Getting my fit & healthy back


Half of me is ashamed of this photo the other half is proud

The reason why I am partially ashamed is that I know I have regained weight, I thought that training for the marathon would help me lose weight, the reality was even though I knew it was going to make my journey harder the stress of the training the worry that something would go wrong again made me reach for the chocolate comfort blanket


But then I look at the photo & think I was smiling as I passed the Houses of Parliament at 25 miles I literally skipped around that corner, so proud of what I had achieved & I know that the same determination that wouldn’t let me give up on my London Marathon dream is going to be the same determination that gets me back to goal


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Friday morning I stepped back on the scales, I knew I wouldn’t like what I see but I was no longer afraid to face it, I know you have heard me say it so many times but I really feel like I have it this time, I feel like the Marathon was something so overwhelming for me it took all my focus and now that’s over its time to focus on me again.

I will document my journey on here via a weekly roundup post every Saturday, but if you would like to keep a closer eye on me check out my Instagram where I talk all things food, weight loss and fitness


Marathon Watch – 70 days to go


This week started with a 7 mile run, I had been looking forward to this part race part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Race Series, for a while as I like the bling (I am so shallow I know) it’s shaped like the London Underground sign, the race is a 10k but I wanted to add on another 1.2km to get me to 7 miles, what I didnt expect was that the extra 1.2km would become a sprint because the trains were delayed, I want to say the race was well organised & the volunteers out on the route were fantastic but those handing out the race numbers were literally stood around chatting as around 40 queued in front of them to get there numbers, admittedly registrations had officially closed but there were  many others like me doing the dash from Stratford station to the start line, they could see us standing there, they could see that people still had to visit the bag drop etc & with less than 7 minutes until the race start time, nothing seemed like it was going to interrupt their conversation until a man in an orange Hi Viz jacket came along and asked why there was a queue

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The race itself was better than I expected, I have run around the Olympic Park so many times and knew it could be quite a hilly course, luckily due to another 10k race being held over the other side of the park the organisers had kindly managed to avoid the hills but unfortunately left us with a fairly repetitive 3 lap course

My run at the Olympic Park was unfortunately the better of my 3 runs this week, my Wednesday run was a disaster, my trousers kept falling down, at one point I was running around with my top tucked in my trousers just to help hold them up, but I felt stupid and it wasn’t particuarly successful, so I ending up giving up, except I didn’t give up totally instead I decided rather than my planned 5k run, I would go for a 5 mile walk, as for some reasons my trousers behaved if I didn’t try and run

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Fridays run unfortunately wasn’t much better, I went out, my leg hurt, I realised I had forgotten my music, dextrose and I hadn’t set my Garmin to intervals, I had planned to run 8 miles & I was desperately short of time and after a mile I thought I can’t do this, I am not enjoying it but again rather than giving up totally I decided to go for a walk again & I am glad I did, when I got home, by poor furbaby was very ill and had I have stayed out the extra time it would have taken me to run those extra miles I wouldn’t have been home when he collapsed, I am pleased to say that after a trip to the vets he is back home and is doing well, but at almost 18yrs old the vet fears next time it will not be such a happy ending

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It sounds like this wasn’t a great week for me training wise but bizzarely I actually feel like the reverse is true, I am happy with how the week went, I didn’t give up, maybe I didn’t run as much as I wanted but I still done 16 dedicated miles & I seemed to make some big gains in my nutrition


Life seems to feel like a rollercoaster at the moment tearing around at 200 miles an hour with no time for me, well I have finally admitted its time to get off the rollercoaster, my husband wanted me to resign as he feels I have let my job take over my life but
I love my job and I do not want to give it up, but what I do agree with is that it has taken over my life – I am not going to go into the ins & outs of what happens next as to be honest I haven’t decided but what I have decided is I want more me time and the only way to get that is to reduce the hours I do at work & I am hoping for a better balance on that by the end of the month


Are you giving anything up for Lent?


