Tuesday, 29 April 2014

maintaining your figure!!

Continuing plan for the summer determined to get to the gym to maintain my weight and to  tone.....this routine has become very much a part of my daily objectives.

my day also includes

daily calorie count
making the right food choices
portion control

I have found that as I have got older I don't seem to need or crave the larger portions I would have had when I was young. We were brought up to "clear our plates" whereas now it is more sensible to say I am full - my body is telling me this so leave the food we don't need. Fortunately the friend I met yesterday has a similar approach to food and watches the carbs and portions size.  Maybe surrounding yourself with like minded people is the answer when socialising and then you are not tempted to order fatty calorific alternatives.

This may seem to be onerous and prescriptive and I understand if this is the impression that is taken from this.  However once you have worked out a healthy diet content which you find appealing you will be surprised how you will become happy with it and more comfortable and the bonus you will start to see a difference in your shape, energy levels and well being. 

I am no saint and like a glass of wine and a bag of crisps like everyone else - however these are acceptable so long as they don't become a frequent components of your diet.

Its a little bit like learning to drive - you never think you will get the knack of being competent so many things to think about .....however driving eventually becomes second nature to you and part of everyday life!

No reason why mature women in age category 50 and beyond can't have a figure which is beach ready!!

Talking of everyday life the rest of the day will be devoted to catching up on jobs in the garden....cutting back, pruning, planting bedding plants and praying that there won't be a frost!

Keeping active and busy for me now in my 60s is vital and hope that it will help in the future with my health and my mind!!

Time for a cup of tea!!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Busy Day!

Woke up at 6am this morning as usual - can't sleep beyond this time for some reason.  My husband gets me a cup of tea and some fruit.........as usual :)

I am meeting a friend today for lunch  so prepare a moussaka for my husband so he doesn't feel too aggrieved!

Then to the gym for an hour - half an hour cross trainer and 30 mins weights equipment.

11am catch train to St. Pancras and meet my Iranian friend who now lives in Turkey at my favourite meeting place... Searcys, opposite the champagne bar.  It is such a relaxed venue. Food is very good and you can linger as long as you like.  Such a bonus for a girlie lunch with so much to catch up on........


Called in at L K Bennett on ground floor and found pair of nude shoes I had seen on line in the sale.............good job I bought them from the shop as needed a whole shoes size less!


My husband collected me from station at 4pm and after a cup of tea and a little rest prepare food for evening meal.

Perfect day!   Time now for a relaxing night and tomorrow is another day.....................

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sunday Sloth!

Well its been an easy kind of a day!  My intent of being "summer ready" started at 8.30 this morning at the gym.  I spent an hour on cross trainer and low level bike.  I always feel so much better after I have done it!  Tomorrow I will do mainly weights to help with toning , muscles and strengthening bones.  Never ends does it?  

I got back home around 10.30 time for coffee with my husband.  The weather here in the south has been pretty mixed and there has been a constant threat of rain.....so I dodged the showers and mowed front and back lawns before preparing lunch.
Still watching the calories - stir fry chicken, courgettes, onion and carrot.

After lunch it has been wall to wall football.  My husband is a Manchester City fan and I decided to watch the matches with him as each one had a bearing on Man City"s success in getting to top of league. ......what am I talking about?!  It is a question of if you can't beat them join them. Anyway worked out well with convincing win against Crystal Palace!  So happy partner!  Thats what I call a result!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Just a quickie….on tights…..

Older bare legs don't look as good as younger ones sadly.  In the summer you can just about get away with bare legs if you have a bit of a tan.

So its good to have a bank of tights which fit the occasion.  I must confess that I tend to wear opaque black tights in the winter and "nude"tights in the summer.  I have spent a fortune in the past on glossy ones, fine ones, control ones………I can't say I have ever been totally satisfied with the fit and overall effect.  I have quite a long middle and it is rare to find tights which fit comfortably and end at the waist rather than the hips!

Then by chance I thought I wonder what they have in the supermarket and had a look in Sainsburys - the inner snob in me thought they can't possibly be any good……well serves me right to think I haven't even considered them in all these years.

I went for ladder resistant and found what I was looking for in the sale - additionally I bought a pack of 5 nude tights for £4.50. All are excellent and the pack is remarkable value!! 

Friday, 25 April 2014

NHS Health Check

So we are going to talk about us mature ladies preparing ourselves for the summer………..

How better to start with health check up?  Must admit it wasn't at the top of my list but an invitation came throughout the post for a free NHS check up. Apparently these checkups which are available every 5 years are targeting the 40-74 age group.  (What happens to you after 74 is a mystery!!) .

