Just past the last minute

Let’s talk about …

‘I don’t know how you do it all’

‘You must never sleep’

‘I’m so impressed you fit it all in’.

The silent pressures of an entrepreneur. For me it’s trying to balance a dayjob (full time) with running a business (needs to be full time), training, a relationship and running a house (presently mostly my responsibility as Mr Fox hasn’t moved in yet and has his own lawn to mow). For others it’s running their own business and having kids, or being a carer or having a partner who has a demanding job and expects you to pick up the domestic duties as well as running  your own business.

There are a few things I think most people in this position will agree on:

Entrepreneurs don’t get to keep office hours or clock off at the end of the day.

The blending of life and work is inevitable making it hard to keep clear lines or any kind of balance or sanity.

Leisure time is a source of guilt because of all the things that haven’t been done.

Everyone says positive and encouraging things which is lovely but oh my word the pressure that adds!

Crashing is inevitable because stopping at a sensible point becomes impossible.

So here are a few things I find are true for me at least.

I don’t do it all. Or maybe I do, but I feel as though I half ass a lot of it and I hate that feeling! Of course I may be being totally unfair on myself, but I am supposed to be super woman godammit!

I do sleep. My god do I sleep. I mean I lie awake at night worrying, but when I am not doing that I sleep. I also sleep in the day. I get up, do household chores, work, stop for a five minute break and wake up two hours later groggy and wanting to drink my own body weight in coffee. Try to watch a movie? Asleep. Try to read a book? Asleep. Try to sew a button on? Asleep. At least until I jab myself with the needle. Hell face it, I’m not napping, I’ve just passed out gently on a sofa.

I do fit it all in, it’s less impressive though when you consider that I am basically running around in frantic circles trying desperately to stop any of the balls hitting the ground because I am constantly terrified that if just one drops all the way the whole lot will come crashing down around my ears and I will be crushed beneath it!


Sometimes I attack it all with laser focus and get loads done and sometimes I unlock an achievement or something that means I can see other people think I am getting right.  I look at everything I have helped create and I am proud of it, but I always, and I mean always, every single second, think I should have done and be doing more, better, faster. I am perpetually one bad email from a breakdown only I DON’T HAVE TIME!! At most I get to collapse face down on the bed and cry for no reason for an hour, once in a while.

All of this and I have support. I work with amazing people, I have Mr Fox doing most of the cooking and when I do break, he gets a book and sits with me till the sobbing subsides. I have an amazing hypnotherapist to lean on when I am too tired to stand. I have a business partner who regularly messages me to say, stop and breathe, take a moment, the sky won’t fall because you read a book for fun. I remain unconvinced about the ongoing stability of the sky.

You know what is really sick though? I love it! I wouldn’t give it up for anything! Right now this may be no sensible way to live but it is, as far as I am concerned, the only way to live!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The reality of life

Life is not orderly, it does not chunk itself neatly into set pieces of time allocated for this that and the other.

Life is messy. It’s full of things that push us off balance. Two of the biggest things for that int he training/diet world are new relationships and illness. I have spent the last six months dealing with both of these things. Of course the tendency to catch colds etc is twice as problematic when you are passing them between you. Things have not gone well on the training front. I gained weight back, I was sparodic at the gym because of feeling ill or tired from late nights. I was burning the candle at both ends and it f*cked sh*t up.

This year we are in it together the new relationship and I. This was my promise to myself at the start of the year.

This year is not about weightloss and diets, I will focus on eating healthily and well, training regularly and being focuses, improving my immune system, making gains on the mats, sleeping better and generally hitting my stride in productivity. I am pretty happy, but this year I want to be even happier because I want to feel more in control, make more progress in every area of my life. This isn’t about what my body looks like, it’s about how it feels and performs.

I will report all my progress to keep me honest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Breaking through

I’m getting back in the swing little by little. Back on the clean eating, don’t let my scouring the cupboards for bad snacks fools you…no matter how many times i look my only snack option is still a can of tuna. Getting back into the routine of training which is bliss quite frankly.

I had a session in boxing a couple of weeks ago where all my work on my feet and hands just came together for an hour and everything felt smooth and clean and sharp. Oh it doesn’t last that feeling, there is too much to learn, but it still felt great and was a needed morale boost. Last night I figured out what I was doing wrong on a move for myself, which was satisfying and I am starting to understand more even if I still don’t know much. If only I had any instinct for how the body works at all! Ah well, keep training and it will come.

I just quite liked this pic

I just quite liked this pic

This Sunday a friend and I travel to Liverpool for a seminar with Rosi Sexton, which is very exciting. Rosi is a superb martial artist and to encourage women of all levels and MA backgrounds to have a go at MMA she is doing a bunch of women only seminars around the country, so if it appeals to you at all look out for them. It’s a great chance to try it out before looking for a local gym. We are going because a) we can learn a lot from Rosi and b) grappling with women is different, it’s a useful opportunity for us as we only really have each other locally the rest is training with the guys.

A note about which.. training with the guys is a good thing! We are in no ways complaining, just looking forward to getting a broader experience.

Rosi Vs Gina (did you know Rosi has a Cambridge degree in maths and a PHD? Smart as F*ck!

