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Turning Point: Food Blogging is Bad for your Figure

Inside cover of Comfort & Spice - WAKE UP CALL - when I realised just how much all this food blogging had destroyed my figure

(er – I blame tiredness and jet lag for this post! I have been up since 2.30 am rattling around you see. Not a topic I usually discuss, but it seemed fitting)

I never had a problem with my weight. As a child, if anything I was too thin, and this was a theme that carried into my mid twenties. I was always active, running around, walking everywhere, going out a lot dancing. I could eat whatever I liked, and lots of it. I never could understand why people worried about what they ate.

As I gathered photos for the inside cover of my book last year, I noticed the dramatic shift in body shape from when I started blogging. I started at a relatively slender 10 – 12, to now, where I gaze at my gorgeous vintage dresses knowing that I can’t fit into any of them. My wardrobe became a temporary fix filled with emergency dresses, a sea of blandness which I now find depressing.

I became a greedy little food obsessive. It is time to make a change.

I love what I eat and I love what I do, so how do I manage that? Jet lag is a frequent visitor too, and I know that doesn’t help. At its core, it is not just about how I look, or not being able to wear my lovely clothes. I feel unfit. I also feel more tired than I should.

The answer is simple really, I have to make time for exercise. If I eat intensively through recipe testing, reviewing and travel, I must exercise intensively too. I have said it in the (recent) past and failed, so I am making it public here. Care to join me in my quest? I can’t be alone in my mission.

It is time to get a personal trainer.

(I am slightly scared about it!)

I will update you here as I go. Enough! It is time to fix it. I have two favourite red vintage dresses that I aim to fit into. And when I do, I will know I have reached it.

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

85 Comments

  1. Count me in – I’m trying to get fit and recover from my knee injury. Vainly I’d also like to be the size and weight I was when I first moved to the UK, even though my BMI now is “ideal” according to the nurse.

    I have a plot in my community garden that has taken a lot of work to dig, and I’ll probably finish digging today. I’m feeling quite fit and strong from that, now the challenge is to keep that up once I’ve finished the digging! Exercise for me has to be incidental – something I enjoy, that just happens to have fitness benefits.

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  2. Good luck with it! I keep going through stages of going to the gym 3 times a week and then nothing for weeks on end :S You’ve made me want to go tonight though! x

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  3. Lol well you’re not alone! In spite of the fact that people constantly ask me have I lost weight (I have deduced others remember me as fatter than I am) the more I’ve blogged the more ‘generous’ I’ve become. I’m now making an effort NOT to clear my plate – as I used to do when slimmer – but to taste everything. And I have a plan to increase fitness starting when I’ll be working more from home from April. No excuses then of no time due to commute. Watch this ass. So I’m in on the get fit for foodies : )

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    • Wow, I thought I was the only one this happens to. People regularly ask if I’ve lost weight when I haven’t – so it doesn’t really feel like a compliment. Just kind of confusing. (And now I think about it, it hasn’t happened for a while – even worse!) And I came to the exact same conclusion – that people remember me as fatter than I am. I would like to think of a more positive explanation, though, if I could. I suppose the answer is to lose weight so it is a compliment!

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      • Ha ha! I get this too and have also come to the same conclusion. Having been bigger for most of my adult life and then losing a couple of stone, every time I see people after a while they compliment me, although I’ve even put on weight recently. It slightly annoys me, even though it should be a good thing to look thinner when you haven’t actually lost any weight.

  4. I wish you lots of luck with your “turning point”! I soo understand your predicament! But the only way to do it, is the same way you eat an elephant…..bit by bit…day for day! Good Luck.

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  5. Yes, I will join you! I’m a wine writer with exactly the same problem. Honestly, I’ve been seeing your tweets and been jealous, because I know I couldn’t indulge in all those lovely foods without getting into trouble. I already have. A friend of mine, another wine writer, gave me the wake-up call a few weeks ago. He said “if you want to stay in this business you better change your behaviour or you’ll not only gain the 10-15 kg you have now, but another 5, 10, 15 and then you might not be able to turn the tide”. Harsh but true. So even if it kills me, I’ve cut down on my baking. I’m trying raw food. I’m exercising more. No results so far, but I just started. Would love to buddy-up in the quest. Best of luck to you (and me)!

