Monthly Archives: April 2015

My Top Inspirational People

I’ve been thinking about a post like this for a while, I had an idea for this & have been dwelling on it.  I now think I have my list; the people who in one way or another drive me to be better, who show through their own achievements; that you can be greater than the sum of your parts.

Andrew Burton


My trainer.  The man who has to put up with me talking & procrastinating when I should be lifting.  Who watches me hand out protein treats to other trainers, because it’s rare I make gluten-free stuff. He’s seen me laugh, he’s seen me cry; he even trained me when I was covered in bruises from breaking my nose.  He’s experienced his own fair share of trauma & heart ache. but is still really humble despite all this.  His energy radiates & it’s really hard to not be sucked in to the enthusiasm he has. I swear at him & tell him he’s mean, but he pushes me to beyond what I thought my limits were & I wouldn’t be where I am now without his guidance (despite him telling me, it’s all down to me. It really isn’t)


My internet friend for a few years; Amy ended up in hospital a few years ago & it was during her stay that she decided to change her life & lose weight. She dropped a lot & began heavy lifting, she was the first woman I knew to lift heavy & seeing her transformation was inspiring! (I was still quite lazy at the time, but admired her dedication & her results speak for themselves)



I found Steff on Instagram after she’d liked one of my progress photos & her own personal training journey should be one that anyone who has ever wanted to get in to lifting should look at, she is just incredible to look at (I’m sorry if i sound like a perv, but hard bodies! hnnng!!)  Just viewing one of her posts makes me want to go to the gym!  It’s taken her a few years, but good things come to those who wait.  Based on her Instagram she’s training to go to body building competitions & I’m genuinely intrigued to see her progression.


And lastly, but by no means; least. My Husband.


My beloved.  My hero.  He believed in me when I didn’t.  He’s told me to train for years & I’d never bothered until last year.  He’s helped me in more ways than I could ever imagine. He carried me when I was at my weakest, brought me back from despair & has encouraged every step of my training journey. He’s open & extremely blunt but will make time for anyone who wants advice or just someone to talk to.  He’s creative & courageous; he endured painful physio after an injury that rendered his rugby playing days obsolete – pains that still live with him today.  He’s the strongest person I know.

Recent Protein Bakes….

Good evening & welcome to another baking round up, I will be your host this evening as we take a look at what has been baked in the kitchen for the past few weeks.


OK, so first up was Lemon & Poppy Seed Cookies – These are actually the closest to real cookies I’ve made, the rest have either been too dry or too soft.  The recipe was based on one from Protein Treats By Nicola, I just added poppy seeds to them & omitted the lemon zest – after I took that stacked picture I did glaze them.  *a word of advice about glazing – do it while your mix is runny, it does start to thicken after a while & can make glazing difficult*


Next up was breakfast on a day off from work…..banana & peanut butter pancakes!  for these I used egg,milk, a mashed banana and oat flour for the mix & layered them by spreading peanut butter over, then sliced banana & finished the top with some agave!


Then, I went on a bit of a baking mission as I was on holiday from work.  I made super low carb brownies (a recipe found on Protein Pow) in one batch I added blueberries & raspberries & in the next batch I added those as well as some white chocolate drops & pecan pieces. I personally thought they were a little too dry, but the trainers in the gym seemed to like them!  I also made mini chocolate, banana & blueberry muffins and then because I had some fruit left over I made white chocolate & raspberry protein muffins – these were heavenly and did not see the gym the be given out!


And finally, Gluten Free nut muffins.  The recipe called for peanut butter, but I switched it for cashew & added some blueberries to the mix.  I also added 20g of vanilla protein, just for an extra kick 🙂

It was my birthday last week & my wonderful husband made me Lemon Cake:

IMAG0272Real, pure, unadulterated cake.  Full of fat & sugar & it was incredible!!

I’m Now On Facebook Too

Feel free to like and share!!

A Quick Progress Update………

I posted a progress picture earlier & Andy had some feedback for me, I won’t bore you with details but he essentially aid I’m still selling myself short.  Tonight; whilst perusing facebook I happened upon an old image that I decided to change to a progress picture instead:


The text I added to it was as follows:

A progress picture; with a difference. This is not about weight, not about physique nor vanity or whatever. This is about my overall well-being and being able to function without grimacing in pain.

First image is from October 2013, I was in a tremendous amount of pain. Taking tramadol, ibuprofen and gabapentin like they were smarties. I was awaiting my appointment to beg for spinal surgery because I was tired. Tired of hurting, tired of not being able to carry shit, tired of waking up in the night because my back hurt.

Fast forward to now and, although the pain is still there, it’s no longer constant. It’s no longer looming over my head like a grey cloud. My medication intake has dropped to a few codeine every now and again, only if I really, really need them.

It’s not been easy and I’m no where near my goal, but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I was. I wouldn’t have got this far if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement I’ve received. “if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

That is all. For now.

“Does My Butt Look Big In This?”

It’s not so much as does it look big, more of a “Can I see your pants through it?” If the answer ever is yes, then wear a longer shirt, better still; change!

When I first started going to the gym, I bought “sweat pants”, none of this marl grey, elasticated at the bottom – but nevertheless, *shudder* tracksuit bottoms.  (anyone that has known me for a while knows how much I loathe sports gear, or sports gear worn as day-to-day gear, wearing this stuff made me feel dirty – I shit you not) However, needs must & I couldn’t go to the gym wearing jeans & an All Saints Top! Well, I could have but no.  Just. No.

Yeah, so your average supermarket tracksuit bottoms, usually found with the hoodies & things, a sports bra as well as a baggy shirt with a pocket for my phone.  I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to then fail & have to sell it all on eBay because the guilt of looking at all the tiny spandex items was slowly destroying my soul.

Then there was my shoes.  Oooh, my shoes.  I’ve already mentioned my loathing for all things sport related?  Yes? Good.  My shoes were Reebok Easytone – they were a birthday present a few years previous from my husband (remember, up until 6 months ago I was quite, quite lazy) I thought they’d be fine, they look the part, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?

Yeah, they probably do but they were very, very wrong!  Initially, cardio, resistance machines etc & these were fine; it was once I started lifting that they became a problem – the soles are set to be off balance; in theory you correct your posture & they’re supposed to help tone your legs. whatever. I liked em, which is why I got them.  More on footwear later.

That was all to begin with, however I do now have a penchant for gym gear.  The first thing I replaced was the bra, I didn’t need massive support as I wasn’t running, so didn’t require anything above a medium impact. The vests I wore had racer backs, so it made sense to get a racer back bra too – I have wired gym bras as well as non…..stick with non.  Even if you think you need them, you really, really don’t want a piece of metal digging in to your ribs whilst lifting some heavy shit.  If you’re unsure of your size, there’s a fantastic Subreddit that can help you! Everyone will be different though, this is just what’s worked for me.

Now, 6 months in my gym gear comprises of the following:

New Balance Minimus 3090 V3 Trainers

1 Pair Compression Gear Leggings*

1 Pair Altura Night Vision Leggings*

1 Pair Base Layer leggings – For when cycling required 2 pairs!

1 MuddyFox Cycling Skort*

2 Pairs Adidas Climalite Leggings – these were invaluable cycling in the winter!

3 pairs of Gym Leggings

5 Gym Vests

2 Baggy Cropped Gym Shirts

2 zipped top/hoodie things

A small arsenal of trainer socks

The stuff highlighted in bold is stuff for gym & cycling – the stuff with stars next to it is solely for cycling.  Have you seen cycling leggings?  They have their own seat! No one wants to see that in the gym!


 I didn’t buy it all at once either!  After changing bras I looked at vests, moreso the ones with”wicking” – this is the ability to move sweat away from the body more quickly.  I was still at baggy pants stage though; it was only once my bottoms started to become an indecency risk that I ventured in to gym leggings.  I own sports brand ones as well as “TK Maxx’s Finest” and the TK Maxx ones outshine the branded ones – one day doing leg presses, I could see my thigh tattoo as clearly as I can through 80 denier tights, so they’re relegated to upper body days only now!

I don’t wear all of it regularly, I have clear favourites – something a few months ago I’d have laughed at!

I also own water resistant headphones as well recently upgrading my wearable to a FitBit Surge – they’re not for everyone but I’ve had a wearable for the past er, year (ish) and was waiting for the perfect combination of my needs in a watch, the Surge has all of that.  It’s still VERY early days with it though, so no more about it for now.

So, based on my limited knowledge/experience of gym stuffs here are my pointers:

  • Don’t buy expensive – unless they’re a specific item that you *know* you’re going to use; my Altura leggings for example cost me the same as about 10 pairs of non gym leggings, but they’re made specifically for cycling & you can tell when you’re wearing them.
  • Don’t buy a lot! Especially in the early days of gym going; I’ve lost about 14″ overall & I’ve thrown away some of my earlier gear because it got too big
  • Don’t be put off by it looking really small on the hanger – this stuff stretches, it’s designed to “hug” (That doesn’t mean you buy a small because, in a few months you will be that size, but then you wear it now)
  • Get the right shoes! Digging through your clothes & finding a pair of Nike Air Max from your school days might be ok to begin with, but you’ll need decent footwear – and it can all depend on what you’re doing in the gym as to what is right footwear & what isn’t.  (A little example – running shoes are not designed for squatting – there’s too much squish in the soles)
  • Clothes should fit, not be baggy everywhere – you need to be able to move freely & long flowly gear may be good for a Sunday stroll, it is not good for training. If you want to wear something loose, layer it.
  • NO GLOVES! Grip strength will not improve with gloves, just no.  If you’re gonna go heavy with weights, there’s wrist wraps & things, but no gloves.  My gloves are now relegated to my cycling.
  • Wicking!!  I cannot stress this enough, guys & gals! Wicking is your friend – Also labelled as Moisture wicking on garments, but its the same stuff
  • No matter what you’re wearing, keep going. You’re doing great!  But seriously, you’ll do a lot better with the right gear!


First gym session next to most recent gym session.

As a side note, ladies; take the jewellery off, tie your hair back, & remove the make-up