Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Diet

So I am approaching week 4 of my new life style plan. I have now lost 12lbs, had 8 PT sessions, and am now focusing more on a balanced diet.

I am more inclined towards vegetarian foods, although I am not a vegetarian (I was for many many years), but I do enjoy chicken, lean mince etc.. and find I am healthier when I balance what I am eating.

I've become aware that I feel more energetic and overall more healthy on days where for instance I don't overload on the carbs in the evening, and where I snack a little. So this week I have been experimenting with what foods do to me. These are my findings so far, and from this I am now going to devise my own food plan to fit in with my fitness and training sessions. Hopefully, this will increase the results I am seeing and move my weight loss forward. So this week, these are the meals I have had, with low fat snacks in between - cereal bars, WW sweet snacks etc..

Breakfast (on workdays) - Special K with lots of fresh blueberries and strawberries and skimmed milk.
Breakfast (weekend) - Toast with marmite, or scrambled egg on toast

Lunch (weekdays) - Chicken salad sandwich / egg mayo / good for you wrap - 2 rounds. Low fat crisps or snack such as special K crisps, or rice snacks like snack a jacks, or sainsburys own. Weight Watchers soup.
Lunch (weekend) - Low fat subway or homemade subway style sandwich. Soup or coffee. Low fat snack.

Dinner (weekdays) - Quorn fillets, with home made spicy salsa and tortilla wraps and Mediterranean veg.
                              - Quorn mince chilli with jacket potato and side salad
                              - Homemade cottage pie and broccolli
                              - Baked beans and jacket potato
                              - Cous cous, quorn family roast, carrots, peas and broccoli.
Dinner (weekend)   - Chicken breast, corn on the cob, jacket potato
                              - Pasta and homemade sauce

The pasta really filled me up, but the next day I was bloated. That said, I found I had more energy at the gym. My conclusion is that pasta is great for energy, but eating it at night is the wrong time. I need to have pasta at lunch if I am going to have it.

The spicy quorn and tortilla was good, but it needed the veg to fill me up. Will do more veg next time, as I was still a little hungry after eating it, and felt hungry the next morning.

The cottage pie was a good choice for a dark cold evening, but sat heavily on my stomach. I did eat quite late though - about 8.30pm so I now know to have that on a night when I can eat earlier.

Jacket potato's are a great choice. Still carbs, but I didnt get the bloating and it filled me up. The cous cous and quorn roast was lovely, but the scales shot up the next day and I felt it sat heavily. Too much stodge i think. Will skip the cous cous next time, and stick to the veg, maybe with gravy for a chicken dinner style option.

All in all, I found that bread - for instance in the morning at weekends doesnt keep me full as long as cereal and fruit. Carbs need to be eaten earlier in the day, but they are needed so I am not going to cut them out. The time of meals is also important. Hopefully, now I have focused a little more on how my body reacts to the food rather than being fixated on the calories I can try and balance my meals to give me the energy to work out without making me feel tired, hungry and sluggish.

I will see if it makes a difference this week. I'm all for trying new things to get where I want to be. You never know, it may even make the training easier and I am all for that!!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

This week's homework - the broken collarbone story

So little G had homework to do last night. This week she had been given a picture and the task was to write a story to match the picture. This picture was of an x-ray of a broken bone. It appeared to be the collarbone which was damaged, so we explored the possibilities of how this might occur.

The first idea put forward by my partner was that a little boy tried to kick the football and missed. When I questioned just exactly how swinging a booted foot at a leather ball might actually break your collarbone he fell silent, clearly feeling a little snubbed. Little G suggested that someone had fallen off a horse. This was a better idea, but I felt that perhaps it might do more than just break your collarbone to tumble from a horse, and we couldn't think of a story for that one other than "the girl fell off the horse".

