In my defence, I have been busy…

Forgive me blogland, for I have sinned – and not posted here for ages!

It’s for the best reason though… my life is now so full of doing things that I enjoy that I simply haven’t had the time! Can’t argue with that!

Fitness

I’ll start with updating this. Those of you who read my “woes of a skinny fat girl”¬†post will know that I’m on a quest for fitness and to lower my high (disproportionately so for my height and weight) body fat percentage.

5 and a half weeks in – and I’m still going! This is a major achievement for me. I am a self-confessed non-finisher. I habitually take on projects, live/sleep/breathe them for a few hours/days/weeks – and then drop them before I finish. So to still be going at 5 and a half weeks is a real achievement, and more importantly it hasn’t even crossed my mind once that I want to give up!

My routine now is somewhat varied and I like that – it keeps me and my body on my toes. Take this week for example ( a prime example of why I’ve not had time to be on here!):

Monday – Gym (legs and abs)
Tuesday – 1 hr Body Blast class, followed by 1 hr Pilates class
Wednesday – Gym (arms and cardio)
Thursday (tonight) – Pole Fitness
Friday – Gym
Saturday – Step Class

You’ll see Pole Fitness has crept back in this week – yes, I’m pleased to report that my first lesson last week was a success! Ok, I’m not going to be doing it in stilettos any time soon, but I picked up a couple of basic spins and kind of mastered the sitting up on the pole gripping it with only my thighs – no hands! It was agony on my legs, but once I’d got used to gritting my teeth through the pain I managed to hold it for a full minute – go me! I had some LOVELY bruises all up my legs the next day – in fact, some of them are still there which should make tonight’s session interesting…

Anyway – here’s the results so far:

Starting weight – 120lbs
Current weight – 120lbs

Really pleased with this – as I stated from the beginning, losing weight wasn’t my intention anyway. It’s about getting healthy and stronger.

Starting body fat % – 32.4%
Current body fat % – 29.4%

THRILLED with this! I don’t know how quickly it’s meant to happen, but a 3% body fat loss in just over 5 weeks seems pretty good to me!

Starting muscle % – 25.2%
Current muscle % – 28.7%

Again, really chuffed by that! And as I’m not looking any bigger, it must mean that I’m turning all that bad fat into muscle. ūüôā

Starting visceral fat – 4
Current visceral fat – 3

I’m not entirely sure what these numbers mean – it’s what comes up on my body analyser scales so I’ll check the manual later – but it’s going down which is definitely a good thing!

I’ve taken some before and after pictures but I’m not quite ready to share them with the whole world yet. There is a definite visible difference though!

I have also been trying my absolute hardest to ‘eat clean’ – lots of lean meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish, wholegrain rice, eggs, water, green tea – and I think that’s being reflected in my energy levels and the results above. I still have slip-ups – at the weekends especially – but I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m still making a huge difference!

Arty crafty stuff

I took last Thursday off work to head down to the new HobbyCraft near me, and purchased a tonne of stuff to make Christmas cards and decorations as… drumroll… I’ve booked a table at a Christmas craft fair! Another huge step for me in believing that the things I make are actually good enough for anyone to want to buy!

Here’s just a few of examples of what I’ve been doing:

Lovely little gingerbread family made from a HobbyCraft kit

Gorgeous winter owls

Little felt button trees of my own design

Little angel card all bagged up ready to sell!

Really happy to be crafting again, and really enjoying working with the felt! Not something I’ve done before, but I can see the potential for creating some lovely things. ūüôā

Oh and I almost forgot – I kind of made the world’s BEST pirate chest birthday cake! My work colleague asked me to help her out, as her¬†niece¬†was having a pirate-themed birthday party and had DEMANDED (in a way that only 6 year olds can!) a pirate treasure chest birthday cake!

After a lot of fretting under the pressure of such a bossy client ūüėČ this was the fruits of our labours…

The finished pirate’s chest cake!

Close up view – complete with treasure map!

I was so proud of this. I love cake decorating, I’ve inherited that from my mum. And in doing this I learned the valuable lesson – if in doubt, SPRAY IT GOLD!

In other news…

I have the loveliest Dad in the whole wide world. ūüôā He completely took me by surprise a couple of Fridays ago by asking me round as he ‘had something for me’… and then giving me an envelope with ¬£500 in it! After I’d recovered from the shock, he explained that it’s a gift from his pension lump sum (he has just recently taken partial retirement) and he really wanted to give me and my sister something to treat ourselves with. All he asked was that we used some of it to buy something to keep.

After a lot of thinking, it suddenly came to me what the most perfect thing would be – something I’d wanted for ages and that would have a lot of symbolic meaning. So Mr TwentyNine and I travelled to Plymouth where I bought this:

My beautiful Pandora bracelet

I love love love it!! The frog charm represents my dad (his favourite animal and we always used to buy him froggy gifts when we were little). The drum charm represents Mr TwentyNine (obviously as he is a drummer!). The owl is for my mum, who has collected all things owly for as long as I can remember! And the clasps at each end are called ‘firework’ which pretty much represents how exciting and awesome my life is right now. ūüôā

While we were in Plymouth we did a little bit more retail therapy, and a trip to Lipsy proved much more successful than my efforts in Birmingham and I found THE dress for Christmas this year!

Rubbish picture, but you can see the shape…

…and here’s the close-up detail! It’s like this all over.

It’s navy blue with sequins all over, and I am determined that by Christmas I will have the perfect figure to go into it! My 12 week target is on 10th December, so I should get there just in time!

Also couldn’t resist Next’s Christmas window display and bought this lovely cushion.

Christmas Pudding Cushion from Next

Mr TwentyNine, who had never ventured into the Home section of Next before, started mentally buying a whole new load of bedroom furniture too – but that will have to wait until the new year as I want my living room floor done first!!

 

I won!

To round this off with a lovely bit of good news, I won a competition on Twitter this week! So chuffed, I never ever win prize draws and what I got was absolutely stunning – a sequin flapper dress worth ¬£150 from designer William Tempest’s range at River Island! Sooooooooo lucky.

My lovely competition win!

I can’t wait for this to arrive and wear it some place lovely. Thanks River Island and William Tempest!

Now if only Orange could follow suit and deliver my iPhone 5 at last, I’d call it a¬†perfect ending…!

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Day 42 – Hotpant initiation

Today, at the age of 29 years and 42 days, I have ordered my first pair of hotpants.

