Category Archives: Motivation

New Year Resolutions!

happy new year banner

First of all, Happy New Year!  2013 was exciting in so many ways for The Wooden Spoon, i.e. we launched!  But I am hoping 2014 will be even better with me finally running a marathon and improving my general health and fitness.  So I wish you all a year packed with healthy eating, fabulous fitness and rare trips off the wagon!

It really is that time of year where New Year resolutions get made and even if formal resolutions are stated we are all encouraged to be healthier, stop smoking, drinking or sort out finances.  How many adverts have you seen already for slimming clubs or smoking cessation devices?

It probably surprises few people but whilst many start their new year off with good intentions and considerable enthusiasm most resolutions fail shortly after. Experts feel that the reason for the failure of these resolutions is that most people do not back their resolution with proper planning.

So how can we avoid falling into that trap?    Our resolutions need to be SMART.







 Specific – target a specific area for improvement, not a general one. I.e. I want to get fitter is pretty general.  I want to be able to swim 10 lengths continuously or finish a parkrun is specific.

Measurable – measuring towards a goal helps to see if you are on progress.  Seeing yourself lose weight, seeing the numbers go down or tracking your runs will all fit into this.

Attainable- One of my NYR or goals is to run the marathon.  That is attainable if I put the training in. But it’s not realistic, and certainly unobtainable for me to aim to run it sub 4 hours.  Well, this year, lol! Make sure your NYR or goals are realistic and attainable.

Relevant-Is your NYR relevant to you?  If it’s not why are you doing it, and will you see it through?

Time-related – by adding a time frame, it can help focus you. I.e. how many people have said they have lost weight for a wedding or aimed to give up smoking before a grandchild arrives?  And done it!  Having that date in mind can be a great motivator. And by not being specific about a time frame things can just drift.


So onto my NYR and they are:

  1. Complete the London Marathon.  I am not giving myself a time goal, as it’s my first, completion is my goal.
  2. Get to my target weight by October 2014.  I really want to achieve this and think that October is realistic.
  3. Go sub 30 mins at parkrun.  This is a tough one.  I have a PB over 35 mins and I will be marathon training for the first four months of the year and then no doubt recovering afterwards!  And I am not a quick runner.  But I would love to achieve this and it will give my running focus post London.


So my NYR are SMART rather than just being airy fairy like my usual ones of lose weight and get fitter.  I have targets and I have plans in place to achieve them.  I am hoping that I will be writing this time next year of my success and setting further SMART ones for 2015!

I wish you all a happy, safe and prosperous 2014

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon


On and off the Wagon

Fruit and veg

After Saturday’s weigh in disappointment , I knew I should shrug my shoulders and feel confident that as I was doing the right things the weight would come off this week.  Or read my musings on keeping on the wagon.  But I didn’t.  It was hard to keep motivation high when I didn’t feel I was achieving anything.  So I slipped off the wagon.

The saving grace was that it wasn’t a big fall.  To date (Thursday afternoon) I only slipped off on Saturday and got straight back on Sunday onwards.  And I ignored the three large bars of chocolate that my mother in law has bought for me and went straight for…mini bags of maltesers, cereal bars and iced gems!  Not good but not as bad as it could have been.

So this week if I have put on I will hold up my hands up and say I deserved it.  And if I have lost weight, I will admit being totally bemused by it all!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

Guilty TV pleasures.


No I don’t mean Glee or repeats of The Golden Girls, but at the moment my guilty TV pleasures are the weight loss shows.  I find when I am “in the zone/on track/in control/in the groove” or whatever you want to call it I enjoy these programmes.  However when I am not-I don’t really want to know them!

The three (I can hear my husband’s THREE from here!) shows I am currently watching are Downsize Me, Fat (or Obese): A Year to Save my Life and Fat Families.  All have their merits as well as their weaknesses but the aim is pretty much the same: take an overweight person (or people in Fat Families case), show them what they are doing to their body, encourage them to change by improving their diet and increasing the amount they exercise and showcase the results.

And the results are generally quite good.  Especially for A Year to Save My Life, as they had, well, a year.  They are given a personal trainer for several hours a day and in FF and AYTSML several pieces of exercise kit.  They have access to dietician and diet sheets. As well as to the inspirational trainers that assists them.

One of the best things they do is really show what being overweight does to your body.  And Downsize Me goes further and invites a “Crash Test Dummy” or an ordinary, usually fairly fit person to live on the diet that the overweight person has existed on.  Some of the changes to their body are remarkable (although I do watch all these shows with a hefty dose of scepticism at times.)

