Carb-fest in France

…(or, how to exercise in the tiniest of floor spaces)

Sorry for being MIA, I’m just back from a lovely long weekend in Lyon. As I’m still in the middle of my 8-week gym challenge, I went armed with circuits-sessions to do in the hotel room and a vague “80/20” rule in mind for matters relating to baguettes. I have returned feeling as if I am composed 80% of baguette (the other 20% possibly being goat’s cheese). I’m not sure that’s quite what I had in mind.

Anyway, here follows a few pics of Lyon (my favourite city in France and where I intend retiring to, shortly after purchasing a French bulldog whom I will name Teddy) and some words on how I did my best to, er tried to um pretty much failed to manage eats whilst in the gastronomic capital of France!

From chicken breast to crepes in four short days

I started off well. I took my own food for the entire journey (we went by Eurostar, so were travelling pretty much all day). But of course once we were there, I was eating the Lyonnais way (veering towards lighter options wherever possible, practical and bearable!)

Put it this way, this place was just outside our hotel (can you read all the flavours?:

And a wander down the road sent us past about 10 places just like this:

We went to a market on Sunday which was phenomenal: freshly made breads, varying ages of goats cheeses, more types of saucisson than you’d think possible, beautiful fresh produce, lines of rotisserie chickens… I didn’t take any photos but wish I had done. That day, for lunch, we bought 1/2 a chicken fresh off the spit, a warm baguette, some tiny goats cheeses and a bowl of fresh choucroute, and ate in sitting in the nearest square. Divine. In the short-term!

It was a lovely break, but I could tell how differently I was eating to Kat’s plan, and I’m feeling glad to get back to it now I’m home. Holidays are holidays for a reason, right?

How to work out in the tiniest of spaces

Before I went away, I asked Kat to give me some suggestions of how to keep training whilst I was at a hotel with no gym. She sent me not one, but two circuits which needed no equipment, just body weight and a surface to step up on.

Our room was so tiny it was ridiculous. Here’s the two bits of space I had in which to train:


Nice, huh?! One bit of floorspace was OK for anything “wide” (pressups, squats). The bit by the door was OK for anything “long” (lunges, tricep pressups). And never the twain did meet. It was…interesting! But doable. There really are no excuses, unless you’re looking for them!

My husband had to either be in the bathroom or on the bed whilst I did my circuits. There was no room for him anywhere else. Happily he is a supportive and sporty sort, so didn’t mind laying in bed whilst I stepped up and down off it (there was nothing else suitable). He was in charge of the iPod and telling me what the next exercise in the circuit was.

Along with my hotel-room circuits (which were tough – proof you don’t need fancy equipment to get a good workout in!), we also walked. A lot. Including up to and around the basilica which overlooks the city:

Just a few steps! 😉

So now I’m back, with just over three weeks of Kat’s challenge left. She’s been so encouraging and says I have made great progress. I can’t wait to see how far I’ve come in the full eight weeks.

PS Congrats to Kat who came 2nd in her class at the National Physique Association British Championships at the weekend – incredible! She looked amazing and it’s clear from the pics and her result just how hard she’s worked. I’m hoping she’ll blog about it soon so I can link to her story.


7 Responses to Carb-fest in France

  1. Those steps look awesome for training!
    BUT, that room is tight! I’d get claustrophobic!!


    • thefitwriter says:

      Hey Mark! I know, seriously there were hundreds and hundreds of steps – I only took photos of some. Great workout! And yep the room was completely ridiculous…if it had been a leisure trip (rather than the reason for travel being husband’s work), we would have spent a leeeetle bit more 😉 It just meant we spent as much time as possible outside, walking and exploring – which is always good 🙂


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Orlando FL, Nicola Joyce. Nicola Joyce said: New blog post: back from France and the car-crash carb-fest! Less than 3 weeks left on my 8-week gym challenge… […]


  3. […] one full body circuit. She then gave me a couple of kit-free sessions I could do in our hotel room when we went to France. Since then, she’s given me another three sessions to replace the initial lot, so I can keep […]


  4. Kat says:

    Just saw this, wow! Seriously girl, you did so well working out in that room! And not totally blowing all your hard work with all those temptations! Well done!!! You’re inspiring so many people 🙂 Thanks for the links too


  5. […] the following posts: the start of the challenge, what’s involved, obstacles, weight training, whilst on holiday and progress with one week to […]


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