Tag: weight training

My arms do not hurt and that is a problem.

OK, so as you can probably imagine, I have had terribly aching thighs since I went crazy and did 50 squats the day before yesterday. Ouch. However, I’ve now done 2 days of arms and upper body work, first with Cindy Whitmarsh and then with Judith Sherman-Wolin and I can’t feel a thing. It’s not good enough. These 1.5kg weights are obviously not challenging enough. My next set of dumbbells weigh 2.5kg each, so I will try the Judith Sherman-Wolin workout again, doing 3 sets of 12 reps, and see if that pushes me harder. Should do. I can’t see that failing to cause me a few problems.

For those who don’t know Judith, I am referring to the author of Smart Girls Do Dumbbells and I am following her 30-day programme, except I’m about to do Day 1 a second time. Then I will probably need to go for a lie down, then make dinner consisting of chicken breast and more leafy green veg, then do some more work.

smart bells

Rising Heroes

I continue to be concerned about my health because my heart pounds more than it should. I am ready to take action. It seems urgent.

Health and fitness has always been a major theme of TLYW. I look at the Achievements page which was my main source of motivation for the first few years of TLYW, and over half of the 800 points I managed to score are health related.

It’s time for another concentrated campaign of health and fitness and this time around I feel like I need some encouragement and teamwork from other people instead of doing everything on my own. That’s why I’ve signed up for Rising Heroes, which is a self-improvement and fitness programme for gamers, using video game metaphors. Should be right up my street.

There is a new TLYW page for it here, with links and details of what I’ve been eating and what exercise I’m doing. I’ve done 5.5 hours of walking in the last two days.

I have made a character to level up, she is a scout, a character class that I selected because I like endurance sports. I don’t think I’m particularly strong or fast but I can keep going for a long time. I can swim and walk long distances.

I have joined a squad of rising heroes, a squad is a team of five people, I belong to the Shimmy Hips squad, which is all women.

I also joined a division, a division is a team of 30 people. I belong to the Number One Ninja division.

A nice feature of Rising Heroes is that it encourages you to develop one skill that’s outside of health and fitness, so I picked Chinese. I will be super happy to get that back up and running.

That’s all I have to say right now. I’m a little bit overwhelmed with new information and it is taking me a while to make sense of everything but hopefully the picture will become clear soon. My squad members are really friendly.

Wish me luck. I am heavy right now and I want to lose 30 pounds, lower my blood pressure and make my heart stronger. Hopefully, belonging to a couple of teams will really help.

profile pic

Day 4

I went to the gym yesterday (Day 3) and lifted weights. My god. I am a lot weaker than I used to be. I made so much effort that my muscles were shaking when I’d finished and I had to lie down when I got home.

Today I am a bit achey in my abs and chest, perhaps not surprisingly, so I went to the gym again this morning (Day 4), went on the treadmill and climbed a hill for an hour, to give my upper body a rest.

My plan is to swim again tomorrow. Go to the gym on consecutive days as much as is humanly possible (this will become more challenging as work heats up over the next 6 weeks).

The Weakly Weigh-In is on Fridays now. First one this Friday.



It is 8am and I am getting ready to go to the gym for the third consecutive day. I am going to re-start weight training today for real. I haven’t done any for absolutely ages but I am motivated by memories of a couple of summers ago when I had really good arms.

It is a bit daunting because I don’t even know if I can remember how to use all the machines, however I still have the old routine listed in a notebook in my gym bag, so I will do that. And since I am beginning weight training from scratch again, I’ll keep proper records this time of how much weight I can push.

My body loves to pack on muscle, I remember that much. All I need to do is give it the chance.

2014: The Year in Review

Happy New Year, readers. 2014 was a challenging year in so many ways, probably the defining moment was experiencing violent crime in April, which had health repercussions that lasted the entire rest of the year, but it had its high points as well, with an epic amount of travel: as well as enjoying London, there were trips to Stockholm, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Santiago de Chile, Corfu, Yorkshire, Nice, Paris and Brussels. Let’s take a look at the highlights.


The start of the year found me obsessed with health and fitness. I was in the gym nearly every day, breaking personal records for distance swimming and doing weight training. I weighed myself excitedly and danced a lot because the exercise was pumping me full of endorphins. I wasn’t seriously dating anyone but I had a couple of dates with Disraeli and The Young Scientist and they rather gratifyingly fell in love with me, because I was using a contrived but successful technique called The Method that I learned off the Head Honcho, who I was still crushing on like a little girl.

Tune of the month:

Super Cat ft. Heavy D and Frankie Paul: Big and Ready

Look pon me now, a me big and me broad, and me park me BMW inside a big garage.



Mid February found me slim, rippling with muscle and ready to take up boxing. This was an unusually good and somewhat unprecedented peak of strength and fitness, even though I didn’t recognise it as such at the time because I wasn’t doing any running. I started using the punch bag in the gym, looking around for someone to teach me and reading the websites of special boxing gyms, as well as using the online dating site to search for boxers, as an alternative to dating the French.

On the 18th of February I was overjoyed when I finally achieved my goal weight of 133lbs. It took more than two years to get there. On a cloud of triumph and victory, I started wearing bikinis at the pool.

