Wednesday, 7 January 2015

This must be it, welcome to the new year.


I really did have the best intentions of writing one more post before 2014 was out. But quickly came the succession of Christmas, Boxing Day, moving house, and Hogmanay... followed by the week long food coma and epic sleeping sessions. I feel like I only properly woke up when it got to the 5th of January and thought shit, time to get my life back into action!

I don't have any new year resolutions as such, because I constantly feel like I am giving myself a hard time in terms of self improvement. I always strive to be the best version of myself, which can't be all bad, but actually IS bad when it gets to the point of worrying myself to death over how good a daughter/friend/collegue I am. Writing ridiculous, unachievable lists and punishing myself when I don't get everything on them done to a perfectionists standard. Worrying when I have nothing to worry about because when things are going smoothly I am paranoid that I must have missed something?! What's the deal with that eh? I think my sensitive but determined personality, mixed with a history of Generalised Anxiety Disorder can often be a recipe for disaster. But in the past while I have learned that it's about accepting and embracing this, rather than fighting and trying to control it. The most favourite piece of advice someone gave me in 2014 was 'be kind to yourself'. Such simple words, but extremely important ones that should never be over complicated. Which our generation seems to be very good at doing.

 I had a really interesting chat with my friend Ashley recently (who took the picture above) about how we are the first proper digital generation, with our lives often revolving around facebook, instagram, twitter etc. And hey, even blogs! But I don't mind that so much. I enjoy documenting my life in a diary form and being able to look back on where I've been and the journey I have came on. I guess I like instagram etc for all the same reasons, but I also really dislike the negatives that come hand in hand with social media. People tend to share only the good stuff online, so it's easy to look at others and get yourself down about how perfect their life seems. I rarely share anything negative on my social media, with my reason being drawing attention to something which has made me angry, makes the anxiety and anger linger on for even longer! That's just my coping mechanism to help days I am feeling down pass quickly. It doesn't mean I have the perfect life and I need to remember the same goes for others. Staying genuinely positive is really important to me. Today I had a little black cloud following me about because Binx smashed my ipad screen, my old landlord was annoyed at me for something, my new flat isn't still quite ready yet so I am living out of a suitcase at my grandparents house for a week, and trying to get my taxes done with no internet and no printer for all the documents I need. The more I pay attention to the silly things that annoy me, the bigger an issue they become in my head. So now I tend to acknowledge these annoyances, and if I can do something to change them - Great! If I can't... forget that shit and tomorrow is a brand new day.

I understand that a New Year is symbolic to a lot of people for a fresh start, and a chance for new beginnings. I feel like my internal clock restarts every night, so if I've had a bad day and feel a bit teary I can often sleep it off and wake up with a clean slate the next morning. I always set myself daily goals, but seeing as it's January I have been setting my sights on some more long term goals too.

Establish a better work/play balance - This could be quite challenging due to the nature of my job, but my social life seems to go from one extreme to the other (ie when I'm working, I don't bloody have one!) I'd like to try and strike a better balance, rather than disappearing off the face of the earth and feeling like I've sold my soul to the TV industry.

Sit my bike test - After riding Motocross for most of my teenage years I think it's time I bit the bullet and got myself a road bike. Seeing my Dad and his new Triumph has reinforced that the bug has never went away for me. Fingers crossed this is the year where I'll be financially stable enough to go for it!

Take more photographs - It is so easy to rely on the quick convenience of an iphone to take photos. This year I want to fall in love with my SLR all over again and start taking proper photographs, especially for on my blog.

See more of the outdoors - Scotland is downright beautiful, and has so much to offer right on our doorstep. I would really love to go on more adventures like the trip I look to Loch Tay in December. Get out into the fresh air more regularly and help blow away any cobwebs that start to build up. I'll always want to see more of the world, so some travels abroad this year wouldn't go a miss too if money permits.

Reach my final goal weight - I worked pretty hard towards the tail end of the year to loose some excess weight I had been carrying, and I actually felt so much better for it (physically and mentally!) Keeping healthy is a long term goal for me rather than giving in to fad diets. I'm a bit nervous about stepping on the scales after Christmas, but I just plan on taking it a day at a time and hopefully wean myself off 'I'll just have one more handful of chocolates' autopilot!

