Sunday, 27 November 2016

Tips For Winter Blues


I love this picture.

I took in June when my hubby and I were walking around the fields down near a cottage we were renting in Cornwall.  The weather was delightful, the neighbours (some cows and their calves were gorgeous) -  it was beautiful and idyllic.  Now winter is coming as they say in Game of Thrones.  Darn right it is - did you see the rain we had!?  And it's also been bitter cold.  I love the great out doors and all she has to offer, but wow wee when it rains and gets cold - it really does.

Now that winter is almost here, the winter blues will be setting in for some.  You just want to grab a hot drink and a blanket and become a hedgehog (let hibernate commence).  This autumn / winter I am determined to not get dragged down and stay active as possible.  Here are some of my tips to be a success.

// Make a date
If I don't have a plan when it comes to working out, it will always go pear shaped.  However to beat this I have been making dates to see Jim - my little friend.  Dates in my diary - commitments.  Two to three times during the week seems to be working out for me at the moment.  I got into a nice little groove where on Wednesday I have little boxing session all by myself in the work out studio.  It's such a shame that gym is closing.

// Get outside 
I am quite fortunate to have lots of green space and parks in my area.  Getting outside is really important to me, as it's good for mind, body and soul.  I love walking my cousins dog on the weekend at our local country park.  It does us both good - I'm not sure who walks who?  You can go a little mad trapped in doors for the entirety of winter but if it is sunny - get outside and catch some vitamin D.

// Join a club or group
Whilst most people are enjoying a lay in, my cousin recently encouraged me to attend a Saturday AM fit club with her.  She was already attending herself and she twisted my arm to pop along to the free class.  I think this is great as once I'm booked in (you have to book a space) it is basically a sealed deal for me.  It's also a great way to socialise with like minded people.  Thumbs up indeed! I've also noticed local classes advertised in my area for example, hot yoga classes, running clubs.  Have a look around, you'll be surprised.

// A space at home
I currently have an array of fitness goodies scattered around my living room.  Sorry hubby. I know this option will not be everyone's cup of tea, especially if you lack in space and equipment.  Realistically you do not need much to get fit, your own body weight will do.  I didn't buy all my at home work out equipment all in one go, I've accumulated pieces over time.  For starters I suggest a good floor mat and a set of dumbbells just to get you started.  Perhaps even a skipping rope, as that's a bit of a cardio work out right there!

 // DVDs &YouTube
Got a TV and a TV license?  Great.  You're half way there when it comes to this next tip.  Some fitness DVDs can be a real bore, however some can really be great and make you feel like an exercising fitness machine!  Oh yeah 💪  YouTube is also a great door way to anything you want.  Want yoga - got it.  Want HIIT - got it.  It's got everything - all you need to do is search for it. 

How are you beating the winter blues this year?  Whats your tips?  Happy Sunday everyone.

Angela
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Balance



After the gym the other night I had wine.

Wine not I thought... hahah 😭  Sorry a tad lame, but please don't judge me.  When I got home I did have a good dinner of oven baked chicken breast with yummy selection on vegetables.  I then reached for one of my mini bottle of white wine.  I don't do this all the time - probably once a month if that, so hardly an addiction to be concerned about. Tonight I thought what the hell - I had basically earned it at the gym.

I don't like the terms good, bad, naughty treats, however I always find myself saying it.  I try to reframe from calling this a 'naughty treat' because it really is not.  It's called balance.  I went to the gym, I boxed, I swang kettle bells and medicine balls around - I worked hard and sweated so much I looked like I'd been the shower.  My reward is a little glass of wine.

I do not reward myself all the time as I don't want it to become a habit. I will only do so when I feel like I want to.  If it's not wine then I might have two pieces of dark chocolate or a yogurt with a sprinkle of my home made granola on it.  I try to vary it and make it not be a massive amount of calories I'm consuming.   Don't want to undo all the hard work do I? 🙂

What little indulgence do you like to have?

Angela x
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Monday, 21 November 2016

The Gym Vs At Home Working Out


On Friday I was given the sad new my precious gym (aka Jim) was closing down.  The site where my gym is located is being sold to another gym, so I would no longer be able to attend which is quite annoying as it was handily is right on my works door step.  I’ve only just got back in to attending regularly, so as you can imagine to get the news I have to say goodbye made me say an out loud ohhhhhh.  

Good news I'm being moved to another site (still figuring that all out), but it got me thinking.  Do you really need a gym membership??  I wanted to compare the gym with working out at home, which I have been doing - when I remember to!

