Healthy habits, does chocolate count?

body confidence, food, health, Personal Experience

Day 14, 3 healthy habits, 30 day blog challenge.

I am slightly over weight, a sugar addict and lazy! So writing about 3 healthy habits seems a bit hypocritical however. I am trying to tone up and loose weight so I have change 3 things which is definitely a healthy habit.

Farewell Diet Coke

Like most people when they start dieting you give up the heavenly full fat drinks and swap them with diet drinks.

I became addicted we are talking 8 cans a day of Diet Coke. If I was hungry I would have one, every meal including breakfast I would have one. I felt like the fact that it had no calories meant that I could have it all the time.

Wrong

I started cutting back after Christmas when I ordered 3 crates of coke and Gav said it wasn’t healthy. When you rely on something too much then it’s a bad habit. It need to be kicked so I stopped.

I cut it down to two cans a day. Which was still a lot but at least it was something. This year I decided to cut out plastic water bottles. So cans of coke are harder to find.

Cutting back

When I went on holiday to Bulgaria I failed with my plastic bottles and diet coke wasn’t as everywhere so I treated myself to full fat coke!

But when I returned from holiday I didn’t buy any coke. At work I swapped my coke for squash because for some reason I wasn’t drinking enough water. I know squash isn’t that great. But I am drinking 4 litres of water everyday.

Swapping coke for water and squash is definitely a step in the right direction.

As you saw from my fridge yesterday there is no coke for either me or Gav. We both have a can but I still haven’t drunk it yet! If will be my Sunday treat!

Aurevoir chocolate

I had a lot of twix o’clock at work. Basically I now understand that I am an emotional eater. If I am upset then or annoyed then I want chocolate. Twix O’clock became a 2pm habit. I like to reward myself for everything!!!

It had to end. I am not going to deny myself chocolate but I definitely do not need it everyday. But a few times a week is fine. My skin doesn’t appreciate too much sugar so it better to cut right down. Plus I love celery so I cut it up and pop it in Tupperware. When I want to eat I something I can tuck into my cut up veg.

How good does that twix look!

Getting my arse into gear

So my last healthy habit is walking home. I get the bus to and from work. Living and working in London means that public transport is super cheap.

We now have lighter evening so roads and pathways don’t look so scary. So far I have walked home 3-4 times every week for the past 2 weeks . The weather hasn’t been great but it hasn’t stopped me.

My body is grateful for the exercise and fresh air. Plus it’s spring, so all the blossoms are out and my Instagram and a few of my blogs have had spring themes and lots of blossoms on them.

When I get home Gav meets me at the door with Frank and we go and walk him in the park. I have a wee bit more energy and my skin looks better.

Even though I should not reward myself I don’t feel so bad for eating a piece ( a whole bar, I am a compulsive eater) of chocolate.

But walking isn’t just about physical health. My 45 minute walk home clears my head. I listen to music and zone out. Walking has left me in a meditative state. I come home happy. The weather hasn’t bothered me.

I have given myself a task of 70000 steps a week and so far I have smashed it. I just need to keep going!

In summary

When I was photographing this I wanted to hurry up so I could drink the Diet Coke, it’s 10am so I will make myself wait! I also ate the celery, yum and will eat the chocolate later.

I am trying to be healthy, getting fit for the wedding. I have saved money walking home. I am saving roughly £24 a month so… I am going back to the gym. It’s only £36 a month and I miss it. I can go before work, my work mates go every day.

It about changing your mindset and creating a habit that you stick too. I am drinking more water (squash) walking home and cutting out my chocolate snacks for fruit and veg!

Things are getting better and I am feeling better!

Watch this space!

What’s in your bag? My super unsexy backpack tour.

Personal Experience

Day 9, what’s in your bag, 30 day blog challenge

So firstly this isn’t my bag! It’s my good friend Abi’s bag. My rucksack is crap. When I used to run home it would always come unzipped. Once I was running and these things started flapping round my head, it was my jeans and half my cloths were strewn across the market place.

Nightmare.

