Thursday, 1 December 2011

30 day ab challenge results.

Hello all,
I hope you all had a good November?
I had a challenging one, in more ways than one. 
My 30 day ab challenge on the whole went OK. There were days where there simply weren't enough hours in the day, and days where I was sore, so I didn't do any work. I was OK with doing my exercises - it was the food side I struggled with. Much as I keep telling myself I want to and need to eat GOOD, I do fall in with both feet now and again (too often).
But I am happy with my shape and weight now, so I need to live and be able to eat what I want in moderation (or at least that is what I have convinced myself).
I have plenty of new exercise DVDs that I shall continue doing and a new Swiss ball that I do my ab crunches on.

L: before- R: after

Not the biggest visual difference when standing like that, but when I lift my arms in a certain way (I know, so natural) I can see the six pack but there will always be a nice protective layer (of fat) over them -but my stomach has flattened down and my love handles at the back (jeans over spillage) has gone too.
I have in total gone down by 5lb from 1st November - 30th November.
It was a hard challenge and I am not sure I can commit myself to any other monthly challenges, as it felt so long and I wanted to have a break as I've been so busy with life.

 I am keen to see how all the other Team 30 Day Ab Challengers got on, so I am off to stalk their blogs now :)

I was wondering what kind of posts would be interesting on this part of the blog- perhaps some fitness DVD reviews?
Speak to you all soon xxx


Stina 



Thursday, 10 November 2011

Day 10 of the 30 day ab challenge.. How am I doing?

Hi all,

I have been busy with the beauty part of my blog, so it's been so difficult to update here as well..

I have *mostly* stuck to my pledges to myself and I have done workouts every other day..
I could have been better with the food, but saying that, most days I do eat lots of raw vegetables and I do drink my water.. I think I need to have a little word with myself - and tighten up on the food side of things..

I have made a little video for you all, just telling you how I've been getting on and a general ramble :)




Enjoy ;)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Day two of the 30 day ab challenge & what I ate.

Evening :-)

Today we had a rest from the grueling ab workout of yesterday - I can assure you that the workout Melissa had filmed for us was NOT EASY. Half way through I screamed and cried (Well you get my drift).
It was a killer.. It shattered me and I went to sleep at 11pm and didn't wake again till 8am. 9 hours sleep for me is UNHEARD of.. I usually average 4-5 hours per night.

Today is a day of rest for those poor abs (even if it hadn't been a rest day I couldn't have done it again- abs are in agony today..)

So on Mel's advice I kept my posture in check today and walked tall and proud and went for a long walk with my very heavy toddler in his pushchair, up and down hills.

Day Two thrutheblue.me/2011/11/02/stay-woke

My food today has been as follows:

Breakfast- 30g of porridge oats mixed with hot water and topped with 1 sliced banana

Snack: small handful of almonds (No more than 10 or so)

Lunch: Humous and celery sticks + 1/2 a whole grain pitta containing lean ham slices & 1 boiled egg.

Snack: Raw radishes & a couple of chicken slices

Dinner as pictured
Spinach / Beetroot / Goats cheese salad
This salad consisted of:
fresh spinach
cherry tomatoes
cucumber
radishes
baby corn sliced
goats cheese
topped with seeds

Afterwards I had a 0% fat active danone yogurt. And I made sure I drank 2 liters of water today although today I had sparkly water as I prefer it to still.

This was a very yum food day and when I have felt the need to snack I have eaten raw veg!

So far so good and I am now "excited" to see what tomorrow brings x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Day 1 of my 30 day challenge- menu and exercises.

Hi all,


So today is the day I kick start my 30 day abs challenge..


I didn't get off to the best start as I realised when getting into my desk at 9 am I hadn't had breakfast- this is mainly due to the fact that I never eat breakfast AND I left the house before 7am -so simply forgot.


Anyway at least I had my lunch with me which I will share with you here for a very filling and tasty option.
I actually feel like what I had was too much as I felt SO full afterwards, but looking at the portion it seemed a normal lunch type portion.