[GYM] 

// Price

It is well known that gym memberships are not exactly cheap.  Some soar so high you kind of expect for the price tag that the equipment to be made out of solid gold. Before signing on the dotted line... do your research.  Search for different gyms -  there might perhaps be a not so known gym on your door step for quarter the price.  Also does your employer have corporate membership?  Ask your HR department.  Plus when you find gyms,  see what they offer.  Check out the class lists if they have a pool, sauna, spa treatments... you might be surprised.  Most gyms make you sign up for one year... so research is very important.

// Personal Trainers

Need advice to get your summer body...  gyms have PT's to show you the way.  They can be pricey however and make sure they are qualified, as there are some people out there who like to think they know everything when know they sh*t.  They should be on the registered personal trainers list. A legit trainer will take the time to get to know your needs and wants plus they will assess your weight, fat percentage and BMI. If you do invest, try seeing them twice a week for one hour sessions if you can.

// Tonnes of Equipment

Yes there is VIPRs, bosu balls, mats, spin bikes, kettle bells, treadmills everywhere you look however there are also other people you have to share them with.  At peak times you may have to line up to use the treadmill which can be frustrating.  Early morning workouts are best and Friday evenings (most people hit the pub on Friday).  I found the worst times Monday evening, lunch time and weekly between 5.30pm - 7.00pm can be a little more frantic.

// Classes
Most gyms have a mixture of classes on location.  Spin, LBT (Legs Bums Tums)  boxing, yoga to name a few.  Most are included in your membership fees but there are some that are not.  Reception desk staff at the gym will have all the information for you.  Also for well loved classes you may have to book your spot in advance.

[HOME]

// It's Free

The most positive point about working out at home is the money.  You do not have to pay for it as your doing it in your own home. Hipeeee.

// Space

This can be an issue depending on your situation.  Unfortunately I don't have a garage, basement or a spare room to call my at home gym space.  If I do a dvd it's in the middle of the living room.  This could obviously be a problem if you flat share with 3 mates!!  I also don't have large equipment at home due to this which is fine.  I just have a little spot in the living room where all my dumbells and kettle bells live which is fine.

// Get Outside

I have the privilege where I live to be on the suburbs of London town but be surrounded by green space.  Country parks are perfect for running and cycling but also seeing what nature has to offer.  I much prefer this than being stuck on a treadmill.   The other night whilst running I had the honour of seeing a barn owl fly right in front of me.  Most parks have running clubs which you can join for free or for a small fee.  I have also noticed in my park near me they have monkey bars and other various gym like equipment dotted around.  I also ride my  bike around the parks plus feed the ducks... Everyone is a winner!

// Equipment 

I've always done working out at home so over the years I have managed to get myself a collection of dumbells, a decent matt, kettle bells, dvd's... skipping rope to name a few bits and bobs I own.  If you're new to working out at home don't go crazy buying tonnes of things all at once.  Just buy one of each then build up the collection... Amazon, Sports Direct, Argos, Decathlon and even the supermarket have decent work out equipment.  Plus shop around... something I always recommend.  Do not buy big equipment If you have lack of space too!

// Enthusiasm

This is the hardest part of working out at home -  having the enthusiasm to actually do so.   It is very easy to say I'll do it later or maybe tomorrow.  You need to keep to a schedule and make the time and effort.  Try a morning workout as you'll get it over and done with plus you'll more than likely be good after wards.

// Distraction 

Being focused is key and to keep to your routine - make a plan or list of goals.  Set a time for you time.  The house work will always keep till later!!!

That's it folks and now the question is ... which do you prefer - working out at home or in the gym??

Enjoy!

Angela
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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Let's talk breasts!



Boobies, boobs, jugs, melons - ladies breasts have many names don't they?  Whether yours are the size of pancakes or as big as mountains (Thanks Shakira - legend) our boobs need love and support – literally!  If there is one thing that really makes me cringe is seeing lady joggers whilst I'm driving my car. They are jogging along with their bouncing boobies alongside with them. It makes me want to roll the window down and scream 'SPORTS BRA!!!!'.  I can almost hear their boobies say 'ouch, ouch, ouch' every step they take.  It almost makes me cry when I see ladies abusing their boobies. 

Breast tissue is really something we have to take care of.  Unlike other body tissues, breast once stretched too far will not bounce back.  It really doesn't matter if you're big or small gravity does not discriminate.  Gravity is against many of us and will naturally pull our breast tissue downwards.  Sad but true.  

