Blog Posts

The importance of a strong core at Christmas time

This time last year, as I prepared for the annual office party, I went through the obvious checklist.







Nice matching upholstery to make the most of my curves

… and then

Pads for the inevitable “Oops!” moments.

Damn it! Those things can really ruin one’s pre-party buzz. I must remember to visit the ladies before I hit the dance floor.

Fast-forward to last week. Two Christmas parties in one week. My check list was mostly the same, except for one item, those blooming pads.

In January this year, I stamped down my metaphorical foot, and said “No more pads. No more leaks. There has to be something I can do. I’m not going through the rest of my life being afraid to sneeze!”

A chance conversation with a good friend opened up an opportunity to chat with a women’s core training specialist. Within two months this lovely lady had worked miracles for me. I now sport a flatter, firmer tummy, and core muscles strong enough to allow me to get through the hay fever season, sneezing willy-nilly!

I’ve been mostly good at keeping up with the program since the course finished (Santa, please take note) and it’s paid dividends. Armed with this inner strength and confidence, I boogied my butt off at both parties. My only regret, apart from a stonking hangover, is that I didn’t meet this lady years earlier.

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

The wrong knickers…

What a joy the menopause is, with its weird and varied symptoms. One of them is muscle and joint stiffening. Of course, there is a degree of wear and tear that comes with age. That said, the approach of menopause seems to speed things up somewhat. This is me in the morning until I get moving.


Sometimes I get stuck somewhere in the middle for no apparent reason.

My latest incident occurred while I was innocently enjoying a little bit of peace and quiet at the bottom of the garden, book in one hand, and a freshly mixed gin and tonic in the other. All I did was to stand up. Nothing wild. No sudden moments or twists. Just a movement I repeat on a regular basis throughout the day. Buggrit!

Limping towards the house, in search of another G & T, I tried to figure out what I did differently. I came up with nothing. How could something so mundane as getting up out of a seat strain my butt and back muscles? Armed with a fresh glass of muscle relaxant (a.k.a. G & T) and a cushion, I began some research.

Menopause, not content with disrupting my thermostatic control, has decided to invite random muscle pain to join the party. Turns out those dropping levels of oestrogen can play havoc with the body’s ability to keep the joints and muscles moving smoothly. Oh great! Another symptom I need to research. So I am now on the hunt for the human equivalent of WD40 to try to keep my joints, muscles, and tendons rust-free.

The following day I realise I need some urgent pain-relief that doesn’t involve copious quantities of gin. Much as I like the sound of experimenting with various brands, tonics, and fruits, I still need to function at work and in the car. A timely phone call to my local chiropractor gets me the last available appointment for the same day. Hooray! Popping a couple of painkillers, I deal with the rest of the working day and turn up to the clinic.

I should point out that normally, I prepare for the day clothing-wise, depending on what is in the diary for the day as well as the weather conditions. As the chiropractor appointment was a last-minute addition, I hadn’t factored this into the underwear preparation. My chiropractor, a lovely young woman, called me into the treatment room, took a good history of my reason for visiting, before handing me a gown to change into. These gowns are similar to those you encounter in hospitals. Frontal coverage is perfect, but the rear is open to the world, or at least the professional treating you.

As I undressed and donned the gown, I caught sight of my underwear in the mirror. To my horror, I was wearing the wrong knickers. I laughingly call them butt-flossers and they are great for a seamless look in skinny jeans. However, they are totally inappropriate for back treatment! What to do? I stood there, transfixed by my own rear until the poor woman called through the closed door, to ask if I was ok. Somewhat flustered, I replied that I was fine but there was a problem. Curious to know what on earth was going on, she enquired if I needed some help. Was the pain in my back preventing me from disrobing?

There was nothing for it. I had to admit to wearing the wrong knickers. Stifling a giggle, she replied that this was a common occurrence and that I could help myself to as much paper roll (that stuff that lies on top of the examination couch) to construct a little modesty skirt. Quick as a flash, my rudimentary origami skills came to the fore and I fashioned a pleated skirt and tucked it into the offending underwear.

It wasn’t likely win design awards, but it did give my chiropractor something more to smile about. She remarked that common though this incident is in her professional life; my solution was the most creative she’s seen to date.

It just goes to show how creative I can be when needed.

P.S. Note to self; always carry spare big knickers in handbag in case of chiropractic emergencies.