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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November Goals

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

This is the penultimate goals post of 2018! And then we get onto all that good New Years content looking back on my goals for last year and making goals for next year, but even though that’s not many ‘goals’ blog posts away, it is two months in real time away so like the forbidden ‘C’ word, I won’t mention it again!

This month I’m kind of having to make some important decisions – nothing too drastic, but I need to figure out what I want the next year of my life to look like and what I need to do to get there. But, that’s on a broader to do list – here are my goals for November.

[ N o v e m b e r   G o a l s ]

  • workout once a week (‘gym’/running) – I was in a decent routine of using the treadmill and rowing machine in my mum’s garage a few times a week and I’ve completely fallen out of that routine. I have started up a new dance class (two even, in one day!) and I think once a week on the treadmill, building up my stamina and maybe getting a bit better at running is a good routine to get into.
  • NaNoWriMo! I feel like I’ve mentioned it approximately a hundred million times, but NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a website that brings together a community of writers to scribble 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s 1667 words a day and quite the challenge. I think I’ve mentioned before that writing is a huge passion of mine – I started creative writing when I was 12 and before I went to uni, every single night I would sit and tap away at my computer in front of the TV in the living room. I wrote a full length novel when I was 16 in NaNoWriMo so I’m going to try and emulate that success this year. It’s going to be a challenge but I’m so determined.
  • Balance work and making content – This month I’ve been pretty rubbish at working. I’m so lucky that I can work so flexibly for my mum’s business but I haven’t been very good at actually making the time for it. I need to set myself a stricter routine and in the end I get paid more when I do more work so it’s win win all round really.
  • Shorter to do lists – one of the things I hate the most is that I write myself a huge long list of things to do, and when I do them all it feels fantastic but when at the end of the day I’m staring at a list I’ve ticked one thing off of it’s both demotivating and daunting so to combat this, I’m only letting myself write 5 point to do lists each day. Hopefully this will maximise productivity all round and maybe even give me some spare time but mostly just keep me a bit more sane.
  • Plan December and 2019 videos – in terms of my blog, I’m pretty confident that I can write two posts a week and know what I want to write about and what I want to make. My YouTube channel however, takes a little more work and planning. I’m thinking about potentially doing Vlogmas on my main channel (you heard it here first lads) and I want to think about what projects I take on in 2019. 2016 was the year of the monthly vlog, 2017 I got back into making weekly videos and 2018 I’ve been weekly vlogging and making sit down vlogs (two videos a week!) for most of the year. I need to figure out whether I want to continue weekly vlogging, whether I want to try something new or maybe change it all up completely. If you’ve got any Christmas video requests do let me know!!

I’m feeling a bit more focused at the moment, there are certain aspects I’m trying not to think about but it’s all one step at a time, that can be part of next months goals.

Hope you all had a lovely October and are enjoying the colder temperatures – I’m loving having all my jumpers and blankets out again!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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falling in love with fashion | outfit

2018, fashion, fitness, lifestyle, photography

Hello!

Today’s a day for another rambly post about clothes and body image, yay! I feel like we’ve been on a journey with outfit posts – at first it was all about body image and how much I hate myself, then I got bored of being so negative in every outfit post I wrote and I started actually writing about fashion and I’m not going to lie, I’m really into outfit photos at the moment.

I really love this outfit
Long sleeved tee (ASOS) – Pinafore (old ASOS) – Coat (Primark) – Boots (Primark)

Not really an outfit photo, but a photo of me in an outfit so… Tee (ASOS) – Pinafore – Long sleeved top (Long Tall Sally)

And even the silly ones like this when I get an ASOS delivery and I put my new favourite jumper on top of my new favourite pyjamas

So I’m both getting better and not hating myself being on camera and my boyfriend is getting very good at taking outfit photos so it’s a win win all round.

However today’s photos were taken by my sister in her uni town of Bournemouth by the stunning Bournemouth beach and I wish it wasn’t as busy and I wasn’t so flustered because they’re lovely photos and I hope we can go get some more tomorrow.

But back to clothes and fashion – I’ve kind of come to terms with my size and I feel like I’m on top of eating more healthily and exercising more (doing more steps a day). So now that I’ve come to terms with it, I feel like I can try new things and I don’t mind people looking at me, because I’m not always assuming it’s about my weight and more about what I’ve chosen to wear!

I’m really enjoyed patterned trousers at the moment and these ones from New Look are my current favourites because they’re quite slim fit without being skinny and an elasticated waist! But it’s more than just wearing some funky trousers – trousers were always the centre of my issues with my weight because it all focused on my tummy. Jeans were too uncomfortable when I sat down (which at uni, was like basically all the time) and I felt like I couldn’t wear anything but leggings. I’ve lived in leggings for over a year and I think not feeling trapped by only having one option is a huge factor.

