Fat Woman Thinning? – where I get a new ‘coach’

15/1 – week 3 of 52 week blog:  Last week I explained how I’d just got brave enough to bring this out of the drop-down-menu box and onto my blog – the adventure continues …..

Weigh-in 2:  Well I was thinking that there might not be any change this week (as I’d dropped 4 lbs last week, that’s 2 more than I’d expected – so was thinking it might even out)

Anyway, weight now 11.8 (or 73.8 kg or 162 lbs) That’s down another 2lbs!  Waist measurement – as discussed last week (at belly button level and level!) 43  1/2″  (110.5cm) relaxed and 41  1/2″   (105.5 cm) pulled in. so about 1/2 inch difference in both cases.

15/1   Notes:

BIG disussion with No. 3 son, who is a bit of an expert on weight-training. (previously it was No. 2 son, a great motivator who works-out for climbing) No. 3 son has sent through a new schedule that will vary the weights exercises I do to maximise the fat burning and lean muscle building and work all the different muscle groups in my body in turn. So now I have a new ‘weights coach’.

Day Exercise Min Reps
Monday Sit-ups 15
(Core) Snatch 15
Tuesday Squats 20
(legs) Lunges 15
Wednesday Triceps extension 15
(Triceps and shoulders) Front raise 15
Thursday Bicep curls 15
(Biceps and forearms) Wrist curls 15
Friday Twisting Sit-ups 15
(Core) Snatch 15
Saturday Squats 20
(legs) Step ups 20
Sunday Lateral raise 15
(Triceps and shoulders) Tricep extension 15

So, Monday tomorrow – and I shall start this new regime: He also provided links to a website to show and explain each exercise and point out the precise way to do them so that I don’t injure my body in the process!

16/1  Notes:

Ah Ha! Had a refresher talk with No 3 son. Seems I was quitting too soon with my 15 repetitions – that was the MINIMUM, apparently I should have gone on until I could do no more reps … then changed to the other type of exercise for the day .. done those until it was too much, back to the first one etc.. And if they would just go on TOO Long I need to make them harder. So heavier weights, or different position, whatever ramps up the difficulty. SO, tomorrow when it is squats and lunges (neither of which I have really done before) I hope I can even get beyond the magic 15!

Also, note to myself: Don’t get tempted! Just about to go out the door to go to Poetry when I realised that , as usual, I would be there right over tea time. Usually this is no problem, there are biscuits available (AHHHH b..i..s..c.u..i..t..ss…..) So I quickly grabbed some nuts plus a couple of squares of plain chocolate to keep me from the biscuit barrel. Unfortunately, I left them in the car.. and got sideswiped by an exotic Madeira soaked chocolate covered biscuit looking confection brought in by the wonderfully kind Mary. Not wishing to be impolite (there’s an excuse for you) I suddenly found one in my hand. I bit, expecting a wonderful texture to crackle and crumble on my tongue – WELL, I will remember this! It was all SOFT, the hardest  part was the chocolate on the outside, inside it was a plum or prune paste nestled in a marzipan case. MARZIPAN! .. Ok those who know me can stop laughing.  I am not fussy, but about the only taste I do not like is almond paste aka Marzipan! Taught a lesson or what!

17/1  Notes:

OooH! right that’s 46 squats, then 34 lunges ( total 17 for each leg) followed by 39 squats and 32 lunges (16) and my legs are still trembling as I fill this in! Feels right though.

It took until after lunch for my legs to feel back to normal – about three hours! Though I am still wondering if I shall notice anything tomorrow by way of aches or stiffness. And tomorrow is Wednesday and that means the market – so an early start  and the exercises will have to wait until the afternoon!

18/1   Notes:

Gave myself a pat on the back this morning when I leapt (haha) from bed at 6.30 (market morning) and my legs were in working order! I knew they had done some work yesterday but it was not the aches and stiffness I was expecting. However, after a morning standing around at the market (Damp drizzly old day it was today too) the front of my thighs (quadriceps) felt like stone and my glutes (sounds better than bottom or bum) had a definite underscore of tension! Anyway – on to today’s new exercises, again, not done either of these before. I had trouble keeping my elbow from wobbling all over the place when I was using the two and half kilo dumbell and realised that they were probably too heavy to start a new movement with. After changing down to just 2 kilo I could manage the minimum and a few more … just.