Were I not in work, I would google ‘fat grannies in hotpants’ to find a representative picture for you, but I’m afraid I need my salary too much to risk doing so with the results that I imagine that particular search would render!

Why have I ordered them? I hear you ask.

Because today, at the age of 29 years and 42 days, I have booked my first pole fitness class.

Ditto the above re. why I won’t be googling ‘fat grannies pole dancing’.

Please – wish me, my classmates and that poor shiny pole the best of British next Thursday at 7pm. I think we’re all going to need it.

 

Food For Thought

Seriously? After reading that? You have a stomach of steel!

Day 38 – A change of scenery

Ahhh, it really is true that sometimes a change of scenery is all you need.

This weekend, Mr TwentyNine and I escaped on a mini break to Birmingham. Maybe not your obvious choice for a change of scenery, but we had a purpose! He wanted to go to a drum clinic (please, don’t, I’ve had all the “Why, are his drums sick?” jokes from my Dad that I can take!!) with Aaron Spears, super talented drummer to super stars like Usher and the American Idol tour. These things aren’t usually of particular interest to me, but I wanted to go along for the road trip anyway so we booked two tickets and set off.

Actually, we set off rather early. The clinic started at 1pm, and we live 4 hours drive away (allowing for no stops!) – plus we had to give a bit of time to allow for the fact we would be driving into the centre of Birmingham at somewhere near midday on a Saturday – chances were that the traffic wouldn’t be on our side. So what time did we leave? 5:45am. Ouch.

It was actually a really pleasant drive up there. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and driving across the moors watching the mist rising above the dewy fields and the still-as-glass lakes was pretty breathtaking, I have to say. We put on some good tunes (thanks Emilie Sande, and the American Pie: The Wedding soundtrack – our tastes are nothing if not eclectic!) and the miles just flew by.

Morning mist on the fields

Despite a stop at Exeter for a much-needed coffee (I’ve been caffeine-free for about 3 months now, but even I caved with that early wake-up call!), and a subsequent stop a few miles up the road for a toilet break (I have a bladder like a sieve) we arrived at our destination shortly after 10am.

Now I absolutely hadn’t planned it, but the drum clinic was taking place in South and City College which I discovered to my delight was very close to The Bullring! Anybody who lives near a city or anywhere with a big shopping centre won’t get my excitement as you’ll think it’s ‘the norm’, but let me tell you – when you live in a little town in Cornwall where your ‘shopping centre’ is so dire that even budget stores Peacocks and Bon Marche moved out a few months back, leaving just a New Look, a TK Maxx, and a war between Poundland and 99p Land (I kid you not) – a shopping centre the size of the Bullring is like bloody Disneyworld!

At my reassurance that we wouldn’t make ourselves late for the drum clinic, Mr TwentyNine reluctantly agreed that it made sense to kill some time, so we (I) literally skipped over to that shiny, towering shopping Mecca.

Me at the Bullring

Word Art at The Bullring

I was walking around in total paradise, randomly exclaiming “Karen Millen!”… “Radley!”… “Oh my god there’s an actual Lipsy shop!” You just don’t get brands like this at home and I found myself mentally calculating just how many weeks of beans on toast I would have to survive on in order to buy that coat/those shoes/every item in that window display. Sensibly I realised that if I had any hope of venturing over the threshold of any of these revered stores, I was going to have to feed Mr TwentyNine first. It worked – one chicken sandwich and blueberry muffin later he was following me round in the Lipsy store suggesting I try some things on.

I must just take a second here to explain that as long as he is properly fed, watered and not too overtired, Mr TwentyNine is not your average guy when it comes to shopping. He doesn’t stand outside the shop tutting and sighing, he doesn’t begrudgingly poke his head into the changing room and grunt “Yeah s’alright” to everything I try on – he helps me pick things out, he gives me a thorough and honest opinion, and if I’m lucky he also picks up the bill at the end!

Sadly, it was just not meant to be this time. I took in 3 dresses to try on, and while I don’t think the dim downlighting did anything to flatter my cellulite, and it gave me rolls and lumps and bumps on my stomach that I swear did not exist until I stepped into that changing room, it was still pretty clear that I had a long way to go on the health and fitness bandwagon before I could think about wearing any of the dresses I tried. I was pretty bloody depressed. Especially as Mr TwentyNine was waiting outside with a ready and willing bank card. *Sigh*

Me (left) and the Bullring Bull (right) – although after the Lipsy trip, I wasn’t so sure!

Needless to say I wasn’t in the mood for shopping after that, so we took a leisurely stroll down to the College to get ready for the drum clinic. We were among the first few there, forming the start of a very orderly, very British queue!

I won’t go into a lot of detail here, as the whole drum thing is more Mr TwentyNine’s scene than mine, but Aaron Spears was absolutely brilliant – talented, funny and a genuinely lovely, lovely bloke, fascinating both to watch and listen to. I thought I might be a bit bored, but absolutely not, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and actually found myself wishing it would last longer! At the end of the clinic, he took the time to stand and sign autographs and have photos with everybody who wanted one (most of the audience I think!). We told him how far we’d driven to come and see him, and he thanked us and said he was really grateful, before taking the time to write a lovely personal message on both a poster and DVD we’d bought! Mr TwentyNine was thrilled.

Waiting for the Drum Clinic to start

Mr TwentyNine with Aaron Spears

Reappearing into the bright sunshine of the early evening, we were suddenly faced with driving out of Birmingham centre at 5pm. The traffic was pretty much at a standstill and it took us about an hour of stopping and starting every 5 seconds to finally get out onto the ring road to head to Bromsgrove, where our hotel for the evening was located.

I’d booked the hotel on a whim – we were originally going to drive home the same night but I decided we needed a treat, so logged on to lastminute.com and booked one of their ‘Top Secret Hotels’ for the bargain price of ¬£59 (I couldn’t even find a Travelodge for that price on a Saturday night!) It turned out to be the lovely 4* Holiday Inn Bromsgrove, which was in a really picturesque setting overlooking the surrounding Worcestershire hills. On check-in we were informed that breakfast was included in our hotel price (hadn’t realised this – bonus!) and when we got to our room, although I’d only booked a standard we found ourselves in an executive! It was a really lovely decor, great facilities (including sofa bed which was bizarrely all made up ready for us to use! I told Mr TwentyNine that if we had an argument, he could sleep there!)

Executive Room

Executive Facilities!

