Searching for blog posts tagged with 'commit to get fit'

Good morning angels...



The RSTS Commit to get Fit team, aka Charlie's Angels, have arrived on the scene!

Nita, Susan and Caroline hit the mountainous Stanmer Park for a walk on Wednesday, and there are plans in the offing for chi gung and yoga... Heidi has expressed some definite interest in the trampolines and she'll be playing bingo tonight - which is good exercise for your fingers, so totally counts.  

Michelle, Susan and Nita also had their gym induction on Tuesday, and were inspired by the Zumba class that was going on at the time. So if you hear strange noises from the 1st and 2nd floors of Bramber House, rest assured they're just practicing their moves.

We'll keep you updated with our progress as the month goes on!

Careers and Employability Centre – we are getting sporty too!



We are all getting active in CEC in the Library. A variety of delectable, strenuous activities are being banded about and our more eager team members have already embraced the challenge -

Susanna has been up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in an early morning swim.

Claire and Jos do enough aerobic activity for all of us! Jos plays tennis every lunchtime, and is now embracing the gym with Andrea. Claire is upping her 6 mile run to 7 plus adding a Zumba class. Claire also runs a Pilates class and there are double numbers in her classes. Do we get extra points for that too?

Andrea has a gym induction booked for Monday and is trying Badminton this week

Andy is cycling at top speed into work and has joined the gym

Sally is going to a step class and will do a 3 mile run (run/walk/run)

Darren is thinking about the sports he can do with an injured knee. Any ideas?

Careers and Employability Centre are sponsoring our very own fruit bowl



We make a stand against cake today!

We are rummaging for a fruit bowl. Once this essential item is in the office we plan to fill it up with fruit.

I have bagsied to bring in apples. We can fill it up on a Tuesday from the fruit stall at Falmer Square.

How good are we? Very.

We do feel collectively guilty as there has been one too many a birthday of late, and I at least feel cake shaped.



Careers Employability Sports Challenge Update



We've got to the end of week two of the fitness challenge and the action is starting to heat up here in CEC.

-Jocelyn, Andrea and Andy have all been spotted in fitness centre inductions.

-Susanna has upped her weekly activity with Swimming, Yoga and Running - covering all the fitness bases there!

-Sally has taken to cross training with not only running but also fitting in some additional squats whilst brushing her teeth.

-Claire has varied her usual training with an impressive 6km row in 30mins - eat your heart out Redgrave.

-The guys are currently still in the planning stage with Ian, Jo and Darren all planning a late surge before the they falling too far behind. Will this be a tortoise and hare moment?

A plan is currently forming for a departmental spinning event for the very near future.

Let’s hope the weekend sees us all back on Monday with new activities and ready for the challenge of week 3.

Marion, Commit to Get Fit and joint mobility



This week i haven't really managed to do a lot of exercising, but in contrast I have eaten a lot to balance it out. This week started with a boxercise class that included a few familiar faces from other classes. I measured the class intensity by judging how hard these guys worked in comparison to the other classes I see them in and they worked pretty hard.

Marion who is on a commit to get fit campaign has been working her socks off and lost 2/3lb last week on a diet of hard work and sensible choices...WOW...that easy....yes...most of the time it is that easy. She is a pleasure to work with and if I am honest works hard everytime she comes in the gym...not a lot of people can actually say that......:)

On that note if you have a gold membership then use the 2 personal training sessions that you have....or come and see Mark and I at the Falmer Sports Complex and we might have a workout for you to try.

Marion has hit everything at 100% and is noticing the changes as we go along. The step up and split squat are pretty tough exercises, but for shaping the backside and outer glutes...these are your bang for butt exercises....want shapely glutes or just glutes that work then dose yourself up with a prescription of steps and split squats

The Commit to Get Fit has really shown that some things really do work and from a Sussexsport point of view we need to find out what has ticked the boxes, got people interested and bottle it...people are talking of carrying on through June and joining the facilties..which if this is true is a successful outcome. I have seen people I have only heard about, recieved emails from or spoken to on the phone...see guys we really aren't that bad, although watch out for Ria...woooo she is a toughie....I am reading the blogs on most days and people are doing loads..piece of advice on get 80% of your success from 20% of what you if you want my advice, if you have an hour then warm up, lift weights, cool down...lifting weights is the 20%...reduce moderate intensity cardio machine work, unless it is the only thing that you can manage, Marion and current personal training client do no more than 10 minutes of cardio and Marion has lost 2lb!!!!!!!!! INTERVALS INTERVALS INTERVALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday nights class saw some real quality in the application of the exercises..the core class I teach looks at stability and mobility in joints. The joint by joint approach was made up by Mike Boyle. The joints are stacked upon each other like so

Neck (Stability)

Mid Spine/Shoulder (Mobility)

Lumbar Spine (Stability)

Hips (Stability/Mobility)

Knee (Stability)

Ankle (Stability/Mobility)

the brackets give you a general idea of what each area should really posses in terms of their quality. Now if you have re-occurring injuries/issues/niggles then generally look above or below that area e.g. A student by the name of Morgan tells me that he is now able to squat without pain in the knee...the cause of the pain...the shoes he was wearing!!! He knee pain was indirectly cause by the ankle. If we lack in any of the above area quality then the joints above and below wil compensate...e.g. if you lack hip mobility (the ability to squat/sit deep with a neutral spine) then you will compensate with lumbar flexion (rounding of the low back) which isn't a strong position. Also if we lack mid spine mobility then we will again move from the lumbar region (see below)...also note the difference in hamstring length and contribution (first picture - red, second blue)














Hamstring length is also an issue in this exercise and can affect low back pain.

Some my point is makes sure that you address these joint qualities at every session you do...if it is important then do it every day. Go to to find out about mobility exercises that you can do at home.....

Next to train the core.


Commit to get fit - spot the difference



Thank you to Sussex Sport for encouraging me to be more healthy this month.

Here's what I did before:

  • Cycled into work and home from Hove most days
  • Played squash and football once a week
  • Ate lots of fruit and veg
  • Ate chocolate most days

Here's what I've done in May

  • Cycled into work and home from Hove most days
  • Played squash and football once a week
  • Played volleyball
  • Did Circuits - much less scary than I imagined it would be
  • Went mountain biking
  • Ate even more fruit and veg
  • Thought about eating chocolate (only ate it three times this month)

I'm probably only slightly fitter but my teeth are healthier and my wasteline thinner. I've enjoyed keeping a track of how well I'm doing and looking forward to hearing the results of how well our teams did in SRS.

It's been especially nice hanging out with my work colleagues a bit more (quick pint after volleyball to sooth the bruised wrists - not sure I was hitting it right). Oh and I'm looking forward to my Montezumas choc bar tomorrow.

So thanks again.

Team Spin!



It's the last week of May and we were all persuaded to end our month of keep fit activities on a positive note: so we all went to the gym for a Spinning Class.

"Spinning" is done on exercise bikes, and involves changing gears to simulate going up and down hill, sprinting, and lots of standing up. It was exhausting, but a great experience, and it left me riding high on endorphins for the rest of the day.

Personally, this was a pretty interesting experience because I've not been in a gym before. I found it very... loud, and a bit painful. But as someone who usually jogs solo it was brilliant to have other a team of people doing the same thing. It certainly made me push myself more than I would normally. Before I had even gotten my breath back, some of our team members were already making plans to come again, so it was evidently a good experience for us all.

Jos did a great job organising this for us, and it was good to find out more about what other team members do to stay fit.

I think the big take-away for our team is likely to be the food bowl, which proved to be quite popular in the office. And by the sound of it, a few of us are planning to go to the gym as a group in future, which is excellent!

Here's a photo of the team after the Spin Class:

I feel like Julie Andrews



It became clear yesterday that the Commit to Get Fit challenge was getting serious when the office biscuits were replaced with a tub of tangerines. I have decided not to be down beat about this, and, in the positive spirit of Girl Power, will tell myself that I don't want biscuits...what I want, "what I really, really want", is a piece of fruit!

The Boundary Walk yesterday was also a great way to kick off my health regime - if I didn't feel like Julie Andrews surrounded by all those hills, I definitely should do today when I hope to be blithely cycling through the countryside.  If the DARO team would  join me in singing about our favourite things, it would be perfect! X



Team HR Week 1 Commit to Get Fit



It isn't easy motivating a team in this year's Commit to Get Fit as pretty much everyone who participated from HR last year signed up for Gold membership and has been using it all year round.  So even though everyone was eager to participate, we are finding it difficult to think of ways to improve.  Graham is a professional Morris dancer and cycles into work and home everyday as does Helen.  Dan walks faster than the speed of light and regularly plays badminton, as do others in the team.  He is also walking a lot more to the kettle and back as he consumes more coffee, what with getting a lot less sleep than he used to.   

Sally & Simone are regulars at circuits and we are constantly amazed how Sally keeps her fringe so straight after such a strenuous workout.  She has been hard at it as she recently moved house and has been scrubbing her new abode.  Simone is a professional Netball player and appears to have a match every night. 

Lois has been looking at 'running prams' so I guess she will be keeping fit in a few months.  She has continued to do yoga throughout her pregnancy.  Wonderwoman.

I spotted Nadia looking at some sort of harness, so I think she is going rock climbing in the near future. 

Rachael is looking forward to getting fit again after last year's CTGF.  She went to Zumba today and said she wasn't as unfit as she thought she would be.  Leila is a professional Zumba dancer and I have spotted her hovering over the link to Power Hoop ready to book all the classes when she can. 

Martin spends every night sprinting to catch his connecting train.  I believe he has got it down to less than 50 seconds now.

We think Emma may be trying to sabotage the team as she baked a huge coffee cake which I understand tastes delicious.  I have cut out sugar from my diet and have spent the last year doing yoga and am now a lot more flexible but no less stressed.  Today I have a massage at lunchtime and it was wonderful.  Just a shame I had to go back to work in the afternoon.  While I was there I saw Cheryl waiting to do some sort of activity.  She is ALWAYS at the gym.  She is the champion of everything. 

See you next week.

More tortoise than hare, but definitely in the race!



I have to say, the first day of "Commit to get fit" didn't get off to a very auspicious start. It's not that I didn't remember it was Day 1 as soon as I peeled my eyes open, it was more to do with the realisation that the only thing I felt committed to at that point was my lovely soft, warm duvet. In fact, at 7am I felt more than ready to make a very meaningful, long term commitment to it.

But then I remembered how I'd badgered the rest of the Marketing Team - plus the lovely Marie from Estates - to not only join in the main challenge, but also the extra SRS/WP add on competition, so the least I could do was show up.  Besides, since I discovered that "middle-aged spread" is not merely something festering away at the back of the SRS fridge, I know I really have to get my act together again. So I got up.

Arriving at the office, the signs weren't great at first. From behind his door I could hear John wistfully recalling the many happy days he'd spent in the company of a cinnamon danish (the main thing he has vowed to refrain from for the whole of May). This was at about the same time as I was realising that no, I couldn't just pop out to the Dhaba cafe for a chocolate-covered flapjack, but would have to settle instead for the bruised-looking banana which had been sunbathing on my desk for the last few days.

Boy Nick was clearly determined to test the resolve of me, Girl Nik and Kelly by immediately cracking open a packet of crisps, then refusing to go and eat them furtively outside by the bins as requested. After a few seconds of his half-hearted, pathetic attempts to rustle and crunch more quietly, Kelly stormed over to his desk to declare that he was "made of MEAN bones!" And so another jolly day in the office began...

However, despite a bad start I am happy to report that in a very short time the "M&Ms" had grasped the nettle and were poised for glory. Boxes of excessively exuberant salad started appearing, the water cooler got very busy and the day's exercise regimes began.  Katy, Jakki, Fiona, John, Girl Nik, Kelly and me headed off for the Boundary Walk; Claire and Vicki went to Zumba; Marie and Boy Nick went to the gym and Lucy had a yoga lesson booked in after work.

It's early days yet but I think we can safely say: "M&Ms ARE GO!"

DARO commits to Commit to Get Fit - the official'ish blog



Our whole team have commited to the programme and even before it starts the well being levels have increased.  First, we've had the 're-tox before the de-tox' weekend, whole heartedly embraced by all.  Tomorrow our campaign starts in earnest for our very mixed group of individuals.  We have on our team someone who completed the Brighton marathon recently, some who regularly partake of the Sports facilities on campus, others who limp into the office after off-campus sports and a few who need to challenge their comfort zones and get their bodies moving in unfamiliar ways.


 DARO re-tox before the de-tox

DARO - Commit to Get Fit - Official'ish blog #3



Wow.  Mountain biking up over the Downs above campus today was amazing.  Eight of us went with Jenny from Sports as our cheerleader.  Six formed the scouting party that went on ahead and graciously waited at certain points for the two laggers whom Jenny was cheering on.  It was almost complete relief when Jenny got a puncture and had to change the inner tube as the laggers got to stand around looking helpful whilst gulping in fresh air.  

One of the advance party has only ever cycled on roads and he found the fast downhill pace over loose flint more scary than the Lewes Road.  The bikes provided by Sports are great quality with them being new aluminium, so, easy to push uphill with one hand on the bike and the other massaging the stitch.  The helmets are cool if you like to look like a chipmunk but ESSENTIAL when you consider the terrain.

DARO is looking at Sussex research and will be putting into practice the findings that will help with the Commit to Get Fit programme.  One of the research teams found that an effective way to deal with stress was reading which reduced levels by 68%.  Obviously reading the research helped there then.  The next most effective tool is to listen to music which can reduce stress levels by 61%, followed by having a cup of tea of coffee (54% reduction) and finally, a walk lessened stress by 42%.

Our SurveyMonkey results have shown what the most popular sports for DARO are and we're all booking ahead as soon as we can.

DARO is committed to Commit to Get Fit - the official'ish blog #2



The DARO team has three goals to complement its member's individual goals.  A 'naive art' poster on the kitchen wall lists them in highlighter pen:

  • NO more cake or biccies in the office
  • ADOPT N.E.A.T. - non exercise activity thermogenesis
  • ENJOY our team challenge

Amazingly, before the poster was put up, the least likely candidate in the office brought in a box of tangerines.  It looked as though he was walking in with a box of KFC in a carrier bag, so no shock there, but, when the office found out who had contributed the lovely fruit, shock ensued, no-one had ever seen him eat fruit and he wasn't going to partake of his own offering either.  Such a lovely gesture and gratefully devoured.

In a similar vein, it turns out that some plants adopt thermogenesis themselves, namely the Skunk Cabbage, Voodoo Lily and Corpse Flower, hmmm.

Team DARO, bar one member manning the phones, all enjoyed the Boundary Walk yesterday and were inspired to see the Good Ship Bramber, our home, sailing towards the sun and the sea through the Downs.

Not on the road to Rio



Feeling a bit sore but physically well (except for a few bruises) after a very vigorous bike ride yesterday.  I think that those who saw me trying not to fall off my bike and not lag too far behind my colleagues would say I am not the nation's next great Olympian.  I'm sure though, that with experience, this is a really good way to exercise.

I definitely felt a sense of achievement at the end and really want to thank Jenny, whose encouragement spurred me on to the finish line.  I am only sad that I let Julie Andrews down - the effort of straining to drag myself up hills left me in no mood for singing.

Commit to get Fit - the BSMS-8 expand



Three days into the challenge and we welcome another team member, Ellen.  I don't think we need to change the team name as Ellen actually job-shares with Lisa, who is already part of the team.

Seven of us, inspired by the Boundary Walk, have just enjoyed a second lunchtime walk in the sun in a week.  Today we went over the footbridge across the A27 to Falmer village, admired the pond and the tithe barn (and the farm shop), then headed off into UoB territory and then wended our way back to HQ via the underpass.  Half an hour.  Two miles.  Some 4500 steps (according to Jayne's pedometer).  Lovely!

Commit to get Fit - the BSMS-8 sign in



Well, that's one achievement already - I had no idea SPLASH existed, having been employed by the University for over 6 years, but I have now discovered it (thanks to Sam of Sussex Sport), registered and here I am blogging away - also my first ever blog (though I do tend to write quite a bit on facebook).

I thought Commit to get Fit didn't start until tomorrow, but having registered I've already found other teams blogging away, so I thought I ought to get straight in there.

The BSMS-8 are raring to go - not necessarily absolutely all in the same direction - but we're starting off the campaign tomorrow with the Boundary Walk (all together I think).  We've had a meeting and discussed a number of goals / things to try and I'm hoping that over the next week that will settle down into something coherent enough to write about in more detail over the coming weeks.

Our team members are me, Amii, Denise, Lisa, Jayne, Charlotte, Pat and Nichola - we're all female support staff with different levels of fitness and layers of insulation - but we are all committed to making changes this coming month and hopefully long-term to our diet and approach to exercise.