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  6. Oh thank god. You’re human. It’s been one of my recent “mysterys of the universe” as to how food bloggers can cook & eat continually, without getting…. Lard Arses. There. I said it. And now, so have you! You also need to factor in….*whispers* “our number in years” aka, age. Awful. In the sense that our metabolism DOES slow down once we sprint out of our 20s. (I realise this flies in the face of medical science, but it’s my belief & I’m sticking to it).

    So, all things combined – I have 2 kids, dog, work part-time, you roam the globe and NEVER stop working – it’s no wonder we may need help at some point with our wonderful bods. So, I’m with you. Literally. I’ve been moaning about being tired & unfit for months, so I’m going to join you in your quest to get back to healthy- ness. Thanks for the shove. Another Niamh.

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  7. I like this post a lot, because it’s true not only for bloggers but for women, generally, as we get older, particularly if we don’t have toxic relationships with food and our bodies.

    I don’t really like gyms (I hate being indoors when I’m exercising) but I know they’re great for some people. I had a personal trainer once after a running-related back injury and he was *fantastic* — really smart about building strength where I needed it, etc. So I guess if you do get one make sure you find one you really like. My thing lately is to try to make myself go for a run every day (or at least five days a week). My ‘rule’ is that I should go even if I don’t feel like it, even for ten minutes, just to develop consistent habits. This has worked for me in the past.

    Good luck! And let me know if you want a companion for walks around London now that the weather is nice.

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  8. You are not alone – I’ll join you on your quest. I have a few slinky numbers that I want to get back into, too. Since joining the food blogging world (6 months), I’ve blown up an extra stone and it has got to go!

    I’m gonna go for the option of running around the park (cheaper). I have a lovely one near me so should make use of it.

    Good luck. I’ll be rooting for you and those vintage dresses!

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  9. Brilliant, decisive action will see you back in those dresses. Brave to share

    Running in the park makes me happy and allows me to eat everything in my sight without worry. Its also an excellent time to think about new recipes and more cake.

    Best of luck

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  10. You are definitely not alone. My food blogging started after I left a job to which I used to cycle every day, so it is harder to separate out what is blog related and what is lack of exercise related weight.
    Initially, I used jet lag to try and create a habit of getting up early in the morning, and going and doing some exercise. I actually found this got me going and allowed me to focus better. But then the snow came and the excuses started, and I have to work on getting back into the habit of getting up early, and I am struggling.
    I am going to make a concerted effort to get back into the swing of it, and I wish you well with your efforts too. Maybe I need to go and get jet lag again, to force myself out of the staying up too late rut I am in right now :) Perhaps if we are all out there knowing others are doing the same it will spur us on?

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  11. I reached the same conclusion after three years of travelling, eating and writing my blog, the Gannet. http://gannet39.wordpress.com/ Now I am home I can cook for myself and control what I eat rather than being dictated to by a restaurant menu. The challenge for me is to find and cook really healthy recipes that taste great, which is entirely possible. I’ve been adapting recipes (to make them taste nicer) from Patrick Holford’s book, Optimum Nutrition, which has been a big help, as well as just eating smaller portions. I’ve lost 8kg in 10 weeks (without reducing my intake of wine!) but there’s still a way to go. I feel so much better and have a lot more energy, which is a great pay off. Good luck, you can do it!

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  12. Good luck, Niamh! I have no doubt that exercise will make you feel so much better in every way. Sadly, in my experience, watching what you eat is necessary as well.

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    • Thanks Caitlin! I have massively cut back on dining out in the last 6 months which really helps. My diet generally isn’t too fatty and is quite balanced, so hopefully that will be ok :)

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  13. I had exactly the same problem, not just through blogging, but my greedy life in general. Finally did something about it and GASP joined Weight watchers. I know it’s against my religion but someone like me who cooks every day (I don’t eat their meals or go to meetings or anything gross like that) and loves to consume anything and everything, needs discipline and horrible WW helped me scale down the portions and for the first time ever lose weight! Can’t wait to stop counting everything but still got a way to go…. good luck!

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  14. If you weren’t travelling so much I would say get a dog.. they make great personal trainers
    But as it is a human personal trainer will do.. maybe just get them to help you build the habit
    I think after that you’ll be better off trying to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle and include a fitness for foodies section on your site. Best of luck with it.. Elaine

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  15. yup – food and booze was the reason i started running marathons. if, like me, you’re not prepared to compromise your energy input, then you need to increase your energy output… sad but true.

    best of luck!

    andy

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  16. Wishing you the best.
    Trying myself to lose the fastidious kilos gained last year or so,harsh winters and delightful foods all too ready availavable(I cook and bake a LOT)
    All my fault,greedyness wins everytime.
    I don’t have a trick, a secret nor a solution but I am officially overweight and finding it REALLY hard to shift.
    No will power it seems.

    Really hope it works for you!!
    Glutton for life

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  17. Bravo- brave and fabulous. You’re not alone. The only way I found to keep it under control is to schedule exercise into my day, the same way I would writing time. Also, while I don’t go into faddism, it took me 10 years to deduce that the white carbs I so adore (pasta, potato, rice, noodles, bread) were not doing me huge favours. I now see them as an occasional meal or small part of a meal, rather than the basis of them- totally contrary to how I was brought up. But perhaps some of us should look into starting London-based-food-lovers-brisk-walks?(Which could end with coffee somewhere…)

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    • yes Tori, I have found exactly that.

      since Christmas I have not been able to exercise at all but due to treating carbs as a treat I have lost 7 lbs. Like you, no faddism, I’ll have pasta, rice or noodles if that is what is given to me (though a lot less than before). Most good restaurants are willing to replace the starch with salad or extra veg – if not, I don’t go back!

      I missed morning porridge at first but now love having a variety of omelettes or stir fries (with pine nuts this morning). The quickest/easiest lunch of all is celery, apple and cheese, straight out of the hand! And, since flavour is everything, I have even more reason to buy the best, nicest of produce and to try out lots of exciting new combinations.

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  18. I hear you and right with you. I have decided the only way to lose weight is eat less and excerise more. Dull but true. So my portions have halved and I walk along the seafront most days. If nothing else the walk gives me time out and I come back having thought of nothing important at all, like in trance. It’s fab. Eating less isn’t as easy especially when thinking of lush things to share on my blog. I look better though, less puffy. Puffy never looks good. Best of luck x

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  19. Well done you….personal trainer is a great idea!!! I gave almost 1 stone gone and feel great. still more to go so we can motivate each other:-)

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  20. There is something cruel about the way food sticks to you as you get older. I started seeing a personal trainer last year before my wedding to shift some stubborn chub and got great results. I can’t stand gyms, all those mirrors and people posing, so found this guy who runs his sessions in parks. They were brilliant! Fresh air and a good work out, plus he isn’t expensive. He’s based near Stoke Newington and covers Islington and all around those areas, if your interested I can send you his number? Good luck with your quest.

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  21. Hi there, I can relate to your post. I exercise a lot so I can eat whatever I want. It is also a great feeling to know you’re in shape and strong. It’s been about 18 months since I started and I hope never to go back. If you live anywhere near Kings Cross, come check out Urban Kings, my wonderful gym. Good luck

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  22. Working in the Meetings and Events Industry is not unlike working in the food industry – lots of travel, irregular meals, food tastings etc. I found the WeightWatchers philosophy really good as it helps you negotiate these tricky scenarios. You understand the impact on your body of the various food etc and can balance intake accordingly. I also started to walk Dun Laoghaire Pier every day (when in the office). It’s a round trip of 3.5km and I do it at a quick clip. I eat porridge with Manuka Honey and Blueberries for breakfast with one slice of toast and an espresso macchiato (courtesy of the excellent Nespresso machine which was a duplicate present for my son’s wedding!). For lunch I eat itsabagel soup (the veggie/vegan one) and just discovered that the toasted onion bagel was 6 ww points so I’ve switched to wholewheat. For dinner I eat whatever I want and usually have some baked goodies (we have an Aga and my daughters bake EVERY day!). This is a weight maintenance programme, ie, I don’t put on any weight. When I travel and put on a few pounds then I intensify the exercise (2 walks per day) and cut out the baked goods! I can drop 2 pounds in a week like this! Good luck, Niamh, with the programme

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  23. I have to say, I find this immensely refreshing. As someone who has to work pretty hard to NOT feel (and display!) the effects of years of food blogging, I get quite frustrated (read: massively jealous) by all those bloggers out there proffering delicious food and seemingly never putting on a pound – I can’t help reading their third brownie recipe that month and thinking ‘yes, but HOW CAN YOU LIVE LIKE THIS?!’ So it’s nice to know it’s not just me that worries about how the food blogging/writing lifestyle can take its toll on one’s figure…

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  24. Go Niamh! Good to hear such motivation! Make sure that you set realistic goals for yourself though! You could aim to have half a stone lost by May Bank Hol! BTW, WeightWatchers always works for me! XxX

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  25. Good on you for taking positive action toward feeling awesome! It’s funny: Food blogging has definitely made me more aware of what I eat and how I care for my body, and it’s one of the things that have helped me through my own struggles with body image and disordered eating. It’s also probably what allowed me at long last to learn to love exercise, and how it balanced with my newly happy and healthy eating life.

