The Biggest Change

Six weeks ago when I started on this transformation programme I had a plan.

I was going to exercise.

I was going to eat healthily.

I was going to do everything I could to make sure that I was changing my life.

This time the changes were going to stick because I understood that I don't feel accountable to myself, but I do feel accountable to other people. I had to remember that this wasn't just for me. The changes I were making were not just for me, I was going to be changing for my family, for my friends and for the various communities that I am a part of.

I wanted to make it clear to the people in my communities that I had changed.

Hopefully, they would be able to see the weight loss.

Hopefully, they would be able to see the increased fitness.

Hopefully, they would be able to see the change in my body shape.

Hopefully, they would be able to see that I had made changes and celebrate with me.

Just in case they didn't notice though, I figured I'd better do something to highlight the changes that had happened.

I took inspiration from all the weight loss shows that I love to watch and booked myself into the hairdressers...

When I weigh *THIS* much

Sometimes I think about things I'm going to do when I'm a healthy weight.

When I weigh *THIS* much, I'm going to buy new clothes.

When I weigh *THIS* much, I'm going to start running daily.

When I weigh *THIS* much, I'm going to go horse riding.

When I weigh *THIS* much, I'm going to go swimming more.

When I weigh *THIS* much, I'm going to cycle more.

When I weigh *THIS* much, I'm going to be happier.

What a load of tosh!

I don't need to be a certain weight to go swimming or running.

I don't need to be a certain weight to get out on my bike or go horse riding (although I'm poor so that latter one I can't do no matter what my weight!)

I don't need to be a certain weight to be happier. What I needed to realise, and I think I am getting there is, that being happy is about making the right choices.

Every time I get up and drive to my Fitness Tribe session, I feel happy.

Every time I feel stiffness or I am sore after a workout, I feel happy.

Every time I go for a walk with my husband, I feel happy.

Every time I make a healthy food choice, I feel happy.

Every time I exercise at home, I feel happy.

This isn't about what my weight is, this is about changing my lifestyle and my life and doing all the things I want.

The Hike

Every year the Youth of our Stake go on a hike. I have managed to avoid it by a combination of luck and ingenuity when really it is because I can't think of anything worse than hiking for four or five hours in the sun with a bunch of fit 11-18-year-olds.

This isn't because I don't love being with the youth, it's just that I know by the end of the hike I'll be bright red, sweaty as anything and wishing for death. So, instead of doing something about it I decide to miss out.

Until this year.

Flyfour and I have always loved hiking. To me the "walks" that we go on don't really count as hiking but when we went hiking in the Lake District I realised that we hike quite a lot and I could count it as a hobby. With this in mind, I was prepared for the Hike with the Stake youth this year. I wasn't fitter nor did I weigh any less but mentally I wanted to be with the youth and walk.

I was acting as one of two of the designated First Aiders and decided with the other Youth Leader that I would walk at the back of the group and he would take the front. A couple of the young women from another stake that I get on with really well decided they were going to walk with me, and of course we scooped up all those who were falling behind for one reason or another... mainly the hike was 8-10 miles long and it was a long walk for a lot of the youth.

After the first mile or two everyone was starting to flag. I was very tempted to walk back the way I'd come but put on my happy face and just kept pushing forward.

And I did it.

I was so proud of myself (and the youth) for having stuck with it, for having completed the entire hike and for me burning enough calories that I should have lost a whole lb just from the one walk!

Will I be going for another 8.8 mile walk anytime soon?

Probably not... but I'm not ruling it out!

Waist Not Want Not

Part of the reason that I wanted to be more serious about my health was that I wanted my children to be more active and more aware of their own health.

Top Ender will be 18 just after Christmas, and it was about then that I started putting on weight because I stopped doing PE at school, I stopped walking a couple of miles to the train station each day and I don't want Tops to follow in my footsteps.

