Thursday, 23 April 2015

The view from this mat

I have had a few days away from the gym this week as I was in London for a long weekend but last week I witnessed some classic gym characters.

This isn't the Moulin Rouge

On Tuesdays #fudgeitfatclub members (Sarah and I) take ourselves to Body Combat and Body Pump.  Combat is ace and slightly daft, lots of kicking and punching to some quality tunes.  We stand at the front of the class, not to show off but simply to give ourselves room to flail about in an uncoordinated fashion.  But lo!  A new comer to the class set herself up behind us... a little too close for comfort but it happens, we shuffle forward.... she shuffles forward, and then the kicking portion of the class started.  She would kick between Sarah and I, we would shuffle forward, she would do it again despite having plenty of room behind her, GAH.  Time to deploy the pincer movement, as part of the class we run forward, as we're shuffling back we come together to fill the gap between us and push Captain Kicky backwards (without actual physical contact I hasten to add).  Needless to say at the next lesson she attended she cast us some serious shade.

I can't tear my eyes away

Thursday = yoga day, one of my favourite classes.  There are a number of regulars (remember Captain Breathy?) but last week we had a gentleman turn up who I hadn't seen before, he'd obviously been to yoga before because he had the moves (well most of them).  He set his mat up in front of me, all good I had lots of space to be zen, and then the class was taken through Cobra and into Downward Facing Dog...... my eyes!!  Dear sir, those shorts do not fit well, is that a brown eye I spy?  *Shudder*

Tonight I'm off to Yoga and will be trying Pilates for the first time, I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, 18 April 2015


I briefly mentioned in my last post that fellow blogger and gym buddy Sarah and I have set-up #fudgeitfatclub, membership currently stands at....2.  Basically we're sick of the pudge and want rid but would rather spend our money on new clothes than the weight loss support type groups out there.  I've done this before, for my wedding I slimmed down, I loved feeling trim however I wasn't particularly healthy (close to the big day I used my daily allowance of 1200 calories just eating bourbon biscuits, I was fucking starving!) or fit which is something I would like to work on this time around.

Identifying pitfalls

I feel like I have the exercise thing down now, I have found the classes and activities I love and the motivation to attend classes week in week out.  Perhaps naively I thought the weight would just fall off with all this exercise, alas no.  Obviously something is amiss, these are the culprits I have identified:

  • I am a lazy cook, after a long day at work and an exercise class or two after that I cannot be muffed preparing something packed with vegetables I would rather go for the convenience of toast.  Toast is not dinner.
  • Stress.  There is a far amount of this around at the moment, at work there is talk of restructuring and redundancies, it's all anyone can talk about which is exhausting.  I'm not proud of what I'm about to write but to unwind I drink a glass of wine or two every night and not in a sophisticated French way, I chug it back like it's medicine.  Not cool.
  • I reward eat.  If I know I'm doing a strenuous class or two in the evening I will allow myself a chocolate bar, or bread, or a heavy lunch.  Pizza is my favourite and makes more of a regular appearance on my weekly meal plan (hahahaha there is no meal plan) then it should.  The treats aren't treats, they're every day and sometimes I eat without mindfulness at all so the treats aren't even being savoured.
Setting goals

Like I say, I've done this before so I know I can do this again, so that's half the battle.  Sarah put together a folder of measurement plans, exercise logs and other documents to help us on our journey, on the front cover of the folder is the quote 'success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out'.  This resonates with me a lot, unlike when I was losing weight for the wedding which was a very specific target, this time I'm aiming for lifestyle changes that are permanent with the bonus that they enable me to lose weight.  Here are some goals to start me off, I intend to add to these as I progress:

  • Stop with the Diet Coke EVERYDAY, that stuff is not good for you.  Water is the go to drink of choice, peppermint tea or hot water and lemon.
  • Treats are treats, I still need the odd one, but restricting treats to the weekend means I know they're on their way and I can look forward to them and appreciate them more.
  • Stop the drinking, it doesn't help with any of the stress, costs me too much money and hinders my progress to the goals that will genuinely make me happy.
  • Cycle to work everyday.  I've already made a start on this one and cycle a couple of times a week.  My workplace is at the top of a very very steep hill, when I started cycling I had to get off and push my bike up it but I've been progressing and can now cycle four fifths of the way - that last fraction of hill?  I shall conquer it!

Well that seems like a good start to begin with, I hope to check in again with positive updates on how I'm getting on.  Are any of you on a weight loss/lifestyle change journey?  Got any tips you'd like to share?

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Wardrobe wishlists

Gym donkey

I am NOT a sleek gym bunny, I am a sweaty gym donkey, a gym ass if you will.... lol.  I go in looking mostly respectable and come out looking like I've just stepped out of a hotter than lava shower, the important thing is I go in looking mostly respectable which means finding gymwear that isn't just black or overtly branded.  This is an outfit that I think I can work, what do you think?

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

My friend Sarah and I are on a weight loss journey together, #fudgeitfatclub we're calling it, take a look at our Pinterest board to see what we're eating and what is keeping us motivated.  New gym kit seems like a suitable reward for pounds lost wouldn't you say??

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Why Sometimes Annie?

This lot

So why 'Sometimes Annie'?, basically because of this lot.  During university I lived with this bunch and it was pretty awesome, we didn't move into our shared house as a group but independently of one another (in fact moving to this house share is how I met my husband).  Happily it turned out we all had a lot in common and we gelled pretty quickly (you wouldn't think we liked one another if you ever overheard us playing Mario Kart 64).

Other people came and went from our little group but these folks were really the core, even when there were arguments about Big Brother or putting orange juice in the door of the fridge it was all quite funny and no grudges ever lasted long.

You can't shorten Anna

Inevitably nicknames developed over time but there isn't an awful lot you can do with Anna, it's a tricky one to shorten.  We already had a Jimmy, a Jenny, a Bailey and a Sammy so naturally I became Annie, only a select few people get to call me Annie.  If you call me Annie and I don't correct you, you know we're cool.

(This photo was taken years after I graduated when we re-united for Sam and my wedding in 2011.)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

How to ...

I'm delighted to be working with George at Asda who have released an amazing Holiday Shop collection!  I will be going to Boston and New York for work and holiday at the end of May and was looking for sleek, professional items to take with me.  One of which being a new, super lightweight carry on (gone are the days of my battered old rucksack, I must travel in style now!).

Soooooo there was a time when I couldn't go away even for a weekend without a massive suitcase I thought I needed to bring several back-up shoes and outfits.  I don't know what I thought would happen if I didn't have several extra pairs of socks, or full size toiletries but as time has gone on and I've wanted to have more adventures but don't want to pay for extra luggage I've refined my own packing style which I'm going to share with you.

The basics

First things first get a super light suitcase, I used to have one that I picked up from Amazon for £13 it did several trips and I was perfectly happy with it but it was heavy before you had even added anything to it so I went for this one from Asda for what I consider to be a bargain at £35 (if you have a cat that can investigate it's good points then even better).

Shoes need to go at the bottom of the case near the wheels (I got these during a recent shopping trip to Cardiff, a similar pair can be found here), if this was a case going in the hold I would say cram it with toiletries but as this is a carry-on we know the rules, we need the plastic bag of joy, so instead cram them to the brim with your jewellery and scarves or socks.  Don't put electronics here or anything that could get damaged you don't want everything else in the case pressing down on breakables when you wheel the case along.  

I use a towel as a buffer between the hard shoes and any delicates and other clothes (is my love of animal print shining through here?).

The fine art of rolling

(btw this is the MOST flattering swimming costume I've found in years it has made me want to head to the pool again)...

Swimming costumes are perfect for plugging the gaps between awkward items like shoes, we're going on the principle that there are NO gaps (unless we want to bring back one or two souvenirs from our adventures which will fit perfectly between our shoes).

I invested in a hair straighteners heat resistant pouch mainly for when I cycle to work and need to sort my fringe out but it has come in very useful on my travels as well.  I don't always have time to wait for my straighteners to cool before shoving them in my bag and checking out.

Folding clothes for travel is a mugs game, if like me you have to pack several striped tops (seriously things are getting ridiculous around here  - this one was A BARGAIN £8) you need to tuck the arms in a roooooll your clothes, you fit at least an extra third in (in my opinion) you case.

A note on toiletries

You never need to take full size products I PROMISE.  If you're going on holiday with a group agree who will take which products like toothpaste (those products where brand isn't ridiculously important) and share amongst the group, when your holiday is done just ditch them (extra room for presents).  

I also try a squeeze in some slippers even in the summer, there is something comforting about them but also, we have all had that horrendous experience when you open the hotel room door and things are not quite as... lovely as we had hoped.  Slippers mean you don't have to touch mangy carpet.

And finally...

