2013 in review, Part 1: Home and Health

Back in January, I wrote this post, on the obligatory New Years resolutions and invited you all to participate by getting your own down. As we are almost half way through the year, I thought it was a good time to check in and see how I’m getting on with my goals. As it’s not quite the second half of the year I thought it might be a good time to restart the clocks on things we were aspiring to back then. Perhaps some of them no longer seem important to you and you want to discard them in favour of new plans, maybe you have achieved your goals. Either way, please do chip in and here’s my no holds barred resolutions in review…

1. Swear less. Ahem, not much progress on that one. As expected!

2. Be more tidy. I’d like to have the mother of all clear outs and spring clean our entire house…

I’m not sure we have progressed much with tidiness, but the clear out is well and truly on! In just a few weeks, my sister is moving in with us while she looks for a house locally, as she is relocating to Manchester. Cue us being forced to make serious headway with the spare room. Currently, the room has a wardrobe, chest of drawers and another chest, all full of ‘stuff’. All of that needs a new home so she can properly move in and make herself comfortable as it’s likely to be 3-4 months or more that she is with us. I’ve already started on my wardrobe (the theory being that if I’m going to empty my second wardrobe, it needs somewhere to go!) and I’m using this post as my inspiration. On the plus side, it’s a great excuse to finish decorating in there and I’ll be sharing more on that particular project very soon.

3. Eat healthier. I’ve refrained from ‘exercise more’ here as I’ll be getting back to my usual BMF routine, but I do need to kick my dietary habits into touch and try to streamline. Being comfortable in your own skin is great but when your clothes tell you you are most certainly not comfortable, it’s time to make some changes!

I refrained in January from saying that I wanted to go on a diet but shortly after I wrote that post I started Weight Watchers again in ernest, planning to try and lose a few pounds. By the end of January I was 6lbs down and lighter than I had been for over 12 months. I felt great but I hadn’t committed to a long term change or improved my exercise habits and the never ending winter, plus a skiing holiday, then our trip to South Africa saw me gain it all back (and some) and then do precisely nothing about it. Now I’m at the stage where I have thoughts about wanting to lose weight every single day. I’ve totally fallen off the BMF band wagon, not least because I want to slim down rather than bulk up and exercise is not featuring heavily (if at all,) in my schedule.

For one reason and another I’ve found myself looking at a lot of old photographs recently, from the last 5 year period. I realised that around 1-2years ago, I already felt heavy, but when I compare those to more recent pictures, I’m really unhappy with the way I look. On the flippant side, I frequently have to double check that my arm actually belongs to me in photo’s because I can’t believe how chubby it is, but at the other end of the spectrum, I even feel myself less confident in front of Pete as I wonder what he thinks of my less toned self.

Thank goodness, the photo’s have been a great motivator, plus my bridesmaid duties looming at the end of July, a hen do to look forward to (and hopefully look good at!) and Jess’s example as she shapes up for the wedding too. I now have a diet and exercise buddy which makes everything easier, have lost a couple of pounds already and took the plunge by buying Jillian Micheal’s 30 day Shred video to really tone up in a concerted effort. I know some of you have done it so I’ll be posting a review soon and let you know how it goes!

So wish me luck ladies, and please do go back to this post to check on any your shared or repost your resolutions and progress over the last 5 months. Hopefully we can all work them out together!


Image Credits: All prints by Daily Dishonesty available on Society6

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24 thoughts on “2013 in review, Part 1: Home and Health

  1. If it makes you feel any better (and I hope it does!), I would absolutely love to look as slim and wonderful as you do on your blog photos. Hopefully it’s just the way you feel, not that you actually believe you’re ‘chubby’. Us women need to be a bit nicer to ourselves, I think!

  2. Have a look at the workouts on here while you wait for your Shred DVD….
    http://www.zuzkalight.com or http://warriorz.us/ (I use the 2nd site as I like how it is organised)
    Intense workouts but only short, many are as little as 10 minutes so I know I can always fit one into my daily routine. I’ve been doing them for the last couple of months and I have slimmed down (without changing my diet), improved my balance and agility, and increased my strength without bulking up. I love how I am working to beat my own times, rather than keeping up with a trainer on a dvd (I find I don’t push myself hard enough to improve with dvds). I just wouldn’t recommend starting on number 1 as that one is one of the toughest!

    I do also love the Jillian Michaels dvds, I just like to mix my workouts as I get bored so easily!


  3. Oh, Rebecca, you sound a bit glum about your weight 🙁

    You are always so bright and positive and joyful, I really hope you are OK. You know that you can always lose the weight (what weight???), it will come off the moment you decide it’s going to- you’re so strong and beautiful at any size (you look pretty HAWT now tbh).

