There is no denying that the staying on top of your health and fitness regime is HARD during the festive season. For one thing, it’s cold and dark and who wants to get their bum down the gym in those kind of conditions. Secondly, the number of parties and social events in most people’s calanders tend to step up a gear at this time of year meaning more food, drink and general merriment. Bah humbug say my abs.

Here are my top tips for getting the balance right and managing health and fitness without losing out on having fun:

­čĺŚ Indulge in moderation. If you deprive yourself then you’ll only binge later. Plus, there’s no fun in being the only one at the party who won’t indulge in a treat. If you want something; eat it. Just eat one or two (or a slice – don’t eat one or two Christmas puddings!!) and use your common sense as to when enough is enough.

­čĺŚ Work it off. I tend to work with my body on a kind of negotiation basis. ‘If you eat that baked Camembert you have to do 50 burpees in the gym tomorrow’ and so on. And then I make sure I follow through on my promises! Setting these kind of guidelines ensure that you work off any extra calories which might cause weight gain. I also love sweating it out in the gym after I feel like I’ve over-indulged – it helps get my body feeling normal again.

­čĺŚ Watch those proseccos. Alchohol – the invisible calories. And my enemy. I’m not saying don’t drink – just remember to take those few bottles glasses into account when you’re doing your negotiations for the gym tomorrow. On that note, you may not exactly feel like the gym tomorrow. Do not give in to the hangover. Get up, get out, work it off, start again!

­čĺŚ Don’t stuff yourself silly. There’s nothing worse than, when you’ve enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner cooked with love and maximum effort, feeling sick as a dog because you wanted just one more pig in a blanket. Eat by all means. But don’t eat until you feel ill. It’s not good for your health or your waistline.

­čĺŚ Be chilled. You might get on the scales on 28th December and shudder a bit. Chill out. It’s normal to put on a few Christmas pounds. You’ll just have to hit the gym even harder in January.

Above all, enjoy yourself and have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. 

Love from,

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Do you know what? This is something that has been bugging me for a while now so I am going to write a blog post about it.

We, as women, are all blessed with difference. We have different hair, skin, eyes, faces and body types. Body type is something which is highly debated in the media and what is a ‘desirable’ body shape for a woman can change seemingly from day to day.

I used to really, really stress over my body. A few years ago I was feeling down about my weight and how I looked. So, I decided to change it. A combination of regular work outs and cleaning up my diet resulted in me losing two stone of body fat. HOWEVER, even though I had lost a fair amount of weight, I still did not have the leggy, slim, super model body I was dreaming about. This is when I realised that I was just not built for that kind of body. I am 5ft3, stocky and although I’m now fairly lean I’m definitely not what you’d call skinny. I’m just not built that way. The more I worked out the stronger I became.

Strength in women is something that comes with quite a stigma. I love progressing my weights every week at the gym and I get a real thrill out of lifting heavy, as I know many girls do. But I often get women (and men actually) asking me things like, ‘Aren’t you worried about getting too muscly?’ and ‘Oh, I don’t like really muscly women. It’s not attractive.’ Um, I don’t care. I don’t do it for you. I do it for me. I like being strong and I’m proud of my muscles. And also – would you say that to Jessica Ennis?? Or any of the other super inspirational and STRONG female athletes? No. Why does a woman have any less of a right to be and look strong than a man, based on what society believes to be ‘attractive.’

I am lucky enough to attend a gym which is bursting at the seams with super strong women who lift in the free weights area and put some of the guys to shame which is really inspiring. But I know a lot of gyms aren’t like this. I hate the stigma attached the women using the free weights or working out in the ‘men’s area’. What rubbish!

So, I guess the moral of this rant blog post is; LADIES, be proud of your strength.  Don’t let anyone, male or female, dictate what is or isn’t acceptable for you and LOVE YOURSELF tall, small, slim, curvy, muscles, no muscles, body builder WHATEVER. You’re amazing.

GIRL LOVE



Quite often, these days, my workouts are rushed. Now that I’m teaching full time my days are long and my midweek gym sessions are squeezed in at 6.30am before I get the bus to work or quickly on the way home before tea and eastenders! I usually concentrate on having long sessions on Saturday and Sunday  (at least 1hour) where I work specific muscle groups like legs or upper body – but in the week it’s usually a 30 min full body blast. Therefore I need to do a workout that works my whole body and gets my heart rate up quickly – no messing.

There are benefits to this kind of workout and although I’m not exactly an expert on all the technical stuff I know that doing high intensity exercise and getting a good sweat on, even if it’s for a short period of time, can burn just as many calories as a longer session of lower intensity.

So, here’s one of the workouts I do in my 30 min blast sessions. It takes roughly 20-25 mins which gives me a bit of time to warm up before and stretch after.

Completely 10 reps of each exercise in a circuit. Then move on to 9 reps of each, 8,7 etc descending until you finish with one of each.

PUSH UPS (picture A)

BURPEES (push up + jump up picture B)

BOX JUMPS (picture C)

TRICEP DIPS (picture D)

There is no set rest period in between circuits – I just do it as quickly as I can with a few short breaks for water etc. 

Trust me, this is a total killer, whatever your fitness level. It’s hard but worth it – and such a sense of achievement when you’ve completed it! You can put in any exercise to this format to change it up and work different muscle groups.

Let me know if you give it a go?!


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Some of you may know that when I started working out in January 2016 it was inspired by my impending wedding and I was motivated by getting in shape to look hot for my big day! One of the things top of my list of flabby bits to tone was ARMS. I always struggled with confidence around my upper arms and always felt they looked flabby in certain outfits. This would not do in a wedding dress!

So, my aim – to get toned sexy arms weren’t too muscley or ‘stacked’. Contrary to popular belief, if you lift weights in the gym – you will not get stacked over night!! Seriously I know so many girls who avoid the free weights because they think their arms will get too big. Body building takes months or even years of constantly lifting and using VERY HEAVY WEIGHTS. Trust me, you’ll be fine.

I’m really pleased with how my arms look now – I feel that they are slender and I have some muscle definition but not too much growth. I achieved this by doing one upper body workout per week where I worked all the muscle groups in my arm, and by keeping the weights mostly the same or increasing by a small amount (1kg at a time).

My favourite arm exercises:

­čĺÖ Push ups

­čĺÖ Pull ups (assisted or non – depending on how hardcore you are)

­čĺÖ Tricep dips

­čĺÖ Bicep & Tricep curls using the cable

­čĺÖ Bar bell clean & press (great all body toner)

­čĺÖ Kettle bell swings (tones the whole arm)

The important thing to remember is it’s okay to start with very low weights. If you think about it – the Bicep and Tricep muscles on your body are actually pretty tiny compared to, say, your leg muscles. The key is to complete the exercise slowly and controlled with a weight that is challenging, but still enables you to complete the movement.

So, get down the gym and boss those arms. Being strong is sexy!

Do you like upper body workouts? What’s your favourite?

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Let’s face it – sometimes we just cannot get to the gym. This is something that I’m contending with a fair bit at the moment. If you read my Midweek Motivation last week I talked about falling off the wagon with a new routine and the fact that I can’t workout in the mornings anymore due to my early commute to work. I still go Saturday & Sunday and I make myself go at least one evening midweek too. The rest of the time, though, between planning, paperwork, dinner, spending time with my husband and actually having an hour to sit down and rest it’s not easy to get down the gym much more than that.

So, it’s really helpful to be able to set up and work through a little circuit at home. Nothing too long or labourious, just a quick burst while I’m watching TV to get my heart rate up and keep myself active.

Last night we did a little circuit of 30 press up/ 30 sit ups / 30 mountain climbers (inspired by Alex Crockford’s Crockfit HIIT sessions) and it took less than 10 minutes.

Although it’s not as good as a full strength and conditoning workout a little burst of cardio/high intensity interval training makes me feel much fitter and generally better about myself! Put it this way – I don’t feel like I’ve slacked quite so much!!!

Ideas for things you can do at home without equipment:

Burpees//squats//sit ups//plank//push ups//mountain climbers//jumping jacks


That’s all for today! Remember to come back every Wednesday for motivation to get you through the week!

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