Learn to say yes and no confidently - I absolutely love this article written by Mark Manson called 'Fuck Yes Or No'. It's all about dating but I think it makes total sense to apply it to the rest of your life too. I am going to say yes more and make time for the things I do want to do, and not give myself a hard time for saying no where I would normally give in for the sake of pleasing others. If you're looking for a bit of wisdom and motivation to kick start the new year I would recommend having a look through Mark's website, there's some fantastic pieces on there which definitely strike a chord or two, and you probably don't realise how much you agree with the advice and observations which he verbalises so well, until you've read an article and think THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE!

These are just some thoughts I've been sitting on for a while, and in 2015 I would really like to manifest them into a reality. I'd love to hear what your hopes and dreams are for the coming year. I'm always around on twitter or instagram for a blether (@hellorogue) 


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Glasgow at Christmas

I love my city, I really do. Glasgow always has so much to offer, and even more so at this time of year. It has been absolutely brilliant finishing up work and getting to spend time with my nearest and dearest, catching up and getting ready for the festive celebrations. Oh, and not to mention the small detail of packing up my entire flat and moving out right between Christmas and Hogmanay (good one Ayden, I know) But hey, New Year equals a new start, right? Here's a run down of my favourite places I've been exploring on the run up to Christmas:

Glasgow On Ice


My old flatmate Claire and I had a little day in town at Glasgow On Ice thanks to simplyhealth, then for a semi healthy lunch at Wagamama afterwards. The Ice Skating is at George Square along with some fairground rides and stalls selling mulled wine and other delicious smelling Christmassy food and drink. Claire is a personal trainer who runs her own spin studio, and has always been very sporty so OF COURSE she took to the ice skating perfectly straight away. It took me on the other hand a few circles of the monument before I wasn't skidding about like Bambi. Ice Skating is a great way to stay active over the indulgent festive period, along with the likes of skiing and my favourite - snowboarding! Can't wait to get back on my board in the New Year, the mountains of Scotland are starting to look pretty snowy already.

Blitzedmas


Blitzed is a 1940's themed club night which happens every few months or so in Glasgow. The Christmas edition was at SWG3 so I took my friend Sally along who was up from London to visit. We went for the 'dolled up' ticket which included getting our hair done by the amazing Miss Dixiebelle's (who did my hair for Luisa's hen party last year) along with some mulled wine in a lovely VIP dressing room. Once we were ready, we headed downstairs to dance along to the swing band performing and get our photos taken in the Bygone Photobooth. Such a different and refreshing type of night out to go on, and it was great seeing everyone making a real effort with their outfits, makeup and hair.

Eden Beauty Garden


With so many parties and nights out to attend over Christmas and New Year, I decided to try out eyelash extensions for the very first time because I suck so much at putting fake eyelashes on! The picture above is with absolutely no mascara, just my own lashes plus the extensions. They are completely flawless and I want to keep them forever. Alas they only last around a month, depending on how well you take care of them. I've not been wearing any eyeliner or mascara, or rubbing my eyes like I usually do, and I have only noticed a few starting to fall out in the last couple of weeks. Being finished at work means I was able to get some super girly nails done too, and went for these red sparkly gel's. Extensions of course, my own nails are nowhere near as long or nicely shaped at this, but maybe one day! Both my lashes and nails were done at Eden Beauty Garden which has just opened inside Central Chambers. Slightly more pricey than most places in town, but I think the extra £10 or so is completely worth it. I've had so many beauty treatments done which are a slap dash job with no care taken at all. The girls at Eden take such pride in their work and it shows, because my nails and lashes are the nicest I've had and have lasted longer than I ever expected them to.

Heenatastic


You've probably seen traces of Heenatastic starting to appear across quite a few Scottish Blogs at the moment, and for very good reason! Sadia's work is amazing and when my friend Heather text a few weeks ago to say she was booking us in as a pre-christmas treat I was so excited! The first pictures are mine and Heather's henna the night it was done, and the third picture was taken by my gal Ashley today (patiently awaiting good news at the Apple Store as my iphone battery is dying a death) It took around 3 hours for both our hands to be finished, and I'm hoping it will last for the next few weeks. Definitely a wee something different that I would like to treat myself to every couple of months. I'm already looking up inspiration pictures for my next visit.

