As you all know I have been on an 18 month journey to improve my health and fitness and find a way to beat the menopause symptoms as naturally as possible. When I started The Body Coach back in April 2016 I joined an online support group and met the lovely Bev Thorogood. I loved her posts they were so motivating and intuitive and really helped me along the way with my journey. I was then fortunate enough to meet Bev and we have become good friends. Bev had already trained as a fitness instructor many years ago but like all of us approaching a certain age had not managed to maintain the weight and level of fitness that she wanted. After completing The Body Coach SSS Plan she decided to add to her qualifications and is now a Certified PT and Nutrition Coach. What an inspiration!
She has now set up her own business Floresco Fitness and Fat Loss Coaching and has an excellent online support group on Facebook (Fifty, Fit and Fabulous) and in January will be launching a new habit change programme called Floresco Diamond. I asked Bev to write a guest post for my blog to share with you the challenges that we as 50’ish ladies face with fat loss, fitness and the menopause. I am sure you will love Bev’s tips and will relate to her common sense advice..
I’m Bev Thorogood, founder and owner of Floresco Fitness and Fatloss Coaching.
Let me ask you a question?
How happy are you with your current health and fitness?
On a Scale of 1-10, where 1 is totally fed up and 10 is ecstatic, what number would you give yourself?
If you’re a 10 that’s fantastic, it’s a great place to be and, to be honest you probably won’t need to read on any further – although you’re very welcome to of course.
If you were a 9 or less then read on, this is important stuff!
After years of being constantly on either this diet or that diet, I finally figured out that actually diets didn’t work for me in the long term. I often lost weight to be fair, but as soon as my diet finished – or rather my self-discipline and willpower ran out – I’d revert back to all my old ways and the weight would just pile back on.
I was 50 years old before I finally figured out that there must be something I was doing wrong. I started to think about how I felt about food rather than what I ate. I initially embarked on a very strict 12 week diet and exercise programme through The Body Coach. It was radically different to anything I’d done before and I learned a whole load of new knowledge that basically tipped what I thought was right on its head.
I lost weight, got fit and felt great. But guess what? At the end of the 12 week programme old habits started to slip back in. I could feel it happening and it scared me. I’d put in so much effort to get fit and healthy, to feel fantastic at 50, and I could feel it starting to slip away AGAIN! It was clear that I still hadn’t tackled my underlying habits and feelings around food.
I started reading everything I could find about emotional eating, mindset, habit formation and habit change. I started to work on my subconscious mind because that’s where the deep rooted poor habits lived. I started to work consciously on changing my habits and repeating them over and over until they became the new ingrained habits.
I didn’t really know at that time why things were changing, I just knew that something in my mind had shifted. I was starting to make healthy choices without having to think about it.
People started asking me how I had managed to keep the weight off. They wanted to know the secret! And now, having trained as a nutrition coach, people will often ask me ‘What’s the Best Diet for Me?’.
This is such an interesting question, not least because every single one of us is unique and every one of us reacts differently to different foods.
We are built differently, we have a different metabolic make up. Some of us naturally produce greater proportions of some hormones. Some have a greater amount of lean tissue than others. Some develop sensitivity and intolerances to certain foods and indeed some have food allergies. Some are more active and require a greater amount of certain macronutrients than others.
So, for me, the question isn’t about which diet is best. It’s not even about which diet works.
In truth, all diets work if pure weight loss is your goal and you don’t mind how much metabolic damage you may be doing getting to that magical number on the scales.
They all aim to reduce overall calorie intake, create a calorie deficit and get us using more energy than we consume.
In fact, we can pretty much think of a diet as simply a vehicle for losing body weight.
Imagine, if you will, you switch the word ‘diet’ for the word ‘car’.
What’s the Best Car For Me?
Maybe you’d love a sporty little Lotus ‘cos you like to go fast. Maybe you’d find a leather seated Mercedes more you. Perhaps budget is your priority so an economical little micro hatch is just up your street.
Truth is, they will all get you where you want to go.
One might get you there quickly, while another one might make for a more comfortable journey. Another one might even give you bragging rights if it’s the ‘in-thing’ at the moment, others might simply be the best you can afford.
BUT HERE’S THE THING!!!
None of them are any good if you don’t know how to drive.
Think about the process of learning to drive. It’s all about learning new skills and turning those skills into unconscious habits.
When you’re first learning to drive everything feels new and a bit scary. You have to think consciously about every single thing you do. You’re trying to develop lots of new skills all at once and your brain has to take multi-tasking to a whole new level.
