Monday, 25 April 2016

Running - It's never too late

I want to tell you about Becky.  Becky talked to me recently and showed me how ‘its never too late’.  Becky is 65 and she’s a runner.  But she hasn’t always been; she hated PT at school but did join fitness classes over the years.  She told me that she had entered a three mile fun run in 1982 – so hardly a career in covering the miles!

She started running 9 years ago and ran once round the park.  Now, she’s no Forest Gump and it was far from easy.  She joined a running club but it wasn’t the right one for her – she felt awkward being the one at the back that people had to wait for. She swapped clubs and has found a small, village club with a range of abilities and lots of friendly people.  And she has gone from strength to strength.

Her first half marathon was ‘horrendous’, but she told me that ‘she did it’ – I could hear the sense of achievement in her voice.  The weather was awful – so awful that the event organisers called off the marathon scheduled for the same day!  But that didn’t put Becky off and she now runs 3 or 4 times a week. 

I asked her why she does it – she told me that it keeps her slim, she loves the fabulous views on a bright morning, (in fact she often stops just to admire the world around her) and its great for stress relief. 

We know that people often stop running around 60 – but not Becky – this means that she can do well in her age category in a race (there are not always very many 60+ entrants) which is always a bonus!  We also know that running has great health benefits such as cardio vascular fitness and increase in bone density – so the longer you can keep going the better. 

But what if you’ve never even started?  Becky says ‘just give it a go – you will be surprised at what you can do’, she says ‘just get out there, join a park run and meet like minded people, be inspired by them’.  She says all you need is a reasonable pair of trainers, some leggings and a t-shirt.   She still runs half marathons and knows that her running is a great topic of conversation .  So, what are you waiting for?  Pull on those trainers and get out of the door, Becky’s husband has just started and he’s 68, so if you need help – contact us – we have people who can run with you

Friday, 22 April 2016

Update on Leslie

This week’s news is good for Leslie – more weight off and nearly half a stone gone now.  What’s even better news is how great she is feeling and that food is not something that she thinks about all the time.  For lots of my clients, food is more than fuel for the body; its comfort, a relief from boredom, a reward and a punishment.  A big part of managing our weight relies on us getting rid of old ideas and thought patterns – this takes real work – so well done Leslie.  Great work out this week too – less weight makes it easier – but again – its head stuff – Leslie feels better about herself so she is more positive about what she can do

Thursday, 14 April 2016


I’ve just been for a run – ‘so what?’ I hear you say.  Well, here’s the story – I haven’t run for a long time – I’ve walked and walked and walked – but I’ve not run.  But this week I interviewed a lovely lady who is a bit older than me – and she runs, oh yes, she runs.  So I wondered what had happened – why had I stopped running?  I don’t really know.  So, I woke up and decided that today is the day.  Yes, its raining, (I put on a waterproof top), yes, its muddy (I put on my older trainers), yes, I could slip and fall (I didn’t – I’ve got a strong core). I went through the woods (no one attacked me) and I had no phone, no keys and no tissue!  How very rash!  (And completely opposite to all my words of advice to all my clients!) 

And I loved it, I absolutely loved it, I don’t know how far I ran (but I did way more than I thought I would ) and I have no idea how long it took.  I feel alive, aware and I am a WIC (Woman In Control).  Today is here to make the most of – and I am fully up for it.  GFI with a PMA (Go For It with a Positive Mental Attitude!) 

Leslie’s latest

Its Wednesday and its workout and weigh in – and its all good.  Another 2lbs off this week.  Leslie has stuck to plan and its working.  Of course she would like it to come off more quickly– but its tough – its tough because she has loads of fat cells and they are over expanded – they are not going to spring back to shape quickly and easily. 

Her workout today was great – shifting nearly half a stone has helped – but what has helped even more is her mental attitude – she is much more likely to think ‘I can do this’ than resigning herself to failure again.  Like I always say – you can be sure that Mo Farah didn’t stand on the starting line thinking ‘I haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this race’ – and Leslie is (at last) saying ‘I can do this’ – she is a WIC (Woman In Control) – if you would like to be a WIC too – just drop me a line.  Meanwhile – when you next see Leslie please remember she needs cheering on just as much as Mo Farah does. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


Why am I writing about mindfulness again?  Well, its ‘all the thing’ and its good for you – but I am writing about it now because I want to share an article that I found in a magazine.  Now, I expect you are thinking I mean something like ‘Good Housekeeping’ or ‘Health & Fitness’ both ‘women’s magazines’.  Well, you would be wrong.  Steve found the article on Mindfulness in ‘Men’s Health’

And I quote ‘All mindfulness means is being focused on the present and accepting the feelings and thoughts you have, which can be achieved with a few minutes’ deep thought once or twice a week’. 

Yes, you heard right, ‘Men’s Fitness’ recommends being in touch with your feelings!  Whatever next? 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Drink milk – its good for you!

Let me tell you about a really good post workout drink – MILK – yes, ordinary milk.

Milk is:

• High in protein – 200mls of semi skimmed gives you 14% of what you need daily.  Muscle repair and growth depends on protein for fuel
• 200mls had 34% of daily phosphorous that we need to healthy bones and teeth
• Want 9% of daily potassium (for muscle and nerve function)? – That’s tight 200mls milk
• Want to reduce tiredness and maintain mental function?  You need Vit B5 – a whopping 23% of daily allowance in that same 200mls
• Nearly half of daily iodine needs in that glass, great for good skin
• 36% of Vit B2 for skin, vision and nerve functioning and great for reducing fatigue
• And if you want to keep your bones strong – get 31% of daily calcium requirements from the white stuff
• And as for Vit B12 (for normal nerve and psychological function ) – get 72% from 200mls of semi skimmed

What’s not to like?

