Let’s Talk: Body Confidence

Lifestyle

Body confidence.

Uhhhhiegfiesbdj. Even just writing those two words down and seeing them staring back at me makes my toes begin to curl up, which no doubt will shortly be followed by the rest of my body until I’m balled up like a little kitten. I want to start by saying that I had many reservations about writing this post; though I never know where a post is going to take me when I begin rambling, I know from the outset that a topic such as this is quite a sensitive one, one that is subject to many an opinion. It is also quite personal and will require me to chat openly to whoever is reading about my own experiences. It is only too often these days that when an individual tries to talk about body confidence, they are met with resounding groans and twenty-plus eye-rolls. That in itself is an issue.

Living in an age and society as we do, it is only fair to say that humans are their own downfall. The majority of huge social and political issues stand at the foreground of human ignorance. I think that body confidence is no different. This obsession (that only leads to remind me of that weird Black Mirror episode where every single person was judged on their social media platforms) with our online presence is beyond unhealthy but sadly, I think the effects are irreversible. Pre-conceptions of ‘beauty’ and appearance are damaging the mentality of (particularly) young children and adolescents. I’m fully aware that a post of this nature could come across as “preachy” so, to avoid that as best as I can, I’m going to chat about my own experience with body confidence, or lack thereof.

Honestly, I’d never had any major run-ins with the body police (the ones in my brain lol) until about two years ago. Up until then, I hadn’t really worried TOO much about it. Of course, I’d envied my friend’s long legs over my little stubby ‘I-have-to-take-three-strides-for-every-one-of-your-steps’ legs, or the way another friend could pull off a bandeau mini-dress because they weren’t a card-holder of the itty-bitty-titty-committee like myself, but all in all, I tried not to let it affect me in any way. I’ve always been petite, at 5ft 2, and had never felt out of proportion growing up.

Having had a ponder, I really think that what got me questioning my body confidence was starting university and turning 18. In particular, going out (both at home and at uni). I have never been (and never will be) someone who owns 20 different mini-dresses and matching pairs of heels. I am a jean-loving, trainer-wearing gal who, 9 times out of 10, is always in an oversized sweatshirt or t-shirt. That’s not to say that I’ve never been confident in my body, rather that I tend to favour comfort over anything else (stylish comfort, of course!!). Let me a paint you a nice little picture. An average night-out outfit for me is a pair of black jeans and some form of a crop top with a pair of converse or another variety of trainer. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to make an effort with my makeup and hair (hopefully making me look slightly nicer than I do having just made it in time for my 9am). So, naturally, the words “dressing up” cause alarm bells to start ringing…pretty loudly. Most of my friends absolutely love dressing up and use going out as an excuse to wear their newest dresses/jumpsuits (and so they bloody well SHOULD as they look like angels) when in reality, I can think of nothing worse. I actually get the fear when my friends try to take pictures with me on a night out because I know for a fact, regardless of whether I do look it or not, I will feel sub-standard standing next to them. Even wearing clothes similar to them, I kind of feel like a fraud, as if someone has over-taken my body and made me squeeze into this tiny outfit that in no way makes me feel good and subsequently, doesn’t make me look good. My friends will tell you that I am THE WORST person to take pictures of or with, because I just pick myself apart in every single one. I think being put in a situation where people assume you have “made an effort” to look your best, automatically invites in other peoples’ judgement, if an image is shared on social media, for example. You don’t know what your friend Chloe’s-auntie’s-friend-from-high-school is saying about your hair or your outfit. In reality, Chloe’s-auntie’s-friend-from-high-school probably doesn’t care the slightest bit that your leg’s at a weird angle or one of your eyes looks slightly bigger than the other. Whilst I KNOW this to be the case, it is harder convincing the irrational, negative part of your brain that 24/7.

