Winter belly be gone!


After a festive season involving an excess of feasting, a lack of exercise (I’m blaming the weather) and consequent weight gain, it’s time to get these guys into action. The slight hip pain after what should have been an easy nine mile walk (20000 steps according to my FitBit) today has brought home how unfit I am at the moment. I’m no athlete but I discovered two years ago that I really enjoyed kettlebell workouts, and improved my fitness varying workouts so some were more strength based, and others more cardio. Adding in a little bit of roller skating, strength training and a lot of walking kept things interesting. However I don’t cope well with life disruption, and when my routine got interrupted, I got out of the habit.

My mother’s death last year came just as I was getting back into it, and traveling around the country sorting stuff plus too many lattes in motorway services meant I never quite got myself together. Well, tomorrow’s the day; I have weight to shift and fitness to regain. I hope it’ll help banish anxiety – apparently exercise is good for anxiety, but I’ve had a mixed experience, with periods when I’ve felt much worse and panicky after a workout. I read somewhere that sometimes the brain can misinterpret elevated heart rate, sweating, and rapid breathing as danger, anxiety signs – thus triggering a panic attack. It sounds plausible, but I’ve yet to track down actual evidence (apparently ‘evidence is conflicting’). This is always worse if I’ve had a off day and have forced myself to exercise, and in turn the worsened anxiety puts me off exercising next time.

Alongside the exercise comes the food and exercise diary (I use MyFitnessPal ). Using one and sticking to it works well for me – no fad diets, just making sure calories burned exceeds calories in, keeping an eye on nutrients and making sure I increase my intake of fruit and vegetables, protein and fibre whilst reducing saturated fat and salt. Keeping the food diary is boring and requires self-discipline initially, but once I get into the routine it’s automatic. Keeping my food intake as varied as possible makes healthy eating so much easier, and means I can accommodate my twice a week pizza habit guilt-free as long as I ‘budget’ for it.

I am determined – I lost 4 stone (56 lbs/25kg) a few years ago and most of the time I’m pretty good at maintaining my weight loss – with minor fluctuations, but I do allow myself to indulge over the Christmas period for a few weeks and a few pounds creep back on (oops).

Winter belly be off with you, you’re not welcome here!


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