    A word of caution about Jillian- I know lots of people LOVE her, but I did myself a mischief working out to her DVD- the problem is there’s nobody in the room making sure you don’t hurt yourself. Just go steady ladies!

    In my own goals, I started the year ginormous after a month of eating my way around Mexico. I’ve moved to the middle of nowhere- there’s no gym, no classes, no nothing for miles. So I swore I would learn to run. I’ve now lost 4kg, run a sub 55 minute 10k race and am in training for a half marathon. When I started I could not run around the lanes that form a loop around the house- only 4km. The first time took me 37 minutes. I did that loop last week and it took me 19. I always hated running, I made excuses for myself (old rugby injuries, bad back etc), but now that I run three times a week I love it. Never been happier with my body- not because it’s thinner (although it is) but because it can carry me miles, up and down hills, steady or fast. Running is great because you can just pop your trainers on and go- half an hour later, an hour later, you are done and you’re home!

    Sorry for this long post- I’ve got a bit evangelical about running around! My old PE teachers would be shocked. R, I really hope you’re ok- does Pete know how you feel? I’m sure he will tell you (like we’re telling you) that you’re being daft and look gorgeous- I am ALWAYS envious of you in your fashion posts- you look incredible! xxxxx

  4. First of all Rebecca I wanted to add my voice to the others above to insist that you look amazing in the recent SA pics and I really hope you aren’t getting too stressed about your weight/size -being fit and healthy is important of course but not to the point of obsession!! (you don’t need me to tell you that but a bit of positive reinforcement never does any harm!!)

    Secondly I could’ve sworn I’d commented on the New Years resolutions post but now can’t find my comment there -weird!! Anyway, I know my biggest one was to try and get fitter with the aim of not just surviving, but enjoying, the Inca Trail which I am doing next month and I am pretty pleased with how that is going. As one step along the way I’ve signed up to join the AOW ladies to do the Race for Life at the end of this month and so am now training for that -like Lucy above I always hated running and thought I ‘couldn’t do it’ but having started the feeling of achievement is immense!! I definitely do feel more toned but it’s mainly just knowing my body is stronger and fitter 😉

    My other big resolution was to tick off some more of the places on my must-see list and I’m definitely doing that!! I spent the most amazing 6 weeks in Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos in Jan/Feb and as I mentioned above am off to South America in just a few weeks to visit Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Peru and Bolivia. Currently planning the third trip of the year in around October to east coast America 😉

  5. I kind of wish I had commented or made some resolutions to look back on now but at the time, I decided not to set any silly goals as I knew it would end up in disappointment had I not managed them – which I never seem to do. It all goes well for the first couple of months and then goes way off track come March!

    However, had I made a resolution, it would probably be to get more organised in life / household etc. I am usually quite an organised person but sometimes being busy takes over and then I feel like my head is all over the place. Anyway, since I found out in February that my husband and I are expecting our first baby, we have made significant changes to the way our house / filing / cupboards etc are organised. We’ve still got a bit to do but my goodness – what a difference, not only to my house but to my mind! Like you Rebecca, the spare room is next on the agenda so that we can make room for the Nursery project!


  6. I didn’t write any on that post but my resolutions were to be true to me, feel better and be healthier and to sort out my finances (and a few other private resolutions).

    Being true to who I am has been interesting. And HARD. Sorting out my finances is taking forever and being fitter and healthier whilst being true has meant I had to face up to my weight, I like you, am in no way “big” but am bigger than I am used to being which feels a bit odd, and means my clothes don’t fit. I’m cracking on with that.

    Good luck with the declutter – I need to clear out my wardrobe but keep putting it off. I know no one really needs 6 blue dresses but how do I choose between them? I have no idea? I’ll never be one of those people with a capsule wardrobe though…

  7. What is it with arms in photos!!? I’m glad I’m not the only one. I saw a picture of myself recently and was mortified at the size of my arm :-0

    I can totally relate to this post, since hitting the big 3-0 I’ve realised that I need to put a lot more work in to keep trim and toned and how easy it is to put on a few pounds here and there. You’re not alone….


  8. You really don’t look in the slightest bit like you have any weight to lose in your recent pics but I know it’s all about how you feel in your skin.

