All posts tagged Exercise

#duloxetinewithdrawal Day 6, think I got away lightly! And #Fitcamp with @combinedfitness

Published September 24, 2015 by Crystal

Pretty sure the omega 3 is a little bit magic, or I was never going to suffer that badly!

Problem is it’s been time of the month, or was it an advantage in that I was going to feel pretty crap anyway? But the dizziness has pretty much gone, brain zaps were few and far between the last couple of days, and the tiredness could be down to mother nature.

Today I have a crappy cold, though.  So I’m somewhat miserable.  But fortunately it is my day off and I have nothing to do except laundry and dishes and all that mundane crap.

I also have my lovely floppy soup  to enjoy.

I have to decide whether to give fitcamp a go, or take it easy until the evil mud run on Sunday, or do one last fitcamp.  The other problem (gawd I sound like a moaner today, because, basically, I am) is that I have a small lump on my achilles tendon, and having been here before, I know how bad it could get pretty quickly if I’m not careful.  I’m meant to be training for a half marathon at the end of October too.  I think I am an example today of how not to do anything!

On the Fitcamp subject, if you live in the Cheltenham area, I would highly recommend Kelly Eddie as a trainer, motivator, encourager, and generally lovely person.  I love Fitcamp classes.  I may not love them at the beginning, but by the end I am so happy I have completed, which is why I am in a quandary as to whether to go tonight!  And now I have a new job, I am wondering how I am going to be able to keep going in some way.  I may have to move across to her video classes, which won’t be so easy as being in a group, but then I know the support is there.

Anyhoo.  I’m off to pay attention to Eddie Izzard, and drink lots of hot drinks, and lament the passing of summer, under a blanket.


#juneathon Day 4, Hit and Run drivers, and a lucky escape.

Published June 4, 2015 by Crystal

Today’s exercise was a 3.7 mile round trip to A & E with my eldest.  He was hit by a speeding driver yesterday afternoon, but thankfully, and I can only assume someone was looking over him, he was just hit in the arm.  If he had been a little quicker, or if the car had been a little slower the outcome could have been very very different.  The trip to A & E was just to check that the damage was nothing more than the graze and swelling, which it fortunately is.  The driver didn’t even stop to make sure my son was ok.  But then if he was going as fast as it looks, then he clearly wasn’t the type to be concerned and caring about hitting anyone.

We have reported it, but unfortunately it happened so quickly, the details are sketchy.

Sadly last night I heard about an online friend who has passed away quite suddenly.  I have known her for as long as I have had my eldest, and she was such a warm supportive person.  While my family is so grateful that our boy is ok, her family will be mourning the loss of a lovely woman who has been there for so many over the years.  Her absence will be tangible.

So today is a quiet day. Full of gratitude for nothing worse having happened to our gorgeous boy, and for the friendship of a lovely woman.

Foodwise, well, last night I ended up having wine.  So that’s dry June out the window.  But I am sticking with the delicious vegan foods, and have tried Freekeh which is a rather lovely alternative to rice.  Lots of texture, and works both hot and cold.  I have also treated myself to some exotic mushrooms.  Yes, I know that might sound like the lamest thing you could read today, but good ingredients make good meals!

Oh, and I also gave in to the scales.  But then the result was favourable, so let’s talk no more about it, and I will attempt to resist the nagging voices to keep jumping on once more.

My son is enjoying trying vegan more, though he did need some comfort in the form of fried chicken, and after yesterday’s event, who am I to argue?

The sun is shining.  The garden is calling for some attention.  I am off.

Dry #Juneathon? Who am I kidding? (Day 3)

Published June 3, 2015 by Crystal

Today’s exercise is complete.  It wasn’t running in the end.  For several reasons.  One. I felt particularly self conscious on putting my running gear on today.  My tummy, while no difference in size to 6 weeks ago, felt big.  My tights felt revealing, and I felt conspicuous to every passer by.  So naturally, I donned my bright yellow rain coat, which covers my bum.  It also has helpful pockets for things like wallet and phone, which I needed as my exercise involved walking to Tesco 2.5 miles away to get my prescription (apparently Duloxetine is something they need to order in, albeit super fast, they just don’t stock it.  Now I know for next time).  Anyway, I started out, and I felt a bit meh about it anyway, but also particularly self conscious, so I tried a little running, but decided that walking would be fine.

