Posts Tagged ‘weight

Loved one was going to go to the gym for the first time in a while yesterday.

Then he didn’t.

He couldn’t find his swim shorts.

Looks like I’m not the only one who is finding reasons not to exercise.  Loved one needs to just as much as me.  He’s been secretly building up his fat reserves.  Which at least means he probably still weighs more than me (it really bugs me when he doesn’t, especially with him being over 6 foot tall and me a measly 5 foot 3 or so)

But it is strange just how many obstacles seem to get in the way.  Take next week, for example.  I was really proud of myself for getting through 80% of the BodyStep class without needing to adjust the steps – the remaining 20% I was in danger of tripping over the step, so I thought I’d better save myself, and the person next to me, by doing the steps on the floor – but next week I need to babysit for a friend. And the week after. And I missed the ‘dance & tone’ class last Weds because loved one didn’t get home till late.

I meant to dig out the Davina DVD on occasions like this, but I’m feeling stressed and tired. Last week was quite emotional for various reasons which I won’t go into here, which didn’t help, but on evenings where I’m supposed to put on my trainers and do kitchen aerobics* the evening flits by and it’s half ten or eleven o’clock before I realise I haven’t done it.

Admittedly I’m not motivated to do the DVD. It’s not Davina’s fault, I just seem to need extra motivation for any kind of exercise. External financial motivation is a good one.  It always helps if I’ve already paid for it. I try harder in a class setting too – no half-hearted leg curls like the ones at home – which means I feel much better for doing it properly.

In the past I’ve gone cycling, which I love, but the bike is currently unfit to ride, and the effort of getting it fit is yet another obstacle.

Dear oh dear, it’s all about the excuses today.  See what I mean though? It’s as if, in the grand scheme of things, I’m not meant to exercise.

Well, we can’t have that. I’m trying to brainstorm exercise possibilities on this hottest of days, and all I can think of is how wonderful it would be to swim right now.

Swimming pool closes shortly, and it wouldn’t go down well to vanish off at such short notice anyway, but, after a quick discussion with loved one, I’m all set to do the 6.30am earlybird swim, having promised faithfully to be back before loved one needs to leave for work.

Must… Keep…. Trying..


* Kitchen aerobics – if your living room is carpeted, aerobics just don’t work – your trainers and the carpet fibres will give new meaning to the word friction. Stick the DVD into your laptop, plonk it on the kitchen counter and do it there. And try not to crash into the table in the process.


I write in anticipation of not being around to weigh myself, so I’ll do it on Sunday instead. Watch this space!

Amazingly (that is, in spite of eating huge amounts of rubbish on our camping trip), I have been sensible enough this week to lose the tiniest amount of weight since last time.

A fortnight ago, I was 12 st 1.2 lb.  Well, get out your trumpets and blow a fanfare because this morning I weighed in at … 12 st 1.0 lb.

I’m actually quite pleased about this since I weighed myself on Monday and it was considerably higher.  But, I did make it to ‘Dance & Tone’ on Wednesday night, and I have been restrained in my eating.  Somewhere along the line my insatiable appetite is diminishing.  Why? Well, it’s possible that it’s partly due to no longer breastfeeding (we were camping, she didn’t want it, I didn’t complain), but probably more likely that I’m eating REAL food.  (I have a theory that real food sustains you both physically and emotionally in a way that junk food, or processed food does not, but that’s another blog for another time.)

xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.netWhat I really wanted to say was, it’s always easy to find an excuse not to exercise.  Reading back over my Friday posts this past few months, you can find many.  Some are legitimate.  Some are a bit wimpy.

renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netThis week I have a nasty cold.  But it’s not terrible. I don’t feel like death warmed up – or at least, I didn’t till this morning after a night of coughing -I am capable of doing some exercise.   Loved one has been in at the right moments.  I have gone to classes.  Paid in advance so I feel financially obliged to attend.  And somewhere along the line, it’s working.

I’ve even booked the gym class and creche for Monday morning, in the hope of exercising properly at least twice a week (Pilates is great, but it’s not really a calorie burner..).   If, IF, I can just sustain the momentum of keeping twice a week exercise going, I will eventually be reasonably healthy.