The information said….

The check is to assess your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes. If there are any warning signs, then together we can do something about it.

By taking early action, you can improve your health and prevent the onset of these conditions.  There is  good evidence of this.

Put in these terms its an offer I can't refuse!

They  have already booked me in for a blood test next week to measure cholesterol.  Then the following week I will meet with Health Care Assistant who will make the check based on questions and measurements such as age, sex, family history, height, weight and blood pressure.

The comforting thing to me is that my lifestyle, exercise, weight, diet are fairly healthy and I do practice what I preach in past blogs. The  only concern I have is around blood pressure - I only have to see the BP monitor for the BP reading to rise alarmingly.  I know its called "white coat syndrome" but it does unnerve me!  In the past I had to have 24 hour monitoring to establish that the BP does eventually settle down to an acceptable level.

Anyway it will be worthwhile I am sure and clearly when you move into the mature years its more imperative to take heed.

So this is my first step to the summer ….getting my house in order! Will provide feedback in due course :)

Are you ready for a check up? This what is available in the UK on the NHS - maybe if you are not from the UK you will have some provision in your own Country - now's the time to do your homework - makes sense!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter Optimism!

Hope you enjoying the Easter break!  Such a wonderful time of year with all the spring flowers and shrubs coming into their own.
The blossom on our tree is in all its glory and is so uplifting and provides for an extra impetus to get out there and get on with some gardening!!

When I was working I used to look forward to the public holidays as you knew that just about everyone else was also not at the workplace……and therefore you could fully relax as the chances of "issues"  arising would be seriously diminished!!!

Now I am retired the changes in the days are quite subtle…in many ways everyday is a holiday as you can do whatever you want when you want….you are in control within reason!

Easter does tend to make you indulge more than you would - eggs, sweets and extra food.  Visiting our supermarket before the break was quite enlightening - almost a siege mentality!  The quantities people were buying were incredible, almost as if we have been programmed to equate the holiday with volume.

So if you have been one of those who have "gone the extra mile" maybe time to get back on track.  Good to have these moments but it is long term indulgence which does the damage.  So back to normal portions and a general awareness of the healthy foods and the calories!!

So enjoy Easter Monday and will be coming back with thoughts around us mature ladies getting in shape for the summer !!!


Easter Saturday we went to see "Good People" with Imelda Staunton at the Noel Coward Theatre, St Martins Lane, London. We didn't know what to expect …billed as a comedy - we would say it did have comedic moments but there were some quite serious aspects which we all found quite thought provoking.  All the cast were excellent.  Imelda Staunton was particularly superb and so believable ……reminds me of the quote from Joan Collins when someone praised her for her performance and she said something to the effect…."Its called acting, darling!"

Really recommend - it only has a short run so need to book quickly!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Time for Change

Hope you found the last few blogs useful and maybe encouraged you to review your image and get the best look?

It is never too late to make changes.  For a lot of 50s, 60s 70s, 80s…..they become invisible.  Don't let it happen to you!  They say that those in their 2nd half century are the ones with the buying power and yet retailers don't really target this group.  I mentioned that dresses and skirts can be too short and dresses invariably are sleeveless.  There has been a little movement to accommodate the slightly different needs of the older group but progress is slow.

It is a matter of being selective and making sure that whatever you buy ticks your boxes and……….don't be tempted to buy on impulse!  Its worth taking a little time.

If you need further inspiration check out this link which features a remarkable 88 year old!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

In control - still pants!

There are times when we all feel we have indulged a little and maybe we are carrying a few extra pounds……this is when I reach for the spanx. Whether you go for just classic pants or the ones which extend down the thighs and up to bra level there is something there which can help in ironing out the offending ripples and giving the illusion of down a dress size.
I keep different pieces of spanx for every occasion - they are my insurance policy!!

At Christmas I bought a "control" underskirt from M & S which made me feel like a tightly packed cigar but it did the trick and I was able to wear a very clingy item with confidence.

Control pants are useful items in the short term and have undoubted benefits but they are not for the long term. Why?  They can feel uncomfortable and I know ….."pride must abide"…   I also find that visiting the loo can be a problem…. The relief when you remove them is real plus !!

If you are really overweight then I feel they do help but as you pull on the garment the flesh has a tendency to well up over the point where the item finishes. Its important you get the right size - or you won't be able to breathe!  Again ask assistants in department stores in lingerie on sizing otherwise you won't enjoy your outing.

 I saw a complete control "body" in the papers the other day and it must be there to avoid the problem of "welling up flesh".  If you are in this position then maybe its time to address the weight issue!! Remember the waist test in an earlier blog!  Get out the tape measure...

