Day 6 – Rule of Blog

Pirouette all the way to beat my challenge!

I have 112 days in this challenge – which theoretically means not only 106 more days of my programme, but also 106 more blogs. And I sit here, after a very long and emotionally very draining week at work thinking – What are the rules of blogging? 

I mean – the weather today was perfect. I walked from my closet in the hotel (the room one never sells), down the stairs and looked out over what was just breathtaking. An intense sense of seasonal change all around with musky clouds and fluffy fields and a horizon sliced rhythmically by big wind turbines – and for the one step it took for the view to disappear I though “How lucky am I to be working in an environment so astonishing in its variety”. 

The day was busy. No, the week was busy, and tomorrow is going to be a thriller of note, with some major more busy – but with all that said and done – How blessed am I? 

I return to my thoughts on what are the rules – because with all that is good and kind and glorious, and with all around me that are marvelous and gentle – I still feel a sense of tired and down. What can I say – it’s been a very long week, and I am tired. 

So, 4 times 40 squats in 10 minutes at the almost end of the week was not easy, and believe me I was not in the mood. I mean it – I WAS NOT IN THE MOOD (see growling-angry-frustrated-gritted teeth Not in the mood). 

And just like that I didn’t do it! NO! I decided to go back to my peaceful and gracious days of ballet – and yes – I did 4 sets of 40 Demi Pliés. Like those I used to do when Margaret Rubidge taught us back in the Dudley Hall in Graaff-Reinet, and my mother forced me into tutu’s, because you see – the end of this week needed grace, symmetry and good memories. 

The Rule of Blog for me will just have to be that sometimes you have to change and adapt the rules slightly. Ballet today – Blog tomorrow!


Day 5 – Good Vibration

Shake it up baby now!
Twist and Shout the calories away!

Like my excercise today – I am going to keep this short – but with HUGE impact. See, Martin decided to go gentle, yet effective by letting me rattle and roll on the Vibroplate!

I hear you – you tell me there is no such thing as a quick fix – but at 30 hz, 18230 vibration, 546 Calories and 10.9km in 10 minutes – it cannot ALL be bad. The Vibroplate is genius if it will truly turn the digits on the panel in front of you into reality. Theoretically it means if I stand on it for 10 minutes per day, I may burn as much as 3500 calories in a week!

Now it does not take Stephen Hawking to figure out that that is more than two days allowed food intake! Do I see the mirage of a Magnum on the horizon? Could it be the richest and sweetest of Ripe Fig Jam that is going to grace my toast sooner than we think?

Me thinks not! Truth be told – I did the Vibration thing before – and like with all else I think it is great as an addendum, but in the 40.40 Challenge I also want to improve my general health. To attain long term good vibrations, we all must concur – standing on a “Shake and Vac” in a closed room might not suffice.

That said…. It sure feels good to see 500 calories ticking away infront of your eyes! Good vibrations indeed.


Day 4 – Definitions

I Cod you Not!

Spin for 10 minutes – that is what my text said. Right – I realise that across the pond there is a major election going on, and that politics all round is full of “spin” – but I did not know, by definition, that me, talking pure bull for 10 minutes would burn any calories (Now-now – those of you who are holding their breath in surprise , or rolling with laughter- I don’t talk THAT much – Do I?)

Anyhow – on the phone I leap to ask for an energetic and knowledgable explanation from poor suffering Emmet in the Leisure Centre. “Oh, he says, our spin bike is only arriving in a week or two, but it’s like cycling – You can come down to this one in the gym”.

This, in theory is all fine, as I also found out that I must be the last and only person in the world that did not know of any other definition of “spin” (thanks to Sky News and Alistair Campbell). To make matters worse – I was kindly informed that I AUTHORISED  the purchase of such a piece of equipment a while ago! Ah – I might have been told – but all I can recall is that we were buying a “bike”.

Now until this “Spinner” arrives, I shall cycle on the spot for 10 minutes – comforted in the knowledge that I cannot fall. You see, this is another misconception (or urban myth) – that “It’s like riding a bike – you never forget it”.

Yes you do! I wanted to forget! After 10 years of cycling to school, in temperatures varying from -5 degrees, to 40 degrees in the shade – you’d want to NEVER see a bicycle again. And, need I remind some, that as my primary school was still in the times of “strong Calvinist views” – a good girl did not wear trousers! Nope – you had bobby socks and a pinafore. And just too bad for the early morning chill, biting into the inner sanctum of your yet undiscovered womanhood! Because the bible said so!

Enough of my “spin” (read rant).

My conscious last night got the better of me whilst already in bed here at the hotel. Yes, I had not gone for my 10 minute swim yet. Might I add – a perk of my job – I can use the leisure centre out of hours. I can NOT wear a bathing cap – and MOST importantly – I can DIVE into the warm and balmy waters of a 20 metre pool without a care in the world.

