Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Eve

Well here we are again, 31st December, the end of another year.

What has 2012 held for you? For me it’s been a bit of a mixture.

It’s been a great year because my boyfriend got a job after many months out of work, I’ve done lots of fun things this year, including going on an amazing trip to Thailand to mark turning 30 and I’ve achieved lots of personal goals in terms of getting healthier, losing weight and exercising more.

On the not so good side it was a hard year for my parents after my Mum had her accident back in April time where her leg got broken and recovery is still ongoing.

I feel 2012 overall has been a year of discovery though – finding out things I like to do, trying new things and gaining/losing people from my life, all of which have been positive moves I can now see.

For now though I have 2013 to look forward to and whatever it may bring, I have a few things I’m hoping for, but who knows.

Finally after a few years we will be celebrating properly with friends tonight, although my boyfriend is working again (the cause of previous years not being quite so fun). However, he is going to rush down to meet me and our friends and hopefully be there before midnight! I need to make the most of tonight and enjoying the drinks as after 9am tomorrow I can’t drink for a whole month, since I’m doing dry January

Of course talking about a new year and New Year’s Eve, you can’t avoid the age-old topic of resolutions, new beginnings, what do you want to achieve.

Personally, I don’t like setting resolutions as such as people always pick the same things lose weight, stop smoking, drink less, take up a new hobby etc. How often do people stick at them? A few weeks? Go into any gym and the first few weeks of January are swarmed with people having a workout or trying a class, then all of a sudden it starts to empty out again.

If I had to give a list of things I’d like to try and do in 2013 or achieve I guess I would have to say:

Keep up the exercise and try and improve my running

Keep working on getting in shape and lose lots more weight

Try more new things – such as more art/culture – ballet, opera, art, new books etc

Keep up the healthy eating/drinking as feel so much better for it (starting with Dry January tomorrow!)

Try and write more, perhaps looking into doing it more than just for fun

Get a house with my boyfriend (or at least be fully saved up together to get one)
Try and see friends more, especially those who don’t live so close

Quite a lot there, perhaps I better stop before I make my 2013 too hectic!

So, all that remains for me to say is have an amazing evening tonight whatever you choose to do and I wish you all a very Happy New Year!! Here’s to a very happy and healthy 2013.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Gotta love a bargain!

Today I went to the sales, I wasn't after much for a change. I'd got loads at Christmas I wanted/needed and oddly since that wardrobe clear out a few months back I have been a lot better with what I buy.

Today though I needed to go into the shops with my Mum to return some pyjamas I'd bought her so it was off to the sales for me.

I'd dragged myself back in the gym again this morning (after yesterday's 5k), I was so achey. Then when I got out of spinning today I was even worse, my quads were in agony!

The last thing I felt in the mood for was to go join everyone and their dog in Romford traipsing round the sales.

However I'm never able to resist a bargain and we ended up spending just under four hours there. Despite me wanting to kill every other person around me for either their rude ways or stupidity (read barging into me or stopping dead in front of me).

I took a couple of pics for you to see my little bargain buys, I didn't go too overboard for once. But my prize bargain has to be the bag I nabbed - I did my usual and kept picking out items not in the sale then I saw this bag. Lo and behold it had no ticket or tag on it.

The more I looked at it the more I loved it, so when I took it to the till for them to tell me the price I was nervous it was going to be too much. (Although to be honest I was in one of those moods where I may well have bought it regardless). Still they came back to the till and me and said it was originally £69 but was down to £34.50 in the sale!

Amazing! So I of course bought it and added it to my collection - navy blazer, ring, two jumpers, a diary, a hoodie for the gym and a dress/top for New Years Eve.

Add to that my new laptop my Mum has treated me to and I am one happy bunny!

Just need to get my broadband sorted now. Although using Windows 8 is going to be a fun learning curve!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Time for a change

Friday night and I'm sat on my sofa in my PJs and watching the Da Vinci Code film on TV.

You know what? It's lovely! After four days of food, drink, family and friends I'm well and truly ready for relaxing on my own and taking a break from excess.

I've been to the gym after a four day break and run a 5k and I've drunk water non stop all day to try and get me rehydrated again. Plus food wise I've had one weetabix for breakfast, an omelette for lunch and white fish, veg and mash for dinner. Oh and an after dinner snack with a low fat chocolate yoghurt.

