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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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

 

Welcome to No Shit November!

Hey everyone, can you believe it’s November already? October went by in a blur full of birthdays, parties and just general fun but that obviously came at a cost, most of which have been burdened by my body, especially because when I wasn’t having loads of fun I couldnt go to the gym because of my foot which is believed to be fractured!

I feel out of shape, heavier than I have in a while, self conscious about my skin and more lethargic which along with the clocks changing leads to just general misery. Instead of just complaining about it though like I would have done previously I have decided to suck it up and make some changes. Obviously too much fun takes a toll, but I believe it is probably pretty easy to undo the damage with a little bit of hard work, which is why I have decided to start “No Shit November!”

A month of being good as a post Birthday, pre Christmas detox to keep me feeling confident and healthy!

I’ll be partaking in this regardless, but obviously if any of you also want to get involved that would be great! We can share our stories and keep each other motivated every step of the way and hopefully also develop some long lasting habits too 🙂

So what does No Shit November actually involve? For me it’s all about trying to be better. Whether that is clean eating, more exercise or just generally cutting the nonsense which I convince myself is okay:

  • Reduce intake of processed meats and stick to lean meats and fish
  • Minimal carbs at dinner time (try to eat carbs only at breakfast and lunch)
  • Only drink water or sugar free squash. No fruit juices, fizzy drinks or alcohol!
  • Increase activity levels and aim to get back to the gym regularly
  • Proper skin care including cleansing, toning and moisturising (which I haven’t been doing as much recently!)
  • Making time to chill either with activity which requires less brainpower such as drawing, reading or yoga
  • Try new things be it activity, food etc to make sure mental wellbeing is as important as physical
  • Get into a regular sleep/wake pattern and stop snoozing my alarm!

I’ll post my updates, measurements etc as regularly as possible and also aim to take a daily selfie of face and body to try to put together a before and after vid for the month 🙂

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Yup, this is where I’m at right now :/

So even if you don’t want to take part, stay tuned for all my updates (good and bad as I’m not afraid to hold my hands up when things don’t go to plan) and send me your positive thoughts!

Lots of daily updates will be coming mostly through my Twitter and Instagram feeds so make sure you follow me there if you don’t already 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Keeping mind and body healthy at work

So as you all know I’ve been trying to be healthier lately and after signing up for a 10 mile run later this year it is now more important than ever!

Considering that most of us spend more time at work than we do at home I thought I would write a post about what I do to help keep my workspace healthy all inspired by a company called We Work.

WeWork is a really cool coworking company that builds communities to empower people to do what they love. Throughout their expansion, creative and healthy work spaces continue to be a major focus for them which is something I’m totally on board with as I’m lucky enough to work wih an amazing group of people in an amazing space!

So here is a bit more on how I can keep workspace healthy…

I work in an open plan office and am lucky enough that we have free vending machines for drinks like tea, juices and coffee and we also have a bistro which serves a selection of hot and cold foods each day for breakfast and lunch. As well as that our building is in a really good location and is walking distance to loads of lovely fast food outlets, so temptation to be naughty is all around! My first tip for keeping my workplace healthy is to be prepared. It is the days where I haven’t packed a lunch and snacks that I tend to make bad choices so being organised is definitely key! I take breakfast with me which is usually a protein shake or smoothie, followed by lunch which is usually meat and vegetables, salad or sometimes rice and then snacks include fruits and nuts.

My second tip is all about drinking enough water! I am a sweet drink fiend! I don’t like hot drinks so my treats are usually fruit juice or cola which are both full of sugar 😦 I find that sometimes if I haven’t had a great sleep and I have been pretty busy I can get a headache or feel sleepy and usually that means I turn to a sugary drink to pick me up where others would go and get a cup of coffee. However, I now find that actually I get less sleepy and irritable when I drink plenty of water. I aim for 2-3 litres everyday at the moment and have purchased a 1 litre bottle so that I know I need to drink at least the whole thing before lunch and then the same again before I go home! I used to have a smaller bottle but when I finished it I always forgot to go and fill it up again, so now I can get past that and am definitely drinking more as a result 🙂

The last thing I do which I find really helps is I try to stay as active as I can! Working in an office is pretty sedentary, but wherever possible I get up and go to speak to people, go out for walks in my lunch breaks and also have signed up for lunchtime exercise classes such as yoga and pilates to get me away from my desk and using my muscles. When that isn’t possible I also try to do stretches and have little breaks just to give my brain a rest which is really important and actually often make me more productive than it would if I just strapped myself to my desk and ploughed on.

Even though this post is mostly about keeping your body healthy (because it is so hard to do when you are sat behind a desk all day) keeping your mind healthy is also really important! I do yoga and pilates in my lunch break twice a week and try to get out for walks as often as possible. I also let everyone know when I am not feeling so great or a bit tired so we can talk it out to get out some stress or do some stretching to wake me up a bit – so probably my most important tip is about keeping your mind healthy!

Hopefully you found this interesting and a little bit different to my normal posts – I love writing about this kind of thing because it is so important to look after yourself as much as you can and people always seem to neglect their health at work with the stresses of everything else going on!

Share, like and comment if you liked this and please don’t forget to follow too!

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Fat Loss Mission – Bikini fear and brand new adventures

Hey everyone,

It’s been such a long time since I last updated you on my fatloss journey and there have been many reasons behind it. Firstly, I haven’t been eating so great so haven’t seen many changes despite exercising loads (they do say abs are prepared in the gym and shown in the kitchen after all!) and I haven’t been posting as frequently as I had been recently either.

Anyway here are my latest measurements:

Bust: 36 inches (+0.5 from last update)

Waist: 28.5 inches (-0.5 from last update)

Hips: 35 inches (-1 from last update)

Arm: 12 inches

Thigh: 23.5 inches

Bum: 39.5 inches

Weight: 10st (-1lbs from last update)

So other than some minute differences in my stats from last update, there are some massive things I need to fill you in on! I have 6 weeks left until my holiday and have (stupidly some may say) also signed up to a 10 mile run at the end of October (bear in mind I can run about 1 mile at the moment)

So all this means, more intense training and the necessity to fuel my body better to be able to train harder. By all accounts since I signed up on Friday my eating has been dreadful and my training has been mediocre, but I literally have no excuses left now, so let’s have one last weekend of being naughty and now it is time to get on it for good, otherwise I am going to be left at the finish line!

I’ll keep you updated on my training and fatloss as usual over the next weeks and months – hope your all getting on better than I have been recently! Please let me know how you are getting on and how you get out of training and diet slumps in the comments below 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

Keeping fit and more importantly healthy!

Hey everyone,

This is just a short post on something which anyone who knows me will know I talk about a lot!

There is nothing worse than going somewhere and touching something which you know is dirty, like handrails and stuff, but at the gym it’s pretty hard to avoid! I love going to the gym and on my mission to be fitter and healthier I spend a lot of time there, but it’s hard not to think about who else has used the equipment before you! In often hot rooms with lots of people you know there must be loads of bacteria all over the equipment which makes me feel gross, however,  I came across this really interesting post (with a fun infographic which I am sucker for) about keeping equipment clean and the importance of having good personal hygiene to stop the spread of germs (I always have hand sanitiser with me for example!)

I hope you enjoy (and that it doesnt gross you out too much!) – you can read/view it here 🙂

Lots of love, Leanne xx

How I get ready for big events!

Hey everyone,

Sorry that I haven’t posted in a bit, I don’t really have a reason other than being really lazy! I’d been really good at writing loads of posts at once and then just uploading as and when they were ready but I made the big mistake of failing to prepare properly which always leads to failure! However, I’m back again now and hopefully this is a post which will be useful and enjoyable 🙂 It is based on an article I wrote a while ago for the wedding edition of Lincolnshire Life, which I am super proud to be featured in! In the article I wrote all about my picks for the top wedding looks of spring/summer this year and also wrote about how I get ready for big events so thought I’d share some more on my getting ready for events here.

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Next weekend I am going to one of my best friends hen weekends and I cannot wait! I was lucky enough to meet her and some of the other girls who are going, at work and am really lucky to have made such good friends somewhere we have to go everyday! Either way, the preparation for the hen weekend began weeks ago so I thought I’d break down for you my long term prep for any big events I attend  as we all know getting ready for any big event is crucial!

For me, I like to ensure that ahead of a big event I am completely prepared and this involves ensuring that my hair is in good condition, my skin is clear and healthy (which isn’t easy when you have spot prone skin like mine) and that my mind is clear and relaxed and this is how I do it:

4-6 weeks before

  • Drinking water (And no, this doesn’t include drinking cups of tea!) – For healthy skin it’s so important to drink at least 1 litre of water a day but I always aim for much more than this. As well as clearing skin, water is great for reducing bloating and has so many health benefits, so this is a no brainer all year around! I suffer badly from the occasional breakout and to be honest even when my skin is good it isn’t completely blemish free, but when I stop drinking lots of water it definitely gets worse so if you do suffer from bad skin, just try to increase your intake and see if it makes a difference 🙂
  • Have a good exercise plan – I love going to the gym (as I’m sure most of you know from my fat loss updates) and find that a good workout leaves me looking brighter and feeling happier. I choose running and boxing as ways to relieve tension and yoga to calm my mind and lengthen my muscles. My top tip is to ensure that you are enjoying the exercise you’re doing, so that you keep at it and give it your all for the biggest benefits. Currently I aim to do some exercise everyday wherever possible and for me it’s the variation I love the most. Don’t forget as well that to help ensure your skin is bright to drink 1 litre of water for every hour of exercise performed 🙂
  • Get into good skincare and hair care routines – Now I know this probably sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many people have used the same routine for years and have never thought to try anything else! In my skin care routine, I start by using an unscented make up wipe to remove my make up for the day without drying it out too much, before using the Garnier Micellar Water to really cleanse the face as it acts like a magnet to dirt and grime and pulls it all off! After this I then use the Garnier Cleanser and Toner to finish to ensure that my face is well hydrated. And don’t forget about those under eyes! Applying an overnight under eye cream or roll on such as ones by Olay or Simple are an easy and affordable way to reduce any unsightly discolouration or puffiness. For my hair I try not to overwash it, but when I do I use good quality shampoo and conditioner (preferably something with argan oil in it) before finishing with an Argan Oil hair mask at least once per week, to prevent any dryness or damage. At the moment, because I keep dying the ends of my hair different colours as I’m a bit bored of my hair, the ends are drier than normal, so ensuring I keep my hair well nourished in between colours is vital! You can view more detail on my skincare routine here!

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1 week to go

As well as the above preparation I put in place for an event, the week of the event it’s important to get the finishing touches in place.

  • Prepare a look (or several!) – I find that I am happiest when I have planned my look from top to toe so that when I am getting ready to go out I’m not stressed on what to do to get ready. With a week to go I have often pulled a few looks together and will make a final decision on the day as sometimes what you originally had planned in your mind might not work so well on the day (for me it’s usually if I’m having one of those fat days that I might make a last minute outfit change to feel more comfortable) but for all the looks I pull, I have ideas of how to do my hair, make up and accessories, so even if I change my mind, there are no dramas! And don’t forget if you are struggling to decide, ask your girlfriends for help as they are always good at being honest to help you look your best and be your most confident 🙂
  • Finishing touches are important – it’s all about the little things the week before an event to help you look and feel your best. These finishing touches include a number of things such as waxing, eyebrow tidy ups, painting nails etc, and even though these are small things which often go un-noticed, they will help you feel more polished so you can enjoy the event without worrying about how you look – and enjoying life is the most important thing!
  • Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – Like I said in my intro, when you fail to prepare you cannot expect things to end well! Sometimes events (like the one I am going on this weekend) mean you need an overnight bag as well as specific items in your make up bag, so write a list about 1 week before to ensure you know everything you need. I pack my bag the night before so I know everything is ready and tick items off my list one at a time so I don’t forget anything. Key things for an overnight bag are all your skincare essentials, phone charger, ID etc. and event essentials may include specific jewellery or accessories, particular make up products and things like eyelashes that you might not want to be without on the day. I am a serial over packer and although I always get teased for packing for a week when I am only away for the weekend, I always have more than enough, so don’t be afraid to take too much 🙂

So I hope this was a good insight into how I get ready for big events or parties that I attend and maybe give you some ideas of how you can plan for any big events coming up in your life, to hopefully make getting ready a little bit more stressful and help you enjoy your plans that little bit more 🙂 If you liked this post please remember to like, share, comment and subscribe as I always love to hear from you! And if you want to keep up with me more and see my updates from different events then don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Lots of love, Leanne xx