May Goals

2019, goals

Hello!

Another month, another post about goals! Although April wasn’t the best month for me, I made a really good dent in my April Goals and I’m ready to smash my May Goals too!

These one’s are themed mostly off my self-analysis from looking at my work experience and gaps in my CV so I’m going to start filling them. Let’s jump right into it!

  • write for something other than my blog – I love writing, I love creative writing and I love my blog but if I want to be a more rounded copywriter and get more work in the future I need to prove that I can write for publications other than my own! I’ve not done any research into this yet but whether it’s a local publication, a feature pitch or maybe guest writing on someone’s blog, I want to kick start building up a portfolio properly.
  • practice photography – last month I worked really hard on learning the basics of photography that I never got to grips with at uni and at the weekend I went to a dance convention at the weekend and I was really pleased with the photos I took, however I now know that I need a new lens. The kit lens has done me well but if I really want to start taking better pictures I need to update my lenses and get out there and practice!
  • develop work experience in marketing / get some more presenting experience – I’ve got lots of work experience at some amazing companies but it’s not too relevant to what I want to go into and whilst I’m in the fortunate position of having flexible work and living at home, I might as well get as much work experience as I can! I also want to see if I can get some more presenting experience – I love presenting and I really didn’t take the opportunities I should have at uni so I’m going to make my own now. Whether it’s doing my own little news projects, doing something a bit different or finding work experience elsewhere, maybe local radio or TV? Again, I’ve not looked into it much yet but I want to make a start this month.
  • finish project at work – I’ve got an ongoing project in my part-time work and I’d really lost momentum with it but I hit the realisation that if I don’t like how this project is turning out, I need to edit it to make it better and work till I don’t hate it. I need to finish it this month for sure.
  • lose 5 pounds – shock horror, I’m still trying to lose weight. I’m doing really well – I hit my last goal of being under 100kg and my next goal is to hit the 2 stone mark from my heaviest weight but 5 pounds is my goal for the month. I started the Couch to 5k this morning (probably a bit optimistic to start talking about it now!) and I’m feeling good about it all, I’m determined!

I’m really focused on making more progress this month – I don’t want to be too open and bare all but these last few weeks have been really tough and my anxiety has been a real pain in the ass and I’m trying my best to gently work through it. I can only try my best, but having these mini goals to concentrate on really helps.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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April Goals!

2019, goals

Hello!

At the beginning of every month I get so excited about a new month, a fresh start and a new focus – deciding on what goals to work on this month! It only gets better when the month starts on a Monday, now that makes my heart happy.

Last month’s goals didn’t go very well – I got a bit too in over my head and expected far too much of myself and with a lot of unexpected last minute plans, I didn’t make a lot of progress on many (if any) of last month’s goals. But rather than letting that hold me back, I’m using what I learnt from it to adapt my goals for this month.

And this is what I’ve come up with!

  1. Make driving progress – I started practising test routes in my lessons in March and I convinced myself I would be ready to book my test at the end of the month and then when I wasn’t ready it was a massive bummer to have set myself the goal of booking the test and failed! So this month I’m adapting that goal slightly – I want to make progress and be closer to booking my test. When I book the test isn’t important but making progress and being for it is what I should focus on!
  2. Focus on diet – I was at a point where I was happy with smaller portions and better food and I want to get back to that, being more aware and putting more effort in is a start (she says as she samples a selection of macarons from last months trip to Paris! It’s all about compromise!)
  3. Work on photography – At the end of this month I’m going to a dance convention and last time I went to this convention, I took a lot of photos that I was really pleased with. Four or five years later I want to have made some improvement! I want to learn more and take technically better photos, so I need to go and practice with my Canon 100D – especially if I want to justify upgrading it at the end of the year.
  4. Start job applications again – it’s a little soul destroying, especially as it’s approaching a year since I finished my degree and graduated, but I’m not going to get anyone if I don’t try. I’m working with the careers team at my old uni to see if they can help and I am working as much as I can in my current job to tide me over. Just got to keep trying, I want to carry on doing the digital marketing course with Google Digital Garage and I’m going to carry on researching going to do a masters degree and something hopefully will figure itself out for me!
  5. Camp NaNoWriMo – another writing challenge! I’m training myself every other month for November’s 50,000 word NaNoWriMo challenge – in February I wrote 20,000 words in 28 days so this month I’m aiming for 25,000 words in 30 days! I wasn’t too sure what I was going to write about and then I had a very strange dream on the last night of March that I had to write down as soon as I woke up because I felt so compelled to develop and work on so that’s my last minute project!

