Monday, 31 March 2014

This might be the scariest one I ever post

In late 2012 I made a decision to lose weight and try and get fit.  I wasn't really sure why I wanted to do it, it wasn't that something had been said, or something had happened that made me decide it was the right time.

Yes I got married in November 2012 to a wonderful man, but he loved me the size I was, and never once has he asked me to lose weight, he tells me daily how much he loves me and how beautiful I am, and that hasn't changed.

I was just 'ready' to do it.

So in 2013 I started looking around gyms.  I decided that I enjoyed my food too much to go on a diet, plus we all know that diets don't work.  I decided I would eat a little healthier than I had been doing, but I would go to the gym and lose weight that way.

I looked around a few gyms and to be honest they scared me.  Men pumping iron, watching themselves in the mirrors.  Girls fully made up in skin tight lycra posing on machines.

I couldn't do this.  I wasn't confident enough to walk in there and start exercising.

I was scared.

I decided I would try one further gym, and saw there was a female only gym in my area.

I walked in, looked around and immediately asked if I could sign up.  The girl on the desk laughed and asked if I wanted to try it for a week first, but I knew I had to commit.  I signed up for a year, giving her my bank details there and then.  I made an appointment for a induction session, and I went home and ate chocolate.

This was scary stuff.

I decided I wanted to get into a size 16 jeans.  That was my goal.  It felt such a long way away (I was a size 24/26) but I wanted to lose weight, get skinny and fot into those jeans.

On my induction the trainer asked me to get on the treadmill to see what I could do, well I managed okay, but it was walking, I walked to work every day, where was the big deal.  Yes I thought, I can do this.  But then she asked me to get on the stepper.....two minutes later I was DYING.  My face was sweating, my breath was short and I thought I was going to die.  But I was determined.  I asked, what do I do next?  The cross trainer was next, two minutes on that and my legs were like jelly, I couldn't breath and I was sure I was going to die.  The trainer asked me if I wanted to sit down and got me a drink of water.

I was scared, if I couldn't do this what would I do?

But I was so sure this was the right time for me.  I wanted to lose weight.

I then started going to the gym.  The girls at my gym were brilliant.  They gave me a program of cardio and weights that I could stick to.  They encouraged me to work a little harder every time and I got so much encouragement from every girl who attended the gym as well as the trainers.

After two months attending the gym three times per week I started to do classes, I tried Zumba (died after 10 minutes), I tried spin (5 mins in I thought I would be sick) and I tried pump (lifting weights, thats ok, I was strong enough).  It was hard, but I kept going.  I tried harder everytime.  I pushed myself further.  I told myself I wasn't allowed to stop.  I brought my gym stuff to work, and didn't go home after work, I went to the gym first.  Little by little things started changing.

I saw how my clothes were starting to fit a little better.  Then they got loose.  I needed to buy a smaller size in clothes.  This was okay!  Then other people started noticing.  I tried harder.

After six months in the gym I signed up for a 14 mile challenge.  I climbed a mountain, I completed those 14 miles and I felt great.  I started wondering what else I could do.

I was doing spin classes now with ease, well no-one really does a spin class with ease, but at least I didn't feel like I was going to be sick after five minutes!

I got a few sessions with a personal trainer, this had mixed benefits to be honest.  The exercise program she gave me was great, she encouraged me to lift heavier weights and to push myself more, but the diet plan she gave me, no I did not like that.  Diets don't work, and the diet she gave me was so restrictive i couldn't do it.  It had me down to less than 1000 calories a day.  I felt tired, grumpy and lacked motivation.  I didn't have the strength to go to the was this helping me?  So i stopped her diet plan, I took some advise from her re healthier eating and I let her go, no more personal trainer for me.

I joined a couch to 5k ten weeks they had me running a 5k.  When I started I couldn't run the length of myself.

I signed up for the colour run, I signed up for a five mile assault course, I signed up to climb Slieve Donard, I can do all these things now.

My goals have changed. I no longer care about being skinny.  I don't care what the numbers on the scale say (although I have to remind myself of this nearly every day).  I want to be healthy.  I want to be fit.  I want people to be encouraged by my healthier lifestyle and try it for themselves.  If I can do it, you can do it too.

I am still on this long journey, but I am ready now to show a before and so far picture.  Its not an after pic, because my journey is continuing, but I am taking the very scary decision to share my picture with you.

If you have any questions please get in touch.  I really would love to hear from you. 
Me now, and me in December 2012, what a difference a year makes

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

19 March 2014



All these pics are bouncing up on Facebook and the rest, but it isn't enough just to show the world your pretty face without makeup, donate too.  Just txt BEAT to 70099 to donate £3.  I think this may be UK only, but find out what it is where you live and donate.  Together we can beat cancer.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

18 March 2014


Well I completed the 5k.  It took me under 44 minutes, 2 seconds under 44 minutes but that was a great result for me.

I had given myself a time of 1hour, if I finished within that I would have been happy.

My husband and my best friend came to cheer me on.

I was ready to go, even tho I was super nervous and scared.  Me and my running buddy got to the starting line, and we were off.

The first lap was hard, I didn't think we were going to be able to do it.  We had warmed up properly and even did a short run to get the muscles warmed up and the blood flowing.  But my legs just didn't want to run.

I had to stop first.  Me, I can run, but my legs were telling me NO.  BUt we picked ourselves up and started running again.

The first hill was hard, running on the flat is obviously different from running downhill, so going up that hill made every muscle in my legs scream, but we kept going, cos after the uphill comes the downhill.  The downhill, and the flat bit after it gets quite a bit of the lap covered, and knowing that is coming up makes the uphill just that little bit easier.

The second lap was hard, but we knew we only had one more lap to go.

The third lap I thought the muscles in my legs were just going to get up and leave me there, flapping on the ground.  Every muscle was screaming at me.

But we kept going, we did the final hill, the final downhill, then it was the last run toward the finish line.

At this point we had been lapped by everyone we figured we were coming in last.  But we didn't care, we were going to finish and thats all that mattered.  But that last bit was hard.  Both me and my running buddy were sore at this point.  We were ready to give up and walk (or crawl) to the finish line.

But then one of our trainers came running back from the finish line toward us.  Everyone else turned to see up and started cheering for us, encouraging us, keeping us going.

The trainer came back and ran beside us, keeping us going, giving us that last push we needed to get over the line.

The cheers were so loud from everyone that had already finished that it felt like I had ran and finished first in a big race.

I did it.

I finished a 5k.

I was so proud of myself, and so proud of my running buddy too.

We went out after to celebrate and it was good.

But boys oh dear, my ankle has not been the same simce.

My muscles were fine, my hips were fine, but my left ankle has decided it hates running and keeps telling me very clearly.

I haven't managed to get to the gym since the race on Saturday, and I didn't go to training last night.

I am going to the gym tonight tho, and training again tomoro.

I am a runner now.

And I feel great (sore ankle and all!!)

14 March 2014

My first 5k is tomorrow morning and is it fair to say I am kinda bricking it.

I still can't run 5k without stopping.  I can manage a mile, maybe a little more, but thats it.

But you know what?

It doesn't matter.

I will have completed my ten week couch to 5k program and I will complete a 5k.

Me, an overweight 4o year old who ten weeks ago couldn't run the length of herself.

the guys at the C25K program have been great, very encouraging and I met a few really good people who have kept me going.

Tomorrow kinda feels like a big exam. 

Will I do it?


Will I do it as fast as others?

No way.

But I will do it.

This ten weeks have been filled

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

12 March 2014

Ever felt like a horrible person?

Just felt like oops I didn't mean it that way but its out now so what can I do?

For the past year I have been on a fitness kick, I have changed my habits totally, moving away from being a couch potato and becoming a gym bunny. 

In that process I have lost some weight and lost a dress size or two (well I have lost 62lb and 3 or 4 dress sizes) and now ppl feel like the can talk about it.

It was me that did all that work, why are you proud?  I slogged my guts out at the gym, I ran in the cold, I sweated like a sweaty person, not you, why do you get to talk about it and be proud?

thats my gripe today.

I feel horrible.

I know my friends are pleased for me.  I know that I have changed pretty significantly.  I know that it is becoming more and more noticeable, BUT, it wasn't you that did it.  So, sorry folks, I don't want you being proud of me, I don't want you asking me how much I have lost, or when I am going to stop.

I'm not going to stop.

This is the new me.

I'm not on a diet.

I'm not even trying to lose weight anymore.

I have changed my lifestyle.

