Dr Fahmy's Blog

Alia photo

Week 1 
The NHS health check was quick, painless and very informative. To see that video click here. Although my cholesterol and diabetic screen results were good, it was apparent that I need to improve my activity levels and diet. This week I have joined weight watchers online. I have been to other healthy lifestyle clubs in the past with good results but I struggle to attend the meetings due to work and looking after my children, so this time I am going to try going on my own. 

The first week has gone well. I have found that I need to pre-plan all my meals and do the prep the night before. I have not felt hungry and so far have kept snacks to healthy fruit in between colourful, filling meals. I have also started running (very very slowly) with the help of the “couch to 5k” app. This involves short intermittent jogs and brisk walks over 30mins. Although exhausted by the end, I am still feeling motivated to keep going. 

Next week I hope to get back in the pool and start swimming again! I will keep updating with my progress!

Feel free to let us know at CLMP what you are doing to improve your health and lifestyle on social media.




Week 2

This week has been tough. My body is starting to miss the processed sugar and so for a couple of days I have felt quite lethargic. 

The diet continues with lots of fruit and vegetables. I am getting most of my protein from plant based foods as I am mostly vegetarian. I am eating a lot of pulses and some quorn. Once a week I try to eat some oily fish such as salmon and sardines to help with my good cholesterol levels, but otherwise I don’t eat any meat. 
Tracking my food has been easy. The WW app has proved easy to use and there is a barcode scanner that comes in handy too. You can find some nice healthy recipes on there and there is a vegan and vegetarian section. 
Exercise this week has been 2 swims and a run. For my running I have continued with the “couch to 5k “ app. I have a watch that can assess how far I have swam and then that uploads to a swimming app “SWIMIO”. I find this good fun as you can do set distances eg swimming the Channel but obviously in a swimming pool. 

Weight loss so far=5lbs

So far the motivation has continued so I keep going. I will update again soon!


Week 3

After a busy week at work, we were rewarded with amazing weather on the bank holiday. I managed 1 run and 1 swim during the week . I had set out to do more and thought the bank holiday was a great chance to get some exercise in. I succeeded but not quite in the way I had planned. A great reminder that exercise can be in any form and involve the whole family, we set out early each day on trips out and about in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire. The weather made such a difference. Over the 3 days we walked a total of 20km and it did not feel like exercise at all. It was hugely enjoyable and we all got plenty of fresh air. Exercise does not have to be in a gym or involving expensive machines or equipment......just grab some comfortable shoes and get out there!

Congratulations goes out to Dr Al-Zubaidi and his wife who blasted round The Trust 10km! Huge inspiration there! Dr Al-Zubaidi has only been running for about a year now and came in second!!!!

Let us know by tagging us on social media, regarding what you have doing to get out and about and keep active.

Weight loss so far= 7lbs

Catch up again soon!


Week 4

Getting the kids involved.....
Luckily both my daughters have inherited my love of swimming with my eldest having her first experience of open water swimming, aged  5, in lake Windermere. She is now aged 9 and is planning to swim in her first Great North Swim with me next June. I am telling you all this, as this weekend on Saturday morning I was met with hostility by the another user of a members only “health and fitness club” who felt it was their responsibility to make sure that my daughter “knew her place” in that she cannot use the large pool till 11am but was apparently “too big” to use the kids pool. The rules of the “health and fitness” club are clear. If you are a young person who would like to swim for exercise, for your health and fitness, then you can only do it between 11am and 3pm on the weekend. 
In this day and age when childhood Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions there should be absolutely no restrictions on encouraging young people to get fit and keep active. We are surrounded by technology, screens, tablets, smart phones with no restrictions on how long they can be used and yet when it comes to exercise, we have to abide by time limitations. 
The NCMP provides the most comprehensive picture of the state of childhood Obesity for the 2017 to 2018 school year in England. It found:
  • the proportion of overweight and obese children in reception year (aged 4 to 5) has remained stable at 22.4% (equal to 136,586 children) for year 6 children, it is 34.3% (equal to 197,888 children) compared to 31.6% in 2006 to 2007
  • in the most deprived areas, 12.8% of children in reception year are obese, compared to 5.7% in the least deprived areas
  • in year 6 it is 26.8% in the most deprived areas, compared to 11.7% in the least deprived areas
  • in both age groups, severe Obesity is 4 times higher in deprived areas
So this weeks message is simple! Let’s set an example for our children. Make exercise the norm and part of our daily lives! It does not need to be in an over priced gym but can be daily walks with the dog, Parkrun on a Saturday or Sunday morning, football in the back garden! 
Thankfully my daughter was not discouraged. She went on to swim 80 laps in the kids pool and still managed to enjoy it! 
Let us know at CLMP what activities your children enjoy to keep active and moving!
Weight loss so far =8lbs
Catch up soon!
alia blog pic
Week 5
Some is good, more is better.......
No, I am not talking about chocolate! The Department of Health has released a new document relating to how much exercise we should be doing and there is some good news!!

Essentially the latest guidelines states that every little bit counts. Obviously the more we do, the more we benefit. I am thinking about all the times I have said to myself, “I don’t have time!” It turns out that is rubbish. We all have time. We need to stop focusing on how busy we are and take time out to move. That means even a walk round the block counts if that is all you have time for in your lunch break for example. It all adds up!

The benefits of exercise are enormous. If we could bottle it we would be billionaires. It helps with physical and mental health, including reducing the risks of heart disease, strokes, dementia, 8 types of cancers, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. Did you know that it also counts it babies? The idea of aiming for 30mins tummy time per day in babies who are still too little to crawl, and then increasing to crawling, swimming, jumping, throwing, walking, messy play.....this helps with bone and muscle strength, cognitive function and relationship development. The benefits are immense and it can be as simple as getting on some comfortable shoes and getting out the door. 

This week has been a good week for moving for me. I managed a couple of swims, the longest of which was 2km, and a 9km walk with the dogs and kids on the weekend. I have not even counted the walks here and there, smaller dog walks, walks to the shops etc. 

Weight loss so far =10lbs

The practice is getting ready to “get moving” too. We hope many of you will be joining us. Follow us on social media and find out what is happening soon!
Alia blog picfood pic
Week 6

There is no such thing as a quick fix......

As I creep into week 6 of this fitness drive it has become clear that although I am getting fitter and losing weight, I would love for it to be happening faster. It makes me wonder if there is a “quick fix!”

How many times do we see articles in magazines and on social media about “skinny pills” and “ celebrity diets”? They are everywhere! There is a part of me (the fat part) that thinks just maybe there is something in those “skinny pills” and maybe I should have a go......and then the logical (the doctor part) of me remembers- it is utter rubbish and nonsense, a waste of money and also potentially dangerous to your health. At best you will be taking chalk pills, at the very worst you could be risking serious health complications such as liver failure and death.

What is the obsession with the quick fix?? The more I think about it, the more I realise that for me it is based purely on a materialistic desire to look smaller with minimal effort. Then I remember, that is missing the point! It should be maximum effort! It should be hard work because my health, fitness and happiness should be something to work for. The more effort you put in, the more we get out. “Skinny pills” “weight loss injections” and “diet teas” don’t help muscles tone, they don’t increase bone strength, improve cardiovascular fitness, improve mood and boost your endorphins or improve your quality of sleep. They absolutely DO NOT prevent cardiovascular disease, 8 different types of cancers, strokes and diabetes. They also don’t set an example of hard work and dedication to others, or instilling exercise as an important part of life for our children.

Ultimately it comes down to why we are doing all this. Am I doing it to look slim? No, because there is more to life than how I look and , in this day and age, we should be encouraged to love ourselves no matter what what we look like. That includes every lump, bump and chunk of cellulite. I am doing this to feel good, feel strong, feel happy and feel proud of what my chubby but amazing body can do. I want to feel that pride that comes with saying,” I did this!” The feeling after your first exercise class, or Zumba class when you finally get the routine right, completing your first 5km run in just 19mins, or the feeling after doing your first 1 mile swim without stopping or 10km bike ride, you will never find that feeling in a bottle of “skinny pills”!

Remember that the human body is an amazing machine that can do incredible things when looked after and nurtured properly. It needs to be worked even if that is in small regular walks ( remember “some is good but more is better”), it needs to be given healthy natural fuels to help it to work to its best possible ability. Don’t go for a quick fix......go for the long haul!!

As a medical practice, we are aiming to lead by example. Follow us on social media to find out more about our up-coming fitness campaign. We are in it for the long haul and would love you to join us!

Weight loss so far= 11lbs (and I am proud of every 1 lost)!

Let’s keep going ........
Week 7

Weight loss this week = 0!!!

So initially I stood on the scales this week and was a little gutted. I have been swimming 3 times this week, swam 5,700m in 2hrs 40mins of exercise. I have been eating healthily....so what went wrong?

If I am totally honest with myself, it may have had a little something to do with the secret liaison I had with a packet of custard creams whilst nobody was as looking! Here’s the thing......it does not matter that nobody was looking! The scales don’t lie! And what is worse, had I stopped scoffing at one or two then that 0lbs this week, just might have been -1lb. The learning point here is that occasional treats are ok! This is about the long term changes.......stuffing back a whole packet of custard creams.....not so good! 

Now anyone with a smidgen of self control is probably judging my gluttony right now, but news flash.....I did not get this size by snacking on carrot sticks. And please don’t think that I was reaching for the biscuit tin out of hunger because I wasn’t. Genuinely we don’t have cakes and biscuits in the house (because I can’t be trusted), this was an unhealthy response to stress and tiredness whilst visiting my parents. People, including myself, can fall back on food as a source of comfort and as such it can become an addiction and an unhealthy way to combat stress. 

Everyone responds to stress differently. Some people eat, others drink and smoke. But if we try to change our behaviour and invest that time and energy into something better for us then we would be doing our bodies a huge favour. Think about how you would feel after a rubbish day at work, going for a run or a walk......headphones on, great music blaring and burning off that stress, anger or frustration. Had a hugely stressful day at work, don’t reach for the takeaway menus, reach for the yoga mat and find a yoga session on-line to follow.  

Most importantly, remember you are only human and as such, we make mistakes! I stuffed my face with custard creams....and I am moving on. I have learnt from it and I will not repeat it. I will not fall into that trap of thinking, “Well that’s it! It’s not working! Why bother?”  In the words of Chumbawamba.....”I get knocked down, but I get up again...!”

CLMPFC launch day is in sight.......really hope to see you there! 

Till next time......
Fitness Club
Launch Day Blog...
So in case you hadn’t heard..... on the 25th of September we launched our Clarendon Lodge fitness club!! I say our, but really it is your fitness club! As a practice we are trying to lead by example and get you all moving more! To improve your blood pressure, diabetic control, fitness and risk factors, get involved and get active!

Remember that can be anything from a walk into town to a 5km run and everything in between.It all counts......every walk to school, every dog walk, moving the lawn, sweeping up! You are moving and active, using those muscles, increasing your heart rate and getting a sweat on. 

We had a great selection of activities today, taekwando, yoga, salsa, and Wasps rugby players too. It was a huge success and that was because of you.....our patients! You turned up and you got stuck in and I couldn’t be more proud!

It is not always easy to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself in a position where you feel exposed and I understand that. For those of you out there that feel too big, unfit, embarrassed or just lack the confidence to take those first steps.....I know how you feel. I am there walking in your shoes with you all the way. Today, I spent the entire day in Lycra, a round bottomed size 18 woman, surrounded by fit, athletic slim folks! I was by far the biggest person in that Clarendon Lodge car park today, and it was not easy. But, I did it! I did it for all of you that feel too shy and uncomfortable to make those steps, for those of you who don’t want to be the fattest person at work or in the gym anymore, for those of you that feel embarrassed to get changed in the changing rooms at the gym or school, or those of you that want a note for PE because you just can’t face it! 

We can do this together! Me and you! One step at a time. I know how you feel! I am there with you! This fitness club is for you.......now let’s get stuck in!!
Week 9
Fall from grace........

Weight loss=16lbs......but then......
Weight gain=2lbs

So far my motivation and resolve had not really been tested. I have been preparing my own foods and getting into a solid routine.
Swimming on Monday and Wednesday mornings and a run/walk on a weekend. My fitness is improving.....I have managed to knock 8 minutes off my 2km swim time since I started this lifestyle change. It’s all going really well and I am now 1 dress size smaller than I was when I started (although admittedly that means I am actually now the size I previously convinced myself I was, whilst grumbling everything had shrunk/ the sizing was wrong!).

Then it all started to go wrong!!! I can pinpoint the exact moment where the proverbial hit the fan! I had been on a well deserved night out with friends, in London. It was a lot of fun but socialising seems to revolve around 2 things, drinking and eating. We had a lovely 3 course meal and despite trying to pick healthy options, who can say no to pudding all of the time.......apparently not me. And so the rather swift fall from grace/ fall off the wagon began! Pudding turned into drinks, coffees, breakfast the next day, more coffee, lunch and ultimately gaining 2lbs!!

2lbs, that is a bag of sugar, back on my bingo wings and bulbous bottom! Gutted! And I did what only any self respecting, life time member of the lard arse league would do.......I drowned my tears over a calzone pizza! Honestly, self destructive behaviour does not even come close. I beat myself up over this for a few days....decided that it was not worth the effort and who cares anyway. There was a lot of wallowing in self pity and I seem to remember macaroons were involved somewhere. 

Who cares anyway?? Who should care? If I don’t care about my own health, about trying to live a long healthy active life for me and my children, then why would anyone else. Nobody else can do this for me. Sat in those consultations trying to encourage people to help themselves, I can’t do it for you! But I am trying to do it with you! It’s not easy. Temptation is all around us all the time. One treat or cheat meal, can so quickly turn into a bad day, bad week and then before we know it we have gained all the weight we lost and added a bit more for good measure. If you are sat reading this and it sounds familiar......let’s keep looking forward. Put the breaks on the self destructive eating and embrace the future and what we can achieve. We are only held back by our own demons and lack in motivation. 

So, we try again! Breaks on the biscuits, back on the broccoli! I am sat here at the gym, ready to battle that bulge again, about to go for a swim...........

Let’s get to work!