Banishing Easter Guilt

Banishing Easter Guilt

Happy Easter and Happy start of April!

This blog post is all about Easter Guilt.

Over the last week I have seen so many articles focussing on how bad Easter eggs are for you. Ranging from calories to how many burpees you would need to do to burn them off… for real?! Though I am not surprised, it is pretty sad to think that Easter (and the opportunity to eat Easter Eggs) comes round once a year, and we are being told not to enjoy it!? These sort of articles just make people feel bad. Unnecessarily. Because sometimes you need a treat. There are so many of us worrying about our health anyway, these articles are just damaging, not only to our idea of a healthy balanced diet, but to self confidence too. So here are my thoughts on eating Easter Eggs at Easter time!

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Having a healthy balanced diet: I treat myself. Otherwise, quite frankly, I’d go loopy. I have tried diets- and they just make me miserable. A healthy balanced diet means I eat good 80% of the time. In the other 20% I make room for Easter Eggs, the odd glass of wine and a meal out if I choose. Depriving yourself is really bad, deprivation simply leads to binging, which leads to unhappiness. AKA, a vicious cycle, and an unhappy you. I do not claim to be a nutritionist, but if you check any out, they are forever disproving myths surrounding diets. Often they prove that a healthy, balanced diet is the way forward. So as I’m sat here, hell yeah I’m eating an Easter Egg!!

But what about my weight? I have never, ever, stepped off of the scales feeling anything but inadequate. For me standing on the scales is the worst possible thing I could do for my mental health. I could be on a real health kick, for weeks- but the minute I step on those scales, I can lose it all. I automatically go from feeling positive about myself and expecting to see a physical difference, to thinking ‘pass me a chocolate bar, this healthy eating has done sod all for me’. Every time I do the same thing. I get upset, I compare myself to others, I wear baggy clothes for a few days (and binge) and then I give myself a pep talk. Because they really are only numbers. They don’t define me, nor my worth, or my health. I have always been heavier than I expect. But I end up assessing my life in general. Do I eat healthily 80% of the time? Yes. Am I active on a daily basis? Yes. Am I in a positive mindset the majority of the time? Yes. I know I am healthy.

One day will not make me gain weight: Have you ever gone to the gym and lost weight after a day? Nope. So this one day of eating an Easter Egg will not make you gain weight. Think of this as a day off. Granted, one day at the gym gets you one step closer to where you want to be, but these moments of indulgence will not have an impact on the long run. Especially not when mixed with a health diet the majority of the time. If you feel bad, go to the gym an extra time this week or squeeze in an extra 15 minutes work out.

Easter Egg Guilt: We live in a world where people are counting calories left, right and centre, there are apps for it, books for it and DVD’s for it. The celebratory seasons are the worst for it, whether it’s Christmas or Easter (the two biggest seasons of enjoyment), we have calorie counts rammed down our throats. When the reality is: I love skittles and wine. Sometimes I don’t ‘deserve’ them, but quite frankly the idea of ‘working for’ these indulgences is ludicrous. It’s two days a year. Real life has to come first sometimes. I am certainly not prepared to start turning down pudding at the Easter roast dinner, or ask everyone not to bother getting me an Easter Egg this year. Life is for enjoying!

What I am trying to say is, future you isn’t going to think ‘I’m really glad I didn’t eat those Pringles on the 28th February’, it’s all about moderation. If you’re working towards a goal, whether that’s a number, a shape or simply a healthier lifestyle- patience is key. Results don’t happen over night. So allow yourself an Easter treat (or multiple), maybe it will give you that extra reason to stay good for the rest of the week, or work that little bit harder in the gym. In my case, I feel like it simply gives me a boost, my enjoyment this weekend will allow me to have a healthier mindset throughout the rest of the week.

We are entitled to enjoy our food. Life is for living and enjoying. Look after your body and treat it sometimes.

Bee xoxo

The Realities of Working Out

The Realities of Working Out

I am what I like to call: Fit(ish).

Fit(ish): semi-fit and a little bit podgy. Someone that likes the idea of being fit, but likes food too much.

I strive to be healthy. To me, this means two things. To be physically fitand active, and eat a healthy balanced diet. And mentally fit, whereby (to avoid mental breakdowns, and maintain sanity) I eat cake when and if I want it. I think it’s a pretty healthy diet. I would never want to resent being ‘healthy’ if it meant I couldn’t eat birthday cake, or have a takeaway every now and then. I’m a firm believer in treatin’ yo self. 

But that’s enough natter, here are some of the realities I have found with working out!

