Let London 2012 legacy live on

The Paralympics closing ceremony brought this fantastic summer of sport to a close. Many of us will be left feeling blue rather than red white & blue, having been fired up with the Games since the Olympic torch lit our imaginations & began uniting a nation all those weeks ago. Olympians & Paralympians alike have made us cheer until we’re hoarse, cry with emotion & pack us with pride, excitement, awe & wonder.

London 2012 has been a historic event we’ll always remember & provided us with memories to tell future GB generations about. Seb Coe’s vision of ‘inspiring a nation’ as been achieved. As we celebrate Team GB’s massive success with their parade in the capital on Monday, we’re left not just with memories but thoughts about what our own personal best is.

Some of us may have been pushed to achieve their PB at school by an encouraging PE teacher, others may have cursed being cold on a bleak hockey pitch! Others may have tried their hand at a selection of sports, becoming a good standard at them all but not brilliant at any. Whilst watching athletes run, jump, play, throw, cycle, swim, row, it’s not hard to find yourself thinking either “how the hell do they do that?!” or “I wonder if I could do that?” (well at least give it a go!).

Some of the medallists had only taken up their sport recently; others had been competing since they were young. The long list of thank yous that the Paralympians in particular give when interviewed post achievements show that it’s not just their commitment but the belief, support & expertise around them that also push them on to achieve great things.

19 year old Jonnie Peacock’s awesome gold medal in the T4 100m sprint final with a 10.9 seconds was made even unbelievable when you consider Usain Bolt’s world record was 9.59 seconds. Jonnie’s personal disappointment that he’s didn’t run as fast as he wanted & couldn’t blame it on a head wind – when he’d just won gold at his first Games & hadn’t beaten the world record he’s set himself in the semi finals! – stated as he was, interviewed afterwards just shows the drive of a champion.

The London 2012 Games have not only inspired us, they’ve increased the status of sportswomen across the globe. Opened the door of acceptance & support for disabled people to compete on a centre stage & gain the support of a nation – a tenth of the UK’s population tuning in to watch Jonnie’s sprint. It’s restored a nation’s pride that we can put on the best event in the world & do it in style & lastly its lift our spirits from economic doldrums to having a renewed sense of passion & energy across the country. Sport at its very best does that.

It makes us cry, get frustrated, laugh, excel, support a team, become a team, challenge ourselves, be proud and passionate. Surely the least we can do now is let London 2012 live on. Challenge ourselves to reach our personal best, volunteer to help others achieve theirs. Matt Roberts, the UK’s top celebrity trainer, suggests to help us stay motivated we: “Find your body inspiration and place a picture of this individual in a location where you are constantly reminded of what you are trying to achieve.” With so many sports heroes to be inspired by from – David Weir, Laura Trott, Nicola Adams, Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmons… – chose one & pin them up.

 

They also had to start somewhere & look what they’ve achieved! So if you’re now a Games Geek who wants to get going, busy Mum who simply wants a smaller bum, or sporty sort who wants to reach that golden goal, now’s the time to cease the moment & get active or encourage others to do just that.

Be inspired by Team GB & do a deal with yourself to let the legacy live on & take your first steps to your personal best, it’s the least we can do for the commitment & pain Team GB went through to have our best Games ever & a thank you for all the pleasure, pride and passion they’ve instilled in us. London 2012 deservers to live on,

BOXING FAIRYTALES

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For the first female boxer Gold Olympian Nicola Adams who punched, right hooked, ducked, dived & downed her appellant yesterday like Imran Khan, when he burst onto the boxing scene in Beijing -– describing her Gold fighting victory as “A fairytale come true”.

If you had just turned the BBC on you may have been forgiven to think this was a men’s lightweight boxing final. Look at little closer & the big grin which escaped on occasion at the end of the rounds, or the fact that her coach encouraged their fighter on with “Good girl” & gently telling her to close her eyes as he sprayed her with cold water from her corner would have made you double take.

This time though it wasn’t the men’s boxing but a female who really did her idol Muhammad Ali proud, flying like a butterfly & stinging like a bee. It even brought male CEO’s of British retail companies to sit transfixed watching her performance! “In the second of four rounds, Ren went down”.

