To wear, or not to wear?

Workout-wardrobes-consisted-shorts-crop-tops

Exercising can be one hell of a battle at the best of times. I often speak to people who claim to enjoy their daily exercise routine (yeah, right…) and think to myself, I’d love to feel enthralled at the thought of my run later in the day. The truth of the matter is, that most days, I dread the fact I have to do some form of exercise later. Now, don’t get me wrong- I know it’s great for me, it’ll get me where I want to be, and it’s building strength and stamina in all of the right places. But lets get one things straight, it will never, and I mean it will NEVER, be a slice of cake… And you see, I do love cake.

So, in a bid to fix this never ending issue, I’ve decided to include one thing I love into my exercise routine: FASHION. Now I’m no fashionista, but I do love clothes, shopping, and feeling good in what I’m wearing. So I came to the realisation that if I were to purchase some gym wear that I found kinda snazzy, then surely that’d give me the kick up the arse to get my legs moving. Because there is nothing worse than wearing capri trousers running that are too big, and having to pull them up every 100 yards!

In my opinion- and this is just my thought on the subject- I do think that you have to pay a little bit more when it comes to gym wear. For your top half, you can probably get away with getting the bargains- unless you have to invest in a very well structured sports bra (ladies…) that is! But all in all, you need some decent quality clothing to ensure you’re feeling pretty damn hawt in your training session.

From experience, I’m a biiiiiig fan of Nike leggings. They fit well, they hold you in in all of the right places, and there are some pretty funky colours out there too! Personally, I think you can’t go wrong with the classic black gym wear, but I do like to mix up the blander bits and bobs with a brightly coloured top or even some fresh and vibrant socks! Socks do matter after all…

The other day I literally threw away one pair of capris after a run because they were so dreadful to run in– as if I don’t look silly enough running; having to continuously hoist up my trousers was not a good look… So today on one of my first shopping trips in a long time, I invested in yet another pair! But I went for the full length leg version. With the weather as chilly as it is, every little helps when you’re trying to psych yourself up to go out in the cold!

Anyway, my point is, if you’re training regularly, instead of buying something you don’t need this week- treat yourself to some new running or gym gear! Trust me, it’s totally worth it. You’ll feel better when you run, and I’m genuinely excited to go for my next run knowing that I get to try out my new kit! It works well as an incentive too; tell yourself that in two weeks time after you’ve been to the gym or trained a minimum of three times a week, you can buy a gift from you- to you! That’s my plan, plus it’s the perfect excuse to go shopping again… As if I really need an excuse…

And if you’re interested, this is what I’m treating myself to in two weeks time! http://www.sportsdirect.com/nike-racer-hoody-ladies-456830?colcode=45683006

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She said she was sorry, she hoped they’d understand…

I’m sorry.

To the blogging community, I apologise for my poor blogging of late! This week has been filled with exams and essays, and I had no choice but to prioritise University work over my first love- wordpress. I will never forgive myself… But on the plus side, I’ve had a healthy week and kept to my weight targets! (Even with my hermit lifestyle of sitting on the sofa and revising all day)

First things first (I’m the realest…) – exercise wise, as I said, I’ve been a little restricted on what I’ve had time to do this week. I know you always hear excuses, but with deadlines galore I really haven’t had the opportunity to spend time doing much physical activity! With regards to my 30 Days of Change plan, I’ve done the odd day here and there. Other than that, I’ve been running three times- two 5ks and one 6k. I’ve also done some ab work on the side! So all in all, I’m happy with that! I’m hoping to get back into some kind of routine once Monday comes round and I’m back to Uni. I MISS THE STABILITY!

Secondly, I’ve eaten healthily! I hit my target weight as of yesterday morning for this week, and I’ve eaten well. I’ll post some piccies at the end of this post with some of my meals (my attempt at keeping you updated from the previous week!) that I’ve had. It’s pretty tough to eat clean and resist snacking when you’re stuck inside all day, but fruit and willpower has got me through it! Plus, last night we went for a meal celebrating a birthday, meaning I got the treat of a slice of birthday cake! Well it had been a long week… Cake and wine were music to my ears… Oops…

This week I will be posting my daily posts again, I’ve missed the networking! Here’s to the wonderfulness that is exam freedom.

The view from our mountain walk last Sunday, it was the perfect weather for what was a lovely walk!
The view from our mountain walk last Sunday, it was the perfect weather for what was a lovely walk!
Top of the mountain!
Top of the mountain!
The sun was in our eyes... Me and my boyfriend basking in the satisfaction of reaching the top!
The sun was in our eyes… Me and my boyfriend basking in the satisfaction of reaching the top!
Chicken, a side salad and some veggies!
Chicken, a side salad and some veggies!
Greek yoghurt with fruit and nuts and a drizzle of honey- YUM!
Greek yoghurt with fruit and nuts and a drizzle of honey- YUM!
One of my favourite meals- a ham omelette!
One of my favourite meals- a ham omelette!
Chicken breast and herby veggies. Lovely!
Chicken breast and herby veggies. Lovely!
Roasted veggies and chicken...
Roasted veggies and chicken…
My old favourite- porridge!
My old favourite- porridge!