Stick thin Emma Watson was on the red carpet the other day and the press homed in on the fact that even she was wearing spanx.  (Who would be a celebrity) This is an occasion where spanx can become a friend, providing a firm foundation and I guess give you confidence.  She has no worries!

So make sure you have the insurance policy in your undies drawer - you never know when you might need them!

Slim Cognito Shaping Mid-Thigh Bodysuit www.spanx.co.uk

Friday, 11 April 2014

Its Pants!!

There's such a choice of pants but which one….classic brief, thong, bikini, hipster,boy shorts, high cut -  decisions, decisions….

I do believe that many women get dressed and scrutinise the front view but rarely look at the back. The wrong choice of knicker can lead to the pants being the focus of attention instead of the outer garment. Trying to achieve the smooth contour can be challenging.  Some claim that the article will not provide or at least minimise VPL not always the case - it is a matter of trial and error and finding out which provides the answer.

If you have a flabby tum or bottom the elasticated edges will dig in to the flesh and cause the ripple effect in these areas. Having a range of pants which suit specific articles  of clothing really is the answer.  Thongs are frowned upon by many but I would argue that they are essential in tight fitting trousers or skirts.  Not the most comfortable brief in the world but then pride must abide.  Don't be put off by thinking these items are "too young for you" that is complete nonsense - you are using your knowledge and expertise to ensure the correct look!!  There are no age barriers!

As with bras Lingerie departments in large stores will help you choose and suggest brands which may be suitable.

You can buy on line from many lingerie sites which stock most brands… check this one out - here is the link and their illustration of different types of briefs as discussed above.

In the main I buy Calvin Klein matching briefs to their bras.  They usually offer a skimpy pair and one I would call more sensible! I also buy cotton briefs from Marks & Spencer - more comfortable for gym visits.



Shorts, also known as shorties,boy shorts or boxers are a flattering style for curvy girls and very fashionable at the moment. Starting lower on the hip and finishing lower on the leg they’re great for minimising VPL.

Shop All Shorts >>


Traditional ladies’ briefs orknickers are comfy classics you can’t go wrong with. These briefs come up higher on the waist than shorties and can be high-leg or medium-leg.

Shop All Briefs >>


Unlike full-coverage briefs, thongstaper to a string at the back, making them perfect for avoiding VPL when wearing close fitting trousers or dresses.

Shop All Thongs >>

Full Briefs

Full briefs come up higher on the waist and are usually low cut on the leg as well. Maxi briefs or ‘big knickers’ are making a comeback at the moment so did out those old-faithfuls or treat yourself to some new ones!

Shop All Full Briefs >>

Other sites I have used for underwear…….

next blog …control underwear including pants :)


Underwear - Bra………..

No matter how beautiful and suitable your choice of clothes, you will limit the effect if you do not pay attention to the foundation.  yes we are talking about underwear! Underwear should follow the contours of your body and provide a smooth line.  If you are overweight then you have other measures you can bring into play but more of that later.

When I am in the changing room at the gym I am often appalled at the condition of under garments. Worn, off white, ill fitting and definitely not flattering.  This can't do anything for your self esteem and confidence.

No matter how old we are there is something about keeping the . essence of femininity and appeal and attractiveness.

So being aesthetically appealing is desirable, however underwear does have a functional quality .

How many of you have observed rolls of flesh encased in a clingy dress?

Double boobs making an impression through garments down to an ill fitting bra?

Nasty back fat oozing over the bra strap?

Briefs which cut into a bottom and provide the notorious VPL?

Just as with clothing research has to be done on finding our true size and the brands which suit us the most. We certainly want to eliminate the above problems as much as possible.

So starting with your bra……do you know that up to 80% of are wearing the wrong size bra?  So we need to get it right!   Whether you have a large bust or a small bust you can find a bra which provides for your own particular challenges.  Most large department stores offer a bra measurement facility e.g John Lewis, House of Fraser - so why not take advantage of this?  You will be surprised at your true size and cup size and will help to explain a lot about past problems.

Next choosing a type of bra which works for your size, the type of clothing you will be wearing and the occasion.
For a low neck dress you may require an uplift bra to give you a bit of help.  If you have a smooth say jersey dress or a fine jumper you will need a smooth form fitting bra ( a "T shirt" bra) which doesn't detract from the garment.

I tend to favour Calvin Klein available in most department stores and in own stores and often have sale items.  See link below


I also like Elle McPherson and of course Gossard for the ultimate lift - particularly the strapless one which truly stays in place and enhances rather than diminish the bust line.

