Gail Emms' Blog by Gail_Emms


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In her blog, Gail Emms will keep you informed on news and events in the badminton and the sporting world in general, as well as with keeping you up-to...

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Total posts: 127

Started: 30 Apr 2010

Last post: 28 Nov 2013

  • How to stay healthy during Christmas!


    It's been a long 6 months, but I can finally say that I am there. I've reached my goal of getting to a weight and a body that I am happy with. I am just over 10 stone and right now, that is blooming fantastic so I am going to say – goal achieved! I never wanted to put a definite number on my weight as the body changes a lot, especially after having a baby, so for me, it was more of a feeling and getting back into my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. I wish I could say that this 6 month journey is at the end, so I can tick the box and now eat chocolate and big meals. But no, I’m not there yet!!


    Like I said, it’s wrong to think that once you’ve achieved a target weight, it's fine to go back to eating like you did before. That is why there was a reason to lose weight in the first place! For me, I've been eating between 1200 to 1500 calories a day, eating healthy stir-fries, veg sticks, and dried fruit. If I have a non-diet day, then I am good the next day. If I exercise, then of course, I can eat a little bit more, but now, to go back to a 2000 + calorie diet would just pile the weight back on. I need to go up slowly and see how my body reacts. If by increasing the calories all is still well, then I can go up a little bit more and so on. I also need to make sure that meal plans are still healthy and that snacks are limited, so planning is key.


    However, in case you hadn’t noticed, there is a certain holiday coming up called Christmas which is possibly every dieter’s nightmare!! For me, it is so hard because not only do I love food, but I adore Christmas food! I love cheese, chocolate, biscuits etc but my biggest love and the best food ever for me is mince pies. Oh my God I love them so much. Once I start, I can’t stop. So for me, the key is not to go near one! It is really hard and I have managed it so far, but I just cannot buy them, go near them or even smell them as I know that will be it and I will just eat so many! The shops are trying to tempt us with all this food and to buy it early, but there is no need! We always overdo it at Christmas, so try and remember the leftover food and the food you are eating well into the year so you don’t succumb to the supermarket marketing. We have made a conscious effort this year not to buy too much food and keep it very small and simple, as we just don’t need it.


    I am back on the badminton court! Yes, I didn’t think I would be saying that, but I’ve just started doing some coaching with Badminton England and it means I get to put my badminton shoes on, dig out my old kit (I can still get into most of it!) and smash some shuttles on the court! It has been great fun but my body is aching! As you will have been aware with my blogs, I am exercising as much as I can, but this has made me realize that I am still not as strong as I would like. I feel aerobically fit, but the strength in my legs, core and back has gone somewhat and playing badminton has highlighted this.

    I’m now looking at incorporating some weights into my fitness programme and choosing more weights-based exercise classes rather than fitness ones. I have my first netball match coming up as well so I am looking forward to that and that will keep the interest with exercise going again! This period in the run-up to Christmas is going to be very hard indeed with so many temptations. Whatever your position in the diet/exercise/fitness journey, there is still work to do, so be as strong as you can. For me, to go off track now would be a letdown as I've worked so hard to get to this point.

    Ask questions

    I don’t want to be one of the many people that I've overheard saying; “Ah well, the diet starts after Christmas eh?!” Dieting is hard enough without adding more to it! There will be parties, so be the designated driver, as that way you don’t have to drink. Say no to the canapés as you had a healthy meal before you left, and have someone with you who will help you be strong. When I was competing, there were many things that I had to be strong about and what kept me in the zone was asking; “ Is doing ______ / eating _____ going to get me that gold medal?” If the answer was no, then I would walk away. So, if you’re in doubt or in two minds, ask yourself the question; “Is _____ going to get me to reach my goal?” This is a great way to stay focused.

    Good luck to you all out there in Christmas food hell. I feel your pain but I am determined not to give in and refuse to have a mince pie until Christmas Eve! Let’s see if I can do it!! See you next time for a healthy way to enjoy Christmas!




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