That's all for now.  Quite enough for a debut blog, I think.

SRS Week 1



There are ten of us in the SRS Commit to Get Fit Team and we vary in fitness levels and previous sporting experience but everyone is motivated to get fit this month.

Already this week members of the team have been trampolining, running, walking, riding, playing football, badminton and undergoing some intense lunch-time circuit training (photos to follow).

In this first team blog each member of the SRS CTGF Team explains a little about themselves and what CTGF means to them…

Our keenest team member Jonathon (he came in on his day off to do circuit training!) kicks us off with what would make an amazing online dating profile… “I’m six foot and have huge thighs. I enjoy cycling (on my bike called Whitney), running and I have recently started to go to the gym. I’m in love with bread – this is my biggest downfall. I was even given a bread-cake for my birthday. I wish to keep doing exercise and give up bread.”

Next up is Katie who makes great use of the word ‘squidge’…. “I am not unfit, but I know I am less fit than I was this time last year and I’d like to get back on track.  I am also squidgier than I was this time last year so I’d like to shed some squidge.  Most of my exercise consists of long lonesome runs and solo gym workouts so I’d like to try something more sociable.  I will be abstaining from cereal bars – I eat way too many! Looking forward to it and up for playing WP at rounders!”

Nathan managed to put down a croissant long enough to give us this… “I’ll be giving up sugary snacks for May, I made the most of my last almond croissant on Tuesday. I’m hoping to lose a few pounds of my belly and gain more core and upper body strength. I’ll continue to cycle into work each day and maintain my three squash games and circuits class each week. I’ll also try to do mountain biking and table tennis and maybe an extra circuits class here and there. I’m hoping Kev will give me some diet tips and exercises to try out. Looking forward to being slightly less flabby and a little bit hench by June.”

Margaret’s focusing on a healthy diet and giving up some of her many vices… “I am giving up cuppa soups for lunch and having salads and cutting down on my coffee intake at the moment – watch this space for any further things I have given up.  I want to lose at least a stone so hoping this commit to get fit will help me on my way to achieving this.”

Andy, like a sponge, is ready to soak up new experiences… “I’ve set myself a  couple of exercise goals and a couple of food goals for the month. Exercise wise I want to try a few more new sports, starting with the trampoline this week!  On top of that my food goals for the next month will be to try to drink more water and to stop eating the very tasty flapjacks on sale at the Student Union shop.”

Isobel may be the newest member of the SRS team but she’s already making her mark in CTGF… “I’m really looking forward to taking part in CTGF because it’s a great motivation to get fit for summer, to try new things I wouldn’t usually have considered, and to socialise with colleagues. I love the fact there is a team element to it as it’s fair to say I’m driven by two things in life….1). competition 2). The excuse to eat carbs. I’m not setting any strict goals in terms of measurements and weights, I’d just like to take it as it comes and enjoy the opportunity to try out some new activities and to get back in to a routine of doing regular exercise.”

Adam’s thinking about hitting the beach and publicly embarrassing himself (hopefully not at the same time)…. "I'm looking forward to taking part in the challenge again this year - it'll certainly give me a boost in training for that summer beach body! As a regular member of the gym and fitness  classes, I'm hoping to try some new activities throughout the month... as a team we've already got our sights set on trampolining and handball so I'm sure I'll have the opportunity to publicly embarrass myself again (but there'll be no hula hooping this time!). Oh and I'm giving up cheese, although I think I'm regretting this decision already."

Kevin’s bascially declaring war …. “I’m renaming this month’s activity ‘commit to STAY fit’. I like to think I’m already in reasonable shape. In May, my biggest hope is to try new activities and work with everyone else in our team to beat the proverbial daylights out of our biggest rivals – WP and Marketing! I’ll be embarrassed as sin if I fail this month – I’m a Personal Trainer and it won’t look good on me if my team don’t win!”

Bev was too busy exercising to comment...

And me… Instead of a life of over-indulgence interspersed with sporadic, guilt-induced attempts to get fit… I’m making a change and opting for a healthy balanced diet and a long-term commitment to exercise regularly. I’m not overweight but I’m not as healthy as I could be. I’m not interested in giving up everything I enjoy but I know I need to balance it with regular exercise. My goal for Commit to Get Fit is to use it as a starting point for a healthier and more active life. For the month I’m going to attempt to abstain from sugary snacks, volovants and port.

Next week we’ll be updating on a week that will include mountain biking, handball and who knows what else…

DARO - Commit to Get Fit - Official'ish blog No.4



Some of us went to the Sussex Sports Centre today for a tour and guidance on how to use the equipment.  The Admissions Team were in there pedalling and rowing to Mordor on various machines, boy are they keen?!  The Zumba going on downstairs looked full on too, we couldn't hear yelps of pain as the music was too loud, is that by design?  

We were shown the machines and a variety of free weights and resistance exercises by Mark Beresford. We'd already been royally greeted by Karen Creffield and Sam Fuller in Reception so we felt most welcome.  Mark gave great explanations of the best exercises and regimes for us and he obviously keeps up to date with the latest science.  The advice and tips given were extremely balanced and completely practical to fit into a working life on campus.  It was a bit embarrassing to find out that these resources and experts were a surprise to us all.  We all know where the cafes and bars are, why didn't we know there was something so good for us too?!  

Stretching the boundaries - and not just on my waistband!



I will give a fuller update of the last week later (hopefully) but just wanted to mention that we've got a team night out tomorrow, to a local hostelry which is still to be identified.

I have every faith in the team sticking to their ctgf commitments during what I am sure will be a calm and restrained affair, but by my calculations…Guinness has iron in, cider (apples) counts towards your 5 a day and if you have some salad on your kebab on the way home, well it’s virtually a night at a health farm!




What's your favourite brand?



Overheard in the marketing office:

" can DROWN in them!"

SRS Team: Photographic evidence



As week two kicks off here's some of the SRS Team on how their weekends went and what they're looking forward to this week, plus some photographic evidence that trampolining and circuit training actually happened.

Isobel... "Bank Holiday weekend was mixed. A bingey day out at the cricket with a picnic full of what would usually be forbidden foods, followed by a few pints of cider (do the apples count as 1 of 5 a day?). Saturday and Monday were more restrained however so I'm pleased with that at least. This week we're trying some new activities such as handball and mountain biking which should make a nice change - assuming we make it back in one piece."

Nathan... "Haven’t managed to score any points for new activities or activities that last an hour or more yet but on the plus side I’ve done at least 30 minutes cycling every day, I’ve eaten plenty of fruit and veg I’ve been drinking like a fish and I’ve only had one sugary snack lapse. The downside to the lapse was that it was some rather unsatisfying ginger snaps biscuits. I resisted the urge to buy a tub of chocolate crispy snacks from Marks & Spencer to make the most of my lapse though. I’ve actually exercised less as I was on a training course last week. Going to get back to normal this week with a view to doing some more activities next week."

Margaret... "Weekend was good did lots of walking and did not eat anything I should not have. I was very good even refused hubby’s birthday cake (sticky toffee from thorntons)…Ymmm but not for me. Handball this week plus the walking and hopefully another session of circuits with Kev."

Jonathon (AKA Bread Lover)... "A very fantastic exercise filled four day weekend. Started on Friday – Walking to Hove and back (6 miles), in addition I managed to consume a WHOLE carton of Mango Innocent fruit juice (expensive but YUM) 5-a-day done and dusted by lunch time. That afternoon I came into work ON MY DAY OFF to take part in Kevin’s SRS circuits (SRS team kicked ass in this). Saturday saw a sleep deprived long haired ginger, scurry around 5K for Park Run – recording a new P.B. but still getting beaten by that dog who has such short legs but MAN they can go around quickly! Sunday and Monday both saw hour bike rides: Sundays ride note to self: Make sure when you replace your brake pads you tighten them fully, as Elm Grove is a very scary hill without back brakes. Mondays ride note to self: Make sure that you always have a very big HGV while going up large hills – it makes you peddle fast because of fear of DEATH – but it makes you come 4/189 on Strava (bike mapping app). Each of these activities was followed by PUB and/or BEACH – therefore I’m full of vitamin D/C and Grapes. Bread Lover."

Me... "I went to the gym on Friday. Saturday was pretty much a write-off though. Sunday and Monday weren't so bad, but still not great. I'm going to get back on with exercising this week but I don't feel too bad about having a lazy weekend. If I just went and got fit in the first week I'd having nothing to do for the rest of the month so it's good to draw it out a bit."

As promised in last week's blog below are some photos of the team undergoing various forms of excerise for CTGF and a photo of Jonathon with some bread.


 Isobel loving the Levitation for beginners class.


Katie levitating al fresco style.


 Siobhan having a little sit down during Kev's circuit training.


 Isobel sunbathing.


Andy breakdancing.


Jonathon with some bread.

Small changes hopefully making a big difference



It was really good to see the many resources offered by the Sports Centre last Friday.  I particularly liked the rowing machines and exercise bikes and would definitely use these as they lend themselves to bursts of activity which are short but physically effective and so are not too difficult to work in to your day. To that end, I will try to make going to the gym a regular part of my week, and so far, so good - I will be power-hooping tomorrow!

The ‘Eat Well, Feel Better’ nutrition talk was also good.   It reminded me of nutrients I was missing out on but could so easily be added to my diet e.g. omega 3 fats, which are not only found in oily fish but can be taken in supplements or by eating eggs or yoghurts to which these fats have been added.  Also, just a handful of almonds provides fibre and numerous minerals.

I just hope I can keep to my good intentions.   If I do, I will be healthier and sportier, although I am already starting to feel sportier as I now say things like, “I’m just going to get my gym kit on” rather than "I’m just going down to Eat Central for a coffee and a sticky bun".  So much better.

Falling for fitness



So, things continue to go well here at M&M headquarters. There is still much fruit being munched, along with regular conversations about the many and varied joys to be found in a bag of crisps. (Ah....Walkers Deep Ridged... ambrosia of the gods! )

Last Friday several of us took part in Kev's al fresco circuit training session. He had promised that it wouldn't involve getting sweaty or red-faced. Obviously this was a lie, but we fell for it anyway and squatted, lunged, ran and planked (normal and side) for best part of an hour, at midday, on the hottest day of the year.
It was all good fun and I even thought it might actually be doing me some good...until I tried to go up or down stairs, sit down or stand up, or just breathe too deeply for the next 3 days. Seriously,  I've got an A level in Biology but I never realised quite how many muscles there were in a pair of legs until this weekend. Clearly muscles that need to do this kind of thing more often.
Girl Nik amazed ( and disappointed) us all by not falling over at this activity, thereby losing her  previous 100% record - earned by slipping unceremoniously into the mud on the boundary walk and then making a less than graceful dismount from the trampoline. Still, with Powerhoop and Kung Fu in the diary I'm sure there's plenty more cabaret to come.
Other upcoming activities for team members include windsurfing, tennis, badminton and another Kev session (walking and speed walking). Oh, and someone tried to suggest that speed dating counted as a sport, but until it's in the Olympics - and it can only be a matter of time - I don't think we'll be able to award points for that!
Did I mention that I was missing the crisps?

Commit to Get Fit continues... (I may actually be starting to enjoy this)



Days 4-6 (Saturday, Sunday, Monday)

I’ve gone and done it. I’ve committed myself to a 5km run this summer all in the name of charidee! So on Sunday, 14 July 2013 I will be running the Worthing Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK. If anyone feels like sponsoring me they can do so on my JustGiving fundraising page (shameless plug over....)

I tried to keep up the no caffeine after 1pm over the weekend and only had one slip up on Sunday. I had a cup of coffee at around 10:30pm, but I think this was justified as I was volunteering at an event at the Royal Albert Hall and wasn’t expected to get to my bed until approx 2.30am.

I’ve started training for the 5k run and have downloaded a useful (and fun!) Couch to 5k app (Zombies, run 5k) that I highly recommend.  On Monday I got out and enjoyed the sunshine and embarked on a lovely 4k jog along the beach.

Bank Holiday beach run

Day 7 (Tuesday)

Day 7 was going well to start with and I had high hopes for the day, but just didn’t get a chance (or more likely I got side-tracked and forgot) to go for the lunch time walk that I had planned. Not to worry though, I have arranged "double fitness" tomorrow with a Power Hoop session at lunch time and a jog after work.

Day 8 (Wednesday)

Unfortunately my Power Hoop buddy was not well enough to take part today so my colleague (who was Zumba-ing today) and I set off to the Sports Centre with a bit of trepidation, but with a bounce in our step.

I was soon disappointed to find that the Power Hoop session wasn’t running today after all, but we were offered an impromptu Boxercise class instead. I’ve done boxercise before and had forgotten how much fun it is and what a great stress reliever it can be. I’m definitely tempted to look up a regular class if it runs at a convenient time.

I’m now back at my desk (the bounce in my step had gone due to exhaustion by the time I got back), but I’m feeling very virtuous! I’m even looking forward to my run tonight!

Slowly but surely Committing to Get Fit



Day 1 (Wednesday)

Today the team went on the organised boundry walk around the campus. The sun was shining and it was the first time in a long while that I’ve purposely left the office at lunch time for a reason other than grabbing a bite to eat for lunch. The walk was lovely and a gentle introduction to a month of CTGF and it was great to see and learn more about the area that I’ve been working at for the last year.


I returned to the office feeling invigorated and ready for my lunch and have now been booked onto a Power Hoop session next week. Apparently it’s in the Dance Studio which has a wall of mirrors. Eeep! Anyone know if you can Power Hoop with your eyes closed?

Day one of no tea or coffee after lunch was difficult, but I was able to refuse the offer of a cup of tea from colleagues on the University of Brighton campus and I somehow survived the afternoon with no caffeine-withdrawal grumpiness! Roll on Day 2!    

Day 2 (Thursday)

Day 2 has started slowly. I was very much in the need for caffeine all day, but stuck to coffee and tea only in the morning and then switched to water in the afternoon. This was a big achievement for me as I don’t normally do water. I went out for a lunch time walk in the sunshine – it may only have been to the pharmacy and back but it is better than sitting at my desk all day.

Without thinking I drank a cup of tea at my Slimming World group. Blast! I was doing so well. But all was soon forgotten when I weighed in and had lost 2.5lbs that week. The CTGF challenge has come at the right time for my weight loss goals as Slimming World has helped me lose over 4 stone in a year and I am now only 3.5lbs from my target weight. Once there I will need to be more active to help me stay at my target weight so hopefully I will build up some new habits during this challenge and keep them up as a part of my day-to-day life!

Day 3 (Friday)

Today the team are going on a walk at lunchtime but unfortunately I was half asleep this morning getting ready for work and have not brought any appropriate footwear (if I was at school this is when I would be handed a pair of lost property plimsolls and be told to get on with it). I will instead man the office and go for a wander around campus after my colleagues return and enjoy the sunshine.

Plans for the Bank Holiday weekend

I will be heading up to London for the weekend and will hopefully be continuing with lots of walking, avoiding caffeine after midday and eating healthily. On Monday, on my return from the Big Smoke I will go for a jog helped along by the Zombies, Run! App on my phone (if you don’t know about this app look it up – it makes running a bit more fun.) I also plan to look into some 5k runs happening this summer and register to take part on one.

Ta-ta for now!


BSMS-8 - my week so far



Over the bank holiday weekend I got out and about quite a bit - and made sure I walked everywhere, which meant either carrying my 2.5 stone 2-year-old or pushing her in her buggy, so I did some incidental weight training.  On Monday I went to a fete where they encouraged onlookers to join in with a Zumba demonstration - I'm afraid my husband forbade me from joining in - he thought I'd be an embarrasment - I did climb up / slide down the big slides at Monkey Bizness quite a few times though.  

Over the weekend I didn't manage to keep up the water drinking to the levels I manage to while at my desk (and my wine intake was pretty impressive in the wrong way), but I did manage to avoid diet coke and, in fact, I am still caffeine free 9 days into the challenge!

On Tuesday I tried Dynamic Yoga.  Oh dear!  I felt such an old croc!  I very nearly gave up about 5 minutes into the session, but with the honour of my team-mates in mind I kept going.  The teacher, Karen, was very kind - and by the end I felt I'd achieved something - and at the very least it had helped me catch up with my daily stretching target, which had gone out of the window somewhat over the weekend.

I had wanted to do a lunchtime class on Wednesday, but a 2pm meeting at the hospital prevented this.  Team-mates left the office excitedly to try Zumba and Power Hoop, both of which I want to try before the end of the month.

Today, encouraged by Jayne, I am going to enter a gym for the first time in at least 14 years.  Hahaha!  Let's see what happens to the old croc today.  Last time I went to a gym I was fit, relatively young and strong enough to do an hour's circuit in the gym followed by a mile in the swimming pool.  I wonder if I'll last 15 mins?  This challenge is making me feel very old ....