I have a number of "nude" bras which obviously do not show through clothing and are the most useful.  It is however fun to experiment and have some more racier numbers every now and then :)

If you are unsure then ask an adviser in the bra departments who will be more than helpful in finding a style which fits the bill.

Heres one I love …a Calvin Klein front fastening bra with straps  attached together at the back so that they don't fall down your arms!!  This seems to happen to me often - must have sloping shoulders :)

So what are you waiting for?  :)

next blog - pants and ….more heavy duty gear….

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Easy Wear…...

Spotted this dress on Yoox.com and it arrived today!! I mentioned yesterday that I am keen on buying clothes which tick several boxes like ….comfortable, flattering, non crease, good length… so couldn't resist this one by Roberto Cavalli  it cost £350 down from £395 expensive but an investment as it is a classic and beautifully made - real quality.  Love the idea of no zips simply pull on!   A dress for any age!!

  • Composition: 88% Polyamid, 12% Elastane
  • Details: round collar, short sleeves, cap sleeve, no appliqu├ęs, pleated detailing, no pockets, semi-lined interior, no fastening, jersey, multicolour pattern, stretch, with elastic bottom

So easy shopping on line, can take time to really analyse garments and apply your individual criteria/requirements.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

more clothes!!!

I promised a photo of me wearing the Temperley dress to see what it looks like on - it is very comfortable and covers arms and a few other problem areas!!…..and its different!

Another plus for this dress is that is that it doesn't crease and is easy to pack as is another dress I want to mention.  This is by LK Bennett - I must have had this for about 3 years and it goes everywhere with me as again it doesn't crease and it covers arms and is very flattering and is a comfortable knee length. You can also wash by hand and drip dry! A real bonus when you consider the cost of dry cleaning. I think it cost about £180 but have seen it since in the sale. 

I always have a look at what is on offer in LK Bennett as I have never yet been disappointed.

One of the problems I find with clothing is how much the sizes vary from designer to designer and country to country and the "read across" is not always so accurate.  So it is very important to know your size in say UK, US, France, Italy and then always try on!! Don't be tempted to think that yes this is my size only to be disappointed when you get home.  Buying on line does give you the opportunity to try on and you can return . I have a friend who squeezes herself into what she regards as her size but she is at least one size up and unfortunately it can spoil the image.  Just because you can actually pull up the zip doesn't always mean its your size!!

I read somewhere that the reason the French women look so chic is that they buy a size bigger than they are……not sure this is the answer…….

Remember my comments about trying to give an impression of eight for someone shorter in stature?  I suggested not wearing separates which cut you at the waist and reduce your height?  Well have at look at this link….Heidi Klum and Mel B.  Of course HK is tall and slim but this is accentuated by the slinky dress she is wearing.  Mel B although she has a great figure has chosen a fussy top and skirt which does not do her justice.  If she had worn a dress which followed through as HK's it would have provided a better image.  What do you think??


Whatever your age you need to understand yourself, the improvements you can make and the clothes which suit.  The more research you do and time spent finding the real you will increase your self esteem and confidence.  Worth the investment!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Bad Taste!

If you are considering whether image is important - just had to post this link!




As we get older we have hang ups just like when we were young…..just different ones……

There is this fear we will look like mutton…. the trouble is a lot of designers don't seem to cater for these potential danger areas.

I mentioned last blog that being tall has its pros and cons and as far as cons the length of dresses presents a problem.  We can just about get away with 2/3 ins above the knee but more than that can tip you into the desperate category.  Of course it also depends on the legs and how good do they really look.  2/3 ins above the knee can still look gross if the legs are meant to be hidden.  So dress appropriately.  If you have children get them to give you a critique they are usually brutally honest :)

If you are petite and not so tall your choice of age appropriate is probably more extensive.  Jane Asher is a good example of a woman who looks after herself and always looks sophisticated and attractive.

Another problem area …the arms!  I do my best to exercise but we all know ladies that firming up the stubborn fat at the back of our upper arm is very difficult.  So still not giving up on bingo wings and the toning battle your wardrobe can start to include garments which camouflage arms beautifully.  Helen Mirren has worn many wonderful gowns with long sleeves which flatter and remove the worry of scrutiny.

I indulged on our last holiday and bought a dress in the sale  for £247.50 (strange figure :) ) at Net a Porter. It covers the flesh without detracting! It was a bit of an indulgence but will last as long as me providing I don't let my weight get out of control.
When my husband has downloaded the photos from our holiday (2 months ago) will let you have a look at what it looks like on me. 

Designers are starting to wake up to providing garments with sleeves but I have yet to see an improvement on length!!