How stressed are you?

Do You Know About Cortisol?

It is the fat storing and stress hormone and if your Adrenal glands are producing excess cortisol you will see the stubborn fat increase around your belly. Unless you address lowering your Cortisol your mid section will only get thicker.

Are You None Res-ponder To Exercise and Diet?
If your body is producing huge amounts of cortisol there is no chance you can lose body fat no matter how much exercise you do or how little you eat.

If  you are Over 35 and your Belly Fat is getting thicker then your body could be producing chronic amounts of the hormone Cortisol.

What is Cortisol?


**** Exercising more and eating less makes the body
create MORE cortisol so the vicious cycle continues.

What Happens If You Have High Cortisol?
This is the scary one and can be serious to your long term health.

Not only do you store fat around the mid section.

But if there are sustained high levels of Cortisol in the blood this can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, Inflammation, ormonal Problems, Fertility Issues, PCOS, Thyroid, Hashimotos, and Adrenal fatigue may be a factor in many related conditions, including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome,
arthritis, premature menopause and others.

It may also produce a host of other unpleasant symptoms, from acne to hair loss****** It’s not good.

How Do You Lower Cortisol?
Reduce the stresses on your body for a start, looking at your sleep and day to day life.

Do you want to take  stress test?

Hit reply and let me know.

Eat Clean, Train SMart


PS – We have space on our Fitness Event Sunday 16th October!! Do you want to feel inspired? Try some taster session in Studio Cycling, Pilates, Fight FX, TRX and Yoga? Want to know more about acupuncture and sports massage and also get some free food, recipes and fall in love with food again?


REPLY to book on today!


Not getting the results you want?

How Important Is the Quality of the Food You Eat?

This is a BIG BIG Topic but if you are eating lots of meat, fish, fruit & vegetables and you are still are NOT at your goals….. It could be time to take your nutrition to the next level.

Maybe your fatloss has plateaued or you are still feeling inflamed with niggly health problems?

Well, If you consume cheaper supermarket meat that has been factory farmed or veg that has been sprayed by an array of pesticides to maintain it’s shelf-life……then you are consuming the feed & pesticides that have been used on the meat and sprayed on the crops.

Studies suggest that every one of us in the western world may take in round 4.5 litres of pesticides a YEAR!


It really is shocking!

What Can You Do?

1: Buy Organic.

2: Buy from your local farm shop.

3: Be a food detective & find out from your butcher what the animals have been fed on & how they have been reared.

4: Go for grass fed meat if possible.

5: Keep rotating your meats and fishes and eat a wide variety of various cuts of meat.

Kick Start is not just about dropping those inches but improving your brain function, your energy levels and your health.

These are MASSIVE benefits. Health is KEY & nutrition is the absolute cornerstone to health and well-being.

I’d love to hear your comments

Benefits of Kettlebells

Kettlebells is a workout that is for all fitness levels and abilities. From elite athletes to the fitness enthusiast.

Here at SMart Health and Fitness we modify all the exercises to meet each individual s ability. So they are all involved get an effective workout.

Here are the top 10 benefits to Kettlebells training:

1. Cardiovascular. Don’t like running? Swing a Kettlebell.

2. Functional strength without the monotony of isolated reps

3. Improves flexibility without long poses

4. Fun and varied, never boring

5. One compact, portable device.

6. It’s safe — for any age, shape or size

7. Combines “cardio” and “strength” training. Awesome for HIIT workouts.

If you have never tried, come along to a class. I teach a combo of martial arts and Kettlebells check out the timetable.

Eat clean, train SMart

Sind X


When I broke my ankle….


I tripped down a flight of stairs, drunk, wearing my mates chunky platform boots. Landed on my ankle and SNAP!!! I’m glad I was drunk as I reckon the pain would have been unbearable.


I was removed from the Rock Club in Sheffield early hours of March 8th 2013. It was snowing…..


Alone, no coat and struggling to stand, I crawl into a nearby doorway and vomit!!! I’d gone into shock.


Luckily I had my mobile phone in my hand and called my friend who was still inside..


Next thing I know I’m in Sheffield A&E, in a wheel chair and looking like a sack of s7*t!


So…there you have it. Not a heroic story. I’m human and have made mistakes. Loads of them!


As I woke in A&E the first thing that popped into my head was ‘how the hell am I going to teach my classes?!!!’


A so called friend of mine said to me ‘prepare to put on a lot of weight as you aren’t going anywhere and you certainly won’t be able to exercise or teach’.


Well, she was wrong!!! Rather than feel sorry for myself, I spoke to a friend who fell, broke his back when rock climbing. He inspired me to carry on training. Which is exactly what I did.


I brought myself a pull up bar and set myself a goal to train every morning. All my training was body weight as cycling, running anything where I had to stand was a huge NO!!!


I carried on teaching from a wheel chair too.


I was reminded by the physio that the muscles in my broken leg would go all flabby due to lack of use. So here is what I did….


Seated and lying leg raises

Pull ups

Press ups

Tricep press ups

Seated Body Combat



Some days – I just couldn’t face training. The hardest part wasn’t the training though, it was the effect this situation had on my emotions. I became obsessed with counting calories and I dropped about 3 stone in weight. I was terrified that I would get fat and loose my fitness.

NOTE: this is not the way to do it. I learnt a very hard lesson going through this.

Stay positive, never give up and KEEP MOVING!!!

if you are struggling and want to know more, reply below. I can offer a sympathetic ear.

You can do it, your the only one holding yourself back. If your passionate about feeling better, do the best you can do, every day of your life.

An unexpected journey

My name is Michael Dale and I have been a Kick Start Fat Loss member for just over a year. I have previously blogged about Sindy and my experience at KSFL so I’m not going to cover the same ground. I’m here with a brief before and after blog to show where I’ve got to so far in my journey.

The photos below were taken exactly a year apart, in the same setting, with the same clothes, so you’ve got the best chance of seeing what changes really took place. Firstly I’ll fess up and admit the trousers were actually my wife’s exercise kit. I’m not normally into wearing my wife’s clothes (though she has stolen one or two jumpers from me), but I needed something tight and I wasn’t the type to wear tight fitting clothes. Another confession is that I could have taken the after pictures way back in June and they would look exactly the same. I have maintained the same weight since July, never having realised quite how successful and effective following KSFL would be in weight loss, and finding a point at that stage where I was happy to introduce more food into my daily diet.

I was nervous about taking the after shots, and nervous about sharing them alongside the before, because let’s face it, they’re hardly glamour shots! But I think with anything that purports to give results, or change lives, you need real world examples to help. I also know that when I look at the average before and after pictures, they are sad and dowdy in the first, and well-lit and smiling in the second,so we can’t do a true comparison! Once I knew I was on to a good thing, I knew I had to stand in the same place, wear the same clothes and see what had changed.

I have to say, I had kind of been putting it off, and the anniversary was a reason to force myself to do it. In my mind, despite knowing I had gone from a waist that was approaching 34″ to a 28″ and gone from medium tops to XXS, there was this irrational fear that photos would reveal it was all a sham, that I still had that paunch. It just goes to show how we can become unhealthily obsessed with ‘perfection’. In my mind I thought I should look like a pro-athlete before I took the second set of photos. We don’t really know what ‘average’ people look like any more, because clothes cover us, and what we see are media images of toned, honed celebs, with great make-up, lighting, and so on!

It was daft to think I had to compete with what I saw on TV, and I knew it all along. I have been on, and will continue to be on an amazing journey that has seen increased energy, a new found love of exercise, and the ability and desire to wear tight clothing. I bought a pair of skinny jeans for goodness sake! And I happily wear XXS t-shirts! I love clothes shopping now, because I have a size that will work across all shops and designs. Before trousers, jeans, and tops would all vary in how they looked on me, and there was no consistency on the size. Once upon a time I may have felt shy that I was going for the smaller size, but now I’m proud that I’m the size nature intended!

Best of all, I feel like I have hit the point where I have reset my physical template, so to speak, and what happens next is entirely in my hands. I still follow the KSFL food lifestyle, allowing myself to eat more than before, all clean of course, with the occasional guilt free non-KSFL meal or cake. I’m a guy, so sure I want to build up my upper strength, that’s pretty normal I reckon. I’m using a 16kg kettlebell and have done for several months, so I know I’m ready to step up and try a 20kg, so that’s step one. Beyond that, I have increased fitness and strength, which brings with it increased confidence to try tougher challenges, so I’ll just have to see. I’ll certainly stick with KSFL, and see what the next year brings me. I’m certainly not willing to go back to my old lifestyle of watching fit people on TV and wishing it were me.

Here are the pictures. Am I happy with the changes? Of course! It’s amazing, dramatic and these pictures only show half the story. Clearly I have become more toned, and I now have ‘apples’, as the wife calls my biceps. Maybe by next year I’ll be brave enough to take the top off…




It’s a whole new life

The following was posted on the private KSFL Facebook page by Matthew, who wanted to explain to the members how he ended up joining Kick Start Fat Loss. It was such a wonderful piece of writing I asked if I could use it as a guest blog on my website and he graciously agreed.
It all looks so daunting from the outside. But where people are is often less interesting than how they got there, I think. This is how I got here.
I’m a journalist & travel writer. On 13th June this year, there was a small launch event in Banbury for one of my guidebooks. In the audience that day was local writer and novelist Mike Dale – we’d never met before, and we chatted a bit about writing and social media.
I looked him up on Twitter when I got home, and clicked through to his blog – here it is:
– where I started reading a bunch of articles he’d written about Banbury life… and this thing called Kick Start Fat Loss.
I’ve always been fat. My family has always been fat – my mum, my dad, my brothers. I’m sure it’s genetic, but then again, food was also a big issue in our house. I remember being fat as a young child. I was fat all through school. I was fat in college. There was a short time in my 20s when I was a bit slimmer, but – even if I wasn’t quite fat – I’ve always been a big bloke. I hated exercise. I wasn’t sporty at school – though I reckon I could have enjoyed sport more, given the right encouragement. My body has always been a part of me I never felt proud of.
I wasn’t unhappy, exactly. I was just resigned to it inside. That’s who I was – big. I loved cheese, I loved bread and crackers, I loved muesli for breakfast. I often overate.
I’ve also been blocked, creatively, for a while now. I was writing, but I was increasingly wondering what for.
Earlier this year I suddenly realised that, at some point, I’d become allergic to gluten. My poo was the giveaway – it just wasn’t right, and hadn’t been for, well, years maybe. I don’t know how long. Sludgy. Smelly. Finally, after a lot of procrastination, I did something about it. I wondered if it might be gluten, so I tried cutting gluten out. Suddenly, in a day or two, I felt loads better. Not heavy. Not bloated after every meal (I stopped taking the Rennie anti-bloat tablets I’d been necking almost daily for years.) Proper poo again. It was a revelation. We started buying gluten-free bread and gluten-free muesli. Expensive, but OK. I thought wow, this is good.
Then I found Mike’s blog, and KSFL.
That brought together a whole bunch of thoughts and unspoken emotions that had been swirling below the surface for a while. We’ve got two young kids. I wanted to keep up with them. I wanted to set a decent example to them. I wanted them to gain the kind of self-understanding and autonomy around food I never had. I wanted to do the best I could for them, with them, and around them. I wanted them not to be fat.
Being fat, sweaty and a bit moody myself wasn’t helping. Big belly, big double-chin… I wanted my kids to see something better than that every day. I’ve never had a jaw-line. I wanted one. I wanted to be the kind of dad who cycles.
A doctor pointed out to me once that you don’t see very old fat people. But I want to be very old, to spend as long as possible with my kids. And when I get old, I want to be an old man with a scrawny neck, not a wobbling double-chin. I love scrawny necks on old men.
I’m lucky to have a wonderful, sharp, clever, perceptive, incredibly hardworking woman as my wife. She’s grappled with body issues all her life. I wanted to be less unattractive for her. I wanted to head off that visible future of letting go, letting things slide, and try harder instead. I wanted to do something good.
Mike’s blog about KSFL led me to Sindy’s website. It all looked a bit dauntingly sporty and gym-y – things I didn’t enjoy, at places I didn’t go to. Lots of lycra. Very off-putting. But Mike had written very persuasively about Sindy, and about KSFL. It knocked around inside my head for a while.
That same week, in June, I heard I’d landed an amazing assignment. In January 2016, I’m being sent to Antarctica for the BBC. It’s an epic trip – two weeks at sea on a working ship out of Cape Town, a week at Britain’s remotest Antarctic base, far out on a moving ice shelf making a documentary for Radio 4, another two weeks at sea to the Falklands, then an RAF flight home to Brize Norton.
It’s once in a lifetime.
I had a bit over six months to get ready. Getting ready meant feeling a bit stronger and more confident.
Mike’s blog about Sindy kept rattling around in my head.
I saw from the KSFL website that Sindy was running classes four days a week at Woodgreen Leisure Centre (ed. this has since changed to Banbury Twenty Cricket Club). And in the end, that was the clincher. Woodgreen is three minutes’ walk from my house. If it had been further away, or somewhere I’d have to drive to, I think I would have ruled it out. Too much hassle. Not enough time in my busy life. But it was Woodgreen. With the gluten thing in my head, with the kids thing in my head, with the Antarctic thing in my head – with all of that, I knew that if I couldn’t get myself to flipping Woodgreen, at least once, to have a look, it was just never going to happen. Ever.
So two weeks after I met Mike, in the middle of the turmoil that is 6pm on a weekday night with two small kids and a dog at dinner time, I somehow got myself out the door and walked to Woodgreen. I had no workout gear, and I wasn’t ready in my mind to start anyway, so I just went in jeans and a hoodie, to see.
And it looked right. Why? Because it was fun to meet new people – like Rachael Willson, who I recognised from her photo in the local paper after she’d lost 3 stone. She encouraged me.
Because you could work for 20 seconds, then stop (I liked the sound of that). Because people were smiling and laughing, actually enjoying the workout (that was new to me) – and enjoying being together. Because it was cheap. Because it was nearby.
But actually, because of Sindy. The energy coming off Sindy that day was something amazing – the way she was supporting the people in the class, her enthusiasm for the workout, her grin. That incredible grin. It could light a city.
I went home, found some shorts, and made it back at 6.15 next morning for class number one. I weighed 17st 1lb.
Today I weigh 15st 1lb.
It’s a whole new life, suddenly.

