Yoga in the Trafford Centre on a Saturday Morning

I was having a struggle a couple of weeks ago.  A real struggle.  Despite sticking to the ‘diet plan’ rigidly, the weight just wasn’t shifting.  Then after reading some blog posts, I realised that the LighterLife 5:2 diet is more of a maintenance plan to keep your weight in check.  Needing to lose a good couple of stone, I decided to increase the amount of LLF products in my daily diet.

Each morning I now start with a delicious Strawberry Shake Drink and then have at least one healthy meal per day with the rest of the meals being LLF products. The other days being pure ‘fastdays’ where I have four LLF products.  Since taking this approach, I have felt a renewed energy, feel far healthier and have started taking a big interest in what I am actually eating.  The children are not too impressed though, gone are their pizzas and chips – replaced by home-made bolognese and chicken dishes.  Give them time, they will feel the benefits soon!

This week I was invited to take part in the FastYoga session in the Trafford Centre with Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe and yoga extraordinaire Gemma Merna.  The poor unsuspecting Saturday morning shoppers were treated to a delightful sight of my rear end high in the air, trying to manoevre into positions which my 15 year old self could have only just about managed. All credit to Jennifer and Gemma – they managed to get me into the crab position for about two seconds, after which I did expect my body to collapse in shock.

Apart from the unexpected aches and pains (who knew Yoga could actually do that?), I felt really pleased.  Not only had I done something which I never expected I could possibly do, but I felt great for achieving it too.  I may not have been the slinky lycra clad godnesses on the front row of the session – but as an overweight mum of three, I probably represented more of those shoppers in the Trafford Centre in reality. I really wanted to say – “hey, if I can do this – seriously guys – you can do it too!”

Today I discovered I have even lost weight this week, only a couple of lbs – but it has shown this is working.  Its all going in the right direction and I know now I REALLY CAN ACTUALLY DO THIS!


A new diet and HUGE cows.

Well its a while since the first post and quite a lot has happened.  Earlier this month the nation were introduced to the six members of #TeamMe, the national campaign from Superdrug enabling ordinary members of the public to lose weight, get fit and become the ‘me they want to be’! We had a page in the national press last weekend and the hashtag #TeamMe gives more information about the members activities etc.

I have been allocated the Lighter Life Fast diet – to be honest I hadn’t heard much about this before, but having agreed to take part in this challenge wholeheartedly, I took receipt of my first box of LLF goodies last week and resolved to give it a try.  I didn’t know what to expect, but so far I have been delighted.  The general idea is that you follow the popular 5:2 diet, but for the two ‘fastdays’ only LLF products can be used – and this means 4 products per day.  As someone who LOVES food (and lots of it) I did worry that this would be a problem.  Was I going to spend the next 4 months starving?!?

Well one week in and I can truthfully say I have been surprised at how delicious the food is.  The strawberry shake drink is a firm favourite so far, but the chocolate meal replacement bar actually tastes of chocolate – excellent!  Being able to eat 4 times per day suits me perfectly.  Breakfast, lunch, then eating with the children, plus another ‘meal’ in the evening as usual is ideal.  It means no need for snacking or pinching chips from the children’s plates.

Having only two ‘fastdays’ per week means I’m not feeling deprived of treats and normal food, so I can have the 4 LLF products, knowing that I can have my usual cereal tomorrow!

A very welcome arrival was a surprise box from Kinetic Health – a kit designed to enable me to track my progress during this campaign.  It includes scales, a blood pressure monitor and activity band, which measures steps – all monitored by an app.  Easy! This has already even created online ‘steps’ competitions and tracking between the campaign members, great fun!

On the fitness front, I have increased my walking mileage considerably and am hoping to take part in part of the parish boundary walk this coming weekend – a 12 mile hike along the canal and up to Stoodley Pike!  Each week my friend and I have been walking one evening per week across the local paths and hills – increasing our mileage each week and trying to better our previous times. Nothing strenuous, in fact its just nice to be able to chat and catch up without the children screaming for our attention every five minutes. Finishing a conversation is a novelty we haven’t had in years.

This week we walked through a field of cows (unintentionally I might add).  They weren’t little ones either, they were huge hairy ginger cows with horns.  I will happily admit I was terrified.  I had already spotted the lowest part of the wall which I was intending to run and jump over should they charge.  It must have been the quickest mile of the entire route, despite being uphill on a mega incline.  Having a field of huge hairy ginger cows with enormous horns stare at me was enough incentive to pick up the pace considerably.  At one point I even told them very loudly that I was a vegetarian in the desperate hope that it might convince the enormous beasts that I was a friend, not foe.  It seems to have worked because the cows barely moved from their obviously delicious area of grass and just gave us both a bizarre look.

Keeping fingers crossed for a cow-free walk this weekend!






Introducing Myself

Hello! I have recently signed up to a national campaign (details to be released soon) along with five others to get fit, get healthy, and generally improve my well-being.

Personally I want to shift the flab which is the result of having three babies (ages between 1 – 6), several years of inactivity and a sedentary office based job.  But those very same three children, mean it is difficult to find the time to engage in any structured exercise.  Gone are the days when I can sign up to a regular gym class or dedicate several hours each week to a fitness regime.  These days its all ad-hoc, spur of the moment – and easily forsaken if a dance class, football session or parents evening happens to fall in the way.

I am not hugely overweight – in fact, to be honest I want to lose just over 2 stone.  But that same two stone may as well be TEN stone as its refusing to budge on my own accord.  So pledging to this effort is a driver to shift it.  I realise this is not just about getting fit – but also eating well – the 80/20 rule is well and truly in my head (80% is what you eat and 20% is down to fitness and exercise).

I have done the occasional Race for Life in years gone by, but always as the puffing panting one just about making it over the line without collapsing into a heap. But as part of my efforts I am going to try to run (ok, jog) and walk as much as possible and improve my fitness overall.  Being part of this campaign and recording my progress regularly should help me stay on track, but I am hoping it will inspire and assist other mums out there trying to do the same.

Once we used to go for a swim in the evening, but instead now we find ourselves tidying up toys in the lounge after In The Night Garden finishes, then tackling an enormous piile of ironing to make sure there is sufficient uniform ready for tomorrow. Finding the energy to do anything after that, beyond putting chips in the oven is often a huge hurdle.

So there we go – the old mantra of ‘Don’t complain, Change!” pounds in my head over and over.  On that note.. on your marks, get set….GO!

I hope you join me on my journey.