15 times Friends understood your attempts to lose weight

So, I have a confession to make.  I have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Friends – I must have seen every episode multiple times over the years. Tonight I’m heading to a Friends trivia night (this trivia night, in fact), and I’m quietly confident for a high ranking score.  And on that note, here are 15 times that our favourite 6 characters perfectly summed up all of your attempts to lose weight.

1. The one where you decide to lose weight

It’s never a fun moment, that day when you realize that no, it’s not your washing machine shrinking all your clothes.  It’s your months of neglect, beers and chicken kebabs taking their toll on you.   Time for a change!

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The myth of the fat burning heart rate zone

Fat Burning Heart Rate

Myths Under the Microscope is a new feature of the blog which reviews some of the more well-known theories, assumptions and misconceptions about health and dieting. I’ll be looking at these ideas objectively, seeking out the evidence and sharing my conclusions on whether they are good or bad advice – and providing you with the sources I’ve used so you can verify for yourself.

This week: the fat burning heart rate zone

You may have heard about heart rate zones while exercising, and saw the colorful posters splashed around every gym showing which zone you need to optimize your workout.  I’m sure you’ve heard one or two of these statements before too:

  • “You should be in the ‘fat burning’ zone to get the most effective workout for weight loss”
  • “You’re just burning the food in your stomach if you work too hard, you need to slow down to start burning fat”
  • “Lower intensity is the way to go to lose weight, higher intensity just wastes your muscles away”

So you’re telling me, that I can do easier workouts and lose MORE fat?  Sounds too good to be true, right?  But, what does the “fat burning heart rate zone” mean?  And is it true?

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Half way to half marathon! Training update

Half marathon training update time!  I’ve just reached the end of week 6, which means I’m half way through my training plan already!  I have 6 weeks left before the More/Shape half marathon in Central Park, and I’ve hit the point where the long runs really start stacking up the miles.  Time to really get serious about this!

Photo from NYRR.com
Photo from NYRR.com

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Diet forgotten, match abandoned. 2016 is go!

Happy new year everyone!

I haven’t written a blog post in a few weeks, for a couple of reasons.  I’ve been really busy with work, I’ve done some travelling and had a business trip to France which was much more stressful than I expected, and had some personal issues too. All in all, December was a split month for me, in some ways it was not the best month for me, but in other ways it was awesome. However, I did have some successes with running, so all was not lost!  I completed two more races since my last post, bringing my 2015 total to 19.

Ted Corbitt 15k, 9th December

It had arrived, the big race. My longest distance of 2015. The race that marked the final cell of my excel-spreadsheet-training-plan. It was an unseasonably warm December morning, which meant a last minute change to my running clothes. Running in one short sleeve tee was a nice novelty for mid-December!


Ready at the starting line with a running friend
Ready at the starting line with a running friend


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Vacation mid-way point – Checking in

Good old London town

Half way through my trip home already!  I’ve spent 3 days in London, 3 days in Glasgow and tomorrow I’m off to the in-laws in England for 4 days.  It’s been a great trip home, even if the weather hasn’t exactly been hospitable, lots of rain!  I’ve been staying with my cousin who has two new dogs, so I’ve spent a lot of time with my two new best friends.

Ollie and Alfie
Ollie and Alfie

In my last blog post I outlined my plan to stay on track while I’m at home:

  • Step 1: Pick your battles – choose a few ‘bad’ foods to eat at home, instead of eating ALL the bad foods
  • Step 2: Set exercise goals in advance
  • Step 3: Track EVERYTHING
  • Step 4: Be accountable!

So it’s the vacation mid-way point:  How is the plan going? 

I won’t lie.  It’s not.  I have really tried to stay on track, but it’s been a LOT more difficult than I thought it would be.  This is mainly due to two reasons which I’ll go into below, but before I start explaining – I know these aren’t excuses to fall off the wagon.

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Vacations: Good for the soul, bad for the diet

I am writing this blog post whilst sitting at a bar in JFK airport, drinking a wheat beer.  I’m very pleased to tell you that I am on vacation for the next 10 days!

Don't worry, I tracked the beer calories
Don’t worry, I tracked the beer calories

Well, I’m SORT OF on vacation.  You see, I live in the good old US of A, northern NJ to be exact, but I am originally from Glasgow in Scotland.  I’ve been living here for 3 years and need to renew my visa so that I can stay in this lovely country.  In order to renew a visa, I need to visit a US Embassy outside of the country and give them my passport for a week – so it makes sense to travel home and wait out my passport returning whilst catching up with my family.

I am so excited!! I have 3 days in London, then 4 days in Glasgow, then 4 days in south Yorkshire.  I’m planning to catch up with family and friends, and see my nieces for a few days who I absolutely love.  Get me on that plane already!

There’s just one problem with disrupting your regular routine:

How do you stick to your diet and exercise regimes?

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I skipped 3 weeks of running. Bad idea.

Facebook, maybe. WordPress? LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT

I have a confession to make.  Yesterday, I went on my first run for over 3 weeks.  The first 2 weeks of my hiatus were pure laziness, but last week I got myself back on track with the dieting, so the exercise should have gone hand-in-hand.  Last week was due to be the start of my run-up-to-Christmas training plan, but I hurt my back and so didn’t do any exercise at all.

Could I have managed some?  Probably.

Am I using a minor setback as an excuse?  Most likely.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to the run.  The course I ran was relatively flat for the first mile, with some downhills as I approach the 1M point.  The first half of mile 2 is almost all uphill, not the steepest hill I’ve ever run but enough to leave me seriously struggling to breathe as I drag my ass up that damn hill. Continue reading

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Weight loss plans are go

Three days in to my new eating plan and I’ve gotta say, it’s going well so far!   I’ve been very strict with my cardinal rule, which is if I can’t accurately track it, I don’t eat it.

Despite being only three days into my plan, I’ve already had a few opportunities to be led astray.  Yesterday, for example, I had a trip to the Jersey Shore with some friends visiting from my hometown.  Now, the Shore is not the place to go if you’re in week 1 of your full-accountability, no-nonsense, full-tracking weight loss plans.  Lunch options consisted of funnel cake, fried oreos, pizza slices, ice cream…. you get the picture.   Luckily, I anticipated this ahead of time and prepared a lunch of sandwiches and trail mix to take with me, calorie tracked ahead of time.   Continue reading

There’s a reason I can’t lose weight. No more excuses.

Hi and welcome to my weight loss blog!

First off, let’s start with a confession.  I am a yo-yo dieter.  I lose some weight, I gain some weight, I take up an exercise hobby, I shun said hobby.  Until now, I have never taken full responsibility for my inability to shed the pounds.  Losing weight should be easy, right?  Eat less and exercise more?

So why can’t I lose weight and keep it off?

Me at my heaviest circa 2007
Me at my heaviest circa 2007

There are a lot of reasons cited by failed dieters as to why they can’t lose weight.  I’ve used a few of them myself.

“It’s my genetics – my whole family are overweight”

“I eat healthy and exercise often, but no matter what I do the weight just sticks around”

“I think I’m in starvation mode, I hardly eat anything and seem to GAIN weight”

A few months ago, I still believed these were true.  Some people just can’t lose weight because they have a genetic predisposition to be overweight, they’re “just built that way”

However, I’ve realised something these past few months.  Do you know why I can’t lose weight?  Because I eat more calories than I burn off.   Continue reading