One of *those* moments

You know when the universe tries to teach you a lesson and you can see what the lesson is but you refuse to acknowledge it? This past week the Universe (well actually it's God, but you know Universe is cool too) was really trying to teach me something and I was being very stubborn and not letting go.

The Relief Society Lesson this past weekend was aimed at me.

A conversation I had with a friend brought up a couple of points I knew I should be looking at.

Talking with my sister I had another prompt to make changes and take action.

Then today I had one of *those* moments.

A moment where you suddenly realise that in this world there are only a few things that matter.

So tonight, whilst I am sitting in the den and Flyfour is sitting at the PC I'm going to write to all those who mean something to me and tell them so.

I'm going to ask for forgiveness to all those who I've had negative feelings towards.

I'm going to forgive myself for mistakes I've made.

I'm going to pray for those I love. I'm going to pray for my friends, my family, for you dear reader and for everyone who has ever come into my life.

And I'm going to pray for me.

And tomorrow, hopefully, I will remember this lesson I've learnt and be able to move on to the next stage in my life.

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The best laid plans go to waste

I had a plan for today.

I was going to forget about the period from hell that I'm having (TMI? Sorry), I was going to forget about my sleep deprivation (my own fault I have to go to bed earlier), I was even going to forget about the guilt about not having gone to the gym since last Thursday.

I was going to tidy up the living room. I was going to deep clean the bathroom. I was going to do the dishes, including that really rank bowl that nobody is quite sure what was in.

I was going to hoover, I was going to dust, I was going to wash out the bins.

I was going to change the bed linen on all the beds, I was going to straighten the children's bedrooms.

I was going to make a start on the mess I call a bedroom so that by Christmas Day I would be proud to have pictures taken and not have to worry about what angle the pictures were taken at.

I was going to do all of this in the few hours that the children were at School and then I was going to be Mummy all evening with them, knowing that my chores were all done.

And then this morning Flyfour went into Big Boy and found that he had had diarrhea in the night. He couldn't go to school, there are rules about that sort of thing.

So Big Boy stayed at home.

And so we played with Lego, we made a monster, we read books, we watched cartoons, we ate lunch, we sang songs, we read his words, we danced, we played chase, we hugged, we went for a walk round the garden before deciding it was too cold and wet and so we drew on the windows with our special window pens instead.

Big Boy and his Monster

The best laid plans may go to waste, but I have to treasure these unexpected days and it's much more fun this way!

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Does Your Kitchen And Bathroom Smell?

Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom. Now there is nothing unusual in that really, I mean I do it every day, but yesterday I got rid of some of the extra clutter that seems to gather around the bath and the toilet and the difference was noticeable. When the children got home from School they both commented on the bathroom looking different and smelling like the Swimming Pool as I use a mild watered down bleach solution because I love the smell!

When I was younger the family bathroom always smelt of Pine Trees, my Dad (honestly there was no airing him out of the bathroom, even a lorry load of matches wouldn't get rid of the stink!) and a bit of minty toothpaste. When Flyfour and I were first married the bathroom had an electric air vent and so normally smelt of outside or mouthwash and now of course it smells like the Swimming pool.

Today I was cleaning up in the kitchen when I suddenly realised that the Kitchen doesn't smell of anything, unless I am cooking. So what should a kitchen smell of? What does your kitchen smell of? Come to think of it what does your bathroom smell of?

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It's Not Vanity, It's Pride

This morning Flyfour had to go to work early and so I was taking the Children to School (normally he does it so he gets some alone time with them each day). I had about five minutes to get dressed, and I was going to put on my shapeless too big jeans and a top, but then I stopped and thought for a moment.

Did I want to wear that? Why didn't I want to make myself look nice for a change?

So I grabbed my black trousers (too big but they flare out nicely) and the black top I wore to the MADs last week. It's what I call posh, it's a going out type top it has sparkles and sheer bits and it feels silky smooth so it is nice to wear. It's not really school run wear but why the heck not?! Teamed with my red shoes so that I wasn't completely in black I thought to myself "Today I look good". Even without any make up done or my hair brushed into anything more stylish than a ponytail. It's amazing what putting on "nice" clothes can do for you.

What really made me happy though was bumping into Neighbour Mum in the playground who had a rather large infectious grin on her face.

"Neighbour Dad saw you the other day" she started "He said WOW! Pippa has lost a lot of weight!".

It thrilled me. I mean I know last week at the MADs I had people telling me I looked great and that they could see I had lost weight, but this is someone who sees me almost every day and they had noticed the loss. I'm pretty sure the Wow wasn't because I was looking fabulous, but because the current weight loss of 35lbs is a huge amount of weight and I have changed shape, a bit anyway.

I think I may go grin at myself in the mirror for a bit. It's not vanity, it's me being proud.

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The MAD's, A Workout and Bed

The MAD Blog awards were held on Friday, I was lucky enough to have been able to go as I was helping out with some live blogging and corralling the guests in the bar area before letting them in to the actual ceremony. It was a great evening full of lovely people, some of which were convinced I was drunk despite several tweets confirming that I'm Teetotal! Honestly I really am just OTT most of the time and like to make other people feel relaxed by having a laugh with them and of course having a laugh with all the lovely people that I know in the British Parent Blogging Community and it's thanks to Sally that I was able to be a helper this year. Thanks Sally!

Lovely Vic and I were sharing a room (we're used to it now having done it once before but honestly it seems like we've done it many many times more!) and with giggles over how many layers of spanx I was wearing and catching up on gossip it was well after 2am that we finally went to sleep and when I woke up at 6am with my body telling me "GYM TIME!" I almost said a rude word. Instead I gave myself a lay in before getting dressed and heading to the Hotel Basement to have a work out all on my own.

I was in the gym for just under an hour and worked up quite a sweat on a Treadmill, a Cross Trainer, a Recumbent Bike, a Rowing Machine and using some free weights along with an Exercise Ball. It was a good work out and I really enjoyed it, despite the lack of sleep, lack of wifi connection in the basement and only BBC News 24 for company.

Everyone that I spoke to that morning was surprised that I had actually been to the gym, I think because they only read here what I do, they haven't actually seen me and seen my determination to do this. I got some great compliments about how good I was/am looking (thanks Becky) and it's really made me eager to be my goal weight before the next MAD Blog Awards in 2013 so that I can show all my online friends the new me... plus I kind of said I might turn up next year in just a bikini and a hat!

I'm off to bed now so that I can get up tomorrow morning for the gym. I'm thinking that if I can do it on just four hours sleep I can do it tomorrow too.

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A 14 Mile Bike Ride

With Flyfour having been out on his bike almost every day since we brought it (14th July) there didn't seem to be an evening that went past that I didn't feel he was implying that going out on a bike was a much harder workout than what I was doing at the gym. Eventually we decided that what we needed to do was go on a bike ride together.

We decided on part of Cycle Route 51 as you can join the route about 1 mile from our house and we could cycle down to Winslow, a nearby Town about six miles away. Flyfour told me that it was a straight route after the first big hill and so once my bike had been given the once over and my helmet found we left my mum in charge of the children and set off.

I'm not going to lie, the first mile killed me. It's all uphill and Flyfour was taking it slow for me but I still lost my temper with him at one point (when he was trying to explain about using different gears because he knows all about different gears now he is such an active cyclist) and I realised I had to stop beating myself up about having to stop a couple of times and start enjoying this time alone with Flyfour.

