Weeks 53 to 56…In which I review the C9 Cleanse

If you read my year end post you’ll know I started this year with the C9 Cleanse.  I highly recommend it. Here’s what you need to know:


It’s around 100 quid but the box comes with everything you need;  2 litres of Aloe Vera Gel, a bag of milkshake powder, some sachets of fibre powder,  a nine day supply of multi vitamin tables, and a guide book. The box also comes with a motivational message.




Well, fuck you, I thought, I don’t take feel like smiling, I feel like crying, and I’m not taking instructions from a cardboard box!



On days one and two you have 3x120ml shots of Aloe Vera, one shake and a handful of tablets.

You can also have one portion of either; an apple, 3 apricots, 69g of grapes or 192g blueberries, and two portions of either asparagus, sugar snap peas (14 of them to be precise) or one medium pepper. The great news is there are also FREE foods  which you can stuff your face with all day if the cravings make you want to rip the throats out of your children /husband / dog (maybe that was just me). I got a bit excited at free food until I saw it consisted of lettuce, kale, leeks, spinach, cauliflower, aubergine, celery and cucumber. Ruddy marvelous, if you’re a tortoise.




You can’t drink normal tea or coffee.  So if you can’t stand the blandness of water your only option is fruit tea which in my opinion should be banned or at the very least utilised as a threat or punishment.

For the next 7 days you have one shot of Aloe Vera, two shakes and, in addition to your free veg,  a 600 evening calorie meal – hallelujah. 600 calories is a lot and there are no constraints about the makeup of your evening meal. You can have a McDonald’s cheeseburger and small fries for under 600 calories (I know because I checked).

What’s the C9 cleanse like? Well, take it from me, Aloe Vera gel is vile. Absolutely vile.

I took the instructions literally. ‘Take with 200ml of water’ it says. BIG mistake. Just, don’t. The consistency of Aloe Vera is how I’d image the inside of eyeballs to be. Jelly like and viscous, a bit like phlegm. And it’s not water soluble; the gel hangs there in small globules. So if you mix it with water, you get…frog spawn.

Here’s a tip; put it in the fridge, even freeze it for a bit so its ice cold, then take it in 2x60ml shots and pretend you’re doing a bush tucker trial. It’s the only way to get through.

Another tip; on days one and two save up your free veg and roast a big plate of it for dinner. Roasting is not technically allowed. You’re supposed to ‘lightly steam’ them. Fuck that. I can’t see how roasting them increases the calorific content and Jesus this is about SURVIVAL (besides which, have you ever tried to steam an aubergine??).

The milkshakes are ok BUT they are extremely sweet…and if I’m honest it doesn’t feel ‘clean’. It feels a little like your downing a McFlurry, the benefit of which is that it fills you up immediately but with the downside of reducing the worthiness of doing a ‘cleanse’ (if I’m gonna starve I want to at least FEEL like I’m sacrificing for the cause). Buy the vanilla flavour rather than the chocolate because you can use the very limited selection of fruit to make it more palatable (adding a handful of blueberries and raspberries is a joy).

But here’s the biggest tip of all and possibly the easiest healthy eating trick I’ve ever found. Get GOUSTO (www.gousto.co.uk). It’s the best home meal delivery service out there (I’ve tried them all). Two deliveries a week of the best recipes on the planet. You pre-select your meals, receive ALL the fresh ingredients at your door, and then cook the meals from scratch in under 30mintues. No waste, recycle friendly packaging and absolutely DELICIOUS. Meals for two costs from £3.75 each (average is about £4.50) and you can choose the recipes by calories if you need to. During the 7 days I ate; Lancashire Lamb Hotpot, Turmeric Pork with Chilli Lime Radish Salad, Indonesian Chicken Satay, Cod and Chips with tartare Sauce, Chicken Saag Masala and Pilau Rice, Smokey chicken and mushroom linguine, Aubergine Parmigiana with Pesto Bruschetta.



Every one under 600 calories.

By the end of the cleanse I’d lost 7lbs. Easiest thing I’ve done – the C9 kills your appetite and any cravings by about day 4, mine haven’t come back.

In other news;

A very good friend of mine who lives in Sydney is a very good friend of the famous chef Marco Pierre White. Through a series of serendipitous facebook posts we worked out that she was having lunch with him just 40 minutes from my front door and she invited me to join them (this little Deli restaurant in Tetbury is awesome http://www.quayles.co.uk/ )

20180116_130323.jpgFresh off the C9 I was stressing about what I could possibly eat that wouldn’t a) blow the cleanse in one sitting and b) horrify Marco (I had visions of looking into his disdainful face as I ordered kelp salad). I needn’t have worried, he’d already ordered for me. And when Marco Pierre White chooses your food, it’s a good idea to eat it. The Welsh Rarebit was possibly the best thing I’ve eaten in a year.