What I had was Warm Beetroot and lentil salad, and here's how it's made and what you need to make it.


Ingredients (serves 6- but I'll split it up and have it over a few days.)

  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 400g cans brown lentils, drained, rinsed
  • 450g can beetroot wedges, drained
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 80g baby rocket leaves
  • 180g feta cheese, cut into cubes



Method

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat/ or use frylight as I do.  Add onion. Cook for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, lentils and beetroot. Cook for 1 minute.
  2. Whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add to lentils. Toss to coat.
  3. Combine rocket or spinach, feta  or goats cheese (optional) and lentil mixture in a bowl. Toss gently to combine.
Very delicious and so filling..

I have some pineapple slices, 1 banana and 2 apples to eat too at some point. Oh and a bag of pumpkin seeds.. They are so tasty!

Tonight I'll get home late sadly (I work on Tuesdays and Thursdays) so it'll be 7.30 pm maybe even 8pm before I can think about dinner. 
I want to do a workout tonight followed by day 1 of the abs challenge exercises, as Melissa from http://thrutheblue.me/ has kindly posted as a video here Abs video - so in terms of food I am not really sure.. 

I think I have to rethink my meal routines on the days I work. Today I will grab a banana near 6pm so I have some fuel for my work out and then possible a vegetable soup later. 

I have so far had 1 litre of water but fully intend to finish my 2 litres by the end of the day- and there endeth my Day 1 #30DayAbChallenge post- I shall update you all on how much that video kills me - because I *know* it will...

Sunday, 30 October 2011

30 day Mind / Body and Abs challenge - WILL SHE DO IT?

Hi all,

I have been gone for a while from this part of my blog, and it's mainly been due to lack of hours in the day.
In an ideal world I'd love to be able to post here regularly, exercise regularly, eat sensibly all of the time, as I am only too aware of what happens to me and my body and my mood if I don't make the right choices.

I am not 100% happy with my shape at the moment, and although I fit into standard 8-10 clothes all over, I feel I am so un-toned and just *soft* for lack of better way of describing it.

I have personally always preferred to be toned and fit and have been known to have a six -pack stomach at various stages of my life an even though I have 2 kids I don't accept that as an excuse to myself for NOT looking my absolute best.

I have decided to part take in a "30 day Ab challenge" run by Melissa from 
Melissa is a fitness fanatic (whom I used to work with in a gym many years ago) who ran half a marathon this year with a group of girls from Twitter formed by the lovely @BangsandaBun and when she tweeted about it recently I thought here's my cue to make the month of November the month where I get back on track and get those abs back in shape!

There really is no excuse for me, I know I am capable of being a lot fitter - but sometimes lazing about in the evenings and wasting time of Social Media sites is a much preferred option!

My inspirational picture would have to be this of Anna Kournikova.. Yes please!
She's got a fab body, abs of steel yet still maintaining a girly feminine look

SO NO MORE EXCUSES! I hate excuses and I hate when I hear myself making them!
I am the only person holding me back and I cannot excuse myself anymore.

So Mel will be running the 30 day challenge through her blog and Twitter and there is a group of us who've committed to taking part and we'll be following a grueling abs routine for 30 days and tweet and blog about it, and keep each other motivated 
I have decided that as well as doing the abs challenge I will change my food & general exercise habits for the month of November, and obviously hope that the the good habits stick after November. 

If anything I'll be in great shape for Christmas parties ;)