    I hope you find you love working out and being physical as much as you do cooking and eating: There’s just something so freaking cool about being able to say “thanks” to your body that way, by treating it well, letting it move and feeding it right. We’re all behind you, lady!

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  26. Love reading your blog, you’ve such a captivating enthusiasm for food and I hope you don’t have to compromise too much! That said, unless you’re willing to put in epic amounts of time doing it, exercise alone won’t do the trick – my personal experience suggests that you may need to spend at least some of your week watching what types of food you eat and trying to exclude insulinogenic carbs. Good luck with finding what works best for you.

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  27. Completely sympathise with this! When I worked at a certain food mag it took me several years to realise that ‘eating the post’ + random canapes + lovely free booze did not equal staying the same size. These days I eat out less, drink less (both boring but necessary), eat less red meat and sugar and go to the gym religiously. After a while, it even becomes fun! Sort of. Just wait til all those endorphins start kicking in and good luck! x

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  28. As a fellow food blogger I have started Zumba…twice a week.
    I have no want to sacrifice food and am a firm believer in ‘a little of what you fancy doesnt harm you’ but I have found an exercise form I love (other than Lacrosse) and that I can do frequently.
    It just means I can have a little more of what I fancy, guilt free!

    Hannah x

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    • Can I second the Zumba recommendation – or even just the general idea of searching around for different things you can do until you find one you like. I hate gyms and hate running because I get so bored, but I really enjoy Zumba (you really have to concentrate on what you’re doing with all your limbs, hips etc, so no chance to get bored!). And it just makes life so much easier when you’re doing something you look forward to. I’m very much at the beginning of the process of getting fit and healthy, but Zumba is definitely helping me on my way!

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  29. do you have an iPhone? Because if so you can download the free Nike Training Club app, which is like having a personal trainer. It has loads of exercises with videos, options such as ‘get lean’ or ‘get strong’ and is made for women. I have a lot of energy to use up and it really helped me get through a cold winter in Munich, when it was too cold and snowy to contemplate jogging or walking. I hate gyms and am a big believer in needing nothing but a willing body and a strong mind to exercise, but I really like this. And its free, so worth giving a go. Good luck! I really enjoy your blog, hoping the recipes don’t stop! :)

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  30. Wow! Great idea, a personal trainer. You goNiamh! It is harder to keep the weight off as one gets older. Great inspiration, those two dresses. Can’t wait to see you in them! Good luck!

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  31. Hi Niamh,

    Yes, there’s a fine line between being an obsessed foodie, with gorgeous proportions and a greedy fat bastard. I wrote to you a couple of month’s back about my Kindle book which has been written for just such a one as you, plus you can take it with you on the exhaustive travels without overloading your spotty suitcase. ( sorry polka dotted). Even to Dungarvan for the baker/brewer/blogger food festival next month.

    Check it out at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0070Z63PY (not sure this has made a link. Maybe copy and paste into your browser). It will take you straight to the book without preamble.

    This should carry you through the rest of your eating (good eating) life. Who wants to confirm the stereotype of the fat Irish girl!

    Good luck and hopefully meet up with you – the new you – chez Eunice in April.

    Love, Suzanne

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    • Yikes! Greedy fat bastard and stereotype of fat Irish girl is a BIT harsh! Even if not directed at me (I hope!). Very behind in email – sorry. I get lots and just can’t get through it. I don’t have a kindle either.

      I am not really interested in major diets or anything and know I can handle this / do it. I just need to exercise and step away from the computer occasionally :)

      Best of luck with the book though!

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  32. So refreshing to hear that others struggle with the balance of this glorious industry we find ourselves in… (am in wine supply), thank you for the opportunity discuss & throw ideas around.
    I too have started the battle of the bulge with “Ease into 5K’ running app and also My Fitness Pal to keep me on track. So far have dropped a dress size – 3 to go and able to run for 10mins nonstop now. Good luck, look forward to the updates.