We carried on and the ride got easier, (a lot easier considering that Flyfour's definition of straight after one big hill isn't my idea of straight after one big hill) and a few miles later Flyfour asked if I wanted to turn around and go back. I didn't I was going to cycle the whole route even if it killed me! After an hour we got to our destination/half way point. I was so proud of myself for having made it that I didn't care that Flyfour had taken pity on me and had gone at half his normal speed.

PippaD after cycling seven miles to Winslow

Flyfour said he was proud of me too, I had just done my first "proper" bike ride and ridden just short of seven miles and was about to do the same back (but with a slightly bigger loop round our road to make it up to 14 miles) and as he said that was nothing to sneeze at. The return journey was a lot easier as it was mostly down hill and I knew the route having just cycled it, but I think the biggest part of making it easier was the psychological aspect as I knew now that I was heading for home.

With the weather turning, I'm not sure how much longer I'll manage to go out on my bike as I'm not one for cycling in the rain/snow/sleet/hail/cold/British winter and I don't think that Flyfour and I are going to get a chance to go out together again until Spring is well and truly established.

What I do know though is that cycling outdoors is a hard work out. I wouldn't say it was harder than going to the gym (there I get an all body work out but would have to cycle up a lot of hills to get the same effect on a bike), and I wouldn't say it was easier either (the ride really tested my stamina) but I am sure that Flyfour and I could agree that it is a different sort of workout and one that I'm sure I will try to keep up.

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Sophia, Blood and Olympic Hearts

When I woke up this morning the first thing I thought was "Yay! My butt doesn't hurt after yesterdays 14 mile cycle ride!" and as nobody else was awake I snuggled down under the duvet to read some more of my book. It wasn't until Flyfour woke up about an hour later that I realised I had lost my voice. Still, if losing my voice was going to be the worst thing that happened today it was still going to be a great day.

The entire family set about doing their various Sunday morning tasks. Eating breakfast, playing with toys, catching up on TV, reading emails etc before I went to the gym. The Cycle ride the day before had blown away a few of the cobwebs of a cold and so I was hoping that a quick trip to the gym might do the same for my voice.

It didn't.

In fact coming out of the gym a random woman held the door open for me and said "Hello Sophia!" and was acting like I should know her and that she was annoyed that I hadn't said Hi to her first. I hoarsely whispered that my name wasn't Sophia (at least it wasn't when I went into the Gym) and also I was very sorry but as I had no voice I couldn't really talk. Random woman carried on a conversation about how much I looked like Sophia and how another woman was also convinced that I was this Sophia woman that I almost said I was just to get her to shut up. Seeing as the only image that I can find on Google Images, of a woman who looks a little like me and is called Sophia in my home town is of an Escort, I'm pretty glad I didn't!

Flyfour and Tops went out to the City Centre to do a few bits and pieces whilst BB and I stayed at home. I started preparing the Sunday Roast when I managed to slice a chunk of the knuckle of my right thumb off. I knew that this wasn't good and before the was any blood grabbed a plaster from the box in the kitchen, stuck it on and went to the sofa explained to Big Boy what was going to happen and not to be scared and then passed out.

After coming back round the first time (A personal best of passing out ten times) I got BB to get me the phone so I could call Flyfour. He should have been home as he was only supposed to be gone an hour and I knew that continuing to pass out was eventually going to get BB scared. Flyfour arrived home, took one look at me, one look at the blood still bleeding out of my wound and called an ambulance. Luckily we live three minutes away from the Ambulance Station and they were with us only moments after Flyfour finished his call with the 999 operator.

After Flyfour explained that I always pass out when I see blood and that was the only reason he seemed not to care about my very pale colour, the Paramedics established that I was conscious, able to respond and took a look at my thumb whilst I screamed into a pillow (it hurt!). They bandaged me up and gave me permission to exaggerate my cut (I sliced right through and it was only hanging on by a single bit of flesh *WINK*) which one of the paramedics said she would have left uncovered if it wasn't for my phobia. Apparently they didn't have a plaster a suitable size and so gave me one that covered almost all of my thumb, however seeing as I could see the smaller plasters in the medical kit I'm pretty sure they were trying to reassure me that it wasn't as bad as it actually is.

A Well Bandaged Thumb

Whilst I was being bandaged up the other paramedic had been taking my pulse and blood pressure. He looked a little worried and asked me;

"Have you ever been told that you have a slow heartbeat?"

Luckily both I and Flyfour have on several occasions been told that I have a slow heartbeat and he was reassured enough to not drag me off to the hospital for an ECG to discover why my heart rate was so slow, he measured it at 43 beats per minute (I'm normally around 48) and said I had a heart rate an Olympic Athlete would be proud of. Taking my blood pressure he again said that this was the blood pressure of someone who was really fit!

I took this as good news, who doesn't want to be told that internally they are fit? It also made me realise that even though my blood phobia isn't actually really gone (Boo Hiss) that once the excess fat I am carrying is gone that I will actually be really healthy.

I can't wait to be really healthy.

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Swimming and Saunas

Last night I had an early night, I'm still not quite ready for getting back in the early morning and late night gym routine (even though I love it when I'm there) and so the plan was to have an early night and then go this morning. Even if I just went swimming, it would be enough that I could say I had exercised.

Then for one reason and another I didn't go to bed at the time I had planned and I didn't have a good nights sleep and by the time I had woken up it was too late to go to the gym and be back in time to do all the other things I do in the morning. When my plans for today fell through I knew what I had to do, I knew that a lunchtime swim would help me get back in the swing of things. So I went to the Swimming Pool intending to swim 300 meters, just slightly more than the 250 that I had done with Flyfour on Tuesday morning and when I had swam this I knew I could carry on and so I ended up doing 500 meters and then having a fifteen minute Sauna.

I feel great this afternoon, really great. It's like the water has given me my mojo back and so I'm thinking a daily swim will give me more inspiration. I've found a plan similar to the Couch to 5K plan for swimming it's called Zero to 1 Mile and so that is my goal on November 2nd (or as close to I guess November 5th seeing as I'm away on November 2nd) I plan to swim 1500 meters and I'm hoping to swim it in about 35 minutes.

As I can swim a 25m length in 40seconds when I'm concentrating I think that it is possible, I just need to make sure that I keep at it!

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Tuesday morning saw Flyfour and I drop the children off at school and then head off to the Swimming Pool at the local gym. We had decided to take advantage of both children being at School and go swimming together, something that we hadn't done sans children since I was pregnant with Top Ender back in 2003.

It had been a few days since I had been to the gym (I've lost my mojo) and I was intending to go to the Aquafit class on the Tuesday morning but with Flyfour agreeing to go with me this was an opportunity to push myself a bit more, I like competition, I like knowing that I'm faster or stronger than someone and Flyfour doesn't mind competing against me so we figured that this would be a good way to get back into me doing daily exercise.

We decided that as Flyfour was kind of skipping work (he was going to stay late to make up for going in late) we would only swim for a half hour and so getting in at the deep end we set off down the 25m pool. Flyfour has been going out on his bike every night for up to an hour, (and for long rides at the weekend) and his fitness is really improving. He would tell you himself, but as he doesn't blog you'll have to take my word for it!

I've found it rather harder to see that my fitness is improving on a daily basis, I mean I know I can go on the machines for harder and longer but I still get out of breath running up the stairs and I doubt I could go on a bike ride like Flyfour does on a daily basis but I realised as soon as I was half way down the pool that I was fitter than the last time I had gone swimming.

