The Cost Of Being Lean

I haven’t posted for a while, so I have decided to dust my self off and get back on the blogging scene, so I guess i’m back.

Over the past year with being injured and not able to run, cycle or do my usual routine, I have really been focused on my nutrition, and I guess that’s because it fills my time and it’s a challenge.

I had lost a lot of muscle from not training, I also lost my sanity and the will to live somedays! But with loosing size and weight I decided I actually liked being a smaller frame. However what you are going to read below is the downside to being lean and actually what detrimental affects it can have.

I have lost 1 stone and 5 pounds in total, some fat, some muscle and some water. I am 5ft10 and weighing 9 stone 8 currently, with my body fat being around 13% mark. I have never been fat my body fat was between 17-18% so in the athletic range for a woman.

At no stage of my process has it been hard work, or forced. However there have been days I have been flat, like 100% dying on my feet. When you create a deficit your body has to then tap into your own stores for energy that is then when you feel the real fatigue.

The problem is there is no way you can sustain a deficit and remain at your best, I have read 100,000 of pages, blogs, articles. To sit at a low body fat % and continue to chip away will make you feel in the gutter. Now a point I will come to later is the biggest problem we face is the fact that some people in the modern day society look up to IE shirtless men and woman on Instagram that portray and image of being lean and shredded the whole year around claim that they do it naturally and feel great aren’t in the real world.


The pros to the low body fat FOR ME – for you it may well be different. 

  • You are lighter push ups, pull ups, plank in fact any body weight exercise is easy peasy.
  • You are quicker and more agile.
  • You feel asthetically amazing.
  • You have abs you look defined.


The negatives to low body fat FOR ME – it may well be different for you. 

  • Cold – Oh my god, I have never been so cold in my life, the loss of body fat in the winter is miserable.
  • catch illnesses. – I would have one cold a year and be over it in 2 days. now I have a cold it takes me 3 weeks to get over it.
  • The affect it has on relationships – Family members and loved ones, LOVED you before the fat loss, they get the rough side to you when you become snappy, and almost intolerable with you weighing food and saying no to social events because it won’t fit your macros. You need to understand that it’s not their goal, but they also need to understand it’s YOUR goal and to support you. Does your goal really that much to you to push loved ones away?
  • SLEEP…when your body is almost on a shutdown you are running yourself on empty you become restless which will then impact on your mood and you may find that your fat loss will stall, without recovery your body won’t loose fat.
  • The ability to recover – I found that my body would constantly be recovering from the gym, constant aching and fatigue.
  • You loose your appetite, I hit a stage where I didn’t even feel hungry, no cravings, no nothing.
  • People commenting that you have lost weight, ‘ a funny colour’ you look tired. Take a look at yourself do you look like that? if you do just consider what you are doing and if it is becoming detrimental to your health.
  • people judging you on your food choices – I get so tired of this, I don’t call out a larger person for eating a packet crisp and snickers, but yet anyone and everyone will have something to say about you eating protein and how it will make you have  muscles, I mean if it was that easy Sheila wouldn’t we all be at it!
  • Your workouts fall flat, you loose strength FAST.
  • As a women hormones will shut down. That is when you really consider what you are doing and whats it worth.


Now those people that post on social media that are lean all year round they don’t mention any of the above. They don’t mention performance enhancers either. I am aware that I could encounter a back lash for this blog, and I’m ready for that.

What I would like you to take away from this blog is the ability to love yourself, regardless height weight and what Instagram says you should look like. Find a body composition you are comfortable with and maintain it.

Create a goal and go for that goal but when that goal starts to takeover your life and you say no social occasions, your loved ones are on a knife edge around you and you are contemplating doing cardio at 2am because you can’t rest. Then reevaluate the cost to being lean is it worth your health? your family relationships? your friendships? It quickly takes over and you loose track of what is really important.






What if? A question or an emotion. 

I personally feel Ive reached a stage in my life where everything is working. I get life, I’ve always got life when you face the news and change of direction like I have the only way to overcome it was turn it into something positive. Appreciate life, family and be grateful of what I have.

The past 6-8 months I have felt happier than ever before, healthier than ever before. I feel as though I have found the perfect life balance.

This is down to the face I have the love of a very good man, a man that loves me for who I am, dodgy ticker an all. A man who shows me so much attention and love, cares and supports me, laughs at my poor jokes or stereo typical blonde moments. I have found my soul mate and best friend ❤️. We make memories every single day. Being able to devote and put my time into our relationship has lead me to not think about the what if’s as much. His Constance reassurance that my charity mission is something special.

I do wonder where I would be now if I had become serious with football or athletics, but I don’t let those thoughts over develop. I know that I was blessed with my dodgy ticker and it’s made me the person I am today.

Thoughts moving forward;  everyday do something that could help or benefit someone else.

  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Do something for charity
  • Pay someone a compliment
  • Be happy within yourself

And finally, be blessed to be alive. Spare a thought for those less fortunate ❤️

It’s not always obvious  

Heart disease is the biggest killer for men and women. ( nothing like starting a blog with a bold statement. ) every 7 minutes someone in the UK will have a heart attack, every 12 minutes someone will have a stroke.  

Currently half a million people in the UK are living with heart disease. Those statistics are all real and to today’s date. 

Now that is some serious and real factual information. It hits home, hard. Heart disease doesn’t choose when to strike, some live with it and never know, some don’t return home after what should’ve been an ordinary day. Around 41,000 people under the age of 75 in the UK die because of cardiovascular disease. Around 7/10 people survive a heart attack. While under 1/10 survive a cardiac arrest. 

As mentioned above, heart disease doesn’t chose when it strikes, sometimes there are no warnings, it’s unexpected, the Unknown, the silent killer. 

I for one was never expected to have any heart issues of the kind. Nobody wouldve guesses I have/had heart issues. I look well 90% of the time. My symptoms I can hide. Who would know? 

I put a message out a while back; 

Everyone you meet may be fighting a battle, be nice to everyone. 


Because I know how well someone can look an yet feel rough as hell. I’m much more aware of this. 

This blog was inspired by the fact I cleared out some old draws. These draws contained the vast majority of my clinic letters etc. There’s over 50 of them!  

 I also came across a bag, a tescos bag, and in this bag was old medicine boxes, a hell of a lot. I sat there and looked at them and thought what?! Why did I keep all these empty boxes. ps ( I don’t know how I’m not rattling. )

Then it come to me, when I was 15 and first diagnosed and started to take all the pills. I was telling myself keep all the boxes because one day the doctors will realise they are wrong and you can reverse the damage of all those tablets. 

It gave me goosebumps. I was once a 15 year old that genuinely thought all the doctors had got everything wrong. I thought I would get a call and they would say that everything was ok and it was a big mix up. 

For a while I held onto that thought. Until I learned to accept and embrace what I have been given, and I’m pleased to say heart disease 0 Till 1. I achieve the greater thing in life, I inspire. I never thought I would inspire anyone. Ever. Now I get messages and support about how I (just Tilly) inspire them to do a run, or a triathlon! It’s amazing. Everyday I wake up I feel very blessed. I live for the day, everyday I take with both hands and live it as though it was my last. 
Heart disease opened my eyes. Don’t let it close yours. Let’s fight it together.

Flatline to half Marathon 

Back in 2015 I set myself a challenge, a goal. A half marathon, I knew it would be difficult but I wanted to do it. 

So I signed up to Sleaford half marathon, 1st November, I remember it so well, I messaged my friend Carl, straight away and told him! We set up a training run together etc. (Carl is a great runner and has loads of running experience). 

So I started my training, it’s going well, I’m running x3 per week and gyming everyday. No problems all going well, my runs was leave the house and just run, quick as I can 3-5-6 miles I just chose on how I felt. 