This was as close to heaven as my ingrained Calvinist guilt would allow. I mean – how would I have slept if I had not lived up to my blog. Would I have “spun” my way out of this one?

Mortification and public knowledge won the day! I’m off to go and spin some more.


Day 3 – Tough One

Only 53 Calories each!

Yip – one I don’t want to repeat quickly. The advantage though was that it was SO busy, that I did not even have time to think about food. After breakfast it has just been on the hop…. and away!

BUT – I would like to tell you about the two COOLEST apps I have on my iPhone. The one – Tap & Track, allows for me to log every morsel of food and every sweaty second of excercise that I do, and tells me how many calories I have left to eat. (Side note: as I googled the correct spelling of sweaty – I found Sweaty Betty Gymwear – is this a sign?).

The other – iTrail – tells me exactly how many millimetres I have walked, how many thousands of calories I have burnt, and at what speed. It also plots my route! How awesome is that?

OK – but I know not all can be as addicted to apps as myself, so thanks to Lucy, I have added a link here for the Calorie Count website that does pretty much the same thing. Go and visit it – and make calorie counting MUCH easier.

On a high note, which is very important for all to know – there are 75 calories in one Ferrero Rocher – so I could have 3! BUT, if I have the Ferrero Rondnoir? I can have 4 because they have only 53 calories in them (making allowances for dark chocolate). And I do need some chocolate fix today.

For anyone around the Brandon House Hotel – I walked along my boss’s Five Senses Walk this morning – and was truly amazed at what a quirky visionary he was last summer. The wild flowers are starting to bloom, the earth has settled, and the grass has grown. Nice.

Now to prep myself for my 10 minute daily excercise text I received – 10 minutes of a swim later this evening. Shall I Crawl (and drown) or Breast (and float)??

P.S. Remember – if you want to receive the 10 minute excercise text – please email – he’ll add you to his list!


Day 2 – Back to work

So you ask – what is the 40.40 challenge? In short – to loose 40 pounds before my 40th birthday, which is in exactly 16 weeks from yesterday!

Simple? Well it could be, except I have very little to NO self discipline, and the womanly midlife crisis that I find myself having is weighed down severely by my ever enlarging and sprawling derriere, and my exaggerated waggle. Yes – I don’t feel too good about my appearance.

That said – we can spend hours on couches analysing what causes this phenomenon (besides genetics), or simply acknowledge the love of food – excessive amounts of it has gotten me here – albeit to comfort or to taste. OH, and I quite smoking!

Everywhere I turn lately I hear about “motivational” programmes, and how many stones (lots of kilograms for those of the metric generation) have rolled off inches of cellulite, followed by: “Now it is expensive, mind you – but oh so worth it”. I realised that not the greatest motivator in the world can possibly keep me away from my Magnum Temptation, my Pate laden toast or my lashings of Cream Cheese & Fig Jam on Bagels – lovingly assembled in a chronological taste sensation, and in one sitting.

But what WOULD work for me is the “Mortification” programme. What if I shared this challenge of mine with as many people as possible – and my progress is monitored by others. Is pride not the greatest motivator of all? Would I like to acknowledge at the end of this challenge that I had failed?


So, as of yesterday, I am following the 40.40 challenge. I eat what I like, but much less of it (within reason). I measure everything in calories, and as long as I do not exceed 1500 calories I am on track. What ever excercise I do allows me to consume more calories – and is equated as such. This means I can have 2 bottles of wine and 4 slices of toast with lots of butter – OR, I can pace myself over the course of a day? Did you know that in 20 medium-sized strawberries there are only 113 calories? Or 40 centigrams (poetic license?). Did you know that a  square inch of cheddar cheese has 40 calories?

Oh – and lest I forget – the Leisure Centre is sending me (by text) a daily random 10 minute excercise I have to do by the end of the day. I am just about to embark on my brisk 10 minute walk down and up the hill (burn 94 calories). Those 10 minutes could have been one smoke break.

All sorted then. I will be blogging daily, and would encourage / invite anyone to join me. We are going to do a dish per meal in the hotel with the calorie count. If you send the leisure centre your number, they will send you the same text they send me (and NO, we will not hound you with trivial offers later).

Lastly – I am not going to state my start weight, but I will be weighing in every Monday morning – anyone who is around is welcome to join me.

All I ask is a bit of belief, a lot of encouragement – and TOTAL mortification if you see me falter.


Day 1 – 40.40 Challenge

That was actually yesterday! 4 litres of water later – a sprint up the country. Much washing and 1445 calories of food intake. That’s all I can say about that. Oh yes – and 40 SLOW push-ups, as instructed – in 10 minutes.

Right, it does not highlight what the 40.40 Challenge is all about – but I will reveal all later. All I need to say is that I have started – with DIFFICULTY.