For the record he’s EXACTLY like you’d imagine him to be. Intense, a bit scary, disarmingly charming and just the right side of sexy as hell in a slightly grizzled, bad boy kinda way.



We spent the rest of the afternoon following him around an antique shop the size of an aircraft hangar. Actually it was an aircraft hangar, on an airfield, in the Cotswolds (http://www.lorfordsantiques.com/)

I racked up 6500 in two hours thus burning off the Welsh rarebit. Thank you Marco.

I found the C9 so easy that I’ve stuck with the concept, replacing one meal with a shake and a Gousto meal every night so the rest of the month has also been easy. AND…I bought my first size 16 trousers in 20 years. Admittedly I turn a purple in the face trying to zip them up, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to bend down but I DON’T FUCKING CARE BECAUSE THEY ARE A SIZE 16!!!

Outcome: I’ve lost 10lbs this month…which means I’ve hit the 4 stone mark and I’m very  BACK ON TARGET!!

P.S.  If you fancy the C9 you can order it here



The final chapter of 2017

So it’s the end of the year. 52 weeks in which I attempted to lose 52lbs.

Have I done it? Have I fuck.

I finished the year on a total loss of 47lbs (or 21kgs or 3.4 stone)

So I failed.

But I refuse to beat myself up about it. I know I could have done it if I’d stuck to the plan over the last few weeks. I could have fasted, juiced, reduced the calories to 500 a day, gone on a 10K run (HAHA) but frankly life is too short to diet over Xmas so I CHOSE to eat everything I wanted….and I’VE LOVED EVERY FUCKING SECOND OF IT! (while I didn’t lose anything in the last two weeks, miraculously I didn’t gain anything either (I guess that’s the benefit of SLOW weight loss – result!).

And it’s been a spectacular year. In addition to losing 47lb in the last 52 weeks I’ve also spent a total of 17 weeks away from home in Australia, Europe and the Middle East, attended 9 ‘residential boot camps’ (not the physical kind) in 3 countries, delivered 7 keynote lectures, ate in a total of 27 restaurants (the record was 5 in one week), tried Ariel yoga, slept in 22 different beds (alone – except one), got intimate with a power plate, enjoyed a bit of electro muscle stimulation, jogged on a treadmill and Pilates.

I’ve also discovered jack fruit, met David Attenborough, met Idris Elba (ok, that’s not true, but I breathed the same air), dined at the Palace, watched 77 people graduate from The Marketing Academy programmes (work reference), attended a private gig with Ed Sheeran, went to 2 stadium shows, got a tan, went to a festival in a field, stayed at a French camp site from hell, mini holiday’ d in Marrakesh (twice, but didn’t get a full week long break anywhere), did a bit of reflection, and flew first class (a highlight, but I would never pay for it). I also watched my 21 year old daughter move into her first house (a weird mixture of parental pride and the utter horror of being old enough to have a home-owning child), outed my inner voice Mildred (she now has a guest spot in my lectures) and wrote 26 blogs – hopefully keeping people entertained with my attempts to spend 365 days eating healthily and moving more frequently.

This was always going to be a two year challenge; the overall target is 100lbs. Even though I’ve lost over 3 stone I’ve merely moved from morbidly obese, to plain old normal obese. Which means I’m still fat but not so much that it might kill me fat.

Now I’m in deep shit because I have to lose 53lb in 2018. This means I need to whack up the physical activity and seriously reduce my food intake. URGHH.


Having reviewed ‘what worked last year’ I’m starting 2018 with a 9 day ‘cleanse’ (a longer version of the 3 day juice I started with in 2017 but devised by professionals). It’s called C9 (see what they did there?) and will basically see me ingesting copious amounts of Aloe Vera and quite a few indefinable ‘shakes’ (this isn’t exactly filling me with joyful enthusiasm). Solid food is allowed (yay) but no more than 600 calories and only on days 3 to 9 (fuck). I can already hear Mildred mumbling about ripping people’s throats out if they even THINK about eating in front of me…but I’m going into it with an open mind.

Following that I’m going with a different ‘diet’ each month including; Mindful Chef, low carb, 28 days sugar free, low fat, Weight Watchers, Noom, Slimming World and 5:2 (DREADING this one).

I’m also splashing out with a personal trainer, signing up to a full course of the aerial yoga classes and will be trying Zumba. My loathed Fitbit has been recovered from the bottom of the man drawer and restored to factory settings in the hopes that I fall in love with it 2nd time around.

So that’s all for this year. Thank you reader for staying with me and supporting me pound by pound. I know I couldn’t have done it without you.

And if you can bear another year of my efforts to get healthy then stay tuned, will be writing a blog a month in 2018.

P.S Here’s a few before and after pics…thought you deserved a laugh.



PPS. If you want to read all 26 blogs click here


Weeks 45 & 46…in which I get up close and personal with a sex therapist


I was a bit low after my last blog. Totally crippled with jet lag and overwhelmed by a punishing schedule that left me physically drained and emotionally depleted. The thought that I was behind target on my weight loss quest was crippling me and after spending way too long in the snack aisles at Waitrose bargaining with Mildred (see Weeks 28 to 30…in which I do battle with the voice in my head (Aussie edition) ) I knew I was in trouble.

Fortunately so did my friend. I’ll call her Gail. I’ll call her Gail because that’s her real name and if I’m sharing everything in my blog then so will she! She had an idea, an intervention – it took her a few days to get hold of me because I was hiding in my bedroom under a duvet wrestling with Mildred and a bag of Sensation Balsamic and Red Onion crisps – ‘Let’s do a challenge together’ she said ‘one juice a day, replacing a meal, for 30 days. We’ll send each other a photo of the juice every day’.

This woman loves me. I know she loves me because SHE DOESN’T NEED TO DO THIS. She has a gorgeous physique (I have a photo somewhere of her half naked on a 4ft swan). She was doing this for me. So I agreed, knowing she’d hold me to account.

It’s been much easier than I thought. The key to juicing every day is;

  • only juice the veg / fruit that you like the taste of (beetroot tastes exactly like the mud it grows in)
  • batch juice your veg  /fruit and then freeze it so you can use your nutribullet to blitz it up, saving you the half a day it takes to clean the juicing machine
  • on cold days do a veg one, add peas, warm it up and drink it like a soup
  • have your juice around 10.30am and you’ll hardly want anything for lunch.

And then she introduced to Massimo.  He runs EMX Squared, a kind of holistic mind, body and soul place near Mable Arch (http://www.emxsquared.com/). ‘He’s the answer to your prayers Sherilyn, you just stand there while your muscles get pummelled by electrical impulses burning up 2000 calories in 20 minutes, book it now!’ she said.

I was cynical. This is a woman who can do 30 burpees without breaking a sweat, I’ve known her to run 5 miles before breakfast and she can hold the plank position for 10 minutes..whilst balancing on a power plate (I was with her at the time trying not to throw up – see Week 4…in which I get intimate with a Power Plate).

There was NO WAY this was going to be as easy it sounded.

She texted me before the appointment ‘dig in for the first experience, it’ll be transformative I promise, but it is WEIRD’. This freaked me out a little..she has a high tolerance for weirdness…‘weird’ to Gail is like totally fucking bat shit crazy to anyone else.

So with a little apprehension I arrived at Massimo’s studio in London. I needn’t have worried. This guy REALLY knows how to put you at ease. I spent 20 years as a head hunter, which means I know how to build rapport very quickly with people I meet for the first time. But he put my skills to shame. Within seconds he’d found out more about me than my daughters know, told me his background, his philosophy and the fact that, in addition to the fitness work he does, he’s a trained, very experienced sex therapist. Wait, what? We were soon discussing the effect of menopause on your libido and the female capability for multiple orgasms. Him ’So when you masturbate do you feel like you’re making love to yourself?’  Me  ‘Ummmm’… I’d been in the room for 3 minutes.


Back to the matter in hand (so to speak) he bought out a two piece outfit for me to put on. It looked suspiciously like a wet suit – with padding. I was hyperventilating at the thought that the suit wouldn’t fit until I remembered that I hadn’t been a size 22 since February. It still looked tiny though – ‘will that fit?’ I said ‘absolutely’ he said ‘if anything it’s going to be too big’. I was loving this guy.

It wasn’t pretty but with a bit of huffing and puffing on it went. He then connected me up to a machine which does indeed send electrical impulses to every muscle group, turned up as high as you can stand.

‘Is the sensation bearable?’ he said. I didn’t know, I was too busy trying not to fart and distracted by the thought that I might need to pee before I could unpeel myself from the suit and could that result in electrocution.