    I lost the exercise bug after our holiday in Thailand, bereavement, work stress and university work meant I stopped checking what I was putting in my mouth and also stopped exercising. I then started running again in April but two weeks in pushed it too far and got tendonitis in my knee which was so sore and resulted in a strict six period of not doing anything strenuous.
    So the past few weeks I have made such a big effort to get myself to the gym and because I can’t seem to find time to go every day I go three times a week but for two hours or more. I do an hour of cardio which I have started by running gently and doing some uphill running work which I am really pleased with. I then go on to doing twenty mins super high incline walking which really burns the old legs and bum and burns as many cals as the running gently!

    I have started doing a lot of resistance work in the hopes of toning up and burning more fat but in the back of my mind I am worried about the bulk. A trainer once told me if you stick to a reasonable weight with more reps rather than lots of weight and less reps it should tone rather than beef up….hope that’s true! I also do a lot of leg presses, squats, lunges and pilates type moves with some dumb bells. I am so motivated and am only three weeks in and seeing results so I hope I can keep it up.

    Diet wise, I tried changing things round rather than cutting all things out, so I now mainly have salads for lunch, lots of fruit for breakfast and then instead of potatoes, bread or pasta have started having Bulgar wheat, couscous and quinoa with meat/fish and salads. I feel so much better tummy wise, there is no bloat and I have lost four pounds so far. I need to lose a stone and a bit so quite a way to go.

    Rebecca I did W.W. and lost three stones a few years ago but have since found it harder to stick to and the constant counting things bugged me.

    Sorry for the looooong post! xx

  9. I always planned to comment on your NY post but was feeling a bit fed up at the time and the thought of resolutions was stressing me out a little! My main resolution was to pick myself up after a rubbish 2012 and get back on the horse! I am maybe half way there but am planning a move to Manchester at the end of the year and planning for that is helping a lot with my enthusiasm 🙂 Otherwise I am looking for travel inspiration for 2 weeks in September. Somewhere in Italy with culture, amazing food and wine, good exploring and nice beaches would be the dream. Agree you look fab Rebecca but I also rely on my clothes to tell me if I need to get back to it and am right there with you at the moment! Will be purchasing the Shred DVD on everyone’s recommendation!

  10. Oooh Louise, go to Tuscany. Viareggio has gorgeous beaches, Florence, San gimigiano have the culture and you will get amazing food all round! Sounds like an amazing holiday you have planned!

  11. Hi every one! Ah, you’re all very kind to say I’m looking fine… and I really am fine too – don’t worry, I’m not miserable and obsessing over my weight! I’m just not fitting my clothes how I would like, and feeling very wobbly. I used to be as confident with my clothes on or off. Now I prefer them on!

    Lucy – The Shred has been dispatched! can’t wait but will look at your links int he meantime – no time to waste!
    Lucy S – Way to go on the running – I do run occasionally too, but I am terrible at keeping at it. I think I’ll need to intersperse the DVD with runs though for cardio. I’m hoping that I’ll already have the technique to prevent injury for the DVD as it’s very similar to stuff I have done a lot before. Fingers crossed.
    Anita – I have had a few comments that keep deleting themselves despite me reinstating them – it might have been that? I have much admiration for your mission – I’ve been doing similar myself really with all the holiday’s and it’s fab isn’t it? 🙂
    SarahL – Congrats on the baby and send in some pics of your nursery!
    Siobhan – Sounds like you’re doing well keep going!
    Violet&Rose – I know. Must. Do. More. arm exercises!

  12. Just for the record, I think you look ruddy amazing.

    but you’re right – if you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin something’s got to change! It’s good you’ve got a plan and goals to strive towards.

    I run and train everyday, always have and always will, but recently I’ve become less conscious about what’s going in my mouth. Starting a LDR so soon after getting married has left me rather blue and cake seemed to be the answer. Last week I realised that I hate how I look after seeing some rather horrific photos (including some wedding pictures), which is kinda fueling my blues, so decided to make a drastic change.

    I used to be on a paleo diet when I was competing, so I’m back to that. I’m back to lifting weights, just how I used to before I got so down. I hope that making changes and doing what I used to do will make me feel how I used to feel.
    I have a target to lose 10kg and 10% body fat, and hopefully compete again this winter. I race better when I feel good about myself! 🙂

    Good luck R! Looking forwards to hearing what this Shred thing is like!


      • Rachie – I love paleo, but as I currently live alone it’s very easy to manage my meals and diet. I can point you towards lots of interesting info if you want to email me (laura @ themrsmakes . com). My husband isn’t on it, he loves his carbs, whereas I use it mainly to ‘cut up’ when I’m weightlifting or to make a certain weight for a competition (I run and row)…which isn’t to everyone’s tastes! You can, however, take an adapted approach rather than my strict one and enjoy things in moderation. I’d be happy to advise! 🙂 x

  13. I’m with everyone! You look amazing! Its funny how your perspective of your weight changes through out your life. Now i’m preggo i do look back on my photos especially those in the past couple of years and think what was i worrying about!! And if i can get back to looking like that post preganancy i’ll be happy!

