Do you remember a while ago when I told you I was trying out new gyms…
It caused me to try this one which was really scary and quite far away:
And this one which was no less scary but much closer…
Well a few months ago (February actually) I tried another one… It was a new gym opeingin in horsham, conveniently 5 minutes away from where I work. This was a good sign.
It purported to be:
“A low cost, no contract gym done the right way”
And was called:
Dual Strength and Fitness
that was another good sign, I like both strength and fitness!!
So quite at random, I went for a look around, it looked pretty awesome…lots of heavy stuff and places to lift it, lots of functional stuff like kettlebells (woohoo) and medicine balls, and one or two obligatory pieces of cardio equipment. but the balance was very firmly in favour of lifting not treadmill slogging. This is definitely a place I could like…
So I joined…
And then attempted to go in my lunchbreak from work…which is possible but manic and therefor not really ideal…
So after some experimentation with different timings, and some cajoling of friends, I have managed to do the impossible!
I have managed to get to the gym in the morning on more than one morning a week! I have to admit this is mainly down to other people, but I did instigate the idea I the first place!! However, I have managed to get myself a gym buddy, or possibly my friend Sarah is now coming to the gym with me twice a week, as well as the PT i have one morning a week, that is 3 mornings 😀 I still can’t quite manage it when I am not meeting people, but it is a start!!
Altogether, pretty awesome! and I am so happy with the gym because it has everything I need in a gym and is super friendly! I actually speak to people…
people I don’t know and everything!! they are not intimidating and judge-y, or at least if they are they don’t show it…and in my experience intimidating judge-y people normally show it… and everyone just gets on with their own thing and does stuff like politely asks if you are using weights / racks / etc and generally speaking doesn’t do stupid stuff.
Did I mention they have a lot of heavy weights?
well they do…and not a sea of terrifying treadmills!!
The Most Important Thing You Will Ever Read on This Blog: Why You Should NEVER EVER Give Up on Your Weight Loss Goals
still no challenge but have a read of this! This guy David is amazing!!! He has achieved so much, quite an inspiration and I don’t use that word lightly!! This post has made me remember why I started and made me redouble my resolve not to let this plateau get to me and not to give up!!
(while you are at it, go and have read of the rest of his blog, I am something of a lurker over there 😉 )
At the beginning of May, The New York Times published a lengthy article about long-term weight loss that was an absolute bummer. Scientists followed contestants from “The Biggest Loser” and concluded that their own bodies fought their efforts to keep the weight off, making long-term weight loss success nearly impossible. The article was a trending topic on social media, and so many people struggling with their weight read the article and felt defeated, overwhelmed, and hopeless.
I haven’t been on “The Biggest Loser,” but I have lost 160 pounds and kept it off for over five years. I’ve accomplished something that very few people have, and that article was terribly depressing for me, too.
I said, in a previous post, that the article
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Good morning lovely people!
I haven’t thought of a challenge to tell you about yet, I am too obsessed with the olympics! So in the meantime go and read Lucy’s blog and buy her amazing book!! It is available for pre-order and judging by her blog and her first book, it is going to be blooming awesome!!!
PorterGirl – First Lady Of The Keys is now available on pre-order, which I am sure I have mentioned several times, but according to my publicist, not enough. It turns out that bashing out 90,000 words was the easy part and now I am expected to actually promote the bloody thing.
I sent a tweet saying ‘Buy my book, you bastards’ but this was considered insufficient. Apparently, we need to focus more on the ‘ sweet, smart but vulnerable girl next door side of PorterGirl…’
So, just for you, here is an excerpt from the book, with our very own Deputy Head Porter feeling a bit vulnerable. I suppose I had better have a trawl through and find some examples of sweet and smart also.
Wouldn’t it just be easier if someone leaked some nude pictures to the press or something?
Late September, just before the start of…
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This is far to big and vague a subject for jut one blog post…
so what I really mean is:
Media manipulation of the truth in order to sell health and fitness programs / supplements / accessories etc…
Which I also admit is a massive subject and I can’t hope to cover at once!
everyone by now has seen the endless before and after photos that come with every single workout dvd or “diet plan”
you only have to google Insanity or 30 day shred to see pages and pages of photos of people who have undergone a miraculous transformation…
the difference between insanity and 30ds (and some others) is they promise dramatic results, but not without hard work!
You don’t end up buying either of these programs without knowing you are going to have to sweat (a lot!) to get the results. And to be honest some of them ever come with taglines that say 3 rounds or 2 rounds, implying that it might take more than one go through the program to get the results.