But then followed the best 20 minute ‘work out’ I’ve ever experienced. It’s a bit like being strapped into a body size version of a TENS machine (mothers, you’ll remember it..sounded like a good idea but TOTALLY ineffectual once the contractions started)…or a souped up Slendertone.  It truly is a weird sensation which pummels your entire body and every single muscle, not painful, but not entirely pleasant either. The current stimulates your muscles, flexing them 300 times PER SECOND so 20 mins is the equivalent of an 8 hour work out. He gets you to do a some gentle stretches and bends (there is nothing elegant about your movements when you’re constantly being shot by a taser) and the machine does the rest. Amazing. When it was over and the suit came off I was surprised to find myself drenched with sweat and flooded with endorphins. THIS was the kind of workout I could get into and I booked another 4 sessions immediately…because I REALLY need to find out more about those multiple orgasms.

Outcome: I lost 2lb

p.s. Its Sunday, my session was on Thursday. Every muscle is screaming at me ‘what the fuck did you do??’ Brings a whole new meaning to ‘no pain, no gain’ but at least I know IT WORKED!








Weeks 37 to 44…in which I fall off the wagon

Forgive me reader for I have sinned. It’s been 8 weeks since my last blog. And I didn’t just fall of the wagon as much as dived off it straight under the wheels. I’ll start how I usually end. Outcome: I put on TWO pounds since my last post. Fuckety shit.

This is bad for many reasons. No1; it’s the first time I’ve put on weight ALL YEAR. No2; it’s the first time I’m BEHIND target. No3; I now need to lose 12lbs in 6 weeks (I do not intend to lose weight in the last two weeks of the year..no way…Christmas is for eating your body weight in cheese, nuts and Terry’s chocolate orange!) No4; I’m furious with myself.

I could list excuses, I could try and justify the fall, I could go on for hours about the restaurants, takeaways (it took two weeks to put in my new kitchen, we ate takeaways every night), insane travel itinerary etc. etc.….

but I’ve never been one for excuses. Putting on weight is totally and utterly down to the choices I made, it’s on me and only me. Bollocks.

I’ve discovered that I MUST blog more regularly. I decided this year that I would only weigh when I blog. And getting writers block just after the summer meant I haven’t weighed in the last 2 months (tried to convince myself that actually I lost weight in the first 4 weeks and put it on again in the last 4 – but I’m not really buying it and it doesn’t make me feel any better).

I’ve also discovered that I am, without a doubt, an emotional eater. When I’m stressed I eat, when I’m tired I eat, when I’m overwhelmed, lonely, low, vulnerable, worried..I eat. And I’ve been all of these things during the last 8 weeks. That said, I also eat when I’m happy and excited so I can’t win for fucks sake! In fact the only time I don’t eat, without concentrated effort, is when I’m asleep…or on a plane..bizarrely I eat very little when I’m in the air. Unless, I discovered to my cost on my recent trip back to Australia, I’m bumped up to first class. The menu alone was enough to send me straight back to morbid obesity.


The rest of the flight was also a revelation.  Pretending you fly Emirates first class ALL THE TIME is not easy when you don’t know where anything is or how anything works. For example, by total accident I discovered the completely unnecessary pop up bar…


and whilst trying to work out how to use the TV I stumbled upon…a writing drawer.


And then I was handed the pyjamas. But not just ordinary pyjamas. These were the world’s first MOISTURISING  pyjamas.  Look…

Capture SLEEP

Seriously, what the actual fuck? There are children dying in the world and a company has utilised the brain of a genius scientist and millions of dollars in research TO MOISTURISE THE RICH WHILE THEY SLEEP!

But (with no irony whatsoever) I have no complaints about the shower. Oh yes, for 25 minutes you can enjoy private use of the on board SPA. So I did.



In fact I had two showers, one between UK and Dubai, another a few hours later on route between Dubai and Sydney – JUST BECAUSE I COULD! It’s actually quite bizarre – bit like joining a mile high club for germophobics. You can imagine the conversation, ‘Did you..like…do it?’ snigger ‘ did you..do it…all over?’

23270040_10214877687395921_1800413594_o (2)

Having got used to a little luxury and with the blessing of my PA who’d booked it, I utilised the hotel masseuse during a trip to Dubai. I’ve always feared massages because frankly my body has always been too big to lie on the table properly. Honestly, I’ve never know what to do with my arms, because my body took up all the space – shall I fold them over my stomach? cross them over my chest? fling them over my head? or just dangle them over the sides. It wasn’t easy. This time though, no problem, for the first time ever I had room to let my arms rest next to me on the table.

So I was thoroughly enjoying the experience until about half way through, when she leaned forward and whispered in my ear…‘Mam, you have a blackhead on your back, may I remove it for you?’ FOR FUCKS SAKE! I had so many thoughts simultaneously that my brain actually farted. Blackheads on my BACK? Is that even an actual thing??Apparently it is, because following an affirmative grunt from me (I was desperately trying not to laugh / cry), and with more than a little discomfort, she proceeded to excavate my back. I no longer have either blackheads on my back or my dignity.

