exercise, mental health, photos, story of my life, walking

In Which I Finally Meet My Friend James

10th April 2016

On Tuesday, I had a good week at Weight Watchers, but that wasn’t the best thing about the day.

The best thing about the day was meeting a man I’ve known since 2001, for the first time.

James and I at M&Ds on April 5, 2016

Apparently, he’d had this trip planned for a year, and not let on a jot, the asshole. :) So when he started Whatsapp’ing me telling me that his friend Simon was up in Scotland, and sent me a photo of my hometown of Greenock (which I recognised right away because it was a photo of the Morrison’s that I worked at while I was in college), I was like, “WHAT DOES HE THINK OF WEMYSS BAY WHAT DOES HE THINK OF GREENOCK DOES HE LIKE THE VIEW?!” because I’m nothing if not exceptionally proud of where I’m from, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life.

And then he started sending me photos of Simon sitting on the couch, and hinting that Simon wasn’t the only one up in Scotland, I STARTED FREAKING OUT A LITTLE BIT.



He and Simon came up to Hamilton; I fed and watered them, and we headed down to M&Ds, which is the theme park down in Motherwell, at Strathclyde Country Park.

Trip to M&Ds and Crazy Golf

The Ferris Wheel at M&Ds

We wandered around M&Ds for a while; I told them about the rides that used to be there, including the one that I went on in high school that was two separate cages, spun you around and then stopped upside down at the top of the revolution and left you there for a minute or so.

They got rid of it, though, and replaced it with something tamer. :( Boo.

But we ended up just playing a round of crazy golf, which is pirate themed, and hilarious – and since it’s been a little wet lately, it was also slightly dirty, and a little wet in places.

Skull and Crossbones at the Crazy Golf at M&Ds

Simon and James at M&Ds

But hilarious. James actually managed to get an incredible hole-in-one, which was unexpected, and I wish I’d gotten it on film, but it was just. YAY, excellent.

We didn’t even count our scores, although did insist on starting to count from a random number when we took forever to get a ball in the hole – “Thirty-one! Thirty-two!” etc. I’m pretty sure we might have hit the thirties in total, though.

James, Simon and I at M&Ds

Strathclyde Loch and GIANT MIDGIES OF DOOM

Then we went and walked around Strathclyde Loch a little, and got eaten by GIANT MIDGIES, I’m not even kidding there were giant swarms of the buggers and I don’t know what they were. Midges are actually tiny, and these things were effing huge. Like, I’m pretty sure they were mosquito-sized, except you don’t get mosquitoes here.

But there were clouds and clouds and CLOUDS of them. We were literally waving our hands at the air, as we went through them. It was HORRENDOUS. Horrid little things.

But despite the Giant Bugs Of Doom, it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long, long time, because I got to spend time with friends, and I finally got to meet James. I’ve known James since I was 18 years old. And this is the first time either of us has actually managed to get to see the other.

It was comfortable, and warm, and happy, and I didn’t ever feel anxious, which was nice.

If only I could have more days like this, my life would feel… good. Normal.

babble, smartpoints, weigh-in, weight loss, weight watchers

The Weight Watchers Weekly Weigh-In: April 5, 2016

5th April 2016
-5lbs since December 8, 2015

Last week, I was busy looking after The Bag Inspector, a.k.a my sister’s cat Odin, so couldn’t make it to my Weight Watchers meeting for weigh-in.

But to be honest, if you had this gorgeous wee man purring all over you, would you want to leave him alone either?

Odin, The Bag Inspector

Odin, The Bag Inspector

And for some reason, this week, I totally forgot to actually update on Tuesday night. Hence the backdated entry.

I mean, Tuesday was a momentous day anyway. But that’s for a different entry… that I apparently also forgot to actually write, despite having uploaded the vlog for it. Sigh.

But this week was pretty decent. Don’t know what happened that I lost 3lbs, because I didn’t do anything different than usual. Tracked my food – didn’t eat anything unusual or different. Only went swimming once.

So why lose 3lbs this week when other weeks I’m gaining weight like crazy?

I don’t even know. It’s annoying things like that, I can’t explain. And probably can’t duplicate, either. For great woe.

food, Forza Diet, meal replacement, review

[Product Review] Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes

23rd March 2016

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes

I was recently lucky enough to try out the Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes for a week.

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes

The Forza Diet Shake Starter Pack contains:

  • 5 Chocolate Shakes
  • 5 Strawberry Shakes
  • 4 Vanilla Shakes
  • 1 Forza-Branded 600ml Shaker

The shakes reminded me a lot of the Tony Ferguson meal replacement shakes that I used, years ago (and that I wish they still sold here!); you mix them with water, not milk. They also taste very similar, and have a very similar consistency.

