A Failed Gym Routine, Healthy Swaps & Carb Education

Over the last year I’ve made a few changes to my life. ย I sold my business and my house so that myself and Jon could move onto his boat, which after being on board since last October we feel totally settled and feel it was a positive move, but after things have now settled down, there is one other major change which I have noticed has taken place, mainly for myself – my fitness and my health.IMG_0180

I had a full time dog walking and pet sitting business and spent five days a week walking from (on average) 9:30am until 5:30pm, along with fitting in the pet sitting jobs before and after those times. ย I loved my work. ย It was the best job in the world in Summer and hard work in Winter, it was also an incredibly physical business. ย I remember never having to think about my weight and I was constantly hungry, eating whatever I wanted and felt so fit and healthy, but now that the big move and lugging boxes around has finished I don’t feel as active, but don’t get me wrong, I love living on the boat, In fact we don’t miss the house at all, (well I do miss my garden a little) I love that I have more time for my blog and look forward to the planned boat and camper van trips we are making, but my body is starting to react to the slower pace of life. ย I still walk my own dogs at least twice everyday, but as you can imagine, I feel my body is shouting at me, “Oi’ what’s going on –ย I need more!” I’ve certainly noticed a few, let’s say, ‘changes‘ in certain areas which I’m keeping my eye on very closely.

So what am I doing to about it? ย I Joined a gym – a few months ago. I had my standard half hour with a personal trainer to set me up with targets in the gym, which I actually really enjoyed. ย I sweated on the machines and pumped that iron every day, along with attending a couple of Yoga classes a week, I was on a roll and totally up for the new regime and felt really good,ย until I had to have a break for a little operation, which you can read aboutย Here. ย The recuperation has been a little longer than I’d expected and because my gym routine was broken I haven’t actually been back yet. ย I do plan to do so, because I still have a month that I’ve paid for, but I’ve decided I won’t carry on going because of the cost – ‘Good grief it’s not cheap!’ย And also as we plan to to be tripping off in the boat and camper van It’ll be difficult to go anyway. ย So basically…What the hell was I thinking of joining a Gym??! ย I knew I was having that operation – did I honestly think I’d be skipping back there the next day? I also knew we were planning on tripping off in the boat and I also knew how much it would cost before I signed on the dotted line. So my gym experience? Failed!

A Wet ‘n’ Muddy Selfie

On the plus side, we will be getting back on the mountain bikes and finding a few bike trails so there’ll be some puffing and panting with that. ย My dogs keep me active and I love the local wood walks around where the boat is moored at the moment. ย I have also downloaded a Yoga course, which I plan on finding time for every day, starting this weekend!! (the exclamation marks are for my benefit by the way).

I have also made a few changes to our food habits, (I say ‘our‘ because I’ve been dragging Jon along this particular journey with me). ย I do the main bulk of our food shopping, so it’s less sugary foods and more fruit and veg for us!! (those exclamation marks again – sorry)ย We are also eating virtually no bread and less red meat and instead cooking mainly chicken and fish, putting less portions on the plates and swopping the rice, pasta and potatoes for cauliflower or broccoli rice and carrot spirals instead of noodles.


Since we started being a little more conscious with the foods we are eating,ย Jon has needed to add another hole in his belt as he’s lost a significant amount of weight, which he’s really pleased about. ย I think it’s made more of a difference to Jon than me because ย he used to eat quite a lot of sweet things and because we are eating virtually no bread, this means no butter, (of which he’d slice as if it were cheese) or his fifty jars of honey a week! (Okay maybe a little exaggeration there).

I can’t say the change of food habits has made a difference to my weight, although I haven’t put any on as such, which is amazing to say my exercise is significantly less than it was and I had a few weeks, due to my operation, where I couldn’t do any exercise at all. ย I do however, feel so much better in myself for not eating red meat or bread and changing the high carb foods forย vegetable substitutes for our evening meal. ย I’ve even been good with increasing the lemon water intake and cutting back on the wine, (for those who know me – honestly I have!!), not that I’m overly happy about that…

IMG_0945I saw a great programme last night, (6th June at 8pm) on BBC 1 called ‘The Truth About Carbs. ย I recommend catching up with it if you can, because it explains such a lot about carbohydrates and how, by eating the ‘correct‘ carbs can not only reduce weight, but significantly help with diabetes. ย Not only did they explain which are the ‘correct’ carbs, but they also went on to explain the need for us to eat a little known carbohydrate called resistant starch, this particularly helps to combat bowel cancer. ย They also did the whole, ‘comparing particular foods with the equivalent number of sugar lumps‘ thing, which I always find surprising…equivalent of 19 sugar lumps in a baked potato! Eek! It was such an interesting and educational programme, I learnt loads, well worth a watch.