Stay tuned for the next blog, it’ll be sooner. I’m climbing back on that wagon, bruised, a bit bloody, but determined NOT TO FAIL.

Weeks 31 to 36…in which I hit the 3 stone mark

What the hell happened to the summer? I kinda lost it in a whirlwind or frenetic activity. I wasn’t at home for a single full weekend. Entertaining, mini breaks, socialising, work.  The week I got back from Australia I headed for a four day festival. Not of the Glastonbury kind, but the ‘if John Lewis did festivals’ kind.

The Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire every August is my (not so secret) passion. Where food, music, intellectual debate, politics, the Arts, comedy, kids crafts, glam rock, and literature combine in a 4 day extravaganza..exclusively for middle class Britain. Seriously, where else would you spot David Cameron, Margaret Heffernan (check out her TED talks), Russel Brand, Mary Portas, Grace Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch and Will Young, watch the National Ballet, pop into the  Laurent Perrier Champagne bar,  enjoy talks from The Sunday Assembly, School of Life, The Economist, BBC,  (almost ) eat Angela Hartnetts cooking (it was fully booked), go skinny dipping (I didn’t do that), enjoy a rave in a valley (I didn’t do that either) or drink Pimms while soaking wet watching Ronni Scots Jazz Club in a field in one long weekend?


Even Mildred came with me (see last blog)


And the FOOD!! Jesus. Over FIFTY of the best fast food joints in the country.

It was torture…but I discovered JACK FRUIT. The actual fruit looks like an enormous green bollock, but don’t hold that against it. It tastes like pulled pork. Who knew?

Image result for JAckFruit and person

But Wilderness is amazing, and you can easily rack up 14,350 steps a day without even realising. Book it now.

It was the first of TWO camping trips. Although Wilderness was not strictly camping. I booked a HUGE motor home…driving it almost resulted in a stress induced heart attack (and that was just my passengers).


The second trip was not so enjoyable. ‘Let’s go for a quick break to a camp site in northern France’ he said. ‘It’ll be fun for the kids’ he said. These photo’s sum it up. I have no more words on the subject, ever.


On a completely different note, I’ve had to buy some new bras. I’ve gone down two cup sizes. I’m rather delighted about this and it made me remember an email I sent years ago to some of my closest friends. I kept a copy, and to give you all a laugh at my expense, here it is…

December 2009

‘Last week I went for a bra fitting at Rigby and Peller. I’ve been before and was impressed by the way they measured me by eye. I remember last time being something like a 40FF.

 So this time, given some weight loss since my most recent hospital stay, I was hoping I’d be a little smaller. She led me into a fitting room, I stripped off, and she eyed me up before bringing me two bras which fitted perfectly. As she was leaving the room I casually asked what size the bras were. ‘You’re a 38’ she said, ‘brilliant’ I thought ‘down a whole bra size’. Then I asked.. ‘What cup size?’

The woman lowered her head, leaned toward me and said these words…. ‘You’re an i cup’ GASP..not a double F, nor a G, not a GG, or an H, or even an HH. Nope, that’s an ‘I’ as in IGLOO for fucks sake!! And do you wanna know the worst thing?…she actually whispered it. And get this, after a J cup they stop manufacturing! What the fuck is a woman supposed to do then? If I get any bigger I may never be able to leave the house. Alternatively I could let them hang free, tie them to my waist with a belt and pass myself off as a man with a paunch!

So, I actually own the biggest tits I’ve ever seen. They are, officially, bigger than footballs. I left the shop with enough material in 2 bras to shelter a small family in Africa. Only in hindsight do I think it’s actually quite funny.’

And on another random note; My youngest daughter is worried that my losing weight is causing me to, well, sag a bit. She’s become preoccupied with the loose skin on my arms and under my chin. Last week she was lying face to face with me in bed for morning snuggles. She was looking deep into my eyes, like, really deep. Suddenly I noticed her welling up a bit..

‘Mummy’ she said slowly..

I thought – oh bless her, she’s gonna tell me how much she loves me..

‘Yes darling?’ I said with a smile..

‘Mummy…your eyelids are drooping right over your lashes, I think you face is falling and its making me think you’re getting really old!’

Oh for fucks sake! Nothing like an honest eleven year old to keep you real..

OUTCOME: I lost 4 pounds. So running total 42 pounds or 19 kilos and FINALLY hit 3 stone mark. Gotta get a move on though. Still have that sinking feeling that ongoing weight loss will only be achieved through upping the physical stuff. Shit.

