Great expectations…

In my first pregnancy I felt crap. I didn’t have anything major go wrong, just lots of niggles. Those niggles included:

  • A small bleed
  • Sickness & nausea
  • Backache
  • Pelvis pain
  • Migraines
  • Lethargy
  • Exhaustion
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain

I honestly thought losing weight & getting fitter I would sail through this pregnancy. But no. So far from that list I have had all of them, apart from the hip and knee pain!

Admittedly the pelvis and backache are not as bad BUT the migraines, lethargy and exhaustion have been horrendous! I thought this time I’d be one of those annoying women who felt super fantastic, I’d carry on with the gym, have a small but perfectly formed bump and people would marvel at how well I was looking.

Instead I have packed on the weight, my skin and hair looking horrendous, my face is puffy, the bump is huge and not neat at all(next person to ask me if its twins gets a punch in the face!). The aches and pains make me question if I am as fit as I thought I was and my inability to cook proper food atm is frustrating me to the max.

Maybe I had unrealistic expectations?

Don’t get me wrong, I know it will be worth it in the end, I just find pregnancy hard.

The only thing I keep telling myself is maybe this is just how I carry babies, that I’m just not that great at being pregnant and that the fitness etc will help me in labour and birth, hopefully I will get through this time without a CSection?

I’m also hopeful that whilst I know I have clapped on some timber that all this fitness etc will help after the birth and I’ll feel more confident to get out and about and sort myself out after. I am determined not to sit at watch box sets eating giant samosas!

It is getting increasingly hard to stay motivated though.
H x



Be careful lifting that sewing machine…

Yesterday was my birthday. A pretty uneventful day to be fair. But my husband gave me a sewing machine (rock and roll I know!)

As he has a broken shoulder he couldn’t really move it. So I had to lift it.


2 things surprised me about me lifting this sewing machine.

1) I went straight in to a deadlift without even thinking about it. Got in a position I knew would be comfortable, hip hinge, looking at a point on the floor and lifted that sewing machine without even batting an eye lid!

2) The husband warned me to be careful. I asked him how much he thought it weighed (his guess was 5kg) but I pointed out to him that the day before I’d deadlifted a 16kg kettlebell so the sewing machine felt like a doddle.  I’m pretty sure this time last year 16kg would have been beyond me and I’d have thought the sewing machine was heavy and a pregnant woman shouldn’t lift it. But my perceptions have changed. I wouldn’t lift mega heavy stuff (I’m not totally silly!) but I am not scared of lifting a little bit of weight.

The other thing I noticed in the gym this week was there was 2 young lads cleaning the mirrors on the walls. They were making a right faff of doing it, I’ve never heard so much whinging. (I didn’t dare do my rear delt flys with my backside against the mirror, thought they wouldn’t be too impressed!) But I did notice them giving me some funny glances, as if the sight of a pregnant woman lifting a kettlebell was the most bizarre thing they had ever seen. I guess it isn’t very common. At that point, I felt a little bit smug.

H x



I think I have issues…

Just recently I have begun to hate the way I look again. I’ve not had this feeling in about 9 mths. It is creeping back and I don’t like it one bit.

Baby bump I can cope with. I knew that my stomach would get bigger and I’m ok with that.

What I didn’t bank on was how I’d feel about my arms, thighs, arse and face getting fatter. People keep telling me that it’s a normal part of pregnancy to gain weight and to some degree I know this. But equally I know that my exercise levels have gone down (as they have to) and my healthy eating is no way near what it should be.

It’s not helped by the last few weeks having a husband with a broken shoulder and me having a lot of GCSE work to mark. Unfortunately I’ve had to mark in the evenings and with Christopher out of action it’s crap food that is filling the gaps ATM. I’m hoping the workload will shrink a bit this week and certainly by 14th may it will be done for y11, so things in theory should be a lot easier.

That said I am finding I’m becoming very critical of the way I look (bloody mirrors in the gym do not help!) and I’m sure it’s not healthy!

Anyway in a bid to boost my self esteem which is rock bottom ATM I got Christopher to take a bump pic but this time with my top rolled up, just to prove to myself it’s not all bad.

