10 healthy swaps for the foods you crave

So it’s been a long bank holiday weekend filled with chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate thanks to Easter and the joys of Easter eggs. But now the joy of chocolate has subsided and you’re back to work with the harsh reality of knowing how many calories you’ve consumed over the past few days. So you might be thinking right lets start a super strict diet that cuts out all sugars, carbs and basically anything nice. While this might work for some people, this definitely does not work for me as I’ll be really good for about a week or so and then the cravings start to kick in and in the end I just give up, resulting in a massive binge of anything sweet and naughty basically. Then I’m right back where I started in the first place. Instead I prefer to take the more controlled and healthier route while still allowing myself some treats from time to time as I know my body and I know that I can’t live without sweet things. Cravings are my worst enemy so here are a few healthier alternatives to my ultimate mouthwatering foods.

  1. Chocolate for hot chocolate. Now the reason this is number 1 is because chocolate is something that I crave pretty much once a day and I can amazingly trawl through whole 200g bar in one sitting (which isn’t really that amazing now I think about it because it’s not good for my body). So instead of devouring a whole bar of chocolate I get my chocolate fix with a hot chocolate instead as they contain a lot less calories but you still get to taste that chocolatey goodness.

2.  Ice cream for frozen yoghurt. Everyone has the same two best friends in this world and they’re called ‘Ben’ and ‘Jerry’. This is the king of all ice creams, the best of the best and they just keep getting better with all their new and exciting yummy flavours. But I’m not here to promote ice cream, instead if you fancy something cold and creamy why not try frozen yoghurt. Frozen yoghurt is a great alternative, there are so many flavours, even chocolate! Just make sure you scoop a reasonable portion into a bowl instead of eating out of the tub because we all know eating out of the tub means finishing the whole tub.

3. Sweets for dried fruit or just fruit. Sweets are something that I never seem to crave but if I come across some then I end up eating and eating until the bag is finished; I simply can’t stop. So to tackle this I introduce to you my favourite snack ever….. DRIED FRUIT and more specifically dried MANGO! I am obsessed with dried mango because it genuinely does taste like sweets without all the added rubbish. Yes I am aware that dried mango and other dried fruits can be a little high in sugar but its a whole lot better than eating an entire bag of Haribo. But if dried fruit isn’t your thing then just simply go for normal fruit instead as this should satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and you know what they say if you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple then you’re not hungry at all.

 

4. Crisps for crackers/carrots and salsa dip. If you’re craving crisps then you’re craving something crunchy and perhaps salty, so to overcome this you need something that will fulfil this texture and satisfy your needs. My answer to this is either crackers or carrots dipped in salsa (or without salsa if you prefer). Now the reason behind salsa and not sour cream and chive or any other creamy dip is tomato based dips are a lot better for you than the creamy ones. As for the crackers, I tend to use are either multigrain crackers or melba toasts which are great for that crunchy texture. I usually limit myself to 4 crackers or 1 carrot so that I’m not over dipping.

 

5. Chips for roasted vegetables. This swap is not only a healthier alternative but can be a cheaper alternative too which is always a bonus. Instead of buying frozen chips and wasting more valuable freezer space why not buy a load of veg bung it in the oven to roast with some herbs and olive oil and you got yourself a pretty good healthier alternative. Whether it be broccoli, peppers, onions, sweet potato, butternut squash or carrots, you can chuck practically any vegetable in there. This is also a great way to use up any veg that might be going off and avoid waste. So not only is this healthier and cheaper, it also helps the environment.

6. Pizza for tortilla pizza. I LOVE pizza. Whenever anyone asked me the famous get to know you question of ‘What’s your favourite food?’ My answer would always be pizza and still always is pizza. But unfortunately it isn’t the healthiest thing on the menu so to overcome this and satisfy my pizza needs I make tortilla pizzas which was a household fav when I was at home. All you need is a tortilla wrap (wholemeal is preferred), tomato purée, cheese (low fat or not any at all if preferred) and then any toppings you like.

 

7. Cake for banana oat cakes. If you’re a banana fan then this is the swap for you! There’s nothing complicated about banana oat cakes, its just bananas and oats, mash them together and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes and thats it! (I added chocolate chips to mine which is naughty I know but its all about balance and moderation)

 

8. Biscuits for popcorn. We all know biscuits are one of those snacks where you can’t just have 1 or 2 because it always develops into 4 or 5 until suddenly the whole pack is devoured. To battle this biscuit devouring, swap this for popcorn but be careful not to eat the whole bag of popcorn too. Take a handful or two and pop it into a bowl then put the bag BACK or buy a multipack of popcorn if you don’t trust yourself in the portions department. The propercorn sweet coconut and vanilla is one of my favourite flavours of all time!

 

9. Pancakes for banana oat pancakes. Another swap for you banana lovers. I love bananas they’re so versatile and you can use them as a basis for so many recipes whether they’re ready to eat or ripe, plus they’re pretty cheap. So instead of loaded maple syrup pancakes, why not make a banana oat pancake drizzled with honey and some fruit for toppings. All you need is banana, oats, eggs and baking powder, mix it all up and fry it in a pan until golden brown.

 

10. Burgers for veggie burgers. Last but not least if you don’t want your last meal of the day to be a heavy one then swap your normal burger for a veggie burger. I was always skeptical of vegetarian food before trying vegetarian bean burgers which are honestly so delicious and have a lot more flavour than anticipated. My recent favourite bean burgers are from Morrisons with their spicy bean burgers which kind of taste like a samosa in a weird way but I love them.

 

*Disclaimer. I’m not saying any of these alternatives are the most healthy option but these are healthiER alternatives that work for me and satisfy my cravings. This is always open to interpretation as its just about finding what works for you and your body. We’re all unique so what works for one person may not work for another, just do YOU.

7 step guide to running

Today’s blog post is all about running! My relationship with running is a little bit rocky to say the least… I would say we have a very love hate relationship. But recently I have regained my love for running which is probably due to the emergence of summer weather, especially the lighter nights. I never used to like running or even walking in fact but I first started to gain an avid interest in it when I began to lose weight properly. Now I didn’t just wake up one day and suddenly I was a pro, instead I started off small and ran short distances every other day, about 1-2 miles which isn’t much but it was a starting point to progress from. Then soon enough I started to extend my distances and became a lot quicker in doing so. I would say my running style is more of a long distance runners style as I tend to stick to a comfortable speed and run at a steady pace for a longer period of time instead of short quick bursts like a sprinter. Everyone’s running style is different and unique to them, but I’m going to share with you 7 steps that help me with running. 

1. Track your progress. Tracking your progress is essential if you want to improve your running or fitness as it enables you to monitor how far you are from your goals and serves as a benchmark for your exercise regime. In order to improve and see results you need to push yourself and go beyond your limits which requires knowledge of how you’re currently performing. I find the best way to achieve this is by tracking how far you’ve run, the total duration of running and your average pace. There are two running apps that I use to help me track these variables, one is Runtastic and the other is Nike+Run Club. They’re both excellent apps but I would say Runtastic is better if you want to sync the data with other apps such as Myfitnesspal and you can even plan your routes by drawing on a map.


2. Wear comfortable trainers. Wearing the right trainers is vital when running as you need the appropriate support and comfort levels. I actually went to a place where they get you to run on a treadmill and observe how you run in order to provide you with the best trainers to suit your running style. Something that I didn’t realise is that it is advised to go up a shoe size in trainers because when you run your feet get hot (obviously) and expand meaning that there is slightly more room needed. So I ended up getting a size UK 7 instead of my usual UK 6 in a pair of Sauconys which I would highly recommend to anyone as they are so comfortable and really cushion your feet. 


3. Music. I can’t stand running or exercising for that matter without any music on because when that workout gets tougher I thrive on motivation from my upbeat music. One of my favourite upbeat artists to listen to is Sigala especially his song Give me your love as there’s such a good beat in the background to run to. Also I tend to listen to music whilst I’m getting ready to go for a run as this gets me pumped up and in the mood to go and kick it!


4. Plan you route beforehand. Just like you would plan your exercises at the gym I would strongly advise planning your running route as well. For me, the worst thing is not knowing where I’m going or when the run is going to end as this serves as a definite demotivator and doesn’t end well. Just like in the film Run fat boy run when the guy is running the marathon and hits the ‘runners wall’, this is me half way through my run wanting to give up if I haven’t planned a route because I can’t see an end to this. You don’t have to physically write down the route, just have it roughly mapped out in your head to avoid the risk of runners block.


5. Stretch. If I’m being truthful I never saw the importance of stretching before or after exercising but oh have times changed and now I see what people mean. I used to just get up and go out for runs without stretching but that really isn’t good for your bones or your body in general. So to avoid clicky knees and ankles I spend roughly 5-10 mins stretching before and after my runs. It’s nothing too strenuous or difficult, just waking up my muscles ready for the high impact that comes with running. 


6. Mind over matter. Just like I mentioned with runners block, a lot of the time the key to succes with running or any exercise is maintaining a positive and motivated mental state. I went for a run the other day and throughout the whole run I was putting myself down, constantly worried about what people were thinking of me and how I looked, which then of course made me want to just give up. But this was wrong of me. If you allow yourself to think these negative thoughts then unfortunately you won’t progress or improve. You mustn’t give in when times get tough and you mustn’t feel paranoid when running. I know it’s hypocritical for me to say this as my run the other day was a classic example of all things negative but I’ve learnt from my mistakes and now embrace it as experience.  


7. Mix things up. It’s important not to get too comfortable in your running routine as you just get used the same route and end up not pushing yourself further. To tackle this I have about 5 different routes that I run and will just pick whichever one I feel like on the day, whether that be a scenic park route or running in the city, it usually depend on my mood. Plus for each of these routes I plan out ways to extend or shorten it, to add to the variety and offer alternatives for when I perhaps haven’t got much time or when I feel like running for longer. 

I hope these steps are useful. I just want to point out that I’m not a running pro but I’ve just found what works for me. This isn’t a rigid guide to running, it’s just a few steps that I’ve learnt along my journey with exercise and it’s always open to interpretation. 

Be True Be You. 

Five steps to being body confident

First of all I need to clear something up here, there is no right or wrong way to be body confident because it’s something that is individual and personal to you. Body confidence is something that I have definitely struggled with in the past and you don’t just suddenly gain it overnight. We’ve all been there when you don’t feel confident enough to wear that  dress because you’re paranoid about your tummy protruding through or that skirt because you don’t like the look of your legs. A lot of body confidence comes with age as you discover your body shape but it also comes from loving yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin. So I’m going to share with you 5 things that I’ve learnt and do to gain body confidence.

1.  Exercise. When I exercise it automatically makes me feel better about myself and so much more confident because I feel great on the inside and outside. Whether that be going for a run, a quick gym session, workout routine at home or just  simply walking it doesn’t matter just as long as its some sort of exercise. Some days I know I need to exercise to function properly as I get into this weird mood where I’m all grump and cranky until I’ve got that heart rate up and muscles pumping.

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2. Selfies. Now I know this sounds rather vein but honestly taking selfies really does help with body confidence and anyway why should it be seen as a crime to take photos of yourself!? But its important to remember that when you take these selfies DO NOT criticise yourself, instead point out the things you like about your body and the things you’re proud of because everyone deserves to be proud of who they are.

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3. Surrounding yourself with supportive, loving people. The people around you and those who influence you are so important in terms of confidence. You need people who lift you up and bring out the best in you, which even applies to people on social media. That’s why on Instagram I follow those who inspire, motivate and educate me. For example one of the accounts I actively follow is the amazing and inspiring @iskra who is an Aerireal role model promoting body confidence and embracing every body shape. If you surround yourself with positivity and confidence then this will radiate through you as well.

4. Learn to appreciate but don’t compare. Now this is something that I have only recently mastered and I admit I still struggle to stick to this sometimes. What I mean by learning to appreciate but don’t compare is that you can appreciate other peoples body shape and appearances but it is important not to compare yourself to them and even worse beat yourself up about the fact that you don’t look like them. We’ve all been there and said ‘Ohhh I wish I looked like her/him’ but I’m here to remind you that every single one of us is unique and our uniqueness should be celebrated and not used to compare or make people feel bad about themselves. Once you stop comparing yourself its amazing what this can do to your confidence levels. Now you might be thinking what about all the things on social media though? Well truth is social media can be both an amazing and dangerous platform but it essentially comes down to how you perceive it and how you allow it to influence you. I allow social media to influence me in a positive way and in turn I aim to project this positivity throughout my social media as well. 

5. Wear and keep clothes that fit you. Now I know this sounds kind of stupid and obvious but you know those pair of jeans that you’ve had for ages and are still a little too small but you don’t want to chuck them out because you might get into them one day… just chuck them out! Trust me I’ve been there with my small clothes hoarding syndrome and its definitely not healthy for you. I kept all my size 8/10 clothes for about a year even though they didn’t fit me at all, but I realised this was just me desperately trying to cling onto the body shape I used to have and not embracing the body shape I now have. This was wrong as all I would achieve was wasting 5 minutes of my time trying to squeeze my mermaid thighs into my tight fitting jeans which would then lead to me being upset  and feeling rubbish about myself because they don’t go past my knees. Great confidence comes with feeling great in what you wear and more importantly feeling comfortable in it, so get rid of those clothes that no longer fit as hard and sad as it is I know but its got to be done. Just think of it this way it now frees up more room for better clothes that actually fit!

Now this isn’t an extensive list on how to be body confident by any means, it’s just what I’ve found that works for me along my journey with my body so far. To this day I’m still learning and discovering things about myself and my confidence levels. Of course I have my up days and down days just like everyone else does, but this is all part of the learning process. There will probably never be a definitive day when you could say ‘I am totally, 100% body confident’ but this doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself or that you aren’t body confident at all, it just means you are being true to yourself; like my saying goes Be True Be You.

Booty workout outside

Today I’m going to share with you one of my booty workouts which is my fav area to train! You can do this workout anywhere you like as you don’t need any equipment. Since it was such a lovely day I decided to go to my local park and have a quick session outside as I didn’t feel like going to a stuffy gym, plus I have a cold so didn’t want to contaminate anyone but I needed to do some sort of exercise. I decided to biked there and back which acted as my warm up and cool down and then got straight into my workout. Also I discovered that biking on thick grass is quite challenging.

With every exercise I do in this routine I do 3 sets of 10 reps with a 30 second rest in-between. The amount of reps and sets are completely up to you, this is just what works for me. If I’m feeling up to the challenge I will sometimes complete these exercises with no rest in-between to create a sort of circuit routine. Click HERE for the video of my workout (I had to upload it to Youtube as I can’t upload videos on here… apologies)

  1. Sumo squats. Sumo squats are slightly different to normal squats as your legs should be just past your shoulders and your feet pointing outwards slightly, just like a sumo wrestlers position.
  2.  Jumping lunges. I find these rather difficult to do as you can really feel the burn but I feel so good after completing these. Sort of a love hate relationship.
  3. Jumping squats. By the end of this exercise you’ll really feel it in your legs. Remember to squeeze those gluteus and jump as high as you can.
  4. Curtsy lunges. These are similar to normal lunges but you place your foot back in a sort of diagonal position instead of straight, like you would if you were to curtsy.
  5. Hip ups/bridges. Simply lie on the floor with your legs should width apart and lift your bum up squeezing those gluteus each time you lift.
  6. Donkey Kicks. Get down on your hands and knees and lift your leg up to the sky until you reach a right angle position, then push your foot up whilst squeezing those gluteus.
  7. Fire Hydrants. Get down on your hands and knees and lift your leg up to the side until you reach a right angle position then bring your leg back down again. Repeat this whilst always squeezing your gluteus.

Beauty, size what are they to you?

I just want to start of saying thank you to all those who participated in my questionnaire, I really appreciate the honest and open responses that I received. It was really interesting to gather different peoples perspectives of beauty and size and what it means to them. In todays society we are bombarded with so many people telling us what we should look like or what we should aim to achieve and from the results it is clear to see that this has had a major influence on us.

The first question was ‘what do you think is the perfect size to be in clothing?’ The responses to this question both did and didn’t surprise me as the majority of people answered a size 10/12 which is what I used to aspire to be. But the most interesting answers were those that selected the ‘other’ option. The majority of people who answered ‘other’ explained that there is no perfect size as it depends on who you are. This made me smile when I read this as it really does depend on who you are. I’m a classic example of this as a few years ago if you’d have asked me this question I would have said a size 8/10 but now I would say exactly what was said here; it really depends on you as a person and what you feel comfortable with.

The second question was ‘are you happy with your current size?’ Now the responses to this one were slightly disheartening as the majority of people said no. Following on from this question was ‘if said no to the previous question what size would you want to be in clothing? and the majority of people selected a size 12. This supports the responses from the first question about what is the perfect size and reveals that the majority of people aspire to be  that  ‘perfect size’ themselves. I deliberately put ‘perfect size’ in quotations here because as participants mentioned before there’s no such thing, because A size is individual and B how can there be a ‘perfect size’ if shops aren’t consistently producing clothing to the same measurements. I know from my shopping experience I can be a size 12 in some shops and then a 16 in others! Also I’ve often wondered who decided that these specific measurements were going to be a size 12 or size 14. Why does having a 29 inch waist grant you a size 12?

Moving onto the questions about beauty where it was really eye opening. The first question was ‘what is beauty to you?’ The general answers I received were about feeling confident, comfortable and happy with yourself which I would strongly agree with. Confidence is key, everything from body confidence to studying for exams or even going for a job interview. I mean you would’t walk into a job interview with no confidence at all, act all shy and mutter when you’re asked questions, obviously you’ll be nervous, but how can you expect the employer to put their faith into employing you when you haven’t got the confidence to talk to them? This is the same with body confidence how can you expect society to embrace all shapes and sizes when you aren’t confident with the way you look. Everyone has the right to be confident in themselves and more importantly everyone has the right to love themselves.

The next question was ‘do you think you’re beautiful/handsome’ and as expected the majority of people answered no. This is understandable because not many people like to talk about themselves in a positive light. Many people are quick to highlight their negatives but when faced with flaunting their strengths, we kind of go all shy and modest because we don’t want to appear arrogant. My response to this is its okay to admit that you think you’re beautiful. We are ALL beautiful as beauty doesn’t take a specific form. I realise that you wouldn’t necessarily go up to someone and say ‘I’m beautiful by the way’ but maybe when you’re taking those selfies or looking at yourself in the mirror (as come on everyone does that every now and then even if its for squeezing those spots) try and point out the things that you like about yourself as this will not only boost yourself esteem but also boost your confidence.

And lastly the final two questions were ‘would you change anything about your body’ and ‘if said yes to the previous question what would you change?’ There was no surprise here as the majority by far said yes. The most common answer about what you would like to change was generally slimming down and toning up, especially round the stomach area. I myself have had these same thoughts… I need to be slim and have a flat stomach with wash board abs and my bingo wings need to firmer and not wobble like jelly every time I move them. Well my time thinking these thoughts are over as I’ve been slimmer and basically had a flat stomach but you know what it was so hard to maintain and I was so miserable and grumpy all the time because I hardly ate anything and would feel really guilty if I had even a small square of chocolate, that I choose my now size 14 self with a rather large bum and a little pouch on my belly for my food baby. So I may have rolls when I sit down and my thighs may splatter out onto every chair that I sit on but hey ho I get too much enjoyment out of food and more importantly I choose to lead a happy life. This is not to say that my way is the right way by any means as I am a strong believer that everyone is unique and it is just about finding whats right for you and you’re body. There’s no harm in having goals such as toning up or slimming down, but just remember that they have to be realistic and right for you. If you’re happy with the way you are but feel the need to change for others, PLEASE DON’T! Embrace who you are as there’s no one else like you out there  and remember to Be True Be You.

My mini workout at home

You know the days when you really don’t want to brave going to the gym or even worse going outside for a RUN but you still want to do some sort of exercise… well my answer to this is to do a mini workout at home. Even though you might not think it will do much, its not all about wearing yourself ragged with a massive long run or sweating it out at the gym for hours on end, its more importantly about sticking to some sort of exercise regime whatever that may be because progress and results only occur with consistency. My mini workout doesn’t really involve any fancy equipment, the only fancyish thing I use is a 5kg kettle ball for some exercises but you can improvise with things you have at home, whether that be a big bag of sugar (although that could be a recipe for disaster if a spillage occurs now I think about it) or simply anything heavy enough to make your arms work a little harder after a couple of reps. Or, you don’t have to use the kettle bell at all and just rely on your own bodyweight. I must point out that I am no fitness expert but these are just a few exercises that work for me and ones where I can really feel the burn the next day. So lets get started!

First up is the fire hydrant which really gets those glutes fired up (get it because its called a FIRE hydrant… not funny Molly). All you do is get on your hands and knees and lift one leg up at a time till you reach a right angle position or as far up as you can go. I do 3 sets of 10 reps and then on the last set of reps I will hold my leg up in a right angle position and do 15 mini pulses/reps which really sets my glutes on fire!

Still on your hands and knees, next are donkey kicks which again make your glutes really work for it. Instead of lifting your leg up to the side, you lift your leg up to the ceiling still in a right angle position remembering to squeeze those glutes all the way to the top and back down again. I do 3 sets of 10 reps for these as well and sometimes (if I’m feeling energetic) I will repeat the mini pulses/reps with this exercise as well, whilst holding my foot up in a right angle position towards the ceiling.

Sticking with the glutes theme, next is one of my favourite exercises to achieve that plump booty… SQUATS! I squat with a 5kg kettle bell, just to add a little bit of weight and make things slightly harder for myself. Remember when you squat to keep your chest out, shoulders back and look straight ahead to avoid injuries from bad posture. Also the wider the stance the more your glutes and hamstrings have to work, compared to a narrower stance which focuses more on the quadriceps. I usually opt for a wider stance as I aim to get that peachiness! I do 3 sets of 10 reps of these and sometimes will do a couple of pulses at the bottom of my squat before coming back up to really feel the burn.

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To get my heart rate up a bit I will then do 30 jumping squats which really takes it out of me and my complexion then resembles that of a bright red tomato!

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Another amazing exercise to work your quads, glutes and hamstrings are lunges. I do 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg whilst holding a kettle bell in one hand and believe me when I say my legs are burning after this exercise.

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Like many other people I want to be able to do a decent amount of consecutive press ups the ‘man’ style way, but for now I’m sticking to 3 sets of 10 reps with the ‘girls’ style press ups and a 30 second break in between and that suits me just fine. I can still feel the burn but I’m not collapsing every time my nose touches the floor. I need to walk before I can run.

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Now onto abs… the hardest part of this workout and also the weakest part of my body which doesn’t help matters. To get those abs engaged I do 50 crunches one after another and then lie on the floor for a bit until my abs stop burning.

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Then when my abs have recovered a little bit, I do 30 russian twists which really get those muscles working. I hold a kettle bell whilst twisting my abs from side to side but you can also do this without one. The further you go back the harder your abs have to work, so when you’re feeling like you can conquer the world you lie on back until you nearly touch the floor!

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And finally what better way to finish your abs off than the PLANK… my best friend and also my worst enemy. I tend to hold it for 2 minutes in total, but turning to the side every 30 seconds. So straight on for 30 seconds, then the left side for 30 seconds, then the right side and back to the front again for the last 30 seconds. This is one of those exercises that you really dread doing beforehand but just feel so good afterwards. I admit I have to force myself every time to commit to this.

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Lastly to round the whole routine off I do my favourite exercise of all time… WALL SITS! I usually pretend that I’m just about to sit on an imaginary chair, get really low and hold it for about 2-3 minutes depending on how badly my legs are shaking by that point. Trust me sometimes they shake so uncontrollably that I’m amazed myself.

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I hope you enjoyed my mini workout routine and maybe even found it useful. I just want to say that I’m well aware you can see my roles in some of these photos, my skin is a weird complexion and there are some pretty unflattering angles of my body but thats me and I don’t intend to hide that. This is simply me in my room just showing you the exercises that I usually do if I don’t go to the gym or go for a run. None of these images have been retouched or photoshopped in any way as thats not how you would see me in real life so why should I portray to you someone that I’m not? Like always I stick by my motto Be True Be You.

My thoughts on social media

Just a little warning this may be a bit of a wordy post. So the reason I didn’t post yesterday is because I was feeling very down and defeated with this whole blogging thing. I didn’t have any great ideas and when I tried to take photos it made me feel extremely bad about myself because they weren’t flattering at all. So in the end I got very frustrated and ended up quite emotional because I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere and instead was just wasting loads of time. Also the whole social media and Instagram thing played a big part in my frustrations yesterday as I lose a lot of followers on a daily basis and it makes me worried and self-conscious as I feel like I’ve done something wrong or they don’t like my content and if so should I change it. But despite all this I realise today that I’m still really starting out with this whole blogging thing and have a lot to learn yet, plus things don’t just happen overnight, they take time.

There’s been many occasions when I’ve looked at other blogs and been tempted to just replicate what they do and write about the same kind of thing but at the end of the day that’s not me and that’s not what I want to talk about or represent. Don’t get me wrong I love writing about fashion and style but I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not, so yes I may not take the most professional photos and yes I may not have the most luxurious stuff or do anything big or special to share with you, but that’s because I don’t and I can’t afford to at the moment as I’m a student. It’s so easy to get carried away with everything you see on social media and think that it’s the bee all and end all to have the latest stuff and be like them, but is it really? You see all these bloggers and youtubers galavanting off on their luxurious days out and showing the glamorous side of their life which is inspiring don’t get me wrong but it’s important to remember not to get too carried away with it all and beat yourself up about the fact that you don’t lead such a glamorous lifestyle. I am such a culprit of this especially when I look at other already established bloggers with a huge following and I ask myself why haven’t I achieved that yet? It may just not be my time or it may not ever happen but what I’ve got to remember is that I’m not doing all this blogging and social media stuff for loads of likes or attention, I’m doing it for me and it doesn’t matter if 10 or 100 people read my blog just as long as I stay true to myself and ultimately help others too. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others on social media but there’s a fine line between admiring someone else and then beating yourself up about not being like them. I must point out that I’m no expert and my intentions of this blog are not to offer professional advice as I’m definitely no professional but I just wanted to share with you my recent thoughts and feelings on the whole blogging social media thing.

Social media is such a powerful tool nowadays that can be both a really positive and negative thing. It’s very hard but you’ve just got to block out the negativity and not care what others think, post what you want to post and be who you want to be. You can end up putting so much pressure on yourself to be and present yourself in a certain way similar to others that may not actually represent who you are as a person and what’s the point in that? Not everyone is going to necessarily like your content, posts or blog but that’s life, you can’t make everyone happy so why bother trying to, you should only be trying to make yourself happy. As long as you like what you’re doing then heck just go for it. So what if my Instagram is a bit random and there’s no consistent white background theme. That’s because I’m a bit random and I like doing a variety of things as my family will know from what we call my hobby-hopping days when I used to start and then go onto the next hobby like no tomorrow; from gymnastics to netball to fashion designing and the list goes on… That’s just me, and I don’t intend to change just to try and fit in with other bloggers and social media. My trying to fit in school days are over and it’s time to just be me and embrace that. I apologise again for the wordiness of this post but I just wanted to and needed to express my thoughts and opinions on the matter as it has been something that as played on my mind for a while now and I’m sure a lot of people have felt the same at some point. This is why I stick by my motto Be True Be You as it’s very easy in the world we live in today to follow the crowd and ultimately lose yourself, but why follow others when you can be different, unique and be YOU.