The unerring left jab, setting up a lightning right hook, delivered straight to the centre of the forehead as if a bull’s-eye were painted on it.” said Jonathan Liew from The Telegraph today. Much has been made of the fact that for the first time ever in the Olympics history every country and every sport has a female representative. Team GB girls have risen to the challenge – in fact they’d be 7th in the gold medals tables if they were a country, beating Germany, Spain & Japan! In fact it was the Team GB Girls who put us onto the medal table in the first place Helen Glover and Heather Stanning winning the rowing.

Quickly followed by Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins in the double skulls, then Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hoskins in the lightweight skulls as well. New super star sportswomen are shining through from cycling’s Vicky Pendleton, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, to riding: Charlotte Dujardin’s winning two for her team & individual dressage, plus her Dressage team mate Laura Bechtolsheimer reining in the equestrian golden girls, sports which you may have thought the girls would excel at, but this is added to Nicola’s boxing, Jade Jones taekwendo to fantastic heptathalete Jess Ennis.

The London Olympics 2012 will be remembered for being a fantastic success, with so many stands out events, sports, triumphs, firsts, World Records and scenes, but it will also be remembered as the time when Girls really are doing it for themselves. For when girls can show their clout at their sport and their womanly traits with pride too (in fact the men are crying more the girls it would seem!).

From silver medallist Gemma Gibbons’ “I love you Mum” whisper to the heavens after literally just throwing her opponent to the floor in Judo; Hockey Captain Kate broken jaw in round one, operation for a plate then back to lead her team four days later to Victoria’s heart you hand signals to her boyfriend as she stood on the gold platform have been proudly cheered by the nation. Laura Trott’s amazing storming cycling gold medal triumphs equalled with her amazing girlie giggle & blonde hair being another female who shows her strength in her sport & her femininity in success summing our Team GB Girls it up beautifully.

Sport is an amazing medium, uniting nations, bringing smiles & positivity in global recession, separating the boys from the men, but also showing the boys that the girls can do it too & be equals on the playing field & all athletes from the 26 sports inspiriting a generation to get off their bottom’s & give sport a go. Come on the Girls – let 2012 be the beginning & here’s girls blazing a trail towards Rio – if ever you needed to be proud & enthused about female sporting prowess now is the time.

London 2012 thank you for the most amazing Olympics and letting us have this historic event here in our country and inspiring us to greater things. We always knew we had it in us, but London 2012 has let the girls shine in equal measure & I for one am proud to be British female cheering Team GB & getting inspired to be the best at whatever sport I choose.

Jo Taylor.

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Images: Wonderland Magazine

Deborah Stead

Bikini Wars The Sunday Time Style gave a whole double page spread to what age women should stop wearing a bikini this weekend.

Apparently a recent survey had claimed that 7 out of 10 women believe you should stop wearing a bikini by the age of 39.

With the weather hardly being clement for any British babe to be worrying about baring all for their summer ‘stay-cation’, Style did nevertheless get us worrying. Nora Ephron, American screen writer of hits such as ‘When Harry Met Sally’ & ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (who sadly died aged just 71 last month) and beautifully pragmatic feminist – gave this as one of her pieces of advice: “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini and don’t take it off until you’re 34.”…

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MDNA = Fitness

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Madge whipped into the UK this week as part of her MDNA 2012 World Tour. The ‘blonde’ bombshell debuted her trademark show in Hyde Park, before heading north to Birmingham & Edinburgh.

Staying unplugged at Hyde Park on Tuesday night playing between rain & ray of light, she worked her butt off dancing, showed her butt off, did a spot of slacklining, singing & shooting amongst other delights in her two hour show. The big standout moment in amongst a hugely entertain, high energy, big drama, fantastic chorography concert was a massively stripped back version of ‘Like a Virgin’.

It was perhaps the only time it showed how she’s the old hand with her 30 anniversary of being an international rock star that – love her or hate her – can put an amazing performance on & keep her music fresh & alive.

Slowing the pace for once, she had time to stun us all with her intensity, sensual voice & embrace her longevity as Queen of Pop.

After all, it’s not every 53 years old who has:

  • A fifty something figure to flaunt
  • The energy to do a back to back World tour taking in 90 venues across Europe, Arab States, Russia, North & South America
  • Enjoys being proud Mum when her 11 year old son is break-dancing on stage next to her
  • Has a 25 year old boyfriend who’s crazy about her
  • A go at the latest craze slacklining
  • Manages to pull off looking sexy clad from head to stiletto toe in leather.
  • The confidence to strip down to bra in front of their other half let alone 65K fans!