What followed was a lovely, chilled out, relaxing evening – in the bar, of course! We treated ourselves to dinner and a pricey bottle of wine, and while I can’t rave about the food (it was fine, just nothing spectacular) the wine went down very well and we had so much fun sitting, talking, and laughing at the DJ’s poor musical taste in the function room next door. (A disco-opening 5ive medley, followed by Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again¬†… seriously?!?) After what had been a very busy 6 weeks since we came back from holiday, that little bit of ‘us’ time was therapeutic. As we’d sadly forgotten our swimming costumes so we couldn’t take advantage of the inviting hot-tub, we headed upstairs for a night cap with the X Factor and The Jonathan Ross show – both of which we found hilarious in our mildly inebriated and hysterical state!

Our lovely bottle of Pinot Grigio Rose

Sunday dawned all too early, and despite our best intentions to make use of the hotel gym, the lure of a cooked breakfast was stronger. Once fully fuelled with bacon, sausages, eggs, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast, yoghurt, fruit and pains au chocolat (yes I visited the buffet three times, so what?) we set off on the journey back to Cornwall.

It was another relaxing journey, made all the better by stopping off at Cribbs Causeway for a quick (read hour-long) browse around (read filling multiple shopping baskets) at HobbyCraft! Now I’m getting back into my arty things again, I’m going to try my hand at some Christmas crafts this year, and also make and sell some Christmas cards which is something I used to do every year. I could have spent an absolute fortune in there and I think a trip back in the near future may be necessary. All jokes aside, it sparked a bit of enthusiasm in me again and I made 9 cards as soon as I got home! I am absolutely at my happiest when I’m crafting. It was the perfect end to a fabulous weekend. ūüôā

(Oh and for the record – Monday morning’s gym session was¬†harsh – but at least I did it!)

Days 29 & 30 – Lazy local weekend… in pictures!

Sometimes you just have to slow it down and have a lazy weekend – so that’s exactly what I did.

Friday was date night with hubby at the cinema. We realised we hadn’t been to the cinema since March – we seem to do that, have a phase of going all the time and then not go for months on end! But we both love it, and Mr had been eyeing up the trailers for Looper all week so we¬†thought¬†it would be a nice Friday treat. The evening itself was lovely – the film was not! I am not a huge fan of action/sci-fi type films, and I am squeamish as anything so a film full of slow-mo images of people being blasted in the stomach was probably not the¬†best thing for me to go and see! It was worth it for the popcorn though, and to be fair I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt was fantastic(ly hot). Next to see will be SkyFall, and THAT I will love! I find guns and gore are much easier to handle when Daniel Craig is there on the screen to distract you.

Oh, and there was a brief moment of much hilarity in the car on the way home, where Mr TwentyNine wondered aloud if the film was a big scientology drive as “They study telekinetics too” – cue me wetting myself laughing and saying “No you fool – that’s calinetics!” at which Mr TwentyNine nearly swerved off the road in a fit of hysterics saying “No, that’s aerobics! My mum used to do it on a Saturday morning!!”

Later that night, lying in bed with the lights out drifting off to sleep:

Me: DIANETICS!!

Mr TwentyNine: That’s the one!

Gentle snores of satisfaction.

Saturday was a gorgeously sunny day, but I’d stupidly booked myself in for a hair cut and colour at 2pm so couldn’t really go very far to make the most of the weather! Mr TwentyNine was working, so I opted to take a trip into town for a browse around the shops. (Note – wearing my skinny jeans for the first time in 4 months! They fit again! So regardless of my scales refusing to acknowledge my gym efforts, my body must be doing something right! *sticks two fingers up at scales*)

I managed to grab a bargain pair of work trousers for ¬£9.99 and 2 lovely thin cottony jumpers from New Look for ¬£15 each, one in navy/white stripes and the other in a deep burgundy. Love the style of them, they’re cut to waistband length at the front but left longer at the back to cover your bottom, which is much appreciated until the gym starts to take effect on my glutes a little bit more!

Picked up some gorgeous new glittery nail varnish in Boots (Revlon’s¬†Sparkling) and treated myself to a new mascara (Maybelline’s¬†The Falsies¬†– in waterproof so I don’t sweat it all off at the gym!). Have only just recently started using my Boots advantage card and am already enjoying reaping the benefits – ¬£2 off the mascara!

Revlon – ‘Sparkling’

I did try and find a new foundation, but to no avail. I have such temperamental skin, I really struggle to find something that gives full coverage (to cover blemishes) but that doesn’t clog up my pores and give me even more spots! Clinique’s Superpowder Double Face Powder is the best I’ve found, but it gives a bit of a dull look and I fancy a change. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

I was also reaping the charity shop bargains on Saturday. I managed to get some new leather shoes for work (unworn) for ¬£4, a large black leather-look handbag for ¬£5, and a real Italian leather navy blue handbag for ¬£3.50! That last purchase was definitely bargain of the day, I’m in love with it and it goes perfectly with my new stripey jumper.

My lovely navy blue leather bag

I really love unusual shaped bags. My parents bought me a stunning pyramid-shaped Texier bag for my 21st birthday, and I adore it. I rarely used it until recently for fear of damaging it, but have decided life’s too short and there’s not much point in having it if it never gets seen!

TK Maxx also came up trumps with the Joseph Joseph chopping board I’d been eyeing up for weeks down to ¬£5.99. It’s fantastic – when you pick the board up, the sides fold in so you can scrape everything you’ve just chopped into the saucepan without it falling off the edges. Ingenious, and it proved very useful just a few hours later when I made my homemade chunky guacamole (see below)!

Joseph Joseph chopping board – in pink, of course!

All spent out!

All spent out, it was hair cut and colour time. I’ve been loving the blonde highlights I had put through my hair for the summer, but with winter upon us I want to go for something a bit more suitable for the season, so reverted to my reddy tones. Which wasn’t my intention at all – I wanted a deep chocolate brown, but I always get sidetracked once I sit down in the hairdressers’ chair and start looking at all the lovely vibrant colours! One of these days, I WILL go bright red all over!!

Back to red (almost impossible to photograph as it was so shiny!)

What followed was a deliciously lazy evening in front of the TV, flicking between the Ryder Cup and the X Factor (oh the shame…) with a yummy dinner of lime and pepper chicken fajitas with homemade chunky guacamole… more about that below in a minute!

