Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Rosie - 2012 round up

Friday, 21 December 2012

This photo was taken just at the end of last year (on a particularly mild November day!)  It was around then that I started to realise that my weight had crept up and along with it I was having to buy more and more size 14 clothes. Size 14 can be a totally healthy size on some women but I'm 5'3" and it just doesn't sit right on me.  I remember weighing myself at the start of the year and realising the scales said 10.10 lbs rather than the 10.1 I was roughly expecting.  This meant I had a BMI of almost 27 and was firmly in the 'overweight' bracket.

A typical day for me would have been no breakfast, a sandwich, crisps, chocolate and Haribo at lunchtime and pizza or waffles and cheese for dinner.  I did no exercise and was completely miserable about my weight.  I used to grab the bulging fat around my middle and dream of cutting it off! I felt uncomfortable and a the turn of the year I knew I wanted to do something about it, I just didn't know how.

They say 'when the student is ready the teacher appears' and that's true for me.  On the 17th January I was offered to undertake a free trial of Jenny Craig, which I wrote about on my own blog.  It was a big shock to the system not having all the sugar I was used to and introducing lots of vegetables back into my life.  In the end I stayed on the plan until April and lost 1-2 lbs on average every week so I was down to 140lbs when I came off it.  This is me in April.

I kept up lots of the good habits and was able to hover around that mark for a few months.  By August I was 141 lbs which is still actually marginally in the 'overweight' category for my height.  I wanted to lose more but I didn't know how to.  I'd started running but I wanted to make sure I was eating right too and I didn't know anything about exercise.  Again it was obviously the right time for me as Laura at Chambray and Curls mentioned to me that her partner worked in nutrition and fitness and had helped her lose weight when she was struggling through helping her understand what she should and shouldn't be eating and helping her meet her fitness goals.  Her partner Charis (who runs Louca Personal Training) kindly offered to do the same for me and took some time understanding what my goals and habits were before asking for weekly diet and exercise diaries.  Every week he would analyse my food and exercise log and help me identify where I was going wrong and where I could make positive changes.  He introduced me to 'clean eating' - not eating processed or pre-packaged foods and instead eating lots of protein and vegetables.  I pulled out all my cookbooks and started making healthy, delicious dinners, making sure I ate something every mealtime and increasing my exercise.  I had one day a week where I would eat whatever I wanted, and I would 'eat clean' the rest of the time.  The best thing about 'eating clean' is that it's not a diet, it's just an education in  making healthy choices and not eating things that are super processed or full of sugar.  Charis helped me realise that if I did this 90% of the time I could still go on holiday and eat what I wanted, or eat what I wanted over Christmas or on special occasions because I know it's not going to have a long term effect on my weight.

As I jetted off to Florida for two-and-a-half weeks in September I've really only been doing this properly since mid-October.  I'd lost a few lbs already through Charis's good advice but I started as 139 lbs in October and have continued sending him my weekly diaries and taking on his advice and I'm now 127 lbs, meaning that with his help I've lost another stone, the majority of that in the last two months.  I hit my 10 week pledge target (129 lbs) a few weeks early and I now comfortably fit into a size 10.  The best part of all of this is that all of the changes I've made are a part of my life now - doing exercise classes in the evenings, eating clean the majority of the time, running in the mornings etc, are now things I 'do' rather than things I 'do because I'm trying to lose weight'.

This is the most recent photo of me I have.  I think the biggest difference is in my face! No more chubby cheeks! In total I've lost 23lbs (over a stone and a half) and I feel comfortable, happy and healthy.  I used to go to bed feeling sick almost every night (probably due to all the sugar I was eating), I was tired all of the time and I'd collapse into bed at night completely exhausted and then not be able to sleep.  Nowadays I hop out of bed in the morning to go for a run and still look forward to going to an exercise class in the evening.  I couldn't have done any of this without Charis's help and I'd really recommend him and his company if you're looking for a way to make long-term changes, get fit and lose weight.  He offers several different plans at really reasonable prices and he's so motivating and supportive.  He is also offering 10% off any of his plans if you mention Where Are My Knees when you get in contact.

I'd love to hear about your weight loss journeys this year.  Remember that 2013 is a new year and it could be the year you make some amazing changes.

Gemma - 2012 round up

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

I have been really disappointed with my weight loss this year. I wanted to start 2013 and be at my goal of -100 lbs. I've lost a total of 79.5 lbs since January 2011 and I know if I had put just a little more effort in I could have reached my initial goal and moved on to the next one.

I've only lost 22 lbs this year but you know what, I've had a really good year. My appearance drastically changed in February, you could really see a difference in the way I looked and my confidence grew so much. I went out and partied like it was going out of fashion. I went to two festivals this summer, went to Paris, met some of my favourite musicians and actors, got a full time jobs and I don't think I've had a free weekend since the Jubilee. I've also started dating which I would never have done before losing weight.

(despite the weight loss I'm still rocking the hand on hip look, it's a classic though, right?)
What I'm trying to get across (in a very non articulate way) is that there is so much more to life than what's on the scales. Yes, it would have been nice to be at -100 lbs right now but I've had a lovely year and 2013 will be even better. I'm hoping for a fresh start next year, I will be strictly following the Weight Watchers plan from the 1st of January onwards and I know 2013 will be the year I reach my ideal weight.

The photo above makes me realise that I may not be where I want to be in terms of weight loss but I'm very happy with all the other aspects of my life. I've lost nearly 6 stone, I know two years is a pretty slow time frame to do this but I'm proud of what I have achieved.

Hope you all get closer to reaching your goals in 2013 and thank you for being there for me in 2012.

Sunday Summary 80

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Gemma -Another week where I can't report an amazing weight loss but I am feeling very positive. I had a meeting with Weight Watchers in London on Thursday along with a few other bloggers (including WAMKs very own Lauren) and I can't wait to start fresh in 2013. There is a new approach to the plan and I will be set little challenges for the first three months of the new year. I will reveal more about this in the new year, looking forward to finally reaching goal and I think this project will help.

Me and Lauren on the tube after our WW meeting

I also got to hang out with another Team WAMK member this week, Sarah! I will admit to eating more than one of her cupcakes at the Clothes Show Live yesterday. Ooops.

Rosie - I hope it's okay to say this, but I'm really proud of myself today.  For someone that has an almost permanent sense of guilt and is perpetually cross with myself about something, that's a big deal.  I've been working hard for the last couple of months and this morning heralded two achievements for me - hitting my 10 week pledge target weight, and running my furthest distance.

You might know from my writings on here that before July I'd never run before and couldn't run further than a few metres without my lungs burning and my feeling like I was going to be sick.  So running over 10k today is a huge achievement for me and something I honestly never dreamed was possible - even when I started running I laughed at people telling I might one day be able to run a 5k!  I now run before work a couple of times a week and it's become part of my routine and part of my lifestyle.  I am testament to the fact that anyone can run if they have the inclination.

