New Beginnings & Setting Goals

I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of starting ‘new’. I love the start of January, feeling ready for the new year to start, but after 21 years in education now, September will always have ‘back to school’ vibes! This tends to mean I normally buy myself all the stationary possible to be ready for the academic year, but this year it has a slightly different meaning.

A year ago, I had my first epileptic seizure. It was a huge shock, as I was just settling into a new job, it was completely out of the blue & all of a sudden my life turned upside down. I knew pretty much nothing about seizures & epilepsy beforehand & as one in 20 people will have an epileptic seizure at some point in their life, I would definitely recommend checking out the Epilepsy Society’s website to learn more, I wish I knew more before hand.

The loss of independence was one of the hardest things, not being able to drive where I live was complicated. It’s been a year of ‘carrying on’ & I’ve had some incredible support to do so, but I’m ready to close the chapter & open the next.

So, my final year at University will be the next chapter & I’m *kinda* ready for it. I’m very nervous about having to write a dissertation & after a year living at home in the countryside, living in the city excites me but scares me at the same time. It’s feeling a lil bit like a roller-coaster. But as the new chapter opens, it’s time to set some goals.

1. Exercise 3 times a week

Yes, I’ve brought a uni gym membership. There’s no excuses now & that’s good, I want to use it for my own well being, rather than focusing on the ‘weight loss’. Final year is going to be tough & getting endorphins from exercise will hopefully help relieve the stress.

2. Use a typical ‘working’ day for uni work

After spending a year in full-time work, this should be fine. Previous years at uni have had less of a routine, but I know doing so this year will keep me on track.

3. Stick to a blog post schedule

This blog isn’t going anywhere! It’s my creative outlet & I love that, I want to keep writing content that not only I enjoy, but hopefully you do too! Keeping with the routine for uni work, I’ll fit the blog in alongside, whether that’s making the most of a gap between lectures, evenings or weekends, I know that writing helps my well being too.

4. Strive to be the best version of myself

After everything that has happened this year, I’ve had a few ‘wobbles’ & doubts about myself. By focusing on myself & what I want to do, hopefully my mindset will be positive & that’ll reflect in my relationships with people.

What have your goals been this year? Let me know how you have got on with them!

Im x

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September Bullet Journal

So hello September! You’ve rolled around without me really noticing after spending last week away in Scotland. But I’m ready to get back to some sort of routine. Luckily, I’d planned ahead & had my September bullet journal mapped out ready to go once I’d returned from holiday, so let’s have a look at how I’m going to use it in September!

The pages I used in August are pretty much the same in September, as university term won’t start until right until the end of the month. I found the pages worked well throughout August for planning blog posts, tracking exercise etc. So we are still keeping it simple with the pages, but for October, I will be incorporating a weekly diary for lectures, seminars, deadlines etc.

But for September, there’s a bit more of an ‘autumnal’ theme for the title page & monthly calendar. Can we also please appreciate that my calligraphy has got *slightly* better?! I’ve included key dates at the bottom of the mini calendar as reminders.

I really like the way the title page looks, it sets the tone for the next season & Pinterest becomes your best friend when searching for bullet journal themes!!

Following on from the title page is the monthly spread. I’ve used 6×6 squares for each day of the month & used the theme colours to follow through the theme. I’ve used the space on the right hand side to write down my goals for the month. The two main goals for September are completing the sponsored walk next weekend & my ongoing book challenge, but as university starts next month, deadlines will most likely take up this section!!

The blog post ‘scheduler’ page is next up (as you can tell from the monthly spread pens on the other page!). This has been really vital over August & is one of the main reasons for using my bullet journal at the moment. The ‘ideas’ section works well for jotting down what I might wright about & once decided, it’s planned out on the ‘schedule’ section. Over September, I’m aiming for a post every Monday as you can see from my bullet points reminders!!

The final two pages are for tracking after trialling the pages in August, I found it was a good way of recognising what I had done. Personally, I can get a bit demotivated with exercise & I’ve found that it’s good to keep track to look back at what I’ve done over a month.

I’ve recently set myself a ‘book challenge’ to throw myself back into reading again. I’ve always loved reading & it’s definitely good to get myself immersed in a good book, taking time away from phone/laptop etc. Keeping track worked well over August & meant I achieved my target of 10 books! (I know it might sound a bit mad but promise i’m a quick read & not making it up). For the rest of the year, I will have less time than I have had in August so the aim is 5 books a month from now on. The plan for September is to write a few thoughts about each book, so I can actually start to update my Good Reads account!

The To-Read section should help me keeping the ball rolling & I’m always open to book recommendations so please let me know!

And there we have it! Still a very simple design for this month, but next should be more student/work focused.

What do you use your bullet journal for?

Im x

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August Round Up

I’m really not sure where another month has gone to be honest. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. I started out the month knowing that I wanted to focus on creating as much as possible for TheImLife. And that I have done – there’s been a blog post twice a week over August & I’m pretty proud of that!!