2 miles in and the blister started.  3 miles in and there was the feeling when the blister has popped.  Home and I have a lovely large empty blister.  I was miffed as yet again my twin skin socks had let me down.  Whilst the likes of lidl trainer socks never have.  I won’t bore you with the photo.  I already did that on twitter.  At least now I have my Duloxetine, and I have 5 miles under my belt.

3 days of exercise, it’s a roll!

Food wise I am loosely following Joel Fuhrman’s GBOMBS plan.  I like the idea of all the nutrient dense foods, and am feeling pretty good.  The smell of the KFC I passed did absolutely nothing for me, and my craving for lunch was avocado on rye bread (which I have just had).

What I am really fancying though, is a nice glass (bottle) of wine.  So I had a think to myself What would Geneen ask me re the wine?  How am I feeling?  Am I anxious or agitated?  Is there something I am trying to avoid?  And I’m thinking Well I am starting a new supply job on Friday, and it’s my first shift, but it’s cleaning, and it’s only 2 hours.  Logically there isn’t really any reason to be anxious.  And when it comes down to it, I think the reason I want wine is because I told myself I can’t have it!

What is it about us humans that want the one thing we’ve told ourselves we shouldn’t?  There’s a rebellious streak in me that really does not want to grow up.  I want to smoke, drink, and spend long lazy days at the pub as I did in my teens, which is nearly 20 bloody years ago!  So it’s that, that feeling of sensibility and responsibility that I seem to be fighting against today and I want wine to prove that I’m not yet a fully responsible 30 something, and that I can still play and have fun.  I don’t know where I am going with this awareness, but I guess awareness is the first step towards something positive!

“What should I eat to lose weight?” “Less”; @DoctorChristian’s flippant response and why it is dangerous.

Published April 30, 2015 by Crystal

It’s only twitter.  It’s only an over inflated ego filled twitter account of an apparent medical expert.  In the scheme of things, it is small and irrelevant.  But someone asked “What should I eat to lose weight?”  And Dr Christian Jessen’s answer was “Less”.

It might seem trivial.  And adoring fans of Dr Christian are falling over themselves to agree with him, and point out the fallacies of anyone daring to question A) the sensibility of giving such an answer so glibly, and B) the actual science behind it.  Of course many will say it is a stupid question to ask, and if they really cared they would be researching.  Indeed, Doctor Christian is not a doctor with knowledge in every field, and from the internet I have gleaned that his specialist area is in Sexual Health.  So diet and exercise aren’t his thing, regardless of his Channel 4 weight clinic programmes.

Because lots of people will argue that it is that simple.  And for them, maybe it is.  But for the vast majority of people I would argue that it isn’t that simple.  And I would argue that it is dangerous to throw such a glib response out.  What was its purpose?  Cheap laughs?  The answer to the country’s obesity crisis?

The irony was the “Less” answer didn’t even really feature on my radar until it was clear he really did not care about the person who posed the question, and instead criticised everyone who dared to question his flippant tweet.


Maybe, part of the reason we are in such a mess is because advice like this has led to many unhappy people enduring many unhappy years of yo yo dieting.  Even Weight Watchers started out with a woman having being told to “Eat Less” in years previous, through fad diets. And Weight Watchers itself started on those same principles.  How’s that working out for us?  How are all those diets helping, by themselves, solve this obesity crisis as we keep calling it?  How are those years of restriction, on advice from doctors to “Eat Less” panning out for the population?  You only have to google Yo yo dieting to see all the associated issues with restriction, and the often inevitable reaction.

So yes, in the short term, “Less” may be a great answer.  And then what?

