No Ageing Angel

I’ve definitely a lot to learn when it comes to the ageing process.  I think, like most people, I’d rather run and hide from the changes that are happening to my body at times, but then there are always the gentle (or not so gentle) daily reminders.  I am now quite stiff when I get out of bed of a morning, my eyesight is far less clearer than it used to be and don’t get me started on my periods.


It’s going to happen whether I like it or not and I want to be as positive as I can be about it.  They say forewarned is forearmed so when I watched TV the other lunchtime and saw an interview with Cameron Diaz talking about her new book The Longevity Book, I added it to my reading list.



Enjoying a Sunday afternoon read


Obviously Cameron is a few years younger than me, she is 43 to be exact, but when she turned 39 she started to be asked the same question in interviews, ‘as an actor, was she scared to turn 40’?  Of course everyone is scared of ageing, but what she set out to do was understand what ageing really is and thereby educate the rest of us on what is actually happening to our bodies and empower women to tackle the challenges head on.


I may be ahead of the curve in years, but I’m definitely behind this lady when it comes to understanding what’s happening to my body and how to look after it. I’m no angel, Charlie’s or otherwise, and that extra glass of wine on a night out is one I now always regret.


Accompanied by her writing partner, Sandra Bark (together they wrote bestseller The Body Book), Cameron went on a journey, talking to doctors and researchers about the ageing process.  It’s super interesting and the book goes into great detail about what is physically happening to your body as you get older.  In some places I found it a little heavy going, it’s quite scientific, but on the whole I found the tone of it really uplifting and it was very refreshing to read about how you may feel as you age, rather than how you look.


The chapters on the menopause, managing stress and building a stronger body and stronger brain were really valuable to me.  My mum was adamant that I would be educated on the changes my body would experience as I entered puberty.  Aged 10 I went on a school trip to Cornwall with an armful of sanitary towels, much to my embarrassment.  (She need not have worried it would be some years later before what she called ‘my friend’ would make an appearance.)   But now, as my body changes once again, she is unable to guide me through, as lucky lady, her ‘friend’ just suddenly stopped visiting one day and that was that.  I’m therefore in need to find another ‘expert’ to help me out and this book goes in-depth into the subject.  Yay!


There is also a really lovely chapter towards the end about the joy of connecting with friends and family as being vital to our health.   “Connections feel so good for our hearts and our spirits that it should come as no surprise that it’s also good for our bodies too.”  Who doesn’t feel better after a girl’s night in, or meal out with their nearest and dearest?  I often fall short of doing this, getting carried away with the daily grind that I don’t make enough time for the fun stuff, but love and laughter really can lighten the mood and we all need some of that.


Cameron and Sandra say there are five pillars that you should consider and practice.  These are: good nutrition, moving often, getting enough sleep, stress release and having meaningful relationships.  The pillars are discussed in details and I dare say you might find something of interest/use if you fancy a read.


I’m definitely trying to take all this on board.  I eat pretty healthily in the day, but let myself down at night.  So I’m trying to swap chocolate for fruit salad at least half the week.  Exercise-wise I do a Hiit session for 25 mins, five days a week, so I’m pretty happy with that, but I’m starting to think about including a swim session to help with the stiffness. Sleep is my bug-bear. I go to bed at 10, but I can wake as early as 6, even on a weekend.  I find it very hard to go back to sleep, but I do aim for an afternoon nap at least once during the weekend, to try and claw an hour back.  Stress is an unwanted friend for me,  as I expect it is in many people’s lives, but I’m trying to be kinder to myself and give myself a break and I do find my morning run sets me up for a better day.  As for connecting with others, well I have you guys who I love talking to once a week and I’m going to make more of an effort to spend time with others IRL (in real life).


I think the over-riding thought that I took away from the book, is just to be aware.  No-one is perfect, but you can try to be the best version of yourself.  Maintaining a decent level of well-being can be achieved if you put the effort in.  I definitely want to give it a go.  Oh and you CAN enjoy a glass of red wine of a night-time, which I’m thrilled about as when you read this post I will be on holiday!


I won’t be blogging next week girls as I’ll still be away, so I hope you won’t mind my taking a week off.  You can see what I’m up to over on Instagram if you fancy it.


Have a great week.


Gail xx


P.S. I picked up a copy in the library if you don’t want to buy.



Witness The Fitness


It’s the May Day Bank Holiday weekend and I’m enjoying a rather lazy Sunday.  At some point soon I’ll be ‘forced’ to nap, but before I do I’m just going to thumb through the new issue of Red magazine that I’ve been saving for this very afternoon.


For some reason I didn’t cast my eye across the front cover.  Perhaps because Gwyneth’s beautiful face is there smiling back at me and to be honest with no make-up and a grubby Sunday top knot I really can’t take her on.  If I had, I might have registered that it’s the June issue I’m about to read.  The June Issue!


