2019 Lifestyle Choices not resolutions

After years of making goals and resolutions for the new year, last year I decided that I would stop putting targets on myself and just make changes. If you’ve read any of my blogs over the last 18 months you will have seen my attempts to deal with social anxiety and my diet and exercise. That worked well for me as when I set targets I have a tendency to get close to it, panic and self sabotage leaving me no better off. Making small changes seems to work best.

I finish 2018 thanks to those changes 24lbs lighter than when I started it and with a 3 times a week 30 minute session each time gym workout (and joining a gym was definitely not on my list of things to do at all!) so rather than say I want to lose a certain amount of weight this coming year I just want to continue with the changes I made. And start cooking again. I’ve filled the freezer and so on and made a meal plan for January so off to a good start but if I go off plan a little bit….it’s ok. I don’t need to beat myself up about it, just start again. That’s probably the only sensible thing I ever picked up from 20 years of yo-yo WW/Slimming World diets.

I have 14 months left on my debt plan. This makes me so happy going into the new year; the idea that when I write the 2020 version of this blog it will shortly be over. Except I’m hoping it will actually have gone. I’ve been reading up on side hustles and all the ways to make extra money. I’m going to write a separate blog about this as there’s a lot to say but why wait until the new year? I’ve spent the last 3 days setting things up and am already in profit by about £15. I need £600 to end the debts in 2019 rather than 2020 so I’m feeling very motivated by my choices.

I want to be greener and use less plastic. Again I’ve been doing some research and in 2018 I already started making small changes to reduce my plastic usage. I had no idea about palm oil and the damage it causes until the recent Iceland banned Christmas advert but now I do and so am trying to make food choices that doesn’t contain this. 2019 I want to continue making those changes and improve even further.

Lastly I am going to do more crafting. I do actually have small targets here. I want, by the end of the year to have produced a cushion cover which would mean getting the sewing machine out of the shed and actually learning to use it and also to crochet something. I started to learn a few years ago but using a book and it didn’t work for me so I am going to look at other teaching methods (probably YouTube or a woman at work will teach me). I joined the craft club this year and it’s opened my eyes to so many crafts so I want to just continue learning new things and see what catches my interest to take further.

So no new year new me just a continuation of what I think has been some positive changes in 2018 and in doing so will hopefully make me the well rounded happy individual I aim to be.



This has definitely been a year of two halves. I started the year part way through a daily blogging challenge, I had cut out about 80% of sugar and was trying to get in 10,000 footsteps per day in lieu of any other exercise and combined I managed to achieve quite a lot. Then I had some health issues, I wasn’t keen on the job I was doing and was demotivated there, my finance struggles seemed to worsen and looking back since around August I seem to have lost the plot with everything. Blogs have been sporadic and I definitely haven’t achieved my footsteps. In some ways the footsteps wasn’t an issue as I’d joined a gym and was doing 3 half hour sessions per week. However I pretty much sucked back in that 80% of sugar.

I’d got to the point where I’d lost 27lbs – 1lb off of 2 stone in UK measurements. Partly I think I sabotaged myself a bit but I also did what I always do when I’m stressed and I ate. I ate so much crap. Luckily when I’ve stood on the scales I’ve only gained 5lbs. I can work with that and have a mini goal to get rid of that by the end of this month plus that one more pound that takes me to that magical 2 stone figure. Regardless of what the end figure is on New Years Eve, 2018 is the best year I have had for diet and exercise in about 20 years so it can only be a positive

I stopped communicating in many ways whilst my depression and stress levels were high except for my book blog. I read a lot, even more when I’m in a down swing as it’s an escapism so that blog has done wonders. But I think I have more to say and am starting to miss this one so, while I may not get back into daily blogging I should at least be around more. 

I’ve started some planning for 2019. I found a notebook with so many lists of things I’d like to do, or read, or learn. One in particular is a list of all the jobs I need to do in the house. Not everything on these lists is do-able and certainly not in one year but they’re a good starting point for getting out of the house more and engaging with life.

I’ll add to this over the next few weeks as we come to the end of the year. One of the lists was of the things I wanted to achieve in 2018 so it will be interesting to see how much of that has happened. 

Gym and year so far weight loss review

We did the gym measurements check in early as we didn’t want to skew the stats as I’ll be spending most of next week eating hotel food so after 11 weeks (or technically 10 as I had a week off) and bearing in mind I’ve eaten cake or wagon wheels every day this week I have lost since I joined 2.2 kgs and 5 3/4 inches which I’m pretty chuffed about.
Looking at my nerdy spreadsheet I didn’t start noting inches until I’d lost a stone but in 2018 I’ve lost 26 1/2 pounds (the half’s important) and a minimum of 18 1/2 inches (they included abs and arms which I didn’t). Who knows what it should be but I’m chuffed enough with these figures anyway. So next time I tell myself I’m a rubbish dieter I should probably look back at this post!

2018-10-07 11.26.47


Today was my second day going to the gym.

Back in 2015 I had numerous health and mental health worries (bit like this year) that resulted in issues with my left arm and unable to use it properly. Quite often I could barely carry a handbag on my left side. It took a good year before I could finally use it properly. Having depression I’ve had plenty of lows n my life but that was probably one of the worst as I knew I was strong physically.