As a result earlier on today I finally signed up to something I had been debating over for a couple of weeks. We all know in the first month of a new year people typically go on a detox of sorts. Well this time round I'm going to follow the crowd and do the same.

However I'm doing it for charity as part of Alcohol Concern's Dry January (check out

Yes for the month of January not a sip of alcohol will pass my lips. The challenge begins from 9am on Tuesday 1st January so I can still enjoy a drink on New Years Eve!

It's funny how times change and how something simple can cause you to think about things.

I first started thinking about dry January after talking to a friend at work and it launched a discussion about how much we all drink and how we get into patterns.

I finally a few weeks ago got into a pattern of exercising and eating healthily. A good pattern. One which I am determined to maintain moving forwards. I may have put on two pounds last week - and will no doubt put on weight after Christmas excess - but I'm planning to get back in shape and lose even more weight as we start to move into 2013.

However, like many people my age I am very much in a pattern of drinking too. I like a nice glass of wine to relax of an evening on occasion, I go for client lunches at work and consume alcohol, I go out with work colleagues after work for drinks and I enjoy nights out with friends where yet again yes I would drink.

Now don't get me wrong I wouldn't say I drink to excess constantly but like many people in my age bracket I do consume alcohol pretty regularly and it features a lot in my social and working life.

When talking this through and debating whether to do 'Dry January' we ended up laughing. How shocking is it people want to be sponsored for simply not having alcohol, how mad we need so long to decide if we can make it just one month without alcohol?!

You go for a meal you drink wine with it, you go out with friends you drink, you toast a special occasion you drink. Funnily enough the conversation also turned to hobbies and what we do in our spare time.

As has become apparent this year my primary hobbies of late are spinning, reading and writing my blog. I also enjoy the theatre (typically musicals nothing too heavy), attending music gigs, watching films at the cinema and travelling/going on holiday.

However I want to try more, I want to see new things and not just spend spare time going out drinking.

One of my friends at work agreed, but cringed as she insisted on taking me to an art gallery (can you believe I've never been?!) and realised one of the great things at her favourite one was their rooftop bar!

The more you think through things, the more these things become apparent.

So far so good though, I went to see a play a few weeks back (and have a selection booked up for 2013), I'm currently reading one of the classics by Charles Dicken, I've signed up for Dry January and I've just booked up to go to the ballet (my first ever time) next week. Let's see what other new experiences I can have...

It's time for a change.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Day : a short story

The snow is thick and glistening, the tree branches all sporting a powdery cover. Outside sits a perfect snowman, decorated with Dad's old scarf and hat. We rush inside giggling after another snowball fight, the white crystals shining in our now damp hair.

Inside it's toasty warm, tree lights twinkling and non-stop noise.

Children laughing, paper ripped open, as everyone rushes to find out what Santa's brought. Glasses chinking as the adults say cheers to the festivities. And that amazing smell as Mum puts the final touches to the sumptuous Christmas dinner.

There'll be succulent roast turkey, honey roasted parsnips, crisp yet fluffy roast potatoes, carrots, peas, creamy cauliflower cheese, squidgy stuffing balls, crunchy yorkshire puddings and my favourite of all. The little sausages wrapped in bacon - or as we call them pigs in blankets. Yummy!

Mum and Dad ruffle my hair and let me have 'just a little one' as they pour me my own tiny glass of sherry.

We cheer - and jump - as the shiny foil crackers are pulled and concentrate as we try to solve the puzzles that come from inside. Everyone smiling as we look at each other in our silly hats, all colours of the rainbow round the table. Our uncles and Grandpas boom with laughter as they read the print out jokes - the same as last years!

Everyone cheers as Mum walks in with the turkey on it's big platter plate, Aunties have already placed all the side dishes around the table for all to share.

Cutlery scraping, warnings of hot plates, food being dished up and dolloped on my plate. Hoping I'll get the ones I've been eyeing up in the dish.

My fingers are covered in gravy and cranberry sauce where I've picked up bits of meat and wiped my plate clean. I lick them all, one by one, savouring every last morsel. Each taste, every flavour, my favourite meal.

Then the dishes are replaced and the plates cleared as pudding arrives. Gasps and clapping as the brandy is poured and the pudding lit, the blue halo around it as it stays aflame, we all wonder for how long.

There's pudding and mince pies, trifle and cheesecake, and later Mum will reveal her cake she's been working on for so long, making sure it's just right.