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  33. Oh Niamh, I feel your pain, I gained 2stone through medical treatment and it was HELL to lose. I wish I knew what I have since learned about nutrition and exercise then, Zoe Harcombe is a great voice in the debate about how best to eat to keep a healthy body & mind. Fat is not quite the enemy that it can be portrayed to be. Neither is endless cardio necessarily the remedy. You are a strong lady, you’ll get where you want to be.
    Once you shake off that jet lag things will feel better already x

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  34. Hi Niamh! You are my food inspiration! I am making your lamb shanks for the 6th time tonight! (not quite the weather for them but never mind). Anyway – if you are based in south London then you are SO welcome to come and join me and the Ladies who Lunge (!), a group who meets twice a week in Kennington Park from 9.30 to 10.30 for exercise outdoors, whatever the weather. We have a fab girl, Alice, who puts us through our paces, and keeps it interesting and fun and always different to the week before. It’s done me a WORLD of good, and it costs £5 a session. We’ve all become good friends as a result and the hour whizzes by. Otherwise, Alice would be happy, I’m sure, to come and run a session near you. The best bit is being outside – and I am the world’s most unlikely person to exercise, which is why this is so perfect for me and people like me! Alice can be reached on alice@playfitnessuk.co.uk if you want to drop her a line. She’s an excellent personal trainer, and I’m not just plugging her for the sake of a plug! Good luck!

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  35. Ah yes, the ‘food blogger’s fifteen’. Why must everything delicious contain butter/chocolate/cheese/all of the above?!

    I banned myself from baking for the month of January in an effort to help kick-start a new healthy eating regime. I’ve lost quite a few pounds since, but alas, my baking mojo along with ‘em. Ho hum. Best of luck with your personal training quest – and you’ve got lots of recent Asian inspiration to draw from for healthy/spicy/fresh meals to boot!

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  36. I am 5’10” and throughout my childhood was hailed as a “big girl” by aunts and others, giving me, a skinny kid, a body image of a Bessie Bunter. So when I started writing about food 23 years ago I swore I’d not sacrifice my figure for my art, easier said than done I know! I am now a stone heavier than I was then and that I think is due to my age as much as anything, believe me over twenty is one thing over 50 quite another battle.
    I do watch what I eat almost always and try and loose any weight gained on holiday or after a particularly heavy week as soon as possible. I think the battle is best fought gently each day rather than as a dramatic conflict. A trainer sounds good, I’m too lazy for that but I know it’s tough testing recipes and eating out . Possibly the worst thing, is I find having to finish all the food on your plate in a restaurant or at a friends house or someone will appear and cross question you as to just exactly what was wrong with the meal!!
    Good luck. I’m wondering if I might just try and loose half of that pesky stone?!

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  37. I admire your courage to “come out” and wish you good luck.
    I throughly enjoy your posts and your book.
    Helen (from Limerick)

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  38. I completely understand! Like you, I have fallen into the pitfalls of slacking off in the workout department while putting in more hours in the kitchen. Like Sarah, I have a knee injury to deal with and running is out of the question, so I need to make a real effort to “move”. Ah, I’m with you…I’m really going to try this time. :)

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  39. I’m new to food blogging, and just because I run marathons doesn’t mean I can just forget about all these extra calories in the name of work and passion. I’m determined not to let it slip. Good for you for taking control. Accountability is where it is. I can’t remember who said this, but: “get fit out on the road, lose weight in the kitchen.” Best wishes on your journey! I’m with you.

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  40. Oh I know the feeling. I’m in the same boat, for different reasons. The problem is, you just have to eat less. End of. I hate it, but I hate not getting in to my clothes more. Life’s hard!

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  41. I’m very impressed. It’s so hard to resist when the kitchen is full of lovely ingredients. Good luck with the personal trainer. The only thing I’ve found works for me is swimming, must get new cossie. GG

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  42. I know the feeling, moving from Holland where my daily commute was a 15km cycle has taken its toll. Cooking a proper healthy meal and exercising after work is a challenge I am definitely not meeting enough. Also, on the emergency dress front, a lot of London high street shops are not particularly kind to the Irish traditional figure I find, weirdly Primark is the best for our kind of shape.