My ten week pledge was to lose 10 lbs from my weight of 139 lbs in mid October.  Since then I've been running, doing 2-3 exercise classes a week and eating healthily and so, if I'm honest, my meeting my target has been the result of sheer bloody hard work! I have three Christmas meals coming up over the next few weeks so I'm going to carry on what I'm doing but let myself relax a bit and with a bit of discipline I can fit into a size 10 dress for one of these celebrations.  I'm now a healthy weight for my height so my focus now is on toning; I have a lot of flab around my belly that needs to be waved goodbye to!

Lauren - like Rosie I too am really proud of myself this week, although not for weight or exercise related things (more's the pity!). The week got off to a bad start and went rapidly downhill foodwise but after attending the Weight Watchers New Approach Bloggers Event on Thursday morning with Gemma I seem to have really reigned it in. I have been the exemplification of a Weight Watchers angel over the weekend, pointing everything when normally I would have said to myself 'its the weekend' and just gone crazy! I even went out for a bike ride this morning with my dad and actually enjoyed it! I'm still nowhere near my 10 Week Pledge weight but I'm hoping that I can lose another couple of lbs before Christmas Eve and also try not to go too mad over the festive period - I don't want to spend all of January losing the weight that I gained over the course of ten days at Christmas.

I'm also feeling extremely proud of myself this week for taking the plunge and baring all over on A Little Less Of Lauren. It wasn't an easy thing for me to do, but I was raging after a size 8 friend of mine was told she has 'thunder thighs' on a night out, and it brought it home more than ever the negativity that's bred from societal expectations of young men and women. It makes me so angry that people are made to feel unworthy because of some arbitrary picture on the front of a magazine. I don't want to go all hippie and self-help on you here, but why shouldn't we celebrate our bodies and what we've achieved?! Whether you're at goal, halfway there or just beginning we should all celebrate our triumphs and stop comparing ourselves to the people on the front of Closer - because we're never going to be those people. My body isn't perfect, but its a hell of a lot better than it was this time three years ago and I'm taking steps to make it even better - and that is far more important than any stretchmarks, loose skin or wobbly bits.

Chris - I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say Lauren, I would. Phwoar, and etc. And also, well done of course; it takes a huge amount of nerve to post pictures like that online, and I think all of WAMK are proud of you for taking the plunge.

I have been a massive pile of ill, busy and injury recently: I had to abandon my six day shred after really seriously hurting one of my arms doing Body Combat - TOP TIP: When they tell you to have rest days, they mean it. I've also been having some knee trouble, which means that my ten week pledge has been shot in the head like an old, lame dog - mainly before somebody has to do it to me.

Then, I got myself a stinker of a cold that has lasted until aroundabout now, which has meant that my time in the gym has been seriously limited - and that, combined with a trip to London (and thus eating all the food) means that I've put on a couple of pounds - boo.

My works Christmas party was this weekend as well, so now that's over I plan on being extra super good for the next fortnight before Santa comes - although the other half returning from shopping in Chester with a massive bag of sweets as a thank you for nursing her through a hangover yesterday wasn't the best start...

Guest Post - Lucy

Saturday, 1 December 2012

This weeks guest post is from the lovely Lucy - you can follow her on twitter here.


As I’m writing this, I’m finding it hard to believe that within the space of a couple of months, I've reached my target weight, been voted ‘Woman of the Year’ and ‘Miss Slinky’ at my Slimming World group and fitted into size 12 tops for the first time…ever.

In hindsight, weighing in at 14st 7lbs on New Year’s Eve 2011 at a house party was a blessing in disguise. Refusing to weigh myself for years prior to this had left me with a warped sense of just how heavy I was and how unhealthy my eating habits were. I needed that shock (followed by shots and sulking) to make big changes.

I've always loved food and tended to overeat. My nickname as a child was the ‘Human Dustbin’ as I’d go through seconds and thirds. Through High School and University, I never felt like the ‘Big One’, but looking back at photos, my outfits lacked colour and I never felt completely like the ‘Me’ I feel like now.

Walking into a weight-loss group is always going to be scary, but since that first meeting, I haven’t looked back. This sounds incredibly corny, but Slimming World really has changed my life. I’m almost evangelical about the plan, so I won’t start or else I’ll never stop. What I can say is: BIG PORTIONS and some CHOCOLATE EVERY DAY. What more could a girl ask for?

For a few years in my late teens and early twenties, I suffered horrendous back pain which got worse the older (and heavier) I got. After trips to A+E, boxes of pills and courses of physio, I was thoroughly miserable. Magically, the pain has decreased with my weight loss to the point where I rarely need pain killers. It’s been worth going without full-fat mayo on everything for this reason alone!

My wardrobe is slowly filling with clothes I never would have worn – leather-look skater skirt, anyone? Something very special will be added to my expanding wardrobe next year – my beautiful Wedding dress. I honestly cannot wait to walk down that aisle in May feeling happy, healthy and slim.

My weight loss journey up until this point has been relatively quick one – I’ve lost 3st 7.5lbs since January – but I know that this is really only the beginning. It’s going to be a battle to maintain my weight loss, but it’s one I’m determined I’m going to win.

Lucy before joining Slimming World

Now, after losing over 3.5st!

We are Where Are My Knees? want to say a big thank you to Lucy for taking the time to write this guest post. We are always looking for people to guest post for us - whether it be to share their story or a favourite workout or recipe - so if you're interested in posting for us then please get in touch. You can email us on wherearemyknees@gmail.com, or tweet us on @wherearemyknees.

Much love, 
Team WAMK xxxxx

Sunday Summary 79

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Gemma - This 10 week pledge isn't going to well for me at all... It's 1 lb on, 1 lb off most weeks but I'm pretty happy to be maintaining through a really busy time of the year. I've made an effort to pack more low point lunches because I want to eat more when I get home from work so it seem silly to waste points in the day. I've also stopped taking snacks to work for my breaks. There's always chocolate and cake being brought in for birthdays in work and I inevitably end up having some. If I take snacks in I have cake AND the snacks so at least I'm cutting out one.

Lauren - I'm down another 2.5lbs this week which I'm thrilled about, although after spending the last three days drinking too much booze and eating everything in sight I'm not sure whether the same will be said next week at the scales. There's a lot going on at the moment and I'm enjoying being out and about and socialising, as well the confidence boost of being a few lbs lighter than I was a few weeks ago. I really need to focus on exercising and only using my weekly points when I really need to over the coming few weeks - more and more Christmas events are appearing on the calendar and I need to make my points stretch as far as I can if I want to be a few lbs lighter by Christmas.

Hope all you '10 Week Pledgers' are getting close to reaching your targets, only a few weeks left! If you need any support or want to ask us any questions feel free to contact us in the comments on here or on twitter.

Guest Post

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Today's guest post comes from the lovely Lipstick Ergo Sum. Pop over and say hi, or follow her on twitter!


First and foremost, thank you to the lovely team at Where are my Knees? for giving me the opportunity to write a guest post for them.

The first time I joined Slimming World was three and a half years ago and I had lost 3 stone in preparation for my wedding. I felt great yet slowly I let (most of) the weight creep back on. This year two things made me take the plunge and go back. First, the doctor made it clear it was time to do something and it would help make my asthma better. The second thing is much more vain. I went on holiday to France over the summer and I felt so uncomfortable and downright fat next to my slimmer friends. I joined Slimming World again at the start of November and I've lost 9 pounds so far. Here's to many more!

A Typical Slimming World Day

I’m sure many of you are familiar with how Slimming World works but just for those who don’t. It works with Green Days and Original Days (red days). On Green days, ‘free’ foods are mostly carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice) and on Original days, it’s all about meat and fish. You also get ‘Healthy Extras’ for things like cereals, bread, milk, cheese etc. You also get Syns for unhealthy/ naughty foods, you have roughly 10 a day and unlike Weight Watchers where you get a weekly allowance, these cannot be ‘saved up’.


Fat Free yogurt and porridge sachet. The yogurt is free and the porridge counts as a Healthy Extra b.

Break time ( I’m a teacher):

Pear, 2 Alpen light bars as my second Healthy Extra b.  The new Cherry Bakewell ones are to die for


Lambs lettuce, cherry tomatoes, tuna (in spring water) as Healthy Extra a, half an avocado (7 Syns) , balsamic vinegar (not on picture)


Salmon curry, 1  medium size salmon fillet as my second Healthy Extra a, rice, chopped tomatoes, fat free yogurt, loads of spices to taste, we used fennel seeds, turmeric, cumic, cloves and garam masala.

I enjoy Slimming World because I never feel hungry and even if it does require a bit of planning ahead, it is very manageable and affordable.

Have you got any favourite Slimming World recipes??

Thanks again to Team WAMK for having me over!


We are Where Are My Knees? want to say a big thank you to Gaelle for taking the time to write this guest post. We are always looking for people to guest post for us - whether it be to share their story or a favourite workout or recipe - so if you're interested in posting for us then please get in touch. You can email us on wherearemyknees@gmail.com, or tweet us on @wherearemyknees.

Much love, 
Team WAMK xxxxx

chris' 6 day shred diary: day three

Thursday, 22 November 2012




And so forth. Today was another Body Pump day, and I'll be honest, it was more difficult than I expected.

See, as much as Body Combat didn't feel like quite as hard a workout as Pump, I woke up this morning with some rather achey shoulders and arms - not the best situation to be in when you have a weight training class later that day!

I did, however, up my weights like I wanted to - if only on the back and squat tracks. My arms are tired today, and the idea of hefting extra weight around on the bicep and tricep focused tracks seemed horrific. However, it wasn't until I came to write this post that I realised that I'd gone lighter than last time on my shoulders - what a fool I am, eh?

Today's weights were:

Warmup - 10Kg
Squats - 32Kg
Chest - 20Kg
Back - 25Kg
Triceps - 15Kg
Biceps - 12Kg
Lunges - 20Kg
Shoulders - 12Kg

Which still isn't bad, and if I'm honest I'm kind of glad I didn't do the extra weight on my shoulders. I've got a Combat class tomorrow evening, so I'm not looking forward to how much my arms are going to hurt in the morning...

Foodwise, today I had:

Breakfast: Three apples. Standard.
Lunch: A big old baked potato, full of salad and coleslaw.
Dinner: A pasta, tuna, sweet chilli and vegetable... thing that I made because I fancied something different, didn't have much time before class, and couldn't be bothered looking for or following a recipe.

And finally... my weight: 1.2 pounds since yesterday. That's absolutely crackers, even for me, who loses weight quickly. I know this is probably that first bit of excess weight dropping off when you've not done a proper hardcore diet for a while, but still; two pounds in as many days ain't to be sniffed at...

See you tomorrow, shred fans!

Chris' 6 Day Shred Diary: Day Two

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Today was Body Combat.

It was the first time I'd ever done Body Combat - so in order to properly give you a my first impressions of what it's like, I thought I'd present a short log of my thoughts during it:

7:30 - Bloody hell, it's busy here tonight.
7:50 - I appear to be the only man waiting for this class (If you can call a human being who spent twenty minutes before leaving for the gym running about the house squealing "Electrolytes, I need my electrolytes, I SIMPLY CANNOT GO TO THE GYM WITHOUT MY ELECTROLYTES" a man).
8:00 - Jacques is taking the class. Jacques looks more like a man called Jacques than you can imagine. Jacques asks if I am new at this. I say yes. He puts his hand on my shoulder, shakes his head like a man saying goodbye to a lame dog, and begins the class.
8:01 - Jacques moves with the speed, precision and grace of a Cobra crossed with an Eagle.
8:02 - I move with the speed, precision and grace of a sofa humping a wardrobe on a staircase.
8:05 - I have punched myself in the ear.
8:08 - I have punched the lady to my left in the ear.
8:15 - I have very nearly punched Jacques in the ear.
8:25 - Marilyn Manson's version of "Sweet Dreams" isn't supposed to be this fast.
8:30 - I'm starting to enjoy this. I already feel more confident; I'm sure I'd stand a chance in a fight now - assuming the fight could be won by just going cross-hook-cross-hook-weave-weave-weave over and over again, and I was fighting a child. With her arms taped to her side.
8:35 - A very fast version of "Bass in the Place" has just started. I don't understand how anyone who isn't on amphetamines could move in time to this.
8:36 - I am now moving faster than a person on amphetamines could, because parts of this one are in double time.
8:45 - In order to make sure nobody feels left out, I have punched the lady to my right in the ear.
8:47 - I'm quite surprised to realise I've spent the last couple of minutes properly lost in the track and the routine, and I've been swinging really rather aggressively - rather unlike the Omega Male I usually am.
8:50 - I have a feeling this abs workout breaks a few key parts of the Geneva convention.
9:00 - I am a sweat beast. I belong in a cave where my sopping skin won't ruin any soft furnishings and my curiously purple, hideous, dribbling face won't scare the townsfolk.

So yeah, that's Body Combat.

I've got to say, I actually really enjoyed it. It really highlighted how poor my coordination and balance are, and it's great for getting the heart going too. It doesn't feel like as "hard" of a workout as something like Body Pump, but there are some lightning fast combinations in there, as well as tracks that involve quickly shifting your weight and body shape drastically without falling on your big, fat, sweaty face. It's good fun, and I'm looking forward to my next class on Thursday already.

Food wise, today consisted of:

Breakfast: Three apples. Pushing the boat out.

Lunch: A salad plus the last little bit of the slimming world meat loaf I made on the weekend.

Dinner: Homemade bolognese with turkey mince and Tesco half fat cheese, then an Aero mousse thing - only 93 calories, but it is slightly lighter than air.

I did stop at Tesco after the gym I'm afraid, in a moment of weakness - here's all the goodies I picked up on my late night, post-gym trip to the home of every sweet, biscuit, cake and crisp on the planet:

Ooh yeah, living the highlife.

I know I'm only two days (or 33%, or a third) into my challenge, but so far I'm feeling good. I have a feeling my arms might ache from all the punching tomorrow (which will make Body Pump fun tomorrow...) But it's nice to be focused and "in the zone" again, so to speak. Even better, so far I've already seen an awesome effect on my weight: This morning I was almost a pound lighter than yesterday - so roll on tomorrow, I say!

Chris' 6 Day Shred Diary: Day One

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I take exercise very seriously.

Okay, usually I take exercise very seriously (and look less camp during it; I don't know what the hell I'm doing in that photo. I'm also glad I wore my shorts underneath the skeleton onesie). But recently, my eating has got a little bit out of control. For some reason I can't quite fathom there has been an incredible amount of popcorn in my office recently, and doing things like getting a Dominos on Friday and then going to the Chinese on Sunday were really starting to make the pounds creep back on.

So, this weekend I decided: Let's do something about it. I'm going to rein the eating in, and really hit the gym hard this week - have a damn good shred and see how I feel, look and weigh afterwards, then share it with the wonderful readership of WAMK.

So, welcome to day one.

Day one was a Body Pump day. For anyone who's never done Body Pump, I would describe it as: a fight for your life with weights, while some dreadful masochist shouts at you over some Scooter B-Side or a remix of an Adele song. Except, somehow, it's fun.

Body Pump is a weights class, but it's never going to make you a hulking beefcake who can crack nuts with their biceps. Instead it focuses on strength, endurance and toning, and it's a damn good workout that will burn about 700 calories per session. I lift heavy because I'm fairly strong, but the heaviest I will ever put on my bar is around 30 kilos, which is around the weight of your average 10 year old (you try finding out what weighs 30 kilos using Google), and that's to put it on my shoulders in order to do squats - and it's still plenty!

So, today's weights were:

Warmup - 10Kg
Squats - 30Kg
Chest - 20Kg
Back - 22Kg
Triceps - 15Kg
Biceps - 12Kg
Lunges - 20Kg
Shoulders - 15Kg

I'd like to make a few of them a little heavier; squats and back in particular could go a little heavier.

Food wasn't too bad today: Breakfast was two apples, while lunch was a prawn wrap from the work canteen (which is probably a little bit carb heavy, but could be worse). That's not likely to change for the rest of the week as I do like my routine, although I do sometimes have a baked potato for lunch. Dinner was a Sweet and Sour made with Mr Bens Light sauce and boiled noodles, with loads of veg thrown in for measure. I'm about to sit down and watch the Walking Dead with an Options (Turkish Delight flavour - get in my head now you perfumed temptress, you), and that'll be it for the day - we'll see how my weight fares up tomorrow!

Guest Post - Hayley from Oh My God Is That From Tiffany?

Monday, 19 November 2012

A break with tradition this week - a week time guest post! Everyone say hello to the lovely Hayley!


Hi I'm Hayley from Oh My God Is That From Tiffany and I have been allowed by the lovely ladies and gent of Where Are My Knnes? to tell you a story about how weight loss has to happen at the right time and is not just about calories.

Overweight, exhausted, stressed, unhappy.... These are some of the words I would use to describe myself about 1 year ago. On the surface I looked pretty good; good job, wonderful fiancé, nice house but inside I was pretty sad about my weight. I just knew something didn't feel right. Don't get me wrong I was pretty happy with the other areas of my life, but it's exhausting going to bed most nights and instead of celebrating what you did well that day hating yourself for not sticking to a ridiculous diet you concocted. Add into this mix binging tendencies, food intolerances and a poor relationship with exercise and you get the drift.

A heart to heart with my mum made me realise that because of the type of person I was I am always looking for the next challenge and never stopped to smell the roses. Challenges for me were work based, saving based and all of this happened first leaving me and myself coming last. A healthy motivation is a good thing, left unchecked and out of balance and it can become your Achilles' heel.

So I vowed to change, to take the time to smell the roses, to work out what I really wanted and to prioritize time and money to making that happen. The first step was a trip to a naturopath. She advised me that she could supplement me to build up my reserves as my body was exhausted but that she did not recommend dieting or extreme exercise until my energy was restored. She also said there was only so much she could do, she could only fix the symptoms, and unless I really changed this would happen again. After my first trip I took time to think about what was important to me? What did I admire in others? How did I want my life to be? What was this ever elusive goal I was working towards? For me what I wanted was health, work life balance, a toned figure that may not be perfect but that I could dress up and feel good about, a strong healthy feeling body, a more natural relationship with food and most of all to have these habits ingrained before having children so I could teach them well.

At first it was so daunting. I gave up personal training (which had helped me loose zero weight), I quit the low carb diet efforts, I vowed not to travel for a year (including back home to England) and I worked out what I wanted from work and set about finding a job that offered it. I learned to sleep properly at night, to rest at weekends and to enjoy being in the moment. I walked a lot and did some yoga and for four months that was all. In April I found a new job and handed in my notice. By this point I felt energised and ready to try more actively for weight loss. I knew my extreme diet tendencies led to binge cycles so I joined Weight Watchers which allows all food and surprise surprise it worked. Each week I promised myself I wouldn't eat my weekly points or I would exercise daily or only eat protein. Each day I never did these things but I didn't fail as I was still within my points and gradually the weight came off.

As I learned to trust the program these extreme thoughts left my head. I started walking. A few months ago I started running and my weight loss stalled. After a chat with the naturopath we thought running was probably another stress on my body so it went into fat storing mode. I LIKED running and I wanted to continue. So I did and my body realised it was ok and not in stress and the loss continued.

The new approach and trust I have in the gently gently approach has spread to other areas of my life such as my career; I now enjoy being challenged but not overworked. For savings I save some but spend some too and I know that with the gentle approach you probably get there faster than with an extreme plan where you are set up to fail.

Since April I have lost nearly 20kg. I have about 10 more to go. I don't really care. I wear a size 12. Don't tell anyone but I think I look ok! There are wobbly bits but it’s not all bad and it can only continue to get better.

Hayley before seeing a Naturopath and starting Weight Watchers

Now, after losing 20kg

I have new clothes as of 3 weeks ago and wear them with pride. In 12 weeks I turn 30 and I may be at goal, or I may not quite be there. Either way 'lose 30kg' will no longer be on my things to do list and I am so excited to wear my wedding dress next year. Words I would use to describe how I feel now are relaxed, calm, happy, positive, energised and so excited about what the future may bring.

I guess the most terrifying thing was giving up on diet and exercise at the start of the year, but I needed a break to get my head and body strong enough for the task of losing the weight. I had been trying so hard for years and just getting bigger and this has honestly been the right time and place for me and it has not felt too challenging once. Give yourself a break, make small changes, don't give up food make little healthy swaps and introduce a new one each week. Before you know it you will too turn round and not recognise yourself in shop windows (which happens to me at an alarming frequency at the moment).

Pop on by for a catch up and hear about my wins (and losses) and I would love to hear about yours.


We are Where Are My Knees? want to say a big thank you to Hayley for taking the time to write this guest post. We are always looking for people to guest post for us - whether it be to share their story or a favourite workout or recipe - so if you're interested in posting for us then please get in touch. You can email us on wherearemyknees@gmail.com, or tweet us on @wherearemyknees.

Much love, 
Team WAMK xxxxx

Sunday Summary 78

Apologies for the delay in posting this - Team WAMK have all had an extremely busy weekend but we're still here and we still love you ALL!

Lauren - Despite a minor foot injury that effectively put the kibosh on any sort of exercise this week, I managed a loss of 2.5lbs. I put it down to having practiced what I preached this week and tracked everything. I'm well behind on my Ten Week Pledge and while I would love to get to the -15lbs mark by Christmas eve I can't see it happening. I don't think 15lbs in ten weeks was too unrealistic, but I also don't think I fully took into account everything that was going on in my life at the time. I will continue to strive for the 15lbs  but if I don't get there its not the end of the world - whatever I do lose will be down to having the pledge in the back of my mind and knowing that I made a commitment, which counts for something at least!

Rosie - This week I've really worked hard again - I went to a Pump class (absolute killer!), aqua aerobics, bootcamp (also a killer!) and advanced spinning, as well as fitting in a couple of runs.  I've eaten right, and kept my hand out of various tempting tins (Quality Street tins, biscuit tins, etc).  So I must admit I was a little disappointed when I didn't lose any weight this week, not a single lb.  I'm accepting that some weeks you lose and some weeks you don't and my clothes are feeling looser which is a better illustrating of having shed weight I think so I'm trying not to feel too disheartened.  I still only have 2 lbs to shake off on my ten week pledge so I'm hoping that might happen next week!

Gemma - As the instigator of the 10 weeks pledge I'm really not doing very well. The rest of the team are really putting me to shame. There are just so many social engagements this time of year that include food and I can't say no. I'm just trying to be as good as I can before going out to balance out all the high calorie food. I'm not gaining but I've pretty much maintained my weight since July and not lost anything. It's really starting to get me down now and I need something to get me back in the dieting groove. I'm really enjoying my weight loss and the confidence it has brought by going out an enjoying myself but I need to refocus my energy on reaching my -100lb goal.

Chris - Hello! I'm still alive, despite what my lack of activity here might suggest - but I bring exciting news! I'd like to take this opportunity to officially announce the winner of our Get Fit Feel Epic competition - the lovely Emma! She wrote a brilliant post all about how she keeps fit, and not only was the post passionate and inspiring, it also contained a line that made me think it was added purely to make me think it was awesome. We're hoping to bring it to you as a guest post tomorrow - watch this space! In other news, I'm going on a bit of a shred this next week: Monday-Friday I'll be attending a Les Mills class every day, eating Slimming World to the letter, and seeing what happens. I'll be keeping a diary and sharing my thoughts here, so watch for that too.

How are you all getting on? Have the Christmas goodies started creeping into homes and offices yet, or are you managing to avoid the naughtiness? If you are, please tell me how...there is a box of mince pies in my office that is positively screaming my name!

Sunday Summary 77

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Another week gone already! Where is the time going? Christmas is just round the corner now - how are you all getting on with your Ten Week Pledges?

Team WAMK are currently looking for guest bloggers to contribute so if you want to tell us how you're getting on with the pledge or even if you just want to share your story then please drop us an email!

Lauren - I didn't get a chance to weigh-in this week as work and home have both been a bit manic. I'm pretty sure I regained what I had lost last week, and maybe more on top of that, after an indulgent few days in Canterbury and at my dad's. I'm back on the wagon now and have been tracking religiously for the last few days - I even worked out the ProPoints for the chocolate cake I made for my mum's birthday (13 ProPoints per slice, eeeeek). I've also been making a conscious effort to 'move more' during the day. I'm pretty sedentary at work so I've been making more of an effort to get up and move around instead of vegetating at my desk all day. I'm not saying a few more lengths of the office is going to make a huge difference at the scales, but it can't hurt right!?

Sarah - I want to give a big thank you to the beautiful Amy for her tweets following last weeks Sunday Summary, your tweets worked and kicked me up the ass I and I have managed to lose 2.5lbs this week.  I haven't followed any plan just made sure I have eaten under 1400 calories a day and allowed myself a little bit of freedom at the weekend.  

Gemma - Well, as predicted Manchester was a bit of a diet free three days but I wasn't expecting to go as far off the rails as I did. Went to a club that sold drinks for £1, drank a lot of those and then proceeded to eat cheese and chips. Cheese AND chips. I also had a killer hangover the next day and ate a huge bag of vegetable crisps and a wispa. I've had a very strict few days since I got back so hopefully there wont be too much of an impact on the scales on Tuesday. I don't think 10lbs in 10 weeks was too optimistic, I'm just being a terrible dieter at the moment. Can someone come and supervise me please and shout 'back away from the biscuits!' at me through a megaphone?

Rosie – After last week's no loss I've thankfully had a good week this week - I lost 2lbs which takes me down to 131 lbs and only 2 lbs away from my Ten Week Pledge goal weight! I wish I could say it was effortless but I’ve had to work really hard for these two; on Monday I ran 5k before work and then went to Aqua Aerobics in the evening and I’ve been running most mornings as well as walking the dog.  Next week I’m trying two new classes at the gym (Body Pump and Boot Camp) along with Spinning and Aqua Aerobics again and I’m really looking forward to it; just need to improve next week by keeping my hand out of the biscuit tin at work!

We've been really proud of those who've tweeted us or shared their blog posts about their own Ten Week Pledges and we can also now announce the winners of our Zaggora HotPants 2.0 Competition where you shared your pledges in the comments for a chance to win some of the lovely new HotPants.  We're pleased to announce that our two winners are Nikki and Laura - well done ladies! By coincidence, both of our winning ladies have also blogged about their ten week pledges and you can read their posts here and here.

WW Product Review

Monday, 5 November 2012

A few weeks ago Gem, Sarah and I were lucky enough to each receive a little care package courtesy of the lovely ladies at Weight Watchers. As usual the hampers were a joy to receive. Weight Watchers always go out of their way to make sure there is a good range of products for us to try, plus any package that arrives on my doorstep containing biscuits and cakes is automatically a winner in my book.

Lauren: One of my favourite aspects of the hampers is the Weight Watchers magazine and recipe book. I love the magazine and buy it every month from meetings anyway - there are always loads of brilliant recipes for the season and tips and tricks to get you through whatever occasion is next on the calendar. The Fresh and Easy Every Day recipe book is a real gem to have on the bookshelf as well. All the recipes are simple, quick, yummy and low points, which is exactly what you need after getting in from a long day at work and the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen.

Gemma: I love the magazine, it's full of great recipes which stop me from getting bored with the plan but what I really love in the inspirational stories. Reading about how other people struggled with their weight but reached their goals by following the plan really help me stay on track and think about what my goals are.

Lauren: These mini cookies are great and I've been buying them ever since I received the hamper. They're great for a sugary mid-morning pick me up and because they're mini there are lots of them (well, not lots, but quite a few!) so it takes longer to eat them than it would a couple of normal cookies from the packet - meaning that it feels like you get more for your points. This weight loss stuff...its definitely psychological! ;) My only criticism is that they're not as chocolatey as I would like... but then for 2 ProPoints, they probably never will be.

Gemma: Like Lauren, I also liked the cookies and so did my brother because they all disappeared before I got a look in.