So that’s a little update on the changes we’ve made and as I’m tip tapping away on my keyboard I’m noticing the gorgeous weather outside, so It’s now time for a good fast wood walk with the pooches – happy days ๐Ÿ™‚


Have you had to make any changes recently? ย Do you feel better for it? ย Would love to hear about it ๐Ÿ™‚

57 thoughts on “A Failed Gym Routine, Healthy Swaps & Carb Education

  1. Sounds like you are making some good changes. We belong to a gym too and seldom go. I’d much rather get my exercise in other ways. I really need to stop that monthly reminder of my ability to make excuses not to go. Oh, and thanks for the link to the BBC special… it looks interesting.

    1. Thank you, yes those few changes have been good so far. I hope the link works for you it is really good ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh sweet serendipity! Iโ€™m obviously not happy for your predicament vis a vis the old belly line but I am very happy that you happen to be entirely in sync with my present state of bodily appearance. For me it has been a combination the run up to my big move, then spending longer than planned with my mum (God Bless her and all who sail in her but she does have a somewhat old fashioned approach to eating which is justifiable at 85!) and then settling in here, having a daughter to stay, going away for a week blah blah blah. But today is the first day of the new regime and your post has resonated brilliantly as a reminder of what I know has to follow. The good carbs, the less vino tinto (or any colour-o actually), the morsels instead of slabs of everything. And getting back to running. Then the gardening will be a cinch. It will ….. Take good care of you in all of this and I am glad, so glad that you are fit enough to get back on that bike!

    1. Haha oh I’ve missed your lovely comments Osyth – you are so funny and lovely! Your mother – bless, I know exactly what you mean as my mom is also 85 and loves to feed me ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you get back on the the healthy track too

      1. Daughters of feeder-mothers no all the pitfalls. They were war babies and I think it just stuck. But I indulge her (whilst overindulging my digestion) because itโ€™s love that she is showing just like yours. Iโ€™m a stubborn biddy though and I will be back to health and fit bodied ness in no time (ish) ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Totally true – here’s to the getting back to the health and fit bodied ness (ish) ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. ๐Ÿ™‚ nothing wrong with soppy, I do love our little blogging community ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

      1. Itโ€™s a bummer. In France I had a thing called โ€˜Telly Passโ€™ which cost a fiver a month for the first couple of years but then I got stern with myself and decided I must watch only French TV (great for forcing fluency without abject embarrassment which can accompany early face to face encounters with strangers in abnormal situations …. this may become a blog post at some point) and here in the US we get BBC but itโ€™s mostly sport and drama – in fact PBS regularly air โ€˜Are You Being Servedโ€™ but itโ€™s not quite the same as a good Auntie Beeb documentary ๐Ÿ˜‚ x

          1. Probably but to be honest I am technologically retarded so I tend to rely on one of our children being here to show me and that will have to wait til Autumn now ….

  3. Hi Sam! Great post as usual. Iโ€™m on holiday in Germany/Austria for two weeks so giving up the carbs is difficult (continental breakfasts, cake and local beer every day!) Will definitely reduce them when back to reality. PS cauliflower rice is yum, I bet itโ€™s great with one of Johnโ€™s curries! X