Thank God for TV doctors who don’t respond to people in search of help with such glib answers in search of cheap laughs for their own amusement.  Thank Goodness for people like Dr Rosemary Leonard, who take issues around food and body image seriously.  Because body image, self esteem, self confidence, they all play a big part in how successful a person is in their endeavours, and it is something that needs acknowledgement more and more.  Even the diet clubs know that much, such as Slimming World with their “Image Therapy”

Maybe I am angry because I genuinely care about people who want to lose weight, and because I have 30 years of experience of being told to eat less, and failing miserably time and again, and because I am still suffering body image issues, and am still working to lose weight and get healthier.  I blogged here in 2013 about the previous 11 years.  This was not a woman who hasn’t tried to eat less over the years.  But it is not the simple easy to do answer to a complex situation.

And here is where my anger with such a lazy answer lies.  Dr Christian Jessen is a public face.  Someone that viewers look up to and believe he can help.  But rather than taking the opportunity to help, he threw out an answer and then enjoyed the fandom of those who agreed to everything he said, while responding with smart-arse comments to anyone who disagreed.  It doesn’t matter whether twitter is or is not a place to look for decent answers.  If he didn’t want to answer he could have ignored it, like he does many tweets.  He could have directed the person to an appropriate website. He objected to my saying he had made assumptions and presumptions in giving such a flippant answer.  But I stand by that.  In telling someone to eat less to lose weight, he is already assuming they eat too much.  And he doesn’t care enough to question further.  He knows nothing of that person’s medical history, and why should he?  That person is a little avatar on twitter.

Maybe he was adhering to the information on his website

Dr Christian is involved in a number of public campaigns and he works closely with various health charities to help look for new ways to educate people in health matters. His main aim is to help raise medical awareness and simplify, demystify, de-stigmatise and explain the sometimes complicated and inaccessible world of medicine to the public.

But then he wasn’t educating, and was doing nothing to de-stigmatise the whole nightmare around diet, and exercise, and living as a person with weight issues.  He added to the stigma that overweight people are stupid, because they asked a question that he had decided needed no more than a one word answer.


#ThisGirlCan, This Woman did, and Now my kids want to too, and for @charitysane

Published April 28, 2015 by Crystal

I am still buzzing from completing the London Marathon.  I am still in pain, and utterly exhausted.  But the buzz of completing this surpasses any challenge I have done previously.  It is amazing.  So much so that I signed up for my next challenge this morning.  Only a half marathon in October, but something I can really work to and improve on.

But even better than the buzz of completing a marathon, is the impact training and completing has had on my kids.  More than once we have discussed signing up as a family for a 5k, and now the marathon is over, the conversation has become more impassioned.  My children have told me how proud they are of me (cue lots of tears and a lot of blushes).  And we have discussed training together to work toward an event as a family.

I am beyond proud of my children.  But more than that I am so, so glad that I have put myself through the training and pain of the marathon and given them that pride in me.

Th news is full every day of stories linked around the “obesity epidemic”.  Either children are spending too much time on computers, or are eating all the wrong foods.  And parents are being blamed for not getting their children outside, and for feeding them poorly, and lazily, and so on and so forth. And I am more than aware of it.  I am a woman who was put on a diet around the age of 5, and am more than aware of the lasting effect of that action.  From their births I have been conscious of nutrition, and not making an issue around food, and not making foods good or bad, and allowing everything, but trying to teach that everything has its place.  And it’s exhausting.  But we are doing ok!

As parents we have always endeavoured to be fairly active anyway, with regular country walks, and active holidays, and the kids moaning “But can’t we just stay at home” more than once.

Because while I have always had weight issues and food issues and body issues and confidence issues, I have been determined that my children will not grow up with similar issues if I can do my best to avoid it.  I don’t doubt they will have their own concerns and anxieties, but while I can steer their food and activity levels to some degree, I can be a positive influence.

But marathon training has stepped everything up, and my kids are truly inspired, and I love it!  And what pleases me most is that they feel they can do something too.  They believe in themselves.  They believe they can achieve.  They don’t see me as a fat mum who can’t do much.  They’ve seen me make my way around London!  And so I am trawling through events to find a challenge we can do as a family.

