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I’m talking about fitness stuff again, it got its own category this year for a reason.

Anyway, this year I decided that I was going to try and focus wayyyy more on quality of movement then getting more reps in. I will not really compromise on where I get my workout in one because it’s working and two because it makes me work way harder when I have to focus on that 45 minutes (or an hour) and won’t get distracted, so shoutout to Frame for that.

But back to the point, quality over quantity is where I’m at right now. There is no point in doing a shit ton of squats if I’m not doing them properly and if I try to do a lot of reps I just let form go out of the window and that makes it pointless. I have long ass legs, it takes a while for me to get into a proper squat and then push back up, I can’t do that quickly. And so I’ve stopped doing that. And it has made a difference. Same goes for my lunges, I mean come through two 90 degree angles in my legs and glute engagement on the way back up. All this means that in a class environment where people are keeping up with the instructor and I’m doing one squat/lunge for everyone else’s two it makes it really easy to get in my own head and start comparing myself to everyone around me and how I must not be working hard enough.

Except that’s bullshit. I’m 5ft 10 and like I said I’ve got long legs (37 inches) they do not move as quickly as everyone else who are all what would be considered a relatively average height for a woman, and so the best I can do is what works best for me and moving slowly but properly is what works best for me. And it’s something that I am slowly trying to become more content with, moving at my own pace while everyone around me seems to be going a lot quicker.

But I’m not there yet and there is something in my head that is always looking around at the other people in the class wondering what they are doing (and in some cases wondering if they are feeling as much of a burn as I am, I went to barre on Thursday night and for the first time in the year that I have been doing barre my legs reached a shaky point where I almost physically could not hold it up behind me and pulse. The shake was real. As was the burn. I was not alone. Thankfully) and then comparing what I am doing to them.

But I am getting better at ignoring that voice in my head that is basically telling me that I’m shit and that I should quit will I’m so clearly behind. The realisation of this truly became apparent a few weeks back when I was finally getting my ass to a Lift class because my body felt like it was finally up for it again.

And in said class there was a pregnant woman. Who was lifting wayyyyy heavier than me. And there was a part of my brain that was like, ‘well why are you even trying?’ but for the most part I cold shut it up and just be like, ‘well that’s where she’s at with this, and this is where you’re at.’ I had weight trained properly once (maybe twice, I can’t actually remember) this year at that point. I had also not done it for a while over Christmas and all that. I was effectively starting from square one again (I mean not quite, because my weights stayed the same as they were prior to my little break and they felt fine (I talked about here) and overall I knew that I had to be kind to myself.

The revelation that I could actively stop myself from comparing myself to others in that moment felt monumental. I had really shitty mental health year last year where I spent more time beating myself up about almost everything then I did giving myself credit for the things that I managed to deal with quite well. And there is still remnants of that in existence in my brain but because it adapted to everything else to the point where it has now become second nature it’s now apparently decided that it wants to turn on me in other ways.

And well, it hadn’t turned on me when it came to exercise and body image yet (well it had, but again I’ve already been there and done that, I guess with exercise entering the equation I’ve changed the game) and so it is slowly starting to do that.

But here’s the great thing about exercise for me. It’s my time to just fully disconnect and sweat it out. And feel really fucking good about it. I work out for me and all the rest of it is just a bonus (like the muscles, hello baby biceps and abs) and it’s really freeing to go into it with that attitude and to not worry so much about what other people are doing. This is about them. It’s about me.

So it’s really freeing to know that that element of comparison is slowly leaving my life and I’m becoming much more comfortable and confident with who I am as a person.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!


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The Diet

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This way lies fitness chat of sorts.

This week I decided to track what I ate during the day for the whole week just to get an idea of it all. Not because I was looking to start counting calories or because I was looking to get restrictive and super controlled with my eating, but mainly just out of curiosity.

I have learnt one thing so far that for some reason I didn’t really ever take note of. My eating habits are really damn repetitive. With the exception of dinner and the fact that I had something sweet after dinner on Monday (strawberries), I have eaten the exact same thing all week. For three whole days. There is no variation in my day to day (actually I tell a small lie, Tuesday and Wednesday I added a protein shake). It changes with dinner and even then I’ve had rice and chicken 2 out of 3 days just dressed up a bit differently.