Also funky trousers that aren’t jeans are really in at the moment which makes it all much easier to buy them.

I’m finding a new way to present myself in what I wear – new ways to express myself and show parts of my personality that I normally only felt I could really present in my unnatural hair colours and I’m really enjoying this new sense of freedom and creativity I’m finding through clothes. Resisting buying a whole new wardrobe is getting increasingly difficult, if I’m being honest.

This outfit in particular is my perfect combination of comfy but looks like I’ve put in far more effort than I actually have. These trousers are my favourite at the moment, this ASOS denim jacket has been a staple of mine since I bought it before I went to New York in March (it’s been perfect through every season – works for layering in winter, is a good transitional jacket for Spring and Autumn and nice for evenings in Summer, I’m obsessed) and it brings together a lot of my outfits.

And can we talk about the fact I’m wearing a crop top? This 1996 top from H&M was 100% stolen (in idea, not physical item) from my gorgeous friend Liane because she put a picture of it on Instagram and my brain went ‘I was born in 1996. I need it’ then I searched it on the H&M website and suddenly I was getting the long sleeved top and this cropped top (for next summer) for less than a tenner? Because student discount and free delivery is my best friend.

But I’m wearing a crop top! And I felt okay in it! I wouldn’t say confidence is tip top of my list but I wasn’t self conscious about it and I wanted to take outfit photos in a crop top? You can see my lil tum poking out in some of these pictures! This is such a huge deal for me – a year ago, I was super self conscious, I was living in leggings and massively oversized t-shirts, sweaters and jumpers but now I’m somewhat comfortable wearing a crop top or a tee that’s actually a bit tighter around my stomach and I’m really pleased with this progress.

This isn’t to say I’m going to stop trying to lose weight, because I am but I’m taking the approach of getting healthier and losing weight is a consequence and I’m sure my confidence will only grow the healthier I get. Either way, I’m really happy with the mental and physical progress and I love this outfit a lot.

The fake Timberlands are mens Primark, if anyone was wondering. Though I’m sure they’re not.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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if only my boyfriend wanted to take nice pictures

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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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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January Favourites

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

January has been a fairly eventful but a really slow month so I’m welcoming February with open arms. These are a few of the things I loved in the January that went on forever.

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Fitbit Flex: a new toy to help me lose weight! So far, no results but I am doing way more exercise and I love the app that goes with it, even before I had the Fitbit I used the app. I wrote about it in more detail earlier this week in my first venture into a proper health and fitness post: top 4 tips for starting a health kick.

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My bullet journal: again, I’ve written a blog post about this too but considering I couldn’t find the diary I wanted and I’m not sure if I’m doing a proper bullet journal or just making a lot of lists but it’s working for me and the more I use it the more I’ll get into the ‘bullet journalling’ part of the bullet journal. Again, fully post I wrote earlier is here: starting a bullet journal

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28 Day Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Guide – Kayla Itsines: another favourite I’ve already written about but that means I really like it, right? This book has really helped me understand my body and how I should treat it to get it the shape I want it to be. I’ll link it again in case you missed it before: top 4 tips for starting a health kick

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Attack on Titan: I know this is a picture of a game, this is not my favourite – the TV show is what I’m talking about! Lucas and I started watching it in the summer and now I’m a little bit obsessed. I’m really glad that season 2 comes out soon because I need more. It’s melodramatic and the episodes are too short but it’s just so compelling and there are some amazing female characters and I really like the music.

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Once Upon a Time: Sure, I’ve only just finished season 1 but I really do love it, I love fairy tales and Disney films and bringing it all together with brilliant actors and magic and flashbacks and Sebastian Stan and I have like five more seasons to catch up on.

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Strawberry and kiwi water: The first time I’ve ever taken a picture of an empty bottle (mostly because I’ve drunk all of the flavoured water I have). I’ve decided to quit coca cola in the past few weeks (17 days and strong) and this is a really nice and pretty healthy substitute and I’m going to buy so much of it next time I’m at Sainsburys. So much.

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Saltrock Clothing: It’s a very nice brand of clothes but it’s also a really nice place to work. But the clothes are genuinely really nice, some of the stock is 90% off right now so I thoroughly recommend going to give the website a look.

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One line a day – a five year memory book: as someone who has an intense fear of forgetting things, being able to look back on five years of memories when it gets to 2022 (now that’s a scary thought!) just makes me really happy. It’s part of my night time routine and it makes me really happy.

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Passengers: I really love films and I love writing about and discussing films and I really enjoyed this film – it was an awesome concept and brilliantly executed, the soundtrack was beautiful and it was so emotional, it was almost psychological in a way. I’m not sure if it’s still in cinemas but I thoroughly recommend seeing it.

(And not just for Christ Pratt’s lovely bottom)

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Gridtangle elephant: Right, this definitely needs some context – I follow bitsandclips on YouTube, Marie (bitsandclips) runs a crafting group called #cuppacraft and she often organises monthly challenges. This month was to do a line drawing, draw a 30-square grid over the top and colour in a square a day for the whole month (minus a day). I don’t normally do the crafting challenges because I’m no good at crafting but I thought I’d give this one a shot and I thoroughly enjoyed it – I loved how I planned out all the colours and how relaxing it was to do every day and I love how it turned out.

And those were the things I loved this month, if you liked this post give it a like and leave a comment about what you’ve been loving this month!

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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resolutions for 2017

2017, lifestyle

Hello!

New Years is a funny time of year for me – I love the idea of leaving a year behind and starting afresh, very ‘new year new me’ kinda thing but also I get very scared by the passing of time and the thought of a year ending and I might not have made the most of it and it’s all very daunting.

So I thought I’d do a very generic New Years Resolutions post because whilst it is very generic, it really helps me focus and I love reading other peoples resolutions posts, both because it’s very inspiring and I’m kinda nosy!

In 2016, my resolutions were to:

  • Take more photos for my blog
  • Write more travel blog posts
  • Make changes to a healthier lifestyle
  • Write more creatively
  • And use the scrapbook I bought

Some of these were more successful than others – I have used my own pictures for 99% of my blog posts this year, even if they’ve just been iPhone pictures, it’s made me much more thoughtful about what I use pictures of and allotting time to take photos.

I’ve written more travel posts, I’ve definitely failed at getting healthier, I’ve barely written anything creatively and I don’t think I’ve touched my scrapbook except when I was moving into my new flat and that was just to put it in a box.

But I’ve found this year that I don’t want to make such generic resolutions – I’m going to make more of an action plan and then hopefully I’ll feel in a better place to actually do them!

I’ve broken my resolutions down into three categories; personal, creative and university goals.

My personal goals:

  • Being healthier (I’ll explain)
  • Exercise more
  • Focus on dental hygiene
  • Be a morning person
  • Be more careful with money

Right, I know everyone says they want to be healthier and I know it’s really stereotypical but I’m really going to kick it into gear this year because I hit a weight that made me actually cry – my friends and family have told me I should be happy with my weight and myself because I’m ‘fine’ but I’m not and if I’m not happy with myself then I need to change it.

I intend to do this by getting a couple of books on diet and being healthy to understand more about food groups and what your body needs to be healthier – I don’t know where to start and I want to educate myself because then I feel like I’ll know more about what I need and what to do in terms of what to eat and how to exercise.

And then there’s money – it’s a goal of mine to get out of my overdraft and really start saving some money for travelling next year. I’m thinking about it this way: if I want to travel I need to save for it, so every time I want to buy something I need to think about that purchase directly taking away from my travelling money for a trip to somewhere new. It’s worked so far!

My creative goals:

  • Keep learning about photography
  • Maintain my blog and YouTube channel
  • Make sure to keep trying out new content
  • Start writing again
  • Find new creative outlets

I consider myself a creative person – I’m so happy with how much I learnt about photography last year and I want to carry that into the new year by continuing to grow, continuing to maintain my blogging and start a schedule for YouTube and by continuing to find new ways to express myself. As long as I actually make sure I’m really regimented with my time management, I have time for all of this.

I know I’ve talked about writing a lot – I did manage to write about 30,000 words of my novel over the summer and I daren’t add up how many words I’ve written in blog posts (with posting five times a week over three blogs?!) but writing used to be something I did every night, sat on my laptop in the corner of my parents’ living room and I want to get back to that. Whether it’s fanfiction, random little creative pieces or finally finishing my book, I need to make writing my hobby again.

One thing I want to work on is being more adaptable – my upload schedule might change a bit as uni gets busier or quieter but I need to work on not beating myself up if I miss a day or if I don’t get that perfect picture or if something isn’t as successful as I planned.

My university goals:

  • Stay motivated
  • Stay organised
  • Keep trying new things
  • Keep putting yourself out there
  • Work experience

This first semester has been my best academic year so far – I went into this year knowing it counts and knowing I wanted to do well, the only way I can do that is if I put the effort in to get the grades I want and that went pretty well for me in this first semester so I’m intent to maintain that in the new year.

 

Work experience is something I think every university student is looking for – work experience, work experience, work experience. I always intend to get really good work experience – particularly following work experience at Channel 4 in my first year, so this year I’m going to apply for as much as I can and get some work experience I’m really proud of under my belt because work experience is the kind of thing that stays with you after university.

I know this post is really long but I feel so focused and I’m almost excited for next New Years (despite aforementioned fear of the passing of time) to be able to look back and see if this long ass blog post actually made a difference to whether I did these things!

Thank you for reading, please share your resolutions in the comments!

Sophie xx

 

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