March weigh-in

Tasty grilled shrimp salad from Jamies restaurant in Chur, Switzerland

As my February weigh-in was late, there has been a gap of just under 3 weeks rather than a month between these two weight check points… but never mind… here goes for my weight on 1st March 2018:

Weight on 4th December 2017 (when I began my fitness campaign): 10 st 7 lb

Weight on 9th February (last weigh in): 9 st 0 lb

Weight today: 8 st 12 lb (56 kg or 122 lbs)

Total weight loss in almost 3 months = 23 lbs (hurrah!)

Small milestones are keeping me motivated… I had to buy a new belt last week and it was fab to buy a ‘small’ size rather than the usual medium which was too big! Yay!

I’m still keeping to around 1200 calories a day, together with a lot of exercise. I am either going to the gym, swimming or hiking several miles at a time which is burning up a lot of calories.

Having just spent 4 days in Switzerland, my calorie intake did jump a bit to perhaps 2000 calories each day… I allowed myself a few treats such as some gorgeous Swiss chocolate and *lovely meals out each night but did so without going over-the-top. While enjoying the meals I stuck to one glass of wine and no dessert 🙂

*The healthy salad in the top picture was the first night… the following evening meal was a calorie busting home made pasta with oodles of Swiss cheese…  

Thankfully I had the motivation to cut down as soon as we got home and I’m now back on 1200 daily calories…

The next dilemma now that I’ve reached my goal weight is how to stay there… I don’t want my life to be ruled by calorie counting (although I do only estimate this each day) but I really don’t want to regain any of this lost weight…

And today I start my vegetarian month




Vegetarian month starts tomorrow!

With February being a short month, this had kind of crept up on me! I realised earlier today that 1st March is actually tomorrow and this is the month I made a pledge to myself to eat only vegetarian food.

With my husband Chris being a pescatarian, i.e. he is a vegetarian who eats fish, I didn’t need to do too much food planning. We never eat red meat, as I have more or less adopted his diet in recent years.

I did however realise that if I am to be a vegetarian for a month, I wouldn’t be eating any fish either…

My first small challenge arose when my mum invited us for dinner next Saturday… she proudly told me she had organised a vegetarian option for Chris and a vegan option for Zoe (my daughter)… I had to tell her that I too will be a vegetarian throughout March. Thankfully on this occasion it was fairly easy given she had already planned veggie/vegan meals and said brightly “That’s fine, I’ll do a vegetarian option for you too”.

I do feel conscious that if people are kind enough to invite me for dinner, I don’t want to put them to any trouble… it will be interesting to see what happens throughout the rest of the month…




Maldives 50th birthday celebration trip


Trip number 2 of 2018 is now complete! Yesterday Chris and I returned from a week in the Maldives, a relaxing break taken just before my 50th birthday tomorrow.

I’ve produced a full Maldives trip post which is available on our joint travel blog. This was quite a different kind of holiday from our usual active and at times intense holidays.

The trip was more of a healthy retreat rather then a typical holiday as the entire week was spent doing yoga, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, cycling and going to the gym. And eating lots of different organic fresh fruit and vegetables and virtually zero alcohol!

All of this has fitted well with my objective of a fit and healthy start to my new decade!




Pondering… why become a vegetarian for a month?

Vegetable market in Hoi An, Vietnam

For the last few years I’ve gradually eaten less and less meat. The more I see awful videos of the abuse suffered by animals the more I’ve gravitated towards a semi vegetarian and vegan diet. I’ve also been influenced by my husband Chris, who has only eaten organic chicken (rarely) and fish since I’ve known him. And my daughter, Zoe, who became a vegan in 2016. Zoe has a point when she says “there are so many alternatives so why do you have to eat an animal?”

Many people become vegetarian for health benefits although as Harvard Health explains, you could eat a diet full of pizza, ice cream and cakes which is still technically vegetarian but not the healthiest!

So I have decided to try a vegetarian diet for the month of March just to see how things go and to consider whether this is right for me. Will I miss eating fish? Are there plenty of alternatives? Will I end up eating too much cheese and gain weight? Will I be sick of vegetable lasagne by 1st April? Will report back in due course…













Detox update…

A quick update…

Following the tweak on Day 1 where I decided 800 calories is too low and I also found the effects of cutting out coffee were worse than just drinking it (when coffee is almost the new super food…) things have gone well so far…

I’ve been eating super healthy food and so far have consumed no alcohol, processed food or junk food since Wednesday. I am genuinely starting to feel more energetic, positive and healthy… all good stuff!

My diet today (Saturday: Day 4):

  • Breakfast: smoked salmon and fried egg (I’m rubbish at poaching so fried the egg in a tiny bit of olive oil)
  • Snack: handful of blueberries
  • Lunch: avocado, hummus, tomatoes, rocket, red pepper, raw carrot with a dressing of balsamic vinegar
  • Dinner: home made broccoli and stilton soup (we’re having a bit of a craving on this at the moment…)
  • Snack: handful of unsalted nuts (walnuts, cashews and macadamias)

Estimated at around 1100 calories

Just 3 more days to go…





Preparing for the Detox…


Good question…  why do I want to detox? I am hoping a week or so of giving up all nasties from my diet will continue to motivate me towards a healthier future. I’ve read conflicting articles to suggest either the liver and kidneys are super efficient organs which don’t need detoxing or others which strongly recommend regular strict detoxing plans with weird drinks and things to ‘clear and refresh your gut’.

