Hello and welcome to the Dumb-Belle Chronicles: 10 Weeks To Fitness – with wonderful Personal Trainer: Calum Taylor, which will see me hopefully cutting my body fat in half in just over two months. What HAVE I got myself into this time eh?

It occurred to me a few months ago that fitness is the one thing that we do not cover nearly enough of on this blog. I had always hoped to be able to offer practical advice to those who were looking for help working out and getting fit, but I realised, since I basically know nothing about exercise, that I was not going to be able to do this alone. SO. In a bid to ACTUALLY help people this new year, I have enlisted the help of my great friend and superstar personal trainer Calum Taylor who is going to, over the next 10 weeks guide me, and you if you’d like to come, on the fitness journey that my body has been absolutely longing for. For a lot of us getting into the swing of healthy eating and lots of exercise is pretty much impossible because we basically haven’t got a clue. No one tells us what to do and since we don’t understand food or the gym or calories or BMIs we tend to fuck it up. But I want to help, so for you guys, I am happy to be the guinea pig!

Although I am not fat, and don’t actually want to lose any weight, I realised after an hour with Cal this weekend that whilst I might look OK on the outside, my insides are telling a different story, so I was going to need help to make a change. Luckily help is here. Here’s what happened on my first trip to go and visit Calum in his studio:

First things first I needed to be measured. E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.

Next up I had to get on the scales. And not the normal scales who’s numbers I can blame on water weight or the fact that I need a poo. Nope, BIG SERIOUS SCALES THAT YOU CAN HAVE NO SECRETS FROM. (Yes, I do need a pedicure).

Then it was time to have my height measured…

And then it was time to check my blood pressure, heart rate and lung capacity… (so much more to this than I thought that there would be!)

Now it’s time for the fitness stuff. First things first I had to put on a heart rate monitor, wire myself up to Cal’s iPad (bluetooth is so clever) and get on the cross-trainer. The aim was to keep my legs going at a certain pace with my heart rate at about 75% of it’s full capacity.

Then it was time to check the strength of everything. Press ups, pull ups, squats, planks and side planks. *gulp*

Then we needed to test my (lack of) flexibility..

AND THEN. Then it was time to sit down and work out what this all meant…

So what does it all mean? Well, in the interest of transparency, here are my (less than impressive) results:

Body Fat: 34%

This puts me in the ‘unfit’ category. I think a ‘fit’ woman should have 20% so this isn’t great. Having said that I am obviously not very fat. What this means is that I am weak (as became apparent in the strength tests). I weight 10st7lbs and currently I am 4st of fat. To maintain my weight I would need to eat 1400 calories a day. Because of my current stomach issues however we need to be careful with my diet… and I HATE calorie counting obviously, more on that later… My bones only weigh 4lbs by the way.

Visceral Fat: 3/12

This isn’t that bad at all, but it’s obviously not perfect. Visceral fats are the fats that surround your organs and arteries. It is clearly in my best interest to get this down as much as I can.

My Heart Rate: 82.

This is VERY high and not good. It didn’t used to be like this though and we suspect it might be something to do with my health issues, the fact that my body is fighting an illness. This is something that I am going to check with my doctor though because at my age it shouldn’t be that high at all.

My Lungs:

I didn’t write this down exactly because I didn’t understand it but the long and short is, they are fine, they’re very efficient, but they are MUCH too small. Because I am unfit AND smoke (naughty naughty) I need to work hard to grow them, which you can do and that is by, surprise surprise, getting out of breath.

Arm Strength:

Less than poor. Literally, I didn’t even show up on Cal’s chart I did so badly so I SERIOUSLY need to work on that.

Leg Strength:

Very good. I’ve been cycling for years and flipping love walking so that’s probably where that came from.

Tummy Strength:

Fine. Not bad, not great. Definitely needs to be improved.


Poor. This is surprising considering quite how hyper-mobile I am but not really when you take into consideration how unfit I am! I think lots of stretching is going to be needed to fix this!

So then we talked training, we talked diets and we discussed what, in an ideal world, I wanted to get out of my 10 weeks. I can’t remember exactly what I said but I think it was something along the lines of:

– Halving my body fat.
This is hugely optimistic but the 34% scared me. If I could get it down to 20% then I’d be beyond happy.

– I want to be strong.
Basically I want to do everything twice as well as I did today in ten weeks time,.

– I want to grow my lungs to normal size
That means lots of raised heart rate and sweating but I’m worried about my little mouse lungs so that’s what I need to do!

– I do NOT want to lose weight.
That is NOT what this is about at all for me. I have nothing against people wanting to lose weight, of course I don’t, each to their own. But for me personally? I think I’m a healthy size and I don’t want to get fixated on that element of it. I’m sure my body shape will change and that’s great but I don’t want to get scale-crazy.

So what next?

Well, this week I am going to start exercise. I’m going to do my own thing whilst Calum pulls together a plan for me. I am also going to make a note of everything that I eat so he can see what we are dealing with. I’ve got a little form to fill out and I will share it with you guys when it is done. Then, next Sunday at 10am I am going to go and visit Calum and begin the torture that will see the beginning of my ten weeks.

He will then give me a weekly schedule which I will again, share with you. I will document the whole week and I hope that in some way this will be useful to you. Between Calum and I, we will explain everything that I am doing and why I am doing it so if you want to do the same thing at home, you can. I will also get into my cooking and if I come up with any yummy recipes I will share them.

This is quite an exciting adventure for me and I hope that you are looking forward to coming with me! Let me know if you have any questions and when I see Calum next I can put them to him!

Oh… and in case you were wondering, what happens if I fuck it up and break the rules? Calum showed me:

I don’t want to be in the naughty corner!

So I know that this has been a VERY long blog post, but I hope that it has been interesting for you! Wish me luck everyone! LET’S DO THIS! xxxx



  1. Francie
    January 8, 2017 / 11:27 am

    Good luck Ems xx

  2. HuntervC
    January 11, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    almost jealous i cant join you, you’ll smash it, of that i’m sure! xx

    PS. Nice toes 😉

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