26 to 12 – another weight loss blog

One woman's journey to lose half her body weight


January 2014

Weekly Weigh-in Results 22nd January 2013

I am trying to catch up with my blog posts this weekend after a busy and stressful 10 days, so I will keep this one quite short… I weighed in on Wednesday night, and unfortunately I had gained a pound. It’s definitely my own fault, I have a tendency to let things slide sometimes when I’m down or stressed, and that is what happened this week. I just stopped paying attention to what I was eating and made poor choices. I am still going to look at it as an improvement though, because previously I would binge a lot in those situations and end up gaining 4 or 5 pounds in a week.
So for this week, I am pretty much back on track, and trying to lift my mood to boot. Hopefully I can rectify last week’s result and then lose a little more as well.


Interval Training For The Uninitiated (That’d Be Me Then)

If you read this post you will remember that a while before Christmas I enlisted the help of a personal trainer for a training programme to get ready for the Great North Swim. I am just coming to the end of my third full week of the programme, and thought I’d let you all know how I’m getting on, especially with the interval training, which has been a new experience for me.

Interval training, so I have read, is a great way to build fitness and stamina, without putting too much strain on your body. I have found that when I have done interval training, particularly when I am swimming, I work harder even on the ‘rest’ lengths than I do on a normal swim. To put this into perspective, I can now swim a mile (100 lengths) at a steady pace fairly easily, but when I am alternating sprint and steady lengths the most I have managed is 60 lengths. And as for interval training on the cross trainer – I cannot do the 45 minutes my trainer prescribed – the highest I managed was 30 minutes this week – but I come out of it absolutely buzzing, feeling that I have worked hard and really achieved something.

So how does interval training work? When you do exercise your body produces lactic acid, which usually your body can remove with no problems. When you do anaerobic exercise (creating an oxygen deficit) lactic acid builds up in your muscles, causing discomfort – it is also lactic acid that causes cramp. Interval training works by taking your body into this state for short periods, and training it to deal with it as it happens. Your body responds by growing extra capillaries to take more oxygen to your muscles, learning to remove lactic acid more efficiently, and strengthening your heart. There are hundreds of articles on the internet about interval training – a simple search can bring up information about the origins, development and effects of interval training, as well as guides on how to begin.

The only thing that I would say about it is to listen to your body. Although you should push yourself a little during the higher effort intervals, pushing too hard can be counter-productive, and even dangerous. But all in all it seems to be a great way to train and can be adapted for all abilities and fitness levels.

Weekly Weigh-in Results 8th January & 15th January 2014

I know I know, I’m very far behind with my posts! I have lots in my head, they just haven’t made it to the internet yet. I’ve been insanely busy over the last week or so, and the fact that my laptop has gone to computer heaven is not helping! However, I am going to try to catch up now and over the next few days, firstly with a 2 in 1 post with the last two weigh-in results. Last week I lost 1.5lb and this week I have lost a further 2.5lb, meaning I only have 2.5lb to go to get my 2 stone award back, and then I can carry on to my next goal! So I am feeling very pleased with myself and pretty motivated for the next week – fingers crossed I’ll be back to my pre-Christmas weight next weigh-in.


Weekend Away

I think I mentioned in a post last week that I was away for the weekend. It was my boyfriend’s 30th so we had a couple of days in Gloucestershire, one visiting his family and one day out. I was a bit worried about how I could tackle this, as his mother is a great cook and was making a special dinner for him, but I decided I was motivated enough to stick to plan (with a little leeway). Here’s a quick rundown of my weekend:

Saturday morning: my boyfriend usually wants to go to McDonald’s for breakfast if we’re going on a long trip. Preparing for treats later, I opted for a banana and a yoghurt instead but told him we could still stop for his breakfast. Not the best compromise perhaps, but I didn’t want to go completely off track, making the excuse that we were away.
Saturday daytime: we arrived at my boyfriend’s parents’, and had lunch and a drink – I picked from the food available to get plenty salad and lean meat, and only a small amount of cheese and a wholemeal roll – usually I’d scarf down loads of cheese and home made ciabatta! I had an apple for pudding and made my gin and (slimline) tonic last most of the afternoon by topping it with more tonic water halfway through. I declined the chocolates each time they went round, mostly because I knew what dinner was going to be!
Saturday night: the big birthday dinner! My boyfriend’s mum did a great roast dinner of duck, roast potatoes, carrots, green beans and red cabbage. I stacked half my plate with veg, and had only one roast potato and a little gravy, and of course made sure the meat had no fat or skin. Finally, the bit I’d been waiting for – homemade lemon meringue pie! I love love love this, it was worth holding back elsewhere for a slice! I also had a small glass of wine with dinner and a handful of peanuts when we played poker afterwards, but I switched to diet soft drinks then.
I did go over my syns on Saturday but I was prepared to do that within reason, and staying in control then has definitely helped me.