Weeks 28 to 30…in which I do battle with the voice in my head (Aussie edition)


Just back from 3 weeks in Australia. That’s three weeks of this…


And three weeks of this…



It was a work whirlwind (I tend to work very long days when in Sydney because the UK comes on line around 6.30pm and as my famVoiceily are sleeping 10,000 miles away I can indulge my workaholic tendencies guilt free). I delivered a couple of lectures on how the C Word can unlock your superpowers (different blog entirely) and one of the topics I talked about is how your inner voice can be your protector, by stopping you doing something really fucking ridiculous, but also your personal saboteur, undermining you by telling you that you’ll fail / you’re not worthy / you’re not good enough/ you’re faking it/ it’s ok to go back to bed and hide under the duvet with a huge bag of salted popcorn.

I call my inner voice Mildred. She’s an orangutan and looks like this.


Mildred is fiercely protective of me, she can talk sense into me in those moments when I’m about to do something stupid that might cause me significant pain – she once stopped me from agreeing to camp in a tent for a week – but she’s also a miserable, lazy, cynical, sarcastic, quick to anger old bag who hates to take risks (which means we argue A LOT) and she has the murderous appetite of, well, an orangutan. She’s HUGE, and doesn’t give a shit, so we’re in constant conflict over my health.

I find she’s strongest when I’m tired, lonely and in need of a hug. In all honesty I battled with her for the entire trip.

Mildred ‘Go on, EAT IT, you can gorge a little, people are telling you that you look great, you’ve lost almost three stone’

Me ‘shut up you bitch!!’

Mildred ‘but I’m only thinking of you, you can take it easy for a bit, reward yourself, you need the energy, and Cherry Ripe really is the best chocolate in Australia’

Me ‘OK then’


I’m not proud of this.

And on things I’m not proud of I need to talk about UberEats. Apparently I’m late to this particular party. I was totally unaware of the fact that it’s been available in London for ages and discovered it for the first time on this trip, in Sydney. I’d come home late with my temporary house mate Emma, after a particularly hectic day during which I’d forgotten to eat lunch. I was hungry. Actually more than hungry, more like almost prepared to eat cat food rather than wait for the time it takes to cook something kind of hungry. We had nothing in the fridge to snack on except green vegetables (see last blog), and neither of us could face going to a restaurant (I was in my dressing gown within 2 minutes of getting through the front door). ‘It’s ok’ said Emma, ‘we’ll get something delivered’. I was reluctant. I’m not a fan of take away food.  Even though I was starving I couldn’t face soggy Chinese take away or an Indian curry in a plastic carton with 4 pieces of meat in a litre of sauce. In fact Mildred wanted Chicken. Crispy southern fried chicken. And NOTHING ELSE WAS GONNA CUT IT.

Emma loves me, and fearful of Mildred ripping her arm off if we didn’t eat soon, she went to work. Cue UberEats. This inexplicably glorious service enabled us, at the tap of an app, to order from a selection of no less than 114 restaurants that would deliver straight to our door within 20 minutes…on an Uber bike. It wasn’t cheap – the equivalent of £40 (my local Chinese take away in Newbury will deliver a BANQUET for 18 quid) – but it was worth every single penny.


While I was inhaling the best, hot, crispy, fried chicken I’ve ever tasted I found myself wondering who created this incredible service. Seriously, who comes up with an idea like that? I settled on a choice of two. It was either a 20 something, fit by day, geek by night, introverted foodie who wants to eat alone watching Netflix or a 40 plus overworked, overpaid parent who’s guilty pleasure was to eat amazing food at 10pm after the kids had gone to sleep to remind themselves of the days when they had the energy, time and friends to share a leisurely dinner out at a favourite restaurant.

Either way, that night, I would have happily married them.

Outcome: Didn’t lose a pound, but didn’t put on any either. Mildred didn’t win, it was a draw.

P.S. I’ve rediscovered my cheekbones…and a jaw line. So fuck you Mildred.


WEEK 26 & 27…in which I make it HALFWAY

Halfway through.

Actually halfway through the first year, which means a quarter of the way through the whole challenge, which I should have called 100 in 100 as that’s the ultimate weight I need to lose (see link). I have a sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the 100th week and frankly 2 years seemed unscalable so I called it 52 in 52..get ready for the rebrand sometime soon.

So, here’s the halfway update: I’ve lost 38lb. That’s 2.7 stone or 17.2 Kilos. So over target for the year by 12lbs and 38% of the way to the overall goals of 100lbs. Whoop!