It’s an awfully big if.  Life can be so complicated these days.  Not only do you have to fit in around the needs of your entire family, but you are stretched to the limit to cope with daily life.  I’m not complaining, I’m just acknowledging that it’s not easy.

I do feel, though, that if you can get that regular exercise, you feel better in yourself, you are more energetic the rest of the time, the rest of your life is considerably better as a result.

I hope I’m right.

I also hope I keep overcoming those barriers.  Let’s see, shall we?

Hooray, it’s Friday.  From tonight there will be someone to share the housework and childcare with for three whole days!  (Actually, that usually means I flop and the house degenerates into chaos once more as loved one, honourable though his intentions are, attends to the dishwasher and changes a few nappies without realising that there is a little more to it than that.  And I will be cursing under my breath on Tuesday as I try and catch up.)

I’m getting sidetracked here.  It’s Friday.  And that means weighing day.  Last time I had lost a little weight through eating healthy portions, and I had tried the Dance & Tone classes.  I had been planning to get one extra bit of exercising in, dithering between gym and running.

In the end I didn’t manage any of those things.  My decision to get to the gym on my only free morning was scuppered by some appointment I’d forgotten about, loved one was away at the time of the Dance & Tone classes, and my attempts to get a babysitter failed miserably, and to top it all off I was feeling so stressed out by smallest one screaming a lot, I ate more than I should have.  The evidence is there in a packet of Pringles scoffed in one hour flat, two empty bottles of wine and a Pizza Hut receipt.

Having said that, somehow I still managed to lose a little weight! Last week I was 12 stone 2.4 lb.  Today I weighed in at 12 st 1.2 lb.  Yes, I’m still fatter than before my cheese habit got a hold over Easter, but it makes me realise that if I can suss the exercise thing, I have a hope of getting properly healthy.  Not only that, but I might be less inclined to put my hands over my ears every time smallest one screams and pick her up for a cuddle.  I know from past experience that exercise makes you feel more energetic.  I just need to make myself do it.

As you can see, this week I had a lot of excuses.  What I could have done was pick up my Davina DVD and bounce around the living room for half an hour or so.  The fact that I didn’t speaks volumes about my couch potato habits, as well as my levels of fatigue, but most of all it is rather a shining beacon highlighting my terrible self-discipline.

But there is hope. Remez Sassoon has an essay on her self-help-book-promoting-website that is actually very useful in itself.  It points out that if you keep challenging your will power and your self discipline and actually do those things you can’t be bothered to do, you will eventually get better at it.  It’s like practising an instrument.  You might be rubbish at it to start, but you will improve over time.

So perhaps this week, with all the excuses in the world at my fingertips, I will dig out that Davina DVD and bounce around the living room, and I will pick up my baby and cuddle her when she screams for the hundredth time that day.  If I can achieve it for a week, it might be easier by the time half term is over.

I did manage to weigh myself in the end…last week I was an unflattering 12 st 3.8 lb, which can only mean that back in France I was inhaling cheese in much the same way as drug addicts must inhale cocaine.  Not that I would know; I just have a very active imagination.

This week I was 12 st 2.4 lb.   A small but significant improvement.

I’m keeping up with the portion plate idea, and feeling better for it.  Only today have I lapsed due to not having time to eat a real lunch.

I did actually start the dance and tone classes, which was immense fun as well as making every part of me ache afterwards.  (Also, I do find it comforting to see other overweight people there – nothing worse than being the only fat person in an exercise class.)

So, yes, I’m fatter than I was last time I checked before the Easter holidays, but improving slowly.  And I’m slowly on the road to being unfit, a vast improvement from extremely unfit.

AKARAKINGDOMS / FreeDigitalPhotos.netI do feel that I have more to do on this front.  In the long run, if we’re lucky enough to get the house we want (and ideally the school we want too), we’ll be looking at a half-hour’a brisk walk to school every morning and afternoon, with yours truly doing the return route too. So I suspect it’ll be less of an issue.

In the meantime, though I don’t want to get complacent, and I feel that one dance exercise class and one non-aerobic Pilates class isn’t going to cut much mustard.  I like one friend’s idea of doing the Couch to 5k training programme, which happens to fit in beautifully with roughly the amount of time we expect to stay in this house.  So that might be an idea.  My other idea is to get back to the gym once a week, since they have a creche that smallest one can go to.

I can’t decide right now.  Both plans have the flaw that they only work for as long as I can be bothered to do them; there is no I’ve-paid-for-half-a-term-and-I-need-value-for-money incentive, so both will require self-discipline.  I’m going to go away and think about it.  I’ll let you know how I get on.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the Friday Fatchecker out, but for the last fortnight I’ve been keeping a food diary and trying to eat more healthily.

I think it’s working, but I haven’t had the scales handy (long story, involving sunday school and middle child’s wet pants) to check both how much cheese weight I put on whilst in France, and how much since then I might have lost.  They’re back at home now, so hopefully I’ll grab a moment soon to do that.

Eating more healthily has been working well.  I saw a video about nutrition and they showed this plate.

Image courtesy of

That’s one quarter meat, one quarter starch and one half veg.   The same vid also talked about never going more than 4 hours without food, and so if there’s no meal coming along in that amount of time, I’ve also been using Graze for nibbles that actually sustain me. (If you want a free box, let me know and I’ll get you a code).  After adjusting my shopping trolley to accommodate the extra veg and a decent breakfast (2 rashers bacon, loads of tomatoes and a slice of toast), it’s been working well.  I haven’t overindulged in chocolate or any other junk food, and I haven’t missed it.

However, I’ve not had much decent exercise since before the Easter holidays.  It’s always tricky in the school holidays, especially if you’re staying with friends or relatives.  Since then I’ve been knuckling down with studies, so it’s taken a back seat.

Anyway, back to the lethargy thing. What I said last time about having something paid for to have to go to, hasn’t progressed.  My plan to do some Zumba has not materialised, namely because I’ve had no reply to my email and I’ve forgotten about it.

graur codrin /

Time I chased it up, really.  I don’t know why I’m averse to just ringing people, but somehow when I’m feeling lethargic, typing is about the only thing I still feel happy doing.  Talking to people means I have to switch on properly, which requires energy.  And of course, it’s a vicious circle; the less exercise I do, the less energy I have.

Hmm. Clearly I need to deal with this.

So, there being no time like the present, and the Zumba website being down, I’ve found a different dance fitness class and have just fired off a registration request.  Hopefully this one will work out, and in the meantime, at least I’ve managed to get the food sussed for the time being.  I’ll keep you posted…

Everyone knows that if you want to get to a healthy weight, you need to eat less and/or exercise more.  So today I’m just going to get back down to basics and reflect on what’s going on for me in these areas.


This has been excessive, possibly more so than usual.  I have a monstrous appetite.  Yes, I’m still breastfeeding, but only a couple of times a day now.  My appetite is disproportionately huge.  It’s partly because I’m stressed about moving house.  Nevertheless, after a month or two of not monitoring what I eat, I suspect I’m moving in the wrong direction.  In fact, the only thing I have improved on and kept up since beginning this at the start of the year is drinking less alcohol.

I need to make a small goal and stick to it again, stress or no stress.  For now, I’m going to focus on eating between meals.  Unless it is planned as a social event, the only snacking I plan to do is my new weekly ‘graze‘ box; slightly better than the biscuits or chocolate I might otherwise resort to.  And tasty too – have a look at some of the things in their box.


Till the stress lessens, I’m not going to try and curtail my eating at mealtimes as currently that feels like a sacrifice too far.

So. Snacking is out.  We’ll see how that goes.


I’m still doing my Pilates classes, which are great for improving strength and stability, but they really are not helping me to lose my excess weight.   Clearly I need something a little  more cardiovascular.

The Pilates is working as I have to keep it up every week, having paid in advance.  I need something with a similar format, so I can’t duck out easily.  I love dance, so to me the obvious answer is  to find a local dance class.

