Health & Wellbeing

Hello 2019

It seems to me that I can only manage blogging for the first half of the year, so why break the habit, ha. Hello to anyone who happens upon my blog and hello to 2019.

The second part of 2018 saw big change for me personally. My slimming world journey is my priority and I am still using my fitness planner from Simple Stories to keep me on track.

SW Jan update 1

The monthly overview page is a place to record my actual movement. The winter months have seen a decline in running activity but I am trying hard to get out at lunch time to get at least 20 minutes movement in.

SW Jan update 1

September ended with me taking part in my first 5km timed run through our local town. It was overwhelming (!!) and exciting (!!) and nerve wracking (!!) but it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget!

SW Jan update 1

I love rounding up each month with a quick overview of what went well, what to do moving forward (this could be a positive spin on something that didn't go quite to plan), and WINS. I love celebrating the WINS.
I didn't get around to taking measurements at the end of December but I'm not stressing about that.

And YAY me! I received my 4 and a half stone award at the end of December.

SW Jan update 1

 This really has been an amazing journey for me and I so happy with my progress. One of the reasons I still keep a daily food diary is to check for any patterns. Times when I'm eating a bit more (you know those weeks ladies!!), or changes to eating because of changes to the weather. I am having lots more gravy on my meals now winter is here and I need to check how that impacts my weight loss.

For me this is not about one meal, or one day, or even one week. It is a bigger picture. Each lunch in any given week could be totally on plan but each could involve potato. I can eat potato on slimming world, BUT I know my body and my body does not cope well with too much potato. SO these are things that will reflect in the amount of weight I have lost that week and I can go back and look at the week as a whole.
I can also have a smaller loss when it's *star* week, that is another 'pattern' I can see by looking back over the weeks.

When I get to target I don't want to have to keep a food diary, in fact I think it might stop before that but I want to know that fluctuations in my weight are totally normal and expected, and nothing to lose control over!

Weight has been quite a hot topic on the TV here in the UK this past week and it's a really problem for this and the next generation. I don't want it to be my problem again, and I need to know I can maintain a target weight.

I will be back to report further progress and any changes to my process.

C xx

Fitness planner update - One month in

I've been using my fitness planner for one month now and I wanted to do a quick update with how I'm getting on. Both in using the planner and the diet!

Fitness planner update 1

The month at a glance pages are being used to record my activity, both runs and any active/purposeful walking, as well as weight loss on Thursday weigh days. I'm using a colour key that makes it really simple for me to see each activity. Although this is a 'planner' I decided I wanted to record actual exercise when it happened. The key here was to see if I was coping with every second day running and if anything, like it being a Monday (!!), was getting in my way. My husband bought himself a bicycle so he can come out with me which is awesome! On alternate days we are getting out for a short walk. Sometimes as little as 10 minutes around the block, but it's active walking.
Nutrition and fitness goals columns ARE planned and they are where I would like to be at the end of that month.

 Fitness planner update 5

I didn't share this 'overview' page when I did the fitness planner set up post, but it's proving to be quite important so I want to talk about it in a bit more detail. 
I love a space that gives me the opportunity to recap the month. At the end of June I took measurements and found a very recent photo to stick in the box. I'm not quite ready to share those numbers here so please excuse the black out!
I also love that I can record the little achievements. Little changes result in big change.
It's a looking back and looking forward page. No matter the results of the month, you are thankful for what has happened and now you move on. 

Fitness planner update 6

I decided to do a progress photo and measurements on the last weigh day of the month (which happened to be last night), so I now have a few days to fill in this page before moving into August.
Again I'm not ready to share the numbers but you can see that I have lost 26.5cms!! I'm SO SO happy!
Oh and the plan is to wear the same outfit and stand in the same place for each progress photo.

At the end of each month I will find a quote to add to the following months overview page and use as a little mantra for the month ahead.

Fitness planner update 7

The week at a glance pages have been invaluable! Honestly. I need to see the food I've eaten written up in front of me. I need to know what syns I've had and to make sure I'm taking enough good stuff in. Each week I record what weight I would like to lose, and what exercise I would like to accomplish. Breaking down the goals into manageable chunks is working well for me. I'm recording my weekly weight loss and weekly total steps here too.
I'm not sure if I'll keep recording every week but for now it's working so I'm going with it. 

And, eeeekkkkk, look what I got last night!! Total loss 1st 8.5lbs! I'm filing my awards in the week I receive it so I can go back see how far I've come. This will be motivational as well as confidence boosting!

Fitness planner update 7

Anyone who has battled with weight knows how soul destroying it can be. The weight takes years to pile on and it's going to take time to come off. I have been stuck in a cycle of self destruction for so long, I can't even remember what it's like to be truly happy in myself. Actually I'm not sure if I ever was. This journey is just that, a journey. A long road that only I can take and I take it by putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. We all find our own path and we do whatever it takes to make sure we stay on the path. This ^ is what is working for me. It's my tool bag, my kit.

I'm using the account @cjm_fitjourney on instagram if you fancy following and if you've come across this post and documenting a similar journey please leave me a comment with a link to your blog or instagram.

Thanks for visiting x

Fitness planner set up

Last week I took some time to buy and set up a fitness and diet planner.

Fitness planner set up 1

I have a spare Simple Stories Carpe Diem planner as I transferred the pages into A5 albums, so I looked at the Simple Stories Fitness Inserts. There are a few you tube videos that show the pages in detail which gives you a good idea of what is included.