This week has also given me a vague idea of my macros. My protein is fine and considered to be within range, but I need to switch my fats and carbs around. The balance between those two is only marginally out, which I didn’t know and well apparently that is useful to know for me.

The reason that I’ve done this this week is because all the exercise in the world isn’t going to fix a poor diet. Now mine isn’t awful, but there are definitely areas that I know I could improve with it. Like the fruit and veg part of it, I still hover at 2/3 a day and sometimes it’s really bad and I only have one (and that one is an avocado because I am nothing if not basic) and so putting it down onto paper (an app) really highlights the weak points.

I’ve also done it because I’m gonna be real, I have no more weight to lose if I want to be a healthy weight for my height. I’ve stripped it down to the lowest it could possibly be without it getting it super dangerous (again). I’ve also done all this unintentionally. Although I don’t really know what else I expected given that I upped the exercise I do with no real changes to my diet. I imagine for a while I was in a MASSIVE calorie deficit. I’m still in one now. And I need to not be in one.

I’m trying to build muscle now, that’s a shift that I’ve had in my mindset when it comes to this healthy lifestyle of mine this past couple of weeks. And for that to happen I need to not be in a deficit. I’m not here to cut. I’ve accidentally done that already and now I need to put some weight back on. And get lean and toned and there are ways that I can achieve that through exercise, but at this point the key to this change is going to be diet.

This little exercise has also proven one how far I’ve come within myself regarding my attitude to my diet and weight etc and also just how easy I would find it to fall back into some really bad habits. I’ve tracked my food before and it made me feel worse about myself and that way lay madness that I just sort of fell into with little to no regard. I didn’t try to make any changes and it got worse and then it all went tits up until I came out the other side (of not being in uni or unemployed anymore, turns out spending time with people who will actually notice whether to not you do or don’t eat sort of makes you try a bit more).

But this time I don’t look at it and think shit I’ve eaten so much I need to restrict or shit I’ve not eaten enough I need to binge to get some energy into me. I just look at it and think, okay this is where we’re at. I need more carbs, more protein and slightly less fat (I think the balance of that is mostly healthy fats by the way, so even then it’s not super catastrophic). Currently I have no idea how I’m going to do that, but that’s one of the reasons why I embarked on this exercise. To figure it out.

I can’t get anywhere with this aspect of things without actually knowing what the reality of it is. And the reality isn’t awful. I knew it wouldn’t be awful. But there is still a part of me that spent months/years borderline obsession over this and so looking at it again kind of scared me. But the best part about the way that regular exercise has changed my mindset is that if I’m burning so many damn calories/energy then I am going to need to fuel that and food does that. And I fucking love food.

To not be mildly terrified (and also act like I’m fine with it which can get kind of exhausting) of food is surprisingly really fucking good.

The various pieces of the puzzle that is the healthy lifestyle are slowly starting to fit together and I am feeling pretty damn good for it.

Side note, I am in no way restricting any part of my diet because that is long and naattt good and also cake exists and why would I want to do that? And also for the most part I’m not tracking this beyond Sunday, but that may change (I kind of doubt that know if I know myself the way I know I do…)

Parentheses count: 9. See you tomorrow!

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Changed for the Better?

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I got home the other night from the gym and whilst I was still slightly sticky with sweat and dressed in my leggings and sports bra, with my well worn (not too well worn) trainers on I realised something I ordered on a Sunday had arrived (this was on a Tuesday night).

I opened it excitedly and realised that I had two parents watching me wondering what the hell had got me so excited.

The package was from Free Soul. It was primarily bought for protein powder (vegan obviously, I’m serious about trying new ones beyond my reliable Neat Nutrition) but there was some other stuff in there as well. Other health stuff. Think Wake and Sleepy teas and Vitamins. And a steel shaker, which was also a pull when I chose to buy a bundle and not just the protein powder because it’s so slick that I fell a little bit in love with it.