I'm going to do everything in my power to keep my little friends in tip top condition.  The bra I have shown above is my new one I picked up from M&S - link HERE.  It's the Extra High impact with front zip opening and it goes up to a G cup (I'm a 36E I case you're wondering).  It doesn't keep my puppies rock solid, but the bra does limit the movement far better than not wearing anything.  It doesn't have a big price tag either, only £25.  M&S do quite a good range of different bras, so if you want less support the option is there.


What is your favourite sports bra?  What brands do you love.  Come on share the love... x

Angela
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Monday, 14 November 2016

Life 'Weight Loss' Update


Happy Monday everyone, did you catch my latest video about my Slimming World and life update which I uploaded last night? I’m sorry it’s been a while since I showed my face there.  In the video I chat to you guys about my journey and I covered a lot in that video (click HERE for the video), however I thought I would write a few words about it here.

I have always struggled with losing weight, most things in life I can deal with but watching the numbers on the scales not drop is frustrating. All around me I feel like I have a good support network which is brilliant.  But it seems my lard is a firm friend and doesn't wish to leave my side.  I have always encouraged Slimming World as a good thing and I still do.  I have myself had amazing results and I've seen amazing results from friends who chose the SW path.  They went and have succeeded and left me behind in a trail of dust and it upsets me and makes me question it all.  It's no doubt jealousy, but you cannot blame me for feeling a little green eyed monster.  They are getting what I want and I don't understand why I find it so difficult.  Is there something wrong with me?

I am currently struggling with my Slimming World routine, as I find some aspects of it annoying - one word avocados.  They are not a big deal really, but I do love them and I'm still baffled as to why they are classed as bad.  I am also finding it a struggle with the low fat life, not because I love fats, but for the conflicting information that low fats is in fact higher in sugars.  Which is right; a low fat yogurt or a full fat protein rich one?  Answers please.

As for Slimming World I am going to keep at it, but I will just put my own spin on it. My new friend will be My Fitness Pal and I will attempt to track as much as possible.  I'm going to turn this mission impossible to a good ending.   I did set myself the goal of 9lbs by Christmas Eve, but I think that ship has sailed far away.  I'm sorry if my little life update is not to everyones fancy.  I seem to have already lost some YouTube followers since I made my video live, which is a shame.  But I have to be honest.  Why lie and I'm only kidding myself otherwise.

Laters slimming friends!

Angela
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Friday, 11 November 2016

Syn check


The following story is a true story and I'm about to share with you a lesson I learnt from it. 

Once upon a time a girl was feeling naughty, that girl being me.  My hubby is the time of guy who can eat whatever he likes and still remain nice and trim - b*****d!  We went for a lunch time date, we didn't want anything big like a meal out - so we decided to go to a coffee shop.

I never really go to coffee shops too often, as I know they are not the most healthiest places.  I mean who knew you could chose skinny milk if you wanted - I have clearly been living under a rock!  I ordered a hot chocolate thinking I was being good, by not having the whipped cream and marshmallows (this was me being naughty but good).  However then out came the next sentence...

...can I also have a bakewell tart please?

I blame the Great British Bake Off for that, but before I knew it I'd paid for our drinks and snacks and we were sitting down having a nice time.  I drank, I ate - I was happy... then I go get my Slimming World app out and learnt the reality of my decisions.  20.5 syns for a bakewell tart!  God I nearly died and wanted to cry.  I couldn't change what I'd done, the bakewell was now having a party with my stomach acids and part of me wished I could make myself sick.  I was thinking extreme measures, but what was done was done.

If I could have my time again, I would forward plan and check the app first instead of after.  It's good to be spontaneous and do what makes you happy, but looking back I could of had nearly three hot chocolates instead of one bakewell.  Yuck.

I guess what I'm trying to say is think before you eat.  As I said I don't adventure into coffee shops much and I honestly didn't know what to expect.  I have a sweet tooth and seeing the treats just over loaded my will power till it ceased to exist.  I think next time I will let my hubby do the ordering and sit at the table away from the sweet stuff.  I might not like it at the time, but I'll end up thanking myself later on for staying away from the temptation.

The end.

Angela
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Monday, 7 November 2016

Smoothie. In A Bowl?

I keep seeing the whole concept of a smoothie in a bowl everywhere on the internet.  I've never really been that bothered to giving it a go, as to be honest I thought it sounded a bit weird.  I mean who really wants to eat a smoothie with a spoon - I'm a straw kinda girl if you get what mean.