Perfect half inched bag

Abi was moving to Australia and was going to through out her beloved bag pack that had gone everywhere with her. She was planning on throwing it away, I said I would look after it for her but it is the best backpack.

I will give it back I just need to find a replacement!

Anatomy of a rucksack

So starting with the front pocket I normally have my keys and head phones. Can’t do public transport without blocking out the noise of everyone else. Plus I have 30 blogs to write and the bus is the only time I have to write my first draft.

In my next pocket I have some essentials like my first aid kit! Hand sanitizers a few pens and my wallet.

So exciting hu!

Planning with planners

Then my main compartment I have my two bullet journals… my wedding one and my day to day one.

My pencil case, no idea why I have pens at the bottom of my bag. It has pretty much everything in it. I may do a mini blog on my favourite stationery and what’s in my case. You should understand that even though my case says Gryfindor I am a firm Hufflepuffion!

Warm clothes

It’s cold at the moment and my big curly hair doesn’t like hair dryers but to dry naturally so I have my blue snowboarding hat in it. So when I walk to the bus stop it doesn’t drip down my back.

I also have packed a jumper in there! I wear it to work but I get too hot on my way to work and also on the walk home. This is actually Gavs jumper and I am wearing it, I do love men’s clothes.

Makeup bag

I don’t wear a lot of makeup most days I wear just sunscreen. But if I go out or if I look like the absolute worst then I have my makeup bag. This is actually a pencil case from Primark. I can’t tell you how great it is. It opens out so you can see everything and I just love the colours.

My last makeup bag was a silver Elemis one. I have had it for about six years and it was just starting to fall apart. I hope my new one lasts as long!

Reuse

The last thing I have in my bag is a spare shopping bag well two. A plastic one and a very sexy string bag that holds an enormous amount of shopping. I love it. The plastic one is for meat and the string bag is for everything else. I also use any room left I have in my backpack.

I don’t have a water bottle as I am trying to cut down on plastic. So I just have water at home and work.

Summary

So my backpack is filled with such excitement. I actually loved writing this. It’s sad isn’t it. I love Abi’s backpack. It holds so much and when I run ( haven’t this year) and it doesn’t undo as I run.

Fear only holds you back, so what am I afraid of?

confidence

Day 6, what are you afraid of, 30 day blog challenge.

We all know that fear holds us back from achieving or doing things so here are my fears.

Being safe

Like most people the older I get the more I fear things. I worry about walking home in the dark about being attacked or worse. I also fear that this may happen to my friends and family and it petrified me even creeping into my dream and haunting my sleep.

Personal safety is a crazy thing to fear but I do.

My father has always made me aware of personal safety but as I have gotten older I have stopped taking risks. I don’t need to put myself in a situation so I don’t. If I can I get the bus all the way home in winter rather than walking through the underpass. I do. I am not feeding my fear, I am just being smart.

Chamonix Aiguille de Midi

Heights

When I went to theatres, I would sit in my seat freaking out at how high my seat was. I wouldn’t enjoy the play, it would paralyse me until the second half when I would finally relax. A few years on I was training to be a theatre designer. I started working on scaffolds changing the lights etc. I had to do it.

I pushed myself to do it.

My knees locked, My breath gets shallow. It is a proper fear. I also have to face it on the slopes.

Snowboarding is very high up but I mainly feel the fear when I am on the chair lift and it stops. I hate it when it stops. It bounces and scares the shit out of me. I have learnt to not focus on it.

Aiguille de Midi, Gav trying to hold himself together

The picture is of the glass box in Chamonix. You feel so unsafe that it will just shatter at any moment. Gav teased me the whole queue and then just as were about to step in he had a break down! He laughed like a crazy person when the fear struck him. I couldn’t focus on myself just looking after him. He had talked about his fears before but they had never manifested in front of me.

We faced our fears hand in hand, him a maniac me trying to support him!

Snakes

I lived in Australia for a while. Snakes were an actual thing. In Dorigo we had Red Belly black snakes which are the stuff of nightmares.

I still have nightmares about them. I know on the whole snakes aren’t bad and they just eat vermin but when the darkness comes in….

Bauhaus architecture at Flaine

Failure

I think everyone fears this. It’s what holds us back most in life. I do have regrets, most of them are about stupid things I have said rather than choices I made.

When it comes to my friends I am a good listener and try to be balanced. I give sound advice ( I hope) but when it comes to me, I close my ears, shut my eyes and dream.

I stayed in retail far too long and I can only blame a certain boss for that for so long. She had a talent for putting you down so low that you just wanted to prove yourself to her even though she was full of shit. A calculated bully with a vapid existence. It was still my choice to stay!

Fear held me back and I changed job, still in retail but a different role. Now I am still technically in retail but it is a complete contrast.

There is a lot I still want to achieve in this life and only fear is holding me back.

can’t believe how deep this challenge is! So tell me, what holds you back?

Low energy, no motivation is the couch my new best friend?

body confidence, Fitness, health, weight loss

It may be the holiday blues. I may just be being hard on myself but at the moment when I come home from work I don’t want to do anything. We eat dinner and then the couch gives me a hug and then I hop into bed.

I have lost my mojo.

Low energy

I wake up at 5am every morning. I stretch, do yoga, shower, eat a nutritious breakfast and head to work!

Nope

I do wake up at 5am give or take 20minutes. Only because the dog gets lonely and starts barking. As we don’t want grumpy neighbours or a grumpy Gav! I go downstairs and bring Frank upstairs for morning cuddles and a lie in.

I am not a faffer. I like to get up ( for the second time) shower. Have a cup of tea.

Mmm tea

Then I take Frank for his morning walk to stretch his little legs. Give him his breakfast. Then me and Gav walk to the station together which is my favourite part of the day!

I hop on a bus, get to work and have my breakfast. I can’t eat first thing in the morning so I get to work early so I can have my last cup of tea and get ready for work. I have food at work so it’s easy to prepare.

Sorry for the boring bit!

No motivation

When I get home I don’t want to do anything. Cooking and cleaning are the last thing I want to do. I am not motivated at all. The couch is calling me, along with Netflix and YouTube.

It is hard to start exercising when you don’t want to get your arse off up the couch.

I know what I have to do. I need to change my eating habits, I need more healthy foods and to exercise. Which is easy to say but not execute when you have no motivation.

None

Action

My whinging is boring me. So today I walked home. The sky threatened to rain the whole way but didn’t. And I found the most beautiful Magnolia blossoms which I would not have seen or smelt this incredible tree if I had got the bus!

I stood under it in awe.

I am planning on walking again tomorrow and go for a run at the weekend.

This is the plan.

Plan

  1. Swap unhealthy for healthier snacks
  2. Meal plan
  3. Meal prep for lunches
  4. Walk home 2-4 times a week
  5. Run 2-3 times a week

That’s the plan. I needed to be held accountable for my actions and my weight. After a week of exercise my body isn’t in bad shape, my stomach got a bit of a toning but now is not the time to back track.

I have to push myself. I don’t want regrets, I want to be proud of myself.

My body has been good to me so far. My health is good and it has got me through a lot!

So I will still be having my nightly hug with my gorgeous couch!

I want to look good for the wedding and then keep up the fitness up afterwards. My walk was unplanned so I didn’t have headphones but I enjoyed it, it’s a solid 50minute walk through nice streets.

I just have to push myself and stop making excuses!

Wish me luck!

Self Help books should not make you feel guilty

Advice, Organising, Personal Experience, Planning

Life can get hectic and we can do a few things to sort our selves out. Have a mini break down, scream and shout, focus on the issue, break it down into manageable chunks or if none of these work then just seek help.

Self help books can aid us in this, if we need them. I have always scoffed at them myself until I read the magic of tidying. But to be honest with you I didn’t know it was a self help book.

I just thought it would help me with tidying!

We shouldn’t feel guilty about being stressed and seeking help

I have a Becky and a Gavin in my life. Two Cancerians who are so to the point and brutal that I have never ventured into the world of self help books. There guidance has been all i needed. When I was struggling about keeping on top of my mess I found this book. But it helped me declutter other parts of my life as well.

Bullet journaling

Time flies when we are struggling

Things can get on top of us quickly, it is called snowballing for a reason and it can get out of hand quickly.

I had a boss who used to say “if you had to, how would you deal with this” his voice is often in my head when i am frustrated in a situation. If I have to fix a situation then how do I even if i feel it is impossible.

If I am not wedding planning on the busthen I am day dreaming about Josh Brolin.

Life gets in the way!

You should never feel guilty

More people are talking about thereanxieties and daily pressures. I think that the best way to deal with things isfirstly to know when you are not being super productive and also knowing whento stop!

I didn’t realise I was reaching for the self-help books until someone said you read a lot of them. I have read a total of 4.

  • The life changing Magic of Tidying (which is a pure joy and I recommend to everyone)
  • Getting your sh*t together (which just repeats itself constantly and swears a lot but its 3 main points where good Phone wallet and Keys)
  • An Edited Life by Anna Newton
  • An ebook about blogging…..

Two of these are more about organizing butthey are still self-help books.

Same message in Each Book

If you have ever read a self help book you will find that they are extremely repetitive, i think that half of it is to get the message across and the other half is just filling pages. But the message is generally always the same. The main one being…. What do you want out of life, what do you hope to achieve.

It’s a bit tricky when you are not sure what you want. Or even what I don’t want. There are certain things that I do want but are they goals or have i just watched too many Instagram posts and my favourite Youtubers?

 I would like more pennies in my account at the end of the month. A healthy looking Savings account. A new kitchen oh yes, a bathroom upstairs. A Chloe handbag, travel a lot more. explore more of great Britain because it gets torn apart in this Brexit fiasco.

Ironically saving for the wedding means that I have realised how much money I can save. At the moment I am saving a bit too much to have a decent life balance however, I can still save easily 10% of my wage every month. So I will.

I can make this change

I can save for a Chloe bag……

I would like a better kitchen. I love myhouse, it is pretty perfect. Do I wish it was bigger? yes. But we have a 3bedroom house ( no I don’t want children) but if I did change my mind therewould be room to cage them (joke). I meant cage one (still joking). I wouldlike a kitchen that opens onto the garden rather than a bathroom that looksover the garden. Our savings have proved that we can actually afford this andafter the wedding and honeymoon this is what I will be looking into. I am not havingbig dreams of a designer kitchen I just require things like a surface next tothe sink. A dishwasher. None of these things fit in my perfectly sized if not awee bit small kitchen. All this could change!

All self-help books ask you to do is figure out what you want. But honestly I like my life and my job. I would love to work less and travel more.

Self Help conclusion

Self help books are there as a guide to aid you in your quest (you are on one or you wouldn’t have picked it up). You shouldn’t feel guilty if A, you don’t achieve what you wanted or B, it doesn’t work for you c, you think that the author maybe nuts or just a money grabber (ebook about blogging that I don’t want to list)

I heard recently that people read or listen to self help guides but they don’t follow it to the letter then get disappointed by the lack of results. So this chap said follow what they say and try it for however long and then tweak it. Don’t get half was through tidying and think I can listen to music… or watch Netflix ( sorry Marie Kondo) because she is right it is distracting.

There is nothing wrong with personal development. Trying to find what works with and for you. There is also nothing wrong with following your own advice.

Its like a bad relationship…You are only ready to move on with your life when you are ready to move on with your life. Knowing better and being able to physically remove yourself from a loved one are too different things.

Been there done that, wore the heartbreak tshirt.

So never let anyone mock you for reaching for a self help book. Knowing you a problem or are just stuck in a rut is a positive step. But also don’t feel guilty if they don’t work, don’t make sense or a a piece of Crap.

I love my self help books.

I love organising and planning- I also love reading and watching people do the same.

What books Self-Help books have you read and loved…or hated.

France, Mum, Food and Wedding Talk

Flowers, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel, Wedding

My mum is my biggest cheerleader. She is impressed by pretty much everything I do which is great and much needed when you are feeling blue. France is one of my homes, her home. An army brat learns to make a home where ever they can!