The way I make my goals is generally by picking one thing from each of the categories in my New Year’s Resolutions (link), having a glance at my ten ‘bucket list’ style goals for the year and see if any of those are relevant, then anything else that’s relevant! It works really well for me to have lots of lists of goals – between 2019 goals, monthly goals, weekly tasks and even a 5 year plan/goals chart I have no reason to feel like I don’t have anything to do!

That being said, I still feel a bit lost sometimes – I’m still looking for a graduate job and with it coming up to a year since I finished my degree and graduated, it gets harder and harder to motivate myself but with all these lists and personal goals, even if my life takes a different turn I’ve always got something to focus on!

If you make monthly goals, tell me what they are! Are you still working on your New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s share and motivate each other!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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a setback isn’t the end | unfitness

2019, fitness, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

It’s been a hot minute since I did a little update on my ‘unfitness’ and for anyone else on a similar journey to me, I thought it was time for a little run down!

So far this year it’s been difficult – after Christmas and into February, my mental health took a nose dive and consequently any motivation or desire to look after myself (tasks like taking off my make-up and brushing my teeth were basically Everest to me). But overall, my step count was still on target and I was doing okay with food so my progress was much slower but still progress.

Now I’m ready to tackle it all head on and build it up again!

[ f o o d   /   d i e t ]

I’ve found what works the best for me is simple repetition – I really don’t mind having the same thing 5 times a week and then I can allow myself the freedom to be a bit more lenient at the weekends (usually with some sort of cheese and bread meal). This is working really well for me! I’ve always noticed the most progress is when I’m focused on diet and don’t put any pressure on myself for exercise.

For dinners it’s always a compromise – at the moment everything seems to be super busy  so there’s a fair bit of eating out and having meals beyond my control, but when I’m home I make sure I eat as many vegetables as I can and try to be sensible with portion size.

Overall, I’m still training myself back down to smaller portion sizes but I feel like I know how to tackle this and I feel okay about it!

[ f i t n e s s   /   e x e r c i s e ]

Half term has been and gone, I’ve had a week away at Centre Parcs doing 10,000+ steps a day and swimming 5 times in a week and now I’m back to normal life and self motivating exercise!

Tap classes have started up again (I’m sat waiting for my second one of the day as I write this!), I’m aiming to hit my step goal 4 days a week and do one additional workout. I’m not particularly enjoying workout out at home because most of the rooms in my house are quite small and there’s just not enough space (nor is it warm enough for me to go out and use the garden yet!). This one I’m still figuring out – I’m trying some other free apps and mostly being guided by letting the rest of my life fall into more of a routine and then fitting in workouts around that.

My best tip – if you want to follow fitness people on social media, don’t follow the ones who make you compare yourself and feel bad or the ones who make it seem like a massive chore. Someone I went to school with has committed to working out seven days a week to train for climbing Mont Blanc and watching her share and talk about her training has really motivated me to workout! Not quite to the same extreme but seeing her so happy and her progress is really inspiring.

[ w h a t   n e x t ? ]

As a said – finding a routine, getting to a point where my appetite is smaller and figuring out where at home workouts fit in to my life at the moment. I’m hoping to have taken and passed my driving test by April/May time and I think when I’m at a point where I can drive myself to the gym and maybe afford a session with a personal trainer I’ll be more motivated to get out the house and workout. Getting out the house is normally the solution for me!

But as always – all tips, tricks and hacks welcome! If you have any advice please do leave it in the comments down below.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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eating ‘healthy’ at Christmas

2018, fitness, goals, lifestyle

Hello!

I think we all know that December and Christmas time is the hardest time of year to have control over your diet and maintain good healthy eating habits! Which is why everyone joins a gym and sets themselves New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and eat better in January.

But it’s not impossible to keep some sort of control over what you’re eating at Christmas and I’ve made such amazing progress that I’m so proud of in the last couple of months and I don’t want to throw that all away so I’ve made myself a little plan for some ways to try my best to not blow the diet over this holiday.

So I’ve condensed into three tips, if you can call them that – maybe goals is a more suitable word! I’m not an expert in any way, shape or form and I definitely don’t think I’m qualified to give advice. These are my Christmas diet goals!

One – give yourself a break – at the end of the day, it is Christmas! I’ve decided from the 24th-26th I’m not going to worry about what I’m eating, enjoy all the chocolate, cakes, desserts and food that Christmas brings guilt free.

Two – stock up on the healthy stuff – when serving food for Christmas dinner I’m going to try to fill about half my plate with veg and then I physically won’t have room for the less healthy stuff on my plate. Whilst Christmas is filled with lots of unhealthy treats, there’s also lots of veg and cold meats and leftovers that aren’t too bad, so it’s mixing those in with the stuff that’s really tasty and not so good.

Three – everything in moderation – not really specific to Christmas but as relevant at this time of year! As long as you’re not going absolutely mad and completely binging on the things you normally try to stay away from, then it’s not so bad – moderation is key. Last Christmas I got a fair few chocolate Christmas presents and I rationed it all out and it lasted me till Easter because I just didn’t let myself gorge on it all at once. So I still got to enjoy the chocolate, it lasted me so much longer and it saved me money on buying snacks because I already had it! Moderation wins!

But the most important thing at the end of the day is not to beat yourself up about what you eat – it’s more important to eat something that nothing! It’s a time of year for happiness and love and family and in January we can all get back to proper healthy eating and exercise and set New Year’s Resolutions like everyone else.

Lots of love, hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll be back with a new post on boxing day!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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I’ve lost a stone! | unfitness update

2018, fitness, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

I’m so glad I decided to document my fitness and weight loss journey because I’m really settling into it and I’m so glad I will have these posts, videos and other tracking methods to look back on and see how much I’m achieving! I’m feeling a rebrand is coming for this blog and fitness might be a much bigger part of what I write about as it’s now a much bigger part of my life but we’ll get to that!

[ f o o d   /   d i e t ]

I still feel a bit lost in terms of nutrition and not knowing anything about it but I feel like I’m figuring out what’s good in terms of feeling like I’m eating well. I never understood when people talked about eating bad food and feeling sluggish but lads I get it now. I went to Southampton a couple of weeks ago and it was all very rushed and we got food where we could and after two days of McDonalds I felt so tired and unmotivated. So that’s new!

But my routine is good – I aim for breakfast before 8am (have moved from Cheerios to off-brand Cornflakes), I’m loving having roasted vegetables and cous cous for lunch (sometimes I’ll put a couple of chopped sausages in there too) and dinner’s have been pretty consistently not awful. I’ve definitely noticed that when mum and I are both really busy a plan goes out the window and we do what we can and going into the New Year we’re all just going to get busier so it’s adapting and finding ways to cook healthy food quick, or using the slow cooker more.

[ e x e r c i s e   /   w o r k i n g   o u t ]

Working out is so good – since my last update I’ve finished the four week Nike Training App plan and it was challenging but I really enjoyed it and I’ve set it up to do another ‘Start Up Plan’ program! I think the workouts are really suitable for my level of fitness (or lack thereof) and for a free app, I’m so impressed by it. I’m also doing two tap dance classes a week and I’m generally doing more steps per day too – overall I’m doing some form of exercise about five days a week and I’m so pleased that I’ve realised that exercising that much doesn’t mean going to the gym or killing yourself for an hour every day.

It’s all so integrated into my life that it doesn’t feel force and I’m really enjoying it – it’s taking me years to get to this point but that’s persistence! It’s not perfect yet – sometimes I wake up and working out or going for a walk is the last thing I want to do but I really feel like I’m more in the ‘progress’ stage than the ‘work in’ stage.

[ c h a n g e s ]

A new thing worth mentioning is that I got the coil in November (every time I talk about it I feel like I’m being so TMI but talking about contraception or menstruation really shouldn’t be TMI and I’ve had so many wonderful open conversations with people since I’ve mentioned it so I’m continuing to talk about it!).

I might do a whole post or video all about my experience with it so far when I’ve had it for a bit longer, but now that my body is getting used to having hormone interference again, it’s pretty much settled down and I’ve got it all under control. There were little fluctuations but mostly it didn’t effect my weight loss so fingers crossed that I can maintain the downward line!

Regarding the mental health, now that my body’s had a few weeks to settle into these new hormones, I feel like I’ve discovered this new positive mindset which has really opened my eyes and helped me focus on better things – I spoke about it in my November Favourites video and that’s my favourite description. Figuring out that everything is hard and facing difficulties doesn’t mean I’m hard done by, that’s just how life is, has made facing the hard things and accepting that if I want something to change then I need to work for it so much easier and I feel so much more motivated and productive because of it.

In conclusion, I feel like I’m really settling into working out and making it a proper part of my life routine which has been a goal of mine for so long. Food is kind of an ongoing battle again but I’m fighting, contraception is difficult to adjust to but my new favourite motto is really getting me through – I’m going to make all of this work. Just watch me.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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a diet and exercise update | unfitness

2018, fitness, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve done a couple of fitness posts and I’ve recently made a fairly big change in my approach to my diet and I thought I’d note it all down 1) to document it for my sake and 2) for anyone else who might have recently put on a lot of weight and had to start shopping plus sized that needs a bit of motivation.

[ e x e r c i s e ]

I’m actually kind of struggling with working out right now – my mum has a treadmill and a rowing machine in her garage and it’s kind of full of stuff waiting to go to a car boot and it’s a bit soul destroying and I didn’t want that kind of relationship with exercise. So I’m not pushing myself, but I do quite enjoy going for walks so I’ve been adapting my exercise by incorporating it into walks – taking a longer route to go do my errands, making sure to keep up with the pace of anyone I’m with rather than making them slow to me and maintain a consistent pace.

At the moment this is working for me, I’m working on upping my pace and considering maybe trying running but I think that is quite a way off yet. At the moment, with the stage of weight and fitness I’m at I think cardio exercise is enough and by the time I’m a bit fitter I might be able to afford a session or two with a personal trainer who can hopefully give me some advice on how to get that six pack.

Because obviously that’s the main goal.

(though I’d quite like a little arm muscle, just a tiny bicep y’know)

[ d i e t ]

This is where my biggest development is right now – last week I decided I needed to take a stand on it, I need to cut out snacking and train myself to feel satisfied with a smaller portion size because it’s got out of hand.

So, whilst that may all sound a bit severe it’s really not – I’m making sure I eat breakfast in the morning to get my metabolism going, I’m having a reasonably sized healthy lunch, no afternoon snacking (which is tough), a reasonably sized (mostly) healthy dinner and an evening treat less than 200 calories. And being a bit less strict at the weekends.

I tried tracking it on my FitBit app for a few days and it came in at about 1000 calories a day though I think it’s probably a bit more (but I gave up because it was really hard to input everything individually) but I’m not massively calorie counting – I’m aware of how many are in what I’m eating but I don’t really know how many I’m having in a day because I don’t want to be someone that adds them up. I’ve had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food before and I’m very aware of slipping back into those behaviours.

