Onsens let’s get naked and talk body confidence

Advice, body confidence, confidence, Travel, weight loss

Firstly if you think I have body confidence you are mistaken. My pale chubby body is not a sight for sore eyes, even mine. I have gained a little weight since the wedding and I am not happy about it.

I do appreciate my body, don’t get me wrong, it is fairly healthy and fairly strong but it does look way better by candle light. I do believe in women loving themselves but I also understand that having body confidence is all in your head. And confidence grows from confidence so you can judge me all you want but my insecurities are not going away with a talk about how I should be proud of my body.

I was

Now I am not.

So let’s get back to Onsens. Onsens are like hot tubs but more like a the kids bathing pool. They are hot, they have to be a minimum of 37 degrees and have a minimum of 19 different minerals. Two of the Onsens we visited were 51 degrees

and were so hot we felt like we were cooking!

Getting naked

Most places will supply you with a kimono dressing gown cover called a yukata,belt, socks and the most uncomfortable flip flops ever. They are heinous but slow you down. This whole outfit forces you to take your time and relax. I loved it so much and you can sleep in them too if you want to. The yukata not the flip flops.

The men and women are divided so you only get naked infront of other women, few.

You go to a room full of baskets. Turn your basket the right way up and fill it with your bits. I left everything in the room so I just had what I was wearing.

When dressing women tie at the front and men tie at the back. Also the left lapel goes over the top. The right only goes over the top when you are dead!

It’s not out of focus it’s just that steamy in Here

Modesty

There is a modesty towel. It’s fricken tiny it barely reaches from boob to boob but it does cover your vagina so you don’t need to worry about your front. The whole rest of your body is on display. Oh boy…. I am not sure exactly what I was so afraid of until an American goddess with a perfect body entered the room. She was leaving and I was getting in so I hid in the loo till she left.

Because I had no confidence!

A few rules

The first Onsen I went to the lighting was nice and low so it helped me build my confidence. No it didn’t it just meant I didn’t run as fast to the Onsen like I did in the second one. After my fourth Onsen I was a bit less caring about what only her people thought of me and more concerned with how long I had been outside for!

It’s a hot bath which you share, this means you have to be clean going in. They have these tiny stalls with tiny stools you sit on and wash yourself. There is soap shampoo and conditioner but you don’t have to get your hair wet at all. You must clean yourself to keep the experience as hygienic as possible.

There are also shower heads, taps and a cute wooden bucket that you fill and splash over yourself. When I was alone I really enjoyed this process as the room is heated by the Onsens so you stay nice and warm. It’s a strange but pleasant way to wash and if I could get an Onsen in my garden in London I would, not a hot tub an actual onsen.

So far I have been in a Onsen alone, with a goddess ( she joined me the next night) and with a Japanese family and then a room full of Japanese beauty’s.

It was all fine no one cared.

I will go in again and again and get the most of the Onsens. We are in Japan at a quiet time of the year so I have been lucky that none of the Onsens have been full. I need to work on my confidence. I also need to work on my body. It’s not bad but it could be better!

Tattoos and Onsens

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but tattoos are generally not accepted in Onsens. I found one out of the five I visit were accepted and that was because it was a private Onsen.

I bought some tattoo covers with me and these are exceptable but if you have larger tattoos then you might face some issues.

From what I have read the reason Japan hates tattoos is because years ago prisoners used to be tattooed as a punishment. Then the yakuza decided to decorate the tattoos even more making this punishment a rite of passage instead. Yakuza had a lot of control in Japan so Japan decided to ban all tattoos from Onsens this making a huge statement to Japanese gangsters that they are not welcome.

Flash forward to modern times and things are changing but it is important to respect the traditions. You are not going to change anything by kicking up a fuss.

How did I feel about my tattoo

Well, honestly I felt like it was a hindrance. I had the stickers and I had to buy more but I was more worried about being kicked out for having a tattoo which came with a certain amount of shame that I had never felt before. I felt better when I had a cover up or I snuck in when there was no one around! But I did feel like I was sneaking.

I am sure if you search for them there are plenty of places that have no care for tattoos but like I said, 4/5 did. And we traveled a nice amount.

An Onsen life for me

We squeezed in as much Onsen action as we could and I swear it helped with the jetlag as we never suffered any!! These baths are open air relaxation and I enjoyed them immensely. In Zao Onsen they hawks closed off the open site but bit you could see the piles snow, it was beautiful but we weren’t allowed outside.