Of course, it’s tricky when loved one is away so much.  But Mondays seem to be OK.  In the area, so far there is street/hip hop, Zumba, and Irish dancing on a Monday night.

Can’t quite see myself blending in to  a street/hip hop class, particularly when the instructor is a hip and happening young dude and I’m an overweight, unfit, untrendy thirty-something.  Irish dancing sounds like fun, but for now I’m going to contact the Zumba instructor and see if she has any space…

I have no idea what Zumba is about, though I gather it involves dancing in an aerobic manner.  Sounds great.  Gonna give it a try.  I mean, look at the picture from the website.

Zumba Fitness

So. Two small measures to gradually improve my intake and output.  I’ll let you know how I’m getting on in a few weeks time.

Seven weeks since I started this malarkey.

I feel I turned a corner last week with beloved one’s suggestion of fruit.  Now that I’ve actually tried it and remember that it’s not so bad, I seem more inclined to eat it.

And I haven’t stolen so much as a chip of any child’s meal since last week.

So the question is, will it show on the scales?  I have three answers prepared, since I’m writing most of this in advance.

Worst case scenario: I have gained again.  I really shouldn’t have; I do feel like I was good as gold.  If this has happened, then I really need to re-think the way I’m tackling this weight loss extravaganza and see if I can do something new to head back in the right direction.

Blah scenario: I have not gained, but nor have I lost.  If this is the case I’ll still need to add something new to the mix.

Good scenario: I have lost, and am ideally in the eleven-stone-somethings…  In which case I really am doing the right thing, and can keep working on it till it becomes an established habit.

So, advice to self has been prepared and noted.  Now all that remains is to establish which scenario is relevant this week.

Fast forward to a disappointing result on the scales. In spite of my efforts I have gone up again… I am now 12 st 2 lb, one more pound than last week. And i don’t know why. So i feel rather baffled and a little frustrated.

Now, if I’m to follow my own advice I need to add another string to my bow. This week, therefore, I’m going to start writing a food diary. Let’s see if it works.

I promise only to post full details if they are sufficiently interesting…


Ambro / www.freedigitalphotos.netI thought I would post this on a day when you’ll all be so sick of reading about love and romance you’ll be desperate for something different.

Doctor Pierre Dukan – a French doctor who seems to have taken France by storm with his way of keeping people in trim.  Imaginatively named ‘The Dukan Diet‘.

Now, if you are vegetarian, you can forget it.  This diet is all about meat.  And lots of it.  This is probably why I bought the book in the first place.

But isn’t that Atkins, I hear you ponder?  Nope, this is a little different, and possibly slightly more sane.  Sane relative to Atkins, anyway.

Atkins is all about meat and fat and no carbohydrate.  Dukan cuts out the fat.  He goes into great detail why this important, but to be honest, when has eating copious amounts of fat ever been good for you?  For Dukan it’s protein, protein, protein all the way.

With some oat bran sprinkled in, before you find yourself so stopped up you’re about to explode.

Thankfully Dr Dukan is aware that this in itself is unsustainable, so he puts in different phases.  ‘Attack’ when you have protein and nothing but, ‘Cruise’ when you can have veg on alternate days (how considerate), and ‘Maintain’ when you give your body a chance to get used to the new weight for a while, and you can have a reasonable amount of carbohydrate at long last.

I may have the words wrong.  I couldn’t bring myself to look it up again.

So, the bad things about this are:

  1. It’s a proper diet. You have to radically alter your way of eating until you lose the desired amount of weight.
  2. It’s incredibly expensive.  The amount of meat you need to eat is quite frightening.
  3. It’s totally impossible to adapt for the rest of the family.

No doubt you’ll think of more – feel free to comment below.

There are a few good things, though…

  1. Dukan advocates only losing to your ‘true weight’, i.e a realistic weight that’s appropriate to your age, build etc.  Something you can maintain without too much effort.  No dropping down to size zero unless you’re only a size six already.
  2. The ‘maintain’ phase.  No other diet highlights that if you don’t want to pile double the pounds on the moment you come off the diet, you need to give your body a chance to adjust.  I seem to recall he suggests 5 days maintenance for every kilo/2 lb lost.