Sunday morning we had decided to head down to Truro for the Cornwall Food and Drink Festival. Since we started on our healthiness quest, I’ve really started to want to know more about my food, what I’m putting into my body, where it came from, and other things that really and truthfully should have concerned me a long time before now! Better late than never I guess.

It was so fantastic to see such mouth-watering fresh produce from all these companies that were (in some instances) literally on our doorstep! We set ourselves up well with a freshly-cooked thick-cut 8 week dry cured bacon bap, and then proceeded to hit the stalls where we sampled everything from sausages to cider to brownies to bread to fudge! YUM!

Cornish Haute Dog, anyone?!

Check out this amazing barn owl made from fruit and veg!

I could quite happily have bought something from every stall there, but we paced ourselves and came away with:

  • 1 litre Cornish Orchards Mulled Cider (sampled – incredible!!).
  • 2 steak and ale pies from Grumpies of Cornwall.
  • 2 packs of sausages – 1 x pork and asparagus (again, samples were out of this world delicious!) and 1 x pork with apple juice, both from Tamblyn’s.
  • A baguette from the Da Bara Bakery¬†(‘da ‘bara’ is Cornish for ‘good bread’!).
  • A white chocolate brownie from The Brownie Baker¬†for Mr TwentyNine!
  • A jar of Krellow red pepper relish for my Mum.

Delicious local produce!

I am so glad we went, it was a fantastic atmosphere. Besides the stalls, there were live demonstrations from well-known local chefs and although we didn’t have time to stop and watch much of these, it was great to hear it all going on in the background.

So looking at the above, can you guess what we came home and ate straight away??

Yup, sausage baguettes! The sausages are just incredible – anyone who thinks they’re getting good sausages from a frozen bag in Asda can think again – you MUST try fresh and some different flavours!

I have to confess that shortly after eating those, I¬†might have had a little 2 hour nap! It wasn’t intended – one minute I was leaning on Mr TwentyNine on the sofa, the next I was waking up in a rather attractive puddle of drool I’d left on his leg! Hahaha, I am not a cute sleeper. After having the chance to wake up a little bit I spent the rest of the evening finishing a website I’ve been designing, which gave me a great excuse to use my new desk chair that I bought on holiday.

Any guesses what colour…?

Pantone Desk Chair

All in all, it was a lovely over-indulgent weekend – for which I know I will pay financially and physically for the rest of the week!

Food For Thought

Oooh this was Saturday night dinner and it was delicious. Both of the following are BBC Good Food recipes – don’t know what I’d do without that website!

Lime and Pepper Chicken Wraps

Lime and Peppers Chicken Wraps (with homemade chunky guacamole!)

  • 4 skinless¬†chicken breasts¬†, each cut into 6 strips
  • zest and juice 2¬†limes
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns , coarsely crushed
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 tortillas wraps
  • 200g tub guacamole (or make your own)
  • 1 Little Gem lettuce , shredded
  • 148ml low-fat natural yoghurt tub¬†(I used fat-free Greek yoghurt as I had some to use up)

 

  1. Toss the chicken with the lime zest and juice, pepper, oil and a little salt. Cook on a griddle pan or barbecue for 6-8 mins, turning until evenly cooked and nicely browned.
  2. Heat the tortillas in the microwave, following pack instructions. Spread a little guacamole over each tortilla, top with some lettuce and chicken, then drizzle over the yoghurt. Roll up and enjoy.

 

And I made the below with about 2/3 of the quantity (this is apparently meant to serve 8, but we ate the 2/3 between two of us!) I don’t think my avocados were quite ripe enough so it was a little bit difficult to mix. Lesson learned!

Chunky Guacamole

Chunky Guacamole

  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 3¬†avocados¬†, very ripe but not bruised
  • juice 1 large¬†lime
  • handful coriander , leaves and stalks chopped, plus a few leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
  • 1 small¬†red onion¬†, finely chopped
  • 1¬†chilli¬†, red or green, deseeded and finely choppe

 

  1. Use a large knife to pulverise the tomato to a pulp on a board, then tip into a bowl. Halve and stone the avocados (saving a stone) and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the tomato.
  2. Tip all the other ingredients into the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Use a whisk to roughly mash everything together. If not serving straight away, sit a stone in the guacamole (this helps to stop it going brown), cover with cling film and chill until needed.

Day 27 – Woes of a Skinny Fat Girl

Ok first of all I’ve decided I’m going to have to give up trying to do a blog post a day, I just haven’t got the time most days now I’m squeezing in gym, classes and trying to cook amazing nutritious meals! I really wanted to try to log each and every day, but to me the fact that my days are so full now (rather than sitting around all evening being bored as I often found myself before) is testament to how much I’m embracing this year and doing new things!

So, the gym has been going pretty well. Monday’s effort felt amazing, I managed to beat my treadmill running time, up the levels on the cross trainer, up the weights I was doing, and generally push myself a little bit further. Felt really great all day afterwards.

Yesterday wasn’t so good. I am at a hormonally imbalanced point in my monthly calendar which meant that:

a) I woke up in a foul mood feeling like I wanted to do nothing less than go to the gym

b) I felt quite dizzy and wobbly and seriously questioned whether I should be going to the gym!

I managed to drag myself there with some encouragement from Mr TwentyNine, but cardio felt like a no-go area for me so I stuck to weights which actually made a nice change (and I did manage to increase what I was lifting too!), rounded off with 15 mins of exercise bike once I felt a bit more able.

I do admit that I’m struggling with my impatience to see a change. I know it’s only been 10 days so far, and that realistically I’m not going to notice anything at all for at least 4 weeks if not more, but I want to know NOW that I’m doing some good! It’s really frustrating to go from the high feeling you get after doing a really great workout, to getting home and realising that your skinny jeans still audibly laugh at you when you consider putting them on. It’s also frustrating that I’m not losing anything weight-wise, which is ridiculous as a) I don’t want to, and b) I know that turning fat into muscle can make you weigh more, if anything. But the fact is I am exercising, drinking lots of water, not eating more than 1,500-1,800 calories a day and so far nothing is happening!! The control freak in me can’t stand it!

I am also getting a bit fed up with the constant “Why are you going to the gym? You don’t need to!” and “You’ll disappear soon!” and “You’re lucky, you’re naturally slim anyway!” comments coming from family, friends, colleagues, een complete strangers!

AAAAARGHHHHH! I will answer those questions here, and direct any further askees to this blog to find their answers!

Q. “Why are you going to the gym? You don’t need to!”

A. To address the title of this blog – I am skinny fat. Here are the facts.

Height – 5ft 4in
Weight – 120lbs
BMI – 20.6

All good, you might be thinking, and you’re right, those stats look great.

Body fat percentage – 32.4%

That unfortunately puts me into the ‘above average’ category for women of my age, and a good 10% above the start of the ‘ideal’ category I’d like to fall into. It also makes me skinny fat.

I only came across this term recently when I was googling ‘skinny but high percentage body fat’ because essentially, that is my problem. It is described very well in this article here¬†but to put it in a nutshell while I may be slight in weight, the weight that I do have is All. Bad. Stuff. It’s fat, it’s not muscle. I hold my hands up and confess that, prior to the past 10 days, I have been a complete exercise-phobe! I literally did nothing behind the essential movements from room to room at home and at work, and the occasional short walk at the weekends. I spend Monday-Friday from 8:30 – 5:30 sat on my backside at my desk, only moving if I want a cuppa or a toilet break. I am unfit. I get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs, and at my age/weight that is just ridiculous!

So do I need the gym? Yes, I badly do.

Q.¬†“You’re lucky, you’re naturally slim anyway!”

A. No I’m not!! I am categorically not one of those people with a fast metabolism who can stuff their faces all day long without gaining an ounce. Want to know how I am the weight I am? Because I eat (or rather ate) sod all. I would try to limit my calorie intake to 1200-1500 a day, and on the days where I caved to this ridiculous diet and binged on all the fattening sugary foods I could find, I’d fast for the next day to compensate. None of this was a conscious effort – I’d do it without even realising it. But in totally the wrong way! Whereas now I can cook an incredibly healthy, delicious meal full of vegetables and other nutritious foods without going over 500 calories, my previous answer would be something like half a pizza, or a Weight Watchers microwave meal, or 5 chicken nuggets and chips, or a chicken korma cooked with a low-fat but bursting with sugar jar of sauce. The problem was that people only ever saw the stuffing my face part. They’d see me cramming in a muffin, or a greasy burger or half a pack of biscuits, and¬†that’s what they’d notice. What they’d fail to see was the following days when I skipped breakfast, had a cup-a-soup for lunch and one of the pathetic excuses for meals I listed above for my dinner.

Yes, it kept the weight off. Yes, with clothes on I looked skinny and I loved it. But my poor body suffered in so many ways as I did this on and off over the last 10 years. At my lowest adult weight of 107lbs my hair was dry and completely lifeless, my nails were thin, flaky and brittle and wouldn’t grow past the end of my fingers, my skin (although always a sufferer of adult acne at some points in the month) was pale, greasy and spotty, and my eyes looked dark, tired and sunken. I couldn’t escape the fact that underneath the skinny jeans and body con dresses, my body did not look good. Thin – yes. Healthy – not in the slightest.

It was evident from the fact that I put on 8lbs on holiday over 2 weeks this year (when I was consciously still trying to eat as carefully as I could but allowing myself a big meal every night and the occasional treat) that I was eating all the wrong things and carrying the wrong type of weight. My legs looked so lumpy when I got back from holiday that I looked at all the quick-fix answers I could find – cellulite creams, leg massagers, and I seriously considered taking out a membership at my local nail salon to use their vibration plate machine! It took a lot to admit to myself that the one, the ONLY way I was going to have the body I dreamed of was to change my diet radically and exercise, exercise, exercise.

So am I naturally skinny anyway? Not by a long shot.

Q.¬†“You’ll disappear soon!”

People who know me, or anybody who takes the time to read the above, will know that ‘disappearing’ is not my intention. I have no desire to be a shape where my hip bones stick out under my skin like chisels. I don’t want a sunken, haunted look to my eyes and cheeks. I don’t want harsh protruding joints any more than I want a deflated chest and a shapeless backside.

I. Just. Want. To. Be. Fit. And. Healthy.

I think it’s actually quite sad (although guilty of it myself until recently) that we live in a society where we think that someone going to the gym MUST mean they’re on a quest to lose weight. Why can’t we see it more as a part of something we should all be doing daily? Most of us are so less active than the human body was ever intended to be! Maybe I’m being harsh and I’ve hidden my problems away for so long that I’ve done nothing to stop people being led to the assumption that I am on a quest for thinness, but I still find it very difficult to convince anybody who puts such a statement forward to me that ‘disappearing’ is not on my wishlist.

So will I disappear? No. I will get leaner, stronger and healthier.

I will be very, very much more visible.

I have a clear picture in my mind of what I want to look like, and I have taken some ‘before’ photos so I can track my progress visually, rather than using the scales. When I’ve reached my first time target – 6 weeks – I might just get brave enough to post them side by side, and hopefully by then I will be seeing a start of the difference I’m after! Until then I will just have to be patient,¬†persevere¬†and go with the gut feeling I have that I know I am making a difference. I also have to work hard to ignore the people who are questioning me, doubting me, and adding to that niggling little devil in my mind that occasionally asks if I really think I can do this?

Yes. I can. I will. 

Are you a skinny fat girl? Have you come up against the same kind of comments/criticisms? Or maybe you’ve been the one commenting/criticising! Leave me a comment and let me know!¬†

Days 19 to er… 23!

I’m tutting and hanging my head in shame – I’ve done it again! In my defence, work was so busy at the end of last week that I didn’t get a chance for the lunch hour that I normally update this in, and once home I have to concentrate on the hungry mouths that need feeding, namely the cats and Mr TwentyNine. I swear, I don’t get a minute’s peace until their stomachs are full and they’re lying on the floor purring contentedly. All of them.

The fitness routine continues to go well! Final gym session of the week was on Thursday, and then on Saturday I braved my first step class. It was more fun than I thought, but my prediction that my severe lack of co-ordination would impair me came to fruition. Invariably I would just about master a step by the time the instructor moved on to the next one, and then my attempt at joining in when she strung them all together ended up with me facing the wrong way towards the rest of the class, who were all doing a step-step-step-kick routine whereas I was throwing a couple of half-assed star jumps.

And then. THEN they brought out bloody hula hoops!! Hahaha, oh my dear life, I was the only person in the class who couldn’t keep the damn thing up around my waist for more than 5 seconds. Literally everybody else – including my friend who I’d dragged along for moral ‘let’s be crap together’ support – kept them going for the whole 10 minute exercise. I have no idea what I was doing wrong. I tried everything from barely moving to thrusting my hips in a circle with a circumference comparable to that of the London Eye – but it may as well have been the London Eye for all my efforts! At least I could’ve given up and flung the bastard in the Thames. Completely useless!