Arms, thighs, arse and face, well they’ll need some work. But for now I need to carry on exercising and try and eat a bit better.

H x


Tears, kettlebells and bumps that get in the way.

I’ve talked before about how  all this fitness/gym malarky helps to take my mind off work and boy today did I need it!

I am up to my eyes in marking year 11 controlled assessments (for those of you who aren’t teachers, that is a big 40 hour project they have to complete). Safe to say they haven’t done overly well and I am VERY stressed about it. So when I got to the gym and Jason asked me a question about how work was going I nearly lost it (I am very emotional atm and my hormones are all over the place), he was very lucky I didn’t have a full scale breakdown! Fortunately once I got the warm up out the way I was able to focus on the circuits and it really did take my mind off. I got a good 30 mins of focus and not thinking about work, phew!

Then he reintroduced the goblet squat but with 8kg. I’ve not done a goblet squat in AGES and last time was with a 16kg kettlebell. So at first I was thinking “ugh 8kg thats a bit light” but tbf 8kg was about right. I found I was noticing my abs, not painful, just acutely aware that I was working them. I don’t think I’d have been happy going up to 12kg.

Towards the end of the session we tried another thing with an 8kg kettlebell (for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called, another symptom of pregnancy = forgetfulness!) but you have the kettlebell in front of you and pull it up so your elbows are sightly above your shoulders. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get this movement right, not because I can’t do it but because the bump is sufficiently big it meant I was having to bring my shoulders forward to get the kettlebell past the bump!

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the first exercise that I can;t now do, not because the weight is an issue but because the bump is in the way! I fear this is just the beginning.
Tomorrow I am off to antenatal yoga. This will offer me something different to what I do with Jason, but primarily I am hoping it will help me relax and prepare for labour.

20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go!

H x



Baby bumps and barbells

Today has been mainly about my baby bump and barbells. Today I had my 20 week scan. I am actually 19+5wks.



The scan went well. The baby has all the right bits and pieces, it was very wriggly, so much it took the sonographer ages to get all the measurements and we even saw the baby having a drink (which was a bit freaky!).

So with the scan out the way, I had a gym session with my PT. I’m feeling quite comfortable with what I am doing now and not as nervous about doing a little bit of work with weights. I am finding that I am getting hotter and more out of breath as the weeks tick by BUT thinking back I am still at a better level of fitness than I was this time last year. The weights aren’t as heavy as I was lifting before Christmas but they are more than enough for now.



I am particularly enjoying squats with a weighted barbell. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am doing them BUT they feel natural again.

This time last year I didn’t anticipate doing weights at all, let alone doing any while I was pregnant. It has opened my eyes a little in to how much I wrapped myself in cotton wool last time I was pregnant.

H x

Basil and pine nut dressing

I made this dressing to go over a steak, but I think you could put it inside a chicken breast or maybe even through rice  with some crispy smoked bacon to make a sort of pesto rice.



  • A massive handful of basil
  • 4 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil (best quality you can get)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Water


  1. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan
  2. Get a jug and add the basil, toasted pine nuts and oil
  3. Use a stick blender and blender to a paste
  4. Add some freshly ground pepper
  5. Add water and continue to blend until the dressing is the desired consistency



Labour Vs the hardest set of circuits I’ve ever done

So I’ve been thinking a lot about childbirth recently. It is playing on my mind that in approximately 21 weeks I’ll be going through labour. Last time I was in labour, it didn’t go so well. In fact it was pretty vile. I ended up with a CSection and I was told I’d have to have another CSection this time.

Well no, apparently the rules have changed and I’ve got to give a natural birth a go again. Not going to lie, I am petrified. I’m petrified of the pain, I’m petrified of not being able to do it, I am petrified that I am not fit enough to get through it and that mentally I am not up to it.

And it got me thinking, a few months ago I posted this

I remember this session vividly. It is still etched on my brain. I still feel uneasy about this particular session. The circuits on this session hurt me mentally. Physically they hurt of course but it is not the physically pain I remember. Just like in labour & childbirth you forget the physical pain, that is now a distant memory. But the mental pain is not as easy to let go of.