Sarah: Not too keen on these to be honest, would much rather spend the 2 ProPoints on a nice slice of cake.  I found them a bit dry and not to my taste.

Lauren: I was pleased to get the squash, pasta sauce and crackers this month. I've had the crackers before and really enjoy them - great as a snack spread with 30g extra light Philadelphia for a total of 3 ProPoints. I wasn't particularly keen on the cordial but I'm quite fussy when it comes to drinks and tend to only drink the Robinson's Sugar Free Peach squash. My mum is a big fan of the squash though, so it went to work with her instead. The pasta sauce is great for a quick and easy low points meal. I normally make my own pasta sauce but this was really handy to just pour over and stir through when I don't have time to do it all myself. I had mine with tuna and some roasted Mediterranean and it was delicious. You can also make the sauce go a a lot further by stirring in some chopped tomatoes.

Gemma: I liked the cordial, it was nice and refreshing and I keep this in the fridge at work. I find it better to drink squash on my break because if I have a cup of tea I want something sweet to go with it. Such a bad habit. I also liked the sauce but tend to make my own for 0 ProPoints, probably wouldn't use these jars often.

Sarah: I didn't really like the cordial, I don't like lemon so gave this to the husband who loved it.  My favourite cordial is the Weight Watcher Red Grape & Pomegranate one which is so nice.  I loved the pasts sauce, it was really convenient and tasty.  Like Lauren I have been spreading Philly extra light on the crackers and eating them as part of lunch. 


Lauren: I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with the Blueberry Slices and Jaffa mini rolls, particularly as some of the other cake bars and slices are absolutely to die for. My favourites are the Carrot Cake Slices and Caramel Cake Bars. The Blueberry Slices taste fine but aren't anything to write home about, and the Jaffa mini rolls were a bit bland and nothing-y for my tastes. When chocolate and orange are combined I like the orange to be really strong - see Terry's Chocolate Orange or proper old school Jaffa Cakes. The taste of these was quite mild in comparison so I wasn't overstruck.

Gemma: The blueberry slices were a tad artificial for my tastes but the rest of my family liked them. I prefer the coconut slices that WW make or the chocolate bars I buy from class. I normally hate jaffa cakes and think mixing chocolate and orange is just plain wrong but I actually rather enjoyed these jaffa rolls. The jam in the middle tasted more like apricot and they were just the right size.

Sarah: I bloody love the blueberry slices, they are as good as normal cake in my opinion! The blueberry slices are definitely the highlight of the hamper for me.  I also enjoyed the Jaffa rolls and would choose them over the biscuits every time. 

Overall the products we received were great - tasty, convenient, and a good range of things for lunchboxes, snacks and meals. I love that Weight Watchers have such a huge range of products and that they're so easily available and conveniently packaged. Weight Watchers products are often on offer in the supermarkets too, meaning you can pick them up at a snip and keep stocked up on all your favourites so you'll never have to go without.

Sunday Summary 76

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Another week gone and another week closer to Christmas! Tomorrow marks 7 weeks til Christmas Eve meaning we are now 3 weeks in to our 10 Week Pledge - how have you been getting on?

Lauren - I lost 1.5lbs this week which I was thrilled with, but I suspect know that I've regained it all and then some after all-you-can-eat Chinese, two lots of fish and chips and a kebab (admittedly a small chicken shish, but still...) as well as untold amounts of booze this week. I was visiting friends in Canterbury for Halloween/a birthday celebration so naturally there was a lot of food and booze. I'm at my dad's this afternoon for a yummy roast dinner but after that I have no more excuses until the end of the month. I'm heading home this evening and I'm actually looking forward to getting back in the gym and in a routine - my body is crying out for exercise and nutrients!

Gemma -  It was all going so well, I lost 1lb at weigh in on Tuesday.... then my mum bought fresh bread and shortbread biscuits and I've stuffed my face all weekend. Done a little walking to limit the damage but I'm going to need a week of being super strict to get this back off. I'm going to Manchester for three days with my best friend on Monday and I was going to eat out loads and have cocktails but I might be a little more sensible after this horrid weekend and stick to chicken salads if I eat out and swap the cocktails for a gin and slimline tonic. I need to work on my self control, there's no way I'm letting the weight creep back on.

Rosie - I've had another week where I've worked hard but unfortunately it hasn't paid off on the scales which tell me I haven't lost a single pound! I went to my first spinning class on Monday and then to a circuits class on Thursday as well as a few morning runs in between so I was disappointed to not see a loss this week, I'm just hoping for a bigger one next week to make up for it!

Sarah - I've been poorly this week so haven't even attempted to lose any weight.  I haven't even weighed myself for a couple of weeks which is really unusual for me.  I am finding it so hard to get back on track, what do you do when your motivation has disappeared? I need some help :(

What to wear when running

Thursday, 1 November 2012

When I first started running (you can also read my post about when I started running) it was because I was fed up of taking out gym memberships and then feeling guilty for not going.  I have a tendency to beat myself up constantly either about money or not doing exercise so the combination of doing so about both at the same time is too much for me! I had never gone running before until one day back in July when I decided to give it a try.  The great thing about running, I decided then, was that it was free, and I already had all of the things I needed to do it.  I ran every couple of days until September when I was away for most of the month, and since I got back I've run every couple of days since then.  I am still VERY much a beginner but I absolutely love it and I feel passionately that people could never imagine themselves getting out of bed in the morning and jogging out the door should give it a try, just a few times, to see if it's something that suits you.

When I first tried running I wore my bog standard trainers that I'd bought to go to the gym in a few years before.  It probably would have been better to buy some proper running trainers that were suited to my feet first but I had some proper orthotic insoles (incidentally, these ones if you are interested) that I'd bought a couple of months before that I knew supported my high arches so I slipped them in and off I went.  However, I would encourage you to find out which kind of trainers you need and get a decent pair (the good news is there are loads of good running trainers out there for under £40 - less than most monthly gym memberships!)

Choosing the right trainers

The best guide I have found for choosing the right running shoes is on Sportshoes.com - 'How to choose the right running shoe'.  Just follow the video and it'll show you, based on your footprint, whether you need a neutral shoe, a supportive shoe, or a control shoe.  You can then look at the trainers specifically in those sections so you know you're getting the right shoe for you.

Here are a few that look like great value to me (I'm no expert so I can't vouch for the shoes themselves but most of them are reduced from about £50 so you should be getting a good quality shoe for your money.) You'll need to click through to the description to see if they're the right shoe for you.

1. Saucony Lady Grid Tuned - £24.99
2. Reebok Lady Carthage - £24.99
3. Saucony Lady Grid Ignition 2 - £24.99
4. Mizuno Lady Crusader - £29.99
5 - Saucony Lady Grid Jazz - £19.99
6. Saucony ProGrid Stabil- £34.99

Other good value running gear

As I mentioned before, when I first started running I just wore bog standard gym gear; I already had a sports bra (a necessity!) a nice breathable t-shirt and some leggings.  Last week I treated myself to some new bits as I didn't have anything to keep me warm in the cold mornings or anything bright to make sure I'm safe when it's darker.  I buy all my running/fitness gear from Sports Direct as you can get some absolute bargains on there.  Here are some of my top picks (you'll spot some of them in my pre-run photo just below...)

