Social Icons

вторник, 28 февраля 2017 г.

Fabulous gets fit!

Web editor and exercise-phobe Phoebe gives Frame’s bootcamp a go...

Will Phoebe be getting on her bike and embracing exercise like Frame's Joan?

I hate exercise. There, I've said it. The very thought of putting on a tracksuit and going for a run or hitting the gym makes me break out in a cold sweat. I have trainers in a box in my wardrobe which have never actually been on my feet. However, I know that if I want to fit into anything in my wardrobe after Christmas and look after my health long-term, I'm going to have to get over my exercise phobia and get moving.
And I think I've found a solution - Frame's Emergency Bootcamp. Now a bootcamp might seem a little extreme for someone who only ever breaks into a jog to catch the nightbus home after a late night, but I think it could be just what I need. Plus it's not a scary military-style bootcamp; it's held at the uber-trendy Frame studios in Shoreditch, east London.
The Emergency Bootcamp is designed for people who are short of time and need results fast, so I'm in for a gruelling-sounding two weeks of exercise classes. But at least they sound fun - everything from 'Bend it Like Barbie' to 'Jane Fonda Tribute' is on offer - enough even to tempt the laziest girl off the sofa (ie, me).
Bootcamp begins on January 4 and I'll be blogging every day on to keep you up to date with my progress. In the meantime, I'll be making the most of my last few days of laziness and gluttony over the festive season. Merry Christmas everyone!
Walk this way if you want to get fit...
So I haven't actually started exercising yet, but this morning saw me braving the icy pavements of Shoreditch to pay my first visit to Frame for my initial consultation.
Next stop - the mildly humiliating weigh-in on the metaboliser machine. This scary contraption takes all sorts of readings to tell you how much of your body is made up of fat, muscle, water and bone. The verdict? I'm basically all fat and bone - mortifying!
I'm also quite dehydrated and carry more weight on my lower half, but it's not all bad news - my vital organs (heart, lungs, kidneys) don't have much fat around them - which is a good thing. One other thing in my favour is that I don't smoke, so even though I'm seriously unfit, my lung capacity isn't too bad!
As predicted, I've put on a few pounds over the Christmas holidays (that'll be the whole selection box I ate on Boxing Day, then), but I feel confident! The aim over the next two weeks, apart from squeezing into my skinny jeans again, is to reduce my metabolic age (a measurement of how efficiently your body converts calories into energy), which shockingly is 44 years (I'm 29!), plus increase the proportion of muscle in my body and tone up some of my more flabby parts too!
Here are the stats, and my targets. Keep your fingers crossed for me and log on tomorrow to find out how the first dreaded exercise class goes...
VITAL STATISTICS:Metabolic Age: 44
Height: 5ft 4
Weight: 9st 12lb
Waist: 29 inches
Hips: 42 inches
Bust: 34 inches
Dress size: 10-12
Body Fat: 37.4% (healthy is 21 - 33%)
Water: 46.2% (healthy is between 45 - 60%)
TARGET:Metabolic Age: 29
Weight: 9st 6lb
Waist: 27 inches
Hips: 40 inches
Bust: 34 inches
Dress size: 10
Body Fat: 33%
Water: 50%
This morning was my first bootcamp class and I wanted to cry when I dragged myself out of bed and into my workout gear (an ancient pair of jogging bottoms and a tatty T-shirt). But I made it to the studio and before I knew it, I was standing on my very own mini trampoline, performing various jumps and twists and trying not to bounce off it into a wall!
Pumping house music and our brilliantly hyper instructor Joan Murphy kept the class' spirits up (I didn't quite manage to sing along to Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl, but I mustered a smile through gritted teeth). Even though I thought I might pass out or throw up several times during the half hour class, I made it to the end intact! We did some stretches (which hurt - I am not remotely flexible) and that was it - bootcamp done for the day.
Doing an early morning class might be brutal, but at least it gets it out of the way and although I don't quite believe the people who say exercise gives them more energy, that might change over the next few days as I start to get fitter - hopefully!
About to step onto the Vibe machine for the first time...
It felt a bit easier to get up this morning, but struggling through the icy snow to my first ever Vibe class wasn't exactly a fun experience! Luckily, once I was there and being introduced to the scary-looking contraption by my instructor, Naomi, I soon got into the swing of things.
The Vibe machine is like a Power Plate - you stand on a small platform perform various exercises while the machine vibrates beneath - it's meant to increase the effectiveness of your exercises and give you a more intense workout. I did squats, lunges, sit-ups, press-ups and boxing - while my whole body was buzzing and vibrating in a rather strange - but nice - way!
After 25 minutes of pain, I gave up completely, whining "I can't do it, it's too hard!" at my instructor, Naomi. But then came the fun part - you get to lie on the machine and let it massage your aching muscles - cool!
I can't say I'm quite enjoying this exercise lark just yet, but the fact that each session is only half an hour makes it just about bearable, and after discovering my shocking metabolic age (44!) I know I need to commit to getting fit for the sake of my health. The lazy years are officialy OVER.
I'm starting to feel like a proper fitness fanatic!
Today, every single part of me hurts. Muscles I didn't even know I had have been used for the first time and my body is protesting. I can barely walk, let alone work out, so how on earth am I going to manage another Vibe class tonight?
All I can say is, if after two weeks of this, if I haven't toned up and improved my fitness (and dropped a few pounds), I am going to be really disappointed!
Shock horror: last night's Vibe class was actually fun and today I don't feel too bad at all! Maybe those lazy muscles are finally getting used to being worked and I might actually (gasp) be getting fitter. The true test will be tonight, when I do two classes back to back - cardio and another Vibe session.
I'm also trying really hard to stick to a healthy diet - no carbs in the evening, just grilled chicken or fish with vegetables, and soup for lunch. I've become slightly obsessed with rye bread which is a healthy alternative to normal wheat bread but I'm missing wine and cheese. I have been allowing myself the odd treat (did you know there are 69 calories in a Ferrero Rocher?!) and the weird thing is, when I would have easily scoffed four chocs in a row without thinking about it, now just the one feels really satisfying. Perhaps my gluttony is finally under control!

