I've not done any fad diets or been glued to the scales, I've just made small adjustments in what I eat and started working out again, which has had a big effect – dropping from size 12 to 8/10.
I told you in Week Four about the skinny high-waisted jeans I bought in size 10 as my thinspiration. And I can proudly say that they're too big for me! They're stretchy and they're too big around my waist, so I've got to get them in a size 8.
The support I've been getting from my trainer, Jay Harvey, and everyone who's been reading my blog each week has been great, and knowing I have a realistic goal has really helped, so thank you. And I'm not stopping here.
We've got a break after we finish filming for The Only Way Is Essex, so I'd like a nice chilled trip somewhere hot, like Spain, with the girls.
I was prompted to shape up after reading the horrible comments I received about a snap of me on a night out at London's Café de Paris in February - pictured in my first blog.
It was such an awful photo – I looked pregnant. But the stick I got for it really upset me. You can get lovely comments all day, but that one horrible one really sticks in your mind and ticks you off.
Now, having put that same dress on again for the first time, my tummy is tight and toned and I'm so proud of myself. See the pictures and the full and exclusive story in Reveal magazine – out now!
But I'm definitely getting there. I feel a lot more comfortable in my clothes, although I'm still not totally comfortable without clothes on!
I was filming at home on Sunday and I had to cook a roast dinner with profitteroles and jam roly poly for pud – which obviously didn't help the diet!
But thank goodness for Chloe Sims, who told me what goes into a jam roly poly and put me right off. It's made with butter, flour, jam and suet, which is basically animal fat! So it's absolutely packed with calories. I used to eat it all the time as a kid – no wonder I was so big! I'm so pleased Chloe told me, so I stayed well clear of that.
Otherwise, I've been quite strict with myself and my food this week. I've been having a lot of fish again, particularly tuna salads and when I want a little snack, I'll prepare some veg, which I love and just gives me something to nibble on in between meals.
On Saturday night it was my cousin Charlie's 21st birthday so we went out for dinner, but I stuck to prawns for starter and grilled cod with lots of veg for main course. Even if you go out for dinner, there are always healthy options and it just goes to show that you can still eat well if you steer clear of fried food, creamy sauces and puddings.
My only day off was on Thursday, so I thought I'd combine exercise with my favourite pastime – shopping! So I headed into the West End at 10am on my own and hit the shops. After a day of serious retail therapy I didn't get home until 7pm and I was so tired! I must have walked miles and I was carrying lots of heavy bags around all day, so I reckon both my legs and my arms got a good workout!
Apparently the average woman covers nearly three miles on a shopping trip and burns around 385 calories, which is a great excuse to update that Spring wardrobe!
I also went for a swim again and managed to do 40 lengths. My brother Joey has a gym at the bottom of his apartment block, so I went there, which was really nice. But next week I'm back to the gym again with my personal trainer Jay Harvey and with only a week left until my big shoot with Reveal magazine, I'm planning to go all out.
Sadly my hectic filming schedule meant I wasn't able to get to bikram yoga with Billi Mucklow like I'd planned, but I'm determined to go this week. So I'll keep you posted with how I get on!
Yesterday I was looking after Chloe Sims' little daughter Madison as she was poorly and off school, so we watched the TOWIE Marbella special together. I was a bit slimmer when we filmed that, so seeing it again has really spurred me on for the final stretch!
Have a good week and keep those tips and comments coming!
> Frankie Essex weight loss blog 4: My skinny jeans are my thinspiration!
> Frankie Essex weight loss blog 3: My tummy already feels flatter
> Frankie Essex weight loss blog 2: I fell off the wagon with a roast!
> Frankie Essex weight loss blog 1: I want to drop a dress size
As you saw on the show, we all went trampolining with Gemma Collins which was great fun. I used to have one in the garden as a kid but my friends and I spent more time sunbathing on it than exercising!
It's really good to know that Gemma, James 'Arg' Argent and James 'Diags' Bennewith are all trying to lose weight as well right now, so we spur each other on, which makes a big difference. Although...we're secretly all in competition with each other!
Gemma did really well losing 11 pounds last week, although you do tend to lose weight quicker when you're bigger. It's not budging quite so quickly for me!
Having said that, I put on my pyjama bottoms yesterday and they usually dig in around my waist, but they really didn't and they definitely felt loser. I'm living in leggings at the moment, so I haven't noticed it with them, but with my PJs I felt it straight away.
I've also bought myself a pair of skinny high-waisted jeans in a size 10, which I'm determined to get into by the end of it. I was hoping I might get down to a size 8, but I have to be realistic and I have a bum, so I don't think I will. I love my bum anyway, so I've decided that size 10 is my aim and these jeans are my inspiration!
As well as trampolining, I had a great session in the gym with my personal trainer doing circuits. It was so hard, I had a proper sweat on! Although I don't care if I sweat any more – it gets to the stage where you can't hide it anyway.
I also went for a swim and did 30 lengths – I was going to do 20, but I pushed myself to do the extra 10 and I'm really pleased I did.
The next thing I want to look into is buying myself an iPod so I can have some good tunes on while I go running. I can run for 45 minutes on a treadmill in the gym where you can plug your earphones into the radio, but I find it so much harder to run outside. Chloe Sims has got all the good tunes, so I need to get her to do me a workout mix!
As the weather has been cold this week I've been eating a lot of warm chicken instead of last week's fish. I bake it in the oven with a chilli seasoning and have it with salad, which is yummy.
On Sunday, as it was Mother's Day I went round to my Nan's house and we were planning to take her out for a roast with my brother Joey and Chloe. But it was so late by the time they had finished filming that we ended up going for a curry instead, which was a bit naughty.
Rather than have a creamy chicken korma – which is my favourite – I went for chicken tikka instead, which isn't in a rich sauce packed with calories. So I felt a bit better about myself!
Right, tomorrow I'm off to bikram yoga with Billi Mucklow, so wish me luck!
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I'm also really getting into my omelettes, so I've been having those for breakfast. It's helped that I haven't had much filming in the last week, so I've been able to get into more of a routine and plan ahead with my meals.
I've been taking vitamin supplements to make sure I'm getting all the nutrients I need too. My health kick is not only about losing weight, I also want to really look after my skin and my hair, so hopefully I'll be glowing by the end of it!
I did sneak a couple of chocolate Hobnobs dunked in a cup of tea on Sunday though in a café with my friend! They tasted so good - I had a little moment to myself as I savoured them. They brought over four to us, but I made sure I only had two!
Afterwards, I had a bit of a blow out night at LuXe bar in Loughton, Essex, with the other TOWIE cast. I was really tired so I got quite drunk quite easily, but I stuck to low calorie vodka cranberry and a cherry sour shot. James 'Arg' Argent texted us all saying "afterparty back at mine" but I was shattered, so I gave that a miss and I was home by midnight!
I haven't been to the gym this week, but I did go swimming last night (4 March) and I've been on a run around a lake near where I live. It's a mile all the way round and two weeks ago I did it in 14 minutes and had to stop a fair few times. This week, I did it in 11 minutes and only had a couple of stops. It's great to know that my fitness is gradually improving and my belly already feels a bit flatter.
I've been chatting to Billi Mucklow, who's a yoga instructor, and I want to get into Bikram Yoga – where you do the yoga session in a heated room. I noticed that her skin was really glowing and she said she's been going to Bikram a lot lately, so I'm going to try and go along with her. Watch this space!
See you next week and keep those tips and comments coming below!
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I've had two personal training sessions at my gym, which have been great. The first one was teaching me how to use all the machines and the free weights. When I first starting going, I knew the basics of the treadmill and the cross-trainer, but otherwise I didn't really know what I was doing and the machines and weights can get really confusing. So they helped me out and when I got stuck, I just swallowed my pride and asked someone, and they were really friendly.
