Monthly Archives: August 2013

My Week


My week in numbers;

½ lb lost

3 runs including 1 parkrun

2 bodypump classes

1 visit to the gym


My week in words:

Half a pound!  Half a pound! Yes I was disappointed when I stepped off the scales.  I felt I had a good week.  I have been exercising more than ever (including trying bodypump and parkrun for the first time, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed).  I have been eating well and do feel so much better for it, and have mainly stuck to the plan. I say mainly as last Saturday my daughter and I had a baking day and I enjoyed homemade quiche, bread and flapjacks as we were going to a picnic (we ended up going bowling instead due to the torrential rain but still ate the food!) and later in the week we went to a Chinese buffet where I tried to make as good  choices as I could.  So perhaps not as good as I could have been, but still disappointing.  So I am disappointed but not downhearted or defeated.  And looking forward to more bodypump and parkrun.

Hope you have had a good week.

All the best,


Woodyrunning spoon


I try Body Pump…and survive!


A few years ago, Les Mills’ classes seemed to be taking over the fitness industry.  They were very popular and seemed to be a class for everyone.  The one I always liked the look of was Body Pump, as I have absolutely no rhythm or timing (I am the one who is always out of time) but I never seemed to have the courage to take the plunge and try the class.  Until this week.

According to the Les Mills’ website: “BODYPUMP™, the original LES MILLS™ barbell class, will sculpt, tone and strengthen your entire body, fast!

Great bodies aren’t born, they are transformed, using the proven BODYPUMP™ formula: THE REP EFFECT™ a breakthrough in resistance workout training. Focusing on low weight loads and high repetition movements, you’ll burn fat, gain strength and quickly produce lean body muscle conditioning.”  Ok, we’ll see about that!

I managed to secure a spot right at the back of the class (away from the mirrors-yippee!) and watched what everyone was doing.  It involved free weights and bar weights and not knowing how I would cope with the class I went for the lowest amount possible (yes I did have weights on the bar before anyone asks!).  This is one of the great things about the class; you can choose weights to suit your own level.  First up it was lifting the bar to music and after that set, the instructor asked if anyone was new. I was the only one who lifted up my hand and she gave me advice throughout the lesson.

The first half hour sped past and at first my arms had a lovely tingle.  Then it got harder and I could really feel my muscles working as we use a mixture of the bar and free weights.  Whereas at first I was lifting the weights easily later on I was grateful for the puny amounts I had chosen!  I knew when my arms asked for a divorce that they had a good work out!  I really enjoyed the session and certainly felt the benefits.  I had some muscle soreness the next day although it didn’t stop me running.  Would I go again?  You betcha!  And I did; two days later.  More soreness but very satisfying.

For all you chaps out there, yes there were men in the class.  I’d say about a quarter of the class were men.  So no excuses for anyone.  I hope if you try it you enjoy it as much as I did.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon


Food costs…paying in running terms


There is a very simple equation to weight loss which is you need to burn more calories than you eat.  If you eat more calories than you burn you will put on weight. Very straightforward in writing, but in practice…not so much.

So burning even more calories than usual will help to lose more weight.  This is why exercise is encouraged so much, as it is an excellent way to burn those calories.  However it can for some people be counterproductive as after their run or exercise class they reward themselves with food, thus sabotaging all their good work.  So I thought it would be interesting to see how much certain foods ‘cost’ in running terms.

I have worked out the calories burned using the Runner’s World calorie calculator based on an 11stone runner running at 6mph.  Heavier runners will burn more calories, as will faster runners.


A small glass of wine: 10 minutes.

A Cadbury crunchie bar: 16 minutes

Starbucks tall classic hot chocolate with whipped cream whole milk: 24 minutes

Greggs Triple chocolate muffin: 49 minutes

Dominos chicken feast personal pizza (all of pizza): 53 minutes

1x chocolate hobnob: 8 minutes!! Yes one really  is 8 minutes running!

So next time you are tempted to reach for a snack, just think how much running it would take to burn it off.  Then maybe you would think twice! I certainly will!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon




My Week



My week in numbers;

2 ½ lbs lost

3 runs completed

4 visits to the gym


My week in words:

Overall a satisfying week.  2 1/2lbs off is always good, especially as we had one meal out (TGIF-I tried to be good, but…).  I was really pleased to keep up with my running plan, and also visit the gym so much (yah school holidays!) and have to say I am enjoying exercising at the moment.  Other than the meal out I have stuck to plan and have cooked some delicious meals.  Cottage pie, lasagne, bang bang chicken noodles and Burmese chicken and coconut kaukswe curry went down very well with the family and I have enjoyed my syns too.  So a successful week and a happy Woody!

Hope you have had a good week too.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon


Review of “Welcome to the World of Weight Loss”

Fruit and veg

On Tuesday there was a programme on BBC2 called “Welcome to the World of Weight Loss”. Here are a few musings about it.

Any time I see a programme about weight loss, I worry it might be fatty-bashing but this was a warm hearted and ultimately uplifting programme.

A clever strategy was it featured so many people from different backgrounds, who not only became overweight for different reasons such as happy relationships, unhappy relationships, guilt, eating for comfort and bullying but it started for them at different times.  This showed the complex nature of weight gain and the importance of appearance in the western world and it is not limited to a certain group of people.

The similarities to religion felt a bit forced and pushy at times, although it did have its merits.

What I gleaned from it was there are a lot of people out there with the same attitudes, thoughts and feelings as me.  I could identify with so many of them shown, especially Jackie who recognises she is an emotional eater but recognition doesn’t help her get on top of it. That’s me!! But what was nice that the support offered and received to people attending the slimming clubs was very apparent and was a huge positive factor.  Several said they couldn’t lose weight or maintain on their own, as do I.   And as Joan said, “It’s for Life.”  How many of us have learnt that to our cost as we pile on the pounds after losing weight?

Other than support I think the other principal issue that came across was control.  People felt that when they were over-eating they were out of control and following a healthy eating regime/diet gave them control back. Mariam, the Slimming World consultant summed it up well when she said when she was in control of eating she felt in control of her life.


So did I learn anything new? No.  Did I enjoy it? A big yes.  What it showed was there are many reasons for people to eat to excess, and our relationship with food is complex. And there will always be weight loss clubs full of people in the same boat as you, to support you.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

Falling off the healthy eating wagon

Fruit and veg

We all do it.  Eat healthily for a while and then have a bad day, then two, then several weeks later we have put back on all the weight that we had lost and even worse feel as guilty as hell, and have lost any self-confidence and motivation we gained.  I’ve done it, many, many times, and maybe you have done it too.  So let’s think how we can clamber back onto the wagon as soon as possible, and maybe, even use it as a learning experience (yes really!).

  •      The first and I think most important thing is to draw a line under it as quickly as possible.  It’s happened, accept it and move on. Get back on the wagon ASAP, don’t wait for Monday or your next weigh in.  Do it now. If you don’t then a bad day will become two, then three and more.


  •     Don’t beat yourself up or brood over it.  You’re human, you make mistakes.  We all do. Put it behind you as quickly as possible.  Think positive.


  • Be honest with your support system. Tell them you are having a hard time.  They will want to help you.  Let them.
  • If you have bought any goodies during your off the wagon stage get rid of them. Not in the back of the cupboard, mind.  We know what will happen to them at some stage…


  • Remind yourself why you are trying to lose weight. Go back and read your aims and goals and make use of any motivational tools you find useful.


  • Think of falling off the wagon as a way to learn about yourself and improve your new lifestyle. You might identify some trigger points and once identified you can plan to avoid them again or recognise how to manage with them. Use the experience to your advantage.


Always remember:


All the best,


running spoon

Overtaking everyone on the couch…


Let’s get running!

Well it’s easy, right?  I mean we run as children, and we’ve all watched the London Marathon when you have people of all ages and sizes running, including people run dressed as rhino’s and giraffes, and they manage.  But when you’ve finally decided to start running, it can seem a little overwhelming.

The good news is there are lots of magazine, books, websites and blogs about running and many of them give fantastic advice.  But the bad news is, only you know how you feel, and sometimes that is not covered, especially if you are nervous or anxious about being seen in public running.

For what it is worth I have had very few negative comments when running.  And remember you are running faster than everyone on the couch!  That really is important to remember-if you step out and start running, you are doing something that many people don’t have the confidence or guts to try.

So here are a few quick tips for the nervous beginner:

  • If you have any Health concerns at all pre-running, get yourself checked out with your GP or a physiotherapist.
  • You don’t need expensive kit to start off.  That can come later! It’s important to feel comfortable.  Two provisos would be a good sports bra for women, and decent sports shoes.  This will reduce the risk of injury.
  • Start slowly, especially if you haven’t exercised in some time.  Don’t worry about walking at first, and build it up slowly.  There are many beginner plans around, but for the complete beginner it might be a good idea to try one of the many couch to 5k plans.
  • Choose a time that suits you and fits in with your lifestyle.  It might be early morning or late evening if you prefer not to be seen.
  • Try to keep it fun.  If you start doing too much too quickly you run the risk of getting injured or losing your enthusiasm.


Good luck and enjoy!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon




In the beginning

The first step is the hardest so they say.  And I have taken many first steps.  But I want these to be the last first steps I take.  Comprende?  Let me explain…

I am overweight.  I have been as long as I can remember.  Occasionally I lose weight but inevitably I put it all on.  I can’t say weight has blighted my life.  I have not been bullied because of my size, I am married to a lovely man and have three beautiful children, have wonderful friends and a job, but I also wonder…what would it be like to be thin? To go to any shop and buy clothes because I want to not because it fits?  To not worry about fitting into chairs or seats?

I also love sports.  And I do like taking part in sport.  And to be honest I would love to take part in events and not check the slowest time from last year and wonder if I will come last (I have on several occasions come last and actually don’t worry about it too much.) and by how much.  I would like to be a mid-packer not a back-of-the-packer.

So for the 2356th time of asking I am on a healthy eating programme (Slimming World) and have the London Marathon entry looming large.  I want this time to be different, because I want you to come on this journey with me.  And maybe together we can inspire each other to achieve.

All the Best,

The Wooden Spoonrunning spoon