Tomorrow morning I will take a before picture of my stomach- depending on how that looks I may or may not post it here. (I may wait till I have the after pictures so I can post them together ;) )
My promises to this challenge are:
  1. To put in my all 100% to this challenge! I shall not let the team down!
  2. Zero Tolerance. On the banned list will be Pasta, White Bread, Simple Carbs, Cakes, Chocolate, Fizzy Drinks, Crisps, Sugar, Cheese, Biscuits, Processed foods, Any carbs after 3pm, Sweets….
  3. Clean & wholesome eating. Fruit, Vegetables, Greens, Salads, Protein Rich, Low-fat, Complex Carbs, Nuts & Seeds.
  4. I will complete 45 minutes high intensity cardio workout (at home) 4 times a week.
  5. I will follow the abs challenges and tasks given to me/us and not cheat- after all I'd be cheating myself.
  6. I will not binge on ‘Indulgence Sundays’ – One treat only, not a whole day of binging!
  7. I will not drink any alcohol AT ALL (This will be the hardest for me actually)
  8. I will NOT make excuses! None. If I do- smack me! Virtually..
  9. I will drink 2 litres of water as standard, daily, I already have 4 bottles waiting in the kitchen, I intend to finish one per day!
  10. I will eat breakfast daily, even if it is a tiny portion of porridge with water (I have never eaten breakfast as I tend to eat majority of my food really late at night)
So all there is left to say now is -WISH ME LUCK- Join us if you want to - all the details are right here:thru the blue.me/category/30-day-ab-challenge

I shall be posting about my progress here and definitely on Twitter as Chic Beauty Blog on Twitter - Ciao for now x


Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Bottom line is.... Slendertone!


Slendertone  Bottom Device

As women we all have issues with our bums!
Either you have one that is too large, too flat, too hanging, too protruding- we're just never happy!


Slendertone Bottom is a fab invention for the more lazy people out there who want a fantastic looking bottom but who just can't find the motivation nor time to exercise (I do mostly include myself in this..)
It all sounds so simple - you pop on some shorts for 30 minutes a day and sit down and wait for your bum to take shape, whilst getting what feels like electric shocks in your bottom (Apologies if this sounds rather rude..)

Here are the shorts in action

I'll be honest, the first thing you need to be in possession of when proceeding with your shorts is PATIENCE. 
There are four flaps at the back that open up and have sticky pads attached. You need to get these sticky pads to stick to skin only and they need to be perfectly aligned so they don't touch the shorts, and that in itself is rather tricky when all of this takes place - err behind you!  But you know, as with everything practice makes perfect and one you have all the four sticky pads stuck to your derriere, you're good to plug in to your electrocuting device..

But - No Pain No Gain - as they said to me when I was having my two 9lb babies (I didn't really appreciate the quote at the time.)..  But it is true in this instance!

Now is where the fun begins ; You plug the shorts into a tiny remote control type device where you can adjust the intensity of the electric shocks (please bear in mind I am using my own words here.. I am sure there is a technical word for it, but no-one would really understand that)..
The shocks come in waves so you get 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off- this goes on for 30 minutes.
You can chose a shorter program, but believe me once you're IN the shorts, you may as well go for the full 30 minutes. After the effort of putting them on - just leave them on for the 30 minutes, honestly!

The intensity is marked 1-100 and at first level 50 was AGONY! At each wave of electrocution I'd literally *GROAN* out loud, I couldn't help it, but after  a few times use I got used to it. It feels like someone is giving you a deep deep tissue muscle massage- really painful in a bearable way.


Does it work then I hear you ask:
Well in my opinion : Yes it does..
They do not make you lose weight or make your bottom look like the one in the picture BUTT they do firm up the bottom muscles and make it firmer and rounder (in my personal experience)- and just more.. PEACHY!
The general look of my bottom is better (this post is actually making me chortle) - my jeans look better on and so on.


What I will have to say though:
Do not expect this item to work if your plan is to sit on your bum eating cream cakes and watching Eastenders omnibus- at the end of the day, as with anything - what you put in determines what results you get.
And I have tried to eat healthily and drink plenty of water and do exercises at home as well as using it, but have got better results whilst using it than I normally would get from exercise alone.

All in all I love my Slendertone Shorts and I urge you to try these if you have bottom issues (Noo, not of that kind..)

You can pick these up in Boots and other retailers or find the full description on the website which is www.slendertone.com

Monday, 19 September 2011

The AMAZING 10 stone weight loss journey by my friend Lauren Mae


Hi all my lovely readers- I am sorry I've been away.. I've had an incredibly hectic time.