I was easily out swimming Flyfour and yes I was working hard and my breathing showed that, but it felt good and easy and I wasn't stressing about my heart rate or how much longer I "had" to exercise for as I was enjoying myself.

Swimming is easy, it's a total body work out if you use a variety of strokes (I alternate lengths between breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly which I'm rubbish at!) and it helps improve strength, cardiovascular fitness and endurance all of which is rather handy for someone like me who likes to see their fitness improving in measurable amounts.

We swam for just under half an hour and with breaks to chat at either end and to let other swimmers get out of the way we managed to swim 250meters. It isn't going to help me burn enough calories to lose weight, but it is helping me to enjoy exercise again.

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Going Going Gone - Wordless Wednesday

Day One

Start of Month Two

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Just A Few Options

Big Boy started School today, which means whilst I'm still a stay at home Mum I'm a stay at home Mum that doesn't have any children to look after until after School. So I have a few options about what I can do.

I could get a job. Do you know of any that the hours of work are 9:30am to 11:30am and then 12pm to 2:30pm?  Also I'd rather like to be able to just look at Pinterest and sit on Twitter and Facebook all day. No, neither do I know any jobs like that.

I could have endless coffee mornings, without the coffee of course and seeing as I don't have any friends available during the day without the friends too. Not, really a coffee morning is it?

I could clean the house. Let's move on from that shall we.

I could blog. Well, I do that anyway and I don't think that I could drag it out all day.

I could go to the gym and work out and work out and work out and work out. Well, maybe in a couple of weeks but for now I think that being at home is best for me. I need to be near in case BB needs me at School or rather the teaching assistants need me at school.

I could de-clutter the house. Again let's move on from that shall we.

I could garden, take care of the weeds and the flower beds. The garden needs a major overhaul and even with my gardening for dummies book I don't think I could manage them all on my own in the last few days of Summer.

I could watch TV, catch up on Soaps and let my mind rot whilst watching Jeremy Kyle. I used to watch too much TV, I don't really go back there again.

I could become the domestic goddess that I know I am, baking cakes, pies, biscuits and goodness knows what else. Although I think if I did that I might find my family getting sick and tired of all my culinary disasters that they had to stomach!

I could start crafting again, sewing and sticking and weaving and knitting and painting. Although I wasn't that good in the first place, so I doubt that this hobby would be a good one for anything other than creating a mess in my clean living room (it will be clean we just don't aren't talking about cleaning it!).

I could read, I love to read. I could get through the entire library in a couple of months and that could be fun and educational and I could be transported to hundreds of different worlds with just a few pages of an authors words.

I could paint my nails or work up on my make up skills. Vic would be very proud of me for this one.

I could write the book. The book that I know is inside of me (and not because I ate it), about lunches or about being a family or a fiction book with a story I've thought about for a long time.

I could put my plan together for taking over the world, I could be in charge in just five short years...

I could make sure that my secret plan goes ahead, my plan that I shared only with Flyfour. He knows that I was right, that my plan was a great idea and that it is perfect for me. I just need to work on it.

The thing is now that Top Ender and Big Boy are at School I could do all of these and more. I just need to decide what.

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The Old School Crush

I've just got back from shopping with my Mum, we went to her local supermarket instead of mine (Mine is bigger and has a better variety of food) which is in the town which I grew up in. Unsurprisingly walking around this Supermarket means I bump into a lot of people I know. People who taught me, people who babysat me, people I babysat for, people I went to school with...

It was a person I went to School with that I spotted in Tesco today. I had a little bit of a crush on this chap when I was younger and my knowledge of the way they hold themselves in public has apparently not faded as even without looking directly at him I knew it was him, just from the way he walked. I say I spotted him, but I think that he actually spotted me first as I only became aware of him after I realised I was being followed (I'm like a spy me. Razor sharp senses) and they were pretty bad at doing it. Maybe it wasn't all in my head when I was younger and he had a crush on me too?! The first thing I thought was;

"Do I look alright?"

Do I look alright? For crying out loud I'm overweight, almost double the age I was when I first knew him and I didn't shower after the gym today because I'm going back there this afternoon. On the plus side, I am wearing flattering fitting clothes...

Seriously how stupid is my internal voice? It's been a good Fifteen years since I left school and last thought about this chap and as you know I'm not on the market, I'm very happily married to a wonderful man (it's okay he doesn't read this blog so you know I'm not lying!) so why did I think that?

Then again what did he think about me? He must have been interested as why else would he follow me round the supermarket? Did he have an internal dialogue going making me to the answer to his life's quest? Did he think;

"Oooh look there's Pippa. I remember her from School as I had a massive Crush on her. Doesn't she look fantastic? I'll follow her around for a bit and find out if she has a Mr Pippa. She obviously has children as those two with her call her Mum. I could adopt them, I could be their Dad. How can I bump into her and start a conversation? Let me follow her down the crisps aisle even though I already have some in my trolley..."

I was trying to think what to say if he approached me. I decided in the end that I would recognise him but pretend I had forgotten his name.

"Hi Pippa. Remember me?" he would say
"Oh Hi! Yeah, erm... sorry I've forgotten your name" I would say

And then I would have the power because he remembered my name and it would seem as if I had forgotten his. I'm not sure why that would matter, but it seemed like the best idea at the time.

As soon as I got home, I thought I would Facebook Stalk him. See what he was up to, follow him round the virtual supermarket but his profiles locked (the git) and we only have a couple of mutual friends, neither of which I could ask to use their account to nose around his. I'm actually quite gutted.

So, all I know today is that some childhood crushes don't go away, they might fade but they always linger.

But I've just had a thought. What if he wasn't following me round the supermarket? What if he was actually following my Mum?

Oh please don't let that be it.

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Another Gym Rant

Sometimes I don't feel like going to the gym. Even though I'm loving the changes in my body and my health it is a big change from being inactive to working my tail off and so I force myself to go. It might be that I go so early in the morning that I don't realise what I'm doing or by booking a class (I have to pay if I don't attend) so that I have to go at a certain time or even by arranging everything else in my life around what time I want to go to the gym.

Then when I can't go I get annoyed. And a little bit restless, but mostly annoyed.

Today, Bank Holiday Monday, I agreed with Flyfour that I wanted to go to the gym twice. Once in the morning when it opened at 9am and again in the evening at about 5:30pm. Unfortunately for me Flyfour got up a bit late for me to go at 9am, but I didn't mind. I was being a Wife and Mother and did things with my family. We had a great day, we played, we watched TV together, we shopped, we laughed. It was one of the best Bank Holiday Mondays I remember. Flyfour went out for his bike ride, timing it so that he would be back in time for me to go out and when he did get back I forced myself to go to the gym for my evening work out.

I got dressed in my gym gear (seriously I'm over weight you think I enjoy wearing leggings and tank tops? You think I enjoy putting on a sports bra that squishes my breasts into one lump so I don't knock myself out when jogging?), I arranged my life around this moment, I'd driven to the gym (I'll start cycling or walking when BB starts school in a couple of weeks) and then I get told;

"We're closing in ten minutes, so you can't come in"

No problem if I've made a mistake, it's my fault I should have checked.

But I had checked.