It takes time. You make mistakes. Hell, you might even crash the damn thing.
More than likely though, you don’t give up and simply say ‘that’s it, I can’t do this’. No. Instead you find someone who can teach you and you keep trying and practicing until all those new skills become second nature.
If you’ve been driving for some time, you’ll no longer get into the car and say out loud ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’. You just do it.
When you’re about to start your journey, you don’t have to consciously think about putting the key in the ignition, putting on your seat belt, putting it in gear and figuring out the bite point. You just do it.
That’s because you allowed yourself to go through a process of habit change. And now, it’s second nature.
Learning to eat properly isn’t about the vehicle it’s about learning to drive.
It takes patience, it takes time and it takes consistent effort. It takes learning from your mistakes and not giving up because of them.
Once you’ve learned to drive your own diet, the road belongs to you. You can go anywhere you want safe in the knowledge you’re in control.
I love this analogy! I will be joining Floresco Diamond in January to discover how I can change my habits. Like Bev, I really loved The Body Coach SSS Plan and it got me some fabulous results BUT I cannot be on a 'plan' forever - surely 'plan' is just another word for 'diet' and for me it is about creating a lifestyle that can give me balance and flexibility - something I have been learning with the 8020 Lifestyle Plan, education is key!
Interested? Find out more below:
Fifty, Fit and Fabulous - Bev's Facebook page that offers day to day support, lots of tips and information, exercise suggestions and recipe ideas.
Floresco Fitness and Fat Loss Coaching - contact Bev via her website and find out more about Floresco Diamond or Bev's online coaching.
Bev is offering 15% off Floresco Diamond if you sign up before 1st January 2018 - £15 per month for a 6 month habit change coaching programme - find out more here. Or go to this page to sign up!
I've been a bit of an absent Blogger and Instagrammer these last few weeks! Failing light and rubbish weather has made photos difficult plus I have been very busy with the build up to Christmas - as we all are - it is such a ridiculously busy time of the year - for one day!!! The roads are crowded, the shops are busy. Okay so maybe it is more than one day as we all get so much time off work now, call me miserable but I do struggle a bit.
My daughter and I both enjoyed birthday's last week - she turned 17 and has had her first driving lesson and got her own car and I left 50 behind and turned 51. I did a bit of reflecting on this post here.
So I am switching off from the blog for a couple of weeks although I do have one post to share with you next week - I want to tell you about my friend and the launch of her new habit coaching programme - I think we will all be in need of some new focus for a our health and fitness come January so I thought once the main festivities are out the way you might like to think about some planning.
I will be on Instagram over the festive season as I now have my daughter home from sixth form to take photos hopefully during the brightest part of the day!
So all that remains for me to do is wish you all a very happy Christmas whatever you are doing - do tell me! We are with family so I don't have much entertaining to do at home this year (result). Thank you so much for following my blog and reading my random musings over this last year.
Over the last few weeks I have been thinking and reflecting. And to help me do this I looked back over some of my blog posts, the ones that I wrote as I planned my 50th birthday celebrations, as I thought about gifts and what I shared after the event.
As I have said before my blog is mostly my hobby, it is a place for me to write, share, think and reflect. I hope that along the way I can give inspiration and encouragement to others, whether that is what I am wearing or what I am doing. One day I might make a little bit of money out of my blog but that is not my aim, I am not a professional blogger. But I hope that it makes me more real - I share outfits I am wearing not what a brand has sent me for free. When I show you what I am wearing, it really is what I am wearing and not a modelling shot - then taken off in favour of PJ's!
Some of the blog posts that I looked back on are:
Plans for my 50th Birthday
Countdown to my 50th Birthday - being fifty and fab
My Birthday Wish List
Less is More - Quality over Quantity
Reading through them got me thinking, how did I do? Did I have a good year, did I do what I wanted to do, did I achieve my goals?
Last weekend I got to wear the dress I wore for my 50th birthday again, I attended a charity gala dinner in Milton Keynes, it was organised by my friend who has set up the Facebook support group for all those wanting to get lean, A Big Girls Journey to Lean. We had a lovely evening and I really enjoyed wearing my dress. It was from Karen Millen but was last year and nothing similar available but I do recommend Karen Millen for party dresses - and they fit so well too.
First of all I had a goal to treat myself to a Louis Vuitton handbag and a new car - my longed for mini! Both I achieved - the LV I decided to save for and the mini well now that my daughter is about to learn to drive I no longer needed to be practical so I was able to choose a car just for me!
So I feel very fortunate and very spoilt and I am very lucky.
