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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

the challenge: latest #fitspo inspiration - carly rowena

Carly Rowena

So it’s time for my latest fitness inspiration post, and this week I'm going to dedicate my whole post to Carly Rowena.  Firstly, where have I been? For whatever reason (have I been living on Mars?) I've only recently discovered Carly, but the obsession has grown quickly, I'm talking watching back to back Youtube videos, (I'm seriously working my way through the archives over here), and marathon blog post reading sessions.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm fan-girling right now, but what’s not to love? She’s got a great bod (just look at those abs), which 95% of the people I follow on Instagram have (it’s great workout motivation) but she’s also got a really good attitude towards health and fitness.  She really encourages balance, so if you want to eat 5 chocolate Easter eggs you can…ok, so that’s a lie, I'm just trying to justify my weekend, but if you want to give in to the chocolate cravings or enjoy several cocktails then she tells you to go for it, just make sure the rest of your diet is on point, so it doesn't end in one big binge.

Carly Rowena

 And because she’s a Personal Trainer, as well as a blogger, she’s also super clued up and knows her stuff.  Offering blog posts that are advice-led, such as ‘What to do when you hate exercise’ – how I wish I’d read that post a long time ago, it might have encouraged me to start shifting my ass a lot sooner in life, and ‘Top 10 reasons you aren't seeingresults’. I think when you’re on a big fitness/weight loss push, it’s easy to become disheartened and to lost motivation, so I’d definitely recommend heading to Carly’s post to give yourself that boost you need. 

Her blog is straight-talking, she’s honest (don’t expect to see results without working hard) but she comes across as the loveliest person, and she enjoys a drink, so I'm pretty sure we’d get on…
P.S. If you've been reading my post for a while, you'll probably already know why I'm on this crazy health kick, but if not, head on over here and read this post - I'm in training and raising money for Pancreatic Cancer, if you'd like to sponsor me that would be super lovely of you.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

the challenge: week 12 - an update

Gym Gear
Can you believe it's been 12 weeks already since I started my training for Total Warrior? And started blogging again? Doesn't time fly when you're having fun...

So 3 months seemed like the perfect time for a little update on the ol' training, I did one at week 8, so I guess it's becoming like a regular feature.

Well here's a revelation, I'm still going strong after all this time, it must be a miracle...or the fact I've got £650's worth of sponsorship already so giving up isn't really an option now.  But in all seriousness, I am, dare I say it, getting into this whole 'healthy lifestyle' malarkey, I'm eating well (80% of the time), I'm working out regularly (6 days out of 7 when I can) and I'm really seeing improvements.

Turkey Salad
But the biggest news? I'm still running, and last weekend I managed 8k. yes that's right, 5 miles, I ran for 5 whole miles.  I maintained a pretty regular pace, and it wasn't the most horrendous thing I've ever done.  No, that was Sunday, when I decided to to do some hill that was painful.

So to tell you a little more about Total Warrior, it's basically a 10k run, with 25 obstacles thrown in there for kicks.  It involves everything from climbing up walls, swinging across monkey bars, jumping through fire (yes really) and plunging yourself into ice cold water.. I know, I'm insane!  While I've been told you don't actually run the 10k in one go as you wait around at points to get on the obstacles, it was still one of my aims to run a full 10k by August, and at the moment, I'm well on track to do that.

My second aim is to complete the monkey bars by moving across them using just my arms (i.e. not hanging upside down and using my legs too).  This is proving harder to train for because it isn't the type of obstacle you regularly come across, but me and the mr recently hopped a fence at my old primary school and had a quick go.  As a first effort, I don't think this is half bad...

But if anyone can recommend some tips to build up my upper body strength without having a pull up bar to hand, can you let me know?

And finally, I just really want to enjoy it.  I don't want the whole course to be so unbearably difficult that I'm just waiting to get to the end, hence the hill training.  I hate running, and I hate running up hills even more.  So I spent 25 minutes on Sunday running up a load of steps in my local park, jogging back down, and sprinting (I say sprinting, in my head I was sprinting, the reality probably wasn't so!) back up.  It hurt.  And it very definitely wasn't fun, but it's all in the name of charity.  

So that's it for week 12, do we reckon I can have hit 10k by the time we get to week 16?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

the challenge: 7 breakfasts

(Technically this is 8, but whose counting?)

Who doesn't love a blog post about food? It’s one of my favourite type of posts to read, I think that might be partly down to the fact I'm a greedy bitch, but also because I'm always look for an inspiration on new things to cook.  I really enjoy cooking, and have a plethora of recipe books, but it doesn't stop me reading blogs and Instagram posts for new ideas.

So, I thought I’d share some of the things I've been eating recently.  If you follow me on Instagram (go follow me, it’s all photos of food and sweaty selfies – who wouldn't want to see that?!), then you’ll know I'm on a mainly ‘clean’ diet (6 days a week-ish!) and have been pretty much using the Lean in 15 cookbook as my bible of late, but, I still like to create my own concoctions too.

Let’s talk about breakfast.  I'm one of those people who can’t really function without breakfast, those people who claim they can't face food in the morning, who are they?? I regularly wake up hungry, and immediately start thinking about what I'm going to eat… that can't just be me?
Anyway, for the last few weeks I've mainly been living off oats, I think it was borderline becoming an addiction, and my go-to breakfast was either porridge (with a plethora of toppings) or overnight oats with my favourite grated apple and mixed seeds.  However, in my quest to ‘get lean’ I've realised that I should perhaps be cutting down on carb-heavy starts to the day, and upping my protein (I feel like some crazy body-builder talking like this) so in the last 2 days that’s what I've done.  I am struggling though with having a super savoury breakfast and am missing my beloved oats, so if anyone can recommend some alternatives that would satisfy my sweet tooth, keep me full to lunch AND stay fairly low in carbs, then send them my way.

And here is a picture of some pancakes, because everyone loves pancakes! I wish I could take the credit for these bad boys, but I had these in Jackson & Rye in London a few weeks ago, and they were SO good… and part of my 1 cheat day a week plan, moderation and all that.


And if you're wondering why I'm talking all things health and fitness, and not a lot else over here these days, then you can read here all about my 2016 challenge to enter Total Warrior, and if you'd like to sponsor me, which would be amazing, you can do here.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

my mum - my rock

Me and my mum
Since my dad’s diagnosis, my mum has been incredible, I mean, I always knew she was amazing, she’s my mum but I've realised in the last 8 months that she is so much stronger than I had ever known! My dad’s illness is all new to me, I've never lost someone close to me, or known someone with terminal cancer, it’s been really hard for all of us, but my mum has been a rock.  My sisters and I all left home years ago, and I do what I can to make the effort to get home and help when I can, but my mum wants us to continue with our lives, she doesn't want our work to be affected and she knows she’s there to deal with everything.  I'm making this sound like my dad is really poorly at the moment, he isn’t, well he's doing ok, but he has been, and mum has spent endless hours sitting by bedsides, driving him to and from hospital appointments and basically putting their life on hold to try and get him through some treatment.  I know this is just the beginning of a tough road ahead, but mum just takes each day as it comes and maintains such positivity, I don’t know how she does it!
So when Co-op contacted me and asked if I wanted to receive a box of goodies to treat my mum on Mother’s Day, of course I said yes.  My mum implements a £2 spend rule on Mother’s Day, so I figured if I was gifting her with something I hadn't paid for then technically that passes, right?! So anyway, due to some postage complications (the parcel was sat at my neighbours for almost a week…) my mum hasn't got this yet, so I might have to buy (or bake) a cake to replace this one, (the Mr can’t resist a red velvet) but the plan is to surprise her next weekend with the perfect Tea Party treats.  And getting it a week later almost makes it even more special as it’ll be unexpected…at least that’s what I’ll tell myself.

Tea Party Treats

Tea Party Treats

Unfortunately it means we completely missed out on the #Twitterteaparty that the Co-op were hosting, but I'm more than happy to indulge in a glass of Prosecco, a cup of tea, and a good chin-wag, with my mum!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

the challenge: latest #fitspo inspiration

It's time for my second installment of fitness inspiration, it's been a month since my last one (which you can check out here if you are that way inclined) and it seemed like a good series to do as part of my new health and fitness journey.  And, there's nothing I find more motivating than a girl with a hot bod to get my ass off the sofa, and down to the gym.


So first up is Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup, I've read Anna's blog for years, and she's always been a much healthier and fitter person than me, but she's really upped the exercise this year, and is a real inspiration for me.  She looks fab, has great taste in gym fashion (that's obviously super important, right?!) and makes some tasty looking healthy dishes (these chocolate fudge protein balls are top of my 'to make' list).  I would definitely recommend heading over to her blog and checking out her 'fitness files' if you haven't already.


I'm sure I've mentioned Lydia over on this space before (I've got a real girl crush going on right now), but seriously could this girl get any fitter? It helps that her other half is also a super hot PT, so the power couple are great Instagram fodder (I'd recommend following them both).  But back to Lydia, she seems to have a really healthy and positive approach to her body, and really works hard to eat well and exercise hard, if she doesn't encourage you to want to work out, then no-one will.


So it's all about the fashion and beauty bloggers this week, and my third and final inspo is Sarah from A Million Dresses.  Another whose blog I've read for years, but last year she made a conscious decision to lose weight and get fitter, and she is looking amazing! Like me, I don't think Sarah is really much of a fitness/gym bunny so it really takes dedication and effort to achieve what Sarah has, I think she should be proud of herself and she's definitely spurring me on to keep going.

And that's my monthly round up of my fitness favourites, I'm always on the lookout for new blogs to read, and healthy fitnessy type people to follow on Instagram so let me know who your faves are too.
And if you're wondering why I'm talking all things health and fitness, and not a lot else over here these days, then you can read here all about my 2016 challenge to enter Total Warrior, and if you'd like to sponsor me, which would be amazing, you can do here.
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