And to top all this wonderful stuff off, my children have all decided to make Sane our family charity, and to raise money for them through whichever challenge we choose to take up next.

For all the frustrations, and annoyances, and bickerings and fights, I couldn’t be more proud of my kids than I am now!

I am sooooo over running now. #vlm2015

Published April 13, 2015 by Crystal

With less than 2 weeks to go, I think it is safe to say my mind has well and truly had enough, and my body isn’t far behind!

Today I have done a 3 mile run.  And every mile was a bore.  The mile markers didn’t come quick enough, the zombies didn’t spark my interest (kill me now, zoms, I don’t care any more.  New Canton can burn. I don’t mean that, please forgive me!)

It is all just tedious!

Thankfully, there are less than 2 weeks to go.  Thankfully, I vaguely recall a similar feeling as the London Moonwalk drew close, and walking distances had become dull and lifeless.

And fortunately it is Taper Time, and I can shift things about anyway.  Killer circuits on Wednesday, Fun Zumba on Friday.  I know it is just a mental block.  I know it will pass and come the marathon I will be surrounded by thousands who have had similar thoughts and feelings in the run up.  After all, my training started in October.  It’s a long time to be fitting in runs when prior to October I never ran!

And I guess the point of a marathon is that it is a challenge!  It’s not a weekend jolly!  It’s not a stroll down the canal, or a day of shopping in the city!  It is a challenge. To body, mind and spirit.

I sit here moaning and grumbling, but then I also sit here having run a fair distance this morning.  I got up, I got my running gear on, and I got going.

It’s all good!

I just look forward to running being a little more fun, once more!

Slimming club attendees, you’re in for it now. Apparently, you too wear cardigans!

Published March 18, 2015 by Crystal

Mr Miller is busy censoring his facebook page.  His latest outpouring of vitriol was against slimming clubs.  Apparently he was invited to do a talk at one (why anyone would ask him is, in itself, quite a miracle) and he refused because apparently seal clapping and cheering a 1 pound loss isn’t his thing

steve miller

What is the Weight Loss Masters chosen strategy?


Oh yes.  There it is.  Attack.




And of course first it was the Size Acceptance, and Fat Acceptance folk that he attacked.  Not with the desire to have a grown up discussion.  Not with the aim to learn or educate.  But to name call, to slur, to misrepresent what both size acceptance and fat acceptance mean to different people, and to accuse every single supporter of size acceptance as harbingers of death and doom.

He doesn’t want to discuss.  He doesn’t want to engage in discussion on what he has to offer.  He has blocked me from commenting or enquiring on his facebook page, and he has blocked me from following or viewing him on twitter, though somehow I can see all he posts, so not sure how that works.

Anyway, onto today’s issue.  Attacking those who attend slimming clubs.

Now I have heard from multiple places and numerous books, that maintaining a weight loss is largely impossible.  And slimming clubs indicate this in the regular returning of members to some club or other.  Having lost a stone, or two, or ten, they go back to their “normal lifestyle” and the weight comes back on.  Sometimes a few pounds, sometimes all the weight, sometimes a little bit extra on top.  And thousands upon thousands of us are on, or have been on, a perpetual cycle.  Losing, gaining, losing, gaining.

It doesn’t look good for slimming clubs, or any type of diet, on the whole.

But I want to defend those clubs.  Because at points in my life they have helped, and I am not going to knock that.  I have maintained a 2 and a half stone loss over the last couple of years, and that loss was down to a combination of Weight Watchers and Slimming World.  Find a great motivating class leader, and a large chunk of the effort and stress is reduced.  Find a class with engaged participants, and you can feel like you are part of a big family who want to see you succeed.  They celebrate the mini victories as well as the large.  They support each other through illness, and grief, and stress, and hurt.  They applaud that one pound loss that seems to have taken weeks and weeks, even though you have been following the plan one hundred percent.  Even though your body is confusing you and you just don’t know what to do.  There are many, many positive reasons for people returning to a slimming club.