Once we're done we get down from the table to go play by the tree with the toys we've received as adults munch on smelly cheese and crackers and sip strong liqueurs from crystal glasses.

More time for us to play as they move on to coffee and mints, nuts and more. Only occasional interruptions for batteries for toys or helping us put things together that prove too tricky.

And then later we play games, everyone wanting to win, splitting into teams. Shouts of accusations, people cheating and uproar and screeching as some are announced the winners.

The tree lights twinkling seem to start to blend into one, my belly full, my eyelids heavy. So tired. I think I start to fall asleep as I can hear people calling me. It's time to get up. Probably time to go and get in my cosy warm bed and be tucked up in that thick duvet. Too much excitement today.


"Come on lad, can you hear me?"

"What you doing out here again? They've warned you before. Come on mate, on you move, come on..."

His eyes adjust and the cold reality hits him hard like a punch to the gut. Then the cold hits him, icy, sharp, unforgiving. The smell, oh the smell, not a freshly roasted warm succulent turkey, oh no. Stale, dirt, rotten waste. His legs and arm ache from lying on a rock hard base, his trousers damp and scratchy.

The policeman gives him a helping hand to rise up. This is a nice one. Some of them can't bear to touch him. He knows.

Nearby a window holds a family sitting down to Christmas dinner, tucking in to their beautiful banquet before them, laughing, drinking, eating, smiling.

All oblivious to the young boy outside.

The young boy being picked off the floor from his makeshift home for the night, being led away by a policeman, being moved on, maybe if he's really lucky being taken to a shelter for the day.

And yet again Tommy realises it's Christmas Day, he's had that dream again. And yet again it's not come true.

Monday, 24 December 2012

It's Christmas Eve!!

So the inevitable happened. I put on weight.

Two pounds to be exact.

At first I was really upset and disappointed but after going back to sleep in a nice warm cosy bed I've come to just accept it. It's Christmas after all and it would have been pretty incredible to lose weight after consuming all that fattening food and alcohol!

The fact still remains, over a five week period I lost 13lbs which is not something to completely disregard I know.

So now I'm about to get ready to go meet friends for Christmas drinks and then head to my boyfriend's to enjoy food and fun with his family tonight. I've just had a lovely breakfast of choc au pain and eaten my last advent calendar chocolate.

It is Christmas after all!

Okay okay, so I'm not THAT relaxed, I've written off the next four days to festive food and drink. However I have drawn up a new planner for me to track my eating and exercise afterwards. It's all about the balance apparently...

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Final festive figures

Well here we are, Christmas Eve Eve and also the eve of my final weigh in before Christmas. The end of my six weeks of eating healthily and exercising.

In just six weeks I really feel I've changed my mindset considerably. Whether that be participating in more exercise and genuinely missing it when I am unable to go. Or how conscious I am now of exactly what I'm putting into my mouth.

Some may say I should have stopped at five weeks since I've had a busy week of eating and drinking for work related festivities. This week has included two big client lunches out, a lunch out, our work Christmas party and a personal Christmas meal and party. A total of four days of bad eating and alcohol and only three days in the gym - one 5k and two lots of spinning.

Admittedly I am dreading tomorrow morning and getting on those scales! I know losing 13lbs is a great achievement, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to lose more tomorrow for my final pre-Christmas weight.

The worst thing will be putting on weight. I really really hope that won't be the case.

Regardless, of course tomorrow is Christmas Eve and is the start of the true festivities with family and friends so I will be sure to enjoy myself.

I've found over the last few days I've been finding myself super full quickly from eating lots of food, so it'll be fun to see how much I can actually manage over the next few days. I'll give it a good go!

I'll be sure to update you either way, before or after my Christmas drinks with friends and the get together with my boyfriend's family.

One things for certain, this isn't a pre-Christmas fad and I will be working on getting my weight down and exercise levels up after the festive fun and as we move into 2013. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Getting into THAT dress

Tuesday 18th December was the date of our work Christmas party.

This date was the second day of the sixth week of my healthy eating/exercise plan I've been following. Monday was a client Christmas lunch involving lots of food (and a smidgen of alcohol). I knew Tuesday would mean some fattening food at lunch to 'line my stomach' and lots of alcohol in the evening.

After weighing myself Monday I knew I'd achieved a pleasing total weight loss of 13lbs over five weeks though so was hoping I'd be semi happy in whatever I chose to wear for the party.

Monday night I'd come home and planned my outfit. That was when I found THE dress.

Last year I purchased a silky, strapless, short, fitted, purple dress to wear for night's out. A bargain I'd obtained in the sales I couldn't wait to wear it.

Unfortunately for me I hadn't realised quite how fitted said dress was and it didn't really fit well at all. I could maybe get it on but it was so tight it showed every bulge and left me with little room to move my legs!

I decided - somewhat apprehensively - to take the dress out of the bag I'd hidden it away in. The dress had survived my wardrobe clearout a few months back (despite not ever having been worn for over 18 months). The reason being? It had become a target outfit.

You know an item of clothing you keep to try and encourage you when losing weight. THAT dress you will work to fit into.

Well last night I did just that. I managed to fit in THAT dress, comfortably in fact. This little silky purple number saw me receive quite a few compliments too which of course all ladies love!

So yeah it might not sound much, but to me this marks another milestone and made me feel proud. I may have missed out on work awards again, but as sad as it may sound, being able to wear this dress felt like an award in itself to me!

After yet another client lunch today (this time a huge banquet of Szechuan Chinese food) whether this item of clothing will fit again in the near future is another matter...

Right now after three 'days off' I admit I can't wait to get back in that gym tomorrow and get on the spinning bike! And also to 'indulge' in a nice healthy simple dinner at home. No alcohol, no fatty food, no super huge portions.

Whoever thought I'd see the day where I was looking forward to the healthy option??

Monday, 17 December 2012

An early Christmas present

Today week six of my healthy eating and exercise started.

This of course meant weigh-in day.

Last week or rather week five I managed five visits to the gym. Two lots of spinning, two 5ks and one running and x trainer mix.

It also involved two lunches out, a meal out (but eating off the diet menu), a three course home cooked meal for my parent's anniversary and some alcohol (well LOTS of alcohol on one of the days!)

Last night I went to bed feeling bloated and expecting to be disappointed this morning.

However I stepped on the scales and...I'd lost three pounds! This means a total weight loss of 13lbs in five weeks!

This also means I am now down to the lowest weight I achieved last time I managed to lose lots of weight back in 2010 and 2011.

I was so happy this morning, as sad as it may sound I felt like crying, I was so pleased with the results!

This week I've got two client lunches, my work Christmas party and a Christmas meal/party out with friends. Obviously this is going to mean lots of food and lots of booze.

I'd love to lose a pound this week to get my weight loss down to a whole stone in six weeks! However I'm not stupid, this week is going to push things and there's not much time to exercise!

If today is anything to go by I'm probably already putting the pounds back on. I've already packed my bag for spinning on Thursday to try work off some of the calories!

Today I went to Hix Mayfair. What a lovely meal! I started with Dorset snails with lardons and black pudding. Then moved on to hay-baked shoulder of lamb with new potatoes and curly kale. Lastly I indulged in the best chocolate melt in middle pudding I've ever tasted complete with homemade mint-choc ice cream.

The meal was delicious, but it's now five hours since I left the restaurant and I'm still stuffed! I even walked home from the station tonight to try and feel a bit more comfortable!

For now though I'm just going to enjoy my early Christmas present of losing so much weight and doing so well on my healthy eating and exercise. Let's just hope I feel a bit less full soon ready for tomorrow's fun and games!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

How many of our generation will celebrate a ruby wedding anniversary?

Today my parents celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary. That's forty years together. 40.

This makes me happy because it shows relationships can last and people can spend their whole lives together when they get married.

Now don't get me wrong I was bought up in a healthy happy family - my parents, grandparents and aunt and uncle all stayed together. I wasn't surrounded by divorce.

However it's as I've got older and I've felt like I'm surrounded by relationships not lasting and cheating a seemingly commonplace and acceptable behaviour.

So today I am happy for my parents and look forward to cooking them a nice meal and celebrating with them later today.

However, I also feel a touch sad at the fact something tells me they lasted this long since they are from an older generation and this isn't going to be something experienced much in my later years.

Since when did relationships seem to mean less, when was it decided it's easier to throw things away and start anew than work on things? How come so many people seem so laid back about cheating?

I used to be shocked when I heard about people I know splitting up because somebody cheated. Now? It still upsets me, but I almost expect it from some.

Yes if I'm honest it isn't what I'd planned - still being officially 'single' at the age of 30. I have a boyfriend of over seven years but we don't live together, we're not engaged or married. We don't have children together.

