22 April 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


Sunday, you little scamp, you come around so fast! This week has been ever so slightly bonkers, but in a good way! Right now I am as high as a kite as I am on a refeed day (carbs my friend, I love you so!) and, after this post has gone live I will be heading to bed for a nap! So, before I doze off, let's get cracking with today's post!

:: As you guys may know if you follow me on social media, I had hit a bit of a brick wall, both mentally and physically, recently, which had a ridiculous impact on my ability to human, more specifically to string a sentence together or come up with any new ideas for content for anything (bloody awful that writers block!). I am happy to report that I have had ideas flooding out of my little brain-box all week and have busy scribbling things down left, right and centre. Maybe it's the sun that has recharged my batteries; whatever it was that gave me a kick up the backside I am happy about it! I have been working hard on Leaf Lane Studio this week, on a blog post series that I am really excited about, all about budget wedding dresses, where I focus on a different style of high-street dress every single day (all for under £250). I would love you to head over to check out the business blog!

:: On Friday I received the cutest parcel ever from Sammy at Two Kissing Fish, a Cornwall based business, who will be featuring on this blog very soon! Sammy got in touch with me offering me one of her amazing pictures, handmade and personalised to whatever I wanted and so I asked if she wanted to answer some questions about running a business for a blog post and she agreed! Stay tuned for more on lovely Sammy and her cool little business. Thanks again Sammy for sending the picture, we love it so much!

:: I can't remember which night it was, but one night this week I had the worst nights sleep ever and just felt really fidgety and uncomfortable all night long. You know how it is when you wake up and keep saying to yourself 'go back to sleep' and then end up turning over and over (and over!) until you are all hot and bothered and stressed? It got to the point where I nearly got up at 3am but I laid there and decided to bring in a bit of mindfulness and tuned into Gizmo's little purr/snore combo that she was doing. There was something about listening to that gorgeous little fur-ball that calmed me down and enabled me to finally get some sleep; I adore that cat you know!

:: With the weather turning to heaven on a stick this week I have taken advantage of it and moved my office outside a couple of times (by office, I mean my notebook!). Sitting outdoors, working away with nothing but bird song, the sound of the sea and pub-food smells for company was super relaxing and I am so grateful for the weather turning.
:: On Thursday evening, after dinner, we took a walk to the beach, which is literally two minutes away on foot from our gate, and stood in the final rays of sun, watching the waves crashing in. It was a perfect end to a lovely spring day.

:: I am now at the end of my fourth week of counting macros again and am just over nine pounds down but, more importantly, I have lost inches too and I am so proud that I have achieved that because it is a bloody struggle this time round. If you missed Wednesdays post then you missed me chattering on about image and learning to love my body again, check it out!

:: As part of my refeed day I have been able to have a little treat and I chose a tub of Halo Top ice cream, it is only 300 cals per whole tub and tastes so good! Have you tried it?

That's really about it for this week! I am throwing myself into my gym sessions and macros tomorrow and hope to report more results next week! You guys help keep me accountable; if anyone else is trying to make some changes, either healthy eating or training, or both, then let me know in the comments so we can be in this together!
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18 April 2018

LEARNING TO LOVE MY BODY



I wanted to talk a little bit today about our own perception of ourselves, what we think others see when they meet us verses what they actually think! Not sure that made any sense but let's jump into it!

Some of you may already know that, about a month ago, I started another 'healthy eating' plan and, so far it is going well; I am four weeks in, half a stone lighter and staying totally on track with it all. When I mention my feelings on my body/weight to people it is often met with 'but you look fine as you are' and sometimes a little confusion over why I take things to the extreme when I put myself on these twelve week intensive plans, and this is what I wanted to talk about with you.

Life can be really bloody testing sometimes and we have all experienced physical insecurities for sure (we are, after all, only human!) but why are we so hard on ourselves when, the reality is, we would never be that hard on someone else! I was writing some blog posts for Leaf Lane Studio this week about different styles of wedding dresses and I was very determined not to keep referring to dresses as 'suiting this body type or that body shape', because that plants very negative feelings for someone and personally speaking I hate that kind of stuff! Whilst typing the posts up I was working my way through the dresses and thinking how amazing all different kinds of brides would look in them, so I tried to really boost the body positivity thing, because I genuinely believe people need to hear it and I really believe in getting that message out there, but then I realised something...

Guys, I am a f**king nightmare to myself when it comes to this stuff. How can I stand there and hand out advice and positivity to people and try and big other women up about how beautiful they are whilst I still feel super negative about my own body? WTF is that about?! Don't get me wrong, there are certainly good days where I just kind of accept where I am; a 37 year old woman who goes to the gym four to five times a week and is super careful with her diet (but also has hormones that can't decide what they are doing and a metabolic rate that looks at an oat and gains a pound!) but a large amount of my week is staring at myself in a mirror, grasping on to fat that I feel needs to 'do one' fast and wondering if I will ever feel comfortable in my own skin.

Some of you know my journey: when I was a bit younger I was a lot bigger, I qualified to work as a personal trainer, taught lots and lots of classes too, and worked with so many people towards their goals, but it is an ongoing battle for me. What I do feel though is that, despite personal thoughts on my own appearance, I will always be the one to hand out compliments and they will always be genuine and heartfelt because I never want anyone feeling how I felt at the hands of the people who told me how fat and ugly I was every single day. It really does stick in your brain doesn't it.

Much like the morning meditation I am currently doing, which is a manifestation/law of attraction thing, I see the whole giving other people a bit of positivity thing working much the same way on my own psyche; the more you say these things and look at all kinds of bodies with kindness, love and as having their own story to tell, that those happy thoughts will soak into my own mind and gradually water down the shit. It is happening, just very slowly. 

This time round, as I weigh out and measure out my food, train even though I am exhausted and drink enough water to re-float a sunken ship, I am really questioning my next move. What am I going to do post-plan? How am I going to stay positive and upbeat when I reintroduce foods that I really crave and I am just thinking that I will only succeed if I start to work on that mindset right now, rather than drop off the end of twelve weeks work into a dark hole of despair and self-loathing again. It is really tricky isn't it? 

What I do know is this: I am 37 and I do not want to still be feeling like I am at 40! So, I am learning every day, trying to practice a bit of self love every day too (by saying nice things to myself) and unpicking the places within my lifestyle that I may need to make a change of routine happen quickly.

That was all a bit of a mind-dump wasn't it! What are your opinions on this subject when it comes to your own body? I am keen to get your advice on how you feel good every single day or, if you used to feel bad about yourself and now feel better, how did you get there? If you fancy a chat in the comments I would love to hear from you!
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15 April 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE


If you are reading this on the day it comes out then happy Sunday evening! I have had a full on day of jobs to do so have only just got around to finishing this post! Apologies! How has everyone's week been? Let me know your highlights in the comments! Shall we hop right on in? Okay then!

:: Mum and dad were visiting this week and we had a roast dinner the day they arrived, which was super delicious; even mine, which I had to edit somewhat to fit my macros! They also bought us a few new plants for our garden and potted them up too whilst we were working, which was lovely!

:: I have continued on my healthy eating this week and managed to lose a little more weight, bringing my total loss to half a stone now. I am more focused on the fat I am trying to lose than the actual weight (as we all know that is a stupid thing to fixate on don't we!) and just want to fit comfortably into a size 12 (I am sort of between sizes right now) so I am pushing forward and doing my best not to sit myself down in the sweets isle of the supermarket and stuff my face!


:: Yesterday Joe and I took advantage of the sunshine, and our National Trust membership, and went back to Godolphin House, which is one of my favourite places to visit and it is just up the road too. We always miss the house being open but, this time we were super lucky to be one of a very small group allowed in on Saturday. The house is usually rented out three weeks of the month, and only open to the public on the first week in the month, but it just so happened to be empty this weekend and so they were asking visitors if they wanted a tour! Being the history nerd I am I was all over the opportunity, and it was wonderful! When I am in old houses like that, I can't help but visualise what it must have been like all those years ago, such as in the 1600's, when the family were there with guests of great importance arriving, and how amazing it must have been to own the property and walk through the gardens all alone. The gardens really are so beautiful; I would highly recommend you check them out if you are in the West of Cornwall, you won't regret it (just try to make it on a day the house is open!).

:: On Friday I had a much needed catch up with one of my most favourite humans, Gemma Sands. If you are new to my blog then you won't know much about Gemma, but I mention her a lot here, and not without great reason; she is such a beautiful soul. Gemma took me under her wing (about a million years ago) to coach me towards launching Leaf Lane Studio, and the poor thing has been stuck with me ever since. I am so grateful for her and all she has done, and continues to do, for me and am so proud to call her a friend. She means the world and it was wonderful to catch up and see how things are going. I highly rate Gemmas podcast if you fancy gaining some of her knowledge in bite-sized chunks via the medium of the interwebs!

:: This afternoon, after I had done most of my 'to-do' list and struggled through half an hour of cardio (I am sore all over from training this week!), I treated myself to the best Epsom salt bath ever. I popped on a podcast and just laid there for twenty minutes, totally chilled out. I then got into bed for an hours sleep! It is one of my favourite things to do these days: training, bath, nap! Try it, it really is amazing!

:: I have resurrected an old dieting favourite this week by way of protein ice cream, i.e. mixing a shake as normal, but maybe slightly less almond milk, and then putting it into the freezer for an hour to an hour and a half. I use a strawberry flavour one which tastes like Angel Delight when frozen (I am waiting for it to set as I type actually!). It is such a 'hack' if you are in need of something sweet and want to fool yourself into pudding!

That is all I have for you for this week guys! I am off for a much needed 'sit' as I have spent the past weeks worth of evenings sticking boxes together so am looking forward to relaxing on the sofa! I am also having a rest day from training tomorrow as I feel bruised all over, so no 5.15am alarm tomorrow for me! What are you up to next week?
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8 April 2018

WEEKLY GRATITUDE



Well, I had a bit of time off there didn't I? Sorry guys. I haven't quite been feeling myself emotionally or physically for a couple of weeks but I think I am back to (almost) 'normal', well, my normal anyway! I started typing this post for last week so I am going to leave it as it was and add some other stuff in for jolly good measure (plummy British accent needed for that obviously!). How are all you guys doing? Has the sun come out where you are too? It's bloomin' gorgeous in Cornwall today, which is just as well to be honest, as my parents are on their way and it usually rains especially for them!

Let's get into the yummy stuff of the post shall we (let me know what you're grateful for this week in the comments!).

:: Some how I have managed to lose just over five and a half pounds this last two weeks, since hopping back on my counting macros plan; I am guessing a large amount of that is water weight, but all will be revealed when I take my measurements! It is still a bit of a booster, mentally speaking, so I'm certainly not complaining.

:: I always find a new healthy routine (food wise) a little challenging at first and so, when I find something that helps keep my sweet tooth happy I am all of a celebration (oooh, Celebrations!). This time I have taken a liking to the 'Options' hot chocolate in the honeycomb flavour! It is low on calories and carbs and so slots right in to the plan! Plus, it smells like a Crunchie bar (and tastes (almost) like one too).

:: I have been having a funny old 'brain week' this last week and have basically done 70% sleeping and 30% trying to function as a human. It has been really difficult but also really interesting to allow the process to just happen and see what comes up in my head. I am fighting a few demons to do with life at the moment but I am really liking that my attitude to it all has shifted recently and that I try to deal with things in a logical way rather than getting struck down with deep depression for days. My morning meditation has helped so much! I am also grateful for Joe not wanting to stab me in the eyes with a sharp implement for all my napping and general moping!



:: Sometimes I do forget how close we are to the sea and, last Sunday afternoon, whilst having one of my many recent naps, I was laid in bed all cosy and had a warm breeze coming in through the window and could hear the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks down the road. It was one of the most relaxing little afternoon snoozes ever!

:: I must mention a podcast episode that I really enjoyed listening to this week with Jen Carrington and Sara Tasker (from the well know Instagram profile and blog 'Me and Orla'); the episode was Jen interviewing Sara and is definitely worth a listen, check it out here. I love both these amazing ladies individually, but to hear them together was so inspirational. 

:: Wednesday was such a beautiful day here that it felt like summer had arrived; everything looked super green, alive and fresh in the garden and Gizmo was loving it! She rolls about in the sunshine all full of life and spends hours climbing trees, exploring next doors garden and waiting by our back gate for the next vole to run past. Whilst the last one isn't ideal (having spent hours trying to get rid of a mouse last year) I do love to see her so content.



:: I am really trying to up my game with Leaf Lane Studio, so whilst I am doing that I may have to let my vlogs slip a bit, but what I am doing more of and will aim to improve on (fast!) is Insta-stories on my Leaf Lane Studio and blog Instagram, so make sure you are following along to keep up with the exciting life I lead of naps, tea and cat snuggles!

:: I mentioned my new morning meditation routine recently and I thought I would share the YouTube video I am doing (not that there is anything to watch... just set it playing and off you go!). It is all about the law of attraction and manifesting and I find that the ten minutes is just the right length for me, mostly because I seem to have the attention span of a soggy cornflake. If you are interested in giving it a go, here is the link to the video for you. After the meditation I always sit for a couple of minutes and journal about what I am trying to attract into my life as if it is already a thing. So, I am writing as if I already have everything I need in my life and getting into the head space of how that feels... it really does kick start the day and I am loving it! If you do something similar let me know!

That is all for this week lovelies as I have to get back to gluing mug boxes together (I know, I know, how much more rock and roll can I get!). Have a fab rest of weekend and I will see you later in the week! Come say hi over on Insta!

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