And tomorrow, we're off for another team walk at lunchtime.  I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone else has been doing.  Hopefully that will cheer me up if I'm despairing regarding my own efforts.




Mr Twits Great Upside Down Monkey Circus - Get Fit Challenge - Day minus 1



I've given myself a few challenges for May which I'll share with you over the next few blogs (next and blog - this is my first ever). The first though is part of my Yoga practice. I started Yoga in January 2012, whilst suffering an ongoing knee injury and experiencing a growing waistline, and have probably embraced it more than any other activity since I was a kid. What I've noticed since doing yoga is that loads of normal people do it, and some even do it at home, and some haven't even heard of Sting, even Ryan Giggs does it. During class I've noticed that headstand (Shirshasana) looks pretty cool and people that I know that practice at home always seem to mention it.

So I asked my general and dynamic yoga teacher, Karen Creffield, whether she would spend some time with me and try to teach me how to do a headstand, and that practice started today. You can have the abridged version...

Karen started by describing the technique required and which muscle groups needed to do the work so that I firstly didn't break my neck and secondly send myself catapulting head over arse. We decided on a hand grip that I'd tried once before, the ashtanga style. From kneeling I put my hands together and my hands and forearms onto the mat, stuck my head in between them and then got up on my feet and started to walk towards my head. As I approached a point where I was on tiptoes and ready to go up my temperature shot up, as if my head and had been stuck in an oven. I came back down and Karen suggested we give the other method a go, apparently my face had gone bright red. Making a fist rather than interlocked fingers I went down on my knees again. This time I didn't go bright red so we decided to go for this method, for now.

Karen had demonstrated going from tiptoes to bent legs with feet in the air. It looked easy but I suspected otherwise, and I wasn't ready for this. I thought this would be week 3 or something. Anyway after a couple of attempts I gained the bottle to launch from tiptoes, I was very wobbly but I knew either Karen or the wall would stop me going right over, so I straighted my legs. Wow, I'm doing it, engage stomach muscles. Eventually my heels hit the wall and Karen supported me but in essence I was doing my first headstand and that would be more than enough for today, I felt hot and sweaty and tired and I'd only inverted myself.

After Savasana I wandered back to work. I still felt tired, my stomach and shoulders felt like I'd done a hundred crunches and pulls. Although pleased with the progress I'd made I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew for a month.

Mr Twit's Great Upside Down Monkey Circus Part 2 - Commit To Get Fit Challenge



Well we're on day 9 now and most of the personal challenges have been exploritory and insightful. As someone that has a high cholesterol count I've been avoiding saturates for the past couple of years. A visit to the quack last week and an interesting talk from Terry "Eat Better, Feel Better" has made me re-start the process of what goes in and what doesn't. For now I'll stick with the weekly salmon/trout, the wholewheat breakfast cereal and some sort of greenery with all meals that contain meat/processed food.

TOP TIP: Tinned Tuna - the canning process breaks down the long Omega 3 chain - eat fresh tuna and beware of the mercury!

I'm also trying to drink 4 glasses of water a day (plus anything drunk during exercise) and failing miserably. Back in a mo. Ok I've now had one glass of water today. Walkers have also taken a hit, I'm down from 2 bags of crisps a day to 3 so far this month.

The headstand is heading in the right direction. I had a practice at home (much to my 3 year old daughter's amusement) and found that I could get off my toes without bursting a blood vessel. "Do it again Daddy" - "No". "Do it again Daddy" - "No". "DO IT AGAIN DADDY" - "Do you want a bit of melon?". I've learnt how to distract her when losing an arguement.

I met Karen again on Tuesday, keen to show my slight improvement. Slight improvement shown, what do I do now? Oh the scarey bit. Stick my feet up in the air. I tried, much to Karen's suprise, luckily she just managed to break my fall as I went up and then over.

We moved to the wall. I got my feet up but I've no idea what is vertical. My heel hit the wall. Only one heel, that was promising. As I removed one heel I'd sway and replace that heel with one from the other foot. So there were moments where I was upside down without contact with anything but the floor. I think I stayed upside down for about a minute and I enjoyed it. With my confidence a little higher than it was last week I had a quick go today on my own. I can get up pretty well but I just can't find that balance point, but I remember learning to drive and having to find biting point.




DARO - Commit to Get Fit - Official'ish blog #5



DARO is a large group and since every member of the department has committed to CtGF the programme has really been taken to heart.  There is an awful lot going on and even though there are work trips abroad and some holidays during May, everyone is partaking and contributing.  

In the last week alone this is what has been enjoyed by DARO:  netball, gym, boxercise, walking, swimming, yoga, badminton, paragliding, jogging, running, allotment, British Military Fitness, football, kayaking, handball, cycling.  

The impact of CtGF has been not only to facilitate us doing new things but also to prompt actually doing what we've long been thinking about.  People have moved more, taken on new challenges and bonded with their team.  Bad old habits have been challenged and new better ones are being tested.  New bikes have been bought, kayaking courses signed up to and good yomps undertaken with colleagues.

In particular, using CtGF and Sussex research, we have been taking a break from our desks in our own time for lunch.  Sussex research found that leaving the office to eat lunch increases general wellbeing and makes employees look more favourably upon their job.  Those that eat at their desk are more likely to feel miserable and this may impact upon their productivity.  The first best place to eat lunch is on the beach so we have to settle for the second best which is sitting on a bench in a green space.  We're incredibly lucky to work on the unique Sussex campus surrounded by the Downs and CtGF has shown some of us how truly beautiful our locality is.

The office biscuits and cakes have gone from the kitchen and were even replaced with quinoa at the team meeting - yes QUINOA!  I made two versions, one with pumpkin, poppy and lin seeds, the other with sprouted beans.  Those returning from trips have refrained from buying the local delicacies or have kept them back for after CtGF.  People have adapted the lunches that they've brought in, so much so that our fridge would make Gwyneth Paltrow proud...Goop indeed...see photo below - the jar is a home made nettle pesto made with walnuts, pecorino cheese, olive oil and garlic.

The range of change is naturally across the spectrum with some changes bigger than others.  One notable win is a favourite snack of a Mars Ice Cream being substituted with Total 0% with mixed berries.  In the middle there are a lot of people cutting down on caffeine and lowering sugar intake.  At the far end is the non fruit eater buying fruit, the next few weeks might even progress to consumption of it.  

The best bit is people sharing their experiences so that the whole team benefits.  A few of us made Terry Cooper's Eat Better, Feel Better seminar and we've shared the knowledge with everyone.  Well, the sharing was prompted on our return by 'did he mention quinoa?' and 'Terry!  Did he mention quinoa?' which then led us to share the rest.  The Omega 3 and 6 balance seemed to resonate the most strongly.

Quinoa and other healthy things



My shopping basket had a very different feel on Saturday as I went about my weekly shop. Like many of my colleagues, I had made a conscious effort to incorporate oily fish, nuts, and of course, quinoa, which has become the fashionable, must-have food amongst those in the know...I also bought more fruit and now have a fruit bowl which is both healthy and a work of art all at the same time.

I had the opportunity to take a boxercise class last week, quite unexpectedly, after the power-hoop class I had intended to do was cancelled.  It was very energetic, and gave me the opportunity to try something I probably wouldn't have thought of doing otherwise.  Indeed, I had never thrown a punch until this class, yet by the end I was giving as good as an angry John Prescott.   All in all, it was high energy, and definitely a good work-out.







DARO Commit to Get Fit - Official'ish Blog #6



We've just had a great Well Being lunch in DARO, eleven of us enjoyed a poetry reading whilst we were eating (good food), followed by a juggling session.  Other members of the team enjoyed a yoga class and some went walking.

The poem read to us was truly in the spirit of the CtGF campaign - The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, a lamentation of physical and intellectual inertia of someone who had the ability to change but lacked the courage to do so.  First, we must commend the courage of our reader, Sarah, to face her colleagues and present the poem, and so beautifully read too.  And second, for choosing such a fitting poem for our current situation or predicament.

The juggling was great fun, thanks Michael, and led to some very competitive characters immediately logging onto Amazon in search of flammable juggling balls.  By the end of the month we hope to have honed our individual juggling and we'll compete amongst ourselves to find a winner.  In the meantime there is a challenge to Declan to 'release his third ball', a metaphor we'll all be chanting I think.  Your euphemisms can be added to the comments box below.  Is there a site moderator?  I got 'bum' into one of my own blogs so perhaps I can get away with saying that all I ended up juggling were my own breasts.

Let DARO leave you with some words of T.S. Eliot to capture the CtGF challenge:

'And indeed there will be time

To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"

DARO - Commit to Get Fit - Official'ish blog #7



Talk started today of the 1st June and what will happen in the DARO kitchen, exactly half way through CtGF and the biscuit tin is pining for contents and it seems so too are CtGF'er tummies.  A previous biscuit eater was asked 'what are you doing for snacks now' and the reply was 'being hungry, very hungry'.

CtGF is an integral part of being on campus for some of us now.  You have to be fast to get first dibs on the Stationery Cupboard to change into your work-out gear these days.  Pity the person already doing some photocopying when a keener bounces in and strips off.

DARO members continue to try new activities and to set new challenges for themselves.  Our Brighton Marathon runner has signed up for the Boundary Run and there are a couple on the Boundary Fence humming and hahing about whether to join in too.  Many classes have been booked and fingers crossed to get off the waiting list and into the Fencing class.

Our poetry and juggling lunch experience lives on.

Obviously the photo is blurry due to the speed of expert juggling.

Hong Kong Phooey



Do you know, I'm really starting to enjoy this fitness lark! Having had a few days of losing momentum I've now caught up again having done yoga, gym, Kung fu and hula in the last 48 hours and it's definitely started to put a spring in my step.

I hadn't done a gym session for a long time but when the weather ruined our plans to rekindle our (rubbish) tennis relationship, Marie and I headed up to Falmer Sports Complex to pump some iron instead. It didn't start off well as I nearly came to blows with the cross trainers when they repeatedly refused to acknowledge anything I tried to programme in to their touch pads and instead kept trying to make me watch Top Gear (and therefore spend my lunch hour with my bubble-headed nemesis Jeremy Clarkson).

But once I'd finally managed to get them working I was surprised at how much I almost enjoyed skiing or jogging along on the moving footrest things, and also how gentle it was on my knees. I managed 15 minutes without too much bother before trying some of the other things on offer. My favourite machine was definitely the assisted pull ups one, which enabled me to pull myself high up in the air by my arms, with the aid of something akin to a stanna stairlift - and it made the back of my neck tingle each time, which was an added bonus!

However, the activity I was most looking forward to was the Kung Fu Taster with Girl Nik and it didn't disappoint. Sadly we didn't get to wave the big swords around on our first session but did lots of kicks and jumping around and had a good laugh too.

Nik decided to use the opportunity to try and maim the (SRS) opposition:

Girl Nik shows Jonathan who's boss!

I liked lots of things about this class, not least of which was the fact that kung fu feels like exercise with a point to it. By which I mean it's not just stretching for the sake of stretching, or building muscle by just lifting weights,  you get a thorough workout (physically and mentally) while you're concentrating on something else.  And the mixture of raw power, balance, speed and agility was very seductive. Is this something I might want to pursue? Not sure, but maybe...

Suits you, Sir!



One thing that has cropped up during this challenge is the thorny issue of what to wear for all these activities. Not in a vain way, but there is something rather depressing about realising that either you haven't got anything resembling a sports kit at all (Girl Nik: “…my PE kit consists of a DRESS and some pumps I found at the back of the cupboard!”) or that you do have something resembling a sports kit, but it's apparently shrunk at least 8 sizes in the wash since you last had it on (me). Neither helps with the confidence, as it helps if you feel comfortable in your clothes and can at least look the part.

Mind you, Vicki kindly ordered us all some team t shirts before we started, to get us in the mood:

- but sadly in a weak moment I ate them all. 

But I digress. The purpose of today's blog is to start to share some of the motivations of individual team members and it seems appropriate to start with the sartorially-superior Mr Haywood...

"A summary of my abstinences, aims, goals and hinderances, by John Haywood:

Giving up:   Cinnamon Danishes (they’ve become wonderfully addictive part of my daily routine!)

Giving up amendment:  All Danish pastries (in case, as it’s just been pointed out,  I just replace one addiction with another, like those pastry, custardy, chocolately twisty things…. Mmmm……)

Aims:  After almost two years of relative inactivity during the run up to, birth and first 18 months of my daughter’s life, I’m hoping to use the commit to get fit initiative as the spur to rekindle my passion for swimming, preferably in the sea, or lakes, or rivers… most places in fact except swimming pools…

Goals:  There’s a 1500m swim and a 3km swim in the Thames near Windsor Castle on the 2nd June and, depending on how the first week or two of commit to get fit goes, and particularly how the swimming goes, I’m considering signing up for one or the other of these, with hopefully some other organised swims to follow during the summer.

Hinderances:  Fear. More specifically, fear of the cold!  The current sea temperature in Brighton is 8.1 degrees. (to put this into perspective, the average sea temperature for Brighton in December is 10 degrees)."


 Next time: Girl Nik, and the unfortunate incident with the trampoline.


I may have overdone it



I woke up this morning aching all over.  After being attacked by Amy in Admissions in the Kung Fu taster session, I joined the Yinyoga class.  We had to hold each posture for five minutes and I hadn't realised how much I had stretched myself until today.  I have Pilates tonight (more stretching) and Dynamic Bodywork tomorrow, which is a combination of dance, yoga and pilates.  I am also going to try to fit in a couple more classes before Friday.  The question is, can you overextend yourself?  Is it better to work through the discomfort or give your body a rest?

Commit to Get Fit Challenge - Jo's Story



2012 was always going to be a monumental year for me as I had decided that this was going to be the year that I gave up smoking.  Up to the age of 16 I had always been active and enjoyed dancing, roller skating, ice skating, swimming and playing hockey for the School team.  I was always a good weight for my height but of course being a teenager I had body issues which made me convinced that I was fat.  After all, I was a size 14 which is enormous, isn't it? (I am 5ft 9 and have been since I was 12).

At the age of 16, I started at sixth form college in Brighton and knew nobody as my family had moved from Portsmouth.  It was a fresh start for me and as I made new friends and started socialising, I turned my back on healthy living and decided that smoking and drinking were far cooler.  I was still quite slim at this point as I spent my lunch money on cigarettes.  I thought I was fat but looking back at photos of myself I looked quite slim.

To cut a very long story short, twenty or so years later I found that my hedonistic lifestyle had left me overweight, addicted to cigarettes and unable to walk far without stopping for a rest.  On top of this, the medication that I have to take has the negative side effects of making me gain weight.  I was in the position that many people find themselves in where they feel that they cannot change their lifestyle as it would take too much effort and they will probably fail anyway.  Now when I looked in the mirror I knew I was overweight and higher than the 'average dress size'.

Poor me eh?  I thought so too.  For the last twenty two years. 


So in January I quit smoking.  It was as vile as you can imagine but this time I knew I would succeed.  It took 7 weeks of 'agony', hundreds of bags of toffees, mood swings, lots of hot baths and avoidance of other people, especially friends who smoked.  I was encouraged by friend's and colleagues' 'well done's' and determined to succeed.  Now I am a non-smoker.  No doubt about it.

So after 100 days of not smoking I decided to start eating healthily.  I didn't want to 'go on a diet' as I had tried that before and it hadn't worked for me.  So I decided to have a fruit and veg box delivered so that I would be forced to eat healthily.  I spent the whole of April learning how to cook healthily and as a result my skin was brighter, I had more energy and I felt great.  I didn't lose any weight though.

In May, we were issued the challenge 'Commit to Get Fit'.  I took up the challenge as part of Team HR.*    This was the motivation  I needed to start getting fit. 


This was last year's blog that I was too embarrased to share with anyone except for myself.  One year on I have managed to lose two stone and continue to exercise on a regular basis (mainly yoga and Pilates).  This year I will post a regular blog even though I find this part harder than actually exercising...







Team HR Week 3 Commit to Get Fit



As I mentionned in our first blog for CTGF 2013, most of our team are already gold members of Sussexsport and do a variety of activities outside of campus.  So this year's challenge is of most benefit to our newer staff members. Emma is new to Sussexport so her goal is to go to a class every week and try some new sports. She has tried Zumba this week and we are waiting to hear how she got on when she's next in the office. Rachael has not exercised since the last CTGF challenge last summer and wants to get back into an exercise routine.  She has been doing Zumba every week and also tried Aerobics which she said nearly killed her! Martin's long term goals are to lose a little weight, give up smoking, or cut down, and generally get fitter.  Nadia is looking at ways to reduce stress, which is something we could all benefit from.