    1. Hi I’m loving your Insta photos, looks absolutely gorgeous over there, I’m used to seeing it with white stuff all over the place ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes loving the cauliflower rice, not missing the normal rice at all ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  4. You’re an inspiration Sam. About a year ago, I changed jobs. One reason was to give me more time to write and I swear my bum has spread to the exact size of my chair. Writing is a sedentary pastime and I have noticed a lot of change I can’t blame on turning 60. I’ve always just been a mover; walking, gardening, working on the farm and keeping up with the 5 year olds at my old job but have slowed down a lot. We changed our eating habits a while ago but both of us need a fitness plan since we leased the farm. I’ll try to follow your lead. Wish me luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Hi Sam my husband and I belonged to a gym for a while and that is where we met our personal trainer. We left the gym, I never really enjoyed the atmosphere, and our PT would give us workout sessions in the park across from our home. I much prefer working out outdoors and even if the weather was poor, our PT could even give us a PT session in the carport and it was a work out let me tell you. I’m glad you mentioned about the TV program, because many people don’t realise that you do need to eat carbs – just the right ones. Sounds like you are getting back on track but remember to be kind to yourself and a lot has to do with getting in the right mindset. You have had a lot going on in your life lately but I’m sure the bike rides will get you going again. Have a great day!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    1. Thank you Sue, Fab advice!! What a great idea to change the gym for a PT and working outdoors is totally me. I think this is why I never get on with gyms because I much prefer to be outdoors. Thank you for reading x

      1. Hi Sam, just wanted to stop by and thank you for linking up with us at #MLSTL. We are forming a great group of like-minded Over 50 bloggers and I’m loving all the posts. Have a fabulous week!

        1. Hi Sue yes I finally made it ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to being a part of the group and meeting some great like minded bloggers xx

  6. I’ve been eating better foods too, and haven’t noticed any weight loss. Sunshine is trucking along, losing a few pounds every time he goes to the doctor. Makes me kind of hate him LOL

  7. Wow, all the changes in your life! Ups and downs all over Sam.
    No changes here really except that I think I need a break. Keep smiling ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I like change. Makes life interesting ๐Ÿ˜Š hope you get your break ๐Ÿ˜Ž thanks for reading

  8. Sounds good, Sam! I’m really trying to do the less sugar thing now – my main problem is only shopping once a week and not being bothered to cook properly, but I’m going to keep on doing my vegetable curry x 6 and I reckon that HAS to be good. I know about carbs because my husband is a Type 1 diabetic…. I just need to put it into practice!!! Thanks – you’ve actually given me a bit of a spurt on ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes I think the ‘less sugar thing’ is key, but not that easy. Good luck with your Spurt-on ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. We too are making a more conscious effort to eat less carbs and definitely less sugar. I must check out that BBC show. Sounds interesting. Glad to hear you guys are enjoying your days on the boat. Can’t believe you’ve been there since October! Time flies Sam. X

    1. Yes I know, time is going so fast! I hope you can view the show, because I thought just eat less carbs, but it’s actually The Right carbs, I learnt a lot, definitely worth a view x

  10. Here’s my biggest change to date: I’m an empty nester and my daughter moved to the other side of the country last year. I’m always happy to hear how well she’s doing, but I internalize my personal, emotional sadness because I miss her terribly. I’m trying to find a routine way to exercise, meditate, etc., to relieve the stress in my stomach that seems to never really go away.

    1. Oh I’ve been there, I really understand. I have to say, it does get better with time and knowing that they are thriving in their own lives, but I know it still hurts right now. I did find keeping busy helps so much, and exercise is great because it makes you feel better in yourself too ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. You will get there Sam, and our fitness does change as we age. Everything in moderation, and regular exercise is the key, our even keel is a bit wonky at the moment, due no doubt to eating far more cheese and that damned clotted cream ๐Ÿ™‚ I am certainly no where near what I was years ago, though I still love walking and feel that is enough plus the odd swim and cycle.

    1. Oh yes you’ve been to Devon, the dreaded clotted cream Lol You were on holiday, it’s allowed! I’ll get back into the swing of things, I’m sure. Thanks for your support xx

  12. You have been very active, and looks like you exercise in a variety of ways! Just throw a SUP board on your boat and take it out a few days a week! I love my gym (it’s close) but I go less often in the summer preferring walking the dogs, cycling, SUPing, windsurfing. But I’m glad to have the gym as a fallback any time of year.

    1. Oh you are good!! I do fancy the SUP thing, maybe I’ll look into lessons ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for reading and your comment xx

  13. Hi Sam
    I think you’ve done wonderfully. New life, new life style. Your pups will enjoy their daily walk and your biking will keep you in great shape. Plus life on the water sounds relaxing.

