Mia Tui - The Blog

Meet Nici

Hi, I’m Nici the newest member of the Mia Tui team!

I have known Charlotte for a very long time! We were once next-door neighbours many many years ago. 

I have an absolute passion for bags (so I totally get why our wonderful customers are also so passionate about the Mia Tui brand) and customer service is also my bug bare having spent many years working in the Hotel industry as Front of House Manager and then running a retail business too. 
I am married and we have 6 children between us, although they are all adults now! 
Oh, and we are getting a Puppy soon!
 
As I put some questions to Charlotte for the first blog post of the “Get to know the Team” I have been told by the boss that I also need to answer, so here goes!
 
1. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
2. TEA OR COFFEE?
Peppermint tea until it’s time to pack orders then coffee!
3. IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
Hubby/Kids and the right move app!
4. FAVOURITE SEASON?
Spring
5. BEST BOOK YOU HAVE EVER READ?
Schindlers Ark
6. IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO SLEEP WHAT WOULD YOU USE THE TIME TO DO?
Stay at the office longer!
7. WHICH MIA TUI BAG ARE YOU CURRENTLY USING AND WHY?
My Silver Olivia because I am clinging on to Summer!
8. WHAT ITEM OF CLOTHING IS YOUR “GO TO”?
Jeans! Dress them up or down they are my wardrobe staple I have about 12 pairs!
9. AFTER A LONG DAY AT THE MIA TUI OFFICE, WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL WIND DOWN?
Light the log burner, pour a glass of Rose, long bath, then curl up with a book in front of the fire.

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October 16, 2017 Add a comment

Meet Charlotte - Founder of Mia Tui

We thought it would be nice for our customers to meet the faces behind Mia Tui, so over the next couple of weeks (there isn't many of us!) we will let you see who we are and what makes us tick! 

I am Charlotte the creator of Mia Tui for my sins, I think most of you know that I came up with the idea of Mia Tui when I used to live in Vietnam. I would travel on my own with my then two small daughters, Amelie and Mia. 

I could never find anything in my bag, I would hunt for Amelie's dummy, or a toy and could never find them in the bottom of my bag as everything just fell into the middle of the bag, and as it was a black lining you couldn't see anything.

Anyway, to cut a very, very long story short I decided that I could design a better bag. So without any design or even artistic talent, I sketched out a bag, and then looked for factories who could bring it to life. 

I came up with the name Mia Tui after spending lots of time on Google Translate. I wanted to have "Mia" in the company name, not after my daughter, but because Mia is a really easy name to remember. Tui actually means "Bags" in Vietnamese, and Mia in Italian means "My" so Mia Tui means "My Bags"

The 1st prototype was the ugliest thing I have ever seen, but thankfully I found Van who was the sister of one of the factory owners I went to see. They wouldn't touch me, but Van understood what I wanted to do, so together we made the 1st 200 Mia Tui bags."

Me on the factory floor designing the Grace bag

Six months later we were told as a family that we were leaving Vietnam and moving back to the UK. This came with mixed emotions, but it gave me the idea of making Mia Tui a 'real business' and launching in the UK.

Mia Tui started in the UK in October 2011, and it has been a roller coaster of a ride, with many ups and downs, but it's all part of starting and running a business.

So who am I...

I am 46 years-old and married to Philippe a Frenchman who I met in London 14 years ago, we have two children Amelie and Mia.

 This is me and my family on holiday

We got married in Hong Kong and that is where we had both our girls, Hong Kong holds a special place in my heart. After 4 years in Hong Kong, we moved to Vietnam.

Before Mia Tui and moving to Hong Kong I worked in Sales and Marketing mainly for drinks companies, Carlsberg-Tetley, Virgin Drinks, and Britvic. 

I am also a qualified aerobics instructor and have taught classes since I was 18 years-old. Sadly I have not taught since moving back to the UK and starting Mia Tui, so I'm not as fit as I used to be! 

What does Mia Tui mean to me? ... in short, it means everything. I have started from nothing, sitting on a factory floor designing bags, and buying off-cuts of fabrics from the markets in Vietnam.

Everything we do with Mia Tui is done with our customer at the heart, I have obviously made mistakes, but we will always look to fix them and never take our customers for granted.

I like to think of Mia Tui as an old-fashioned store, but online. We are always here to answer questions and love to talk to our customers on the phone.

We listen to all feedback and as we work so closely with Van and our factory we can bring designs to life really quickly.

Our Sue Shoppers came about after "Sue" a customer emailed me and saying we need to design a better re-usable shopper as she just put her food on top of some clothes!

So what now for Mia Tui? I have an amazing team of Sarah and Nici who both equally love Mia Tui as much as I do. We speak all the time, and I mean all the time on what we can do next and how to improve and grow.

Some highlights from my 6 years with Mia Tui are... 

  • Winning the "Best Tavel Bag" at The Mother & Baby Awards, I was with my Dad and I got to go up on stage with him. We were in shock and it's a moment that will last all my life.
  • Seeing Jane McDonald using a Mia Tui on the TV.
  • Getting Mia Tui on QVC - it took 3 years of trying.
  • Winning against TUI Travel who wanted us to stop using our name

Me and my Dad at the Mother & Baby Awards!

Nici has given me some questions to answer...

      1. Where did you grow up...? Maidstone, Kent
      2. Tea or Coffee...? Coffee as I wake up then tea
      3. If you were stranded on a desert island what could you not live without..?  My phone & internet
      4. Favourite season...? Autumn
      5. Best book you have read...? I don't have time to read, the last book I read was Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
      6. If you didn't have to sleep, what would you use the time to do...?  Spend more time with my family, work harder on Mia Tui and maybe get to the gym!
      7. Which Mia Tui bag are you currently using and why...? Emma for work, Megan as my everyday bag
      8. What item of clothing is your "go to"...? Asymmetric top
      9. After a long day at the Mia Tui office, what is your ideal wind-down routine...? Wind-down, what is that! I love a glass of wine and Kettle crisps!

