September Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been doing these posts for about six months now and I find they really help me focus on specific tasks for the month, especially because I’ve integrated them into my bullet journal spreads.

However, in previous months I’ve done a review of the last months goals before setting my new goals for the month and I’ve decided not to do that this time – these reviews should be a personal reflection for me to adapt and respond to but I don’t think anyone else needs to know or cares about last months goals!

Last months goals went quite well, ironically, you can read that post here if you like!

September has always been my favourite month, whether it was because it was my birthday month, whether it was back to school I was excited for or just going into the Autumn/Winter season, September makes me happier and I’m excited for this month.

[ S E P T E M B E R   G O A L S ]

  • work 12 hours a week – I’m fortunate enough that my mum has let me work for her company as a kind of Office Assistant/PA/learning about business management person and she’s always been open to letting me help but I was so focused on graduate job hunting that I hadn’t accepted it till now. I want to dedicate specific time to working for her company and I’m starting with (minimum) 12 hours a week and I’m actually kind of excited about it.
  • write 20,000 words (667 a day) – last months writing challenge was a huge success so I wanted to up the stake a little bit – I wrote 15,000 words in August so I’m aiming for more this month! I’m basically training myself up before NaNoWriMo (50k in November) but I’m really enjoying the creative freedom that writing gives me and being in the mental position to write again, I just love it.
  • driving – guess who booked her theory test and her first lesson on a whim when she was tired one night? Yes, it was me. My theory test is towards the end of this month, my boyfriend will (hopefully) be taking his test soon and we’ve nearly got our own car too. Right now, I feel the same as I did when I was 17 – I don’t want to learn to drive, I just want to be able to drive but it’s not the simple so I’m biting the bullet and doing it. My first lesson is on the 7th so wish me luck!
  • maintain no pressure exercise – I’ve written a couple of posts now about exercise and I think it’s not a phase that I’ll get bored of? It’s been about four weeks now and I’m still integrating it into my routine? And I like it? I’m having to change it up quite a lot because I get bored or I feel like it’s not doing anything but I’m actually enjoying exercising and boy I need to lose weight so hopefully by this time next month I’ll actually be able to see some results!
  • positive job hunting – will she ever stop talking about job hunting? Probably not! Being an unemployed graduate (bar working for my mum) has really got to me mentally – I went for a job interview that I felt really good about and then I didn’t get it and I felt like giving up. So alongside feeling really mentally low, I just didn’t have the motivation to apply for anything else. However, I’m pulling myself out of it and I’m trying to get back into the habit of applying for jobs positively and not looking at it as a mindless chore that will never amount to anything because if that’s the attitude I have than it never will amount to anything! Even if it means taking it a bit slower, I want to maintain a positive relationship with applying for jobs.

I’ve tried to make these goals realistic and achievable – September is a time for new starts; going back to school, back to uni, back to work and I’m feeling that kind of motivation without having school, uni or a job to go into it but I’m making my situation right now work as best as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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unfitness – when the going gets tough, listen to your body

2018, lifestyle

Hello,

I’ve gotten into a habit of blogging about something when it happens and then I become less interested or I find it harder to motivate myself and then in three months the cycle starts again. I’m determined not to let that happen with working out.

I wrote this unfitness post about starting a few steps back a couple of weeks ago and I was really excited, I was doing well at getting out of bed really early (well like 7am, that’s pretty early right?), doing 30 minutes of walking at various speed on the treadmill then having a shower and having a good productive day.

But hi this is bad mental health and it’s here to ruin your motivation to exercise!

Last week I managed one half hour yoga session which didn’t feel like it did a whole lot and one morning where I did ten minutes on the treadmill and ten minutes on the rowing machine. I didn’t even manage the ‘three times a week’ goal I set myself.

This is going to sound really melodramatic but hear me out: I feel like there is a hand around my heart right now and whenever I try to take a deep breath it closes a little bit. It’s an anxiety thing, I get it quite a lot but it makes exercising really hard, because whenever I try to push myself or do anything too strenuous breathing becomes a struggle and exercise is meant to make you a bit breathless but this is another level.