1. Karrimor Running Shirt - £6.99 // 2. Lonsdale Sports Bra £6
3. Karrimor Running Shirt - £6.99  // 4. Karrimor Running Socks - £3.99
5. Nike Sports Bra - £18 // 6. Nike Long Sports Bra - £10
 7. Karrimor Gilet - £3.69 // 8. Karrimor Running Pants - £6.49

You can see now, that with a bit of bargain hunting, you could get your whole set of running kit, trainers included, for less than £50 (so I don't want to hear any more of those 'it's too expensive to buy running gear' excuses, ya hear? ;)

Special mention: Zaggora HotPants

not showing too much of my make-up less face thank god!
me in my hotpants 2.0*

You probably know by now that we're all huge fans of the Zaggora HotPants here on WAMK.  The way HotPants work is that they enhance your natural body temperature to warm you up in the areas you want to target most (thighs, bum, and legs).  You can wear them for almost any activity but I've been wearing them running not only because they are great for burning extra calories and inch loss but also they keep me warm and toasty when it's freezing!  We recently held a giveaway for two pairs of these amazing HotPants so keep your eye on WAMK over the next few days if you entered as we'll be announcing the winners.

Once you've got a decent pair of trainers and something to wear you're ready to go out and pound the concrete.  I recommend you shove in your pockets/bumbag (I know, very 80's but very handy!) an iPod/iPhone filled with awesome workout music and I'd also recommend you try out either the Couch to 5K app or the Nike Running app.  The first is great for building up your stamina and ability over time, and I use the second to measure my times and runs to motivate me to get better.

All that remains is for me to say good luck, and enjoy it! If you do decide to start running do let us know how you're getting on!

Gemma's 'Must have' items to stay on track

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I've been following the Weight Watchers plan for just under two years now and I'm in a pretty good routine when it comes to what I eat. I know exactly what to avoid in the shops because they are far too high in points and I've always got my freezer stocked up with all the essentials I need to create a filling and healthy meal.

Here are my items that I just can't live without:

1.Weight Watcher Toffee Popcorn bar and porridge sachets.
I always carry these around in my handbag as I like to be prepared for any occasion. If I meet friends for coffee and cake I can have one of these bars for just 2 propoints instead of the insane 14 propoints that a muffin from somewhere like Costa would be. The porridge sachets are also great for me if I stay at someones house so I don't indulge in buttery toast.

2. Low Low cheese slices.
One thing I really miss on Weight Watchers is cheese. I could eat my own body weight in cheese every day but now I don't keep any in the house. These Low Low slices are only 1 propoint each and are great with nimble bread, slice of ham and some onion to make a speedy but tasty toastie for lunch. I get a little taste of cheese that is already portioned out for me so I don't lose control.

3. Weetabix and a banana

I have this for breakfast on most days. I find it hard to eat in the morning, I get a little queasy but weetabix are plain and filling so perfect for me. I eat the banana on the commute to work and find that I'm full until my tea break or lunch. I love that I don't need to weigh weetabix like you would have to with other cereal, it's all about convenience for me.

4. Fry light spray

A must have for all dieters, great to use when frying or to spray veg if you are roasting them. Be careful though, one spray is 0 point but four sprays are 1 propoint.

5. Soup

I always have soup in the fridge. I take it to work for lunch because all the salads and sandwiches available in the work cafe are super high in points. I also eat a small bowl when I get in from work before I make my main meal so I don't pick while preparing it.

6. Ready Baked Jacket Potato

Again, these are just so convenient. I don't need to weigh them, they are always 5 pro points.Great to have when I get in from work because they only take five minutes and I  can eat them with a huge salad and tuna for a low point meal.

7. My Weight Watcher cookbooks

These stop me from going off track due to boredom with the plan. I try and make a new dish every week and keep things exciting. These are designed with the Weight Watcher plan in mind so I don't need to adapt any of them like I do when using recipes from the Good Food website.

8.Light creme fraiche
I used this to make all my delicious creamy sauces for things like cabonara, it still feels really indulgent but for a fraction of the points. I also use this with fruit and meringues to make a low point dessert and I always have a tub in the fridge.

9. Frozen Meals
I know its lazy but sometimes I just don't want to cook. I have a long commute and don't get home until 7pm. When I get in I just want to see my dog and catch up on trashy TV. The Weight watcher ones are so low in points and I top them up with loads of fresh vegetables to make them into a filling meal.

What are your essential store cupboard items that help you stay on track?

Sunday Summary 75

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Rosie - I was thrilled to discover when I stepped on the scales yesterday and found that I have lost 3lbs this week.  My target is to be at 129 lbs by the end of our 10 week challenge (I am a short person so that would make me a 10-12) and I'm currently at 133 lbs so well on the way! This week was another week of lots of healthy eating and a few early morning runs - very much looking forward to the lighter mornings now the clocks have gone back; running in the pitch black is not fun!

Lauren - I lost another 1lb this week which I'm really pleased about. I've had a few rubbish days since weigh-in on Thursday so now its all about eating properly again. I'm away from Tuesday-Saturday this week but staying with a friend who also does Weight Watchers so I know food won't be as huge an issue as it would if I was staying with someone else! I'm hoping to stay the same at weigh-in this week as I'll be weighing in two days earlier. I really need to focus on upping the exercise now too - I had a free personal trainer taster session at the gym and the trainer worked up a program for me to really focus on toning up and building strength so I'm looking forward to getting started on that.

Gemma - I couldn't attend class this week, my brother had an interview and I'm dependant on him for lifts. I weighed at home and had maintained weight but I'm pretty sure I will get better results at the scales this week. I'm not doing as well with the 10 week pledge as I would like but it's going in the right direction. I have so many events coming up in the next few weeks it is going to be important to be as good as I can in the day so I can enjoy the bubbly and nibbles at the events. I'm going to Manchester with my best friend next week and that is going to be one big three day bender of eating cake and drinking cocktails. I'm a little worried but I'm taking my Weight Watcher Eating Out Guide with me so I can make good choices.

Guest Post - Elinor from You Haven't Failed Until You Quit Trying

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Today's guest post comes from the lovely Elinor of You Haven't Failed Until You Quit Trying. Pop on over and say hello :)

First of all can I just say how lovely it was to have been asked to guest post for Where Are My Knees? :)
I'm Elle and I'm a 21 year old graduate (still in denial I'm no longer a student!), weight watchers lover & half marathon runner!! Too date I've currently lost 80.5lbs (5st 10lbs).

