Life Gets In The Way

Sometimes life just gets in the way of things we love to do.

It’s been totally crazy lately with my businesses both taking off in a much bigger way than I’d imagined. I took on a number of corporate clients and have been having huge fun working with them creating some gorgeous branding and packaging which I am totally enjoying but have now had to out source. That goes against what I originally set out to do but you know you have to move with the times and keep some free time to live a little and I was finding I wasn’t having much of that so I had to re-strategise.

I also started tutoring kids coming up to the end of their basic education and because I wanted to make that accessible to all I was a little overwhelmed with demand which, me being me, I couldn’t say no to. But we had huge success in this summer’s exams and so that was tremendously fulfilling, far more than teaching in a school ever was but could have been.

My kids go from strength to strength and have such busy lives which I want to be a part of still and so as long as they want me involved I’ve been making time for them and we’ve been having lots of fun. We’re all still shrinking although I think we’re all at a point where we’re in a normal weight for height bracket now and we just focus on keeping strong and healthy and trying out new things to challenge us physically. I still struggle with food demons but it’s so much easier a fight now. I even have had the odd wild binge when I’ve been super stressed and have had a couple of complete wipe outs but the  thing is, now I eat so clean and I exercise so much I seriously feel those binges. My liver distends, I get chronic head aches, raised temperature, palpitations, bloated stomach, my bowel has a breakdown and I realise just how bad all of that sugar and processed shite is for us so I really do quickly get back onto the path of righteousness immediately I’ve had a go at destroying myself. It’s not good and needs to stop altogether but it’s not a daily thing anymore, it’s a once in a blue moon thing but even so it needs to be a never thing and I’m working on that. I always knew this fight would be forever.

Nick and I are now planning our wedding which is fabulous and very exciting. We would have been married already if it wasn’t for me wanting to get married in a particular spot and us having to do more planning to make that happen than I realised, so next summer it is even though I don’t want it to be that far away but the desire to have my perfect moment over took the desire to be his wife immediately. I’ve written a blog post about this which I will finish soon but it talks about what’s the most important thing and it might sound selfish but having a perfect moment is something I feel I’ve earned and I can allow myself that without it detracting from my love for Nick. I kind of got muddled with the two being different things and it took a while to realise that they go together and one without the other wouldn’t work anyway.

I was proposed to in a very romantic manner and I shall go into detail on that at some point too if anyone fancies a romantic gushy love story, I cry when I recall it or recount it so writing it will be just as tear jerking for me as talking about it and I’ll try to put something of my secret self into it to help any readers understand why it’s such an emotional thing for me.

Nick’s been working more in London lately and that’s another reason why blogging’s been light on the ground as we’ve been spending lots of time down there and we’ve been taking in so much of the London scene and just enjoying the city so much, myself and my son have had a wonderful summer of bonding having spent a fair bit of it exploring. When Nick’s made it with us and my daughter especially it’s been even more wonderful but I’m getting better at accepting that she has her own life and I don’t need to be a constant part of it and it’s OK for me to enjoy myself without her. That part of letting go of my first child was so hard and I’ve started a blog post about it which I’ll get around to finishing now things have calmed down again.

Nick’s ex wife moved to the Caribbean a couple of months ago and so that was pretty awful for him to feel he was losing his two youngest children. Of course that’s not the case and fortunately he is in a position to see them often, not as often as he did of course but that’s the price of divorce. I don’t mean to sound flippant about it, it’s another reason I’ve not managed to finish a blog post. It was and is a pretty sad time for me too, to feel helpless to help him cope with that sense of loss and distance. All I could do was love and support him and just give him lots of time to talk and express his emotions which I’ve also started to write about but never finished so I’ll be on that too. His elder two are still in the UK studying so that is something and in some ways I think it’s made him put a little more into communicating with them. I’ve blogged about this but I think before he kind of felt as if he had a quota on the number of times a week he could contact them and now he’s much more spontaneous with it which is a good thing to come from so much sorrow. He’s also had to cope with the ex having a new man in her life who was moved in pretty quickly and who is definitely playing daddy to the little ones and I don’t think we’re being over sensitive to say that we feel there’s some enforced kind of competition and nastiness going on which I’m so glad Nick has not risen to in a negative way but has handled well even though it’s hurt him a lot. I’ve seen the other side of divorce, from the man’s side and I will be writing lots about that. Although of course no two cases are the same and my own case and experience with my children’s father is very different and has always been far less fraught than many I’ve seen over the years.