So I’m trying not to let this extended bout of anxiety stop me long term – I managed two sessions last week and it’s Tuesday as I’m writing this and I’ve just done my first session of the week and it was another ten minutes on treadmill/ten minutes on the rowing machine because I just can’t face doing any more.

(EDIT: I managed one more session that week (which was a 6km walk) and this week is looking more promising, follow me on Instagram if you’re interested in more immediate updates!)

But I did some. And at the end of the day I think that’s what matters – a part of my body is trying to tell me that I shouldn’t do the thing that’s good for me but I’m doing it anyway. It’s not a lot but it’s something and anything is better than nothing isn’t it?

I feel like I need to learn more about fitness and what I should be trying to like actually see some results but for now, I think I’m going to carry on doing what I’m doing and maybe one day I’ll be able to afford some Personal Trainer sessions. But trying is better than nothing and not only is it working out which is good for your body but it’s also proving you’re better than your mental health, you’re defying it!

It’s hard, but it’s worth it in the end.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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unfitness – starting a few steps back

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve blogged on a fair few occasions about ‘my fitness journey’ – posts like ‘I’ve started a new workout regime’, ‘I’m working out’, ‘I need to work out’ and so on and so on. Over the past year or so, having given up dancing after my second year at uni and even then, those dance training sessions were nowhere near as intense as when I was dancing before uni and my fitness levels and the amount of time I’ve spent exercising has gone down considerably over the last three years to basically nothing.

So now that I’m living with my mum for a bit, who has a treadmill in her garage, I’m doing 30 minutes walking on said treadmill and aiming for three times a week (two weeks in, going pretty well). And I’ve made a little highlight on my instagram that I’ve called ‘unfitness’ – I’ve been posting little rambles about my thoughts and feelings about working out when you’re (I’m) a larger lady, because whenever you look for ‘beginners’ workouts online or look for programs to follow and none of them cater for starting from literally nothing.

This whole idea actually came about from my rambles on Instagram – this is what I wrote after my first time on the treadmill:

To be honest, over the last year I’ve put on a lot of weight and not spent the time exercising that I have in the past, so consequently my fitness level is the lowest its ever been

That makes it harder to exercise but giving up just makes it worse – I’ve tried a bunch of different fitness programs and such this year and each one has proven how unfit I am, so it’s taking it back a step and finding what’s right for me

Right now, I’m walking for 30 minutes on a treadmill and in time I’ll be able to up that to a run but I’ve got to give myself that time

So from there, I started my highlight and continued to write about the progression I was making – I posted a couple of screenshots from my FitBit app about my heart rate and boomerangs of my feet on the treadmill (obviously) and my documenting my fitness had really begun!

My second post was a bit more difficult – I’d been thinking a lot whilst I was walking and this is what my second post was about:

Whilst walking this morning, I was thinking about how I got to this point where I’m so unfit that walking is exercise. Having moved home after finishing uni it felt natural to look into going back to dance classes but honestly? I’m embarrassed to go because I don’t think I could do it anymore.

It’s all a work in progress and it’s natural while I didn’t have the same dancing opportunities at uni and I was focusing on my degree that I’m not going to be in the same shape as I was when I was 18, but it’s still kind of disheartening.

And that’s not to say that what I’m doing right now isn’t right for me – is it right for me in what my body needs right now, I just miss dancing and feeling like an elephant that everyone’s laughing at

Got a little bit more personal! But I wasn’t going to let those negative thoughts stop me completely – a couple of days later I was back on the treadmill (7am seems to be the time for me to exercise, it works!) and these were my thoughts.

I’d posted a couple of screenshots regarding my heart rate and asked a couple of questions (to anyone who was willing to read all of my ramblings) about whether walking and cardio was enough to help my lose weight and then I wrote:

I’m documenting this partially for my benefit but partially because I know that at this point I wouldn’t feel comfortable going back to the gym for fear of judgement for not being fit enough and I don’t think it’s fair that people at different stages of their fitness journeys are being judged for it! If someone runs for an hour then does weight training or if someone walks on a treadmill for half an hour their training is valid and I feel like we don’t see enough of the latter! I don’t need to hide myself away because I’m a Size 18+ and my heart isn’t as good as other peoples.