These pictures show just one example of my struggle with body confidence. Now, I absolutely hate my arms. I know that’s a weird thing to hate but I rarely wear strappy tops that mean the tops of my arms are out. For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to purchase a dress with spaghetti straps for my course’s end of year party. You don’t even know how many pictures I had to take before I was finally KIND OF ACCEPTING of one of them. I felt so inadequate compared to how the rest of my friend’s looked and felt heavy and uncomfortable with my body in every photo. Even now, I still look at pictures from that night and pick out the parts about myself that I don’t like, that were only exaggerated by wearing something I didn’t feel like myself in. I also tend to ‘size up’ in a lot of my clothes, though my ‘correct size’ is usually one size down from what I end up buying. This is a habit I’ve let myself fall into as I really don’t tend to like form-fitting clothes as you can see every lil lump and bump. I know if my Mom is reading this she’ll be saying “oh don’t be stupid, you don’t have any lumps or bumps” but  the only way I can describe it is like this: you know when you have a spot on your face and every time you look in the mirror your attention is drawn to it and you feel like it’s ruining the whole vibe your face was going for today? However, when you mention it to your friend they say “oh, I didn’t even notice you had a spot”. I think that’s how it is with your body. I ended up sizing down and getting my ‘correct’ size in this dress, which only made it cling to me more and as a result, made me dislike it that much more. This should have been a fun time, but instead, I couldn’t stop thinking about how uncomfortable and wary of myself I was.

It does make me sad that I can feel this way as I’m such an advocate for seeing the beauty in people. I think all of my friends are honestly the most gorgeous people, inside and out, and I will always be the first person to jump in and tell them they look fab or tell them they’re being stupid for talking negatively about themselves. SO WHY is it so hard to do the same for yourself???? I think the main thing that I do which I definitely should stop doing is comparing myself to others. Now, I know that many people complain about the Instagram explore page promoting unreachable standards of perfection, showcasing the most beautiful girls and best looking guys. However, this is not the type of comparison I’m talking about. I KNOW that if you take a picture in a certain light and from a certain angle that it can make you look a lot thinner than you are, or create a shadowed set of abs. I’m not naive to think that I will ever be a Victoria’s Secret catwalk model or have a figure like Tammy Hembrow’s, rather I end up comparing myself to people I know. I can vividly remember studying one of my friend’s faces and picking out every feature of theirs that I was envious of, or that I felt was better than mine. How utterly awful is that?? The funny thing is that the majority of the time, if you turned around to someone and said “god, I’d kill to have cheekbones like yours” or “I wish my lips were like yours” they will repay the compliment to you and say that they want your cheekbones and your lips. This just goes to show that just because you like the way someone looks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they do. If you think about, you have to see your own face and body every single day. Surely, even if you stared at the nicest face or the most perfect body every day for the rest of your life, you’d get bored of it or start to notice the tiniest of ‘imperfections’.

I do agree that a happy person is a beautiful person and that (no matter how cheesy) true beauty is found in happiness (thank you to Roald Dahl for teaching us all that sacred lesson). I think when you’re happy and secure in yourself, it glows out of you like a beacon of light and people around you just know. Like, yeah, she’s/he’s loving their life. I think there are days when I feel that happiness but there are most definitely still days where I question my body and its worth. I have, however, learnt that most of the pressure that I’ve been putting on my body to look and feel a certain way is pressure that has been generated purely by myself and not by others. My body shouldn’t need to look a certain way for other people, my body should be for me and if anyone ever tries to tell you any different, they are so wrong. Feeling as if you need to look a certain way to fit into the “trend” of what is desirable is something that happens far too often. Health comes first and with it, happiness.

Body confidence is definitely a journey and I’m currently sat on the train (probably eating some form of snack I cannot lie), chugging along at a steady pace.

Let me know how you deal with body confidence issues as I find it super interesting hearing other peoples’ perspectives on topics such as this one. Once again, a little ramble for you all, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same.

Love always,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

August Faves

Faves

Helloooo lovely readers!!!