I am back now and what better way to kick off with an AMAZINGLY inspirational weight loss story from my friend Lauren.. Lauren looks incredible now and it's so hard to believe she used to be double the woman she is now.

My chat with Lauren Mae is here- you will be TRULY amazed at her weight loss success..

Lauren is truly beautiful and also AMAZING at doing make up- I think we need Lauren to become involved in beauty blogging/ you tubing too!

Welcome to Lauren Mae's incredible weight loss story.



Here are some WOW effect pictures


Lauren as I know her now- stunning!


Lauren has a Youtube channel where you can follow her journey : http://www.youtube.com/user/blueeyedbetty


1: Lauren, if you don’t mind, what was your weight before you started your diet? And what is your goal / what would you like to get to? Size wise or weight wise?


At the beginning of my weightloss journey I weighed 22 stone 7lbs and I was a size 28!! I am 5ft7 so I was classified as morbidly obese. I didn't start off with a goal size or weight because it would have been way too daunting, I didn't ever set goals for myself because they always made me go off track.
2: What made you think “I want /need to lose this weight?”

Leading up to my largest weight I was always happy but I really decided I wanted to lose weight to feel better about myself and feel more attractive and obviously for the health benefits too! I did have a couple of embarrassing "fat person" moments including not being able to fit into the Easy Jet plane seat and then breaking the steps coming out of the swimming pool on holiday!! I knew things had to change!


3: And how much have you lost so far?


I have been losing weight for 3 years and so far I have lost 9 stone 8 lbs! (I did get down to 10stone lost but I don't know whether to say that I put on a couple of pounds but I am back on track!??)

4: Did anyone recommend a particular diet to you or how did you decide what food to eat?
Would you mind sharing what foods you eat in a typical day, snacks and everything, so we can get an idea..? How many calories do you aim for per day, if you count calories?


When I first started decided to lose weight my Mum bought Paul McKennas "I can make you thin" book. I was VERY sceptical about this as it sounds too good to be true, but it is fantastic! He teaches you great tips about eating what you want, eating slowly and stopping when you feel satisfied. This worked well for the first 4 stone of my weight loss but then I became tired and hit a wall. It was hard mentally to overcome the fact that I had come so far but still had SO FAR to go! I was in a job that I hated and became quite depressed so I went to see my doctor. She suggested that for quick and healthy weight loss that I give up major carbohydrates!! Baring in mind at the time they were my total diet so this seemed like an impossible task. Here is my diet:


Things I CAN'T eat:
Bread
Potatoes
Rice
Pasta
Noodles
Fizzy drinks
Processed food including cheese and meat

Low fat foods or products (too many artificial chemicals and rubbish!)

Nothing naughty, no cake, chocolate, crisps, sweets


Things I CAN eat:
Meat
Fish
Cheese
Eggs
Vegetables
Fruit
Milk
Water


I know that everything has carbohydrates in it but I cut out the main ones. I have salads everyday and I love them. I always have full fat dressing because I don't believe in making yourself hate the food you are eating, because if you hate the food then you are much more likely to fail.


This may seem too strict or limited but everybody is different and in order for me to get results I needed to do this.

5: And on this journey – you decided to join a gym too, am I right? How did that come about?

Yes, I joined a gym when I first started losing weight January 2008. No matter what anyone says about losing weight the one sure thing is, EXERCISE IS THE KEY! I was incredibly unfit when I joined and I was so embarrassed because of my size but I realised after a couple of visits that everyone is so paranoid about themselves nobody is looking at you.

6: And how are you finding the gym? Has it helped? Do you like going?

The gym has really changed me because now my fitness and strength is through the roof and it would never had improved if I hadn't been working out through my weightloss. I would love to build up enough fitness to do a marathon!

7: In terms of yourself and your confidence – I  bet you must have changed so much, from who you were to how you are now? Are you more outgoing for example?

Suroprisingly enugh it is a VERY scary thing losing this much weight because not only are you changing in your own mind, you are changing in other peoples eyes and you are learning to be a totally different person. When I was at my largest I didn't really go out, I would stay in and just eat, but now I can't get out enough! By the end of Monday I have already planned my whole weekend coming up!

