Tan for tone 

Fake tan on milk white skin used to be hard to pull off. In fact, most of my attempts at fake tan over the years have left me orange and streaky.  I do not tan in the sun, I burn then peel. The best case scenario is that my freckles expand enough to give me a few patches of brown.  My last attempt at a fake bake was two years ago when the reaction of my family to my fab tan (fits of laughter) made me question my clementine look.

Luckily for those of us who are porcelain non-tanners nature has finally got a real helping hand! After convincing myself that now technology must have caught up I go for a professional application spray tan. This involves moving around the tanning booth in my paper thong until I’m covered. Some loose clothes on and I wait for a few hours before rinse off.

My mum has never seen me with an actual tan as my stubborn milk skin has stayed pasty even when I lived in Mediterranean climes. Their first reaction is shock. My brother starts laughing as the guide colour is admittedly quite orange. It’s good shock once I rinse it off though! I’m finally a slightly less pasty colour.

The tan makes my eyes stand out and hides so many lumps and bumps that I am totally hooked.

I wish the weather was better so I could show it off in a skimpy summer dress.

I love St Tropez! My plan now is to see if I can recreate this genius tan at home using their in shower tanning foam and gradual tanner moisturiser.

As a fake bake newbie any advice on keeping my tan smooth for as long as possible would be appreciated.

Meeting up with old friends 

Everyday I’m aware that my body is slowly getting stronger. I set out to build a healthier lifestyle that I could realistically sustain with my financial, social and time constraints. It’s been gradual.

Last Sunday I met up with uni friends for a lunch reunion. It was great to see them. I loved hearing their news and was really boosted by the compliments too.

It was great to recognise how far I’ve come from their reaction. One even asked for workout advice. My initial reaction was to look around (who asks the flab girl for workout advice?) then I smiled, I’m no longer the flabby breathless dork. Someone asked for my advice on getting fit…wow!

Feeling very proud right now.

Jeans test DONT FIT 

16 weeks of working out …

I am terrible at sticking to guidelines unless something is enforcing them. So, although I’ve tried to do 16 weeks of regular commitment it in no way approaches the rigour of the intensive workouts set out in the 16 Week Plan. Plus, as always, my nutrition is terrible.

The numbers on the scale have been going down and so here are the latest stats:

Weight 62.8kg

Bust 86

Waist 68

Hips 97

Widest point 103

Left thigh 61

Right upper arm 29

Body fat 24%

Push ups in 2 min: 30

Sit ups in 2 min: 28

With all the progress I decided to see if my old jeans would fit. I tried to force them on by lying on the floor wiggling and did encentually squeeze them almost up but the zipper was still at full open. Also, even squeezing that far (still lying down as they are too tight to stand in) I struggled to breathe.

What did this teach me? Firstly, that I’m really glad no one walked in on me wrestling with a pair of skinny jeans on the floor.

Secondly, that what I’ve gained from starting and continuing to exercise is worth more than dropping a couple of dress sizes.

The last time I wore those jeans (when they did up and looked amazing) I was not as happy as I am now. Sure I fitted into a size 8 but I did it by sticking to 1,600 calories a day. I had no energy left over to exercise and blamed my inability to get fit on my medical condition and not my food intake.

Not only could I not do a push up, I could barely walk upstairs without getting tired and breathless.

My initial goal was to get back into my jeans. I didn’t achieve that but found something a lot better. So, I’ve stuffed the jeans in the back of my wardrobe and bought myself a new pair of snakeskin leggings to celebrate all the hard work!

Not alone: Parkrun time!

I went to a party on Saturday night and starting chatting to the ladies on my table. After a while the conversation turned to fitness. Parkrun has become the popular way for mums to get their weekly 5K it seems. What made me really happy was that the times were like mine. One friend even confided that her first run was 38 minutes and her PB is 32! Wow, I’m not as freakishly slow as I thought. It was a real boost to try Parkrun again.

Burnout (again!)

Over enthusiasm is a problem of mine, I tend to get carried away when I find things I enjoy and don’t usually know when to stop. This weekend I planned to go swimming on Friday afternoon, go to a job interview, take a Krav Maga class, pick up dinner on the way back and relax.

Saturday’s plan was a Park Run followed by two hours of rowing on Sunday.

I’m afraid to admit I achieved none of these things (except the interview).

By lunchtime on Friday I felt a bit rough, sore throat and tired. I then had an allergic reaction to the milk in some sausages (in the UK if it’s less than 5% we don’t label it). I’m extremely allergic to milk protein and normally avoid sausages, but, a bit of peer pressure and an inviting packet got to me. My other half is used to seeing the tell tale eyes going spacey, black rings appearing and slurred speech… so got the antihistamines into me in time. Rather foolishly, in all the confusion of the reaction we forgot to wash the sausage pan. Queue another reaction on Saturday!

Two reactions in one weekend totally floored me. We managed a few strolls where my breathing resembled Darth Vader and I spent a lot of time sleeping.

In a way, the reaction makes me remember how far I’ve come and appreciate being able to do any sports at all! It’s also frustrating to feel the total burnout.

Maybe my timetable is too much for my body?

I’ve been trying to do 45 minutes a day 5 days a week. It doesn’t sound much does it? How long do I need to stay at beginners 2 workouts before I move up and start getting stronger?

Frustration and M2 traffic jams 

Today was another write off, I feel like I’ll never be able to meet any of the goals I’ve set! It is a frustrating defeatist attitude I know. It was compounded by getting stuck on the M2 for two hours in solid, tail to nose traffic. Door to door it has taken me six hours to get home. I walked up all the stairs en route but my steps are just “lightly active” and I’m dead on my feet.

How am I going to wake up at 6am and train? Is this what I really want?