My story began when I joined Weight Watchers back in May 2009 weighing 16stone 12.5lbs and a size 20-22. Having always struggled with my weight, seeing dietitians, and half heartedly attempting to lose weight, something on that Monday clicked in my head. It was time to lose weight for good & more than anything I'd be doing it for myself. If I was to give anyone some advice it would be that losing weight has to be for you, you can't be pressured into it because you'll try it for 2 weeks and then give up. 
I knew the Weight Watchers plan and knew that it would fit in with student lifestyle; although I never imagined I'd be where I am today. My first week I lost 3lbs as was amazed [I still didn't think that I'd ever get to the point that goal would be in reach], I hadn't been hungry, hadn't done much exercise and had still been out getting drunk with my friends! The weight started dropping off & before I knew it people were commenting on how well I was looking. These comments are things that keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel! Which trust me I have done, a million times!
When you get to a certain point in your weight loss journey the inevitable plateau hits, it's times like this that I just wanted to give up, and to be "normal" and not have to care about what I was eating; resisting a dominoes take away when that's what everyone is eating is SO hard! But then friends & family around me would remind me just how far I'd come, how good I was looking and remind me that the cycle of gaining & losing the same 2lbs would eventually break and that those small gains were nothing compared to what I had lost. Surrounding yourself with friends and family who will encourage & support you is another thing that will keep you going. 
Exercise, unfortunately becomes a must in order to keep up your weight loss, and also to tone up. But I've found once I get into a routine I can actually start to like exercise, although I will never love it. People that do are just a bit strange! But yet I found myself, with 2 friends,signing up to Bristol Half Marathon  Running is great because it's free, you can do it at your own pace and build it up depending on your own abilities. However if you're anything like myself I used to hate, actually despise, running in public! Convinced people were always staring at me because I was the fat person who was attempting to run. Yup even after losing almost 6 stone I still see myself as fat. But I soon got over that fear of everyone watching me and learnt to enjoy running, it gave me so much more energy, was a great de-stresser and having signed up for the half marathon I had something to aim for so I couldn't just stop! I'm not going to lie there were days where it would take me a good couple of hours to convince myself that going for a run would make me feel better, and once I'd got out there I felt so much better. The feeling once I'd got back of how much I'd pushed myself & looking back at how far I'd come was such a confidence booster! 

The half marathon itself was such an emotional day! The nervousness before starting of thinking "oh god I've got to run 13.1 miles" but yet the anticipation of crossing the finishing line knowing how far I'd come is something that kept me going, especially around miles 10-11 when I almost cried! Not sure if it was due to pain in my legs or realising that I didn't have far left to go! Seeing 2 of my best friends at the side of the road shouting our names was such a boost and exactly what I needed! And yes I had a small tear in my eye as I crossed the line! My official time came in as 2:19:41 and I've already signed up to my next half! I'm not going to preach about how you should all go out and sign up for a half marathon but if you want to build exercise into your life then I would definatley recommend running! 
Something it took me a while to get my head around is that losing weight isn't just about the number on the scales. And something you should all bear in mind when having a bad week or a STS or a gain. Taking your measurements is a vital ingredient to monitoring weight loss & something I would advise you all to do if you don't already. I have photo's of myself that are only abut a 5-7lb difference but I'm wearing 2 totally different size clothes in them, just because I've been exercising & losing inches rather than pounds!
Support comes from anywhere whether it be friends, family, facebook, twitter, blogging or weight watchers boards. There have been days where everything is going wrong but someone will say something and you'll re focus on why you are doing this. I still have days where I eat everything & anything in sight (sometimes my inner fat girl just wins!) but the next day I'll draw a line. There's a quote that I often see floating around something like "you wouldn't smash your phone up having dropped it, so why let one bad day ruin a good week". I would also recommend comparing pictures of yourself; I do this quite regularly & I'm sure my Facebook friends & twitter followers get fed up of it sometimes but seeing the comments and encouragement from people is sometimes the boost you need to get your head back in it.
Joining Weight Watchers was the best thing I have ever done, whilst I've physically lost so much, I have also gained so much in terms of confidence in myself, pride in who I and my abilities and some fabulous friends along the way! To date I am 11st 2lbs and a size 10-12! It still shocks me that I have achieved this, but have faith in yourself and confidence in how far you can go.
"You haven't failed until you quit trying" - A quote that keeps me going at times I want to throw in the towel, I may not be at goal yet but I am still working on my journey!
Lots of Love 

Chinese Prawns and Broccoli

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

This recipe is from the Weight Watchers Cooking for One recipe book that Gem, Sarah and I were lucky enough to receive in our latest hamper. I've made this a couple of times already - its really quick and easy and perfect for the nights when the rest of the family are doing their own thing and I'm left to fend for myself. I tweaked the recipe the second time I made it and it was just as nice.

You will need:
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (I added quite a bit more, but then I like spicy food)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 100g raw peeled tiger or king prawns
  • low fat cooking spray
  • 25g unsalted cashews (I didn't use these the second time I made it as they account for half the total ProPoints value of the total recipe...they're yummy, but they're not that yummy)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh root ginger
  • 100g broccoli, trimmed
  • 50g mushrooms (the recipe calls for shiitake but I couldn't get them so I used chestnut)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 spring onion, sliced finely at an angle

  • Mix together the cornflour, cayenne pepper and soy sauce. Add the prawns and mix well. Set aside in the fridge for half an hour.
  • Heat a non stick frying pan or wok until hot and spray with cooking spray. Add the cashews and stir fry for about 30 seconds, or until they start to colour, then remove and set aside. If you're not using cashews then skip this step. Obviously.
  • Spray the pan again and add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a few seconds and then add the broccoli and mushrooms. Stir fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice wine or sherry, the prawns and 5 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes until the prawns turn pink. Add the cashews (if thats you're thing) and half the spring onion and cook for another minute or so.
  • Sprinkle over the remaining spring onion. The ProPoints value for this recipe is 8, but without the cashew nuts its 4. Serve with 150g cooked white rice or fresh egg noodles for an additional 6 ProPoints. (I was low on points, so I had stir fried peppers, onion and baby corn instead for an extra ProPoints value of 0)


Sunday Summary 74

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Rosie - Another week of hard work for me - sticking to no junk food and lots of meat and veggies and I also started running in the mornings again.  I'm really chuffed to say that I'm another 1.5 lbs down this week, meaning I am only 7lbs away from my 10lb in 10 weeks goal! Just got to keep up the good work now!

Lauren - I've been really good for most of this week. I've gone back to basics with tracking and pointing everything and I managed to get in a couple of good gym sessions wearing my snazzy new HotPants as well. I was unsure whether last weekends boozy/foody couple of days and Tuesday's accidental trip to TGI's (!!) were going to derail my efforts but I'm pleased to say I lost 3.5lbs this week! This puts me over a week ahead of schedule for the Ten Week Pledge so I'm absolutely thrilled. I've got a quiet week coming up so I'm planning to get my head down in the gym and be really good food-wise and hopefully I'll see another decent loss this week.

Gemma - I lost 1lb at weigh in this week which I was happy with, back on track and 1lb down into my 10lbs in 10 weekend challenge. I had a very good week, planned all my lunches in work and tried hard to cut out snacks and eat larger and more filling meals. I've probably gone over my points in alcohol this weekend but I'm hoping all my good work in the week won't go to waste. I've got a lot of parties and events coming up in the next few weeks which I'm worried about. Hopefully I can say no to nibbles and champers.