Ya gal is BACK. I know that I need to stop starting each blog post with an apology for my lack of routine and consistency BUT I am really, very sorry. That being said, I thought I’d make my 8th ‘grand return’ of the year with an August Faves. I always prefer my favourites posts in the summer months as I have more time (and more money) to try new things that I can share with you guys. August has been a jam-packed month so I shall stop rambling and get into what I’ve been loving.

What I’ve Been Wearing

In a completely non-shocking manner, August has seen very little warm weather in the UK. However, this did make me happy as I’ve been able to start wearing oversized sweatshirts and jeans again (pretty much what I try to live in all year round). I was in Topshop recently, buying something or other (is it bad that I can’t remember what it was??? Does this highlight my shopping addiction???) and these jeans caught my eye in the SALE RACK. If you know me, you’ll know that sale-rack-shopping is an activity I absolutely never like to partake in as I find it extremely stressful and feel as if I can never find anything I like. Also, I feel that people stand really close to you and hover over your shoulder whilst they wait for you to finish looking (wtf is that all about???). Anywho, I saw these jeans. They’re a dark blue denim pair of flared cut-offs (the Topshop “DREE” style). Now, I’ve been looking for a pair of jeans like this for what feels like forever – I’ve tried on so many pairs that either aren’t the right colour or don’t fit nicely soooo of course I didn’t have high hopes for these. As I was already in the queue, I didn’t have time to try them on and just bought them on a whim (which I would usually never recommend) but once again, I cannot follow my own advice. In a Sisterhood-of-the-Travelling-Pants moment, they actually ended up fitting perfectly and I have already worn them to death. They retail for £40.00 full price but I managed to snag them for £23.00 which I thought was a pretty fab deal. I now want another pair in black.

A more recent purchase that I’m loving has to be this contrast stitch black jumpsuit from Bershka. I bought this for £25.99 and think it is the PERFECT transition piece to go from Summer clothing into Autumn/Winter. It’s a jersey material meaning it is suuuuuper comfy and the trousers flare out at the bottom. The tied-belt detail allows for the jumpsuit to give you a waist that is really flattering whilst not suffocating you or ‘digging in’ in any way. In fact, I loved this so much that I bought exactly the same jumpsuit in a different, more Autumnal pattern which I also cannot wait to wear. I think these jumpsuits look so nice on their own and can be dressed up (like in the pic above) but can also be dressed down with a high-necked t-shirt or turtle neck and trainers when the weather gets a lil colder (which, I hate to say it, will be very soon). Would deffo deffo deffo recommend these.

What I’ve Been Watching

If I’m being honest, I haven’t actually had that much spare time to get sucked into many new Netflix series this summer (although this makes me sad, I guess it is a good thing that I’ve actually been doing something with my life). However, I did manage to watch the new Netflix original film adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I am absolutely living for Netflix turning the books I read when I was 13/14 into films (also including The Kissing Booth) as it makes me feel weirdly nostalgic. I really enjoyed TATBILB as I thought it stayed relatively true to the original text and I used to be obsessed with Jenny Han’s books. Would deffo recommend this if you’re feeling an overeating-icecream-and-crying-with-your-friends-over-stupid-boys night.

What I’ve Been Listening To

So…I saw Hamilton. I cried. I died. I just about everything-in-between’d. That being said, naturally I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat for about six weeks. My new fave song is Wait For It and I also like Aaron Burr, Sir. Honestly the music is just so magical and I feel like no words I will ever write can do it justice so I’m just going to leave that there.

I’ve also had the Bring It On soundtrack playing constantly as in this academic year, I’ll be directing Musical Theatre Society’s production of it. Again, most of the music is written by Lin Manuel Miranda so it has the Hamilton-vibe. My fave songs are Do Your Own Thing and We’re Not Done. In all honesty, I love the whole soundtrack and I’m very scared that by the end of the show, I will definitely not love the whole soundtrack.