Finally, there was the moment at the end where we all had to lie down on gym mats for some stomach exercises – after the instructor helpfully said “I’d suggest you buy your own gym mat if you don’t have one already – it’s said there’s more germs on public gym mats than you’d find in a public toilet!”

Right, thanks for that love!

So I basically lay there for 10 minutes crunching abs I didn’t know that I had (but that haven’t let me forget it since) while acutely aware that my poor weary body was being invaded by millions of (presumably pink-loving) bacteria. Revolting!

I did enjoy the session though, it worked me hard and I think (hope) that with a few goes at it I’ll improve enough for it to be really doing something. It was certainly better than sitting at home anyway!

I have to confess that I treated myself to a glass of red wine on Saturday night – it won’t be a regular thing, but I think after this first week I’d really earned it.

Sunday passed way too lazily. I am annoyed with myself as I had so much I wanted to do, but couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to do any of it! Therefore Sunday consisted of reading a book, watching TV, and eating. Healthy food of course, but still… another wasted day! ? I don’t know, maybe we needed the rest. I won’t beat myself up about it anyway.

So that’s the first week of my new health and fitness routine completed. Bring on Week 2 and whatever challenges it may hold!

Food For Thought

I made up a couple of meals this weekend with leftovers I needed to use, and they were both delicious!

Friday night Mr TwentyNine was out with his band so I threw something together just for me.

Grilled salmon in spaghetti tossed with leeks, broccoli and parmesan

What I Used: 

1 salmon steak
1 leek (sliced)
Few small heads of broccoli (chopped)
20g parmesan (grated)
2tbsp fat-free greek yoghurt
75g wholewheat spaghetti

Method:

I cooked the spaghetti for 8 minutes, while boiling the leeks and broccoli for approx 5 mins and grilling the salmon for 2-3 mins on each side.

Stirred the leeks, broccoli, greek yoghurt and parmesan in with the drained spaghetti, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cut the salmon steak in half and chopped half of it into small pieces which I stirred in with the above, and then served the other half whole on top.

Added a few parmesan shavings et voila! Really quick and delicious.

 

Then on Saturday night I kind of threw together a beef/noodle thing again using up more of my leeks and broccoli (I don’t mind repetitive ingredients!) which was basically medium egg noodles, strips of beef, leeks, broccoli, ginger, garlic and oyster sauce. Also completely delish and Mr TwentyNine approved! Bonus!

Beef noodles in an oyster, garlic and ginger sauce with broccoli and leeks

Day 18 – The One With Pink Gym Girl

*YAWN*

Managed to get up for the gym again, although not quite so eagerly as the day before. As has happened every time I’ve joined a gym, the novelty had worn off pretty fast. But I dragged myself through the routine of packing my gym bag, shovelling down a flapjack and a cuppa and once we got there, I was fine. I surprised myself by managing 10 minutes on the exercise bike, 25 minutes on the cross trainer and 20 minutes on the treadmill (including 5 mins running – well, brisk jogging!) without collapsing once. Go me!

I took my Kindle in today, after yesterday’s discovery of that wonderful little book ledge on all the machines! They have quite a stack of magazines at the gym, but they mainly seem to be celebrity gossip type mags. I hate these with a passion – the content is fabricated scandalous nonsense, the pictures are either so obviously airbrushed and photoshopped that the subjects may as well be plastic dolls, or so blurry and pixelated through the paparazzi’s long lens that even the fuzzy ‘celebrity’s’ own mother couldn’t identify them, and the content wouldn’t stimulate the brain of a Nuts Magazine model.

If I wanted all of that, I’d just buy the Daily Mail.

But more to the point the last thing I want to be looking at when I’m sweating my lumpy backside off is a picture of that smug twiglet Victoria Beckham, or reading some WAG’s claims that they “never exercise, and eat a lot of junk food – I must just have a high metabolism!” which we all know translates too¬†“I nibble on a lettuce leaf every 3 hours before leaning over the bowl with my fingers down my throat, then do 2 hours on my diamond-encrusted treadmill in my private home gym that is bigger than the square footage of your whole house.”

Not that I’m bitter.

The only magazine I subscribe to at home is Computer Arts (stop laughing) but that’s also not the kind of thing I want to try to concentrate on while I’m working out. I have visions of jogging along reading a tutorial on how to make something particularly challenging in Adobe Illustrator, then getting to a difficult part – hmm, I need to stop to think – whoa!! *flies off treadmill into cross trainer behind*.

So the Kindle and my current novel (Ash by James Herbert Рnot my usual choice but it was 20p in the Amazon store, and I do like a book bargain!) were the obvious choice.

A year or so ago I started another blog, and one of my first posts was entitled “Cruel to be Kindle”. I basically swore my undying love for the paperback and pledged never to be sucked into this digital nightmare. The feel of the book, the smell of the paper – why would I ever not want that? Well as it turned out, the knowledge that I would read at least 10 books on holiday this summer – and that if I had to squeeze them into my suitcase I would have to leave some clothes behind – was enough to sway me. So fickle.

The gym has confirmed that I made the right decision though. Today I watched some poor, exhausted, sweaty woman nearly fall off the cross trainer as she let go of the handles to turn the page of her paperback and secure the pages with paperclips. I did throw her a sympathetic smile – before nonchalantly extending my pinky to lightly touch my Kindle screen and turn my own page. Sorry, love!

She got the last laugh though – have you ever actually tried to read while¬†jogging??? I think I under-estimated the extent to which I would be moving up and down on the treadmill, and found myself reading top line… bottom line… top line… bottom line… somewhere in middle of the page – oh sod it, I give up.¬†

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

I also realised today, to my horror, that I have turned into Pink Gym Girl. You know the kind Рbuys the matching outfit, chooses shoes by colour over comfort, scours Superdrug for the perfect complimentary shade of lipstick and nail varnish to top off the ensemble, and walks into the gym like a perfectly preened strawberry lollipop. And then quits after one session.

Now I haven’t quit after one session, I don’t wear lipstick to the gym, and my shoes may be pink but they were chosen for comfort and the colour was a happy coincidence – that, and the fact that a proportion of the purchase went to Breast Cancer Care. But to my horror as I pulled my Kindle out of my (oh yes, PINK gym bag) I realised I was equipped with:

– Pink gym top
– Black leggings with a pink stripe on the side
– Pink and white trainers
– Pink water bottle
– Pink Kindle case
РPink nail varnish (applied the night before with no prior planning)

I swear on my Kindle’s life that those items were purchased months or even years apart, yet somehow they are all the same perfect raspberry pink colour. And I just¬†know that when I enter the gym in that get-up, I will be judged as Pink Gym Girl.

And that alone, readers, gives me the motivation to get up again tomorrow and prove them wrong.

Food For Thought

I wasn’t keen on tonight’s choice. I had some cod to use up and so found three cod recipes, emailed them through to Mr TwentyNine and asked which he’d prefer. As dictated by sod’s law, he chose the one I wanted least. *sigh*

Cod with tomato and chorizo sauce and green beans

It was ok I guess, just a bit bland. I don’t think the flavour of the chorizo really came through enough so it was a bit like just having a piece of fish in tomato sauce.

I will try one of the others next time!

Day 17 – Buns of steel, here I come!

My alarm was set for 5.15 this morning. 5.15!! The only time I have ever previously agreed to get up at that hour is to go on holiday. If only that was the case today.

Alas, no. To my dismay, as I blinked in confusion in the darkness, scrabbling to find the offending alarm (which by now was half-way through playing Smooth Criminal at a deafening volume) I remembered I was headed for a 7am gym induction.

Cue muttered curses.

“Damn you Mr TwentyNine for booking the induction for a Monday morning. Damn you flawless celebs with your perfect pins that make me feel like I need to go to the gym in the first place. Damn you new boots that will look absolutely amazing with a miniskirt but not my cellulite. Damn you all to hell.”

And then:

“Ooh – I get to have a sugary flapjack for breakfast!”

And I was down the stairs faster than you can say ‘carbohydrates’.

How happy do I look?!

___________________________________________________

An hour later I was stood with Mr TwentyNine at the reception desk of the leisure centre, having my photo taken on a webcam that was positioned roughly level with my cleavage. Up-the-nose shots are never flattering – but a 6:30am up-the-nose shot is only ever going to produce gargoyle-esque results! Thank god I’d had the sense to put on a bit of foundation and mascara at least. (I still haven’t seen the offending picture, by the way – it’s not printed on my membership card. But I’m sure the reception staff will have a good laugh every time I check in and my puffy over-tired mug pops up on their screen).

The induction was far less painful than paying the membership fee had been. As we’ve been gym members before (haha, not that we ever actually went…) we only needed a refresher induction apparently – although most of the machines in the weight room were completely alien to me. The poor woman did her best to explain the difference between the abductor and adductor hip machines, but I’d forgotten by the time she’d stopped talking! I figure I’ll just use them both for equal amounts of time and hope for the best.

Or avoid them completely.

Given that I had to start work at 8:30, we really only had until 7:45 to get our workouts done (which for me was surprisingly painless 10 mins on the exercise bike and 20 mins on the cross trainer)  and still leave enough time for showering, and for me to dry my stubborn old hair under a hand-drier that would only work if you kept your hand on the button. I gave up halfway through and decided to go for the oh-so-stylish bedraggled look.

I was so pleased to discover that – since my days at this very same leisure centre as a kid – they’d put in private shower cubicles. Hurrah! I don’t understand why they weren’t always there. Why do communal showers even exist – am I the only one who likes my body to be a private thing? I have absolutely no desire to flash my/see someone else’s wrinkly bits before my breakfast, thank you very much!

ANYWAY – it was a great start, and I felt fantastic until the early afternoon, when I seriously started to flag and realised that I have to start giving my body more of the food it needs for the energy I’m now using. A difficult thing to get into your head, if you’re trying to lose weight, but it’s absolutely essential to eat right. Tomorrow, this will be rectified.

Food For Thought

Carrying on from the train of thought above, I did my research and found a really good, nutritious, protein-filled meal for dinner – which really tasted amazing and so much nicer than my photo makes it look!

Seared soy tuna steaks with spring onions & a ginger sweet potato mash 

And here’s the BBC Good Food recipe – it’s a really simple must-try!

Ingredients

  • 600g¬†sweet potatoes¬†, peeled and chopped
  • butter
  • a thumb-sized piece¬†ginger¬†, peeled and grated
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch¬†spring onions¬†, chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 2¬†tuna steaks
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

Method

  1. Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and cook until tender. Drain then put back in the pot with a knob of butter and the ginger then mash until smooth. Keep warm.
  2. Heat a little oil in a wide pan and add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Move the onions to the edge of the pan and turn up the heat. Add the tuna and cook for 1 minute each side for rare, 2 for medium. Add the soy sauce to the pan and turn the tuna and onions to coat.
  3. Serve the tuna topped with the onions and the mash on the side.

PER SERVING

539 kcalories, protein 41g, carbohydrate 64g, fat 13 g, saturated fat 4g, fibre 8g, salt 6 g

Recipe – ‘Roast chicken and tomato tagliatelle’

As requested by a reader, here is the recipe for the roast chicken and tomato tagliatelle that I showed in my last post. This is another mouth-watering recipe from The Resourceful Cook¬†– a friend recommended this website and it is just fantastic, especially if you’re trying to cook to a specific budget!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 250g of baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion (approx 110g), sliced
  • 130g of tagliatelle pasta
  • 20g of Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler or knife
  • 30g of green pesto (2 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Method

  1. Preheat the oven. Place the red onion and tomatoes in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle on 1 tsp dried oregano, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then add the chicken and roast for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables begin to char.
  2. While the chicken and vegetables are in the oven, cook the tagliatelle according to the packet instructions.
  3. Toss the tagliatelle with the roasted chicken, tomatoes and onion and with the pesto. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately topped with the Parmesan shavings.

And if you missed it in the last post, it should look a little something like this…

Roast chicken and tomato tagliatelle

Not too bad calorie-wise at approx. 690kcal per serving – although I did go a bit heavier on the parmesan than recommended, as I love it!

Enjoy! ūüôā

Days 12-16… Oops!

Uh oh, promised myself I’d blog every day and then what do I go and do? Miss 5 in a row!

*slaps wrist*

It’s not going to be very detailed I’m afraid. Now I’m 29, my memory isn’t what it used to be – in fact I just had to really concentrate to remember my age. Not good… given that it’s in the title of my blog!