Anyway, I opened the package (removed the free t-shirt) and then started brandishing my new long handled pink scoop with joy and when asked what was in it I replied ‘just protein powder and stuff’ and my mum said ‘that’s why you’re so excited, what’s happened to you?’ I didn’t say anything and just studied the contents of the vitamins in there to see if it would mess with what I already take and also because sarcasm would be the only way that I would respond.

But it got me thinking about change.

And how people accept or don’t accept change I guess.

It’s not the first time she’s made a comment like that this year as I delved into a quinoa, feta and avocado salad, only in that case she tacked on ‘although you did it a whole thing of chocolate fingers last night so I know my daughter is still here somewhere’ and I let that slide too. Because I don’t know how to respond to it.

It seems counter productive to something.

I don’t know to what, but on some level it just does.

It feels like I’m being held to a version of myself that was ultimately not necessarily 100% dealing with things very well and who had a really bad sweet tooth.

Yes, I ate a whole packet of chocolate fingers, but I felt like shit afterwards and kind of wished I hadn’t and eating the quinoa salad after some solid cardio felt good. I’ve been making small changes to my diet here and there and when I was on that low sugar thing it changed the way that my body reacted to it. I no longer have it in me to eat a whole back of to share M&Ms or a pack of chocolate digestives. I had a huge stack of pancakes yesterday and the sugar rush was real, it honestly almost made me feel sick (but worth it) and I felt kind of off for a little bit and then crashed in a way that I’ve kind of forgotten could actually happen to a person. And I’m not mad about it.

I’ve recently had to almost force, that’s a strong word, but it kind of goes against a large part of my mindset, myself to eat a bit more because with my increased level of exercise it meant that I was in a calorie deficit which I cannot afford to be in because I have no weight to lose on me. And I kind of also want to build muscle, and with that comes more food. And so basically I think about when I’m gonna eat next a lot right now. And it’s making a difference. It’s making me think more about the food that I am actually eating and the way that it’s gonna either fuel my workout or is gonna fuel me afterwards.

And a part of that is to do with protein powder. I currently work out 4 times a week (because that fifth one is a weight session and my wrists are taking it turn to be a bitch) and within half an hour I’ve necked a protein shake. So yeah, I’m gonna get excited when I’ve found a new one to try because I drink the thing so damn much and well it’s nice for it to be somewhat decent tasting.

And I’m not going to apologise for making the kind of changes in my life where I start to give a shit about protein powder. And I’m going to go back to the low sugar thing. And I’m going to get into a proper foam rolling routine because my legs are so heavy all the damn time these days. And I’m going to finally get back into Pilates because seriously I dropped into a crouch and the release in my hips was insane, plus I love me the stretch part at the end of each class and that’s kind of what Pilates is (also, it’s really not, that shit hurts and the burn is real).

And yeah I’m going to keep on changing. Because what the fuck is wrong with that? Me now is waayyyyyyy happier than I was 18 months ago even though my anxiety has also never been worse. It’s a balancing act. But whatever, it is what it is.

Parentheses count: 4. See you tomorrow!


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Here’s The Thing

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Honestly, there are two half written posts in the Notes section of my phone that I can’t quite finish because the words won’t do what I want them to and so this one came to me on a bit of whim as I sat on my sofa on Sunday afternoon watching The Little Mermaid and feeling a little bit bleurgh and a lot achey.

I feel achey because I finally got back into a Lift class after two weeks away which means it’s been 3 weeks since I did any weight training. And it somehow without me really knowing it taught me something. And something that I hear an awful lot but kind of never really truly think is actually the case. In fact that’s been the case of the whole week.

My body is actually way more capable of doing things than my mind gives it credit for.

It started on Thursday (it actually kind of started with some planks on both Tuesday and Wednesday but they are always a minefield and I know I can hold one for 60 seconds at most, that gets me through them at all times) in barre when we moved on to doing single leg stuff with a weight on the left ankle. The right side had already been done and it burned but that weight remained around my ankle. When it came to the left side after about 10 reps by right glute had all but given up and then the instructor was like take the weight off if it already hurts. And my brain was like ‘yes do that, it will make everything easier’. Except for one part of it which was like ‘ummmmm no, that is not going to be a good balance, keep the damn weight on’. And well I did. And I got through it and then enjoyed my blessed rest day on Friday.

The same thing then happened yesterday.

I knew I hadn’t lifted in a few weeks (I had thought about just not going again a little out of fear, but feel the fear and do it anyway and all that jazz) and I was feeling kind of tired and I’d heard rumours about the new release for this class being savage, which was confirmed when while we set up the instructor (her name is Alice, she ruined me twice last week and I kind of love her for it) was like ‘yeah, it’s killer. It came with a couple of things that I hadn’t done before and well my mind was like ‘you’re insane to think that you can lift where you were 3 weeks ago.’

I ignored that voice, realised that my body still knew how to do a deadlift properly and could figure out the single deadlift with little issue. My knees didn’t give up on me. And look, my clean and presses felt stronger yesterday then they have for a while because my technique for them has come a really long way (on a different note, I found out on Saturday that the instructor for that class (who I love) also thinks that I’m decent enough to be used as a point of reference if need be for a class…which is a little mind blowing).

Yeah, it was hard and there were things that I didn’t quite nail because my shoulders just aren’t that mobile (I’ve mentioned that before I think, about my tight shoulders that I didn’t know I had until I started working out) so there was some things that really burned and they will not do shit while I’m at a 45 degree angle. Yet. I also really need to work on my lunges and try and get my one legged balance back (although that shit is not consistent, sometimes my left leg can’t take the balance, sometimes it’s my right, yesterday it was my right) and I’m trying to get my squats lower, but I find squats hard when they’re not weighted, adding 13kg (not quite I realised the other day) makes them harder funnily enough.

I also need to work a little bit on the placement of that damn barbell on my neck/shoulders, it’s fine for the most part but I have a really fucking bony spine and so if it’s off even slightly then things aren’t ideal. I may need to invest in some kind of padding for the barbell and see what that does.

But this week in general I have decided that I am going to focus waaayyyyy more on quality of movement and try to get that all nailed.

And then when I go back to this class I am going to try and add an overhead press in the final track from a certain move, because I’m not going up in weight (yet) and I can’t see my squats getting any deeper when it’s my 5th workout of the week and my legs have been worked. Although that will be my next mission once I’ve got the overhead press thing under control. And then I’ll deal with the going up on weight thing.

I was weirdly more nervous to get back to this class now then I was when I first went into it for reasons that I do not know. I think just because I had got it to a point where I could kind of manage it and then I had to take some time away from it and there is kind of some weird worry that you’ve forgotten how to do it and will undo all the work that you had done. That’s obviously not the case.

And I left the class shaking but ultimately feeling great. Which is all you can ask for from a workout sometimes.

Parentheses count: 8. See you tomorrow!


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Hi, Hey, Hello!

You would be correct in remembering (and if you did, wow, well done) that I have already done a post about this before. And if you didn’t then here it is.It comes from nearly exactly a year ago, which I have only just discovered because I didn’t think it had been that long since I had last talked about.

It is no longer going all that well.

I kind of had a wobble, which I hesitate to call a wobble because that makes it sound bad when really it’s not but we’re gonna go with this terrible word, all the way back in October and well to be honest as it got closer and closer to Christmas the less it seemed to make sense to me to try and give it back up again. And then January is both a shitty month and the one which houses my birthday and so doing it then is just non sensical.

And so basically I’ve just fallen back into those old habits of mine. Not quite in the same way as I did before, I no longer have it in me to eat a whole bag of to share M&Ms in one sitting but I can make my way pretty solidly and pretty quickly through a whole tub of ice cream without really noticing. And I’m also better at not having them, work is a hub for sweets and for the most part I can avoid sliding my chair over to them (they’re right behind me, I’m not that lazy) and eating them all.