Needless to say this isn’t the diet for me, but hey, I will take on board the two good things I learned from reading his book.

And for those of you out there that this might work for, I have a book going spare!

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Suat Eman /

I used to have a regular style and size of jeans that I would buy, year in, year out, in varying shades of blue.

Then I had children, and that style didn’t work any more (we’ll not even go down the size route), so for the last seven years I’ve been trying, and failing, to find my new favourite jeans.  You’d think that in this day and age, I could find something up-to-date that still suits me.

Let’s take a look at what we have to work with here.

  • I’m shortish.  At five foot three and a half, I’m below average on the height thing.
  • I’m very curvy.  I have BIG hips and a pretty big bum. Oh, and my chest is pretty ample too.
  • I’m overweight.
  • I don’t wear heels.
  • I don’t generally wear boots either.

So let’s look at the types of jeans out there.


When I first heard about these, I thought, yay! I used to love wearing my man’s jeans (in the days when I still fitted into them); this is the perfect type for me.  Not too tight, not too ‘stylish’.

Not so.

Some blithering idiot made them low waist.

Unless you have no curves at all, low waist is just horrendous.  I bought some once. Twice actually, but the second time was inadvertent.  I spent my entire time trying to stop them from falling down and giving me that lovely builder’s bum that I’m sure everyone would love to see.


I don’t wear boots.

Even when I occasionally wear boots, bootcut doesn’t look that great.

Bootcut is essentially making your calf areas match your thigh area.  That’s not a good idea when your thighs are the size that would suit a scrum half competing in the Six Nations. (Yes, their thighs are all muscle, and mine are…not.)


See above.  The bit about being overweight.

Actually, skinny jeans could look quite good, if you get the size that skims the curvy bits, rather than clinging to them so tight you see every dimple of cellulite through the denim.  If I could find a pair like that, I might even dig out my boots and attempt to look trendy.

But then they always make them low waisted.


Wide Leg

Wide leg jeans.  I just bought some of these.  They were OK but for one crucial factor.

They assume you are six foot tall.

I swear, you cannot buy a pair that have an inside leg of less than 32 inches.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  And since my own inside leg is 30 inches – which is quite long for a short person like me – and I never wear heels, you can see the problem.

Yes, I could take them up, but I really hate sewing, and the iron-on hems wouldn’t cut the mustard with denim.   Also you get that nasty look at the bottom of your jeans that screams ‘this person is so short she’s had to hem her jeans’.   I got some Lands End ones once where they offered this service, and even professionally done it still looked so, so wrong.


I really like the idea of jeggings.  They look great on pretty much everyone who I’ve seen in them, even a friend of mine who’s a grandma (who looked particularly good in them).

The only problem is, unless you are a beanpole, you then have to wear tunic-style tops that cover your bum.  Partly to de-emphasise the bulges, but also to avoid the visible panty line issue.

I have tried wearing non-VPL underwear.  It does what it needs to do.  But it’s either in that microfibre fabric, which isn’t healthy in the long run, or it’s a thong, which has me de-wedging every 5 minutes.

I like tunic-style tops.  But again they were made for skinny people, and don’t look so good in the bigger sizes.  Soft billows are appealing on a slender frame.  On a curvaceous one, if you catch the wind right, you could sail across the ocean.

Also, no pockets.  I need pockets.  In the mobile phone culture we have today, I am surgically attached to mine. No pockets means I have to hold it.  Holding it means not picking up my baby.  See? I really need pockets.

Not Your Daughters Jeans

These sound wonderful.

I haven’t checked them out, though, not since seeing the price in a magazine.

Somewhere along the line they haven’t cottoned on that if you have a daughter, you probably don’t have much money left to spend one hundred and forty pounds on a pair of jeans.

I thought Gap jeans were expensive.  These are three times the price.


I’ll have to revisit the idea when I’m earning again…  After childcare, that’s about what I earn for teaching a course.

Better stop blogging and complete my qualification then.

New diploma?  New jeans!

Smallest one in the early days

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