#ACTIVEWEAR March 2018 Edit

Is it Winter? Is it Spring? Who knows at the moment! Yesterday felt like Spring has arrived but today Winter has returned and we woke up with snow again! March has definitely come in like a Lion. As I have trawled around all my favourite activewear stores (and even found some exciting new ones this month) there is definitely a very retro theme to some of the colours and styles. 

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What is Metafit?

Metafit is a workout based on the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) principles. The fundamental principles of this type of training are the work/rest intervals, the idea being that you work out as hard as you can in the work periods knowing that this is followed by a rest. This type of training is used in all sorts ways and helps to work muscles and boost metabolism.

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If you follow me, then you are probably very like me. If you follow me, then you are probably a mum. If you follow me then you are probably a girl who likes her food. If you follow me then you probably enjoy the odd glass of wine. Basically you are likely to be just a girl doing her best to remain fit, healthy and sane, as a full-time mum in a part time job...or something along those lines anyway.

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Give The Girl The Right Shoes...

March and April was marathon season. Not for me of course, if you've ever read any of my blog posts! I have so much admiration for anyone who completes a marathon, any marathon, under any circumstances. I have even more admiration for anyone who actually enjoys them! For me I have been left mentally scarred by my two experiences, but this of course is old ground that I intend to put firmly behind me.

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Review of the Year 2016

That's it. I just got back from teaching my last class of the year, Metafit, in the fog and ice, 1°C my car told me as I was driving there. 7 participants in total, far better than I would ever expect for the the week in between Christmas and New Year and more than double than this time last year...200% more, that's good growth right?? What a year. And I'm exhausted, more than I realised. I'm often the butt of many jokes at class, mainly aimed at my laziness, that I spend the whole time bossing them about and never really doing anything myself. Personally I prefer to call it instructing, i.e. my job. The truth is I never really stop working - always planning, plotting, designing, administrating - and I did truly need a rest.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not moaning, I have loved every minute and I can't wait for the New Year to begin so we can do it all over again.

If I had to sum up this year in three words these would be: Metafit, Gold Stars, Mud.


The "new year new you" syndrome was in full force in January of course, busy classes, everyone working hard. At the end of the month we took Team Hope on a road trip to London to complete the Winter 10k, a now annual event on the Hope calendar.


The first themed workout of year fell in February - as Valentine's Day was on a Sunday - and I treated the class to a special kind of Hope Fitness love...and lots of burpees!

Three years on and it was time to renew my Freestyle Fitness Yoga certification. I passed with flying  colours and became an Elite Freestyle Fitness Yoga Instructor. I'm still not a "proper" yoga teacher but that will do for now. I've been promising new material ever since, which hasn't quite happened but is definitely top of the ToDo list for 2017.

The first of the next batch of Hope Juniors arrived this month; baby Marnie. Mum Kirsty is one of my longest standing members. In fact Kirsty arrived at Hope Fitness (Buggy Workout at the time) when her first child, Alyssa, was 6 weeks old back in 2014.


In April, we had the first "active"social of the year. The choice this time was ringos at the local dry ski slope. Despite chickening out myself it was great fun watching everyone let loose with their blood-curling screams. Lots of fun had by all.


Although there are running events going on all year, the choice of events is much more prolific in the Spring and Summer. We had our biggest ever team out for the Kesgrave 5k, what is fast becoming a very important date in the Kesgravian calendar, and on our (my) doorstep. It's the 10 year anniversary next year and the organisers have promised bigger and better, possibly including a 10k.


We also took a big team to the stinky mud of Insane Terrain, great seeing the purple Team Hope tops out in force. We were all undecided prior to the event whether we would do the 5k or 10k (you can decide as late as the end of your first loop) but I think all-bar-one everyone did the 10k.

May also saw our first Hope Juniors event with the EACH colour dash in Christchurch Park. We'll do anything for a medal!

Midway through the year I was in desperate need of a kickstart and I took the opportunity to relaunch my fitness and nutrition plan; the Better Body Plan. Twenty of us embarked on the 21 day clean-eating plan and collectively we lost a fair few inches between us (the actual numbers are eluding me right now).


I was pleased to announce the purchase of a laminator, which revolutionised not only my life but also my workouts. The other big purchase was a snazzy new yoga mat - so pretentious that I have to spray it with water (filtered of course) to make it non-slip.


Just like the Queen, 2016 was a big year for Hope Fitness zero birthdays: Ali, Kirsty, Bridget, Rachel and Sarah all reaching one of the decade milestones (my apologies if I missed anyone - they are all so secretive). We helped Kesgrave celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday by putting on a Hope Fitness display at the Millennium Fields. I'm not so sure anyone noticed we were there but it was good to be part of a community event and something I hope we will be a part of again in the future (although next year we will have to miss out due my own big birthday celebrations).


Spring and Autumn are the time for the "active" socials, whereas Summer and Christmas socials are  there for us to let our hair down a bit. The Farmhouse was chosen as the venue, mainly because most of us are within walking distance (and honestly, the drinks are really cheap). A fun and interesting night out, highlights including a perfect headstand in the middle of the conservatory room and a hysterical bike ride home....

The second Hope Junior of the year was born, baby Ezmay, to the lovely Sam.


The #hopefitnesssummerchallenge was back, tougher and stricter than the previous year. Bridget was well and truly knocked off her "most competitive" perch this summer by newcomer Gemma, an unstoppable force having practically secured the title in week 1, rippling with muscles by the end of her challenge.

And this was the month that Debbie nearly got her mojo back (#shehadherkitonaswell).