Of course the downsides can also be plenty.  For me and my compulsive and anxious character, weighing regularly on scales started to have a very negative impact, and I became well and truly stuck, still am, but things are moving again, and I’m relaxed.  For me, the weighing and measuring became a massive ball ache.   Fat free yogurt?  Give me a break.  Artificial sweetener by the tonne?  No thank you.  But there are things I keep in mind, and I have changed my eating habits over time.  More veg, less pasta and rice, more protein.  That sort of thing.  Nothing overly prescriptive any more.  But slimming clubs have been a support to me in the past, and I can see why they continue to be.  For someone who finds it a real struggle to get out of the house and meeting other people, getting to a slimming club may be their only social activity in a week.  For someone feeling unsupported by their family, an alternative family with a similar goal might be what helps them keep on when all the odds seem against them.  And for people who have grown up with no clue how to cook, weight loss clubs can offer invaluable advice on creating healthy and filling meals for morning noon and night.

So why is Steve so against all that seal clapping?  I mean, he wasn’t against a little seal clapping when his Fat Friends clients on the telly!

It seems a big issue Steve has is the small weight losses celebrated.  Because apparently, a fat person can lose at least 3lbs a week for at least the first four weeks. (read through the conversation beneath his status).


I will have to assume Steve is a nutrition, exercise, and general human biology expert as well as a hypnotherapist.  I mean, surely he must know this shit for real, right?  I realised I needed to go and check this chap’s credentials.  Because he is hoping thousands of people will put their lives in his hands to get that fat off.

Look at what he is offering, a bargain, no?  No wonder he wants people off slimming clubs and signing up for his courses.  Why pay £5 with a consultant when you can £40 to hear him tell you what a lardy arse you are?

But back to those nutrition and exercise linked qualifications.  What are those?  Well, it seems I can’t find any.  And I have looked.  I have googled.  And all that comes up is this.  So what right has this man to be determining a 3lb weight loss?  What right has this man to be criticising and ridiculing a 1lb loss?

Now I’m not saying every person who is offering weight loss hypnosis needs to be qualified in health and nutrition, though that would be an ideal.  But what I do think is that putting your health and well being in the hands of a man who enjoys ridicule and spite, in order for you to lose weight, is a dangerous thing.  And a slightly bigger issue is that so far he has not offered statistics for his successes long term.

What percentage of his clients have maintained a weight loss 2, 3, 5, 10 years after initial contact with Steve Miller?  And who’s fault is it if or when the weight has gone back on?  Is it the failure of his clients?  Is it the failure of a product that in maybe can not offer any more than the slimming clubs?

I’ve paid £250 for weight loss hypnosis.  I did lose a stone in the first month.  And then it went back on over time, when I had a major mental health blip.  Because sometimes my mental health affects my choices.

I’ve paid hundreds and hundreds of pounds to slimming clubs over the years.  I am not a magazine type success, but I have had both positive and negative experiences, and while at the moment I am committing to not dieting or joining a club at the moment, I know people who do feel the benefit of support.

I’ve paid £150 for Beyond Chocolate.  While I haven’t lost significant amounts of weight it has helped substantially to my approach to and relationship with food, and in knowing that my failed attempts at dieting aren’t all my fault and the reason I should live with a blanket over my head forever more.

I’ve paid £50 for two pods from Thinking Slimmer, and while, again, weight loss isn’t magnificent, I feel relaxed and chilled, and am impressed by how gently my thought patterns have changed, and how I can leave food without worry.

I have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt of many a weight loss programme or plan.  And I guess that is in part, why I get so bloody furious at the vitriol spouted by Steve Miller. But I also find it incredibly telling that rather than engage with his questioners he attempts to silence them and shut them down.

So here’s there question.  For a man who doesn’t want to prove his product with long term results.  What really does he have to offer?  Other than your empty pockets and a big dose of fat shaming?

Oh yes, and one more thing, isn’t 80/20 a diet? Pretty sure it is….