This little blog is just about me and my mum, France, food and a bit of wedding talk. Hope you enjoy!

Lazy me

When I get to Jarnac I turn into loungy French me. I swan around the house drinking Kronenburg, nibbling of french bread and Port Salut. I am happy as Larry coming back home to France.

img_2754

We normally don’t stray to far from Jarnac as my breaks to see my mum are all about relaxation and family not travelling frantically about. We normally end up on the veranda, have big life talks or curled up at night on the sofa chatting nonsense.

Until my parents moved to France I didn’t think of it as a holiday destination which is crazy. I think for couples France is so romantic, chateaus, champagne and amazing food. France doesn’t have to cost a fortune and from Britain it is just a short flight.

Most people tend to go straight to Paris, the French Alps or the south of France and they miss out on all the beautiful cities and towns in between. If you want a relaxing, meandering, brocante filled long weekend then visit France.

I spent a long time on the lawn sipping passion fruit gin and tonics going through my mums floristry books. It so peaceful and beautiful.

All the weight gaining alcohol

This trip was a lovely lazy trip. We went to a vineyard and picked up Cognac Champagne which if you are ever in the area you must try. It is delicious and very rare even in the area. I bought all their stock they had left which was two bottles!

Yum.

My mother is kindly supplying our toasting Champagne from a local vineyard and we cant wait. It is light and not bitter at all, we had it at my brothers wedding in proper champagne glasses ( which I wont be having: tiniest gripe).

All the yummy food

Mum has been learning more french recipes and Eggs Mimosa  is definitely my new favourite. This was one of the best lunches of all time, light and refreshing and enough left overs that I could have it for tea the next day.

img_2755

We went to a few restaurants and had amazing steak at both! our aperitif was a lovely Cognac Schweppes.

Although my mum is a wee bit stressed about making my bouquet everything else she is really relaxed about. She cant wait. We had a slightly stressful conversation about the legal part of our ceremony which I am still annoyed about. Annoyed that I have a legal ceremony not the fact that she was talking about it.

It has kind of grown from two people to immediate family but hey, thats okay. It just means our super fancy meal at the Holborn Dining rooms will be at a great affordable London Pub instead.

My sister referenced Kate Winslet’s wedding and I said yes, just like that! Well we all know I love Marianne in Sense and Sensibility!

We also talked about Videographer’s and prices and my brother suggested that I stop focusing on creating these magical Youtube moments and just pay someone to capture the whole day. I think he was right and me and Gav discussed it and we are now just looking for someone to capture our day.

Nothing Fancy

Just withing our budget.

And that’s what I need to focus on. Not creating a stupid Pinterest wedding I need to create a beautiful wedding for me and Gav. A moment in time when our friends and family can drink and be merry.

That’s what we are focusing on, oh and our budget.

At this moment in time I would like to be under our budget not over it!

when I left France and my mum is was so hard. I had to say goodbye to so many of my family in such a short time. My mum is coming over to help with the invites and wedding planning but that’s not till the new year.

Till then it will just be Skype!

Bon voyage mon ami!

Wedding Fitness, Calorie Counting: Can I drink and diet?

Advice, body confidence, Fitness, health, Personal Experience, Wedding

I need to focus on my wedding fitness and calorie counting is helping. I know what you are thinking, I don’t have to diet for my wedding. I should just be happy in myself. My body isn’t terrible but I don’t like it.  Body confidence only works if you like what you see. I can’t convince myself that I look good because I don’t.

I don’t.

I thought I would share with you things I have changed. My drinking habits and how I have had to improve with my diet. Wedding fitness is not just for that one day, but the years after it.

I want to be healthy!

d11252ea-bcf0-4614-854f-305e8e994398

Pints of Larger in Val D’ isere, Apres Ski

Drink

When the cooler months glisten at our doorstep I love a large glass of red in winter (204 calories). In warmer months it is a large glass of cold white wine in my hand (214 calories). But I don’t have one glass, nope, I will have three which is roughly 600 calories…. Your average intake for a woman in 2000! So 600 may not seem so bad but if like me you are a little overweight then those calories add up.

