An Update On My Body Progress

Body Progress

It’s been no secret that I’ve been on a diet for two months now, this post is a little update to let you all know where I’m at and some of the problems I’ve faced recently. If you want to read about the start of my journey first, I suggest you head over to this link over here. Now that I’m further on and starting to see and feel different, I thought it would be interesting to show the toughest side of dieting against the better bits. So the aforementioned ‘better bits’ are fairly obvious; I have changed shape, I have lost nearly another stone and I have felt better in my own skin, I can now run across the road without huffing and puffing, my posture has improved.

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Unfortunately, however, I have noticed a few changes that I’m not quite as happy with. My outlook on food and body image has changed because I’ve been focusing on the number on the scales and I’m hyper aware of the way food impacts my body. Primarily I saw how much I had been snacking on rubbish, I was boredom eating pre-diet and because I don’t really have a hobby I have struggled to think of something other than food. I have also been guilty of skipping meals and cutting back too much for the sake of losing another few lbs, I know that it’s unhealthy and not sustainable but it does become an obsession. This is particularly an issue because I remember cruel comments made by boys in school and I constantly point out my own flaws. Behaviour like this, admittedly I have found silly in other people and I didn’t really realise that I had started to do it until I sat back and thought about it.

I want to be at my best, I want a body as strong as it is beautiful. It’s not possible with my current outlook and I’m trying to change the way I think, honestly, I know that I need to pick myself up and set my head on straight but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Breakfast

My main goal this week has been to listen to my body and give it what it needs to be healthy. The porridge above has been my attempt at satisfying my sweet tooth and to give me a natural sugar boost for energy.  Other than that I have been taking better care of my diet by adding more protein and green vegetables. I have eaten out a few times too, one time I ordered mushroom benedict and another I ordered a chicken and rice dish with vegetables. It’s little treats like these that have really boosted me up since realising how unhealthy my attitude towards dieting has been. If anyone else has had similar problems, I’d love to get chatting to you because I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on people to be upbeat and positive about weightloss.

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Affordable & Simple Tattoo Aftercare

Tattoo Aftercare

As a quick disclaimer before I start, I am not a dermatologist or a tattoo artist but I did a lot of research and asked friends and multiple artists about their top tips. Some of you may be aware that I got my first tattoo last month, for those of you that didn’t already know, I want to start off by saying that I always wanted one. I dropped it into conversations with family members (without saying that I actually wanted one) multiple times before I took the plunge. It was by through this method that I realised that I was being too worried about what everyone else would think and what I actually wanted for myself. I had a fairly firm idea of what I wanted, I was just unsure about the composition so I gave my tattoo artist relative creative freedom. My idea started as the one rose and I ended up changing my mind and getting three done instead as a bit of a tribute to my love for my siblings.

Rose tat

My tattoo is only quite small, it’s on my forearm and the closest to shading that I got was the dot work on the leaves so all in all, it was a great first tattoo. My tattoo artist, unlike many who recommend pricey products that they get commission on, told me to use very basic and natural products as to not irritate the new art. I got all of my products for less than £10 and I haven’t had any bother whatsoever. To clean it I use Sanex Zero% Sensitive Skin Shower Gel with a Ramer Baby Sponge. The shower gel I chose because it has no fragrance, parabens, colourants, phthalates or phenoxyethanol in it so I felt like it would be the most delicate of the options available. The sponge was chosen because I picked one up for a friend to make a tiny tattoo aftercare bundle for her birthday.

To moisturise my tattoo, I use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Fragrance Free Body Lotion yet again, just because it’s great for sensitive skin and for healing. Also, my tattooist recommended cocoa butter as an aftercare option in the letter I was given to take home. You really shouldn’t use anything that doesn’t sink in really quickly because apparently it can create a barrier and prevent your tattoo from healing quickly. My simple method has contributed to my tattoo barely scabbing and settling down super quickly. Obviously I’m no expert but these are the items that have really helped me and I just wanted to help people like me who don’t want to spend an absolute fortune on upkeep.

Other than those three products, to take care of my first tatt, I have used the shower instead of the bath to avoid soaking it and risking any scabbing to swell and pull away the ink. I have also tried to keep it out of the sun as much as possible, this is kind of a common sense thing anyway but I have used natural sun creams to avoid sun damage but you can buy cream that’s specific to tattoos if you so desire. I hope you have found this post interesting, personally I searched the web for posts just like this one before my appointment and Google more or less drew a blank. Let me know your tips in the comments if you have any better recommendations!

Treating Myself In The VS PINK Sale

vs pink

Victoria’s Secret has been a brand that has been increasingly more present in the last few years, with bigger names performing in the fashion shows and the growth of certain social media platforms… Yeah, it’s all over the place. Until now I never actually gave it a chance as I thought is was for the ultra skinny and those willing to break the bank for some underpants. It was actually on Instagram that I found out about the VS – PINK sale and after seeing their promo for it, I decided to take a look. Constantly on the lookout for a decent sports bra, I decided to test my luck and purchase their Ultimate Racerback Sports Bra in blue and purple. I also decided to grab a couple of face masks because I’ve had a few breakouts recently; The VS PINK Chill Out with Cucumber clay mask and the Now & Zen sheet mask.

VSPINKMASKS

As you can see, the sports bra fits but to be honest, it’s a pretty low impact bra that won’t support me for anything but yoga. Cardio is a no go in this one! Other than that, it seems to be quite good in quality and I do love the pattern – even if it is a bit louder than what I would usually go for. The material has a swimsuit kind of feeling with a soft mesh layer inside,  So all in all, I would give this sports bra a 6/10 but that’s mainly for the pattern and comfort. You know, 1 being topless and 10 being motionless boobs during activity.

VSPINKclay

I have quite oily skin around my nose and cheeks but I also get quite a bit of redness so I love a good face mask, the Chill Out with Cucumber face and body mask ticked all of my imaginary boxes on paper. I did not, however, think that it was any different from the other cheaper masks that I have tried in recent years. So I cleansed my face using a cleansing balm and applied the mask straight away, after 10 minutes my face felt tight and the mask started to flake away a bit. After washing it off I decided to use the Now & Zen mask as it dried out my face quite a bit and I thought that the sheet mask would perk my skin up a bit. Guys, I think I just found my beauty hero. It was relaxing, it smelled really fresh and it left my skin feeling soft and moistured – also, my redness problem looked like… less of a problem!

So yeah, I treated myself. Self love and all of that! My first impressions of VS Pink have been hit and miss but for the most part, I’m quite liking the brand and I do feel more inclined to give them another go. Perhaps I’ll grab a new pair of pyjamas next…

 

FOMO & My Vlogging Confidence Crisis

Yo!Sushi (1)

I have a confession to make; I get major FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when I watch Youtube vloggers. Yes, most people do but I envy Youtubers because of their boundless confidence and the fact that their job is to inspire and to influence. I have personally always wanted to start a channel of my own and recently I have felt more and more of a draw towards the platform. I know that it isn’t what it was and that I might be a little late to jump on the bandwagon but I would love to give it a go. This post is going to be about why I haven’t started a Youtube channel and my inspirations. With this being my second post that WordPress deleted and my second attempt at articulating my feelings, I really hope that this post doesn’t come across as tired or lacklustre. I did write more or less a full speech about inspiration and working with an anxious personality but hey… let’s give this thing another shot!

So vlogging and getting into Youtube has always been a goal for me but I never seem to get around to doing it. Honestly, I make excuse after excuse… I can’t afford a camera… I’m not comfortable in front of the camera… Yeah, weak excuses at best but I’ve used them both and more to procrastinate and put off doing it which is ridiculous because it’s something that I actually WANT to do. I love that the internet is full of personality and creativity, unfortunately there has been a bit of a dark cloud over the community so it’s difficult to know when to attempt a breakthrough. I know I’m a bit late to the bandwagon but I know that I would enjoy creating such content, I take a lot of inspiration from a single website at the moment.

Recently I have watched a lot of videos from Refinery29, a cutting edge website all about female empowerment and inspiring young women. Personally, I feel like the website does this for me and as such I have started to watch their channel avidly. I really believe in the message that they put out and each and every one of their influencers are super talented and you can tell that they believe in what they are saying. Their honest approach to their topics is refreshing and I don’t think that any of it is just a job to them, it’s a genuine interest. I’ve taken a particular liking to the series “Try Living With Lucie”, a series run by Lucie Fink (this woman has my dream job!). The series features 5 day challenges based around lifestyle and they different ways in which people can enrich their lives.

Whilst I still have no immediate plans to start a channel, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter. I still think vlogging is in my future, I just don’t know how to go about it in a low budget way. As always, your input is always more than welcome!

 

Yo!Sushi For Non Sushi Lovers

Yo!Sushi

I need to start by saying this is my fourth attempt at writing this post because WordPress keeps deleting my finished post. Note to self: Save posts as a word document first to avoid general huffyness and mild temper tantrums!

So anyway, rant over!

Recently I paid a visit to Yo!Sushi with a friend and whilst I was sceptical, I did want to try something a little different. I’m a very picky eater and now that I’m taking care of my body and eating healthily I am struggling to find things to eat when I’m out and about. The North East isn’t exactly a hub for healthy eating and with such a lack of more exciting options for dieters – mostly I have to stick to salads and the like. Give me one more Caesar salad, I dare you! Okay, so I didn’t pick any of the more risky otions for my first time at Yo!Sushi but I did enjoy what I ordered. I chose the Katsu Chicken Curry, something that I had heard of but I just didn’t bother trying. I also tried some Avocado Maki but I’m not the biggest fan of Avocado so it didn’t particularly please me but hey, it was something new.

KATSU

The katsu curry itself was actually one of my favourite meals out this year, I genuinely really enjoyed it. I felt satisfied after finishing and even struggled to finish my main dish so the small portions are not a problem, even if they were, the price makes up for it! Another thing that I quite liked about the place is that for those of us counting calories, the menu says the calorie content and what’s actually in the dishes. The website includes the menu and such information here. I think that for those of us who are a little more concerned about food contents it can be daunting to try out a foreign inspired food place, personally, I always avoided Yo!Sushi for that reason. I just thought about raw fish and seaweed and I shut down towards the place, I’m now slightly annoyed that I did because I fully recommend that you all give it a go.

If you want to know more about the food chain itself I would check out this link as it describes the restaurant a bit better than I do. So katsu curry isn’t the most adventurous of choices but it’s an option on the menu that caters towards awkward people like me. Let me know what you think or if you have any healthy food options for eating out of the house because I’m sick of omelettes and salads!

My Fitness Journey (2 Stone To Go!)

Fitness J

My fitness journey began with excuses this year and I steadily go worse with my diet as the year went on, I was buying five £1 bags of chocolate almost every day and I ate a lot of pasta. I went up to a hefty 13 stone and I just felt sluggish and ill all of the time, my stay in Hong Kong was more or less ruined because I was constantly self conscious about my body. It was only very recently that I decided to put that behind me and fight for a fitter and healthier me, I know that I shouldn’t have made excuses but I’m pleased that I’m going for it now. I’m going to show you the photo that made me finally decide to do something about my lifestyle, it’s awful and I feel sick looking at myself in that state but it shows the weight that I was at. It’s from my trip to Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong so excuse the Queen!

Queen.jpg

Okay, so I wasn’t morbidly obese but I was uncomfortable and too heavy for my 5″4 frame. Since then it has been difficult to look at photos of myself without feeling upset and I’m pleased that I’m getting through it and making the effort that I should have put in months ago. In Hong Kong I constantly put it off until I got home and then when I was back in the country I had a hard time and used it as an excuse. I’m currently on a strict diet plan and I’m either at the gym or doing home workouts four days per week, I’m already feeling more ‘me’ and more healthy so it seems to be working. Luckily I have some really supportive friends boosting me up right now and I have goals. I would like to be at 10 stone as soon as possible, personally I would prefer to be a little under that but I don’t want to take weight loss too far so I’m going to play it by ear.

Christmas (1)

Above is the picture I took most recently of my body to show how far I have come already in my lifestyle change. I plan to keep you all updated on my progress so be patient with me whilst I’m plodding along, I’m currently 18 days into this regime and I’m feeling really positive about both my body and the changes that I’m making. Please get in touch if you’re going through your own journey with fitness, I would love to talk to more people who are struggling with weight issues.

Why York Should Be On Your UK Travel List

Travel York

Since we have had yet another taste of summer today I feel like it’s the perfect time to write about a place that perfectly compliments hot weather. It’s almost as charming as Whitby and just as picturesque, I love the fact that it’s so tourist orientated. York is full of history; war museums, art museums and my favourite, York’s Chocolate Story which is an experience tour about the history of confectionery in York. You can actually sample chocolate from key parts of chocolate history and make your own chocolate lolly so what’s not to like? Aside from the choc museum, I love the duplicity of York and how it can be both a nerdy haven and a cool hangout place, it just makes it so much more worth the train fare. I don’t like places that I have to go for one specific thing because I like to make a day out of a trip like that.

York Street View

I’m not going to lie, I love all of the old fashioned sweet shops too. So far all I seem to have talked about is sweets but don’t worry, York isn’t all sweets and chocolate! Another thing that I adore about York is the vintage shops and antiquing spots and, let me tell you, there’s some pretty damn amazing stuff on show in them! I particularly love 40’s fashion and seeing it among all of the other fashion from different eras was something that I was fascinated by. If I could, I would totally dress like I lived in the 1940’s – fashion trends be damned.

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Next up on my ‘THINGS THAT I LOVE’ rant is the Hebden Tea shop, I have been going through a loose leaf tea phase and for the most part I have been ordering online. I enjoy the process and I try to test out as many combinations as possible, that’s exactly why I couldn’t just pass this shop. I appreciated how I could smell the tea before I bought it and hear from the seller what was best for what and which tastes would suit my purpose. I can’t for the life of me remember the names of the staff but they were more than helpful and even recommended a few of my purchases. There’s just so many to choose from and I did get really excited about going in there. I personally recommend that you check the place out if you’re on a diet and want to find an alternative to green tea.

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As you can see, York is a culturally rich and intrinsically quirky place that makes the perfect destination a summers day. Just picture walking down the cobbles with a fresh homemade ice cream with the sun shining in the background… I think I’m ready to revisit already! It works well as a day out if you have kids or if you’re looking for something to do on a date or even if you just simply want a day out. These are my favourite things about York and why I think it’s well worth a visit, please leave your opinion if you have been there or let me know if you actually check these things out. I hope you love going there as much as I do!

 

Relaxation & Reflection

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Some of you might have noticed that I’ve just returned from a little break from the online world, on that note, I would like to talk about why it’s important to have a little ‘me time’ and to know when to take a step back from everything. Whilst I only restarted my blog recently, as anyone with an online presence will know, social media and blogging can be all consuming and stressful at times. Pressure to come up with new and original content can tough so sometimes it’s best to just not force something and then you won’t come up with rubbish that you don’t believe in. Personally, I like to dip in and out of my writing to try and stave off the writers block.

Butterfly Pea

In my time away I have rejoined the gym, taken part in some classes, started walking a friends dog and rediscovered my love of loose leaf tea. My favoutite has to be butterfly pea tea at the moment which is something that I found out about in Hong Kong when I went to Share Tea and tried one of their slush type ice tea drinks. Everything about loose leaf tea just gives me relaxation vibes; the mixing, the brewing and the time out that I take to drink it – also, it’s way healthier than my usual coffee overdose! Anyway, the point that I wanted to make is that I felt like my inspiration was going stale and I needed to diversify my life again as I had been solidly working to a schedule that left no room for a social life.

Purple flower

When I was in my teens I didn’t really consider mental health as a factor that needed to considered in life and I was relatively ignorant when it came to talking about how I felt – unless I had a few rum and lemonades! Taking care of myself and personal improvement is something that comes naturally to me now and I know when it’s time to shut off and step back. As someone who is easily frustrated and overwhelmed, I find that it’s important to know what to look out for when I feel like I’m going to crash. In the past I’ve been someone who bottles things up and just lets everything out in one foul swoop. Hence why a digital detox is occasionally needed, constantly working towards a public image is just draining and that’s how I usually end up getting worked up.

I would love to know what helps my lovely readers relax, I hope that I’ve articulated the way that I feel in a way that you can all relate to. Despite my love of writing and blogging, I do struggle to talk about what’s going on in my head on a more personal level. Thank you so much for taking the time to take a read of my blog! I hope to hear from a few of you soon.

A Piece Of My Heart Will Always Be In… Whitby

Whitby

In light of this gorgeous weather we’ve been having I would like to write a little about my most recent trip to Whitby and why it’s my favourite place in the UK. My dad’s side of the family used to go on caravan holidays there and so he has always had a love of Whitby and it’s something that he kind of instilled into me too. I’ve went through a few different vampire phases in my time and where better to start than in Whitby the inspiratiop for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The Gothic architecture is present in the Abbey and also in the heart of the seaside town, recently I went there with my brothers girlfriend and my sister and it definitely reminded my I adore the place.

Abbey

The day that we went was not chosen for the weather but we certainly hit on lucky, the skies were clear and it was the perfect ice cream weather. Heather, the aforementioned brothers girlfriend, had not been to Whitby since she was about three so I took it up on myself to be a tour guide. We visited the Abbey, the Whale Bones, the Dracula Experience and I showed her my favourite shops for souvenirs and trinkets. I think I did a pretty good job considering the fact that I’m usually a bit of a clueless idiot when it comes to directions!

Seafront shops

As you can see, Whitby is full of character and for me it’s like going home after a long day at work. Honestly, everyone there is really friendly and you just can’t be miserable in Whitby – even the goths look happy! My usual haunt for lunch is The Dolphin though that has been up and down over the years due to management changes, this time around however was lovely. I ordered a side and a starter rather than a full meal but it I enjoyed both of my choices.

Yellow Bike

I have so many amazing memories of Whitby throughout my childhood up to now and for that reason I feel like it’s a part of me that I always want to return to. Please share some memories of your own or tell me about a place that holds a space in your heart, just let me know in the comments!

Hair Update: Blue, Purple & The Bizarre

hair colour cond

So since my last update, I was left with patchy and uneven hair as a result of a less than successful dye from Arctic Fox. Since then I have used two different dyes and a diluted version with conditioner. As the dyes I use are only semi-permanent, I haven’t really had any damage that I can see but I have had issues with colour bleeding EVERYWHERE. I’m talking bed sheets, scarves, tops, coats… Blue and purple is everything right now. Moving on… So after my original appointment I was disappointed by how much my colour faded, I love shocking people with my funky hair so I don’t want to have dull hair anymore.

Ombre blyh

After I used Poseidon by Arctic Fox, I moved on to Manic Panic but I used conditioner mixed with their shade Shocking Blue. I did the roots first and left them to soak up the dye before adding it to the ends, that gave me the ombre style as shown in the picture above. I loved the colouring that I had after doing this and it was certainly a step up from the mess that the first Arctic Fox colour left my hair. Manic Panic did not smell as nice but it did have a better result and I was much happier with how I looked.

Blue toilet selfie

The next image shows how my hair with a full coverage of the Shocking Blue without conditioner to dilute the colour. It felt less nourished but I preferred the colour of this one. I didn’t get a great deal of fading but the shade did change slightly and the brightness faded the roots. Shocking Blue gave me the closest colour to what I was aiming for, I was thinking Katy Perry in the Wide Awake music video and I think I got fairly close. It could have been a little bolder but it fit my inspiration a little closer than I was expecting.

Untitled design (9)

After my blog post about my first Arctic Fox disaster, their customer support team sent me a Purple Rain dye to try out. Apparently certain colours pick up better on your hair depending on texture and hair history. The picture is definitely not true to life, it’s more like that dark gothic purple that we all wore in the noughties. I’ve had some great feedback about this latest shade but blue is where my heart is and I fully plan on going blue once again.