Illness and injury has put a couple of the team out of action this week.  Cheryl continues to maintain her standard of excellence but has to drop back on the amount of sport she can do due to injury.  Leila wanted to try as many new classes as possible but due to a back injury her new goal is to strengthen her back and core with a combination of physiotherapy, chiropractor visits and exercise and to recover and be pain free.  She has also had to nightly climb around six flights of stairs visiting her mother in hospital.  Get well soon x

Helen continues to cycle to work and back everyday as well as for fun at the weekend. She also grows her own vegetables so is a picture of perfect health.  I tried Kung Fu today and met quite a few other CTGF participants from other departments, which is another bonus of taking part.  A couple of us stayed on to do the Yin yoga class afterwards.

Simone has been told that "summer bodies are made in winter", so she is hoping to make herself a whole new slimmer and fitter body in May! Both Simone and Sally are regulars on the circuit training sessions and push themselves to the limit in their quest for perfection!  On a lighter note, Dan’s goal is to eat as many burgers as he can whilst not gaining any weight so that he can build up his strength and Graham wants to try to stay sober(ish), do some ironing, go to bed early and climb Everest. 

All could benefit from the inspiring talk today about goal setting presented by Terry and Kevin Betts who has completed 52 marathons in a year. 


I love yoga



For the past year I have been doing yoga at least once a week.  I’ve felt less stressed now that yoga’s part of my regular routine and it does make a big difference to how I feel. I’m more relaxed when I’ve done yoga that day. The deep breathing helps you to relax, improves your mood and ability to concentrate. If you’re just beginning to get fit, no matter what your size, shape or fitness level, yoga can be a bit daunting. However, everyone  can work at their own pace. It is meant to make you feel good. After a year of going easy on myself and just going as far as felt comfortable for me, I am surprised at how quickly I have improved.  I never thought I would say this as I am not that flexible and of a heavy build.  When I first tried yoga it was to relax me whilst I was quitting nicotine.  I found it frustrating as everyone else in the room seemed to know what they were doing.   It was intimidating to stand in a class  in front of those enormous mirrors and try to feel relaxed at first. I had no balance and often fell over.  As time progressed, I got a little better, and have noticed changes in different areas of my body, mainly my flexibility. You do improve and see results and now I’d recommend it to anyone.



Team HR Week 2 Commit to Get Fit



Week 2 saw Sally taking part in her usual Circuit Training classes as well a trip to check out her new local park where she ended up walking for miles.  She landed at Wilde Park having to slide down as massively steep hill covered in rabbit poo.  She went walking in her flip flops and ended up with blisters between her toes!

Simone took part in 2 x 1 hour netball matches.  She can’t believe how rough netball is now and thinks she could do with some rugby training instead to get her ready ‘for a 'not so non-contact’ sport!  Dan did about 400 reps of bouncing his son up and down every day – his arms ache, but he reckons it’ll stop any bingo-wingage.

There was a lot of dancing taking place this week as well.  Graham danced on campus on Thursday and Emma danced for three hours on Saturday night in wedges, so she's hoping that burnt a few calories!

Helen and Graham have continued to cycle into work eveyday and everyone has kept up their usual fitness classes in the week.I went on the Bluebell walk at the week end in Arlington and attended a talk by Terry entitled Eat Better, Feel Better. 





SRS Team: Birthday cakes & power ballads



Today is Nathan Catt's birthday, so happy birthday Nathan and thanks for the cake! Cake and CTGF don't mix but with a team spinning class led by Kevin this afternoon I think we can afford this one small chocolatey lapse.

This afternoon the big debate in the office is if we should have I want to know what love is by Foreigner or No limits by 2 Unlimited on the spinning playlist. Apparently there's music invloved. I guess it's a motivational thing. If we don't work hard enough Kev puts Foreigner on.


But anyway, I know what you're thinking... "this is all very nice Ben, but what has Adam Willsmore been up to this week?" Well Adam fans, here he is with an update....

"So this week saw my first ever back-to-back session, an hour in the gym with Kev and Isobel and then straight into circuit training – hardcore! I think I’m getting a bit bigger (in the good sense) too… well my shirts are definitely feeling tighter across my chest; I’m waiting for an incredible hulk moment. I’ve also borrowed Jonathan’s road bike and I’m enjoying zipping along the road past all the cyclists who would normally be going faster than me (I’ve decided I’m not giving the bike back, don’t tell JB). As for the cheese, well I’ve definitely discovered how difficult it is to avoid eating cheese – it just pops up everywhere! But in good news I haven’t yet been found sneaking into the fridge late at night to snack on slices of brie, a previous favourite hobby of mine."

Jonathon's taking a few days off from CTGF for Great Escape but he does have news of his wonderful #42bridges charity run. At the beginning of June Jonathon has decided to run over 42BRIDGES in and around London - covering a total distance of over 35 miles!

Here's Jonathon on the run... "I’m raising money for Safehaven (a weekly Saturday soup kitchen supporting the homeless in Brighton) and Crossover (a homeless charity also based in Brighton who wish to buy a burger van so they can deliver food to the street community). I volunteer at Safehaven nearly every week and have found that what I would consider to be nothing can mean so much to someone. If you wish to read more you can view my blog at:

You can view the route at:

(I'll be starting at Richmond Bridge and (hopefully) ending up at Tower Bridge). If you wish to sponsor me, I would greatly appreciate it and the thought of what that money could do will keep me going. Please visit: Or text: BRID84 £3 (or any amount) to 70070. Or in person."


This photo is weird. If you have any idea what's going on please let me know if the comments section....


SRS Team: Birthday cakes & power ballads



Today is Nathan Catt's birthday, so happy birthday Nathan and thanks for the cake! Cake and CTGF don't mix but with a team spinning class led by Kevin this afternoon I think we can afford this one small chocolatey lapse.

This afternoon the big debate in the office is if we should have I want to know what love is by Foreigner or No limits by 2 Unlimited on the spinning playlist. Apparently there's music invloved. I guess it's a motivational thing. If we don't work hard enough Kev puts Foreigner on.

But anyway, I know what you're thinking... "this is all very nice Ben, but what has Adam Willsmore been up to this week?" Well Adam fans, here he is with an update....

"So this week saw my first ever back-to-back session, an hour in the gym with Kev and Isobel and then straight into circuit training – hardcore! I think I’m getting a bit bigger (in the good sense) too… well my shirts are definitely feeling tighter across my chest; I’m waiting for an incredible hulk moment. I’ve also borrowed Jonathan’s road bike and I’m enjoying zipping along the road past all the cyclists who would normally be going faster than me (I’ve decided I’m not giving the bike back, don’t tell JB). As for the cheese, well I’ve definitely discovered how difficult it is to avoid eating cheese – it just pops up everywhere! But in good news I haven’t yet been found sneaking into the fridge late at night to snack on slices of brie, a previous favourite hobby of mine."

Jonathon's taking a few days off from CTGF for Great Escape but he does have news of his wonderful #42bridges charity run. At the beginning of June Jonathon has decided to run over 42BRIDGES in and around London - covering a total distance of over 35 miles!

Here's Jonathon on the run... "I’m raising money for Safehaven (a weekly Saturday soup kitchen supporting the homeless in Brighton) and Crossover (a homeless charity also based in Brighton who wish to buy a burger van so they can deliver food to the street community). I volunteer at Safehaven nearly every week and have found that what I would consider to be nothing can mean so much to someone. If you wish to read more you can view my blog at:

You can view the route at:

(I'll be starting at Richmond Bridge and (hopefully) ending up at Tower Bridge). If you wish to sponsor me, I would greatly appreciate it and the thought of what that money could do will keep me going. Please visit: Or text: BRID84 £3 (or any amount) to 70070. Or in person."


 This photo is weird. If you have any idea what's going on please let me know in the comments section....


DARO - Commit to Get Fit - Officially Wishfully No.8



Ha hah, what a week, CtGF continues apace in DARO, halfway through and people are looking beyond May to carry on the benefits of more exercise, good food and well-being.  

Luci plays netball a lot and has broken most of her fingers at various times but she has refocussed and made efforts to include gym work to balance her regime.  She's been to the gym three times already this week and is thinking about joining Boot Camp.  She's found that CtGF has provided her with a constant awareness of how to 'feel better' and thinks its great that the whole of DARO is doing it too.  Please do not start her on the juggling challenge, she changes before your eyes and eye contact should be avoided, scary.

Sarah, our poetry reader, has definitely achieved her Omega 3 goal and is eating more fish and nuts.  She has hurt her back a bit but is booked into the Power Hoop class and the Core Training seminar.  Feel better soon Sarah and let us know how you get on in your blog.

Declan, our Brighton Marathon runner - see his blog for a non recommended training regime - is booked onto the Boundary Run and has run the route one and a half times.  He's only been a road runner (beep beep) so off road is a real shock to him.  As a result he will be training, properly, for the run at the end of the month.  He is struggling not to eat sweet things so has gone back home for the weekend to upload carbs before training in earnest, apparently one 'does not say no to Mammie's tatties'.

Clare has bought quinoa and has made no cakes even though it is a daily struggle not to eat sweet things.  Well, she's not eaten sweet things in the office but has admitted to going home and spooning out Nutella straight from the jar.  However, she's thinking that by having more protein at lunch this might help combat the cravings.  Clare has done two runs and highly recommends Karen's yoga class on a Monday.

Mark is the hungry one not eating biccies in the office, who has left a duty free bottle of Jameson unopened over the weekend and has booked onto volleyball.  These are major commitments by Mark to CtGF as they are a large move away from usual habits.  We are very impressed.

Alex has blogged and is very proud of his 5 a'side football team.  They started at the bottom of six leagues and their last game saw them winning 9-1 to leave them at the top of the top.  He has cycled into the office every day and has been to the gym twice.  He's upped his Omega 3 intake by eating oily fish and has made sure his saturated and unsaturated fat consumption is more balanced.  He's also booked onto the volleyball and reckons that the whole of DARO has perked up through CtGF.  Luci has her rabid eyes set on Alex as he's currently the best at juggling.

Sally has, despite having a horrible cold, been cycling more and has done a couple of hours badmintoning.  She has stuck to her own goal of less caffiene, eating more healthily and avoiding snacks.  She helped her son make some chocolate cookies and enjoyed the reward of one cookie after baking.  But, when she had a late night search for another one she'd discovered they'd been too well hidden to find.  Her poor son was only too well aware of her wicked ways and hid them so that there'd be some left to take into school.  

Michael, our juggling guru and volleyball arranger, has refocussed his omega balance with some ground flaxseed and walnuts.  As a vegetarian with an allotment he does eat healthily but has analysed whether he could improve his diet.  He has a very sweet tooth so has eaten more fruit but has been shocked to measure his salt consumption is quite high.  Michael went for a walk on New Timber Hills but ended up running along instead.  He has also walked the 4.5 miles home and the long handled shears for the allotment have left him with a great lat workout, and ache.  He's been waiting for friends to go Bouldering with but has decided to book it anyway.

Aga has done the Power Hoop and Body Pump but didn't bring her kit for kayaking so she's been kicking herself.  She's made her own granola and plans to go swimming this weekend.  She's been keeping one of her goals secret but after the Goal Setting seminar has decided to share her weight loss goal and is already half way to achieving it.  Well done.

Jane, thats me, has enjoyed the community spirit in DARO and of all the CtGF teams, especially via the blogs.  I've also enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of the seminars and am getting clearer in the noggin just as the lungs get clearer from working out.

The non named DARO members missing from above have remotely kept me informed of their activities or we have spied them - Tom playing handball with Admissions.  Have a great weekend everyone.

The N&Ns reveal all



Somewhat belated, maybe, but I think it's time we heard from the Ni(c)ks...

Girl Nik:

Original reason for taking part/Goals:

I avoided it like the plague last year, but was roped into going to a volleyball game which was actually quite fun. I’m mostly taking part this year because there was no avoiding it – the whole team are doing it. Plus I took up swimming this year and it’d be good to be able to improve my speed in the pool and my breathing. (I can currently do a mile – 64 lengths - in 70 minutes, so hopefully that’ll be improved by the end of the month!)

I’d like to do the volleyball again, and have agreed to doing trampolining tonight (bit concerned I might not survive), and badminton next week. Oh and I’d like to do pingpong, but not with Nick or John because they’ve said that they would “destroy me”.

Abstaining from: Crisps

Adventures so far include: Falling over on the Boundary walk “I failed at walking!”, and being left dangling like a piñata from the trampoline after defiantly trying to get off on the wrong side. After a promising start, Nik has disappointed us all since then, by staying upright.


Boy Nick:

Original reason for taking part/Goals: I hope to ease the strain on my spluttering gallbladder by eating no cheese (mozzarella isn’t cheese right?) and try as many things as possible that my bandaged feet allow (this will probably involve some kind of tv remote controller weight lifting). I hope to increase my fruit and vegetables consumption to 10 a day, spend a lot more time walking around the supermarket to find said fruit and vegetables, and to drown myself in water.

Abstaining from: "Cheese – Not crisps"

Adventures so far include: Despite having unfortunately-timed ‘foot issues’, Nick took Kelly up on her rash offer to push him around the Boundary Walk in his office chair; sadly they only managed a few yards before they both encountered ‘step issues’ . Since then, Nick has kept his distance from Kelly's many 'brilliant' ideas but has not given up the challenge and can be  seen gallantly partaking of many a ‘fruit chaser’ between each packet of crisps.





Today was the first time I have ever tried yoga and I'm so pleased I did; it was an excellent class given by Karen.  I felt really relaxed afterwards and realise that I do not stretch out my body enough - and I should - because I feel a lot better from doing so.  This is one of my favourite Commit to Get Fit activities so far, and I will definitely be going back.

I am pleased to say that my back trouble (too much mountain biking pleasure) which had slowed me down last week is on the mend, so it should be onwards and upwards from now on!

Commit to...stay in the saddle



On Friday I did my first - and last - spin class. Now this is one type of exercise I never thought I'd even try but in the spirit of ctgf, and 'cos Kev (SRS Action Man, who was running the class) assured me it would be ok, I decided to give it a go.

When will I ever learn?

Needless to say it  was even worse than I had expected it to be, and I desperately wanted to get off the bike after the first few minutes. But I forced myself to stay on and keep peddling until the bitter end - even though I was going downhill (in every sense) with a following wind, while everyone else was climbing the Pyrenees! 

Thanks to Kev for putting on the session, and especially for keeping to his promise not to berate me if I was rubbish, but I really did find it to be pretty hellish and not my kind of thing at all.  Which just goes to show that when it comes to sport and fitness it's definitely a case of "horses for courses". Unfortunately,  after one session of spin I was only fit to be melted down for glue...

"Why the long face, Louise?"

Team HR Week 3 Commit to Get Fit



This week in HR we have been doing pilates, cycling to work, dynamic bodywork, life circuits, aerobics, Zumba, fitness training, yoga and Morris dancing.

Helen went for a long walk in the country on Saturday (11 miles) and if that wasn’t enough, another one on Sunday (again 11 miles) over the down from Seaford to Alfriston and back which is quite a hilly route.   She said it was great to be out in the fresh air but thinks her legs are a bit shorter now!  Then yesterday she did her usual 1.5 hour yoga class which fortunately was concentrating on relaxing.

Simone was also manhandled by an overzealous ‘Goal Keeper’ at a netball match on Thursday night who managed to bend her right arm back further than it should – hence the one-armed life circuits she managed to scrape through today!



New kid on the block



We have a new member the team.

He lives in the cupboard and has made himself very unpopular already.

He is being studiously ignored by everyone...most creatively by John, with his chocolate-biscuit-and-white-chocolate-button combo, of which he was justly proud:

(for those of you who don't know John, he can be easily recognised due to his freakishly tiny feet and huge hands)


BSMS-8 Commit to get fit - catching up



The month is coming to an end and I personally haven't blogged since week 2.  I know my other team members have been flying our flag in the meantime, though.  My excuse for not blogging is that I was on holiday in week 4 and frantically busy trying to finish everything on my desk before my holiday in week 3.  This stuff stopped me blogging, but it did not stop my personal commitment to CTGF and to my lovely colleagues who have been so encouraging and supportive.

So on the day of my last blog I did get to the gym with Jayne.  I didn't overdo it and my 15 mins or so on the cross-trainer went far quicker than I had expected.  I spent some time on a bike too and stretching and bending on the mats.  Will definitely not wait 14 years or so until the next time I go - hopefully very soon indeed.  I planned to go again the following week, but paperwork for a meeting prevented me - perhaps tomorrow ...

On the Friday of week 2 I managed to get out of a meeting with about 3 mins to spare before the team embarked on our second Friday lunchtime walk.  We did the reverse circuit that we had walked the previous week with steeper upward hills and were speedier too - felt like progress!