I got to a stage where I really wasn’t feeling well pre run, during the run and after the run! It was almost like a fatigue. 

On two, three occasions I had been running full pelt as I do (did) and all of a sudden things would go blurry and I had to put myself to my knees (before I fall) and wait for this spell to pass (15-30 secs) I would feel confused, chest tightness, loss of sensation in my hands. Very uncomfortable. 

That had happened to me when I had been playing squash (hence why I stopped) I was concerned when it happened at squash, but I just stopped playing and it stopped , although I was upset in having to stop playing the game I loved. I knew it wasn’t safe. 

Not only wasn’t it safe, after these events, for a week or so, it left me feeling so washed out and unwell. Demotivated, drained and confused. 

When this started happening when I was running, I was devastated, I knew it was real, I can’t ignore this. Something is really going wrong. 

Next clinic appointment at leicster they was updated, and started the appropriate action to finding out what is going wrong. 

I knew then and there that I would be silly to continue with the half marathon plans.


So then I had to announce that this challenge I had set myself was over. Done, finished I had failed. That’s when I hit a real low. The things I love to do gradually being taken away from me. Sport is my life and I couldn’t see it without it. 

Leicester are ongoing with tests and all the rest of it. While I wait and wonder what my future will be. 

Then, I thought; 

I’m not ready to give up? That’s not me! I need a different approach!

I went running with Skegness and district runners. I was running amongst a great bunch, who is my running family ❤️  

They taught me how to run, that’s sounds odd I know, everyone who knows me know I run and am always running. But they taught me how to love running, and to enjoy it. 

By pacing and not going off like lunatic all the time you enjoy running and you achieve so much more! After a few runs with them and increasing my distance and feeling good throughout the run and after the run. 

I thought ; 

Sleaford half marathon, we aren’t done yet. 

It’s with the club, that I met Helen, my running sister! Helen and I ran 10 miles on a Sunday for fun, something I never thought I would achieve. But I did and felt amazing! 

Post ten miles with Helen. 

I then announced to helen that I want to do Sleaford half, Helen wasn’t aware that I had tried a month ago and became unwell from it. 

I did tell her about my heart and what to do etc, and Helen was not phased at all, and agreed to do Sleaford half with me. Run it all with me! That is a true running sister. We set the goal and that was to finish the run, safely. 

So I start again, I am running x3 per week, two longish runs and one quicker short run, before each run I’m excited and raring to go. Loving my Thursday nights with my running family. 

I do another long run with Helen, 12 miles, in the hills. It was great I loved it and felt so good afterwards! 

Sleaford half marathon comes around very quickly. My friend sam and I have made banners for the finish. I have carb loaded, stretched, kit all set out, all I had to do was sleep. Yep I didn’t get much sleep.  

I wake up Sunday morning, feeling nervous, apprehensive, and frankly scared. The What ifs are going through my head. 

We set off for Sleaford, we arrive to see the weather is grim, it’s feeezing, blowing and rain.

What am I doing 

I see my running family, and Helen! We are all set and registered, the start time is fast approaching. The nerves are building. A few people had seen my Facebook page and come over to say hello and well done. 

It’s time, time to join the start line, I kiss my mum ” see you soon I love you” I can see the fear in her face. I know Sam will look after her though. 

Off we go, we seem to be flying, mile 1 is gone and done with , in the distance I can see ” cardiac hill” it’s ok, I got this. Got that done and out the way. 

Then it’s on a farm track, that was fun actually navigating the mud and holes in the ground! Mile 3 marker.

If I can run the rest of the miles like the last three it will be fine 


At mile 5 we hit a hill, that just goes on and on, it’s never ending. Helen, is by my side, as we hit 7 miles it’s all going well, I’m running well and strong. I got a gel and had that, some water. Reset my mind and I’m set for the last part of the race. 

Mile 8. The only way I can describe mile 8 is BANG. We came from going up hill to down then flat. Something on the outside of my knee had gone BANG. Not a muscle pain, not cramp, just a real bad pain. 

I can’t finish this I can’t take another step, it’s pure agony


Helen gradually got a little bit ahead of me, she soon come back I think she knew something was wrong. All of a sudden I had dropped off of her after running so well. 

I didn’t say a word to Helen about my knee, I knew she would have pulled me off the race. 

I continue to dig in, getting lots of support from fellow runners and more people that had seen my Facebook page. 

Going through my mind is, I can’t do it, I’m broken, then in the next thought, you can Milverton your ticker is holding you up, and you are thinking of quitting because of knee pain? GET A GRIP let’s go. Ahh I hate my self at times! 

I actually had that conversation with myself. 

Mile 10, I have done two miles with this lets go, come on, what the actual *bleep* how is it only 10miles, yes but you’ve done 10miles your nearly there, no , no I’m not. 

Then Helen, is asking are you alright Hun? I announce no, I have real pain in my knee I’m struggling. 

Helen from that point, literally was the running sister of running sisters. She reminded me that I have 5km to go which is my fave distance. She continued to talk to me, about all sorts. From pizza to holidays. 

I was an utter grump, every step was awful, nothing was helping. Then we reach cardiac hill AGAIN. For the second time today, the first time I was buzzing and it felt like I hurdled it. 

This time it was completely different, Helen by my side the whole time, talking and pushing me on. Eventually it’s over. I’m on the home straight. 

 I can begin to see the finish, but it seems so far, I am telling myself to focus on the pain, and to beat it, let’s go, this is rubbish, move it. But my body just can’t respond. I’ve had it. Just pass me my hoodie the ibuprofen and Ill curl up in a ball. 

I’m not stopping, I don’t do that, I haven’t come this far to quit, head up and smile Sarah is there with her camera!! Thank god for that as I had a bad mind set. (Thank you sarah)  

Now the finish line, I can see it, I can hear people, but I cannot for the life of me get into a sprint finish, I’ll be happy to roll over the line at this rate. 

We reach that line, we crossed it and good god did it feel good to stop, me and my dodgy ticker had done it! The emotion was real.  


Even when you try and fail and get knocked down, you get back up and you change/adapt your approach. You do it, because you want it, the desire to want and do on that Sunday was raw. 

So much love to my running family! And my mum and Sam for waiting in the bitter wind and rain!! ❤️

X2 heart surgery and not out. 

Reveal device, a monitor that fits just under the skin and monitors your heart 24/7 then gets sent off to the hospital every night and gets reviewed. 

So my journey, why did I need this? Well it would seem my heart doesn’t like to be pushed to hard without making me keel over and leave me really unwell for up to a week after. 

My consultant is a very fair man, he will negotiate to a certain extent. I really didn’t want the appropriate action to find the cause (said reveal device) because it’s minor surgery, a week out of exercise. Looking now what was wrong with me?! Why delay that on such silly objections. 

After we tried all the other options the holter monitors, the new stick on device. Etc. Images of all will be below. None of the above would catch my events because they would come off, Sqaush and sprinting are very high tempo, fast action lots of perspiring. 

I arrived at clinic knowing my only option, I sat with my consultant and his register, who I have a good relationship with both now. We see a lot of each other. My consultant – ” Tilly, im sorry the last device didn’t work, it’s our only option now, it’s the size of my pen lid, you will be back exercising in no time. But too soon, an you open the wound due to squashing, running then we will have words! please sign consent form here” 

Yes I sighed and signed. 
Which is why on Wednesday 9th March 5:45 am I was up and showering in the god awful anti bac shower gel. To be at Glenfields for 8am. 

We arrived just gone 8am, to ward 32 where I recognised well from my last stay. I checked in and went to the day room. Yay tv was working and fresh magazines. I was sat for all of two minutes. 