I will continue to exercise 6 days a week from now on, cos I LIKE HOW IT MAKES ME FEEL.

I do not like the exercise bit so much some times, but I love that feeling that a good workout gives me.

I love that sweaty finish, with aching muscles, with shortness of breath and knowing that I worked damn hard during that session.

If you want to look at me and talk about something, don't talk about how I did it, talk about how you can do it too.

Because if I can, you can too.

Use me as inspiration if you want.

Use me as an example of a fat girl changing her life.

And then start making healthier choices.

One choice at a time.

Monday, 10 March 2014

10 March 2014

Sometimes you have a week or a weekend where everything goes great, you hair looks good, you new profile pic on Facebook gets a ton of likes, your boss tells you that you are doing great, but other weeks, well, they're not so great.

You try and dye your ombred hair blue and it just goes black.  You have fight after fight with your partner, over nothing.  Your kids just won't do what they are told.

You know what you should do?

Roll with it.

Life is swings and roundabouts and sometimes it aint all that pretty.

But its the only life we have.

We don't get to hit Control Alt Delete and start again, so jus troll with it.

It'll get bettter.

Things will come around again and you will wonder why you bothered fussing and worrying.

I know, I know. Easier said than done, but just as you practise getting better playing the guitar, or learning a new language, or playing on a football team, the more you practise getting less stressed, the less stressed you will be.

Stress doesn't help.  Worrying only makes you feel worse.

If you can do something to change the situation you are in, then do it, change that up and make a difference.  But if it is out of your control?  You know what, don't waste time stressing.  Just cooncentrate on what you can do to change things, and let everyone else look after their bit of the situation. 

You have hit a bad point in your relationship, you feel things are a little stale? Maybe getting a bit bored?  Well try date night, organise a dinner for the two of you, do something you did together when you started dating, remind yourselves why you got together.

You think work isn't going so great, ask about traning courses in work, or see if you can do an extra class at night, speak to your boss about getting extra responsibilities, or less responsibilities if you have too many.  Ask if you can have a performance review and see if things can be changed up.

You haven't got enough time to meet up with friends?  Have them over to your house for dinner? Or organise a brunch at the weekend.  Everyone can bring a dish and you can all catch up.

Hit a plateau in your weightloss/fitness plan?  relax, its not the end of the world.  Eat a little more for a day or two, try a new class, go for a run, buy yourself some new training gear, look back at pictures from last year and realise how far you have come.  learn to focus on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go.

Its hard, I am learning to do this too.

I have a few mantras I repeat to myself, in this kind of situation it is "Thy will be done".  It helps me.  What helps you?

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

5 March 2014

Another day, another run.

It amazes me sometimes that I have all this time to go to the gym and train or to go running.

I think to myself...what did I do before?  I still have enough time to watch TV and to read, to meet my friends, to work and eat and where did the extra time come from?

I have more energy now.

I can go for longer.

I can go harder.

I can go further.

It feels bloody great!!!

The harder you train the better you get.  The better you get the harder you can train.

It feeds itself.

I train hard so that I have more energy to train.  I eat a lot so I can train harder, so I can do more, so that I can eat more.

But I eat smart.

I make healthy choices.  And if I slip up I don't beat myself up about it.  I just make a healthy choice next time.

I train hard 4-5 times per week in the gym, doing an hour in the gym (20 mins cardio, 40 mins weights) or doing an hours class (Pump and spin, Tae Bo, Tabata circuits) and I run 3 miles with a group twice a week.  I have just started running for a mile 3 mornings a week too. 

My life does not suffer now that I am training.  My social life isn't suffering.

I can just do more now.

Cos I train.

And I have more energy.

What's your excuse?

Monday, 3 March 2014

I'm getting fit and healthy not skinny

When I started my weightloss journey that was what it was...i wanted to lose weight.  I wanted to be a smaller size in jeans, I wanted to be a smaller number on the scales.

Since then I have changed.....yes it has been a gradual change, it has happened as I have lost dress sizes and the number on the scales has gone down.

Now its not about those numbers on the scale.  I can honestly say I don't care what they say.  I go by the numbers on the measuring tape.  I go by the number on how far I have ran, or how much weight I lifted, or how fast I ran, or how long it took in class before i had to stop for a break.

I go by how much I worked when I was in class or the gym. 

I go by how much sweat I was covered in when I left the gym.

How do you judge things??