The real problems are the gadgets and diets that are sold promising almost magical transformations with zero effort in only minutes a day…
you know the ones for ab trainer plus pro things or the cabbage and grasshopper diet…
or that one wierd trick that will help you lose belly fat fast…
Does anyone know what that is by the way?
I have never clicked on the link but I would love it if you clicked through and paid what ever it is and there was just pdf that said:
Eat better, move more!
There are seemingly endless ways to lose weight and size and whatnot with absolutely no effort at all apparently!
And every one of these things comes with its own ultra convincing set of before and after photos…
The problem is I don’t trust any of them!
I know full well that anything that only last 3 mins or is so easy you don’t know you are doing anything is just not going to give sensible results…it just isn’t. I know this, you know this…so what is with the before and after photos.
If those results can be attained from those “tricks” then everything I thought I knew was wrong.
and if they can’t and the pictures are faked, then what about the ones associated with the more reputable programs based on sensible concepts…
can I trust those?
We have all, by now seen the “amazing transformations” made in 15 mins with good lighting and better fitting clothes…(if not go look)
It has got to the point where I have no idea what is a real transformation and what is faked by the media, and that is a shame. There are people out there who really have done amazing things with weight loss, and it is not fair that their hard work is called into question because there are magazines / TV companies putting up all the fake pictures to sell more stuff!
I really wish the media would stop!
Is there any wonder that so many people out there are getting the whole thing so wrong! Even with genuine knowledge gained from professional qualifications, I still sometimes look at these things and think…”oooh that looks intriguing…” it only lasts for seconds in my case, and i do have enough knowledge to see whether these things are based in science, but what about the people who don’t?
Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!!
This is, unfortunately, just another instance of the media and businesses playing on people’s insecurities to make money.
I am not saying there aren’t systems and workouts and such out there that work, Insanity is blooming brilliant for example< but none of them will work without effort!
I am going to stop now before this turns into (more of) a rant.
(Disclaimer…noone is paying me to write any of this!! I am not associated with the company in any way…I just genuinely like them!!)
Those of you who follow my instagram/facebook/twitter accounts may have noticed that I have recently
become obsessed with taken a liking to clothing from a company called Grrrl.
To be completely honest, I am slightly obsessed with them as a company as well as their clothing. They have an amazing attitude and are just down right lovely people well…they are when they comment on my instagram photos 🙂 And you know what that counts! after all there are a lot of companies out there who wouldn’t comment on every photo they are ever tagged in and every one that uses one of their hashtags! They do this for me, at least and I have no reason to believe they are not doing it for everyone. It *could* just be clever marketing…they *might* not care at all…but they genuinely seem like they do, they have me convinced, they make even my inner cynic believe them 😀 and the more I read about the company and the people involved in starting it, the more convinced I am 😀
In their own words:
GRRRL is a brand new type of clothing company.
We make real clothes for real grrrls who simply don’t care about what anybody else thinks.
We celebrate everything female. For every woman.
Recognising that all real grrrls come in all kinds of different shapes and packages.
At our heart, we exist to bring all grrrls together to claim not just equality but our rightful sisterhood.
They are all about body positivity and awesomeness and not putting other people (women particularly) down to make yourself feel better. And this is important in the society we live in, which is incredibly judgmental, and there are certainly women who step on other women (either consciously or subconsciously) to make themselves feel better.
It sounds like a strange thing to say, but they are actually helping me realise that, despite not being as on track as I would like, I not actually worth less than the super fit super toned fitness models that are peddled as the only possible body shape worth having. They are helping me continue my belief that the worth and fitness and value of a person is not based on body shape or size. I have always believed this about other people, but have over the years had a much harder time believing it about myself!
As well as all of this… the make really awesome workout (and just generally cool) clothes that fit real people. ALL real people, from real small people to real people with large bottoms! This is the point. I have bought slightly more of them than I probably should have, but I LOVE them!!
First the shirts…
Ok…that was more selfies than I anticipated, but I am going with it!!
I love their shirts, they make me all attitude-y!! Which is exactly what I need…more attitude! Ok maybe I am not short of attitude most of the time…but they give it a boost and make me feel unstoppable! Woohoo unstoppable awesome grrrl! See…I am doing it now and I am not even wearing one, or in the gym at the moment.
I wouldn’t be blogging from the gym, that would be odd… well I might be, but it wouldn’t be a post this long!
Not only are they attitude enhancing, but they are comfy, well made, well designed and all that good stuff 😀
Then the leggings…I didn’t buy the leggings first off because the first iteration was light grey, which is a lovely colour, but not really me…however when they came out in black i jumped on that bandwagon so quickly!!
the are not short on branding these leggings… 😀
They are sooooo comfy! they are plenty big enough for any amount of bottom and they do not go see through…even when squatting!! That is important. really important…a comfy squat proof legging is hard to find, especially when you have an unconventionally sized bottom!!
I love them so much that I don’t want to take them off…
even if they are made for people with considerably longer legs than me… but every pair of trousers and leggings in the world are made for people with longer legs than me!!
Look they cover up half of my feet! Ok…my feet are small too so that is not saying much but still 😉 This doesn’t bother me really, I just leave them down over my feet under my socks and they don’t ruche up around my ankles so that is ok! 😀
Seriously, go and look at their stuff
they have amazing products and a unique approach to sizing, based on a series of awesome athletes, all you do is pick the athlete closed to your measurements and go with their size clothes 🙂 there is no feeling bad because xxl is a size UK 12-14 (US8-10) and still won’t fit around you, they really do have an athlete size for every one 😀
Now all I have to do is not go and look at their website in case I spend more money there….
I believe that when I wrote yesterdays post, I promised you dancing…
I don’t think i promised shenanigans, but generally speaking, when there is dancing there is also a degree of shenaniganinity.
(yes, it can be a word if I like!!)
Dancing-wise the may was somewhat quieter than normal, we had the customary Horsham day of dance, a favourite as it is on our own turf as it were (actually not turf…dancing on turf is hard…but we’ll come to that later). IT was an odd day, it was a good day, we had fun, we pretty much always do, but instead of moving around the town as normal, by some quirk of organisation we ended up staying in the same place for three out of four stands…
Here is a look:
After a relatively, and unusually quiet May, June was a veritable explosion of dancing adventures!
The first of which was Wimbourne Folk festival, the first Mythago away weekend of the year. Wimbourne is always a good weekend, and this year was no exception. We arrived first thing on Saturday morning, set up camp and after a brief foray into sitting and coffee drinking, we dived straight into the dancing!
So much dancing!
As a two day event, Wimbourne is a lot like two days of dance in quick succession, with the addition of a mile walk into and out of town each day, and each evening. Oh yeah and a procession, a long and oddly organised procession!
There was a little bit of a wobble when I did what can only be described as a dance too far!!
As I have been woefully neglecting you, my lovely readers and this blog, you will have no idea that I have had a series of annoying leg (either hamstring or quad) almost injuries. Not actual damage as such, but what I finally worked out was a combination of quad tendinitis and extremely overworked calves and hamstrings… so the dance too far was the one you do when ou know your legs hurt and you know that you can’t really do more…yet you do anyway. It was the second to last dance of the day anyway so not toooo bad!
I have since discovered the cure…it is a combination of rock tape, sports massage and gin…yes gin…unusually for me I drank a moderate amount of gin in the evening at wimbourne, and woke up with my legs feeling a lot better, and a whole new lease of dancing life!!
Look…me with lots of dancing energy at wimbourne:
After Wimbourne, was an excursion that I wasn’t going to go on until 3 days before…It was a weekend at the Bloodstone Boarder Rally on the Isle of Wight. It was a whole weekend away that involved going on an actual ferry! A tiny little 30 min ferry ride, but still…it made the whole thing feel like I was on holiday!!
Strange as it may seem in a country as small as this one, but I had never been to the Isle of Wight and I loved it! The whole weekend was well run, loads of fun and of course involved a lot of dancing…and some gin.
I learned something this weekend…I learned that it is perfectly possible to lose an iPhone 6 plus in your bra…forget completely, get the whole camp looking for it then realise where you put it “for safe keeping…” this *may* have been gin related…
(incidentally…as a disclaimer…I don’t actually drink that often… )
but mainly, we had, as I have said before a lot of fun, doing a lot of dancing 🙂
And then there was Tewkesbury…
But Tewkesbury is another story!!
I haven’t come up with a plan yet, so I thought I would tell you about some of the things I actually have been doing over the past couple of months… there will be tales of daring and dancing and shenanigans!
First mountains, and daring…
Not so far in the dim and distant past I went to North Wales, for those of you who don’t know this is one of the more mountainous regions of the UK…we do have those here, they are little ones compared to some countries, but they still feel pretty big and mountain-y when you are walking up them!
We were after an adventure, so we decided that we would go and see mountains with the goal of going for at least one walk every day… no more pressure than that, we didn’t have to climb every mountain (thankfully or there may have been a terrible song involved). We weren’t out to conquer the whole of snowdonia in one hit.
We were just out to have fun and walk and see mountains. I can well and truly say we managed it! I know that is skipping to the end but I am telling you any way!
We hired a self catering cottage on the recommendation of Dan and Martin, good friends of ours who you will have seen around this blog before…they look like this…
The cottage was lovely, and within walking distance of one of the routes up onto Snowdon its self. So seemed a perfect base for the walking adventure we had planned!
The first mountain walk we tackled was a scramble up the north ridge of Tryfan. Yes, mostly a scramble, not really a walk at all…
Rocky, stereotypically mountainous, steep, unclimbable, beyond my ability, terrifying, certain death in the form of plummeting… these are all things that occurred to me about Tryfan as we drove towards it on a lovely sunny mid morning! There was an outside chance I was being a little irrational about the whole thing… but don’t forget it is 5 years since i climbed a mountain…and on that occasion, the mountain won!
In case you haven’t heard the story, I fell off…and ended up with a broken leg and a trip on a stretcher and in an ambulance… the full story is here:
So despite a large amount of self doubt, we set off up the path to the top…it started out as a path at least then became a navigational challenge across many different layers of fallen and piled up rocks…
Durign the first 10 minutes of the climb I literally thought I was going to die…I thought it was too hard, and that i wasn’t fit enough and I was without a doubt going to fall to my death, or watch mark fall to his.
the first 10 mins was actually a walk by the way so I may have over reacted a tiny little bit…
another 10 mins after that, i started to enjoy myself!! the walk became a scramble and involved in places hands feet and knees but quite frankly I loved it and would go and do again and again!! I wasn’t incapacitated by fear, I wasn’t too much of a lump to climb, I was actually not bad at making my way up a mountain (not quick either, but not bad!!)
It is unfortunate that due to the peculiar nature of the weather in north wales the rain started to arrive when we were about 3/4 of the way up and we decided to call it and go back down. We decided we didn’t want to be facing the summit of an unknown mountain in the cloud and rain… so we scrambled down again…which is harder than going up, especially if you are short. I am short and many of the big steps from my husband, definitely involved my bum hitting the rocks… but never mind 😀 I still loved every minute of it…and remembered on that day that I REALLY love mountains!!!
As you can see, the tops of the mountains all around were starting to disappear!
As the four days progressed we managed to get out for a walk every day, we went half way up Snowdon twice and around some lakes, we also took a small detour after a wrong turning on Snowdon and went half way up the wrong mountain! One day we even took a break from going up things and went the other way…we went down inside a mountain in the guise of a copper mine 😀
I am going to leave you with some more pictures of all the fun!!
I also remembered that I have intrepid explorer feet…and I should use them more!! Here they are:
Never good enough
Constant search for perfection
I know I know..i haven’t posted for ages and I come back with a haiku, but it sums up how I am feeling at the moment. I am a little bit lost and a little bit stuck.
I am still doing my daily exercise, some (about one day a week) have been minimal exercise days consisting of a walk but every day has included something! Most days have involved either a run, a dance (so much dancing 🙂 ) or a gym session! I have even found a gym buddy and managed to get myself to the gym in the morning three times a week!!
But you know what I don’t think I am doing enough. I am not eating well enough, I am not exercising enough. I have put on and lost the same 4-5kg now over and over again for 18 months!
No rest, never rest
no time, always keep busy
Move more, eat less, sleep!
I know the theory, I can tell other people what to do and when they do what I say they are really successful… yes one of my clients has lost 6 stone (31kg). But I seem to have a mental block when it comes to applying the process to myself!
I find myself constantly annoyed with my lack of progress, and the fact that I still see myself as a lump. I tell myself to look at how far I have come, and I know without a doubt that I am fitter and stronger now, but my brain just keeps telling me that this isn’t the point.
I find myself questioning whether I am really in a position to tell people what to do and how to be fit. Yes…despite the fact that people are currently paying me to do just that and taking me seriously!
I think I need a plan.
Some sort of focus rather than all of this floundering about!
Yes…I know that was why I rebooted the 365 thing, but it is not really specific enough. I have stuck resolutely to my “no signing up for races” rule that I made after that half marathon disaster (this one). I am, however, beginning to suspect that this is not necessarily working for me. I think I need something to train for! An aim and some goals.
In short, (as if I could ever be brief…) I think I need a challenge!
I don’t have one yet, so as I have said before…I am open to ideas!
I promise my next post will not be 2 months away, and I will be back full of plans and goals and other such goodness!!