Week 3 was a bit of a washout due to the amount of work I needed to do before my leave coupled with lunchtime meetings, but I managed to keep up with my commitment to drink lots of water and stayed caffeine free (apart from a cup of coffee I accepted after church without thinking).

Last week I was on holiday - in centre parcs in Longleat, Wiltshire, which is known for being hilly.  Every day I covered quite a few miles, either pushing a buggy or jogging along to keep up with my toddler on her scooter (I've decided to buy a scooter soon so that we can scoot together).  We also swam a lot, which was quite hard work at times, especially when the wave machine was on and I was swimming against the tide in order to keep my daughter upright on her woggle.  I'm afraid I failed seriously on the no caffeine front, allowing myself coffee and one or two diet cokes, but I did also drink a lot of water (and wine, but I never said I was giving that up).

From the beginning of CTGF I had wanted to try a Zumba class.  Yesterday was my only opportunity, due to clashing meetings etc on all the other possible occasions.  I LOVED IT - and will definitely continue going whenever possible after CTGF has finished.  I didn't feel quite as much of an old croc as I did in dynamic yoga and, since I have a dance background somewhere in my childhood, I managed to keep up with most of the moves.  I also definitely felt bendier / stretchier than I did at the begining of the month, which is a very pleasing result!  The teacher, Gemma, was really encouraging - and very smiley Smile and fun to watch.  Zumba music makes you feel very young and "with it" - perhaps I should seek an opportunity to try out those trendy moves in a club, though that is bound to embarrass my husband and / or daughter ....  hmmm, perhaps I'd better just keep them for the classes ...

So, tomorrow is the last day of CTGF.  I will definitely miss it.  It has been a great impetus to try new things and get out and about more.   Thank you so much for allowing us to use the facilities / attend classes for free (that made a world of difference).  The encouragement of my team mates has been brilliant - we have shared what we have individually been doing and urged each other to do a bit more / go for it.  I hope we manage to celebrate with a final Friday walk - or if not, perhaps I will venture back to the gym.


CTGF - one year one (and now I am officially a runner!)



Who'd have thought that four years ago my first gentle five minute jog downhill (which ended in much wheezing, sweating and moaning of "never again!") could be a precursor to my current revived, invigorated and superfit self?

To say I used to be a little overweight is perhaps an understatement. I was a lazy 30-something, not realising that time was ticking and that pretty soon shifting my lumpy butt would be nigh on impossible. I convinced myself that my three minute cycle to work and back each day was going to be my saving grace, so I did nothing else. I also love food and hate diets, so I was my own worst enemy in that respect too.

However, in 2010 an ex-colleague completed the first Brighton Marathon. Not in a super quick time, but she finished it. I was awestruck by her achievement and convinced I would never be the sort of person to run like that. Ever. Full stop. 

She inspired my boyfriend, Dan, who signed up for the 2011 Brighton Marathon as soon as he could and went on to complete that and then the 2012 race with very respectable times of 3:57 and 3:29 respectively. 

I had started working at Sussex in Summer 2010 and extended my daily commute to a total of nine miles. My fitness and stamina improved gradually over the first six months.

Spurred on by Dan's new found commitment to running and inspired by his achievements, I began my own marathon journey somewhere around the beginning of 2011. Just very short distances at first - sometimes running, sometimes jogging and frequently walking. I had good days and bad days, as everyone does with running, but I pushed through and in late 2011 did my first Parkrun in Hove Park. 

Parkrun is a 5km timed run/race for all ages and abilities. My boyfriend had prepped me beforehand saying I definitely wouldn't be the last to finish and, though I walked a substantial part of the second lap, I was not the last person to cross the finish line. At 31 minutes, I was a long way from being the first across the line, too. But that isn't the point of this type of race - it's you against yourself each week - aiming for a new personal best. So it became a regular thing and soon I was running the full distance and shaving minutes off my PB.

By early 2012 I was running (sporadically and very much depending on the weather) more than once per week - even occasionally swapping Sunday lie-ins for a jog on the seafront. I was regularly running for five to eight miles by the time April 2012 came around. Inspired by the second great marathon performance by my partner, I signed up for the 2013 Brighton Marathon, just ahead of 2012 Commit to Get Fit.

I carried on cycling and running throughout May 2012 and myself and my amazing team-mates in Admissions proudly won the CTGF 2012 trophy. I would add here that it was not just about the number of miles we put in, but also the group effort of the team, who tried virtually every sport on offer that month, whilst also bonding over lunchtime games of Molkki.

After the CTGF dust settled, however, I was faced with the reality of the task ahead. Running in May is very different to running in the depths of winter - I really had to dig deep to get up at 6am on Sunday mornings in January and brave the freezing drizzle and bitter winds up on the Downs - all in the name of marathon training.

I began to ready myself for "The Race" in early spring, with two half marathons: Brighton in February (boiling hot) and Hastings in March (sub-zero). I followed all of the advice on offer for first time marathon runners and by race day felt there wasn't much more I could do to get around the course in one piece.

I am proud to say that I did complete the marathon. My time of 4:27 was about what we'd predicted, given my lack of experience. I'm not going to say it was a breeze - at times it was serious hell - but it was a truly emotional and inspiring day. So many people have stories to tell you about why they are running and it is very hard not to feel a lump in your throat when you are standing at the start line.

You might think that the end of the marathon would be the end for my running journey - one of the most challenging races over and no need to put myself through that any more...surely? Not one bit.

Before the marathon training was over, I'd already been roped into a six person team to run the South Downs Way Relay, which is this Saturday the 1st June. I've been out practising my legs in the relay over the last six weeks in some of the loveliest countryside in the South of England.

I've also already signed up to run the 2014 Brighton Marathon and Half Marathon. I will definitely do Hastings again next year and am planning on a few 10k races between now and then, too. I still do the Parkrun and am hoping to go below 24 minutes in that before too long - I have mixed in some speed training with my regular weekly running schedule, which will help. The training is paying off, as I took the women's third place in the Boundary run yesterday - behind one extremely talented and accomplished runner with lots of experience and another who was super quick and about 15 years my junior!

The next step? My boyfriend and I are on the verge of committing to Brighton & Hove AC membership. Believe me, if I could go back and tell myself as I was four years ago that I would one day be joining an athletics club and running marathons for fun, I would never have believed it. I love running now - I'm fitter than I've ever been and I pretty much eat whatever I want but I don't gain weight anymore. I'm also two stone lighter than I was when I started working at Sussex.

I'm writing this blog post under the banner of Commit to Get Fit, which is an excellent and motivating initiative by Sussex Sport, but I do hope that after reading this you might also feel inspired by my story and see that it is not so hard to change your life for the better.




One of the other reasons I've got a bit behind on my blogging is that I went back to The Midlands to see family over the long bank holiday weekend. This gave me very little time to write anything, but also very many excuses to be lazy. So I've basically been too ashamed to blog as I failed to do any exercise, eat my five a day or drink enough water for several days, losing many SRS competition points in the process.

I did, however, manage to abstain from my 'abstaining  throughout May' foods, despite quite extreme provocation:

1) having to endure the sight and sound of my boyfriend Paul and his daughter each scoffing large packets of very fragrant (salt and vinegar) crisps while we crawled along the M25 and M40 with all the other bank holiday traffic 

2) my step-dad presenting me with 2 big bars of chocolate to scoff as I settled down to watch the champions league final 

3) the unbelievably delicious-looking 'Bakewell Tart Cake' that Paul's daughter and niece made on Sunday (see pic below) - the remainder of which was left directly in front of me for hours after everyone else had stuffed huge wedges of it into their mouths after dinner.

So it should perhaps come as no great surprise that by Tuesday the crisp, chocolate and cake cravings were at an all-time high.  

Girl Nik was also struggling with the crisp-love. So much so that when Kelly asked if anyone wanted her to bring them something back from the Co-op, it was all too much and she fell onto her desk in a piteous attack of the vapours:

Nik: “I soooo want crisps!  HOW MUCH LONGER??”

Boy Nick responded by immediately scrabbling about in his wallet for some money so he could ask Kelly to get him some crisps to taunt us both with, but Kelly already had a secret supply in her office and started waving them around at poor Girl Nik:









Which all goes to show the power of junk food, and why it is so easy to become addicted to it. Which I guess is why we've tried to break the habit by abstaining from various things during this challenge. And some days it's been surprisingly easy, but I have to say the crisps have been calling me the loudest throughout the month. 

So much so that I've challenged Girl Nik to a 'crisp-off' this coming Monday, although I may have to delay this for a week as I've remembered that I've got a short holiday planned next weekend and a monster crisp binge doesn't seem like the best idea just before I try to squeeze myself back into my bikini!

But after that, the gloves will be off and the packets will be ripped open. Can't wait!

Swashbuckling - and other Gallic adventures.



I have tried many new things this month - not least of which has been writing a blog for the first time. I have learnt 3 things from this: 

1) blogging can be fun
2) blogging can be very time-consuming
3) if you spend your lunch hours getting fit, there's not much time to blog.

Which is why I've got a bit of catching up to do, and so here's a couple more individual team members' stories, starting with the lovely 'Marie from Estates' - postmistress par excellence and fluffy team mascot.

Marie's original goals:
"to keep my heart-rate in the late 150's -early 160's whilst on the cross-trainer [and when playing football] to keep chasing the ball until the sides of my head are sweat drenched. I'm going to try to cut down my pastry intake to 3 a week and remember to bring Redbush teabags into work to cut down my caffeine intake."

Recent update: 
"I played drunken doubles ping pong for hours in France over the weekend - in fact I formed an unbeatable/unbearable partnership with an equally unlikely champion. And then we made the mistake of taking on a wily pair whilst we were sober. Also, played shambolic but gripping tournement of 5-a-side volleyball, where we changed all the rules to improve the flow of the game. Once again, I found myself on the winning team with only minimal cheating. Not a drop of bierre or vin or cidre passed my lips - so I can achieve sporting success whilst pure in body and mind."

She will now join other M&Ms for our CTGF swansong - a no holds barred group game of rubbish table tennnis tomorrow afternoon, though it has yet to be decided whether this will take place with us all drunk or sober.

In other news, Big Boss and keen fencer Jakki appeared in the office the other day looking very pleased with herself and brandishing something small and shiny. It turned out that she had done rather well in the recent Sussex County team Épée competition and happily agreed to pose for a triumphant photo (though sadly not dressed in the traditional 'beekeeper in a babygrow' fencing outfit):

"Took part on Sunday 19th May – part of a team of three women from Lewes Fencing Club, came second and have a trophy to prove it!"

Nice one!

Commit To Get Fit - What Next?



Well another successful Commit to Get Fit draws to an end. It has been great reading the blogs and reading how everyone has been challenging themselves through personal goals throughout the month – from trying new classes to giving up treats.  So now the month is up what is the next step?

Well I would like to sit here and tell you to take out a membership…good promotion…but that is not what the month has been about. It has been about YOU making those small changes and…hopefully…feeling better for those changes. Which comes back to the Sussexsport Philosophy of Fitness / Sport / Wellbeing.

So what is the next step? Where do you go from here?

-  Set goals. The month of May should not be the only month you set goals. Look to set yourself a target of 1, maximum 2 goals for the next month - more goals means more changes and it is less likely we will achieve them. Make the goals achievable but challenging. Achieve these goals for 3-4 weeks (making a habit) then set another goal or two.

- Follow up the activities YOU liked and enjoyed. Look for local clubs/classes near where you live for trampolining, fencing, Zumba etc

-  Read around the subjects and areas of interest to you. Maybe sign up to a basic nutrition course on-line to increase your knowledge. What cardiovascular activities are the best to help achieve your goals. What reps and sets should I do for my goal of….?

-  If performing cardiovascular training look to push yourself to your own limit. Work at an intensity and pace that is suitable for you. See my previous blog for Heart Rate training zones

-       Look to progress through the Sussexsport Philosophy exercises progression list ( ) so you end up performing the best exercises for both fat loss and muscle gain – squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull ups. As I read the other day – looking to lose fat: squat and eat less or looking to increase muscle size: squat and eat more - healthy choices. Some technique points can be found on a blog from last year

- Find a ‘support buddy’ that shares similar or the same goals to you. They will help keep you on track and motivated as you will have a responsibility to someone else as opposed to just yourself.  

- Not sure what to do at lunch time? use the power of the ‘Di’. List the things available to you, roll the Di and whatever the number decides is what you do.

  1. Badminton
  2. Spin
  3. Walk around the boundary run
  4. Run around the boundary run
  5. Grab a healthy lunch and eat away from my desk
  6. Keep sitting at my desk and working through (for those that cannot get away from the desk this gives you a little choice to stay where you are)

I do hope that you continue to make those small changes that can have a big impact on the way we feel during the day and how we relate with our colleagues, friends and family. See you all on the 20th June.

That was the easy bit!



So, the official challenge has come to an end; this is where the real one starts...

Because this was always meant to be a kick-start to being more active on an ongoing basis - and that takes rather more commitment. Besides, I know from taking part last year that Karen will email me in 6 months to 'see how we're all getting on' and I really can't bear to have to give her another pathetic report of my renewed sloth! So, with this in mind I've signed up for a silver membership, as have Vicki and Girl Nik. Marie already has gold membership and there may be more rumblings at M&M HQ so there should be plenty of people around to spur me on, or for me to drag along to something unsuitable, in the coming months. Oh, and the fact that I've really enjoyed being more active again should help too.

This month has been great in lots of ways and I'm really glad I took part, and that the rest of the team got so into it too. It's been a lot of fun and has given us all a lot of laughs during a very busy, pressured time. It's got me trying lots of new things, including many that I plan to do again. It's helped me change from someone who felt like she was dragging her carcass around to starting to feel that there's a spring returning to my step. And it's shown me that there are lots of other people around who are up for a bit of exercise, which should really help me keep going now the month has come to an end.

I also discovered that going for a walk after work is a lovely way to start the evening and even discovered some hidden treasures in my neighbourhood that I hadn't spotted before, such as these beautiful flowers blooming on the edge of Saltdean cliffs:

Beautiful flowers on top of the Saltdean cliffs

Did I do all that I hoped for this month? No, not completely. I had hoped that I would have managed to find a clever way of fitting exercise into a lunch hour without any extra effort, but until I manage to create a Velcro work suit and buy shares in wet wipes there doesn't seem to be a quick way of getting changed/showered in no time at all! Having managers who allow a bit of flexitime has been a great help with this, and has helped us all to take part and still get our work done, even if it hasn't got me home as early as normal.

I had also planned to try out lots of things so that I could pick a few things that I'd do regularly but this hasn't quite panned out that way. Firstly because Kung Fu is one of the few things that is not included in my membership, which is a real shame as I would have loved to have tried a few more classes. Unfortunately if I’d chosen to do Kung Fu I wouldn't have been able to do everything else (without paying extra) and so I had to make a choice. I don't really understand why the martial arts classes are treated so differently to all the others; the only thing I can think of is that the study of martial arts requires more commitment/focus than a lot of things so maybe they don't want someone 'playing the field' and flirting with other exercise forms at the same time? I don't know but if this changes in the future I'll be going back for more fancy footwork and high kicks!

In the end I made my decision based on the fact that I've really enjoyed doing lots of different activities and think that this 'pick and mix' approach could really work for me: It should ensure that I won't get bored, I won't feel I'm missing out on other things and also I can pick an activity that suits my energy levels/frame of mind on a particular day. And I can probably find someone to come along with me too, if I feel like being sociable!

Things I’ve done this month that I plan to do again: gym, yoga, Zumba, dynamic bodywork, walking, cycling, and badminton

Maybe: hooping, table tennis, circuits

Things I didn't do this month but plan to: tennis, boxercise

Thing I will never do again: Spin. Obviously.

Things I would change about Sussexsport: Communal showers. NO! Much as I love my fellow team members I have never felt the urge to see any of them naked, and I strongly suspect the feeling is mutual. Surely we could have some individual ones built? I know for a fact that this puts many people off doing exercise at work. Oh, and a swimming pool would be grand too.

Things I wouldn't change about Sussexsport: the great team who have put this challenge on, encouraged us all and made it so much fun. I often have to tell visitors about the sports facilities and services here and always big you all up 'cos I know from our students (and the awards you win) how great you are. But it's been good to get some insider knowledge so I can actually know what I'm talking about. (Yes, I know that sounds creepy crawly but I believe in giving credit where it's due!)

So, that's all folks. "Goodnight, and Good Luck" - and see you in the gym!

Hong Kong Phooey leaping from the filing cabinet

DARO Commit to Get - officially number eleventeen



Thank you Sports for extending the Blog deadline to today, it may be the end of CtGF but its definitely great to report on a new dawn.  Invigorated by all the activities of the past month most DARO members have made notable efforts today to carry on in the new direction.  