Fitness update three weeks since I joined the gym, getting up early

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, weight loss

So I thought if you are not too bored of this newbieish gym goer then you may like to read this.

I am actually on my fourth week now and I am loving it. I am loving the feeling of improving my body. Every time I go I push myself and improve. The results are immediate in so far as the next time I go I can do it. When people say that fitness is all in your head they mean it. Because every time I think I can’t do it, the next visit I can!

I recently watch Jamie Genevieve fitness vlog and she said this gem of wisdom

” No one ever regrets going to the gym”

And she is right. I feel good when I leave the gym. I have energy that lasts me till about 3.30 and then I flag a little. My body looks better.

I feel better!

I still have work to do and a few more patches of skin to tone but I am happy about my body. I just need to keep it up.

Early mornings

I love my bed so much, so getting up early, like 5.45am is pretty god damn early.

I look like crap but yesterday even the sun wanted to go back to bed!!

But I have found that I need a gym buddy! I miss Jon laughing at me and introducing me to new exercises and machines. I asked Gav if he would join again but he doesn’t fancy it!

So I aim to go 3-4 times a week and so far I have done it! But I have to go early. Yesterday I came home and had a quick run around the park with Frank and he loved it!

I have to get up

I have to go

But when I get there I love it and it’s worth it. Most of the time I say I am definitely going the next morning. Then that morning I decide whether or not to hit the snooze button.

So this is my little update for my gym fitness. I hate getting up early but the benifits are paying of. I need the motivation of the gym and the support of my gym buddies. I have also started running back from the gym. Not a massive distance but I will lengthen it each week.

There is a park run on Saturday and I should really see if I can do it.

But we will see!

Pull ups I will defeat you, just maybe not today

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, weight loss

I was late

This is not good

I also forgot my towel which resulted in a very awkward towel and a very damp journey to work.

I also didn’t turn on my Apple workout so I have no stats for today which pissed me off.

Today was a challenge but I was ready for it!

more squats

I had to do kettle bell squats. I can’t do squats as we all know but I just can’t bend low enough. I had already warmed up with some dumbbell squats so I think Jon was just punishing me for yesterday’s lame attempt.

He made me do a weird thing where I had to tuck my elbows in and push a big barbell from my forehead up and then behind my head whilst lying down.

It was weird and I was slightly afraid of dropping it on my face and breaking my glasses. I didn’t really like it but it worked on my bingo wings so I was happy to try.

The ropes

He made me bounce a 5 kilo medicine ball over my head then on each side of me. The coordination guru in my was obviously amazing at this. Or not. But I could barely lift the 10 k ball. So I tried and have massive room for improvement.

I am still confused how I can pick up certain weights in some shapes but not in others!

Is it just me?

Jon forced me to try the ropes which I couldn’t do in the light ones but was fine with the heavier ones. Again why is that!

Finally we finished

Although it makes me a bit sad when we leave because I am getting into the rhythm of going to the gym.

I also had to do pull ups.

I told you guys I can’t do this, and it’s an aim of mine to be able to do it with me. I do find the women in the gym inspiring. There bodies are amazing and you know it’s hard work rather than just good genes, starving yourself or help from the knife.

So the pull ups! It was okay yes I was assisted. Yes I struggled but I did 3 reps of 10.

One day I will do ten by myself for now I am in training.

I am really enjoying learning.

I do need to push myself a bit harder but to me that is all about the learning curve.

Happy gym day

Gym Day 3 ended in drink and bubbles

body confidence, confidence, weight loss

Day 3 this may be the end of a friendship

So todays workout has left me sore and feeling muscles I am pretty sure I don’t actually need.

Abs a hoy

Today was abs day. The day that would transform what I fondly call my keg rather than my stomach to tone it up. I am not after a muscly stomach at all I just want it flatter. The main way I will do this will be my diet, as I shove a slice of dominos in my mouth. But exercise will help

Today we did

Bicep curls. Where I went from a 3 to an 8-kilogram dumb bell. Yay me!

Then we did a similar one but I had to rest my knee on a bench and pull it up. That was seird. I really do have to work on my posture as a lot of the time you have to focus on pulling your stomach in, straighten your back and stick your bum out.

For me this is all too confusing.