Not that we’re suggesting that all of the above is what the average girl desires but it does point to a woman who’s full of energy, confidence and stamina amongst other things! Madge’s body confidence comes from being fit, full of energy & confident in her body to show it off and put it thorough the rigors of putting on action packed show night after night, country after country.

A fan of the personal trainer for years the material girl rarely takes a holiday & has been dedicated to fitness & balanced diet, it shows. Her body isn’t all muscle & bones as it was before but more womanly, fit & slim – & one that still appears on the front of Vogue. The ability to dance, grind and tour shows that with a devotion to healthy habits have done Madge proud. Yes she might have more time on her hands than some of us, more money than most of us, but she’s also got more determination than most of us – saying herself “second best is never enough” – to keep her mind & body fit with an exercise regime & decent diet. Think about it, probably without even realising it, Madonna’s DNA has spread over the world’s collective fitness. Her music being the tunes for untold aerobic, running and treadmill sessions, let alone been the dancing queen for a large number of the world’s generation! That’s before we even think about the fitness fads, dancing routines & yoga workouts she’s inspired females worldwide to do. We’ve all grown up with the material girl, we’re used to her Like a Virgin sex, catholic antagonistic references, fake blondeness, dance chorography & men, but we’re also used to her looking great, being fit & expressing herself.

As the Lancet pointed out this week, lack of fitness is killing more people in this country than smoking – perhaps then it’s worth taking Madge’s Die another Day attitude, being the fittest we can be & doing our bodies proud. Bikini Beach Babe update…. Following on from our comment this week on it’s the way you wear bikinis not the age you are – a Debenhams survey has voted Ursula Andress as No 1 beach babe body for her 007 Dr No appearance! Halle Berry closely followed by Daniel Craig himself getting Beach Babe status too. It would appear that it’s not age, or the way you wear but also the way you walk out of the water that does the trick – work it girls!

50 ways to Sex-ercise

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Christian Grey likes his women fit. Fit in more than just the attractive sense, fit in the stamina, cardio vascular, toned, physical sense. Fit in the ‘insatiable, do it all night, this way, that, not just missionary position’ fit. Which begs the question (well one of many “50 Shades of Grey” ones but keep up with me on this one) – what exercise would you do for great sex?! We’re not just talking Dominant / Submissive here, we’re talking the feeling sexy, enjoying getting breathless, trying lots of positions in one session, sizzling sex. That, after all is what we all would like.

Not only does sex burn calories – apparently about 90 per ½ hour (a more vigorous session can burn up to 200 calories, the same as 15 mins on a treadmill – know what I’d rather do!), uses a variety of muscles groups & increases your cardio vascular, plus releases endorphins making regular & enthusiastic sex great in all senses. However for good sex we need to feel sexy, fit and on top form (pardon the pun!).

Therefore it would seem that there’s a positive correlation between the more & longer sex we have the fitter we get, & the fitter & more confident we are about our bodies the more sex we have. So no wonder Mr Grey had it in his contract: “Appendix 1 Exercise: The Dominant shall provide the Submissive with a personal trainer four times a week in hour-long sessions at times to be mutually agreed between the personals trainer and the Submissive.

The personal trainer will report to the Dominant on the Submissive’s progress.” With so much to think about & keep up with, there’s no wonder that Ana suddenly dug out her old gym kit & took to pounding the pavements! “For the first time in my life, I voluntarily go for a run. I find my nasty, never used sneaker, some sweatpants, and a T-shirt.” Even if she hadn’t dreamt of doing any exercise for a long time & had little faith in her ability to actually even run: “I don’t think I’ll be able to run one mile, let along five,” The point is, she did & she enjoyed it “I stop besides a large spruce and put my hands on my knees, breathing hard, dragging precious air into my lungs.

Oh this feels good, cathartic.” So, back to my first point – what exercise would/do you do for great sex – enough to feel sexy, lots to be active, yoga to be supple, sits ups for flat stomach, cardio for stamina? And more to the point is there a relationship not just between two people for great sex, but one between wanting to be fit for sex because you know you’ll have great sex? Does the exercise regime droop as the sex wanes? We may not have – or want – Christian Grey in our lives, but talking to a lot of girlfriends it would appear it’s difficult to imagine there’s a female out there who doesn’t want great sex. Perhaps it’s worth getting our own contract with exercise, putting energy into that exercise workout, booking that associate personal trainer, so that we know our next work out – in the bedroom, kitchen, dining room table, red room… – will be one worth chalking up on that bedstead?!

