Tag Archives: weight loss

Where I’ve been and where I’m going

You may be surprised to hear, in view of my woeful inability to make regular posts to this blog that I actually achieved pretty much all of my goals in 2016. Let me rephrase that, I achieved almost all of the exercise related goals but fell down miserably on the weight targets… but then once you miss one weight milestone it can be difficult to get back on track unless you make them flexible…

The only exercise goal I did not achieve was the ambition to cycle to the train station regularly but failure here was down to circumstances (dropping the Boy off with his grandparents) not being compatible with the train timetable. Hopefully this year the Boy will start being more organised and will be able to walk to the bus stop on his own after having remembered to lock the front door !

I am a Wolf Runner, a Metric Centurion and a Warwickshire Triathlete, I have the medals to prove it and at some point there will be a blog post on here and photographic evidence too.

I have achieved part of the purpose of this blog. In 2016 I got fitter and I think a little bit healthier. The weight has gone down but I hit a plateau and just can’t seem to get past the 11 stone barrier and since the summer I have yoyo-ed between 11 and 11 stone 7lbs.

Part of the problem I think is I lost focus. The idea of the challenges was to find something to keep me incentivised to exercise but I found that instead of exercising to get fit and lose weight I was training to the challenge… and collecting a fine crop of medals although exceedingly gratifying was not the point.  It also failed to impress the Boy or get him enthused about the idea of being outside.

The Man on the other hand is very keen on the idea of cycling to work and after one expensive false start of buying the wrong bike now has quite a sporty roadbike/hybrid… The garage is suffering from N+1++ a number of our bikes are recondition/rebuilds which makes me quite happy. The Raleigh Candice is finished save for some new bar tape, the Boy has a reconditioned Trek as a temporary bike and we have promised him a new bike when he is a little taller (he is growing like a weed at the moment).

So I am going to make things easier on myself this year. The only target is to lose 1lb a week and to weigh at least 1 stone less this time next year…

There are some fun challenges along the way such as a run from Lands End to John O Groats (no, not really…I have a living to earn) plus a walk from the Shire to Rivendell and then either to  the Mines of Moria or Mount Doom…

There will be photos.. there will be retrospective blog posts about last year… there will be bike related musings… after all there are now 6 bikes in the garage (only 2 belong to me) and there will be some thoughts on eating (as if I genuinely want to get down to 10 stone I will have to address what I eat as well as what I do)… in short, there will be a lot more blogging than last year… although that’s not going to be difficult !


NHS 12 Week Review

I am a little behind with reviewing this… I am almost at the end of the C25K which I started after I finished the 12 weeks of the NHS weight loss programme

I don’t really have a lot to say about it. It’s basic premise is move more and eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, some fruit and not too much saturated fat or over processed carbs.

It, like a lot of such programmes, majors on a healthy way of life rather than a fixed “diet”. Change the way you live for weight loss and keeping the weight off… with 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week.

It didn’t work for me because on the food side of things I was mostly there already. There were no quick wins for me such as cutting out junk food or fizzy drinks.

It wasn’t until after I finished the 12 weeks and moved on to something else which placed more emphasis on the exercise and made me focus on counting calories and portion control that my size started to reduce.

I’m not saying this is a bad programme. The advice, same as the advice in the Diet Doctors (which I tried the year before), is sensible and will in most people lead to weight loss and fitness. It’s just that those of us who are already following this advice won’t see any quick results and at the start of a programme you need some sort of reduction to keep the momentum going.

Yes. Diets don’t work, the only way you keep weight off for good is a regime such as this… but you need a kick start to make you feel that it is actually worth adopting a healthy life style.

The C25K leaves me aching and in mild pain most days… but I can see results and therefore I keep going with it!  This didn’t and to be honest all I felt was deprived of some of the things that make the winter bearable such as carbohydrates especially cheese, mashed potato and pasta…

Week 1 Day 1 the retake

Today is weigh in day for the NHS programme. I clock in at 12 stone which is not good as it puts me back at the start of my Thin Club declaration from 3 weeks ago.  However I do get to claim a 31.5 inch waist… maybe the exercise and dieting is having some effect and the weight gain is muscle… however it scores a 44 inch below the belly button across my fat belt.

Measuring the fat belt is not easy with a tape measure… normally I just stand in the bath room, grab the flab between my two hands and exclaim “where the hell did that come from…”

I decide to start  Week 1 again as I didn’t really pay much attention to the 5 a day and failed miserably on the resistance exercises… to start me off  I deliberately forget my lunch

Forgetting my lunch is a planned weight loss technique… stick with me on this…

I think my failure to lose weight last week despite the cycling was because I have stopped parking my car a mile away from work (It’s been raining… I’m a wimp!).  I had been clocking up almost 10,000 steps simply walking between work and car together with a walk at lunchtime.

So lunch had to be foraged for. It wasn’t cheap but it started me off on the right footing… a Prêt super bowl salad and a portion of mango which not only ticked the fibre fruit and veg boxes but gave me 2,500 steps… sadly that will be the total for the day as rain means I am in the car park again with only a 30 second walk between car and desk

However with the Man back I have someone to “babysit” (the Boy is 10 and cannot be left alone in the house for another 4 years yet… and to be honest I am not sure I would trust the Boy in any event, he is bright but lacks awareness of “risk”)

The ride this evening felt good and left my glowing with self righteous thoughts… when I stopped lying on the floor and moaning that is. If you are not here for the cycling then you may want to skip ahead to Wednesday when there is a review. This week unfortunately will be quite heavy on the bike stuff as I am trying to fit four short rides in before the end of the week.

