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


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