Then we hit the floor

I hate the floor. I had a real ad version to anything where my spine touches the floor. Unless I am in bed or the sofa I don’t really like anything touching my spine. I find sit ups legs up curls you name it so uncomfortable.

We had to plank for a minute- which I failed twice

I had to lay down and lift my legs. I must have really heavy feet because I really struggled to get to twenty, I guess as my body gets stronger, I will find these things easier but for now they felt near on impossible.

Impossible

Then he asked me to suspend my legs and using an 8-kilogram weight touch it on either side of my body. Suspension and co-ordination not so good.

But I did my reps

Nun Slut Machine

I don’t like these names but these are the pet names for them and this is all about toning your legs and thighs. One I had to push in the other out. The push in. The in one was a lot harder and although I don’t really want o focus on my legs its good that your whole body gets involves. Plus all of this helps your core.

I wasn’t as sweaty as I usually am and I didn’t feel like my body worked out as hard but I was wrong

My whole body was alive with awareness. Every muscle ached and when I got home, I needed a gin and tonic (Renegade Gin) and a hot bubble bath filled with Epson salts. I was also in bed just after nine so that I could appreciate the comfort of my bed!

Jon is giving my whole body a lesson in toning and strength I am learning a lot. Although I am not a fan of leaving my bed I am really going to miss these sessions and already I know that I need to change up my routine a lot in order to get maximum results. I do worry that I wont be confident using the weights a lone so I may have to schedule some more weight training with him.

5 Day Gym Challenge Will I Survive Day 1

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, Personal Experience, weight loss

My work wifehas challenged me to five days of gym, well five mornings

So I dutifullyexcepted I have no reasons not too. It is still pretty muggy in England at themoment so I don’t really want to lay in bed for and extra ten minutes, thenanother five.

Snooze button loves me did I mention it?

I am doing it but will I survive it?

Day 1

Day one he was late.

So I hopped on my favourite machine the rowing machine. Now out of all the activities I do this appears to burn the fewest calories but I like it. I like how rhythmic it is and how I try and burn more calories every minute. I normally do 5 minutes straight and move on to the next machine.

Today was no different, plus he still hadn’t turned up. So I did two minutes running whilst I waited.

I have never ventured upstairs in my gym before and it turns out this is where the more hardcore gymers fester. With their ripped abs and veiny necks, I wondered if I was in the right place. This apparently is where I would be trimming and toning this week.

He thought he would burn up all my Mars ice creams in ten minutes on this hellish machine that you have to run and with each step you move the machine. You add your drag and decide how long a break you get. It was so hard I walked most of it. Five minutes of this was not pleasant but I didn’t push myself hard enough so tomorrow I will have to try harder.

The machine from hell

Weights

Then he got me on the dumbbells . I am the biggest joke there is. The awesome lady next to me was pumping 8s so I was like, she looks strong I recon I can handle a 6. Nope,I have no upper body strength. So I wanted 4 and found I could not do that either there wasn’t a 3 so I tried the 2. And do you know what.

I struggled

But I did it.

The awesome warrior lady smiled at me and picked up a ten in each hand and smiledback proudly with my 2s!

I did thepush up on the bench exercise (so technical) and the reps where you bring themout to the side. My bingo wings are upset I am trying to reduce them. Tomorrow Iwill go up to a 3!

Legs a hoy

Then I tried the bar weight. The pole is 20kg and oh my got did I struggle. I couldn’t even add anything to it. Jon had to hold it the whole time in case I crushed myself. I also got the giggle a lot with this exercise, mainly because I am week. Tomorrow I am going to lift it from the floor. I can’t wait.

Covering up half my body is not what I want!

That was sarcasm.

Last implement of the day was a squat machine. Where you sit like a pregnant ladyand push a lot of weight. Finally, something I could do with ease. My legs haveall my strength. They are toned and muscular. Yes I have a wee bit off wobbleat the top but who cares. I love them and my bum. It’s a good bum.

It’s my stomach I am at war with. These exercises are going to be good for me. Today I feel energised and only a little sore. I probably won’t wake up feeling this ecstatic.

Oh and my Apple watch decided to pause so missed the majority of my exercise. Grrr. Still today is another day. Catch you tomorrow. Hopefully I will learn a few more gymwords so this can be a wee bit educational rather than me and my weakling body.