Twice a year, in January and May, UK mags do their utmost to support our never-ending drive to look half decent on holiday.  It doesn’t matter if you are heading to foreign shores, staying in the city, or hauling everything but the kitchen sink to a campsite in Cornwall, at some point, if nothing else your arms and legs will be on show and I’ve yet to meet any woman who doesn’t care about how she looks and nor have magazine editors.


I open a double-page spread with the headline The 7-Day Body Reset and know I’m in trouble.  A cursory glance at my phone confirms that yep, I’m due to go on holiday in just over 50 days.  Uh-oh!  I can definitely fit in the reset, but is the reset enough?  Unlikely!


And so it begins.  The pathway to a better body lies ahead, eating less junk and choosing food that makes me strong enough to run or do Hiit sessions almost every morning before work.  On the days that I’m not running I’m trying not to notice that I’m having trouble sitting on the sofa because I’m stiff as a board from doing Davina’s Intense Toning session.  That could actually be the aim, that I never sit down again!


It’s punishment really, for enjoying life, but what I’ve ‘packed on’ over the winter needs stripping back off again and I can’t give up the ghost.  I’m Not Givin In, well not yet anyway.


So to spur me on I’ve purchased a new pair of running tights and a very loud T.shirt from H&M.  Ever tight, I always shop here, because they offer a great range (that seems to grow in choice each season), with the latest looks at very reasonable prices.  So if I go ‘hard’ (wipes away tears of laughter) then I’ve had my money’s worth  and if I limp in across my imaginary finishing line half a stone shy of my goal, I haven’t wasted a fortune.


I like to run outdoors when it’s not raining so have opted for this bright, neon T.Shirt, which cost just £7.99.  It’s lightweight and I’m sure to be seen by drivers and dog-walkers.

H&M photo from Pinterest

H&M photo from Pinterest

Long sleeve-tees are also available in pretty shades, like this one for £14.99.

H&M photo from Pinterest

H&M photo from Pinterest

I like to wear sports tights for running and have the pair below, which I bought for £14.99.  They’re bright I know, but pop these bad boys on and the print disguises any lumps and bumps very nicely.  I wear size small in these, as I want them to be tight, I can’t stand bottoms that are constantly in need of pulling up.  The fabric is silky to touch and fast-drying.

H&M photo from Pinterest

I also really like these ones too.  Not for the faint-hearted I know, but…

H&M photo from Pinterest

H&M photo from Pinterest

The Sports Bra below isn’t one that I have, but the logo meets the inspirational objective.  It costs just £7.99 and I have found this style of bra to be really robust for running, and they wash up well. I have a few pairs in a similar design on rotation.

H&M photo from Pinterest

H&M photo from Pinterest

Should the weather turn, which it obviously does quite often, H&M has a range of lightweight jackets perfect for running.  The only thing I find disappointing is that they tend to be in black or grey, which isn’t great for being seen when crossing roads so I pop a neon tabard over the top. This running jacket is £29.99.

H&M photo from Pinterest 9

H&M photo from Pinterest

So I’ve got the gear.  I have no excuse not to move my body.  The playlist is compiled and I’m writing this very early in the morning, which can only mean one thing, I’m off for a run.


See you on the other side girls.


Gail. x


P.S.  Oh and if you’re thinking of joining the legions of fans who follow the SSS Plan by The Body Coach read my experience here before you part with your money, it’s not for everyone.

Be My Valentine

Hi All


This week’s post has been prompted by Post40bloggers, an online group that supports 40+ bloggers who I follow on Instagram and Twitter.  The group posted a picture last week asking for followers to share their favourite wedding/couple pics in celebration of Valentine’s Day, so I’ve been digging around for pictures from my wedding to share.


Getting married (for the first time) two months shy of turning the big 40 wasn’t really in my original life plan.  Like most young women I thought I would meet Mr Right at the ‘appropriate time’ in my youth and be settled down with children by the time I was forty.  That didn’t happen for me.  Newly bruised from a bad relationship that ended as my thirties began, I started this decade of my life with a heavy heart and pretty much alone.


Life goes on of course and I sought out new ways to have a fulfilling life, and as time continued to roll by, I gradually gave up on the idea that I would ever get married.  Fast forward some years and I’m living in London with a great group of friends and a fun, if not demanding, career that is going pretty well, when I go home for Christmas and bump into an old flame in Asda (yes, it’s a pretty epic love story!) of all places.