Milk is good for you because:

1. It’s a great post workout drink , the carbs help to refuel the body and the protein stimulates muscle growth.  Its got fluid and electrolytes to rehydrate the body and aid natural; recovery
2. Its dead easy to calorie count (126 calories in the 200 ml of semi skimmed)
3. Can keep your fats down easily – switch to skimmed if you need to.
4. Milk in the morning will stave off those 11.00 hunger pangs that make you reach for the biscuits
5. With more than 400 fatty acids you can be sure that it will help protect cells from damage. 

Easy to buy, easy to use, great to drink – give it a try!

Friday, 8 April 2016

There must be 50 ways to lose some weight?

Well, maybe not 50, but here are a few tried and tested ways that you can chose from:

1.  Work out why – we generally find that weight loss is much more successful if you know why you are doing it.  A vague ‘I think I ought to’ doesn’t work – that’s easily dismissed when that  cake appears in the office.  Sadly, a health scare sometimes works, when your GP says ‘you need to lose weight to control your blood pressure / reduce your diabetes risk / reduce the pain in your knees’.  But don’t let it get that bad, manage your weight because you matter and you want to do so you can keep fit, mobile and healthy

2.  Eat mindfully – don’t vaguely graze or eat your meal whilst watching the TV.  Make eating into an occasion – not something that you barely notice you are doing

3.  Break some habits – do you always eat your lunch at 12.00 – because that’s lunch time?  Or pick at the children’s left overs (because it’s a waste to throw good food away?) or nibble on something every time you go into the kitchen?  Notice when you are eating and why.  Eating is about putting fuel into your body and you have a really good regulating system (called hunger!) – listen to your body – eat when you are hungry and then stop.

4.  Give yourself time – it takes a while for your brain to register what has gone into your stomach – so if you eat really quickly you will eat more than you need because your brain hasn’t had a chance to register that you are full. 

5.  Don’t sit about in baggy clothes all the time – it just gives you a false sense of your size.  Wear something that fits nicely and keep wearing it – let that be a bench mark for weight management – and take action when it feels tight

6.  Don’t put your pyjamas on when you get in from work – apart from the baggy fit it also tells your body that that is it for the day – you are heading for hours slumped in front of the TV.  Being active is key to managing your weight and hours of sitting down doesn’t help! 

7.  Get outside – just go for a walk – if you have a ‘wearable’ – great – but find a way of measuring your steps – 10,000 a day really is a good idea – a pedometer, an app on your phone – work out a few routes and then go for it.  Build walks into your daily routine, you know how to do it – park further away from your office – get off the bus a stop earlier, walk the dog.  Get up half an hour earlier and walk before work.  Something ‘sensible’ on your feet and you’re off!

8.  Keep your portions small – hopefully what you are eating is really tasty, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat a mountain of it.  You don’t have to ‘eat it all up’, (even if your mother did tell you that there were starving children somewhere)  you can keep some for another day.  Cut your portions and eat slowly – you don’t have to leave the table feeling totally stuffed!

9.  Drink water – drink water when you get up, drink water throughout the day (yes, just plain water) and drink it before meals and during meals.  Most adults need between 2 – 3 litres water a day and we often mistake thirst for hunger.  If your urine gets dark you need more water – it’s simple.
10. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need – OK – that’s really obvious – but how many of us get tempted in the supermarket – that’s what the displays are for – ‘look’, they scream, ‘buy me, I am so lovely – you know you want me’.  Don’t get me wrong – the occasional ‘treat’ is fine – but food is fuel – there are other ways of rewarding / comforting yourself. 

11. Make every calorie count – this is one of my favourites – ask yourself – ‘is what I am about to eat going to help me to be healthy?’  I could work out how many calories you need in a day – and you could have these as Mars Bars – see the problem?  Food needs to be fresh and unprocessed.  Cook from scratch whenever you can and snack on nuts and fruit, not chocolate and crisps

12. Drop the alcohol – yes, I know – there’s 50 ways to need a drink – but its more ‘empty calories’ – its stuff that you put into your body that doesn’t fuel it.  I’m not saying don’t ever drink – but a small amount now and again is OK – but 2 or 3 glasses regularly is not

13. Write it down.  Try keeping a food diary – write down everything (yes, everything) that you eat – you will be amazed.  Show your diary to a trusted friend  - do you really want them to see what your eating habits are like?!  The next step is to think about writing it down – before you eat it – it won’t be long before you realise what you are doing and don’t want to have to write down yet another bag of crisps / bar of chocolate!

14. Get some sleep – losing weight when you are sleep deprived is tough – nigh on impossible – we need about 7 hours a night – be kind to yourself

15. Be accountable – do what you say you are going to do.  Work out at least three things from this list that you are going to do this week – write them down and keep to it  - move away from the ‘I’ll go on a diet on Monday ‘ approach to a ‘this is what I am doing to manage my weight’ . 

Well – that’s 15 ways – and don’t forget – you could always get a Personal Trainer – a good one will help you to stay on track. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Leslie - Update

Well, this week is looking up for Leslie.  She has (at last) got her dental pain under control and can get some sleep.  What has been good is that she didn’t resort to food when she felt poorly – and she has stuck to plan. 

So this week she has lost 2lbs – which is great.  Consequently her training session with me was one of the best we have had for a long time – she could do the exercises effectively and didn’t need so many rests in between. 

She told me today that using Certa meal replacement packs has quietened the noise about food that is otherwise constantly in her head.  She’s not hungry (she is in ketosis which is when her body starts to use her stored fat for fuel) and has stopped using food as a reward, or as a punishment or because she is bored!

She is going to have one exercise rest day – other than that – she is in the gym – so if you see her, please smile encouragingly!