30 Days of Change: Day Four!

So today has been day four of my 30 Days of Change program. And good news, I’ve enjoyed it! Although, I unfortunately wasn’t able to do the cardio section of the workout… I worked 9-6 today (which is horrid on a Saturday) plus this evening I just wanted a night of chilling out. Plus, we’re going on a mountain walk tomorrow! So watch this space for an update on Sunday Fun Day!

Anywho, today the bodyweight exercises consisted of squats and press-ups. Squats I’m fine with- I enjoy them and feel like they’re burning the fat away… Which is a fairly satisfying feeling! One issue though- I am absolutely terrible at press-ups. And I don’t mean the “Oh I say I’m bad but I’m actually really good” type of absolutely terrible, I mean the “I look like I’m an insect stuck on their back- in reverse” kind of terrible.

But, I have been doing some strengthening exercises with this program. So I figured, it might not be that bad? I managed the Level I version. I did twelve squats (which is more than the recommended ten at Level I, but I like squats…), and I did ten press-ups. On the first circuit, I did your average press-up position, but I was concerned that my form was poor and therefore making the workout a little pointless! So for the other sets I decided to do the mini press-ups- the ones where you balance on your knees instead! I found these easier to maintain my form, whilst still feeling the benefits!

All in all, a good day. I’m looking forward to our walk tomorrow though!

Day Four
Day Four

In addition to the 30 Days of Change program, I’m also giving the 30 Days of Abs program a pop. Today’s challenge was to perform flutter kicks throughout the day- the amount depending on which level you chose. I chose Level I, but I forgot how many I’d done… So did 120 to play it safe! It was quite fun trying to organise when I could sneak my flutter kicks in without looking like a weirdo at work… But they’re well and truly done and dusted! And they felt good!

Day Three of Abs
Day Three of Abs

After work, I didn’t do any more exercise. It is a Saturday after all…

So my hubby and I ended the day with some chicken salad and a cheeky glass of red wine. Perfection. Hope you’ve had a great Saturday and have a wonderful weekend!

Perfect.
Perfect.

Lots of love x

Finally, it’s Saturday! Oh wait, I work in retail…

Anyone else feel this way when Friday creeps around? All of those who work Monday to Friday, you’re lucky buggers! Us lot who work in retail don’t get the luxury of the weekend off.. I work in a store that is not in the slightest bit busy this time of year. Christmas was booming- we were frequently busy, the days flew by, and I got to wear a Christmas jumper to work… WHAT MORE COULD I WANT? But once the excitement surrounding NYE had flailed, so did the buzz in retail- that is, of course, unless you work in a store filled with amazing sales… (though we all know that’s just old stock you’re trying to get rid of, right?) 

I know so many people that work in retail, and so many people that dislike it. Yet, we all stay. Okay so the customers can be arrogant, plain dumb, rude and think you live in some kind of slum… But there are the odd few that have the ability to make your day. You can either choose to remember the baddies, or the goodies. And personally, I try to focus on remembering the goodies, and taking those customers- who are apparently from a whole other Kingdom of Rudeness- with a pinch of salt. And y’know those ones who do treat you like something on the bottom of their shoe, have a cheeky laugh to yourself once they’ve left the store. Just think, they’ve just missed out on a somewhat fantastic conversation with your wonderful self, and all because they didn’t like the way your window display looked.

Plus, when you think about all of the lovely lovely people that do greet you with a warming smile, it’s hard to stay mad at the other lot. When a person comes in, and tells me how nice it is to be greeted with a smile, that’s all I need. The fact that one person has noticed we’re not there to make your life difficult, is brilliant. Because honestly, we’re not! We’re sorry we’re out of stock, we’re sorry we can’t get your product to you sooner, and we’re sorry that everything might be a little overpriced… Honestly, we are. And when we shop in retail, we know exactly how the staff must feel. So we’ll shoot them a smile, and give them a conversation, and hope we make their day as much as the good customers make ours.

Okay, retail can be stressful. But it can be one hell of a laugh too. So next time you’re asking for an item that’s out of stock, or you’re an employee who has had one too many rude employees, just remember: the employee is trying their best for you, and there will be at least one person who will stick a smile on your face today 🙂

Here’s to a happy Sunday – AND A DAY OFF! x

30 Days of Change- Day Three! Kinda…

Okay, so I’ve been a little bit disorganized when it comes to my time-keeping lately. Yesterday should have been Day Three of my 30 Days of Change program, but unfortunately time ran away with me a little bit. Though I did do lots of walking! So instead of skipping a day, I decided to do day three today.

