Not sure I’ll ever get over the banality of people who post pictures of themselves daily and caption it “O Hai!!!!!”


Saw a Red Admiral the other day and got super excited. We haven’t seen one of these in forever and were a bit worried they had gone for good! Operation “Butterfly Garden” is obviously working a treat.


Taken with Instagram


Bodiam (Taken with Instagram)


Boyfriend Xmas gift- scrap metal on canvas.


Teacup pincushions for certain peoples Xmas gift!


So, this all began last week when I was snuggled on the sofa with The Boy watching some telly.  Then a marks and spencer advert appeared on the TV, featuring the fame hungry cretins from Xfactor.  I was aghast.  It’s one thing to have it rammed down my throat at it’s sanctioned time (when I promptly open the DVD play or head outside to have a life), but quite another when it’s flaunting itself over my need to buy and sandwich.

I did what anyone would do- I registered my annoyance with Marks and Spencer. They ignored my comments.  Nice.  Valued customer and all.  I only shop there every day.

How to avoid this imbecillic avalanche of stupidity I thought to myself?  Then a lightbulb came on in my head.  In the 80s and 90s I was raised in a lovely socialist household with Mike and Mary, te lovely socialist parents.  Mike and Mary and little baby me boycotted everything.  The Pole Tax.  South African Produce.  Israel.  Mr Whippy.  It seemed to work (no more pole tax.  No more apartheid.  Nelson Mandela is free).

Well, I thought.  I could boycott Marks and Spencer.  That shouldn’t be too hard.  I can take packed lunches to work.  I bought “Killing in The Name Of” eight times a few years ago.  This will be fine.

Then I had another thought…

There are OTHER sponsors.  I looked it up and there are loads of them, including rimmel, polariod, berroca, JJB (full list later).  Could I successfully live in an x factor free world for the remainder of the series duration by boycotting them AND their sponsors in their entirity?

Keep an eye on the blog to find out

NB: This also means not buying the music of Gary Barlow (I never have), Tulisa (bye bye ndubz), Kelly rowland (never my cuppa tea anyway) and… whatever it is the old man does.


Tonight I’m covering a Legs, Bums and Tums class.  Yes, that old chestnut.  Popular because despite all the evidence people seem to think they can magically spot reduce fat.

You can’t.

The legs, bums and tums format is by no means a bad one though.  When done propperly (and I do), it’s a good mix of interval and resistance training which can contribute to both weight loss and toning- and can totally reshape the bodies of people everywhere, creating waists and shapey limbs.

So, if you are thinking about participating in this kind of class, a few pointers to let you know if you’re getting enough bang for your buck…

1.  Is there Cardio?

No cardio basically = no results.  You’ve all heard the common wisdom that “you won’t see your muscles if there’s fat covering them up”.  Well, this is true.  Resistance training generally (and there are a few exceptions) burns fewer energy units than cardio.  So a class which is entirely resistance based will have a lower energy expenditure, essentially few kcals used.  Also, a class which alternates cardio and resistance will help to build your general level of fitness better- you’ll get far less out of breath when you climb the stairs!

2.  Are you working the upper body too?

Basically, if you don’t you will start to be shaped like a pear.  Also remember the abdominals travel all the way up to the sternum so some upper body work can help with toning and conditioning and developing a generally balanced figure.

3.  Can you add extra resistance? Or is there variety on a regular basis?

If you body starts to find something easy it can start goofing off bigtime.  Adding some extra resistance or working with an instructor who varies excercises on a regular basis works wonders.

4.  Are there levels?

Is there an easy, medium or hard option?  Leveling a workout adds variety and lets you get the best workout you can do on the day.  Just make sure you are pushing yourself.

5.  Are you eating for the best results?

Make sure you’re taking on board enough energy in order that you can give the most to your workout.  Without it, your performance will be poor and you’ll gain very little.  Some complex carbs are always a winner!


Simen Johan, Untitled #135 from the series Until the Kingdom Comes, 2006


Simen Johan, Untitled #135 from the series Until the Kingdom Comes, 2006

Source: thesnugglefactory


I just want to say a warm little welcome to the people coming on over from the Runner’s World article. Thanks for coming; truly. 

If you feel so inclined, feel free to catch up from the beginning, novel style. Or here’s a big ol’ batch of some of the highlights from the past three years of blogging, running, losing some pounds, and finding happiness. 

Currently, The Do Life Movement is planning next year’s tour: 52 Do Life 5Ks and 52 Marathons in the 52 weeks of 2012. Read about that here

Also, if you’re looking for a free trip to England, drop by and grab a long-sleeve shirt. You’ll be helping us out, getting some sweet new gear, and getting a chance at hearing me speak in an atrocious English accent for a week. Everyone wins!

Do Life on Facebook.
Ben on Twitter

Inspiring guy! Hope to see u in London x

Source: bendoeslife