What I would really like to see is if a year or two down the line have they maintained their weight loss?  Have they lost more or have they gone back to their unhealthy ways?  And there are the odd returning programme in FF and DM.  The results are mixed, no-one shown went back to being as large as they were, but some had put weight back on.  And some had done extraordinarily well.

So despite my cynicism and the flaws in the programmes, I do find some interesting points.  It’s a reminder of what being overweight is doing to your body and how shedding even a few pounds and getting more active can help.  I find it fascinating to see the causes of overeating tackled, and some people can pinpoint a reason.  I also love seeing how the coaches emphasise the mental side of things as that is an area I am finally realising its importance.  And most of all I just love watching other people’s successes (in the main) and take heart from them.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

Motivational Quotes Part 2


As I recently found a quote so useful, I thought it was about time I shared a few more pearls of wisdom.  And so here is part 2 of my motivational quotes series.


Vince Lombardi: It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.

Lee lacocca: You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance.

Unknown author: Sweat is fat crying.

Earl of Derby: Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.

Unknown author: What you eat in private, you wear in public.

Henry Ford: Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.


I hope you find one or more of them helpful.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon


Gaining motivation from words


When I am not in control and don’t care what I am eating I have no interest in motivational quotes.  I have no interest in weight loss stories or TV programmes either.  They are for other people.  But now that I feel more in control I love motivational quotes and have many favourited on my twitter account.  I also read them regularly and do actually (I kid you not) draw inspiration from them.  And a casing point was last weekend.

I was trying to work out how many pounds of weight I needed to lose to make my target.  Then it hit me-a lot.  A massive amount.  And I had only scratched the surface.

Suddenly all the positivity that I had built up came crashing down.  It would take months, maybe longer, to lose the weight. It had taken so much work to get this far, and that was nowhere.  I must admit for a brief moment I started to panic. And then I remembered this:

Always concentrate on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go.

So I thought about how far I had come.  The compliments.  The slightly looser clothes.  The enjoyment in exercising.  Then I thought about carrying on my modest progress for a few more weeks.  What could that mean?  Another stone off before Christmas?  Maybe another pb at parkrun?  And then I relaxed. I have a long, long way to go but by celebrating what I have achieved the journey doesn’t seem so long and painful. It seems achievable. So whoever wrote those words, thank you.  They have helped keep me on track, and am sure have motivated many others.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

Motivational Quotes


It’s getting towards the end of the week.  We might have started the week full of vigour and enthusiasm but lets face it, our motivation can drain away.  So in the first of what I hope will be become a regular series here are a few of my favourite motivational quotes.

David Viscott: You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.

Jim Rohn: Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

Marvin Phillips: The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!

Plato: The first and the best victory is to conquer self.

Vincent Lombardi: The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.

Leigh Hunt: The groundwork of all happiness is health.

Will Rogers: The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.

I hope you gain a little umph from these quotes!  Maybe you have your own mantra or favourite saying that helps you along when the going gets tough. Whatever it is, I hope it helps you to keep your motivation high.


All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon



Dealing with disappointment

scales and measure drawing

I can’t lie.  Getting off the scales this week I was very disappointed.  I had exercised a great deal, was feeling fabulous and kept to the plan fairly well.  But the scales didn’t show that.  It was a loss, 1/2lb, but I felt it should have been more.

When you are losing weight you can often feel disappointed; disappointed that you have fallen off the wagon, disappointed that other people seem to shed weight a lot easier and for me the worst disappointment is when you feel you have worked hard but you don’t get the rewards.

So how can we get through this?  It is so tempting to think “it’s not worth it”, “why should I bother?” and fall back into bad habits. But in the end it’s only ourselves we are cheating.

Some positives I have taken from this week are that at times I have made good choices, such as trying Bodypump and parkrun.  I have felt so much better in myself and had some compliments.  Sometimes it is important to celebrate the little victories and remember them. It’s also vital to remember the bigger picture; why are we doing this?  What do we want to achieve?  We need to remember that this is a small part of our journey, and not a complete roadblock.

So I am going to try again this week, and hope that the scales make me happier when I weigh in again.  But I believe I am on the right track and that has given me confidence to keep going and not lose heart.

My advice if you are disappointed is;

Think of all the little victories during the week such as taking the stairs, saying no to desert.

Keep in mind the bigger picture and your longer term goals.

Use your support network, that is what they are there for.




All the best,


Woodyrunning spoon