I have never followed the practise of giving anything up for Lent before, mainly because I am not religious and also because as soon as I deprive myself of anything I want it more

Instead I have often committed to something i.e. one year I committed to be a better Weight Watcher and track my meals for the next 40 days, another year I committed to being more active and walk/run 100 miles over the 40 days of Lent


But with the London Marathon fast approaching (74 sleeps) and my weight yo-yoing the same few lbs I have decided things need a shake up, and while I really do not like the idea of giving things up, I actually think it will do me good, I seem to be very all or nothing where food is concerned recently, eat like an angel for 6 days then eat my body weight in chocolate on the 7th

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So this year I have decided to commit to giving up 3 things

  1. Alcohol – I can hear many people gasping but for me this will be the easier of the 3 as I rarely drink and my friends know I am on a mad night out ban until after the marathon
  2. Chocolate – I can’t believe I am even considering this, I have decided its just chocolate I can’t have i.e. a Galaxy or Dairy Milk, chocolate biscuits and cake, I am still allowed things like protein bars, protein mug cakes etc, chocolate mousse as I would never usually accept these as a good enough substitute for chocolate
  3. Fizzy drinks – I am a diet pepsi addict, but need to replace my addiction with water as I am still struggling to drink even a litre of water a day

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I hate sharing pictures like this one but I really wanted to record my current shape somewhere & I know a lot less people read my blog than will see my Instagram page, hopefully at the end of Lent there will be a dramatic change (like the BodyCoach before and after pics) and I will be a bit less aprehensive about posting the pictures, although I can’t see me ever wanting to post a photo of me in a bikini or in underwear anytime soon

Have you ever given up anything for Lent, how did you get on, or are you giving up something this year



Marathon Watch – 84 Days to go

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Only two runs this week but thats only because I have runs planned for Saturday & Sunday, Tuesday & Friday this week, the miles have been increased and last Saturdays run was 5 miles & the miles will steadily progress from hereon.. eek, its getting serious

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Meals have been ok ish, I ate out a few times and had friends over one night & we ordered a pizza, something I realised on my 5 mile run last Saturday is it takes me much longer to feel energised when I run these days, I feel sluggish & its problem because I am 2st heavier than when I ran my first half marathon 2 years ago and because where I am working long hours at the moment I am not eating as well and that has to change.

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So for the next few days I am making a conscience effort to fuel my body better in the run up to this weekends London Winter Run, I am hoping it will help me feel a lot more energised and shock me to make some changes that can stay in place for the marathon

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One of the plus sides of the longer runs is taking in some different routes and last weekend saw me running laps of Fairlop Waters Country Park, there is something so peaceful & calm about being near water

& the scales, well the scales went down 1lb, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have liked more but if I can average a lb a week until the marathon I’ll be happy



Marathon Watch – 91 Days to go


I am feeling unusually confident for someone who hasn’t done that much training, but I honestly think the break has done my leg some good as the runs I have done over the last week might have been slow but they have felt good

I have booked some races and to help with my training and am really excited

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31st January – London Winter Run 10km

6th February – The Race Organisers Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10km

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14th February – My Virtual Valentines Race (let me know if you are interested in taking part, entry is £8 and includes a cool heart shaped bling)

21st February – St Lukes Hospice Test Track 10 miles

28th February – Roding Valley Half Marathon, effectionately known as the Half from Hell, or 13 miles & 13 hills


5th March – Run Through Victoria Park Half Marathon & the Supernova 5k (what on earth was I thinking!!)


20th March – Vitality North London Half

16th April – Run Through Events Battersea Park 10km


24th April – LONDON MARATHON BABY!!!!!

Let me know if you are doing any of the above races, it would be great to see some familiar faces

500 Santa’s going for a Sunday Morning Run

Race No 24 – St Francis Hospice Santathon, Dagenham

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I had been looking forward to the Saint Francis Santathon run for months, why? Because over 30 of my Weight Watchers members had signed up with me along with their friends a family, as the race was starting from Dagenham & Redbridge Football club, which is where I run the majority of my meetings from, I had even roped my husband into this run

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On the morning of the race will were all excited, young & old, human and dog, we were all dressed up in our Festive Finest

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Because there were people of all abilities we had agreed to all run/walk our own race and meet up at the end, for me it was a tougher run than I expected, I had ran a few time with my husband recently and he always brings the best out in me, but try as I might I just couldn’t keep up with him, I put it down to the costume, even thou it was a cold day I always over heat when I run, but two day later the reason became apparent, I was coming down with a cough and a chest infection that is still going strong over 3 weeks later :o(

Anyway I let Jason head off and I ran my own race, a slow and steady plod determined to run the whole thing without stopping, so I was very pleased when I saw my watch as I crossed the finish line, I know its another race that was short of the 5k but looking at my times the extra 250m would have probably added another 1.40 to my time which still would be a very good run for me these days

