Archive | July 2015

Where did July go!!??

How did it get to almost the end of July without me posting more than a couple of posts! Very bad me! This will improve I promise 🙂 This post is a bit of a catch up…

I remember all that time ago in the beginning of the world…no hang on, the beginning of July I asked you to challenge me to some new things…well no-one actually came up with any challenges for me (except Rachel who suggested Tough Mudder…that one was a no!) so I have come up with some myself…

Challenge the first:

10000 kettlebell swings 

kettlebellsin a month…

which is a lot!

The original challenge is here on the TNation website which claims to be hardcore…it probably is I have not been there long enough to properly judge. However if this challenge is anything to go by it might be!

Basically it is a 4 week challenge, where you work out 5 days a week and on every one of those day you do 500 kettlebell swings. You split them into 5 rounds of 4 sets of swings. (10 swings, 15 swings, 25 swings then 50 swings, repeat 5 times).

At first glance, this doesn’t look *that* hard…until you actually try to do 500 kettlebell swings… I had a dry run to see how doable this challenge would be, I did one round of 100 within a different kettlebell workout to see what it was like. It was not an easy thing!!

However, that is the point of a challenge, it wouldn’t be a challenge if it was easy!

The other thing you do with this is pick one compound movement to do in between kettlebell sets. You get to choose from Squats, Dips, OH presses and chin ups. I may add to these or modify as I can’t actually do a chin up just yet…

I will start this on 1st August…which is this Friday but why not start on  a Friday!! 🙂

Challenge the second

21 Day fix

IMG_7688[1]This is another of the beachbody programs like Insanity and Insanity Max 30, but it comes with little boxes with which to measure your food portions. You get one for each of the different food groups and get different amounts of each box depending on your calorie requirement. It also comes with a DVD exercise program which looks pretty good and consists of mainly half hour workouts.

This is a little gimmicky / short term for the diet I’ll admit, but it is based around healthy clean eating and I am not looking at it as a long term solution, rather a short term visual reminder of what a healthy portion should look like! It is very easy to slip back into bad habits and even clean healthy food with monster portions is going to provide you with too high a calorie intake…

I don’t have  start date for the full program for this yet, I have started using the little boxes already mind you (well about 50% of the time) and it is already serving as a portion control measure!

I will let you know when I start properly!

and lastly…

Battle Ropes!!

This isn’t a challenge as such…more a new toy!!

me battleroping! (which is totally a word!!)

me battleroping! (which is totally a word!!)

I have Battle ropes (or rope actually which you loop round a post and use as two)!

It is a 15m long 15kg rope which you use doubled over and basically wave each end up and down or wiggle or whirl around as fast as possible! It is awesome for cardio and upper body conditioning and increased strength and endurance…

These are by no means the only challenges I will set myself, they are just the only ones I have come up with just yet. I am still considering capeoira and adult ballet lessons and I am also looking into strongman (woman) training…but I have nothing certain worked out to do with these yet…

I’ll keep you posted, and if you think of anything, I am still open to challenges from the floor (as it were…)

you still can if you like... :)

you still can if you like… 🙂


This Girl Can

This post follows on from two posts I have read recently about body image. Both of the posts were on My good friend Nancy’s blog My Year[s] of Sweat one was about her own perception of body image and the other was a reblogged amazing post written by Beth Teliho they are both worth reading…so go and read them now!! Go on…read them! Then come back here!!

(OK Nancy you don’t have to go read them…you know what they say)

It also follows on from my post last week which I wrote last year about media / fashion led perceptions of female beauty

This post is about the new media wave of adverts etc calling for people to love themselves the way they are and be active if they want to be, calling for women in particular to get up and do what they want to do without worry about people saying they are too fat/thin/wobbly/tall/short/female etc for that activity!

More specifically this post is about a big step I have taken on the way to this! You my have gathered over the last two years that I am not one to let size/prejudice/other peoples perception of my ability stop me from doing something. This, however doesn’t mean I am immune to the “I am too big for this” mentality, I am as guilty as the next person of believing my self to be a failure because I am still not one of those super buff looking people on the interweb!

I spend as much time convincing myself that I am not kidding myself about this whole personal trainer malarkey as I do working out! I so often think that what people really want in a fitness professional is a stereotype and that I am not strong enough to change the system! However, I am also a pretty good actress and I really believe in what I am doing! There is such a difference between an emotional response and logical one!

well yes...that pretty much says it all!!

well yes…that pretty much says it all!!

So in  the midst of all of the media fat shaming there has risen the “This Girl Can” Campaign which is a sport england campaign to get women into sport/exercise no matter what shape or size they are and no matter what their interest is whether it is running or boxing! (click on the words and go look at their website, it is pretty cool!)


It first came to my attention as a TV advert which I had an unusual reaction to, I initially thought it was patronising and annoying…

Then I thought about it…


That was my paranoia doing the thinking for me!

When I really thought about it this campaign is exactly what I stand for in my Real Fitness campaign. It is exactly what I have been trying to do on my own!!

Then something interesting and pretty awesome happened!

I saw a tweet from the This Girl Can to an app which allowed you to make your own poster like the one up  there! SO I thought, why not, I do stuff that is not typical and I am not a typical shape…I’ll do that! So this is what I made…

this girl can

There was a bit in the info about the ads possibly being selected to be displayed in your local area, but I thought, yeah right and forgot about it completely!

