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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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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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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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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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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