is this confidence? | outfit

2018, fashion, lifestyle, mental health, photography

Hello!

I’m really getting into fashion at the moment – I touched on this in an outfit post before but for a long time I felt trapped in leggings and oversized t-shirts and jumpers because I’d put on a lot of weight and I didn’t feel like I could justify experimenting with anything else.

But I’m moving on – I’m broadening my mindset and telling myself I deserve to experiment with fashion too! I’m also losing weight so a win on both fronts.

And I’m so loving experimenting with new styles – funky trousers that aren’t jeans or leggings are my jam at the moment (especially if they have an elasticated waist!) (and yes I just used the word ‘funky’ unironically).

trying with all my might to be edgy… (cardigan – TU at Sainsburys, tee – dorkface etsy, trousers – Nutmeg at Morrisons, boots – Primark)

I have a lot of t-shirts, I really need to have a ruthless sort out and throw away from of the ones I know I will never wear but I’m enjoying figuring out alternatives – different shirts and jumpers, mixing smarter looking trousers with more informal sweaters and shoes that might not be the most flattering but I think they look cool and they’re comfy so why not?

The feeling of leaving the house nervous and if I’m out in town or on the bus or popping to the shops, I often felt like the world was staring at me – if I heard laughter I’d assume it was aimed at me and I’d done something wrong for one reason or another. But it’s not! I now feel like I love what I’m wearing and I love this style I’m finding and I feel more me than I ever have.

It’s all a work in progress – whilst I’m in the process of redecorating my bedroom and I’ve just finished building a new wardrobe and transferring all my clothes over, I know I definitely need to have a sort out and a clear out, maybe even sell some of my clothes on depop or one of those sites? I’m really thinking about starting a capsule wardrobe and making myself think about the longevity of what I’m wearing – I need to stop buying things for the sake of memories or because it’s got Hufflepuff on it (very guilty) but I definitely need to do some more research first.

I’m really liking sharing what I’m wearing on instagram and writing about it here – it’s not a vanity thing, I don’t think anybody should be inspired by what I wear, but does any fashion blogger? I don’t think any fashion influencer probably didn’t start out thinking ‘wow I the way I dress is so great I need to tell other people so they start dressing like me’ – it’s almost certainly that they were really passionate about what they bought and wanted to share it!

Because who doesn’t get excited when you get a really good haul of new clothes?

Maybe one day I’ll be writing outfit posts that aren’t deep rooted in body image and self esteem, but for now – I’ve done my time talking about how difficult I find it to like what I see in the mirror (and boy when I’m at my tap dance classes seeing my reflection in the mirror is still bloody difficult) but having these positive posts about improving my relationship with my body is something that I 100% want to document and promote!

If you have any tips on having a capsule wardrobe or ways to ruthlessly cut down how many clothes you have please do let me know! I’m a bit of a stranger to all this!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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friend break-ups

2018, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

I’ve been thinking about writing a post like this for a while and then yesterday, I uploaded my ‘things I’d tell my teenage self’ video and I touched on this subject and I wanted to make a full blog post about it, because I have a lot to say.

I want to emphasise this with obviously this is only one side of the story – there’s always a part of my brain that when I talk about friends I’ve lost that screams that maybe I’m the one in the wrong, maybe I’m just an awful friend and the problem here is me. I’m aware of this, but with that said let’s get on with it.

Losing a friend is the worst – there are songs and films and books about relationships and break ups but if you really listen to the message of those mediums you’ll find that in most cases you can empathise in a similar way about friend break-ups.

I seem to make friends with a lot people who don’t put the same effort in as I do or don’t reciprocate or value my friendship in the same way I do, maybe it’s because they just don’t like me that much and yeah that crosses my mind a lot. But it’s when someone tells you that they love having you around and then still don’t really show it is when I start to get upset.

And this is the point where I test it. So maybe ‘testing’ friendships isn’t the healthiest approach, but the way I test it is I stop being the one to reach out first – I don’t start a conversation, I’m not the one to arrange going for a coffee or whatever. And that’s when I know that testing it was worth it because I never hear from that person again. Maybe they’re just grateful that I finally stopped bugging them but in some cases, years later, they’ve messaged me again and said ‘it’s been years since we talked!’ and I’m like yeah, I wonder why that is. At that point I don’t reply.

On the other side, sometimes a ‘friend’ will message me first but it’s only when they’re sad or something bad has happened and they want someone to boost their ego and I’m happy to be a person to talk to, but in a world of mental health problems if they’re going to lean on me so heavily when they’re sad I need to be able to lean back and I couldn’t, so I was ignored and I crumpled.