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Overall our times ranged from an AMAZING 26 minutes to just under the hour for our little Chihuahau, everyone totally loved the event and are all psyched up for our next event, we even got a mention in our local paper, I am so proud of them all, especially as there is now talk of a Couch to 5k running group starting on a Wednesday after our morning meetings #proudleadermoment

& finally the obligatory runners Before and After photo

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Product Review – Battle Oats Bars


A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent some Battle Oats bars to review

I am not normally one for breakfast bars/cereal bars/flapjacks & biscuity kind of things, I want my treats to be real chocolatey naughtiness with absolutely zero nutritional benefits

So unsurprisingly these bars sat in my cupboard for a few weeks, I had even been carrying the Cranberry & Blackberry Fusion bar around in my bag for a few weeks, incase a peckish moment ever came up but as a Weight Watcher I couldn’t quite ever bring myself to justify the 7pp spend on one bar (I could have a Dairy Milk for that!!)

But last Sunday after the Royal Parks Half Marathon feeling utterly drained & unable to satisfy my hunger, i decided to give the Dark Chocolate Chip bar a try.


Advertised as a gluten & wheat free protein bar I was hoping these would satisfy my hunger and my cravings for something sweet but if I’m honest I was expecting to be disappointed but I just didn’t have the energy for a trip to the shops

I couldn’t have been more wrong in my expectations for this bar, it was absolutely delicious, very moist, extremely filling, it had real dark chocolate chunks which you could actually see & taste, basically it was none of the things I feared it would be and everything it promised to be


After enjoying the Dark Chocolate Chip bar so much, I now couldn’t wait to try the Cranberry & Blackberry Fusion bar, suddenly the next morning those 7pp didn’t seem such a bad spend, this bar could work as a breakfast on the go &  it certainly filled me up, but would this bar be as good as the Dark Chocolate bar, I’m a chocoholic after all


Well the answer was a resounding Yes!!

The Cranberry & Blackberry Fusion bar was equally delicious, my only negative on either bars was I found this one slightly crumbly, but that could have been because I carried it around in my bag for over a week but even so the bar had kept it shape and hadn’t crumbled or broken inside the packaging

(I can not say the same for of the many other bars that often find themselves at the bottom of my bag making them less appealing to eat when hunger does finally strike)


So would I buy Battle Oats, most definitely in fact I made a special trip to a local stockist a few days ago to stock up (actually I have another small gripe, now I have tried them I want to be able to buy them easily, and at the moment they are only available to buy online or via a small number of stockists mainly Crossfit studios, these need to become available via places like Holland & Barrett, in my opinion these bars are tastier than the equivalents they are currently selling) & I can not wait to try the new bar they are teasing us with on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but haven’t yet revealed

Last but not least, the facts


Battle Oats bars are high protein, gluten free, &  they are made from 100% natural ingredients, but I will leave the sales patter to them, here’s what  Battle Oats have to say about their bars

‘Battle Oats are gluten free protein bars made using fine English oats, butter, coconut oil, protein isolate and other 100% natural ingredients. No palm oil!

Battle Oats protein bars are hand made and oven baked in the UK in small batches ensuring freshness and quality.’

NB Even though I was sent these bars to review the opinions are 100% my own and have not been influenced in anyway

Weekly Recap : Week 2/30 of my London Marathon Training


Week 2, didn’t really go to plan, I only managed 2 out of my 3 runs, partly down to laziness and partly down to fear of injury.

Ever since the Spitfire Scramble I have been suffering from shin pain, I don’t think I have full on shin splints but within 1k things don’t feel normal and even after the shorter 3.5km runs I have been doing recently, I am very aware of shin pain the following day, so as I knew I had the Royal Parks Half Marathon coming up I didn’t want to aggravate things so I stuck with 2 short 3.5km runs again this week

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Even though I didn’t manage the miles I had hoped for my friends did, I had friends running in both the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow and the Cardiff Half Marathon, both races I would like to do in the future, I spent the morning watching the Great Scottish Run on TV, cheering on my friends that were running in the torrential rain, I literally leapt from my seat screaming when I spotted my friend Linda who power walks these events for the charity Walk the Walk, despite the pouring rain I was so jealous of my friends running, both routes looked amazing & made me really excited about next weekends Royal Parks Half Marathon, I think it will be tough, but I am secretly hoping for a PB and to finally crack the elusive 2.26 I dreamed of before my first half

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On the weight loss front, I lost another 1.5lbs, so 6lbs off in 2 weeks and 14lbs off since I rejoined Weight Watchers as a member.. Yay!!

