Egg on the hips

I am guilty about a family tradition passed down from Mother to Mother at this time of year – the task of absorbing some Easter egg calories so your children don’t have to. 

Easter is a bad time for women who have a weakness for chocolate (and are trying to remain/return to sugar free). If you have children it’s even worse. Eggs, chocolate bunnies, sweets, cakes (helped by a birthday party thrown in for good measure) are all sitting in the kitchen saying ‘eat me’. Cadburys chocolate are the worst, I can consume a small Chocolate egg in seconds. Today I ‘helped out’ baby boy with his chocolate buttons egg – I had the egg and he had the bag of buttons – I was taking the brunt of the calorific hit to retain my son’s health ( well that’s what I kept telling myself). I then felt so guilty I wanted to run a mile in shrink wrap before it had a chance to adhere to my hips…

My Mum did the same thing. In fact when I was older I had to hide the eggs so my Num couldn’t get to them. In an effort to save us both she put them in the bin one year. Then later that night retrieved them out of the bin… was a new all time low but resistance was futile.

If you go back another generation, my granny was nearly 20 stone …..gulp….you can understand why we are trying to resist – a good metabolism is not in the genes….

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Fading photos….but not faded enough

I made a nasty discovery in my mum’s old photo collection today…….me when I was fat.

I recall listening to Sara Cox on the radio one day when she remarked how old and inferior she felt when watching 19 year old girls walk by with amazing figures and not terribly much on. She described them as 100% prime beef with men all queuing up at a meat market.

This was not me at 19. Before university student life I had an OK figure, then I started drinking cider and eating at greasy spoons and trying to keep up with my boyfriend’s daily calorific intake. When I look back I recall it not being the healthiest episode of my life and that I may have crept up to a size 14, but the picture is shocking. I literally look like someone pumped me full of gas. Even my facial features have been lost to the landmass that is my bloatedness. Thankfully I can look back on it now and feel relieved that the wind didn’t change and that I didn’t stay that way. It is a shame though that I bhdidn’t look my best when my skin was still in its ‘youth’.

Now in my thirties I have finally grasped the concept of ‘my body is a temple’, yet i have lots of grey hairs, wrinkles  and a few saggy bits where things haven’t ‘sprung’ back to shape. Its all a little bit too late. But as you get older, concerns about your appearance hive way to preserving your health, which is why i am fitter and slimmer now than when i was in my teens……back then i did whatever i wanted and thought about the consequences later.

So to prevent me from ever ballooning like i did when i was 19, that photo is stuck to my fridge as a reminder whenever i get tempted away from an evening’s exercise or tempted towards sugary treats.

I decided not to put the pictures of my semi-naked mother (she seemed to like going topless on all of our family holidays) and my father with george best hair and a podgy tummy on the fridge. Some photos are best left in albums, or better still in our memories… fade with time.

I am blogging for Unicef. Thanks for reading.


Testy tummies

Having quit sugar now for 8 weeks, i am starting to notice there are severe consequences if i deviate.

The other night i mentioned i had invited some friends round and ate more than i should in crisps and dips. While i didnt eat anything sweet, i probably ate more than my usual intake in sugar – I was as sick as a dog later.

My baby boy was then ill a few days later, so then i thought it must have been a bug.

Not so.

Yesterday I succumbed to  a small slice of my brother-in-laws cake. I felt so bloated afterwards i wanted my stomach to be pumped. This feeling continued through the night, into this morning and hampered my appetite for the rest of the day, making me feel slightly nauseous…….and that was one slice of cake.

After these two major occurrences, i then thought back to other occasions recently when my stomach felt uncomfortable and i have felt nauseous – like the time i sucked on some dark chocolate when it was time of the month.

This quit extreme reaction to sugary foods, after having cut it out for a while, surprises me. But when you think about how careful you have to be to alter the diets of horses and dogs (to avoid problems such as colic), it is no wonder that i have been feeling iffy.

Just like the IQS diet, i read an article in RED Magazine about Ella Woodward, whose reaction to drinking alcohol and consuming copious amounts of sugar while a university student, led to her being diagnosed with PoTS – postural tachycardia syndrome – a rare condition that affects the nervous system, causing nausea, exhaustion, dizziness and weakness. Now, like IQS, she has a diet of raw vegetables and unprocessed food and lots of green smoothies. Interesting recipes include sweet potato brownies and courgette noodles using a spiraliser gadget that you can pick up for £30 on amazon. For inspiration check out

I’m feeling better already.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.


A bottomless pit

I have put on 5 pounds on the IQS diet. Dont blame the diet though. Before I reach for a spoon of sugar in my coffee again, it has dawned on me that i may have been eating more than the rda on peanut butter, which has an effect, even the reduced sugar and salt version. So over the next month peanut butter has been put on the naughty list and i will continue my mission to be sugar free in a bid to be healthier.

A magazine article on body shape featured a comment from a woman that struck a chord with me.  She said her focus wasn’t on her lumps and bumps but on healthy eating. So, i figured if i focus on health, the lumps and bumps will follow (or rather drop off). In the meantime i continue to be repellent to sugar, in the same way that a ex-smoker dismisses offers of a cigarette, today i declined chocolate muffins and mr whippy ice-cream.

However, it is hard to focus on health when all you really want to do is decrease the land mass of your rear-end. My baby boy has discovered it as a new form of entertainment to spank it so it wobbles, a habit inspired by the actions of both my daughter and husband. I am now wondering whether it is impossible to get rid of extra bum – if your born with it you have just got to sit on it – like Kim Kardashian.

Or is it years of bouncing up and down on horses’ backs. Maybe my body’s reaction was to create a buffer, hence the big butt.

Of course there are many more things to be worrying about than the size of bottoms. Us women have to shoulder the burden of achieving the ‘ideal’ figure but ‘ideal’ for whom?

Now my husband has started to comment that my daughter’s bottom is ‘filling out’ and i instantly retaliate with an exclamation of what a beautiful butt it is.

I wonder if there will ever be a time when women are more relaxed about their body shape? Or is it a culture that will continue in perpetuity?

Maybe the way to address it is through a process of elimination, a bit like weeding out an allergy. For example what would happen if high-fashion was excluded from the public conscience for a year, or it was insisted that only plus size models (aka normal size) were used for all advertising campaigns?

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Hooked on quitting sugar

I am hooked on quitting sugar. I have just uploaded the book ‘I quit sugar for life’ by Sarah Wilson and already I am entranced. Like most of us, I have a sweet tooth which, if indulged, will keep going and going until I feel mildly sick. While I am experiencing one of these gorge fests I keep saying o myself’ this isn’t good for you’ but the other less cautious voice in my head (that most of us have got) says ‘f##* it eat it anyway’.

I counteract this sugar rush by not eating much else in an attempt to keep my calorie intake low – healthy isn’t it?

Which is why this book could potentially change my life. So, as I progress through the book, I have started to make small changes to my daily diet. The first big change has been to shift my attention away from the back of packets listing calories and analysing the ‘crabs of which sugars’ section o the nutritional content table. It is an eye opener. My lovely low fat yoghurt comfort foods have now transformed into sugary devils that must be avoided at all costs (or just re-directed to my husband). My lovely big bowl of cornflakes topped with sugar is also now in the devil’s food category. However foods that were previously on the ‘no no’ category, like cheese, are now in the angel food section. The only sticking point with Sarah’s approach is the meat protein and she advises against soya – not good for the half-hearted vegetarian like me.

Going forward, the biggest temptations to resist will be skipping puddings at work and ignoring the presence of sticky buns in our local shop.

I am also particularly worried when Aunt Irma visits (period) as my need for sugar doubles during those periods. I hope there is a chapter in the book that covers that.

This blog is for UNICEF, if you can support the campaign, click here.

Thanks for reading.


The average person in the UK consumes 23 spoonful’s of sugar and that is before they have consumed any fruit juice, according to Aussie TV presenter, Sarah Wilson, who has launched a book about quitting sugar for life (gulp).

Sarah argues that since the 60s it has become increasingly easier and cheaper for food manufacturers to use sugar, which is why more and more f is are eating way more than our RDA. Most of the time we don’t even know we are consuming it. So what is so bad about sugar Sarah takes human evolution back to when we were a bunch of cables scavenging the land for food. Rarely we would come across a berry and when we did, we would gorge on it, but that would be that for the next few months. The key damaging ingredient in sugar is fructose. Because of our history of lack of berry foraging, our bodies are not designed to take on too much fructose, it is hard for the body to breakdown so it is stored as fat. In addition to affecting obesity figures, Sarah says that there is scientific evidence that some diseases that have seen an increase over the past few decades are linked to too much sugar in our diets.

As I was listening to her interview, I began to think about whether I could try this diet, to les a little  it more weight, but, more importantly experience the health benefits. I live sugar and am probably addicted to it. Sarah has ‘quit sugar for life’ (title of her book) and provides recipes and healthier sugar alternatives to attempt.

I am tempted to give it a go, but this is the sugar mountain I have to face…..

Today’s menu for Tom:

1 coffee with sugar

2 Satsuma

3 slices of honey and seed bread

1 small bag of mini party ring biscuits

1 milkybar

1 beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower and Marmite toastie (no I am not pregnant)

A few roasted broad beans (might as well have just sucked on some sea salt)

2 unashamedly big bowls of rhubarb crumble (with rhubarb roasted Ina ton of sugar topped with buttery sugary crumble)

I might have sneaked some Easter chocolate off the kids too.

So, do you fancy my chances cutting out sugar?

How about I get this book when its out on the 8th May and I will tell you how I get on?

I am blogging every day for UNICEF. Read about my campaign here.

Thanks for reading.

Hurry up Halloween!

Every third week in the month I have a mad chocolate addiction. The week preceding my period (sorry guys) is the week when my body has a hunger that can only be satisfied by guzzling copius amounts of chocolate, particularly Cadburys. It has to be done and I hate doing it because I am convinced I can feel my body start to wobble as fat is applied for every ounce of chocolate I consume. My response is to not eat much else in an effort to restrict my calorie intake – healthy I am not.

This dreadful week clashes disastrously with preparations for Halloween. We take it very seriously in our village to the extent that, for one night of the year only, it is our job to feed every single kid in the village with sweets (I don’t think anyone has a proper dinner on All Hallows Day or whatever the ‘official’ title is).

So, I take advantage of the special offer that seems to be repeated every shop you set foot in “Only £5 for a tin of Celebrations/ Roses/ Heroes or Quality Street” (I would be interested to know if this deal is available all over the UK as well as the South East) Every year this deal seems to coincide with the run up to Halloween and Christmas. Its almost as if there is a national crisis of surplus chocolate that needs to be disposed of before the New Year – kind of like a chocolate harvest.

I bought a tin, took it home and put it in the top cupboard. I can still reach the top cupboard by standing on tippitoes so I don’t know what I am achieving by putting sweets and chocolates there. At least I have to slightly stretch my midriff every time I grab a treat for myself or the kids.

The tin started talking to me form the cupboard and before long my will power cracked and ravaged the tin. I can’t just have one or two or three – I eat them so quick I lose count. Maybe there is a slight pause, but not enough of one. So, I endeavoured to buy another tin the next day that I WOULD NOT open (It is important to add that tin number 1 still had quite a lot of sweets in it – I am not a complete glutton). So, while filling up with diesel (and checking out the police bike cop filling up at the next pump….although he didnt take his helmet off so a bit tricky… I thought it was illegal to keep your helmet on when walking into the shop…..guess its ok for a cop)

I purchased another tin and congratulated myself on not going anywhere near it on the way to work. It was on the way back that proved a problem “open me” tin said. I’m afraid I did although paced myself a bit this time – just had a few….they were tiny sweets anyway.. I felt better by telling myself that if i strung all the sweets that I had just eaten together they wouldn’t even make up the size of one cadburys dairy milk bar.

So now both tins are in the top cupboard with slightly depleted quantities and I am going to test my willpower by saying no more. If I crack, I will tally up each sweet and keep a record of it on this blog as we count down to Halloween (a bit like Bridget Jones and her daily record of calories consumed and cigarettes puffed).

I am blogging every day for Unicef. To support my fundraising campaign please visit my site.

Thanks for reading. (Whoops – all this talk of chocolate has given me an appetite – 1,2,3,4,5……)