(that metaphor went surprisingly well)

But this isn’t a pity party! I’m not trying to say that I’ve never had a good friend, I do have friends that are very close to my heart and I’m very grateful to call my friends. I’m not trying to evoke sympathy or portray myself like a victim or anything.

What I’m saying is if you’re the person being leaned on – stop letting them lean, don’t use your precious emotional energy, passion and love helping someone else feel better when it wouldn’t even cross their mind to do the same for you. Focusing on the people that really care about you will be so much more fulfilling and make your heart so much happier.

Letting people go is hard, really hard, especially when they turn to you in dark times and leaving them there feels like the worst thing in the world and makes you feel like an awful person but you’re not, sometimes for your own sake you have to prioritise yourself.

It hurts, and you can justify mourning a lost friendship in the same way people mourn relationships – sometimes it’s someones fault, sometimes it’s on mutual terms, sometimes for your own sake you just have to let them go but just like relationships, it does get better. You don’t spend your entire life being sad about that person, you find new people, better people and life goes on.

Just to disclaim again, I’m aware that every story has two sides and whilst on one side this is how I’ve interpreted it, I could be wrong and my brain tells me basically every day that I’m an awful human and everything’s my fault anyway ha ha #lol (covering up my sadness with sarcasm as per).

I do have a handful of incredibly close friends and I wouldn’t trade them for anything – I know I could message them whenever and I hope they feel the same about me. I don’t want them to feel invalid because of what I’ve written about other people in this post so to clarify: I don’t think this of all the people I at one point or another called friends.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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slow progress is progress! | unfitness update

2018, fitness, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

I didn’t intend to write this blog post today at all, in fact I’d written out an entire blog post about relationships inspired by my three year anniversary with my boy on Monday (remember, remember the 5th of November but not for the reason you think!) but then this morning I did a new workout program thing and I felt so good and inspired and motivated that I was super inspired to do a fitness update, so here goes!

As I’ve documented here, there and everywhere I’ve been on somewhat of a health kick with my diet, I’m not ‘dieting’ but I’m making sustainable life changes that I needed to make in order to live a healthier life.

Going hand in hand with this, at the end of October I got in contact with the Principle of my old dance school and offered to help out if they needed anything. So I now work as a volunteer on reception in exchange for free dance classes and with that in mind, I’ve been going to two tap classes and dancing again!

It’s so silly, but I’d put on so much weight that stupid things like running, going up to stairs too fast and jumping were just completely out of my comfort zone because it hurt but I went to tap class and I jumped again. I tap spring toe hopped my way around the studio for 45 minutes and I had the time of my life, I love tap so much and I can’t express how much I enjoyed it.

So now that going to tap class and being a receptionist were part of my routine, I was ready to put some structure back into my life – and I was ready to try working out again.

I’d fallen out of love with the treadmill and the rowing machine, but I remembered I used to love using the Nike Training app and they could build programs based on your equipment availability, fitness level and free time. So whilst I was having my breakfast this morning I set up a new program, fit the workouts to times that suited me and then I did a 30 minute beginners low intensity floor to core workout.

It was hard, I’ll be honest it was quite challenging – it pointed out things I need to mention at the doctors next week (I’ve got lots of back/joint problems, will update if it’s relevant!) but I did it! Half an hour of mostly consistent muscle workout, the only exercises I really didn’t feel comfortable doing were the ones where I had to put body weight pressure on my wrists because apparently my wrists are really weak? Learn something new every day!

But I felt so amazing after I’d done it! I lay on my bed just to get my breath back a bit and I felt on top of the world – I felt like I wanted to look after myself more and I was more motivated to eat well today so I don’t ruin the exercise. It’s little things like I wanted to use a body scrub in the shower and moisturise because I’ve noticed my skin has been a bit dry recently and I actually found the motivation to do something about it.

It was the first time in weeks that I updated the ‘unfitness’ highlight on my Instagram and I actually really enjoyed looking back on the progress I’ve made. Since I started that highlight 14 weeks ago I’ve noticed a significant difference in my physical fitness (even if it’s not ‘good’ it’s way better than it was before), my approach to the whole thing is less ‘I have to do it so I need to get it done’ and now more working with my body and my mind to find something that works for me and that I enjoy long term and I’m seeing results for the first time in years!

I’ve been tracking my weight in my bullet journal since June and between June and September, I was floating around the same weight within 5 or 6 pounds and it was a number I hated. On my October 1st weigh in I noticed significant loss and in the month since then I’ve worked hard, both on diet, exercise and restraint and I’m now getting close to having lost almost a stone. It’s nothing revolutionary, no diet pills or crash dieting, just making healthier life choices and boy I had the weight to lose.

This isn’t the end of my journey (sorry mum, she hates that word!) but I’m so excited to discover a healthier and fitter me – I will have to continue and adapt, learn more about food and nutrition and when the weight loss starts to tail off I will have to focus more on exercise and maybe within a year I’ll have the body I want and I’ll have a positive relationship with exercise and diet, as well as it being sustainable and long term.

My advice (not that anyone asked or qualified to answer) if you feel like you’re stuck or you’re bored – listen to that part of your brain, maybe you need a few weeks off, but you’ll find inspiration in something you enjoy. Going for a walk, going to the gym, doing yoga videos, finding a class – there is a way, you just have to put effort into working with your mind and body to find it.

As always, any tips or suggestions are welcome as I still have a very long way to go and could use all the help I can get!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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top 5 self care tips

2018, mental health

Hello!

I’ll be honest, this week has already been tough and it’s only Wednesday – I won’t go into details but it has made me think about what I need to do to look after myself, and I’m working on listening to my body more and making sure I was doing something that wasn’t detrimental for me in the long run.

The thing with self-care is that it’s all very personal – you can watch a hundred different self care videos and read blog posts but none of them will be a quick fix or perfect for you, not quite anyway. But they can give you ideas – something to try that maybe you hadn’t thought of, different things work for different people but sharing what works for an individual might be useful for someone else, which is why we should share!

I’ve made a video on this before – it was about a year ago and things have changed since then which is why I want to talk about it again.

(But here it is in case anyone fancies a watch!)

So this is my new list of self care practices that I’m using right now!

  1. Properly resting – not keeping myself busy, or trying to tick something off my to do list. Not necessarily sleeping but taking time to just watch TV or YouTube without doing anything else – not trying to multitask. Giving my brain a break and not trying to max out productivity at all time. And also sleeping more regularly – I go to bed about 10pm and get up between 7am and 8am and that’s working quite well for me at the moment.
  2. Spending time cooking – I find cooking really therapeutic and when I’m making something that doesn’t involve just chucking it in the oven and serving it, when I really cook and make something from scratch it’s just so satisfying. Especially where I’m really trying to focus on my diet and losing weight at the moment (which is proving quite the challenge for my mental health, I’m incredibly self aware of dark though patterns, it’s draining) so cooking with lots of vegetables and knowing exactly what’s going in to what I’m eating and it makes the diet a bit easier on the brain. But spending an hour so a night on making dinner just really helps me focus and relax.
  3. Talk to someone supportive – this is quite a personal one, as I’m aware that not everyone is lucky enough to have someone supportive in their circle that they trust to talk to when they’re feeling down, but I’m so glad that I have someone that does. But there are some people that are the opposite of supportive – they make you feel like a literal pile of poo because they don’t understand, saying things like ‘it’s fine just calm down’, ‘just cheer up’ or even ‘you don’t have depression or anxiety, stop attention seeking’ (all real life examples) and those people 1) aren’t worth your time and 2) when you’re feeling low anyway, just don’t surround yourself with these people if it’s possible. Seek support in the people that really love and care about you.
  4. Spend some time outside – a gentle walk (as opposed to an exercise walk, I’m very unfit so walking is exercise for me), just sitting in the garden or even sit near an open window if that’s what works for you but just being near fresh air, taking a deep breath and having a few moments of calm can be really beneficial, especially if you’re in a moment of panic. Maybe meditate if that’s your jam! I’d like to be at a point that exercise is my go to when I’m feeling low or anxious but I’m not there yet, because I’m very unfit but the wheels are in motion and it’s officially a work in progress.
  5. Listen to your body – sometimes, all you want to do is lie in bed and sob uncontrollably and not have dinner because you messed up a new recipe and the thought of eating is scary and makes you feel physically ill (cough cough), this probably isn’t the healthiest tip but sometimes, you need to just let yourself be sad. The important bit of this part is if you’re going to let yourself wallow, is that you don’t continue it – it’s a short term thing! Let yourself be sad and not eat (just, an example) for that one night or one day and then the following day, eat properly, get some stuff done, get back to it. Letting yourself wallow in feelings isn’t a bad thing as long as you know it’s temporary and short term. Maybe you won’t feel better the next day but the wallowing is done.

I’m not a mental health professional and I don’t recommend that anyone takes any advice from this, I know that I like engaging with content like this because talking about mental health is important and should be talked about. I don’t know if this will help, but I’m trying.

Mental health is a tricky topic – it’s incredibly individual and what works positively for one person might not have the same effect on someone else, so it’s about working on listening to your own body and figuring out what makes that ache in your chest go away.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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