The entertainment bag is something that you will find convenient and your fellow flyers will also thank you for.  Put all the things you want to entertain you during your flight in a bag towards the top of your suitcase (opposite end to the wheels as close to the zip opening as possible) when you get on the plane open your case, whip out your bag of goodies, shove your bag in the locker and sit the hell down.  EVERYONE hates those passengers that fuck about opening and closing their bag trying to find their book whilst blocking the aisle.  Don't be that person.

Ok so you probably didn't learn anything revolutionary today but maybe I have inspired you to ditch the unnecessary 'just in case' items and perhaps you'll go for a week away with just a carry on? 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The view from this mat

So alongside netball I've also been taking a few classes at the gym my favourites being Body Combat (lots of kicking and punching) and Body Pump (weight lifting) but I've also taken up a bit of yoga to balance things out and to have a nice stretch.  I've met a wide range of people on this new adventure, some good, some... well you decide.

Cast list in order of appearance

Captain Breathy - within the type of yoga class I attend we are encouraged to practice ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) breathing a deep diaphragmatic breath.  You are encouraged to breath out in such a way that you can hear your breath, fine, no problem my class mates and I can do this in such a way that is not disruptive to our fellow yoga practitioners but still demonstrates the correct technique.  Then there is Captain Breathy. Captain Breathy takes things to a whole new level, he considers himself quite the pro and rushes ahead of the teachers instruction just to prove he knows which moves are coming next and his ujjayi can be heard down the street by a partially deaf person over traffic noise and the thumping, thumping techno beat of the Body Pump class taking place next door.  Not cool Captain Breathy, not cool.

Pat the Twat - Another experienced yoga practitioner, Pat is so zen he seems to forgets where he is half the time.  Pat the Twat will check his phone at regular intervals throughout the class, just to give you some context, we're in a dimly lit room meant to promote a calm and focused mind so it's always a joy when Pat the Twat activates the mega beacon that is the light on his phone.  Pat also likes to stand in the queue to check-in to class wistfully gazing around the room taking it all in, (the queue has snaked out of the door and therefore you can be stood there for some time) he then waits until he gets to the check-in desk to look for his membership card which is inevitably not in the first four pockets he searches in, what a twat.

The farter - aww poor lady, boat pose can be a devil especially if you're in a relaxed state.  You let one go, that's ok don't worry about it.  We never saw you again, it was just one trump too much for you wasn't it?

This is not very karmic 

All of this makes me appear very un-yoga, not very karmic.  I should let these moments pass by me like a leaf being carried along by a gently babbling stream... Except they're really funny and sometimes make me actually LOL, plus it makes great blog fodder.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Introducing... netball

Game image source: Teignmouth Thunderbirds

I love netball.  It is something I find myself talking about more and more, I've played in two tournaments now, on Monday I captained a team and we only went and bloody won!  I was so over the moon it was so much fun.  

In the beginning..

I dabbled in playing netball at school but I wasn't the fittest girl there and never really got a proper look in on games.  The teachers wanted to beat the other local schools I must have been more of a hindrance than an asset to them (tiny violins playing just for me), in fact I was given the rather back handed compliment of receiving a trophy for 'most improved player', I still have that token of mockery.

Back to netball

About a year ago my friend Bekah saw a leaflet advertising Back to Netball at one of our local sports centres so me and another friend Sarah went a long with Bekah to check it out.  We were never a big group of Back to Netballers at our peak we probably had about 14 people there, our first coach was call Jaz (Jasmine) and she really motivated us and improved our skills but being an ambitious sort she went and got herself a job up country and had to leave us.  We kept the group going with one of the players informally coaching for about 4 months but pushed the sports centre to get a new coach and to re-energise the advertising for our little Back to Netball group.  True to their word they got us another coach who was with us for a grand total of five weeks before she moved on as well (we're not hateful people who drive these coaches away I promise!), finally we got Angie as our coach who oversees another training group the Teignmouth Thunderbirds.  I've played with this group and they're an amazing, welcoming group of people and I can't wait to start training with them.  

Sad news

However, last night came the news that the original little Back to Netball group have had their funding pulled and the sports centre won't continue to back us, our team has been hit with a number of injuries and other life events recently so attendance has been flaky at best.  To say I'm gutted that the original group potentially won't continue is something of an understatement, whilst I've enjoyed playing with and intend to join the Thunderbirds I always wanted our fledgling Exeter group to keep going and to play in tournaments.  Huff.

I'm determined to keep playing though, I've found my favourite position (goal shooter) and seem to be doing ok at it, I want to keep getting better and see where netball can take me.

This Girl Can image source

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