All posts tagged fitness

#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.


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!

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….

Sometimes I don’t ENJOY exercise. Sometimes I HATE my workouts

Published February 21, 2015 by Crystal

There.  I have said it.  It’s out there.  In spite of all my endomondo tracking, and end of workout smiles, and calories burnt, and physical exhaustion brought about, there are times when I absolutely do not want to go out and get my body moving.  I don’t want to get out of breath.  I don’t want to sweat.  I don’t want to feel my muscles ache.

All I want to do is stay curled up on the sofa, under a blanket, watching Doctor Who reruns, drinking hot tea, and smiling that I am not outside.

And I know it is absolutely fine to feel that way.  And I know it is absolutely fine to not go out and exercise every day.  I know rest days are important.  But I also know I can find reasons NOT to get out and move.

“My running gear is in the wash” this is quite a regular occurence while I am training for the marathon.  I had to buy more stuff to let reason be slightly less valid, and me less stinky on runs.

“I have pain somewhere or other”  Some are very valid.  I sprained my ankle in December.  It really did limit me.  I had a groin pain the last few days, and have consciously eased up on running as a result.  No point running and doing more damage.  But when I don’t want to run, I do seem able to magnify twinges.

“It’s too windy and too rainy” Wind is an issue.  I hate it.  Especially when it’s horizontal and directly against me on every road I travel.  Rain isn’t so much of an issue, it’s just wet.

“My phone isn’t charged up”  This is actually a thing!  I need my apps and I need my music to make my run complete!

“I haven’t eaten enough/have eaten too recently”  Being a novice runner, I sometimes get it wrong.  My body can feel weak if I run, I can feel sick if I run too soon after eating.

“I just don’t want to”  Plain, honest, simple.  And perfectly fine.

But sometimes, not wanting to is not enough reason not to.  And I have learned that for me, the benefits of exercising often outweigh all the reasons I can think of NOT to go.

Enjoyment is not just an in the moment sensation during the exercise session, but this seems to be something that has take me a long long time to grasp.  Enjoyment might not happen while I run.  Especially the longer runs (like today is meant to be 14 miles, hells bells) that are exhausting and relentless.  I find them hard. Very hard.

But then I finish those runs.  Then I feel that sense of relief and euphoria.  My muscles ache, my body hot and cold in only the way it can be during a winter run.  It is then that I enjoy the feeling that exercise has provided.  Satisfaction, accomplishment, amazement at my own achievements.  Impressed at my own goals reached and surpassed as the time has gone on.  Wonder at how my body is changing, and how muscles are increasing,  and my endurance improving.  I’m still a way to go on speed, but I am covering the distance.

In a live for the moment generation it can be easy to avoid the things we don’t want to do if they won’t bring us instant gratification.  But for me, as time goes on, exercise becomes something I am less able to compromise on.  The benefits outweigh all the reasons not to fat more often than not.

So, I better charge my phone, find some semi clean clothes and get moving, eventually, right after my food has gone down and I’ve had another cuppa.  Though in honesty it might not be 14 miles today.  The groin pain is still niggling, and so I will go as far as I feel safe to.


#MentalHealth and #SizeAcceptance. It is #timetotalk today.

Published February 5, 2015 by Crystal

For me, mental health and size acceptance are heavily intertwined.  I guess it’s why I’m so passionate when an idiot weight loss loud mouth keeps criticising and ridiculing those who are supporting and voicing that support for size acceptance.

As a woman who lives with mental health, and heavily linked weight issues, the size acceptance movement has been a revelation in my life.  Depression can highlight the tiniest thing we hate about ourselves.  It turns those little perceived imperfections into mahoosive flaws.  Mole hills into Mountains.  And in looking at myself and loathing every piece of me, the answer in my distorted life would be weight loss, because sure, isn’t that the answer to everything? But then the dieting would be obsessive, and incredibly all or nothing, and if I felt I let myself down, by cheating in some way, then in my self loathing and disgust I would “undo all the good work” by reaching to food for comfort.

Size Acceptance came at a desperate time in my life.  When finally it dawned that diets were not working.  When I needed another way to live.

Size Acceptance came through the discovery of intuitive eating.  It came with a voice saying “You are more than your looks, and more than the food you eat.”.  It came with a voice that said “Love can change things, and you are worthy of loving yourself”.

And the big fat point, that this idiot weight loss so called expert willingly misses, every single time he has a go at the Size Acceptance brigade, is that Size Acceptance is about learning to LOVE yourself and be the best you can be for yourself, mentally, emotionally, physically.  It’s not a quick fix, and it’s a work in progress for me.  But over 8 years, while I have not lost every pound that I don’t need, I have learnt that my body is a wonderful thing, and it has supported me through these years with depression.  It keeps me going through all the ups and downs, the highs and lows.  It has put up with manic episodes, a broken ankle, high weight, low weight, starvation, binges.  I have learnt that my body deserves more, and my mind benefits when my body benefits.  So I started to incorporate exercise.  I signed up for the London Moonwalk, and I trained and trained.  I completed one, and signed up for a second.  I completed the second and now I’m training for the London Marathon.  At the times where food seemed to be confusing or angst causing, I would follow a plan, to help support my goals.  And gradually I have learnt what benefits my body in terms of food.

But I’m not perfect, and I’m not losing weight super fast.  I still have episodes where I become obsessive and anxious around food, and my depression brings about paranoia, and suddenly I am hideous and a failure because I am not slim.

And then I remember the messages that the wonderful, awe inspiring, loving, Size Acceptance Brigade are putting out there.  I remember that I am worthy of self care and love.  That my body is my business.  That I am fine as I am, where I am.