I hope that’s okay.

And now, I don’t know how much I actually have to add! I have been on the treadmill since writing that last update and I don’t post anything because it was a busy day and I didn’t have the same free time to write what I was feeling up – this weekend I’m going to do my last of three sessions for the week and next week I’m going to step it up a bit to keep training and maintain that progress.

My hope is that one day I will be able to run (maybe I’ll sign up for a 5k or something?), maybe I’ll be toned and I’ll know what the weight machines at the gym will do and I hope to be supporting those who’s journey isn’t starting at the point that is ‘socially acceptable’! ‘Bikini body diets’ and ’30 day challenges’ just aren’t suited for everyone and I feel like every fitness journey deserves to be talked about and shared!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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May Mini Goals

2018, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

Hello!

I’m a little bit late this month but my final (ever) university hand in was on May 2nd so I took a few days to myself, I’m back home with my mum and now I’m back and more focused than ever – I’ve done a lot of work on a portfolio I’m building on a new Instagram account and I’m ready to have a few weeks to make the content I’ve been longing to make for so long.

So let’s crack on shall we.

APRIL GOALS + REVIEW:

  1. Post on Instagram 5 times a week: I mean I’m not sure in what world I was going to have the time to plan and take photos for Instagram considering the amount of work I had to do for my FMP. This lasted all of about a week and then I decided I couldn’t spend the time I wanted to dedicate to Instagram so I went radio silent for a few weeks. But it’s what my project needed and FMP was priority so I’m not to fussed about this one.
  2. Watch more films: My goal for the month was to see two films at the cinema and I did this – I saw Black Panther in the lead up to going to the midnight showing of Infinity War. My god, my Marvel fangirl heart is having a field day – I’ve since seen Infinity War twice more and I fully intend to go and see it a few more times at the cinema. I’m in love with going to the cinema at the moment and there are a couple more films I’d like to see so now that I’ve handed in, I think some solo cinema trips are in order.
  3. Book a holiday: This one is justifiable – I definitely would have booked it but my beloved boyfriend hasn’t actually ordered his passport yet and as it’s his first passport it will take considerably longer to arrive than your average passport renewal so I’ve said I’m not booking it until he has the passport in his hands. So it’s not the case that I didn’t do, but that I elected to do it once another task was completed. It just wasn’t my task to complete.
  4. Finish my FMP: NAILED IT! Not only because it was due in and I had to, but I’m so happy with what I submitted – I was pleased with the copy, the photos fit really well, the audio was really fun and I love editing video so much. When I’ve got the grades back I think I’ll do a post explaining my project and showcasing it a little bit but that won’t be for another few weeks yet.
  5. Apply for 3 more jobs: Also smashed it – I applied for three more jobs at the beginning of the month then a couple more in the middle and then decided I wouldn’t apply for anymore until after hand in, so doing pretty good on that front.

MAY GOALS:

  1. Content Focus: Now I don’t have university work, I can actually write, film, edit and post all the things I want to make – I’m going to try my best to stick to a schedule of two videos a week and at least one blog post a week. I’m genuinely excited about this.
  2. Get a job: When I say ‘get a job’, I mean apply for as many as I can and do what I can to get a job, if I end the month with a job that’ll be lush but no pressure either way.
  3. See more films: Not everything here is about professional development and making things! Last month was two films and I’ve already seen Infinity War twice more this month so I’m going to say I want to go to the cinema twice more this month. Not sure what I want to see but with my Showcase Insider card I can definitely make the most of every trip.
  4. Work on portfolio and professional presence: It helps with getting a job if I actually work on these kind of things right? So I want to add a portfolio section to my blog, I have a portfolio Instagram that I’ve just planned all the posts for (and these posts can be used on my blog as well), I need to make a showreel or figure out whether I want one showreel with different roles or a showreel for each role, I should probably update my CV – I’ve got a list that I’ll slowly tick off by the end of the month.
  5. Exercise, y’know, some: Now that I’ve finished uni, I can focus on exercising and losing weight before graduation in July – originally I planned to workout every day but that’s not always feasible so I’m just doing as much as I can. I’m giving Blogilates beginner calendar a go, trying to go for lots of walks and eating more healthily. We’ll see how it goes.

