Category Archives: Family

Surviving Christmas


It’s coming up shortly to the time of year that all slimmers dread: Christmas.

Just as holidays mean a break in routine, so does Christmas, with the added factor that so much of this celebration revolves around food.

I am going to consider food and exercise separately when looking at how to manage over the Christmas period.



I think there are four strategies when dealing with food.  Some will cause more weight gain than others, and as long as you realise the consequences of each action and are prepared to accept it, go for whichever one suits you.


  1. Stick to your healthy eating plan completely.  Ignore any extra treats, carry on as usual.
  2. Stick to your healthy eating plan but build in treats you have planned for.
  3. Go all out and enjoy yourself.  Forget about the healthy eating plan.
  4. This is very similar to 3.  Go all out but decide for how long.  Maybe just Christmas day and Boxing Day, or all of Christmas week.Each strategy has its merits and problems.  Be realistic.  Can you stick to your plan entirely when others are eating their body weight in chocolate?  If you go all out, can you regain control without doing too much damage?  How will you feel if you get on the scales and you have put on half a stone?


Many people have time off over the Christmas period but this does not automatically that extra exercise can be fitted in.  Gyms and clubs close or run skeleton services.  Families visit.  You find you have a lot more to do than if you were at work!  And for people who have no time off, all those things apply too!  Again there are different strategies you can adopt to get you through this period.


  1. Stick to your routine in its entirety.
  2. Keep doing aspects of your routine but at a reduced volume, or making changes to it.
  3. Put your feet up and forget about exercise until the New Year.

Once again each has its merits, although if you combine no exercise and lots of food, you may be undoing a lot of your good work, as well as starting the New Year feeling rough.  There are many factors to consider and family is a huge one.  Going out for a run as Christmas dinner is being prepared may not be your smartest move, but an early run on Boxing Day may not disrupt the household at all.


As for me, I plan to keep to an exercise plan as much as possible, but I know that it will be affected as many classes have been cancelled over the Christmas period.  And for food…my plan is to go for what I want but for a few days, and certainly not until the New Year.  I would like to start 2014 feeling fit and healthy!

Have a wonderful Christmas.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon





Half term happenings

family cycling

Happy half term!

I hope those of you that has your routine shattered by the addition of your lovely children around 24/7 and your routine blown out of the water are coping admirably.  I have 2/3rds of my children at home this week with the other one at a swim camp (lucky thing!).  In terms of exercise I have matched my usual amount (albeit slightly different classes) with 3 runs and 4 classes.  However in food terms, I have not been so angelic, with 3 days being off plan (a bake off day and two meals out) and 3 being bang on track.

But I am going to blow my own trumpet here (only for a short time, don’t worry).  I was off plan for 3 days.  BUT NOT FOR 6.  I did manage to clamber back onto the wagon.  I accept I will probably put on weight, but I am back on track with a minor blip, so it’s not all bad.

Anyway back to my classes.  I did Zumba and two lots of aqua aerobics and I tried for the first time circuits.  I really did not know what to expect, and was quite nervous waiting to go in as most others seemed to know each other.  Luckily there was a chap who was new too and we stuck together.  After a warm up of running around the instructor laid out several cards with exercises written on them and several members of the class scurried off and got out various pieces of equipment.

The instructor then went through one of the exercises and we all picked a base and did that exercise for 45 secs.  when we finished all the bases (there were 7) we had a drink and the instructor went through the next set of exercises.  Some exercises I recognised but others were completely new to me and the instructor came around and made sure you were doing them correctly.  When it came to weights there were different weights put out and several exercises could be done differently depending on your fitness level or experience.

I enjoyed the class and it certainly made me work.  It really is suitable for everyone, which I loved.  Would I go again? Yes.  Would I do it instead of my other classes?  No.  Not regularly, maybe as a one off if it suited me better, but I do enjoy pump, conditioning, aqua and zumba.  But I am so pleased I gave it a go.

Hope you are having a fun filled half term.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

Dealing with half term

family cycling

For many parents the words half term holiday will strike fear into them as their routines go out the window and children need to be amused for a whole week.  For what it’s worth I have always enjoyed having my children home, and not having to get up and out for school.  But what I am concerned about this half term is the break in routine.  Will I be able to fit in as much exercise as usual?  And how will my eating be affected? And I imagine that is the thinking for other parents who are trying to keep on healthy eating and exercise wagon.


There are several ways you can approach this change in routine.  You can keep your strict routine, not changing a thing.  You can adapt, realising that some days you may be able to squeeze in your exercise and keep to your healthy eating plan and on others you can’t. Or you can go off track completely.

Each three approaches have their merits.  What concerns me about the latter two is making sure you get back on the wagon as quickly as possible, or it could be a disastrous few weeks.

Remember you can involve your children in your healthy lifestyle.  A walk, bike ride or swim together is a great way of burning up calories and having quality time together.  A film night at home with healthy snacks can be a cheaper and a healthier alternative to a visit to the cinema.  One of our family favourites is baking day where we bake, bake, bake (I think our record is 5 different recipes!).  That can be healthy, and if not, well at least you know what goes in it. And if you do go out for a meal, there are good choices on the menu to be had. Don’t be afraid to ask for something different, such as dressings on the side.

So half term may not be falling off the wagon time.  Maybe you can even inspire your children too.  As for me…I’ll let you know how I get on!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon