So finally I have a sustainable way forward with my health and fitness. Finally I have a permanent plan that will mean I do not put the weight back on. A lifestyle that is my new normal. No 'going off plan', no 'falling off the wagon' ... no need to look for another plan or prepare any special meals just for me.
I did The Body Coach SSS Plan last year and it was fantastic. It kick-started something in me that made me want to eat well and exercise four times a week. It worked. It was never forever but it did point me in the right direction. It led me to learning so much more about how to get lean and stay lean.
So what am I doing? Well I posted on A Big Girls Journey to Lean Facebook group that I was feeling a bit lost. I'd met with a Sports Nutritionist and I have two great PT's who help me with my exercise plan but I was still only maintaining. Someone on the page sent me in the direction of Daniel Wheeler at Life Changing Fitness. I looked into his plans briefly as well as a few others but I was definite I wanted to follow my own exercise and not have to do a plan where the exercise is prescribed to me. And I wasn't at all keen on macro tracking either, it just seemed like too much hassle.
Then Daniel Wheeler posted a video on his Facebook page asking for people to sign up to a new programme that he had created. He needed a test group for the 12-week programme. There was still a cost - £120 for 12 weeks but he needed people that could commit and would help him test it and give feedback. This is the second test group and another one is due to start soon.
It's called the 80/20 Lifestyle. What he is doing has been out there for a while but it is the unique combination of different elements coming together to create something that is groundbreaking and that makes this different.
He has combined all the elements that are lacking from so many commercial diets and he has created something unique:
Education - he teaches you everything you need to know about nutrition and exercise, you learn the WHY.
Mindset - he has a Therapist who will teach you all about mindset and what you need to know so that you don't sabotage your new lifestyle.
Diet - his approach uses the 80/20 rule and he teaches you how to use macro tracking and calorie counting and then flexible dieting so that this approach is sustainable.
Exercise - he explains that you do not have to exercise. However, it is advisable and he encourages you to be more active but during the 12 weeks you will learn why exercise is important and what is the best exercise to do but if you don't want to or can't for whatever reason then you can still be successful.
Each element of the diet is taught via weekly 'live' meetings on Facebook. However, you can attend in person if you want to (LIfe Changing Fitness is based near Chertsey and they have other locations too).
I am on Week 4, the first meeting was an introduction and then in Week 2 we learnt about Protein, Week 3 we learnt about Dietary Fat and then Week 4 was all about Carbs.
I have chosen to log total calories using My Fitness Pal. However Daniel and his team have devised a 'point' based system that will teach you more slowly if you are not ready to dive straight into My Fitness Pal just yet. I will eventually track my individual macros in more detail but I am just slowly building up to that - there is no rush, I am learning as I go along.
The programme is not perfect at the moment - it is still being tested. The 'live' meetings can be a bit hit and miss due to connection problems but Daniel and his team are learning each week, listening to feedback and improving things. As part of the test group we are getting a lot of help - they want this to work so they want us to succeed and want to help. There is a Facebook group just for this group and there are regular live Q&A sessions and you can ask anything, however daft it may seem, and one of the team will get back to you. The page is also incredibly supportive and confidential - it is a safe place to chat about your worries if you need to.
Weight is not important - your progress is measured in cm's lost each week and #smallvictories - you only weigh every four weeks. Your macros and calories are personalised and if you hit a plateau then they will be adjusted accordingly.
And so far, for me, this is working!
I am learning why I need to eat certain foods. I am learning all about nutrition and what is good for my body. But I am also able to fit this into my life, As long as I don;t eat more than my total calories I can eat what I like (if I want to - I still prefer nutrient dense food). I can follow my own exercise plan. If I exercise I earn additional calories on that day. If I don't exercise I can relax about it and not worry. I am understanding more about the emotional side of eating. I can still enjoy alcohol in moderation - Daniel has devised a point scheme so I can have '20' points of alcohol each week (about 2 x glasses of prosecco) or I can bank them if I am having a big night out!! I am drinking a lot less now though, preferring to feel better rather than over-indulge.
So I have a sneaky suspicion I may have cracked this. Joe Wicks got me started. Daniel Wheeler is going to educate me! But most importantly I am going to do this, I am getting myself healthy and lean. I am going to rock my bikini in Kefalonia in July. I am going to be fifty and fab! I am going to have the best body I can!