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Weekly Recap : Week 1/30 of my London Marathon training


This week has been full of so many highs,

Finding out two of my running buddies also received places in this years London Marathon, I have a group of friends from across the country that meet a couple of times a year to eat, drink and run, this year Lynsey, Lois & I were the VLM cheering squad for our friends Cazz, Jemma and Laura who were running, we almost covered a marathon walking across London that day as the queues for the tubes were crazy, even spectating we were tired but still we cheered every runner as they passed &  when we saw one of our girls, there were jumps, screams, hugs, tears, it all got a little crazy

Now the 2014 cheer squad have become the 2015 runners, I can not believe we all got lucky in the ballot!!


It will be so good having the girls as support, even though we live 100’s of miles apart, London, Newcastle and Glasgow, we talk pretty much everyday and over the last year have completed Half Marathons in Amsterdam, Bath & Newcastle together, I honestly couldn’t have better running buddies

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Having an absolutely fantastic day at work on Friday, it was a long day, I spent 15hrs at Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex, talking to people about Weight Watchers meetings and advising people that in certain area’s they may be eligible to come along to our meetings for free for 12 weeks, I haven’t felt this fired up about work in a long while, the members that come along to my meetings are amazing and very inspirational, in fact at the moment struggling as I am with my own weight I feel a fraud standing up in front of them each week, but from a colleague perspective our job can be quite lonely as we only see colleagues a few times a year, so this event really brought us together as a team and its given me such a huge boost & made me realise that I am not alone & I am not the only one who struggles with my weight occasionally


But the biggest highs were sticking to my running schedule, taking part in the #onebigfatrun virtual 5k, (well actually I was hungover from my friends wedding so I only managed 3.5k, but to be honest I am just pleased I laced up my trainers), I then done another 3.5k a few days later before heading down to Parkrun at the weekend to celebrate their 10th birthday


& finally the scales were kind, 4.5lbs off, fingers crossed for another loss next week

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The Countdown is on

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Sunday marked 30 weeks until the 2015 Virgin Money London Marathon, and as I’m very slightly ahead of the game knowing I have already secured a spot having received a coveted You’re In magazine last year, I have decided to start planning already, so Friday night I created my training plan, 30 weeks may seem a little excessive but as I have only completed 2 non stop 10ks, without a few teeny walking breaks, its time to start taking my training a bit more seriously


My plan is to run 3x a week, gradually building my miles and incorporating lots of races, for anyone that’s interested my training plan is below, along with detail of the races I have entered, it would be really great to meet some fellow blogger/runners at some of the races, its amazing how a friendly face or an encouraging smile can get you around a few extra miles

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4th October 2014 – International Parkrun Day, 5k

12th October 2014 – Royal Parks Half Marathon

24th October 2014 – The Poppy Run, 5k

26th October 2014 – Great South Run

9th November 2014 – Royal Parks Series, 10k

16th November 2014 – Movember, 5k

22nd November 2014 – Norwich Half Marathon

7th December 2014 – Santathon, 5k

14th December 2014 – Royal Parks Series, 10k

18th January 2015 – Royal Parks Series, 10k

1st February 2015 – Winter Run Series, 10k

22nd February 2015 – Brighton Half Marathon

28th February 2015 – Race the Pace Half Marathon

15th March – Essex 20

29th March 2015 – Hampton Court Half Marathon

26th April – Virgin Money London Marathon!!!


To aid my training I have also rejoined Weight Watchers as a member, because lets face it, its got to be easier running when you are carrying less ‘excess baggage’ so along with weekly updates letting you know how I am getting on with my running I will also share my weight loss progress

I found these photo’s on my Instagram account a few weeks ago and I really want to get back to this weight in time for the marathon

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I understand the 2015 You’re In & Sorry magazines are hitting doorsteps as I type, my husband has just received the Sorry, but I think he is secretly relieved, he has been offered a charity place and luckily I have already raised his minimum fundraising through work but I think he is going to have to pass on that also as he has been suffering with Plantar Fasciits all year.

Good Luck to everyone who is waiting on the postman, please let me know how you get on, it would be great to have some fellow VLM’rs to follow and share training with