I don’t know if it’s just me but I really feel like there has been no good music released into the charts this summer?? Usually, summer is my favourite time for music but this year I still feel like I’m waiting for someone to release something (ANYTHING) good. I’ve been listening to Robinson and Folly Rae quite a lot but they’re not what I would class as “mainstream” artists so pls can we have some more jams.

What I’ve Been Using

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Every single time Anastasia BH brings out a new eyeshadow palette, I know I’m going to love it. With the exception of the non-blendable Subculture, ABH churns out the best palettes, in my opinion. When I saw the NORVINA press launch photos, a part of my heart squeezed at the ENTIRE ROW of shimmers and the bluey-purple shade, Soul. My lovely parents bought me the palette as a birthday prez and I have honestly used it every day since. The shadows are allllll super-blendable and have little to no fallout (including the shimmers) which I think is insane. If I had to give one teeny tiny little criticism, it would be that the only real transition colour Incense is rather dark so for pale gals like myself, if you’re using the palette exclusively, you have to use a very light hand to avoid black-eye-syndrome. Other than that, this product is gorg. It retails at the generic ABH palette price of £43.00 but I really do think you get what you’re paying for. Absolutely love.

What I’ve Been Doing

Half of my August was taken up by a summer course for Musical Theatre at Guildford School of Acting. It was a very intense two weeks but I had the best time and learnt soooo much. I met some fab, like-minded people and was taught by some of the most incredible teachers. I was literally like a sponge, trying to soak up every piece of information or advice they gave me.

I then had the absolute pleasure of watching one of my family friends, Alex, perform in their professional debut as Oscar in Sweet Charity at the Watermill Theatre. It was lovely to have a catch up and also to see Alex achieving his dreams. He was fab, as he has always been. On the note of shows, as previously mentioned, I also saw Hamilton. I felt as if I’d been waiting forever to see it and I was so nervous that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I had absolutely nothing to worry about. It honestly blew my expectations out of the water. I saw the 2nd alternate as Hamilton and he was INCREDIBLE. I’m still not really over it.

I also turned 20 this month which was a weird one. I really don’t feel like I’m old enough to be ‘in my twenties’ but I’m super excited to see what they bring. I did have a mini quarter-life crisis the night before my birthday which pretty much went like this: WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!!??!!? But I quickly got over that after a G&T or four. I had the loveliest time on my birthday: I went for lunch with my brother, Tom and then chilled with my family. The next day, I went to for food and drinks at Pitcher & Piano in Birmingham with some of my favourite people – it was so so lovely.

Later on in August, I helped assistant direct a production of ‘Fame’ at my old musical theatre group which was the most rewarding experience. I got to work with two students specifically on their vocals and seeing how much they improved both technically and in confidence over the space of just a few days was so amazing (and even sliiiightly emosh – may have cried the tiniest bit out of proudness in the show).

Currently, I’m on holiday with the fam in sunny Portugal. It’s been super nice to chill out and READ BOOKS. So far, I’ve read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and All The Little Lights by Jamie McGuire, both of which I’d recommend. We’ve been chilling at the beach and eating lovely (bad) food which I’m trying to enjoy before I start my hard-core healthy lifestyle when I get back home.

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On that note, I’m thinking of my next post being something related to body confidence and/or dealing with the consequences of the pressure of physicality and appearance that young adults (in particular) face. Do let me know if that’s something you’d like to read as it’s something I’m feeling super passionate about at the moment.

Lots of thankyous for reading my rambles once again & I hope you’re having or have had a lovely Summer.

Until next time,

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Let’s Talk About IBS

health, Lifestyle

Untitled-3Disclaimer: Due to the nature of IBS, this post will contain talks of toilets/going to the toilet/feeling ill. Although this post will not be graphic or explicit in the slightest, if you feel offended by or dislike reading about these topics then please don’t read on. But if you’re completely unbothered, like myself, then grab a cuppa and get comfortable. This may be a looooong one. Also, this is a very personal matter that I’m a little nervous about posting on here so please be respectful (I am a very gentle soul hahahaha). 

When I started blogging a little over 3 years ago, I never in a million years dreamed that I’d one day be sat writing a post about my problematic stomach. It’s not something I’ve ever felt comfortable sharing with people I know, let alone the internet. But, in my 2017 ‘go-me’ year, I’ve decided to share my little story with whoever wants to listen.

I just want to start off by saying this is in no way a post vouching for sympathy or me trying to play the victim. I know there are people out there in the world suffering daily with conditions and situations a lot worse than my own but I thought it may be helpful to shed insight into a condition that is relatively ‘taboo’ and rarely discussed due to its nature.

This entire post may come as a complete shock to even some of my extremely close friends as it’s a topic I rarely speak about and is easy to conceal as it’s not a visible disorder. So, to the ignorant eye I look completely ‘healthy’. For those of you who are unaware, IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Rather than me completely butchering an explanation of what IBS entails, I’m going to copy and paste some information from the NHS website as I am no doctor and am likely to misinform everybody (lol).

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation.
The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.
IBS usually first develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years of age. Around twice as many women are affected as men.
The condition is often lifelong, although it may improve over several years.

That pretty much sums up the main points about the condition, in very general terms. As it states above, the levels of IBS a person can suffer from vary A LOT. If I had to put myself on a scale of the severity of my IBS (1 being extremely mild and 10 being unmanageable) I would say currently I’m at a 5. So, in the grand scheme of the syndrome, there are individuals a lot worse off than me. However, there have been periods in my life where this number would be rated higher, but over the years I have learned to manage my stomach slightly better, which I’ll go onto later. It is also a chronic condition, meaning I’ll likely never be ‘cured’ and because of this, have learned how to deal with it by managing my diet and levels of stress.

I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t suffer from IBS but I’m pretty sure I was diagnosed around the age of 9 or 10. I’d been suffering with really bad stomach pains non-stop for weeks on end so I eventually visited the doctors where I was told I had what seemed to be IBS. At first the doctors were unsure, as IBS is not as common in children as young as I was at the time but they eventually concluded that’s what it was.

Over the years, my experience with IBS has varied. As stated on the NHS website, the symptoms tend to come and go over a period of days or weeks. This made it difficult when I first discovered I was suffering from IBS as I kept thinking I was miraculously ‘cured’ if I went without stomach aches for a couple of weeks, only for them to come back with a vengeance a few days later. (*May get a bit graphic here so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read on*). The general symptoms that I suffer from are mainly stomach cramps. But honestly, writing down my symptoms as two small words does them no justice. When I say cramps, I mean an unbearable sharp twisting feeling that spreads through my entire stomach. Although I can be a drama queen at times (ok, a lot of the time), hand-on-my-heart I’m telling you the pain can be excruciating. It’s as if someone is reaching into your stomach and squeezing and twisting as hard as they can, not letting go. That’s the only way I can describe it. The stomach pains cause me to incessantly shake whilst draining all of my energy. Whilst it is true that to relieve some of the pain, it helps to go to the toilet, my personal battle is more with my stomach and not with the toilet (lol). One of the most common misconceptions is that it’s a condition where you’re ‘always on the toilet’ because it is so much more than that.

I’ve been on two different types of medication for my IBS. One of which, made my symptoms a lot worse so I was not loving life at all. Whilst the second lot of tablets I was taking didn’t make me feel worse, they didn’t really make me feel better either. I ended up giving up my medication because I hated taking the tablets and they weren’t really helping a gal out anyway.

