A few weeks ago I told you I had finished The Body Coach SSS (Shift Shape Sustain Plan) and I had moved onto SAS, their ongoing programme. But I didn't make it past Month 2. So here I am again updating you further and I will tell you what I am doing now.
For some reason I lost my enthusiasm on SAS, the weather changed, it got harder to get up and work out at silly o'clock and the recipes weren't as inspiring or family friendly.
Then my PT was on holiday for two weeks and I had to exercise 4 x per week alone and although I did keep going, I knew the love wasn't there and I needed to have a better plan going forward.
So I decided that as I had done so well on SSS I would sign up for Round 2 and repeat it all over again!
Plus we have a new gym that has opened in Marlow. It is a pay as you go gym based around classes and PT. All classes are only 40 minutes long and the class sizes are kept small. The owner is a former rowing Olympic medalist and now PT and he has devised a set of classes that are fun and simple but challenging. And don't take too long - perfect for me! Each one is slightly different - Stamina, Speed, Stability and Strength. Plus there are advanced versions too i.e. Speed+.
So I am currently eating to Cycle 1 of the SSS Plan, doing two PT sessions per week and doing two classes at Zac's per week. It has mixed it up a bit and my exercise effort has gone up a notch or two, which I needed. Working out at home is great in the summer with the doors open and weights on the patio but it wasn't so inspiring with the damp, cold and dark mornings. I needed a change.
I have learnt so much on this journey. I have learnt that even losing just over a stone does not mean that the stubborn areas of fat instantly disappear. I still have my problem area and I now know that consistency is the key. Keep going. Repeat. Regular exercise alongside good nutrition, make sure you are fueling your body correctly. Forget low calorie fad diets. Then slowly your body will get to the stubborn bits! I heard it likened to a bath emptying .... the water goes down evenly all over - well our bodies are the same, the fat loss is even all over so fat won't go more from our hips or tummy until it is ready to. So just keep going, repeat day in day out. But I have not been bored or hungry, I don't have many cravings and if I do I have learnt how to work around them. I still have an occasional glass of wine or prosecco, just not every day. I still have some chocolate occasionally but good quality dark chocolate. I have no interest in eating desserts. I have the odd slice of cake - but it has to be worth it.
I still need to decide what I do after Round 2 but this gets me past my 50th birthday celebrations and into the New Year then I hope I have enough information to go it alone using a combination of the support and knowledge I have gained.
My friend and stylist Katherine B posted on her Facebook page today 'Challenge for the week .. wear something different each day that you haven't worn so far since September, it can be jewellery, a bag, lipstick even'.
Now when Katherine came to my house to help me clear out my wardrobe there were lots of items that I had purchased but not worn and I vowed then to 'stop saving things for best' or thinking 'oh today isn't suitable for that outfit'. I did really well when I packed for Prague and had a great capsule wardrobe. But since then I have reverted back to wearing the same items in my wardrobe.
One of the difficulties I face is that I exercise four times per week and so end up in my workout gear for a large part of the day, and if I am really busy, then the rest of the day. I love my workout gear from Sweaty Betty but even so I honestly do not want to wear it four and of seven days a week.
This morning I took a quick look in my wardrobe and thought about the items I am not wearing and my reasons why!
So I will take up this challenge this week and see what new items I can incorporate into my outfits.
Today I am starting with my Superdry burgundy jumper. I purchased this to go under my tweed style jacket from Zara, it is slim fitting and the right colour and style to go under the jacket but when I wore the jacket I was at Westfield and I decided I would be too hot in the jumper! So today I am off to the O2 to escort my daughter and her friends to a Justin Bieber concert. While they watch the concert, hubby and I will have dinner and hopefully see a film. When we travel home later it will be very cold. So I have my new jumper on (but without the jacket I bought it to go with - I need to step away from my own self inflicted rules).
Do keep an eye on my Instagram page where I hope to post daily updates to my challenge. You can find Katherine B here and links to her Facebook page.
There are some great discounts on the High Street and online this weekend, a really good time to get going on some Christmas shopping. I'm sharing some with you that have caught my eye.
I purchased my outfit for my 50th birthday party at Karen Millen last weekend (with no discount) but they did say if it is unworn then I can take it back over the Black Friday weekend and they will refund / and I can buy again with the discount! Now seeing as I am back at Westfield tomorrow, I will take advantage of this. And Karen Millen have 25% off everything so this will be a good saving.
I also took a look at Boden, they have 30% off everything and I have ordered their cashmere relaxed V neck jumper in black and ivory saving about £40.
Mint Velvet Boutiques never discount but John Lewis have 20% off as do House of Fraser so worth looking at their websites if you have your eye on something from Mint Velvet.
My daughter is keen on a Michael Kors handbag which has been discounted at House of Fraser plus my reward vouchers arrived! She's nearly 16 so surprises don't happen so much any more, she needs to choose what she would like.
Hobbs have got 20% off everything and John Lewis will be price-matching that. I have my eye on a star jumper and I rather like this one from Hobbs.
For gift buying The White Company have 20% off (almost everything) and this is a good opportunity to stock up on their candles and diffusers.
And finally fragrances, after shaves etc are all good to buy this weekend with discounts at John Lewis and House of Fraser.
Tomorrow I am going back to Westfield with my mum and my sister, now when we arranged the date we didn't realise it was Black Friday so I think it might be packed! I will let you know how we get on - if we even manage to get parked.
So I had no idea what I wanted, I just wanted it to be special! I was rather hoping that something might jump out at me when I wasn’t looking but that didn’t happen. So I put a date in the diary, invited my daughter to come with me and booked a personal styling session at House of Fraser in Westfield.
With a personal styling session you get a one and half hour free slot in a lovely large private changing room and a stylist who asks you some questions about what you want and then she goes onto the shop floor and chooses lots of dresses for you to try on.
I wasn’t quite feeling the love for the dresses that were bought to me though. I felt that they were for an older lady (okay I’m going to be 50, but I don’t look 50) and they were all of a similar style, mostly fitted shift style dresses, I would like to have seen more variety. In fairness my brief to the stylist was quite basic as I wasn’t sure what I was looking for but I was hoping for inspiration!
I am very glad my daughter was with me as she was able to help me in and out of dresses and do zips for me as the stylist didn’t appear very much as she was looking for dresses, I’m not sure how I would have managed otherwise. Plus it meant she did not see me in the dresses so could not get a feel for what looked good on me and what didn’t. Again, thank goodness for my daughter!
Once we changed the brief we did get a better selection of dresses that worked better on my figure and we narrowed it down to one from Coast and one from Karen Millen. But again I didn’t get heels to try on with the dresses until much later on and then no suggestions for accessorising my short listed dresses.
So in the end we put the Karen Millen dress on hold and headed off for lunch and to have a look around Westfield. We decided that heading directly to the Karen Millen shop itself might make sense and the assistants in there were immediately helpful and enthusiastic. Showing me lots of options and getting bags and shoes for me to try on the whole outfit. I am sure that as it is a smaller shop they know their stock much better but I did enjoy this experience more and I wonder if I’d have been better off heading straight to Karen Millen and Coast?
So I came away with a beautiful dress (in fact the one I chose in House of Fraser) but perfectly accessorised with shoes and bag and much more confidence that it was the right dress and I looked fab in it. Karen Millen at Westfield has a large and open changing area and the assistants are very willing to help you and recommend options. I know where I am going next time!
I won’t tell you any more about the dress until my party on the 16th December!
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.