My mum grew up in Hammersmith, a proper London upbringing, she knows the bus routes and the underground like the back of her hand, she’s great company for a day out in London! Her father worked for Harrods as did many others in our family (this is why we are going to Harrods for afternoon tea for my 50th birthday).
Interestingly though she wasn’t born in Hammersmith! Her family decided to relocate to Lane End in Buckinghamshire during the war years and the blitz and she was born at Shardeloes in Amersham (it was a maternity hospital during the war). Her father was in the Home Guard and was based at the airfield in Booker operating the search lights. She returned to Hammersmith though and lived there until she married when she was 19 (apart from a brief period of recuperation back in Lane End after a burst appendix). I was born in Kent and it wasn’t until I was 15 that we moved to Buckinghamshire and I am now living very close to Lane End and the airfield – small world.
My grandparents stayed in Hammersmith for many years after mum was married and I remember visiting their lovely flat when I was young.
So last Sunday we took mum back and had a day out remembering family and where we came from.
We parked and walked along the main shopping street where mum had her first job as a window dresser for Richard Shops, she was 15. We talked about her mum buying clothes in the co-op. We walked through the park where her mum and her aunt used to hire deckchairs on a sunny day and sit by the river in view of Hammersmith Bridge and probably gossip for hours and watch the world go by. We had lunch in a pub with a fantastic view of Hammersmith Bridge. We then walked along the river and saw Harrods Depository (where her dad worked sometimes) and down the back streets until we found 48 Parfrey Street where mum grew up. It was a Victorian terrace house that was split into two flats (I remember the front room and the old tin bath on the wall out in the back yard). Then we walked around to Lochaline Street where her cousin lived and back onto the Fulham Palace Road until we reached the Catholic Church where mum and dad got married in 1963. We were able to go inside and we took some photos of them with their granddaughter, my daughter Emily – 53 years later.
Mum and dad met while they were both working at the famous Bond Street photographers, Wallace Heaton, we have been back and seen the building but it is no longer the same.
It was a wonderful day out, full of memories, it was sunny and warm and a walk along the river at Hammersmith is to be recommended.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my Bucket List (read it here) ... now I am approaching 50, I am thinking about what I'd like to do with my time more, especially as my children are growing up and no longer need me around as much.
I’m very lucky, however, to have already done lots of lovely things that I can tick off my bucket list …
I'm sure there are many more but these are the special things that stand out for me.
Okay I shouldn’t use the word ‘diet’ as it’s a lifestyle change and a permanent one! And my main motivation isn’t to lose weight – it’s to be fit, healthy and lean, the weight and inch loss are part of that though. But why am I sticking to this? ‘This’ being the SSS Plan and now the SAS Plan from Joe Wicks, The Body Coach.
Why do we diet, lose weight, then go back to normal eating and put it all on again, and often more? Then start the whole cycle again. I honestly can’t answer that one, I am no expert and it is far too complicated to try to unravel it all here – I will leave that to the experts.
But the UK diet industry is worth millions. It terrifies me what some people will do to themselves to lose weight. I know because I have been there too. Now I am not overweight particularly and I have never attended a diet club because I would simply be too embarrassed as I do not have enough weight to lose and never have had. But I have struggled in the past to lose the extra baby weight and more recently approaching menopause has meant that weight has become more stubborn around my mid-section and it has been increasingly hard to find a way to lose it.
I’ve exercised for many years with various Personal Trainers. My current PT is also a friend and she has put up with me and my excuses for 3 or so years now. When I asked her if she would help me with the exercise part of the SSS Plan she must have thought, here we go again! But I think I’ve rather surprised her. And me! I have exercised consistently, 4 times per week, since 18th April. And it is paying off. I would even go as far as to say I might be enjoying it. Certainly I am not making excuses not to do it.
So the SSS Plan is based on combining exercise and nutrition. And it calculates for you your daily macros. So what percentage of protein, carbs and fat your body needs – this makes up the total calories and obviously you need to be in deficit for it all to work properly. Then add in the exercise – HIIT and weights and these exercises combined mean your body will burn fat for long after the actual workout. Muscle takes up less space in the body so it makes sense to have muscle not fat. And no I won’t end up looking like a body builder (or Madonna).
Of course I could do all this by myself. I could download My Fitness Pal and work out what my body needs and input all my food every day. But to be honest life is too short, and it all sounds way too complicated. I graduated from the SSS Plan and I am continuing on the SAS Plan. This is a monthly plan for graduates and it provides you with recipes tailored to your macros and a workout plan, it changes every month so you never get bored and it keeps your body guessing. I can still use some of my favourite recipes from previous months or the SSS Plan.
I am still not sure that I know why it works though. I think it is because I can see results. And because it puts the two elements of health together – fitness and food and you want to stick to it! Being told what to do really does make the difference!
On this eating plan ….
So I absolutely plan to keep this up. As the SAS months carry on and I reach my goal then I will incorporate some more flexibility but I do not want to return to making excuses not to exercise and I certainly don’t want to eat so much sugar and carbs that I feel unwell and bloated again. I much prefer feeling healthy.
My goal – a fabulous figure hugging dress for my 50th birthday party in December. That’s all, no goal weight, I don’t mind what dress size I am, I just want to feel confident and happy with my figure. And I know I can do it!
So following on from my quick look at the new season at Marks & Spencer (here), I received my order but didn't get on too well! The dress I loved but it was a bit big in the 10 and a bit small in the 8 so it went back. The faux leather biker jacket was lovely but the sleeves were too long for me (a lot of the reviews said this too). I didn't order the handbag (I decided I had enough handbags already) but other bloggers are raving about it on Instagram. I am still thinking about the boots!!
I did however find a fantastic faux leather biker jacket in French Connection in Windsor last week. I am busy trying it out with various outfits and dresses. Keep on eye on my Instagram page for more details and outfit posts.
Anyway getting back to the point, some of my favorite bloggers were asked to choose and recreate a look from the M&S AW16 Lookbook.
Avril from School Gate Style chose wide leg trousers and a romantic blouse. Lizzy at What Lizzy Loves chose the same outfit but with different shoes - I love the animal print ones she went for.
Alex at The Frugality features on the Marks & Spencer Website here. I love this look:
I'm off later today to take a look in the shops properly and next week I am meeting a friend in Windsor for lunch and shopping!
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 Instagram and Twitter.