Hopefully having handed in my FMP will mean I stay as productive as I intended to be but I’ll just have to try my best and see how it goes – if I want it to work I’m the only one that can make it!

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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top 4 tips for starting a health kick

2017, lifestyle, student

 

Hello!

This is another one from my ‘blog ideas‘ book which suggested ‘Your top 3 _ game changers’ – I’ve recently gone on a full on health kick because I’m really unhappy with my weight and I know I can talk about this topic with a little bit of knowledge behind it.

I’ve just started week 3 of a 28 day health (ish) plan and I thought I’d share the four things that really helped me get started and why I chose to do a 28 day plan.

Number 1 – I hit rock bottom

Obviously I don’t recommend this, but when I hit a certain weight it was the real kick up the bum I needed to actually started looking after my body, learn more about how to look after my body and do something about it. I used some Amazon vouchers I got for Christmas to buy a couple of weight loss books and I downloaded apps and I was ready to start.

Number 2 – Kayla Itsines’ The Bikini Body 28-Day Health Eating & Lifestyle Guide: 200 Recipes, Weekly Menus, 4-Week Workout Plan

I’ll be honest, the title is longer than I remember and the way I’m doing the plan deserves a big ‘ish’ but this book is a god send and I’ve already recommended it to a few people and my wonderful friend Nikki has actually bought it because 1) it’s brilliant and 2) I’m just so persuasive.

I love this book because it’s almost like having a personal trainer or a dietitian but without the price – it gives you guidance on how much of each food group you should be eating and what kind of exercise you should be doing, I just feel so much more informed about how I should be looking after myself.

In terms of the diet plan, I’m not following it day-to-day just because I’m quite a picky eater and I don’t want to make myself eat food I won’t enjoy and I want this diet to be sustainable, so I went through the whole book and wrote down all the recipes I was interested in or knew I’d like, then I drew out a four week plan and spaced out all the healthy recipes and filled in the rest of the days with healthy-ish recipes that I already knew and it’s not hard to follow because on some days I’m doing recipes that I know and love and on other days I get to try cooking a new thing and I love cooking so it’s a win-win.

For me, losing weight was a lot of being told what to do with my body to make it look better than it does now.

Number 3 – Nike+ training app

Again, being told how to work out works well for me. If I could afford the gym membership or the personal trainer I think I would but for now, I’m a student and that’s not going to happen. You can work out as much or as little as you like, you need no equipment and the app is completely free – I found that setting up a ‘Plan’ means that I don’t have to pick the workouts and I’m given the ones suitable for my level and my goal, which is losing weight.

There are for sure hundreds of other apps out there so if this app doesn’t work for you, there might be another that does!

Number 4 – fitbit flex (and fitbit app)

My mum offered to buy me a fitbit and at first I wasn’t sure I’d be interested – why would I care about tracking steps right? But I do now! It motivates you so much to go out and make sure you’re doing as many steps as you can and that’s not even the app, that’s just me being overly competitive with my past self.

I voluntarily walked to a Sainsburys supermarket out of the way from where I live just because it was a nearly-3-mile round walk and it was just for the steps (and to buy this amazing flavoured water that I can’t find anywhere else).

I also track what I’m eating, how much water I’m drinking, how my weight is changing and it apparently knows how much I’m sleeping too, all round useful device and app.

It’s also very useful that you can use the app without the fitbit – in terms of steps, most phones can count steps too so you don’t even need to buy a fitbit itself.

I hope this has been helpful in any way, shape or form! The last thing I will say is that working out, like revision or money management or anything else, is very personal and different things work for different people. Sometimes you have to experiment a lot before you find what works for you and that can be disheartening but it’s okay, because you will find what works for you.

If you’re struggling and feel like you need more guidance, I’d recommend going to your GP and finding a professional to talk to.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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