My worst experience with IBS had to be when I was around 14. I’d gone to watch my brother in a school performance with my Dad and one of my friends. By this point, I’d learned to sense when a stomach ache was coming and I was feeling slightly off in the car on the way there. Whilst I was queueing to get into the venue, the stomach ache came out of nowhere and I knew I needed to get home ASAP. The car journey on the way home was, honestly, probably the worst 20 minutes of my life. So much so, I made my dad pull over on an extremely busy main road as I needed to get out of the car. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I’d become so bloated out of nowhere and I was working my way into some form of panic attack. I was crying hysterically, trying so hard to breathe but the pain was absolutely awful. I’ve never experienced anything like it since.

The side of IBS that is rarely talked about is the psychological side and that’s something that I really wanted to touch upon in this post. The main period in time where my condition was at its worst was between the ages of 13-16 years. The reason for this is that a lot of my stomach aches were brought upon by myself. No, I don’t have magic stomach-ache giving powers (although that would be sick, excuse the pun), but I brought them on by putting myself under unnecessary stress. Stress is a common cause of increasing and heightening symptoms of IBS so I was unknowingly making the condition worse for myself. The reason I was getting so stressed out is because I didn’t want people to know that I had IBS. I was a 13 – year – old girl with a stomach condition related to the toilet. No-one wants to casually bring that up in conversation with their friends on the playground!! I was really embarrassed that people would find out and laugh about it. I dreaded being invited round to my friend’s houses for dinner as, at the time, I had no control or no knowledge over when a stomach ache would occur. The last thing I’d want was to get one whilst I wasn’t at home. It got to the stage where my mom would have to talk to the friend’s parents and inform them that I had a sensitive stomach so shouldn’t be eating large portions of food. I was MORTIFIED. I remember going round to an old friend of mine’s house and their dad spent the whole dinner asking if I was okay or if I needed anything. A lot of the time, because I’d be constantly worrying about if I was going to get a stomach or not, being stressed whilst I was eating a meal would cause me to have a stomach ache anyway. It was a really vicious cycle for a long old while.

FINALLY, onto some positives (well, as positive as you can be about this subject). After around 9 years of dealing with IBS, I’m finally starting to learn how to deal with and control it. For a long time, I felt as if the IBS controlled me but your gal has come out on top!! So much so, that when I told some of my university friends that I’d been living with in halls, they said they never would have known. I’ve discovered which foods it is that tend to trigger my IBS (red meat is a KILLER!!!!) so obviously try to avoid those at all costs. There are certain situations where I can’t always avoid eating these foods but extremely small portions tend to be okay. Talking about portions, I don’t tend to eat a lot in one sitting. I’m more of a snacker-throughout-the-day than a big 3 meal eater. I found, at the beginning, I’d put a lot of pressure on myself to eat the ‘normal, recommended’ 3 meals a day but I know my body. I work best eating a little snack for breakfast (a piece of fruit, or a cereal bar) eating a medium-sized lunch and then a small dinner. It’s actually a running joke between me and some of my friends because I physically cannot eat a lot of food without feeling ill. So I’ll always serve myself loads of food at dinner time (because I’m starving!!!) then 5 mouthfuls in will be suddenly full. Another thing that triggers my IBS to make a little appearance is not eating at regular times. For example, if I go on holiday and am flying at 5 in the morning, I’ll be waking up at 3 and eating food, which my body isn’t used to. Once my stomach has been thrown off, it will be bad for the entire day which means I’ll be feeling ill until it sorts itself out.

Honestly, now I’ve learned how to cope with my IBS, I see it as more of an inconvenience than a condition. It no longer dictates how I live my life. For the longest time, I struggled so much because I LOVE FOOD. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that. I could never pick just one favourite dish as I love all food so much. So, having a condition where it was food causing me to feel so unwell was really difficult. Also, not to mention, we kind of need to eat to, you know, SURVIVE. For me, it’s been all about finding the balance.

