I'd like to give you a gift...


February 18, 2011 Charli Wall

I wanted to share this NOTE with you all, as it was written by one of my lovely girls about the latest EACH 30 day Nutrition challenge we have recently undertaken in Cambridge Boot Camps http://www.cambridgebootcamps.co.uk

She is open, honest, and very funny. IF you are even slightly contemplating coming to boot camp, read this first..

Week 1                                                                                                                                            1st – 7th January 2011

Weight:    10st 11lbs

Status:     At the start of my challenge

Mood:      Surprisingly hopeful

My first week and I’m feeling optimistic about the challenge I’ve set myself.  This time last year I did the same thing but for very different reasons and it was the first time I had ever given up alcohol and started what can only be called a ‘regimented’ exercise routine in the form of joining the Cambridge Out Fit Bootcamp.  Last year’s successful six weeks off the sauce and the ‘firm but fair’ arse kicking from Charlie every Tuesday and Friday inspired me to become fitter.  It has also given me the confidence I needed to repeat the challenge, knowing that it CAN be done.

However, this year’s binge-filled Christmas has taken its toll and the weigh in made me realise I had put on 6lbs over the festive period!!  That’s the problem with the mix of an under-active thyroid and a penchant for sweet things, so damn easy to put it on, a lifetime to take it off… I find that I’m grateful for a heavy head cold that has a) suppressed my appetite  b) killed my brain cells and made me forget that I  want alcohol  and  c) … shit, I’ve forgotten.

I found out over Christmas that I’ll be heading to Florida in February and the thought of the dreaded swimwear issue has convinced me that Charlie’s latest challenge is right up my street – well, maybe not up my street as I’m scared of the commitment – more like, take the first left at my bingo wings, go over the stomach roundabout and take a sharp turn right at my love handles.  So really, I suppose the challenge is right in my… erm… general vicinity.  Oh, and it’s for charity, so extra kudos with the big man in the sky in case of an untimely arrival at the pearly gates.

Right now, I’m feeling bloated, uncomfortable, lethargic and literally at the point of Mr Creosote, which although not particularly attractive to the opposite sex, is aiding my want to stay on the righteous path and avoid that ‘wafer thin mint’.

I know I can do it, I know I can do it, I know I can do it…  failing that, I’m going to sit on my hands until they go numb, so I can’t get in the fridge and I’m only able to eat like a horse out of the fruit bowl…

Week 2                                                                                                                                      8th – 14th January 2011

Weight:    10st 10lbs

Status:     Is it only Week 2?  Shit.

Mood:      Slightly irritable

Ok, so the first week’s optimism has buggered off and left me with no junk food in the house to console myself… and oh yeah, a little bit grumpy!

So I know I can do this, but I’m now questioning why?  Why, why, why?  No alcohol?  Am I mad?  Quite possibly, as I appear to be having a one-sided conversation in this diary; pants!  I’ve still got my cold although my taste buds have returned with a vengeance and I’m now missing my nightly tipple.  I tried a few cocktail recipes with cough mixtures instead of alcohol but I found that ‘Sex on the Beach’ with Night Nurse was sadly lacking…

I appear to have a constant headache and I think it’s from a bit of withdrawal.  The plan of eating small amounts 4 to 5 times a day was common to me but suddenly, I’m finding it difficult?  I’ve forgotten twice this week to add in my afternoon healthy snack and I’ve also eaten late twice, so my brain/stomach balance is not quite functioning as it was.  As I work from home, I’ve really no excuse to miss or delay meals.

My meal planning has been a bit poor in general I think.  I found a few recipes that I’m ok with but I can get too samey with food and I’m pretty sure it’s not cool to repeat the same procedures every day, so I need to maybe set an alarm to stop work, leave my desk and sort out dinner.  The fridge is stocked with plenty of healthy ingredients; I just need to get my ‘Ramsey’ on.  Although by some of the vocabulary that’s left my mouth this week, I’ve already f**king done that… damn.

I’ve done a lot of pacing so far this week, realising the extent of my unhealthy relationship with alcohol as I’ve tried to keep myself busy.  I’ve thrown in the odd ‘sit-up’ for good measure too, although that’s making me feel depressed as my stomach is getting in the way of actually sitting up, so I really should call them a ‘slight gravitational inclines-up’ instead.