I am less active in the winter, I don’t run or walk as far. So those calories easily turn into pounds.

But I don’t just stick to wine, no.

Not sure there if there is anything better than sitting in a pub, next to fire, puppy at your feet big roast dinner on its way and a lovely pint of ale. You will find me with Doombar (203 calories) and Wandel (185) with a great big smile on myself.

Holborn Dining Rooms

Favourite Place in London, Holborn Dining Rooms they are all gin!

I like a drink,I like to eat. I don’t like moderation so much.

This doesn’t mean I drink all the time, just when I want to relax.

We have a wine rack, it is rather large. Gav bought it online, it is half a champagne rack and holds 60 bottles. It is completely full. We have wine bottles on the floor stacking up, when we have dinner parties we rarely touch it, which is crazy.

Do you do that, buy a new bottle rather than open one you already have?

If I meet up with my friends we will meet for drinks, we have dinner with food and then a few drinks before we hit the road.

If I am travelling by myself then I generally don’t drink too much. I like to have glasses of water when I drink so I stay hydrated. Not a fan of hangovers so I am also not some one who drinks right up until I go to sleep.

I like a drink and I am not going to change that

My friends like a drink too.

I had to cut back, because it is better for my skin and the number of calories are in alcohol is ridiculous.

My main weight is on my belly so that’s food and booze. My beer belly!

My drinking habits had to change… bye bye ale.

Not including holidays and festivals, I have had about 10 beers this year. Wine I have just monitored but prosecco is just a waste of calories!! 80 calories in that tiny glass!

Hello Gin

A single gin and tonic is 59 calories and because my dad taught me how to pour gin and tonic I have always had doubles which contains 112 calories as long as you use slim line tonic. This is one of the best drinks for calorie control. I can plan a few drinks or just burn off the calories.

My gin has gone from Bombay Sapphire to about 30 different gins. I love trying them I even organised a gin tour in London with my best friend and it was brilliant.

bbdc29e1-fff0-4b37-a724-aa5120d0329a

Gin pamphlet I made for Becky’s Epic Gin Tour

I love gin but I don’t care for fancy tonics I am not a gin snob. Schweppes or generic brands are fine, I want to taste the gin! We have super expensive brands and also unusual ones we find in the supermarket on offer or on holiday.

I get a lot of gin for presents and I love it.

Except for the Ferdinand (Gavs Gin which is my absolute favourite) we just open a bottle and drink it. This picture of my gin trolley was when I first bought the trolley. Now I have so many gins they are on both trays and now on the floor under the wine rack.

bca1572f-6c5b-449a-8b8b-0611bf076104

I think the most important thing about being healthy is not denying yourself the things you love but understandingwhat you are putting into your body.

When you find out how many calories are in a delicious premade pizza (2000) you start to realise that it really isn’t worth your daily intake.

I said previously that I am using Lose it App. I get to monitor everything. Although it sounds crazy to be like that I actually like it. Scanning in my food, seeing if I have gone over my calorie allowance. It also lets you set an achievable goal. You can adjust it if you want to be more proactive which is what I have done.

My daily allowance is 1376 calories a day.

You can break it up however you like they have suggestions etc. I also put my weight now and what I have lost. It tells me that in 4 months I will lose another stone.

I don’t drink during the week now. I wait till the weekend now and mainly only if we eat out or if it’s a special occasion.

My gin sits expectantly on its shelf, tonic chilling in the fridge with the limes.

d271f661-7527-46a6-b8c0-498dd60c0b4b

Dalloway Terrace, London

So can I diet and drink?

Absolutely. Moderation is key and not punishing yourself if you do go overboard. I don’t miss it, and I really enjoy my drinks at the weekend.

I am not 20 anymore, I can’t drink without hangovers and I can’t eat without gaining weight.

With exercise and portion control I can do this.

Looking after myself isn’t a chore but it is a challenge, hopefully someday soon it will be second nature.

I see women running, sweating and trying and I just want to high five them all!

If you are trying to lose weight you can do it!

We can do it

Dana