Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy new year


There are lots of ways of keeping fit and active but moving rubble to the tip and painting are not my preferred methods however needs must. The picture shown left is part of my new studio before we demolished all the walls. At present the studio looks like something out of a war zone but progress is going according to plan more or less no thanks to the structural engineer.
I think my deadline of Thursday 3rd January was a little ambitious which is why I have rescheduled the studio opening until the 7th January and will organise the launch party sometime after that.

For those of you who remember what I looked like before the refurb imagine the same me minus a few kgs and with grey hair, wrinkles and a dusting of white emulsion and plaster dust. Not quite my desired look but it will all be all worth it in the end. As you can imagine there is still a lot of work to do to get Phase 1 finished, I will start on Phase 2 later in January.

It is times like this you know who your Friends are, Jo and Tony have worked like Trojans, My mum has been an absolute start as always, My mate Chris has seriously redeemed himself and there are a few others who are going to be helping out with other parts of the refurb. Also thanks to Jamie, Nicky & Sue for givign up some of their holidays for me.

Anyway, I will not be blogging much over the next week but will try to find time to post a few more pictures to keep you posted on developments.

Have a fantastic new year and for one night only - don't stay healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 21 December 2007

Seasonal good news


Firstly thanks to all my students who helped to make our last week at Saints a special one Here is a picture, courtesy of Penny, of some of the girls pole dancing on Tuesday.

Well if any of you watched spotlight last night you will be pleased to know that drinking may be good for you, in moderation of course. The peninsula medical school has been researching lifestyles of the over 65's and has found that those who drink 2-3 units of alcohol a day are actually healthier than those who don't - Yippee. I love the idea of a Doctor recommending that you have a few pints.

I found some interesting stuff on the BBC website on their new mad about food section, there is all sorts of debate on buying locally and eating organic. There is a section on a family trying to live the organic lifestyle but finding it difficult to follow due to high costs and limited availability.

Now call me a hypocrite but I have just done my Xmas food (and beer) shop, my husband and I ignored the ingredients and just bought what we fancied. I say that but then I still found myself sneaking a peek at the labels and putting several things back on the shelves. I think it is safe to say that neither me or my husband will starve this Xmas and we may both be adding a few kgs to our bodies over the festive season.

Enough rantings for now, I pick up the keys to my new premises tomorrow and am really excited, I am just doing some last minute bits of admin in the office before my last lesson in Saints tomorrow.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Seasonal Health


If any of you have read Glamour Puss's blog today you will be familiar with her comments on modern Santa's. It seems one of our traditional xmas icons is a picture of ill health, he is vastly overweight, he lives on mince pies and sherry and he only works for one day of the year. Hardly a fitness role model!

While Santa has no excuse the rest of do feel the effects of the winter, we are all affected by sunlight so the shorter days and longer nights can hardly be beneficial. Seasonal Affective disorder is said to cause winter depression, flu bouts are more widespread and xmas spending can damage our wallets. On the plus side you get less risk of skin cancer and dehydration but I personally am looking forward to the warmer month.

For me the dark evenings and cold chill in the dance studio make me less motivated to get on the pole, apart from the fact that chrome poles in winter feel like icicles your muscles take longer to warm and the thought of wearing hotpants in the cold is hardly appealing. At one point this week my toes actually went numb through cold and I thought that if I ventured near the pole I would surely break my toes.

It seems a lot of my students have fallen victim to a lovely bout of flu nastiness, which is bad for them and bad for my business. As the flu virus is spread through sneezing and hand contact it makes it easy to catch, lets hope everyone gets better for xmas day.

I am now off for a medicinal warming beverage - ale, and a dose of TV. Exercise will ensue tomorrow,

Stay Healthy,

Sam x


Friday, 14 December 2007

An evening with 29 commando


About a month ago My Husband and I were approached by 29 commando (based at the Citadel in Plymouth) regarding an amateur boxing event to be held at HMS Drake, the event was being organised as a welcome home for troops who had been serving in Iraq. Although I do not agree with the war in Iraq I fully support our troops who had no say in the decision to invade Iraq and who have served us proudly throughout.

My Husband and one of his trainers Carl Robson from Saints ABC provided two fighters for a demo bout at the beginning of the night and My husband and I provided two ring girls to give the lads some extra entertainment. The organiser - Carlos- seemed happy being pictured above with Tamar & Nikki who were the two ring girls for the evening.
The show featured 10 bouts and was watched by approx 330 members of 29 commando all in full military attire. The amateur boxers fought hard and displayed their fitness and passion. I was moved by the post-interval ceremony which involved giving out honours for bravery for those who had fought in Iraq. The stories were amazing and I couldn't believe the level of courage displayed in terrible times particularly in the Helmand Province. I think it is easy to forget how many people have lost life in this awful war and also how many people have survived but have been left with debilitating injuries.

It was an eye opening night (especially being surrounded by 330 men in uniform and being one of only a handful of women present - what terrible hardships I have to endure). Thanks to Tamar & Nikki for representing the art of dance agency in such a positive way and for cheering the lads up immensely and thanks to Carlos for organising such a brilliant event. I will be posting more pictures from the night on my website ASAP.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Plymouth's new life centre

Time to get my controversial head on, do we really need a life centre in Plymouth and is it going to achieve it's proposed goals. My concern is that the life centre is just a vote winner for the council and as with other projects such as the Theatre Royal and the Pavillions the project will be badly managed and underfunded and probably demolished within a few years - oh what a cynic I am. The council are stating that the life centre will feature non traditional activities such as rock climbing and yet we already have theses facilities in the city.

Small business' such as mine provide such facilities on a daily basis with no funding or government help, it is so frustrating to see our council preparing to throw a huge amount of money at something that Plymouth does not need. I agree that we need improved swimming facilities but apart from that I do not understand the attraction of the life centre. It is more likely that the life centre will bankrupt small business and wonderful projects such as those that happen at the Barbican theatre.

Again, please excuse my cynicism but will the life centre be a centre of excellence or a centre of moderation for underpaid council staff with a lack of well paid fitness professionals? One of the reason people are happy to train with smaller centres is due to the personal touch that they experience. My last point is that the council are supposed to make decisions that benefit the people of Plymouth and I feel that with the life centre and other recent decisions this is simple not the case. I think I have made my point and should now get down of my soap box.

