Posted in Busyness

Half term! How?

The last six weeks have passed in a whirlwind of school runs, courses (more on that later!) and church things. It’s hard to believe that today is B’s last day of the half term and R finishes her first half term at secondary school tomorrow.

So what’s been happening?

  • I’ve restarted couch to 5k, though finding the time to get out for half an hour of running (& walking…) and then have time to shower and freshen up afterwards before another commitment is challenging. The training is based on running three times a week, this is proving difficult to fit in so I’m aiming forĀ  a minimum of twice a week.
  • I was beginning to track more on My Fitness Pal, but a lovely friend invited me to start going to Slimming World with her. We started four weeks ago, I’ve lost 5 1/2lbs in my first 3 weigh ins and am hoping to have lost another 1 1/2 by my weigh in tomorrow to get my half stone award.
  • I’m continuing with my watercolour painting class on a Thursday morning, it’s my two hours a week that are completely for me. I find it so satisfying and relaxing. I’ve bought paint, brushes and paper to do more at home….I just need to find a couple of hurs to sit with them more frequently!
  • Back before the summer holidays our church children’s worker suggested I look into training as an ALM (authorised lay minister) focusing on children’s work. This training was delayed while the diocesan folks reoragnised the course, but in the meantime another ALM about baptism started, which I joined having helped with a course our church runs supporting families with developing their baby’s spiritual side. The last session of that ALM course was last night. Once I’ve completed an assignment (which sounded intimidating until we were given it – it should be ok, I just need to get on and write it!), done some safeguarding training (4 1/2 hours this Saturday) and attended a discipleship course (5 two hour sessions down, 5 more to go after half term) I can become an ALM!
  • It’s been a fascinating term but very full on. Im not used to being out two nights on the trot and having to use my brain like I have. I’ve not done any real studying since I left university in 2003, and not used my brain to this degree since I stopped teaching in 2005. It’s been hard but great.
  • I’m exhausted, as well as the studying I’ve continued to help with the Wednesday after school club at church and assisting the children’s worker with some of her admin/prep. I hate that my stamina is so low and I’m so easily tired. I thought that with improving my food choices and increasing my exercise I’d cope a little better… I suspect that doing the discipleship course at the same time as the baptim ALM course may have been a little too much, but hey… I didn’t know until I tried it. Hopefully as the next half term goes on I’ll find myself coping better with having one less evening out.

I do hope that as the next half term goes on I’ll stay more in touch on here. Maybe post some paintings, some of my thoughts on the ALM/discipleship course, progress updates about my weightloss….who knows! I’ll tryto be around.

Posted in Weight

New beginnings

It’s 1st September, the start of a new academic year, and for me, the start of the rest of my life.

Until puberty hit I was petite, along with hormones came food cravings and the start of hiding what I was eating from those I love and who love me. My weight crept up. I was a size 14 when I married at 22, nor huge but too big for my 5’3″ frame, over the next year I went up another size before I joined Weight Watchers with a friend. In four months I lost a stone and a half before Christmas came along and we stopped going. Then I fell pregnant with R. After her birth I returned to a Weight Watchers group but soon moved to a new town and lost myself in post natal depression.

Following medication I started to feel better and got the motivation to try again. Following a suggestion from a friend I tried Slimming World. I went to an evening group (I didn’t want to take R with me so needed hubby to be home for her). I liked the plan and found it easy to follow but never really gelled with the consultant or the rest of the group, I stuck with it for a few months but didn’t really think it was worth the cost, especially once hubby was put under threat of redundancy due to restructuring. I bought a couple of the recipe books that were for sale in group and stopped going. I made a few recipes but didn’t stick to the plan for long.

Once B was born my confidence was at an all time low. I’d previously liked the SW plan so tried a different group. There was a group within walking distance of R’s preschool whose timing fitted in well so I tried that one. Sadly the consultant there really didn’t inspire me, I just remember her talking a lot about being able to eat as much roast chicken as you wanted and not really inspiring me to make changes in my lifestyle. My weight didn’t really go down and I decided to stop paying money to not make any difference.

My weight continued to creep up, and my confidence was still really low. I met some new friends when R started primary school in 2010, one of them had a baby at the start of the school year and decided to begin Slimming World and invited me to join her when I talked to her about it. Going to group with a friend made the world of difference. The mutual support and encouragement was so valuable. K was wonderful to go with and became a good friend. After a bit less than a year I got my two stone award and felt great. I was in size 12 clothes (just!) for the first time I could remember. The consultant was fabulous, she had a wonderful vibrancy that made staying to group fun and I enjoyed going. Sadly my motivation started to slide and I struggled to maintain the loss and keep it going despite the compliments and improved body confidence. With hindsight I can see that my depression was rearing it’s head again, but I didn’t know that at the time.

I knew the theory of how to eat healthily and maintain my loss and even continue it, but my ‘get up and go’ had got up and gone! I kept wanting to change what I was doing but couldn’t stick to it.

At the end of 2015, with a new start in a new area approaching I tried again. I tried a different approach, I joined My Fitness Pal and began carefully tracking my calories in and calories put. By this point my size 16 clothes were straining and my bmi was 33 (obese), the highest it had ever been. The first ten months were brilliant and I lost 27lbs (almost 2 stone!). I began walking more but tracking food less and less, and the weight has crept back on. While I’m not where I was 18 months ago, I’ve put back on all but 9.5lbs of what I’d lost. I’m back in mainly size 16 clothes (only thanks to some generously sized 14s!) and I’m feeling more unfit.

Tracking calories in and calories out seems to me to be the best option right now. My Fitness Pal is free, and is packed with useful blog posts and a great community section. I’m going to try that again. My weighing scales automatically update my profile there, and it’s easy to track food and exercise on my phone or ipad. I’m going to try not to eat back all my exercise calories, and eat a balanced diet with more fruit and vegetables and less processed food. I’ve discovered Carter Good on Instagram who posts interesting images about weightloss and I’m going to try to follow his idea for macros (the balance of carbs, protein and fat in my diet), he has lost 140lbs (10 stone) and is maintaining that which is impressive.


My children deserve a healthy mum who can run around with them and join them on long walks. My husband deserves a wife who doesn’t hate rather body and has confidence, and also is able to do the long walks and bike rides that he enjoys.

But above all, I need to do this for me. I deserve to have a healthy, fit body. Losing weight will help my joints and back (I had a spinal fusion after a prolapsed disc 2 years ago), it might help my sleep, it will help me have the energy to do the children’s work I enjoy at church. I need to make this change for me.