Monday, 18 September 2017

Starting Over

Hi there,  I'm now back to trying to sort myself out properly. The summer is over and although my financial times situation hasn't really improved dramatically, I'm now in a better place mentally to try and concentrate on me. I've also accepted that for me, this will be a life long battle. I'm cross with myself for undoing a lot of my previous good work but I'm trying to learn from what happened.

I think firstly I got complacent. I felt good, I'd lost a lot of weight so I stopped putting the work in. This led to the odd bit of cheating and telling myself that a bar of chocolate wouldn't hurt. Everything then snowballed this summer. I was working all hours, getting about five hours sleep per night and solo parenting with no money to spare and no free time. I also catapulted into menopause which hasn't been pleasant. I hit my 50th birthday and it was like a switch turned off in my body. I didn't expect to be so effected by it so suddenly and it was just another thing that crushed me really. My anxiety and depression came back and I was incredibly low.

I could feel this happening but at the time I didn't have the mental strength to pull myself out of it. So now it's back to the drawing board. I'm going back on weight watchers. Yes, I know it can be restrictive but I think I need that structure and routine. Thankfully I have stopped before I had put back all the weight I lost but it's still not good!

So everything starts today and you will be hearing a lot more from me now!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Sunday, 2 July 2017

A bad relapse but I'm on my way back

Hi, I know I disappeared for a bit. Basically I didn't just fall off my diet, I swandived off it into as much food as I could cram into my mouth. I'm not making excuses for something that I'm really disappointed in having done but I've tried to look at the reasons why in the hope that by understanding that, I will stop myself from repeating it.

It was a bit like a domino effect really. My finances hit a major sticky point. I struggle anyway but this was a case of not having enough to pay some bills or put food on the table. Every spare minute was spent working so I didn't exercise at all. My moods got worse and I felt anxious, tearful and depressed most of the time. I was getting no endorphins from exercise and I couldn't afford the St. John's Wort that usually helps me through times like this. Instead I turned to food. Depression plus the fact that I was working so much and getting less sleep meant that I turned to sugary crap basically to try and lift my mood and give me the energy to keep going. Then I felt bad about doing that so I ate even more to try and cheer myself up. Menopause also appears to have popped up and smacked me in the face do you can add unbalanced hormones plus hot flushes into the mix

This has gone on for over a month now. I've no idea how much I've put on. That horror will come tomorrow morning on the scales but I'm prepared for it to be bad.

The only positive thing to come from this is that I know now that I will probably be fighting these inner demons compelling me to overeat for the rest of my life. I relaxed after over a year of healthy living and they regained control. So it will be a daily battle and one step at a time. I know that I somehow have to prioritise me. It won't be easy and it may not work all the time but I have to try.

So anyway I'm back now. Healthy living starts now! Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Use a mood board to inspire your weight loss and fitness journey

it you are embarking on a long term weight loss journey then it is inevitable that there are going to be times when you find it harder to keep on track. This could be for a multitude of reasons. Illness or injury stops you working out, work or family pressures make it hard to stick to your diet or maybe you just feel miserable and lose your motivation.

For me, as an emotional overeater and someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, my moods are key to my success. I know when my mood is low, I find it harder to resist foods are that. As for me. I am also less inclined to exercise as well.

I have been reading a lot about mood boards lately. Some people call them inspiration or motivation boards. I wanted to see whether having a visual representation of things that motivate or inspire me would be helpful in keeping my moods on a better level.

The great thing about a board like this is that you literally can include absolutely anything. Look for quotes you like, images that inspire you, pictures that show what you are trying to achieve or even just things that make you happy. I looked at some examples on Pinterest and then just dived in. I haven't finished it yet and the idea is that it will constantly be a work in progress that will evolve with me. I actually found just the process of putting it together to be quite therapeutic!

So this is what it looks like at the moment!

Let me know if you use mood boards already or if this post inspires you to start one. I'd love to see what you put on yours. I'll keep you updated as my board evolves and changes.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Friday, 28 April 2017

Flex TV - Exciting new developments

If you have read my blog before or you follow me on Instagram then you will know that I am a big fan of Flex TV. For those of you reading this that are new to the Flex concept, it is a great way for you to take part in professional high quality workouts while still in the comfort of your own home. For a monthly fee, you can choose to workout as much as you want and whenever you want. Workouts include HIIT, Pilates, Yoga, Dance and Cardio. You really are spoilt for choice.

I don;t know about you but the thought of walking into an exercise class at a local gym is quite a scary thought especially while I am still quite big. Working out on the Flex site means I don;t have to worry about that. It is also so easy to fit my workouts into my day while my daughter is at school. Flex really is perfect for mums that want to improve their health and fitness.

As Flex has had a bit of a revamp lately, I thought I would tell you about all of their new exciting

When you join Flex, you are now asked some general questions about yourself and your aims. As a result of this, you are allocated a tribe. Your tribesmates will be people of a similar age and with similar aims. Each tribe is led by an experienced instructor who is there to offer encouragement and help if you need it. This is a great idea to introduce this community element as it can be lonely exercising at home on your own. Tribe members can work together to encourage each other and recommend classes.

Another big part of Flex is your planner. When you join, you sign a pledge to exercise on certain days of the week. Your planner will then schedule classes for those times based on the types of classes that you have said that you enjoy. You can change the schedules or classes at any time.