8: What is the best thing about having lost all of this weight?

CLOTHES, I started shopping in plus size shops when I was about 16 so I have never really had the experience of being able to go into any shop and just buy clothes. It is fantastic!!

9: Do you ever cheat? Or have off days?

After I gave up carbs in March 2010 I didn't cheat for about a year and a half! Recently I have been having carbs occasionally as I am trying to slowly bring them back into my diet. I am being very careful though as it is a scary prospect.


10: Where do you find all this will power and motivation? Personally I have to be in a *zone* and if I am not, I just can’t do more than one day and I’ll cheat!
You are exactly right. I have to find my "zone" when I am in it, I am unstoppable. I am tempted by things but never give in. I am very stubborn :-D

11: What about alcohol – do you drink? How do you count that into the diet? As we all know alcohol can be a sneaky one for calories..?


I love wine! Alcohol is something that I have never limited, I drink maybe once or twice a week. I never count the calories as it would scare me! 

12: You clearly look absolutely amazing now.. Are there any downsides to such a huge weight loss?


Thank you, the only downside is that I have some loose skin on my stomach that I am working on and my boobs have shrunk but in general I love my new figure!


13: Have you had support from anyone, and did you find that it helped?


My parents have been an amazing help, I go to the gym with my Mum at times and they help with with food as it is incredibly hard to keep up the motivation all the time.


14:  Lastly, have you thought about the future, and how you will keep the weight off? That is sometimes a struggle for some people (for me it is...)


It is another scary prospect but I would love to get down to my goal weight and take a course to because a fitness instructor or personal trainer. I would love to help others to reach their goals too.
I just want to say a huge well done, you look incredible and I wish you all the best for the last bit of your journey.

Thank you so much x

I am sure people reading this will be as amazed  as I am at Lauren’s fantastic achievement, and there might be comments below, if anyone has any comments  & questions then I shall pass them to Lauren to answer.

To follow Lauren Mae’s  story – you can go here www.youtube.com/blueeyedbetty to subscribe to her channel J

Lauren & her partner in Lauren's old jeans!



Sunday, 15 May 2011

My weight loss so far- Week 1 of weighing!

Hello lovelies, I hope you've all been good, drinking your water and eating well?

Well, I seem to have found my mojo, I think writing this blog has really helped me to do that as well.

This week has been good for me food wise. I haven't had any cravings for bad food, and I have made sure I have had 2 litres of water everyday, 2-3 cups of herbal tea (caffeine free, otherwise I feel dizzy).

Last week was the first week of me weighing myself-I'd been a bit scared to do so, as I went away over Easter and munched on a few too many Danish meatballs at my parents house, my waistline had definitely gotten bigger by the time I returned. Read I could barely close my jeans.. And whilst I could *just* do the button up, the muffin overspill was rather horrendous!
I wore the same jeans yesterday and I felt so confident - there was no muffin top at the back!

So Anyway  without further ado, I weighed again today, and have lost 

Four lb!

I am rather pleased with that, as it is a good start and gives me motivation to press on for another week.

What I have been eating lots of this week has been:

Matzos (crackers with virtually no calories in- yes they do resemble cardboard, but you sort of get used to them after a while.
Raw radishes, I buy a few packs, wash and trim them and just munch on them as snack- they're so crunchy Nom.
Apples- loads.
Salad with lots in like grapes, olives, celery, mushrooms- I LOVE a good salad and if you grill a chicken breast and cut it into slices and add, it's very filling as well.

So that's me, I feel like a lighter person, so here's to another weight loss week.

Adios my lovelies x


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

What I eat to stay healthy- my daily diet.

Hey all- I am back :)

I have had some really amazing feedback on this little page and actually a fair few requests for things people would like to read about. I think that is so amazing- that I (yes me??) am able to inspire some people.

So the most requested post has been a post about what I eat.

I am very much a believer now in that in life you have to have a balance. You can't be good and diet 100% of the time and still have fun and *live*.
I often find my social life comes in the way of me wanting a  healthy lifestyle - but I do know that that has mostly been an excuse to keep stuffing my face with crisps and cream cakes ;)

I think if you live your life with an 80 / 20 approach you can't go wrong. By that I mean that if you are good and eat well for 80% of the time, then you can afford to be a little naughty 20% of the time.
This approach has worked for me for years and years, so I shall keep following it.

Sadly after I had my second baby, I just had no real motivation to get my pre- baby body back, so he is now 1 year old and I still have at least 1 stone (at least I say, ideally I'd shed 1.5 stones).
People do say to me I look fine, and I know my shape and size is not un-acceptable, but I don't feel great in myself, which is the most important thing, isn't it?

So I'll show you here what I keep in my cupboard and fridge and what I eat in a typical day, hopefully this will be helpful.

These things can always be found in my kitchen:

Protein

  • Chicken




  • Lean ham




  • Crab sticks




  • Fresh or frozen fish such as salmon & mackerel




  • prawns




  • Tuna - tinned in brine or water




  • Low fat yoghurt 0% with vanilla flavour




  • Low fat cottage cheese pineapple flavour (or any flavour)




  • Eggs




  • Skimmed milk




  • Tofu - mince, burgers




  • low fat cheese spread, such as Philadelphia






  • Vegetables 





  • Broccoli
  • Carrots



  • Green beans



  • Celery



  • Radishes



  • Peppers 



  • Onions



  • Peas



  • Sweetcorn



  • Mangetout (Sugarsnap Peas)



  • Spinach



  • Mushrooms



  • Tinned tomatoes - plum, chopped




  • Fruit


  • Apples



  • Bananas



  • Oranges



  • Peaches - fresh or tinned in juice



  • Pears



  • Frozen berries



  • Complex carbs


  • Brown rice



  • Whole grain bread



  • Wholeweat pasta



  • Seasonings

  • Garlic - fresh or minced (in a jar)



  • Chillis - fresh or dry



  • Stock cubes



  • Soy Sauce



  • Honey



  • Mustard - Coarse grain and Dijon



  • Vinegar - balsamic and wine vinegar



  • Fat free salad dressings

    My average day would go something like  this:
    Breakfast: Herbal tea & 1 piece of fruit (personally I can't eat in the morning)

    Lunch Tuna and reduced-fat dressing salad with1 eggs & green beans. 1 apple & 1 little pot of pineapples.

    Dinner: Chicken cut into strips and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice; bowl of fresh fruit salad

    Snacks and drinks: Snack on raw celery sticks, radishes, carrots, apples. Drink water, diet coke, green tea and other herbal tea.
    I like to have a little extra treat now and again, so I keep a box of very low fat ice lollies in the freezer, and have one as and when. Callipos have very few calories.


    Of course that is one average day.. Some days don't go like this... In fact it can be hard being a mum of 2 small ones, and actually get time to make healthy food for yourself.So sometimes I do just grab whatever I can, but the key to stay on track here is to always have nice healthy option in your house, so you grab those  rather than grab a bag of crisps.
    Me with my eldest son a few months after having my second baby (seen in the background)

    Even though my 5 year old is at school and I give him packed lunch, he never has crisps or sweet things in his lunch, as I know if we ad those things in the house- well Mummy might just eat them.. (Whoops..) And of course also I want him to be healthy and fit and have a great source of energy for the long school day they have!I make sure I always have things like Ryvita, low fat soft cheese spread, rice cakes, apples in the house so when the going gets tough I can still grab something fairly low in calories and fat.I have a major weakness for crisps, and am not really a chocolate lover at all.. If I get cravings I tend to go for a bag of Walkers baked crisps, which are extremely low in calories and tasty.  So in my life I still eat things I want, but try to chose the low fat options, it really makes a big difference I think.So that is me- I do hope that was somewhat helpful. Of course I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore anyone too much.. If you however would like posts on diet or food, let me know, I am happy to receive ideas and suggestions in the comments below.
    *Again I feel the need to say I am not a professional, but I do have  long history of working in the health & fitness industry, dieting, exercising and trained as a personal trainer*
  • Thursday, 5 May 2011

    My current exercise routine~ Strength training~

    Hi everyone, and thanks for following this new project.

