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Fat Camp 4

October 24, 2020

Fat Camp 4

Gosh, it's now eight weeks in so let me tell you what's going on.

After the initial euphoria of losing weight, I'm bored.  You're meant to alter your habits after three months, but in the meantime, I really fancy some cake.  Bake Off isn't helping - it was chocolate week the other week which was very poor of them.  On my diet/exercise programme there are no treats at all until week nine, so that's one more week of drudge to go.

The thing is that if I'm going to lose the weight, it's got to be for good this time, I can't be doing with this again.  I see that Dawn French has put back on her seven and a half stone and says she doesn't give a fig but here's the thing, her health stats do.  Once we, midlife women, become obese (and I don't think Dawn would mind me saying so although I accept that it's not a nice word), then our health is massively more vulnerable to a downward turn than if we are the right weight, and 50% of us midlife women are obese. If it helps, I'm one of them at the minute.

The challenge we seem to face is keeping the weight off and that's because life is a shocker at present. Comfort via the telly, food, drink or otherwise, is what we are all after because life is full of change and we don't cope well with change.  That's not just us, no one copes well with change as the brain is hardwired to fear it.

As we get to the end of a pretty challenging year, I'd like you all to start thinking of 2021 as a year that we are going to get some real positives out of.  Now, to do this we have to realign our ambitions as none of us are going to be off to Tahiti fairly soon but there are absolute positives we can achieve so let's put them into categories:


1.  Drink more water.  Simple, but incredibly effective on improving skin tone, flushing out the body and generally making you feel more alert, less tired and more energised.  Three litres a day.  Very easy and very cheap.

2.  Clear the house out.  I've called it the "death cull" in my house because we are clearing out all the rubbish that we have accumulated over the years so that when we pop our clogs there's less for our sons to do.  I've cleared my parents house when they passed away and it was very hard to make the decision on what to keep and what to put in the skip.  If you've had to do this you'll know that no one takes anything these days so in the skip it has to go.  Do it now so that the decision is yours, it is very cathartic.

3.  Walk more.  As we know the key thing that makes a difference to ageing well is to move more.  Walking is something pretty much all of us can do, it's cheap and very beneficial if a bit wet and cold at this time of year but that won't kill us.  If you can't walk, just get outside more - the air is fantastic for you.

All of the above will be great for your skin, health and mental wellbeing.


1.  Giving up a naughty habit.  Look, smoking, drinking, eating loads of sugar or ready meals are not good for us.  Try to think of the benefits of giving up and there are many out there.  Saving money, feeling better, better health - I could go on, but you know this so cut down now, with a view to giving up.  I don't drink these days and it is exceptionally dull but do I feel a load better?  Absolutely (except when I really fancy a glass of wine on a cold Sunday when we have roast beef and it's hideous outside, then I feel deprived, but it's short lived).

2.  Create a rota of care for others.  This is a bit harder because we're all feeling pretty rough ourselves, but I have just had printed some cards (it cost about £17) that I'm sending to my friends on 2nd Jan with a note to say that I'm thinking of them.  This is both stunningly well organised and makes me feel very smug, but the point is to lift your gaze from your own challenges and see what little things you might be able to do for your mates.  A text rota to check in with those you haven't spoken to for a while, a call to see how they are.  Get some karma going in the hope that 2021 will pay you back kindly for it - you never know.

3. Book doctor's appointments for anything that is bothering you.  I've got a not very nice mole on my ear at present and I really didn't want to go to the doctor.  It was a right faff - telephone consultation, uploading pictures, circling it on the photo, filling in a questionnaire, going twice to the surgery and having to queue up to get in while it was raining - but you cannot put these things off.  Book the appointment if something is worrying you because you matter.


1.  Commit to losing weight and staying the same size for the whole of 2021.  If this year's taught us anything then it's that there's no point in planning for the very long term but to get this under control is worth its weight in gold to your health.  Our excess weight makes us more vulnerable to Covid-19 - I'm not sure I need to go further than that?

2.  Plan something nice for yourself before Christmas.  This is a challenge because what are the options?  I've booked to go to the RHS garden at Wisley, where they are running "Glow", basically Christmas lights in amongst the plants which doesn't really sound like the heady heights of excitement.  However, it's outdoors so less chance of being cancelled and it should be about the only Christmassy thing we can get to do.  At this rate my eldest son won't be allowed to see us at Christmas, but we live in hope.  Book something nice for you, not others, you.  Choices are limited which is why this is such a challenge.

3.  Be open to change.  2021 is going to be all about change and if you've struggled this year, start trying to move your mindset to be open to new ideas, ways of working and daily norms.  As I've said, the brain really hates change which is why so many of us say no to someone's new suggestion but over time change our mind once we've got used to the idea.  Start with small stuff, such as in 2021 I'm going to get you to change how you do your skincare regime, make up and hair.  I'm going to show you new products, gadgets and ideas of a new norm for midlife women.  These are simple changes but your mind needs to be open to these.  

Anyway, writing this has distracted me from food for an hour so that's all good.  Progress on the weight loss is slowly being made, skin is massively better, exercise is marginally easier but I'm pretty grumpy at present - it will pass, I'm just going to practice being open to changing my view from grumpy to serene, let's see if I can take my own advice!


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