I don’t know about you but it is rare that I come back from holiday lighter than when I left… I am a bit worried about the forthcoming holiday that all the good I have done so far will be undone.

Saturday…wine and a duck

I probably should explain what I am doing here…

At the start of the week I decided to commit myself to the NHS 12 week plan which is based on a combination of diet (calories reduction by about 600 calories a day) and exercise of 150 minutes per week.

My problem isn’t really the food side. The food side I can do easily. The exercise though causes me difficulties. I need something that forces me to get out there. I need a set of instructions

Previously I’ve followed the the Matt Roberts Fat Loss programme. It works for me. It got me down to 11 stone from I think 13 stone. I am not quite sure what my starting weight was as I used a weighing machine at Marylebone Station and I can’t guarantee that the Boy wasn’t teasing me at the time by standing on the scales behind me.

This is what 11 stone looks like. Still big. But happy and active and most of all not wobbling when I dance… except where you’d expect it !

My Mum calls the Matt Roberts programme the Boot Camp. It isn’t. It is still down to your choice to do it or not but it is an organised structure of exercise. The problem with the Matt Roberts programme for me is Week 2 Day 1… which involves running… I can’t run… I would like to fix that… but I am not ready yet.

The NHS programme is a warm up… its slightly structured… it requires cardio exercise 5 times a week and 2 of “resistance…  Admittedly I’ve not managed that at all this week and I’ve only so far fitted in 60 minutes exercise.

Also I’m going to get a bad mark on the chart for the calories today as I’m having dinner with my parents…again… there will be wine… but better there is roast duck 🙂


Today is declaration day for Thin Club. Thin Club is like Fight Club except the first rule is that you tell everyone about it.

I know it’s not the done thing to talk about trying to lose weight because it bores the pants of people. Telling people though can be useful because if you have told the right people then they remind you when temptation is put in your path… they can reinforce your will power.

Thin Club is a virtual club based on self declaration. All the members work in different offices of the same organisation. It has struggled to get off the ground… some people committed to Thin Club only to then confess  they didn’t actually own a pair of scales.

For the past 2 weeks then it’s been mostly me and a colleague talking about avoiding or not avoiding temptation over the email. We have come to the conclusion that all birthdays should be banned and no colleagues should be allowed to go on holiday… there is too much cake in the office.

This week we are both “calling it orange” No one has a green light (indicating a reduction from the week before). We agree that this is probably the downside of a warm weekend in the UK that we all rush out to do barbeques and drink wine

Today is Friday… I’ll explain why Fridays are a problem another time… at least this evening I won’t be going home and splitting a bottle of wine with the Man… but there will be Steak and Chips and some wine at my parents… but its ok because breakfast and lunch involved fruit and vegetables… and NOT, I promise NOT giving in to the temptation of Italian biscuits from a colleagues trip to Italy…

Week 1 – Day 1 Monday

I am a big girl. I have always been a big girl. I probably always will be a big girl.  I have not,  however,  always been a fat girl and certainly not always an unfit girl… these things took time… but not much talent.

As a kid I had what I would describe as an unconscious baseline of fitness. I don’t ever recall consciously exercising outside of PE lessons… I was just… active, but unconsciously so because the activity was just part of daily life.

Our school was 2 miles away from home. Back then it was standard for kids to walk to school, unaccompanied… and at the end of the day you went back, on foot. No-one waited at the school gates for you, no collection by car.

On the occasions you didn’t walk you cycled… because that’s just what kids did. It’s not that the roads were safer then it’s just that we kids were fearless and thought we would live for ever… Our parents probably did not recognise the risks;  car ownership in the UK didn’t take off until after they had grown up.

I also did a paper round 7 days a week…being the UK this was often in the dark of an early morning. Cycling in the dark. On my own. At age 14… It’s probably illegal these days…

On Saturdays I went swimming. Competing against my brother to see who could do the most lengths in an hour (over 100 in case you were wondering) or if we were feeling lazy we would race to the  first to 20 lengths and then practice swimming underwater in as few strokes as possible… the pool, naturally, was 2 miles away from home and we would cycle there and back…sometimes it felt as if everything was 2 miles away from home

But none of this was exercise. It was just life.

So how did this happen? How did I become this living sofa loving slug of a girl?

Strike 1:  I am a big girl. All that cycling creates muscles. Not every girl had thighs like mine. So I got teased. I stopped doing cross country running. I became reluctant to be seen in a PE kit or a swim suit. I tried not to leave the house. I hid with my books and my music.

Strike 2: I grew up; went to university. Then I got a job in front of a computer, and a commute…by car. I discovered wine and parties… I lived life to the full. I became less active because time was short.

Strike 3:  my body decided it wanted a baby. Post pregnancy was fine. Babies keep you active, all that walking with push chairs and the lifting up and putting down. Post pregnancy it is constant activity… but then babies become toddlers and want their independence “I do it” is their constant refrain and all Mum can do is walk slowly behind to make sure they don’t fall over… and then, and then its being a full time worker who is also a Mum whose days are filled with the admin of making sure the child gets to school on time…before heading off for a full days work… in my case 67 miles away…and spends their days just so so tired just from the effort of living

And then when you turn 40 you start fighting a losing battle against your hormones which are insisting that a belt of fat around your belly would be a must have accessory

So here I am… a slug

But a slug who can now do something towards not being such a fat, inactive slug.