    I wanted to update this with my current exercise routine that I am doing at home. I hope and pray that by beginning of July I can be 1 stone slimmer, and really toned and happy in my skin. As well as feeling better for all the water drinking.


    ** DISCLAIMER** I would like to mention here that I am a qualified personal trainer and therefore have plenty of knowledge in that field. However- my advice and my blog is about how I do things, and without knowing you and your needs it is very hard, if not impossible for me to help any individually. Take from my blog what you wish- if I can inspire you, then my job here is done.



    On Monday & Tuesday I follow the Davina DVD 
    Love this DVD, if you're after a home DVD, get this!
    A very good all round workout that gets your heart rate going and you feel the sweat. I don't find Davina annoying, which of course helps.

    On Wednesday and Friday I follow this book at home. 
    This book is all about strength training for women, and how important it is.
    I cannot strength train a muscle today and tomorrow. I allow at least 24-36 hours of rest. Lifting weights on consecutive days leads to over training, muscle fatigue, and possible injury. Fact: All of our strength gains are made during the rest time!

    I have a set of dumbbells (well 3 sets, from Argos) and I use them so much.
    This book is fantastic, I have had it for a few years and find it a brilliant guide to make a weight training programme at home. It literally spells out to you how to do each exercise, how much to do, how often and so on.
    On Wednesdays I focus on lower body and core, so I'll make a little programme up, that includes squats, lunges, leg raises, plies and abdominal crunches.
    The reason I do strength / weight training is that strength training is absolutely essential if we wish to create visual changes in our bodies, and it's been proven  that the benefits of strength training extend far beyond the visual.

    I use my dumbbells like shown in this picture, to make my workout a little bit harder.
    Years ago I used to be of the perception that weight lifting was for men, and I didnt' want big muscles- so I never touched weights. Instead I pounded away on the running machines day in and day out. Not overtly effective, but I wasn't aware at the time that women can further benefit from strength training because of the increase in resting metabolism created by strength training. Because of this increase, women who are trying to reduce body fat will do so more easily
    When done sufficiently and consistently, strength training increases muscle fiber size. Once muscle fibers enlarge, they consume more energy - which boosts our metabolisms. So effectively this will speed up your weight loss, and you'll see results quicker.


    When squatting, I rest 2 dumbbells on my shoulders.

    I have a note book in which I have written a programme for myself, using the book as a guide. I put in my note book how many repetitions I am doing and how many sets of X amount of reps. When I've done them, I tick them off and move on to the next exercise.

    The benefit of working out at home for me is that A: It is free (apart from the initial outlay for equipment and or DVD) and B: I can watch TV at the same time.. Only joking - I don't watch TV much. Yesterday I used the time I was exercisign to catch up with Sky news. Well what am I if not a multi tasker?


    I do straight leg raises, feel that burn in the back of the thigh- ouuuuch!



    And bent leg raises, this exercise is very good for firming up that bottom and it burns but in a good way..

     Strength training does not be complex or really time consuming. It can fit easily your day/ evening, since it requires minimal equipment and time. 
    Free weights such as dumbbells will all enhance muscular strength and endurance with as little as 20 minutes to one half hour a day. I think most of us can find 30 minutes a day? 
    All major muscle groups need to be worked to avoid muscular and postural imbalances. 
    It is recommended that you choose a weight or load that produces muscle fatigue somewhere between 8-12 repetitions of an exercise for the upper body, and 12-15 repetitions for the lower body. 

    After my weights workout I really ache all over and the next day I feel achey and stiff.. But for me that is a good thing - it makes me feel alive and like I have worked hard.


    I hope this has been vaguely helpful or informative?
    If you have any questions -  you know where I am (I hope)- just leave me a comment, and I shall reply back in the comments section.


    Lots of Love, Stina x