The relationship quickly took off and before I knew it I had moved back to Bristol, changed jobs, and we were living together.  We were married the following year at the Little Chapel of Flowers in Las Vegas.  Again, not a long held dream wedding destination, but it fitted our needs perfectly and turned out to be such a wonderful, romantic day.  With only us in attendance it kind of felt like we were eloping and if I had a dollar for every time a stranger congratulated us we’d have a bank full of good wishes to see us through the rest of our lives.


I didn’t get emotional on the day itself, I was too excited and couldn’t stop smiling, but the following afternoon we went back to the chapel to view our photos, all 200 of them!  As soon as I opened the album it started – big, loud, body-heaving sobs (much like Emma Thompon’s Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility) and a bucket-load of tears.  I think I cried for the same reason she did, I could finally exhale.  I was truly happy and content with the person sat next to me. I could give up the search, call off the dogs, cancel the online dating membership.


When I was single a friend of mine would say ‘there’s a lid for every pot’.   At times it would drive me mad, because you can feel like you’re the last lidless pot on the shelf, but the glint in her eyes gave me reason to hope.  It’s not everyone’s ideal life, to be married, but it has certainly brought a lot of joy to mine.


Have a happy Valentine’s Day!


Gail x


getting married

Looking forward to 2016



When you read this I will be lying on a beach in Thailand.  In fact I will be on Ko Phi Phi, staying at the Phi Phi Relax Beach Resort.  I will have stayed up into the night to see in the New Year, having attended the resort’s gala dinner and will likely be nursing a hangover before embarking on a little hair of the dog.


We have been to Phi Phi once before and are returning because SP loves it here.  It is the kind of resort where wearing no shoes is the norm and sitting at the beach bar enjoying the night sky is heaven.  There are few mod cons here, just you and nature on this tiny little island.  So while he plays Tarzan I try my hardest to be Jane and not moan about the ball of frizz that was once my hair!

ko phi phi

Home Sweet Home (Ko Phi Phi)


SP loves swimming with the fishes and I love him doing that too.   I need the head space that ‘annual leave’ gives us to sit with my own thoughts, looking back over the past 12 months and make plans for the new year.


2015 was a truly busy year, with six day weeks that knocked my work/life balance into oblivion and made me ever so slightly short-tempered and grumpy.   I’m not a fan of my grumpy self and nor is anyone else so although I’m writing this pre-Christmas I know already what needs to happen in 2016.


I love being a working woman and I’m proud of my accomplishments in  recent years, but I won’t feel successful if I don’t get the balance right.  There is more to life than work, but I often forget that.  This year is a case in point. Although I’ve had a few weekends away (I often work for a few hours on a Saturday), my holiday in the summer was a six night trip to Tuscany, where we constantly moved around the region.  The holiday was booked by me so I’ve only myself to blame. The result being I’m totally wiped out and I’ve been longing to get to The Beach (yes, the one in the film of the same name) since about October.


ko phi phi

Maya Beach on Ko Phi Phi


So when I get to The Beach I shall have with me a copy of Ariana Huffington’s book Thrive, very kindly lent to me by a friend, with me.


Arianaa Huffington - Thrive

Arianaa Huffington – Thrive


The book is a personal account of Arianna’s challenges to manage time and prioritise the demands of her career with family life.  If you don’t know, Arianna Huffington, is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and one of the most influential women in the world.


The book is a call-to-arms, Arianna aims to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world, drawing on a the latest ground-breaking research and scientific  findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep and physiology that reveal the transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging and giving.


I’m looking forward to it. The idea of being unplugged and present in the moment is definitely something I want to achieve.  I will no doubt think about the changes I want to make in my own life in 2016.  Making time to be unplugged is likely to be one of them.


With that in mind, I’m going ‘dark’ for two weeks.  I’ll be back on Friday 22nd January fully re-charged.  I hope.  You can see how my holiday is going over on Instagram.


Happy New Year all!


Gail  x


Christmas Greetings


Hi Everyone


I’m so sorry, but Christmas madness has taken over this week and I just haven’t had time to write a post.  I’d rather not blog some half-baked, rushed drivel!


I finish work today and have three weeks off, so have been cramming lots on my ‘to do’ list to get everything done.  I’m so excited about my holiday.  Not only will I be getting ready for Christmas and catching up with family and friends, but also getting ready for a trip to foreign shores.


It’s been a long wait, but SP and I are off to Thailand just after Christmas, for a two week holiday that will see us hopping around three different islands. We have been before and are returning to Koh Phi Phi for our New Year celebration, and then we’re off to Koh Lanta and finally Krabi for a short stay in January.


I’ll be uploading pics on my Instagram feed so that you see what we get up to in Asia and of course I’ll be posting as normal next Friday and over Christmas.


I really need and I’m so looking forward to a little time out and some sun worshipping!


Have a lovely Christmas!  I hope you enjoy it with your nearest and dearest.


Gail x