So I survived day one ….See you tomorrow

Dana

The downside to negativity

body confidence, confidence, self care, Uncategorised

I have mentioned before that I got into blogging because I had to do it for work and I loved it. My work has talk me a lot about positivity!

I teach art to kids and adults and with each lesson I dread the negativity. Children especially are very hard on them selves. They turn disappointment into sadness and comparisons. My classes that have been going on longer aren’t really negative anymore. They have learned to focus on their development instead of focusing on their friends.

I often ask them if they are happy with their work and if they aren’t we decide how to tackle it next week till they are happy. As hard as children can be they don’t dwell on things if they get distracted by good things and positivity.

I was writing about how learning to draw can be daunting and then I wrote this quote down.

When I wrote it down and it made me think. Why do we do it.

Why do it do it?

I am into a lot of self care at the moment but that’s not the same as being negative about myself.

Self doubt

With work I got stuck in retail for far too long because I didn’t think my skills were good enough. I didn’t see them as transferable and did not value the actual skill set I have. Yes I had a demeaning boss but she only aided my self doubt.

Gav believed in me

My friends believed in me so why don’t I. Why are we our own harshest critic. I don’t want to be an obnoxious overconfident person but why could I not see my own potential?

Body issues

I have started self tanning, nothing severe just a nice healthy glow. A few shades darker then my white befreckled skin ( I love my freckles)

I start with my legs and work my way up. I am okay with my body. Then I get to my belly and I turn my head in disgust every time!

You are supposed to apply in a circular motion but my belly is so big that I end up swishing it around. Chasing the flesh trying to cover it in the same amount of cream.

I hate it, it’s the part of my body that I hate.

So why the negativity

I hate it

My belly disgusts me. I am trying to cut back on drink ( I still drink just not during the week (as much)) I haven’t run during the heatwave because it’s a heatwave people! But I have been walking home to burn some calories.

I am not working hard enough I know but the truth of the matter is. I am being way to harsh. My belly isn’t horrific at all.

My negativity is holding me back from helping myself and being positive. Being negative isn’t going to make me think hey get your arse in to gear. Negativity is going to make me go, your belly is already big why not have another bar of galaxy!

This isn’t something that is going to change over night but it is something I can work on and get out of the habit.

Negativity is the worst habit!

Let’s try to be kinder to ourselves!

Makeup plan fail! Passport photos trying not to look like a pyscho!

Advice, Beauty, confidence, Travel

So I lost my passport and it’s been stressing me out. First world stress obviously as it’s for my hen do trip in just under 4 weeks.

So I thought hell I know I could write a little blog on what I did to prepare. Like a get ready with me plus prep.

I was so happy with how I looked a little extra mascara a bit more blusher. Umm no still looked like a pyscho.

Pre-care pamper session

So the night before I thought about it. I used the Philip Kingsley Eslastizer on my hair as a treatment rather than just a pre wash treatment.

Frank had a bath first of course. He gets jealous if I spend too much time in the bathroom. He loves a hot bath but I have to cool it down for him incase he cooks.

Any goo back to me!

Skincare

Used my Omorovicza cleanser. It’s gorgeous balancing luxurious and light. At the moments it’s replacing my Elemis, especially in the mornings if I was want to wake up rather than indulge.

So I haven’t used my baby facial in a few weeks. I was using it twice a week and then reduced it to once. I love it. I don’t find it too strong on my skin. I have had a few hormonal breakouts so my skin has been pretty grim.

I used my baby facial.

I love this stuff. It goes on and you feel a slight tingling and leave it as a mask for 20 minutes and wash it off.

Applied a wee bit of Matryxal because it’s my favourite product ever I think!

Then you are left with baby plump skin straight away and in the morning!

After I applied that I used my Guerlan night mask just to give it an extra bit of cushioning.

Pre care hair and skin done!

Morning of the photo shoot ha ha

The next day I woke up to lovely skin. Myi was so happy. So I decided as this image has to se me through the next ten years I better look decent.

So I applied makeup.

You can’t wear too much in a photo but just enough to highlight your features.

What I forgot was that passport photo booths wash you out! They strip back all the effort and I was left looking, well, like a psycho.

For the next ten years!

I redid it 6 times.

I looked awful in all of them! So I picked the best of a rotten bunch.

This photo will haunt me for the next ten years but hey ho.

At least I get to keep my European passport if this crappy brexit ever does happen.

I look like a pyscho

I should have applied more makeup!

But I am a proud European!