If you want to get fit and active the there are a vast array of activities happening right under your nose so get out there and look for them, As my husband always says the hardest part of getting fit is actually getting of your backside and turning up at a training session, the rest is easy. Here are a few links that may help you find the new activity you have been looking for:

The council's sports directory (last updated 2003!)
Imara ladies fitness.
Mountbatten watersports
Rock climbing on Dartmoor
Amateur Boxing
Pole dancing & Burlesque
Dance and Theatre
Plymouth YMCA- a list of all the YMCA classes from badminton to aerobics to volleyball.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Bliss.


I think I am having the perfect weekend. I feel completely de-stressed and have experienced some of the delights that make Plymouth special. Next time I hear someone say that Plymouth has nothing to offer that person may experience some verbal wrath. The weekend started on Friday night with a festive fayre at the Plymouth Art's centre. My mum, myself and two very good friends - Elaine (who I went to school with) and her husband Roger- tucked into a beautiful nut roast, roast potatoes and rosemary nutty sprouts. After the festive finery we popped into one of Plymouth's oldest pubs, The Minerva, for a pint of Hobgobblin. Then it was off home to decorate my new real xmas tree.

Buying a xmas tree was a very satisfying experience, I went to the Plymouth Garden centre where I was greeted by two members of staff, both of whom provided the best customer service imaginable. The shopping experience was made even more enjoyable with a chat to a lovely old lady who was also perusing the potted trees. She told me of the days when her husband was alive when he and she would buy a 6 ft tree from the garden centre, now she still visits the garden centre each year but buys a smaller tree so that it is easy for her to manage. For someone who is normally a humbug at xmas, I was certainly starting to get excited about the holiday season.

Saturday was set to get even better as the day started with a salmon and poached egg breakfast followed by a trip to the Flameworks art 2 go exhibition at the Royal William yard. The exhibition featured some great pieces of art from local artists including one of my favourites, Katie Lake aka Mistress Metal. After viewing the exhibition my mum and I found ourselves in yet another exhibition- Masa Vision. The company have recently moved from premises in Colebrook, Plympton and their new exhibition at the Royal William Yard is well worth a visit.

So what the hell has all this got to do with health and fitness, well it is about relaxation, spending time with my mum, enjoying some of Plymouth's finest bits and of course the icing on the cake was my Husband returning home from Thailand last night. My whole body feels truly alive, I am mentally prepared for my return to work tomorrow, the lease on my new premises has completed. Life simply couldn't be better, even my cat seems to be ok considering her illness.
For more ideas on how to enjoy all the Plymouth has to offer go to Secret Plymouth or try the Heralds What's on guide. If you are reading this and are not in Plymouth then get yourself here asap!
To summarise, life is short so try and make the most of each moment, value your physical and mental health and enjoy life to the full.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Christi wins!

Fantastic news from Thailand - Christi beats her Finnish opponent with a unanimous points win, clearly winning all 5 x 3 minute rounds. This is an amazing achievement from this 15 year old from Plymouth, she has just represented her country in front of the king in Thailand in front of the palace and televised to over 20 million people. Go Christi!

There is not really much I can add, Christi has trained and fought hard, she more than deserves this win, she is a gutsy lady and a role model to all of us. I will post a video of the fight as soon as I have it.

Lastly if any of you want to know a little more about salsa dancing then read Jo's blog for more info.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 3 December 2007

Invasive procedure.

I can't believe it is 6 days since my last post! Things at work have been so busy that I just haven't had the time to write. Firstly news from Thailand, Christi weighed in 51 kgs today for her pending fight tomorrow. She has done all she can with her training and now just has the pre-fight dance to worry about - the ram muay. The pre fight dance is essential in Thailand and allows the fighter to show of their strength and flexibility and hopefully intimidate the opponent. Some of the moves may be acting out things like shooting your opponent with a bow and arrow or writing their name in the grave. It is important that Christi gets her ram muay right as she is performing in front of Thailand's king.

Today was one of those days that us ladies prefer not to do, It was time for my routine smear test. I sat nervously in the waiting room, I know that smears do not hurt and a re just mindly uncomfortable but they just seem so invasive and generally horible. I remember my first smear, I went into the nurses room to be met by a smiling lady who happened to be a neighbour, the last thing you want is to know the person doing your smear. Just to make matters worse today I met two old friends in the waiting room, both of them were waiting to see Dr Ward-Booth. Now if you are at my doctors surgery and you want to see anyone it is certainly Dr Ward-Booth (tall, dark & very sexy) rather than a nurse with a speculum.

The nurse asked if I would like some extra tests while I was there so I thought I might as well get the full MOT out of the way and make sure there were no nasty bacteria hiding in my nether regions. it then turned out that my smear had been called 12 months early due to an admin error but I resisted the temptation to walk out of the consulting room and rearrange for the following year. The tests were fine and painless and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

It is funny how I dreaded the thought of the smear but yet think nothing of paying to be waxed! The waxing is booked for tomorrow so my nether regions have will have had their full MOT!

Enough talk of my bits - more writings next time I get a chance to escape from work.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Animal Health.

While my husband is in Thailand I am manning both his business and my own and it certainly eats into my day. I left the office today feeling like there was still loads to do but as I am fighting of a bug I know that rest and sleep is important so that I can perform well at work. In addition to my immune system feeling particularly weak it looks like my cat has Cat Leukemia, Leukemia is a nasty virus which affects both cats and humans. I am very familiar with the effects of Leukemia as my uncle died of bone marrow leukemia.

Leukemia , when diagnosed, is either chronic (slow to progress) or aggressive (fast acting). I have my fingers crossed that my cat has a chronic form so that I can enjoy a few more years of her life. The only saving grace is that with animals we can choose to end their life with minimal suffering whereas with humans we are denied the right to Euthanasia. Like many cancers the drugs used to treat Leukemia can have horrible side effects and usually reduces the lifespan of the patient. I have always had a soft spot for all animals and my cat and my menagerie of birds are all rescues from Woodside Animal Sanctuary. My cat had such a hard start to her life, being re homed in her first 4 months of life, suffering cat flu and falling three storeys out of my attic window straight onto the pavement below. Lets hope she still has a few lives left.

Well tomorrow promises to be another hectic day in the office, I miss my husband immensely and can't wait for his return. I have decided to do some serious ab training over the next few weeks so my husband has a pleasant surprise on his home coming. My alcohol consumption has been a little higher than it should be and my stomach is the first to remind me that a beer belly is neither attractive or healthy!

More remotely health and fitness related rantings to follow.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x


Saturday, 24 November 2007

Pride of Plymouth


Well, I didn't win my Pride of Plymouth award but I was in the final three so thanks to all of you who voted for me. It was a glittering awards ceremony in a gorgeous marquee at the Boringdon Hall Hotel. I felt a little humbled by many of the other nominees who have done so much to help local charities and to overcome difficult times.

The award for 'child in the face of adversity' went to George Chudley who died recently at the age of 12. George was described as an amazing child who befriended his funeral director and planned his own funeral. Other awards included the lifetime achievement award which went to Rosemary Morgan who has served at St Luke's Hospice for over 20 years. All the nominees were worthy of an award and I am sure there are more unsung heroes out there who also deserve recognition.

I shared a table with a group of teachers, including Claire Easterbrook who was nominated for Teacher of the year, from High street primary in Stonehouse and they all had tales to tell of how they help under privileged children.

It is amazing how people cope under extreme pressure and it is so nice to be part of a great evening. Ironically my award category was sponsored by Marjon college who banned my company from exhibiting at their students union bar as they thought 'pole dancing might incite violence'. Perhaps the awards ceremony will make them re-think their decision, it is probably a good job I didn't win as I may have been tempted to confront the Marjon representative live on stage!

Anyway, it's back to normality now and back to an empty house as my husband has now left for Thailand with his Thai boxing protege Christi Campbell who is fighting for a world Muay Thai title. Christi has the great honour of fighting in front of the Kings Palace as part of his birthday celebrations. Click here to read the full story. I will keep you posted on developments in Thai land.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Amendment to blog.

After my whinge yesterday that many of you read my blog and do not comment, my husband pointed out that comments are only allowed to be made by registered google users, therefore I have changed the settings so any of you can comment, hopefully this will not attract too much spam! So now none of you have any excuses for not commenting!

Get writing and keep those fingers healthy and active,

Sam x

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Talk to me!


No reason for the adjacent dog picture apart from its cuteness factor and I thought it makes my blog look more appealing. Perhaps it might make some of you communicate more, many of you tell me you read my blog, you know what I ate for breakfast but you fail to write in the comments section - shame on you! Get writing and let me know what is good and what is rubbish about my blog!
If you don't write then I will continue to rant and rave endlessly which is a bit like talking to myself which is the first sign of insanity. So send me comments or else!

Health findings for today - Magnolia is the new cure for bad breath - according to new research magnolia cures more bacteria than mint alone and the findings are so impressive that Wrigley's and other manufacturers are rushing to add magnolia to their products.

Lose weight by sleeping more
? Apparently increasing your sleep by 1-2 hours a night will help you lose weight, the study I read today does carry some mixed messages and doesn't quite explain how the increased sleep pattern works but the idea is that by sleeping more you will be less hungry. What the research fails to tell us is why people sleep less in the first place, busy lifestyles and stress play a big part in whether we get enough sleep and a classic sign in over eaters is comfort eating late at night and sleeplessness so it is difficult to prove cause or effect. I personally sleep a lot due to my Gilbert's Syndrome, is this the reason that I have a small appetite? Or is it just coincidence?

Just in case you don't know what Gilbert's Syndrome is it is a fairly harmless condition that affect about 1 in 50 people and is usually diagnosed by accident through routine blood tests, generally GS is not a problem but can be worsened by stress and alcohol. One of the main complaints is being tired which is my argument for sleeping so much.

Last comment of today - Can fat teens hunt? - if you didn't watch the programme last night on BBC 3 then please try to get an opportunity to watch some of the rest of the series, it is great, the programme not only tackles the issues of obesity but the social and environmental problems that bad diet leads to - I will comment more on it later!
Must dash off to teach some spinning pole classes - sick bucket at the ready for those students who do not take well to these classes. Comments welcome please, if not just enjoy the cute dog picture.

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 16 November 2007

Has this country gone mad?


You would have thought that being a health and fitness writer I would be thrilled at the idea of pregnant mothers being encouraged to eat more fruit but not when the government is considering giving mother's a cash payment of £190 as a 'fruit fund'. My problem is, how many mothers will actually spend the money on fruit? If mothers care about their health and the health of their children then surely they will already be spending money on fruit?

Then I read about the hymen repair operations being carried out on the NHS!! I can't believe that we are paying for these sort of operations. The practice of repairing women's hymens is highly controversial, I have very strong thoughts on this subject as I do about female circumcision. I can respect the wishes of others but feel that these operations should not be NHS funded as there is no health benefit to such surgery. The NHS is supposed to be about saving and preserving life not funding unnecessary operations that are based upon religion and not health.

Onto a report from the womens sport and fitness foundation whose recent report showed that 60% of women believed that they exercised enough when in reality only 20% of them actually exercised in accordance with current fitness guidelines. The classic arguement is true that many women do go the gym three times a week but don't actually exercise when they are there, instead they favour the coffee shop, steam room and sauna.


For me the most interesting finding was that most women avoid exercise as they have low body confidence. I think that many women feel they have to be in shape to go the gym, I know that many women who ring me regarding starting pole classes ask me if they need to be fit before they start or they ask if it matters if they are over a size 12. The whole point of our pole dancing classes is that anyone can do it regardless of shape, size or age. In fact I would rather take the women who are out of shape as they will notice the benefits even more.


We really should be exercising at least three times a week for a minimum of 20 mins a time, preferably more. We should be making sure we raise our heart rate and we should also vary the exercise we do. It is no good doing one high impact aerobics class and then doing nothing till the same time the following week.


Interestingly the most popular team activity for women is now football, although this will not make you rich when you consider that the Women's England team earn nothing and yet the average wage of a premiership footballer is £676,000. It is an interesting country that we live in. So much for equal opportunities.
Stay Healthy,
Sam x


Wednesday, 14 November 2007

New video and general whinging.

Apologies for the delay in writing but work has been exceedingly busy and my internet connection has been rather temperamental. I have also been dealing with the painful blow of writing cheques to my accountant, solicitor and to Plymouth City Council (the latter being particularly painful - how does it cost £265 to apply for a change of use for a business premises!!!!, at least with the other bills I was getting something in return)

Yesterday I did something I try to avoid, I went to a supermarket! One of the good points was bumping into an old work colleague - Hi to Andy & Dawn - however I still hate the whole supermarket shopping experience, I can just about cope with a quick visit to the co-op on Mutley but the large building at Marsh mills just seems so impersonal and there is so much rubbish on the shelves. I was impressed by the new wheel of goodness that is used to indicate how nutritious some of the food items are. The only problem with this new system is that if I picked something up with an amber or red warning on it, indicating too much salt or saturated fat, I immediately had to return it to the shelf. Maybe ignorance is bliss after all.

Armed with lots of healthy food but feeling guilty for not having time to go to a farm shop my husband and I returned home to unpack our shopping and retire to the sofa. I felt happy and calm knowing that I had eaten a fabulous Cajun bean dish from the Plymouth Arts Centre - yummy, Therefore I could justify re-toxing with a bottle of Theakstons lightfoot bitter. I am really looking froward to the arts centres festive fayre on the 7th December, If you like vege food (its hard to imagine how anyone can dislike the arts centre food) you will love the festive fayre.

I plan to do half an hours training with Jo after writing today's blog. Here is one of my latest videos, it is not perfect as it was a rehearsal but it gives you an idea of what new moves I have been practising.



Stay Healthy,


Sam x

Sunday, 11 November 2007

General news & respect to the war heroes.


Firstly a big thanks to everyone who came to Annabel's last night for our monthly social. It was a great night and a good turnout. Jo performed first followed by me and Nixi, A few students were brave enough to venture up onto the pole but most were happy to watch. I seem to have successfully braised my knee resulting on a patchwork of colours ranging from purple to yellow through to green, not quite sure how I managed it but that is the joy of pole dancing for you.

Thanks to Tony for helping me install the pole, to Jo, Nixi, Mel, Mia and Gillian for dancing so beautifully and to Annabel & Andy for letting us have the venue and looking after us as always.
Other news, I have got through to the final three for Pride of Plymouth - arts and culture section. I will be attending the awards ceremony on Friday 23rd November at the Boringdon Hall and no doubt will cry my way through the whole event as they have a children of courage section - will have hankies at the ready (waterproof mascara may be called for!)


I will be chatting tomorrow about an event that occurred yesterday at Plymouth Argyle that has caused some controversy........watch this space.
Last and certainly not least a huge amount of respect goes to all of those who have fought in wars throughout the world, from those who are still involvled in battle today to those who fought in previous wars and to the families who have lost loved ones. I thought the two images at the top of the page were, lovely especially the two veterans laughing. Shame on the gentleman who tried to mar the two minute silence by shouting the Gordon brown comment, surely there is a time and a place for everything and that just wasn't the right. time. Click here for the BBC news feed on today's events.
My husband and I did our two minutes silence and I thought about my Grandad 'Flight Lieutenant Commander Rowles' a man who has rarely spoken about the war until recently but now comes out with the occasional line that could move you to tears in seconds. My Nan occasionally comes out with stories of the doodlebug bombs we she found to be the scariest. We moan about our society today but we live in a world that is full of choice, for most of us we do not live in immediate fear of being bombed and we do not live on rations. Are things really that bad? Many war vets are still in ill health years after the so called end of the war, they really do deserve our respect, support and charity.
Stay Healthy,
Sam x


Friday, 9 November 2007

Tragic news

Unfortunately Rosanna's dad passed away today after his harsh battle with Motor neurone disease, Life can certainly deal some nasty blows. I thought I was having a bad day but suddenly my worries seemed to pale into insignificance compared to what Rosanna must be going through, My thoughts go out to Rosanna and her family. Rosanna wanted to say how wonderful the staff at the hospice were.

Sam x

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Womens Health!!!!

Before the Herald editors start panicking I am not about to start writing anything too contorversial, However Sexual health and our attitudes to the subject are an important part of our general health and fitness. The reason for writing today's blog is a due to a massive change in our attitudes to sex and the industry surrounding it. Findings from Erotic Trade Only, a national publication that monitors sales within the sex retail sector, made the following comments. Firstly it was noted that there had been a dramatic drop in the sales of sex toys and pornographic DVD's, while 52% of us spend nothing on enhancing their sex lives. (dont worry this blog isn't about to deterioate into sleaze!!). In particluar high street sex shops and novelty product suppliers such as Ann summers noted a serious decline in sales over the past 12 months.

My point is that we are becoming more aware of our bodies, more women are deciding not to use chemically infused sex toys containing nasty phlates and phthalates (these are the particularly unfriendly chemicals that are used to soften hard PVC, Greenpeace are campaigning for these particluar chemicals to be banned). Even lingerie retailers are considering the impact of certain materials near to our more sensitive areas. It seems that at long last the sex industry is adopting a more considerate approach to our needs this means a more enivronmental and ethical approach.

No longer do we have to view man-made exploitative porn, now there are female directors getting in on the action, many of the the best selling porn films over the past 12 months are the ones being produced and directed by females which is a big change in statistics from the previous three years. (Apologies for any puns, they are not deliberate but it is hard not to write double entendres when talking about sex). So it seems that at long last Women are making their own choices and are taking their seuxal health far more seriously.

One reason for the change in attitudes is believed to be due the rise in Burlesque and pole dancing lessons, both activties promote female empowerment and general self confidence, if we feel fitter and healthier physically then we can make better life choices. People like Dita Von Teese (pictured top left and headling at Erotica this year) are being praised for highlighting the needs of real women, not silicone enhanced, orange-skinned playboy bunnies. Remember Dita herself is a size 12-14 with real boobs, real hair and despite being a sex symbol she is not a waif like 18 year old. Hurray....

