The Big Boy Room

The thing about proper gym training is that the relationship you build with your trainer becomes so much more than that of a task manager.  The thing about being with someone who really knows what they are doing is that at a certain point they know your body and its limits better than you do.  Darrell stepped up our training by taking me to the area of the gym where the big boys train.  That part that I dared not tread in the past as I felt this area was off limits to me.  I am not sure if this is the former fatty talking or just someone who happens to have a vagina rather than a penis.  But, there is something about the testosterone fuelled weight lifting floor that scared the hell out of me.  But, full of excitement and a bag of nerves I followed Darrell into belly of the beast, also known as the body building floor.

Today we were going to do dead lifts.  I was going to do deadlifts!! My form was good and I felt stronger than I ever had my whole life.  That’s the thing about living in a fat suit, when you are in it though you are pushing every possible physical boundary with the sheer mass you are carrying you don’t feel strong.  Quite the opposite, you feel weak and at the mercy of something you need for survival yet can’t control.  So, this new feeling of strength was something almost spiritual.  Having spent the better part of my life hiding my body the idea of lifting weights was a bit cathartic.  The “big boy” room thick with testosterone and heaving with the kind of men that I feared would judge me actually respected my effort.  It was another stamp to add to my “passport” of places I felt I was not allowed to enter as a fat girl.  Whether societal or self-imposed there were just some things that were off limits to me in my old body.

But, this wasn’t all about my head.  Under Darrell’s expert guidance my body so beaten and scared from weight loss and plastic surgery was toned and taut.  The results were hard to dismiss and furthered my original hypothesis that it was all about excuses.  Once the barriers were dropped and I really took on board what Darrell was teaching me I had complete faith in the process.

Since this was written Darrell has moved.  What is a huge loss to me is a massive gain to clients in Leeds.  Darrell is so much more than a trainer.  He helped me in ways I could not have imagined.  You see the last thing I had wanted in the beginning was a male trainer.   Men in the gym generally had been something I tried to avoid at all costs.  But, the idea of working one on one with a male PT was something of nightmares.  It was my own jaded view of men in general I suppose, but in my mind they represented everything that kept me weak.  These were the kind of guys that mooed at the 16 year old Melissa.  I suppose I stereotyped all “fit” men in this way.  But, Darrell changed all that.  He showed me that my only limitations were self-imposed and anything was possible.  He pushed me continuously and encouraged me to lift more and was always there to spot me when I needed it, whilst at the same time knowing when to hold back and let me take care of business.  The sessions we had were about pushing the limits I had and helping me attain a strength I didn’t think possible. We had many a conversation that started with me saying “I want to be able to do Tough Mudder or I think I want to enter a charity boxing match or I want to be able to do pull ups unaided.”  His reply was always “you can do it” “we can train for that”.

So, Darrell I can’t possibly thank you enough for what you have given me.  You are a credit not only to your profession, but more importantly to your gender.

I will continue this journey with a new trainer.  So, this is not over yet!

Watch this space…

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Serious Jane Plan of Action

IMG_20150601_174108The last couple of months have been a time of perspective. I know there are those much worse off than myself and I of course acknowledge that I have many, many blessings to be grateful for.  However, it has been a really stressful time!  I feel like I have been to hell and back.  Like most times of great stress and pressure my oldest friend, nemesis and major opportunist, food crept in.  I was doing really well at keeping him at bay.  I have found that for me the best way to stay on the wagon is to eliminate all of the crap from my site and surround myself with only the good stuff.  Out of sight out of mind eh?  But, sadly as much as I hate to admit it, I am human.  Once the door was open, that was it! I had a good two months of food debauchery.  Humiliating and deeply depressing, but it happened and I needed to move on. No time to cry into a Big Mac! If I learned anything about being fat it was that I never, ever want to go back there!
Time for drastic measures!  I had met Jane Michell at The Anti-Ageing Show and had chatted about Jane Plan.  Jane spoke to me about her past weight issues and I learned that she once had a weight problem and that experience had spurred her on to train in nutrition and start her company to help others that were struggling with their weight. The plan works as a total meal replacement, including all of your snacks.  The only items you supplement are fresh vegetables and fruit if needed.  It is a fully balanced plan that takes all the guesswork out of dieting.  Jane is your personal chef for the duration of the plan! Tired and stressed out, how could I possibly resist.  This seemed the perfect way to get back on track.
20150622_061740I had chosen the box that had a variety of meals.  However, they cater to your specific dietary needs.  Prior to my meals being sent I had a comprehensive phone consultation that covered any specific preferences or intolerances I may have had.  I received my box of meals the following day.  One of the things that was particularly convenient was the meals do not require refrigeration.  So, it was easy to pop a meal in my bag for lunch.  In fact I ended up keeping my lunches in my desk for extra convenience.

I started Jane Plan on a Monday and although optimistic I did have concerns about pre-packaged food.   My concerns quickly went out the window when I had the most lush toffee cereal for breakfast. I had the majority of cereals with almond milk.  The porridges I prefer to make with plain water.  As someone who normally skips breakfast I had to really push myself into a routine.  But, the breakfasts were so nice it was fairly easy to get used to. Although all of the breakfasts were grain based, the varieties of flavours were such that it never became boring.

IMG_20150610_122147The lunches were a mixture of cold and hot lunches.  There was a variety of soups including Pea and Wiltshire Ham, Potato Leak, Carrot and Coriander, Tomato Basil, and Broccoli Cheese name a few.  The soups were all very thick and perfectly seasoned.  The portions were a good size and very filling, in fact not at all what I was expecting in a “diet” soup.  Food for me is more than just about eating.  It is the whole experience of how it feels and the depths of flavours as they mingle together.  I suppose this is part of my problem, I love it too much.  But, the Jane Plan in taking the guess work away from portion control makes the process of keeping myself in check much easier, as left to my own devices I could easily dive into a pool of the pea and ham soup and eat my way out.

The cold lunch options were equally as nice as the soups.  In addition to being healthy those clever chefs have managed to make them taste freshly made.  The Moroccan Salad with Wild Salmon was absolutely beautiful.  The big chunks of salmon were tender and well-seasoned.   The other options were equally as lush.  The Tuna Pasta and Cous Cous were two of my other favourites.  But, again there was not a single dud in the selection.
So, let’s talk dinner, so many yummy choices!  There were spicy creamy curries, beautiful meaty and veggie lasagne’s, meatballs, casseroles, cassoulet, chilli and ratatouille.  All of the meals were unique and delicious.  There was not a single meal I found boring.  The portions were all a decent size and consisted of a complete meal other than salad or other fresh produce you may want to add as a side.

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The nice thing for me as a genuine food addict is that each meal was portioned perfectly, so there was no possibility of overeating.  You have your three meals done and dusted once gone that is it for the day.  Jane has thought of everything though and there was a lovely selection of snacks to choose from each day.  They ranged from oat cakes which were often my choice if I wanted a snack in the afternoon to sweeter biscuits that I tended to have in the evening.  They were all wrapped separately which like the other meals was a great idea as having a box of loose biscuits is just too tempting.  The care that has been put into the plan is obvious and based on the flavours; it is obvious Jane is someone who enjoys food.

The plan fits perfectly into a busy lifestyle and was not a struggle to stick to.  In particular I could see Jane being my go to girl after a holiday of excess.  It is the perfect way to throw your big booty back on the horse.  There are even nutritionists you can access for the duration of the plan if you are struggling or have any other questions.  So, Jane has all the bases covered.

20150718_175104For me I felt the plan really got my focus back.  I lost a stone over the month, which is amazing!  But, more importantly than the weight loss is the structure she helped me get back.  There is nothing worse than the feeling that I have lost control.  I know there are those who don’t understand the psychology behind all this. But, I am very much an addict!  I don’t say this to take away the responsibility.  I am 100% responsible for my past obesity.  However, I do falter at times and I do not ever want to back to where I was.  I am incredibly lucky to have people like Jane around me to kick my big ass back in line.

For more information and to benefit from a great discount off of Your first box click here http://www.janeplan.com/ and add the voucher code AB618AE when prompted.

Cereal Killer

Food, food food!! How I love you!!  My long term love affair with the bastard is not a secret.  In fact it is my best friend, lover, confidante and arch enemy all wrapped up into one dysfunctional package.  Due to this crazy dynamic I have to keep myself fully on top of the food situation or literally I can guarantee I would eat myself to death!  So, when someone offers me a free meal and not just a meal but delivers it to me at work I can hardly say no. Can I? Well, can I?  The answer is a big fat juicy no!  But, this is a bit different.  A company in South East London called Bed N Breakfast prepare a gorgeous breakfast tailor made to your dietary specifications, which for me can be quite a vast list.  Obviously, with my main concern around how things are prepared and the use of any fats as minimal as possible.  What I received was amazing!  I chose the veggie breakfast which was a massive portion big enough for me to share with one of my colleagues. The gorgeous Hannah, in between her many media commitments managed to deliver heaven on a plate.  It was gorgeous!!  Everything was piping hot and looked amazing.  As a lover of all things yummy, the fact that I can order something this gorgeous that is also healthy is a huge bonus.  I am literally salivating thinking about it!  For me the commitment to healthy food is something I really value.  As I have to balance my love of all things yummy with the absolute need to keep it clean and healthy this kind of care and attention to the important details is vital.  I would certainly order again, in fact has anyone seen my phone?  I need to put this chick on speed dial.