Sunday morning: B&B cooked breakfast. This could have been a disastrous fry-up, especially if I’d drunk a lot on Saturday! As it was, I had grilled bacon, poached egg, baked beans, mushrooms and tomatoes – all free on SW and so filling! I also had a slice if toast and again opted for wholemeal so I could have it as a healthy extra choice. I went for a 20 minute walk after breakfast as well instead of sitting around waiting for my boyfriend to get ready!
Sunday daytime: we stopped in Tewkesbury on the way home, and had a lovely time looking round the abbey (currently situated next to a lot of flooding) and went for lunch at a lovely pub/hotel called The Bell across the road. I opted for steak, and had a gigantic salad with it instead of chips and onion rings, and then split a dessert. In contrast, he had a bacon cheeseburger and chips, with (honestly) a side order of macaroni cheese.
Sunday evening: we went to the cinema, I had a snack before we went and only a drink during the film.

Monday morning: a one mile swim and a lot of fruit and veg!

I hope this might be useful to anyone with weekends away coming up, if nothing else you get to see from this what kind of food I like!


Weekly Weigh-In Results 2nd January 2014

I went to my post-Christmas weigh-in last night. Actually, truth be told, I was supposed to go on Wednesday like usual but I skipped it – guilty conscience! I don’t think I was by any means the only one like this – our group leader ran an additional weighing session from her own home yesterday for all those who missed the Wednesday one – and it was really busy!

So, down to business, over Christmas I gained 6 1/2 lbs! Wow, that seems even worse now I’ve seen it written down! There is no denying that I deserve to have gained weight although I didn’t expect it to be this much. I am glad I went and got it over with, and now I can move forward. I am hoping that this gain is mostly water and will come off again quickly now I’m back on track – even with a weekend away tomorrow to contend with – I am really motivated to get this weight off and be healthier.

Incidentally, I have just calculated that a steady 2lb loss each week would mean me getting my 6 stone award on my birthday week – something for me to aim for I think!


lessons learned, one sweaty day at a time

From an inspirational lady, I couldn’t have put this any better.


New Years’ Resolutions

I have a friend and former colleague named Laura, who is notorious. Every new year she asks everyone what their resolutions are. She is usually looking for inspiration for her own. Now I think, if you can’t think of one you probably won’t keep it, because you’re not concerned enough about it. Laura does usually break her resolution by mid-January, and I have never known her to give something up for the whole of Lent. (This is a stark contrast to a couple of months ago when she decided to go caffeine-free for four weeks, and managed so well that she carried it on!)

I haven’t made a resolution this year, mostly because I’m already working on changing the things I want to. If there’s something you’ve been thinking about doing, it can be great to start at New Year, drawing a line under what’s happened before, but you can make changes any time! I do admire the people who have a target to complete in a year – be it daily exercise or, like a friend of mine, a walking challenge (she aims to walk 1000 miles this year.) If, in three weeks, you suddenly think of the perfect change to make to your life, don’t wait next year. Carpe diem.

If you feel you absolutely must make a resolution for 2014, try this: live healthy, and focus on the positives in your life.

Happy New Year everyone!


Squats Are Evil!

If you have been here before, you will know that in December I decided I was going to do a one mile open water swim in 2014 and enlisted a personal trainer to help me. He gave me a dive day workout plan, which I started following just before Christmas.

Now here is my confession: I managed 2 days! Day 2 was squats, in six sets of 20 – or that was the aim! I actually made it to 78 in total before I admitted defeat and went for the swim to follow up. The next couple of days passed in a haze of stiffness, I didn’t make it to the gym – getting downstairs was bad enough!

I have gone back to the gym today, having suffered a total lack of enthusiasm while I was off work. I did day 4’s workout, as that is what I’ll usually do on a Thursday – lat pulldowns, chest presses and then a half mile swim.

I saw my trainer on my way out this morning, and asked him what to do about the pain after the squats. His exact words were “suck it up.” Allegedly, the pain should improve each time I do them, and doing more exercise, especially swimming, will help by stretching the muscles out. So now I’m back in the zone, and preparing myself for next week’s pain, sorry, workout.


Weekly Weigh-in Results 23rd December 2013

Only a quick note for completeness, to say that in my Slimming World group just before Christmas I lost 1/2 a pound (not too sure how, but something worked for me!). This took me to exactly 2 stone off, and made me very happy for the Christmas season! Next weigh-in is tonight, I can’t imagine it will go even a fraction as well as that!


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