CARDIO:

Getting bored after 5 minutes of any form of cardio. I have always hated running. I simply don’t enjoy it. But I do try. (I’m far better at running out of money, if I’m honest)will.gif

Running next to someone and it feeling like a race. They up the speed, so do I. Bring it. run.gif

My running style: drunk woman slowly being chased by absolutely nothing.drunk.gif

When you take your headphones out and realise you were making panting/grunting noiseswhile you did cardio.sponge.gif

When people look at you while you do cardio.melissa

When you up the speed too much and your heart skips a beat, because you can’t keep up.gym.gif

Me doing cardio: ’20 minutes left. That’s two lots of 10.  It’s only 4 lots of 5 minutes’(then I congratulate myself on the 30 seconds wasted on that mental maths session)wil.gif

I like to think, when people see me jogging outside, they think ‘wow an athlete’, but in reality it’s ‘aw, good for her’.

Quite frankly, the best bit about running is the end.

I’ve honestly come to the conclusion that running is wrong. I agree with Miranda Hart,unless it’s running professionally, or as a child- it’s not OK.

SWIMMING: 

Is this just me? As a kid, at swimming lessons, I would convince myself there was a shark in the pool– so I would swim faster. Maybe I should imagine clowns on the treadmill behind me.shark.gif

MOTTO’S I THINK IN THE GYM/LIFE:

‘Sweat is just my fat crying’.

‘I may look like a potato now, but one day I’ll turn into fries and you’ll all want me then.’

‘I work out because I know I would have been the first to die in the Hunger Games.’

‘I wear all black in the gym, like a funeral for my fat.’

REGRETS: 

When your ‘cheat meal’ turns into a cheat week.shame.gif

Stepping on the scales and seeing no change after weeks of exercise: ‘off to Krispy Kreme I go’.donunt.gif

Leaving the gym feeling great, waking up the next morning feeling like your legs are hungover.
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FIBS:

Aim:to be the weight I told the app I was.

‘Drink more water’ they said, ‘it will be good for you’ they said. I’m weeing ALL THE TIME.

(Last time I did that 2 litre a day thing, my Mum sent me to the Doctors thinking I had diabetes.)

My summer body expectations vs reality. summer.png

Embracing your summer body like at least my flipflops still fit!fat b 2.gif

So there it is, a page full of GIF’s, personal experiences and life contemplations, from a Fit(ish) individual with some serious love for cake. 

Coffee Architects Brunch Date

Coffee Architects Brunch Date

Hello everybody!

This morning I brunched with my friend Hannah in a really sweet place called ‘Coffee Architects’ in Leamington Spa. I took some pretty pictures and thought I’d share them with you!

It’s a really little coffee shop and a bit of a hidden gem in Leamington. It’s just off of the Leamington Parade and has about 6 tables in the main coffee shop. Hannah and I got there at about 9.30 and there was already a queue outside the door. This actually turned out for the best, as we were then sat out in the garden, under a canopy, with heaters, blankets and hot water bottles! It’s so pretty, with bunting, little plants and fairy lights. I was in Instagram heaven!

I ordered a tea and some French toast for breakfast and it was amazing (and huge!).

Here are a few of the photos that I took!

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Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

Bee xoxox

BALTIC HOLIDAY: COPENHAGEN, DAY 1

BALTIC HOLIDAY: COPENHAGEN, DAY 1

Hello everybody!

This is my first blog for a little while and the first of my Holiday Blogs from my Baltic Cruise.

I am writing this now, sat on the Ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg in the attempt to distract myself from the sicky feeling I’ve had all day. I’m not sure if it’s making it worse, but I’m gonna use these 3 hours to get these blogs done so they can upload asap! So far I’ve written 2 lifestyle blogs and watched Sing. Yes, I made sure I was sat near the TV so I can watch the Disney Films. I came on as a foot passenger on my own, which I actually found pretty nerve wracking, but I did it. It’s what I like to call “adulting” and it’s generally something I’m pretty crap at! I’m panicking a bit because I have no friggin idea where my luggage was taken but lol we will find that out later! Anyway- onto my first stop- Copenhagen!!

I have never cruised before, so it was a totally new experience to me and I loved it. We started by flying from Gatwick, London to Copenhagen, Denmark. It was a decent flight and the hotel was beautiful! It had big spiral stair cases, lovely arm chairs, beautiful windows and was splat bang in the middle of the city. We dropped off our bags and headed out to a coffee shop.

I took as many pictures as I could without being run over my cyclists- because they were EVERYWHERE. It’s such an awesome system, and I noticed that in other parts of Europe bikes are far more incorporated in the road lay outs. Like our English cycle lanes are put to shame by these! A lot of people were going home from work when we sat in this coffee shop, and it just looked so normal. Guys in suits and a helmet riding bikes, children on the back and the odd bike with a dog in the basket- all on roads. It’s awesome and I think the UK should try a similar tactic. There were barely any cars.

It was a shame we got to Copenhagen later in the afternoon as it meant we had limited time to explore. As a History nerd I tried to reel in the urge to drag everyone to cathedrals, churches and places of historical significance- because I know it’s not everyone’s “thing”. So I didn’t get to see the Little Mermaid, but I guess that means it’s an excuse to go back!!

We went back to the hotel, got changed and went to a very nice (and scarily expensive) Steak House. I had a burger and it was delicious. And totally huge.

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The whole day of travel meant that Jack ended up not feeling too well in the evening, so we did something I think started off our holiday perfectly. Other may disagree. We watched Batman in bed. I feel like sometimes exams, jobs and ultimately the pressure put upon students to earn lots in the summer meant that Jack and I were shattered. We had had no break between exams and summer work and Jack in particular was working crazy long hours. So that first night of good sleep and watching a film was perfect.

Day 1: mostly travelling, taking pictures, watching Batman and getting a good night sleep!

Hope you enjoyed reading- the rest of the holiday blogs will be uploaded soon!

How I manage stress.

How I manage stress.

No matter which degree you do, there is always going to be some sort of deadline and ultimately pressure! Likewise, there is shed loads of pressure in school, college and everyday life, so I am going to show you how I manage my work load.

Side Note: I am a real worrier, I would worry about worrying if I could. Everyone deals with pressure differently, I personally go from being OK and feeling in control of my life one day, to feeling like I am drowning in work and there is nothing I can do about it. So throughout the last few years, I’ve picked up ways to avoid the intense stress.

Organisation

  • Clear Desk: even if it’s just before bed you do a quick sweep of the desk, organise paperwork, put things in their place and set up so that you can start fresh tomorrow.
  • Desk Organisers: this just makes your life easier: pots, boxes, files etc.
  • Lists: revision timetables were never really my thing, but having a list of priorities always keeps me on track.

Find a place you are comfortable working.

  • Having lived in Halls of Residence, it’s fair to say you don’t get peace and quiet all the time. I personally found that it was easier to walk to a study space and do my work there. Nobody cares if you’re in your pyjamas or even bring your slippers! Universities are usually pretty good at providing lots of study areas for Students- make the most of them.
  • If you don’t have this option (like me now that I am off of campus) then make sure you use your time wisely. It’s common knowledge University students don’t get up early, so I make the most of this, and start my work at 7am, when the house is quietest. Yes, it’s early, but if you smash an essay, it’s so worth it.

Set up Camp.

  • Whenever you are ready to work, you do it. If you get a sudden urge to write, seize the moment. Sometimes I’m just not tired and for some random reason feel buzzed- I start writing or planning. It doesn’t matter when you complete tasks as long and you get enough sleep.
  • When I know I am going to be sat at my desk for a long period of time, I make sure I am ready for it.
  • First stop- Coffee. I allow myself one every 30 to 40 minutes- that’s my revision break.
  • A snack, in case I get the munchies.
  • My paperwork and notes neatly stacked around me.
  • Be comfortable, have a shower, feel clean and fresh and put some pyjamas on.

Have realistic targets.

  • I make sure I aim to achieve something and work until I do- but be realistic.

Do things for yourself.

  • Facemasks: I personally love the L’Oreal clay masks at the moment.
  • Paint your nails.
  • Retail therapy.
  • A coffee with friends- particularly friends who are equally stressed, then you off load and feel much better.
  • Eat GOOD food. From experience pot noodles are not the best for brain power, cook something, take half an hour to make a pasta dish, or put some chicken goujons in the oven.

Email people who can help you.

  • Whether that’s mentors, tutors, teachers, bosses- even just to clarify something minor, if it means you feel good about what you’re writing its worth it.

Sleep.

  • Just means you don’t zombie your way through the essay.
What I Eat in a Day

What I Eat in a Day

25/10/2016

Breakfast:

  • Scrambled egg and half an avocado, with piri piri salt on top (don’t knock it til you tried it!)
  • Vitamin drink.
  • Coffee with lacto free milk.

Coffee Shop:

  • Soya Latte

Snack:

  • Chocolate orange rice cake (from Aldi- they are the best invention of all time!)

Lunch:

  • Crackers with lacto-free cream cheese and (other) half an avocado sliced.
  • Pineapple cubes.

Snack:

  • Granola Bar

Tea:

  • Tagliatelle with chicken, goats cheese, peas and mushrooms.