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes

They’re very smooth, mix very easily – the mixer ball in the shaker helps with that – and a very liquid consistency, unlike the quite thick consistency that meal replacement shakes such as Slim•Fast have, where it’s mixed with milk.

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes: Flavour

The chocolate shake is definitely the nicest of the three, and for me to say that must really say something, given that the fact I’m always annoyed that manufacturers put more chocolate-flavoured items in that other flavours, especially in things that are marketed towards women.

I am not a chocolate lover.

But the chocolate Forza Diet Meal Replacement Shake is really good: it tastes like chocolate; it’s not watery; it’s not too sweet. It mixes well, and it’s not at all gritty. NONE of the shakes are gritty, which is excellent.

The strawberry shake is a very smooth strawberry flavour, which is lovely; it’s not too overpowering, which is something that I’ve found with strawberry flavoured shakes and other things: “fake” strawberry flavour can be very overpowering, and this is definitely not overpowering.  It’s very smooth, not overly sweet, and it’s lovely.  It makes a real change from the sickening and sugary shakes I’ve tried in the past.

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes

The vanilla shake was… sadly, a little disappointing.  Vanilla-flavoured items are some of my favourite, and this was overpowering, fake, too sweet.  I actually tried it last, out of them all, and because the other two were so good, I was expecting the vanilla to be as good, but I was a little let down.  It was obviously going for a French Vanilla flavour, and it just came off as being… too strong, too sweet, and I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the other two flavours, sadly.

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shaker Bottle

There’s only one problem I have with the Forza Diet Shake It Slim Shaker Bottle, and it’s with the lid/mouthpiece: if you look at the photo, you can see how big the space is between the hole and where your mouth will actually be.  When I was drinking from the bottle, I felt like my mouth was open quite wide when taking a drink, in order to cover the entire hole.

It’s a small problem, but enough to bother me.  Other than that, the bottle’s great.  We put it in the dishwasher every time, twice a day, and there was no sign of the writing washing off, which is good.  So long as you make sure the mouthpiece is fully pushed down before shaking everything up, it’s all fine.  If the mouthpiece isn’t pushed down, the shake will spill out of the top.

Trust me: I know.

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes: Nutritional Information

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes

Per 100g / Per 55g

Energy: 1554kj / 855kj
371kcal / 204kcal

Total Fat: 6.0g 3.3g
of which saturates: 1.3g / 0.7g

Carbohydrates: 49.6g 27.3g
of which sugars: 47.6g / 26.2g

Fibre: 0.6g 0.3g

Protein: 30.0g 16.5g

Salt: 2.0g 1.1g

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes: Additional Photos

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Starter Pack

Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes: Overall

Despite the minor disappointment with the vanilla shake and the tiny problem with the shaker bottle, I’m really impressed with the Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes.  They taste good, they mix easily, and they don’t taste too sweet.  The fact that they don’t require milk is good, too, as an extra cost on top of meal replacement shakes is something that really bothers me.

Overall, I’m more than happy to give the Forza Diet Shake It Slim Meal Replacement Shakes:



You can purchase the Forza Diet, along with all their other products, over at https://www.forzasupplements.co.uk.


I have received no monetary compensation for this review.  I received the Starter Pack free of charge in return for a review. None of the links in the body of the review contain affiliate links, as of date of publication, March 23, 2016.

Acceptance of an item for review is not a guarantee of a positive review.

weigh-in, weight gain

The Weight Watchers Weekly Weigh-In: March 22, 2016

22nd March 2016
-2lbs since December 8, 2015

Happy birthday: I gained a pound!

Scarlett O'Hara O NO YOU DI'N'T
Don’t worry, Scarlett. I don’t understand, either.

Which, given that this was the week I did the Sport Relief games, and I burned more than 28,000 calories this week – I earned more than 110 Weight Watchers FitPoints and didn’t use any of them! – I’m confused.

Very, very confused.

I mean, look:

15-22 Mar Exercise 1 (image from Fitbit.com)

That’s a lot of calories. 4,000 calories a day, roughly. To gain 1lb, I would have had to have eaten 4,000 calories per day PLUS an extra 3,500 calories.

Which I obviously didn’t.

I’m so effing frustrated right now, can you tell?!

Ugh. I haven’t even had birthday cake yet. At least it’s only a tiny wee cake this year.

Again, I say: happy birthday to me. *sigh*

babble, exercise, fitness, non-scale victory, photos, story of my life, walking

In Which I’ve Completed My Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games 2016 3-Mile Walk

20th March 2016

Feeling generous and want to donate to my Sport Relief Swimathon? You can do that here!: http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/iknowitsforreal. Want to donate to my 3-mile Sport Relief walk? You can do that here: http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/telanor

FATGIRLslim | Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games Mile: Bling rear view

Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games 2016 Mile: I DIDN’T PANIC THIS TIME

While I still went to bed at a reasonably good time last night… by which I mean I was in bed before 10pm, but that’s mostly because I was bloody well exhausted… it wasn’t because I was nervous, and that’s unusual, because I actually thought I’d be more worried about the 3-miler than swimming the 1.5km, mostly because of the difference in distances.