Soo things I am reading. In non fic I’ve been munching through ‘A Fighters Mind’ by Sam Sheridan which is actually really interesting and motivational. In fiction I just read the soon to be released (the benefits of being in publishing) ‘Shadowboxer’ by Tricia Sullivan which is a fantasy novel bringing thai spirituality, adventure, other worlds and MMA together. It works pretty well and the descriptions of fighting and training are really good. I can recommend them both.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stalling and a heavy foot

Well, it was all going brilliantly and then my routine went out the window. Work, the publishing it all threw my routine out and I am a creature who thrives on routine. so I have had what..six weeks of not training on a regular schedule, not eating properly and problems with my shoulder made worse by the physio massaging it. It’s ok. Shit happens kids, I haven’t done much damage and I am getting back on track with a timely reminder from my head coach. I am doing all this to be a better martial artist and all the hard won improvements in training will pay off so much more if I can move better.

so my eating is being pulled (kicking and screaming) back into order, I am getting to training as much as the messy summer schedule of my life will allow and I am going through the process of reminding myself what it’s all about.


In the mean time I am increasingly frustrated with my footwork in well everything. I fell heavy footed a lot of the time and when I try to remedy that I feel unbalanced. It is quite annoying. Still, I shall keep working on it, try to figure out what the issue is and get it sorted! If I can glide in the f*cking waltz I can learn to glide while I punch.


Posted in Training | Leave a comment

‘Overcoming shame’ or ‘the before and after’

I’ve been reading over at Fat Girl PHD lately, which is a bloody marvelous site. It’s made me think it’s maybe overdue the old before/after shots on here. In the name of being totally open with you all. The reason I haven’t posted them before is because I struggle with shame. I am finally getting to a point where I can almost look dispassionately at the ‘before’ pics and go ok, you know what, it mattered because I was struggling to do the things I want to do, but I didn’t hate myself and I shouldn’t feel ashamed of having been obese. It is what it is. Almost.

Now, the reason there are three pics.

2007 I am dangerously obese, it actually gets a little worse by 2008. 2010 – 2012 I go to the gym a lot, kickbox a lot and eat a little, divorce helping with the latter. Early 2012 I get down to ideal weight in my opinion, which is the middle pic. I still have those trousers, they are part of the ‘to get back into wardrobe’. Late 2012 – 2013 I gain again.  Feb 2014 just before I start work with Karl to get back down, you can see even with the gi that i’m bigger now than I was in early 2012. I’ve lost 18lbs since then but those combats are size 12 and i’m not quitefully down to a 14 yet.

I’ll talk more after the pic.


I think the thing that might be most worth noting, is that while in the middle picture I was at my thinnest since I was about 14, it’s the last one is which I am both healthiest and happiest with my body, not because of how I look but because of how I feel. These last few months since I’ve joined Shootfighters I’ve felt stronger and fitter and more confident than I can ever remember feeling. Losing body fat now will help me be better at grappling, will help with fitness and training and will have the added side affect of looking thinner. Worth remembering though I’d rather feel the way I do now than fit into those combats. Happily I expect to enjoy both in due course.


Posted in Measuring progress | Tagged | Leave a comment

Warrior Collective at Leicester Shootfighters

Warrior Collective came and filmed an evening at Leciester Shoot recently.

Here is the video.

And they have a lot of other good short video’s up for fans of martial arts including this one on Capoeira which is an MA i’ve always loved watching


So check out Leicester Shootfighters and check out the Warrior Collective.

Posted in Training | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

because…all the things.

First of all Lucy and I got to do something quite exciting last weekend. We were part of a photography students third year project on women in sports and spent a couple of hours at the Shootfighters gym posing for pics. On the back of this being so much fun we have decided we could handle being famous and are available for such things. ;p We are hoping to get some copies of the pics to share soon.

Now a general eating update. I followed the first plan fairly well and I’ve lost about a stone in the last couple of months with doing that. Just eating clean and making sure I get enough protein. Today is the start of a more concentrated plan, 12 weeks of a much stricter regime designed expressly for fat cutting. I’m nervous, because it is more restrictive and will be harder to maintain for so long, but I’m also excited because I expect to see good results, which in turn will keep me on the straight and narrow. After the 12 weeks, when i’m not actively cutting, it’ll be back to the previous clean eating low carb stuff, rather than a return to pizza and cake. Of course knowing I’ve had this coming I’ve had a few days in the run up of relaxing the rules a bit and not going mad but well getting a few things that I really miss eaten so I can let them go.

Having been fat for a long time and fairly normal only for the last two years or so I expect to have to be very careful for the rest of my life, so the set up time and normalisation of healthy eating plans was a good start point.


Weights wise, I’ve had a couple of weeks where I’ve been away a lot and not made as many sessions as I need, so I’m a little behind, but I’ve fitted them in where I can so I can still move forward. This week will see me upping to 16 minutes of each super set. Then only a couple more weeks before I get a more interesting routine.

As far as training, I love being down at Leicester Shootfighters. I think on balance I prefer no gi to gi based grappling and I love the wrestling! Every time I remember something a little better or put things together a little more it’s immensely pleasing because for a while it felt as though it might never make sense and now, little by little it’s starting to.

The striking is great fun, good stress relief and I’m learning a lot. You wouldn’t think there was a massive amount to learn about punching but there is. I got some really good comments on my kickboxing the other day too, which have given me a focus and some assurance that I get hit in the face a lot because the whole strategy is wrong, not because I’m rubbish. Reckon I can work with that!


Today is the first day of putting everything into high gear. It’s exciting and I feel ready for it.

Finally and slightly unexpectedly I took my first dance lesson a couple of days ago. I’m having a few private lessons on ballroom and latin to get me up to the standard for the beginners class (which has been running six months so isn’t as beginner as all that). It’s been a bucket list thing for donkeys and I got a little nudge in the right direction (often how it happens with me). Studying MMA has already helped with the dancing a little and I’m hoping it’ll cut both ways and the dancing will help with footwork and movement. Needless to say I need to buy new shoes for the dancing. Oh no, the horror, how will I cope. ;p



Posted in Nutrition, Training | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment