The Ely Christmas Cracker was my first local blogger event EVER. I was a newbie once again but I was so excited to meet some lovely, like-minded local bloggers. Even better, it was an amazingly festive event (and we all know how much I loooooove anything Christmassy). It was pretty nerve wracking to begin with, but we got chatting and had an amazing day out at the Ely Christmas fair. We also had a mooch around some lovely independent shops in Ely, some I’d never experienced before. Keep reading to find out more! Read more..
Although this may seem a tad eager, would you believe it if I told you it’s only seven Mondays until Christmas!? So with that in mind, I’ve started to have a think about present ideas – both for myself and for others. For my best friends and my partner it’s a piece of cake. I’ve got this in the bag (or the stocking… which ever way you prefer). I know exactly what they like. However, I struggle to think of amazing gifts for the same group of people each and every single year. My parents, the in-laws and other extended friends and family. I want to put so much thought into each present, but when they’re picky about what they like it’s an impossible task. I can only buy so many framed photographs of myself before I begin to look conceited.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a PR company who had some interesting Christmas gifts from Veet and Scholl which they wanted me to review. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity! Side note – I am totally and completely honoured to have received this opportunity by such renowned and established brands. This is a very proud moment for yours truly.
I wanted to talk about something fairly personal this week because October has been an absolute whirlwind of emotion for me. Due to various factors I’ve had really bad MH (mental health) lately. This is thanks to stress and other pressure which I’ve placed on myself. Being a perfectionist in every single aspect of my life is incredibly tiring at times and lately it’s taken it’s toll on me mentally. I’ve been setting myself unobtainable goals with my blogging, with my social life and professional life etc etc and when I don’t reach these goals I scold myself. When my MH gets bad it effects everything. I become permanently exhausted and my physical health deteriorates which makes it worse – it’s an endless cycle. A few weeks ago I was swept into this slump and I was reminded of the negative impact a poor MH has on your life. Today I thought I would remind and reassure you all
& myself of the need (yes, need) and importance of self care.
Roughly two months ago I requested a recommended teeth whitening product which really works, that doesn’t damage your teeth or cost the world. I was beyond desperate! My teeth aren’t awful but they could probably be at least 50 shades lighter and I have had a horrible stain in between my front two teeth for months. FYI this is probably one of the worst places to get a stain – I’m forever being told I have some food stuck in there. Shortly after my tweet a PR company contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out CB12 mouthwash, and I was more than happy to put it to the test.
The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and our skin is bearing the weight of the changing season. Winter is coming and we must all be ready. One of the only things which I dread about the cooler weather is the dry and flaky skin which accompanies it. I’ve used many a body scrub in the past, and although they do SOMETHING I find myself getting bored with them and leaving the half-used pot to rot in the shower caddy. Sound familiar? Recently I’ve seen Scrub Love blow up on social media. So many bloggers have been raving about this product & so I just had to try it and and see what all the fuss is about.
This topic is incredibly close to my heart. I can only speak through my experience as a girlfriend of someone who suffers with muscle dysmorphia (other wise known as bigorexia). Dan inspired me and even suggested I write this post and I for one would like to applaud his bravery for allowing me to write this. This is such a HUGE part of his life, and it’s become a rather large part of mine now too. I’m both really excited yet incredibly nervous to publicise this post. Excited because I’m so passionate about it, yet nervous because I’m plunging headfirst into unknown territory. In this post I will be explaining exactly what muscle dysmorphia means, its place in today’s society, and how it has effected Dan, both physically and mentally.
Hey guys! In this post today I’m going to be talking about something very close to my heart.
Weight has been an issue for me for a long time now, since I can remember pretty much, and for the longest time I’ve been insecure about it. This only got worse when I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (see my posts here and here for more on my experience with PCOS) monitoring my weight has become a part of my life, and regular weight checks at my nurse appointments have put me on edge and made me feel awful about myself. Recently I had a mini-revelation about BMI and it’s uselessness with my condition and I know that many others feel the same way!
