Sunday, 13 November 2016

My Fitness Journey

I'm writing this straight from brain to keyboard because I can't be bothered to edit, sorry in advance if this a nonsensical mess xoxo

When I was younger, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. In Primary school I was one of the few kids to go up at lunch time - not just for seconds, but for thirds. From the age I was old enough to get pocket money, I would go down to the corner shop and buy as much chocolate as I could afford, come home, and eat all the chocolate bars one after the other. At the time I didn't think it was a big deal, I hadn't even heard of the word 'Binge Eating'. While my sisters ate normal portions, I would have double at dinner time. I used to believe that I always had to finish my plate, no matter how full I was. This caused my stomach to expand bigger and bigger, meaning it took more food to make me feel satisfied. I would snack on 1,000 calorie sandwiches (homemade - 1/3 block of cheese, 2 slices of ham, 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise) and sometimes think that wasn't enough so add a packet of crisps to that as well. Pudding was not a treat, it was a daily occurrence.

I didn't know anything about health. As I got older, I gained more and more weight (about a stone a year) I finally started to admit to my bad habits. I became one of the typical 'dieters' who would eat semi-healthy for a day or two, feel really proud, and then just fall back into bad eating. All the while I was doing no exercise, and P.E. lessons were a nightmare at school, because I found everything so much harder than the others, which wasn't surprising given I was carrying an extra seven stone more than them.

Throughout University I stopped gaining weight, but I didn't lose any either. I worked hard to eat all the fruits and vegetables I needed, but I was still eating junk, drinking a lot, and did no exercise. When I got my first full time job I started to lose weight, not because I was eating any differently, but just from doing physical activity. People started commenting"Wow, you've lost weight, how are you doing it?" and I never knew how to respond, because I wasn't trying. I joined a gym and went one to two times a week, still eating junk, I managed to lose more weight.

Once I'd lost a stone, I stopped losing weight again. Excited by the progress I'd made, I looked into nutrition, when I learned the amount of calories/fats/sugars in some of my favourite foods I was shocked, and although I kept eating them, I started eating them less, and less. The thing that really helped was getting interested in the nutrition of healthy foods, like Flax seed, Matcha powder, Kale, Spinach, Fruits, nuts, seeds etc. I learned healthy fats for unhealthy fats, the amount of protein I should have for my weight, how many carbs, the benefits of cooking your own meals vs eating processed, ready prepared food. I knew about health, so now I had no excuse.

I have a ways to go until I reach my ideal weight for my height, but I know for the first time that I will get there. The progress I've made is only just starting to show now that I'm more consistent with exercise. I can run for the bus without getting out of breath, I can lift 150 pounds with my legs, I can be on the cross trainer for almost ten minutes  (when I first got on that thing I couldn't make it to two minutes...) I've finally learnt how to motivate myself.

I will write a longer blog post on some tips and advice, but here's a little for now:
Bad eating stems from bad habits, habits take a long time to undo, so do it slowly, and congratulate yourself when you succeed. Small successes mount up to big successes. The best piece of advice I ever received on weight loss and being healthy was from my mother "Don't think of this as a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change" this still motivates me a lot, so thank you mum!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Weekly Inspirations


Doctor Strange

I saw this a few days ago and it was much better than I thought it would be. I usually have high expectations of Marvel films, but knowing next to nothing about this character, I went with an open mind. This is stunning, go see it for the incredible visual effects alone. Doctor Strange is a funny, rude, stubborn kind of hero and the plot is a little different for a superhero film. I want to see it again!


Ru Pauls Drag Race

They put all seven seasons on Netflix and ever since I've been binge watching my way through all of them. For those living under a rock, the premise of the show is for drag queens to compete against each other in challenges to win the title of America's next drag super star. Not many shows challenge conventionals norms quite like this one, my favourite part (other than the costumes) is when the queens get personal and reveal the often haunting pasts they have had to deal with, and the struggle of ultimately becoming who they are with no apoligies. A must watch.


I heard this song on the Show 'Luke Cage' on Netflix and I instantly had to pause the show and look this up on Youtube. The lyrics, the rhythm, the style, everything is on point.


The Island of Doctor Moreau

A friend let me borrow this recently, I don't think I'm the fairest judge of this because I'm not the biggest fan of science fiction, however I did enjoy it. Its a very short read, about a man who is lost at sea and happens upon an island. I can't tell you much more than that without spoiling the whole plot.

Naked Lunch

I was not a fan of this. The 'plot' is really just a series of tiny stories from a lot of dfferent character points of view, mainly about drug use. There's a lot of vulgar language and graphic descriptions. Its a non-linear narrative that makes abosultely no sense, the only reason I read to the end is because some parts are beautifully written, and it takes a lot for me not to finish a book, it was bad, but not that bad.

Helter Skelter

I loved this manga! A friend got this for me a while ago but I lost it somewhere under my bed, so when I had a clear out I found it and immediately started reading. This is about a singer/performer who is what society deems 'perfect' she is the definition of shallow, as the story progresses you see the extremes she's willing to go to, so she can look perfect. The illustrations are beautiful, I already want to read the next one.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Send me nudes: A lipstick love story

There's something understated, yet incredibly chic about a nude lipstick. Its the equivalent of wearing foundation, in the way that it evens out the skin tone and makes your lips look like a more polished version of itself. For what felt like years, I'd been in search of that elusive 'your lips but better' shade, but for anyone darker than an NC35 (MAC terms) it can be difficult to find a nude lipstick for your skin tone because there's not as much choice. Although over the years (and thanks to the 90's dark brown lip trend coming back) there are more nude shades than ever for darker skinned people to choose from.

The first nude I discovered was Charlotte Tilbury's matte revolution lipstick in 'Birkin Brown' which in typical Tilbury style, comes in stunning packaging, mine looks worse for wear because its always in the bottom of my handbag.

'Birkin Brown' is a pretty, warm toned, brown nude. Its a slightly darker, warm toned version of my own lip colour. The Charlotte Tilbury formula of matte revolution lipsticks are some of the most comfortable mattes I've ever worn. It a very light, thin texture - practically weightless, feels like you're not wearing lipstick - that sets matte on the lips and doesn't feel drying.

Gosh have a great range of matte lipsticks that I only discovered last year. 'Raisin' is a cool toned, pink based nude. 

Its much lighter than Birkin Brown - if you're any darker than me in skin tone, you may want to pair this with a darker brown lip  liner to make it more flattering. Good formula, dries semi-matte but doesn't feel drying, a thicker textured lipstick. Velvet finish.

'Toolips' is a stunning, cool toned, dark plum, brown nude. Ideal for very dark skin tones. I am obsessed with this shade, it goes with every make-up look. Its the balance between casual nude and statement nude.

'Toolips' is from the new 'Ultra Satin' range by Colorpop which I've fallen in love with recently. Its a semi-matte finish, super pigmented formula that feels comfortable on the lips all day long. In fact, this is the most comfortable matte out there. I prefer this range over their 'Ultra Matte' formula which can be very drying and uncomfortable not just throughout the day, but upon first application. I hope they make more shades in the Satin formula!

My perfect nude, the ultimate 'my lips but better' will always be the soft matte lip cream by NYX in the shade 'Berlin'. Its almost the same colour as my actual lips, but a much more warm toned, smooth, matte version. The warmth in this brings life to my face, makes me feel put together, but in a casual 'I didn't try' kind of way.

I applaud NYX for really considering every skin tone, they have 34 shades, ranging from vivid brights to daytime nudes, whatever skin tone you are, you'll find at least three nude shades to suit you from this range. I guarantee.

NYX soft matte lip creams are some of the best liquid to mattes you can find on the high street, and they're very affordable. Its a light, almost mousse-like texture that glides on effortlessly, and dries down matte, this can be a little drying, but if you put a thin coat of lip balm on underneath, it shouldn't be too uncomfortable throughout the day.

As you can tell, all four shades are pretty different when you see them side by side. These are my all time favourites, but I also love the nudes in the Kate Rimmel collection, Revlon do some great shades for all skin tones, and MAC do every shade you can think of, but I find most of their dark girl nude shades are in the 'cream sheen' formula ie: not matte.

A beginners guide to fitness

I get asked a lot of fitness related questions, how do I find motivation to get in the gym? What exercises are best for weight loss? I...