MUM of 8 (yes, 8 children) goes from a size16 to a size 6 with Kick Start Fat Loss

MUM of 8 (yes, 8 children) goes from a size16 to a size 6 with Kick Start Fat Loss


Michelle Morton (43) has lost a staggering 4 1/2 stone and gone down from a size 16 to a size 6 since joining a Kick Start Fat Loss Club.
The KSFL Franchise is run by Sindy Matthews in Banbury

“ I had another baby 2 years ago (making a total of 8 children) and then broke my neck in December 2012. It took doctors 7 months to diagnose and my life pretty much ended there and then.
After it was operated on in 2013 my healing process was great but I had gained alo t of weight and felt stuck,” says Michelle.

Michelle’s diet became really bad after the horrendous ordeal as she used food as a comfort blanket.

She consumed a constant stream of takeaways, processed food, kids’ leftovers and, being the world’s fussiest eater who did not like fruit, veg or fish, her nutrition was pretty awful.

“The last straw was looking in the mirror every day and not liking what I saw – well hating what I saw to be honest,” says Michelle.

Michelle had attended Sindy’s fitness classes in the past and knew Sindy would have her best interests at heart and be able to coach her with the most up to date nutritional information and care.

In 5 months Michelle has regained her figure, her confidence and her life. It’s an amazing transformation for this super busy mum of 8.

“Now in a typical day I eat (for example) – smoked salmon, poached egg, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms for breakfast, smoked mackerel pate and salad for lunch,
KSFL pizza with desired topping and butternut squash chips, peas and green beans for tea – a lot of my inspiration is from the KSFL recipe book and most of those
I have made, tried and adapted.”

Michelle’s future goals are to remain as she is but continue to get fitter.

“I could not, no matter what, go back to the old way of eating and living,
it is now a very big part of my life and one that I could not give up.”

Michelle is also looking at becoming a Kick Start Fat Loss coach and help others change their lives.

“KSFL has changed not only my life but my family’s life so much and for the very better,

I can empathise in so many ways about how people might be feeling  and how

difficult it can be to make the change but I can honestly say it is so worth it and with the right coaching and leader you can achieve anything.”

Kick Start Fat Loss Lifestyle clubs was created in 2007 by Rachel Holmes and has helped 1000′s of people

all over the UK.

The newcomer on the slimming club block KSFL now has 50 franchisees all over the UK & is 
working with the NHS in Suffolk on new pilot programmes for combating obesity.

Feeling awesome!

Here are some tips on how to feel awesome:


  • Start writing little notes each day on a piece of paper of the things in your life that you are grateful for and pop them into a jar. A year from now take the time to read them. Get friends and family to do this with you too.
  • Before you go to bed think of something positive and again when you awake in the morning.
  • Smile more, walk tall.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
  • Be your own best friend and stop giving yourself such a hard time!
  • Avoid creating your own drama. The best way to avoid this is to ditch the TV programmes. Don’t absorb this rubbish otherwise it becomes your reality! DRAMA QUEEN ALERT!