Huge thanks to you, the readers of this blog. I discovered that your encouragement is a MASSIVE motivator for me – as is the fear of public failure and humiliation which is what stops me reaching out for the crisps and hummus…5 times a day. I reckon without you I’d have lost 6lbs and gained back 8 by now.

I’m in Australia for the next 3 weeks. This doesn’t bode well for the 4lbs I’d like to lose while I’m here (REALLY want to break through the 3 stone mark), because the food in Sydney & Melbourne is truly divine and I spend most of my time in ‘meetings’ with fabulous people who take me to even more fabulous restaurants. Even the supermarkets are special, check out Thomas Dux (think Whole Foods, Waitrose, M&S, and Harrods food hall and put them together). I’m just slightly worried that 3 of my favorite restaurants falling distance from my Airbnb..Lucio’s (at the end of my road)  http://www.lucios.com.au/, The Paddington (0.3 miles away – I checked) http://merivale.com.au/thepaddington and The Chiswick (also 0.3 miles) https://www.chiswickrestaurant.com.au/


Fortunately my colleague is staying with me for some of the trip. I say fortunately because in addition to her day job working with me she’s also a Pilates teacher and fitness coach. This means

  1. Pilates lessons on tap – which I’m worried about because I’ll need to hate her, at least temporarily
  2. The fridge and most of the rest of the house looks like this

The flight over was great for not eating. There is simply no way that Qantas menu has been create by Neil Perry and therefore representative of the 2 hat temple to awesomeness that is Rockpool, http://www.rockpoolbarandgrill.com.au/, and I mean NO WAY, no matter what they tell you..they’re lying. I ate less than a small cat, because the dinner they gave me looked like it had already been eaten by one..


Great films though. Logan. Cried for half an hour AFTER IT FINISHED.

And really great for pyjamas. I’ve never before put on the free pair of pyjamas that Qantas provide for 2 reasons. Firstly, they are simply ghastly – grey, cheap cotton, totally shapeless and last seen on a little Vietnamese farmer circa 1962. Secondly – they don’t fit. WAAAYYYY to small, even the XL.

But this time I forgot to put my own comfort plane clothes in my carry on and to avoid getting cut in two by the waist band of my jeans I had no choice but to take the offered pack of pyjamas (tied up with a bow – nice touch). Off I went the toilet to change. Which I’ve never found to be a particularly enjoyable experience. Changing in a cubicle only slightly larger than me has always been a logistical challenge requiring stunningly balletic moves; if ballet was performed by an elephant in a straitjacket. I have mastered removing and putting on trousers whilst seated, as bending over in an aircraft toilet is an activity exclusively reserved for tiny people.

But the pyjamas fitted. So I wore them, JUST BECAUSE I COULD!!

Unfortunately these pictures are proof that just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Aussie edition of the blog starts next week.

Weeks 24 & 25…in which I schmooze in Cannes

A truly nuts couple of weeks work wise. If you follow me on facebook you’ll see I enjoyed myself way too much. Week 24 was spent in a gorgeous venue in the UK for a 4 day conference. The trouble with hotel venues is that the food is all laid on for you. Buckets of it.


Week 25 was no better. One week in the south of France with about 15,000 people from marketing, media and advertising for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. The week involved LOTS of parties, saying ‘no thank you’ or ‘oh go on just a little’ to loads of fabulous food…

…saying ‘yes please’ to a private gig with Ed Sherran….


and lots and lots of WALKING. You can get Ubers in Cannes, there are more Ubers than drunk people in Cannes which is really saying something, but I decided to make the effort and walk everywhere.…by which I mean my Uber app WASN’T WORKING!

In fact I’m not sure I’ve ever walked as much as I did last week. Which was challenging because it was fucking hot, and HATE sweating. Unfortunately, to my utter horror, I discovered that if you combine walking with 30 degree heat you won’t just sweat as much as leak gallons of water from every conceivable orifice and pore. Add new shoes (idiot!) and you also get blisters the size of fried eggs. And the south of France has mosquitoes. Big buggers. At one point my arms looked like I’d gone 2 rounds with Freddy Krueger (if you’re under 40 you won’t get this reference. Google it, first film, the one with the syringes).

I stayed in an villa at the top of a hill just 0.8km from the action. Just a bit too embarrassingly close to justify an Uber even if I could GET THE BLOODY APP TO WORK!


What this map doesn’t show is that the return journey is UPHILL!! Almost vertical. Ok that’s an exaggeration but once I had to run up (well, kind of) because my housemate was locked out of the villa…and I swear to God my eyeballs almost burst!

And unfortunately a lot of my meetings were at the Carlton or Martinez hotel. That’s nearly 2Km ONE WAY.


