Doubts & concerns. A normal part of growing up.

6 months is a long time and yet it seems to go so quickly! That is how long it has been since I last wrote on here and I feel so awful for the fact I haven’t been keeping in touch more, but life has been busy both in and out of work and to be honest, I’m not going to beat myself up for enjoying myself a little.

For a while I thought about taking the blog down as I didn’t have the time I used to to devote to something which I created from scratch. Also, people change. The plans I had when this blog was started are so different now and I think that if anything my blog just needs a refresh. The most helpful posts for me have always been ones which are really open and real so instead of talking about fashion and beauty quite so much, I’ll be focussing more on real life. Of course, I still love all that stuff and that will feature, but think of this as a real insight into the life of your very average 20-something woman!

So what has been on my mind lately? For me it has been about whether I am good enough. What do I mean by that? Well some of the things which feature:

  • Am I being a good enough friend/girlfriend?
  • Could I be doing more at work/professionally?
  • Am I too fat and should I be working out more?
  • Am I too hard on myself and worrying about nothing?

The list goes on and on, but you get the picture. The worst part is, I know I am not alone in these thoughts as these are fears a lot of people I know also share in one way or another.

I work so hard and put my all into everything that I do and sometimes it just doesn’t seem enough. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to go for a run or a bike ride, sometimes I would rather just stay in all weekend rather than going out. Luckily, as someone who tries to look at everything from an optimistic point of view, I don’t get stuck in that slump for too long, but it does happen. Take the blog as a perfect example, I started something which I feel like I haven’t been able to finish. At one point it was something which felt like it defined me and now it’s not so great.

And why do we feel like this from time to time? The answer is that we compare ourselves to others!

When you compare yourself to others it is so easy to get in a rut. No two stories are the same, so how can you properly compare? Someone else may seem to have more in one aspect, but without a doubt they look at you and see something that they would like to have just as much.  Instead of focussing on what everyone else has that you wish you did, write a little list of the things you know you do well or have in your life to be positive about. It doesn’t have to be a long list, but the more you can add the better, even small things like smiling at strangers as that goes a long way for some!

I’d love to hear how you feel about this post! What are you biggest fears and concerns? Do you think you are too hard on yourself? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Workout Wear

So as well as not finding the time to write blog posts for you all, I also haven’t been finding the time to eat right or exercise and it’s left me feeling really self conscious and uncomfortable. I’m not afraid to share that I currently weigh more than I would like and have lost all tone due to not working out, but it’s not going to put me off. Sometimes when you feel this way it’s easy to get into a bad cycle of not wanting to do anything about it, but I am going to go the other way. It’s spurred me on to nip it in the bud and change my routines to make sure I’m making time for my health and happiness. And after signing up to charity row for Cancer Research next May, I’m going to need to be the fittest I’ve ever been! No time like the present after all…

One way that I motivate myself to go to the gym is to pick a super cute workout outfit. I’m a big fan of patterned leggings as they add some fun to what could otherwise be a very functional outfit. And I think they are flattering for all body types too! I have pretty muscly legs from years and years of gymnastics and yet I love the way they show off the good bits and hide the bad all whilst showing off my personality 🙂

I would always say that if you are going tight with the bottoms though,  that a loose top works best (which is also great for covering my tummy which I’m not such a big fan of) so I usually pick either a plain black tee of if I’m wearing plainer bottoms, then a nice bright colour again to match my personality and motivate me to train harder (although some days I do love a good monochrome outfit like the one below, which looks good to be dressed up if you have to pop into town first!)

Take a look at some of the outfits I love best that I already own, as well as some inspiration  and soon to be additions to my wardrobe from Adore Me’s new workout range! Adore Me’s new workout range! I mean how cute is the promo shot!!!

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And when I get home from a workout, there is nothing I love better than a snuggly autumn outfit! Autumnal clothes can be oversized and sometimes shapeless, but that is no need to feel frumpy. A cute choker necklace, statement shoes and a bold lip always help bring a femininity back to an oversize outfit and cute undies also help to help put a feminine spring back in your step!

