Finally it is here! Our post-GCSE holiday! Two weeks of wall to wall sunshine in Kefalonia, Greece.
I am not a great fan of packing but for summer holidays it is so much easier - bikini's and sundresses. Perfect.
I will be posting lots on Instagram while I am away so do take a look and I will be back on my blog when I get home.
We always travel with Simpson Travel and I really do recommend them for ease of booking, simple options, luxury accommodation and really helpful staff. Great website too.
And my top tip for holidays - get yourself a Chilly Bottle, they keep water ice cold all day.
See you when I get back!
Okay so I have learnt something. The Body Coach is fantastic for losing fat and gaining muscle fast. And it is the start of educating yourself BUT it is hard to maintain that sort of lifestyle when reality sets in and you still need to cook for your family and go out and socialise. I did amazingly well last year on the SSS plan and after graduating in September I got to my best place for my 50th birthday in December. But I have struggled since then. I have tried a nutritionist, the sustain plan, macro counting etc etc. I can’t quite lose that extra little bit that would make me feel like I have reached my goal. Because life happens and I need to find balance and live my life too. For someone that is already a size 8 – 10 pushing to the last little bit is pretty hard.
I am learning that ‘reaching my goal’ is also about balance, acceptance and confidence. Not just about scales and tape measures.
It is easy (ish) to be 100% committed for 90 days. It is not so easy to do it forever.
I did a fabulous 12-week online course recently called the 80/20 Lifestyle Plan and I learnt so much about nutrition, exercise and mindset. I then did 6 weeks of one to one coaching with Dan Wheeler from Life Changing Fitness and finally I understand my journey. It is at last making sense. The fitness industry are not particularly keen on Joe Wicks and I can now see that whilst the SSS Plan (and books) have great results it is the maintaining that is the challenge and where Joe falls down. Yes there is SAS but you are still not learning how to maintain and find a balanced lifestyle. You blindly follow pick n mix or recipes but at some point, that has to change, at some point you have to go it alone. For me it has been about how to cook for my needs and what my family want to eat.
I have spent the last 6 months or so beating myself up for not being good enough, comparing myself to others that can fit in all the exercise, and to those still getting results. The reality is I cannot get up at 6 am four times a week. I don’t want to. I can’t live the lifestyle I want and fit in all the macro tracking and cooking from scratch. I need to find balance. Comparison is the thief of joy.
For a while I stopped following many of the Facebook support groups as I struggled with this comparing (plus the sheer volume of posts takes up too much time on my timeline). But I now see that I am not comparing like with like. Everyone is different and everyone is at a different point on their journey and has come from a different starting point. Some are amazingly dedicated and never skip exercise. Others like me have never enjoyed exercise and it is a mission to fit it all in. I don’t particularly like cooking either so being creative with meal planning is a challenge and I tend to muddle through. And it is just me – my husband doesn’t cook and I am a full-time mother and I want to do the best for my family as well as myself.
But I do want to be fit and healthy. I do want to have a figure at 50 that I am proud of. I want to be active, I want to be lean. And that means I must put the work in, it doesn’t happy naturally. But I also want to eat the same meals as my family, I want to go out to dinner and have a glass of wine and I want to sometimes not have to exercise if I am too busy to fit it in.
I will continue to make good choices. I rarely eat dessert or white carbs or cakes or crisps, if at all, but I do enjoy the odd glass of wine. I usually choose a healthy meal because that is what I prefer (I do not feel like I am missing out). I will keep active and exercise when I can and I will do as many steps as I can each day. But I will be realistic too.
I am about to go on holiday for two weeks and I will relax. I will spend time with my husband and daughter and I will be proud in my bikini. No, I don’t have a flat tummy but I do actually have a pretty good figure for a 50-year-old.
When I get back I still have a busy summer – we are celebrating my Dad’s 80th with a fabulous weekend away in the Cotswold's. I have two nights away at the seaside with my daughter and I have a week in Cornwall to look forward to. And these are the things I will remember, making memories with my family, I won't look back and remember the gym sessions with quite such fondness!
In September, I am going on a Fitness Weekend and that will be my springboard for the next phase of my fitness journey. My new focus. An intensive 6 weeks or so of calorie and macro counting and exercise. Then I will see where I am.
