Getting Back to Fitness

Getting Back to Fitness #notlambFIT
This is the first official update post in my new #notlambFIT series: I am getting back to fitness and two weeks ago I invited you to follow my journey and even join in if you wished!

To briefly recap: Last November I slipped a disc, found myself unable to walk for 6 weeks, unable to exercise for 10 weeks and eventually putting on a fair bit of weight (it also being Christmas) as well as experiencing a massive drop in fitness levels. This is my pledge to myself to get fit, get healthy, and putting a plan in place for my long term health. Every second Sunday I will record my progress in a post right here on the blog, and every day I’m tweeting what I’m doing and eating with the hashtag #notlambFIT!

I want to make this first post mostly about training the mind and what I’ve done to achieve that, rather than specifics about diet, recipes, or exercises I’ve been doing. Training your mind to achieve your goals has to come before the actions you take to reach them.

So after my intro post two weeks ago, I said that I’d be charting my goals here and showing you my “before” picture. This is probably the most nerve-wracking bit: The show-yourself-in-leggings-and-a-tight-top picture that you see on all those “before and after” pins on Pinterest or weight loss sites.

Not something that I’ve been relishing, but I decided to do it in order to give myself something to show for my hard work. So here are the front and side views, warts and all:

Getting Back to Fitness #notlambFIT (Update No.1)
For me, when I get out of shape my long, skinny arms stay exactly the same, my waist stays small but I get a bit of a paunch. My problem areas are my thighs, bum and legs, which is where all my weight goes.

However, my physical appearance is not the only thing I’m focusing on!

Reasons for getting fit

What I think is important here is to recap on the reasons I’m getting fit as outlined two weeks ago, them being:

  • To build my strength and immune system
  • To sleep better
  • To have more energy
  • To stop sugar cravings
  • To give me a better chance of living a long, healthy life
  • To be able to wear all the (gorgeous) clothes (I own that) I can no longer fit into

I want to be VERY clear on this point: I do not want anyone to look at me and compare themselves to the way I look, in the same way that I mustn’t compare myself to other women. There is no one anyone should compare themselves to other than a strong, fit, healthy version of themselves. Health cannot be determined by what you see on the outside. Nor should anyone think someone shouldn’t get fit simply by taking one quick look at them without knowing anything about them and their lifestyle, habits or general health.

And as I also mentioned in the intro post, we must be careful not to judge or criticise other people when they say they have begun a new fitness regime. Ever had anyone say to you that you look fine as you are? (Often with a “what are you talking about” at the beginning.) I stress the word “look”, because that ‘s all they’re doing – just looking. It’s all too easy to absentmindedly compare someone else’s body to your definition of “slim”.

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No one should ever say to anyone who is trying to get fit and/or lose weight in a healthy way, “Oh but you’re fine, you don’t need to lose weight”. This is not the sort of motivation people need – or want – to hear. Does that mean someone who’s decided to get fit and healthy should just continue to sit on the sofa eating takeaways because they “look fine”?

I’ve had it said to me on many occasion, and it is the biggest killer to your new-found spirit. You finally get yourself in the frame of mind to do something about your health and someone tells you not to bother because they’re judging you on the way you look, not on what you’re doing to take care of your body (or not).

Luckily my best friend in the whole world – my husband – is always 100% behind me in the nicest way and I’m so thankful for that. When taking these pictures he told me I look pretty damn good for someone who hasn’t exercised in months (which helps with the loving your own body thing that’s so important) – but he doesn’t tell me not to bother with the exercise either. I get encouragement with each workout and run that I do as well as every time I walk right past the chocolate bars in the supermarket without so much as a glance.

It is dangerous to compare your health/weight/appearance to anyone else’s, whether that be a celebrity, your best friend, your sister, or the woman at the gym. The only person I’m comparing myself to is myself. I know how good I feel when I’m back on the fitness wagon, and having my clothes fit me better is purely a bonus – it’s like my body is saying “Thank you for looking after me, as a reward here’s a trimmer, stronger, less wobbly figure”.

And I’ll take it, thank you very much.

So with that off my chest, here are the statistics!


My current stats and fitness goals

As I said in the #notlambFIT intro post two weeks ago, I know I am not especially “overweight”. However, I know that I am unfit. Therefore, I wish to lose 1 stone (14lbs) because I know in the past that’s when I’ve felt at my fittest. I’ve been a lot thinner in the past and I’ve been a lot heavier than I am now, but one stone lighter than now is where I’m strongest and therefore happiest.

I am also looking to be able to run a 10k again. I ran one a year ago and wasn’t fit enough and found it a struggle. The weight had already been creeping on a bit a year ago, and my fitness levels had already started to drop. So to be able to run 10km (about 6 miles) without feeling like I want to die at the end is where I want to be.

Here’s the nitty gritty! Again – please do not compare yourself to these figures. It is pointless and I am only publishing them to make myself accountable and to have a proper record and some way of seeing my progress.

Weight two weeks ago: 9st 12.5lb (138.5lb)

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My target weight is 1 stone less, i.e. 8st 12lb (124lb)

It’s a weight that allows some fluctuation for me to put on a little at times of birthdays or Christmas, but not so much that it’s not too difficult to take it off again.

If I aim for a loss of 1.5lbs a week, that means I should reach my target weight in just over 9 weeks. I started two weeks ago, so my target date is 1st May.

When I was younger (in my 20s) I was naturally much, much lighter than my target weight. I have incredibly skinny wrists and arms with bony shoulders and arms, so I have a naturally small frame and am used to be lighter and stronger.


What I did in the last two weeks

I’m going to very briefly summarise what I’ve done here as I focused on the “why” this week rather than the “how”. Over the next few weeks I’ll go into specifics about what I ate with recipes, exercises, etc. My new routine and habits were:

  • Cutting out chocolate, sweets and cakes, as well as Friday night pizzas or curries
  • Upping my intake of water to at least 3 pints a day
  • Getting to bed earlier and trying to get minimum 7 hours sleep a night
  • Going for a brisk 30-40 min walk every morning, no matter the weather
  • Doing yoga once a week, a run once a week, cardio 3 times a week and toning with weights 2-3 times a week
  • Recording what I ate and did (on most days) by tweeting everything with the hashtag #notlambFIT


Do note that for two days I had a sickness bug – not the best way to start a new fitness regime. But it didn’t last long and I don’t think it really affected my weight either way. So although I ate very little for two days, I didn’t exercise either.

Progress since the intro post

This week’s weight: 9st 9.5lb (135.5lb) so weight loss over two weeks = 3lb.

This is a figure I am very happy with – a steady, healthy weight loss of 1-2lbs a week is the best way to go and shows that I am not starving myself or over exercising, nor am I being naughty with too many treats or huge portion sizes.

So it’s a great start, and very encouraging for the next seven weeks! In two weeks’ time I’ll talk diet and what I eat.





  1. 20 March 2016 / 1:20 pm

    I have just seen your posts about becoming healthier and they couldn't have been more timely for me. Your attitude and reasons for becoming healthier echo exactly how I feel about diet and exercise and now need to put into action. Over the past 15 years I have steadily put on weight but last year I very rapidly put on 10lbs on top! Unfortunately I store all my weight around my middle, therefore all my clothes feel (very) tight, I feel sluggish and regularly reach for comfort sweet treats and wine to make me feel better ( which of course it doesn't!)

    By typing this comment I am making a commitment to myself to improve my health through exercise and clean eating. I would like to lose 30lbs as I know this will give me more energy and enable me to do all the things on my rather long bucket list!

    Counting steps, smaller portion sizes, returning to running and yoga a couple of times a week is my plan.

    So thank you for inspiring me to sort myself out and I look forward to seeing your updates.

    Andrea x

  2. 19 March 2016 / 5:44 pm

    You look amazing beforehand but I know what you mean, I tend to put weight on the stomach and legs too. I think that getting more sleep is really key for me and I'm going to download a pedometer app to my phone as though I have a FitBit I tend to forget to use it!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  3. 17 March 2016 / 8:32 am

    Great post. I'm just getting back into the the gym 3 weeks post baby and so my #brillblogposts is about the gym this week! X

  4. 14 March 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Good points made. I named my company best version of you for the reasons you pointed out. Another tip I don't think you mentioned is eating protein rich foods with each meal. It fills you up, aids recovery and reduces lean body mass losses which happens with calorie reduction. Also compare weight losses wk1 of first month to wk1 of second month etc to take into account menstrual cycle. Hope that helps!

    • 15 March 2016 / 8:00 pm

      That's a really great name, Ed…!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting – yes I eat protein with every meal, I just haven't talked about specific foods this week, I'm doing that in the next update post. Good tip about comparing weight loss month on month, that makes sense…!!

  5. 14 March 2016 / 3:05 pm

    I have really been struggling with my own weight lately and getting so discouraged because no matter what I do the pounds won't come off. I had my thyroid checked and that was normal, so I don't understand why my metabolism is so slow. I exercise six days a week and cut calories to 1200 a day, yet the scale doesn't budge. It makes me want to just give up.

    • 14 March 2016 / 4:31 pm

      How have you been tracking the 1200 calories? What type of training are you doing? A simple way to burn extra calories is buy a pedometer and hit 7000-10000 steps a day. Happy to help. Ed

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:56 pm

      Amy giving up is the last thing you should be doing, though I know exactly how you feel – I have been through many phases where I was in EXACTLY the same situation. Hour long workouts or runs every day, cutting right back on calories, and yet weight kept creeping back ON.

      I think what you need to do is for now just FORGET about losing weight. Focus purely on your health and fitness levels, and don't weigh yourself at all. Try taking your measurements instead, and then then doing them again in a month. If you take your mind off the weight loss (or lack of) you will allow yourself to simply relax and enjoy the good things you're doing for your body. By doing that long term you will feel so strong and healthy that your mind should be doing crazy positive things which in turn will stop negative thoughts about food – that's the "giving up" part you mentioned. THAT'S when you start to say (and I know, because I've done it) – "Oh I might as well eat this packet of donuts because what the hell, I'm putting on weight anyway!" No, no, no…!!

      I'd also read this post I found about why you're not losing weight and the hidden things that can prevent weight loss – it pointed out a few things to me that I didn't know (and I thought I knew all these kind of things)!

      So forget the weight loss, concentrate on doing something amazing for your body. That's the attitude I'm taking at the moment… We shall have to see if it works!! Good luck sweetie – and remember it's all about your health, first and foremost!! We can do this together! C x

    • 15 March 2016 / 9:06 pm

      Thanks so much for both your replies! Yes, Ed I track calories by using the fitness app on my phone, but I'm aware there could be a lot of hidden calories there that may not be calculated in. As far as training, I alternate between walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes and doing aerobic weight training. I'm off to read your post now Catherine. Hopefully I'll find some insightful information.

  6. 14 March 2016 / 2:08 pm

    You've made some really thought provoking points here Catherine.

    I have been really, really (naturally) thin in my life and it used to drive me nuts when people told me that I didn't 'need' to exercise because I looked fine. There's so much more to exercise than weight loss. I feel so sluggish when I'm not exercising.

    I have also been guilty of telling people that they don't 'need' to lose weight because they look fine. It came from a good place (I meant it as a compliment), but I've been on the other end of this comment and you are right – it can be a killer. So I say it no more!

    Well done on your results, and keep up the inspiration!

    Michelle xx

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:46 pm

      It seems I'm not the only one who's experienced this "mild criticism" from others when you say you're going to get fit… Glad to hear you won't be doing it any more, though I'm sure it was always meant from a good place, I know you're the last person in the world to be mean, Michelle! Thanks for your encouragement, I can't wait for you to get the all-clear from your doc so you can join me…!! Much love xx

  7. 14 March 2016 / 2:03 pm

    Brilliant, Catherine – first how open you are about everything and second what you are doing to achieve your personal goals.
    I have gained a lot of weight over the last year although I don't eat much and eat very healthy. I could blame it on my age b in all honesty I haven't done any exercise recently and I don't feel well.
    I don't even want to mention this to anybody because all I get is a "WHERE do YOU want to loose weight??" This can be frustrating as it is all about we personally feel, isn't it? I don't use a scale but I simply don't fit into my clothes any longer… 🙁
    Time to start getting fit again NOW 🙂

    Annette | Lady of Style

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:43 pm

      Annette I'm so glad I've inspired you to start exercising again! I know you've got so much snow at the moment but soon you'll be able to get out and run like you like doing… I'm sure you know this but once you start again you'll get right back in the swing of it and feel so good again. I often find that psychologically you imagine yourself to look better when you're exercising, even if you haven't started to loose any pounds or inches yet… Do you know what I mean?!! I just get that positive thing going on in my head and know it's going to happen!

      Thanks so much for your support, we can do this together, you know I'm here for you! =MUAH= xxxx

  8. 14 March 2016 / 12:14 pm

    Brava! Well done on your results so far. Keep up the great work and you'll reach your goals, probably even ahead of your schedule. I'm a crabby moody cow when I don't work out, so that's my motivation for keeping it up… plus I hate the starting over part when I take any time away from working out! Staying strong and healthy is so important for our happiness, and I hope you inspire lots of your readers with your very sensible approach. xxx

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Aww Lisa thank you my lovely – the starting over after my injury was the worst… It's so hard to get back into a fitness routine. When I'm in the zone I do it and schedule time for it without thinking, when I'm off the wagon I just forget to do it!! Thank you for the lovely comment and the encouragement – I'm gonna do this!!!!!!! xx

  9. 14 March 2016 / 10:11 am

    Congrats on your results, I totally understand you because I have a similar small frame and when I gain some weight it all goes on my bum and thighs ! I am with you also about the danger of comparisons and you are training for yourself, for the right reasons ! Keep rocking, girl :-)) Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies – fashion blog

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:32 pm

      Vale that's really sweet of you, thanks so much… And isn't it frustrating about the weight on the bottom half bit?? I stay so bony on my top half, it's such an uneven weight gain!! But as I said I'm only comparing myself to me, I KNOW I can get my bottom half in better shape with stronger legs so that's my goal! x

  10. 14 March 2016 / 2:52 am

    Ti much company and to many evens the last two weeks means I am not doing great at monitoring my food but I have been tracking my steps again, its a small start but a start

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:30 pm

      Linda anything you're doing to change your habits is a step in the right direction (literally in your case)! Tracking steps to reach that elusive 10,000 a day is a really good measure, it highlights how sedentary we can be (especially being bloggers and doing a lot of computer work)! Food will follow, just don't let the steps slip 🙂 xx

  11. 14 March 2016 / 1:33 am

    Catherine, can't say enough good things about this post. You've said it all and have made an excellent point of telling all your readers about the danger of comparison. Fitness is a pure Feel Good thing in life and it's a totally individual goal. I've always been conscience about my fitness and a true believer that it does just as much good on the mind as well as our bodies. You go Girl! Wish I could fly and and run the 10k with you, wouldn't that be fun?

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:28 pm

      Oh Trina thank you so much, that's a really lovely comment!! The mind is SO important when it comes to fitness, you're absolutely right! And yes, do come over for a 10k or two!! 😉

    • 15 March 2016 / 7:26 pm

      Thank you Masha! I hope others will also see that health is our no.1 priority x

  12. 13 March 2016 / 6:08 pm

    Great! That's a good target and a sensible weight loss goal. Well done on the first 3lbs.

    I have to admit that I looked at your photos and thought hey, you look fine. And you do, but if you know you're happier to get back to how you were pre-slipped disc then that's what you should do.

    I never weigh myself, but I can feel in myself that I need to be fitter, and for all the reasons that you do. I want to be good at yoga again (Ashtanga!). So I've been doing some yoga at home, plus cycled to work (south London into the City) on Friday and it felt great.

    Okay, time to hit the yoga mat. Going dancing tonight :). x

    • 15 March 2016 / 5:47 pm

      I think the fact that I was always reed thin, Emerald, and that I can't get into so many clothes gives me the encouragement to do something about it as much as wanting – KNOWING – I need to get my health in order does. But as I said I'm sooooo much bigger than I used to be, and I don't like it! It's great to hear your approach to fitness too – though you're a braver woman than I to cycle into London…!!!!!!!

      Thank you sweetie for your encouragement and comments! x

  13. 13 March 2016 / 5:25 pm

    Great, personalized plan! Cheers to a fitter you.

  14. 13 March 2016 / 4:01 pm

    Such great points you make Catherine! It's not about the looks, yet that is what so many people focus on! Even if you didn't lose a pound, getting your body healthy and moving is what is so very important. And flexible. I've found that my older clients need this flexibility even more than you think (just imagine trying to put on your shoes, but not being able to bend over—definitely a crisis)
    Fitness is one of those hard to get started habits, but makes such a difference in your whole outlook on life! Good job and I hope your inspire so many others!! jodie

    • 15 March 2016 / 5:43 pm

      Jodie that's such a lovely comment, thank you so much!! I'm very glad the comments here seem to be about me getting my health back, and not concerned with how I look. It's important to focus on health as you say! xx

  15. 13 March 2016 / 2:54 pm

    Great 2 weeks, congrats! ���� Also a healthy and achievable goal to loose 1-2 lbs a week! I like your challenge and I follow your posts on Twitter. So I feel motivated to do my training every day. Looking forward to see more.


    • 15 March 2016 / 5:42 pm

      Christine thank you so much – making myself accountable has made such a difference I think to my mental attitude towards my fitness where I have perhaps failed in the past. Let's hope it continues, and thank you for your support! x

  16. 13 March 2016 / 1:26 pm

    I think your own feel-good weight is so very personal (and I totally agree that comments like "Oh. But you are thin, you don't need to lose any weight" do NOT help). And, like you point out, it also includes what you are able to do. I am neither as strong nor as flexible as I would like to be. I also need to lose 10 pounds to feel my best. I've been sick this week, so not much happened in terms of exercise, but I did go for a walk every day. This week I'll be back to weights, yoga, and longer walks.

    Congrats on your progress!

    • 15 March 2016 / 5:41 pm

      Many thanks, Andrea – strength and your health is all-too-often not mentioned when you read about getting fit. And YES to doing yoga and walking, I love both…!

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