Sally cycled from Ringmer to campus, mostly uphill she reports so she's looking forward to the ride home, no doubt with her feet out at the side and shouting 'wee' at the top of her voice.  Declan shared his Boundary Run results, surprising himself and impressing the rest of us with his middle placing.  So delighted is he that he'll be running to work tomorrow.  Clare went to Karen's yoga class.  Jemma and Luci started boot camp and Sephie will start tomorrow.  Alex cycled into work and Tom is continuing his work out in the gym every working day.  Michael, Mark, Sarah and Jane went for their own walkies in the natural light at lunch instead of basking in the blue light of a PC monitor.

Three of our six remaining team members are on holiday and all are either hiking or walking.  The other three have serious work constraints and keen not to miss out on the CtGF buzz they're delighted that DARO has committed to keep getting fitter.

There is a new poster on the wall and no biscuits in the tin.  As DARO will carry on with team sports, badders will be our next activity and of course the Uni rounders too.  Every single one of the 18 member DARO team has taken part in a CtGF activity and unanimously agreed to keep on with the cause as a team.  Individually too everyone feels invigorated by the past month and most are investigating what level of Sussex Sports membership to take out.  But, its not just that what happens in CtGF stays on campus, it has pervaded all aspects of life, we think that it was the educational aspect running in parallel to the activity programme that is the key.  Cheers to you all, fare thee well till we meet again.  X


DARO Commit to Get Fit - The Biscuit Blog - Part One



The biscuit issue in DARO warrants its own blog.  There was a yelping distress call in the office yesterday from Luci.  She just wanted a biscuit but wasn't going to go out and buy one so just whimpered instead, for quite a while.  She couldn't be distracted by alternative foods and was quite stubborn to be honest.  Eventually she settled down when all the pyschology had been explored.

This exploration was extended to everyone else in the office at the time and whilst most people had missed 'The Biscuit Tin', no one actually wanted it's contents re-instated.  Its interesting that not one person intended to keep their own biscuit supply at their own desk either.  All focus was on the office communal biscuit supply as it seems to be a thing of solace. Just as the nibblers find comfort in its contents it appears that the feeders draw a certain security from knowing they've replenished supplies.

Sharing food is a social and bonding behaviour so did DARO, whilst the biscuit supply was stopped in the spirit of CtGF, have its bonding and communication enabled through sports and activities instead?  There has certainly been a much greater bonding and lifting of spirits throughout May so maybe 'The Biscuit Tin' won't need dusting off in June.  But, why biscuits?  Why not something else?  Quinoa didn't cut it as an alternative social food.  Is it because biscuits are naughty and being naughty is only really fun with other people?  Time will tell.  DARO will continue by popular concensus to carry on being active as a team and Part Two of The Biscuit Blog remains to be written...der der der...

DARO Commit to Get Fit - Officially Bashfully No.10



DARO badminton was a great success today.  Sally booked two courts and seven colleagues had a good knock-about.  When they got back to the office and were asked who won, the reply was 'we're all winners'.  It might be that this is the activity that continues to unite as we will most probably take this forward as our team sport.  Our Survey Monkey poll had this as a popular activity at the outset so its interesting that it meets expectations in the end.  Sally plays badders regularly and she was able to pass on some tips that were clearly effective within 20mins.  Mary seems to be able to turn everything into an art form as shown in her balletic poses in the warm up captured in the third mini photo.  No injuries or mishaps to report, just positivity.


The Boundary Run was also a great success.  Declan reports himself being the only person who had people cheering him on during the course and is extremely happy not to be last.  We'll report on his placing later but its so exciting what he has achieved that we had to write about it whilst he's still glowing.  All his previous running has been to sustain endurance for the Brighton Marathon and he only warms up to a faster speed after six miles or so.  Running 2.5 miles on the Boundary for a speed placing was a challenge, as was the terrain.  Two weeks ago Declan had to walk part of the course but today, with appropriate training, he ran the whole way.  He thinks that walking the Boundary at the start of CtGF helped him and achieving a good run today has spurred him on to committing to a daily commute run of 15 miles from his new pad (don't forget the house warming party).  Again no injury to report, the knee support is always worn when its not loitering on his desk.

Volleyball is still evil for some.  This is from the class last week and apparently the bruise has gone through every colour before peaking today.


Addendum:  Quinoa served in Dine Central these days!

DARO - Commit to Get Fit - Officially No.9



The Wall.  Has been hit.  Nearly with tears.  CtGF nadir.  The DARO office still hasn't had biccies, choccies or cake brought in despite meetings, birthdays and sugar cravings.  This has been a major commitment by all the team, some of whom are still committed outside of the office.  Mr Kipling has been shut out and replaced with yoghurt and fruit or weekday denial has been balanced with just a weekend indulgence.

Many miles have been covered through walking, cycling, footie, cross trainer, exercise bikes, pooch walking and running by most of the team.  Also, different classes continue to be enjoyed, including zumba, spinning, circuits, yoga, metabolic, core strength and volleyball.  

Yikes.  Volleyball has proven to create the most mixed of experiences.  Michael found it fun even though he didn't get to try much in the way of 'digs 'n spikes', Aga loved doing something she'd really enjoyed at school and Sephie enjoyed it enough to think about trying basketball.  However, Jemma considered it evil and top of her list of things never to do again, she hated having lobster red skin and throbbing running up her arms and across her shoulders.  Luci was out after the first couple of minutes and left with a huge purple bruise.  They think that anyone who enjoyed it was more hardcore than them, so they've only both gone off and signed up to morning bootcamp in June!

Team DARO chilled and looking forward to volleyball, grrr: 

Team DARO warming up nicely:

Calm before the storm:

Uh oh, time for action:

Volleyball EVIL:

For our CtGF swansong week DARO have booked a few courts to play badminton next week.  Its great to do things as a team and to meet members of staff from elsewhere on campus, particularly including the sports staff.  We're looking forward to next week, have a great long weekend everyone.

DARO - Rockinghorse cycle challenge



Glamour and Look magazines with the radio are accompanying our departmental cycle challenge for the Rockinghorse charity.  Apparently Sussex Life wasn't inspirational enough and didn't come with a free nail varnish.  Those that have completed their part are sporting a lovely rosy glow on their cheeks...

Commit To Get Fit 2014!



The MPS Admin Commit To Get Fit 2014

In the beginning...

We started our Commit To Get Fit journey.

With Naomi at the helm as Team Captain, we were thoroughly (read: forcefully) encouraged to take part in as many activities as possible. Everyone from the administrative support in Maths and Physics signed up to join the team as soon as we heard the event was taking place.

WEEKS before the event itself, laminated activity posters and timetables were given pride of place on the office walls such that whichever direction you looked there was a reminder to get our booties moving!

Early favourites for activities (which will no doubt be popular with other staff members too) are the archery, trapeze and the morris dancing. Obviously the morris dancing will be the most oversubscribed and so I reserved a place for the entire MPS admin team. I am sure they will appreciate my kind, thoughtful gesture when we are smacking each other with sticks and jingling our bells at each other.

Our photographic record of the horrors will be posted here. If you want to see how we're getting along (and fancy a damn good laugh) then check back soon.

The Commit To Get Fit 2014 will run from the 30th April until the 30th May 2014.

Commit to Get Fit 2014



Commit to Get Fit 2014 is ready to rock and roll and in true, practice what you preach, style I will be committing to some 30 day challenges. Having suffered with sciatic pain for the 3rd time over the Christmas period, CTGF has given me some motivation to form a habit of regular stretching (yes i know i should be setting an example and i intend to). I find prehabilitation exercises difficult to do and like many people don't do them when I should be. So for CTGF I will stretch for 30 minutes a day and will post via the Sussexsport Facebook page a visual measurement of improvement to prove that it is working and also that I am doing what I said I would :)...I will also post some core exercises that I will be doing to improve my core strength...I have set reminders on my sky box, so that when my partner is watching Coronation street I will be leaving the room to stretch!!! A win/win scenario

Good luck to all teams with your goals for the month and we hope that you enjoy the month and take the opportunity to move more, move better and be healthier.

How do I upload photos?





Please could someone help me by explaining how to upload photos onto my blog using either Flickr, uploading using a PC or direct from an iphone.


Many thanks,



INSPIRE: Day 0 - The Pre-Amble



BMEc have entered the building. The Shard building, to be exact.

The Commit to Get Fit challenge officially starts tomorrow but thanks to Faith cycling in to work:

Bannier on a Bike

And Austin's morning work-out, the team have already made it to floor 1 (Reception):



And we found ourselves ambling (or pre-ambling) across the treacherous terrain of the Boundary Walk, where we battled slightly-muddy-ground and inclines. 

Here is a photo of us before the walk started, glowing with naive optimism and youthful vigour:

Left to Right: Slenderman, Faith Hill, Dermot, Mayday, Texas, Hil.M.i

No 'after' photo was taken, out of respect for the survivors.

Elsewhere, Brinyan, Layla and Becky tried their hands (wrists?) at volleyball and survived with little or no permanent scarring.

All-in-all, things are set to be excellent and with a little (s)hard work, we're bound to make it to the top!


BMEc - BMotivated; Eliminate competition

INSPIRE - Climbing the Shard in 30 Days



Working in an office can be hazardous to one's health - there's always plates of cakes around, there's no fresh air because the windows have been glued shut and you have to spend 8.5 hours a day (not that I'm counting) sitting next to someone who insists on sneezing on you.

So here at BMEc, we have decided to take part in this year's Commit to Get Fit challenge. Aside from all our individual goals, we will also be working on a team goal, INSPIRE...


The Shard is the tallest building in the European Union. As a team, BMEc is committing to climbing the Shard in 30 days, floor by floor.

The building is about 80 floors high and made up of different levels – offices, restaurants and hotels. If we say that 2 hours of activity equals 1 floor, it will take us about 160 hours to climb. That’s 16 hours per person, 4 hours per week per person.

Levels in the Shard

Ground Floor: Entrance
1 – 2: Reception
3 – 28: Offices
31 – 33: Restaurants
34 – 52: Shangri-La Hotel
53 – 65: Residences
68 – 72: The View from the Shard
73 – 87: Spire

When we get to the 80th floor, we will all be in the spire. We will all be… INSPIRE.


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate competition

The start of our journey - Boundary Walk



Blog update as the Commit to Get Fit challenge gets started....

The Commit to Get Fit 2014 challenge started off in wonderful fashion yesterday as we went on the Boundary Walk, run by the UoS's SussexSport and with some commentary provided at key points along the route by Geoffrey Mead.

Continue reading 'The start of our journey - Boundary Walk'...

Archery - William Tell, Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen - eat your heart out!



Archery requires a combination of skill and strength... oh dear...

The Commit to Get Fit 2014 challenge continues with Sinead, Sarah, Naomi and Matt taking part in the first of three archery sessions.

Continue reading 'Archery - William Tell, Robin Hood and Katniss Everdeen - eat your heart out!'...

INSPIRE: Day 2 - The Archers



Day 2 of the challenge and BMEc are shooting swiftly up the Shard, like a stalk of wheat in a farm (sorry, just linking it back to today's blog title).

But it hasn't been easy at all. Limbs are aching, everyone seems sweatier than normal and people who you've always assumed are fit turn out not to be. Some team members are resorting to mid-day meditation in the office:

Day 2

But already the benefits are being reaped. Everyone is trying new things. Ola woke up in the dead of morning at 6.15 to run (away from hobos). Mailea is getting to bed extra early (with mixed results). And a few of us tried out archery:


I, personally, am very pleased about this as now I will never have to worry again about what I would do if I were suddenly transported into the past somehow (a la Army of Darkness) or, worse, into some far away dystopian future, battling trolls and... other things that can, I presume, for some reason, only be killed by arrows or possibly spears and not guns (or I suppose the British equivalent of guns, which is writing to your local MP)...

But I digress. Before the week is out, we'll have had badminton classes, tried trampolining and more. So hopefully we will be able to rise, until the corn is as high as an elephant's eye (don't ask me why that's a good measure of height, I didn't write that, Oscar Hammerstein did).



BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate Competition

Commit To Get Fit 2014 - The Activities List!



Update - Activities are booked in!

The first wave of activities for the Commit To Get Fit 2014 have been booked!

There's quite a variety on the list so far - with everyone signed up to at least one activity over the month and some doing loads!

Continue reading 'Commit To Get Fit 2014 - The Activities List!'...

Commit to Get Fit- Let week 2 commence!



Everyone at SHORE-C is ready to roll (not because we have eaten too many cakes) with week two of commit to get fit.

We have all enjoyed the long weekend and the beautiful weather that came with it. However there is no rest for the wicked and we did not let the fact that it was the weekend stop us from committing!

Our newest team member Lucy had a go at a post workout selfie, after completing a 6km cycle and 3km on the cross trainer!!


 Meanwhile I enjoyed my bank holiday weekend with a beautiful walk over the Sussex Downs




With views like this is can't be that hard to commit to getting outside can it?!

We have all sorts going on in the unit this week from trampolining to handball so will keep you updated (perhaps some more selfies if you are lucky!)

Good Luck to everyone this week

Love the Belles of SHORE-C xx 











INSPIRE: Day 7 - The Ladies and the Trampoline



It's day 7 of the challenge and we're bouncing higher and higher towards the spire:

Ola Squash

Mostly thanks to Juliet's vigorous walking over the weekend. Don't ask my why she goes walking through the woods at 5am in the morning for hours on end - she just does.

Faith and Mailea took a leap of faith (and Mailea) and went trampolining for the first time last Friday:

Leap of Faith and Mailea

And some of the Admin team went for Badminton (which would make it Adminton, of course):


Ola and I went for Table Tennis (Ping Pong) but alas we forgot to take a photo because we were too busy having fun. As compensation, here are a few phrases that also end in -ing -ong:

1) King Kong

2) Ding dong

3) Sing-song


Also of note is Sam going for Thai Boxing, which has inspired me to go for Thai Curry tonight.


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate competition

Commit to Get Fit Team HR Week 1



In the first week of Commit to Get Fit, Team HR have been busy trying new things. 

Wednesday 30th April kicked off Commit to Get Fit with the Boundary Walk.  Myself, Helen and Janet all spent our lunchtime in the great outdoors.  The weather was lovely and it was a good opportunity to catch up with other members of staff.  Claire played squash for an hour and 20 minutes. Leila has taken part in her weekly Zumba class.

Dizz walked her dog Kasha down Potato Lane in Ringmer. This is the route she took. 

Leila, has been walking home from the train station after work everyday instead of taking the bus as usual. She has also walked home from shopping in Brighton insted of taking the bus. This takes her twenty minutes each time.

On Thursday, Dizz and I attended a talk with Mark about Goal Setting and Claire played badminton for an hour.

Friday lunchtime,  Dizz and I went to trampolining, where we were in fits of laughter videoing ourselves as we perfected our seat drops.  Martin spent 4 ½ hours heavy lifting by loading wood into van. 

On Saturday, Martin spent another 6 ½ hours heavy lifting, by unloading and loading a van with boxes and on Sunday he went for an hour bike ride and Claire played badminton for an hour.

On Tuesday I tried Pilates at lunchtime and Leila tried out Feldenkrais.  Today Helen, Dizz and I went to the mindfulness meditation which all incredibly relaxing after the Bank Holiday weekend.


Medically fit to commit - aka "the infamous five"



Heavy workloads are getting in the way of the BSMS team doing as much as we've done previously on other CTGF challenges, but we are hopeful that we can make up for this later in the month.

This week our team have been cycling, walking fast whilst carrying our increasingly-heavy pre-schoolers, eating lots of fruit, swimming, kickboxing and playing volleyball.

Our joint goals include: drinking more water, eating more fruit, cutting out snacks between meals and being generally much more active.

INSPIRE: Day 13 - Highway to Hell-thy Eating



It's day 13 and we are 31 floors up the vertical highway that is the Shard. We've reached what is probably the best part - the restaurants. 

To celebrate we decided to have a pot luck lunch, but there was a catch! Everyone had to bring in something healthy. That's right, no quiches, no sausage rolls, nothing with loads of fat or flavour.

Day 13


The result was actually incredible (or should I say, incr-edible?). We had a lovely range of food from Quinoa salad with kale and pomegranate to a bean-type coriander deal with courgette pretending to be lemon:


To a fritata (Hakuna Fritata):


To chicken liver pate (high in iron and protein):


To fresh fruit:


I brought in a peanut butter tart, which wasn't repulsive despite not having any cream or butter in the mousse:


All in all, it was an excellent meal - very healthy and yet very satisfying (especially if you have 4 slices of fritata and half the tart to yourself and then start eating the pate with a spoon). I feel slimmer already.


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate Competition


CTGF Update from Research & Exercise!



As Dom reported last week, R&E has set off on their CTGF journey with a flying start!

Nicola continues to lead the way with running, circuits, kickboxercise and will be trying out fencing tomorrow.  

Amelia and Emma are giving Dr Gillian McKeith a run for her money with some spectacular healthy eating. Amelia’s been off alcohol and sugar for 4 weeks, which is brilliant, well done Amelia!

The rest of the team have done circuits, yoga, meditation and cycling, a marvellous effort even if we do say so ourselves.  We look forward to updating you soon.

Let week 4 commence!



Good Luck for week 4 everybody and fingers crossed the sunshine is here to stay a little while longer!

Love the Belles of SHORE-C xx

Calling all CTGFers! Have a look at what SHORE-C got up to during week 3



Last week was a very energetic one for SHORE-C with people flying off all over the place to take full advantage of the different sports on offer!

Some of the team went off to give handball a go which was so much fun and definitely brought out our competitive sides! It was brought out in some more than others but I am not naming any names (Helena).

We enjoyed it so much that me and Lucy have put our names down for week 4!


I returned to the volleyball court last week, accompanied by Lucy and Val who were newbies.

I wouldn't say we were naturals at volleyball, more often than not we were trying to bounce the ball on the floor (perhaps we'd be amazing at basketball, who knows?) but it was such good fun.




Team member Sue has been joining in with the spinning classes 2 to 3 times a week, including Terry’s gruelling sessions! As if that wasn't enough cycling, last week Sue purchased a lovely new bike! This means commit to get fit can continue on, long after it officially finishes!

Here is Sue giving a YIPPEE for commit to get fit!



Committing at the weekend can be hard but Val and Lesley took part in a golf Charity event to raise money for the heart foundation at Waterhall.

Here is a picture of how windy it was for them on the golf course last weekend!




Mean while Kathryn took part in a 3 hour Zumbathon to raise money for the Lily Foundation. We went charity mad last week!

'The zumbathon was fun and the time went very fast but I must confess to needing a short afternoon nap a couple of hours after it finished!'

Well done Kathryn!


Me and Lucy did not let the rain get the better of us last week. We ran around in the pouring rain for an hour, slipping and sliding everywhere (whilst attempting to throw a frisbee). We enjoyed it so much and have signed up to give it a go again today. As you can see the sun is shining so no sopping wet clothes for us today!

Here is a picture of us completely drenched, but still smiling!



 Here is Lucy showing how committed she is with her dry to wet trouser leg!


Good luck for week 4 everybody and lets hope the sun is here to stay! Smile


The Belles of Shore-C xx


Sugar Rush withdrawal



For Commit to Get Fit 2014 I have decided not to buy any unhealthy snacks for 30 days.

In the HR office, we have a constant supply of cake and biscuits.  I am used to a daily treat and am also a massive sugar addict.  Using the challenge as an opportunity to lose weight, I thought I could easily give up sugary, high fat treats and replace them with healthy ones. 

Day one, was the Boundary Walk and after a long lunchtime walk, I was more tired than I thought I would be.  So I bought some chocolate. Then I had a slice of the delicious cake that was in the office.  It was 30th April though and I was going to start my new diet in May.

1st May came around and I came up with the brilliant plan of leaving my purse at home so that I couldn't cheat.  The Goal Setting Talk with Mark inspired me and I went through the entire day without any unhealthy snacks.  At 5.30 (when my colleagues had gone home), I raided the biscuit tin, only to find out that there were NONE LEFT!  Pleased that I hadn't cheated, I went home.  I spent the entire train journey dreaming of cakes and chocolate.  Luckily, I didn't have my purse, so I avoided the shops and got to the safety of my flat.

After a large dinner, I thought my appetite was be satisfied.  However, I was grumpy and fidgety and nothing could stop me thinking about sugar.  In the end I treated myself to an ice lolly, which did the trick.  I am obviously more addicted to sugar than I thought.

2nd May breakfast consisted of porridge but without the usual honey that I pour on it.  I think this will be an acquired taste, but it filled me up.  I lasted until lunchtime, when I did trampolining as my first activity.  Without my afternoon snack, I became tired, distracted and had an awful headache.  I must confess that I indulged in a chocolate Hob-Nob to ease the pain away.

I am now on my way home to eat a lovely dinner.  Luckily I have left my purse at home and my friends and family are so supportive that I doubt I'll be eating anything too naughty this Bank Holiday weekend.










Commit to Get Fit Team HR Photo gallery so far, so good.






Commit to Get Fit Team HR Week 2



On Wednesday, Dizz and I went to a Mindfulness meditation at lunchtime.  I found it very hard to relax in the environment but most benefitted from this break from the stresses of the day.  On Thursday we both went to Feldenkrais.  This involved small movements and was good for relaxation and posture.  I have signed up to do this again. 

This week Claire has spent an hour and 20 minutes playing squash and one hour of badminton.

Dan played doubles badminton with the normal crew (Graham, Claire and Tim)and it was a good game. 


He also played singles badminton against someone that has played for Lancashire. This involved him standing still and dictating every point and Dan running all over the shop like a headless chicken until he collapsed.  He also went for a short jog on Sunday.

Dan wondered whether chasing his son about the living room pretending to be a monster counts towards Commit to Get Fit.  I say it does!

Rachael did Zumba and Lahoona, which she really enjoyed. ( I had to pull out of Lahoona due to a knee injury, but it was good fun).  She played badminton at lunchtime with Simone, who made her run a lot! and she did Aerobics after work on Monday

She will be doing Zumba and Lahoona again this week and Egyptian dancing with me on Thursday, which we are really looking forward to.

Leila has been uber busy, throwing herself into Commit to Get Fit.  At work she has been to Feldenkrais, Zumba x 2 , a Physio lecture, Power Hoop and Lahoona dance.  Outside of work she has walked home twice from Brighton Station instead of using the bus.  Walked home form town twice instead of using the bus.  She has eaten a healthy salad for dinner 3 nights this week and replaced snacks at work with rice cakes and fruit.  Go Leila!

Helen had a cold and injured her back and I had a cold and injured my knee, so we were down on the activities this week.  I did have a lovely 15 minute massage on Tuesday, as did Dizz.  It was just as shame we had to go back to work.  I would recommend getting a massage when you don't have to do anything for a few hours afterwards, to get the maximum benefit. 

Helen cycled in to work this morning which was lovely in the warm sunshine, and she is looking forward to the ride home!



Commit to Get Fit Team HR Week 3



Dizz and Rachael went to Zumba on Wednesday and Rahcael and I  both went to the Egyptian dance class on Thursday.  It was difficlut to keep a straight face as we were facing the mirror in the dance studio.  I felt very loosened up afterwards though and the memory of the lesson made me smile. 

Last Thursday evening Helen did circuit training which was fun but exhausting.  She had aching muscles the next day.


On Friday, Rachael and Dizz went to Lahoona class.  Dizz  really enjoyed Lahoona dancing and getting herself in a knot with the Sari dancing at the end of the lesson. Unfortunately she didn’t manage to get a picture of herself dancing as her hands were busy wafting a Sari around.  I tried fencing.  It took a while to get into the outfit and I was hot and exhausted after an intense hour.  My opponent was Nicky from Reseach and Enterprise. 


On Sunday, Helen went on a 13 mile walk through woods and fields.  The weather was lovely and shehad a great time. 

On Tuesday, Helen did yoga for 1.5 hours and I did 2 hours of yoga (Staff only followed by yin yoga).  We both found it very relaxing.

Helen cycled to work today and at lunchtime is going for a walk in Stanmer Park.


Claire and Dan played an hour of badminton and Dan went for a 5 k jog.  He also chased his son Dylan around, pretending to be a monster.

Leila has acheived her weight loss goal in time for her holiday through exercise and diet during Commit to Get Fit.  She will be relaxing and enjoying the sun and cocktails for the rest of the month.

CtGF - The Two Musketeers!




To round off Week 3 of the Commit to Get Fit challenge, Team MPS have gone all out with activity, events and fun!

So... where to start?

Continue reading 'CtGF - The Two Musketeers!'...

CtGF - Apologies for Absence



A collection of updates from far-flung correspondents

This update pulls together the activities from our colleagues who are away from Sussex at the moment - Sally and Debbie.

Continue reading 'CtGF - Apologies for Absence'...




Up, Up and Away! (plus some down in-between)

All go at MPS, as we sent some of our colleagues off for a lunchtime trampolining session!

Continue reading 'Trampolining!'...

Week 2 - Activity Reviews Round-Up



Activities Round-Up!

MPS comes charging into Week 2 of the Commit to Get Fit with another mixed bag of exercise and activities. Sadly a few of our teammates are on holiday at the moment, so we are getting regular updates from them via email.

Continue reading 'Week 2 - Activity Reviews Round-Up'...

CtGF - End of Week 1 update



The first week of Commit to Get Fit comes to a close

The first few days of the CtGF have been eventful, active and most importantly FUN!

Continue reading 'CtGF - End of Week 1 update'...

Commit to Get Fit Team HR Morris Dancing in pictures




Rachael and Dizz


Jo and Joe




Graham teaching the session




INSPIRE: Day 26 - To Infinity and Fris-beyond



It's day 26 of the challenge and in reality the BMEc team is pretty near to the Spire already, somehow slipping out of control and whirling to the the top like a frisbee gone mad - an over-eager, very keen frisbee.

But I didn't want to rush to the top without stopping off at the Shangri-La Hotel for a little rest and contemplation:

 day 26

When things get busy at work, it's easy to forget that you don't live in the office and that weekends aren't just for recovering from office trauma (in fact, I spent my bank holiday recovering from trauma suffered during prolonged badminton on Friday).

I count myself very lucky to be working for a university. For a very brief, dark period in my life I worked in a pastry kitchen. And when I say dark, I mean dark because I started work at 3am everyday. But it was also a bleak lifestyle - no weekends, no Bank holidays, no extended Easter holiday (thank you, Sussex), no Christmas off (well, Christmas day, but that was about it). The whole work/life balance concept is extraordinarily alien to those working in the private sector.

And so what are we doing working late, taking work home, checking emails and lying in bed at night worrying about how many invoices you have to raise in Agresso? (Incidentally, the answer is 450 invoices). 

I am very proud of how the BMEc team have done. Instead of saying 'I'm far to busy to do trampolining today', everyone has been able to shut work down for an hour and try something new. In fact, in just a couple of weeks, the team have tried their hand at frisbee:


Two trapeze in a pod:



More archery:


And a couple of people are practicing for the Boundary Run:


Run, (through the) Forrest, Run!


Let's hope once the Commit to Get Fit challenge is over, that people remember to not let work take over and relax once in a while! 


BMEc - Be Motivated; Eliminate Competition

Commit to Get Fit Team HR- The Final week



Since last Wednesday Dizz has been to Zumba twice Archery and Morris Dancing.  Today she is doing Egyptian dance.

Here are some photos of Claire and Dizz taking part in Archery which wasn’t as easy as Dizz thought.  Every time she let go of the arrow she closed her eyes in reflex!

Rachael, Dizz, Joseph and I joined Graham for Morris dancing on Friday.

Yesterday Rachael went to Zumba

Commit to Get Fit- The final blog from SHORE-C



So commit to get fat fit has come to an end (BOOOOO) and we have loved taking part in all the different activities that were on offer throughout May!

Last week Sue, Val and Lucy gave a HOOP HOOP HOORAY Laughing for commit to get fit and took part in the hooping session.

Here is Sue spinning so fast you can't see the hoop, what a natural!



They all managed to acquire some bruising along the way (which just shows how committed they all were!)

I enjoyed the sunshine (it's hard to believe looking out of the window at the moment!) last week with a lovely doggy walk.



And spent lots of time in the great outdoors with my feathery friends!



Val and Lesley spent last week playing golf at Gleneagles. Here is Lesley admiring the view


I also booked a badminton court and had a go with my friends one evening, although we did spend most of the time chatting as we were running around- maybe this counts as extra exercise as we were doing two things at once? 

Here is our post chat/badminton session photo!

SHORE-C Belle Kathryn was meant to take part in the boundary run which was unfortunately cancelled but luckily she completed it during the running session earlier this month. Extra points go to her for completing her goal early!

On Sunday Angela went for a 3 hour (8 miles) walk up on the downs at Wilmington and DID NOT, I repeat DID NOT (she did) enjoy two hours in the pub afterwards- well deserved I say!


As well as taking part in a range of activities- eating habits have started to change within the unit as well.

Here is some photographic evidence just in case no one believes me


We have all enjoyed commit to get fit month so much and have loved having a go at all the different activites. Here are some comments from members of the commit to get fit SHORE-C team!

"Fun, great opportunity to try new ways to get fit and join in as a team" Belle Val

"I thought it was an excellent way to introduce us to different sports that we may never have tried or get the chance to try. Also a good introduction to getting fit in a fun way! The talks were good and informative too." Belle Angela

"Great way to try out new and old sports, and feel those muscles. Talks interesting too: I never knew that there’s fat in a cucumber (impossible thought it was 100% water), although food shopping takes twice as long with checking out all these labels Frown." Belle Helena

“I loved the introduction to activities I wouldn’t usually do in my everyday efforts to keep fit, such as the hooping which was great fun with Lara!” Belle Sue


Thank you for giving us the oppourtunity to give everything a go! It has allowed us to get up and moving together and was so much fun!

Love the belles of SHORE C xx

INSPIRED: May the Sports be with You



 Well, Commit to Get Fit 2014 has come to an end and so has our team goal challenge. So how did we do?

Let's just say that we are all... INSPIRED.


It's been a very long May but thanks to our combined efforts, I can say that June is definitely not bustin' out all over. 

Why, just take a look at these stunning before/after photos:




What were the highlights? Well, Ola went from barely being able to run 2k in 17 minutes before collapsing in a heap of sweat and BO to being able to run 7.4k in 50 minutes. That's her entire journey home from the office. She can, literally, run home.

Ola also organised a Walk to Lewes (a project I took the liberty of renaming 'WHAT'CHU WALKIN' 'BOUT, LEWES?).

Faith cycled enough total distance to get from Brighton to Sheffield, Mailea learned how to kick-box, Ian finally came to badminton class and Brinyan, believe it or not, is now a full-fledged Gold member of SussexSport.

And myself? Aside from popping a balloon at archery after almost giving up, I have to say I've enjoyed most of all seeing the team pull together and really make an effort to reach our goal. Our three receptionists in particular have been fantastic (note for Christopher Nolan fans - 'Reception: Team within a Team').

And how high up did we all eventually get? Well, taking 2 hours of activity as translating to 1 floor of the Shard, we got to floor...


Well done, everyone!

... except that the Shard only has 87 floors. Which leaves us in a bit of a pickle.

Which is why, I am pleased to announce that we not only climbed the Shard but we also climbed up a little bit of the Gherkin too:



BMEC: Be Motivated; Eliminate Competition

Week 3: High-flying, Hampered and Hanky-waving



A change of pace

This week was a little different, in that most people were doing odd activities here and there. I'll start on Monday, when we were the very happy winners of a Motivational Prize hamper from Sussex Sport! Delicious treats and smelly cheeses (much to the disgust of some staff) brightened up the office and we saved them all to make our next team meeting a snacky one!


^^^ Look at it up there! Yum! ^^^

This hamper was devoured at our recent team meeting - although the pungent smell of the cheeses did make some of us run for fresh air!

The food went down a treat and certainly made up for the aches and strains of our activities.

I got yo back

The next activity was the session on Back Care, which was attended by Felicity. The session discussed some safe exercises to practice at work and home.

Again, the reports are that this is another example of "what we're supposed to be doing feels unnatural" - as it is very easy to get into bad habits when it comes to postures.

When Felicity described the correct seating position - where your back isn't under unecessary strain - I found myself writhing and wiggling around uncomfortably to try and replicate it.

Oh dear! OK, maybe I should have attended the back care session myself... and MAYBE I took a lot of pleasure from sitting in the "incorrect" (slouchy but comfortable) seating posture.

Human Origami

What naturally follows back care?.... Why TRAPEZE of course!

Naomi and myself tried our hand at the beginner's trapeze session on Tuesday afternoon.

This was an hour long session in the Sports Centre's Dance Studio - directly above a full examination hall! - where we were instructed by the cheerful Hazel.

Things got off to a good start when we walked in the door. Hazel greeted us and asked "So are you here for the trapeze?", which we quickly confirmed. Then Hazel frowned, looked at me directly and asked "And are you wearing.... THAT?

I was wearing that.

The article of clothing being challenged was my rather restrictive trouserwear. It was not obviously apparent why this would cause concern. It became a little too obvious once we started the warm-up exercises.

