Fat Woman Thinning? ‘Don’t count your chickens…’

If you are new to the FWT? blog-posts, welcome to Fat Woman Thinning? – a 52 week blog, which I started as pages to keep myself on-track and so my ‘primary cheerleaders’ (my sons) could keep up with my progress. Then about 5 weeks ago, I felt brave enough to post it as a blog!  If you are one of my new cheerleaders ! Yay! Great to see you again!

What you’ll find here is the distilled notes from my daily log of everything I eat, exercise I do, thoughts and excuses the lot. Losing weight after menopause turned out to be a whole different game to losing weight before. What worked then, didn’t work now. A new strategy had to be found and as a very busy woman I didn’t have time to spend on long gym sessions or runs or cycles. This had to be manageable!  If you want to know what keeps me so busy visit my website where you will also find my novels ‘Divining the Line’, ‘Nothing Ever Happens Here’ and ‘Some Kind Of Synchrony’ just click HERE to be able to read the first 3 chapters in pdf !

Sunday morning first thing each week I weigh myself and measure my waist (level with the belly button) nude. This is my benchmark and so we start with Sunday 19th February…

Sun: No, didn’t do the aerobics this evening — sleep catch-up required! Oh? What do you mean that is no excuse?!

“It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly,” explains Michael Breus, PhD 

Mon: I’m wondering if it might be an idea to photograph each meal (and snack) next week as evidence ….. ? (note – already forgotten to do this – perhaps next week?)

Tue: 4 pancakes with lemon and sugar ! Too Many!!Felt bloated for the rest of the evening – but hey – it is Shrove Tuesday!

Definitely my ‘hardest’ day on the resistance training – my legs are always trembling by the time I finish and I can feel my heart thumping and as to perspiration… won’t go there – just say ‘time for a shower!’

Wed: Only just got the weight session done half hour before the aerobics. This is not how I like to do it – but on Weds I am off to the market too early to do it before and this afternoon I was busy with making a bespoke clock and this evening with cutting and stapling the WI programme ready to distribute tomorrow.

Thur: Actually got the blog I was writing up and on line — hence running very late for last exercise of the evening – but having been to belly dance I think it qualifies! (yeah… but other weeks I have done both)

Fri: Snatch with the 10 kg plates was getting a bit long-winded as I gained strength so I have upped it to 15 kg – I think this is a bit of a jump but it was what I could find lying around in the barn, ie: two 7.5 kg plates. However, as I managed over 20 both time I think this was right decision. After all part of this whole thing is not to take too much of my time! However, my arms are all of a tremble still as I try to type this – have had to go back and correct so many typos!!

Friday Evening – went to ladies night in – making some lovely jewellery followed by supper – yummm, celery, fennel, carrot and dips. Selection of cheeses. Thin piece of focaccia bread. small bunch grapes. Dried fruit salad and clotted cream (yum) 2 glasses alcoholic ginger punch. Sounds ok .. but it was on top of a Tea – which, in hindsight, I should have just skipped in favour of a nibble to maintain levels. PLUS I was too late home to do aerobics 🙁 after all that extra food too – not looking good for Sunday’s weigh in at this rate!

Sat: Still feeling bloated and lumpy…. not keen to see the results tomorrow really.


Hmmm, last week I was planning what I would treat myself with when I reached the 11 st. mark …. well this is known as counting your chickens (before they hatch) … As here I am and still at the 11st 1 lb. so no move there then 🙁 What about the measurements? – well the relaxed remained the same… but the pulled in waist measurement was down half an inch.

OK, so not very much – but a move, and it is now that I wish I was also measuring other areas, like just beneath the bust – this week I have started having to do my bra-strap up on the next set of hooks in – as this area has definitely reduced and was becoming loose on the hooks setting I usually use. I also noticed (as did some friends I hadn’t seen for a couple of weeks) that my face has ‘planes’ not just rounded. I know, I know, I do worry a little that the face will become haggard – you know the old saying – there comes an age when you have to choose between figure and face. Well, I am hoping that the facial exercises (that are part of my half hour stretching and aerobics) combined with a little two minute face-massage with a light baby lotion before bed, may help prevent the haggard look. This, of course, remains to be seen.

Having popped all my week’s notes in here I don’t think I have to look too far to see what was different in this week in regards to foods consumed and exercises done. This is where the record really helps – as I can pinpoint the difference and what I need to do to remedy it.

Just LOOK at it!  TOO MANY pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (I ought to have limited myself a bit eh? – not cut them out altogether but been more sensible – after all I felt bloated – so not a good sign.

Then extra food intake again on Friday night – it was so yummy, but I ought to have guessed Carolyn’s ‘a few simple nibbles’ would be sumptuous and tempting’ (I did resist the absolutely gorgeous looking cheesy scones – somehow!)

Then I see I skipped 2 whole sets of aerobics and stretching and the stretching part of another evening. Hmm, pretty obvious isn’t it what happened. Yet there was movement, and there is definitely other changes.. so .. on to next week with renewed vigour and conscientiousness over the exercises. (Not withstanding, the item on sleep is also relevant and then, of course, some of it may be that some of the fat was replaced by muscle weight, it could be the ‘fault’ of upping the weights in a variety of areas … I shall consult #3 son on this!

In the meantime the end of the month is coming up fast and with that the next set of photos – and they will tell their own tale.

Motto for next week – ‘don’t count your chickens before they hatch’ and after my last post on will-power perhaps I should add ‘pride comes before a fall’ ? LOL 🙂

What is your reaction to a disappointment or set back. Give in – or get back out there and fight it? Love to hear from you folks!


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!






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