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

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Life lessons: Get organised, get happier!

Hey everyone, I have a feeling that this is going to be a good blog post and a very apt one too so I’m just going to jump right in.

This year has been the one which has seen some of the most substantial changes in my life happen all at once which naturally causes chaos temporarily. Except the one thing that I find is that actually sometimes chaos happens and then kind of stays with you, which can build up and up without you even realising. I’m not ashamed to say that happened to me in multiple areas of my life and instead of looking at the root cause, I just made excuses.

From not having time to work out, not having an organised house, forgetting things – the chaos was impacting my life in almost every aspect and I didn’t even see how it was connected. And then,  by chance, some alone time and some inspiration from those closest to me, I realised I could achieve whatever it is I want to achieve, but with some focus and organisation.

I can make excuses until I’m blue in the face that changing jobs has left me with less time, but actually I’ve gained time in other areas which I’m just not using  correctly.

I’m very much of the perspective that life is too short to worry or stress (YOLO and all that) but actually it’s eye-opening for me to experience first-hand that stress can creep up on you without you even realising until it is gone. And now my eyes have been opened it’s definitely time to maximise on my awareness and improve all aspects of my life…

For example, a pet stress in my household has always been that I’ve been known to be pretty untidy which can cause wasted time looking for things, or a mammoth cleaning session which takes a whole day. But now I have thrown away anything which doesn’t get use or is just taking up space and make sure to keep on top of everything doing a little every day so it’s never one big task – literally making everything manageable 🙂

Another place I have been slacking is the gym! Last year I was at the gym 3+ times a week and loving it, but after having to take an extended break I haven’t been able to get back into it and instead complain about gaining weight and losing tone whilst effectively doing nothing about it! But not anymore! I’ve started looking at my locations for the week ahead and planning in advance in my google diary when I’m going and for how long as well as looking for different activities I can do to keep my interest, including long walks. Another reason this is so important, is that actually me time at the gym helps relieve any built stresses and gives me an opportunity to get away from my phone and have time just me and my thoughts, which I think we all forget is actually really important.

From the simplest things like picking your weeks outfits on a Sunday evening or having a clear out of your handbags to the bigger things like emptying your loft, or spring cleaning your finances – all these individual steps are likely to have a positive domino effect into so many different aspects of your life, that if you do nothing else this August, set aside only a few hours to reflect, review and plan. As whilst you do only live once, you want to make sure the life you’re living is as happy as you can possibly make it be 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post as I found this really cathartic to write! I’ll follow up over the coming weeks with my gym/food schedules and any updates on how I am moving forward with my planning and organisation!

Let me know in the comments below any life hacks you have that could also help, as I’m always looking to make my life as easy and happy as possible 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

How time flies…

Wow, I cannot believe that it was the 2nd birthday of my blog this week.

I completely forgot to do anything to commemorate it as it has been one crazy week! Travelling around so much with work, my mums birthday, a major op for a close family member and planning for my last sessions of coaching have taken up all my time and attention.

Finding two minutes to reflect, the 2nd year of my blog hasn’t gone as well as the first and the blame lies completely with me. I haven’t been able to put as much in so naturally I’ll get less from it, but I’m not disheartened. Sometimes life changes your plans and I think that every change or challenge should be viewed as an opportunity. So far this year advancing my career whilst bettering the bonds with my friends and family have been the most important things to me, so lacking a little here has been worth it 🙂

Next week will be very emotional for me as I am leaving gymnastics after 20 years of being involved in the sport, 7 of those in coaching. Dropping one commitment does mean I should be able to find time to write in the week though as well as taking better care of myself, so I’m focusing all my attention on the good that will come from making such a heart-wrenching decision.

More important than looking back though is to continue to look forward. I want to thank you all for your support so far and let you all know I cannot wait to be able to invest more time with you as I am sure then only good things will happen! LifestyleforLess HQ really is a no negative vibes kinda place 🙂

Stick with me!

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

 

No Shit November – Wrap Up

No Shit November Wrap Up

Hey everyone,

I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in a while! I have been so busy with gymnastics and just exhausted from general life that I haven’t had the brain capacity to write anything good!

But I am back now and thought I would wrap up No Shit November for you 🙂

So despite it not going quite to plan, I currently weight 9stone 12lbs and have a 27 inch waist. I’m pretty in proportion elsewhere with measurements currently being 36 – 27 – 35 however I would like to get all of those down if possible.

Onwards and upwards for me now though! I have just started at a new gym and completed my very first Body Combat class today and wow I can feel the ache already. As well as that I’ve also started horse riding which is amazing exercise and am planning with my brother to start a food diary too so hopefully it wont be long before I see those numbers going down 🙂

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I’ll keep you all posted on the remainder of my journey and wish you all the best in your journey!

Also, I have created a blog snapchat now so you can add me there at Lifestyle4less as well as following me on Twitter and Instagram 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

No Shit November update!

Hey everyone me again! I have another No Shit November update for you and to be honest, it’s been terrible! This week, I haven’t stuck to any of the plan I laid out at the beginning of November 😦

I guess one of the upsides to this though is that I always aim to write from an honest and real place. Obviously there has been loads of stories in the press lately about bloggers manipulating opinions and not being truthful, but I hope that this post alone assures you that I am writing from my heart and it’s nothing but the truth!

Basically I thought my foot was getting better, but it turns out it really isn’t and I have been advised that I should still be at complete rest. Hearing this news put me on a bit of a downward spiral as I was really looking forward to getting back to the gym and to just generally feeling better thanks to those work out endorphins, but that hasn’t happened yet. Mostly because the whole time my foot has been injured I’ve still been coaching gymnastics, which in the middle of competition season (aka right now) involved a lot of demonstrating which appears to actually just be making the issue worse!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when I have seen yet another doctor this Tuesday I’ll have some answers and hopefully get back to being more active and toning up again, as at the moment I just feel like a horrible flabby mess. I’m sure it is probably all in my head, but I have noticed the physical differences which definitely put me in a less positive mental place!

So, that is where I am! The last week of No Shit November essentially went to shit, but onwards and upwards right? It’s a new week and I am ready to hit this head on again J

I hope you are all doing well in your pre Christmas detoxes! I am sure I will get to where I want to be soon, the more you want something the more likely you are to get it!

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