There are new test groups starting soon or you can look out for the full launch (I am not sure when this is yet) but I do recommend looking into it. I am pretty certain you will love the results and you won't feel like you are on a diet. The first test group are having some amazing losses, the group I am in are already reporting lots of cm's disappearing and I am no longer in a plateau, my measurements are on the move again.
What do you think?
To find out more go to Daniel Wheeler's Facebook page and look for the pinned post where there is an explanation and a video. Or you can look can to the Life Changing Fitness website and read more about them..
What is 80/20 Lifestyle?
80/20 Lifestyle was formed through one man’s transformation and his passion and sole purpose to help change peoples lives.
Your lifestyle should consist of your goals, your efforts and your all round wellbeing.
The 80/20 lifestyle is a way to help you achieve all these things, and more!
This number encompasses all the elements that make up your fitness journey and your everyday life.
80% of your reward – whatever it may be, should require just 20% of your effort.
80% Lifestyle – 20% Creating it!
80% Nutrition – 20% Gym
80% Healthy Eating – 20% Luxuries!
Last year wasn't a great Mother's Day. I set my expectations too high. I took too much notice of what everyone else was doing on social media. Big mistake! People post on Facebook what they want to you to see - not the reality. My daughter was brilliant and she got me a really thoughtful gift but for some reason I felt quite fed up all day. Fast forward to this year, yesterday and I decided to have no expectations at all and boy it was so much better!
Mind you I was a bit fed up by the need to have clocks changing and Mother's Day on the same day!! I mean whose silly idea was that!? Us Mum's need an extra hour not to lose one and then to lose one on 'our special day' well it's madness!!
I had a really lovely day but I was very aware of those that maybe were not having such a great day. The media and social media raise our expectations but what about those who sadly have not been able to have children, or those who have lost their Mum maybe more recently? Those whose children are away and can't get home for Mother's Day? I am sure there are many more scenarios but having felt fed up myself last year it did make me think a bit more about others this year. So if that is you and yesterday you felt miserable then my heart goes out to you and I am so sorry, I hope that today is better and a bit of sunshine cheered you up.
On Friday my sister organised a day out in London. It was me and my two sisters and our Mum. We got the train down, arrived in Covent Garden, had a good bimble about, found Neals Yard and sat in the sun and had a cup of tea. We went in a few shops, nothing too stressful. Then we had dinner at Bill's and finally headed to the Vaudeville Theatre to see Stepping Out starring Amanda Holden. It was excellent, Amanda was brilliant and it was very funny - just what we needed. We had an easy journey home and we weren't too exhausted. We made memories, we had fun together, we chatted and we relaxed. It was perfect.
I wore my new Mint Velvet trainers, my Citizens of Humanity grey jeans, a new pale pink/blush jumper from Boden with my M&S scarf and a lightweight down jacket from Uniqlo, my silver handbag was from John Lewis last year. My mum's lovely green jacket is from Joules!
On Sunday, we had lunch at our local pub, we were a large group, there was me and my husband and our two children, then my parents and my brother in law who is here doing some work for us and my sister-in-law. We spent a lot of time in the garden as it was so sunny.
My children made lots of effort. I got a beautiful card from my daughter with words that brought tears to my eyes. And even my son had been shopping and I had a lovely card and some thoughtful gifts.
But most importantly, we spent the day together. No expectations. Just time as a family. Making memories, that is the most important thing to me. Nothing else matters.
I hope you too were able to have a nice day. And if it didn't go to plan then remember it is just another day and you are not alone, we all have bad days and today will be better.
We are having the house decorated! It's pretty chaotic and not my favourite pastime I have to be honest BUT I want it done so I have to be patient. First of all we had the kitchen units painted, we have a painted shaker style kitchen and it all just needed a refresh. Now the rest of the house needs to be painted, it is amazing how having one area done suddenly shows up how dirty and tired looking the rest is. By the way if anyone wants sample paint pots for a variety of heritage green colours, I have plenty!!!
It does mean that my blogging time has been more limited as I am needed to move things around and generally do the running about and planning so I feel like my head is a bit all over the place right now.