Nick also began trading over seas which has led to a number of trips that I’ve managed to tag along on, having a 16 year old means that they are more than happy to be left at home with friends for 4 days while you take off on a business trip and some times he’s come along depending on the location. I’ve not had my house trashed yet and I have been super impressed with the way the boy and his friends have taken care of the veggie garden and animals this summer, we’ve had bumper crops and tons of eggs.

The blog wasn’t the only thing which suffered when our lives got in the way of the things we enjoy doing, our allotment project, which is still going strong, now does so without our direct involvement although we continue to be financial backers and we do drop in when we can but the over eaters group have really made that their own and they are doing a fantastic job of it and have lost tons of weight between them as well as been able to offer each other vital support in their battles with food and the number of people in the group has grown too. They are talking about having a young over eaters side group as there are a number of young kids and teens who are getting involved and they have specific needs. It’s all great and so good that the professional counsellors and doctors are involved but letting the members lead the way and shape the group the way they want it to be.

I don’t have Darren, my personal trainer anymore, sorry if I already mentioned that. He’s now taking care of ladies in another part of the country and specialises in helping obese women now which is great. He really understands the psychological issues and the battle it is and I’m sure he’s going to transform many lives. I train more at home now and have a pretty straight forward training plan which takes one hour four times a week (that’s all about strength so is kettle bell swings, burpees, planks and resistance work) and then I exercise every day, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, playing sports, dancing and just generally keeping active. I maintain a very low carb diet and more lately have reduced the amount of meat I eat too, so I have a couple of days a week where I’m a veggie and I continue to drink tons of water and have my cultured drinks each day and shots of goodness. Nuts and seeds are a part of almost every meal too.

Life is just settling down now into a normal pace again where there is less upheaval, less emotional stuff going on and more of a routine being established. I’ve missed blogging so much and have written so many posts which remain incomplete but I will be getting on with those now. I feel like life just went through a massive gear change, it kind of took off at full pace and we’ve had to work at bringing it back down to a nice steady trot again, but I feel we’ve achieved that now and I definitely feel less stressed and more calm. I feel like I’ve been on a crazy round the world trip, sleeping in a tent and at last I’m home, showered and in my own bed again.

Can’t wait to catch up on what all of my favourite bloggers have been doing 😀

Do It Like a Marine – Ready made fitness plan

One of my son’s friends wants to go into the Royal Navy when he is 18 and they were chatting today about what the fitness requirements may be, so I went online and did a bit of research and we found out. Not only did we find all of the info we needed we found this fab Get Fit To Join The Royal Navy booklet with a fab fitness plan all laid out.

So the boys have decided to make this their ‘get buff for summer’ approach starting tomorrow. I’m hoping they take it beyond the summer and either use this as their fitness benchmark or they continue to develop their fitness in a healthy and purposeful way after completing this. I’m sure it will do the boy who wants to go into the forces good to have a few friends on the programme with him and the team spiritedness of the approach and no doubt a bit of competition won’t do any harm in helping him achieve his fitness goals. We’ve suggested they get sponsors and raise a bit of money for a forces related charity like Help the Heroes or such while they are at it as that may ensure that they endure to the end.  They’re going to get on with sorting that out tomorrow too.

I’m tempted to have a go myself and join them even if not actually with them as such but alongside them hidden away somewhere at different times of the day. I just thought this is a good idea for anyone who is trying to energise a teen or get them fitter and taking more care of themselves or as a family project even and especially for someone who wants to or may want to join a profession where physical fitness is going to be an assessed must.