Days 12, 13 and 14

Again, lumped together as they were work days and all kind of blurred into one!. It’s the busiest time of the year here at the moment, and I’ve been doing my best to keep my head down, get on with things and not get too bored! I know that sounds ridiculous, that I’m rushed off my feet and yet I’m bored, but my brain just isn’t stretched enough most of the time and that’s the cause of it.

It’s been ok though, Friday was a particularly productive day and I went home all smiles ready for the weekend.

Friday night was a lovely relaxing evening, and I cooked something that is definitely a new favourite of mine – chicken with lemon and courgette couscous.

Chicken with lemon and courgette couscous

Absolutely delicious dish and only c. 450 calories (less if you share it among 4!). I adapted the recipe a bit to serve 2 (only used 2 courgettes, 100g couscous, 200ml chicken stock) but kept the chicken quantity the same – Mr TwentyNine likes a good bit of meat on his plate! So here it is, from the BBC Good Food website (as a lot of my new faves are!)

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 200g¬†couscous
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp¬†olive oil
  • 4¬†courgettes¬†, grated
  • 2¬†lemons¬†, 1 halved, 1 cut into wedges
  • 2 boneless, skinless¬†chicken breasts

Method

  1. Tip the couscous into a large bowl and pour over the stock. Cover and leave for 10 mins until fluffy and all the stock has been absorbed. Heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the courgettes until softened and crisping at the edges. Tip into the couscous, then stir in with plenty of seasoning and a good squeeze of lemon juice from one of the halves.
  2. Halve the chicken breasts horizontally and put each piece on a sheet of cling film. Cover with another sheet and beat each piece out with a rolling pin to make it thinner. Season. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan and fry the chicken for about 2 mins on each side until cooked through. Squeeze over the juice from the other lemon half and serve with the couscous and lemon wedges on the side.

Per serving

275 kcalories, protein 25g, carbohydrate 29g, fat 7 g, saturated fat 1g, fibre 1g, sugar 4g, salt 0,37 g

Yum! Washed it all down with a glass of Bordeaux and these little low-calorie delights:

Yoo Moos!

First time we’d tried these but they were knocked down to ¬£1 each in Asda so had to give them a go!

In other news this week Mr TwentyNine has enrolled us in a gym membership. That does make it sound a bit like he looked at me, thought “You need the gym love!” and booked me in, haha, but I promise it was a joint decision. Only problem – induction is 7am on Monday morning, and we have to get there 20 minutes early to sign membership forms etc! Eeek.

Baptism of fire or what?!

All being well, we’ll be going to the gym 3 mornings a week before work. It’s the only time we can do it – neither of us has the energy or motivation after a full day in work so we need to just get in there first thing in the morning before we can start making the usual excuses:

” I have a headache.”

“I did a lot of typing today, I think I have RSI so probably shouldn’t exercise.”

“I’ll miss the new episode of Dallas!”¬†

Nope, can’t be having any of that! I won’t be aiming to lose weight, as I don’t need to, but I do need to tone myself up a bit. Hoping to see results by Christmas so I can indulge in a well-earned festive binge.

Day 15

Ugh, this was pretty much a wasted day. I don’t know if we were just over-tired, stressed from work or just hormonal, but Mr TwentyNine and I were snapping and sniping at each other all day! It took until an argument at 10pm for us to both admit we were idiots and apologise. But still, total waste of a day together.

Note to self – DON’T DO IT AGAIN!¬†

Had a necessary trip into town in the morning for a few bits and pieces. Picked up some of the new Tresemme ‘Split Mends’ conditioner and spray so will be interested to see if that’s any good.

Home – and finally I get some time to continue my painting! Given that I worked on it for 2 hours, I felt like I got not a lot done. All I can say is that painting stone walls is not as easy as it looks. But hey, it’s another step towards me finishing I guess.

Stone walls – my nemesis?

Another lovely dinner – I am soooo loving trying new things. Mr TwentyNine deciding to eat veg has been the best gift he could have ever given me! We had a roast chicken and tomato tagliatelle. Nice and simple, super quick to make and truly yummy.

Roast chicken and tomato tagliatelle

Slightly spoiled the low-calorie aspect of this by heading out to McDonalds shortly afterwards for a muffin! Can’t help it, with the mood I was in somebody would have died if I didn’t get that muffin…

 

Day 16

Up ridiculously early today to try to exhaust myself for a good night’s sleep ahead of the crazy Monday morning gym induction. Was also nice to spend some time with Mr TwentyNine after Saturday’s bickering disaster, before he headed off to band rehearsal from 10am-4pm.

I can’t pretend I wasn’t grateful for some ‘me time’.

I whiled away a couple of hours doing some washing, cleaning the kitchen, having a shower – all while dancing along to Michael Jackson’s ‘Number Ones’ album. Ahhh it still kills me that I will never get to see that man perform live. What sheer talent he had! There will never be anyone like him again. Mr TwentyNine and I have plans for an ‘inspiration wall’ in our spare bedroom, and a photo of MJ will be right there in the middle of it (along with Ms Winehouse and Mr Mercury, to name just a couple of others).

Art attack

Found a bit more time for some painting. Was really frustrated with what I did though, it’s just not looking right at the moment. So I wisely stepped away and I’ll come back to it some evening this week when I’ve given myself a bit of distance from it.

Also watched Eat, Pray, Love again. I do love that movie (although not as much as the book) and I always feel a little bit inspired after watching it. Don’t worry Mr TwentyNine, I have no ambition to up and leave to India or Bali (although Rome I may consider!) but I do find it’s a good reminder to get out there and do what you want to do, live life as you want to live it. Hmmm.

We also finally watched American Pie: The Reunion this afternoon. It was great, but HOW OLD did it make me feel?! I remember going to watch the first one at the cinema when I was just 16! Now all the characters in the film have grown up… does that mean I have to as well?!

 

Food For Thought

Well I reckon I’ve given you plenty above!

One thing I did do tonight was cook a batch of flapjacks – pre-gym snacks ready for Monday morning! Made them with the world’s most basic flapjack recipe (butter, oats, golden syrup) but I think I might experiment in future with bananas, apricots, etc. Not sure, but will have to look into what foods are particularly protein-rich that I can maybe chuck in the mix!

Flapjacks!

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for either pre-gym snacks or post-gym breakfasts – while they were certainly an incentive to get out of bed this morning, I think flapjacks may get a bit boring after a week or so!