But one of the biggest changes this year has been to my health and fitness - and the journey I have been on to get back to a size 8-10 after allowing myself to nudge into 12's. I finally realised I needed to make some changes when we went skiing in April 2016 and I was unfit and couldn't fit into my beloved ski trousers. I came home and started The Body Coach SSS Plan and yes I did lose the weight and the inches and was back to a size 8. But then I needed to embark on a plan to maintain and at the time I thought to lose a bit more.
I was at the smallest I have been in a long time when I celebrated my 50th birthday and it felt good but I still wasn't satisfied - I wanted a 'flatter' tummy and so I carried on trying various plans etc but in the end I realised that I was trying to achieve the unachievable. Yes if I gave up all alcohol, if I exercised a lot and consistently, if I watched everything I ate then I could probably do it BUT I didn't want to give up 95% of my life to weigh 5% less.
It has taken a lot of soul searching, coaching and giving myself lots of common sense talking to's for me to appreciate that I am perfect just the way I am.
Yes I did need to lose that stone and the inches. But my body is happy with that,, I have maintained through this whole year despite trying to lose a bit more. I am happy with where I am.
Stress became a big problem for me this summer and I have written a bit about it in previous posts so I won't go into detail again but one thing I did learn is that sleep and stress play a huge role in the body's ability to lose fat. I was too stressed and I wasn't sleeping well. Once I took time off to sort these two factors out then I started to feel better and in fact have lost an inch or so more (without really trying).
So coming to terms with who I am and my body and the fact that actually at 50 I look pretty damn good has been a big goal achieved for me this year.
I'm allowing myself a bit of time off formal exercise because it was causing me too much stress - seeing everyone else managing to fit it in and me not being able to - was really driving me mad. In the end I said enough is enough - I am me and you are you - I am doing what I want with my life and I will not beat myself up any longer.
So here I am a year later, more positive, more accepting, happier and determined not to compare but to be happy in my own skin.
My health and fitness is important to me and I am looking forward to starting exercise again in the new year - I have a 12 week goal - I go skiing in February and I can fit back into my ski trousers but they are still a little snug so if I can make them just a little more comfortable and if I can keep up with my family on the slopes then I will be very happy!
Peri-menopause arrived this year and a holistic approach is something I want to find out more about - mindset, eating well and moving more - to beat the symptoms. I found the Wellness in Menopause Workshop I went on to be really helpful and I want to incorporate some of the ideas into my daily life.
So that is me, feeling reflective! Lots of challenges this year but lots of positives too.
I continue to get great feedback on my blog from my lovely followers. Someone at the gala dinner came up to me and said thank you for my ideas - she has been inspired by me to try outfits that she would not normally consider. Recently I attend a Dementia Friends session and someone who I met on Facebook and who follows my blog was there, she recognised me and loved my outfit! I love to hear from you - so keep in touch.
Celebrating my birthday this year will be a quieter affair - my daughter is 17 and so we are much more excited about her getting her first car and having her first driving lesson. I will have family here for a stay at home dinner!
Did you see my post last Friday with the discount codes for Sweet-Bea - if not do take a look here.
But on my various shopping trips and online browsing I have come across a few other ideas that I think you might love.
We are very lucky to have a gorgeous pop-up shop in Marlow called Craft Coop and it is a showroom for lots of local craft businesses. I really enjoyed browsing in there this week and thought I'd share some of the products that caught my eye and would make really special gifts. I love to support small and local businesses if I can and most of these have etsy or facebook shops or a website.
First up, these unique fabric items caught my eye and yes I have ordered something! They are from Crafted by Gina on Etsy.
Then I spotted these gorgeous personalised signs and Christmas decorations, have a look at their facebook shop here - Dandylion Designs UK. Really good prices and made to order - and not just for Christmas.
Indigo and Rose have a website and I have in the past purchased their lavender hearts as small gifts and I quite fancy the lavender eye pillow for when I finally get into a routine of doing daily relaxation/meditation! I love their blankets.
And the last one from Craft Coop... the Cookham Candle Company, we all love to give and receive a candle and these ones are homemade, natural and free from toxins (which is much better for us).
Or how about choosing a pretty gift box and adding a scarf and bracelet. This gift box is from Indigo Artisans on Etsy and the scarf and bracelet are from Sweet-Bea (see my previous post (here) for a discount code valid until Friday 8th December).
I hope this gives you a few ideas that are more individual - and if you do live in or near Marlow then have you found Craft Coop in their new location yet? They are on Institute Road towards the library (and near Mooch - another great independent shop).
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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