Friday, 9 September 2016

Bad Blogger Babbling

Yep, that's me! Terrible.

I've neglected my emails, disappeared from Twitter and completed ignored my blog. Why? Because I have been unbelievably busy. I mentioned in a previous post how I only seem to blog when I am feeling a bit down in the dumps, but literally every weekend recently has been chock full of activities with friends and it's been bloody fantastic.

I'm actually procrastinating right now, because I actually have another project I'm supposed to be working on, but I currently don't have the mindspace for it - anybody got any tips for that? Believe it or not, I'm hoping that this project is going to change my life for the better, and give me a whole lot more peace and a lot less anxiety.

Actually, whilst I'm on the subject of anxiety, I'd like to ask a question - when you say you don't want to do something because it makes you feel anxious, why are there so many people in the world who don't think that is a valid excuse?!

Anxiety is horrible and I know a lot of my friends feel the same way I do about particular situations, whether that's going to a friend of a friend's house, going into town, or knowing when to leave a situation, so I think nothing of it when a conversation is cut short, or they turn around and say "I don't want to do that."

There's no need to ask why, or persuade them otherwise - because that just makes things worse. I recently had a situation where I said I don't want to camp in a tent at a festival for two nights because I don't like slumming it and not knowing the state of the toilets, or if there's any loo roll or leaky tents or brushing your teeth without a sink just fills me with dread and it makes me never want to leave my lovely warm house with heating and sofas and electricity and a kettle...


Anyway, they just didn't get why I felt that way, and didn't understand why I couldn't shake the worry that the toilets were going to be unusable (like the last time we went camping and I was in tears because all the portaloos were blocked, covered in mud and other muck, and I couldn't just "go in a bush") ... but anxiety is real and it's horrible and nobody should have to make up excuses about it.

For anyone's reference, when having a conversation with an anxious person who doesn't want to make plans, it should go like this:

You: "Hey let's go to that party my sister's friend is having this weekend!"
Friend: "I'm okay thanks, I don't really fancy it."
You: "How come?"
Friend: "Crowds and loud music make me anxious, but I hope you have a good time!"
You: "Oh no problem. Let's make plans another time, you choose the time and place if you want?"

Literally, it's that simple. The conversation should NOT go like this:

You: "Hey let's go to that party my sister's friend is having this weekend!"
Friend: "I'm okay thanks, I don't really fancy it."
You: "No, you HAVE to come,  my sister loves you!"
Friend: "No really, I won't know anyone, it makes me anxious."
You: "Ah you'll be fine, I'll be there and you know my sister and I'll introduce you to Joe Bloggs. There's a BBQ and I already said you'd go anyway."
Friend: "Yeah no sorry I can't make it - just remembered I'm babysitting my neighbours cat that night, but have a good time anyway!"
*Friend then steals neighbours cat for the night in case someone pops round and the lie is revealed - extra points for Instagram pics with the cat*


Seriously, if somebody says they don't want to do something because it makes them anxious - just don't push it. It makes things worse. Also, don't do things last minute - we need time to mentally prepare for shit. Don't just turn up on my doorstep because I will probably be socially awkward, inviting you in then making you feel unwelcome because you're in my space and I'm not okay with it.

Phewww, glad I got that off my chest! But on the other hand, there are some ways to deal with anxiety when you're thrown into a situation you're not happy about, and these are my top three:

1. Tell someone you trust and get them to help you make a plan/excuse to leave.
2. Deep breathing, glass of water and smile, smile, smile - at some point smiling will turn into talking and you'll soon stop overthinking the situation and settle down.
3. Leave. The taxi can stop at a cash machine if you've no money on you, or you can get a bus or you can walk or you can even ring your mum.

So anyway, now I've loosened up for the evening, I think I can crack on with a few other blog posts, and stop neglecting it!

Please also feel free to discuss your experiences with anxiety in the comments below - I'm no expert but it's nice to know you're not on your own sometimes.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Proactiv+

A while ago, I was sent some Proactiv+ products to trial for 8 weeks. I'm probably one of the worst for skincare, I tend to take my make up off with a baby wipe at the end of the day - and sometimes I don't bother at all!

I had a bit of a rocky start to the year, and the stress was showing on my skin! I had exploded in spots which weren't going away, no matter what. So when I was offered some Proactiv+ products, I jumped at the chance.

We've all seen those adverts with Nicole Scherzinger, Adam Levine and Katy Perry - big budget celebs who claim to have horrific skin problems which have been solved by Proactive. Whether it works or not is up to us to find out!

The products I was sent was your basic cleanse, tone and moisturise regime - with an exfoliating face mask thrown in for when your face is feeling particularly crap. I was given an 8-week trial to ensure my skin had time to adapt to its new regime!

Step 1: Cleanse
The cleanser was really pleasant to use, and the directions were pretty clear. "Use a coin sized amount and rub into skin using fingertips." I know there's a good range of coin sizes, but it isnt exactly going to be a 5p coin, is it? So I went for a 50p size, but soon found that was too much, so reduced it down to 10p. The product felt great on my skin, the exfoliating beads small and not too harsh - but tough enough to feel like my face was being scrubbed clean!

Step 2: Tone
I LOOOOOOOOOVED the toner. It felt amazing and left my skin feeling refreshed. Again, instructions were clear, "use a pearl size amount and rub on clean, dry skin". My only problem with this is that it's alcohol-based, which I have read is something to avoid. But I'm no beauty expert and my skin felt bloody fabulous after it.