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  43. Hi Niamh, I feel your pain. Read recently that lack of sleep contributes to not being able to lose weight.. I too have gained weight – 3 stone in as many years whilst setting up confectionery and now my ‘free from’ business. When busy and/or tired, it’s so easy to not bother making the time to exercise. I remember you mentioned you had a bike and as you like dancing, why not try to cycle again or take dance classes? The dance will be fun too. I’ve just started to cycle again and feel it’s doing me good – less tired, less need to replace meals with sugary things (cake!) and feel some life coming back into my body rather than dragging myself sluggishly around the place. Good luck – you sound motivated and you’ll inspire us and in turn each other. Your vintage dresses are replaced with my black leather trousers – of which I’ve got 3 but not been able to wear!

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  44. bless you, I feel exactly like you. Being at home as a food blogger and as a mum with 2 small children, I am never away from the fridge. I snack constantly throughout the day as I am tired, and then I eat with the children at tea time and my husband at supper time. Result – tired, overweight, hormonal lady!! The days when I manage not to eat all day I am so much happier. It is a hard side effect of making your living out of food. Congratulations on your decision, I might follow your inspiration and get me a personal trainer too! Good luck.

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  45. Hi Niamh, I TOTALLY understand how it is so easy to eat well, cook lots, travel loads, and gain weight. And how that very cycle just SAPS energy and leaves you with no spare ounce of motivation to exercise. I was there, 2009.

    Here’s some little snippets of what helped me. (1) Just walk, outside, for 30 minutes a day. Make that 30 minutes a habit – it is mind clearing, self thinking time. Or use it to listen to an audio book, or podcast, or other audible things on the list to do. 30 minutes walking is an achievable goal that won’t demotivate because it seems too much. And it will save you from the demotivation that is the gym (which the gym can be a soul sucking place in my opinion) (2) Measure what you are actually eating. Gaining awareness of what I was consuming helped me to fine tune the way I ate. I think Ailbhe said it best, half portions and tasting when eating out lots. I really like MyFitnessPal for the tracking. It just takes a good week of tracking to know and id clearly what is going on and what to change. (3) Buddies. It always helps to have people to meet up with to do active things. If you ever need a jogging buddy let me know – I am super duper slow but always up for company.

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  46. Hmmm. Whilst I see everyone being supportive and in agreement with the whole ‘losing weight / getting fit’ thing, just a small voice of sobriety. It really helps to actually change your whole lifestyle and not just ‘go on a diet’. Eat less, exercise more is the basic mantra, but it needs to remain like that for the long, long term. Giving the whole thing a ‘kickstart’ e.g. a personal trainer, can help, but then again, how many people rapidly lose a stone….and then regain one and a half a short time later?

    It’s important to focus on the goal of being healthy with more muscle, strength, stamina, suppleness and a healthy heart, rather than on losing weight. (Which could be seen as a happy side effect rather than the whole point.)

    I’m also really aware of how easy it is to slip into the devastating territory of eating disorders….

    It’s the hare and the tortoise….slowly but surely is the way.

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  47. You go girl! Food blogging (i.e. rampant eating and then long hours sitting at the computer editing pics and writing about food) is NOT good for the figure… I know of what I speak!! Impressed by your fortitude! Good luck!

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  48. So many comments! Clearly a topic that interests a lot of us.. Food is not my profession but since blogging I do worry about calories intake.. So I joined a second gym! I now go at lunchtime or after work, depending on what I got on… I attend classes… Motivational enough without the price tag of a PT. Zumba is ok but not really cardio. Try to mix… So a spinning class, a weight based (body pump is great) Zumba and Pilates… Should give your body enough variety and your mind too so you don’t get too bored.. Thing is, one has to make time for exercising. But it will make you feel better (sort of really…) good lukc

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  49. Go Niamh! Putting it out there is always a good step as now you will feel like you have to follow through. I think we talked about this briefly before and I am a firm believer that you can pretty much eat whatever you want if you exercise regularly so a personal trainer is probably a good way to kick start this. The downside is that they are so expensive so the more you can do that is free like riding your bike (which I know you love doing) and even working up to some jogging (scary!) each day all helps. Good luck.

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  50. Christ. I don’t eat breakfast nor lunch nor dinner and I’m on my feet for 16 hours a day six days a week in a hot kitchen and I still find time to put on weight. I don’t think you need too but good luck. Me though I’m to tired to exercise on my days off, maybe next year, or maybe I have to start working for somewhere I don’t like the food.