Don't worry I'm not about to freak my man out, he knows how I feel as I do him!!

One thing is though I trust him completely and we have a very trusting and healthy relationship I feel. It's all about give and take, we're realistic, we're best of friends. So no we've not had the big day or have a lovely house to show our friends round or have family over to, but together we're happy.

In this day and age if I'm honest I feel this is probably worth a whole lot more.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

In a spin

Wow. So today was an experience.

I had quite a hectic day at work - yet again. In the end I went on my lunchbreak at nearly half past two, but spent it in Costa enjoying a mocha (small and skinny of course!) and reading my Kindle.

It was so relaxing and totally helped me unwind - note to self: do this more often.

However, it was pretty busy when I got back and there was a potential client 'catastrophe' which meant I also ended up needing to stay later after work.

I was so looking forward to getting back in the gym tonight after my five day break and had put my name down for spinning.

So as time ticked on I started to feel disappointment at the fact it was pretty likely I was going to miss the class.

After eventually managing to get away - and constantly checking my work emails on my phone like a madwoman en route to the station - I rushed to get on a train.

I worked myself up into such a frenzy I arrived in the gym coughing and breathless and saw the spin teacher at reception. "Are there still bikes left??" I demanded in desperation (I'm not exaggerating this is the best way to describe my tone!)

He said yes and so I ran to the changing rooms and hurriedly rushed to get ready.

Hooray! I made it into the (ridiculously hot) spin studio towards the end of the first warm up track and tried to quickly adjust a bike in the half dark.

After quite a few jumps off to readjust things I finally got into things and participated fully in the class.

I know I'm pathetic to be this excited to have made my spinning class, but I've honestly missed the gym these last five days.

Knowing I've got lots of food and drink coming up towards the end of this week (and next) I'm also keen to get exercising to help burn some calories and keep my metabolism strong.

Now though I've had a yummy dinner, had a nice hot shower and am in my PJs watching trashy TV (Don't Tell The Bride payback program to be precise!)

Well and I've seen all my Christmas presents ordered online have arrived, so of course I've had to wrap and label those too! And the bus was due to take forever so I walked half the way home in the freezing cold! Can't be relaxing too much...

Monday, 10 December 2012

Week Five Begins

Hooray!! After a week of being ill (yes, yet again!) and only managing three times at the gym I was nervous about this morning's weigh in.

Coughing non stop and feeling like someone was standing on my chest I wasn't in the best state to exercise during the second half of week four.

Reluctantly I continued to rest rest rest as my boyfriend advised and not put my body through more strain by pushing too hard in the gym.

So I managed one spinning session, one 5k and then another evening's visit simply running for 20 minutes and going on the x trainer for 20 minutes. Oh and I did have a brisk 30 minutes walk on Sunday afternoon.

Granted I did eat healthily all week and didn't have any alcohol.

The result? Me stepping off the scales this morning with a big smile on my face - two pounds dropped.

So in four weeks I've managed to lose 10 pounds (or 4.5kgs) in weight! Hard work does pay off!

Now begins week five and the penultimate week of trying to get in shape before Christmas!

Week five is going to be a little tougher with three meals planned - a client lunch, a lunch with my Auntie (although the eatery does a healthier menu) and a celebratory meal with my parents (for their anniversary). All three will likely involve alcohol too.

Unfortunately I've still got my cough/cold so tonight I've taken yet another rest day. Now I need to get in that gym whenever I can and eat super healthy all the days I don't have eating out plans.

What's also spurred me on is realising I'm just three pounds away from my lowest achieved weight now.

I'd love to lose this in time for Christmas but obviously it's going to get tougher and tougher with party season upon us.

Week six already sees a client lunch, a work Christmas party, the following likely hungover day and a Christmas meal with friends. It's going to be tough to achieve weight loss that week!

For now I'm going to enjoy my success so far and look forward to celebrating that success over Christmas with lots of sweets and treats!! (Although I've already got my eye on some gym visits in between...)

Friday, 7 December 2012

Bookworm: Life... On A High by Nick Spalding

Wow. I started reading this book on my lunch break on Thursday and fast forward to Friday morning and I'd finished it.

Granted I'm not feeling well (again!) and so I've been resting up in bed, trying to get rid of these germs and so have been reading more than I would have.

This book was just what I needed (as well as medicine, lots of liquids and a warm cosy duvet!)