Fitness planner set up 1

I have a few sticker sheets that are tucked into the cover folder and A5 clear pocket which lives at the front of my planner. The fitness inserts pack comes with 1 dashboard page, a few sticker sheets, 1 fitness tracker sheet, 6 dashboard dividers, 12 month at a glance spreads (on the back of the 2nd page is a monthly inspiration tracker page), some week at a glance pages, a pocket page and some die cut dashboards.

Fitness planner set up 1

I am using the month at a glance page to get an overall picture of how the month went. I'll be recording all my runs and walks and weight loss/gains on a Thursday. On the right hand side is a place to note down any NUTRITION and FITNESS goals. I won't be planning my runs on this spread as I want to record actual activity, this way I can identify gaps or trends.

Fitness planner set up 1

The weekly spread is quite comprehensive with a square for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, exercise and water consumption. Along the left hand side is a place to record GOALS and NOTES. I am a very visual person so I need to see the food I eat laid out in front of me. I will forget how much I've had and run the risk of going over my syns allocation. All food is written in black ink, healthy extras are underlined in blue and syns in red with the syn value. Syns are totalled each day and then I will also total them weekly.

Fitness planner set up 1

I added a pack of the recipe pages in divider 3. The idea here is to turn some of my everyday favourites into syn free meals.

In the 4th divider I have a carpe diem note pad to record anything that is noteworthy in my journey. Again I'm looking for trends that can help identify days/weeks where I battle to keep motivated or indeed times where I am so on it! These will help me reach my goal.

Weight has been an issue for me for at least 35 of my 43 years on this planet and I am so ready to take control. Perhaps one day I will tell more of this story.

I'm recording my fitness journey on instagram @cjm_fitjourney if you fancy following along.

C xx

The change in season

Autumn 2016 change of season

Autumn is in full swing here in Hertfordshire. Trees are glowing red, orange and yellow and we have been blessed with some beautiful bright blue skies. But I have been feeling uneasy. The change from summer into autumn and winter throws me off my routine and I feel closed in and anxious.

Growing up, I didn't see much change in the seasons. It was hot, bloody hot, or warm all year round in Durban, South Africa. When we arrived in the UK in 1999, I was so excited and in awe of the real obvious change in season that I didn't ever feel the darkness closing in around me. Exactly when that started to happen I couldn't tell you but I have been very aware of it for a few years now.

It's like falling down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole! It's dark and damp and I'm never sure which way is up, there is no end in sight. The notion of having no way to stop the fall and try climb back out is really frightening.

This year has been particularly hard and I am just starting to see the light again and regaining some order. Tidying and sorting and purging has helped, and I'm celebrating the victories and ignoring what is still left to do. I'm seeing clear spaces that will soon be filled with Christmas décor and that is going some way to making me feel festive and a bit merry.
My Get to Work Book is my trusty companion during these unsettled days. Giving myself a daily task.....1 load of washing, put shopping bags in the car, clear/clean lounge side table. Basic tasks and just one a night. But each one important.

Some slow and easy crafting has helped too. Of course it has! A crochet project that is started and finished in a week, gives me focus and a sense of achievement. It makes me happy.

Starting and finishing my 2015 'Journal Your Christmas' album in a weekend, reminded me how much I love and miss papercrafting. It makes me so happy.

Slowly the cloud lifts and that makes me super happy! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


Summer = Sandals

For us in the northern hemisphere it's summer. Um, yes it's supposed to be summer! As I type this post it's raining and blustery outside and we're all well and truely fed up.

But on the few days that the sun does show it's pretty face we all bounce out of bed and into shorts, vest tops and sandals, showing far too much lily white flesh and dry cracked heels. My poor heels really do take a bashing and they get so sore from the deep cracks.

In an attempt to prevent this happening for yet another summer I stepped up (ba boom - i'm here all week) my foot care regime to form new habits.


About 10 years ago my other mum bought me a Margaret Roberts lavender hand cream from Woolworths South Africa. Woolies is the SA equivalent to M&S here in the UK.
I loved it and used it on my hands and feet every night before going to sleep. I knew it wasn't going to last forever so I tried other creams to find a closer to home alternative. I'm sure I went through every brand in Boots and found that they all left my feet feeling oily. It was like a moisture coating that just came off on my socks!
Thankfully Stuart went to visit his dad in Cape Town and I sent him to Woolies to stock up for me! But again, it didn't last forever and I have been ekeing out the last tube over two years only using it when my poor feet were really dry.

Last week I took my visiting family to Hitchin Lavender, a place that I have wanted to visit for years but didn't have anyone to go with. Although it's not flowering season it was still lovely to see the rows of plants and imagine it in full bloom. Chloe and I have made plans to go back to see it in full flower!
Oh course we had to have a little look around the shop and I spied a lavender and peppermint foot cream. Now I did have high hopes that this cream was going to be the answer to my feet care needs and it has not disspointed! Although I was a bit annoyed that the answer was SO close to home and I missed it!

Alongside the foot cream I am using the AVON invigorating scrub with a gentle foot file every three days to remove any dead skin. On the other days I use a wash cloth and soap to exfoliate and remove excess cream.

I wish I had taken before and after photos of my heels. I'm really so impressed with the difference and loving not having to deal with sore feet in open sandals.

Happy holiday feet!!

Ciao xx

PS. Opinions in this post are my own and all products have been paid for by me.