An ad came on then for some fizzy drink of some sort which featured a skate boarder - ta-da! An accident falling over trying to skateboard! Little G was impressed with this and proceeded to write her story. Little did we know how many words would have to be looked up and spelled out to accomplish this. Also, having never actually broken any bones, I had no idea as to how you actually treat a broken collarbone!! I also am now aware that the collarbone is known as the clavicle. So now I know don't I.

I am now also in the knowledge that the clavicle is the most commonly broken bone in the human body. Clearly, you can't put it in a sling, but you apparently have to sling the arm to take the pressure of it whilst it heals. Seemingly, there isn't actually much that can be done - it just takes time. This made for a difficult ending to the story - it kind of built up the drama to the accident, then A&E, then - well, nothing really!!

I don't remember having such things to write about at 8 1/2 years old but clearly time has moved on since my day! I remember drawing birds (feathered types) and describing the colour of their eggs. Quite possibly why I didn't know the correct name for the collarbone. If this is primary school, goodness knows what is ahead of us in a couple of years when it's time for high school. To think that before I became the step mom I actually thought I was fairly intelligent!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

My Road to Slim - PT session 7 under my belt

So last night I completed Personal Training Session number 7. The sessions now I am getting stronger are getting harder in terms of the weights and resistance. Whilst I can tell I am getting fitter, each session leaves me looking like a mad red heffalump!!

Having said that, I am finding that my body is starting to change. It feels different and it is starting to be noticeable, particularly my waist which is reappearing having been in disguise for some months now. Its like i have been wearing a fat suit, but now that suit looks like its been shrunk in the wash. Its still there, but its definitely shrunk a bit!

In my infinite wisdom I have made the decision to continue after my block of 10 sessions is complete. given that Christmas is looming I feel I need to motivate myself, to avoid the usual sitting down with the box of quality street realising all that is left is the wrappers, and about a stone heavier as a result!

I have come to the idea that it would be very nice indeed to actually be able to fit in some of nice clothes (usually this is only for those first few days on holiday) instead of trying to squeeze myself into some hideous looking assembly of garments to try and cover up the expanse of my derrière! Maybe, just maybe, I might actually look somewhere approaching good this year!

So far I have lost 10lbs. Its not shifting as fast as I had hoped, but I do wonder if some of that is because I am also toning up. My legs and arms are definitely firmer, although some way to go yet of course. After the first session, I genuinely thought both legs were somehow damaged, as trying to walk was a real issue. My thighs burned for several days. Now, whilst it still hurts and aches, its nothing compared to the days after that first session. You don't realise what your body is able to do until you push it to its limits.

I feel quite proud of what I can now do, after just 7 sessions. So, 3 more to go, then I have booked a block of 10 to follow that. Lets see what this body can do and maybe, just maybe, it might possibly get to where I have tried and failed to get it to for the last 20 years.

I am 37. Certainly age is going to be against me at some point, but I am still young enough to really push hard. I feel inspired and determined at the moment. I just hope my will power holds!!

Weight loss so far: 10lbs.
Weight to reach goal: 42lb. (3 stone)

Monday, 25 November 2013

World War Z - My Movie Reviews

Prepare for an adrenaline packed roller coaster of a film. Reminiscent of 28 days later, the Z here is for Zombies. That said, with Brad Pitt at the helm putting some A-list Hollywood style into the mix, this is a stand out in this particular genre.

The opening scenes are nothing short of full on scary. Even though I have seen a number of these kind of films this one is quite plausible. You could actually imagine this happening. I thought it had a really clever storyline, the effects were brilliant, and the "camouflage" not quite solution I thought was absolute genius.

In particular, I loved the way the story jumped countries, with plane crashes, high speed chases through winding streets, and brill special effects. I liked how it didn't have a silly Hollywood ending, which whilst I won't spoil it for you, does leave it kind of hanging out there for you to imagine what could follow.

I was impressed with this one more than some others of this kind, but if you don't like zombies steer clear!! Brad is cool as ever, although there are a few moments where he keeps surviving where you do start to question if that would actually happen, but lets face it, he is Brad Pitt. No Zombie is ever going to be allowed to kill him off half way through the plot! There has also never been a worse moment to receive a phone call!!