I purposely asked the receptionist what time the gym was opening and closing because it was a bank holiday. I was told that the gym was open between 9am and 7:30pm and as there is a last admission thirty minutes before the close of the gym I knew that meant I could only go between 9am and 7pm.

So when I turned up at 5:45 and I am told the Gym is closing in ten minutes I'm not surprisingly pissed off. So telling the staff member on reception that evening that I'm annoyed that I'd been misinformed by an employee I expect to be taken more seriously that I was. For my complaint to be heard.

I don't know why I expected better.

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I'm Going To A Spin Class

After my Aquafit lesson this week I stopped to talk to the Instructor. I had noticed that this weeks lesson had seemed harder and I wanted to say so and say Thanks for the class too. I enjoy the class when it's harder and when I don't stop. I know that I call it Synchronised Drowning in my Thursday evening tweets but that's because I get a face full of water every week and I swear I must drink half the pool in the 45 minute session! Anyway, one of the first things she asked was how my weight loss was going. I had explained to her a couple of weeks back that I was losing a lot of weight and that it was her "fault", she said that it was the one kind of blame she was glad to take responsibility for!

Whilst we were talking I asked if she could let me know about her Spin Class, how many miles or KM were roughly cycled in a session and just how hard it is. The instructor asked why I was asking, was it that I wanted to start going to a Spin Class? I explained that I did, that I wanted to do a Spin Class because I thought that it was going to be the best exercise for me at to continue on my journey with. She laughed that I was so worried about going to this class, because despite what I seemed to think about the class it was as hard as I wanted to make it. Just like the Aquafit lesson.

I got a few tips from her too.

I should wear hard soled shoes as the soft soled shoes flex too much and will make my feet hurt. There are special Spin Shoes that you can buy and they can cost from around £30 but it's best to wait a few lessons before buying them as I might decide that I hate Spin!

I should take plenty of water because it can be hard, especially when the teacher tells you to knock it up a level and you want to keep hydrated because you are going to be sweating a lot. Talking of which I should take spin on an empty stomach, my body needs fuel in order to do the exercise I'm asking it to do.

I should take a sweat towel because for the same reason I need the water I'll need something to mop yourself and the bike with! Even people who say that don't normally sweat much when exercising should take a towel because they will sweat. As part of this I should make sure the clothes that I'm wearing are going to keep me comfortable.

Get help setting up the bike. Make sure that it is the right saddle height for me, that the tightness of the pedal straps is right and that I'm comfortable. 45 minutes can feel a lot longer if there are problems with the bike.

Whilst I'm having the bike set up for me, make sure that I understand any short hand or lingo that the teacher might shout out, or make sure they know to explain themselves in long hand so that I can follow along without having to look around at what everyone else is doing.

Don't use the handle bars to prop me up. Sure they are there for balance but I should really be engaging my core to make sure that I'm holding myself up not using the bike to do it for me. I also need to make sure that I don't hunch my shoulders because this will again cause me not to engage my core.

If my knees start bouncing I need to increase the level I'm riding at, it will force me to slow down. The same goes for when my knees bow out to the side when I'm tired. It's better to go slower and have the proper technique than risk damaging myself.

Listen to the Instructor. It's important because they have a plan worked out that will push everyone to the right point for where they need to be. Of course this doesn't mean that I can't sit down if I'm tired or go at a slower pace than the rest of the class because what is important is that I try my hardest.

Only two people know what I'm doing in the class me and the Instructor, so I don't have to worry about looking weak or slow compared to everyone else because they won't know. It's important though that I don't try and do what everyone else is doing until I'm ready. This is my class not a competition.

After the first session I won't want to go back, I'll feel sore and possibly the next day I won't be able to move rather like when I first started going to the gym. I have to keep at it though as I'll loosen up and more importantly if I go again the next week I'll find that I recover quicker as my muscles adapt and my body gets use to the changes.

And the last thing I should do is I should buy a padded seat cover. My butt will thank me, so I guess it is self explanatory!

I can't wait to start my Spin Class, I'm going to one which has been recommended as being slightly easier and more suitable for beginners on a Monday evening before I start going to more classes once I've got into the spin of things (see what I did there?!).

Depending on how I go I should burn around 600 calories per 45 minute lesson, so I'm really looking forward to it and hoping that along with some strength exercises I will see some more physical changes.

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Diet Chef - A One Day Review

As everyone knows I'm trying to become a healthy weight, along with my daily exercise at the gym I am also trying to improve my diet. For the most part I believe that we eat quite healthily and the only real problem that I have is portion control. It's a challenge to get used to eating smaller portions because when I'm carefully measuring them and putting them on my plates they look too small to be filling! I'm trying to reverse years of mistakenly believing that what I was serving myself was a normal potion size.

One of the programmes that I love to watch is "Obese: A Year To Save My Life", and it was in this that I was first introduced to Diet Chef. Some of the people who were on the show also had the same problem as me, they didn't know what a normal portion size was and they were harming themselves by continuing to over eat. The one thing that I noticed about these people on the show was they were complaining about the food being slop and it put me off finding out more about the meal replacement system.

A couple of days later and an email arrived in my inbox asking if I would like to try the meals out for a day. Of course this isn't going to improve my weight, but trying the food out for myself and finding out if it was slop or if this had been over exaggerated was something I was interested in. So I made a few selections and a couple of days later they arrived in the post.

I was a little confused to start with, did I eat the Pink Apple & Cinnamon Granola with milk and if so how much or as it appears on the website with yoghurt and fresh fruit? I decided to go with milk and eat some fruit after I had finished the granola and it was lovely, although I don't think there was as much in my bowl as the images on the website!

Pink Apple & Cinnamon Granola

Lunchtime was Ham & Sweetcorn Chowder, oh my that was delicious. I could eat that everyday and not get bored of it. I felt that the soup was really filling and thought that I might end up leaving some, but because I'm also trying to teach myself to eat slowly it all got eaten. I also ate an apple with the soup.

Ham & Sweetcorn ChowderHam & Sweetcorn Chowder

Dinner was Chicken Korma, which I served with a side of grated peppers (I don't know why I just fancied grated peppers!). The Korma was tasty, it wasn't too hot and spicy and again it was filling. I had a Blackcurrant & Raspberry Bar snack bar as a pudding and again this was a lot tastier than I had expected it to be (and a lot sweeter too!)

Chicken Korma

Blackcurrant & Raspberry Bar snack bar

During the day I had made sure to drink a lot of water, but at night I realised as I had only had 125ml of milk with breakfast I had a 125ml glass of milk after I had got back from the gym.

All in all the meals were actually really lovely. The ones I had chosen were tasty, smelt nice and looked nice too (my photos don't do them justice) and if money wasn't a factor I would quite happily opt for four or five months on the meal replacement system to help me lose the additional weight I'm carrying.

The system costs from £39 per week depending on which hamper you choose (based on calories) and whilst this may sound expensive compared to a shop at the local supermarket you are paying here for nutritionally balanced, perfectly sized portions of prepared meals and for people like me who need to be re-educated in what a portion size is this is an invaluable source of help.

I was sent one days worth of meals from Diet Chef to review.

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Rutland iphone Holder Review

When I started going to the Gym every night, Flyfour thought that he should start getting some exercise too. So with the vouchers I won at The MAD Blog Awards last year for A Mothers Ramblings we brought him a bike from Evans and he has been out cycling every evening. After his first session on his bike (cycling home from the Cycle Shop) he decided that what he really needed was an app that would keep track of his route, would let him know what direction he had to go and would generally keep records for him.