I’ve come to the conclusion that childbirth is a physical battle and a mental battle, not unlike training sessions at the gym. I just need to figure out how I can show the same mental resilience in labour that I did in the gym back in November.

During that session something made me keep going. I am not sure what and there were a number of times I nearly didn’t but something must have made me keep going. I wish I knew what it was. Because at the moment, not unlike half way through that session, I can’t see a way through.

The only thing I can focus on is trying to keep as fit as possible in the vague hope it might help in someway.

But nothing hurts as much as burpees right?
H x



Pregnancy, Fitness and the confidence dip

Ok so prior to turning myself in to a gym nut, I lacked zero confidence. Zero confidence in my appearance, my abilities etc. Gradually over about 9 months, my confidence increased and I was quite happy going to the gym and knocking out circuits on my own and in turn as my fitness and weight improved I had more confidence in my appearance.

Then I got pregnant. All was good. Then I had a tiny bleed and had to ditch the gym for a few weeks to give my body a chance to let the pregnancy bed in. Again no issues.

However, what I didn’t bank on was losing my confidence in my ability to work in the gym unsupervised. So for the first few weeks back it was ok, as I had 2 sessions a week with Jason. I really needed to got 3 times but I convinced myself twice was ok till I got back in to it. Now I am back down to 1 session a week I really need to get back in to working out unsupervised. But what I didn’t bank on was having no confidence in my own ability again. We’ve covered the circuit for a few weeks out, I know what to do and how to do it but something was making me feel very uneasy about going it alone. Would I get it right? Did I know what to do? Would I do something incorrectly and hurt the baby?

So tonight was the first time I went to the gym and knocked out some circuits on my own since about mid January! I am not going to lie, it was difficult. Not physically, because I know what to do. But mentally. I had to persuade myself I was “safe” to go it alone. I had to really convince myself that I could do it and it would be ok. Once in the gym I found I had to get my head down, focus and just go for it.  I found it intimidating and scary. It was just like it felt this time last year, except for very different reasons.

Of course it went absolutely fine. I bottomed out at 3 circuits. I probably could have/should have done one more circuit but I’d been and done it. Hurdle overcome. I can still go it alone and I still know what to do. It must have been ok as I found myself thinking about form, was I in the correct position etc, was I looking at the right point on the floor to keep my spine aligned?

For me the gym is 40% physical and 60% mental. The physical is ok, you just battle through. Sometimes it hurts and you learn to accept that within reason pain/uncomfortableness is ok. But mental is so much harder, convincing yourself you can and you should.

So I’ve done it now, I’ve done a session on my own. So I should be able to get back in to some proper routine now.


H x

Cowboy Pie

This is a variation on the classic Cottage Pie. It is more tomato than gravy based but if you make it this way it is clean 🙂




  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1/2 a small swede
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 400g can of organic tomatoes (Use fresh if you can be bothered to deseed and chop!)
  • 400g can of baked beans (or you could add pinto beans, don’t forget to soak them first!)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 & 1/2 cups frozen sweetcorn
  • 200ml of red wine (optional)
  • fresh herbs (I used basil)
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes


  1. Preheat your over to 180 degrees C (Fan assisted)
  2. Chop the onion and crush the garlic. Gently fry them in a small amount of olive oil until very soft.
  3. Chop the carrots, parsnips & swede. Add them to the onion and garlic and gently fry for 5 minutes
  4. Add the minced beef to the vegetables and cook until brown
  5. Add the tomatoes (and baked beans/pinto beans if you are using them). Cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add the frozen peas & frozen sweetcorn.
  7. Add your fresh herbs & wine.
  8. Simmer until all the vegetables are soft and the liquid has reduced (20 – 25 mins, longer if you’ve used pinto beans – follow the instructions for your beans)
  9. Place the meat and vegetables in to a shallow glass/ceramic dish
  10. Add slices of sweet potato to the top of your meat and vegetables
  11. Place in the oven and cook till your sweet potatoes are cooked. (about 15 mins). You may want to cover with tinfoil and then remove the tinfoil for the last 5 mins so that the sweet potatoes don’t burn.