Make sure you have enabled picture downloads      View this email in your browser
In 1972 I launched my very first slimming class. Click here to read how it all began.


When I launched my first public class in Leicestershire in 1972 I used a set of bathroom scales on which to weigh everyone. A few years later I opened premises and bought myself some proper medical scales – the ones on a stand with a balance mechanism at waist-level with weights that moved along the mechanism (one for each stone and the other for lbs) until the weight bar balanced perfectly at the level of the arrow on the stand. It also had a height measure attached to the stand.

The only downside of these magnificent scales was that they were cumbersome and very heavy so when I moved from my own premises into various local hired venues, these legendary scales became impractical. But I never got rid of them and they have travelled with me to various houses where we have lived over the last 50 years despite being questioned by my very patient hubby Mike as to whether I ‘really needed to keep them?’. But those scales form part of my career journey and I am very attached to them even though they currently live in a shed with the garden furniture. Having read Mary’s piece for this week, I decided to dig them out, dust them off and measure myself.

I’ve always been short – a mighty 5’ 1¾” when I was in my 20s. I managed to compensate for my height with 3” heels but of course those days are long gone due to my arthritic feet. So, off I trundled down to the shed to discover my antique scales happily residing in a corner. Pulling myself up to my maximum height, my head just managed to touch the head-bar at 5’ 0½”. Yes, I had shrunk one-and-a-quarter inches in recent years. Disappointing but not really a surprise! I weigh less than I used to but I know I am not any slimmer. (I did consider stripping down to my undies to weigh myself on the scales in the shed but the gardener was around so I thought better of it!) Sadly, and almost inevitably, my height loss is a consequence of growing older. Mary will explain how and why this happens later in this Newsletter.

Searching through my archive of photographs I found this picture of my beloved scales in use at my class in 1982. This was obviously before I had discovered the benefits of low-fat eating which led to my Hip & Thigh Diet! Love the high heels in a fitness class! I only wore them to make me look slimmer as we had a film crew there at the time! Goodness me!

We are so fortunate to have Mary as our fitness guru on our website and in our weekly Newsletter. She has such a fascinating history in the fitness industry and recently I interviewed her about her extraordinary career and the part she played as a valued member of the team that created the Exercise to Music qualification in 1986.

Recipe of the Week

Oven-baked means no additional fat is required. The yogurt adds a rich smooth creamy texture as well as toning down the spicy flavour.
Serves 4
Per serving: 334 kcal/9.6g fat (excluding rice)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

4 skinless, boned chicken breasts, cut in half
600ml (1 pint) tomato passata
300ml (1⁄2 pint) low-fat live natural yogurt
2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
freshly ground black pepper
mint leaves to garnish
for the tikka paste
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 tbsps tomato purée
1 tsp ground cumin
 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 x 2.5cm (1in) piece fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tsps vegetable bouillon stock powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6. Cut the chicken in half and place in a bowl and season well with black pepper.
  2. Place the tikka paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spread the tikka mixture over the chicken, coating on all sides. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a non-stick roasting tin and place in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly roasted. Remove from the oven and stir in the tomato passata.
  4. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes to heat through. Check that the chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Just before serving, stir in the yogurt and coriander. Spoon into a warmed serving dish and garnish with mint leaves.
  6. Serve with basmati rice cooked in boiling water with a vegetable stock cube.
For more recipes click here to visit the website

Fun, Facts & Fitness from Mary Morris MSc.

For a long time I have encouraged my members to be weighed regularly as it is well known that those who keep a check on their weight are more likely to be a healthy weight.  I also wanted to give them an accurate Body Mass Index score (BMI) so they would know if they were in a healthy or unhealthy range.  That requires having an accurate height reading.  However, at some point I had the inkling that when I asked members what height they were I was often surprised by their optimism!  It is a fact that unless you are properly measured using a Stadiometer you may be deluding yourself as to how tall you are.  So, I went and bought one so that I could then take a true measure of their height and give them an accurate BMI reading.

What happened next was a shock to me as well as my members.  In one session alone not one person was the height they thought they were.  Some were out by as much as 2 inches with the average being 1 inch. What they were recalling is the height they were when they were in their 20s and sadly it is a fact that we lose height as we age.  Women will typically lose around 2 inches between 30 – 70 years.  Men lose about an inch by age 70 and 2 inches by the age of 80 years.

There are three main reasons for this:

Spinal Disc Degeneration

The discs between our vertebrae cushion our spine giving it plenty of protection throughout our life but as we age they ‘dry out’ and shrink.  Combine this with injuries that may have occurred over the years and also some genetic factors, almost inevitably these discs will degenerate significantly.  This leads to our spine getting shorter and us almost certainly shrinking!  Sadly, we don't have a lot of control over this, it just happens as we age.


The spine is the first part of our skeleton to show signs of osteoporosis.  This is when the bone becomes less dense and small fractures appear making each vertebra far more fragile. These can actually be completely painless so we may not even know it is happening.  But over time our spine may begin to bow over, usually forward and therefore reducing our height.  Thankfully we can take positive action here and we can reduce the severity of osteoporosis with regular weight-bearing activities like walking and strength training.  In fact, everything we regularly recommend in this Newsletter!

Muscle Loss

We will lose muscle mass as we age but, as many regular readers will know, it can be slowed down significantly by doing strength exercises every week, especially the 'core' muscles of the torso.  It is these abdominal muscles that are meant to keep us upright and hold a good posture. Our Pilates programmes and whole-body strength programmes on the website always include plenty of exercise for this area. 

Now, you’ll love this:  When I measure height I often do it twice and for the second time, I ask them to ‘pull up’ into a good posture – suddenly they are half an inch taller!!

This Week's Fitness Challenge

  1. This week let’s focus on Pilates for working on your torso strength, Do either Introducing Pilates (the starter programme) or Intermediate Pilates 3 times this week.
  2. Let’s work our posture muscles: Stand against a clear wall with your heels about 2 inches from the skirting board.  Feel the back of the hips touching the wall and also the shoulder blades.  (You may or may not be able to connect to the wall at the back of the head).  Now slide your arms in an arc outward and upward as far as you can overhead, whilst still maintaining contact with the wall with your hips and shoulders as well as your fingers. Keep practising and aim to do 6 repetitions daily for a week and you will effectively have strengthened your postural muscles.
  3. Work on ‘bone loading’ with your 30-minute walk every day and add some slow jogging if you can manage it – this involves gently jogging at a similar pace to walking.  Those bones will then become stronger and stronger!
Did you know...

This Sunday (27th) sees the Grand Final of this year’s Dancing on Ice on ITV starting at 6.30pm. My professional skating partner from back in 2012, Mark Hanretty, is this year partnered with Kimberley Walsh (from Girls Aloud), and they are in the Final having wowed the Judges Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, Oti Mabuse and Ashley Banjo over this latest series!

It would be truly wonderful if you could vote for them on Sunday if you possibly can! They have been outstanding throughout the competition and I would LOVE them to win – but as it is all based on viewers’ votes, they need all the votes they can get!

If you fancy a quick ice fix ahead of the final click here for some videos of Mark and me from 2012. I can't believe it was all 10 years ago!

And finally...

It is so important that we embrace our age and be inspired by the fact that we are making every effort to be active, eat healthily and love every day – particularly now Spring is here. What a joy it is to go out walking and to hear the birds singing and the trees coming into blossom. I love it!

Have a great week!

With love and best wishes,

Rosemary Conley CBE DL


Copyright © 2022 RosemaryConley.Com, All rights reserved.

Don't want to receive further newletters?  unsubscribe from this list.