Celebrating The Small Things:Week Twenty

This week has been as manic as usual and we’ve all been rushing here there and everywhere but we have had had plenty of small things to celebrate.

When Children Never Cease To Amaze – My eldest son has always been the quiet one, the one that is the hardest to work out and the one that I wish I could shove a fire cracker up his backside most of the time.
It has been the same conversation for the past few years with his teaches – “he is an extremely talented boy who needs to apply himself”. I find this so frustrating as it is so hard to get him engaged and believe me I’ve tried. So when he walked through the door the other day and announced he was putting himself forward for head boy I nearly dropped to the floor. Im really hoping something has finally clicked and he’s going to make the most of his last few years of school.

My Regained Fitness Is Paying Off – Even at my fittest running has never been something I have enjoyed. I find it boring and after suffering with terrible shin splints over the years I pretty much always avoid any kind of distance running.
This weekend I challenged this by taking part in a 5km obstacle run with Izzy and some good friends.
Although running is not my thing my competitive edge took over and I found myself running ahead and trying to complete the course in a good time, I did feel a little bad for leaving Izzy behind!
I completed the course, faced my terrible fear of heights and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Sushi In The Sun – After a trip to the shops with Oscar the other day I was quietly laughing to myself about his choice of sushi for lunch.
At the mere age of four it would have been a cheese sandwich and packet of crisps for me and I actually relish the fact that my children have a love of such a wide variety of different foods.

David Lloyd Clubs:The Start Of Our Family Fitness Journey

All the start of the year I wrote a post on the reasons that I wouldn’t be making any resolutions this year and was going to aim for longer term goals so there was no pressure to getting a huge long list of unobtainable goals completed by the end of the year.

Plenty of changes have sprung to mind with being more organised and procrastinating less…I can safely say this one is very much still a work in progress. One of my lifestyle changes however was to rekindle my love for fitness along with the rest of the family.

Going back three years…pre blog! I was an absolute gym bunny and nothing would get in the way of my daily training. This was all well and good but at times the Mum guilt would set in and I would feel bad for prioritising this time just for myself. This alongside trying to work hard to build my blog meant that sadly my exercise was the thing that I let go.

So with a pretty substantial weight gain and the pressure of spending quality time with the family I wanted a facility that could entertain, motivate and bring pleasure to us all through exercise and I knew this was going to be no mean feat.

The majority of gyms are solely for over eighteens and if the do have crèche facilities the hours tend to be limited and due to this very hard to book into. Then comes the teens and preteens who are often not allowed to use the gym equipment or join in with classes because of their age so get left out completely.

Thankfully David Lloyd Clubs have come to my rescue and asked me to try out their very family mined facilities for the next few months to see if it is possible to enjoy fitness as a family.

David Lloyd – Purley has recently undergone a huge makeover and no stone has been left unturned when planning this club which in one of the largest in the area.

There is something for everyone from a game of tennis on the numerous indoor and outdoor courts, the chance to take a dip in one of there two pools or just relax in the hot tub or sauna. There are workouts galore from a huge variety of group fitness classes to doing your own thing in the state of the art gym area.

If relaxation is what you are after then they have a fabulous cafe bar offering a huge variety of hot and cold meals, giving you the opportunity to grab a quick coffee or sit down with the family to have a tasty meal.

Your meals can even been served in the dedicated children’s area that has its own soft play area.

But for me the real attraction is their DL Kids facilities that allow the children to be cared for in the creche, older children have a huge variety of activies to take part in allowing them to have fun and meet new friends.

There are even specific classes put on for the family to take part in together such as family circuits and family spin they we can’t wait to try.

I really have only scratched the surface of what they have to offer here so please keep an eye on my Instastories to see what we are getting up to and I will be back on here very soon to let you know how we are getting on with this new and exciting journey.

*We were given a family menership for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Four

This weeks ‘celebrating the small things’ is a little self indulgent as I’m unusually pleased with what I have achieved. I’m usually full of self doubt and always see the negatives in what I do which is really counter productive and something I want to try to improve so here it goes:

Happy In My Work- I recently restarted teaching my ladies fitness kickboxing classes which I have found a whole new love for. Teaching was always a huge passion for me but the more children I had the trickier it became to fit this kind of work in and sadly it stopped a few years ago.
Thankfully the New Year has bought with it some lovely faces both old and new that have made my job an absolute pleasure once again.

Weight Loss Going Well – A New Year, restarting my classes and a big hit of self motivation has seen me finally losing some weight.
I wrote a post a while ago on how the past few years have seen me gaining a lot of weigh which has really bought me down and I’m so pleased that over the past few weeks I have seen some changes for the good.
I’ve banished the scales as these are always a source of disappointment for me and have simply used how I look and real as motivation to keep me going.

Looking Back – Last week the lovely Carrisa over at Little Likely Lads tagged me in a post on Insta Stories that needed me to scroll back through my hundreds of photos on Instagram to find my first ever post.
Of course this task had me stopping and looking over all the photos through the years and made me love this social media platform even more.
Moments captured in pictures are hugely important to me and Instagram allows me to see a whole host of my favourite moments in seconds.

Getting 2018 Off To A Swimming Start

Oh yes in only a few weeks all the jollities of Christmas will be over and it will be time to start thinking about the brand new year ahead of us.

After weeks of gorging on mince pies and mulled wine, spending hours in front of the television dipping into the christmas chocolates and feasting on three course meals with the family the first thing on my mind is going to be how to shift all of that winter weight gain!

If I’m completely honest it isn’t just Christmas that is to blame for my expanding waistline it has slowly been creeping on over the past two years and I’m finding it increasingly hard to give off that ‘I’m happy with my body at any size’ vibe!

Over my adult life I have struggled terribly with body image and still harbour a very unhealthy relationship with food that over the years has left me very poorly from under eating and over training to bringing out huge insecurities though talking things to the other end of the scale where I massively over eat and lead a very sedentary lifestyle.

Its not just what I look like on the outside that is an issue, I know I’m currently in a place when I’m not feeding my body as I should and this is leading to me feeling constantly lethargic and lacking in motivation.

My mental health is also bearing a lot of strain as my confidnce has taken a huge battering and I am finding myself avoiding social situations where I might feel intimidated by other women and am making myself feel very isolated at times.

Sitting here writing this has really brought this issue to light for me and although I’m really not a lover of setting New Years resolutions I am going to go into the New Year with a positive mind about getting myself fit and healthy so that I am happy within myself and not letting this have a detrimental effect on my family.

Through a combination of over training in my younger days, being overweight and the general effects of getting older my joints are really feeling the strain these days and I think the best way to get things back on track again is to ease myself into exercise with swimming.

Im not the strongest of swimmers but with even an easy swim burning off up too 500 calories it is certainly a great way to kick start exercise again.

The thought of donning a swimsuit however is filling me with dread but there are some great plus size swimwear options out there to ease the pain.

Once in the pool its not only calories that will be burned; it will also help to boost my metabolism and all the while keeping my joints safe.

Water is also a massive 800 times denser than air so with each push, pull and kick it will give your body a great resistance workout too.

So this new year will hopefully see me facing my fears, changing my way of life and fingers crossed getting some great results!

*collaberated post

We All Deserve A Body That Works:MUTU Embrace Workshop

“We all deserve a body that works” these are the wise words from the creator of MuTu System Wendy Powell who has put together a complete body makeover program to help Mums fell better about themselves.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to meet Wendy and spend the morning taking with a group of lovely mummy bloggers about body confidence and trying out a few components from the MuTu System.

The morning kicked off with a screening of the documents movie – Embrace. The movie was made off the back of two before and after photos that were posted by Taryn Brumfitt an Australian mother of three that took social media by storm.

The buzz around these photos was so great due to the fact that Taryn flipped the usual before and after images on their head by showing her honed, bikini competition ready body as the before picture and her softer, heavier picture as here after photo.

The huge media attention from this created such an impact on Taryn that she took off on a round the world expedition to see how woman from of all different ages, cultures and backgrounds feel about their bodies and the results were pretty amazing.

It was a moving, heartfelt and thought provoking movie that really made me think about the way the over 90% with me falling into this category are in fact ‘highly dissatisfied’ with their bodies.

Thinking about the way I perceive my own body I would certainly say that I have a huge amount of hangups and these actually go back to well before my child bearing years.

After childbirth I have gained and lost a lot of weight and really lead a very yo-yo style of dieting and exercising for the past 20 years and have forged a very unhealthy relationship with both of them that I have battled with for a long time.

I am a very all or nothing person and really want to find a balance of healthy, not restrictive eating that can go hand in hand with an exercise plan that is flexible and sustainable.

This is where I was pleasantly surprised what MuTu has to offer as it fits this criteria perfectly.

Simple exercises and easy to follow diet guidelines to fix your body from the inside as well as the outside.

This is where Wendy’s phrase ‘we all deserve a body that works’ really comes into play.

So much emphasis is put on looking good that we tend to neglect the issues that can appear after childbirth such and rather than take the time to fix this we just put up with it.

Carrying and naturally giving birth to five children has certainly taken its toll on my body and after a few pretty unsuccessful trips to my GP who simply handed me a pelvic floor exercise sheet and told me to get on with it, it is by far one of the most important things for me to rectify but I have never made it a priority.

Pantyliners are now just an everyday habit when in reality I shouldn’t have to go day to day with these worries when there are resources out there to help us women to live worry free lives and enjoy time with our family without worrying about any embarrassing leakage.