понедельник, 27 февраля 2017 г.

The never be hungry diet! Fed up of your diets being sabotaged by hunger?

Follow our exclusive weight-loss plan, and curb those naughty food cravings.

Do you start diets full of enthusiasm, positivity and dreams of a Cameron Diaz-esque body - only to end up, well... hungry? A rumbling tummy is one of the most common complaints of people trying to shed excess pounds. And those hunger pangs not only make you feel miserable, they can also ruin your weight-loss plans.
"When you go hungry, your body thinks there's a food shortage, so your metabolism - the body system that governs how quickly you burn calories - slows down and you start to burn less energy," explains Bridget Benelam, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation.
But all is not lost. Scientists have developed a successful dieting formula that won't leave you with that empty belly feeling. It's all down to the discovery of two unsexy-sounding things: energy density and satiety.
"Energy density (ED) is how many calories there are per gram of different foods," explains Bridget. "And satiety is the feeling of fullness we get after eating, which stops us reaching for calorific treats."
The latest evidence suggests that the higher the energy density of the foods you eat, the less satiety you'll feel, and therefore the more likely you are to snack. Likewise, the lower the energy density of the foods, the more satisfied you feel after eating - so it's bye-bye to gorging on biscuits.
Follow our diet for four weeks and you could lose up to half a stone. And if you continue the plan as part of a healthy lifestyle, you'll continue to lose weight safely and slowly, and will therefore stay slim forever - easy!


This plan is based mainly around foods with a low energy density (1.5 calories per gram or less), with just a few medium density ones included, and hardly any high density foods. Choose one breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each day, and drink 1/2pt (300ml) skimmed milk a day (you can use in cups of tea), in addition to any milk in the menus.

BREAKFASTS: Approx 300 calories

  • 1 poached egg, 2 slices lean ham and 2 grilled tomatoes, halved, served on a slice of wholemeal toast (no butter or margarine).
  • 40g bowl of sugar-free flaked cereal (eg cornflakes) with skimmed milk, topped with a sliced apple.
  • 100g low-fat plain yoghurt topped with a handful of frozen berries, 1tbsp crunchy oat cereal and 1tsp honey.
  • 1/2 grapefruit, plus a bowl of porridge made with 30g oats, 125ml skimmed milk and 1tsp brown sugar.
  • 4 rice cakes each spread with tsp low-fat spread and a thin layer of Marmite. Plus 1 banana.
  • 2 Shredded Wheats with 125ml skimmed milk and 1 nectarine.

LUNCHES: Approx 400 calories

  • 300ml minestrone soup, plus a salad made with 3tbsp canned chickpeas, 6 cherry tomatoes and unlimited rocket leaves, dressed with balsamic vinegar or a low-fat dressing of your choice (no oil).
  • One wholemeal pitta filled with 80g tuna in water, drained, with red pepper, celery and lettuce, 1/2tbsp low-fat mayo and mustard to taste. Plus 1 banana and 1 plain digestive biscuit.
  • 300ml carrot and coriander (or other vegetable) soup with a slice of wholemeal toast, served with 2tbsp reduced-fat houmous.
  • Medium baked potato with 80g cooked skinless chicken and 2 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained. Limitless green salad (no dressing).
  • Small can baked beans on a slice of wholemeal toast (no butter or margarine). Plus a bowl of fresh fruit salad.
  • 2 slices wholemeal bread sandwiched with 2tsp reduced-fat mayo, a small, skinless, sliced chicken breast and as much green salad as you can pack in. Plus 1 small pot low-fat fruit yoghurt and 1 large slice cantaloupe melon.

DINNERS: Approx 450 calories

  • Large handful of any type of veg, stir-fried in 1tbsp olive oil. Add a handful of wholewheat noodles and season with a little soy sauce.
  • Spaghetti Bolognese made with 50g lean minced beef, half a tin of tomatoes, and plenty of onions, carrots, celery and red pepper to bulk it out. Serve with 75g (dry weight) wholewheat spaghetti.
  • One fillet white fish (any type), grilled and served with half a tin ratatouille and 4tbsp brown rice.
  • 200g tomatoes, 1 large onion and 200g baby new potatoes chopped and oven-roasted in 1tbsp olive oil. Serve with one cooked skinless chicken breast and undressed green leaves.
  • Grilled salmon fillet (raw weight 125g) served with 4 boiled potatoes in their skins, plus a large rocket salad and 6 baby tomatoes drizzled with 2tsp olive oil.
  • Stir-fry a red pepper and half an onion in 1tsp olive oil. Mix with 80g roasted chicken breast strips. Wrap in a large wholewheat tortilla with 1/2tbsp low-fat sour cream and 1/2tbsp guacamole.

SNACKS: Approx 200 calories

  • 1 x 35g Snack-A-Jacks Popcorn and an apple.
  • 55g pot of chocolate mousse (not low-fat) and a couple of plums.
  • A bowl of chopped fruit salad with a 1tbsp (heaped) squirty cream and a handful of crumbled meringue.
  • 1 chocolate digestive and 1 plain digestive biscuit.
  • A pear, an apple and a handful of blueberries.