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  51. Go for it and good luck! Sure you’ll fit into those two dresses in no time! I found an amazing book/way of eating to help me out (especially as Im a total foodie at heart)… It’s James Duigan – personal trainer to Elle Macpherson. He has written three books and they are fantastic! You can eat everything you cook and blog about, and you’ll still stay slim. He totally changes your mindset on food and how you eat, but in a very positive way. Plus he wacks in the easiest exercises ever. I haven’t eaten so much or so varied in years! And I feel incredible (plus Im into my smallest jeans too!). Anyway, best of luck – and have fun doing slimming too!! Just remember if you feel gorgeous on the inside, you’ll look gorgeous on the outside! x

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  52. Oh I understand completely! Last trip to Europe (4 months) I decided to write a little blog about the food I stuffed down my gullet with frightening gusto! I put on 7kg in the first 7 weeks, and my husband started calling me “The Threshing Machine”. Unfortunately, it’s a boring process losing it…less food, more movement!

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  53. I’ve recently started food blogging and am already starting to worry about possible dress-size side affects. A wheat intolerance stops me going crazy with baked goods but I fear my love of cheese will counteract any of the carb-less benefits!

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  54. Hi Niamh,
    I’m three months into my food blogging journey and am already feeling your pain. I have a solution. I hate to say it but you have to give the food that you cook away. Invite friends over to come and finish your creations after you’ve tasted them, or deliver them in plastic tubs. It will break your heart a little but your thighs will thank you for it. Good luck!
    Vanessa (www.mango-ginger.blogspot.com)

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  55. As a Mum who also loves cooking, my son and I often finish off my petit daughters plate! definitely the wrong thing to do! After my Easter holidays, I’m throwing myself ito power walking, eating healthily and cutting out the wine. I have a long hot summer coming up in France where I want to be a svelte as the locals!! Good luck, I’ll be following you for inspiration!

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  57. I feel very relieved to have read this. After reading people’s food blogs I wonder two things – how do they eat so much without getting massive, and how do they afford it? I would certainly contribute more to my own blog (which has quite a food/alcohol bent to it) if I weren’t so worried about being fat and poor!

    How are you getting on? I lost a couple of stone about 4 years ago before being the maid of honour at my best friend’s wedding and having a personal trainer to motivate/shame me really helped.

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    • Hello! Yes, it is going well and I am getting there. Still have a fair bit to go but I am feeling good.

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  58. Hi Niamh,

    I’ve had quite a weight-loss epiphany, using the new motto “eat like a girl”.
    And it reminded me to come and visit your blog.

    If I make sure I eat like a girl at all times it’s impossible to put on weight – I lost a kilo over Jubilee weekend in Germany (and another this week already) – usually that would have been an addition of two if not three kilos.

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    • Now what exactly do you mean by “eat like a girl”? :) Sounds great.

      Things have been going really well here with walking. I do think exercise is the key.

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      • I’m so jealous. When you started walking Niamh, I started excercising too. I go to spinning, yoga, body pump and zumba 4-6 times a week and have for months now. I’ve lost half a kilo. Haven’t increased my eating, rather been more careful. It’s terribly annoying…

      • Ha! Well eat like a girl means small portions, salads and nice things too. When I was a skinny teenager I put on a bit of weight and was despairing. My friend said, “Stop eating man sized meals and you’ll get back to normal.” Sure enough the weight fell off when I stopped eating the same amount as my boyfriend.

        I now have the same sized meals as my daughters instead of having the same amount as the chap. I am currently reading French women don’t get fat, and I think that is all about eating like a girl – ie girl sized portions. And lovely girl treats.

        I’ve been writing a post in my head about this whole eating like a girl theory. I shall let you know when it’s done :)

      • Ah well Eat Like a Girl means different things to me, it is about embracing it all. Not necessarily in portion sizes. Hence the name of this blog :)

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  60. You are not alone! I realised a few months ago, while looking at some family photo albums with my mum, how my body changed without me noticing it! It was one of the biggest shocks I ever had.
    I decided to make a change and I try a lot of diets and exercise routines, so far I think my best experience is trying out the BeachBody dvds from http://www.beachbody.co.uk/, since I hate jogging and I don’t like exercising outside of my apartment it is an easy way to try and hold on to the body I used to have…
    Yoga is also fun and has some other advantages to it (cute instructor).

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