It’s also a fun way to just build fitness and stamina, strength and ability really and if you’re lost as to where to start, or looking for a progressive programme which takes in cardio and strength, fitness and endurance and a range of exercise including swimming, running/walking, resistance training then this might be an idea for you, or an adaptation of this maybe.

Sometimes Always I find that making exercise fun, making it a social activity, making it just for fun competitive, making it about improvement and progression, giving it a goal, time limiting it, making it about raising money or awareness for a good cause… all of those things make it more fun and the more fun it is the more likely we are to do it.

Good News… you don’t have to run a marathon to get fit

downloadI read this article the other day and thought I’d share it. It interested me because it talks about short intensity exercise perhaps being better for health in the long run than endurance type exercise, think marathon running.  This is good news for people like me who near burst into tears at the thought of pounding away at a pavement in running shoes for hours on end.

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I have found that once I began working with a personal trainer (Darren one of my journey to a new me guardian angels) and  I switched to more focused short intensity exercise my overall fitness level increased quite noticeably. My energy levels went through the roof, my body strength certainly increased. I’ve always had very strong legs but a weak upper body and that is not the case any more. I found also that my endurance improved even though I do mainly short intensity exercise. As I’m not a real runner and probably never will be in the ‘go for a run every day’ sense of the discipline, I noticed that I did, and do, feel like bursting into a run more and more often, either outside when I’m having a brisk walk or indoors on the treadmill and at Christmas I did my first planned run, it was only a mile or so but as much as I enjoyed it I knew I couldn’t do more than that, it was mind numbing.

Where I have really noticed the increase in my endurance was in the swimming pool, I just found that I felt stronger and more in control of my muscles and more aware of how they made my body move, which ones were working and how they were working as I drove download (1)myself through the water. My breathing had improved and I just felt more efficient as a swimmer. I’ve never been a good swimmer, I’m a leisure swimmer but not long after starting to work with Darren I began to feel more serious in the pool, for want of a better word. It was there that all of the gym and outdoor work felt like it came together to make me a stronger healthier person and a more skillful swimmer.

I’m not sure if it was all just due to the intensity training or if it was a combination of factors, the breathing techniques and muscle awareness that comes from Tai Chi and now the yoga that I do may have helped too. Darren does explain to me though how my muscles actually work to move me and how they process the food I take in and how they expel the waste and how they strengthen and weaken and can become damaged and I think all of this has combined to make me a more physically aware person who is using that awareness as well as the increased strength and stamina to push myself beyond anything I’ve achieved physically before.

As I said I don’t think I’ll ever be a runner or a long distance serious cyclist I get far too bored but swimming is where I’ve found that I become aware of my body as a machine, a really clever machine and I love the feeling of all of those muscles working together to propel me through water. I find a real serenity and deep sense of relaxation when swimming which kind of consumes me and I find that before I realise it I’m exhausted and it’s the exhaustion which makes me stop swimming and I often find that I’ve swam far more lengths than I ever did before, always outdoing my personal best and always feeling amazed at the way my body loves to perform.

I know that is arguably endurance training itself but it was and I believe is, definitely the short interval training which has boosted my stamina and over all sense of well being in so many ways which has led me to be able to let my body do its thing in the pool.

Besides swimming, thinking back to interval training, I kind of like the instant call on everything you have to give and then some, I like instant gratification, perhaps why I’ve turned to food to make me feel happy over the years. The minute that chocolate is in my mouth I feel my anxiety, fear, sadness whatever begin to fall away. Short interval training gives me that instant gratification, I feel download (2)what I’ve done right there in the moment, I don’t need to wait for measurements and weigh ins I know I’ve pushed myself and  I know I’ve done good because I feel better instantly, I get an almost immediate high that I don’t get from a drawn out session or repetitive exercise over a long period of time. I get a feeling of accomplishment from that kind of training but not an instant rush of feel good that I believe I need to combat my food addiction.

I guess sharing my experience here has the dual message that it’s important for us to find what is right for us as we are all individuals and we all respond to exercise in different ways and without turning into a total fitness nut, it does pay to find out how your body works, it makes you more aware and when you are tempted to put rubbish into it you do think twice on autopilot eventually.

I think a journey from a morbidly obese sedentary person to one in a normal weight who is active has to include many steps. Don’t try to rush through them. We can’t go from 350lb languishing hulk to 349lb marathon runner, that isn’t how it works. It’s a gradual process and so you have lots of time to learn new things along the way that will help you to lose weight, get fit and stay that way once you reach your goal.

Take opportunities to learn and find what suits you by trying out different exercises, different imagesapproaches and seeing how they might impact on things you didn’t think you could do or would enjoy.  I’ve never enjoyed open water swimming, I’ve always been very cautious, but then I know now that my weight and my emotional hang ups made me feel cautious about most things, but now I’m really looking forward to my next beach holiday so that I can swim more in open water, I’m craving what I see as my next big challenge. I never would have imagined a year ago that I’d actually be getting excited about my 2015 summer holiday and checking out safe sea swimming as one of the most important factors in making my decision about where to go and actually planning a daily open water swim as part of my holiday routine.

You might have an idea in your mind of what you’d like to be able to do physically, maybe you want to be able to go for a run, maybe you want to be able to cycle for miles, maybe  you want to swim miles in open water, maybe you want to learn to ice skate or to do a particular dance, like a sexy samba, maybe you have a vision of an exercise that you think you would enjoy and can picture yourself doing when you’re in your slimmer form. You may not be able to do it right away but other exercise, any other exercise you can do along the way will help build you up so that one day you are flying and that sense of accomplishment will uphold you to keep on striving to maintain and surpass your own personal bests time and again. For me it started by stepping from one foot to another with some music on for twenty minutes and flailing my arms about for some of those minutes and I was shocked when I was worn out, heart pumping fast, sweating, breathing heavy from just doing that and if I’d not carried on and found that it soon became easier and moved on to the next thing and the next I wouldn’t be here now doing what I do and knowing what I know.

Take being healthy seriously. We are not here for long and being seriously overweight can impact on our enjoyment of life and it can shorten our life and I bet none of us, me included, want a shorter less fulfilling life when there is another option just a few steps will lead us to.

300

I passed my 300th blog post yesterday and thought it deserved a celebration. 

So… for my 300th post I am going to share something related to that number. This is a short video about the ‘300 workout’.The official workout used by the actors to prepare for the movie of the same name. It was high intensity designed to build muscle fast and to add definition so they all looked fab in their little outfits… and they did too.

Believe it or not, this is similar to what I do with Darren, the same kind of things, away from conventional machines and more of a struggle with my own strength and will. Sometimes I watch the guys who are good at this (believe me when I say I do a ‘version’ of this) and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to do anything close to what they do and wish I’d done this when I was much younger because I actually enjoy it. I love the challenge, the aggression, the ‘out of comfort zone’ feel of it all, I love the exhaustion too. Somehow it’s easier to push yourself to exhaustion when you’re dragging a tyre or a box with a 17 stone man in it behind you than it is to sit pressing, pushing or pulling levers, or jogging nowhere on a treadmill. 

As old and as big as I still am I can do some of this stuff and I know I’m lucky that I have a good level of fitness in spite of my weight and I have the mobility and lack of health problems which allow me to pursue such hobbies (that’s what it is officially for me now because I enjoy it) but it still impresses me that I can even try some of this let alone have small successes. I 300-2would never have known if I hadn’t given it a go and thought “to hell with what anyone watching thinks”. To be fair I get a few cheers from people who are around when I’m being put through my paces, which is wonderfully supportive and I’m grateful to those kind hearted people who know this isn’t easy. I think they know, as I do, that I’m not hoping or imagining that I’ll ever look like the guys from the film nor would I want to. They know I’m doing this to lose weight and get fitter but who cares what they think. Mostly though we do this early and nobody is around or we use one of the class work out spaces so we have more privacy. It isn’t too expensive and I pay for it using money I would otherwise have spent on crap to eat and I don’t have much time in my day but it give me so much more time because it energises me so I need less sleep and it helps me get through tasks faster.