The best thing was being shown how to use the free weights, which I can then use at home as well. They also got me doing the Plank – where you rest your weight on your forearms and balance on tiptoes, keeping your body in a straight line. I do it for a minute and by the end of it my whole body literally vibrates – it's so hard! But it's great for your core strength and your tummy, which is perfect for me.
My muscles have been really sore though – walking up the stairs is killing me! So I went for a swim this week to loosen them up, which was fun. I managed to do 20 lengths – not all in one go! Meanwhile my friend who I went with did 85! I get guest passes so it's been nice to go with my friends.
But the more I go to the gym, the more confident I feel, and I start recognising faces and saying hello to people.
Meanwhile, the diet is going well too. I've completely cut out sweets from my diet and I've bought an omelette maker which is good for lunch. You use it in the microwave, so it's really useful if you want to take it to work and I put some peppers and onions in there to make it tasty.
I had a night out on Saturday, but we went for sushi for dinner, so that's low in calories. And instead of a glass of white wine or a Jagerbomb (Jagermeister and Red Bull), I went for vodka and slimline tonic instead. Just one Jagerbomb is around 160 calories – about the same as an Aero – so that won't be happening any more!
I did fall off the wagon on Sunday though and had a roast chicken dinner. I slept in until 11.30am, so missed breakfast and then went to a restaurant around the corner from my house. But I only had two potatoes!
Thank you so much for your comments as well. Ruthg33: sounds like you're doing really well and you have some great tips. And pomini: instead of cutting out sugar completely why don't you go for sweetener in your tea, or instead of snacking on sweets go for strawberries. They're natural teeth whiteners too!
Do keep the tips and comments coming and see you next week...
> TOWIE's Frankie Essex weight loss blog week one: 'I want to drop a dress size'
Like many girls I was guilty of overindulging at Christmas and with the cold and dull winter weather I've been eating a lot lately.
So when I was photographed outside London's Café de Paris on a night out with Chloe Sims at the beginning of Feburary, I wasn't looking my best. The horrible comments online about my figure really upset me and it was the push I needed to get serious about shaping up.
I'm 5ft 7in and at the moment I weigh 11st and am a size 12. I carry the weight on my belly, bum and thighs, although I'm quite small on top – except my boobs that is! In six weeks I want to drop a dress size and lose a stone and look and feel great for the Spring!
I've joined the Virgin Active gym in Chigwell, Essex, and went for the first time with my friend on Saturday. She's absolutely tiny, but she's really strong and got me doing loads of weights on my arms. The next day they were so sore I couldn't even do my bra up! At least I know it's working, but I've got the weakest arms and it's made me realise I've got a long way to go!
So I plan to go as much as I can in between my hectic filming schedule for TOWIE and do a mix of weights and cardio. I really like swimming, so I'm planning to do plenty of that and I really want to get into spinning. To be honest I'm a bit scared about classes as everyone knows each other and I'm worried I'll feel like the new girl in class, but I'm determined to get over that and give it a go.
The main problem I'm going to have is getting into a routine, as shooting TOWIE can be so unpredictable. Often you only find out if you're needed for filming at the very last minute, so, when it comes to my diet, I need to try and be disciplined.
On set they often bring you pizza and have boxes of snacks, which are so easy to pick at when you're hanging around waiting for your scene. I don't tend to eat much chocolate or crisps, but my problem is sticking to three sensible meals a day at normal times.
I tend to eat dinner quite late and then skip breakfast and if I'm out late and have been drinking I spend the next day lazing about hungover and not eating well.
So I'm going to cut back on the booze and try and make myself lunch boxes to take to filming with me. I know Arg is trying to be good at the moment, too, so I might have to join forces with him. Wish me luck!
I'll be sharing my weekly weight loss diary here at reveal.co.uk, so check back every Tuesday to see how I'm getting on.
Let me know if you have any great diet or exercise tips below...