What exactly is BMI?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index… but what does that even mean? Well by typing this question into google I was able to find the following answer from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention site:
“Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. BMI can be used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems but it is not diagnostic of the body fatness or health of an individual”
… Well that’s interesting… This reference would suggest that BMI isn’t reliable when calculating the health of an individual. Perhaps I’m the only one, but to me that came as a surprise seeing as my doctors seem to rely on it and that there is actually a BMI calculator on the NHS site, which will proceed to tell you if you are 1. Underweight 2. Healthy weight 3. Overweight. A link for this calculator is here but hold on before you type in your data and cry like I did at the results, because I’m about to tell you why you shouldn’t bother.
As I’ve said, over the past few years I’ve done a fair amount of research on BMI and it seems that EVERYONE is asking why? EVERYONE agrees that it isn’t a useful tool for monitoring the health of an individual. For example, this was said by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
“BMI (body mass index), which is based on the height and weight of a person, is an inaccurate measure of body fat content and does not take into account muscle mass, bone density, overall body composition, and racial and sex differences”
So FINALLY someone with medical knowledge is backing up what everyone’s been thinking. At the end of the day, muscle weighs roughly 3 times more than fat, but BMI only takes into consideration your weight and height – which excludes important details such as the weight of your muscles, your bones, your natural body shape and other things which could effect your overall weight such as race and sex.
Now it’s getting personal…
So what’s my problem exactly? Why have I been so obsessed with BMI?
Well, as I mentioned at the beginning I was diagnosed with PCOS at 18 and at that time I was the smallest I’d ever been. I had a cyst on my left ovary the size of a golf ball (just imagine that in your head for a moment… A GOLF BALL?!) and as a result the pain had led to a complete loss of appetite. I fell out of love with food for the first, and hopefully the last, time of my life. My mum was really concerned about me but I couldn’t even force myself to eat… or sleep…. or just function as a normal human being. At this time I was roughly 8 stone 7lbs, the lightest I’ve ever been. When I was diagnosed I was weighed and my BMI was taken… Drum roll please…
Yep. On that day the doctor told me that I was the PERFECT WEIGHT and that with PCOS it is important to remain on the lower end of the scale in order to improve chances of fertility in later life so maybe I should consider losing a little bit more… Well my mum wasn’t happy with that I’ll tell you that much. She said something along the lines of “Look at her – this isn’t healthy! Don’t encourage my daughter to starve herself! She hasn’t been able to eat due to the pain!!!” Yes, the doctor was only doing her job but if she opened her eyes and took one look at me it would only take an educated guess to realise that she shouldn’t have told me to lose even more weight!
That was the day it began. Ever since then I have had to go to the doctors and be weighed every 6 months in order to pick up the pill, which I need to stop the cysts from growing. My weight now fluctuates between 9 stone 7lbs – 10 stone 7lbs (usually depending on my lifestyle), but I do live a healthy lifestyle on the whole. I absolutely dread my appointments because what do I get told?
And of course I get the TOTALLY offensive “Well… You don’t LOOK ten stone” immediately followed by advise to try to lose at least a stone, fantastic. It’s degrading, it’s emotionally traumatic, and what makes it worse: it’s completely pointless! I get myself so worked up over these appointments because even though I know it’s utter rubbish, a stranger still looks me in the eye and tells me to lose weight. It’s so wrong on so many levels GAH.
My alternative to BMI
My weight stays put at roughly ten stone for the majority of the time, regardless of what my body is actually looking like, so I have turned to a different method to maintain my health and that is by using body measurements.
For me, this method is SO much more accurate than BMI when I’m trying to lose a bit of fat or what have you because I’ve always been very muscly, particularly in my legs (I danced a lot from the age of 3 so my legs are firm as rocks!) and so it comes as no surprise that like many of us… I do have some muscle?! When I lose weight I do it through exercise, meaning that my fat turns into muscle. So whilst I reduce in mass, I stay the same in weight. Using a tape measure is honestly a game changer for me.
As an example: since coming home from University 3 weeks ago I have been eating healthier and tracking progress on the scales and it has come up at ten stone and seven pounds every single time. Out of curiosity I also measured my body and I have lost half an inch off my waist and half an inch off my hips!!!
That was sooooo amazing to see as I don’t usually see any progress being made at all! I honestly could have cried!
My advice to you
If I could recommend you all to do just one thing it would be to listen to your body. Don’t punish yourself for gaining a little, adjust your goals, forgive yourself and keep motivated. We’re all only human at the end of the day – we’re not perfect, and we would be boring if we were. Learn to embrace your insecurities and try something new if what used to make you feel good no longer does. I’m so happy to have ditched the scales and tried something which works far, far better for me. Equally, if the scales do work for you – then go crazy! What I’m trying to say is: don’t let numbers rule your life. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve to be happy. Life isn’t as easy as a scientific formula or a maths equation, so don’t treat yourself or your body like one. Look after yourself and be the best you you can be.
If you’re interested in reading more about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, check out my two-part post about it, here and here, where I go into much more detail about how it effects me both physically and psychologically.
*DISCLAIMER* Please remember that every experience is different and if you have any concerns after reading this, ask your GP. I am not a doctor and I know through my own mistakes to never self-diagnose.
I really hope you’ve learned something and maybe gained some self-confidence in reading this post! Do you have any opinions on BMI? Perhaps you have a medical background and have an explanation for it’s use? Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
Thank you so much for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on my other social media accounts, and feel free to comment below or message me for a chat – I’d love to talk to you.
Hey everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week despite the freak British weather. We’ve had rain, sun, snow and sleet… What is going on?!
This post is a bit different from my usual, but I just HAD to write about my amazing experience at the colour run last weekend! In this post I will be showing you millions of photos and going through what you can expect from a colour run, and why you should take a big step out of your comfort zone and give it a try!
When we booked our tickets for the Colour Run, I didn’t really know what to expect; but one thing which we could all agree on was that we would take part for fun, and probably not run the entire thing. After all, I hadn’t run competitively before and I was concerned about injuring myself. Although 5k probably isn’t very far to most people; I absolutely LOATHE running, purely because I’ve never been very good at it. I always try to stay in shape and healthy because of my PCOS in order to keep on top of my weight, you can find more information on this condition on my previous posts, here and here.
If I’m honest, we totally forgot about the Colour Run up until the week before: I blame this on dissertation stress! So naturally we hadn’t trained AT ALL. The closest thing I did to training was that I managed staying on the bike at the gym for 30 minutes; a new personal best for me. But I didn’t do this with The Colour Run in mind admittedly. But regardless of our lack of preparation, the day finally came and we were all really excited to get messy!
With the purchase of our tickets we received a really nice Colour Run t-shirt and our own running number to wear on the day as modelled on the morning by myself – before being absolutely covered in paint! But thankfully I did manage to get all the paint out and it is like new – so I have a lovely souvenir to remember the day by!
Pssst. I’m wearing my coppery eye shadow look from my Makeup Revolution Flawless Palette!
On the day of the event, we were really worried about the weather as it was forecast to rain randomly throughout the day and the wind was incredibly cold.
But luckily, although the sun was popping in and out throughout the day, it was warm enough to just take a light jacket and to wear shorts! – I really didn’t want to have to wear my nice gym trousers.
The only issue I had with The Colour Run was quite a doozy – no locker rooms or bag holding areas were made available. Obviously we wanted to bring our phones, jackets, drinks, and money at a bare minimum. Considering that they were encouraging us to purchase more paint, you’d think that there would be facilities made available for us to store our possessions safely and out of harms way – but apparently not. So we were forced to strap our boyfriend’s up with backpacks. They weren’t all too happy with that, I’ll just say that much. But our argument stood – a handbag would be much harder to run with than a backpack (CURSE YOU WOMEN’S FASHION).
We were waiting for quite a while before the paint party kicked off, but that was because we arrived so early! It was quite chilly but they had a live DJ who kicked off the party and kept us in good spirits.I can’t quite recall what kicked off the paint party. One minute we were all standing there anticipating the unknown, and the next the air was filled with colours! The atmosphere during the paint party was electric – I completely lost myself to the music and to the wonderful people.
I’m not going to lie, We thoroughly enjoyed covering each other in paint – and other people of course! We were forever catching each other off guard and getting each other’s face – at one point I managed to get it right in Kayne’s ear… Oops! Sorry Kayne! It was so therapeutic after my recent University stresses to just forget about everything and throw my cares to the wind, alongside powdered paint!
The DJs went through a warm up with us, which was pretty hilarious but I probably should have focused on that a bit more than on the paint in hindsight – my legs have been in utter agony all week! Lessons have been learned about the importance of a thorough warm up. 5k really did seem like much less in my mind.Aaaand we’re off!! We began at a leisurely pace and remained as a four… for about two minutes until Kayne and Dan decided to go it alone, as we were running far too slowly for them! This wasn’t a problem until me and Katie realised that they had gone running off with our bloody drinks! Ah well, we soldiered on! Hahaaa! These photos taken by the professional photographers are amazing. I have had a right chuckle looking through these and seeing how Dan and Kayne got on after abandoning us! Hahaaaa! You can see these guys got Dan right in the face here. These paint-throwing check points were dotted out throughout the entire 5k course which was wonderful. It really kept you running! They were all shouting motivational things like “you can do it!” and “keep running!” which was fantastic and most definitely needed – especially on the final lap. I’m really proud of Dan and Kayne! Even with their backpacks, they pushed on and ran the entire thing!!! Unfortunately, my will power is not quite as strong as that and I’ll admit to slowing down to a walking pace a few times. I absolutely love this photo of Katie and me, and Dan has snuck into the background as well. This must have been right at the beginning when we were all together – the fact that we’re still smiling gives that away! Eeeeesh! They got Katie right in the mouth! I tried to hide myself away from the paint and failed terribly – the only way to run is forward. As I’ve said previously, Katie and I didn’t take the race too seriously and just saw it as a bit of fun. Having said that, we’re both fairly competitive and like to push ourselves so I know that we wanted to try our very best if nothing else. HAHAHA!! The photos of us sprinting to the finish line are HILARIOUS! Dan hasn’t heard the end of it. I’m sorry Dan and I love you but… HAHAHA Okay, I’ll stop taking the mickey out of Dan now… this is pretty horrific. But I’m very proud of myself for sprinting to the finish and my goofy face has a good reason behind it! Dan was standing at the finishing line cheering me on and this was me being very happy to see him and the to see the end of the 5k so… Yeah it’s still awful!
Dan and Kayne finished the race in roughly 30 minutes – which is amazing considering their backpacks and their lack of training for it. Katie and I finished in 40 minutes, which is equally impressive given our laid back attitude!
I’m so glad I took part in The Student Colour Run. It was so much fun – even more so than I had imagined – and was a fantastic way to rid ourselves of the academic years stress. It also showed me my potential and what I can do when I put my mind to it. I had no intention of being able to jog or run even half of the race, and the fact that I did has pushed me and reminded me of my level of fitness.
Even if you’re not very athletic… In fact, ESPECIALLY if you’re not very athletic, this kind of race is DEFINITELY for you!! It was so chilled out and relaxed on the day and I would have felt more than comfortable to walk the entire distance – there was no pressure to run or to be competitive which was great! Some people were even going it in jeans!
At the end of it all, the Student Colour Run was an absolutely fantastic experience and me and Dan are already talking about planning our next one. Just because I am very competitive with myself, I will be planning to beat 40 minutes next time – but if you’re simply focused on finishing – that’s totally cool as well!
You can find out more information about the Student Colour Run here – don’t forget: it’s not exclusively just for students, anyone can join! And there is another site for the big Colour Run, which includes more areas, you can find that here.
Have you tried something new recently which you would like to share? Have you ever been to a Colour Run or have done something like this? Are you interested in fitness and are not sure if this is for you? Please leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you so much for reading. Don’t forget to follow me on my other social media accounts.