Diet pills and saving pocket money for cosmetic surgery

Eating disorders at eight, cosmetic surgery at 14 – today’s teenagers are riddled with insecurities. In painfully honest interviews, these four girls talk about a shocking world of group starvation, diet pills and saving pocket money for cosmetic surgery

'I can't wait to have surgery'
Misha Patterson, 14, is from Gloucester. She's 5ft 3in and weighs 8st. She says: "When I turn 18, the first thing I'm going to do is have a nose job. I hate my nose - it's just too big for my face. People make nasty comments about it and I always feel like strangers are staring at it.
I'm already saving £15 a week from my paper round to make sure I can afford to have cosmetic surgery as soon as I'm old enough. I dream about having a little button nose like Lily Allen's, but until then all I can do is use make-up to try to disguise it. Every day, I spend half an hour applying blusher in a bid to make it look thinner.
My mum doesn't think I need surgery, but I've made up my mind. These days, cosmetic surgery is no big deal. What's worse is having flaws. I'm a size 8, but I've got chunky legs and my face is too chubby. I'm not interested in finding a boyfriend yet, but I worry that when the time does eventually come, all the boys will think I'm ugly. They see the same airbrushed photos of celebrities that girls do and they expect us to look just like them.

"I'm sure boys think I'm ugly"
We did a project on body image at school recently and a group of boys were asked whether they prefer natural or fake-looking girls. All of them admitted that they would rather have a fake-looking girlfriend, because at least then she would be 'perfect'. The girls in my class were really shocked at this. We like the fake look, but none of us thought the boys would, too. How are any of us supposed to feel body-confident when we hear horrible things like that?"
Misha's mum, Dawn, 51, says: "I wish Misha felt happy whenever she looked at herself in the mirror. She's such a gorgeous girl and she doesn't need any cosmetic surgery. I hate the thought of her having any procedures. I hope the self-loathing is just a phase she's going through and that she'll grow out of her insecurities sometime very soon."

Bethan Pool saves her money for tooth veneer

'All my friends are prettier than me'
Bethan Pool, 15, is from Horsforth, Leeds. She is 5ft 4in and weighs 8st 5lb. She says: "I believe you have to be beautiful and slim to be successful. Most famous people are known for their looks first and talent second. Even at school it's the pretty girls who are always the most popular.
Mum says I'm being ridiculous and that no one's perfect - but Cheryl Cole and Lily Cole are.
I'd also like to get hair extensions, a nose job and liposuction on my fat tummy, as well as cosmetic surgery to get rid of my chubby cheeks. My friends and I constantly talk about the way we look. I usually moan to them about my teeth, eczema and my short legs. The worse thing is, my friends are all taller, slimmer and more attractive than I am, so if they're criticising themselves for being fat and ugly, what does that make me?
We won't eat in front of each other. If someone has an apple or a cereal bar at lunch, then says: 'I shouldn't have eaten that,' we all think: 'She's thinner than me, so that means I shouldn't eat at all.' The only time we eat properly is at home. We could never go out for dinner at a restaurant together because we'd all end up just ordering plates of carrots.
My main problem is my teeth. They're yellow and wonky. I try not to smile in front of people or for photos, and I hide my mouth with my hand as much as possible whenever I'm speaking.
I don't have a boyfriend at the moment - I'm far too self-conscious to even talk to a boy, let alone date one! My mum's always telling me I'm being silly, and that I've got nothing to worry about, but I don't believe her.
I get £10 a week pocket money and I'm trying to save most of it so that I can afford to have veneers on my teeth. I've read that celebrities have them to make their smiles beautiful. As soon as I'm old enough, I'm getting some. I can't wait to start making myself look perfect."
Bethan's mum, Sian, 46, says: "I would much rather that Bethan was saving up her pocket money to be able to afford something like a trip around the world or her first car than veneers for her teeth. I hope she'll soon start to realise that there are more important things to spend your money on than having a smile like Cheryl Cole. Bethan needs to start believing how beautiful she is and begin enjoying life, instead of dwelling on these unhealthy hang-ups."

Leanne Harvey hates her hips
'I want to chisel my hips off'
Leanne Harvey (below), 15, from Chelmsford, is 5ft 5in and weighs 9st 7lb. She says: "If someone asked me which bit of my body I dislike, I'd say: 'All of it!' I've got a long list of things I'd love to change, including the flabby bits at the tops of my arms, my short legs and my nose. But the thing that bothers me the most is my hips.
I'm a size 10 on the bottom, but my hips are wide and, although I've tried dieting and exercising, I can't lose my pear shape. I'm convinced people stare at me because of it.
I used to skip PE at school because I didn't want to wear shorts. Then the school called my parents and I had to explain myself. It was embarrassing, but nothing compared to how I felt in my shorts.
My body worries have affected my social life, too. While friends go to parties, I stay at home or see my boyfriend. He says I'm pretty and have a good body, but I don't believe him.
Seeing pictures of celebrities sparked off my body issues. I can't help but compare myself and feel jealous that I don't look as good. I know they're often airbrushed, but even when you see them photographed in bikinis on holiday they look lovely.
I often wish I could chisel my hips off. When I'm 18, I'm going to have liposuction and once I get wrinkly, I'll try Botox. I'm convinced my life will be better after surgery - I'll be happier and more confident. I know things can go wrong with cosmetic surgery, but everything comes with a risk. The only thing that would hold me back is the cost. But I'm so desperate for Jennifer Aniston's body, I won't be happy until I have it."
Leanne's mum, Marion, 53, says: "Leanne has unrealistic expectations about how she should look. She compares herself to celebrities and I think she's very influenced by them. She's often late for school because she's doing her make-up. I don't want her education to suffer because of the time she's spending on her appearance. For now, I can say 'no' when she says she wants surgery. But I'm worried about what's going to happen when she's 18."