It was the weekend and I really fancied a smoothie, so I thought it would be the perfect time to experiment as on the weekends I have the time to play around. I would of loved to throw on granola to give it some added crunch, but I didn't have that to hand unfortunately. Note to self I need to make some soon 😀
Instead I picked out what I had to hand from the kitchen cupboards which was ...
// Kellogg's All Bran 40g
// Flaked Almonds 15g
// Chia Seeds 10g
// Linseed mix 10g
For the smoothie itself I used the Tesco tropical smoothie mix which has kiwi, pineapple, mango and coconut. I had some left over blueberries which I threw in too just to make use of them. I then added fresh mint from the garden, a small Yeo Valley low fat yogurt and a cup of water. If I had my time again I might of added a banana instead of the blueberries or perhaps less water as it made my smoothie quite a watery consistency. It would be perfect for straw drinking but for a bowl it needed to be thicker I think personally.
I popped on my toppings in no particular arty fashion and that was it. It tasted good and kept me full for quite a while as I had the added toppings. I think this is something I certainly want to try again and experiment with.
Have you ever tried a smoothie in a bowl? Got any receipes that you could recommend?
Thanks gangs!
Angela x
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Friday, 4 November 2016

Eat Well Move Better Feel Awesome


I love the title of The Lean Machines first book. It makes you feel upbeat just reading the front cover.  I've been a John and Leon fan for years on YouTube where they are called The Lean Machines.  Both guys are trained personal trainers and are how shall I put it ... ennasy on the eye lol - and a joy to watch. They are not big headed obnoxious personal trainers, they are very down to earth and make the idea of getting fit fun.

Yea getting fit can be fun!


When word started to spread that they would be releasing a book, I knew before I'd even flicked through it that I'd love it. The book itself is not just a cook book. There is a whole sections dedicated to working out with step by step illustrations and there is also an educational section talking about fats carbs and protein and much more in depth topics.  The Lean Machines want to get you fit, but they also aim to educate everyone on how the body works and the foods it does and doesn't need.  That's what a real personal trainer should be like. Healthy mind, healthy body is how I put it.

When it comes to to the food recipes, there is a real good mixture.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dips and dessert and even cookies!  There are everyday meals which don't use weird and wacky ingredients that we cannot even pronounce. It's real food. They do use ingredients like coconut oil which could be easily swapped for fry light if you want to make it Slimming World friendly. Another great fact about the recipes is they all show calorie/fats/protein/carb information in case you want to know the nitty gritty details about the food your about to eat. So helpful.


I hope you pick up your own copy as I think it's really worth the buy.  Click HERE
you where can pick up your own copy.


Angela

 PS. The oat cookies are amaziiiing!!  Just saying.
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Rut



There is a place that all people who are losing weight will fall into when they are on their journey.

It's called ... The rut

The hole that gobbles you up, has steep sides and it feels impossible to even think let alone get yourself out of it. But do not fear, the rut is not somewhere you'll be for ever.  Scouts honour!

Speaking from personal experience a few years back on slimming world I went through the joy of maintaining for at least three weeks on the trot (it may of been longer I cannot remember).  In my mind I was on plan doing everything right, yet I failed to see the results. 

Why I thought?

began to feel deflated and started to think to myself 'is this for me anymore??'  I remained behind for the weekly meeting, which at the time I wish I hadn't.  Reason being my leader made an example of me in front of the WHOLE group and deep down I felt quite humiliated.  The conversation went something like this:

Leader: So Angela another maintain this week, why do you think that is?
Me: I'm not sure, I'm doing everything right. 
Leader: Are you sure? The plan hasn't changed perhaps you have? 
Me: *Face starts to burn and I turn the colour of beetroot!*
Leader: Perhaps reread the books again and restart or perhaps it isn't for you anymore?
Me: *Prays ground will swallow me up but it doesn't.*
Leader: OK, next!

I felt like sh*t after that. 

It didn't help that the lady sat next to me gained 5lbs, yet my leader brushed it off and simply said do better next week to her. Perhaps she was having a bad day I don't know but it really dented my confidence. 

The moral of the story is don't give up. Sometimes we don't like what we hear, but it's the kick up the arse we need in order to change and succeed. I then went on to lose a further 1/2 stone in that group. 

Ruts can seem like a mountain to trek across but if you put your mind to it. It WILL happen. If these journeys were easy everyone would be on it but they never are. That's life I suppose. 

Enjoy!

Angela 
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