    Slightly worrying about how much effort it will take to lose the weight although i have to say i have taken my foot off the gas during pregnancy and definitely allow myself more croissants and chocolate! (however there is no booze so maybe it all balances out!!) I am definitely aware i need to get back to my normal regime of being relatively strict after baby is born! (although perhaps not for a few months!)

    Why is weight always such an emotive topic? 🙂
    Rachie xo

  14. hey lady, I don’t think I even need to say it but yep you have nothing to worry about how you look. I’m, the worst advice giver ever though as I too have been feeling the same and yo-yo-ing up and down with my weight. Too much enjoying myself with meals out and bottles of wine with my man. Which at the time are great but post-30 my body is much quicker to pile on the pounds and much harder to get rid of. I stupidly tried various diets, atkins, dukan etc. I lost loads (8-9lb at a time) and within 2 weeks of stopping had put it all back on and then some, with each other time getting harder to shift the weight. So I decided to ditch the diet and just get back to my healthy eating mentality, lo and behold I’ve lost a few pounds and they’re staying off. **Slaps self across face. Doh.

    I’m with a few up there who didn’t make firm / public resolutions at new year, for fear of setting myself up for a fall. One thing I did make public was my plans to get organised in order to make my life a little less chaotic / more streamlined. 6-month check-in says so far so good.

    The wardrobe clearout was my main bugbear – I was completely ruthless and got rid of about 50% of what was lurking in drawers and wardrobes before my home exploded. In the main it’s been fantastic, making me wear things I’d forgotten about, bringing the fun back into planning outfits and making me think twice too about new purchases. Mostly I haven’t missed any of the stuff I threw away. Except this week when I came to pack for my summer holidays and realised I’d thrown away ALL my strappy heels that the shops are now full of. Double doh!!

    Everything else has worked for me too, I’ve cut my social media down by about 70%, which has been great for the soul and forced myself to not work 24/7 on my fledgling business, giving myself set working hours, no more burning the midnight oil. The planned meals thing now happens religiously too…we’ve saved about £150/month on our food shop by doing this. Budgeted in other areas too with a specific amount for going out / treats / clothes shopping and of course savings allocated per month.

    One thing I’ve been royally crap at though is actually getting out and seeing people. That’s my plan for the second half of the year, to socialise more with friends, not just my partner or family, and see more of the world.

    Michelle xx

  15. I was another one who didn’t make any official resolutions this year – mainly because I was 36 weeks pregnant at the time and couldn’t see beyond having a baby.

    For the past four years or so I have always intended to get fit, start exercising regularly and just generally be a bit healthier. Despite the good intentions that’s never really happened – I’ve always liked the idea of it, but the reality has always been another matter!

    This year though it’s actually happened (well ish). Obviously I couldn’t start exercising for a good few weeks after having my daughter, and I’ve been taking more of a tortoise than a hare approach to it, but for the first time ever I actually miss exercising when I don’t do it. So I can fit it in with minimal effort I’ve got a cross trainer in the spare room (although I do admit it’s a bloomin’ eyesore!!), so once Bren gets home he’s in charge of baby so I can have half an hour to myself three or so times a week. It’s clearly working as I’ve lost two stone in just under four months, and even better I have more energy than ever before! I’ve still got the stubborn last half a stone or so to go, and then it’s onto toning. I have a feeling that’s going to take REAL effort on my part, so if anyone has any advice please do pass it my way!

    One thing I’ve also found is that exercise goes hand in hand with good eating for me. I actually now find myself looking at things and thinking ‘jesus that twix would take me fecking ages to burn off I think I’ll have a banana instead’. That said, there are (many!) times where I ‘earn’ my treats by doing some exercise – even if it’s just going on a good long walk with the buggy.

    But, as I said on twitter, thank you so much for posting this today. For the last couple of weeks I’ve told myself I’ve been too busy to exercise and have been feeling really crap about it and my body generally. This has given me the kick I need to fit in a quick session while Olive is having her afternoon nap, so even better I get a whole free evening with hubby when he gets home too 🙂


  16. Thanks again everybody. I’ve been back on WW this week (I’m a firm believer that exercise needs dietary adaptations too) and have already lost 2lbs so I’m feel motivated to carry on and pleased with myself 🙂

    Good luck to everyone else who is trying to shift a few pounds or tone up! x

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