Perhaps I became over-confident?  Yes, I was thrilled to lose 7lbs over the festive period.  But this week I stayed the same.   

Wendy Bailey - trying to stay focussed!

Wendy Bailey – trying to stay focussed!

Being honest with myself is the toughest thing, don’t you think? So here goes:

What on earth did I think I was doing skipping a meal?   My Excuse? I didn’t have time to eat properly. So I was hungry  when I came back from my choir rehearsal. What did I do?  I foraged in the fridge – found a lump of cheese, made some celery sticks with philadelphia cheese – AND a glass of red wine sat down and shouted at the TV watching BBC 1 ‘Questiontime’.  The next day was weigh in – what happened?  I stayed the same.   To add insult to that judgement – I said yes to Champagne at Supper with Friends on Friday night.    In mitigation – I didn’t eat the potatoes.   But also somehow, I have also been tempted by Blue top milk and left the Skimmed milk languish in the fridge.

Ok so, I’m human.  I’m cross with myself.   I have had a word with myself – not nice ones and certainly not repeatable in polite company either.  These letter may give you some idea of my telling off, WTF  & FFS!

Now the virtuous me has returned.  I survived Sunday lunch with the whole family – no wine, no spuds, no dessert (Sticky Toffee Pudding, if you really want to torture yourself) – I just ate roast chicken and veg.  I didn’t even eat the crispy skin – but that was probably because my kids got their first!   It was a great day – and many are watching their weight in the new year.!

if you’ve started a new year fitness – good luck.  Keep on, keeping on.   These dark days are tough – so look forward a few months when the light returns and we can frolic in the sun!   Well ok, you get the idea.   I want to be healthier and fitter.   I’m only half way there – so new focus please.

bon chance


All the razzle dazzle is done for another  year!  Yes it’s a New Year – 2013 – and what marvellous possibilities lie ahead?   Loads – and loads of new choices to make – and yes I aim to make POSITIVE choices for long term benefits for health and well being.  In the past, I would have settled for a quick sugar  hit which would be ‘a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ –  just one of  ‘us dieter’s’ well known mantras.  No longer do I yearn for such short term satisfaction.  I’m after bigger goals now.  I want serious weight loss.   And I mean to succeed!   Ain’t NOTHIN gonna stop me now! 

Like you, I have survived Christmas and New Year.  Yes, there were bear traps along the way and I was led down some dark paths – mostly in the delightful devilish


shape of a fluted champagne glass full of bubbles.   Ah well!  It was good champagne – a Laurent Perrier vintage.  Je ne regrette rein!

Today I was weighed for the 1st time after Christmas and it’s now 4 Jan 2013.  Like most of us, I was apprehensive ahead of the weigh in – like a boxer before a big match. A quick trip to the loo – hoping to lessen any excess weight in any way that’s possible.  How much do bra and pants, tights and a teeshirt weigh anyway?  LOADS! yes?  Er no.

Friday 1oam Hannah Jarvis, my Cambridge Weight Plan consultant arrives – prompt and perky.  I hope I haven’t let her down.  What do I mean – let HER down – LET ME DOWN!  I still have to get my head around things – because as I have discovered on this three month journey, losing weight successfully is all in the mind. If my head is in the right place – anything is possible.  It’s a question of commitment, belief, confidence, of one day at a time. I step gingerly on the scales. Hannah squeals. I take that to be a good sign, but it could mean disaster.

‘Seven pounds‘ she exclaims ‘that’s the best  weight loss of all my clients over Christmas!’.

 Since end of Sept 2012, I have  lost 4 stone 2 lbs – that’s 58 pounds in total.   

I approached the Festive period – all two weeks of it – with great caution.  I bought loads of food to keep everyone happy: pates, ham, turkey, mince pies, bread, cream …   but I myself was determined to stay on track.  I look at the Heston Blumenthal mince pies with pleasure – knowing how people would enjoy them, but they held no interest from me.  My son Jake and I spent an afternoon cooking four different curries for supper, with rice and poppadums. However, I ate some left over whole poached salmon and veg.  I enjoyed the smells of the curries but I didn’t want to eat them.  I haven’t come all this way to give in and undo all this weight loss for a mouthful of calories.    And I genuinely don’t feel tempted.  I did, however, drink some champagne and eat a little pate.

Anyway, the scales tell the story.   As I have lost over 4 stone in weight – my aim to lose 5 more stone somehow seems even more possible.

OK maybe the time has come to be honest and open, and to deal with the truth by revealing facts and figures.   This is not going to be easy for me.  I have been in denial for a long time – and to face the truth in public is hard. Believe me.  So here goes – I am Wendy Bailey – I am fat, an over-eater and I hate myself.  That is the truth.  I know I shouldn’t hate myself, but I hate being fat.  It seems a viscous circle.  If I was a smoker, there are plenty of NHS schemes available to help smokers quit.   I am fat – so what does the NHS say – go away and lose weight.   DOH!   This is a psychological, physical problem – for which I and many others, need real strategies and real help.  I’m sorry NHS – but to say – go away and lose weight –  is just not good enough.   It is time obesity issue was taken seriously.

I’ve been vague about my actual weight – why? Because I am so embarrassed and ashamed of how obese I had become.   I have not been able to post images of how fat I really was.

A few days ago I came across some images of me taken in July 2012, whilst I was thinking about doing the Cambridge diet.  Maybe now is the time to not be afraid anymore – but to let you see them.

Cooking sausages with Iris at Womad Music Festival July 2012

Cooking sausages with Iris at Womad Music Festival July 2012


I was 22 stone.

Now see the images taken today below – This is me now, at 17 stone 3 pounds.  58 lbs lighter – 4 stone 2 lbs gone.

I still have 5 stone to lose – which I hope will be gone by the summer 2013.  But this is a long haul.    I think I can do it.  I think we can do it.   I wish all of you doing this journey with me all the very best luck and stay strong  – I know that at least two people have been in touch after reading this blog and been inspired to do the diet too.  Stay in there.    Share your thoughts with me.

If you think you’ll succeed or you think you’ll fail – you’re probably right.    Think about it.   

Wendy Bailey

Wendy Bailey

Weight loss so far - 58lbs that's 4 stone 2lbs off in 12 weeks

Weight loss so far – 58lbs that’s 4 stone 2lbs off in 12 weeks

I really can’t believe I have lost 51 lbs in eleven weeks following the Cambrdige Weight Plan.

I feel so different. I can move more easily. I have endured 12 years of pain in my feet, knees and spine, caused by osteo arthritis. Now the pain has eased.

I still have more weight to lose, which may take six months or more, and I hope I can get there. With the help of my CWP consultant – Hannah Jarvis – who is accompanying me on this journey, I believe it is possible to reach my goal weight.

Eight more sleeps till Christmas! The house is nearly all tinselled up ready for our offspring to return, so the house will be full of children and grown up children!

Those of us on diets will have a tough time to stick to our diet plans – but whatever happens – don’t beat yourself up over the odd mince pie or glass of wine. Start again with new resolve in the new year.

I hope to stay on plan …

Onwards and have yourself a Merry Christmas x

… I will stay on track.  Despite only losing 1 lb last week, I will not be down hearted.  My fabulously supportive Cambridge Diet Consultant Hannah Jarvis  suggested that I may not be eating enough!    So this week, I am doing 3 CWP products every day, as I’m supposed to do – and a 200 calorie meal.    It means I’ve added one of the bars – which I have after my evening meal, whilst watching TV.   Around the log fire. With the Christmas lights twinkling.  Bliss.

I can understand only losing 1lbs because I cheated – but NOT eating enough is a new one for me!

I’m loving the cold winter days.  Lighting a fire in the evening is so cosy.  I am beginning to get the feeling that I’d love a glass of red wine … but I WILL STAY ON TRACK.  Its hard though n’est pas?  I’d love to know how you’re coping with temptation.  Do Share your tips and coping techniques – whilst you’re in a room where thin people drink and eat to gay abandon!    Here’s some from me

WENDY’S CHRISTMAS TIPS for staying on track this Christmas

  • TURN YOUR BACK TO THE BUFFET TABLE At a buffet table where everyone in the whole wide world is stuffing their faces with deliciousness, turn your back to the food table, so you do not continually look at the tempting platters of calories – because that is what they are – loads and loads of calories.
  • DRINK FROM A GORGEOUS GLASS  drink fizzy water, or low calorie drink from a beautiful wine glass. Fill it with slices of lime or lemon and ice, and you will feel like 007 has poured you a martini.   OK, you need lots of imagination for this one – but it helps me.  Oh and Waiters, just because I’m drinking water, doesn’t mean I want to drink it from a tumbler – so leave the long stemmed wine glass right where it is. OK?
  • LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH Enjoy the food you can eat. Savour it. Eat slowly. Practise mindful eating – think about the tastes, who made the food for you (give yourself a pat on the back if necessary) who grew the vegetables, who caught the fish … you get the idea.  Love the one you’re  with!   Bon appetite!

Life is about ups and downs – with some squishy bits in the middle.   If it were all smooth and trouble free  .. well it’s not – so no point in going there.

I am still not back to full fitness. The leg operation, bronchitis and lung congestion have brought my immune system to it’s knees.  It’s going to take time to recover – and going slow is not in my nature.  But I am being ‘sensible’ – again, not usually in my repertoire!

I’m a high wire act, I like to take risks and live ‘dangerously’.  Have a bit of fun, I suppose, but my energy is low so thank goodness for my iMac!  I can travel the world of imagination right  here from my comfy executive faux leather black swivel chair – with moveable arms!

Saw this on a friend’s facebook page – she said I would share it – thanks Rhonda! 

Its a Note from The Universe :

Finally, Rhonda, the Official Top Ten Spiritual Ways to Defeat Boredom, Make Friends, Find Love, Trim Down, Shape Up, Discover Your Purpose, Make a Fortune, and Shine Your Light, are…

  1. Take action.
  2. Show up.
  3. Lean into it.
  4. Start anywhere.
  5. Keep busy.
  6. Get out more.
  7. Ask for help.
  8. Shake more hands.
  9. Give more hugs.
  10. Don’t stop.

You were already visualizing, right?

The Universe

Especially, Rhonda, give more hugs.

Sounds like great advice to me!

Merry Christmas




Instagram Photos

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Cambridge Diet

Instagram Photos.


Merry Christmas xx


Image  —  Posted: December 2, 2012 in Cambridge Diet

Week 9 – 46 lbs weight loss achieved

It’s easy to become complacent.  Over confident. Smug even.  Yes I have lost a fabulous 46 lbs in nine weeks but I must beware of falling back into old habits.


Last night, whilst  I was preparing supper for Peter and me I found myself nibbling on left over stir fry chicken, and eating poppadums – they were microwaved, so no fat, but this was a worrying old habit.  Sure enough the scales this morning showed 2 lbs on!  AAAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!  No way must I slip back, not now.   So I’ve had a word with myself – forgiven me my foolish lapse, and moved on.  I still have six stone to lose.  Yes I’m pleased with my progress, but there is a big journey still to do.

Peter had a curry, one of my  pre cooked big batch meals that I make and stick in the freezer.   I make vats of fave meals like Chilli Con Carne, Spaghetti  Bolognese,  boeuf bourguignon.   It’s a good use of time and resources – as there is always a home cooked meal I’ve made that can be defrosted in minutes.    These days, my meals are mostly vegetables, salad, fish or chicken – which I cook freshly.     I was having the rest of the fresh caught fish I’d frozen, bought from fishermen at West Mersea straight from the fishermen.  Dabs, they were called.  Small flat fish – delicious baked in the oven.

 I’ve been ordered to rest by my doctor. I have post surgery complications which I must be mindful of and rest so that healing can take place. The bronchitis is being blasted with two types of antibiotics, steroids and is mostly over – but my lungs are inflamed and congested.  My foot surgery has been the least of my problems and is recovering well!  The chest and back blooming hurt!      I’m not good at resting.  I’m always busy.  What does ‘rest’ mean anyway?

Oh dear – just looked up REST in online dictionary :

  • 1.    the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep: a good night’s rest.
  • 2.   refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor: to allow an hour for rest.
  • 3.   relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies,troubles, or disturbs.
  • 4.   a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquillity: to go away for a rest.
  • 5.   mental or spiritual calm; tranquillity.

So now we know!

It has been mentioned to me that I need to put up some images of me and my weight loss progress.   I find this quite difficult.  I have been keeping a record of images – but I’m so embarrassed to publish them here.   I have pictures take at the 1st of the month.  But I started off in bra and pants only – and it really is not a pretty sight.   I’m going to do more pics – with clothes on this time – so that my progress images will have more decorum.   I’ll find some images that show me in clothes at the start of this Life Journey, too.  However, there are not many images of me – as I usually take the pics.

Its turned really cold.  Zero degrees and below, serious frost and snow is forecast.  We live in a big old Victorian house, with draughty doors, windows and floorboards.  The wind whistles up through the planks, up your legs, at an alarming rate.  Stripped floors may look gorgeous, but sometimes I would secretly sell my stylish soul for a shag pile carpet!

So this new shape of mine is currently covered in loads of clothes in layers – two tee shirts, a black roll neck jumper, a huge loose long thick Aran jumper over the whole ensemble. .  I’m also wearing 2 pairs of trousers, socks, leg warmers and a pair of white fluffy ‘Bedroom Athletics’ booties!  Peter has just come in from shopping ‘It’s horrible out there, clinging cold and damp’. I can smell the cold fresh air on him.

Soon, we’ll light up the log fire and make ourselves cosy snug for the evening.   Maybe watch The Killing – I love the Nordic Noir genre – one the best series on TV.  I am also mightily impressed with C4’s Secret State – a stylish political drama starring the incomparable Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, as a look a like Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but without the dourness.


English: Gordon Brown

English: Gordon Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  Wendy Bailey at Number 10 Downing Street, LondonWendy Bailey at Number 10 Downing Street, London
In fact I’d had the privilege to so some work with Gordon Brown when I was a member of  the press office at  Save the Children.   GB was nothing like the public persona we are all so familiar with – an air of awkwardness, maybe even shyness, stress and inability to breath or smile naturally on TV interviews.   In real life, I found Gordon Brown warm, friendly, charming, witty, with a genuine  interest in the two young people I took to Number 10 for a long ago pre arranged meeting.


The teenagers, a boy of 17 and a girl of 16  from North England had been selected from all over the UK were nervously sitting upright on the edge of a rather formidable and uncomfortable sofa.   Whilst we were waiting in the ante-room – a dark formal room which could sit about 10 people, furnished with dark leather chairs and button backed sofa, the door open and Cherie Blair, wife of The Prime Minister Tony Blair, stood in the doorway, carrier bags in both hands full of shopping.  Putting down her bags, she smiled and said to the young people

‘Just thought I’d say Hello, I heard you were coming. Hope it goes well, well done and good luck. I can’t stop,  I must go and feed Leo.”

And off she went.  This unexpected diversion of a very normal domestic scene – of someone just popping in to say hello on her way back from the shops, lifted the spirits of the surprised  young people,  waiting for their once in a lifetime meeting to interview the then Chancellor of Great Britain.

It was the day after 9/11.  I had thought the meeting would be cancelled, but no, Gordon wanted to keep the appointment as it was important to keep real life going.   The young adults were there to interview The Prime Minister about the up and coming 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child, The Children’s Summit was scheduled to open in New York.   The UN meeting was postponed. Years of preparation, strategies and plans gone when the Twin Towers fell.

In fact, I learnt of the disaster during a phone call to GB’s office, when I called to confirm the arrangements for the planned meeting the next day.  I was talking to GB’s advisor but it was something in her voice tone, an anxiety and stilted answers, which prompted me to ask

“Sorry, is this a bad time to speak?’

‘Er, Well yes… (pause) … Aren’t you watching the news?’ she asked.  I looked over to the small ancient portable TV atop a filing cabinet in the press office – it wasn’t switched on.

‘No’ I replied ‘Why?’

“An aeroplane has hit one of the Twin Towers in New York. I’m sorry but I have to go, call me later’.

I yelled across the press office – ‘put the TV on! put the News on – something awful is happening in New York’.   We had all been working on the Children’s Summit being held in New York for a over year, so any news about New York was in well in our domain.

We  gathered round the tv screen and horrified we watched as the second plane hit the adjacent building, our minds trying to make sense of the terrifying images trying to work out what on earth was happening before our eyes.  Was this a terrible accident?  How could two planes hit the same building?  And then the buildings began to collapse.  A dreadful silence descended on the room. Senior Save the Children staff arrived to watch the only TV on the fourth floor, Director of Policy, Programmes, Head of Africa, The CEO.

Then the phone rang, the Head of Press was on the line wanting to check details of her flight to New York for the summit. She was talking at an airport in Africa on her way back to London.

‘It looks like the Summit may have to be cancelled – there are some incidents in New York…’. She interrupted me and I will never forget her reply.

‘Don’t be ridiculous’ she said forcefully, ‘Of course we’re going to New York, no one is going to cancel the Summit, not with all the work that has gone into this event.’

The World had changed – forever.

Till next time.

Thanks for reading. x

Wendy Bailey