Dan Jon of course already has his own health issues, being a type 1 Diabetic, and I want to make sure that he takes as much care of his health as is possible, so that he lives a long and healthy life. Again, I don't want him following in my footsteps.

This is why I was thrilled that Top Ender started taking an interest in the exercise that I was doing and when she mentioned that she'd seen something on Tiktok that people were using to increase their fitness I was able to surprise her as I'd ordered a Smart Hula Hoop which is what she was talking about!

Tops and I have been using the hoop each day and enjoying the giggles that come from using it too. I'm not sure it is my favourite exercise, but it is something that is bringing me closer to my daughter and I'm all for that!


If you follow my other blogs, then you'll know I work in a school. Originally I was the Receptionist, but after a year I applied for a job as the Marketing Manager and PA to the Principal and have been in that role for almost a year now too. I have to say that I absolutely adore my role, my colleagues and the place I work and feel like I have become a proper grown-up.

I'm not sure how, but some of the other staff members and I have become really good friends and although we don't see each other for a few days or weeks each school break, we keep in touch through our social media accounts, by messaging each other, occasionally calling and the odd meet up for lunch.

This Summer, I wasn't expecting to see any of my work friends until the end of the holidays. I'd sort of planned it that way, as I wanted them to be surprised at the changes I'd undergone and yes, they could have seen it from some of the photographs I've been posting, but I didn't think that the selfies would really show much of a difference!

Only, this week I accidentally bumped into three colleagues as they were all at work at the same time as me.

As there aren't students at the school, and mostly no staff, I hadn't worn my normal workwear and instead I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt which I had worn tucked in.

There were compliments everywhere. Compliments for my figure. Compliments for having stuck to a workout routine. Compliments for making changes. Compliments for just about everything.

It was like having my own personal cheerleaders.

It turns out that I will see them in a couple of weeks, so I'm really looking forward to the differences they see then too!

Is She A Legacy?

On Saturday, Flyfour and I took Top Ender to look at a University.

We've been to a few over the last few months, some online and some in person, but this one was going to be different. This one was the University I went to, one that I have such fond memories of and one that I would love if Top Ender went to.

I didn't tell Top Ender to look at my University, in fact I haven't had anything to do with the list of universities that we are being shown around and neither has Flyfour.

Top Ender has been so sensible about it, she has looked at what universities in the UK offer the two courses she is after (Creative Writing and Film Studies as a joint BA) or courses that offer similar modules and worked out what she believes she would enjoy.

Tops has looked at rankings regarding student happiness, employability and the results of people taking the courses she is interested in. Tops has looked at her grade predictions, at the grade requirements, at course modules, at the areas she'd live in, at the distance from us here at home...

It just happened that St Mary's University was on the list.

Originally it was going to be her "safe" choice but when she spoke to the lecturers in charge of the two courses she wanted to take, I could see her change her mind.

As we walked around the campus I could see her picturing herself as a student, walking to lectures, sitting in the piazza, studying in the library, eating at the refectory and just as I used to love, sitting in the grounds looking at the beautiful gothic castle and loving that I lived in a place called Strawberry Hill.

Tops is now working towards making sure that St Mary's accepts her by getting the best grades she can. I'm so excited!!!

This Summer

I made a plan in my head.

This Summer, I was going to lose weight.

I was going to walk every morning.

I was going to row three ten minute intervals during the day.

I was going to walk with Flyfour at least three times a week in the evenings.

I was going to be active for at least thirty minutes every afternoon. Be that cycling, swimming or kicking a football around.

I was going to go back to work in six weeks looking more healthy than I have in a long time.

There was just one thing.

I needed to make sure that I was accountable to more than just myself because I don't think twice about letting myself down.

Which is why I find myself on a Sunday afternoon, preparing to go to a 6 am class on a Monday morning as part of a six-week Transformation Program.

I've made myself accountable. I've told Twitter and you and my family and a few friends that I "trust" (there's a post for a whole other time) and I've paid a fairly large amount of money that I can't afford to lose.

It's going to be fine right?