As with many health ideas there is never any conclusive evidence of what is right and what is wrong however if nothing else, surely giving up alcohol and adopting a super healthy diet for a week must be a positive thing?


Hmmm… another good question… I can’t start today, 1st January as I’ve already had two coffees (which are probably to be avoided). And you do need to think about and plan these things to ensure you have the necessary food in stock. You also need to consider how to manage your social life during the detox week… We have a shopping delivery tomorrow night so maybe 3rd January would be a good day?

Which one?

Following a recommendation from a work colleague before Christmas, this morning I eagerly downloaded the 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet book by Michael Mosley. Essentially this is a very low 800 calorie diet for 8 weeks which claims to reverse the negative effects of a high sugar western diet and lower one’s blood sugar levels. Apparently there is evidence to suggest that surviving on 800 calories a day is now a health benefit! I had previously understood this to be a damaging way to lose weight but the book says that as long as you follow some basic rules about eating more protein and less carbs, you will burn fat…

However after scrolling through and reviewing some of the recipes, I don’t think I can follow the suggested menu plans… firstly, they contain food items I don’t tend to eat (red meat being one) and secondly I would need a huge shopping order for all of the different ingredients and would either end up throwing most of it away or eating the same thing for 3 days running (and thus not being able to follow the different recipes for each day).

On balance with the suggestion by many that detoxing doesn’t make any difference and given I don’t want this to be all too time and life consuming I have decided to try a combination of both this diet and Juliette’s Weight Loss Resources 7 day detox plan.

I am hoping the combination of the low carb/800 calorie blood sugar plan with some of the sensible ideas of Juliettes plan will result in a healthy start to 2018. (And hopefully an additional couple of lb’s being shed this week…)

Personalised detox

So… here is my one week detox plan:


  • Lots of vegetables and salads of any kind
  • Home made soups
  • Low sugar fruit (blueberries, raspberries etc)
  • Smoothies (small ones)
  • Oily fish (tuna, salmon etc)
  • Quorn
  • Free range chicken
  • Free range eggs
  • Beans and lentils (kidney beans, chick peas etc)
  • Unprocessed natural oats
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Dark chocolate (small amounts)
  • Natural yogurt
  • Occasional small amounts of wholewheat pasta
  • Herbal or fruit teas
  • Water



  • No alcohol, coffee or tea update: will permit myself two coffees a day!
  • No sugary drinks
  • No processed food
  • No high sugar or dried fruit (bananas, raisins etc)
  • No breadcrumbed or battered food
  • No pastries, cakes, biscuits or sweets
  • No bread, white rice or white pasta


Organic where possible and with an attempted limit of 800 1150 calories a day… (800 is just too low for me…)







January weigh-in

OK, so I’ve made a commitment to myself to get to a weight of 9 stone and actually stay there for a year in the hope it will turn into a long term habit!

Since the age of 15 my weight has yo-yo’d up and down between a svelte and somewhat skinny 8 stones to a rather more cuddly 10.5 stones. At only 5’3″ tall and of medium frame apparently at my age my target weight is 8 st 10 lb.

Various factors have influenced my weight fluctuations over the years but mostly it has followed a similar and rather neat orderly and circular process:

  1. Realise I’m getting a bit chubby and clothes becoming tighter
  2. Decide I need to ‘nip it in the bud’ and lose weight
  3. Lose weight
  4. Get to desired weight
  5. Get complacent and lose focus
  6. And back to 1 again…

This little cycle has been the summary of my weight for the best part of 35 years!

About 5 years ago I had a shift of mindset lightbulb moment and rather than dieting focused on the blindingly obvious “eat less and exercise more”. By making a conscious effort to have smaller portions and take up more exercise I actually managed to hover at around 9 st 2 lb for over 3 years.

However this became rapidly undone when my husband Chris and I spent 2016 travelling the world and before I knew it, I was at 10 stone again… and failed miserably to shift this additional stone throughout 2017…

So how can I reach a permanent and healthy weight of 9 stone?

With my 50th birthday looming I had a sudden desire to kick myself up the backside and shock myself into a healthy weight loss programme. This shock happened on 4th December 2017 when a health check at work revealed my weight had crept up to 10 st 7 (eek) and my cholesterol was on the border of high!

A bit of Googling suggested that a high cholesterol can lead to all sorts of unpleasant health issues most notably heart disease and strokes.

This, together with the desire to feel fitter, have more energy and generally improve my overall health prompted me to join the work gym (instantly) and take up swimming (the following week).

Since 4th December I immediately increased my exercise levels with gym sessions and swimming which motivated me to eat properly and reduce the alcohol, sugar and bad carbs from my diet.

So I’ve had a bit of a head start and thankfully I’m not starting 2018 at my highest ever weight!

Weight today: 9 stone 10 lb (62 kg)

Still a little way to go but I’m pleased with this… my next weigh in will be in February 2018…