So it’s been wonderful these past two times to rediscover that strength and power. It’s a great feeling to be able to use the machines.

Tonight I also got the details of the low sugar diet the gym uses. I know about avoiding fake sugars such as those used in cakes and sweets but I’m no good at knowing what are the worst carbs that turn to sugars.

I’ve my third induction session tomorrow then I’m let loose to use the machines myself with a review in about 6 weeks time and weekly weigh ins. I’m looking forward to it and, certainly in recent times, never thought I’d be saying that.



365 Day Blog challenge Day 185 Let’s Do This #365daychallenge

Let’s Do This…..

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve said that this month.

‘I need to reduce my sugar intake again; Let’s do this’

‘I need to walk more; Let’s do this’

‘I need to restart my moisturising regime; Let’s do this’

And yet I haven’t done any of it. I really seem, after the brilliant start I had to this year to have lost motivation. I think about what I need to do then I’m not actually doing it.

I’m definitely at that self sabotage stage. I’m 2lbs off my next target and I know from past behaviour that when I get to significant targets I end up unconsciously putting up barriers to achieving this. I wrote some posts at the beginning of the year about the need to be invisible and that some of the sabotage was linked to this but I’ve taken lots of steps since then to combat that. I definitely think more about achieving goals than ever before.

One positive point this time is I am aware that I’m doing it. I’ve managed my inner battles with anxiety and self esteem to the point where my weight has stayed steady at the lower end rather than me gaining all over again so that is a huge plus point for this year. And another one; despite an increase in sugar I still haven’t had any chocolate so that is definitely one battle won.

I just need to work out that trigger to get me moving again.

I’ve had very little sugar this week but I have overcompensated with bread so I need to look at alternatives for boredom eating. Toast is not the answer J

I’m shopping at the weekend so will stock up on fruit and sugar-free jelly.

It’s a bank holiday and I have some walking plans. I still have those 5 minute exercise routines saved on my sky+ box but I have a tendency to forget they are there. I may have to set a reminder on my phone until it becomes habit to do it.

I’ve developed some good habits this year and got rid of some bad ones so I know it’s possible to do this. I also know from experience now that for all the messing about once I achieve the mini-targets the motivation comes back to go further and get at least ¾ of the way to the next one. I just need to find my missing mojo.

I will keep pushing on through and congratulating myself on achievements – being stuck now doesn’t negate the hard work and success that I already have

So again – Let’s Do This 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 176 Starting Again #365daychallenge

I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that my sugar consumption is creeping up. I still haven’t had the chocolate and I’ve not had the fizzy drinks but I have had more biscuits than I should have and too many times I’ve ordered a cake or pastry when buying something in a shop.

Cutting it out as much as possible in January did wonders for my health and I obviously haven’t been paying enough attention to my behaviours for it to creep in again and I don’t want to keep making excuses to myself. I started the reduction of sugary products yesterday and keep thinking I need something sugary in the afternoons but I’m on leave from work for 6 days so I’m sure it’s just a boredom eating thing. I’m not hungry. I need to find more things to do!

The other thing I’ve let slip is a beauty regime. At one point I got myself into a really good routine of moisturising, using toners and so on and it’s lapsed. I keep saying I will do something about starting this again as it did help my skin but I haven’t. Again no excuses except my own laziness. So from tonight the creams are coming back out.

I remember at the beginning of the year watching something called Fat;The Fight of your Life or something similar. These people had often 10 or more stone to lose and first of all started off doing amazing then had a relapse. Some then picked themselves up and continued their journeys, some sadly gave up. At the time everything was going great for me so I couldn’t understand the lapse but now I can.

Magazines just tell you the success stories to sell whatever product they are peddling. They don’t tell you how hard it is to continuously carry on thinking about your weight, your body and what you need to do to change things. No one is perfect and set backs will happen. The key is whether you pick yourself up or give up. I refuse to give up so I have to accept that my journey won’t be perfect and every so often I’ll have to regroup and start again in some way. I’ve come so far though this year to stop now and for the first time in many, many years I don’t want to.

So new start, fresh start, onwards and upwards 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 173 Temptation #365daychallenge

This year as I’ve mentioned several times I gave up chocolate and cola/pepsi and it’s diet versions. I’ve never managed to last as long as I have this time and the habit really has gone. Over Easter I was surrounded like everyone in the supermarkets by chocolate eggs and managed to not be tempted at all.

I was more concerned about the fizzy drinks. I’ve caved in so often with this. However last week my son brought a bottle of coke zero into the kitchen saying he didn’t like it any more. Old me would have drank it all that day. New-me said that I would give it to my nephews and nieces and if they didn’t want it throw it away. It’s still sat on my kitchen work top as I keep forgetting to take it round to their house. This would never have happened even in December!

I’m so pleased with myself. They say it takes 30 days to break a habit. Even when I’ve tried to give things up for Lent (40 days) I’ve always caved straight after. It may sound like small things but to me they are huge achievements and proof that I can change other things if I put my mind to it.

I’ve really probably started eating too many biscuits and cookies instead which is why my weight loss isn’t moving fast so this is something to tackle now that I have proven to myself I don’t need these bad sugars in my life.