Bath St Tattoo Collective


It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't treat myself to a new tattoo! But I guess I don't even need that excuse haha. Rizza Boo from Jolie Rouge in London was up at the newly opened Bath Street Tattoo Collective doing a few days as a guest tattooist, so I booked in with her as I have been following her work from ages. So so happy with how this one on my side turned out. I'm booked back in with Billy Hay in January to get my shins done which should be... fun? The shop is looking amazing and they have so many great artists working there! Would definitely recommend them all if you're in Glasgow and looking to get tattooed.

Loch Tay Highland Lodges


Getting away from the city for these final few pictures, me and the girls headed up to Killin for a couple of nights in one of the glamping domes at Loch Tay Highland Lodges. Our dome had a lovely wood burning stove, oil lamps, bean bags and a massive bed to keep us cosy while sleeping under a clear sky full of stars. This is Scotland in Winter though, so it was still pretty nippy! We spent our time eating, drinking, playing Disney monopoly, exploring, plus a day trip to Callendar for a look around the quaint little shops and an awesome pub lunch. I took some footage of the trip so hope to get a video up soon. It was the perfect chance to blow away the cobwebs and get my head together before the busy weeks ahead.

I'll be fitting in one more post before the year is out, and in the meantime I hope December is treating you all well ♥

Monday, 8 December 2014

Say you'll remember me

Good afternoon m'dears. I'll leave this to be short and sweet and let you watch my first vlog in over a year instead. Lots of ehm's and tripping over my words - sorry! Please be gentle, it was so bloody nerve wracking! It's also quite a long one, hopefully as I get better and less rambly I could cut it down to half the time. Products I mention in the video are all listed below. Hope you enjoy, and if it wasn't too awkward to watch then I'd definitely be up for filming more :)













Friday, 5 December 2014

Sweater Weather

Good evening my dears. Woke up today feeling relieved but also a bit sad at the fact yesterday was the last day of my BBC job. It's been a hectic few months and now I can fully embrace unemployment until my next gig in January. I've got lots of catching up with family and friends to do, and some nice things planned for the coming weeks so I look forward to sharing them with you. YAY to a social life again! The early starts mean I still wake up early on my days off, so last weekend before a nice lunch with my Gran Liz I was able to indulge in taking a bit of time to get ready and do my hair and makeup properly (as opposed to looking a bit dishevelled during the week) and try out my new makeup from Bare Minerals, which I got after my make-under with them at the Glasgow Buchanan Galleries Boutique.


So, here's my all star line up! From top to bottom, and left to right:

Touch Up Veil in Light, Ready Bronzer in Skinny Dip, Ready Blush in The Tease, Prime Time in Light, Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Rebel, Marvelous Moxie Lipliner in Empowered, Stroke Of Light Eye Brightener, Bare Skin Serum Foundation in Bare Natural, Lash Domination in Intense Black, Perfecting Face Brush, and Purely Nourishing Moisturiser


Here is all of the above on my wee face. I've had a less than satisfactory experience with Bare Minerals in the past with their pressed powder foundation, which seemed to cling to my skin in a scaly fashion and in ALL the wrong places. So I was a bit nervous about trying out their first liquid (well, serum!) foundation. But all my worries were over nothing and I was pleasantly surprised with how down right brilliant it is. Second round of nerves came when applying the foundation myself with the special brush, but it was actually pretty easy. You only need a few drops and you're able to build it up to a heavier coverage if you were going on a night out for example, without it feeling or looking cakey. If I had to describe this combination of the primer, foundation and powder in one word it would be silky. The sort of face touching 'oooooh' silky.


This little group is taking permanent residence in my day to day makeup bag at the moment, with the addition of a black Estee Lauder gel eyeliner and my Benefit Browzings kit. It is literally all I need and is condensed enough to carry about with me on the move. I'd like to give special mention to the moisturiser which is really nourishing and my skin literally drinks it up! Also, the lipliner. It's the perfect colour to wear on a daily basis that I can even have on it's own blended into the rest of my lips. If you want to know any more specifics of each of the products just hit me up on twitter (@hellorogue) and I can tell you more. What suits my skin might not suit yours, but right now I'd like to thank Bare Minerals for eliminating my worried preconceptions and giving me a quick and easy daily winter makeup routine. HIGH FIVE.