I started Mr Spalding's next offering after a recent disappointing read by another writer. I was really hoping to be entertained like last time.

This time the author is on flights to and from Australia and uses his time to tell the reader his opinions and more embarrassing and comical situations he's experienced.

I really enjoy the way Spalding writes, yes he might offend some with a few of his opinions, but I like the way he's open and honest.

The whole writing and 'talking to' the reader I must admit I find a tad cheesy at times. However the laid back style of writing makes a welcome change.

This is another book that makes you laugh and is an easy read. Pretty evident in how quickly I've read this ebook.

Good points
Honest style
Great to have a nose at other people's experiences and embarrassing moments!

Not so great
Lots of typos in this book which is a bug bear of mine
Sometimes the 'talking to' style is annoying

And...would you believe it after Tweeting about starting this book Mr Spalding finally retweeted me (how funny after yesterday's post!)

I've seen from the writer's previous Tweets that he's just finished writing the third in the Love...series which first introduced me to this author. Something tells me I'll be looking to download that on its release too...

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Bookworm: The Wedding Diaries by Sam Binnie

I finished reading this book last night before I went to sleep and was surprised to find I was at the end. It felt like the story just stopped.

Not currently engaged, about to go to any weddings, or planning my own, perhaps I'm not the ideal audience for this read.

The Wedding Diaries is a fictional piece based around the wedding 'diary' of fictional character Katherine 'Kiki' Carlow.

With the lead working in a publishing house, readers are treated to hear the wedding journey of both the main character and one of her clients.

Clearly this book isn't meant to be a serious piece of prose or hopes to win any writing awards any time soon, with this piece you expect a lighthearted, heartwarming, comical offering.

After recently reading two detective/thriller books back to back, both involving murders, I thought this might make a welcome change.

Did I get what I wanted? To be honest not really. I found the book badly written, the characters weren't that gripping and the story provided nothing new - girl goes all bridezilla and wants the world for her wedding day and then comes to realise what's more important in life.

At times I couldn't see what was meant to be funny and in parts the writing didn't make sense.

Perhaps this might be more suitable for someone planning their wedding? Possibly, although the 'to do lists' and sample wedding items included at the back of the book weren't particularly true to life. Knowing the experiences of friends and family when booking their special day I know how far in advance things need to be done, so felt details were unrealistic.

Good points
Some funny moments

Not so great
Expecting an 'easy to read' readers could be frustrated by the writing style which in fact makes it hard to read (why is any speech laid out like a script for example?)
Story doesn't really offer any surprises
Characters are pretty standard, nobody stands out or grips you

In case you haven't realised yet, no I wasn't a fan of this book. I'm off now to take on Nick Spalding's Life on a High...even if he never seems to retweet my nice comments on Twitter...

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

And so week four begins...

December begins and I've completed three weeks of healthy eating and exercise (with a couple of 'off day's in between).

After that three weeks I've managed to lose 8lbs in weight.

In three weeks I've exercised 16 times.

This has been split between nine sets of 5k and seven classes of spinning.

In completing my 5k on the gym treadmill I've taken over 2 minutes off my best time and taken my walking time down to 4 minutes.

Now week four begins and I've done one 5k (on Monday) and then tonight a 50 minutes spinning session.

I'm feeling really good for it so far and am so pleased with the results coming through every week.

Diet wise I feel like I'm much more on a wavelength/pattern and exercise is becoming fun again after shedding a few pounds.

Obviously now things are going to get even tougher, with 21 days/three weeks today until Christmas Day. This means colder weather, darker nights and party season - so more food and drink temptations!

Thankfully I've got my little plan of when I'm due to be going out and therefore will likely eat food that isn't that healthy and probably consume alcohol. The plan is around these events I keep strictly to my healthy eating and exercise.

So far this seems to be working and I'm happy sticking to it so I hope I can keep it up until Christmas.

I still feel I'm struggling to get a balance though, I had far too much alcohol on Saturday night and consumed pizza and ice cream on Sunday and admittedly I had big guilt issues with it.

I'm currently watching a BBC Three programme about fat, dieting, body image and weight loss and it couldn't be more relevant.

I've already identified with people on it and their eating/dieting behaviours and I'm learning interesting facts (and frankly shocking ones).

Apparently having alcohol can reduce your body's ability to burn fat by 70% This explains a hell of a lot!

For now I'm going to try and keep at it and fingers crossed there'll be another positive weight loss next week too!