For me personally the biggest and best change that Flex has made is that they have made all of their classes available on demand. Previously you only could attend classes as they were streamed live and I will admit that sometimes this just was not convenient for me. You can still take part in live classes but you can also access every single class. You truly are spoilt for choice. Earlier this week it literally took me about 15 minutes to choose which class I felt like doing.

Another thing that in my opinion makes Flex a great choice is that there is no long term contract. You simply pay a monthly fee and then can use Flex as much as you want. There is also a 30 day free trial available when you sign up so you can get to experience the site fully and see if you like it. You can find out more information or sign up for the free trial at Flex TV

Let me know if you join up and what you think of Flex.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

I  was not financially compensated for this post. I received free membership of Flex  for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Is weighing youself bad for you?

What's the first thing you do every morning?

For me. it's standing on my scales. If my weight is down then my mood is instantly lifted and I feel happier to start my day. If I haven't lost anything or, God forbid, my weight has gone up then I will stand there feeling anxious. I'll move the scales and try again just in case the first result was a blip. When it comes out the same, then  I will start my day feeling under pressure, worried and just not good enough.

I'm quite a logical person and I know that there are many factors that can influence your weight and mean that you might not be losing as much as quickly as you want.
  • You could be losing fat and gaining muscle
  • You could be retaining water
  • A cheat day could have caused your glycogen levels to rise temporarily
  • Your hormones could be impacting on your weight loss depending on where you are in your cycle.
I could tell myself all of the above over and over again but if that little number on my scales doesn't say what I want it to say then I will be filled with a sense of self loathing and fear that I have screwed up my diet yet again.

I have been feeling this sort of pressure lately. If you follow my blog then you know that it hasn't been easy for me since the New Year and a really nasty bout of bronchitis was the final straw. I'm starting to pull myself together and get back on track but I found that I was really starting to dread my Wednesday weigh in day. I felt incredibly pressured and I didn't enjoy the feeling. I suffer from mild depression anyway so I am very in tune with anything that has an impact on my moods.

So I have decided to have a little experiment. I want to enjoy my healthy lifestyle. I want to plan new recipes to eat. I want to work hard at regaining my fitness. I just don't want to have that sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach about stepping onto the scales.

I am therefore not going to weigh myself until 1st June. That is six weeks from now. I will keep counting calories and working out but I'm putting my scales in the cupboard for now. I'm hoping that by removing this source of pressure for me that I will relax and just enjoy getting back into shape. Then hopefully I will get a nice surprise on 1st June.

I will keep you posted how it goes. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A trip to Hampstead Food Market


If you follow my Instagram then you will have seen that on Saturday we trekked across London to Hampstead. I had been hearing great things about the food market there and decided to check it out myself. It was also a chance to take my daughter to Kenwood House.

The food market is situated nearly opposite the Tube station so it's really easy to fin. It's just behind the Everyman cinema.

The market may be small but they certainly manage to pack an amazing amount of produce in there.

I was really pleased to find Olivers Bakery had a stall. I've bought their products before at Borough Market. Their bread is amazing so I had to treat myself!

The market really is worth a visit with a huge choice of different products. I really want to go back and stock up on nut butters from Butter Nut of London. Their blend of flavours was really innovative particularly the cashew and tumeric butter.

If you fancy something to eat while you are there, why not visit the street food stall? The smell of the food was really enticing.

There really was a wide selection of stalls! Even one for dogs.

Hampstead itself is well worth a visit. I can't believe that I have lived all life in London without visiting there before. There is a real quaint village feel to the place.

No visit to Hampstead would be complete without a trip onto the Heath. We walked right across the Heath to go to Kenwood House. You may recognise it from the film Notting Hill.

Inside was amazing and it was a  lovely way to round off our day

I would definitely recommend a trip to Hamsptead if you fancy a day out somewhere new in London. The food market is open every Saturday and is really worth a visit so why not make a whole day of it?

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Friday, 14 April 2017

Hot Cross Cookies

Everyone thinks of hot cross buns at Easter but I thought I would try and make something a little different this time. It's not easy to replicate the taste of hot cross buns but these turned out to be really yummy!

1 banana
1 egg
100g light muscovado sugar
4 tbsp coconut oil
100g sultanas
100g mixed peel
1 tbsp ground cinammon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp baking powder
250g plain flour
100g icing sugar

  1. Peel and mash the banana until completely smooth.
  2. Mix in the egg and the coconut oil. Use a hand blender for this if the coconut oil is solid and you find it easier.
  3. Mix in the sugar, cinammon and mixed spice.
  4. Add the baking powder and flour and mix together until a sticky dough is forming.
  5. Fold the sultanas and mixed peel into the mixture. Stir enough so they are fully distributed.
  6. Take a large heaped tablespoon of the mixture, use your hands to roll it into a ball.
  7. Then flatten it so it looks like this.     
  8. Repeat the process until you have used all the dough and your greased baking sheet is full. I ended up using 2 baking sheets as the cookies are quite large.
  9. Cook in a preheated oven at 175 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown on top.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely 
  11. Make about 100g of icing according to the packet instructions. I made mine quite stiff as it was easier to decorate the cookies.
  12. You can use a piping bag to make the crosses or I just drizzled the icing across the top of the cookie using a large flat knife.

The recipe makes 10 cookies which are 260 calories each. This is a little higher than. Last of my other recipes but I figured that everyone deserves a little treat at Easter and they are better than eating an Easter egg. If you want to reduce the calories then you could leave off the icing and have them plain.

You could also reduce the sugar to 50g and use margarine instead of coconut oil.

Happy Easter everyone. Speak to you soon 

Love Erica xxx

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