Fortunately, I just had my first Bootcamp of the year which has seriously lifted my spirits.  Damn, now I’ve thought about spirits… and optics… and Tia Maria – and I don’t even like Tia Maria?!  Focus!  Right, yes, Bootcamp – top draw!  I realise today just how much I’ve missed my Bootcamp.  It started off great, with a surprising burst of energy from me that actually had me doing extra activities and completing tasks ahead of the class, which was duly noted by my fellow Booties by the appropriate level of support it deserved, such as the rubbing of one’s nose to suggest mine was brown and coughing into fists while uttering words like “teacher’s pet”.  I took pride in the moment as I’d never been top of the class before!  My euphoria and pleasing, healthy glow in the cheeks lasted a good few minutes before Charlie set forth a chain of exercises that left me looking like a flailing beached seal as I attempted the dreaded burpies followed by press-ups, while my mountain climbers looked more like a salted slug negotiating some gravel.

So, to say that I’m aching after Bootcamp would be like saying that losing one’s leg is a mere flesh wound…  The undertaking of basic tasks has become quite momentous as I was laughed at for a full 5 minutes as I attempted to put on some socks.  I’m also considering a reversing beeper that you get on lorries for the more regular bathroom breaks that are needed now I’ve upped my water intake.  I find backing in there to be the best option, as my thighs are now the ones screaming obscenities – although, thinking about it, a crane to help lift me off would also be useful… hmm, I’ll bear that in mind.

Week 3                                                                                                                                                15th – 21st January 2011

Weight:    10st 9lbs

Status:     Rounding a corner?  Fighting the good food fight.

Mood:      Easily distracted

The weekends are the toughest and I’ve found myself working for the last two to keep my mind off of certain social beverages.  What’s kept me going?  The fact that I’ve already lost 2lbs!  I <span>never</span> lose weight quickly, so I’m feeling a smug smile start to creep on to my face.

I am finding my levels of concentration to be way off though, which is proving interesting for work.  Indeed, as I’m supposed to be working while writing this!  This is a bit worrying for me, as I normally have the attention span of a cocker spaniel anyway, often being compared to a goldfish by teachers in my younger years – but I wasn’t emotionally scarred by it, as 2 seconds after they said it, I’d forgotten…

I do feel like I’ve turned the proverbial corner, as I no longer feel the need to pace the room, nor kick old ladies as they pass by and steal ice creams from small children as I did last week; which is just as well, as I was soundly on my way to getting my first ASBO.  My cravings for the ethanol infused liquids have considerably waned and I no longer look like a vagrant in a subway tunnel; which is a shame as the busking was pulling in some extra cash.

I am getting a bit bored of lunchtimes though; trying to avoid eating wheat has been a lot harder than I thought.  I’ve read through the Nutritional Smart Plan which might actually score me some points with Charlie as up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know there was one and when I confessed to Ms Wall, she rolled her eyes but then nodded, realising it was me.  I also joined the ‘food porn’ site which I was really pleased to find had really useful recipes on it and not dodgy 70’s music with a slideshow of carrots that look like phallic objects.  Only problem is, I’m an absolutely shite cook.  The daughter of a chef, I should know better but I’m quite well known for burning soup as ‘said’ low attention threshold distracts me from such mundane tasks as stirring.  Although, cracking open a bag of baby spinach, crumbling over some feta and chopping up a red onion…?  Just try and stop me!  Charlie and her band of merry Booties will make a culinary goddess out of me yet  :0)

Met a friend for lunch on Wednesday and hadn’t taken into consideration the minefield of navigating a pub menu when you’re on a detox!  Needless to say, the healthiest thing on there was a cheese sandwich…!  Still, has put me in mind to prepare some form of packed lunch/ingredients to take with me when I visit my friends and family at the weekend.

First full week back at Bootcamp!  God, I’ve missed it – wind whistling up your trackie leg (must be those extra veggies!), rain in the face and mud in your hair… no, really, I have actually missed that.  Having purposely and purposefully excluded myself from societal functions to avoid liquid temptations; I was starting to go a little stir crazy.  The great outdoors and the lovely Booties, what more could you want.  Tuesday, I was paired with the ultra fit Elena which pushed me to at least attempt to keep up but I struggled through a few exercises and while attempting to cut corners, tried to distract Charlie with the old “Would you look at that lesser-spotted red-nosed pigeon up there” manoeuvre, but she didn’t fall for it, far too savvy – maybe I’ll pretend I’ve seen some ultra shiny jewellery or a pair of Jimmy Choos hidden in the bushes, that might do it!  Friday was the ‘no pain, no gain’ Alan.  Alan pushes us to the outer limits because he also wants us to achieve our goals… and when I say outer limits, I mean across the channel, through Europe and into China.  Attempting to distract Alan would land me in the ‘drop and give me twenty’ school of punishment, so I soldiered through the dreaded assault course and as always, I’m glad I did!


Week 4                                                                                                                                                22nd – 28th January 2011

Weight:    10st 8lbs

Status:     Half way!

Mood:      Boring?

I headed back to my home town in Essex this weekend for an action-packed 3 days.  It wasn’t fully loaded due to my continued sobriety; it was more ‘half-cocked’…  It was great to see family and friends, catch up and tell them all about my challenge and after I waited for them to stop laughing and offering me donuts (thanks Mrs C & 2 friends who shall remain nameless), they were actually interested, and I think secretly impressed, at my resolve.

Although judging by some of their faces, I fear I have become a bit like that Fun Bobby dude off of ‘Friends’ who only has good stories to tell from his drinking exploits and suspect I have turned a tad boring.  If my new wardrobe from my new weight loss includes polyester with pleats then I may have to take drastic action!

It’s been a tough time as I have a parent who is unwell and dependent and I had some bad news of my own early this week which has rocked my sobriety and I’ve majorly fought to stay on the path and off the moors.  My want for a drink this week has seen me battle on a whole new level and I confess, I briefly retreated to the realms of chocolate but that was to stop me chewing off my own arm – and although one arm press ups can be done (I’m thinking Sly Stallone in an 80’s themed Rocky montage here), I fear I struggle with press ups using the two I have, so I thought it best to have a Twix instead!

My saving grace has been this challenge and its evident results in my shape, fitness and weight loss, which have literally saved me with yet another pound lost this week.  I realise now that my normal practice would have been to drown my sorrows and stuff my face but I have thus far resisted (give me a break with the Twix already!) and take a little pride in the effort.  I WILL make it into that new bikini – without being taken out by a passing Japanese whaling ship as I partake in a dip…

Bootcamp this week saw us introduced to a new workout from Charlie called ‘Chaos’.  I’ve always loved the names our fearless leader gives to our torturous pleasure and although some have obvious meaning, I’ve often wondered what inspired the choice for some of the others.  However, following the aftermath of my abode as I’ve crashed into things trying to walk after Tuesday, I’ve now realised where the name ‘Chaos’ derived from!  Charlie, you owe me a new lamp  :0)

Suggest we also throw names in a hat for names of future workouts.  I’m going to take my inspiration from the animal kingdom and start with ‘Cheetah’ – its very name suggesting stealth and speed but also covers my childish need to cut corners when Charlie’s not looking.  I’m also thinking ‘Giraffe’ is a good one – a bit of cockney rhyming slang for those “you are avin’ a laugh??!!” moments when burpies are combined with… well, anything!  Then there’s my personal favourite of ‘Elephant’ – a special set of exercises that work on the posterior for those ladies like myself, with a little too much junk in the trunk…

Week 5                                                                                                                           29th January – 4th February 2011

Weight:    10st 7lbs

Status:     Almost there!

Mood:      Seriously??  Come on!

First and foremost, I can’t believe how much weight I’ve lost and so quickly.  That never happens.  I have literally been losing a pound a week and I can feel it in my clothes and my general fitness.

It’s been a long couple of weeks and my resolve has been tested to the limit but I’m still not drinking, I’m still not eating crap and I’m still standing.  I had my first hospital visit this week which hasn’t been pleasant and it also meant that I missed Bootcamp which actually really pissed me off!  Possibly not the right positive state of mind needed but I do love my Bootcamp…  If my friends would have heard me say that a year ago, I would have been carting them off to the hospital from the hernia’s they got from strenuous laughing…

Bootcamp has made me a changed woman.  I may not have lost the 2 stone I was hoping for after just one session (I like to keep it real…) but I’ve changed shape – scrap that; I found my shape again, under all that excess baggage – I knew it was in there somewhere…  I find I have a focus and a purpose that I could never find in a gym.  Maybe it was the overwhelming whiff of testosterone or the over abundance of lycra and subsequent camel’s hooves that had me reaching for the sick bag… (and then a pack of chocolate digestives), but I never found the motivation from a lack of self belief that I belonged alongside the uber fit.  That feeling that you’re being watched and tutted at as you fail to master the cross trainer, pick the wrong fast setting and hang on for dear life like a cowboy in a rodeo.  What I notice now is that I could have written a whole book on the excuses I came up with to miss the gym but I’m now pissed off when I’m forced to miss one Bootcamp – interesting!

Bootcamp today with Alan has set me in good stead for a weekend of abstinence.  Mainly because my thighs hurt so badly, I can’t walk to the kitchen and get anything to eat or drink…  Those magical ‘active rests’ (if ever there was an oxymoron!) have ensured that by Monday, I’ll be looking like an emaciated Kate Moss!

Week 6                                                                                                                                     5th – 11th February 2011

Weight:    10st 7lbs

Status:     Yey!  It’s the final week

Mood:      Smug.  Who said I couldn’t do it?!

It started off as a horrible week but ended on a great note.  I had to miss Bootcamp again on Tuesday for more tests, prodding, poking and well, groping until eventually the doctors told me to get off and asked me to leave (two drum taps and a high hat – I thank you!)  Joking aside, I started Bootcamp last year under exactly the same cloud and recognise that I’ve now come full circle.  Luckily, all my tests came back negative and after spending a lot of time this year with brave women who haven’t had such positive news; I realise just how lucky I am.

Charlie has been top draw for me this last year, my Sergeant Major to give me a much needed kick up the ass, the provider of well needed hugs and a keen texter to check on me and see if I’m ok – thanks Charlie  :0) x

It’s been an interesting six weeks that has made me appreciate that all those times in the past that I’ve said “I can’t do it” (and there has been quite a few of those…) I’ve just been hiding.  I have a holiday coming up now and I’ve been apprehensive that I would undo all the good work I’ve done but I suddenly feel incredibly brave and I reckon I’ve got this whole control thing well under… well, control  :0)  My sobriety is at an end, yet I haven’t felt the need to drink like my usual Olly Reed self; in fact, I’ve hardly touched a drop.  Now that I can, I’m actually not sure that I want to…  My fridge is full of healthy food and I haven’t needed to devour a cupcake in under 2 seconds (it’s a skill).  I no longer pass the donut section of my local supermarket with scary visuals that I’ll dive right on to the shelf and start throwing them into my face like the Cookie Monster and Gollum had a love child and I even found myself really salivating, or should I say ‘getting fruity’ over an apple last night.  Things have definitely changed!

Seeing as I am my own worst enemy, I’ll be having some stern words with myself over the next few weeks (in private obviously, so they don’t lock me up), to make sure I stay on the straight and narrow; but I’m not worried.  Yes, my finger is usually hovering dangerously close to the self destruct button but right now it’s too busy peeling an orange and after that I suspect it will be well utilised making rude gestures towards the Danish (that’s pastries not people!) in Tesco’s :0)  Bring it on!

Thank you for reading, and thank you to Hales for being fab :0)

Charlie Wall



Comments (2)

  1. flossiet 12 years ago

    Love this. Made me laugh a LOT, made me wince with recognition almost as much (OK, more). I salute you, madam.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charlie Wall, cambridgebcamp. cambridgebcamp said: RT @purplefitness: Thinking about coming to #cambridgebootcamps? @cambridgeBCamp ~ Read this!! http://is.gd/6p5JaG […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *