How to get me into a gym (without using a gun, or lining the machines with chocolate bars)

… Make it a competition. Even if it’s against myself.

Nothing like being given a challenge and we tried out the brand shiny new gym this evening.

Our local council have decided that our local swimming pool was finally past it’s best and needed to be replaced. This week was the grand opening of the new public swimming baths and gym. We were rather excited having ‘downgraded’ from our years of David Lloyd membership after they upped the prices once again to a point where I just couldn’t justify the monthly rate for me actively avoiding the super happy peppy personal trainers (we paid out a lot for me to sit and eat cake in the members room). So considering we’ve gone from what is marketed as a members sports club to the local fitness membership we weren’t expecting a huge amount.

But bloody hell! Total kudos to our local council for providing a really nice facility in a very pretty building. Well, I think it is even if it’s a bit of a contentious issue locally.


Anyway. A pretty building is unlikely to hold my interest for long considering my total aversion to any exercise that doesn’t involve eight wheels bolted onto overly colourful shoes or a cake on the end of a stick. However, each of the machines lets you put in your personal exercise chip and pin type card that sets the machine up for you and tells you what to do.


Meet my perfect personal trainer:

  • It won’t let me cheat
  • it sets the machine up for me
  • It doesn’t call me ‘buddy’
  • actually, it doesn’t talk to me at all!
  • it lets me try to outdo my basic workout
  • it records everything
  • it gives me GRAPHS!

I came home this evening and ate a yogurt. An activia yogurt. 0% fat no less.

All this is a step towards shedding some wobble for roller derby!

Becoming ‘Ruby Doom’

There. I said it. I’m hell bent on getting into Roller Derby and the first step towards that is naming myself (and learning to skate without breaking bits of me – I’m still a bit nervy. Four weeks on, my elbow is pretty much in full working order, but it takes 6 weeks for 50% of the bone to reform, so I’m not quite there yet – if I fall over now, I’m essentially buggered).

But I needed more progress than the hour each week of practice we’re getting alongside the kids – the kids are getting better weekly and TinyPants is becoming a little wheeled hell raiser (I’m so proud!). I tried to get LSH to come out skating on Saturday night, but he wasn’t keen. So instead I’ve moved forward mentally with a name. It had to have a link to the hair – I’ve had red red red hair for coming up on two years now and it’s become something of a trademark.

Link this to some of my more morbid tendencies (hence the Ruby Gloom reference) and I got it.


With my adventure time nails, freshly dyed pillar box hair, I present to you Ruby Doom – fresh meat in training. Mother. Teacher. Insufferable geek. Future loyalty card holder for A&E.

I’m going to steal a Yoda line here without a trace of shame:

Do, or do not do, there is no try.

And with that, I’m ready for another week. Bring it on life.

What Time is It? ADVENTURE TIME!

It’s been a long week, so basically I deserved a bit of me time. LSH looked after the kids whilst I swanned off to have my nails done.

My previous acrylic manicure was a disaster and left me with bleeding cuticles and a generally very unimpressed view of the place I’d been.


But the place we went to today was brilliant. I’ll admit to raising an eyebrow when they took a dremmel to my hand, but instead of leaving hoping my hands would stop hurting soon, I left buzzing about what nail art I could get next!

And that leads to the awesomeness that my hands are currently sporting.


I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier just by looking at my hands! And the kids think they’re pretty cool too.



The only downside to these, was my total inappropriateness with LSH when I got smoochy with him and couldn’t not say ‘save me Finn and Jake’. He may never come near me again now.


I have pirates on the brain. My year 10 computing classes are running around our current topic of database driven websites using pirates (two teams – pirate dating & how’s my sailing? – their idea, not mine!). And my little TinyPants had some homework to find and write out a pirate poem.


She wrote it out beautifully, then started to decorate it…


Then I covered it in tea…


And just when she thought I’d lost the plot, I screwed it up, rubbed another tea bag on it and when it was dry set fire to the edges and burnt a hole in it!

Result? One piratey poem on a piratey style treasure map!


Joining Fat Camp

Let me start this off by stating that I am reasonably happy with my size. I have very little desire to change my eating habits.

But the time has come to acknowledge that quite a few of my clothes are out of the muffin top pile and into the can’t do it up pile. Crap. Comfort eating this year has taken its toll and if I have any hope of trying roller derby for real (which means hot pants), or not being harpooned on the beach this summer, my arse needs to lose some of its gravitational pull.

I have tried lots of low carb diets before, and I can wholeheartedly confirm that these don’t so much make me grumpy, but more homicidal. It’s like having permanent PMT enhanced with extra rage, interdispersed with periods of total universal despair. Suffice to say, I am built to eat carbs.

I suck at diets. And this lack of willpower is only matched by the willpower I previously had when eating nothing. I have some lovely waif-like photos of me in my teens when I was a stick. People joked that if I turned sideways, I’d disappear. I took that as a compliment and dieted some more. But now? Now, I like food. There’s a LOT of food that tastes better than thin feels. I have very few vices; I don’t smoke, I don’t really drink (although I am quite partial to white rum if its been a really bad day), I don’t gamble. I do eat cake and lovely big chipshop chips, I crochet, I game and I skate.

I’m unlikely to become a gym bunny any time soon. I go when I feel guilty enough. But I dislike it. I dislike the air conditioning, the unevolved men who lift weights in packs making homoerotic gestures at each other. I dislike the teeny size zero women who bounce about flicking their hair at people. And I dislike the overly happy personal trainers who use the word ‘buddy’ with wild abandon, oblivious to me twitching at their irritating americanisms. I dislike being sweaty in a room full of other sweaty people who I don’t know and certainly don’t want to share sweaty seats with. And I certainly don’t want to witness just how much you like the gym man in overly tight shorts parading yourself around the cardio area. Ew.

So what does a girl who cries when she’s hungry (and is a little bit scared of going OTT and jumping back on the polo mint diet) and who frankly is going to go swimming and skating way more that the gym do when she needs to shrink a bit?

It seems she joins Slimming World.

They have suckered me in through their success stories (I’ve had several friend tell me about their amazing shrinking bodies) and their promise of eating copious amounts of food and this ‘free food’ stuff. The only issue is the meetings. I’m not keen on actual people at the best of times, but I am going to take a deep breath and arrive at one on Thursday. But all I can think of is this:


I’m going to be told to eat dust. Dust. Dusssst.

Helpfully, a friend of mine nicknamed her club ‘fat f**kers’ and I really hope there are some people there with the same sort of humour because the group thing scares the living daylights light out of me. I am a true teacher and need someone to be naughty in class with. Sadly, my two bestest of best friends are sickeningly thin – one because she breastfeeds her entire family and eats three biscuits per day and the other because she is mental and runs for actual fun (who does that?!). They know who they are, and they are half the woman I am. Literally. So sod the pair of you, I’m off to fatty camp and I shall return with various bits of me looking pert and fabulous (or more likely arrive on your doorstep in a carb deficient haze begging you for cake).

#fiveminutefriday Jump! Because I’ve not learnt to be a grown up yet.

The premise is simple: We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that is post on the Lisa Jo Barker’s site at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FiveMinuteFriday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.


I am a walking disaster. Or at least that’s what I’m told. To put this in context, over the past 18 months I have slipped a disc, dislocated my pelvis, broken my elbow, and concussed myself two separate occasions. I’ve Lao managed to give myself a few chemical burns from various hair dye and removal products which weren’t quite as successful as hoped. So this along with a couple of black eyes and a fat lip and some other minor injuries sort of suggests that I ought to lay on the floor and stay still. Don’t move. Try not to get hurt again.

But I don’t. If I’m honest, I get off on doing stuff that’s a bit outlandish and a bit dangerous (a bit. Not mountain climbing, or base jumping… Although that does sound fun…). But roller skating does it for me. Riding a mountain bike down a really steep hill, although I’m not so keen at going up. Swimming in deep water and knowing I can’t reach the bottom. LSH says I am in no way allowed a longboard. But of course what he doesn’t know…

I long for the summer when I can roll down hills with the kids, and climb trees.

It turns out, I am in fact a ten year old trapped inside a 33 year old’s body. And this ten year old is getting her skates on and practicing her moves to try out as fresh meat in roller derby in 12 months. All I need now is a name. Because even fresh meat needs a name. Frankly my Facebook friends need to let their imagination run a little freer!


If it looks like fun, yes, I’ll jump.