I suggested an app that he discovered that he loved, but the problem was he had nowhere to store his phone whilst he was out that felt safe and so he started looking at different phone holders that he could mount on the bike handle bars. There were a couple that he liked and we were looking at buying as an early Anniversary gift for him, when Rutland Cycling asked if we'd like to try out the I Phone/Smart Phone Holder that they sell.

Rutland iPhone/Smart Phone Holder

When it arrived, Daddy put it on his bike straight away and set off on his first Cycle ride with it. When he got home he said that he wasn't sure about the holder because at times he felt that it was a bit loose and that his phone might work its way free. He agreed though that he would use it a few more times to see if it was just his own nervousness that made it feel like it wasn't secure enough or if it was something he didn't like about the holder.

Flyfour has used the holder every few rides and has found that it is secure enough to hold the phone (even when he is cycling rather fast downhill) even though it does seem a little wobbly at times. Flyfour does have a few issues with the holder. His iphone has a screen protector on and also has a case. It only just fits into the phone holder and sometimes the plastic part of the holder sticks to the Screen protector and it seems to pull the protector off the screen. The other issue is that Flyfour hasn't been able to find a bluetooth headset suitable for listening to what his app shouts at him whilst he's out cycling and this holder isn't suitable for use with headphones (well one ear bud!) as the flap is in the way of the headphone socket.

Overall though it's a good holder, it keeps the phone in a visible place so that you can follow maps, or check your timings or even make sure that you aren't missing an important phone call. Flyfour has suggested that I use it when I go out on my bike this weekend, so I'll report back after I've been out.

We were sent the Rutland iphone/smart phone holder to review.

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Pippa The Runner

Over the last few weeks I've been trying hard at the gym. I knew that I wasn't going to lose all my weight or get fit over night and I knew that it was going to be hard, as going from relatively inactive to super gym user wasn't an overnight thing. I found my stride though, I know that compared to some Gym users it was a slow stride, but it was right for me.

I've lost weight and I've lost inches but I didn't think that my fitness had really improved, I'm still out of breath when walking up stairs (although Flyfour admitted that he felt the same when we walked up the stairs at the Train Station together the other week) and despite seeing myself go for longer and on "harder" settings on the machines I still feel that I'm the unfit overweight person I was two months ago.

Until today.

This morning I went to the gym as normal, it's a no weight day and so I decided to start on the treadmill. I've started doing a thirty minute session on the treadmill as I've found that I can easily do this and on a couple of the programmes it increases the incline and speed for me so I don't have to worry about the settings and can just watch TV. Watching TV makes the time go really fast and so it feels like I'm not actually exercising. I also love looking at how many calories the machine thinks I've burnt, how far I've walked and most of the TV programmes that I watch are about half an hour so it's a win win!

Anyway, over the last week I've been trying to increase my speed so that I can walk further and burn more calories and it's working. I like competition and so racing myself like this is a great boost for my confidence and of course as I work harder and burn more calories I get even more excited about my weight loss which makes me want to work harder still.

Today though I didn't think that I was going to burn more calories (according to the on screen count) than I had last night so I thought, I'll just up the speed for a bit. There was only two minutes left on the clock, so I brought up the speed and started jogging and then running but stopped before I was flat out sprinting as I've not done that for a few years.

And I loved it.

I've not run for years, not properly anyway. A quick run after a toddler or a jog after a wayward ball doesn't count to me, but this was proper running and yes it was only for two minutes but it felt good and it was a huge mental milestone for me.

I've been thinking that it's not until I'm a lot lighter that I can go running, as when I think of me running I think of myself panting, bright red and collapsing in a heap after a few meters, but I realised today that I could do interval running on the treadmill and I would probably love it.

So that's the new plan. I've looked up the different interval sets I've pinned on the Pippa World Fitness Pinterest board and on various other fitness websites I love to read and I'm ready to try one of them for the rest of the week.

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Why I chose my Gym

So I think by now everyone knows where I go to the gym. It was made pretty clear when there was the big hoo-hah last week of my account being cancelled (Part One, Part Two, Part Three) and everyone blaming everyone else as to why but just in case you don't follow me on Foursquare or Twitter and saw this saga then, I go to the Bletchley branch of Beaumonts Health Club, handily at the local leisure centre. I chose this gym over another gym in the area (that I had belonged to before) for a lot of reasons and not just because it was impressive. These are those reasons.

The Beaumonts Health Club is in a great location for me. It's about a five minute drive from my house, which means at 5:50am I can leave my house and make it to the gym in time for opening at 6am and be back home at 7:30am ready for my family to get up. Of course in a few weeks time when BB starts School and my fitness levels have improved, the gym is also located continently enough for me to walk or cycle to it.

There are classes upon classes. I go to Aquafit and I'm about to start going to a Spin class and I've been told about the Zumba class, and a range of others that I could go to but I'm too self conscious for (I shouldn't be, the instructors are great and have said I should go). Still at least I know as I continue on my fitness journey I'll have a wide range of classes to keep me interested.

The hours the gym are open are great. Well, apart from at the weekend, but during the week they are great. I can go before the children get up in the morning and I can go after the children go to bed at night. It fits around what I need to do in the day, which means I'm more likely to go.

The Gym has a lot of equipment, even on the busiest day I've been there were plenty of empty machines and enough space to get around without invading anyone's personal space. I can also whilst at the gym watch the TV on these pieces of equipment. It's a good way to catch up with the news in the morning and as the TV doesn't have to take up the whole screen I can still keep an eye on how well I'm performing.

Talking of which, the other members are great. It turns out one of my neighbours is a member (and goes at the same times too), and so are a few of the School Mums that I see in the playground. There are a few people who I can use for inspiration and a few others who like me are overweight and trying to do something about it and a lot of "normal" people too. I'm self conscious about my weight, but at the gym I don't care.

The staff are friendly, and I don't just mean the reception staff. All of them make eye contact, smile, say Hello and give advice as and when I need it. I've been lucky and managed to get one of the nicest staff members (Hello Danny) to first of all give me my induction and then to give my routine an update a month later. When he goes back to University next month I'm going to be quite sad!

There was a large pool I can use, along with a Sauna and Steam Room. Okay, so I haven't yet used the Sauna and Steam Room, but only because I'm not really sure what benefit sitting in them has for me. Okay, so the showers are sometimes cold instead of being a nice temperature but they are clean and well maintained as is the rest of the place. The gym gets washed down regularly (I've seen the staff do it) and there are plenty of towels to wipe down the machines you get on or off.

There is a computer system which keeps records of how much weight I've lifted or how many cardio minutes I've logged and if I want to I can link it up to my ipod to record all the data over on the Nike+ website. I'm a geek I like computers, it's a selling point okay.

The fee is a little higher than I would like (I'm yet to find a free gym with air conditioning, something the outdoor gym sadly lacks) but it's reasonable and something that with a few cuts in my budget we can afford. Plus you can't really put a price on good health and that is what I'm aiming for.

All of these reasons helped convince me that this was the gym for me and despite the cancelled membership issue, I think that with my new found love of exercise and my ever increasing weight loss that I made the right choice.

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My Gym Account Has Been Cancelled! (Part Three)

Just after 9am this morning I called the Harlands Group on the number that my Gym had given me yesterday. As I expected I was already in a queue of people holding to speak to an advisor and it took a few minutes before a rather happy chap answered the phone to me.