Then I was called through to have some obvs done, and to be told my notes are on there way, ( at Notts for genetic heart screening ) 
I had my blood pressure done, pulse, and cannula in two big ones. Bit dramatic I thought. Also got me some stylish wrist wear with my own name and date of birth on how clever?! 

Anyway I had a good old laugh with the two lovely nurses that did those tests. Me being there youngest patients for a while! 
Once they was finished I went back to the day room, where a health care support worker comes in and offers tea, coffee, cake any other food.. None for me as I wasn’t allowed anything. My mum enjoyed her sarnie and coffee though. 

In the day room the time dragged to be honest. I am due in at 11am. We make chat with other day case patients. All over 50… And never had a heart procedure before. There I am 20 telling them what to expect. 

Then my doctor came along, we had a chat about what he is going to do and I signed on the dotted line. I also see the registrar from clinic had a chat with him! 

Sitting, waiting, listening to mother playing candy crush… Then it approaches 11, now I’m getting edgy, 3 pees in the space of 20 minutes. I never knew I had a nervous pee.  

Then I saw a flurry of beds go by… Then 4 people turned up in scrubs.. “Chantilly Milverton” my heart well it didn’t jump around like most does, but I got that nervous feeling.. Yikes, it’s happening. I looked at mum ” that’s me then” I jumped up.. And use the ladies once more. 

All the 4 people in scrubs have names and are all so lovely. And my lady walking me to the theatre was so nice, she stayed with me until I was gowned up and then handed me, and my huge notes over to the theatre team who are all so lovely. 

Then I waited, 11:50 and the clock was not moving. I sat in my gown theatre staff all kept checking I was ok. Then a lady come out of the lab and went into a bay and now it’s me… I insisted on walking to my theatre but I wasn’t allowed. 

Thankfully it was a different one to last time. I went past that other one. It sent shivers through me. 
In theatre I saw lots, lights, gadgets, screens and people. I sat and waited for a moment while people where doing stuff. Then I heard them say 

Theatre team- ” we are waiting for the steps” so I said what’s steps? 

Nurse- ” the steps to get up to the table on”,

 I replied, oh no I can hurdle that if I wanted to I’ll jump up.

 Nurse – ” oh no we will wait, honestly it’s ok”. 

Then my doctor came through and she told him we was for steps. He replied 

doctor –  ” oh she can jump that, she is a triathlete, up you go Chantilly” 

So I’m now lying on the bed, wired all up. gowns off, so chest is revealed. My dr, then covers it in iodine, everywhere gave it a real good scrub!. He then covers me up and only has the area he needs on show. 

He then puts his thumb in a position on my chest and asked if the device would interfere with my bra or if the scar would be able to be seen in a dress etc. I checked and it wouldn’t.  

He then got the local anaesthesia, those needles get longer I swear ! In it went in my chest, a full jars worth! He does 3 lots then stops, he said 

doctor- ” Tilly, are you ok?!” 

Me- I replied yes fine thank you are you? He replied,

Doctor-  “OK good” 

then another 3 lots of local went in, how all the liquid got in my chest I do not know! 
My doctor then enquirers to see if I’m ok again, I replied 

Me – ” yep all good crack on” 

doctor- ” you know most people move and jump at local, but you aren’t moving or doing anything!” 

I replied 

Me –  ” nah not me, it’s fine” 

Then he pinched the skin on my chest and made the cut, I didn’t watch that bit! He then made a pocket for it, with a plastic thing that he had to really push hard on, his hand was shaking with the pressure and the further he was getting it through it was making a weird noise, he got half way and was leaning on me, 

doctor – ” are you alright?” I replied, 

Me – ” yep just keep going I’m fine”  calm as a cucumber. 

After a lot of pushing and pressure on my chest, it’s was in! Officially bionic. I was glad once it was in, my doctor then just applied pressure for a few minutes then, pinched the wound together glued it and job done. 
Then it had be set up with the technician, he put a sensor over it and said the signal was perfect and couldn’t be better! Yay job done, I jumped up and off the table. 
Ok it didn’t go like that but I suggested that option,  we did it all slowly to make sure I wasn’t dizzy or anything. 