You know how with churches where they pay a tithing and they say if you have faith and give you will receive more back and you have to kind of take that leap of faith to really understand what that means, that it doesn’t mean you give 100 pounds or dollars and you get 1000 back the next day, but somehow your remaining money goes further, you get a promotion, someone suddenly wants to buy your artwork, you have a long standing loan suddenly repaid… that kind of thing, well this is like those stories. You make the effort to get out of bed an hour earlier even though you are finding it tough and somehow you find that it feels like you have 25 or even 26 hours in the day… you just fit more in. It’s magic. Well, we know it’s not magic, it’s those intangible rewards that we get from trying, from investing in a positive way, for having faith, for having courage. I say this all of the time but it’s true, this is not all about weight loss and body shape, it’s about so much more. It’s about taking ownership of our lives again or for the first time, giving ourselves more options and more time to enjoy everything we’ve been denying ourselves.

So my 300th post message is, push yourself to a new level, have the courage to go for it, you can not appreciate the rewards you don’t open yourself up to. 

Forward Planning, the Darkness is Coming

39541275.DarkWinterDayI’ve mentioned this a few times lately, how I don’t get along well with the winter and it’s on the way. The nights are already setting in earlier and the sun is struggling to get up before me. Soon it will be wake in the dark, leave the house in the dark, come home in the dark and rarely set eyes on daylight other than through a window.

 

I remember lines of nappies from all the big neighbourhood families when I was a little girl, it used to smell fabulous
I remember lines of nappies from all the big neighbourhood families when I was a little girl, it used to smell fabulous

In some respects I do love the changing season from sunny warm to dark and cold, I love the smell of people coming in from the cold, or of washing that’s been blown about in a cold wind. I love autumn colours, I love the chill air and the way it tightens the skin and makes everyone look younger and how we all glow rosie cheeked and bright eyed when we get into the warm. I love closing the curtains early, having the fire on and snuggling down with blankies and soft lighting. I even find the bleakness of winter uniquely beautiful.

I used to love being able to hide my fatness under a big coat somehow thinking it had magical properties like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility and no one would notice me hiding in it and a big hat and scarf and gloves, I would feel anonymous.

I don’t like getting out of bed in the winter and I like getting into bed really early and I don’t feel too positive in winter, I get a little bit gloomy.

stewanddumplingsI also love hot chocolate, cakes, stews with big stodgy dumplings, creamy soups, hot fresh baked bread, steamed puddings with custard, pies, creamed potatoes and thick onion gravy, Yorkshire puddings, toad in the hole, shepherds pie… oh gosh what am I going to do?

Right I’ll tell you what I’m going to do I’m going to plan so that I don’t fall off the wagon. I know this is going to be tough, I’m being real about it and so I can fore-arm myself. there is no use me finding myself in March having undone all of my hard work planningand bleating about the winter having being hard for me, I know that now, I don’t need to wait for March to discover that so I have to think now while we still have light and warmth about how I’m going to manage this.

First of all … exercise. I’ve decided to switch my exercise around, instead of gym and Darren in the mornings I’m going to go to him in the evening straight after work. In the morning I’m going to either ride my bike to work the long way round if it’s not raining or walk. This will take planning in itself as I’ll have to try to make sure I don’t have tons of ‘stuff’ to cart to work and back. But I have a plan for that and it involves being super organised something I can do. I’ll also have to try my best to keep work to the office and not bring it home so much. My earlier arrival at work each day should give me opportunity to do more of that as long as I’m left to it which I should be at that time.

I’m going to Darren after work because I don’t want to go home, have dinner too early and then sit wanting winter snacks all night. This is where my food planning links in too. I’m going to have breakfast at work, keeping cereal there and milk and some flax, I’ll OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhave my range of drinks and mixtures before I leave home but the main meal will happen once I get to work. I’m going to go right back to the basics I used when the kids were little and I had no time to do anything and spend Sunday cooking and portioning up meals for the week for myself and the growing lad.  I have gathered wholesome soup recipes, vegetarian blogs are great for winter warmer recipes that are tasty, nourishing and low in the bad stuff… salt, sugar, fat.

So I’m going to cook up batches on a Sunday and freeze in portions to warm up at work02-13-133 and also continue with my mountain of fruit in my office.

I will also have a snack before I leave for the gym which will be something like a rye crisp bread or a pitta with some tuna or cottage cheese.

In the morning I will have popped something into the slow cooker, meat and veg, casserole of some kind, pot roast, veggie chilli maybe, sometimes I will have the growing 771-8362_PI_TPS1972084lad pop jacket potatoes into the oven as instructed so that when I get home from the gym starving I can shower and eat something good and filling. I’ve sought out recipes for alternatives of my favourites too and I’ve tried out an apple crumble type affair with a fat free custardy yoghurt which was delicious so that’s on the menu and an apple pie with only a thin bottom of pastry, just healthier variations on things I like so I’m not denying myself those tastes altogether. By the way, please please please feel free to add any links to recipes, blog posts or anything which will give me and anyone reading this more ideas for more healthy winter warmer options.

After dinner I’ll be busy with so many things, courses, blogging, planning, reading and if I get hunger pangs I’ll do a quick dance as distraction therapy and then take myself off to bed. I’m also gathering all manner of bubble baths and soaks and face masks and hair masques (must be with the que for some unknown reason) foot soaks, nail polishes so that I can also give myself a spa treatment at home, soaking in a nice hot bath, breathing in sweet smells, burning candles, music on… anything that will make me feel great and stop me wanting food.

As we obviously haven’t moved as was planned and this house is too big I have begun to turn one of the spare rooms upstairs into a dressing boudoir, gosh I love that word far too much. It’s one of my Hyacinth Bucket words see below for the lady herself in action.

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The boudoir won’t be somewhere I sleep but I love the word and I’m going to make it my little luxurious, opulent over the top space where I get to indulge myself. It’s going to be all mine and after sharing your home with people all of your life you kind of get to a point where you deserve your own space. It shall be the home of my pampering products028_LHS03_velvet_1, complete with comfy recliner chair salvaged from the lounge clear out and soft lighting salvaged from my daughter’s bedside tables. I thought giving myself a room to go to and relax in and feel shit in if I want to where there is no food allowed might help, it works in mental health wards to calm patients so it might work for me.

ecomproducts-img1-3132I have installed an anti-SAD lamp in my office at home so that I can expose myself to some pretend daylight while I spend time in here blogging or whatever.

I think I’m ready. I have a few trips stacking up too this side of Christmas with my kids to keep the weekends and half term busy. I reckon those things should help keep spirits high and with the food and exercise planning I really hope that I can get through the winter having continued to lose weight or having at least not gained any.

Planning to avoid or avert danger is so important for me, keeping busy, keeping active, images (2)keeping happy are all going to be integral to success and once we get past the winter then I reckon as the sun starts to shine earlier and later again I might be at a point where a good run over summer should see me doing really well in terms of reaching the end goal, I may have smashed a few more targets.

I was reading today about women usually gaining weight in the summer due to BBQ’s ice cream and more alcohol but summer’s always been an easy time for me to lose weight, that’s why I think I started at just the right time and gave myself a long run to get this  new lifestyle embedded. I really do not want to lose the plot now.

Get planning for those danger zones, whether they are seasons, holidays, weekends, events like weddings or birthdays, parties, pregnancy, recovery from operations/illnesses. I’m hoping that at the end of all this to maintain myself I will have a folder of contingency plans at my disposal to dip into when something tricky is approaching, because this will never end, it will always be a battle and I don’t know about you but I always want to be winning and the best warriors have the best plans.

Under 20 – if only I was talking about my age

Somehow this post got lost so I’m reposting.