After a couple of laps of the room (very quietly as we were told that our bouncing was disturbing the exam) we moved onto some stretchy poses.

I believe it was on the second or third star jump that I heard the rip. It echoed around the room like the trumpets of doom, and for the rest of the warm-up I was in great danger of showing the bottom point of my star.

Once we got onto the actual trapezering, it was actually quite good fun. I could see in an instant that thorough warming-up was necessary, because the first task was to hang from a bar and then fold ourselves in on... ourselves so that we tucked under the bar! Easier said than done - especially for a lanky, stiff so-and-so like myself!

After looping through ourselves (like a hanging backflip) we then swung our legs over the bar and perched like parrots for a few minutes while getting our breath back. I can understand why they constantly need feeding crackers if it's that much hassle getting up there!

Bound and gagging

The end of the session was a bit of rope fun. We were taught how to climb up the rope like monkeys - actually the first time that I managed to get some height off the ground on a rope - so I was dead chuffed with that. One of the other participants had to go and climb right to the top though, didn't they? Setting a challenge to each other to get to the ceiling. Far too show-off for my liking....

After that, we got to try the silks. This was more like the trapeze, only more awkward to get started. Wrapping my legs around the silk was difficult, then trying to wiggle myself into a perched position ended up with my bum on the floor. Attempt number 2 and I managed to get up to the main position, where I was told by the instructor to "flip upside-down and go spread-eagled". It was at this point that I confessed to the instructor about my trouser malfunction. I told her that it was not advisable for me to spread, for the benefit of the spectators more than me. She accepted my argument.

Photos of me and Naomi are below for you to gawp at:

Taking the time

The following day, Sally and Chrystelle went to a mindfulness session. I think with the run up to the end of the academic year, a session on taking a couple of minutes in the day to focus and calm yourself would be a great idea.

I'm not convinced that either of them have been able to put that into practice yet - but hopefully they will bear it "in mind" when things get stressful.

With a hey-nonny-nonny

The week ended with another interesting activity - the ghetto street stylings of Morris Dancing!

Oddly enough, I couldn't get anyone else to sign up for this one with me - maybe they were all busy that day.

The event itself begun with a short demonstration from the Brighton Morris Men, lots of twirling and stick-bashing and hanky-waving. Obviously everyone around for miles took notice and rushed to join in with us .... actually all joking aside, they managed to convince around 50 people to get involved!

We then split off into groups to learn a short routine in parts - firstly bowing and waving, then weaving between each other before doing some sort of leap into the air. It took some (i.e. me) longer than others to pick up the steps - but after a few attempts we were spinning like May Day dancers.

Grand finale

It then all came together with a final performance of our routine - which we absolutely NAILED - right up until the final twirl. I was minding my own business, wiggling and twisting as expected but then somehow managed to fall over myself on the last move!

So what is possibly the least dangerous activity on the roster, and I somehow managed to come away with a twisted ankle. Utter genius. Still hurts now. Some sympathy please.

Photos from the morris dancing are below:

As an update on our "Get Far" progress, we managed a grand total of 1774 miles during the course of the month - so we almost made our target! We made it all the way up to Twatt, past Wetwang and almost back down to Thong. So close... and yet so far.

I think we're all quite proud of ourselves for sticking to it and challenging each other to do something unusual and active!


Nearly done....

So now there's only one last update to do before the end of Commit to Get Fit! Such a shame as we've all had a great month.

The MPS Team Summary will be posted up next week but we've had a lot of fun during May!

Commit to Get Fit 2014 - MPS Team Summary



Naomi - Team Captain!

Difference it has made: I am not anti-sport, just completely unmotivated. CTGF has made me seriously consider taking up some new activities; namely hoop and archery but I am also looking into the likelihood of getting a push bike and cycling to work (about 5 miles each way so this would be a considerable commitment for me!).

Difference to the team: As a new member of the team, this month has helped me feel more integrated. It has been a really nice way to get to know people better outside of the office. Being nominated as team captain also meant that I had to get stuck in and lead by example.

Achievements: The majority of the activities that I did throughout CTGF were things that I hadn’t tried before. I made a point of signing up for things that I wouldn’t normally get a chance to do and that I considered a challenge. I was particularly nervous about Trapeze so I was really proud of myself after that session! I think the biggest achievement of the month though, was raising £200 for the Rockinghorse children’s charity by dressing as a musketeer. All for one and one for all!



I went on holiday during the Comit to Get Fit month. I took part in the following walks and events in Peebles, Scotland.

Most of the walks started from Peebles, the exception being the John Buchan Way – a 13 mile linear walk from Broughton back to Peebles following long established hill tracks with a total climb over three main ascents of 800m, beautiful, empty country except for a few sheep and cows.

Our ‘day off’ was in Edinburgh where we chose a variety of attractions such as The Castle, Holyrood Palace, St Giles Cathedral, The Scottish Parliament, Princes Street and ‘Arthur’s Seat’

On the Sunday we were joined by a local rambling group who led us up and over Kirkhope Law 500m and then another steep downhill to Glensax where we had to jump across the ‘burn’ as all the bridges had been washed away. A gentle return to the cars was followed by an excellent tea for all at our hotel.

The next day we had a gentler walk along forest tracks, stopping at a visitors centre for our lunch before returning by Tweed side. On the last day I did a tranquil 7 mile walk along the river Tweed, taking in several historic landmarks, fields and woodland.

I do a fitsteps class every week and also walk most evenings for around half an hour to 40 minutes.



I really enjoyed the Commit to Get Fit this year. It was great to get involved and it was even better seeing the photographs of everyone making a fool of themselves!

Can't wait for the next one!


CGTF gives us all many opportunities to try new activities particularly if we are on the Uni Campus. However even if we are a term time employee, as I am, there is still the opportunity to join in this team event, create your own goals, and forward your adventures onto the 'Captain' - for MPS Naomi.

I took the opportunity of increasing the length of time on the activities that I already do, making sure that I completed five one hour sessions each week as a minimum target. Being on holiday in France, Portugal and Centre Parcs Longleat did not hamper my efforts. It was great to be able to go swimming most days, not only in the swimming pool of a local fitness club, but also in the seas of the 'med' in 30 degrees. Not to mention the 45 runs that we took down the rapids at Centre Parcs over a period of 4 days. I realised after a succession of 10 runs down the rapids that it was like swimming 60 lengths at least I was so tired that I could barely swim one length. It was quite astonishing particularly as I had been swimming 20-40 lengths each day in Portugal. I also walked ever day. In addition to increasing the usual activities, I also learnt a new game - shuffleboard. As well as playing some of the old favourites such as pitch and putt.

The great thing is that you don't necessarily need to be on campus to take part and contribute to your team's progress. CGTF doesn't have to be hard work. It can be great fun and you can join in anywhere in the world. The proof is in the pictures.



Overall I think it’s a great event. Everyone in our team of 12 did something to participate. It’s a good opportunity to try something new. Mostly I appreciate the team building that is a happy result of the project. It’s good to be reminded to be fit and healthy and get out of our office chairs!



CTGF 2014 was a fun experience that encouraged teamworking. Our team captain and resident blogger both made it easy for us to participate in events and encouraged us to work together to achieve success. They also raised a large amount of money for the Rockinghorse Appeal by dressing up for the fencing, enduring a considerable amount discomfort along the way! Well done Naomi & Matt!

I particularly enjoyed the Archery session and I found the Back Care session very informative and helpful.

I look forward to the next challenge



Although I didn’t get involved in many of the extra activities laid on (shame on me!) I was very aware of the amount of mileage I needed to cover and extra gym work needed to keep our miles up. I even cycled to work in the rain to keep this going and arrived at work looking like a drowned rat on a number of occasions. That's dedication for you, especially when you’ve just blow dried your hair!

What I will say is that although I’m generally a bit of an exerciseaholic, the commit to get fit scheme did encourage me to do that little bit extra, just an extra exercise class here and there and an extra bit of walking at lunchtimes. Feeling great for it all and plan to keep it up!



As I regularly go to my own gym, I aimed to try activities that I’d never done before, whilst also going to my own gym, and had a fantastic time trying out hooping, mindfulness plus learnt how to be more back-aware (which is very useful!). I asked an instructor at my gym to give me a new programme at the start of Commit to Get Fit, and feel completely re-energised doing this new routine.



Having participated in last year’s CTGF, it seemed a good idea to carry on the tradition and indulge in a few new things this time round. As well as my regular one hour lunchtime walks – come rain or shine – trampolining, Feldenkrais and back care were my choices.

Whilst I really enjoyed trampolining and indeed did it last year as well, I think I have to come to terms with the fact that my mind is a lot younger than my body and certainly my back. Feldenkrais was a bit yogaesque and I enjoyed it but couldn’t quite work out why my body was doing what it was (note, no hallucinogenic drugs involved in this process).

It would be good to have tennis back on the agenda for next year, in the meantime I won’t ‘keep on running’ but I will keep on walking, swimming and yogaing.

Thorough enjoyed Matt’s blog and keeping us all informed and entertained. Naomi inspired us all with her boundless enthusiasm.



Again, really enjoyed the challenge this year. I attended the running session and really enjoyed running part of the boundary run. It was a challenge for me as I only run on tarmac, but felt really good afterwards.

I also made an effort to improve my fitness level by trying new classes at my local gym, such as “body balance” and “circuit” classes. I really enjoy the circuit one and now attend once a week.

Following the CTGF last year, I decided to get a bicycle. Nothing flashy, but I really love it! With the nice evenings we have had, I’ve been cycling a lot along the seafront and go to town on my bike rather than taking the bus.



As with all staff events that we can get involved with, our team dove headfirst into this fitness challenge.

I think that I, along with several colleagues, was a little daunted by the prospect of actually shifting bottom and getting active. Commit to Get Far was only in January - surely I don't have to do TWO lots of exercise in a year!?!

Once I'd gotten over the mental hurdles, I was open to the suggestions being shouted around the office.

Archery? Yes please.

Fencing? Why not?

In the end, trying out a whole bunch of new things wasn't as scary as I'd imagined. Although my clothing and muscles are yet to recover from certain activities (Morris especially), I don't regret a thing. Well... maybe the trapeze....

Thank you to everyone for their enthusiasm and encouragement, and for the reports on activities which were included in the blog. I can't wait for the next challenge (so long as we can postpone it until at least 2015 for my recovery).

Well done Team MPS!

Commit to Get Misfit



Widening Participation are taking on the Commit to Get Fit challenge, as a department and as two competing teams owing to numbers, so both myself and Chris Mason will be documenting our team’s respective efforts on SPLASH. You can read his (frankly more amusing and better written) blog post here. However, I think we can all agree that ‘Misfits’ is a far superior team name to ‘Thin White Duke’ and that we will probably win everything.

We’re looking forward to doing lots of activities together as a whole team but have also decided to introduce an element of competition between the Misfits and the Thin White Dukes. Given the heated debates this morning on what counts as mindfulness/relaxation (smoking: no) and one of your 5-a-day (onion bhajee: definitely not one) encouraging people to be more competitive may have been ill-advised but we’ll see.

We’re awarding a point for each of the following:

  • 30 minutes exercise (can gain 2 points for an hour)
  • Team class, walk or activity
  • Drink 2 litres of water
  • Eat your 5 a day
  • Try a new sport or activity
  • Relaxation, mindfulness or wellbeing session
  • Abstain from your nominated 'weakness' e.g. chocolate
  • Bring in a healthy snack for the office (maximum 1 per week)
  • Eat healthily in general

Whichever team has most points by the end of the month has to buy the other team lunch. Who knows, we might all be so inspired by Commit to Get Fit that it will be a delicious salad rather than cheesy chips.

We made a good start on Friday by joining in with the boundary walk, always a nice highlight of the month and a chance to meet colleagues from across the University.

WP team on the boundary walk for Commit to Get Fit

Here are some of our team goals to give an idea of what people are hoping to get from the month:

Anne-marie: I always enjoyed a bit of keep fit, and was fairly active up until I had my first baby 18 months ago(!!). Since then I have had the perfect ‘excuse’ to not fit in any exercise – at all. Without a doubt it isn’t so easy to find the time or energy now, with childcare arrangements meaning my only available timeslots were between 5am-6am (yuck) or after 7.30pm, when all I want to do is eat and flop, but it isn’t impossible and CTGF is the perfect motivation to kick-start a new routine. I can definitely give 100% to a healthier diet and healthier living too, and am looking forward to reaping the benefits!

Claire: I have always been fairly exercise-averse, apart from long walks and the occasional game of badminton with friends, so despite participating in Commit to Get Fit for the last couple of years, I haven’t really committed. This year I am determined to make a real difference, hopefully one that will last into at least mid-June, after which our outreach work reaches a peak and we all have to resort to custard donuts to make it through July. I am aiming to do 30 minutes exercise every day and have signed up for lots of exciting classes: bouldering, fencing and trapeze included. I will try to eat my 5 a day and not have as many fried egg sandwiches.

Paul: As a new member of staff I’m really excited by the prospect of CTGF.  At my previous place of work we didn’t have any similar programmes and nipping out of the office to do some lunch time exercise was more frowned upon than encouraged, so I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to get fit guilt free. I already exercise regularly so my main aim is to try out some new things and I’ll be taking part in Trapeze, Handball and Fencing.  My diet could certainly improve a little so I’ll be giving up chocolate and trying to drink more water.

Sam: Not only am I giving up alcohol but Mark is as well to support me through the month. So the Dunnetts are Dry! Which is quite an achievement as we have to pinch space in our neighbour’s glass recycling bin every fortnight (all done under the dead of night)! Sam also suggested we include the mindfulness category and has offered to do some lovely reflexology sessions for the team.

Stephen: I have always been a big sports fan but struggle to find the motivation and time to fit it in. I have been trying to lose weight for some time, with mixed success. Hopefully CTGF will trigger my competitive nature and give me the push I need to give up all the gym food and exercise regularly. I am aiming to go all month without any junk food and aim to get as many points as possible to spur the misfits to victory.

Healthy snack of the day: slices of apple spread with peanut butter… sounds bizarre but eliminated my custard cream cravings.

The Cap'n Walks The Plank (a.k.a. Coldean Lane)



Shivvering me timbers

Our Team Captain, Becky, took up the challenge to walk home - although the weather wasn't as kind for her odyssey!

Continue reading 'The Cap'n Walks The Plank (a.k.a. Coldean Lane)'...

Boxercise, The Long Walk Home and Mountain Goats



Another eclectic update from MPS!

This week we have been taking the fitness to another level, getting involved in more physical activity and forgoing transportation home!

Continue reading 'Boxercise, The Long Walk Home and Mountain Goats'...

Netball, well, sort of...



Netball Crazy!

The torrent of team trials and tribulations continues into this week, with a quick update on the Netball session.

Continue reading 'Netball, well, sort of...'...

A flurry of activity at MPS!



More activities for MPS

There has been a flurry of activity over the past week, with a whole bunch of different activities being undertaken by our team.

Continue reading 'A flurry of activity at MPS!'...

You're a wizard, Harry



Another weird Commit to Get Fit update from MPS!

Hats off to SussexSport again for the unusual but very welcome inclusion of Quidditch in the lineup this year!

Continue reading 'You're a wizard, Harry'...

Commit to Get Fit 2015 - It begins....



MPS Commit To Get Fit 2015!
Another year, another month full of fun and activity!

Continue reading 'Commit to Get Fit 2015 - It begins....'...

Marvellous Montenegro, Wonderful Wales & Delightful Derbyshire



Updates from our Foreign Correspondents!

At Team MPS we enjoy sending our team off around the country to promote healthy living and exercise.

This year for Commit to Get Fit, we sent 3 people off on diplomatic missions around the globe - starting local with our dispatch of Debbie to Wales and Sally to Derbyshire - before going international and sending Sarah to Montenegro!

Continue reading 'Marvellous Montenegro, Wonderful Wales & Delightful Derbyshire'...

Broken Car, Frizzing Bees and Climbing Up The Walls



More commitment from MPS!

Another update from MPS, this time a little closer to home - so no need for holiday-snap-jealousy.

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Going the extra mile



More updates from MPS!

Another day, another bunch of aerobic action over at MPS!

Continue reading 'Going the extra mile'...

Two generations of useless explorers



More adventures from MPS!

An update from blog author Matt today on last week's fitness activities!

Continue reading 'Two generations of useless explorers'...

Dance Like an Egyptian and Sting Like a Bee



A (belated) Boxercise and Egyptian Dance update from MPS!

Due to a blog backlog, it has taken me ages to get these updates onto the blog!

Continue reading 'Dance Like an Egyptian and Sting Like a Bee'...

Commit to Get Fit 2015 - MPS Team Summary



Commit to Get Fit - MPS Team Summary

A few thoughts on the end of Commit to Get Fit 2015 from Team MPS!

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