Taking these photos make me realise that I majorly need a tripod, or someone to take outfit pictures for me! Myspace selfies are hard to do with a heavy SLR camera haha. So I apologise for that but hope you get the general idea. Now that I'm off work for a month and can actually plan out nice outfits each day I would love to do more outfit posts, if you'd like to see them of course?


Last friday I treated my Gran to lunch at Hutchesons in Glasgow (if you haven't been yet, go, it's amaze!) and we had their set lunch menu. It's in the old National Trust building on Ingram Street and the interior is absolutely beautiful. I decided to go for a bit of double denim for a chilly day in town, with my loveheart shirt from Primark, fur lined denim jacket from Spartoo, and leopard print shoulder bag also from Spartoo. Black AA Disco pants not pictured because seriously, I mean it when I say I need someone to take my outfit photos haha. I have been wearing my personalised name necklace from Punky Pins all day, every day! Having quite an unusual name it's always been hard to get personalised items straight off the shelf (take me back to being sad in the pencil case aisle at Tesco the week before going back to school) I had a few name necklaces from Punky Pins in my late teens and was pleased to see they are still going strong. They are one of the few online jewellery places I've bought from who have good prices and their necklaces don't turn your neck green after 5 minutes. Winning.

With today being my first day off I managed to stay rather productive. I went to Bath Street Tattoo Collective to get a new tattoo from the lovely Rizza Boo who was doing a guest spot there (you can have a nosy on my instagram @hellorogue) then met a friend for coffee and managed to finish off my Christmas shopping. Tomorrow I am going Ice Skating at George Square and for lunch with my old flatmate, then going to the Biffy Clyro gig at night. Some other bits and pieces I've got to look forward to over the next few weeks are Blitzed next Saturday (which is a 1940's themed club night) a few nights away at a wigwam with the girls on the Sunday, and a screening of The Wizard Of Oz with Jelly and Gin the following Thursday 18th. It's the last of a few films they are showing (the other is Gremlins on the 11th) and it basically consists of eating and drinking bite sized food and cocktails along with the film, and Mr Wolf signals throughout the screening when you are to do so. Wizard of Oz is one of my all time favourite films, so safe to say I am excited and extremely intrigued is an understatement! I've never been to or heard of another event quite like it. Tickets are still on sale for pretty much all I have mentioned above (apart from Biffy Clyro, boooo) so let me know fellow Glasgow people if I will be seeing any of you there. December, you are an absolute gem already ♥

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Caturday


More times than others I never know how to start writing a new post (if I was 15 and this was Live Journal it would definitely be DEAR F*CKING DIARY) Alas, I'm 25 and sitting in bed with a hot chocolate at 10.30pm on a Tuesday night, candles burning and relaxing music on. I'm a week away from finishing what has felt like the longest stint ever on this BBC job. 4 months is a pretty long gig for us freelance folk. 11 hour days and a 3 hour commute on top of that has tired me right through to my soul. But hey, I'm almost finished and won't need to work again until mid January, so it's not all bad. It's been an amazing programme to work on and such a gem for my CV, I can't wait to share the show with you when it airs next year. For now, I've been able to save a little bit of money and I move into a new flat next month too, just me and the cats. What a crazy, crazy year this has been and although I am beyond tired right now, I'm excited for whats to come and I have a feeling this year will finish on an absolute high. Also, perks of the job - I nabbed this faux fur coat above from the Costume sale at work. It's a Zara number, £79 and I got it for £30 when it was only worn for half a day in a scene by one of our actresses. It makes me feel like a teddy bear!

Onto the equally as furry nature of this post, I wanted to show a bit of cat related appreciation and give you an update on how Binx is doing (I took these pictures on Saturday so hopefully you'll let me off with the name of this post too...)


I had to do a double take when one of my favourite makeup brands Shu Uemura teamed up with none other than Karl Lagerfelds cat, Shupette, to launch a makeup collection - La Maison De Shupette. The makeup isn't for cats of course, it is for us lovely humans. Shupette is one of the most beautiful kitties I have ever seen and I absolutely adore how cute this range is. I'm wearing the lip and eye palette in the picture above but you can see a closer look further down. My Adventure Time phone case has been on it's last legs for a while, so I finally replaced it with this Gemma Correll Cat print case from Iconemesis.  It's super sturdy and I've always been a big fan of Gemma's quirky illustrations (her 'where you will find me at parties' one could not be closer to the truth) They also do a Pug print one too if you're more of a dog lover, plus prints from a handful of other lovely artists if you're looking for an iphone case that's a bit different.


The Parisienne Chic lip palette is absolutely lovely. I'm wearing the colour on the left in the very first picture. I don't wear lipstick if I know I've got a long and busy day ahead, so the rose tinted vaseline is normally my go to but these lip colours are great because they are similarly moisturising and have a great burst of colour to them. I was initially worried that the eye-need-shu trio would make my eyes look circa school disco 2001, however they are a lot softer in colour than I initially thought. Made for a cute girly eye that could go from marshmallow to cranberry. Nice change for these winter months that isn't boring brown and cream! I have mixed feelings about the packaging and illustration of Shupette. She's a lot cuter in real life and I feel like they could have done her justice a bit more! However I do still find it quite sweet. Just realised I have my David and Goliath cat print pj's on in that picture above too. Am I gaining all the crazy cat lady points yet?


Now onto my little furry little rascal Binx. This boy has came on leaps and bounds since I rescued him, he was only 4 weeks old and weighed a measly 900g. Fast forward to today he's over 2.5kg, has had both jags and the vet doesn't need to see him again until he gets neutered at 6 months old. Dexter has been such a good big brother to this new addition, very patient and kind towards him, and almost 'showing him the ropes' like the Dear Kitten video (which is so sweet I could cry!) Both boys are addicted to drinking out of anything that isn't their water bowl, even though they have fresh water every day. My glass of water is normally second choice and in first place is the bathroom tap. So I got them this water fountain from Feedem, which Binx absolutely loves but Dexter is definitely still a tap man. The only think I don't like is wee creepy crawlies seem to gather underneath the actual machine base - anyone got any ideas of how I stop this? Have you ever used a water fountain for your cat/dog?

Binx definitely only has two settings at the moment - cute and sleepy (which isn't very often) and manic hyper mode, which are broken up with brief toilet and food/water breaks. He is an absolute rocket, full of energy and literally wants into EVERYTHING I touch around the house. Changing bedsheets? I will help you Ayden. Folding washing? Hi Ayden can I be of assistance with this! And anything new that comes into the house has to be given the once over and approval by him too (normally sniffed and licked to death)


I got this beautiful flower delivery from Appleyard London as a wee pick me up, and naughty Binx was straight in about it as soon as they arrived. I only found out a couple of years ago that Lillies are poisonous to cats, so despite them being my favourite flowers I never have them in the house anymore. So I went for this Rose Envy bouquet which contains roses, red berries and blue veronica. Despite being delivered by post they arrived really fresh and lasted about half a week longer than most of my supermarket bought flowers do (bad Ayden, I know) But hey, sometimes we are allowed to treat ourselves, right? It is really refreshing to have Christmas Flowers in the house that aren't all red or plain poinsettas! They came with a free box of chocolates too, which I took into the office and they were ALL inhaled over tea break. They're lucky I'm so bloody good at sharing.


All in all, I like cats. Have you guessed? Binx is absolutely crazy, but I guess that's just kittens for you. Dexter is such a gentle giant so I'm hoping he will be a calming influence over time. Oh and does anyone want to buy a Mulberry handbag completely covered in bite marks? Kitten not included... well, not yet ;) Just kidding, wouldn't change my furry family for the world.

Monday, 17 November 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Can you believe that Christmas is almost upon us? I seem to go into complete denial until I'm having festive tunes and soppy tv adverts forced in my face. I'm no Scrooge, I just can't grasp how quickly this year has flown in! I've been getting organised and using Clipix to gather all my favourite finds from various corners of the internet. Mostly ideas of things I would like to buy myself once this job is over, presents I would like to buy for other people, and websites that are generally just awesome and contain lots of hidden gems that you wouldn't always find in the shops. I've picked my top 13 as a sort of Christmas wishlist, and I hope you like them or they direct you to some sites or brands you've maybe not stumbled across before.

Christmas Wishlist

From left to right...
 
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 - £90 @ Urban Outfitters
2. Ginger Pleasures Gift Set - £45 @ Origins
3. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle - £68 @ Chanel
4. Girl Boss Book - £15.31 @ Nasty Gal
5. Magical Unicorn Slippers - £24.99 @ Firebox
6. Kitty Coin Bank - £14.99 @ Firebox
7. Clementine Print - £15 @ LaLaLand
8. Toast Heated Pillow - £29.99 @ Firebox
9. Personalised Stack Rings - From £35 @ Bloody Mary Metal
10. Cinderella Play Dress - $95 AUD @ Black Milk
11. Peanut Butter Maker - £49.99 @ Firebox
12. Blue Unicorn Kigu - £39.99 @ Kigu
Of course my furry friends wanted in on the action too - so I let Dexter and Binx do their own wishlist for Santa from Pets At Home. They have both been very good boys this year - Dexter is being a great big brother to Binx, and Binx is settling into his new home with us really well. My little wild cat has been an unexpected addition to the family, which has incurred me a few extra costs but I wouldn't change it for the world! So this list is a mixture of practical things they could really be doing with, and some other goodies thrown in for fun.

Pets At Home

1. Rattan Cat Carrier - £39.99
2. Christmas Tree Hat - £5
3. Baby Bea Kitten Treats - 79p
4. Litter Kwitter - £39.99
5. Red Necktie - £4
6. Microwave Heatpad - £22
7. Floral Scratch House - £10
8. Turkey Dreamies - £1
9. Willows Activity Centre - £100

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? And do you prefer to do it online or in person? This weekend myself and Heather are heading to the Country Living Christmas Fair at the SECC to get properly into the Christmas spirit! Also to find some much needed festive inspiration to get started. 

I have 2 free tickets to give away to the fair this weekend in Glasgow, running from Friday to Sunday. So if you would like to enter, leave your name and contact details in the comments and I will choose a winner on Thursday 20th. Depending on what day you would like to go I can meet you in person beforehand to give you the tickets. I'll be going this Saturday :)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The journey to a positive body image

So, I'm 25 years old, a female, and apart from stating the obvious I'm heavily influenced on a daily basis by the media about how I should look physically. Makeup and fashion trends come and go, but what I'm talking about is weight, body shape and the constant pressure we face to look a certain way. This is a trend which never seems to stop circulating.

Magazines and advertising campaigns are plastered with bikini bodies, post baby weight loss and fad diets. Celebrities get slated for putting on too much weight, or loosing too much weight?! So basically, you can't be too fat but you can't be too skinny either. I've always been curvy but the 'real women have curves' photos that do the rounds of the internet really infuriate me. Just because someone is naturally slim or has an athletic figure doesn't make them a 'real' woman? Possibly one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.

I wouldn't say my weight is something I have 'battled' with, as I have always had a healthy bmi and no need to loose weight for medical related reasons. It's all just aesthetic. But it is something that I think about almost every day of my life, probably since the age of about 18/19. Ironically, I remember being happy with my shape and size before then because I never actually thought about it much. As soon as I started analysing it, the weight piled on and that made me obsess even more.


Here's me from the ages of 18-23. The puppy fat evolved and was renamed 'womanly curves' as I liked to tell myself. Fad diets, calorie counting, then binge eating to make myself feel better and repeating that process over and over again. Plus a stupid amount of alcohol while I was at uni. My sleeping patterns were awful, so I was tired all the time and drinking too much red bull and eating absolute rubbish to fuel me throughout the day. Stressful days at work and break ups? That's okay to have a takeaway tonight then, because I've 'earned' it, and it will make me feel better.  I could never tell the difference between eating when I was actually hungry, or if it was just because I was bored or for comfort. Then when I did eat I was filling my body with empty calories that made me even more tired, even more hungry, and put even more weight on. Maybe that guy wouldn't have dumped me if my boobs were bigger, or my waist was smaller, or my bum was more like Kim Kardashian's. Or the thing in recent years of the 'thigh gap'. Did you know that thigh gaps are actually determined by your bone structure and how wide your hips are, rather than how big or small your thighs and bum might be? Ladies, we can do a lot of amazing things when we put our minds to it but changing your bone structure is not one of them.

At my heaviest I was just over 11 stone. I'd get the usual 'oh but you don't LOOK that heavy' or 'you carry your weight REALLY well'. All sort of round about reassurance but I know what they meant. Years of snowboarding, surfing and motocross meant I had built up a lot of muscle that you couldn't really see (but I promise, it's there!) and of course muscle weighs more than fat. I'm convinced it's in my thighs, those god damn things are solid and will never loose an inch no matter what I do.


Here is me from the ages of 23-25. In the past couple of years I have completely re-evaluated what I am doing with my body, trying to re-educate myself and break bad habits. Despite the pressure we face every day from the media, I wanted to do this for MYSELF and no one else. To actually feel healthier in general. I have been actively trying to make long lasting lifestyle changes, and it's been bloody hard, but in the past wee while it seems to be paying off. I embarked on a detox plan called Clean 9, with the help of a lovely makeup artist I work with called Alexis Miller. This kick started my recent weight loss by almost completely eliminating my addiction to sugar, caffine and junk food in general. Sounds faddy, but it isn't and it really worked. I'd be happy to do another post on that if anyone is interested in hearing about it.

I have been working on my focus area for quite a while now, the bit that bothers me the most - my tummy! It is so satisfying to look at both sets of pictures above and be able to show how my body shape has finally started to change. I lived with a personal trainer for a year, tried all the classes under the sun but was still finding that I couldn't define my shape the way I wanted to. This is when I stumbled across TechnoShape, which I have already mentioned in a previous post. Each session lasts 40 minutes and consists very simply of wearing an air pressured belt while you work on the treadmill.


The belt gently moves and almost massages your stomach, encouraging blood circulation to your mid drift. When I work out I always get a red face and arms but my stomach is cold to touch, so by encouraging the blood to circulate more in this area while you exercise boosts your body's ability to burn fat in this area. Hence the steady inch loss! I finished up on the course today and I am really chuffed with the results. After 6 sessions of Technoshape I lost 5cm from my waist, 7cm from my stomach and 4cm from my hips

From left to right, before, during and after

I would say the detox and healthy eating helped with my weight most, and the TechnoShape obliterated those inches, helping me to shift stubborn fat and define my shape. I seem to have hit a plateau with my weight loss recently, at the end of july I was 10 stone 3lbs and I'm now sitting at 9 stone 5lbs. I tell myself my goal weight is 9lbs, but realistically the weight doesn't matter when I can see my body shape changing and feel better about how I fit into my clothes.

A final treat because you are all so awesome, TechnoShape are offering the chance for you to win 6 sessions at a studio near you - worth £275. Even if you're not far from your goal and need that final push, or are looking for an excuse to kick start those changes, I would recommend it to everyone after seeing how well it has worked for me. I know this price tag might be quite a lot for most people, but it does actually work and targets that stubborn area. Weigh that up against the amount of money people spend buying into fad diets or plans where the weight and inches go straight back on as soon as you start eating normally again. The inches I have lost with TechnoShape have came off, and stayed off! Enter below via Rafflecopter, and good luck! I'm so excited to be giving a set of these sessions away to one of you lucky readers :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Despite the long hours I have been working for the past couple of months I actually feel more alert and full of energy than I have in such a long time. My skin is clearer, I'm less irritable and I feel like I have made a massive shift emotionally as well as physically. All these things are connected and a healthy mind makes for a healthy body too. Cutting out the addictions to caffine and sugar has made me realise how AWFUL I felt before, when I didn't realise how much I depended on them. But don't get me wrong, I still treat myself with a nice coffee during the week, pizza at the weekend, a glass of wine after a long day and a slice of cake when it takes my fancy. But now I find myself also craving the healthy options because I know how good they make me feel for a longer amount of time, with no crash afterwards. Everything is fine in moderation, and at the end of the day you need to be kind to yourself. Apart from thinking about weight loss and a smaller waist band, the most important thing is to feel comfortable in your own skin. This is my journey - it may be very different from yours or quite similar. We all have our own goals which will take varying amounts of time, steps and determination. Above all, ignore what the media tells you you should look like, strip it all back to basics and work out what you want to do for you.

 
‘Girls of all kinds can be beautiful – from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It's not easy though because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box... Think outside of the box... Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.’ - Tyra Banks