So imagine my surprise when this email arrived:


well, who’d have thought it!!

Me, on electronic advertising in places where actual people may see me!! I got another email this weekend just gone saying it would be displayed again on the 11th! and apparently around the country on screens in amongst other ones just like it!

I have really done it now…not only this girl can…but this girl has to!!

It is not the end of my self doubt and automatic “i am too big” reactions, but it really has gone a long way to helping me change my perception of myself!

Throwback Thursday: Just because it has been this way for centuries…

It is throwback Thursday…so here are some opinions that I had this time last year…
I still have them but I had forgotten I had written them down!
Anyway, as surprisingly little has changed in a year, I thought it could do with another mention!

Midsummer 365 Projects

doesn’t mean it has to carry on this way!


In the Victorian era, the ideal body shape for women was so impossible that corsets were worn that some times broke ribs and always squeezed so tightly that women’s internal organs were displaced.


In the 1920s the ideal body type for women was so “boy-like” that they bound their breasts and wore ling line girdles to disguise their hips.

neck rings

In some parts of burma (and many other places around the world at times) beauty was considered to involve a long neck such that brass rings are worn around the neck which gradually deform the clavicle and compress the ribs to give the illusion of a longer neck.


In ancient china (right up until 1911) small feet were so desirable in women that their feet were bound to prevent them growing large. Such a process was intensely painful as id didn’t stop the feet…

View original post 873 more words

Awesome new thing!

For some time now I have been dithering about activity trackers.

(yes this happens pretty regularly in my life!)

I have been deliberating between the Fitbit Surge and the Garmin Vivoactive for sometime, they both have smart watch capabilities and give you phone notifications etc, they both have gps to track running, they both have step counters, and the fitbit has wrist based heartrate monitoring.

I read reviews, and generally the garmin came out better, better gps and more smartwatch capabilities and apps were available for it and generally it was better…but you still had to link it with your chest strap for HR…

so there was much deliberation and backwards and forewardsing…

then Garmin brought out the Forerunner 225…which has activity tracking, and more sophisticated running stuff and wrist based heartrate that actually got good reviews (unlike the fitbit one)

so there was more deliberation…

eventually I went for the Vivoactive…I like the smartphone stuff and I have a chest strap for the HR and I found one for a sensible price, I couldn’t really justify paying an extra £80 for the forerunner…

so here it is…

This is what the advertising think it looks like...

This is what the advertising think it looks like…

Isn’t it pretty…it is nice and thin and comfortable to wear which is a plus 🙂

Mine no longer looks like that mind you…it has had a couple of upgrades…

The main screen looks like this:

yes..that is a star trek interface you see there!

yes..that is a star trek interface you see there!

I discovered shortly after receiving it that you could download a star trek look alike clock face for it…

who wouldn’t do that!!!

To be honest if I had known it was available it would have taken a lot of the deliberation out of the process…

Ok you want to know about it don’t you…well so far I love it! It does all the things my vivofit did but it also tracks my runs or walks much more accurately than my phone and automatically uploads them to strava for me 🙂

It buzzes when I need to move more, it buzzes when I get a text or phone call or message on my blog or facebook! It is basically facilitating my social media addiction in a big way 😀

I love the convenience of being able to track things using one device and so far it seems to have a much more accurate gps than my phone and doesn’t lose signal when (for example) I store my phone in my bra due to lack of pockets!

The other massive advantage of this is there are downloadable apps…there is a wod timer where you can set times and count reps which is handy there is an app which takes you through a quick 7 min work out, there is also a stopwatch. All of these things are useful and the app store is growing all the time 😀

the many faces of the garmin vivoactive

the many faces of the garmin vivoactive

I am loving it so far, but I will keep you posted 😀

Year 3…what challenges await?

So, somewhere around midsummer I mentioned that it was the end of my second year of this health and fitness lifestyle change malarky…

So many things have happened in the second year, I have run a (possibly ill advised) half marathon I have danced and danced and danced, I have discovered a love of lifting and of course I have gained my personal trainer qualification and started (attempted to start) up an outdoor fitness circuit training class…

The real question is…what next?

I have still not got where I want to be…I (despite being happy with what I have achieved and not really scale focused any more) still could stand to lose some more weight size…to make jumping and dancing easier if nothing else…but beyond that, I am plodding along, exercising as much as possible and attempting to train other people to do the same…

I feel I need some sort of plan for year 3…

firstly, I am considering a name change for the blog, it has become clear that this is about more than just my 365 challenge(s) so I am thinking of changing the name…possibly to something about superheros…

secondly I am looking for new challenges…

I even have the bowler hat...

I even have the bowler hat…

to this end, I would like to open the forum up for suggestions…

what would you guys like to challenge me to do?

I will consider (only consider mind you) anything…

apart from a marathon I will not even consider running a marathon!!

Juneathon Day 27 – 28: Some things have been happening…

And the things that have happened have mostly involved walking. To be completely fair, a lot of that walking was done by people who weren’t me. I did a fair bit too by normal standards, just not by the standards of the company I was keeping on Saturday! Ok Sam…start at the start this weekend […]

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