Yeah, ok, I know – the mille feuille probably wasn’t a good idea! Bloated now!      (see the drop-down menu for wk 3  to understand this comment in full)

Shortened aerobic exercise – very late by the time our guests left tonight

19/1   Notes:

Still fell bloated this morning, and my glutes and quadriceps were still letting me know that I’d worked them hard!  We were out at Trago (The Westcounty’s own particular quirky discount department store) as it had its 15% off (nearly)everything sale on. Strange way it does it – has its sale all through January but only on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.  As I buy lots of odd bits for the business there anyway it makes sense to get a stock in when they have their sale days.. so we were there, and getting late for lunch so we bought fish and chips to bring home (those of you who know Trago at Liskeard will know that the fish and chips there are really good!) Yum, well, had to restrain myself indeed, and shared chips were the order of the day. Good job it’s belly dance this evening – an extra set of exercise! Just looked at the list of exercises for tomorrow. Twisting sit-ups look hard work.. oh well, we’ll see!

20/1   Notes:

Snatch with 10 kg started off easy enough — as I had already been doing some of these — but as I was continuing until I couldn’t do another they became progressively harder and I ended up quite puffed out as well! Twist sit-ups were not as tricky as I had envisaged, I had thought they would cause tummy trembling (as do the cross elbow to knees did (lying on back and bringing opposite knees up and elbows up to meet each other alternating) They didn’t – but the usual struggle with lifting your top half of your body from the floor to sitting was just as evident – even though I had been doing these before.

Spent most of the morning  in the kitchen making 6 loaves of wheatmeal bread, 2 loaves of banana bread and the steak and mushroom pie. Now, there’s a problem, I have a really good spatula, nice and bendy, scrapes the mix off the inside of the bowl lovely, so almost all the mix went in the tin. But try as you might there is always that bit more you can get off with a carefully applied finger, especially off the K beater. So, I did, and put it on my food list – weird as it sounds. What is it about uncooked cake mix that is sooo nice. And before any one throws up their hands in horror at the possibility of salmonella from raw eggs, I am happy with the quality an cleanliness of the eggs from our own little flock, doesn’t mean I’d eat any raw egg though.

21/1   Notes:

Dripping by the end of the exercises today – and puffed! Squats, today I decided to try with weights and so rested the two dumbells one on each shoulder to do this exercise. I was also concerned I wasn’t squatting down far enough. So set the computer chair to its lowest setting, where when sitting on the edge my knees are just a little higher than my hips, and propped the chair so it wouldn’t run away and did my squats so that I just touched the edge of the chair with my btm each time (so I knew I wasn’t cheating) I guess in a gym you’d have those mirrors all round to prove to yourself you were doing it right! Step-ups were new to me  so I sought out two child step-up stools as they looked like the beginners height shown on the video link (to reach the handbasin or loo type – yes I still have them from when my boys were little – now coming in useful when the grandchildren come to stay) and used them as my step ups. I quit at 60, I could tell I wasn’t going to get a burn stepping 5 and-a-bit inches and looked round for something else for the next set. Well, it was right in front of me, the first step to leave this bedroom is 10 inches high…looked pretty high for an exercise but I found it just right.. still went on for 90 but by then I knew it!!

(All the records of what I ate and how much exercise I did during week 3 can be found on the drop down menu)

  *****   TO BE CONTINUED *****

Thanks for all the cheerleaders that have joined me in this challenge, please keep sharing this as there is plenty of room in the grandstand!  As you can see there has been a change of  weight programme so I am curious to see what changes there will be tomorrow when I weigh in.

As you can see the temptation of biscuits is still as strong as ever (despite the lesson) This exercise is not about forbidding any food, but I know my weakness! What is the food you love to eat most?  What circumstances make you give in to temptation? What is your solution? Do let me know – I love to hear from you and we all could learn something from each other!






Fat Woman Thinning? Out of the Box!

OK, I am actually in to week three, but have decided to get brave enough to bring this log (that has been on a drop down from the cross bar) out of the box and on to the blog. I’ll only be posting the notes  here – for the details you’ll still have to go to the drop-downs from ‘fat woman thinning’ on the cross bar, even so, this week’s blog is a bit long as you have the intro and the first two weeks – cheerleaders welcome!