Bikini Wars

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Bikini Wars The Sunday Time Style gave a whole double page spread to what age women should stop wearing a bikini this weekend.

Apparently a recent survey had claimed that 7 out of 10 women believe you should stop wearing a bikini by the age of 39.

With the weather hardly being clement for any British babe to be worrying about baring all for their summer ‘stay-cation’, Style did nevertheless get us worrying. Nora Ephron, American screen writer of hits such as ‘When Harry Met Sally’ & ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (who sadly died aged just 71 last month) and beautifully pragmatic feminist – gave this as one of her pieces of advice: “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini and don’t take it off until you’re 34.” 34, 39? Really? It would appear that it’s more about age than attitude, sagginess than sexiness which is the point here. Surely if you’ve a decent – curved, boyfriend, hour glass or catwalk model slim – body then you can wear a bikini?! My Nan was often found doing her gardening in her bikini in her 80s, still with her hour glass figure looking great! After-all if you’ve got it why not flaunt it.

Bikini’s are just another item of clothing. There’s not a man I’ve asked who’s said females should be covered up after their 30s! Yes if you’re an obese overweight, boobs below your buttocks, switching over the channel via remote control is an effort kinda girl then please for everyone’s sake cover up. Or if you’ve stretch marks from being Mum that you don’t like or having a fat day feeling then you’ve every right to choose the cossi, but surely the point is that we decide if we want to go bikini babe or sassy swimmers? As Style’s Mrs Mills says: ‘It’s all to do with skin texture and muscle tone: you’ve got to have one or the other and preferably both.’

We all know we can do something about muscle tone, there’s also some great creams to help out with the old skin texture too (My Nan swore that you had to moisturise your décolletage as well as your face & neck everyday!). Some simple exercises will easily get anybody’s body back in great bikini shape if you want to put in the effort.

Oh & I’m sure Mrs Mills would also remind you that whatever your age or beachwear to remember to book the bikini wax too! On holiday recently with a bunch of Girlfriends all over 39, there wasn’t one who felt the need to cover up. Yes they might have picked their bikini’s carefully – maximising assets or choosing shapes which covered up or boosted up bits, but they all looked great & were much admired by fellow females, whipper snappers to middle aged men alike! At the end of the day, when you’re ordering your sundowner cocktail, it’s simply all about working it – whether bikini or bathers – body confidence, good wax & a sexy smile do wonders for turning up the heat to be a babe on the beach.

Age before booty? Never! Get bikini bootylicious!

Prom Panic to Prom Perfect

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Prom fever has descended. Your date’s dishy, dress gorgeous, you can dance in your heels & your hair’s finally behaving – that just the make up to master!

With photos that’ll be on your parents’ mantelpiece, leaver’s book & Facebook for years to come, prom panic can set in. Fear not, Jemma Kidd knows all about celebrity entrances and getting the right look; from fluttery false lash look of Selina Gomez or glowing sun kissed skin of Miley Cyrus, all your need is a little help from one of Jemma Kidd’s Make Up Maestros to be prom perfect. With Vogue saying the trends for 2012 Proms are runaway black eye liner or statement lips, it’s important to get it right & rock the look than be remembered as a vampire who didn’t cut the Twilight grade!


Jemma Kidd masterclass@HOME is a fool proof & fun way to ensure that you look red carpet ready on the big night. From basic beauty know-how to flawless bronzing, perfect foundation and oh-so-pretty false lash application, a Jemma Kidd Make-up artist will come to your home and take you through all the steps needed to achieve a flawless face. You’ll also be treated to some backstage tips and techniques to teach you how to take your look from daytime pretty to Prom tastic & red carpet ready.

So start the party early & summon some friends to a JemmaKidd masterclass@HOME Pre Prom primp & prep party?! Invite 6-10 of your best girlfriends over & Jemma guarantees you’ll all be make up maestros after just two hours whilst having a giggle & getting gorgeous. Tickets cost just £45 & includes two Jemma Kidd Make Up School products worth up to £30, to you’ll leave the class armed with make-up tips, tricks & treats. Prom night – bring it on, all’s that’s left now is perfecting your dancing – go Footloose!

Jo Taylor.

