it was “PT on steroids”

At the end of the session I felt drained and pretty much collapsed into a long hot bath on reaching home, staying there until I felt I had enough energy to drag myself out again and onto the sofa…god knows how I made it up the stairs later.

I then found it difficult to walk for the next 2 days and the pains only really stopped the following Monday when it was time to do it all over again.

I was definitely bottom of class… not least because after a hard day at work my brain just cannot do co-ordination on those exercises that have your arms doing one thing and your legs another… to add to this Dave was one of those instructors who almost immediately went on to show you a variation “if you want to nudge it up a bit you could try this…or if you struggle with both of these you could try the easier option…” Leaving my poor work drained brain not knowing what I was meant to be doing.

Now I could spend the next 6 weeks detailing how I got on with this programme but that would be quite dull because pretty much every week was the same just different exercises and different length intervals. We came in, we warmed up, Dave tortured us for 55 minutes and then we staggered home… it was hard and draining.

There was also an on-line training programme which went with it, which I gave my best shot so 3 sessions a week in total but none as hard as the Monday night.

I managed quite well for about 4 weeks despite struggling through a chest infection for every session after the first one. On the 5th week I probably over did it on the warm up and at the less than half way stage where he announced  “11, that means you have another 9 exercises to do… and then we do it all again”  I realised I hadn’t enough in me to even make it to the end of the first 20 minute interval and walked out…

Week 6 I realised when I got home that I felt even worse than I had the previous week and just didn’t go.

Does this count as having failed the course… no I don’t think so. I think if I hadn’t been ill with the chest infection for most of November and December I would have finished but in fact did quite well considering my state of health. So I am going to mark this as completed (rather than pass or fail) and maybe sign up to do the course again next time they run it.

By missing the final session it means I didn’t get the final measuring session so have no idea whether it made any difference. I think possibly I have moved from the “almost size 18” into squarely in the “size 16 jeans” (UK women sizing)…

Progress. But still a long way to go.


Cycling to the Gym (clocks go back)

Today was Sunday 24th October 2015 and I am making the most of the clocks going back and the extra hour of daylight at the start of the day…

I am out on my bike and finally tackling the road into Southam. Five miles there, five miles back and possibly with a slightly larger fear factor than any of the other roads near by…except possibly the road over the motorway… as the traffic zips along this twisty bendy country roadt regularly at speeds over the speed limit.

But I made it…I was so proud it made me want to take a photo of my bike to prove I did it but as usual I didn’t have a camera on me.

The other high spot in today’s exercise attempt was that I tried to run. I started following a programme called “my first mile”. The first 3 sessions are manageable but then week 2 takes a leap in ability from week 1. Week 1 asks you to run for a minute and then for 2 minutes… week 2 expects you to then be able to run 500m…

Cycling back I felt at one with the world it was  a perfect autumn day. I was not alone in enjoying the world from my bike several cycling groups had also popped out to make the most of the day. The first group I passed even nodded smiled and waved… the other 2 not so much but hell 1 out of 3 is a start

After such a good start to the day I felt like tackling other stuff so we emptied the garage… that was slightly soul destroying but at least it means there is more room for repairing Candice.

Back in the Zone 3/11

With some trepidation I return to group cycling – the weekend had been quite good. I had at least dragged myself of the sofa to the gym but not managed to get the bike out due to other commitments like remodelling the kitchen… the oven isn’t working etc

Anyway whilst I was warming up Mr A walked in, Katie was ill it would seem.

But I needn’t have worried he just took us all on a long long indoor bike ride with lots of slow sustained hills and sprinting down… it was a fairly consistent effort but nothing I couldn’t handle and OK possibly having a decent lunch (and a quick ham sandwich 30 minutes earlier may have helped a lot

Anyway I came away this evening feeling well and truly shattered but “good”… maybe those mythical endorphins have finally kicked in ?

Finally the Gym

There is not a lot to say about my first attempt at the Gym… it passed uneventfully and, as everyone told me after last Mondays failure… there was nothing to be scared off and no one else will even notice you are there…

And that was the truth… so much so that no one noticed me struggling to work out how the stationary bike worked (for the warm up) and after wasting 10 minutes I did think of skipping the warm up but then asked someone – “it starts automatically, just pedal”

And then suddenly it was all over and I was waiting for the Boy in the corridor like most weeks

He had some exciting news, he has moved up a group… yet there appears to be no room in the Saturday or Sunday stage 5 lessons… so maybe my early morning gym sessions are over before they begin?

Sunday it was more of the same – having acquired a pair of groovy shark shaped earphones to go in my phone – because pumping Iron is dull… (I discovered that in the first 30 seconds) – I then forgot to bring them… my second session was faster than the first… but no less dull…I  ended up watching the revamped Thunderbirds which was playing with subtitles over the gyms TV…

Episode 1: In which the Slug tries to go to the gym… with predictable consequences

So… on Friday night I joined the local leisure centre… because I get a discount due to the Boy’s swimming lessons and it means that I can now go swimming with or without the Boy without it costing money (5 swims and my membership is recouped)

Also it means I can cycle at night indoors all through the winter…

To be honest that pretty much fits my needs, a bit of cycling, some swimming and maybe the occasional Pilates class.

Anyway, they insisted that before I could use the facilities I had to attend the gym induction even if I had no intention of using it, in case I did accidently use it…as if !

As mentioned in my previous post, Saturday morning (whilst the Boy was slowly drowning by instruction) found me stood in the Gym next to a chunk of muscle called Alex who was explaining how it all works and talking me into a gym based training plan as he convinced me that the reason the cycling wasn’t causing me to lose weight was because I need to do some resistance based training to improve my muscles and get them burning the fat better…

I only have to do this twice a week for about 25 minutes with an optional 3rd visit which this week happens to be 30 minutes of swimming

Last night after dinner (having only had lettuce for lunch I suspected I’d pass out if I tried it before dinner) having left time for my digestion to work I headed the 5 miles over to the local leisure centre, turned into the car park, drove past the lit front window of the gym where you could see people pounding away on treadmills and stationary bikes…in fact there were a quite a few people in there, a lot of people, in fact it seemed to be heaving… and then kept driving past, out the car park and back home again…

Yep.. I bottled it… take 2 to follow… hopefully it’s quieter…

Tuesday I was all fired up. I was going to do it this time. I am a strong confident woman, I am going to be Queen of the treadmill… I am going to own that Gym…

However it took me some time to get to this point, the drive to work had me all wound up in a knot of anxiety about being such a feeble coward…

It was just before I left work for the day (in Reading) that I realised I had accidently booked myself in for the Group Cycling this evening instead of next Tuesday… and they charge you if you cancel within 4 hours of the booking (or just don’t turn up) and I am far too tight to incur additional costs…

So I went to Spin Class instead… this time with the computer… and although I can’t keep up with all the class do I held my own most of the time (and cycled over 10 miles at a sweaty rate)

But sadly I am still at this moment a gym virgin…still too scared to pop my weights cherry…