Stay tuned to find out how I style myself when I want to be comfy and cute in Autumn very soon!

Lots of love, Leanne xxx

Slimming World – weightloss update

Hey everyone, check me out posting on the regs again! It feels nice to be getting back to some routine, but I still have a long way to go to get ahead of myself! I probably shouldn’t feel too proud as this is just the kicking off of my weekly Slimming World post but it is better than nothing right? 🙂

So quick update for you all! I have lost 7lbs in total since beginning Slimming World. I feel like it should have been way more by now, but being ill and going away set me back a few lbs so here I am! I’m getting close to my interim target though so a bit of focus is required to do all I can to get down to my ideal weight. I’ve also made steps to move to a new gym and get back into a good fitness routine as everything I have been doing recently has been a bit adhoc which I am actually super excited for!

My interim target is a 10lb loss and my final target is currently set at 17lbs so actually so far so good I guess!

Meal of the week:

This one is a bit tricky as to be honest I haven’t really been eating many proper dinners due to being so busy, however this has been a great opportunity to try out the Iceland Slimming World ready meals. I was sceptical but actually they are delicious, convenient and way healthier than any other ready meal I have ever eaten! And even better they are great portion sizes so I definitely don’t feel hungry after eating one 🙂

Don’t forget to share with me your favourite healthy recipes in the comments below as I always need new kitchen inspiration!

I hope you enjoyed this post and dont forget to look out for more over the next few weeks 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

It’s okay to feel flat, fat and fed up sometimes

Hey everyone,

I know I have been rubbish at posting blogs lately, life has been busy in general and after coming down with a horrible chesty infection a few weeks ago, going away on holiday and then having to deal with Andy’s broken wrist since being back it’s all been a bit much! However, I am slowing down a bit to commit to writing some more. Even when I don’t get to post written pieces though, there are always new pictures on Instagram so make sure you stay tuned there if you aren’t already!

This post is a little different for me. I’m focussing on feelings, emotion and life instead of fashion and beauty purely because my blog is like my little online diary. I’ve had a few conversations with people recently where they have confessed they haven’t been feeling so good but seemed so reluctant to talk about it and after hearing that some of their favourite posts of mine were the ones where I was really honest and myself, I was inspired. People several times a day ask “Hey, how are you?” However the only answer it seems okay to give is “fine thanks” which is a shame because if things aren’t fine it’s crucial to talk about it as it really does help! It isn’t something we really talk about, but why shouldn’t it be? So here I am doing my little piece to break down some barriers and to hopefully help start some conversations 🙂

I don’t know if any of you had the same perception as I did when you were younger? At 16 years old I felt being 24 was so grown up and that everyone seemed like they had it all together and yet now I’m here, I don’t feel that way at all. I don’t feel grown up or like a proper adult and I definitely don’t feel like I have my life together at all! Don’t get me wrong, I have a lovely life filled with many wonderful people and experiences and I’m always really happy and grateful, however this is not how I pictured I would be at 24.

I guess looking back I didn’t really ever stop to think how I expected to feel as I got older. And it’s not that I’m scared of getting older as actually I quite like the increasing wisdom and respect which comes with age, however I don’t feel grounded, I don’t feel anywhere near being fully accomplished and I certainly am not at the point where I feel content.

When you are at school people say those are the best years of your lives, when you are in your twenties people are saying the same thing so you begin to wonder “what actually is the best time of your life?” Will you ever have a moment where you wake up one day and think “yeah, I’m happy I have it all together, I know what I wanted and now I’ve got it”?

I actually think that being in your twenties is one of the toughest times of your life. In your teens, people don’t expect much from you except that you will make mistakes and probably be a bit angsty and hormonal and yet in your twenties you’re an adult and people expect you to act like one, eventhough you are still muddling your way through except at the same time working full time, or battling to find a job after uni and probably having to look after yourself at home too. As you approach your mid twenties, questions about when you are going to get married and have kids become more frequent and if, like me, you aren’t sure whether marriage and babies is your thing the response is always “you’ll change your mind, you’re only young”! I’m lucky as I’m pretty self assured and outspoken and luckily supported in all I do by my family, but even I sometimes hear these responses and wonder if I’m normal. But in my logical mind, I want to remind you that we actually don’t know what normal is. Who defines normality? Who defines what is an acceptable way to think and feel.

