Wrexham Mail reporter DOREEN McCHRISTIE has taken up the challenge from Nightingale House to become a Christmas Cracker and lose a stone before the festive season begins. Here is her latest report on how she is doing.
WHOEVER told me that I wouldn't miss chocolate was sadly mistaken - I really do!
But I'm pleased to say that I've only had one lapse and that was when a small packet of white Maltesers proved just too difficult to resist.
I've passed the halfway mark now on the timescale and I'm delighted to be more than halfway towards my weight loss target, having shed nine pounds.
It is truly amazing what the right motivation can do. How could I face the embarrassment of telling all the people who have promised me money for the hospice that I just didn't have the will-power to do it? It's unthinkable.
And what's more, I am really enjoying the gym and swim sessions now. When I started off it seemed like very hard work, with 'treadmill' evoking the way I felt about it, but I have regularly increased my speed and I'm now increasing the gradient as well.
I've managed to add more weights on all the machines and it seems much easier now, so I know I must be getting fitter. I've always enjoyed swimming, but in my first session I only managed a feeble 12 lengths of the pool, whereas now I can do 20, and I really feel much better for it.
I have to admit though that the weight is not coming off as quickly now, so I'm going to have to be careful to keep on the straight and narrow right to the end. I felt a little better when someone told me that it was probably because I was building up muscle - I just hope it's true!
One of the things that has helped me to keep turning out now that the cold, dark nights are here is knowing that I will get so much help and encouragement from the staff at Waterworld. All the fitness instructors have been eager to check on my progress and make suggestions to help me, and everyone in the caf and on reception ask me how I'm getting on.
But of course the main thing is remembering that I'm doing all this first and foremost to raise much-needed funds for the work of Nightingale House.
And without a doubt, that will be enough to keep me going.