Side note: Tuesdays are my busiest day of the week, and I am on campus from 10 to 7, so I have to make sure I pack a lunch that will fill me all day. As someone with a few allergies, I am still trying to work out what is best for me and my diet. Fruit and vegetables is always a pain to squish into my diet as I am allergic to quite a few and of course, the milk situation doesn’t help! So I try to keep a rounded and healthy diet, but am open to any suggestions!

I Tripped…

I Tripped…

Today was one of those days! 

  • I woke up this morning with a sore foot, looked at it, and there was glass in the sole of my foot.
  • We then did pre-reading before we left for our first Lecture at 11.
  • No Seminar Tutor arrived to our Lecture, so we went and got coffee!
  • I then had 2 more seminars and 1 lecture (Tuesdays are my least favourite).
  • Went to the library to get some books out, heavy books.
  • Met my boyfriend for another coffee.
  • Walking back from my final lecture I face planted the floor. I have these stupid desert boots, and they lock together. It was so embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve fallen over like that in about a decade. Luckily it was only Hannah and a random, very nice, old lady, that saw.
  • I stood there on the verge of tears, with bleeding hands and grazed knees through my BRAND NEW jeans. I got them yesterday. I was most upset about this.
  • We then drove home and I ate a high carb pasta dish and did minimal work to make me feel better.

Observations:

  • Students don’t clear away glass properly after they smash one.
  • My automatic reaction when I face plant is to yell ‘s**t!’
  • When you don’t live on campus, the amount of stuff you carry around is ridiculous.
  • Desert boots suck.
  • I learnt about the history of the cod piece today.
Is it just me?

Is it just me?

The last 24 hours:

  • Jack and I watched ‘Saving Private Ryan’ in his University Halls.
  • We had pre-drinks with his flat and played games: ring of fire, never-have-I-ever and ‘f**k the dealer’.
  • Went to Freshers Festival.
  • Ordered Dominoes from the Student Union at 3am.
  • Ate Dominoes and got to bed at 4 ish.
  • Woke up at midday and had chicken wings for breakfast.
  • Watched Bridget Jones, though Jack was slightly forced into it (he loved it!)
  • Walked to Warwick Fusion Bar and had sweet and sour chicken balls, Jack had chilli beef and noodles.
  • Walked to the gym and signed up.
  • Walked back to Jacks accommodation and packed our bags.
  • Caught a bus at 6.10pm to Leamington Spa.
  • Popped into McColls (the local shop) for pizza for tea and ran home in the rain.
  • Watched the apprentice.

Observations:

  1. I need a waterproof coat.
  2. Our oven still doesn’t work.
  3. Sometimes Fusion is stingy with the amount of chicken balls they give you.
  4. I am basically Bridget Jones.
  5. Mosh pits in clubs are horrible, horrible things.

Lesson Learnt:

  • I should stop wearing my hair down in clubs. I don’t know if this is just me, but I’m sort of armpit height and when people dance, my hair get’s stuck under their arms and it’s genuinely terrifying.
  • Oh and wearing trainers to the Festival was definitely a good shout.
Exam Stress and Tips

Exam Stress and Tips

This time of year is crazy stressful for most students, whether that’s School, College or University. So I’ve put together a list of things that have helped me through it, and hopefully will help others!
1.       Sleep!
Unbelievably boring tip, but key to fully functioning the next day! Never underestimate the power of sleep.
2.       Yummy Food!
I seem to always crave the unhealthy foods when I revise, so having a pre-planned scrummy snack or meal to look forward will stop you munching the bad stuff. I personally love snacking on strawberries, a cereal bar or even some cucumber and a dip!
3.       Treat yourself!
Around exam time, I find a little bit of retail therapy goes a long way. I love online shopping, I often browse online for clothes in my revision breaks or even right before bed.
4.       Pamper yourself!
I am a firm believer that relaxing in a bath, or having a hot shower after a stressful day helps everyone feel more on top things. At the moment I am loving the Dove Derma Spa self-tanning Body Lotion, I find it so refreshing after a shower and it gives me that summer glow that I love. It also smells amazing! I like to use a facial scrub before bed and have a liquorice and mint tea to relax.
5.       Leave your room!
I am a complete stress-head and have a reputation for locking myself away and working on projects into the early hours of the morning! It’s just not healthy, and personally I find my brain can focus for no longer than an hour at a time. So I take a break, grab a coffee with friends, go to the gym, even a trip to the shops. Get that booty moving and refresh that brain!
6.       Organisation!
As a complete lover of all things stationery, I like to make sure everything is in its place and labelled! I have files for my books and pots for my Sharpies, highlighters, fine-liners and pencils. The organisation of your desk will really help you make the most of that revision time. Plus, I am a flash card girl all the way: bright coloured pens and bubble writing is my thing.
Hope this helps!