We completed the Ipswich Twilight 10k for the second year in a row. A road run around the centre of Ipswich starting at 7.30pm where the idea is to beat the sunset. I love this event but for some reason, this event always seems to be my nemesis. A stunningly pathetic performance by myself left me announcing my imminent retirement from running if things don't improve by May 2017....as of right now, my running career is teetering on the edge.

Debbie still hadn't found her mojo and the weather wasn't helping (#shestillhadherkiton).


A gaggle of us had an impromptu night out at the cinema to see Bad Moms, to celebrate the end of the school holidays. This was an utterly hilarious film that hit the mark with all of us, all sitting there with tears rolling down our faces throughout most of the film.

September was the big launch of Metafit - a 30 minute HIIT workout  - and probably the revelation of the year. It was just what HF needed to give it a much needed boost. Every month a slightly different workout with a random name and some new tracks. We started with Ape Shapes (all is forgiven Ape Shapes), then Big Buff (way too much jumping), Beach Bum (a firm favourite) and Levante Power. Now we're all looking forward to Undisputed in the New Year.


Team Hope went on tour (I wish), a couple of them anyway, to New York no less. Look where these two bumped into each other!!

I also held my now annual "Free From" coffee morning, or Joyless baking party as it is now know, raising £50 MacMillan. The competition hotted up this year, with Carina taking first place. I have even higher hopes for next year now everyone's getting into the swing of sugar-free baking.

I'm still not sure if Debbie had found her mojo or weather Facebook was stuck in a loop (#itsatest).


The Autumn brought another "active" social night, this time we headed to Flux Freestyle, the new trampoline park in Ipswich. A good test of the pelvic floor muscles and I realised I'm actually completely rubbish at trampolining - those kids make it look so easy. Another one of Gemma's forte's!!


One of the highlights of the year was the Whole Hog. My third year in row but this year was the biggest team I have taken there. Lots of newbies to obstacle races too. The weather was completely rubbish but we had so much fun. I personally was relieved to find that the most undignified of obstacles that requires you to haul yourself up and over a very steep slope, had been moved away from the spectators at the end and we completed the course with dignity very much intact.

Debbie - have you found your mojo yet???? (#stillnotsure)


This was the month of #toiletpapergate. Of all the Facebook posts I write this was the one that got the most engagement!! Over or under? What are your thoughts?


It's no secret, I'm not a big fan of the Christmas period, or the C word as I prefer to call it. But this year with HF it has been pretty fab. We kicked off the festivities with a 5k Inflatable Santa run. Just to explain, the obstacles were inflatable not the Santas! And this event saw me adorn a red tutu and a Santa hat - that's a lot of embracing for me.

We went all out with our Christmas party this year; Moulin Rouge at Trinity Park. At what a fab night we had  - you girls know how to party!! Jen's performance in the Can Can was a particular highlight.

But that wasn't the festivities over just yet. We didn't have just one Christmas party but two! We finished off the year with our awards evening at the Black Tiles. This year I asked members to vote for their winners. The results were as follows:


So that's it, what a year. I've probably missed loads out but as usual with my end of year post, I actually left it until the end of the year!

I promised more this year and I think that exactly what happened. The social aspect of Hope Fitness has really cemented the team and friendships within the team.

Next year will be more again, focusing on achieving goals and pushing outside of comfort zones.

Do I have any big plans?

Not right at this moment...I think I'm going to wing it!

Thank you to all of you for your support of Hope Fitness, and I wish you a happy and prosperous 2017.

Angela x

Healthy Snacking

I get asked, ALOT, about healthy snacks and I do believe that snacks can play an important part in a healthy style, keeping blood sugar levels up between main meals and curb over-eating at your main meals. However, get it wrong and you can quickly consume excess calories throughout the day. Here are some tips to healthy snacking:

Avoid sugary items at all costs. This includes sweet drinks, biscuits, cakes, sweets.

Snacks should never contain enough calories that constitutes a meal. 200 calories  or less is about right.

Have no more than two snacks per day; one mid morning, one mid afternoon. Snacking quickly becomes a habit rather than a necessity. If you are regularly grabbing snacks many times a day, perhaps you need to review when and what you are eating at mealtimes. Your aim should be to eat enough at mealtimes to keep you going until the next meal, rather than snacking.

Snacks should be a good balance of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat - too make you feel fuller for longer. Aim to add to your overall nutrition intake that you may be missing from other meals.

The simplest method to cut unhealthy snacking is to avoid having these types of snacks in the house. This is not always easy when you have a family but the best option for everyone is to encourage your family to have healthier snacks too.

If you're feeling peckish then have a glass of water first. Wait 10 minutes and if you still feel hungry then maybe you are. Sometimes the feelings of thirst can be mistaken for hunger pangs.

Be mindful of what you are eating rather than mindlessly grazing. Fill a small bowl or plate with your snack and walk away. Once it is eaten, snack time is over. Never take the whole packet with the intention of stopping when you've had enough - before you know it you've eaten the whole lot.

Don't snack in front of the TV or at your desk. Avoid all distraction so that you can focus on eating and enjoying your food.

Plan your snacks as you would your main meals and if necessary prepare your snacks in small containers so you can grab them on the run.

Need some healthy snack ideas?....

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Chopped crudités (pepper, carrot, celery, cucumber) with guacamole, hummus or tzatziki
  • Oatcakes/Rice cakes with nut butter or slice of avocado & smoked salmon
  • Handful of mixed nuts or seeds and some dried fruit
  • Fruit with natural bio yoghurt
  • Dates and walnuts
  • Fruit juice ice lolly
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Plain self-popped popcorn
  • Small natural liquorice bar
  • Two squares of dark chocolate
  • Homemade vegetable crisps