If you want a serious toned, but good entertainment nevertheless film to watch, then go for it. If you are more the clever slick thriller type, then its probably not for you!! I enjoyed it, and I give it a 7 out of 10, purely for the entertainment factor. Enjoy! x

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Santa is real!!

So G is 8 1/2. Still fully believing in Santa. We have had the list, and the usual discussions around Santa watching to make sure kids are being good, or else its a piece of coal for you!!

But this year, I've started to get an inkling that she is at least starting to question the details if not Santa himself. So far, we have been asked how Santa gets to all the houses. Then, and this was a tough one to answer, how does he get down the chimneys when everyone has electric or gas fires - wont he get burnt!! Then there is - why did the Santa I saw at Bridgemere look so different to the one in the Shopping Centre?

I'm not sure how many years the idea of Santa has left, but one thing is for sure, we are certainly going to make sure we enjoy it while it lasts.

And for the record - Santa is real!! I still leave a mince pie and a sherry out. Well, who wants to act like a grown up all the time. So don't forget the carrot for rudolph this year. x

Personal Training = mean

6th PT session done. 4 more to go. What do i do?Yes, sign up for 10 more!!! How to describe it - imagine the meanest SOB you have ever met - then imagine paying said SOB to hurt you!! I have never in my life made so many almost but not quite sobs whilst trying to do just 5 more reps!!! However, clothes looser, scales dropping and it feels A-mazing when the fabulous words "that's it" are said!!!! mana from heaven. that said, every. part. of. me. burns!!!!

However, the results speak for themselves:

Weight loss since 4th Nov = 10lbs!!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Exercise and Anxiety - what is going on??

For the last 2 1/2 weeks I have been having Personal Training Sessions. Hard yes, but no problems breathing. For the last month or two I have had a great deal of stress in my life, but no problems breathing.
I am losing weight, I am eating healthily, getting plenty of sleep and even staying off the wine.

4 days ago, I suddenly started to have a little bit of difficulty getting a deep breath. It was evening, I had been for a long walk out in the fresh air earlier that day, I wasn't upset, wasn't stressed, certainly wasn't anxious. At least I didn't think I was at any rate.

I stretched myself and got my breath, but by that point all I could think about was my breathing. My chest got tighter and tighter and it got harder to breath. I became aware that I was for some reason holding my breath a little, so I focused on not doing that. It made absolutely no difference. I started to watch a film, took my focus off the breathing, and it seemed to sort itself out, but left me wanting to yawn a lot.

That was Sunday evening. Monday I got up and I felt fine, breathing fine, not anxious, nothing. I got to work and it started again, mild this time granted, but it was getting worse. People started to comment, asking if I was tired - I think they mistook my breathing hard for yawning. It was more of a desperate gasp for air. Like my lungs just wouldn't expand enough.

trying to focus on something else, eventually it worked. I went to the gym, completed my fifth PT session, and was fine. I got home, and off I went again - constantly fidgeting to get in a position where I could get that lovely lung full of air. My partner gave me some of his essential oil lavender, and that seemed to do the trick for a while, until it wore off, so I had to keep dabbing it.

Last night was the worst by far. I started to get quite distressed, so I googled it, as you do! Turns out that it seems to indeed be anxiety related. I just do not understand it. I can exercise with no difficulty at all, but cannot sit in my own home without gasping for breath.

I don't feel anxious. If anything I have less stress than in previous weeks so why now? I am finding that if I try not to think about it and combine breathing out sharply to empty my lungs, then holding my breath and then slowly breathing back in, that it seems to unlock the tightness, but it is short lived and comes back.

I am getting really frustrated and confused by it. There cannot be anything wrong with my lungs - I can run and workout at high levels of exertion with no problems. So why is my armchair becoming my nemesis? I am sure that it is nothing at all to worry about, but the more you try to tell yourself to relax, the more you are in fact thinking about it and off the cycle goes again!!