It’s working well for me at the moment – in the first week I lost 3 pounds and I’m hoping for the same kind of progress in the coming weeks. I think ‘dieting’ this way is going to work long term because it’s not cutting lots of things, reintroducing them and getting fat again, it’s adapting my life to be healthier and hopefully being a healthier person because of it.

But we all know what I’m like for getting over excited, blogging about something then falling off the bandwagon!

[ w h a t   n e x t ? ]

Going forward is all just a work in progress – continuing to work on my relationship with both diet and exercise, hopefully finding a fitness regime that really works for me and I enjoy it (which is something I’ve been working on for literally years) and hopefully stick with this not-diet because I really do think it’ll effect my health in the long run.

Everything is a work in progress, but that’s why we document isn’t it! To see that progress and not forget the steps we took along the way.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

previous fitness posts:
unfitness – starting a few steps back
unfitness – when the going gets tough, listen to your body

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Adjusting (Diary 2)

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

It’s been about a month since I did my first diary post and I feel like I’ve got more to say and document (as per) so I am going to do both of those things. It’s not so much a situational change but a mental attitude change and we all know I love a ramble so I think that’s what I’ll do today!

I guess the biggest thing is that I started learning to drive! At the beginning of September I had my first lesson and it was amazing! I enjoyed it so much I literally jumped around the kitchen because I loved driving so much. My instructor is so lovely and makes me feel really comfortable and because she’s so great, she’s incredibly booked up so I couldn’t get another lesson until the beginning of next month but I’ve booked a lesson a week until the beginning of November so I’m really focused on learning and I want to be able to drive in the next six months or so, which is exciting!

It all then snowballed quite fast – my granddad sold me his car and I can’t drive it yet but I now have a car which is quite fast considering I’ve had literally one lesson but it’s a long story and it’s situational (I’ve made a video on my YouTube channel if you’re interested in hearing all about it!). Long story short – I had a lesson, I bought a car and I passed my theory test last week so the driving journey is really kick starting and I’m so excited! I’m so surprised I’m not scared of it to be honest, I genuinely can’t wait to be able to drive.

I’d like to think that the driving development makes up for the lack of job development but there’s still a lot to say – I don’t have a job, I really lost momentum in applying because I’d applied for so many, I’d had so many rejection emails, no interviews and looking at my cover letter to tweak it for every job genuinely gave me headaches and made me want to burst into tears. It’s not even like I took a break I just couldn’t do it anymore.

But now I feel somewhat ready to start applying again – I’ve been helping my mum out by doing some jobs in the office and helping out her business so I’m learning again, working for a wage and earning some money, which is a nice feeling. I’m ready to start slowly applying for jobs again – rather than applying for seven in a day, I want to take it slower and make each application more meaningful and only apply for jobs that really make me excited rather than applying for literally everything.

I’m adjusting to life back at home – I’d always planned to move out again and have my own kind of career by about October but, to be honest, I’m quite warming to the idea of staying at home for a year and finishing learning to drive, learning about business from my mum and finding a role that really suits me.

So it’s taking time to adjust, but I think I am settling a little and I’m actually not hating it.

There’s no smooth segway between topics other than talking about how I’m completely changing the topic. So now to talk about diet and exercise!

I’ve written a couple of posts about exercise recently and I’m now not working out in the same way but I’m still working on it – as of this week, I’m focusing a lot on what I’m eating and training myself to not be as hungry and rely on food as I have been previously. I’m going to my cousin’s wedding in January and I’m using it as an incentive to lose some weight (though Christmas being between now and then is not going to work in my favour). I’m still exercising but not forcing myself to miserably walk on the treadmill three times a week – I’ve gone for going for focused walks walking at a higher pace than I’m comfortable with and I’m already noticing a positive effect on my mood in three days so I’m feeling more motivated to go back to the weights and cardio machines. I’m listening to my body a lot more and not pushing myself to do anything that doesn’t help me mentally (other than food, I’m being quite strict about that).

And I’m actually kind of enjoying it! Sure I’m hungry, but I’m planning my meals more, I’m trying new things, I’m cooking more, I had a really nice conversation with my dad about it yesterday and it was really lovely. I don’t want to diet, because I would either then spend the rest of my life on that diet or I’d yo-yo back up to where I am now and neither of those are good. I’m making sustainable changes by cutting out snacking and being aware of the kinds of food I’m eating and making certain types of food a treat.

But I would quite like to ban food adverts on TV because god it makes avoiding evening snacking really difficult. The other night, I could have eaten boxes of shortbread, a bucket of buttery pasta and at least three pizzas. But I didn’t, which is the important bit. I had grapes instead.

I think that’s enough for one diary post – my days have been pretty quiet recently, making content, working for mum, applying for jobs, nothing too exciting to report.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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you can keep your health kick

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

I’m someone who’s been talking about a ‘health kick’, ‘dieting’ and ‘losing weight’ for as long as I can remember – there’s never been a point that I can remember where I’ve been happy with my weight (exhibit a and bbut for some reason, after a particularly positive brain day earlier this year – I’ve given up.

Hating myself and being so desperate to lose weight and making myself sad about it (and consequently comfort eating) clearly wasn’t working so why bother?

Now that’s not to say I’m suddenly full of self confidence and I love my body – that’s still not true at all – however, I’m done punishing myself physically and mentally for no progress. The traditional diet associated phrases are gone and I’m calling it my ‘lifestyle routine’ – because that’s what I, and I think most people, want. We want sustainable changes, not yo yo dieting.

So this is what I’m doing:

  • I’m not cutting food groups out of my diet – it’ll just make me sad and any weight I lose would go straight back on if and when I reintroduce the group to my diet.
  • I am planning every meal I eat in advance – having the control in planning is something that’s working really well for me mentally, so I can schedule in a McDonalds as long as I don’t substitute my other meals (this is also helping with my budgeting).
  • I’m aiming to go to the gym at least once a week – Sunday workouts are going quite well for me, if I can squeeze in another workout (whether that be at home or at the gym) it’s a bonus but I’m not putting pressure on myself to go all the time. If I work up to that then great, but for now I’m starting with one day a week.
  • I’m learning about HIIT workouts – I’ve been doing one very basic beginning Kayla Itsines workout that I got from a Facebook video and seeing progress is so rewarding! The first time I did it I only managed two sets and nearly threw up and the second time I did it I managed all three (bar one exercise that I couldn’t face doing a third time). I’ve only done it twice so far because my gym doesn’t really have space for body weight workouts like that one but I’m planning to implement one at home workout a week into my schedule – but all in good time!
  • I’m trying to do as many steps a day as possible – I’ve loved wearing my Fitbit for about a year now and I’m fascinated by the data it tracks. I’m not forcing myself to do 10,000 steps but Wednesday (for example) is a really long uni day for me and I usually do very few steps, however I managed to do 10,299 steps last Wednesday and I’m classing that as a little victory!

There’s other things I’ve had to think about alongside this – all of these lifestyle changes are second to finishing my degree and uni work comes first but the point of these changes is that hopefully they’ll slot into my life and I can continue as normal. Though, to be fair, I’ve spent longer making a meal plan this week than doing uni work (sorry mum).

I’m hoping to see some changes both in my weight, my mental health and my general health (because according to my Fitbit, sometimes my heart spends 10 hours a day in the ‘fat burn’ zone and 1) I’m definitely not burning fat and 2) It should not be that high) but if nothing else, I’ll be living a healthier lifestyle and dedicating more time to cooking which I thoroughly enjoy.

If you have any workout tips or healthy recipes please do let me know in the comments or on Twitter – I love trying new recipes and I don’t know a lot about workouts so would greatly appreciate any help!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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