The Bulging British Babe

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The sky is finally blue & the much awaited SKYFALL trailer is finally out! The new Bond starring Daniel Craig & gorgeous Javier Bardem means I definitely want to be a Bond babe rather than a beached whale for its release this autumn! British woman’s bodies have inflated like a beach ball since the 1950s. Its fifty years ago this year, during the filming of the first Bond “Dr No”, bikini clad ‘Honey Ryder’ stepped out of the surf. Ursula Andress playing the role sporting a slight 22 inch waist, compared to Gemma Aterton’s 28 inch waist in the last Bond “Quantum of Solace”. It would appear us British babes are unfortunately beefing up for the role.

Matt Roberts, the UK’s most recognised personal trainer, responsible for training some extremely high profile personalities, who presides over a multi-faceted fitness and nutrition empire, is worried about the trend and wants to see “a shake- up and a conscious decision to find out how fit and how fat the nation really is”. As Bond says in the new film “Some men are coming to kill us. We’re going to kill them first”, it would appear that some of our food habits may kill us unless we kill them first. The facts are frightening:

•Waist measurements have expanded to a massive 34.6 inches (a 63% increase on the gorgeous Ursula Andress).
•Dress sizes have swelled: in the 1950s a size 12 woman would be an average height of 5ft 2inches tall, 37inch bust, 27 inch waist & a curvy 39 inch hip. Size 12 nowadays being considered a less curvy more filled out 37inch bust, 30 inch waist & 39 hips.
•The average woman in the 1950s was a size 12 and today the average woman is a size 16, soaring to 5ft 4inches, 38 inch bust, 34 inch waist & 40 inch hips. (& that’s worse than it sounds considering how dress sizes have grown considerably bigger).
•Women are also damaging their health with their unhealthy lifestyle: obesity rates have increased – with twice as many females admitted to hospital with primary diagnosis of obesity over period 2000/1 to 2010/11 (NHS Information Centre for National Statics, 23rd Feb 2012)
•Knock on effect being that these women are almost 13 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes too (Health Survey for England).
•For the first time ever men are more likely to outlive women (Office for National Statistics April 2012).

All the statistics read like a shocking horror novel that leaves the reader reeling, unfortunately, unlike trashy summer beach read, this isn’t fiction but the state of the female nation.

What’s happened to the British babe? Our lifestyle choices point to a lack of exercise – a fifth of the British population walks for a minimum of 20 minutes “less than once a year or never” (National Travel Survey (NTS) 2010); not to mention the unhealthy diet – households are purchasing less fruit, falling to levels below 2007 ones (reported by Health Survey for England Feb. 2012). It all makes for weighty women and weighty issues that need to be dealt with.

“There needs to be the encouragement to be more active and there needs to be less acceptance that being overweight and obese is ok.” Comments Matt Roberts.

Yet rather than get active we continue to spend money on covering up lumps and bumps rather than getting to the healthy heart of the matter. To help encourage women to make a difference Matt Roberts has launched a new nationwide “Training with You” six week programme, in association with the social experience experts Conviviality, which is having impressive results on fitness, waist size, fat to muscle ration and motivation of women to get fit & feel amazing across the UK.

So rather than spend money on a bigger pair of jeans and loose top, Matt is encouraging women to put their money to good use rather than spending it on a bigger pair of jeans and a baggier top, to sign up for his “Training with You” fitness and diet programme instead. With its expert nutritional programme, advice and guidance; alongside exercise techniques, education and guidance from one of Matt’s Associated Personal Trainers to defuse the health time bomb and gives every woman the opportunity to successfully find their slimmer selves. It’s all done within the comfort your home, office or even the local park. With up to eight girlfriends, the results are fast and effective and enable you to trade your lifestyle choices to healthier ones for your future well-being – making it the best wardrobe investment you can ever make and one you will never tire of!

Beat the bulge and get back to beach babe status for a healthier, happier, and sexier you, start “Training with You” today. After all you never know when 007 might turn up & if he does I’d rather he was shaken & stirred by the look of me rather than frightening the living daylights out of him!

Bikini Body Wobbles

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The sun’s out, the magazines are full of this season’s bikini trends – romantic frills, tie ups, fringes & monokini mania – which is all very well if you’ve the beach body to show it but if you dread it what then? Fear not as the countdown commences to the big reveal, Matt Roberts, celebrity Personal Trainer, has launched a new “Training with You” programme in association with the social experience experts Conviviality, so that you can have the Pippa Middleton bottom, Cheryl Cole flat tum or the infamous Ursula Andress Bond Girl bikini curves.

Matt Roberts says:

“Beach season can be both enjoyed and dreaded by women but through some hard work and the right diet getting into the bikini doesn’t have to be too daunting.”