As I write this it is the first day of Spring! Not that you'd notice it. I have enjoyed a few little glimpses of sun over the last few weeks though. I blogged about my colour of the moment - blush here. And I have just taken a delivery of a pale pink jumper from Boden.
There are a few sales on right now. Boden has some great discounts and Mint Velvet has just pinged into my inbox too.
Last week I popped into London to meet my cousin for lunch near Victoria so I took a look at the shops there. Not great, but enough for the short time I had. Quite a few good reductions in Hobbs and there was a large Monsoon. Now I am not a huge fan of Monsoon but I do like to take a look from time to time and I often pick up bits in Accessorize. I had been looking for a new cropped sweat top, something easy to throw on over my workout gear, I had one from Sweaty Betty but it was looking very tatty so needed replacing, And Sweaty Betty is so expensive, plus they didn't have exactly what I wanted anyway. But I did love the new sportswear range in Accessorize - Athleisure Spirit (take a look here) I got a fabulous cropped hoody for £30. Then my daughter nicked it! So it must be good. I've ordered another one.
So here is a little round up of what I have been wearing recently with details where applicable.
First up is the cropped hoodie from Accessorize, £30. I am pretty impressed with their new fitness range, let's see how it wears!
I talked about 'blush' on my previous post and this is my new scarf from Marks & Spencer worn with a navy jumper from Hobbs, my 7 for all Mankind Jeans and my new trainers from Mint Velvet.
Scarf and trainers same as above but I was having a very casual day so I am wearing Boden leggings with a Boden cashmere jumper and a black fur gilet (all previous season)..
I'm pretty in love with the blush scarf! This time I am wearing it with my All Saints silk blouse a late January sale bargain and my 7 for all Mankind jeans. My blazer is from Zara.
I had an early start this day, an airport run for my son, so I popped on my new jumper from Hush - but the day turned out very warm, oh well! This is a great lightweight knit though and I 'love' the slogan!
I have definitely got my money's worth from my 7 for all Mankind jeans! The stripe long sleeve top is from Halhuber at House of Fraser and this and a black one were reduced in the sale to £19, just the right amount of stretch, I am very happy with them. The jacket is a knitted blazer style from the Boden sale. And my scarf is from online accessories shop Sweet-Bea and until the end of March you can get 15% off using the code FIFTYANDFAB15, they have a great selection of stylish scarves and accessories.
So I am slowly dipping my toe into some Spring styles but it is not easy with the ever changing weather. I did take a look at my stored away 'Spring / Summer' items last week but I am not ready to have a sort out yet - and with the decorating being done, I am not sure I want to add any more muddle in. I have purchased a few new bits to refresh my wardrobe as the weather warms up and I will share some more with you next week.
I was wandering through Marks & Spencer in Milton Keynes a few weeks ago and a blush scarf caught my eye, I wasn't looking for it, it wasn't in the scarf section, it was on an outfit and I didn't even think about it, I just grabbed it and paid!
And so blush has become my spring colour. I am just slowly dipping my toe into spring and letting go of the darker shades of winter. Armed with my blush scarf I then spotted some gorgeous blush and rose gold pumps on the sales assistants in Mint Velvet, Marlow. I didn't have time to stop and ask about them so when I got home I messaged Gaby who is on Instagram and she gave me the details (only available online).
And so my blush accessories are building. It goes really well with rose gold, with navy or black or grey and is a colour that works well on me.
Here are a few ideas if you fancy introducing blush into your wardrobe (or Mint Velvet call it nude)!
Above, all from Mint Velvet.
Gemma foldover clutch £99.00
Balloon sleeve jumper in nude £89.00
Rose gold drop necklace £29.00
Blush scarf Marks & Spencer £22.50
Nude Andi Lace-Up Mint Velvet £89.00
Blush scarf Sweet-Bea £14.50 (15% off with the code FIFTYANDFAB15)
Blush is going to look absolutely gorgeous with grey and perfect for updating our wardrobes coming into the milder weather. Below are a few outfits I have been wearing recently:
So that's my current crush and what I am wearing now. Have you noticed that we get one day rain then one day sun and the pattern just keeps alternating! It is however mild enough not to need a heavy coat every day.
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.