Apparently not. Mostly, I was just worried about the fact that the stuff told you to get there half an hour before starting time to warm up and all.

Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games 2016 Mile: THE WAITING/STARTING LINE

FATGIRLslim | Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games Mile: The Starting Line

I should have taken note of the fact that South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery, as was evident from yesterday’s cock-up of trying to organise a swim in a swimming pool and failing miserably: the event still managed to start ten or fifteen minutes late, because despite everyone being told to turn up 30 minutes before starting time, they still didn’t inflate the bloody starting line until five minutes before we were actually due to start. Then they had a dance troupe(?! Like… why? Is that a normal thing?) and the compère got us to line up with the 6-milers in front, the 3-milers in the middle, and the 1-milers at the back.

As Dad pointed out, the longest-distances should have surely been at the back, as they’d have been pacing themselves? The 1-milers would have been going fastest, as they were going around only once.

FATGIRLslim | Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games Mile: The Starting Line
The starting line, with everyone assembled and the dance troupe doing a bit of a show.

Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games 2016 Mile: THE COURSE

So, you ought to keep in mind what I said about SLLC not being able to organise a piss-up in a brewery until the end of the post. It’s IMPORTANT.

The course was easy enough, relatively speaking: three times around The Palace Grounds Sports Centre/Hamilton Mausoleum park or whatever it’s called. I honestly have no idea what that area’s actually called. It includes the five-a-side pitches and a big grassy area next to the Mausoleum – which I’ve not yet been in to, despite living in Hamilton for six years now; seven this summer.

FATGIRLslim | Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games Mile: The Palace Grounds on Ostara - glorious!

This was the kind of weather we were blessed with, although that’s not exactly shocking, given it’s the first day of spring today. But it was funny to see people getting ready to run/walk/jog, wearing winter hats and jackets and I had my not-even-heavy-duty-hoodie off before the event had started. Kept my hat on, though, because otherwise I may have been blinded by that big yellow thing in the sky. Not quite sure that it was. If someone finds out, feel free to inform me.

Despite pacing back and forward, I obviously didn’t do any proper warming up, because within the first half-mile, my calf muscles were killing me. More fool me. Goes to show the difference between that walking pace, which raises my heart rate, and my standard strolling-through-town-at-a-snail’s-pace, pace.

Anyway. The first lap and a half were fine. Then it started to get painful: legs and everywhere else, too. Mind you, I’m already fully doped up on all my painkillers, PLUS two of my anti-spasmodics because I don’t want my back spasming in the middle of this, or near the end of it, PLUS a lidocaine patch.

I shouldn’t have been able to feel someone hitting my spine with a sledgehammer, to be honest. And yet, there was pain.

I still managed to make it to the end of the damn thing without getting my walking stick out, because I’m a damn stubborn-headed fool of an Aries. We’ll see how I fare tomorrow. If you see me on Twitter crying about how I should have used my stick, feel free to @ me and laugh.

Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games 2016 Mile: THE FINISH LINE

The last time I ever did something like this, I believe I was in high school, and we used to walk “The Cut” – which, looking at that guide, wow, did we really walk that whole distance, just over 7 miles?! Dad’s saying he’s pretty sure we never did. I’m pretty sure I never COULD. – and when we were done, I had the same sense of elation, that, “YES, I’M DONE, I CAN GET OFF MY FEET NOW!” sense of joy.


That, coupled with the thrill of having also done something decent with this “useless” body of mine, which is apparently not so useless at all if I put my mind to it, is kind of wonderful. Admittedly, being able to float about for a minute or so in the pool yesterday was better because there was the water holding me up, but then I had to haul myself out of the pool, and ugh. Today I got my bling, and a bottle of water, and I toddled over to Mum and Dad, and stood and soaked up the sun for a couple of minutes before we wandered back to the car.

FATGIRLslim | Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games Mile: Bling front view

The back of both of the medals I got say the same thing:


I really kinda did.

Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games 2016 Mile: NOT QUITE THREE MILES DAMNIT

However, you know how I said SLLC couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery?

When I was doing my walk, I was tracking it with MapMyWalk – and FitBit – and MMW was telling me I was only at 1 mile, about halfway through my second mile.

“Odd,” I thought. But then, it’s possible that my GPS was off. “I’ll check it when I get home. I can map the route on Google Maps.”


The route which would have made up a mile is marked out in dotted blue.

The route we took starts at the starting point, and then deviates in the middle, following the giant red arrow.

It shaved about 0.6 miles off of my 3-mile route… which was 0.2 miles for the 1-milers… and 1.2 miles for the 6-milers.

Piss-up. Brewery. Etcetera.