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

Welcome back!

Welcome back!

Hey everyone, I know it has been ages since I last posted and for that I am sorry, although really the biggest apology that I owe is to myself.

I spent a lot of time and effort setting up my blog and I loved writing and sharing my take on everything from fashion to foundation! A lot has changed in the past few months though, some of which I will share with you in my writing, but it was a perfect storm of life changing events and for a while I kind of lost myself without even realising. It’s funny how you don’t realise how something has changed until it gets back to normal. Like if you’ve ever lost your hearing because of a cold and then one day it suddenly comes back and you realise how amazing it is to hear properly again. That’s what happened to me recently and I realised I needed to stop being unmotivated and get my shine back again and here I am.

I realised as well since I was last here that even if I am not feeling great about myself and the way I look or do makeup or dress, there is always someone else out there who looks at you and thinks “wow I wish I could do that” and that really motivated me to not let those people down.

So here I am, pretty much the same old me but definitely a bit older and perhaps even a bit wiser now too. So what will I be talking about here now? Pretty much the same stuff from my favourite fashions, my go to make-up, real world weight loss struggles, image advice but most importantly this will be a place for me to come and be myself, so I hope you all like it  🙂

Lots of love, Leanne

Review: Thai Square Spa

I had all but given up on blogging recently with time being a complete squeeze, but then one email reminded me that I was a good writer and even more than that, I really loved it too.

Not only was I going to a spa (which was well needed) but I would have an excuse to discipline myself to sit down and write and really remind myself what it is I loved about this in the first place. I love writing, but not finding the time to do it is certainly easier than finding it, but perhaps I just needed a little reset and zen time to remember this!

So off I went to Thai Square Spa in Northumberland Avenue for an afternoon in the Sen Space and for a Himalayan Salt Massage!

It was one of the hottest days of the year, the tube was uncomfortable and I was feeling like I’d rather sunbathe in Hyde Park all afternoon, but I went along hopeful (although slightly grumpy!) but luckily the team immediately had me at ease. Speaking in soothing tones, dressed chicly in black and with sparkly marble everywhere, I felt like I was exactly where I should have been (even if my smudged makeup, rushed up do and slovenly attire made me feel just a tad uncomfortable).

I was taken into the changing rooms, provided with my robe, slippers and a locker and then took some time to look around. The changing rooms were so clean, the lockers were big (and free!) and everywhere you looked was a lovely combination of sparkly red and black – it felt so decadent and even better that the slippers actually fit and the robes were soft unlike other spas I have been to.

Then I was taken into the dark and quiet downstairs, quite a difference to upstairs, which was decorated in stone, white and black with tiny Buddha’s holding tea lights everywhere you looked which gave the most amazing finish. An array of curved beds were situated in several areas, with enough room for your own space without being too far from friends and family. In the corner of one of the most relaxing places I have ever been was the Sen Space. Filled with a Jacuzzi, Sauna, Steam Room and an amazing ice funnel/dispenser thing, I was spoilt for choice! The Sen Space is unisex which I was warned about up front. I was sharing the Sen Space with a group of guys which although slightly intimidating at first as I was on my own, was easy to work around. After 30-40 minutes in the Sauna and Jacuzzi (which was amazing by the way!) I made my way to the beds to cool down ready for my massage.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I’ve only ever had a pretty standard half body massage before, but when a lovely softly spoken girl came to meet me I was very intrigued! The spa had such a calming yet mysterious feel! She took me into a treatment room and provided me with a speciality Thai tea which I should have taken the name of as it was beautiful, all whilst receiving a foot soak/massage pedicure treatment. After this it was massage time! Sometimes massages can be uncomfortable, as you can hear the therapist clattering around, making idle chit chat and being naked doesn’t help either, but this wasn’t the case at all here! The therapist (whose name I cannot remember sadly) was so quiet, kept making sure I was comfortable but was still very thorough.

The treatment started off with a hot flannel treatment, before a massage on my feet and legs, then arms and lastly back and shoulders. I carry a lot of tension in my feet and shoulders due to sports injuries and she made sure that every last knot was removed, which although painful, was also hugely relaxing. I wish I could remember more of it to describe in more detail but I had to fight the urge to fall asleep for the full hour as I was just so relaxed. After some lovely smelling oils and lotions I was then rolled onto my back to continue the massage on arms and legs before finishing with a very relaxing face and head massage.

I left the treatment in a lovely little bubble of relaxation which even on a hot tube home stayed with me for days.

I would seriously recommend for anyone to go and I’m already looking to go back for more treatments as the standard of the one I had was so high. It isn’t the cheapest of spas to attend, but I would say that it is so worth the money as it is by far the best experience I have ever had. (I have to point I didn’t have to pay for this treatment in return for a review, however if I hadn’t have enjoyed the experience I definitely would be truthful in my review. Luckily for you all it really was incredible though!)

 

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

 

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