During our workshop Wendy showed us some simple moves that can be carried out pretty much anywhere with the use of very little equipment and time but could have a huge impact on your day to day life.

Armed with all this information, my MuTu kitbag and bundles of inspiration I headed home to embark on the 12 week program that aims to help you lose your Mum Tum, heal your core and pelvic floor and give you confidence from the inside and out.

The course is easily accessed online where there are simple to follow videos, week by week plans and a food ideas to help you along the way.

I am currently four days in and have already been feeling the benefits.

I’ve not been hungry or felt the exercises were a hinderance to fit in around daily life, in fact I have a new found energy and am hungry to see what each new week will bring.

I will keep you up to date with my progress and will report back here after my 12 weeks are up so wish me luck!

*collaborated post

Fit To Dance With Disney On Ice And Ashley Banjo

Last week I got to have a few hours on my own with Oscar to visit Danceworks in West London to take part in a ‘Fit To Dance’ workshop with some lovely performers from Disney On Ice and the dishy Ashley Banjo!

Oscar skipped his way along Oxford Street telling me how excited he was about going to sing and dance until he was confronted with a room full of strangers and his thoughts of being star of the show soon dwindled.

Luckily enough the super friendly skaters made all the children feel at ease and after warming up and a little to much participation from me he soon soon got into the swing of things and was happy to join in independently.

‘Fit To Dance’ is a way to encourage children to dance through the use of story telling which in turn helps them to use their imagination and improve their fitness levels in a fun way.

They got together in a group to chose the story they would like to recreate through dance and each picked a character at be throughout the performance.

With characters named and a story plot in place the children were running, jumping, twirling and whirling around the hall to their hearts content.

After a few practice runs they donned their fancy dress and showed the audience their work.

Oscar was extremely happy with himself and still had a pretty big treat to come.

Fed and watered the children all gathered by the door to await the arrival of two very special guests…Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Their eyes literally lit up and such excitement filled the room.

They all got the chance to meet the cuddly pair and it was certainly a very special treat.

We couldn’t let the afternoon pass without getting a snap of Ashley Banjo too which certainly made my girls very jealous when we arrived home.

The ‘Fit To Dance’ program is available online and is certainly worth taking a look at and trying out at home for yourself.

With Disney On Ice’s Passport To Adventure currently on tour this would really be the perfect way to get yourself ready in the the run up to the show.

As My Blog Grows So Does My Waistline

It is coming up to nearly two years since I started my blog and my love for it is a strong as the moment I hit publish on my first post which now seems like a lifetime ago!

Blogging has bought me so many wonderful opportunities and I never in a million years thought it would be something that I could turn into a job and I am absolutely over the moon that my little pipe dream has become a reality.

The only downside to staring this journey has been my ever increasing waistline!

All my time and energy are being engulfed by my family and my blog and my passion for exercise has fallen to the wayside and been replaced with a far more sedentary lifestyle. 

I was always a five times a week girl when it came to training in the gym and this would always be a priority, which in turn managed to keep my love for food under control.

In the past two years I have managed to gain a considerable amount of weight that has been really getting me down…yet apart from some sporadic training I have done little about it.

With the New Year started I have decided that with some organisation and getting my butt out of bed they little earlier in the morning I have the ability to give just as much effort to losing weight as I do to my blog and I’m feeling really positive about the changes I have been making.

Last year I attempted to get my old self back by tracking my progress on here.

This was an epic fail so this time I am going to put less pressure on myself, throw away the scales and just get back to a healthier and happier new me.

Wish me luck X

A New Me For Christmas:Week One

As a personal trainer by trade it has taken me a while to pluck up the courage and write this post.

Since baby number five I have had a really bad relationship with food and have not yet got back to anywhere near my pre pregnancy weight.  I’m still training as that will always be a passion of mine, but you can never out train a bad diet.

I had issues with food through my teenage years and still cant shake the feast or famine approach I have to eating sometimes.

I wrote a post about holiday weight gain a couple of weeks back and have finally this week got back to the normally of the school run and am going to get myself back into a healthy eating regime and exercise plan.

As I said this is a hard post to write as I’m really unhappy with my body image at the moment and it’s all due to my lack of self discipline that I’m eager to get back.   Hopefully by tracking my weight, body fat and measurements I will get myself back on track and inspire others to do the same.

Each week I will post my goals for the week ahead, a picture so that I can see physical changes and how I have done with my weights and measurements.

By putting it out their for you all to see I hope this will give me the motivation I need and let you see regardless of your occupation we are all human and sometimes we go off track but it’s possible for anyone to go and be the best that possibly can be!

Week One

Weight – 10.6 Stone

BMI – 23

Body Fat – 28.5

Goals

At least 4lbs weight loss

Interval train at least three times

Cut out all refined sugars and wheat.  Both of which have a negative affect on me.

Complete a food diary everyday

Cut down on caffeine
  

The Sun Was Shining On The Baby Race

I felt terrible this morning as I woke the house up at 6am on a Sunday to make our way to Bluewater for me to take part in Tommys Baby Race again this year.  It was a wonderfully sunny morning and the promise of a trip to the playground and the Lego shop at Bluewater was enough for them to forgive me.

This will be my third year of competing in this race and I love every minute of it.

We arrived to the lovely ladies from Baby Sensory putting on a warm up for the toddlers.  Number four was to interested in the balloon man to take part but number five loved the bubbles and beach ball throwing!!
      

To warm up the Mums and Dads the super energetic Buggfit leader took to the stage and gave us all an upbeat, fun warm up, and my husband and children always find their massively uncoordinated mother hilarious to watch!


Once the warm up was complete it was time to make our way over to the start line.  The route had changed this year and it was to complete six laps of the beautiful lake.  This was better for the children as there were bubble machines and music on the way round plus lots of ducks to spot.  I also found it an easier course too,  which can’t be bad.


I’m not sure how long it took me to complete the course as I was trying to keep number four from getting in the way of the start as we set off but I was over the moon to come in second place and receive a much appreciated goodie bag, voucher for my place to spend at Bluewater and best of all a much needed complementary bottle of water.


I take part in this race for so many reasons.  Firstly as it is for a wonderful  charity that brings hope to so many families out there. I like to hope that the money I raise each year will go to helping more people during times that I can’t even begin to imagine being in.  It is a real day out for all the family and whilst I am taking part the children can play in the playground and take a walk around the lake looking for fish and feeding the ducks.  My husbands favourite part of the day is going into the fantastic shopping centre and getting a big breakfast which is his reward for the early start!


           I would like to thank everyone that has taken the time to sponsor me this year and if anybody is still wanting to donate to my Just Giving page it will still be open for another few months.

There are still several Baby Races being put on by Tommys across the county this year if anyone feels like joining in after reading this post, or I would be more than happy for some company when I take part again next year.

Exercise In Pregnancy Was A Must For Me

  
Exercise in pregnancy is a much talked about subject with many pros and cons and lots of contrasting information being thrown around.

During my first pregnancy I had very little information on the benefits of exercise and just followed the age old rule of eating for two and putting your feet up.  I gained quite a lot of weight and had a seventeen hour labour which resulted in a forceps and ventouse delivery.

With my second and third I was much more careful with my diet, swam a few times a week and walked regularly.  These deliveries were a lot shorter and were much more straightforward with little pain relief.

I was convinced that keeping active during pregnancy was a factor in this and from here I grew a passion for the subject and went back to college to retrain as a personal trainer specialising in pre and antenatal exercise.

I found the training fascinating and went on to open my own personal training company geared towards mummy’s and mummy’s to be.

During this time I have had another two children with great pregnancies and good labours.  I even managed to have a water birth with my last which is not normally allowed as there are higher risks with your fifth labour.

Here are few benefits of keeping fit and healthy whist carrying your precious cargo.

Smaller Weight Gain

Let’s face it one of the things we all dread during pregnancy is putting on to much weight.  You should not be training to lose weight during this time but keeping it stable during your pregnancy will make it much easier to get back into shape after the birth.

Keeps Your Enery levels Up

Pregnancy can really take its toll on you and the last thing you probably want to do is get up and start jumping yourself around, but even twenty minutes of raising your heart rate can give you a real burst of energy for the rest of the day.

Less Likely To Need Intervention During Labour

You are 75% less likely to need the use of forceps and 55% less likely to have to have an episiotomy; which lets face it we would all rather avoid.

Give You the Energy To Get Through Labour

I’m sure if you signed yourself up for a marathon you would never think about going into it with no training.  Well labour is called that for a reason.  It’s a long hard slog that takes both mental and physical energy.  You need the strength to get yourself through it.

Keep Those Happy Hormones Flowing

Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy!  What could you need more when you’ve had a hard day and things are taking there toll.

Reduce The Risk Of Gestational Diabetes

Your can reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes by up to 27%.  This is a condition during pregnancy that can cause problems for both mother and baby; so if it can be avoided by getting up and exercising a little everyday it is so worth it.

To me exercise is as important during your pregnancy as your midwife check ups and antenatal classes.  It offers so much that it really shouldn’t be over looked.

If you are already a regular exerciser then it is fine to continue your usual routine and for those of you that are not active it’s never to late.  It’s not advisable to start a new exercise program whilst pregnant but gentle exercise such a walking and swimming are completely fine and if nothing else give you some much needed me time.