January the first!
First is the key word here. First day of the new me. First day of this blog
And I start as do those who join AA in stating that I am FAT. I have been avoiding this, after all with my clothes on I can disguise a lot, even though my clothing size has gone from comfortably loose at a 14 to tight 16 bordering an 18 for certain styles. After all there are those around me who are much larger. After all I eat a sensible, well balanced diet – and really, really not too much of it. And I do at least one exercise type class once a week in term time. And it used to be enough before the menopause… which seems to pause weight loss as well. So there are all my excuses and I still have to admit that I have allowed myself to get FAT before I can convince myself that drastic action must be taken. And by drastic I don’t mean a starvation diet – dieting – silly cutting out of all fats.. or all carbs… is the CAUSE rather than the cure of many weight problems… all that happens is that your body learns it needs to be careful of those precious fat supplies as it might meet starvation again so when you reach your target weight and take your eye off the strict diet (you know you do, you know you will), the result is the weight piles on and it is much harder to lose weight in the future!

So Drastic?: What is missing if I really eat a sensible and well balanced diet? Well, what I don’t do, and haven’t done for a long, long time, is exercise strenuously. I have avoided doing gym sessions since taking out a year membership and using it only to build huge muscles (I build muscle easily) but this did not really help much with weight loss, and it is only now I find I was doing the wrong sort of exercise – the type that is good for body-builders (all posing with large shaped muscles) but not for fat burning. For this I need lean muscle, and I need to work it hard to get it to burn even when it is doing very little – so I have been told – and so I am going to try.

I intend to keep this blog to keep me on track. It might contain some very un-pretty images as I am going to photograph my body as I go (not sure if I am brave enough to post these yet though), and some definitely boring daily food charts and exercise charts, but I shall also try to note any mental or physical changes that I think about and the exercise routines and changes to them as I go. So.. want to come with me?
Follow me on this journey.. fifty-two weeks of Fat Woman Thinning? I’ll  be blogging the Notes: as a whole week insight once a week (without the food and exercise lists) or for all the information and daily updates SEE each week on the drop-down menu from Fat Woman Thinning? bar


SUN: Weight 12 st. (76.2 kg or 168 lbs)
OK … so it was New Year Day and we had family round for the day! No Excuses. Can’t wait until all the chocolate, cake and scrummy biscuits are gone! Fair start – considering how busy I was today .. eh? What no excuse?

MON: Drinking a glass of water 5 – 10mins before meals helps. Also a glass when feeling peckish – with the mid morn or mid afternoon snack* *counted – healthy

TUE: Weds tomorrow – need sleep as early morning – next week must start exercise earlier!

WED: Early start means v hungry mid morn so took banana to make sure no blood sugar drop – worked – and water!

THUR: Went shopping in am. took water – that helped but needed to have taken something to maintain the blood sugars – craving bad when home

FRI: Actually lay in bed thinking about getting up before M to do the weight cos we were going out to buy plants first thing… didn’t though – got to bed too late to leave bed early!

SAT: Getting excited to see if there is any weight difference when I weigh in on Sunday morning…


SUN:Weight 11.10 ( a 4lb drop – couldn’t believe it – checked many times. oh and thats 74.2 kg for the metric amongst us, or164 lbs for those who don’t do stones. (More than I’d expected, but as it was the first week after Christmas eat-fest I don’t actually expect this rate to continue)

Read a very interesting article today that backs up what I have believed for a long time – it’s the carbohydrates that are most likely to help you put on weight. When the creed was ‘increase your carbohydrates and reduce the fats’ I was always unhappy teaching it as from what I knew that wasn’t right. Sure, too much stored fat is bad for your arteries but fat is not made just from eating fat.Fat in your body is made from excess ‘energy giving foods’ over energy used, and the number one energy giving foods that we were being encouraged to eat was the complex carbohydrate group. Complex Carbohydrates are just longer strings of the simple carbohydrates, which we also call sugars. It was so indoctrinated into us all that I had great difficulty persuading the girls I taught that fat was not the only thing you eat / drink that makes you fat. And just don’t get me started abut eggs and the bumpy ride they have had as a food substance!

MON: Then in the evening had WI committee meeting and I brought out some of those really scrummy biscuits I want to get eaten up so they don’t tempt me.. and they tempted me and I succumbed …………….