I'd like to think that I explained my problem eloquently and concisely, but this is me we are talking about so it was probably a bit more rambling and convoluted but the happy chap understood what I was going on about and quickly accessed my account. I was of course ready to lambaste this happy chap if he gave me an answer I didn't like, as I could see that they had continued to take payments from my account despite having told the gym that my account had been cancelled.

Apparently that wasn't the case though.

The happy chap who answered the phone could find no record of my account having been placed on hold, cancelled or any note on the system to indicate that they had spoken to the gym about cancelling my account for any reason. The happy chap could see that my payments had been made and that there had been no issue in collecting the money as far as he and his company were concerned everything on their end was fine.

The happy chap said that he would send an email to the Gym to confirm that I was fully paid up and that I should be allowed access to the gym, after all according to what I had told him the Gym were claiming that it was the company that handled my direct debits that had cancelled my account. The happy chap even agreed that he would include me in on the email he was sending to the gym, because I want to keep my records up to date and of course the email is about me.

I called the gym back and spoke to another person in the membership department. I explained my problem again, I explained that according to Harlands there wasn't a problem with my payments and the staff member  (Let's call her Staff 2) looked on my account. According to her systems (there are apparently two) I've been cancelled on one and I'm active on the other... from the sounds of it the staff member the day before should have been able to see this too. A few more details were taken and a promise of a call back as soon as the member of staff I had spoken to the day before was in as they needed to check a few details and check with head office over the email that the other member of staff had sent the day before.

At this point I was really confused, but there was promise of it being resolved if I could hang on in there for a couple more hours.

So I waited.

And I waited.

Just before I was about to call them and say, enough is enough I got a call back from staff member 2.

Somehow Head Office cancelled a part of my account, but after the email staff member 1 sent yesterday they had resolved it and if I had gone to the gym this morning I wouldn't have had an issue. The point was though I had had an issue. They had wrongly cancelled my account and caused me to lose work out time, to have to spend time chasing them, given me misinformation over why my account had been cancelled and as an apology they were going to reduce my next gym membership payment.

As it turns out I'm not really sure why my account was cancelled, and from the sounds of it I don't think my branch of the gym knows why either. The good news though is my membership has been reinstated and I can get back to my daily work outs and rambling nonsense!

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My Gym Account Has Been Cancelled! (Part Two)

So last night I didn't get a chance to speak with the gym about how my membership has been cancelled, seeing as how on top of being a gym-a-holic I'm also a daughter, sister, wife and mother. Instead of going to the gym, I sat in bed and watched a film and I talked to my family and did all the things that people who haven't got to lose half of their body weight do.

I couldn't face going down to the gym this morning to speak to the staff face to face, I'm so angry and upset that I didn't think that I would be able to hold back the tears if something other than an admin error had been made, so I phoned them.

I explained who I was and what had happened and it turns out that my account was cancelled on the 17th July. That is a month after I joined the gym. The reason it was cancelled? Well, the computer system at the Gym can't tell me that. It can tell me that I paid on the 18th June for the whole of July and the end of June but it can't tell me why the company that takes the payments decided to cancel my account. According to the Sales team member I spoke to because of Data protection they don't have access to that data.

I can't argue with that, because I don't understand all the in's and out's of data protection but what I do know is that when an account is cancelled there is normally a code put on which translates into a reason. Non payment, Member cancelled, Member died you know the sort of thing. It seems strange that there isn't a code or a note or anything as to why it was cancelled.

The Sales team member gave me a number for the company that deals with the payments, they however are only open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm with an hour closed over lunch. So I have to wait until Monday morning to find out why they decided to cancel my account, but still deemed it right to take money from my account on the 1st August.

Pissed off? Why, yes I am. However I'm using this time to make sure I know what I want from them.

1) Why was my account cancelled?
2) Why was money taken from my account if it was cancelled?
3) I want a refund for 6 days (as of tomorrow) of my cancelled account (Only £6 but still) which will go up each day my account is unusable.

So that is where I'm up to. I'm going to go out to the garage and hit the punch bag for a while, maybe that will calm me down.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

My Gym Account Has Been Cancelled! (Part One)

Coming back from Paris, I was tired. I walked a lot, I carried the children when they were tired a lot, I didn't eat all that much and because we had a big secret that we were keeping from the children I didn't particularly sleep a lot. I knew I would be tired so I had forced myself to book my Aquafit before I went (I love Aquafit) so that I knew on Thursday night I would have to go to the Gym. It was a great session and I loved having a gym membership as it meant I got to have this class as part of my package. I was still tired on Friday morning when the alarm went off at 5:30, so I rolled back over and didn't wake up until 7:30am when Gaz from Mix 96 rang the house phone to remind me I was going to be live on air in the next five minutes. I was still tired Friday night and so told Flyfour that I wouldn't be going to the gym, but would be going to bed early instead.

On Saturday morning, when I woke up I got dressed and went to the gym. I swiped my card in the self service machine and was surprised to see it was being rejected. Maybe I didn't leave it in the machine long enough I thought, So I tried again. Predictably the card was rejected again, so I made my way to reception. The reception staff at the leisure centre are a pleasure to deal with, after you've been going a few times they get to recognise you and will give you a wave hello or goodbye as you go in or out if they haven't served you. There was one member of staff on this morning and she was talking with another patron of the Leisure Centre but she gave me a grin and asked if she could help.

I explained that my card wasn't being accepted in the self service machine, and so she swiped it in her machine. After all we are all aware of how some computers like to throw little tantrums now and then, and it's best to double check. My card was rejected on her system too, so she looked into the account and saw that on the 3rd August the account was cancelled. I'm knew I didn't cancel it and I told the Receptionist so. She suggested that I go up to the gym, have my work out and by the time I was finished one of the Sales Team should be in and I could speak to them.

I knew that I hadn't cancelled my card, I knew my card had worked just two days before so I called Flyfour straight away and asked him to check our bank account. Even with our trip to Paris there should have been plenty of cash in our account and the Direct Debit wouldn't have bounced but I wanted to make sure. Thanks to the magic on online banking we were able to check within seconds and as I thought our bank account was perfectly fine, the payment had been taken out on the 1st August two days before my account was cancelled.

Now I was angry at my account being cancelled but I was also worried about logging into my account in the gym, what if it wouldn't let me because my account had been cancelled? What if all my records of what I had achieved had gone? What if I had to start a new contract with the gym, pay a joining fee and have a higher monthly rate as there wasn't a special offer on now? What if my account had been cancelled because I had been talking with the staff outside of the gym? (Hi Danny!) What if it was because I gave a small gift to one of the evening receptionists on Thursday? Luckily my log in to the gym still worked, all my details of past work outs were still there so I did my work out and felt a lot better, but I was still fuming. If I had paid then why had they cancelled my account?

I went back to reception, now sweaty and smelly to find out why my account had been cancelled. I was in a bad mood about it, I had been embarrassed, I had spent the best part of an hour stewing on it and for what? Most likely a clerical error. I was going to be polite but firm, I was going to get to the bottom of this and I was going to encourage them not only to rectify the situation but find a suitable way to apologise to me for the hassle. The problem was that the sales team still weren't in. Apparently today they are only working in the late afternoon and the evening. So now I have to stew on it until I go back in this evening.

