Thursday, 17 May 2012

Monkey Music - Charity Single!

The children's music group Monkey Music, is releasing a charity single 'The Day is here' which celebrates the sporty year ahead while raising funds for a very special charity.

The single is being released to raise funds for the music charity Nordoff Robbins. The single will be available to download via their website and has been recorded by students of Monkey Music, children aged 7 - 9. Nordoff Robbins provide music therapy and other musical services to adults and children who may be suffering from Dementia, Autism, or a range of other challenges including patients with terminal cancer, often offering an invaluable outlet for communication via music. 

Jo Carter, Director of Fundraising & Communications Nordoff Robbins said about the single:

“We are delighted to be working with Monkey Music, to be sharing our mutual belief in the power of music and to help raise funds to continue transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults across the UK. As a charity we rely entirely on voluntary donations, so the Monkey Music song released this summer is a great way to raise funds and awareness.”

So get ready to download from tomorrow 18.05.12 and help this charity continue invaluable work. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Weighing in with Jenny Craig..

I was nervous stepping on the scales this morning, it was my first weigh in since starting Jenny Craig, and after a week where I've enjoyed 3 meals out, I wondered how badly they would have effected my weight. Before I tell you how the weigh in went, I want to share how my week has been. At the end of my first week with Jenny Craig last time, I'd lost several lbs, but was still a bit confused by it all, and perhaps was not as well equipped to move forward into week 2 as I should have been. Confronting my fears and opening up to where I struggle with food (chocolate) has been really helpful, as has starting to understand that no one is perfect and I'm allowed to make mistakes - and learn from them! 

My struggles started with the opening of a packet of digestive biscuits, and everyone was eating them with a cup of tea. I made the classic statement "oh no thanks, I'm on a diet" which came with the classic responses, "oh you could have one, it won't hurt!". I thought for a minute about what I should do, and more to the point, if I really wanted that biscuit! I remembered in the Jenny Craig diet, that one digestive eaten needs about an hour of exercise to burn it did I still want that biscuit?? I ate the biscuit, and went to the gym to ensure it was burnt off! The following day, confronted with the same biscuit situation, and remembering the exertion in the gym to burn it off..I politely declined the biscuit using the phrase "No thanks, I'm still full from breakfast!".

I've also learnt that I get much more satisfaction from my food if it looks attractive, I'm awful at lunchtime and normally just throw my food onto a plate and eat it in a hurry, without enjoying it which then leads me to seek out a sweet treat almost immediately. So, I've tried to make sure I really make my food look inviting, and I've made salad more than just a soggy iceberg lettuce! 

Using my choice of added starch and fat to make lunch super tasty!

I've also started to be a regular face at the gym, and have started to compete with myself at each session to improve on the last. I've also started to swim 3 - 4 times a week and take the boys at least once so they can enjoy it to! All these little changes, I hope are starting me well on my journey to fitness and I feel really focused and happy about my choices. I've lost 1.5lbs this week, which I'm delighted with, especially as I feel I've really learnt how to eat even if I'm out having dinner with friends! You can catch up with Jenny Craig on twitter or Facebook.

Disclaimer: I'm receiving a 2 week free trial of Jenny Craig for the purposes of the review, however all thoughts and experiences are my own honest opinions of the diet.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Fitness update - Warning I complain a lot in this post.

My journey to getting fit in this year is under way, while I'm still only in the very first steps of what promises to be a marathon journey, exercise has already become something I look forward to rather than dread. Unfortunately, no thanks to the PT I've been assigned at my gym though.

I suppose I'm lucky that I can still just about remember being very physically fit, and after my horror at how unfit I have become, I am moving forward and starting to push myself again. I had my session with the PT at the gym, it was the same guy who'd done my induction, and who'd filled me with enthusiasm, but sadly he less than impressed me this time. The gym was filled with pretty young girls, and bluntly he set up my training key in 2 minutes, putting 15mins of this and that on it and telling me to get on with it. There was no warm up programmed or suggested, no stretches advised, and he disappeared off to talk to the young girls bobbing around wildly on the stepper. Half way through my programme, I realised that my chest was hurting to the point where my head was starting to spin, so I adjusted the settings meaning I was still out of breathe but not actually verging on collapse. As I left the gym heading to the changing rooms (and he still stood chatting to the girls on the steppers) another lady spoke to me and said "he's utterly useless if there's a young pretty face in here". After my initial huff that I was no longer a 'young pretty face' I left feeling slightly cheated. 

The annoying part..this gym sold itself to me on the basis of great 1 to 1 sessions tailored to the individual, and in truth, the programme he created was not tailored to me at all. I confess I'm hugely unfit, and that I will need to push myself to get some results but seriously? No warm up?! No stretches?! No advice on when to stop?! And this was considered a one to one, one hour training session..? It would be a bit like letting a learn driver go out on their own before they really knew the highway code! However, I'm OK! No harm was done, I'm using the key as a guide, and pushing myself to my personal limit and not trying to achieve what is on the key, at the end of the day if I want to achieve I know I'm on my own in the long term. I'm still going bright red in the face, and feeling my legs and arms aching, but without feel physically unwell. I'm looking forward to going tonight, ok so I'll leave with a bright red face and my muscles aching, but it will all be worth it in the end!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Swim into summer with SimplySwim

I've had a bit of an active week, I've been inspired to get back in the pool with both boys and also to take myself swimming in an attempt to both get fit this year and also as a great de-stressing activity! I have to confess, I was worried about my appearance in a swimming costume, and hiding my Mum-tum. Well, I've had a bit of help with my confidence from SimplySwim, who contacted me to ask if I'd like to try one of the Speedo swimming costumes and a pair of fitness swimming goggles. 

 SimplySwim have a great range of Speedo swimwear, with basic swimsuits, streamlined swimsuits, maternity swimsuits and well..I could go on there really is something to suit everyone! I decided to chose a swimming costume from the Speedo Sculpture range, as they claim to lift and shape the bust and help flatten the stomach - these are my areas of concern so if their costume could assist me even slightly I was going to be very happy! The costume I chose, is featured on this handy little video which explains a bit more about it:

Now for my opinions! I used the swimwear advice section in order to help me work out what size I needed to order, it was easy to follow and enabled me to easily select the size which I needed as opposed to try to guess which size I needed! It arrived quickly, and I was delighted when it fitted perfectly! The swimming costume is a very pretty pink/purple colour there is a fabulous ruffle detail along the chest line are flattering and feminine without being fussy or interfering with my swimming! There is nothing visible holding your tummy in (I expected uncomfortable strips of elastic but the support is subtly built in), however it definitely supported my tummy and gave it a flatter appearance, while it obviously can't work miracles, it definitely made me look and feel sleeker! I found the neck line really flattering, and it isn't too low, so whether I'm swimming on my own or with the children I don't need to worry about revealing more than I intended! The fabric is really comfortable, and doesn't become translucent when wet, so I'm very pleased with it! I'm enjoying wearing it for my trips to the pool!

My swimming goggles are also Speedo, and while they are pink to co-ordinate with my swimming costume they are still - I think - sophisticated enough for me to be wearing i.e. they don't remind me of swimming lessons all those years ago! They are exceptionally comfortable to wear and didn't dig in to either my face or nose! I had crystal clear vision both above and under the water and they refused to fog even after my daft attempts to force them to fog.. yes I'm fairly sure at one point the staff at the pool did think they had an idiot present! But no, I was just testing the goggles out! They have a clasp at the back so you can take them on and off easily, initially I feared that this might actually hinder me putting them on and off, or they might come loose and fall off, but I realised quickly that once done up, they are very secure but when you want to take them off they are easy to undo! 

Catch up with SimplySwim on twitter for the latest in must have swimwear, or accessories! 

Disclaimer: I was sent the items free of charge for the purposes of the review, however all views are my own honest opinions based on my experience using the items.