Is this anxiety?? What on earth do I do if it is? How do you treat anxiety when you are not in fact anxious?? Puzzled much!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - My Movie Reviews

This film is a couple of years old now - 2011 I believe. For some reason, I have never watched it. I do this sometimes - when a film has a little too much hype it puts me off watching it as so many times they can be overrated. This was not the case with this remake with Daniel Craig as male lead and the formerly unknown Rooney Mara as female lead.

I haven't read the Stieg Larsson books (they are now on my to read list) so I had no idea what to expect from this. From the very beginning I was hooked. Mara plays the lead Lisbeth so convincingly that you forget that she is an actor and are genuinely absorbed into her portrayal of the troubled, definitely not quite the full shilling, but also utterly and completely the herione of the piece. Craig, by comparison, is actually a bit of wimp in this - far removed from his Bond persona. 

The opening dialogue from Mara gives you a hint of the fearsome intellect hiding beneath her harsh and distant demeanor, but is nothing compared to the way her character weaves through the plot, compelling you to will her on. The point in the film when she is betrayed by someone who should be there to help her, but who abuses her makes for difficult watching. However the pay back is one of the best I have ever seen in a movie. Not ridiculously gruesome as can often be the case, just clever and to be honest, you do find yourself thinking well deserved. 

At no point does the plot waver - it doesnt miss a beat, keeps you gripped to the very end. Even the final scene leaves you wanting more and not wanting this brilliant film to end. So it is just as well that there are follow ups to keep you going!! 

I definetely recommend this one if you are a fan of pyschological thrillers, or even if you arent, as the acting is absolutely top notch. Some well established names add class and credibility - Christoper Plummer (yes, him off the Sound of Music), Joely Richardson (Nip, Tuck), Geraldine James (yes, Bitty!!) amongst others. 

I give this 9 1/2 out of ten. Why the 1/2 point off full marks? Because I didn't want it to end like it did, albeit though the ending does leave you wanting to know where it goes next an wanting more!!! 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

8lbs lost already!!

Well I am one happy bunny today. 2 weeks, 4 PT sessions = 8lbs lost! My clothes fit better, my skin looks clearer - all in all the sessions are clearly paying off.

Friday's session consisted of leg and core work again. Abs, leg press, on and off the stepper, lunges, lunges with belgian bag. The difficult ones were sitting fully down on the step, with feet either side and standing fully up using just your thighs, then squatting back to sitting.

Another difficult one - side plank rotation. I need to practice this one, as I was entirely lacking in grace!! Start with a side plank, hold, roll into front plank and straight into side plank on the other side and hold. Then back again. And again. 10 in total!! I struggled with that one.

Interval training and sprints on the stepper. Interval training and sprints on the rower. Just for the fun of it, a plank with a belgian bag my back!!! Followed by the rope.

I burn in every muscle in my body. I ache, I have never felt anything so bad yet so wonderful in my life. Bad because it burns and aches. Wonderful because I can see and feel the difference it is already making to my body.

You must have a certain disposition to be a personal trainer - one that likes to inflict pain!! But he knows what he is doing by god and the difference already is making me all the more determined. Long way to go, but I've made a dent, and what matters is how much better I feel.

8lbs in 12 days. Yay!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Exercise over - time for Notting Hill!!

So, its the 14th November. I am slightly lighter, definitely starting to look less bloated and my third, yes that's right, my third PT session under my belt. Good feeling.

Had a very tasty homecooked dinner consisting of quorn mince, spiced with garlic, chilli flakes, ginger and soy sauce, wrapped in warm tortilla wraps. Very nice, very healthy.

Now that's the sensible stuff over and done with onto feet up and watching a film. This evening I have chanced upon Notting Hill. My gosh its fab. I had totally forgotten what an absolute gem of a film this is. Am already on the brink of tears in anticipation!!!

Maybe its the endorphins from the exercise!! Probably not - cant be just me can it?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Tonight's homework - "how to" using bossy and imperative verbs no less!!