Onto a slightly more serious note - If you do have concerns about your own sexual health there are plenty of points of call from your local gp to a Genito-urinary medicine department. There is advice on the internet but be careful which sources you read. There is a large source of information on the NHS website so click here for more info. Try to avoid overuse of chemicals, especially lubricants which are heavily perfumed as they can increase the chances of infections. Keep safe, condoms are advised but then again an exciting sex life doesnt have to be all about intercourse!!! I will not delve any deeper into that subject (more un-intended double entendres)

I hope I have not offended anyone with the topic of today's blog but sex is part of our lives whether we like it or not, if it wasn't for sex we would not be here, The sex industry is the oldest industry in the world so lets embrace it in a positve way and lets talk about the problems we all share, no more stiff upper lip and no more 'no sex please we're british'. On a final note sex does burn an amazing amoutn of calories and can be great for your flexibility - nuff said.

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Vote for me!


Firstly thanks to Jo for her ongoing support both on a business and personal level. I have just received the picture shown left, it was taken at the nationals in Brighton and it reminded me what a great support she was on the night.
Secondly please vote for me - I have been nominated by one of my students for a Pride of Plymouth award in the arts and culture section. If you would like to vote for me then click here.

I am still feeling rather tired today and am glad that I do not have to do any Pole work today. I will be teaching tomorrow after some rather unfortunate news from Rosanna. Rosanna is one of our Plymouth instructors and she also teaches for us in Exeter, unfortunately her dad was diagnosed with Motor neurone disease some time ago and today she received the dreaded phone call that she should travel to Bedford to say her goodbyes. It must be such a bad time for her and her family and I can't possibly imagine what she must be going through. My thoughts are with Rosanna at this difficult time. If you want to know more about MND or would like to donate to an MIND charity then click here. Please leave supportive comments on Rosanna's blog so she knows we are all thinking about her.

The situation with Rosanna's dad just reminds me that life can be so short, We really should make the most of it and not take our health for granted. I say that with a small feeling of guilt as I did consume slightly more alcohol last night than I had intended however I have eaten well and have been exercising furiously over the last few weeks so I shouldn't feel too bad.

My last bit of news is my failed experiment with banana skins, despite my enthusiasm the application of fresh banana skins does not seem to have helped my dry skin, it is a messy process involving your skin turning black as the banana skin oxidises. Apologies to Jo and anyone else who followed my advice and spent time sat caked in banana! Lets hope the moon cup proves to be more of a success!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Tired.

I have done more than enough pole dancing in the last few days, so now, instead of feeling fit and healthy I feel like I have been battered with a very large stick. I suppose that is exactly what has happened although the big stick was a 50mm thick chrome bar enforced with stainless steel. The pole always seems to win.

If you want to know a little bit more about what I have been up to today then read Jo's blog! I will write more tomorrow.

For now I am off to a horizontal position in front of the TV drinking an ice cold bottle of Leffe Radieuse.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Friday, 2 November 2007

Secret Plymouth.

Today is a good day, the sun is shining and Plymouth really looks at its best, in addition to the lovely weather I have received two particularly interesting e-mails: One of my students Penny Scaffold sent me a link to her new project Secret Plymouth, It is project that I think is fantastic for promoting Plymouth's hidden gems. I think I will vote for the coffee shack as it is my favourite place to sit and watch the world go by.

The Second e-mail was to say that I had won the international body weight culturist of the month award for the body weight culture website. I had come second in the past but first prize involves means a cash reward!! Lets just say that my mental heath is very good today, lets hope my physical health is as positive. In less than half an hour I have a film crew from Nuts TV coming in to the studio to film me for a documentary on the Pole dancing industry. I have made it very clear to the film crew that I am from the fitness side of the industry and not the glamour so I will not be posing for any cheap titillating shots.

I hope the programme is edited fairly so I can get my viewpoint across. I will let you know when the programme is aired. I also hope my muscles allow me to do my best Pole tricks today as they are feeling a little sore. Too many shoulder mounts on Wednesday!!

The sound of the buzzer at the gym indicates the arrival of Cameron and his team so I will disappear off and report back later. Don't forget to vote for Secret Plymouth!!

Stay healthy,

Sam x





Monday, 29 October 2007

I'm back!



It seems like I have spent the last week on a motorway stuck in traffic, firstly there was the trauma of mine and Jo's trip to Brighton, then I travelled to Bradford only to get stuck in one traffic jam at 2am and then to endure another seven hour trip back last night! Apart from all that I am feeling good and am feeling a little happier with events in Brighton last week. (for more info on Miss Pole Dance UK check out Glamour puss's entry for Thursday 25th October - High life highlights.)


The good news from Brighton was that Saints fighter Christi won her fight. Christi dominated Debbie over 5 rounds with a unanimous win given by the judges. Also whilst in Bradford I managed to get some private lesson in at a gym called Kents. I taught two lovely ladies, one instructor and one of her students and they were a real pleasure to teach so all was good.


I have several bits of health and fitness news to share with you, firstly an interesting thing from BBC's street doctor on treating dry skin, I commented recently on the problem with over application of cosmetics and beauty products and also the problems that us pole dancers have with using moisturisers and oils, therefore I was pleased to know that rubbing the inside of a banana skin onto your own skin is a brilliant cure for dry skin. Apparently the enzymes in bananas react with the skin and help many dry skin problems without the need for chemicals and this method does not leave the skin feeling greasy. I tried my first application yesterday but will keep you posted in my progress!


I was disturbed to learn that the NHS now has a programme for treating obese babies, I can't believe that obesity is becoming such a problem for all ages. The situation now is that social services are facing having to remove children from their homes as their obesity is not dealt with, the argument is that the parents can be done for cruelty due to overfeeidng, lack of exercise and failing to react to obesity. What exactly is our society coming to.


After spending far too much time in Motorway service stations it is hardly surprising that we are all becoming obese, I perused the food on sale at the various stations and decided I would rather starve than eat the overpriced rubbish on sale. The only slightly encouraging factor was the Marks and Spencers shop at one such service station that sold food products that could be regarded as healthy and came in environmentally friendly packaging, may be there is some hope.