Step 3: Moisturise
This is the one product I took an immediate dislike to. I couldn't get the amount right, and no matter how much I used, it seemed to go on really thick, and then as I put make up on over it, it clumped up - kind of like when you're rubbing a label off something using water. Or when you've had suncream on and been all sweaty and you get horrible little rolls of dirt and skin.

But, it may have been my dry skin. Every beautician I have seen has said I have dry skin, but after using Proactiv+ for a while, it seemed to stop doing this, and I don't think it's as dry anymore.

I stopped using Proactiv+ a few weeks ago, because I got lazy and fell out of habit (I know, I'm an awful human being), but it was a great product and I really enjoyed using it. And of course, the moment you've all been waiting for.. the before and after! Please bear in mind that in the after picture, whilst I do have mascara and eyeliner on - I'm not wearing foundation. I never do when my skin is clear and you can truly see the difference! (With a few extra freckles because it's now the British summer and I've been soaking up the sun as much as possible.)


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Mindset Matters

How many times have you ready my blog and I've mentioned how disappointed in myself I am? How many times have I set myself goals and given up on them? I swear it's too many to count.

I ran the Manchester 10k today and was aiming to stay under 1 hour. I ran most of the time, not slowing for longer than 30 seconds at a time, and felt strong and crossed the finish line thinking that I was close, but I'd made it... Unfortunately not. I finished in 1:03! And my first reaction was disappointment and annoyance, but after stewing for a bit, realised that I hadn't trained at all. Other people had trained loads and got similar times to me. I'm still fit and healthy - I ran that 10k BECAUSE I CAN.


I CAN DO ANYTHING. I can walk and I can run and I can write and I can talk - basic things we take for granted but shouldn't.

I'm talking about this because I'm the type of person who will focus on the negatives and forget about the positives. The 10k is just the start this year. I'm going back to yoga and trying a new fitness DVD and I'm going to start walking/running to work now the weather is nice. I think having all these goals and shouting about them mean that I'm in a much better position where I would ever be if I had never even tried.

I know I keep setting goals and not hitting them, and forgetting about them but if I'd never started trying in the first place then I would probably be 15 stone and skint and thinking that I could never run a 10k. I forget how far I've actually come. In University I was overweight and lazy and I was in a very unhappy place - since then I have lost 2 stone (it was 3 but I gained one back) and I'm much much happier.

I CAN I CAN I CAN I CAN! I can lose weight and I can eat well and I can find the time to become the best version of myself!

I feel pretty on top of the world. Funny what exercise-induced endorphins can do.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Ramblings of a hungover marshmallow

God knows if anybody noticed, but I've been gone from the blogging scene for a while because I've been having way too much fun!

I started a new job which I love, there's been lots of events and I've been busy catching up with friends. It seems strange but I seem to blog much more when I feel a bit down in the dumps. 

I'm hungover today, which is probably why I'm in the mood to blog. I can't say for sure how much of a good post it's going to be, I just fancied writing a little bit, letting off a bit of steam.

We were at a friend's wedding last night and it was fabulous, but for me it's the end of drinking for a while. With no big events coming up, I haven't got any reason to get drunk or crack open a bottle of fizz. 

I've been wanting to stop drinking for a while now, it just leads to bad food choices and it makes me gain weight like crazy. Now I'm not going tee total, because I like wine too much, but I find that weekends are being written off because I'm feeling a bit grim and don't really want to move! 

I also recently had a mini-breakdown because I've gained a lot of weight. Now I am by no means fat and I don't want people to think I'm fishing - I just don't feel comfortable in my own body. A couple of years ago, I was getting to be extremely fit and I felt great. But life happens and working out moved further and further down my priorities. 

Then my wrist started hurting, I struggle to grip things sometimes, or put weight on it so push ups, mountain climbers and anything which involves bending my wrist is pretty much out of the question. I don't know what it is, I don't know why it happens but it hurts a hell of a lot, and sometimes I get so scared of it starting to hurt again that I talk myself out of going to the gym. I'm also bloody scared of getting DOMS too! I know that it's part and parcel of getting fit and being healthy, but it just becomes another excuse for me...

Anyway, today is a Sunday and I'm feeling tired and hungover and basically like a big marshmallow. I know you're not supposed to say "I'll start on Monday" - but I'm going to. I'm done with snacking for the day - it's 2pm now so my next meal will be whatever we're having for dinner. I usually eat pretty healthy meals, it's the snacking and binge-eating which kills me! 

I want to get down to 126lbs again - I haven't weighed myself recently and I'm not going to for a while. I'm guessing that abut 20lbs away, but my plan is to work hard and hopefully surprise myself. I've got a terrible habit of throwing myself in at the deep end, hence why I'm running the Manchester 10K next Sunday... But I want to be motivated and I want to do well! Argh, I've got all the talk and none of the get up and go. It's frustrating.  

We're going to be doing a food shop today, so I'm determined to stock up on salady bits and some quinoa. My plan is to just make a huge bowl that I can use for lunches and stuff. There's no reason why I can't lose this extra weight - I'm sat here watching Fat Chance, where this bloke is aiming to lose 80+lbs in 90 days. If he can do it, why not me? I don't expect huge results in 90 days, but I'd like to see a significant difference soon. 

Ah well, I'll stop babbling on about my insecurities now and leave you with a picture of my cat. Because he is adorable and I love him. :)