Today I weighed in at 270 pounds which is 19 stone 4 pounds for we Brits out there and 122.5 kgs for the Aussies and continentals . This means:

  • I’m under 20 stones for the first time in a long time
  • I’ve lost 77 pounds (five and a half stones) in total since I started on this rocky road in April 2014
  • I got to wipe out 2 chunks of Tracey today and she is now over half gone! Check out the visual at the top of my blog and see her disappearing
  • I’m no longer morbidly obese on a BMI chart…  just obese which doesn’t make me happy but it makes me a whole world happier than when I was super morbidly obese at the beginning of this. I am told that this means I have reduced my chances of dying early from an obesity related health condition significantly. No numbers, but that will do for me
  • I have lost around 22% of my starting body weight, noticeable health gains are reported to begin at around 10% loss as some of the first fat to go is believed to be that which is stored internally around the organs. It feels good knowing my organs are not being choked so much by the fat I put there and what’s more I can feel it
  • I lost 10lbs while on a holiday (well mostly but definitely in the last 18 days). I know now that I don’t have to put weight on when I’m on holiday, it’s not a prerequisite to stuff unhealthy food and not enjoy any exercise. Also you can dine out and entertain and have birthday cake in the middle of all that too without gaining weight – it is possible

I cried when I got weighed. The reason being that in all my fat years I had always thought that going over 20 stones (280 pounds) was something I would never allow myself to do and I also thought that if I ever did go over that weight it would be irrecoverable. I felt it was a bridge too far to bring myself back from that size. Secretly throughout this I have feared that I couldn’t do it, I definitely thought I couldn’t at the beginning and here I am. I didn’t even jump off the scale as I usually do, I stood right on it and cried and kept looking down at it as if it was reading 140 pounds and I’d surpassed my goal. This right here is the first of my real BIG goals, this is my kind of half way marker.

I know the way I’m built and I know that if I can repeat this I’m there, I’m slim and healthy and fit, regardless of what the charts and scales say. I know it’s not going to be so easy to do this next mountain climb, that my body will get used to the food and the exercise and my weight loss will slow as I haul around less and less weight. I know I’ll have to step it up and I know that I’ll have to really work hard for this and continue to make the things I’m beginning to enjoy a real part of my life. I know I’m going to face weeks where I lose nothing and I know the winter is going to present a whole new load of challenges for me, I love winter warming stodgy fatty foods but I’m already working on some recipe ideas so that my winter foods are just as fab as my summer ones are/were. I realised the importance of planning a long time ago and so I’m already thinking of where my danger zones are going to be and how to get around them.

I’m just happy today, I’ve had a tremendous summer, I’ve had a fabulous holiday with a gorgeous wonderful man who will be in my life forever and most of all I have two of the most amazing kids in the world who make me feel complete and who have given my life true purpose for over twenty years and who have made me realise that I really want a future, I want to be here as long as I possibly can be for them and for myself.  Besides being their mum I want life after intensive motherhood, I want lots of years of grown up lady time. There’s so much I still have to do and I am planning on doing as much of it as I can and losing this weight is going to help me achieve it all.

I’m heading into those hills tomorrow at a brisk pace, 5 months ago I could barely walk to the kitchen. I’m going to breathe that country air in deep and I’m going to challenge myself in ways I’ve never done before… no obstacle is getting in my way. I’m going under them and over them and through them if need be.

If you’re reading this thinking you have an impossible task ahead of you, if you think losing nearly 200 pounds to be the person you want to be is a bridge too far, please know that it’s not. When you are prompted to act and you feel now is your time to do this, go for it. Take the journey mentally, emotionally, physically and you will change yourself and change your life. So much awaits you it’s impossible for me to tell you everything that there is but don’t deny yourself anymore. Chocolate and crisps, cake and TV dinners are not worth it, they really are not. Hating yourself is not the way to go, find out why you’re doing this and have a good talk to yourself. The strength is inside you, you just have to unlock it and it trickles out at first but before you know it you are bowled over by the heaps of the stuff that start to flood out and empower you to be who you deserve to be and what you deserve to be… simply happy.  

Which brings me to the video up at the top. If all you can manage today is to grab a tambourine and stand up or even sit down and shake it along to this song, or if you can stand up and shake it and smack it against your booty, if you don’t have a tambourine and can only clap or wave your hands in the air or step from one foot to another you are moving, even if you are in a wheelchair and just roll yourself back and forth an inch you are doing something positive and if anyone doesn’t feel better after listening to this song and moving, they need to come talk to me 😛