I then went to recovery for 10-15 minutes had obvs done had a drink. then got took back to the ward.  
On the ward I got dressed, and had a sandwich, ham on white bread was nice with ready salted crisps, and Jackson (healthy care support) sorted me some cake he promised! That was good too , with a nice coffee. 

Then my obvs was done again. All was ok there! And I went to find my nurse to get my cannula removed, that was done. Then I got my antibiotics,.refused pain killers! Such a tough nut I know. 

I was free to go home, Steady walk to the car. We called at Waitrose motherkins got me some Lindt choc balls, cupcake and Viennese whirl..then she stopped at Boston sausage for bangers and mash for dinner (my fave). 

Once home, I had a good look at my wound, and that and the fact the local was wearing off left me feeling a bit odd to say the least. I went from looking relatively well to looking like something out of a horror movie Casper! Ha ha. 

So there you have it my experience of surgery at the hospital 9/3/16. I can’t wait to get running and exercising again. 

Remember you can sponsor me @ my just giving page 

Much love, my words of wisdom today are; 

Remember everyone could be fighting a battle, the invisible or the visible, so be nice to everyone. 


Don’t give up, adapt. 

My motivational speech saw me tell hundreds of people how I have learned to adapt to my conditions (my dodgy ticker). Accept and embrace what I have, forget about what I don’t have…right. 
So recently for the past 5 months or so, when exercising my heart has been going too fast 200+ beats per minute, this was causing me to drop to my knees. Leaving me feeling unwell for the next week or two… Funny do ended me up in resus with a resting heart rate of 120… 

But I love exercise, squash, running,  cycling. It’s my life, my happiness. My church my play ground. I can’t stop, so stopping is what my family was/are encouraging me to do, at least until I go to leicster for some genetics tests and to get  a little device fitted minor surgery that’s all.  I Will officially be iron woman? No? 

Well I had told myself ok I’ll calm it down, and it really wasn’t working for me I was getting it all wrong going running for 30 minutes or cycling for 30 minutes and thrashing myself, then not feeling well. 
I was trying to cram it all in a time zone what an idiot I know. All I had to do was watch my heart and exercise as much as you like so I have been doing that, and keeping my hearts max  to 180… Well don’t I feel great. Today I ran ten whole miles! No stops, no funny episodes no nothing other than a smile upon my face throughout and finish! 
That was all done with thanks to recently going to Skegness and district running club.  Having the courage to run those miles and not doing it alone! 

So with adaptions you can do anything, despite set backs and the falls, you have the right to get back up and to achieve. 

Over and out for now! I’ll do a blog request for the next one, drop me a line to what you want to read about!  


Because one sport just isn’t enough! 

Because one sport just isn’t enough! 

Today I did my first triathlon, the same day 3 years ago during heart surgery my dodgy ticker stopped, I flatlined.
I absolutely loved the triathlon, I swam 400meters cycled 20km and ran 5km! Amazing! The whole time being sure to monitor my heart rate, which did cause some delays.
Upon my finish of the triathlon I was greeted with my family! Who also told the guy that does the announcing to say ” Here comes Colgate smile award winner 2014″ hilarious guys!
Recently as you know or may not know I have been having a lot of tests and MOT’s for the my dodgy ticker. Because when I do sport my heart has been going to fast and causing me to almost black out.
When it happens I loose my vision and surroundings but I always manage to get myself to my knees! It passes very quickly! My cardiologist doesn’t  think it’s enough for it to kill me, they think it’s the warning sign and providing I stop I’ll be fine.
That’s great it’s reassuring! But when I’m in the gym, running, cycling, I can’t give it my everything in the fear that it will knock me to my knees!
But if I lived in fear of that I wouldn’t had done my first triathlon!