 I hope this has given you an insight into me and Mia Tui.

Charlotte x

 

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October 02, 2017 Add a comment

Win a Mia Tui Travel Bag

Mia Tui bags are perfect for taking on holidays, from the Emma or Chloe as your travel bag, to the Sue Shopper or travel PVC bags on the beach and around the pool.

Even the pink bag that your bag comes in can double up as a towel bag, and the clutch bag make a lovely evening bag.

In the picture above there are many different Mia Tui bags, just let us know how many you think there are? Comment with your answer in the box below. (comments have to be approved so won't show immediately) 

We will announce the winner on Facebook on the 8th August https://www.facebook.com/miatui

The winner will be able to choose a travel bag of their choice.

***Hint*** - think about all types of Mia Tui bags, from Clutch, Sue Shopper and PVC bags.

www.miatui.com

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July 29, 2016 53 comments

Who makes Mia Tui bags?

I have been wanting to write this for a while now.

Mia Tui bags are made in Vietnam in my friends Van's factory, this is not just any old factory. This is a factory that has been build with love and a lot of hard work. 

Van has a vision for her factory, it will not be just a concrete building.

She wants it to be an idilic place to work, combining an organic farm with beautiful gardens and the Mia Tui factory. Where her "family" as she calls them can work, giving security to people in the local area.

A few pictures of the factory and farm

     

 

     

Van is one of my best friends,  I have known her for 6 years now, we started our business at the same time. The road has not always been easy, but through determination and lots of lessons learnt I believe Mia Tui bags just get better and better.

I have just spent the day unloading the latest container, and I am blown away with the bags, the finish is amazing, the attention to detail is second to none.

Picture of the container leaving Vietnam and it arriving in the UK today

     

Mia Tui bags are truly made with love, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to Van and her "family" for making such beautiful bags.

Cam on - thank you in Vietnamese xx


 

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June 28, 2016 1 comment

Win a Set of 3 Sue Shopper - Re-Inventing the Re-usable Shopping Bag

Our new "Sue Shoppers" are taking the re-usable shopping bags a step further.                        

              

When you are out and about shopping you need a bag that you can use for your different types of shopping.

That is where our Sue Shopper comes in handy, small enough to fit in your handbag or coat pocket. You have two compartments and a big zipped pocket in the centre.

You can now shop for your dinner, little something to wear, maybe a greeting card and have them seperated all in the same bag.

We are giving away 5 sets of 3 Black Sue Shoppers

All you need to do is comment on Facebook or the blog and like and share our competition.

Winners will be picked at random on the 30th November - UK residents only
Click Here to buy - you can get 3 for £12 when you use the code SUE12 -


Don't forget they make great stocking fillers and gifts 

 

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November 19, 2015 2 comments

How to choose your Mia Tui travel bag

We have designed the inside of a Mia Tui bag to make travelling a little easier.

The clutch bags that can be worn across your body, so passports/tickets can be kept close.

Travel compliant PVC bags for your liquids make going through security a little easier.

Our straps are thicker so when the bags are heavy they don't dig into your shoulder.

The pockets are big enough for iPads, Kindles and Tablets, so you can store away safely and our water-bottle holders are insulated. All of our bags have the signature key clip, phone and pen holders.

"Expect more from a Mia Tui Bag"  

Let's start with the Amelie, this is our largest travel bag and the bag you would want with you if you're travelling with a family. or you want an over-night / weekend bag.

The Amelie is cabin compliant on all airlines as your carry-on luggage, but not as your additional handbag - so you can't take a small suitcase and this bag.

This is a large bag so we don't recommend if you are under 5ft 5".

 

The Minnie Amelie is just a shorter version of the Amelie, don't be fooled by the name this is still a large travel bag.

You will be able to take this on British Airways flights as your additional handbag - it is only 2cm taller than the required height, but as our fabric is super soft it will fit in the size gauge and under your seat.

A great bag if you like to carry a lot, but not quite the kitchen sink..!

 

The Emma is our brand new travel bag and will eventually replace the Minnie Amelie, it is the same size so all of the above applies to the Emma.

Don't forget all of our bags fit under the seat in-front of you, so you don't have to keep getting out of your seat if you forget anything. 

You will be able to take this on British Airways flights as your additional handbag - it is only 2cm taller than the required height, but as our fabric is super soft it will fit in the size gauge and under the seat in-front of you.

 

The Ella is just slightly smaller that the Emma and Minnie Amelie, because it narrows to the top of the bag so you don't have quite as much volume space as the other two bags.

This is perfect if you want a bag to feel slightly smaller on your shoulder, but still have space inside for all of your items.

 

The Olivia is the perfect travel bag if you want a smaller travel bag, but still want all the Mia Tui internal benefits.

This classes as your handbag on all budget airlines, so you can take your carry-on suitcase and this bag *if two pieces of luggage are allowed into the cabin.

Included is a clutch bag with a wrist strap, PVC bag for carry-on liquids, a water-bottle holder, phone and pen holder and our signature key clip.

This is the perfect travel bag for the stylish traveller who just sashes her way through the airport looking fantastic.. something I aspire to when travelling alone without the kids and husband :-)

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August 18, 2015 1 comment

What's in a review? A lot to me...

I feel like I have had my guts ripped out..!

Over the past 3 months I have been working like a dog to make QVC happen, for Mia Tui this is a big deal as it is the one platform that will really allow us to show why Mia Tui bags are different.

Last Wednesday was our "Go Live" date, I had to leave the family in Rhodes to fly back to help host the show. The show went really well, we sold out of most of the Lottie and Matilda Mae bags, and half of the new Emma, Olivia only got 2 minutes on air so didn't fair quite as well.

Today I see two reviews on the QVC website which were not good, saying that the Emma bag is too heavy one even going as far as saying its cumbersome and would never buy from this brand again :-(

I think people don't realise that there is a person behind the brand trying really hard and caring about what everyone thinks of their baby.

I know everyone is entitled to their opinion.

The Emma bag comes with extra bags to help you stay organised, detachable strap, lots of pockets and 2 water-bottle holders which have to be made with additional fabric, its not just an empty sack. 

We make the straps wider and longer so they are comfortable on your shoulder, and we use a really strong water-resistant lining.

The bag is only a little heavier that a cheaper travel bag you will by in a supermarket, but it will last you a lot longer and keep you organised.  

Just had to get it off my chest.

Charlotte x

 

 

 

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August 10, 2015 6 comments

Mia Tui's Woman of the Month - April

Mia Tui is all about making the busy woman's life easier...

.. With this in mind we are launching a 'Woman of the Month' feature. This will be a monthly feature to promote and celebrate the amazing women who are a part of our lives; friends, mums, aunties, cousins, neighbours, teachers, nurses, childcare providers ... the list is endless!

There are no restrictions, just tell us who you think deserves to be the Mia Tui Woman of the Month and why, and we will pick at random from all the nominations received. The noteworthy recipient will receive a Mia Tui bag of their choice.

To register your Woman of the Month, comment on the blog, with details of your nominee, saying why you believe them to be an outstanding woman and consider her to be a noteworthy Woman of the Month, then comment on our Facebook page telling us that you have nominated your Woman of the Month

The cut-off for each month's nominations will be the 20th of the previous month e.g. 20th April is the the final date for the May award. 

I will start the ball rolling with the April Award (as we have passed the deadline!) and nominate Jubeda Islam. Jubeda is a truly inspirational lady. A loyal Mia Tui customer, over the years, Jubeda has also become a friend and we are constantly amazed by what this lady achieves and how she cares for her beautiful family. Little Zaki was born at just 24 weeks with many medical complications, and Jubeda cares for him at home, along with her other children. A wonderful lady and most definitely a noteworthy Woman of the Month! Congratulations Jubeda. 

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March 26, 2015 3 comments

Help Us Find A New Strap Line & Win A Mia Tui Bag

Here at Mia Tui we are starting to look at how we communicate our brand and bags to women, we are just looking at shooting new movies showing people "why" Mia Tui bags are different to any other bags you can buy.

This is where we need your help, currently we use the strap line "A Bag For All Reasons" it was meant to tell people that you can use a Mia Tui bag for travelling, going to gym, as a baby changing bag or heading off to work. 

One bag could be used for many different occasions, I probably think that we could do better, and get across why so many people love Mia Tui bags and that our bags allow you to easily find things.

So get your creative juices flowing and tell me what you think our new strap line should be, say anything lets get as many ideas down on paper.

If it is your strap line we use you will get a Mia Tui bag of your choice and see your idea brought to life.

Comment on the blog or on Facebook x

 

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Michaela is returning to fitness after having a beautiful baby

It has been 3 weeks since I had my baby now. I was worried about how my body would look after giving birth to my third child but luckily, I only put on 11lb during my pregnancy and went straight back down to my pre-pregnancy weight afterwards.

I do need to tone up though. 9 month of pregnancy, well over that since I went 9 days overdue, all that time my body has stretched and grown a little person inside which means that my tummy could do with a little work. That's why I am joining in with this. Not necessarily to lose weight, but to get fit, tone up and try to look better and feel better in myself.

Since I am only 3 week post birth, I still cannot exercise much (advise is to not be too active until 6 weeks after birth) but am taking advantage of the fact that there is a park close by and have been taking the boys up there every couple of days. That way, they get to play and run off some steam, and I get to have a lovely long walk around the fields, pushing my newborn and settling him as I go. Keeping myself fit but not overdoing it.

Being a mum to 3 boys means that I am always on my feet, so maybe in the long run, exercise won't matter too much as I'm always running around anyway.

I can't wait to have my 6 weeks check though and get the all clear. Start going swimming again and for longer walks. Start looking after myself properly again knowing that, now my family is complete. I can focus on looking after myself and my health too

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Travel Bags

Travelling this year..?

We will show you how the Amelie or Minnie Amelie make the best travel bags.

Here are a few of the key features to a Mia Tui travel bag...

  1. Airline compliant for taking in the cabin on all airlines
  2. Fits under the seat in-front of you - so you can always get to your bag without climbing over two people!
  3. Comes with a clutch bag that can be worn across your body, meaning you can keep your passports, tickets and purse securely on your body
  4. Travel PVC bag for your 100ml liquids
  5. Brightly coloured interior - no black hole, so you can actually see into your bag
  6. Clips for your keys
  7. Phone and pen holder
  8. Water-proof fabric inside and out
  9. Zipped pocket on the back
  10. The bag fully zips closed for additional security

The great thing about these two travel bags are that you can travel to your destination and then use them as your beach/pool bag once you are there. Just remember to shake the sand out!

Happy travelling :-)

 

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February 26, 2015 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

Best Changing Bags for Twins

Having just come back from The Baby Show at Excel, it has hit us that there are more and more people having twins. We get asked all the time "do you have a changing bag for twins.

We don't have a specific bag designed for twins, but we can give feedback from other twin mums on what bags they say works really well.

I remember one twin mum buying an Amelie bag on the back of an article she had seen on Mia Tui. She had been through 5 changing bags, she actually exchanged the Amelie for the Minnie Amelie and said that "this is the best changing bag for twins"

The Minnie Amelie has two insulated bottle holders, clutch bag for mum so she knows where her purse is, and can even wear it across her body. The PVC bag is great for nappies, wipes, 1st aid etc, always knowing where your keys are is a blessing when you are trying to get into your house or car! 

The pockets that run around the inside of the bag allow you to always find your things, then there is so much space in the middle to be able to dump things.

The fabric is waterproof inside and out, so you don't need to worry about ruining your bag, even if you have a "mare" of a day and spill milk, smash food, you can turn the bag inside out wash in a bowl of hot soapy water and dry with your hairdryer! 

So there you have it.. I'm told time and time again that Minnie Amelie is the perfect changing bag for twins.

http://miatui.com/collections/changing-bags

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Claire's 2nd Update

Fitness Update 2.

So mid-way through February and I am still sticking to my workouts.  I actually look forward to it now, which is unheard of for me normally the slightest little excuse and that's it I'm on the sofa with my feet up!!    

We have had some lovely dry weather at the weekends so I have been out for some long walks with our dog Summer.  She's a little Lhaso Apso and so is quite happy with a quick 10 minute stroll around the block but as it has been so nice I have taken to walking around the entire village and through the park which takes about 45 minutes, when we get home she collapses in a little heap on her bed! 

This is Summer collapsed on the bed.

I have still been using my stepper and dvds every night for 30-45 minutes but have decided that I might try running at the weekends as its good to get out in the fresh air.  I have been using a dvd called Total Cardio Burn by Caroline Pearce and I really recommend it.  There are 3 workouts on the disc (I have been doing the first one) and it lasts about 20 minutes, its divided into sections and you do legs, arms, abs and then a cardio burn at the end of each section - its very fast moving and you can definitely tell you've had a good workout!

I have stalled a bit on the swimming as I have come to the conclusion that I can't swim a length because I am scared of the deep end.  I can swim widths and widths easily but as soon as i have to swim a length I stop as soon as I can touch the bottom again - its relief I've not drowned I think!  I cannot think of a way to get around this without maybe some kind of therapy so am sticking to widths for the time being!

I hope that you are all enjoying getting fitter.

Claire x

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Charlotte, Claire's & Catherine's (or should we say the 3 C's ) Fitness Update

Claire's Fitness Update 1 

January 23rd 2015

Well we are 23 days into the New Year and I have done some kind of exercise for 17 of those days...........I think that is more than I did in the whole of 2014!

So far I have not made it to my swimming lesson on a Friday night, this is mainly out of laziness as I have to get in the car in the cold and dark and drive for 20 minutes to get there and I would rather stay at home in the warm and exercise.  This all changes tonight, I have my swimming bag all packed and in the car ready to leave at 6pm - no excuses!

Each day I have exercised I have either been on my stepper for 25/30 minutes or done a workout dvd, I have also done weights and situps/crunches.  I love having my music blaring away, singing along  and I have to say that so far I am really enjoying it and I feel so much better in myself.  I am slightly prone to feeling pretty down at certain times of the month but this month I feel alive and kicking!!  Am not quite sure how my husband feels seeing me sweating and red in the face but its rubbed off because he is now trying to get fitter too.

Charlotte's 1st Update

Well it's about 3 weeks since I started and so far things are going well.  My scales are notoriously unreliable but they say I've lost about 10lbs!!! I'm shocked and pleased but know it won't last so I can't get complacent. 
Time to do exercise is limited due to work and childcare but I've started the NHS couch 2 5K yet again and have managed a couple of sessions this week.

I've also been able to access some counselling which seems to have come at just the right time. Not sure I'm tackling any of the miscarriage issues yet but I do seem to have stopped eating quite so constantly which is only a good thing! !!

Holiday is coming up soon ish and the threat of wearing beach wear in public is keeping off the choc too. But I am taking my kit as the hotel has a gym. Even thinking about taking my kit is a big change for me!

Catherine's 1st Update

It's been a mixed couple of weeks here.  The losing weight part has gone fairly well so far, with 5lbs lost.  I found the slimming group's plan too restrictive and made me feel negative and fed up, so I have made changes which seem to be suiting me better.  

Watching the Horizon "Which diet is right for you? " programmes was fascinating.  I am totally a constant craver - everything they did and said made so much sense.  Food fills my empty thoughts and then I easily get fixated on what I *need* next.  So I'm loosely following the diet suggested by the programme, of having two days of around 800 calories.  The rest of the days I am trying to stay below 1400 calories but don't get too stressed if I go above.  I'm liking it so far.  

Minor achievements food wise are discovering I finally like Ryvita as a low cal lunch and porridge isn't too bad either - nice and filling for the lower calorie days. 

Exercise has been scuppered a little bit.  My youngest has had his third chest/throat infection in the last 7/8wks meaning more antibiotics and less desire to go outside with him as it has been so cold.  We have done a couple of walks/scoots which has been good but hopefully now he is on the mend we can do a bit more and get back to swimming as a family on a Sunday.  

I also start my running group next Saturday which I am looking forward to and dreading in equal measures! Hoping I get back into it easily

 

 

 

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Ellen's and Gemma's Fitness Update

Nelle's Weight-loss Journey

The first few weeks.                                                                  

I'm going to share today my weight-loss system. I have decided to lose weight with the help of hypnosis. I am still exercising but I do not diet! 

The program I am following is:

Virtual Gastric Band Hypnosis Support & Maintenance Programme by James Holmes

https://appsto.re/gb/X6YvN.i

I have it on my iPad and iPhone, and it can be used on other devices. Each evening I listen to it before I go to bed, it helps me to relax meaning I will fall asleep more quickly.

As part of the programme there are guidelines that I follow to help me, and I read them regularly. There are 4 points and I thought I would share them with you today 

Number 1. Eat what you want NOT what you can.

Your body knows what it needs to stay healthy. Listen to your body. Depriving yourself of certain foods only increases your craving for it! You will always want more if you believe you cannot have it. There are no forbidden food (my favourite part) just some foods that are more healthy for you.

Number 2. Eat whenever you are physically hungry, every time you are physically hungry but only when you are physically hungry.

Ignoring your body's natural hunger will only lead to over eating and fat storage later on.

Number 3. Eat slowly

Slow your eating speed down to a 1/4 of what it is now! Remember to place your knife and fork down between mouthfuls, and ensure your mouth is empty before taking another bite. By doing this you will learn to know when you are full.

Number 4. Stop eating when you are full!

When you are feeling satisfied, stop! It's your body telling you enough is enough.

These are not tricky to do, but it is really easy to keep eating. I have always been told to "eat up all your dinner" and "don't waste that" now I have to change these habits.

Other points I follow are:

* Be kind to myself, I look in the mirror and say something positive about what I see. It is so easy to see the negative, we forget about the good stuff. It does also help the day to start on a happy note.

  • If I over eat, I don't beat myself up, it happens. Remember next time to stop when your full.
  • Every time I feel hungry I always have a glass of water. The hunger feeling and thirst feeling are very similar, so best to check.
  • Drink 2 litres of water a day. It's just good for you all round.
  • Enjoy every mouthful of food. It really shouldn't be a chore.

I try to exercise 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes. This doesn't always happen and I have to be realistic. I have four children to care for and a full time job, so things do get in the way. I try not to get upset with myself as it won't help and I want this to be a positive experience. It's about me finding out who I really am, not getting depressed. I've done that in the past.

So far during the last 3 weeks I have lost 5lbs, I am thrilled. I have decided that slow and steady wins the race, and so far, so good!

My before photos – never seen by the public! Lets hope that my next photos will show some improvement.

      

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3 weeks in on Our Commit to Get Fit..!

Katy's and Mia Tui Charlotte Progress Updates...

Katy...
So this week I'm making the most of still being on maternity leave as I go back to work tomorrow!! I've managed to get back into the swing of things with slimming world and I've even done some batch cooking so I've got some healthy and filling meals ready to take into work with me. 
Joseph and I made it to two Mums, Tums and Buggies classes this week run by Sarah Parker fitness. She's really friendly and approachable which was great as I was petrified about starting to exercise. The sessions involved a brisk walk with the prams to warm up, then a mix of lunge walks, squats, leg lifts, tricep dips, press ups using the park benches and an arm work with resistance bands. We always finish with another little walk and stretches. It's been great to meet other new mums and their babies as well as getting a  good work out in.

One of my new mummy friends told me about another local class this week called Bouncefit. It's at a trampolining and rebound therapy centre called Jumpspace. So I decided to give that a whirl! Its a ladies only session with a mix of circuit training and trampolining, And it was HARD!! We did planks, burpees, crunches, boxing and a whole load of other exercises that I can't remember as I was about to keel over! We ended the session by having a go on the trampolines which was just brilliant, I felt like a little kid again. I'll defiantly try this class again... Once I stop hurting.

Katy xx

Charlotte...

So how have I been going with my "all new health and fitness kick"..??

I started well, exercising and eating healthy, smaller portions - no chocolate and Kettle crisps!

I made it to the gym, Legs, Tums & Bums and Body Pump classes - they nearly bloody killed me in the 1st week, but I can now see progress, I can squat and lunge for a lot longer and I feel stronger.

I have slightly fallen off the wagon this week, poorly daughter and being crazy busy means I haven't made it to the gym much this week, I did do some exercises at home on Tuesday and some crazy running up and down the stairs thing I had seen of Facebook, now that didn't look pretty, so knackered!  I am trying to get out for a run today..!!

But the most important thing is, I feel so much better in myself, my body doesn't feel as rusty, and legs look a bit more toned - not as lumpy! I will measure the old body tomorrow to see if there has been any reduction in size.

Charlotte x

 

 

 

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Back on the health & fitness wagon for 2015 - Step 8 out of 10 - Go Green

Of all the things you can do for yourself…. increasing your greens intake can make a huge difference. There are many reasons why greens can help your new healthy lifestyle with the main one being that it helps to maintain a good alkaline level in the body which in turn promotes good health:

  • Decreased acidity
  • Increased energy
  • Increased health
  • Increased weight loss
  • Better skin
  • Better appetite and craving control
  • Better hormonal balance
  • Better recovery
  • Increased immunity

Adding more vegetables to EVERY meal can be one option. Maybe Juicing in the morning works for you. The other option is to take a greens drink.

You can steam, bake, lightly fry, steam and eat raw. Greens are so versatile. You can even spiralise them to make great pasta alternatives or salads. Here is my favourite gadget in action to make courgette spaghetti!

Ask at every meal time, how can I get more greens in? And don’t be afraid to ask for extra veg or makes swaps when eating out:

  • An extra side of vegetables?
  • Vegetable pasta in place of regular pasta
  • Vegetable rice such as cauliflower in place of regular rice
  • Extra chopped veggies in your stews, casseroles and other dishes
  • Soups as a starter or main meal
  • Salad as a starter or side
  • Green juice or greens drink
  • Extra fresh herbs in your cooking
  • Swap avocado for butter
  • Swap romaine lettuce leaves for wraps etc

So forget faddy eating and over complicating it all! If you want improved health then the first step is to make sure you are taking natures vitamin and anti-sickness medicine…….GREENS! Pretty soon you will start to regulate your appetite and naturally eat less food. What’s more you will start to enjoy your food like never before!

Big love, small tummies!

Jill – The Fat Controller

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Meet the team who are going to get fitter in 2015.. Part 2

Let me introduce the final 5 people who are joining us over the next 3 months to share their journey into a healthier lifs-syle and make a difference for themselves.. There may be more who join us on the way.

I'm Charlotte,  I'm 38 and need to lose some weight and get fitter for many reasons.  My little girl is 3 and really do need to lose some baby weight now! Plus my partner does triathlons and so is extremely fit and active and I feel like a blob in comparison!

I also need to be open about this - since I had my little girl I've had 4 miscarriages.  Being pregnant for essentially 4 years has taken its toll on my body (plus the inevitable wine and brie binges!) plus the Dr's can't find a reason so all they say is to lose weight.

All this means my self esteem is pretty shot and slimming groups fill me with terror but my head is in a better place to do this than it has been for a while. 

Plus my partner has decided we're jetting off on a beach holiday in the future. There is the risk Greenpeace will try to put me back in the sea so some drastic bikini action is needed!!!!

Apologies for over sharing ☺

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Hi, I’m Ellen and I’m 35. I am privileged to be called Mum by 4 fantastic children. A 13-year-old daughter and 3 sons aged 11, 10 and 6 years old. It certainly does have its challenges, but they are far weighed out by the good times :-)

I have been married to James, my childhood sweetheart, for the past 15 years and we couldn't be happier.
I work at a local primary school, in the Reception Class as a teaching assistant. I love it, no two days are ever the same!

This picture shows me following my youngest son, (yes he does have two broken arms!), on holiday in Cornwall last summer. I am not proud of the way I look, and my self-esteem has been crushed by the excess weight I carry. I also suffer with back pain, and that is worse because of the weight and lack of exercise.

I have gradually been putting on weight since having my children. I put the majority on during my 3rd pregnancy; my second child was only 4 months old when I fell pregnant and I also suffered with post-natal depression. I am a comfort eater and when I am sad, I eat.

After number 4 came and surprised us, I had reached the heaviest I had ever been. I was miserable. I have tried the faddy diets, joined gyms and due to one thing and another they fail. Cost is normally the biggest issue. I would lose a little weight, and then it would creep back on, with a little more.

2015 is going to be my year, I am determined to be slimmer and keep it off! In total I need to lose a little over 4 stone, but I’ll be happy to just lose half of that! I am realistic; I know itis going to take time, patience and perseverance.

I aim to lose weight through following a sensible and healthy eating routine and drinking litres of water. I will be exercising regularly using various home DVD’s including dancing,Zumba and T25.
I will also be swimming and riding my bike.

Alongside this I have been doing a weight loss hypnotherapy programme, which so far has been proving to be very positive. I’ll talk about that next time :-)

So here’s to a new me and to the new you!

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I'm Catherine, 36, Mum to 'the beasties' - 2 very lively boys aged 6 and 4 and we live in the Midlands.  I'm also a part time special needs teacher, married to a maths teacher!  

Life is busy, and it can be a struggle to fit in much quality exercise during the week as we often have lots of work to do in the evenings.  I've always had to battle a bit to remain a 'healthy' weight, and after having children I've been heavier than I am happier with.  

In the first half of 2014, I lost 24lbs, but put a few of those back on in the run up to and over Christmas.  I've just joined Slimming World to try and regain the focus that I had, as I'd like to lose around 2st more.  

I've recently become more conscious of and feel uneasy that weight can affect so many long-term health issues which is my motivator.  I've also signed up to a beginners women's running group starting at the end of January.  I did the same course around 18mths ago then damaged my leg and couldn't run for a few months and struggled to get back into it.

Being active as a family is important to me.  We love walking and cycling as a family and enjoy Youth Hosteling trips to the Lake District and Derbyshire.  Over the winter we've slowed a bit though - we regularly visit parks where the boys can scoot and ride, but I think we could be doing more.  However, we often refer to the boys as 'border collies' - bright, but naughty if not exercised very regularly so really should try harder!

My aims are:

To lose more weight.

To exercise at least twice a week individually.

To be more active as a family and try some new sports/activities.

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I'm Katy, 27 years old, a Wife, a Mummy to 10 month old Joseph and Midwife (back at work at the end of the month! Eeek!) I've always struggled with my weight and I would not class myself as the fitness type at all. But as a midwife I knew I would be classed as high risk if I didn't try and get my weight under control before I got pregnant.

I started to walk more and joined my local slimming world group. I managed to get myself into the 'low risk category' just before I found out I was having Joseph.

I continued to go to slimming world and went to aqua natal classes during my pregnancy. But it wasn't until after I had my baby that I really started to enjoy being more active. I would go for walks with the pram or with him in the sling, we went to mum and baby dance classes and I started going to a Mums, Tums and Buggies class twice a week in one of our local parks. I'm hoping to start a new bounce fit class too.  

I've managed to loose nearly 2 and half stone since having Joseph and I feel the fittest and strongest that I ever have been. I know going back to work will throw new challenges into the mix and I've still got a way to go, but I'm hoping 2015 is going to be my year!

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My name is Michaela and I am a mummy to 2 sons, soon to be 3.

This pregnancy has given me lots of ups and downs, from illness to food intolerances which has meant that I binge on the things I can eat, therefore gaining extra weight on top of the baby bump.

Once my baby is born, I am determined to get back into shape. Being a new mummy though is hard work and I want to show how you can do simple, light exercise and everyday things in your quest to shed the pounds and get toned.

I don't really have a weight in mind that I would like to get to, just to lose the tummy would be great. Getting fitter along the way with the help of my children who always keep me on my feet!

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Meet the team who are going to get fitter in 2015.. Part 1

We asked if anyone wanted to come on-board and share their journey in to a healthier life-style,we are please to say that we were blown away with the response. We have picked 10 people who want to make some changes to their life-style, we will only use 1st names and obviously some people don't want to share pictures. 

We will follow their journeys over the next 3 months to see them making a difference for themselves.

Here are their introductions..

Hi my name is Emma and I'm  a 35 year old wife and mum to one very nearly 4 year old.
My getting fit journey is very different , I have had 6 heart operations and  2 strokes so " fit " means a different thing to a lot of other people. Been "fit " to me mean been able to walk up the stairs with out getting out of breath.

this is going to be a huge challenge for me as I find getting out the house in the cold a struggle , so running jogging and even walking are  a no no for me.

A few years ago I went to university to study sport science and personal training, so I know quit a bit about the science behind the sports. So my chosen sport ( for now ) is swimming for the cardio and a few small weights to strengthen my bones. its important to do both. No big change in my diet , we eat quite heathery as a family anyway my hubby goes the gym 3 times a week and my son is a veg lover. But I do want to drink more water.

I'm not looking to loose weight, at 63kg ad 180 cm tall I'm very happy with my BMI of 20. But if I loose a few inches in the process then happy days as were off on holiday in may.  

Hello, my name is Claire and I am a 37 year old mother of 2.  I work 3 days a week as a Dental Nurse and the rest of the time I am Mummy.

I have been learning to swim for the last 4 months and have improved my confidence in the water a lot but I still cannot swim a length as I am so UNFIT! So I have decided that 2015 is the year when my healthy eating/exercise resolutions are going to last the whole year not just until mid-January!  I would also like to think by next Christmas that  I look half-decent when I see myself in my underwear and not some crinkley old woman!

 I am not a massive fan of gyms so will be walking/running/swimming and using my extensive collection of celebrity fitness DVDs to try and achieve this..............

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Hello.. my name is Sam, I have spent most of my life being overweight for one reason or another, however have always tried to incorporate fitness into my lifestyle. When I was pregnant with my first daughter twelve years ago I suffered from SPD (Symphysis Pelvic Dysfunction) a painful condition of pregnancy that left me registered disabled and unfortunately with a painful, life changing condition long-term. The SPD left me unable to exercise and therefore keep control of my weight and I struggled with overall fitness. Although I had treatments that improved my SPD somewhat, I could never exercise to a level where I could raise my fitness.

Five years ago, my husband and I were blessed with another daughter. I was quite scared at the prospect of becoming disabled again with the SPD however, the condition actually eased and after my daughter's birth I was able to undertake gentle exercise for the first time in years! I wasted no time and very carefully undertook a daily routine of exercise. I began with pilates to build my non-existent core and was able to progress carefully to exercise intensely enough to really burn fat and get fit- in fact 10K fit! I had to remain careful of my pelvic condition and avoid certain exercises and had to accept a certain level of discomfort sometimes however I went from weighing 14 stone to 10 stone- with good muscle tone and overall fitness. All of this managed with just using DVDs and online exercise programs at home on my own. I WAS HAPPY!
  
Well, we were blessed with a third daughter in March last year. I knew that my fitness may be impacted on as my SPD could get worse again- and it did. Having started the pregnancy with good intentions, daily pregnancy pilates and pregnancy aerobics, at twenty weeks in I had to stop due to the SPD. I continued with Aqua natal classes but even these had to stop at twenty five weeks.  

Following the birth of my gorgeous daughter, my pelvis remained painful and I have since struggled to get back to exercising. Seeing my overall fitness levels and muscle tone deteriorate has been frustrating and when I have had to buy bigger clothes I have been quite upset. However I have decided to go back to basics. This new year I have gone right back to basics again, starting with Pilates.
 
My new year fitness journey is a journey I have done before and I know I can do again. I know I can be successful however it does not mean it isn't a struggle. I have to balance the desire (and obsession) to get fit with accepting I have a long-term condition that is placing restraints on my body. However, I am determined now to focus on achieving and maintaining a healthy level of fitness and trying- and enjoying a lower intensity of exercise than I was used to- as it is what my body needs at the moment. Today it's pilates, next week, I'm going to try Zumba as I can work to my own ability- the week after who knows!
 
So my blog entries would be about getting fit despite adversity, understanding your own body needs and finding and maintaining motivation- in a healthy, balanced way.

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Hello, I'm Gemma, 30, from Manchester! I have a beautiful 7 month old baby and an amazing, supportive husband.

I have always been overweight, and spent most of my 20s miserable about it. Before pregnancy I had lost 2.5 stones but this has creeped back in, and I should probably admit, maybe a little more.

My goal is to drop 2-3 stone this year. I don't want my terrible eating habits to pass onto my son, who is getting older and more aware day by day! I am hoping that home workouts and baby workouts will help me achieve this. I am looking forward to blogging my progress and gaining support from a group.

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Hello, I'm Danielle. 

I am 38 years old and turn 40 at the end of next year and am a mother of two at home with me. I work fulltime and also do voluntary work.  A few years ago I got into training and walked the Belfast marathon, unfortunately I did the marathon while I had flu and never returned to exercise. I both need and want to get back to keeping fit both for my health and also to give me some time for me.

My problem areas are my thighs and bum and if I could reduce their size I would be happy. I am so looking forward to doing this and showing my husband (a fitness fanatic) I have some sticking power!

 

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I'm Charlotte and I am going to get fitter in 2015..!

I'm Charlotte, mother of two, Amelie 9, Mia 8 and I'm 44 this year.. How the hell did that happen!

I'm going to share with you my health & fitness journey. I fell off the fitness wagon probably about 3 years ago.

I went from teaching aerobics, running, even doing a triathlon to pretty much nothing..

 That's me finishing the triathlon!

How did I just stop exercising, well for me it was moving back to the UK and starting Mia Tui , I just got out of the habit of doing exercise.

I've have tried many times over to start exercising again, but it never seems to last for long.

Why am I so determined to make exercising a habit again, well I have gained about 1 stone in weight, but it's about more than just losing weight, I now find my body is stiff, I don't have the energy I used to, and I feel I never have anytime for myself.

So this is about trying to get a bit of me back, feel better mentally and physically.

I will share my journey, the good and the bad, which will hopefully help keep me on track.

I am going to move more and eat less, but I'm not going on a diet..  I will though eat less kettle crisps & chocolate and only drink wine at the weekend..! 

The pictures below are me on my 40th, this is where I would like to be in 3-4 months time.

 

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Back on the Health & Fitness Wagon for 2015 - Step 6 out of 10 - Act Like It

You know you have been lying to yourself! Everyday. You tell yourself you WILL lose weight!

Are you actions speaking louder than your words? Or are you selling yourself more lies?

Is it any wonder you have no-self belief if you are perpetually starting a new ‘diet’?

Well here’s a way around this. It will take some practice and you will HAVE to engage your brain. You need to feed this message to your sub-conscious mind and this takes patience and time.

Fancy giving it a go?

OK here’s the deal. You have to ACT as if. Not….

  • Wait until I fit to feel fit
  • Wait until you get ‘thin’ to be happy
  • Wait until you’re fit to join a gym
  • Hope to start the diet soon
  • Trying to eat well
  • Hoping you will be good tomorrow
  • Not changing the behaviours to match the outcomes…..

In other words. If you keep doing what you have always done…. guess what! You will get what you have always got. Act like a couch potato and you will get fantastic results….. a perfect couch potato!

I want to feel like a fitness model…. so guess what! I stand like one, I think like one, I take care of myself like one! I might not yet be there but I am a million miles closer to it than I was 10 years ago!

Are you getting this now?

Think and act like an athlete

Think and act like a health enthusiast

Think and act like someone who values their health and fitness

Think and act like you love yourself and this journey! (see step 5 and learn to enjoy this and you will never fail!)

How can you start to act differently right now?

Big love, small tummies

Jill – The Fat Controller

Follow Jill on Facebook or on her website

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January 08, 2015 Add a comment

Back on the Health & Fitness Wagon for 2015 - Step 7 out of 10 - Embrace Failure

Embrace Failure

Yes you read that right!

Think about. When a baby learns to walk does he/she give up after they fall down?

NO!

They keep trying. Persistently! Consistently! Right up until they can walk.

You can’t get stronger without first failing. Failing is the inevitable process and path to success.

  • If you shy from failing you will NEVER succeed.
  • If you shy from learning from making mistakes you will NEVER succeed.
  • If you never accept your mistakes as OK and inevitable you will NEVER succeed.
  • If you give up at every bump and curve ball thrown at you then you will NEVER learn a different way.
  • If you think you have or be ‘perfect’ to succeed you will NEVER succeed!

Growth comes from failure.

So embrace failure and learn to accept your mistakes. It’s OK! You are human and it’s what humans do! But learn to be a better human and a better you by embracing failure!

Big love, small tummies!

Jill – The Fat Controller

You can follow Jill on Facebook or on her website 

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Back on the Health & Fitness Wagon for 2015 - Step 5 out of 10 - Enjoy Yourself

One thing is is for certain… if you don’t enjoy the process, dread it or find it generally hard work you WILL not engage your brain. You will simply NOT manage to stay the distance if you know there is an end in sight. If not you will drift off plan and wind up back to square one.

Finding ways to enjoy this journey is key to sustainability. If the thought of 6 am Bootcamp fills you will absolute dread or the idea that you can’t drink ANY wine makes you feel deprived and resentful then this journey will be very short lived. You will never engage your subconscious mind and form the healthy habits you need to create.

So think very carefully about what things you WILL NOT give up. And make a little room for them if you can. Whether it’s a one a week cheat meal or a little bit every day. You will know yourself better than anyone.

If you can’t stand gyms then think about classes or other forms of activity like group walking or dancing. There will be something for everyone.

When you are having fun and looking forward to the challenges ahead of learning a new way of living it will never feel like a chore or a temporary program of deprivation and misery!

How can you enjoy this journey more? How can you incorporate things and be flexible to create room for the things you love? What things can you happily do without in exchange for the things that make you happy?

Let me know!

Big love, small tummies!

Jill – The Fat Controller

You can follow Jill on her website or on Facebook

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Back On The Health & Fitness Wagon - Step 3 out of 10 - Choose!

CHOOSE!

Yep! when you stay stuck or continue following old habits…. you are NOT choosing. Basically it means you are not being mindful or aware. You are NOT being tuned into your reasons for WHY (go back to step 1 of 10) you are doing this.

If you got up today intending to go to the gym but you didn’t or your intention was to eat clean and not drink but you caved….. you just allowed the old program to run it’s course. This old program has not served you well recently if you are struggling with your weight and fitness.

So today CHOOSE! CHOOSE to feel good. CHOOSE to get stronger. CHOOSE to feel amazing.

If you are not feeling amazing and your are NOT doing the tasks you have set for yourself to bring a better you in 2015 then you are simply NOT choosing and allow the inner voice to talk you out of it.

Your inner voice is telling you a story. A story not based on fact. A story you DO NOT have to listen to. If you start to choose… you would choose better right?

If you would like to know more about being conscious and choosing instead of listening to the negative voice in your head then I strongly suggest you follow Richard Wilkins and Liz Ivory, the founders and creators of the amazing program Broadband consciousness 

Big love, small tummies!

Jill – The Fat Controller

You can follow Jill on Facebook or on her website

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