And when depression is banging at my door, THESE are the messages I need to hear.  To be lovingly encouraged to do my best in the moment.  Sometimes the best I can do is get my kids to school and go back to bed.  Sometimes my best is a 10 mile training session and an early night.  Sometimes my best is fruit and veg and a body feeling vibrant.  Sometimes it’s chips and wine and a night in front of the telly.  But in all those moments I am the same person, worthy of the same things.  I am not a better person when I eat more fruit and veg.  I am not a loathsome slob because I can’t face getting out of bed.

Now I’m not saying every fat person suffers depression.  But I know I’m not alone.  And I know that Size Acceptance has saved a big chunk of my life.  It has helped me off the hamster wheel of self loathing and disgust, and it supports me when I feel less than great.

Fat is a substance, like hair, nails, bone.  It’s part of my body, but it isn’t all I am.  I don’t need someone to save me from my fat.  I need someone to love me regardless.  I need someone to understand that some days I can, and other days I can’t, and that’s ok.  Because loving my body and accepting me as I am now is what enables me to make lasting changes.

“No excuses for fat”?  How about “No excuses not to love yourself right now and see where it takes you”?

#janathon, 4.5 miles in what feels like the longest time. #depression

Published January 29, 2015 by Crystal

Honestly, we averaged 30 minutes a mile! My limbs ache, and though it will partly be all those squats yesterday, I’m pretty convinced that walking super slowly, stopping every 10 seconds trying to get the dog to walk to heal, is what has done it for me today, or rather, what has done me in!

On arriving at the pet shop, we looked at a harness for Muttley.  It might stop him pulling, but I think I need to look into the idea some more.  He definitely did not like the halti, so we aren’t going in that direction.  We did buy Muttley a monkey, which he proudly paraded home, pulling marginally less on the way, so maybe the trick is for him to have a toy on every walk!

He had a quick attack once home, but is now snoozing and snoring away!


Foodwise, I’m onto Day 5 of slimmables.  Breakfast was eggs, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes.  Lunch was sprouts, bacon and cashew;


Today feels hard, and I’m not sure whether it is lack of energy through change of diet, continuing exhausting dreams and interrupted sleep, or getting back into the warm after that slow, long walk.

I want to hope that it is the lack of quality sleep and the long walk.  I am snappy today, and agitated.  But then that’s a pattern from the last two months regardless of what I have or haven’t eaten.  It’s a two tablet day so I am hopeful my mood will pick up a little.

I’ve been reading more today on how this style of eating can be beneficial to people suffering with depression, but then I’ve read this claim for many different eating plans and I guess as with anything else, personal experience is what will really matter.

Date day tomorrow with the beloved, normally means a luscious lunch and a glass of vino…This week it will be alcohol free.  Habits are hard to break, and sorely missed!

#janathon, Body Pump, #depression and @slimmables

Published January 28, 2015 by Crystal

I love being physically exhausted.  The sort from a good hard work out, where I have given at least 95% and ache with satisfaction.  And I love it when it takes only 45 minutes to achieve that state.


Last week was tough.  The Christmas break, the change in routine, my depression kicking my arse that morning.

Today though, time raced.  45 minutes flew by and I managed to keep up, mostly.

I will be interested to see how recovery time is affected by my slight change in diet.  I came home and had a plate of heavenly smoked salmon and avocado, and am supping on a mug of herbal tea.  I feel peaceful and accomplished.

I was thinking as I drove to the gym (other side of town, time limited, don’t judge me, I’ll run tomorrow and Friday, or walk t least!) about how anti I was when I heard people discussing the merits of low carb.  I love my pasta and rice way too much, I would think to myself.  No way I’m giving up those things for some poxy diet to lose weight.  And of course me and diets don’t get on well, especially since discovering mindful eating, and reading material around that idea.  I’m willing to try diets, but I’m more realistic about what I want and need in my life, and taking what will work, and discarding what won’t.  I’m never going to be a WW or SW success story.  My weight loss has been slow and erratic on those plans in the recent years.

But then I started to follow Josie Gibson on twitter, and she is certainly a driven woman.  She is fit, and focussed, and I felt the desire to channel a little of her focus into my life.  I have a marathon to train for, and every pound of fat lost is a pound less that I need to carry around with me on my 26.2 mile stretch, and every ounce of muscle gained is a little bit more in building my power house to keep me going!  Josie advocates as natural and unprocessed as possible, and having been cooking from scratch on SW it seemed entirely doable.  When she launched her plan on Saturday I had a read, not only on her website, but on various articles about Josie over the years since she has lost and maintained that lost.  And I decided to give it a go.  I’m on to day 4, and actually feel really good.  I’m not craving chocolate, don’t miss pasta or rice like I thought I would, and I can’t help but think this protein helped today’s class pass in a whizz rather than last week’s counting the seconds pass!  The only thing I am missing is my evening wine, but then that’s a coping habit I’ve been using since my depression hit again, and not a particularly healthy one, so I’m happy to keep fighting that urge, and allow my body a break.  Since Sunday I have lost 3.5lbs and several inches from waist, hips and biceps.  I accept there will be loss of fluid in such a drastic change in eating, but considering I have been doing SW for a few weeks, and losing fairly low numbers, even in the first weeks of the plan, I feel optimistic that this plan is suiting me.  I feel driven to exercise, and I need that at the moment.  I find it easy to make great food choices, and it doesn’t feel a hassle at all.

Of course it might all change.  The first few weeks of any new plan are always exciting and motivation is in spades. But the fact that I am not craving big bowls of pasta and cheese, and not feeling energy slumps like I do when on lots of pasta and rice, is all good for me!

I hope in terms of depression it will benefit also, but there’s some time before I will see results on this.  Rome wasn’t built in a day!

For information on Josie’s new website click Slimmables