So I guess all I want to say is, don’t worry and don’t hide how you are feeling. Don’t worry if sometimes you feel fat and frumpy and yet still want to eat every item of food within reach and not go to the gym, don’t worry if you aren’t sure what you want to do or achieve in life or if your views are different to those around you. Just do you – You’re the only one that can and so you should make the most of it!

I hope you liked this post and that it helped if you were feeling at all confused, down or just fed up!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

 

My Slimming World Journey – Getting started

Hey everyone,

I feel like rather than getting more free time like I was planning on at the end of last year, I now have less which is causing me major posting issues so I apologise for the lack of posts as well as the lack of variety. I need to work my new commitments into my schedule and then be very strict with myself to ensure I am writing (and posting regularly) and making sure what I am writing is interesting for you!

I have so many ideas lined up of what I want to do for you too so I have decided that this Sunday I am locking myself in my office and writing loads of exciting pieces for you 🙂

One of the reasons which I now have less free time is because I have rejoined Slimming World! My group takes place on a Wednesday evening (the same night I am supposed to post) and by the time I am home if I have already written something to go out, it just isn’t going to happen. I will change, I promise!!!!

Anyway, as you all know I frequently document my weightloss and fitness journey and what I have noticed from writing about it for you all, is that actually I lead a relatively healthy lifestyle exercising regularly and eating pretty well, but can often lack focus or willpower (unsurprisingly!)

I did Slimming World for the first time a few years ago after getting to my biggest ever size and weight (which don’t get me wrong probably wasn’t big by many people’s standards) but it certainly was by mine! I naively thought it would be really easy and I’d get to target really quickly, but after recently moving house and getting a new job doing Slimming World on my own meant I wasn’t really sticking 100% to plan and ended up just wasting money to never make it to target despite losing almost a stone!

After being off plan for a couple of years I was really happy with the weight I had kept off (about 10lbs) but definitely noticed that after being off of training for so long with my foot injury, I was struggling to get my healthy lifestyle mojo back and after gaining a couple of Christmas lbs and with a couple of holidays looming, I decided not to let it slide and to join up again to kick off where I left my journey but this time I wasn’t alone! A few of my friends had started going to group again and I managed to convince Andy to come along for the ride too.

And I have to say I am loving it. My interim target is a 10lb loss and my final target is currently set at 17lbs and in my first week I managed to get a great start on this and lose 4lbs, the most I have ever lost in one week – I haven’t even been able to get to the gym!

This week really wasn’t as good, as I had my works annual awards ceremony which resulted in consuming rather too much alcohol and indulging in hangover food the next day and then I struggled to get back on with healthy eating following this blip, however I managed to claw it back for the end of the week to see a small loss of half a pound 🙂

So why I am telling you all this? Well as a lifestyle blog I thought I would do a weekly update on how I was getting on each Wednesday and maybe also share with you some of my favourite recipes/meals from the week for some inspiration as well as helping you find the best bargains to get you on track!

Meal of the week:

This week my favourite meal (all cooked from scratch I want to add) was my Quorn Chicken and Bacon Medallion with Egg Fried Rice.

 Info:

Serves 4 People easily!