FR chicken – is one of our own reared for the table Free Range chickens (see main blog under Chicken keeping) and as such taste wonderful. Eggs, which are my main staple for breakfast also come from our little free-ranging flock. The ‘egg’ stated for breakfast most mornings is cooked in the following way: break one egg into a small dish suitable for a microwave (ie not metal and can take heat) I use a small cereal bowl, add about half as much milk as there is egg and whisk with a fork. Microwave on full power for about 1 min 20 sec (this varies according to the size of the egg) that’s it. – turns out like a mini omelette (without any cooking fat involved or pan to clean – eat straight from the bowl with a teaspoon. On mine I spread about quarter teaspoon of marmite. Marmite? Well, yes, for two reasons, 1, I like the taste and that way I do not miss adding salt to the egg, 2, Marmite has good vitamins including Folic acid which we all need especially at or after menopause.

Back to that article (see above – read more today) – there the doctor concerned said that weight wasn’t the issue – waist measurement (taken at belly-button height  – and taking care to make sure this was a level horizontal measurement) – was the one to work by. So now my target includes a waist measurement so here’s the starting point. WAIST: Relaxed 44 inches ( 112 cm) Pulled in: 42 inches (107 cm)  Noticeably if I let the tape ride up a bit at the back and angle down to meet the belly-button it was much less – so accuracy in placing is obviously required!

TUE: First morning that I have not felt hungry for breakfast – usually can’t wait to tuck in. Is this part of the whole thing or just  a one-off? However, not eating breakfast could lead to snacking or cravings for sweet stuff later so I ate my usual breakfast. Discussion with N, suggests that I move repetitions in each set to 15 if I can reach without failing before then. Think I am ready. Will try tomorrow and if ok maintain. If not work up to it to start next week.  Do not want to weight session to grow too long as then I may find it harder to fit in. Wednesday tomorrow – that means an early start for the market – so weights will have to wait until the afternoon! (No, I’m not getting up even earlier to do them first!)

WED: Up early early – as usual for a Wednesday, but, unusually for a Wednesday I didn’t augment my egg with a slice of toast and opted to just take a banana to stave off any hunger pangs. It worked. The only fly in the ointment is the biscuit I allowed myself to be lured by at WI in the evening. One of those thinly rolled ‘cigar’ biscuits with a lovely crunchy texture. Yep – you’ve guessed it BISCUITS are  the tempters, they have all the sweetest and wickedest words to whisper to me…. ‘crumb on – eat me’ they say ‘you know you want to feel that texture in your mouth, that gentle melt and release of flavour’  Oh Dear!  HOWEVER, on a positive note I did manage to UP my reps for the dumbbell weights (Seems that’s what I should call the single hand held bars with weights each end) to 15! Though it was really a struggle by the fifteenth!

THUR: Been feeling ‘bulky’ and slow today. Improved by the evening after Belly Dance. It’s so good to get back to it, develops great core strength and flexibility – though I am not sure that it is a weight reducer, the exercise certainly is good. Great for people with back problems, I know of 3 in our group who have back trouble that has been greatly eased by doing belly dance and two of them share the same chiropractor and he has commented on the improvement that doing the belly dance class has made to their flexibility and muscular structure supporting the back. Want to know a bit more about belly dance – go to Belly Dance  for blogs on this subject.

FRI: All these ‘grapes’ in small numbers because I bought a pack of grapes reduced – don’t usually go for fruit out of season much (except banana and clementines as they are never in season in the UK) All apples mentioned so far are our own stored apples. Currently using an old variety grown in Cornwall called American Mother. So when this lot of grapes are done my snack fruit of choice will become a Kiwi fruit as that is now In Season in our place. Yes, from our own kiwi plant, picked and stored in November they are now coming into the house to be finished off and are delicious!”

SAT: Even if the scales don’t show much of a drop – or the tape a reduction I am still pleased with the progress this past week. I can feel the layer of muscle beneath the layer of adipose. I can feel my more toned body walking round as if it is wearing a large heavy overcoat with stuffed pockets, that shifts in a different way to the body underneath.


Are you fighting the Christmas excesses? What works for you? What have you tried before?  Do you think blogging helps keep on track – have you experience in this in any realm?  Do let me know.

And if you want to know more about the novels by Ann Foweraker ‘Divining the Line’, ‘Nothing Ever Happens Here’ and ‘Some Kind Of Synchrony’ just click HERE to be able to the first 3 chapters FREE in pdf.



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