So tonight, little G's homework was a "how to do" task. She's 8. The task was to pick something that you could describe in step by step with pictures.

We chose to do pasta with sauce. Cue much discussion over how much pasta, how much water, how big the pan, what sort of bowl! Who would have thought it took so much preparation?

We then got onto the diagram - she had a great idea - to draw the pasta as it fell into the pan. Easier said than done.

Next up was whether it should be bullet points, numbered points or paragraphs? Decision made - numbered points. Then we had the required spelling for the ingredients - I don't recall every trying to spell Passata. (I know have learned that it is 2 ss's and one t!) along with spices including coriander, garlic and basil.

I am now aware that the verbs we were required to use, as G informed me knowingly, were firstly - "bossy verbs" and secondly "imperative verbs". So now I know!

I wonder what I will learn from next week's homework?? :)

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Life of Pi - My MOVIE Reviews

I have just watched the Life of Pi for the very first time. What am amazing film!

Lets start at the beginning - the tale of a small boy, eyes wide with the wonders of the world. He meets a tiger called Richard Parker! Some mix up of the names, but what a fantastic name for a huge powerful Bengal tiger. The beast is majestic from the very start.

He meets a girl, and his heart is broken when his family must leave India for Canada, taking with them their zoo animals. A ferocious storm batters the ship, leaving Pi stranded on a lifeboat with a zebra. The zebra having fallen on to the boat, breaking its leg.

Enter an orang-utan and a hyena, followed shortly after by the arrival of Richard Parker. I won't spoil it by saying what happens then, but suffice to say, only Pi and Richard remain to the end.

Stunning visual beauty and amazing that 2 main characters and a boat can make you feel such emotion. This film made me sob, though I cannot entirely describe why that is.

The ending is very clever indeed, and I love that final scene where it is the true story that sits best, as fantastic as it is. Utterly brilliant, 100% recommended. 10 out 10. Go watch it, get hankies at the ready if you are an emotional type such as I.

The (hard) road to slim - 12th Nov - doing it for me!!

Well, today was not a successful day for the road to being slim. Didn't make it to the gym, and having weighed myself, no movement on the scales either. Can't really say that I am all that surprised, as I did give in and have a few cheeky glasses of wine at the weekend.

I keep asking myself why I just cannot stay on track? I keep giving myself a real hard time about it. So today, I am making a commitment to myself instead of to the scales. I am making a promise to look after me for me, not for anyone else.

I think that has been the main stumbling block for me, as I am sure it is for so many of us. I was too focused on trying to lose weight and look good for the benefit of other people, because they saw fit to comment and I wanted to seek their approval.

Well, today, I have realised - it is just not going to motivate me until I make what I want the goal, not trying to please other people. So this is the beginning - again.

So I say to each of you out there trying to lose weight, get fit - ask yourself - are you doing it for you?

Monday, 11 November 2013

Being a step mum - such a complicated bond

I have toyed with how to put this for some time but really, there is no way to put it - being a step mom is hard. As a parent, there is an automatic, un-conditional love. This is not so when you are not the parent. When you first meet your partner's child, you are from that second onwards under scrutiny. You have to build that bond out of nowhere, and try to find your place in the hierarchy.

I have no experience with children. I don't have brothers and sisters myself, and have no children of my own. At first, I naively thought it would be fun, which it is at times. But I under-estimated the complexity of the situation.

Not only are you under scrutiny by your step-child, you are also judged and tested by the extended family - the ex-partner who must trust you without knowing you properly to be guardian to their child.

When relationships break down, its important that the children are made to feel valued by both parents, which in our case is beyond doubt. The issue for me is this- what role do I have in her life?

When it comes to discipline, there have been occasions - not many thankfully - when I have stepped in to say "no" or to say what needs to be said. Unfortunately, whilst this is accepted when it comes from the parent, it's so much different when it comes from me. In our case, the stance now is that when it comes to laying down the boundaries of behaviour, and enforcing those boundaries - such as putting toys away after playing is done - that is beyond my role. It is much easier, and much less likely to result in friction to leave it to the parent. Easier in regards to the volatility of the situation, but not easy emotionally. It's like an invisible wall is ever-present through which I can see, but not reach through.

Unless you find yourself in this situation, it is hard to comprehend just how hard it is. I consider myself to be her friend now, but it has taken several years to build. And it is a fragile link. It takes care and attention, and it waxes and wanes. I am determined to be an important person in her life, but it is so hard when as a parent that link is so robust, yet for me requires so much careful navigation.

I keep asking myself - does this ever get any easier?

Saturday, 9 November 2013


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The road to slim - 9th Nov

Well, PT session number 2 under my belt. I went along last night for my session, with legs that were still achy, still a bit painful to touch, and I was expecting to not be up to doing much at all. So it was with some trepidation that I arrived.

To my dismay, he immediately stated that we were doing more leg work, and that we needed to build up my strength. More squats with belgian bag, but with some floor work in between - he had me do a plank (bad) with a belgian bag on my back (very bad!).

Next, raised step box, and I had to step on lift my outer leg and push a weighted ball up at the same time. Then repeat on the other leg. Following this, I had to step on and off the box, with feet on it then to either side, again with a weighted gym ball, and to squat over the box.

Then it was cardio time. Fast walk, with sprints on an incline started the interval training on the treadmill. Next, was the cross trainer, with slow jogs, then fast sprints on a higher level. I thought it was over, but alas, more was to come.

Abs next. Full sit ups and various crunches, as unfortunately, one thing I have strength in is my abs. He soon realised this, and pushed me even harder. Almost over, I gave it my all.

The final challenge - squats and rows with the ropes. Basically holding the handles on the ropes, you squat to the floor tensing the ropes, then pull yourself up with them, so it works your full body. 15 of those and I could feel everything burn. But it was over and I survived.

The most surprising thing was that my legs actually felt better after than they did before - the pain went. They ached, but no pain. Today, I can feel the burn as they say, but still no pain.

But by far the best point was when I got on the scales this morning. A whopping 5lb drop since Monday. Not even a week! Thats a dent in the target already - am very pleased!!

Weight loss total - 5lbs
Start Date: 4.11.13
Goal - 3 1/2 stone or 49lbs.
Pounds to lose = 44lbs


I have just watched the movie 2012. Now with these sort of films, you do, to a degree, have to suspend your disbelief. John Cusack stars, and is very good, but the tenuous link that weaves him into the plot is poor.

However, putting that aside, the film isnt half bad. The plot basically is the end of the world as we know it. The earth's shell is moving, and the North and South poles are shifting. The visual effects are amazing - quite scary at times. The inevitable love story is a bit naf and predictable, but its really not what this film is about.

This is a pure and unadulterated disaster movie. Throw in some stunning locations for the primary plot and you have a very enjoyable film all in all. Watching roads rip open, buildings falling, planes flying through ash clouds - all very exciting!!

Not one for those expecting deep thought provoking life questions about why we are here, but if you just want a fun film, this is for you. I give it a 6 out of 10, mainly for the effects and Cusack. Woody Harrelson's wacky cameo is also quite amusing.


Oh what joy! After a rare evening out, I come home to discover this, one of my most favourite movies is playing. James McAvoy plays the part of a totally downtrodden, under the thumb bum. His girlfriend is going with his supposed best mate.

His boss is a super-sized bitch, with awful died red hair. He types away, playing the role, whilst in wilful denial of his situation. He is the nerd, the office joke.

But I digress. Before that, "my Ireland" off of Braveheart takes roof jumping to the extreme. Kicking off from the elevator he leaps across the skyline only to find himself on X marks the spot!

Cue McAvoy being tracked down by the almost unbelievable perfection of Angelina Jolie. Like her, loath her, she is beautiful and also very very convincing in her part here!