Travel: a weekend in Stockholm, with historic architecture and delicious hot chocolate.


Tune of the month.

Dr Alimantado: I Am The Greatest Says Muhammed Ali



Travel. Shanghai.


A Dream I Dreamed by Kusama Yayoi.


Hong Kong.


hk flowers

Tune of the Month. You need to get up and dance for this one. Jah! Rastafari!

DJ Kool: Raggae Dance



Santiago de Chile.





town 3


Tune of the month. Super Cat on a spiritual tip, I love him, he is gorgeously sincere in a way that makes me want to take my clothes off.

Super Cat: Jah Run Things.



Yorkshire. A mysterious and magical place.



Back at home, we went to the Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market in London.


It was a month in which I continued to be hung up on the Honcho, for no good reason, with crisis after crisis until we couldn’t stand each other any longer. At least there were some great dance tunes to carry us through. This turned out to be the last time I spoke to him in 2014.

Boris Dlugosch ft Roisin Murphy: Never Enough (Sir Piers & Ed Funk Club Mix)



In July, nothing happened. I started taking prescription drugs and was stoned for a month.



I cheered myself up by getting Botox and was amazed and overjoyed with the results. Did a better job of improving my mood than the happy pills. Started to date Charlie. The music continued to be full of soul.

The Ikettes: I’m Blue



Went to the South of France and decided to stop taking drugs.





TLYW’s fourth birthday. Launch of the Brownie Points themed season, which is turning out to be a quite a long-running one, that expands the range of possible TLYW Achievements. I didn’t do a lot of dancing in October but I managed to read some improving Literature and made a decent size payment on my mortgage.




restaurant 3



brussels street

lace collar

I broke up with Charlie, bought a new oven and started cooking. At the end of the month, met Leroy and instantly fell in Crush with him.

Rufus & Chaka Khan: Sweet Thing



I performed Home Improvements by having my windows replaced, had something of a themed season around donating to fight homelessness, and celebrated Christmas for an entire month.

gift lights

snowmen tin

Tune of the month: hardcore disco to see the year out. Get up now and free your inner drag queen by parading around the room. 10/10 for Fabulous. Happy New Year.

Do you wanna funk? Won’t you tell me now? If you wanna funk, let me show you how.

Sylvester: Do You Wanna Funk?

Back in the gym.


  • Weight training.
  • Swimming (60 lengths).
  • Talked to a man in the gym who was using the punch bag like a professional and he turned out to be a friendly Iranian who was only too happy to give advice and demonstrations. In fact he encouraged me to land a punch on him but this was a step too far for my British manners so I demurred and concentrated on the bag. It was most educational. Then after a few minutes I ran away in case he got ideas.

Earlier in the day I went to the sports shop to meet the other guy and he was a nice man but he seemed kind of depressed about something and wouldn’t laugh at any of my jokes, which was a bit strange. In fact, unprecedented. Even the Honcho thinks I am funny and he is not known for his sense of humour. Anyway, he talked interestingly about boxing as well, he talked about what it is like to follow the sport, the build-up to big matches and so on. So I was actually glad I went out to see him and now I have post-gym endorphins. 2 Health points. Shall we dance?

Come on over honey, get closer to the bar.

Super Cat: My Girl Josephine (1995)

Biff! Kerpow!

OK, that might be the most fun I’ve ever had at the gym.

When I arrived it was packed and there were no fitness instructors to be seen, so I bided my time. I did my weight training, then went to the restaurant for a carbless chicken burger, then went on the treadmill for an hour. By that time, rush hour was long over and most people had left. The perfect time. I went to the little office where the fitness trainers sometimes lurk and there was one in there.

Gloria: Hello, can I have your expert advice please?
Trainer: Of course! (gets out of his seat)
Gloria: Can you make my dream come true?
Trainer: Well, I don’t know about that but I guess we can try. What do you want to do?
Gloria: That punch bag. I want to hit it. 
Trainer: Well, that’s easy enough. You just hit it.
Gloria: Yes, but I want to hit it properly. I don’t want to just bitch-slap it. I want to look like I know what I’m doing.
Trainer: (laughing) Right, okay. Well, here we are. Put these gloves on. They, erm, might be a bit sweaty.

He was not kidding. They were disgustingly swampy inside and smelled like death as well as being three sizes too large but I bravely plunged my delicate little hands into them anyway and managed to do up the velcro. Then the fitness guy demonstrated how to hit the punch bag. Where to put your feet, where to put your hands, what angle your arms should be.

Trainer: Now you try.

Readers. I adopted the correct stance. I set my jaw, glared at that punch bag and thought of every man who’s ever done me wrong, and then I smacked it as hard as I could, with all my strength, six or eight times.

Trainer: (laughing and looking surprised and also slightly alarmed) Erm, OK, that was very, very good. You are already better than some people. Keep doing that.

So I kept doing it. I stood there and smacked that punch bag until I was exhausted. It was AMAZING. I felt like there was suddenly a reason why I’ve been doing weight training on my upper back, arms and shoulders. It was so that I can box.

Oh god, I loved it. I can’t even tell you. It just felt absolutely fucking fantastic. 2 Health points.

Snap: The Power (1990)