On the first day I did the round trip, twice. 8km in total. Yay me! This was rewarded by my best experience so far on this entire ‘journey’. I bought a pair of off the peg, normal sized trousers, from a normal shop, in France, where normal is usually reserved exclusively for thin people. I’m considering framing them.

And on the way back on the plane, in economy, I actually managed to CROSS MY LEGS.


Yup this is definitely worth it.

Outcome: I lost 1 pound (which doesn’t thrill me – but last year I put on half a stone during the same trip so on balance I’m ok with it)

p.s. The first picture below was taken last year in Cannes. The second, this year. Definitely a little less flesh on the face 🙂



Week 22 & 23…in which I weigh up the pro’s and con’s

First up, I feel great. And I’ve actually begun to recognise myself again. Let me explain. I think I’ve suffered from a kind of positive/ opposite form of body dysmorphia. I used to be slim, not skinny, but nicely shaped. Until I was 25 I was a size 10 to 12, small waist, big boobs, very comfortable with my own body image. I went up a size during the next few years (met the love of my life, apparently it can have that effect) and I neither noticed nor cared.

When the weight really piled on (aged 30 to 32 via two pregnancies in as many years and eating like a bear about to go into hibernation) my brain simply refused to recognise the person I saw in the mirror as me. Seriously.  I was like the guy in Shallow Hal the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow – except is was me who was seeing something different to everyone else.

Obviously I KNEW I was extremely overweight – but when I’d catch my reflection my first thought was always ‘who the fuck is THAT?’ closely followed by ‘Oh it’s me, shit, look away, it’s a fat mirror’. Clearly those fat mirrors were EVERYWHERE, but I simply chose to avoid them. So inside my head, for the last 25 years, I’ve been a size 12.

But now, over 2 and a half stone lighter, seeing myself reflected in a shop window I think ‘she looks a bit familiar’. THIS SERIOUSLY IS GOOD NEWS!

So more on the pro’s and con’s.. I’ve thought about the things I miss, and the things I absolutely don’t;

Things I miss

Salt and Vinegar crisp – every make known to man

Sensations Balsamic and Caramelised Onion crisps – the big packet, 2 of them

M&S Dark chocolate Cherry Liqueurs

Being able to eat this (what is it with men than they can eat this stuff and not put on a pound. I only have to sniff a chip and my bra tightens by at least one size).


Dark chocolate and ginger biscuits

After Eight mints

Laughing at everyone jogging or cycling and thinking ‘I WILL NEVER DO THAT YOU COMPLETE IDIOTS’

Pizza – I never ate it often, but there is something extremely demoralising about ordering a salad while all around you are eating dustbin lid sized cheesy, meaty, melting, gorgeous  thin and crispy pizza


(BUT Pizza Express do an ‘under 500 calorie’ superfoods salad and its amazing!)


Full fat cappuccino – with chocolate topping and shot of caramel

Cheese – in all forms…especially camembert, a whole one, baked with garlic, and a loaf of crusty white bread

Duck fat roasted potatoes

The skin off the roast chicken – all of it

Things I don’t miss

My extra chin(s)

Not being able to do up the buckle of my shoe in an elegant way that doesn’t leave my face looking like I’ve just shat a rather large mango.

Reaching the top of a flight of stairs feeling like I need to throw up my lungs, kidney, liver…

Having to discreetly unhook my bra when sitting for long periods (in a cinema or long haul flight) and praying I remember to do it up again when I stand up for fear of scaring small children

White pasta – I don’t care if I never eat it again, brown is the new white

Not being able to see my cheek bones..in fact any bones. If I stand in the right light, hunch my shoulders and lean forward a bit I CAN ACTUALLY SEE MY CLAVICLES!!

That awful feeling when you put on an outfit from last summer and realising that it must have just shrunk – 2 sizes

Going to bed still feeling full from eating a dinner bigger than the size of my head

Asking a shop assistant in an expensive department store to point me in the direction of the ‘large’ sizes only to be told ‘we don’t cater for people your size madam, but I understand there might be places you can go online’ (smug bitch)

Deciding to join the family for a walk, and returning 10 minutes later muttering ‘really sorry, I must have pulled a muscle in my back / leg / finger’

Discovering that hotels only buy towelling robes for skinny people – on my recent Dubai trip the edges of my complementary towelling robe actually MET IN THE MIDDLE!

Having a panic attack at the thought of having to ask for a seat belt extender on a budget airline (actually budget airlines still give me panic attacks, but at least I can now put the tray ALL THE WAY DOWN)

So on balance I can easily give up the good stuff in return for saying goodbye to the bad.

Outcome: I lost 3lbs – running total 35lbs