Personal Trainer – session 2……

It turns out that ‘Arsene’ had the day off on Friday so I thought it would be a good idea to go to the gym again and meet up with my personal trainer. Looking back the first session hadn’t been that bad (once I’d recovered) so I thought I’d get back straight into it and have two in one week!!

Andy was waiting for me at reception and said we were in the sports hall, great I thought, must be easier than lifting weights and that cross trainer, how wrong could I be….!! First exercise, those spinning bikes. These things have always scared me, years ago I tried a spinning class and it really was the worse thing I’ve ever tried, why do people go to those classes I don’t get it, so I wasn’t really looking forward to it but I’ll give anything a go so off I trot and start riding. It seemed ok until he turned the knob up, says stand up and sprint – really, I’m not Bradley Wiggins??!!! I must have done this for about 10 minutes and when I got off I felt like a bowl of wobbly raspberry jelly (red face and jelly legs!)

Next exercise was boxing, oh good I thought this should be fun. After the second punch my shoulder partially dislocates (don’t worry it happens quite often and goes back in but is painful). Andy says ‘is it ok?’, ‘yes I think’ I say, ‘good carry on’ he says! Mmm, after a few more punches I really can’t do anymore so we decide to change again and I’m so surprised to see that he gets the hoola hoops out – wasn’t expecting that!! So there I am hoola hooping, I’m not the worlds best and it took me a little time to get going but I got the hang of it in the end, I like hoola hooping think I’ll buy a hoop and practice so I can become the ‘hoola queen!!’

By now I’m half way through, knackered and thinking it would have been easier doing weights, that and ‘this is harder than child birth’!!!! Next is a little obstacle course, run, jump over 3 hurdles, put hands on a box and jump over it 10 time, run to a cone and sprint to the start, oh and do it 5 times. Seems ok to me and looks similar to what the kids do at football, if they can do it I surely can, right – wrong!! It is soo hard!! First time was ok, second time was a bit hit and miss, third time was a nightmare (legs everywhere!). Andy not impressed and said if I do it all right on my next one I won’t have to do it again, if it’s a mess we’ll be carrying on and he says this whilst wagging a stick at me! I don’t know where I found the energy from but my last one was perfect, it was fast, tight, legs where they should be and over in a flash, best thing was it meant I didn’t have to do it again – hhoorrraaayyyy!!!!!

Just as you don’t think it can get much worse it does, out comes some crazy looking 5Kg ball. The plan is to throw the ball over the net, run around the net and catch the ball before it hits the wall. Sounds easy enough but a 5kg ball is heavy and doing it 16 times is pretty hard work but guess what I did it – woo hoo, who’s the man (well lady!!) Next exercise is lying on floor with my legs in the air, he throws them down to towards the floor and I can’t let them touch the floor and then have to bring them back up, quite weird this exercise hurts a bit but I quite like it!

Just when I thought I’d finished I’m wrong and we finish off the session with some running – I hate running! Running up and down the sports hall, forwards and backwards and then in the middle of it stop for star jumps, sprints, leg curls, its a killer, an absolute killer, not only can I not breathe but I’ve got the biggest stitch from hell but you know what it’s the end of the session and I made it, in one piece.

If I may say so I’m very proud of myself and in answer to the first question, I’ll take the gym over the sports hall any day!! See you on Wednesday!!


What is my job?

The other week I saw someone that I hadn’t seen for years, we had a general chit chat and then she asked me what I was doing. When I replied that I was now a ‘full time mum’ she smiled and kind of looked at me as if to say ‘oh, poor you’. I think it’s been rattling around in my head and annoying me, so for the past week I’ve been asking myself the question ‘what is my job?’ and here is my job description.

I’m a chef

I’m a cleaner

I’m a fashion designer

I’m a taxi driver

I’m a best friend

I’m a cheerleader & number 1 fan

I’m a comforter

I’m a nurse

I’m a role model

I’m a security guard
I’m a teacher

I’m a secretary
I’m a cuddly teddy bear

I’m a dentist

I’m a photographer

I’m a clown

I’m an events planner

I’m a childminder when their friends come round

I’m Mrs Christmas

I’m a bank

I’m an artist

I’m a storyteller

I’m the Tooth Fairy

I’m a travel agent

I’m a treat giver

But most importantly I’m a mum!

So there you have it, I’m a bit of everything because being a mum is the most important job in the world and I wouldn’t change it.

Personal Trainer – session 1…..

2013. As I said in my crazy abseil post back in March, 2013 is my year for change & challenges. Having walked down a 170ft building I’m ready for the next one which is ‘getting fit & losing weight’. Now I’ve always considered myself as pretty fit but after 3 kids the tummy is no longer flat or even remotely slim, it just kind of blobs around. I’m now at the stage where the jeans still fit but just above the jeans is a nice little ring of tummy doughnut which doesn’t actually look great and the tops no longer hide it but cling to it, mmmm nice…!!!