Whilst in reality, smacking someone in the face with a keyboard is not an action I condone, it makes a great scene for the underdog!

This film is not a classic. The acting is not great. It is not an oscar worthy performance. What it is, is a reminder that we do not have to be bullied. That we can say "shut the hell up, you have one tenuous iota of power". And we can walk out. We can and we will be the makers of our own destiny.

The film deviates from this, by making the fraternity the be all and end all. however, the defining and for me the best part is when McAvoy realises that he has a choice. We have a choice. Regardless.

I rarely give a 10 but i make an exception here. 10 out of 10. I love this!!!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

get your self a christmas tree!

The road to slim - my progress - sore legs!

Thursday 7th Nov 2013

The stiffness in my thighs finally abated enough today to dare some exercise. That in mind, it was with some concern over whether or not my thighs would actually allow me to do much when I managed to get myself to the gym!

The front of both thighs has been somewhat painful to the touch since Monday's PT session, but that is because I am unfit and out of condition. That is something that I aim to resolve - and fast!

So, I did a little walking, a little gentle jogging and do you know what? Once I had finished - 300 cals burned on cardio, and lots of sets of ab work, my legs are actually moving more easily and are hurting less. Result!

If I can just get through this first unpleasantness then I am sure a few weeks from now that this won't seem as bad when it's just a memory.

For those of you out there that are already fit and toned, then I am sure you must have gone through this. For those of you contemplating it - do not let me put you off! Weight and body image is an ongoing battle, but it is one I am determined to win!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The road to slim - my progress

So today is Wednesday 6th November. Pounds lost = none. Not even a sign of movement. Can I feel the benefit? Not really. Can I tell I had my first PT session? You betcha!!

Stairs are the main issue for my very stiff, very sore legs and derrière! My muscles have clearly never been worked properly but boy oh boy they have now!

On the plus side, the aches are exactly the places where I want to tone and lose inches so that shows its targeted the correct areas on my body. I however have zero patience, and as I have decided to commit to this, I want the weight off by, oh let me see - yesterday??!!

In all honesty, I know there is a long hard road ahead of me, and that this will be a challenge. The plan is to do a light session tomorrow in order to loosen my muscles a little, then the next PT session is on Friday.

So no doubt I will then spend the weekend in the same situation as currently - aching! Just in time to start again on Monday.

As to the diet side I still have improvements to make there. My meals are now under control in terms of portion size, I just need to eat more fruit and veg (any would be an improvement) and also to cut down on the snacking. The problem there is I am just so darn peckish. This is to be expected, given I have spent the last two months eating everything and anything in sight. It's just hard work keeping the cravings for lovely food at bay and reminding myself of all the beautiful clothes hanging in my wardrobe that I cannot fit into currently. Easier said than done.

If anyone out there has any tips on how to deal with sore muscles, please let me know!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Day 1 - my road to slim

Monday 4th November 2013.

I have decided that I want to lose some weight but also to be healthy and toned. I have booked a personal trainer for 10 sessions to start with - 2 sessions per week. First training session and day 1 of my long journey to get my body how I want it (or as close as I can actually manage!).

I want to lose approximately 3 stone - 3 1/2 stone, so this was always going to be hard. The first session went like this:

Squats with belgian bag
Free weights
Plank balanced on a ball
Squats with straps
Body weight pulls with straps
Treadmill - incline fast walk
Interval training on cross trainer
Interval training on stair master
Step up balance with free weights

1 hour in total. I had no idea that working with weights and doings these kind of exercises made you puff and pant more than cardio on the machines - which we also did! Made my legs and thighs shake at the time. Almost fell over as my legs were a bit wobbly when I came off the treadmill. Today I have aches in my thighs like you would not believe, but to be fair I was warned it would make me ache! Graceful I was not as I walked to the changing room after the session!! My legs felt like bambi on ice!

I weighed myself at the beginning of the day, but am going to try not to keep jumping on the scales and will try to have some will power and weigh myself just once per week.

Diet wise, I have so far just cut down, but I know that I need to begin to look at what I am eating to balance my diet and also make sure my portion sizes are under control.

If anyone has passed this point where its all uphill ahead then please feel free to pass on your experiences.

Also if anyone knows any great tips for how to make my thighs hurt less, please pass then on!!

All said, I woke up this morning feeling yes, sore and achy, but also a little less bloated and a lot more positive.

Weight loss total - 0lbs
Start Date: 4.11.13
Goal - 3 1/2 stone or 49lbs.
Pounds to lose = 49lbs

Sunday, 3 November 2013


When I saw this classic was on last night, it occurred to me that whilst A) - I have seen it before and B) I have seen it more than once - that it had been quite some years since I last watched it from start to finish, and I was started to realised the film is now over 20 years old - 1992!!

From the start, I was hooked into this gripping thriller. I had forgotten how stunning Sharon Stone is, and how chiselled Michael Douglas was and what a great combination they make. The clever plot still twists and turns, and is none the worse for knowing they are coming. The ending is still a puzzle - was it her, or was it not? That final shot of the ice pick leaves you guessing.

I would definitely recommend a revisit to this beautifully shot, erotic thriller as it is one of the best of its kind. I thought it was great then, and if anything, compared with some of the more recent attempts in this field, I think I hold it even higher in ranking. I can't actually think of anything negative to say about this film at all so i give this one a well deserved 9 1/2 out of 10.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

OOH, AAH - Fireworks

So tonight I went off to a bonfire and fireworks display over at Shugborough Hall. Have never been to Shugborough - I will definitely go back in the day time to explore the grounds, as in the dark we wound our way down a beautiful tree lined road to the venue, which must be magnificent by day.

There was a fair, but it was so cold and blustery, it really wasn't the conditions for me to go on an adrenaline rush! No, I settled for a hotdog then hustled on over to the unlit fire to wait the lighting.

The pile was huge - pallets, and various wooden items, with a guy perched on the top. At 7pm the crowds had gathered, the wind was howling and the smell of paraffin was in the air as the torches were lit and the fire took hold. Watching the building flames turn from thick smoke to plumes of golden fire, it was like watching some mythical beast. The wind carried the sparks high into the trees, and there were some oohs as they danced perilously close to the firework cache!

Wrapped in a warm coat, scarf and hat, the cold still chilled me to my bones, so as we stood, we developed a sort of stomp to keep the cold from our frozen fingers and toes. The fire had begun to burn down the huge pyre when the fireworks should have begun at 7.30pm. It was gone ten to eight when they kicked in, but by golly it was worth it!

They were majestic. The huge bangers half deafening, but beautiful, and even the smaller ones looked pretty as they rose as they were seen through the branches of a leafy tree at the lower level. Gorgeous colours an spectacular display. When stood in the near gale force wind still giving it the expected ooh, aah as the chill crept into my bones, you know its a good event.

What mystifies me though is the sense of irony us Brits hold - only here would the catching of the person who tried to blow up our own parliament be celebrated by what? Yes thats right - setting fire to a load of gunpowder, known as fireworks!!!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Winter officially here - I have a cold!!!

So, its the 1st November. Halloween is over. Much fun it was too. Literally the second that November dawns, I just know the arrival of winter is here as I have a snuffly nose and the most annoying type of cough!!!

No pain- no sore throat, no fever. Nothing to suggest to anyone that there is anything at all the matter with me. Hence - sympathy quota? None. Big fat 0%. So, work day as normal. Home, chores, out for tea and the second my food arrives my cough kicks in!! Cue much at first concerned, and second worried glances from fellow dinners as my tickly irritating coughing fit just would not let up!! Pinot quaffed - still coughing.

Back home - no cough. Not even a clearing of the throat. Until I have just lay down for a moment!! Why is it that a cough waits for 1- an audience, and 2 - for you to try to rest!!!

Can someone please explain why a cough appears to have a master plan!!???