This week I talked to Dan about how to maintain and he explained that that is where Joe Wicks leaves off and everyone will put weight back on unless they understand how to maintain properly. So, I will be asking Dan to show me how to do it properly and find a way where I can enjoy my lifestyle too.
I'm learning to be confident with my own body!
Another year and another fabulous fun girls weekend away! This year we stayed in a gorgeous house at the Cotswold Water Park. The weather forecast was pretty cloudy and some rain but in fact it was warm and sunny most of the weekend.
We always book somewhere with a hot tub and this year we upgraded to four bedrooms - we decided the days of twin bedrooms and bunk beds were behind us so we upped the budget and found this lovely house. However, shock horror on Friday they called me to say the hot tub wasn't working. Really wasn't impressed at all although completely realise it is out of their control, these things happen. It was looking very dodgy as to whether it would get fixed or not but fortunately the part arrived and we had a working hot tub for Sunday. Which considering we arrived Friday evening it was pretty disappointing. I have to say that a hot tub and girls weekend do go very well together and gives a lovely focus for the relaxing type of weekend we love.
Friday was my daughter's prom and due to a mix up with dates at school it ended up clashing with my weekend away. Now I would never not be there for her prom so I was with her all day for the prep and saw her into the prom and at 7.45 then got in my car and whizzed up to the Cotswolds to join my friends. My post about the prom is here. I wore a lovely outfit from Hobbs (see my post here).
Most of the weekend was spent in swimsuits or comfortable clothes ... Saturday afternoon we spent a the spa and I had a relaxing aromatherapy massage. Sunday was spent on our deck looking at the lovely view of the lake and enjoying the hot tub.
Perfect view of the lake! Great location for a holiday with kids as so many water sports to enjoy.
My swimsuit is the Santorini from Boden - this colourway is no longer available but there are lots of others and they are now in the sale - take a look here.
This is my gorgeous friend whose style I always admire and love to see what she is wearing and get inspiration from her. This weekend I loved her oversized shirt / beach cover-up but I have been unable to trace it, she purchased it from a small boutique last year so I guess I will just have to hope I come across something similar one day.
Here we are proving it is possible to be Fifty & Fab! I've known these lovely girls for nearly 30 years and I think we wear pretty well!
Sunday evening at the pub and I am wearing navy Frame jeans and a stripe linen jumper and scarf from Mint Velvet
So all pretty lazy, not much attention given to diet or exercise and now with less than two weeks until my holiday I am needing to focus a bit.
If you follow my Instagram you have probably seen me mentioning various shopping trips to get 'the' prom dress. Exams are done, school uniform is now behind us forever and no more school until sixth form starts in September. And the new trend is to have a School Prom (very American I know but hey it is fun to dress up)!
Prom is all about pretty dresses and being sweet sixteen and we had a lot of fun choosing the perfect dress. Now normally I would advise hiring a dress (£80 to £120 ish) but sadly that wasn't possible for my daughter as she is so petite and the hire shops would not do the alterations. I wouldn't recommend buying online, there are a lot of cheap dresses and you really don't know what you are getting, although I am sure for many it has been successful, I wouldn't risk it (in part due to how small my daughter is).
So for us it was all about going out together and choosing the perfect dress. These shopping trips were almost as much fun as the actual prom. We love to spend time together and I shall remember choosing the dress, planning the make-up, finding the perfect accessories etc as much as I will remember how beautiful she looked on the night.
We had a pre-prom get-together where Emily and her three friends did their make-up, giggled and planned and generally had fun. My son kindly took some professional photos and he did a great job.
The dress was from a small boutique in Oxford called The Ballroom Emporium and they were extremely helpful and had a fabulous choice of pretty dresses. Her shoes and handbag were from New Look. And her lovely hairdresser Becki at House of Klamer in Beaconsfield did her hair. She had Shellac Gel Nails on her hands and feet done by Tip Top Nails in Lane End.
And we hired a white vintage London taxi for their 'prom transport'.
I couldn't have been more proud. Now to see what results day brings!
Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties, I share fashion, beauty, lifestyle and exercise/nutrition tips to inspire others to be fifty and fab too … join my mailing list below for regular updates and offers. And don’t forget to take a look at my social media pages Facebook and Instagram.