To anyone struggling with, or feeling as if they are struggling with IBS or anything similar, my biggest piece of advice is to stay calm. The worst thing you can do, especially when you’re experiencing a stomach ache, is to cry or start to stress out as it only makes things worse. Take deep, long breaths to help the pain subside as, unfortunately, you just have to ride it out. You’ve got this. There is little that can be done to prevent it but I’ve found having a calm and positive mindset really helps in avoiding making the symptoms worse. Of course, I still have bad days!! I get nervous when eating out with new people for the first time or eating at a new restaurant as I don’t know how my stomach will react. It’s completely a trial and error situation. My stomach might be fine with roast potatoes one day, but may react badly to them on another day. I usually just have to play it by ear. To try and limit the possibility of flaring up my IBS, I tend to eat similar foods or eat out at similar places. All my friends know I bloody love a Nando’s and one of the main reasons for this is that it’s fine for my stomach. It’s just a constant learning curve and I’m only able to discover what works and doesn’t work through many mistakes (and stomach aches lol).

I’m sorry this wasn’t like what I usually post but I wanted to gain some exposure for IBS as it’s actually a lot more common than you think, affecting 1 in 5 people over the course of their lifetime. If you’re suffering from IBS or just want to learn more about it, I’ll link some useful websites down below. Thanks for reading my little story!!

G X

NHS WEBSITE

IBS TRIGGERS

 

 

Getting Fit (And Staying Fit)

Fitness, Lifestyle

Like with most things in my life, getting fit is something I lose and gain motivation for depending on what else is going on around me. Obvious times that I become motivated tend to be January (New Year’s Resolution-related) and roughly 3 weeks before my summer holiday when I realise I’ve been eating waaaaay too many Jaffa Cakes to be able to confidently pull off the pretty bikinis I’ve bought. So I go health-crazy for a while…but somehow still end up sitting in Nando’s unashamedly ordering two sides of carbs and a bottomless fizzy drink before suggesting taking a detour to Maccies to get a Mcflurry for dessert on the way home.

I think where I have gone wrong in the past is that I try to change my life patterns drastically overnight. I go from eating whatever I like to not snacking at all and only eating meals consisting of mainly fruit and vegetables; I go from not really exercising all that much (aka: never) to trying to run 4 miles a day before spending 2 hours watching YouTube workout videos, with the annoyingly cheery instructor shouting ‘You should really be starting to feel the burn now’ whilst I’m trying to make it past 20 sit-ups without wanting to cry or feeling the urge to smash my laptop off the floor.

As it turned midnight on New Year’s Eve, I swore 2017 was going to be the year I got to a place where I was mentally and physically fit and happy with myself. Whilst I know I’m not overweight and don’t usually lead an unhealthy lifestyle, I wanted to improve on myself. I think body image is something that everyone struggles with, male or female, thanks to society’s conceptions of what is the ‘ideal’, which is only propelled by social media. Body image issues can affect anyone of any shape or size; I often hear some of my friends complaining about how much they dislike their bodies when I would love to have a figure like theirs. It definitely boils down to being too hard on yourself and potentially seeing something that isn’t there when you look in the mirror.

All of this considered, over the past month I’ve tried to make small changes in my daily routine to make myself feel healthier and fitter. I’ve been out running (which will probably shock my Dad into a heart attack), started adding more vegetables to meals that I make, drinking more water etc. I’m hoping by taking smaller steps it won’t seem like such an uphill climb to achieve what I want. One thing I’ve found that I love doing has to be having smoothies for breakfast. Blending 3-5 fruits and some natural yoghurt for breakfast not only ensures that you eat (well, drink) something to set you up for the day, but it also tastes sooooo good.

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This is not a post intending to preach about how I’m leading a super healthy lifestyle all of a sudden (as I am sat writing this whilst eating a plate of curly fries) but I hope to encourage you to take smaller steps to achieve any goals you may have. I’ve found it is the best way.

To anyone else who is in the same boat as me with regard to always trying and failing to keep up a healthy lifestyle, I FEEL YA!!!!!

Don’t give up!

G x