Thursday 12 January 2017

Disney Ink Update

I've promised for a little while now an update on my Disney tattoos. So I type this with a bit of a sore arm, following 6 hours in the tattoo chair with the wonderful Simon Saint Heywood at Rampant Ink. So while my new additions are healing I thought I ought to show-off the additions Simon did back in November last year.

So first we have Stitch in his Elvis attire, along with the word Ohana - 'Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets lefts behind or forgotten'. There are still some strings to be added to the guitar but to ensure the lines are straight we needed to wait until the rest of the tattoo had healed.

Next we have Dumbo...

and then Jiminy Cricket...

 watch this space in a few weeks time for another update when todays work is healed.

Monday 2 January 2017

New Year, New Me!!

Isn't that how all blog posts etc are supposed to start this time of year - New Year, New Me!!

Lots of articles about diets, getting fit, moving more, eating better, being healthy etc, etc and how NOW is the time to do it! After all what better time to do something about your weight, or shape or fitness than the start of a new year!!  OK I hope you can detect my sarcasm as I write this because really?!!

Just because we start a new year shouldn't be the reason to create a new you! If you want to do something about your weight or how you look you should do it because the want is there not because of what time of year it is.

Now I will be the first to admit that over the festive period I have like most people indulged in foods I wouldn't normally have done, probably had a few drinks more than usual and not moved as much as I do usually. So yes the New Year, or rather the end of the holidays, is the kick start back into my usual routine.

There will be lots of 'diets' out there that will promise amazing results in amazing amounts of time or fantastic results by buying their products or sticking to a 'points' system or some other type of gimmick normally involving a 'discounted price' to entice you in. The problem with most of these 'quick fixes' are that they are just that, a quick fix, that doesn't last and the only thing that you can guarantee being any lighter is your purse! Now don't get me wrong some people will use these diets and for them it will work and it may even work long term for them but for most of us we buy in, stick to it for a while until we hit a bump in the road and we go back to square one.

Now for anyone who has read my blog over the last few years will be aware of my own success at losing weight and feeling better about myself and body shape. Have a look at my page called - 'Getting Real' where I go into detail about how I lost weight and started a new way of eating...a lifestyle change.

And I think this is key to anyone who really wants to lose the weight; it is not dieting that will help you to lose weight it is making a change to your lifestyle.

Having changed my lifestyle two and a half years ago I have not only embraced it but I continue to learn more about what I am now doing and how that affects me and my body and how the way most of us eat is doing us more harm than good. And it is a lifestyle that I found relatively easy to adopt and one that the whole family now follows. So what did I do?

Have a look at the page on this blog called 'Getting Real' as well as my post from June 2015 called 'One Year On' as both of these document my journey and how I got to where I am today.

Basically I have adopted what is often referred to as either 'low carb' or 'low carb, high fat' (LCHF) way of eating. This means cutting down on the sugars and starches - so no potatoes, breads, pasta or rice - while eating plenty of fish, meat, eggs, natural fats and veggies (those that grow above ground!).

I don't count calories - lots of studies now show that not all calories are the same; the way your body processes calories depends on where they come from! Take in sugars or carbs and your body doesn't really know what to do with them and so stores them as fat which leaves you feeling you eat more (usually more carbs) and so the vicious circle begins. Take in fats and proteins and your body uses these for energy and actually starts burning your fat stores, you also feel satisfied when you've eaten fats and protein and so avoid the cycle of eating more when it's not needed.

The key to all this is to eat real foods and ditch the highly processed sugary rubbish that is way too easily available. Many years ago the official dietary advice to lose weight and keep your heart healthy was to eat low fat foods...the food industry obliged and provided us with a ton of low fat or fat free alternatives. The problem with removing the fat was that the food tasted pretty nasty so the food industry replaced the missing fat with sugar or sweeteners. But this meant our carb intake increased; we didn't feel 'full' so we ate more. The food industry recognised they were onto a good thing by supporting the official dietary advice and so kept on producing more and more processed low fat foods. We now find ourselves with a food industry still supporting the 'low fat advice' and not wanting to make a change because of the detrimental affect it could have to their profit margins.

The latest evidence now tells us that fat has never been our enemy, it's been sugar all along. The advice that governments followed about having a low fat diet was wrong...they simply listened to those that shouted the loudest, those scientists who, at the time, had the connections and believed their ideas to be right...unfortunately for us they were not. I urge you to read a book called 'Why We Get Fat and What to Do About it' by Gary Taubes - a fascinating and easy read which explains why we find ourselves today with the highest obesity and diabetes rates ever, despite following all the government advice to eat low fat.

So the answer is simple ditch the carbs, enjoy fats and protein and eat real food. No fads, no gimmicks, no magic powders simply good, tasty, satisfying real food. And yes you can throw some exercise into the mix as well but the exercise won't make you lose weight; it will keep you fit and will tone what you've got but it's what you put into your body that will make the biggest changes.

I have been eating this way for two and a half years. I complete a set of body weight exercises most days. I dropped from a size 12 (UK) to a size 8 (UK) and have stayed that way. Yes my weight will fluctuate every now and then but it stays pretty consistent. While changing the way you have eaten all your life can be daunting and a challenge I have found it really straight forward to stick to; there's no portion control or calorie counting it's simply finding the right food, eating it and enjoying it.

If you want to make a change, feel good about how you look and at the same time improve your health and well being then give this lifestyle a try. I did, it worked and I'm staying this way!

Please feel free to comment below, or contact me via Twitter @JaynePhipps should you want to know more.

A really good website to give you more information is

Sunday 1 January 2017

Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017

I have finally found some time to write and find myself at the crossroads of one year ending and another beginning, and thought it would be appropriate (and a bit of a cliche) to say goodbye to 2016 and look forward to 2017.

My last blog piece was back at the beginning of October and since then our lives have been a little hectic; hence the lack of posts.

Work has been as busy as ever, compounded with the usual Christmas antics of concerts and fairs. The Disney Dream Girls podcast continues to thrive and along with my co-host, Michelle, we have managed to reach show number 139! I have had some more ink added to my Disney sleeve, so watch out for a separate blog post on these latest additions. My daughter achieved her black belt in Mixed Martial Arts. My eldest has settled into University while still being able to live at home and is doing really well. There has of course been the usual 'getting ready for Christmas'; buying presents, decorating the house indoors and out, finding time to bake, writing cards etc, etc, etc. We have also managed to enjoy some brilliant nights out with good friends; indulging in a number of local burlesque evenings hosted by the fabulous Scarlett Daggers. Oh and there was also the small matter of a new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, that just had to be seen! Phew!

And in amongst all of this in early November my father-in-law became really rather poorly as a result of living with dementia for a long time. This meant a number of weeks in hospital and just when we thought he maybe coming home he sadly passed away in early December.

This year has been one of ups and downs and one that has at times stretched us to our limits but as a couple and as a family we have come through it all. We may not have been able to get to Disney this year or had a fancy vacation somewhere but we have made the most of the time that we have had together. Simon and I enjoyed a few days cosplaying in London at this years Star Wars Celebration with our new found Mandalorian Mercs family. We dragged the kids along to York Comic Con so we could dress up once again. We spent days during the Summer as a family simply getting out and about together. Both Simon and I have expanded our own 'ink' collections and we even cosplayed at our local Disney Store. And through all the ups and downs we have as a family come together and got through to the other side.

So what does 2017 hold for me and mine? Well at this point in time I really don't know...I have some more ink planned in a couple of weeks time but other than that we have nothing set for the year. Molly has her GCSE's to complete and her next stage of education to think about. Ethan will be completing his first year at University and Simon and will continue to draw and make stuff! But who knows what else will be on the cards.

But whatever comes my way I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and productive 2017. Get out there and do what makes you happy, enjoy life and share it with those who mean the most to you xx

Happy New Year!