This isn't a case of "Don't you know who I am?", I'm not that stupid that I think everything should be given to me on a silver platter but I've not made a mistake. I've paid for the gym, I've talked about how great the staff are on Facebook and Twitter, I've suggested other people join the same gym as me because the service up until now has been great and what have I got in return? I've been embarrassed, I've had my time wasted and it's made me angry.

When I get back from the gym this evening I'll let you know why my account was cancelled, but until then Hertsmere Leisure had better be ready for me.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

22 on 22 and 20 on 20

When I was first starting this journey of weight loss I got a lot of help from Vic. She knows me really well, (because we've been friends for what seems like forever) and understands that I really want to have some dramatic weight loss before I show everyone how the exercise and weight loss is changing my body.

The one thing that Vic tried to drum into me was that it's okay to have the big goal of wanting to lose ten stone, but that I needed to break it down into smaller manageable goals so that I had something to aim for and something that I could achieve.

The problem for me was that I had no idea what a manageable goal was.

Vic helped me though and I decided on the goal of being a size 22 by the 22nd August. It was a date that was far enough away that it gave me the time to lose enough weight, but it was also close enough that I wasn't going to lose momentum.

I'm pleased to announce though that I managed to hit my goal a whole 22 days early (well actually it was 25 days early but who's counting?!) and I'm comfortably wearing size 22 clothes.

Now I just have to work out what my next goal should be.

I'm thinking maybe a size 20 by the 20th September and 18 stone by The MADs. It's going to be hard, I'm going to have to really push myself to my limits to get the weight loss and to tone my body up so that the weight loss is more noticeable!

Now I have to go to bed, so I can get up in the morning to go to the gym. I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

I Lost Weight On Holiday!

We got back from our mini-break to Paris about Midnight last night. We had a great time whilst we were away but I couldn't wait to get home as I wanted to check my weight. I was really hoping that I was going to lose a couple of pounds whilst I was away, as it would let me get just below 20 stone and I feel that getting under 20 stone would be a marker, it would give me more impetus to get to my next goal.

I thought that I would lose weight because I knew that we were going to be walking around a lot. Boy did we walk; We walked a lot around Paris and around Disneyland and up a countless number of stairs in the Metro stations and around the different Tourist attractions that we visited and then Flyfour and I also did a fair bit of weight lifting as we end up carrying Big Boy and Top Ender around a bit when they were too tired to walk any more.

This morning when Big Boy woke me up, I came downstairs and in my bleary eyed state I remembered that what I wanted to do was weigh myself. So I stood on the scales and was very surprised to see that instead of the 2lb loss that I expected and hoped for I had lost 5lbs. I was ecstatic, I mean who wouldn't want to lose 5lb in three days?!

It's really given me that push that I needed and I'm ready for more changes as I lose weight and continue to tone up. It's a long journey, but I feel that I'm well on the way.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

Taking the chance

At lunch I've been watching Obese: A Year To Save My Life on Sky Two. It's interesting for me because I am obese and whilst I haven't set myself a target of a year in order to reduce my weight to the level that I want (it's going to take me more than a year I have accepted that, although I still wish there was a chance for me to do it in a year) its interesting watching these people who are given an opportunity to change their lives and how many of them grab it with both hands and how many of them just do the minimum that is required of them.

If I had gone on this programme a year ago I would have been one of those people that did the minimum, I was saying that I wanted to change my life, but I wasn't ready. If I was then the different attempts I made at losing weight would have worked because I would have pushed myself, I would have taken the chance that had been offered to me. As soon as the year was over I would have been back to my old ways and undone all of the hard work and put back on all the weight I lost.

A couple of months ago going to the gym wasn't something I would have thought I would look forward to. A couple of months ago thinking about motivating myself to do extra exercise during the day on a regular basis wasn't something I would have thought I could get myself to do. A couple of months ago I was a different me.

I changed and I took the chance that was being offered to me. The only difference is the chance being offered to me isn't from some TV show but it's all me. Now I love going to the gym. I like comparing how I'm improving going on for longer or working harder each time. I love that I'm prepared to work harder each day to further my own efforts of losing weight and to improve my fitness and I love doing exercise. 

I love the happy feeling of finishing a workout and knowing that was all me. I'm taking the chance at a better life for me and my family.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

Knock On Fitness

Flyfour keeps trying to tell me that he is proud of me, for the steps that I have taken to get more active and to become fitter and healthier and to be the right weight for me. Every time he says it, he has said to me that he feels that it is coming out wrong, that he is actually insulting me but I know what he means. I'm proud of me too, I've made changes and I'm sticking to them.

What I am more proud of though is that I'm inspiring other people to do it too. There are a few people on Twitter and Facebook who are giving me support (and I'm giving them support on their journeys too) but the one person I'm most pleased to have inspired is closer to home. Flyfour has decided that he needs to start doing regular exercise again too. 

When A Mothers Ramblings won The Best MAD Blog for Family Fun last year part of the prize was some vouchers for spending in Evans Cycles. We debated a few times on what we would do with the vouchers, but when Flyfour had decided that he wanted to do some regular exercise I suggested that he should buy a new bike with the vouchers we had won.

Flyfour decided on this bike.

Flyfour's PINNACLE Bike

And the chap who served us was fantastic, he talked over all the benefits of different bikes, about different routes that Flyfour could cycle in the local area and even encouraged Flyfour to ride his bike home that afternoon... which Flyfour did!

Flyfour on his bike

Flyfour has been going out everyday either when I get back from the gym or before I go out depending on timing and he is loving it. I introduced him to Endomondo and he has been tracking his routes, planning new ones and getting ready for cycling to work once or twice a week in a few weeks time.

There is a long journey ahead of us both to get us to a fitness level that we are happy with and to get to a weight that both we and the Doctors are happy with, but we are prepared for this journey and we are supporting each other through it. We know that together we will achieve our goals.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

The Twunt At The Gym

I was in a bad mood before I got to the gym this morning. I was tired, I had overslept and wasn't in the mood for working out. I knew though if I didn't go to the gym and work out that I would regret it later in the day even if I had promised myself I would go in the evening. I decided to start on the treadmill, something nice and easy to ease me into the morning and chose a machine away from other gym members already working out. Another gym member was on a machine two to my left and another two to my right, but I was okay where I was.

It was good until another gym member got on the empty machine to my right, because he vaguely knew the chap on the machine that had been the other side of the empty treadmill. They started chatting and loudly; I had headphones on and could still clearly here them. The conversation they had was about why they had both joined the gym. Apparently they had both been advised by their Doctor that they needed to improve their health as they had both been diagnosed with diabetes. The chap who had been on the treadmill to start with seemed to be quite serious about his diagnosis and it was clear to me that he wanted to talk about it as it had had an impact on his life. I sympathised with him as Big Boys recent Type One diagnosis has had a huge impact on us. The second chap however started going on about how his diabetes has been cured now that he has started exercising and how who knew you could cure diabetes with exercise.

I wanted to punch this guy. He hasn't cured diabetes, he has simply discovered that the diabetes that he has (I'm guessing he is a type two) is managed better when he is taking part in regular physical exercise and I'm guessing again that it is better managed now that he has made some changes in his diet too. I've been told I should have told him what an idiot he was, that I should have told him that there is more than one type of diabetes, that he should be careful about what he discusses in public because he could offend other people with his I know everything attitude.

I didn't though. He didn't know that the conversation he was having loudly was going to affect anyone else in the gym the way if affected me, he didn't know that right now I would give up anything, do anything, say anything for diabetes to be something that can be cured. For my baby to not have to be injected and pricked and make wishes at night that he would only have to take the medicine one more time before he never needed it again.

I hope that one day the announcement is made that a cure for diabetes has been found and that maybe like the twunt at the gym suggested that it is something simple like doing some extra exercise that turns out to be the cure, but until that day every time I see the twunt at the gym I'll make sure that I turn my headphones up a bit more.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

I'm either crazy or stupid

The feeds of my friends on Facebook have three common themes at the moment, Sports Day, 50 Shades of Grey and the 30 Day Shred. The first I of course have tweeted about (I do love me a proper competitive sports day) the latter is something I am about to blog about (in this here blog post) and the middle one? Well, I read the synopsis on The Book Spoiler as I didn't want to spend the whole summer not knowing what everyone was going on about, but I actually have no interest in reading it and even the quite detailed synopsis nearly had me collapsed in a heap of laughter, so I can just imagine what the book proper would do.

So the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels, she of The Biggest Loser fame (although she doesn't do it any more) has been filling my time line with friends posting things about not being able to move because of their work out or about how excited they are having lost a dress size in 30 days and on average 10lb. Now to me this sounds exciting, I mean I love The Biggest Loser and I love Jillian, I think she could whip me into shape in no time and so I thought I have to try this for myself. Plus 30 days and drop a dress size just with the 20 minutes of exercise a day (and a warm up and cool down on top) from a DVD? YES PLEASE!

So it sounds like a quick fix, and that is what it is really, but it is also a lot more. For a lot of women losing a dress size is more than a physical thing it's a mental thing too. I know that if I were a dress size smaller I would be over the moon about the progress I was making, but more importantly I would being able to make the mental connection to the physical actions. You do this everyday, you get this result. So I ordered a copy.

I did the first day, and I got through it. I screamed at times, I grunted, I cried and I did pause the video twice  for five seconds to just catch up with myself. I was crying as I was doing some over head weighted arm presses. It was so much effort and my body wasn't used to it, I couldn't help but cry out. Big Boy was concerned enough that he came and sat next to me but, he knew that what I was doing was important for me and so he helped me the only way he knew by counting the reps for me. It worked. I focused on his voice counting what I was doing and stopped crying, I wasn't going to die exercising and after it was finished I was going to feel so good.

And that is exactly what happened, somehow I managed to struggle through and finish and apart from being sweaty and smelly and tired I felt amazing. The problem was that the next day I was at the hospital with BB whilst the Doctors worked out what was wrong and the next day I was a bit emotional with it all and the next  day I was with my family and then it was Monday night and I didn't have time for the second workout. So I'm going to start again.

When I get back from the gym today, I will do the dishes and lunches, load and unload the washing machine, see Top Ender off to School and Daddy off to work before settling Big Boy down with a game or two whilst I do The Shred. It's hard and to do it on top of an already limit pushing gym session just might make me either crazy or stupid but it also might make me a size smaller and for that I'm willing to try.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

The Olympic Meme

I was tagged in a meme about the Olympics by Emmys Mummy and as I'm really looking forward to the inspiration I know that everyone will get from the athletes who will be taking part I thought what better way than to talk about Sport over here on Pippa World! Plus it means I get to show these great little Team GB Lego Minifigures which I saw in the Lego shop at the weekend and a lovely PR kindly sent me one of too!

Team GB Lego Minifigures

If every day tasks were Olympic events what would you get a gold medal in?

At the moment I would have to say it would be the 100m Chase. As in chase Big Boy around the house to get him to have his blood test and injection. Or maybe the Going to the Gym event would give me a gold! I'm still going everyday.

As a child (or now even) did you excel at a particular sport and if so which one?

Not really, I did love Orienteering and I was quite good at it but I was never going to be the best. Although I did quite well the first year and was in the top ten in the county.

Michael Phelps (swimmer) or Michael Johnson (runner) which sport appeals to you more?

The running, but long distance running. I can swim and I love swimming (especially in the sea) but running was something I could do without having to think and I can't wait to lose enough weight that I will feel comfortable running again.

How fast can you get out of bed and ready to go out the door if you miss the alarm and sleep in?

I could do it in five minutes. Jump out of bed, run down stairs go to the toilet, have a quick wash and brush of my teeth, run back upstairs get me clothes on back downstairs and out the door. However that would mean not taking the children with me, or Flyfour and I'd look a little slummy!

What fantasy sport would you like to see made into an Olympic event?

I would have to say I would love to see speed weeding. They could hold it in my garden...

Claim to fame time - Have you ever met an Olympian and who was it?

I'm pretty sure I have, but I honestly can't remember! Is cricket an Olympic sport? I might have met a cricket player. Oh hang on I met Greg Searle but I didn't know who he was, but I blame Sally Whittle for that.

What event in past Olympics can you remember most vividly?

Erm. Yeah. I don't actually remember any of the Olympics ever.

Tuning in at home, not for me or tickets clamped ready in sweaty palms?

I have some tickets thanks to Coca Cola but we will be tuning in at home/the Gym and watching whilst working out ourselves!

Who do you think most deserves a gold medal (any walk or life not just Olympians)?

My sister, she has four children under five and cream coloured carpets.

I am not passing the flame to anyone because I think that just about everyone has done this Meme, however if anyone wants it let me know and I'll pass it on to you!

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!

Why Join A Gym?

One of the questions that I've had a lot recently was why did you join a gym to lose weight? Why didn't you just carry on doing it at home? Yes, I have videos and TV channels that I could work out with and I have basic equipment at home and I even have access to a free outdoor gym at any time of the day or night (although at night it's a bit dark and scary and dangerous really!) so why pay out for a gym membership that is something that we can't really afford?

Well, over at A Mothers Ramblings a little over X Years ago I started trying to lose weight. I tried exercising more, I tried using computer games to help, I tried eating less, I tried drinking health shakes and it didn't really work. Sure, I lost a few lbs but nothing near as many as I needed to lose or even enough that would give me encouragement to push myself harder.

Joining the Gym was the step that I had to take to take control of my life, my weight and my fitness. I think of it as a line in the sand that I had to mark so I could show myself that I have moved forward from the old me, shed my old skin, personality and habits.

I knew that by joining the gym I would have to go and exercise, for if I didn't then the money we were paying out for the membership each month was just wasted and when like for so many others money is a very precious resource I can't afford to do that.

At the gym I have all the equipment I could possibly need and it is all maintained and top of the range. I don't have to worry about it breaking, about it not taking my weight, about where I am going to store it or even about the cost because someone else has taken care of all of that for me. At the same time I knew that joining the gym would give me access to people to help me train. Not necessarily personal trainers, but people who know how to use the equipment and can show me how to use them too. This isn't something that I would get at home or in the outdoor gym.

I really excited that I can take classes as part of my membership. If it hadn't been for the insistence of the poor chap who talked me through the membership and showed me round the building I would never have signed up to a class and that would be a shame as I absolutely love going to Aquafit and as soon as I'm feeling a bit more confident in my ability not to pass out from exhaustion I'll be taking a spin class.

At the gym I'm set up for success. There are no distractions, no dishes that need to be done, no washing that needs to be hung out and nobody that needs my attention. I'm there for one reason and one reason only and that's to work out.

So that's why I've joined a gym.

Don't forget to check out what I'm doing over at A Mothers Ramblings too!