Emma Burns won Miss Teen Sunderland
'I get bullied for being fat'
Emma Burns, 14, is from Sunderland. She's 5ft 6in and weighs 9st. She says: "I've always loved dressing up and putting make-up on. Last year, I entered the Miss Teen Sunderland beauty pageant. But while I loved the catwalk, behind the scenes I was really self-conscious.
I'm a size 12, but I felt like the fattest girl in the competition. When the other contestants looked me up and down I wanted to cry. All I could think about was how everyone was probably talking about how ugly I was.
I've been teased about my weight for the last year. I was really skinny until the age of 11, when I gradually started putting on weight. A few months ago, a boy told me I was obese, which really upset me.
I've tried eating healthily, counting calories, detox regimes and even herbal diet pills, but none of it's worked. I went to the gym three times a week, but only lost about 5lb, and I put it back on as soon as I stopped going.
My friends and I believe looks and fame go hand in hand. We love Kate Moss and Cheryl Cole and want lives like theirs. I know I'd be happier if I was a size 8.
Amazingly, I won Miss Teen Sunderland, and now I'm through to the finals of Mini Miss UK. I entered in the hope it would give me confidence, and those few minutes on stage were the only time I've ever felt happy about the way I look."
Emma's mum, Michelle, 40, says: "I hoped winning Miss Teen Sunderland would make Emma realise how lovely she is and stop her worrying about her weight. It hasn't. She sees size-zero celebrities and thinks you have to be like that to be beautiful and successful. But you should just be yourself."
Why are our children so worried about how they look?
Clinical psychologist Dr Helen Nightingale helps teens with body-image issues. She says: "These days, there are many factors affecting teenagers' body image, including adverts and celebrities. And because they identify with their peers, they won't listen to reassurance from Mum. Kids today also set unrealistically high standards. So when they see people 'fixing' their bodies, they want to as well. If parents are worried that their children are becoming obsessed with their looks, they should find ways to help redirect their thoughts. Encourage them to help others worse off than them to gain perspective. Life isn't all about looking like a celebrity. Being individual, and healthy, should be celebrated."

воскресенье, 26 февраля 2017 г.

‘Our divorce brought us closer’

Staying friends with your ex is possible, as one couple reveals

Divorce was the best option for Heather

Heather McIntosh, 34, was married to George Robertson, 36, for seven years. She now lives in Glasgow with her partner Gerry, their two children, Dylan, seven, and Lily, one, and her two sons with George, Niall, 15, and Adam, 13.
"George and I got married too young. I was 15 and he was 17 when we met. We fell in love and, by the time I was 18, I was pregnant. We got married a few weeks later. At the time, it felt right.
Our son Niall arrived in November 1994, and less than a year later, I was pregnant again. Adam was born in July 1996 and our little family was complete.
I took to being a mum easily, but all of George's friends were still single, going out partying and having a laugh. I think he felt like he was missing out.
By the time Niall was five and Adam was three, George and I had grown up - and grown apart. There was love, but no lust left. Despite trying to make things work, we realised our relationship would never be the same.
When I suggested we separate, George agreed, and a few weeks later, we both moved out of our flat and into new places nearby. It was sad, but better than arguing in front of the kids.

Heather and George on their wedding day
A year later, George suggested we get a divorce. We both felt incredibly sad; it seemed so final, even though we knew it was the right thing to do. I certainly never dreamed I'd end up being a divorced mum of two by the age of 25.
Slowly, we started to put plans in place. George and I sorted out the agreements around our finances, and under Scottish law, we were divorced.
We worked out a schedule for the kids ourselves, with them staying with me one night, then George the next.
But while we didn't have any problems when it came to the kids, we did in other ways.
Seeing your ex moving on, meeting new partners - which we both did within the first few months - was difficult for ¿us. Although we didn't want each other in that way, we were still jealous of the shared intimacy.
Instead of letting it eat away at us, we sat down and talked through the implications of having other people in our lives. We worked out boundaries that we were happy with and agreed we had to be fair with each other when it came to new relationships. Talking through things helped us deal with it all.
To our surprise, as the months passed, George and I started to forge a strong friendship. And now, 10 years on, we're as close as when we were a couple. We email each other or text every day, go out for drinks and spend family days together.
When I met my new partner, Gerry, nine years ago, I told him about my relationship with George. Luckily, he understood.
I know our situation is unusual, but I think that other divorcees could learn from us. It wasn't easy at first, but we've done it for the kids. They see their parents care for each other, and I've ended up with a great friend.
It won't work for everyone. But if you can keep the lines of communication open, focus on what's best for your children, and try to let the petty things slide, it might make your divorce a little easier to deal with.
I don't regret getting divorced at all - it was the best thing for both of us. If we'd stayed together, we'd have ended up resenting each other, which could have affected the kids.
I'm so glad our divorce worked out. I'm really proud of what we've achieved together."George says: "Heather and I grew up together and have been through so much. It would have been terrible if we'd thrown all that away, just because we were getting divorced. Some people will think that our relationship is unconventional, but it works for us and we're happy with it. I'd much rather be like this than at each other's throats all the time. Our boys never see or hear their mum and dad argue or fight with each other, which can only be a good thing."
l Relate offers relationship counselling and support. Call 0300 100 1234 or visit If you decide divorce is right for you, visit and type in 'divorce' for advice on what to do next.

'My marriage ended - and so did my lifestyle'

For years, Yvette White was unhappily married. Divorce seemed the best answer. And, emotionally, it was, for both her and her ex.
But one thing she wasn't prepared for was how hard their split would hit her bank balance.
Her ex ran a carpentry business and she was a mum to their children, Kara, now nine, and Jake, seven. Together, they had a decent lifestyle. But apart, it was a different story.
Yvette found work at an estate agent's, but was made redundant last February.
"I wanted to be free, to be independent again," says Yvette, now 42, from Essex. "I liked my new single life, but the financial burden was immense. I didn't know how I'd cope."
She found the pressure of running a home alone - even with maintenance from her ex - was huge. And
with little work available, she's taken on a cleaning job to make ends meet.
"I used to have a cleaner, but now, I am one," she says.
Yvette and her husband divorced in 2005, after they grew apart. They sold their home and split the proceeds. Yvette bought a two-bedroom flat, but now struggles to maintain it.
"My ex and I get on well, we have no quarrels over money or the shared custody of our children," she says.
"Getting divorced was the best thing for me, but the worst thing I could have done to my bank balance."
Christine Northam, a counsellor for Relate, recommends putting on the brakes before heading to see your solicitor:
1: Don't rush decisions. Your relationship could be salvageable with experts to teach you how to listen to each other.
2: Even if your relationship's over, seeing a counsellor will help you work through all the emotions of finally coming to terms with that.
3: Draw up a list of all the pros and cons of getting divorced. Think about how it would affect finances, and how you'd feel about starting over again. Are you prepared for all of that?
4: Try not to be bitter or angry with your partner, especially in front of kids. Explain the situation to the children.
5: You were once friends with your partner, so underneath all the arguments or upset, those feelings might still be there.
Step-by-step divorce packs are now available online, meaning you could be just a click away from a quickie split. The packs can make it easier but, as top divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd Platt explains, a lawyer can help you make the process as pain-free as possible:
1. People put so much thought and planning into their wedding day, but they don't realise that they need to put just as much effort and organisation into planning their divorce if they want to make it a happy and successful one.
2. Find a good divorce lawyer who specialises in family cases, and then work out as much as you can with your partner. You can use your solicitor to help tie up the loose ends.
3. Remember, while it may make you feel better to have your lawyer write nasty letters to your ex-husband, it certainly won't when you get your legal bill. Instead, try to reach a settlement quickly and ensure that you can afford to pay all your legal fees.
4. Finally, make sure you've got a good support system. Talk to family and friends about how you're feeling, and remember that you will get over divorce.

суббота, 25 февраля 2017 г.

Fabulous bootcamp: Web editor Phoebe survives her second week of bootcamp

DAY 6:
It's Saturday and instead of lazing in bed until midday and then getting up for brunch, I'm up, dressed and at Frame in time for my 10am Vibe class - impressive, eh? I'm starting to get used to the bizarre sensation of the vibrating plate, and I seem to be getting a little bit better at holding the various positions as my muscles slowly get stronger (although my instructor tells me I'm still on the easiest setting on the machine - ah well, small steps and all that!)
Vibe is followed by 45 minutes of 'Body Conditioning' and It. Is. Hell. Our instructor is the tiny and enthusiastic Diana, who smiles cheerfully while ordering us to do squats, lunges and lifts with weights (I am so weak, I go for the lightest weights, and even then it's a struggle.) By the end of this gruelling session my legs feel like jelly
The diet isn't going too badly - I haven't felt hungry at all as I've been snacking on brazil nuts and oat cakes. Initially dinners were really boring, but I soon made some exciting discovers like sweet potatoes are really nice baked in the oven and served with tuna and a dash of low fat creme fraiche! Saturday night's dinner was smoked salmon and scrambled eggs - yummy!
After 10 days without red meat, bread, pasta, cheese, wine or potatoes I find I barely miss them at all, which is a complete revelation as my diet was pretty much solely based on those not-too-healthy food groups. Now the thought of eating something greasy, meaty or sugary doesn't excite me (although I must confess I'm already planning my first post-diet dinner: Steak? Chips? Red wine? Bring. It. On!)
Day 8:
Monday morning. Drizzle. Vibe. Need I say more.
Day 9:
Ah, bouncing around on a tiny trampoline before work - always a pleasure. Actually I'm starting to develop a sneaking affection for Rebound - it's really nice jumping on the trampoline because your joints are cushioned from jolting and although I'm hopelessly uncoordinated and always seem to be doing the opposite to everyone else in the room, I do feel like I'm getting a proper, heart-racing, out-of-breath workout.
Day 10:
Ok, tonight was seriously gruelling. I entered a room full of exercise bikes for my first 'Ride' class and I'd only just clambered on to one, when our instructor had us pedalling madly to pumping house music, all the while turning a dial on the bike so you felt you were slogging up a hill - fun! I accidentally kicked one of the pedals and it scraped down my shin, and I almost fell off a couple of times while I was frantically scrabbling for my water bottle.
And the night wasn't over then - oh no! I had another 25 minute Vibe class immediately afterwards. Glutton for punishment, anyone?
Day 11:
Friday night and the end is in sight! Another Rebound class - how hard could it be, I foolishly scoffed. Well, it turned out this was a 45 MINUTE class rather than the usual half hour. So the answer was, pretty damn hard.
Day 12:
And to finish my two-week Emergency Bootcamp, one final Vibe class. I can actually feel muscles where once there were none - it's not too hideously painful doing the 'plank' position (basically a prolonged push-up - hideous), or attempting sit-ups. There was one slightly embarrassing moment when I couldn't do the 'hold ball above head and twist from side to side while doing lunge' manoeuvre and had to be given a more basic exercise to do - oh dear! But all in all, a satisfying way to end. And tomorrow, it's the weigh in....

пятница, 24 февраля 2017 г.

Dear Diary: ‘My husband is a cheat’

Katy Edwards’ marriage crumbled when her husband admitted he’d had an affair. Here, the 39-year-old mum of two from Strathclyde shares her diary
Katy was devastated by her husband's affair
Katy and Steve on their wedding day
Katy is now looking to the future

July 7, 2009

It's midnight and I'm sitting in my pyjamas in the reception of a Travelodge near Birmingham. Tears are running down my face and I'm struggling to breathe as I write.
I've just discovered that my husband of nine years, Steve*, has been having an affair. I can hardly believe it. How could he have done this to me? To us? I don't know what I'm going to do. Right now, I can't bear to be in the same room as him.
A few weeks ago, I saw a text on his phone to a single colleague called Sarah*. It read: "Goodnight sleeping beauty". She'd missed a work night out so I thought it was just friendly banter. I didn't even mention it to Steve. I've been so naive.
Yesterday, Steve went to the wedding of another workmate. Because it was work-related, I hadn't been invited. This morning, while driving from our home in Strathclyde to visit Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire with our kids, Lucy*, four, and Philip*, two, Steve had shown me some photos, including several of Sarah on her own.
Seeing them, I felt uncomfortable. Remembering the text, my mind started racing. Did he fancy her? Was something going on? He couldn't be having an affair - not my Steve.
The kids were in the car, so I didn't say anything. But later back at the hotel, I confronted him. "Is there something you're not telling me?" I asked, my voice shaking. I waited for Steve to say I was being silly. But he didn't answer me.
Seconds ticked by. And that's when I knew. He had been cheating. "Sarah and I had a six-month affair," he confessed. "But it's over now."
He told me the relationship had started at their last Christmas party and they'd meet at her house after work.
I stared at him, shocked into silence. He was very quiet and calm. How could he be so controlled when our life was falling apart? He should have been begging for forgiveness, not shrugging his shoulders.
Rage boiled inside me. He tried to hold me, but I cried and screamed at him to leave me. I can't believe he's done this.
July 8
We're back home after the longest, most difficult day of my life. When I went back to our hotel room in the early hours of this morning, Steve was in bed, snoring. I watched him sleep. He'd broken my heart. Didn't he care?
I wanted to go home, but I couldn't disappoint the children, so we spent the day at Cadbury World as planned. To all the world we looked like a happy family.
But life as I knew it was over. Part of me needed to know all the details, but I was scared of what Steve would say.
We had to talk, so I called my mum and told her what had happened. She was shocked, but agreed to come to our house to babysit while Steve and I went out to talk. We just drove round aimlessly. Then I asked him why he'd done it.
"I don't feel like I get any attention from you," he said. "I just don't feel the same." My heart ached at such rejection.
I had to get out of the car and scream. How could he be so selfish? We both work hard, me as a part-time charity worker. We have two kids. It's inevitable we have less time for each other than we used to.
Then I wondered - should I have paid him more attention? Was his affair my fault?
July 12
The past few days have been hard. Steve wants our marriage to work and has suggested counselling. We owe it to the good years we've shared, and our children, to try.
When I married Steve nine years ago, I felt I'd found my soulmate. We met through mutual friends in a bar in 1996. He was fun, we were always laughing, and I fancied him like mad. That never changed.
I hope the counselling works, I really do. But right now I don't know if I can forgive - or forget - what Steve has done.
August 24
Our first counselling session didn't go well. Steve confessed he still has feelings for Sarah.
As he spoke, I could hardly breathe. How could he be so hurtful?
The counsellor asked if he wanted a life with Sarah. He said no, he was just confused.
He's been to see a divorce lawyer. He wouldn't tell me what they'd discussed, so back at home, I looked in his notepad. One of his questions was: Would I be able to see my children with my new partner if it's the person I had the affair with?
I went ballistic, throwing pots at him. If he's planning to leave, why waste time with counselling?
He begged for forgiveness, but I had to get away, so the kids and I have been staying with my mum, who lives nearby, ¿for a few days.
The distance has made me feel stronger. I don't want to desperately cling on to Steve. I need to do what's right for me. I have to face the fact our marriage might not survive.There's only so much hurt I can take.
September 1
I'm back home. I believe Steve when he says he wants us to work. We've been getting closer physically. I'd always thought our sex life was good, even though it had waned after the kids arrived. I hoped that if we could get this back on track, our marriage would heal too.
The first time we slept together since I found out, I was worried he was thinking of her. When I told him this afterwards, instead of telling me not to be daft, he admitted that he had been. That cut into my heart like a knife and I shrank away from him.
September 10
I've been at a family wedding in Italy. When I called Steve to see if he wanted a present, he replied: "All I want is a happy family." My heart lifted and I felt positive for the first time in weeks.
But Steve came home from work today quiet and moody. He's moving to another department. He won't be working with Sarah now. I'm relieved - I couldn't bear the thought of them being around each other.
Steve says he regrets what he did because of all the implications it's had. I can't believe he's only just realising this now. Can we be happy again? Or am I naive to think that?
September 20
One of the worst things I've discovered through counselling is Steve's resentment towards me. He feels I take him for granted. I feel distant towards him. I want our marriage to work but I deserve happiness - and I want more than Steve's giving me at the moment. I want what we used to have.
September 30
I'm at my mum's. I've been staying here with the kids for the past few days. Steve and I had a massive row. He blames me for everything and claims it's my fault he had to move jobs. Doesn't he see how hard this is for me? We're going round in circles - every few days, we'll row and it's destroying me.
October 15
Things are looking up at last. Steve and I have started communicating again. The kids really missed their dad, so I've decided to give things another go and move back home. It was my birthday this week and for the first time in ages, I felt loved. I had a lie-in and Steve brought me breakfast in bed, which was so kind. I am still in love with him, because if I wasn't, I wouldn't be able to try and forgive him. I'm glad my love has survived, but it does make things complicated. If I hated him, I could walk away. But I don't want an affair to wreck our lives.
November 8
We had a fantastic weekend away with my dad and the kids. Steve and I spent a lovely afternoon together, walking and drinking coffee. I really felt we'd turned a corner.
Then Steve dropped a bombshell. "I don't feel a spark between us any more," he admitted. "We're more like brother and sister than husband and wife."
After the weekend, it was so insulting. I don't know if he realises just how much pain he's causing me. I'm near breaking point.
December 15
At the start of the week, Steve texted me and asked me out on a date! I think we're making some progress. We went for a romantic meal and even held hands. It made me feel closer to him again. We decided to plan a weekend break for his birthday next year. I can't wait to have some time away, just the two of us.
December 18
What a fool I was to think I could see a light at the end of this miserable tunnel. Steve's announced he wants a separation. He feels under too much pressure to save our marriage. So, after months of anguish and trying to forgive his betrayal, he's leaving me. As he left, I kept waiting for him to turn around and realise what he's throwing away. He didn't.
December 22
I feel very low right now. I'm not sleeping and it's been hard dealing with the children. Philip is clingy and insists on sleeping in my bed. Whenever Steve comes over to help with them, Lucy makes us hold hands and asks if we love each other. It's heartbreaking.
I miss what we once had, but I definitely don't miss the way things were since I discovered the affair. Not having to worry that a small disagreement would explode into a huge row is a relief.
Steve wants to have more counselling, but I have to be sure our marriage can be saved. I couldn't go through months of trying for it not to work.
It's scary being single, but I have to live my life. I don't know what the future holds. Maybe I'll find it in myself to forgive Steve. Maybe I won't. But I can't let what he did destroy me.
January 5, 2010
Steve and I worked hard to make sure Christmas was good for the kids. He stayed over on Christmas Eve, but he got upset when he left on Christmas Day.
I was upset too, because I still care for him, but I'm glad we pulled together for the kids. That's the most important thing in my mind.
I've been coping well, with a lot of support from close friends and family. I don't know what I'd have done without them.
Now I'm looking forward to the future and rediscovering myself. We haven't talked about divorce yet, but we're both at the point of going forward on our own to try and find happiness.
l Steve also kept a diary for use with this article. But when contacted he declined to give us permission to use any of his entries. He refused to give any further comment on the matter.

четверг, 23 февраля 2017 г.

‘My longed for little girl will soon be my son’

Discovering her teenage daughter was desperate to be a boy was only the start of a soul-searching journey for Jacky Jones. This is her family’s emotional story

Jacky is supporting Emily's decision to become a man
Jacky, 52, a housewife from Salisbury, Wiltshire, says: "Being a mum is the toughest job in the world. There's no textbook on how to bring up kids, but there are rites of passage that everyone expects - first tooth, first steps...
However, there are some things you can never anticipate. Like your little girl telling you that she wants to become a boy. Not just a tomboy, but a boy in every sense of the word.
Last year my daughter Emily, then 16, did just that. We'd been out for lunch and she came to talk to me with her eyes red from crying. 'I want surgery to be a man,' she said.
I've always prided myself on being a liberal mum, encouraging my kids to be open with me, to tell me anything. But this? It was something else. I started crying as we talked it through. Could my baby really want to change her sex? In hindsight, I feel stupid for not realising how different she felt.
Emily had never been what you might call a conventional girl. I had a son, Christopher, from a previous relationship when I met Emily's dad, Ron. And while I loved my boy, I craved a little girl to dote on. Someone I could dress in pretty frocks and take shopping, someone who'd share her secrets with me. So, when Emily was born on June 9, 1992, I was delighted.
Emily, aged 18 months
But, by the age of two, she was already rebelling against my idea of being girlie. Her dolls were discarded and dresses swapped for jeans and T-shirts.
When Emily was growing up, I'd always been open with her about puberty. It's a tough time for all teens, but Emily reaction was extreme. When her periods started at the age of 11, she was angry. 'I hate them,' she spat.
As her body began to change, I encouraged her to embrace her new shape. Going shopping for her first bra ¿was a milestone that mums and daughters do together, but Emily's eyes filled with tears as the shop assistant wound ¿a measuring tape around her chest.
Seeing her so upset, I grabbed the first training bra I could find, paid up and fled the shop. 'I shouldn't have forced her to go,' I sighed to Ron, as Emily hid in her room. I thought I had overwhelmed her, growing up is scary, after all.
Jacky had longed for a girl
Next, I waited for her to discover boys. When she was 14, Emily had something to tell me. 'I like boys and girls,' she said. I was surprised. No parent expects to hear their teenage daughter tell them that. But I'd grown up around gay people and I knew what it meant. She was still my Emily.
As she chatted away about a girl she had a crush on, I was surprised how natural it felt to hear Emily talking that way. I was pleased she could be so open. As she talked, I thought about Emily's tomboy nature, her hatred of becoming a woman, her bisexuality. I started to wonder if it was all linked. Was there someone else she was meant to be?
I knew a friend's husband had become a woman after years of living unhappily as a man. The idea of transsexuality wasn't new to me. What if Emily wanted to live as the opposite sex, too? However, if that was going to be right for Emily, it was something she needed to realise herself.
From that point, the Emily we knew disappeared. We thought it was teenage angst, but as the weeks passed, Emily got more depressed. We rowed constantly, and Ron and I had to see her teachers because she skipped lessons so often.
Then Ron noticed scars on Emily's arms. 'I've been cutting myself,' she confessed.
I was shocked. I knew straight away we had to get her some help and I made an appointment with our GP, but Emily insisted on going alone. The doctor referred her to a counsellor, who she saw every week - and things started to improve.
Emily slowly started to communicate and she became more open about her true feelings.
'I want to bind my breasts,' she admitted one day, explaining that her bust made her feel so uncomfortable, she'd rather flatten it down with bandages under her clothes.
Thinking back to the bra shopping incident, I accepted it. She seemed happier - I had to cling to that.
It was around a year later, after we'd returned home from lunch with Christopher, that Emily revealed her biggest secret.
She was shaking, but resolute, as she told me she wanted to be a man. Even though it had crossed my mind over the years, I admit I was confused. Emily was scared of the dentist, let alone the thought of extreme surgery. I wanted to do all I could to love her, help her, but I just didn't know how.
A few days later, we went to see the GP together, who suggested Emily might have gender dysphoria - a condition where a person feels they're trapped in the body of the wrong sex. He referred her for gender counselling, assessment and support.
When she's 18, and once her counsellor is satisfied she's committed to a life as a man, she will have to live as a male for at least a year before she's eligible for surgery. After that, if she receives funding for her treatment, she'll be given male hormones and we'll take things from there. Surgery would include having her breasts removed and a hysterectomy. She could even have a penis constructed.
Of course I worry about all these drastic procedures she may go through, but if she feels that's what she needs to make her happy, I'll support her.
Right now, the toughest part is watching the turmoil Emily's in. Ron and I have agreed to call her by the name 'Theo' now, a name she chose for the new 'her', but sometimes I slip up and say Emily by accident. It's going to take time to adjust.
But whether she's called Theo or wearing jeans instead of skirts, I'll always love the person underneath - she'll always be my baby."
Emily is now known to her family and friends as Theo
'Surgery is better than feeling like this forever'
Emily, 17, says: "I was four when I first realised I was different from the other kids. I got all my friends to call me Charlie, as it felt more comfortable.
Everyone just thought I was a tomboy. But then I was horrified by how my body started to change during puberty. Periods were a monthly reminder I was becoming a woman, and I hated it.
I think that's when the daily fight I have with myself started. I can honestly say I hate every part of my body as a woman - every pore of my skin. I feel like a doll that's been put together back to front.
At 14, I started to have feelings for girls as well as boys, and even had a few girlfriends. It just felt right. But by 15, I knew it was more than my sexuality that needed to change.
I'd watched the film Boys Don't Cry, which is about a transsexual. Hilary Swank's character wrapped her boobs up with bandages to look more masculine.
I experimented with some bandages and felt as if I was finally looking at the real me. I liked how it felt and wanted to do it more. I knew that a friend's dad had changed gender, and I completely understood why he'd needed to do it.
After wrestling with my thoughts for months, I finally admitted to myself that underneath, I was a boy. And suddenly, everything made sense.
But the thought of telling my parents was terrifying. I knew the stories about Mum wanting a little girl more than anything, and I dreaded ruining that for her. But I couldn't keep it from them.
In the end, I felt so upset, I thought I was going to burst, so I had to let it out.
Although she was shocked, Mum was great. She's never doubted me or thought it was just a phase.
While I wait for an appointment with a gender counsellor, I'm trying to live some of my life as a boy. Mum, Dad and my best mates call me by my male name, Theo, which I chose because I felt it suited me.
My teachers know, and the more sensitive ones call me Em, but I'm still faced with daily problems, like when we're paired 'boy, girl' with the lads from the local boys' school when they come for lessons. Or when they say 'hello ladies' in the morning. It hurts that people call me a 'she' all the time when I know inside I should be a 'he'.
I know I stand out - I'm so obviously different - but I've never been bullied. I've got a close group of friends and they're all really supportive. But I am looking forward to going to uni to study psychology and start afresh. I'd like to go on to work in the gender identity field. I want to help other people like me.
The thought of surgery scares me, but I want to feel 'right'. What scares me more is feeling like this forever.
I just hope I can escape Emily's body and become Theo full-time soon. He's the person I'm meant to be."
Ron with a young Emily
'I've changed her name to Theo on my mobile'
Ron, 50, a health and safety manager for South West Trains, says: "I hope I'm open-minded, but it's hard when it's your own little girl telling you she wants to be a boy. I have to admit part of me hoped it was a phase - but then Theo's not like that.
I do have emotional moments. I walk to work and find myself getting upset about it. But I think what's most heartbreaking is knowing Theo is so unhappy as the sex she is now. I just feel powerless, like I can't really understand or help her.
I try my best to call her Theo, but nicknames like Ems and Em J come out naturally. Recently I changed Emily's name to Theo on my mobile - it feels strange when I get a call.
But ultimately Theo hasn't changed. I haven't lost a daughter because Theo is still that person. What's inside doesn't change."
Blogger Templates