Day three involves 60 minutes of cardio, followed by three body weight exercises. For my cardio, I ran a 6k which took me roughly 40 minutes, and walked 15-20 minutes home. It felt good! Minus the hail which hit me in the first 15 minutes! That stuff hurts… After the running, I thought I’d jump in and do my resistance workout. That way, the remainder of my day wasn’t restricted!

The body weight exercises of today involved lunges, plank jump-ins, and shoulder taps. These were actually really fun! I went for Level I today. So I did 6 reps of each. It was tough, but not tough enough, so tomorrow I’m going for the plunge- LEVEL II COME AT ME. Though the plank jump-ins were pretty hard-going, but I was fairly limber for the run so I was ready for them!!

Day Three
Day Three

In addition to NR Fitness’ 30 Days of Change program, I’ve also decided to do the Ab Program too. I’m on day two of that, and it’s definitely pretty hard-going. I can feel my core hurting whilst doing the exercises… No pain no gain! The exercises aren’t easy, but they’re getting me one-step closer to where I want to be. They do say that summer bodies are made in the winter…

Ab Workout
Ab Workout

It took me a circuit or two to get to grips with the ‘up and down planks’- I had long sleeves on which immediately proved to be a mistake! But once you’ve done a few you’ll know what you’re doing!

I definitely suggest you give some of these exercises a go if you want to change yourself. Okay so results aren’t immediate, but it makes you feel good. The knowledge you’re working hard is absolutely priceless.

GOOD LUCK!! x

All Work and No Play.

Everyone says how University is the time of your life, but in a month filled with exams and essays, I’m struggling to see where the fun can be found? One good thing, is that there’s always fun in flavour, and I love incorporating some lovely flavours into the bits and bobs I concoct.

Today I started my day with porridge- but with different oats! Instead, I had rolled oats that were a lot flatter and larger. If you’re considering trying them, they’re good if you prefer a rawer consistency of porridge. But I’m someone who likes their porridge smooth, so I’ll be reverting back to the original ones! Though with some dried cranberries and almonds, and a dash of honey- I’m not complaining!

IMG_1836

Lunch was some greek yoghurt with honey and raisins (do I eat anything else…?!)

Lunch!
Lunch!

Believe it or not, I do eat an array of different foods most of the time. But at the moment I haven’t got the time to go and do a decent shop! And if I’m honest, I’m easily pleased. Food is food, some people don’t have anything…

Last nights dinner was SALMON! I love salmon. It’s such a versatile fish, and it’s filling too. You don’t need potatoes or anything if you don’t fancy them- veggies and a salad are my go-to when it comes to a meal with Salmon. I oven-baked mine, but you can fry it in the pan (just make sure your extractor fan is on!) or even grill it. A recipe I particularly like is an Oriental Salmon recipe. For two people, you use one tblsp of honey and one of light soy sauce, and mix these with some garlic and a little oil. Cut four squares of foil (one for under, one for over), and put some broccoli on top- I also use asparagus at this point! Having mixed your marinade up, pop the salmon on top of the broccoli and drizzle the mixture over. Wrap up your parcel, pop it in the oven for 25 minutes, and you’ve got one lovely meal! Sprinkle some spring onions on it to finish too, gives it a lovely crunch!

Anyway, I went off on a bit of a tangent there, didn’t I? This was last nights dinner!

Last nights din dins!
Last nights din dins!

This evening I hoping to have a cajun chicken salad, with some grilled courgette in there too. Have a happy day! x

30 Days of Change: Day Two!

I’ve just completed day two of NR Fitness’ 30 Days of Change program! Being stuck in doing revision is not ideal at the moment, it means that running takes up a little bit too much of my time- very valuable time when I have an exam tomorrow! So today’s workout was actually much more beneficial for me- it wasn’t too time consuming!

The two body weight exercises for today were the plank, and a wall-sit squat. At first I thought, ‘a two minute plank? EASY!’, that was until my hands hit the floor… As there are two levels of ability, I chose to go in between Level I and Level II. I’m hoping by the end of the thirty days I can conquer Level III with ease! The good thing about these body weight workouts on this program is also that they could be spaced out over the day. I did one set before breakfast, one set before lunch, and one set before dinner. It worked well as I could easily incorporate it into my routine- lovely jubbly!

The cardio aspect of today’s workout was an alternation between jumping jacks and high knees. It was pretty cool actually, the workout requires that you begin small and work your way up, so it eases you in nicely! I went for Level II on the cardio, though by the end of it I thought I could have probably stretched to Level III. So I’m keeping that in mind for tomorrows workout!

Day Two!
Day Two!

So  that’s today done and dusted. I squeezed in a little ab workout too! Lots of love x