    1. Thank you Laura, It’s certainly been a busy time, but time now to get serious again with my fitness ๐Ÿ™‚ Was back on the mountain bike yesterday and it felt SO good ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you’re well xx

  14. I good read I enjoyed this and envied your ability to jump off your boat and walk through the woods – how lovely! Dogs are very useful creature when you need to keep exercising

    1. Thank you so much for reading ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes it’s great having dogs for many reason’s, but as you say they make you go out and exercise ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Yes those high carb, low protein diets that were recommended for many years caused a big blow out in belly fat. And the bad carb foods are so addictive, literally. I have to start moving more, and getting away from all my computer screen – trouble is, thatโ€™s addictive too.

    1. Totally agree Chris, there is so much more education about the ‘right’ foods now, but we have had many years eating the wrong foods…It’s not easy turning it all around is it? Also agree with the addictive computer thing too…I have to be quite strict where certain times I just turn it off ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for reading and commenting Chris

  16. I really enjoyed this post. You are making really great worthwhile changes for your health nutritionally. Allow your body to recover and then you can get back to a regular routine of exercise. I will definitely pop in to your blog again soon.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Jennifer and for a lovely positive and supportive comment. Nice to ‘virtually’ meet you and I’ll stop by your website ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Great to read Sam and I appreciate your honesty and exclamation marks. Currently our travels, although active, donโ€™t seem to be cancelling out the excellent food intake but Iโ€™m trying not to worry too much about that at the moment. All the best to you.

    1. Thank you Debbie. I’m sure you’re trying some beautiful and varied food on your travels, but it also looks like you’re having the best of fun too ๐Ÿ™‚ Loving your photo’s on your Insta and FB pages x

  18. Yes, we always have to adjust our fitness routine based on what our lifestyle is like at the moment. For years I worked out late afternoon after my work day was done and my brain fried. I hated morning exercise. But since early morning exercise now fits better into my schedule, I made the switch. It took about a week to get used to it and I now love it. And I’m trying to eat less red meat and more vegetables too!

    1. Hi Cathy thanks for reading and commenting ๐Ÿ™‚ Whenever I exercised after work I was always a little burnt out, but in the mornings, after the initial pain of getting up and motivated, I always felt great, full of energy and ready for the day ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you’re right though, it has to fit into your day routine easily ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I really like how you’ve figured out ways to compensate for the change in your lifestyle (without compromising all the good bits). I’ve been walking more and doing the 16/8 IF diet – which I don’t think is doing all that much, but it’s definitely slowed the steady weight creep that had begun a few years ago with Midlife and my metabolism deserting me somewhere along the line!

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
    Leanne | https://www.crestingthehill.com.au

    1. That’s great thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been meaning to join you guys for a while, finally made it ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes I think you have to listen to your body, at the over 50 stage, if not a little earlier and I also believe everybody is different, so what works for some won’t always work for others, so you have to find whats good for you. Although saying that I don’t think you can go far wrong with doing more walking and just watching what you eat ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Nice change to live on a boat, sounds really fun and interesting. I gave up going to a gym a long time ago, so I have a few ‘machines’ in my basement gathering dust….it’s hard to get a routine going. When the weather is nice I go biking or walk in the woods. I love nature, much more interesting than a gym LOL

    I too can’t watch the BBC video, I’m near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. So I’ll go to my friend Google and search the ‘good carbs’ . Thanks for the info.

    1. Hi and thank you for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚ I totally agree, being out and about is so much nicer than a gym and what better place to be, around nature to get fit ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry about the video, but yes try to find the info, because it is SO interesting. Totally fell in love with Canada by the way, such a fabulous place and we’ve only been to 2 places. Plan to go back next year snowboarding again, but would love to go in Summer ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I was doing yoga every morning up until a few weeks ago but have fallen off the yoga wagon. I dog walk every day so at least I am doing some exercise. Great post

    1. Yeah that happens doesnโ€™t it…I get myself into s great routine for months then a little change in that routine & itโ€™s broken. Takes me ages then to get going again. Iโ€™m back on my yoga mat every morning at the mo though until the next routine break ๐Ÿ˜Š thanks Lucy for reading ๐ŸŒธ

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