Regular readers will know that the first thing I do having seen Him Indoors and the children off to their various Monday lives is to get weighed. I am very good and only get weighed once a week and at the same time.

I am delighted to report that this week I have lost 5 pounds. I am over the moon. In fact I am so excited that right now I cannot be bothered to work out exactly how much I have lost and in how many weeks. I will probably keep that till tomorrow when I do my #groovingmums post.

Here is my learning which I hope will help others tackling excessive weight issues.

1. Fill your eating plan with healthy foods that you really love. For me, this includes smoked salmon and eggs. You will have your own favourite so by incorporating them, you will still feel like you are having treats.

2. It is OK to have fish and chips and takeaways. It is what you eat most of the time that makes a difference. This week I have had fish and chips, a Chinese takeaway and a roast chicken dinner and lost 5 pounds.

3. Visualizing myself at future events I have coming up in smaller sized clothes has really helped me make positive progress. I go window-shopping now and gaze at clothing in smaller sizes and really do believe I will be in them one day.

4. You don’t have to measure yourself but it is another way of marking progress and can sometimes be more heartening than the weighing scales especially if your weight is affected by the time of the month. I have lost 7 inches off my bottom in less than 3 months!

5. Reporting to your diary, your blog or people on the same journey as yourself helps to keep you accountable and on track when you are tempted to sabotage all your lovely efforts.

6. Exercise helps shifts the pounds but don’t become a slave to it. It is important to enjoy your life and not feel bad on the days where you don’t do as much exercise as you had hoped.

Health Warning – There now follows a pleasing but potentially embarrassing photograph. This is me in trousers that not too long ago were tight but that fell down for pretty obvious reasons from this photograph.

I feel I have so much to say about the #groovingmums blog hop. I may well break this down into several posts over the course of this week.

The #groovingmums blog hop is about encouraging mums to rediscover themselves, to reinvent themselves, to seek out some time just for them and their interests and perhaps to just live a little more vibrantly. Each mum decides how they want to tackle this journey. From weight loss to volunteering, from new courses to seeking employment, from having a new hair cut to having a special day out or anything else for that matter. How can we sum all this up in a badge that you can display on your blog should you wish to do so.

Katie, one of our #groovingmums helped me with this so huge thanks are due to her.

In the Celtic calendar Halloween is the New Year festival of Samhain. It marks the time of death and rebirth, of letting go of that which no longer serves us and celebrating our new intentions. That sounds quite groovingmumsy to me!

I opened a fortune cookie yesterday and it said the sunflower was relevant to me. Could this be because us #groovingmums are turning our faces to the light?

Last week, as well as our regulars we had some newbies and we love you already for your honest posts and willingness to change and add a little spark to your lives one step at a time. Have you noticed how we all seem to be in this together supporting each other on the good, the more challenging and the bloody awful weeks?

I had asked #groovingmums to consider how 5 weeks of the blog hop had helped them and was really touched to see that people really can see a benefit to their lives and in very individual ways.

I also wondered how we could deal with the frankly shitty weeks where we are hit by negative self-talk, external setbacks and so on. We all seem to have had these in the last month or so at different times and in different ways. I liked the suggestion that we should care for the carer (ie ourselves as mums). Part of that is not beating yourself up if you think you are not up to taking part at all, yet, every week or whatever. The whole point of establishing this blog hop was to help people not to hit people with a big stick.

Now here are possible challenges you may or may not feel like giving a go this week.

1. Photographs – Put a photograph up on your blog post about #groovingmums If you don’t normally do this, do it in a way that is comfortable to you. Even if it is from the back if you really don’t want to show your face to the world yet. For those who do put photographs of themselves on their blog, do it differently. Put on fancy dress, flash your pants like Glasgow_Mummy, whatever does it for you without making you feel overly embarrassed. Break out of the comfort zone one step at a time. I will be joining in on this one too tomorrow but for now, if you want to see me in all my triple-chinned glory, check out the Britmums Live website. It took me weeks to pluck up the courage to do this so I do know the photo thing can be very daunting indeed.

2. Write the blog post you have in your mind but are scared to publish. Every time I have done that on some quite controversial topics, I have had supportive comments so put it out there and see what people think. You can always set up comment moderation so you are in charge of which comments go live.

Ready, steady go. Your mission is to write a blog post about how you are doing one or all of the following ..

1. Rediscovering yourself

2. Reinventing yourself

3. Making time for yourself

4. Getting your Groove Back

5. Developping your va-va-voom

Then send the link for your blog post to me on mums-the-word@live.com and I will promote it here and on Twitter and other social networks.

Visit back here tomorrow to see my post as I am on the journey too and some of my achievements are really tiny but still vital for me in moving forwards. I need your support just as the other #groovingmums do so please do try to leave a comment here and on the other posts. If you are not on Twitter, do let me know if you would like to be alerted to new entries to the blog hop via email. On Twitter, if you want to know what us #groovingmums are getting up to, just enter #groovingmums into the seach box and all will be revealed.

N.B. Yes you are good enough to take part. No, you don’t have to do massive steps, the slightest move forwards counts. You will tap into a lovely group of mums just keen to share the journey with you. Newcomers are really welcome and if you have any questions or concerns, just email me on mums-the-word@live.com

Let’s get grooving!

Joining in with one of my favourite blog hops where we celebrate our reasons for cheerfulness every week to keep ourselves in that sensible frame of mind that despite the challenges, we are in fact blessed. If you want to find out more, do check out http://mdplife.blogspot.com

1. I have butterflies in my tummy already and am totally excited that I have heard today of the date of my 25th anniversary college reunion. Yes, of course that means that I started uni at the age of 5 lol. It happens next September so I am wondering what size I will be then but know that it will be a whole lot smaller than I am now. It will be so lovely to visit THE most beautiful building in the world and to hook up with old friends and acquaintances. It will be very Porterhouse Blue and I cannot wait.

2. I am happy to report that both my boys got good reports from school at recent Parents’ Evenings. They were both acknowledged for their wonderful vocabulary and levels of general knowledge. So surrounding them with books and babbling on about all manner of things to them seems to work. I am also delighted that my older son who is very bright but really struggles with handwriting is to be given a statement of special educational needs which I hope will protect him as he moves up to secondary school next year.

3. I am happy to have a new pet, a cream labrador bitch who is just lovely and very easy to have around.

4. I am glad that my Dad is going on holiday tomorrow after missing out twice over the Summer.

5. I am pleased to see how my children are popular and how party invitations keep flying through the door for them.

6. I am over the moon that I have picked up some great bargains recently and will be reporting back on #MagpieMonday on my little treasures.

7. I feel grateful that I am managing to stick to my healthy eating regime and hope to have an important milestone to report as part of #mumentum on Monday.

8. I am loving getting to know new #groovingmums and am delighted to be trying out a whole new blog hop on writing that should help me and others move forward on that front. Check out women’s inspirational stories here http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/you-really-can-rediscover-the-woman-you-know-you-really-are/ and get involved with writing here http://kateonthinice.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/are-you-a-would-be-writer-join-wordsmith-wednesday-blog-hop/

9. In the last week, I was mentioned more than once in blog posts on the Prompt on Best Blogs. I have two blogging awards that have hurtled my way and I have been tagged in interesting memes. Great to have blogger friends, ain’t it?

10. The wonderful Caroline over at http://cazandbelleblogspot.com gave birth to a lovely baby boy this week. How wonderful for a woman who has had to handle so much. I don’t know Caroline but her story moves me. Also, a very good friend Kat is due to give birth to her new baby anytime soon.

Hey, what’s not to be cheerful about?

Are you a would-be writer? There are lots of us out there and a fair few of us are bloggers I imagine.

I write mainly on my blog and I want that to change. Are you like me happily blogging away whilst not really pursuing those other writing ambitions? Would you like to join a group of like-minded people wanting to commit time and effort to their creative writing?

I have set up this blog hop as I know if I involve others I will actually feel accountable and do some writing on a regular basis.

Here is how it works and be warned, it really is incredibly simple.

You write something either on your blog and send me the link or write a word document and submit it to me via email to mums-the-word@live.com.

Next Wednesday and every Wednesday thereafter, I will post submissions and that wonderful world out there can read our efforts and leave supportive comments and constructive criticism. Who knows? Your efforts might reach the eye of people who can help you on that journey to making all your writing dreams come true.

I am not going to set any harsh guidelines about how many words you should write or on what topic. You decide.

However, past experience on blogging and writing suggests that prompts are useful to some of us so here are some prompts but only use them if you wish to do so. All creative writing efforts are welcome.

Here are the prompts for those who would like to use them.

1. Write about a revelation.

2. Write about losing something

I know this blog hop will encourage me to get on with writing. I hope it does the same for you too.

When talking about this blog hop on Twitter and other social networks please use the hashtag #wordsmithwednesday

Ready, steady … write!