But what I do currently do is feel like I cannot get through a day without something sweet in it. And it’s an impulse that I am not even attempting to ignore anymore. Or at least at the moment. Sometimes I have some fruit instead but for the most part I find myself on the hint for chocolate and convincing myself that fruit just won’t do it. And I want to get back into the habits that I held for at least 7 out of 12 months last year.

It’s kind of one of my goals for the year. Not specifically sugar because I am not removing that from my life entirely because I love dessert but there are elements that need some more fine tuning again. Like going back to 5 days off and 2 days on. And eating more fruit and veg. And actually just eating more in general, although that’s a whole other thing that we’re not going into right now. And cooking more. Basically my diet is the last piece of the puzzle that I need to slot into things.

But first I’m gonna tackle the sugar thing, when February starts because I’ve got some birthday chocolate to finish.

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!


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Hi, Hey, Hello!

Can I just level with you, the title for this is truly all kinds of awful, but they have never been my strong suit and honestly they may never be. I have moments of brilliance with them but then for the most part they are awful. Point and case right here.

This post is literally just about vitamins.

I don’t remember if I’ve ever done one of these before, I don’t think I have because it felt like I have never thought about doing it before when I thought to do it. Whether I have or not, I’m doing it now.

I realised the other day as I was knocking my daily vitamins back that I actually do not know whether I have ever really thought about whether there are any benefits to it for me or whether at this point I am just doing it because it’s habit.

I mean it’s not necessarily a bad habit to have, but it is definitely something that I do on auto-pilot.

So much so that I realised the other day that I don’t even really remember what I take on a daily basis anymore.

I should clarify a few things, one I have been taking the same 4 vitamins pretty much every day (I occasionally forget the odd day here and there) and I have done since the beginning of September 2016. I pay almost no attention to it at this point. I have a subscription with VITL which means every 28 days or whatever (again, I pay no attention to the frequency with which it is sent out it, it’s towards the beginning of the month I can tell you that because I just got my next month’s) I get 4 weeks of vitamin strips (VITL also came up in my protein powder chat, if you’re thinking it sounds familiar). I have the essentials 4, but it is possible to get a personalised one, I’ve just never felt the need to that.

The ones that I get in the essentials is Magnesium Calcium Complex, Supergreens, Krill Omega 3 and a Complete Multivitamin. It feels pretty extensive and once you get over the fact that you’re just popping 4 pills back to back (which I’ve taken to now doing in the middle of a conversation, like that’s normal) they are pretty easy to take as well.

I used to know extensively what each of the 4 did and the only reason that I now know is because I just had to double check each one in order to write them down, it’s been a while since I did some research into vitamins. But if you wanna know what they do as they are listed above it is the following: MCC, essential minerals to keep you in balance, SG, boost intake of supergreens, KO3, contributes to healthy brain and heart, CM, covers all basis for overall wellbeing.

Could I tell you if they work? No, not really. I mean yes, they have helped with my overall wellbeing to a degree but I wasn’t prone to getting all that ill beforehand and that hasn’t gotten better or worse. But to be honest I started taking them so long ago that for all I know there has been a difference and I’ve just stopped noticing it because it’s become so much a part of my life. As I said it’s been over a year.

I guess the only way to find that out would be to stop taking them and see what happens there, but that’s not something I am inclined to do because I hate being sick and I enjoy for the most part being able to get over anything in less than a week (when I actually allow myself to rest).

I bring this up because I’ve got into my head that there are probably areas of vitamins that I am just not getting through my regular diet (which I am slowly making changes to) and am also not getting from my daily 4 sips and down vitamin taking. Like a probiotic. I’ve convinced myself that I should start taking them and am currently looking into that, and then I start thinking about whether I should switch to the personalised one so that I am getting the things that my body might actually need or might aid some of the more problematic areas.

I don’t even really know why I started thinking about this, but I was swallowing my krill oil and then started thinking about for 10 minutes at my desk while I went through the other 3. But I did and then I started thinking about the fact that over the course of the year and a bit that I have been taking them I have just stopped finding it weird that I just do them all back to back and just get on with it. And also people around me have stopped finding it weird as well. It’s just a thing that happens at some point during the day when I finally remember to take them.

I will say this about them, and I do usually now do this but I did’t always, take them once you’ve eaten. It doesn’t feel that bad when you take them on an empty stomach but a couple of times it did make me feel a little light headed, but once I eat everything settles down again. So yeah, advice to eat first. I think it’s the krill one that does me in the most.

I don’t really know what the outcome of this post was today. I think in hindsight when I signed up to a monthly subscription of vitamins in order to bulk up my immune system a little bit more it was kind of the beginning of this whole fitness and healthy lifestyle that I am now on. It was the start of me starting to take control of that aspect of my life. And I guess the fact that I am thinking of what other changes I can make to this are just another level to that. And I’ve learnt that in times like that I just need to kind of follow whatever whims my brain is wanting to go on and if they lead to something then they do and if that thing doesn’t work then it doesn’t and I just move on and know that I at least tried.

Right, I’m gonna wrap this post up now with the fact that I am mildly obsessed with vitamins right now and even though part of me thinks I’m a little bit mad for taking so many a day there is also a part of me that wants to make some changes to it and then somehow accidentally find myself taking more (side note, part of my whole research process is making sure that if I am making changes that I don’t end up taking too much of something).

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

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Current Fitness Plan

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As has probably become apparent over this past year or so, I’m kind of into exercise now. I’ve done a version of this at some point last year, but there were some changes to it over the course of the year.

And there may be some changes to it over the next few weeks as well. This is because over the past 5 or so months I totally dropped yoga and pilates out of my routine completely and added more cardio into it. I sort of forced myself to do a bit more cardio because I needed to overcome a mental hurtle and cardio was the way to do that.

I’ve reached a point with it where I feel good about it and I have fallen into a pretty easy routine, that I also remain not too precious about because that way lies madness. And obviously just as I have felt comfortable with it I now plan to make some changes to it so that my body doesn’t get too complacent with it.

However, I’ve yet to do that yet and so here I am talking about what I am currently doing.

It’s now 5 days a week, which I saw coming let’s be real. What I didn’t see coming was the order that things are now in terms of days on and days off. The rest days are now Monday and Friday, on Mondays I now wash my hair and Fridays I do nothing, but I may start making it a foam roller day.

So let’s start at the beginning of the week, Tuesdays are now legs and abs focused. It burns but it starts out the week right although it does make the rest of the week slightly interesting as sometimes my glutes DOM up and the rest of the week becomes a test of some sorts. Wednesdays are still boxing days for now which is my first big hit of cardio for the week. Thursdays are now weights day. It’s all about TUT which is a bitch I gotta be honest, but I’ve already felt myself getting stronger and I’ve only been doing it for a few months now. This also comes with a bit of cardio in it, so it covers a lot of bases

Saturdays are now also a cardio day. The class is called Rebounding. It takes place on a mini trampoline. It kind of feels a little bit silly, but also is a lot of fun and really hits a lot of bases. The usually the sweatiest I get all week and I love it. Sundays are then cardio barre, because the additions of gliders is a bitch and I can now no longer hear Sound of the Underground again in the same way. It also funnily enough gives a final hit of cardio before I transition into my second rest day.

The fact that I know work out of my weekends is the part that baffles me most. I was a person who would sleep until noon quite happily and over Christmas this happened quite a bit. I would just lounge about in bed for hours on end and it felt great to be honest. It was much needed, but that’s not the point. The point is that I know work out on weekends and feel great about it.

I’m pretty sure it will stay at 5 days because the idea of making it anymore does sound insane and also kind of not manageable. The way I currently have it set up works for me and it means that I get to have two complete rest days which come Friday my body needs and well I legit need a free evening to deal with my hair so that needs to stay where it is.

And that is my current routine with it all. It’s a lot heavier in cardio than it used to be but it also challenges me on a weekly basis and I definitely feel myself getting stronger and looking stronger as well.

Like I said at the beginning this is most likely going to change soon so that I can a bit more stretching involved and get a bit more toning in. Also cardio barre has already been switched out for regular barre, just because the timetable at my studio changed and this works out better.

But for now that is it what it is what it is.

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow!

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