Anyway it is great to be back in Plymouth and not to have any motorway driving to consider in the near future. Looking forward to teaching in my own studio again tomorrow and catching up up with all my students.


Stay healthy,


Sam x

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


I suppose it wasn't all bad, I got at least one good handstand in the routine! Sam x

When things go bad.

The last 48 hours has been a rollercoaster of emotions with more dips than peaks. I will keep it brief today as I have had less than enough sleep and a seven and a half hour drive back from Brighton. There were two crashes,roadworks and road rage finished with part of the M5 being closed for a high speed police pursuit which was breifly entertaining to watch. You may be wondering how the competition went and the answer is it didn't as there was no fitness section.

Right now all I need is a good nights sleep then I can explain all tomorrow. If you want to know a little more check out puss's blog here. I am still angry with the way things turned out yesterday and driving back, or sitting in traffic as we did for most of the time, has not helped my mood so I will reminisce for now and rant tomorrow.

Thanks to Jo for accompanying me, supporting me and stopping me punching anyone.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The nerves are here!

As expected I did have nightmares last night, I dreamt that I didn't sleep! In my dream people kept turning up at my house asking if they coudl stay over and I kept making up extra beds and whinging as I wanted to go to sleep - funny things dreams. Anyway I am just about to set off and I think I have not forgotten anything essential. I will let you know how I get on.

Stay healthy,

Sam x

Monday, 22 October 2007

The big day is looming.


Tomorrow I leave to drive to Brighton for the finals of Miss Pole Dance Uk, I am sure that I will have nightmares tonight about oversleeping and missing the competition or turning up at the competition naked. I have just done my last run through of my routine and everything seems to be going OK. Fingers crossed that I will perform well tomorrow.


Also Thanks to Christi for the lovely e-mail that she sent to me this morning thanking me for my sponsorship and for cornering her, Believe me it is a pleasure to work with Christi and I am looking forward to being in her corner next week as she fights in Manchester against Debbie Mullock from the John Steele gym in Stoke.


Whilst I am mentioning fighters a big congratulations to the two Saints boxing stable fighters who have fought recently, A great win for Ben Cunnif, age 13 and a close miss for Curtis Betteridge, age 21. Click here for the full review from today's Herald. Well done to their trainer Carl Robson.


I think I have found a man with the fittest fingers in the world! At the weekend we watched local band The Wildcards featuring Vince lee playing his guitar like you've never seen before. What was great was watching lots of people get up and dance, lots of fun to be had by all and lots of cardio vascular exercise - All Good. Dancing of another form was on the agenda when I visited my nan yesterday afternoon as she reminisced about the days of tea dances and commented on the fact that they were great exercise and an opportunity to socialise and build friendships and relationships. It seems a little sad that for many people going out dancing involves getting so drunk that you dont know what you are doing or going out and fighting - If you want to fight or dance then please visit us at Saints first and at least learn how to do it properly!


I am currently waiting on an update on the mooncup that I mentioned in a previous blog, I am hoping it is the healthy alternative to the nastiness that is women's sanitary towels and tampons. I have a guinea pig testing (Cheers Babe)it for me so should have news soon on its progress. Apologies to any men Reading this blog but menstruation is a crucial part of our exisitence and like bowel movements is not something we can avoid!

On the subject of bowel movements - my thoughts go out to Jojo (pictured above left) who has been unwell again, after a huge operation last year Jojo health has been very up and down, he has written a lovely article in todays paper commenting on the brilliance of the staff at Derriford who work hard despite poor working conditions and under pay.
Well, enough writing for today, must save my strength for tomorrow, will keep you posted on my result,
Stay Healthy,

Sam x












Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Video footage


Sorry no words of wisdom today just a new picture of me doing a pose that is meant to be called the lunchbox but I just think it is a horrible name! Also as promised here is the video from my performance in June at the pole divas finals in Manchester, hopefully I can improve on this next Tuesday in Brighton.



Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

News.


Well it is only one week until the finals of Miss Pole dance UK and I have qualified for a place! The finals will be held at The honey Club in Brighton and I am competing in the fitness section. I have to up my training for the next few days and am feeling nervous already. I experience terrible performance nerves and dread the thought of my hands starting to sweat excessively during my performance. Jo will be accompanying me to Brighton and hopefully will keep from being too much of a nervous wreck. (picture shown above left is me at last years competition in Newquay.)

The following week I am hoping to be teaching in Bradford, I am there for three days and have been asked to do some masterclasses to some instructors who teach in the area. Whilst I am in Bradford I will be visiting my lovely mother in law Flo and watching Christi fight at a local show. Click here to view her latest video.


I see in the news this week that obesity is becoming as great a challenge as climate change and by the year 2050 over half of the population will be clinically obese. This is a truly disturbing study. I still feel that more emphasis should be put on those who sell high fat food products and salt and sugar laden snacks to improve their products or pay a tax to the government that can go directly to funding the NHS and dealing with obesity.. It would also be nice if some grant funding was given to Small business's like mine who are doing their bit to tackle obesity and boost general fitness and awareness of health. The cost of treating obesity through the NHS is estimated at 45 million pounds. If we follow America's trend we will all be looking at private healthcare as the NHS simply cannot afford the effect of over 50% of its population being obese.


One quick bit of news that relates to mental well being is a website I found - click here for amusement.


Stay healthy


Sam x

Friday, 12 October 2007

I'm back!


What an amazing holiday, my batteries now feel fully recharged and I am ready to take on the world. The picture left was the sunset from the roof terrace on the last night of my holiday and it was beautiful. I have lost 2kgs whilst on holiday which I put down to good diet and lots of swimming. I feel tanned and healthy apart from the 6 mosquito bites I got on the last night which are littered around my body.

Despite the bites I have returned with a few words of wisdom, firstly on cosmetics and skin products. I know that there is some debate on whether skin creams and lotions are actually good for you and my arguments for and against where altered after watching BBC 3 last night 'How dirty can you get' For those of you who did not see it there were two volunteers who agreed to spend a month without washing or using skin products or make ups. I have always thought that we overuse cosmetics and beauty products but this programme took it to the other extreme and looked at how quickly the teeth can start to decay if not brushed and how rapidly we can develop fungal infections, some of the images were not for the faint hearted. I think the programme just came back to the age old moderation argument that too much of anything is bad for you. I liked the quote from one of the researchers on the programme that 'the poison depends on the dose'.

Two products featured on the programme were tampons and deodorants / anti-perspirants. Lets get the tampons bit out of the way first, I have known for years that tampons are bad for me but had not found a solution that was practical to use whilst pole dancing and so to the
mooncup. The mooncup is a natural alternative to tampons that is supposed to be hygienic and safe. I am just about to order mine so I will keep you posted (no pictures on that blog!) Now on to anti-perspirants which supposedly are linked to breast cancer and believe me the statistics do seem to be backing up the theory. There are lots of natural alternatives ot anti perspirants ( I mentioned the zinc and dandelion alternatives in a previous blog). and deodorant is a much healthier alternative to anti perspirant. I use a product called pit rok, I think the pit rok works, although i only use it occasionally, but as none of my students have commented on me having a problem with body odour I am assuming that it has the desired effect, either that or they are just being polite or I have effectively masked my own smell with the aromas of my healthy diet i.e. garlic and fish.

Having spent a week in the sun I have worn no make-up and no other beauty products and only used a light natural cocoa butter once a day on my skin to work into any dry areas. My skin feels great and the Mediterranean diet has certainly been a contributing factor. To summarise my argument I think we all spend too much on cosmetics and how many of us are guilty at looking at our toiletries bag or cupboard and seeing half empty bottles that we are never going to use. The problem is we are part of a throwaway society so if we can change that a little by cutting down on cosmetics and toiletries we are also doing our bit for the environment whilst saving money and feeling better about ourselves. More apparent words of wisdom (or ramblings) tomorrow.
Stay healthy
Sam x

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Greetings from Portugal.




I am certainly not used to getting up at 7am each morning but living with a 3 year old means that I get to see the sunrise each day. I am staying in a beautiful house on the mountains in Barranco de velho in the algarve. I am accompanied by my Mum, Adele ( an old school friend whom I have known since I was 15) and her daugher Ana. The weather is amazing, 24 degrees and no clouds in sight. Today I am off to a villa between Olhao and Tavira which means lots of fresh fish from the market. I must admit that despite the healthy diet over here I have been lured in by a local drink called Sagres Bohemia which is about as close to real ale as I am going to get.

Later we will be leaving Adele's house and going to stay in a luxury villa with its own pool and boules pitch. We have decided that we will be swimming every day and doing yoga. It is really nice to have a break from the high impact of the pole and a more gentle exercise regime fits the pace of life here perfectly.

Yesterday, to our amusement, we watched Cordozo (Adeles 84 year old neighbour) chasing his two escaped pigs up and down the valley, it was hilarious for us but less hilarious for Cordozo. What made it more amusing was the silhouettes of the two pigs followed by Cordozo followed by Adele's two kittens running through the trees. It does go to prove that this 84 year old man is certainly not past it, The man can run! So no excuse for the rest of us.

Conveniently I am constipated which has worked out perfectly as we ran out of water this morning. My bowels normally run like clockwork and I am more than regular but seeing we cant flush the toilet constipation isnt such a bad thing. I have already had my first dose of exercise today involving climbing a ladder to get to the roof to fill the tank, the bonus of doing this was that I got to see the most amazing view of the valley covered in a light mist.

I have just been informed by Ana that she has done a poo, I think she is telling me just to make me jealous! Enough talk of bowel movements and onto other topics. I wonder how my students are getting on back at home and I wonder how Jo is coping with the gargantuan task of manning the phones, trust me in the fact that they ring a lot! Dont wory Jo it is only 5 days till I come back and then we have the mammoth task of moving premsies (all will be revealed in due course).

Well miraculously whilst writing this I feel a poo coming on which is brilliant, probably more bowel info than you needed but it makes me happy. I dont think I will get to write again before my return so keep exercising and eating well and I will look forward to writing on my return to Plymouth,

IJust before I sign off I want to wish Christi good luck for her fight tomorrow in Birmingham against Ruth Ashdown. I am gutted that I wont be there to see it but I am sure that Christi will be amazing in the ring as usual.

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Two days and counting till my holiday and already I am starting to feel more relaxed. My mood has been enhanced by a full body massage and an hour and a half of yoga - nice. I had a nice e-mail from Bret today with a link to his blog, interesting reading with some health and fitness tips thrown in -http://bretakmf.blogspot.com/ - cheers bret. No recent comments from Kenshi - are you still reading this, Hope you are well?

How many of you watch the community channel? I know sometimes the programmes can be a bit gushy but the other 80% of programmes are just fantastic and inspirational. It is only a few weeks ago i mentioned the schools project that used parkour to help open children's minds. If you are unfamiliar with the community channel then click here. I believe that health and fitness links in with community projects which improve social links as well as getting people active, motivated and involved with something. a few nights ago I watched a deprived area called Beeston entering the Britain in bloom competition. Everyone was in agreement that seeing people out gardening in the community was very refreshing and the vandalism seemed to be in decline as more of the community got involved - it made me smile.

The community channel also features lots of ideas for volunteering so you can get your workout by putting something back into your local environment.

Something else happened to me last night and it was also truly inspirational - I rediscovered St Peter's Brewery in Suffolk via a beautiful glass of Honey Porter, now if you are going to drink then you might as well drink something made from pure spring water and the finest organic hops. Even the Queeen has recognised how fantastic this little company is and gave them an award to coincide with her 80th Birthday celebrations. As usual I have to remind you to drink sensibly and if you are going to drink then please drink lots of water the day after! Oh and thanks to Moor and more beer for helping me rediscover St Peters!

Well it is sign off time now for me, I have my dressing gown on and my feet up on the sofa - sleep time awaits.


Stay healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Sunday is farm shop day

Well, I seem to have found a cure for my illness and it involves passing the virus to someone else! I knew I was feeling better when my husband informed me that his throat felt like glass, then within 24 hours he was laying on the sofa clutching two pillows looking very sorry for himself! I, however, feel great! And it is only 4 days till my holiday in the Algarve, click here for details of where I am staying (smug or what?).

The key to fighting a cold or to general well being is eating good stuff. Sid and I like to go to farm shops and buy fresh local produce and we ventured out today with nowhere particular in mind, We saw a sign for a dog show so we thought it might be fun to drop in and see what was going on, we pulled into a non-descript field and saw 6 dogs being heavily criticised by a short man in wellies with a gruff voice. A small girl of about 10 years old won best in her show for her poodle and everyone seemed happy, It all seemed a bit surreal. We could see a sign for a farm shop but the place did not look open, however, we decided to have a look anyway, as we entered the corrugated iron and plastic shed we were greeted by a vast array of fresh home grown vegetables, milk and eggs. We had found Vincent's Farm shop and Vincent was there, he was happy to chat about his shop and apologise for its modesty but he needn't apologise as it was amazing. We spent £9 and came back with bags full of produce.

Vincent pointed out that his son, Richard, normally runs the shop but Vincent had just been on holiday and had flown for the first time in his life. His farm shop is well worth a visit. When you are buying locally it is easy to be conned. It is only a few weeks since Sid & I went to the new 'farm shop' adjacent to Endsleigh Garden Centre and we were really disappointed. It is easy for companies to cash in on the drive to do your bit for the environment.

Anyway, the farm shop at Collard Lane was great, the dinner I am cooking will hopefully be equally great, Next time you are shopping bare Vincents in mind and if you have time don't forget to ask about Vincents 'educational time' in Gran Canaria! There are loads of little farms out there that just need finding.


One more point for discussion - Last night I rediscovered St Peter's Brewery in Suffolk via a beautiful glass of Honey Porter, now if you are going to drink then you might as well drink something made from pure spring water and the finest organic hops. Even the Queen has recognised how fantastic this little company is and gave them an award to coincide with her 80th Birthday celebrations. As usual I have to remind you to drink sensibly and if you are going to drink then please drink lots of water the day after! Oh and thanks to moor and more beer for helping me rediscover St Peters!

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

14 year old fighter!

Well, I still feel rather like poo - I lack energy and motivation and have now faced up to the fact that i do not have tonsillitis but a nasty head cold, the evil little virus has spread from my throat to my ears, nose, sinuses and eyes and is now reeking havoc with my head. However on a good note my routine eye test went well today and I still do not need glasses. I received a DVD featuring my performance at the Pole Divas finals in Manchester and was deeply disappointed with my dance - must try harder!


Some more good news is that I have sponsored a talented young 14 year old to help her pursue her Thai boxing career. Christi Campbell (pictured above left) has been fighting for several years now and after beating most of the juniors in her weight division she is now fighting adults. She is a great role model for kids her age as she points out 'Most of my friends spend their evenings and weekends at the park smoking and getting into trouble. I spend my time training and hope to one day become world champion'. My sponsorship will help Christi to train in Thailand ready to undergo her bid for a world title. Click here to download her recent fight with Natasha Gold.

Apologies again for such a short blog, Will try to write something inspiring tomorrow. I do have some advice I have been meaning to share for a while on healthy eating so will endeavour to find time tomorrow. For the moment you can stay healthy by avoiding me! (sorry students - you have to put up with me regardless!)

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Monday, 24 September 2007

Poorly!


Yours truly - the health and fitness advisor is not healthy and not fit - I have a throat infection (seems like tonsillitis) and am feeling sorry for myself, I am blaming the university students for bringing a large selection of germs into Plymouth and into my studio! I feel like I have been swallowing glass and am sat in the office staring at the computer trying to motivate myself to get some more work done!
I exhibited in Exeter yesterday for Face of Exeter and felt that my performance was not up to normal standards, by midnight I was feeling rough. I will post a video of mine and Rosanna's performance in the next week for your perusal. I think it is fair to say that everyone loved the show, The hair and make up artists from HQ hair and Beauty were excellent and hopefully the show raised a good amount of money for Force - the cancer charity. Congratulations to the winners - Chris and Abi (see picture above).

So how can I write about health when I feel so groggy. I will be resting my aching body today and tending to my war wounds from the weekend. All sympathy greatly received, I will not be blogging tomorrow as it is Ashley's funeral which probably wont help me to feel much better.
Advice for today is aimed directly at those who may be feeling poorly like me - here is some advice on the treatment of tonsillitis - click here for more info. For those of you who are not ill you have no excuse for not getting off your backsides and doing some exercise.
Stay Healthy (unlike me!)
Sam x

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Ouch.

Well after a successful Westcountry pole jam at my studio today I seem to be missing several bits of skin, one bit is missing from my shin and the other two bits are missing from my left foot (my climbing foot), This is not good new for my exhibition in Exeter tomorrow. I have vaslelined the skin to try to create a temporary cover but will lose yet more skin tomorrow no doubt. A big thanks to everyone who managed to turn up today.

Aside from my days pole jamming, one of the fighters from our gym - Saints - is fighting in Birmingham today. Omar has been a student at the gym for several years and despite showing signs of being a great fighter he always seems to draw when in the ring - fingers crossed that today will provide him with a much deserved win -I will keep you posted.

As some of you may have read - Jo has been updating her gymnastic skills at the Swallows gym in Plymouth, it all sounded very painful and as Jo's stepson put it "I think I have broken Jo!"

This week sees the launch of this years Sports personality of the year for local people - the event looks set to be a good one.

Here are a few bits of feedback from previous blogs - firstly the milk experiment, Can milk hydrate you better than water? The answer is that it seems to work, well at least with milk you spend less time on the Loo. I am unsure whether I would recommend drinking too much milk but a half pint after training seems to help my general fitness and well being. I still drink lots of water too. The dandelion tea seems to be helping me sweat less but it has been cooler in the gym and some of the effects may be psychosomatic so I can't say for sure.

Anyway -it is Saturday night and I am accompanied by a delightful bottle of Leffe brun, a fine Belgian beer, not generally recommended for a health and fitness regime but very nice nonetheless.

Well it is good bye from me and goodbye from the Leffe,

Stay healthy,

Sam x