I’ve tried diets before and lost a few lbs (and I mean a few) and then nothing happens so I just say stuff it and carry on eating. Now saying all of this I’m not the size of a house, probably pretty average, I’m a 14 tops and 12/14 bottoms but if I don’t do something about it now, before long I think I will be the size of a house!! So there’s only one thing for it, I’ve taken the brave step and decided to get a personal trainer, felt like a good idea at the time, having someone to encourage me and help me meet my goals.

Well I don’t do things by half and as it turns out my personal trainer (Andy) is an ex-marine. Yes I said ex-marine!!! Thinking not so much of a great idea and actually pretty scared of the torture he’s going to put me through, aaarrrrggghhhh!!!! So I turn up for my first session and first things first it’s the weigh in and measurements and of course I’m not going to tell you what they were, a woman never discloses her personal details! So I have 12 weeks to start off with and the first goal is that in 4 weeks I will have lost 1 stone, more toned and not have such a big tummy doughnut (my phrase not his), seems pretty impossible (knowing me) but you’re forgetting I now have my very own marine to kick my ass and to keep me going. Before we started our session his last words to me were ‘I’ve had people faint and be sick but haven’t had anyone die on me so that’s good and there’s no such word as can’t” – really, that’s way too scary!!

First is a 5K bike ride, ok I’m thinking, I like cycling but it’s not like your average gentle bike ride. Harder and harder and by the end my legs feel like noodles but I still actually feel ok. Next the cross trainer and after only 2 minutes I feel like I’m going to die, I feel faint, a little dizzy but more than that I feel like I’m going to be physically sick. Andy takes me off the cross trainer for a sit down and water and I slowly start to feel better, it was a real shock really I thought I was quite fit but it’s a wake up call at how unfit I am! After a little sit down I’m on the weights on the shoulder press (I think), quite like these but surprise surprise it gets harder and harder to get to 12 lifts. Next I’m on the rowing machine, wow I love this machine and apprently I have ‘good technique’, maybe I’ll make the Olympics??!! Yep you’ve guessed it I’m pushed and pushed, 100 metres and then rest for 1 minute and then another 100 metres – 12 times!! I really enjoyed this (can you enjoy torture?) and it’s amazing how you can become obsessed with beating your last performance, I so wanted to better myself each time and did horraayyy!!!! Just when I’m feeling pretty good Andy says it’s back to the cross trainer, oh no and I have to do a whole 5 minutes on it. Dreading it after my last performance but to my surprise it wasn’t that bad, we’re chatting constantly, I wasn’t in pain and in no time at all the 5 minutes was up. To finish off it’s on the floor for some abs work. I’ve never been that good at ab work and they are pretty much well hidden so these were a killer, he doesn’t let you stop half way though you have to finish them all, no pain no gain they say and so after 48 sit ups of various kinds my tummy is killing.

How did I feel after my first session? Pretty ok as a whole. Yes I was red like a raspberry, covered in sticky yucky sweat and various limbs felt a bit wobbly but I felt like I had achieved something. I’d felt such an idiot at feeling faint and sick (cringe!) but I’d overcome it, carried on and finished the session.

Time for homework: 40 sits up’s and 20 burpees (where did they get that name from?) everyday, along with some kind of cardio vascular – yikes, I haven’t done so much for years!!!

How do I feel the next day, sore! Legs hurts, bottom hurts, hip hurts, chest hurts, lower back hurts, arms hurts, neck and head are ok, ankles & lowers legs are ok and tummy is not so bad – all in all though, sore….. Thanks Andy and see you next week.

I can’t take the hair..!!!

We’ve always been pretty laid back with hair styles in our house and let the boys pretty much have whatever they like, kind of defines their characters. Patterns cut into their hair come and go (but only in the holidays) as does cane roll and mohicans. But at the minute their hair is driving me mad!!

‘Ronaldinho’ had a great mohican that has since grown out, needs a tidy up but he doesn’t want to, so it no longer looks like a mochican. ‘Ronaldo’ had it short which has now grown and started to curl in random places, needs it cut but says its ‘alright’. ‘Van Persie’ looks like a fluffy teddy bear! He afro has grown so much it’s driving me crazy, that and the tears we have every morning trying to comb through his hair. Everyone else loves it, thinks it’s amazing – that’s because they aren’t the ones having to comb it…..!!!!!!!!!

Well today I’ve had enough and they’re off to the barbers, ‘Van Persie’ keeps mumbling ‘don’t like barbers, don’t like barbers’ until I tell him the barbers give you a lollipop when your hair is cut, as if my magic I now have mumbles of ‘go barbers, go barbers’! So there you have it, they have been and all now look like handsome young boys not boys dragged through a hedge!!

BEFORE – aaarrrggghhhh!!!

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AFTER – gorgeous!!!!

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Book of the week…

Apologies all, I’ve not been very good at keeping up with this and for someone who loves books it’s very naughty of me – slap on the hand for me!!

It was only the other day when I was in a local bookshop I suddenly realised there were some rubbish childrens books around. I mean some have hardly any story to them, they’re a bit of nothing. I mentioned it to a girlfriend of mine and she agreed and commented that she often struggles to sift through the nonsense to find the good ones!

Writing a children’s book is something that I’ve always wanted to do, inspired by those timeless Roald Dahl classics as well as the modern, fun newbies. One of these days I will write my own childrens book, well my idea is a collection of childrens books so watch this space and any publishers out there looking for something new here I am… hee hee!!!

Anyway as it’s been a while I thought I’d give you the Footy Mummy Household Top 10 books. Here are the books we love to read for little and bigger reads, they are our favourites, it’s quite an eclectic list as it covers the ages 2-9 so something for everyone…..

10. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian (Puffin)

9. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Puffin)

8. The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle (Templar Publishing)

7. Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman (Simon and Schuster)

6. Billionaire Boy by David Walliams (HarperCollins)

5. Tiddler by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan)

4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Puffin)

3. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan)

2. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae (Orchard Books)

1. Mr Men by Roger Hargreaves (Egmont)


Easter fun!

I just love Easter, a time where we can just be together as a family. Teasing the kids about the Easter bunny not coming and then having an Easter egg hunt around the garden and then all diving into a bowl of chocolate before it’s all eaten by ‘Van Persie’.  Where ‘business work’, Blackberry’s and work emails shut down for a whole four days. Four days of uninterruptions and four days of family time for a busy working family.

On bank holidays we always try to take the boys on a trip out, so on this Easter Sunday we decided we’d go to London Dungeons. We’ve never been and thought it would be fun to wonder through a 1000 years of London’s past meeting murky characters like Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper. Apparently they also have real rats to run around to make it more authentic, not sure if this is true or if I believe it, either way I wasn’t looking forward to watching where I’m putting my feet! So we get to London, make our way to the South Bank (the dungeons new home and being next to the London Eye and Sealife Centre it’s probably the most tourist populated place in London!!) I jump out of the car to check out the queue and oh my gosh what a queue, 1 hour 45 mins just to get in and pay – are they crazy??!!! We don’t like queing at the best of times so doing it in the freezing cold with 3 kids is a big no no so time for plan B.

Plan B was The Guards Museum next to Buckingham Palace, maybe not the kids number 2 choice but we were going and they really actually enjoyed it. On a military journey through years of battles and seeing the actual tattered Colours carried at Waterloo and blood-stained uniforms from the Crimea along with numerous medals from over 150 years including Victoria Crosses, it was very though provoking. Well it would have been if I’d had seen it all, half way through ‘Ronaldo’ decides he needs the loo and there isn’t a toilet there – aaarrgghh!! So now me and him are on the hunt for the loo St James’ park, yuck! Now the loo is on the opposite side of the park so we have to run as it’s ‘nearly coming’, dodging tourists taking pictures and groups of school exchange kids on tours and squirrals walking across the pavement. After a bit of running my lungs are killing, burning, gosh I’m not as fit as I used to be so we change to a brisk walk until ‘Ronaldo’ pipes up ‘quick mum I really need the loo’ so off we go running again ggggrrrrr I could do with some oxygen!!!!!!

Anyway after the toilet saga we manage to get back The Guards Museum just before it shuts and have time for a little photo, wearing bearskins….so cute!!

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So we’ve finished the museum and we thought we’d take a stroll around St James’ park, well ‘Arsene’ and I are strolling whilst the boys chase pigeons, bless them they really thought they’d catch them, as if a pigeon can’t see and hear a great big human coming towards them?!! St James’ park is lovely, I’ve only ever been once before when I did a surprise 30th party for ‘Arsene’ at ‘Inn the Park’ – sweet place and gorgeous food by the way, we had our party on the roof! Walking by the river towards Buckingham Palace is the cutest little wooden playground, we must have spent about an hour there and the kids had a great time, ‘Van Persie’s’ favourite thing to do there – look for squirrals, really?! Actually we saw loads and they come really close to you he loved it!

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So that was our Easter, we had a lovely day together  just being us and after all that running around in the freezing cold fresh air it means that we had three very tired boys on the way home….!!!

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