Prep time: 15 – 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Syns per serving: FREE

Ingredients:

♥ 8tbsp light soy sauce

♥ 4 garlic cloves (crushed) or dried garlic seasoning

♥ 1tsp of Chinese 5 Spice powder

♥ 3 skinless chicken breasts (sliced) or Quorn Chicken Pieces

♥ 3 bacon medallions

♥ 397g dried egg noodles (I use a dried noodle square per person)

♥ large bag of mixed stir fry veg

♥ 4 spring onions (sliced diagonally)

♥ 10 diced mushrooms

♥ 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

♥ Microwave Basmati Rice

♥ Vegetable Stock

♥ 3 eggs

♥ FryLight

How to cook Chicken Chow Mein:

  • Mix the light soy sauce, garlic and 5 spice, add your chicken or Quorn, toss to coat evenly and then set aside to marinate for 20minutes.
  • Grill your bacon medallions
  • Fry off your chicken or Quorn until cooked through using Fry Light in a large wok or pan
  • Once chicken is almost cooked, cook the noodles according to the packets instructions and leave to simmer until required.
  • Add the mushrooms, stir fry veg and spring onion to the chicken and stir fry together for another 4 – 5minutes. I add more soy sauce and also vegetable stock at this point for some moisture.
  • Drain the noodles and add to your chicken and vegetables, add some more chicken stock and stir together for several more minutes.
  • Microwave your rice as the noodles are soaking up the chow mein flavour and quickly scramble your eggs using fry light.
  • Once finished stir rice and egg together, serve both dishes and enjoy!

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Have any of you tried this before? If you have let me know in the comments below how you found it, or if you have any of your own favourite recipes you recommend I try!

I hope you enjoy my Slimming World updates over the coming weeks and months J Make sure you let me know how you are getting on if you are on plan too 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Appearance Anxiety

Hey everyone, it’s time again for another blog post (I must admit I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for fitting two posts in this week for the first time in ages!) and this time I thought I would write about something which I’m actually fairly ashamed to say is on my mind most of the time!

Needless to say, following my holiday and a wisdom tooth extraction I feel like I’ve put on a few pounds and gained back inches which I worked so hard to lose in the first place. As much as it is frustrating I also feel like it is a huge knock to my body confidence which I was working so hard to build.

Even more frustrating though is that I feel like it is something I think about all the time. Whether it is worrying about whether an outfit I am wearing is flattering, to comparing myself to other girls, I feel that I am holding myself to potentially unobtainable standards, which cannot be good for anyone!

So basically this post is here to lay it all on the line and let you all know that despite the bubbly and outgoing exterior and multiple post on my social media channels detailing every aspect of my life, particularly how I look, I am extremely self-conscious. I always have been and assume that I always will be. But life is too short to worry about it all the time so I am going to make a very real effort to not worry and to embrace my appearance. So what if my arms aren’t as thin as other peoples or if my tummy isn’t as flat, there are a million other things which I have going for me and I should value myself higher than that.

It’s hard though, living in a world of photoshopped images which aren’t clearly labelled and “standard sizes” in stores often being size 6! It’s a constant barrage of noise telling you that you should look different (better?) than you do currently. And if it is affecting me, a pretty together twenty something, then what on earth is it doing to the teens of today who see “perfect” bodies everywhere. Yes there is the #curvee revolution, but is that really an attainable and healthy ideal? What I want is more diversity, in the campaigns we see from fashion retailers. I want to see a group of women which represent me and my friends in the clothes they are selling.

If this is the scale of difference that can be achieved with photoshop how are we supposed to be body confident?

If this is the scale of difference that can be achieved with photoshop how are we supposed to be body confident?

Phew…rant over! I really just wanted to give you a snapshot of how I feel on a “fat day” and the constant worries that I have every time I pick out an outfit! As much as it sounds pretty bad, I wanted to let all of you out there know that you are not the only one feeling that way, so please don’t worry or feel down, and instead of seeing all the negatives and focussing your attentions solely on them, look for the positives instead!

For me, I’m going to continue to go to the gym and eat healthily purely because it makes me feel healthy and energetic and if a by-product of this healthier lifestyle is losing a couple of pounds and inches then good!

A  "perfect" body?

A “perfect” body?

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Me on my last holiday

I’m going to make sure to include how I am feeling in my future fitness and nutrition posts to stick to my plan for more confidence and less concern!

I hope you found this post helpful! I’d love to know if you have similar thoughts or feelings and if so what you do to get over them! Please let me know in the comments as I always love to hear from you 🙂 As always please like, share, comment and subscribe and stay tuned for the next post!

Lots of love, Leanne xx