Glup. OK, so if it’s time to get serious, let’s find out what it’s all about. Matt Camp; Conviviality’s new nationwide “Training with You” six week programme is a completely unique and alternative approach to getting fit and losing weight. Effective, informative, fat busting and fitness “Training with You” enables you to grab up to eight of your girlfriends, to train with a Matt Roberts expert Associate Personal Trainers in the comfort of your own home, office or local park and guarantees you’ll be giving the British Beach Volleyball team competition this summer!

All good so far. Don’t even need to leave the safety of my own home before I’ve completely the six sessions camp; I’m ready to reveal the bikini body to the beach world!

Combining carefully researched fitness & nutrition programmes – from Matt’s vast experience of working with clients & celebrities alike – it’s been proven to take inches of waist, hips & thighs, increase your muscle ratio, get fit & lose weight fast. They also say it’s fun as you can motivate each other, have a giggle with your girlfriends whilst doing it and achieve great results.

Studies prove that working out with friends increases your chances of reaching your goals; “Training with You” uses your everyday social or work life to encourage goal setting & achievement in this inspirational concept for the UK, combining exercise and expert nutritional advice.

So what’s the drill? Each week the Associate Personal Trainer will work with to personalise the diet and exercise plan, making sure you get the most from your programme, giving advice and guidance, providing expert exercise technique and education as well as mobility, bio-mechanics and stretching assessments. In-between sessions there’s the opportunity of recipe swapping, motivational ‘beach babe to be’ banter (to stop you reaching for the chocolate or wine!) plus your Personal Trainer’s top tips are all encouraged on-line within your discreet personal training group.

Six weeks to a sassy, sexy, slim bikini body, that will not only have you walking out of the water like a Bond Girl in a bikini but also gives you the knowledge and good habits for a lifetime, “Training with You” is the new girl’s best friend & a beach essential for summer 2012. Having completed it and lost 5 cms off my bottom and 4cms off my waist I reckon it’s the way to go. Summer, bring it on!

MATT ROBERTS “TRAINING WITH YOU” Week 1: GIRLS GET GOING!

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Seasonal excesses behind us, six of us decided to take up the challenge to get back to our fit, slim sexy selves & kickoff the six week “Training with you” programme, specially designed by Conviviality & the UK’s leading celeb Personal Trainer Matt Roberts. After all if it’s good enough for the celebs it’s good enough for us!

So on a Saturday afternoon we’re all sitting expectantly around a friend’s kitchen table laid with official personalised folders & warmed by the Aga & our anticipation (or maybe slight anxiety of stepping on the scales?!) for our Initial Assessment with one of Matt Roberts top Personal Trainers. Vicky makes us all feel at ease & starts by taking us through why we’re here, what to expect & gets us setting some realistic goals. It’s informative, friendly & fascinating stuff. Then it’s the moment of truth, stepping on the scales. To everyone’s relief we individually disappear into another room (to spare the sharp intakes of breath) as Vicky takes your measurements – thighs, hips & waist – meanwhile the clever machine also tells you your weight, body fat ratio, muscle mass & hydration levels. Fascinating stuff.

Then it’s time to get active with the Introductory Training Session. We all pop outside onto the patio and Vicky takes us through Bodyweight squats, press ups, lunges, resistance band work & the plank. That’s when it sinks in that you’re working with an expert personal trainer, showing us exactly what to do & taking the time to come round to us individually to get our absolutely technique right, which makes a massive difference. It’s actually quite easy to do & you’re left with a sense of achievement thinking “well that wasn’t that bad”, it’s only the next day that I feel like an old granny trying to get into the car, though surprisingly when I do it on my own at home two days later (following the leaflet in the folder), the stiff as a board feeling doesn’t happen much to my delight!

Back inside with the document in hand it’s time to take a look at the food programme which will kick off a – strict! – new menu for the first two weeks. There’s lots of discussion, top tips & recipe ideas exchanged, plus a helpful plate & portion control foldout that makes it all seem achievable. In the meantime we’ve three days to contemplate (which in my case meant dinner out Saturday night, Sunday morning winter BBQ fry up on the beach with friends, slices of cake & a carbs & meat fest spag bog, not quite the build up for toning the tum but enjoyed like a naughty school girl nevertheless!) and get our mind & bodies ready to kick start the programme in earnest. It should be an interesting, fun, enlightening – in all senses! – six weeks ahead…

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