Before, I had much more of a ‘sparadic’ posting schedule, but whilst I’m back at uni, I’ll be aiming for at least one post a week.

So August:

It started off pretty quiet, but looking back, it’s been a busy month. I knew I needed this month or so before going back to uni to just be spent recuperating myself. Although I had planned more sunbathing in the garden & the weather had other ideas, it’s been what I’ve needed.

The 10 Book Challenge: I’m a fairly quick reader & have always loved books, just taking time out to be immersed into the storyline is a good way of switching off for me. With a bit more time this month, I set myself the challenge of reading 10 books & recording them in my bullet journal.

For the upcoming months, I’ll tone down the challenge to 5 books a month. I’ll be posting regular book updates on Instagram if you would be interested!

My favourite read this month was definitely ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’, I love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing style.

Exercise: This month, there’s been a lot of walking. At the start of September, I’m completing a 15 mile walk across all the bridges in London & due to living in the countryside, it’s a 3 mile walk to town when I can’t get a lift. My yearly gym membership at home has come to an end so I’m trying to work out what will be the best routine for me back at uni. I’ve fallen in love with Zumba classes & yes you can say what you want about that sentence but it’s true okay? I get to become a salsa dancer for an hour a week & that to me is living my best life.

Bullet Journalling: I’m still fairly new to the bullet journal concept, but I have been using it quite a bit this month. It’s been great for recording what I have done day to day as well as planning blog posts, sticking to the schedule!! It’s been really good for a month where I have had no real structure of work/uni etc & I think I’m hooked so don’t expect me to stop talking about it anytime soon haha!

Highlights of the Month

  • Tutbury Castle Outdoor Cinema – this was a bit of a last min plan but I’m so glad I went. We saw ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ which was really interesting & something a bit different to films I would normally watch. Top tip is to make sure you pack as many warm clothes/blankets as poss even if the weather is warm in the day!
  • Reading Festival – The line-up for all three days was incredible this year, but I had a Saturday day ticket. We pretty much spent the day moving from one stage to the bar, to the next stage & the bar on the way back. An expensive day but full worth it to see as much live music as we did!

Now to squeeze in a quick holiday to Scotland before September rolls around!

How has your August been?

Im x

Five Things I Wish I’d Known Before Going to Uni

1. Not everyone will be your best friend & that’s okay

The whole university experience means that you are thrown into an environment with people to meet left, right & centre. You might be in a flat with around 5 others, your course may be one of the large ones, there’s freshers events here & there & overall, it could be a bit overwhelming.

But go in with an open mind, you might not get on with someone initially & over time they become a good friend, you might meet someone & hit it off straight away. But also, accept that if you don’t get on with someone, that’s completely okay! You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are going to be plenty of like-minded people.

2. Enjoy your nights in as much as your nights out

Most uni’s have a fab night-life & if you love going out, then that’s definitely for you. I have some brilliant memories of nights out in my last two years of uni. But the nights in are just as important, especially for bonding with your friends. Me & my flat-mate did some baking one night, started watching a series for example. Going out isn’t the be end & end all, so don’t worry if it’s not something you want to do often.

3. Get into your ‘study’ routine

The first year grade doesn’t count at most unis & I was pretty happy about that, I knew it would be a huge adjustment for me to move to uni & after a year of working so hard for my a-level results, it was good to know that my overall degree result wouldn’t be impacted by the first year grade. But by getting into some sort of ‘study’ routine does help. Remember we are actually paying for this!!

prime example of enjoying the sun & revising here

4. Food shopping is expensive

That reduced section in Tesco will become your best friend. To be honest, I can’t really remember what I ate in the first term & overtime, you’ll have a ‘go-to’ shopping list, but it all adds up. Find your nearest Aldi for all the bulk buy things but definitely treat yourself with some nice stuff every once in a while!

5. Trust that everything happens for a reason

This is probably the most important one to take away. You may have met some ‘amazing’ friends in the first week & within a month, you realise that they really aren’t your people at all. It’s okay to take a step back & focus on you. It’s okay to not have your house mates sorted for second year straight away. But I’ve learnt that if you meet someone & think ‘yeah they’re a good egg’, stick with them. I’ve met some of my best friends & boyfriend through this methodology so tried & tested eh?

Lets Talk: How to Maintain a Positive Mindset

Maintaining positive mindset isn’t always easy. In the height of the social media world, although it’s great, sometimes everything looks perfect.

However, a positive mindset does not mean that everything is perfect. To me, it’s more recognising how I’m feeling, but knowing that I can & will be able to achieve my goals, aspirations etc.

Typically, I do tend to assume the worst, especially when I am aiming for something. My A-Levels are a prime example here, I knew what I wanted & I’d put so much hard work in & although they are not the be-all & end-all, I knew what I wanted but I still convinced myself that I wouldn’t have got it.

To put it straight, I’m hard on myself & often that increases my anxiety & clouds my ability to have a positive mindset.

For those of you who may be in a similar boat for many different reasons, so here’s a few ways that hopefully will be able to help & support a positive mindset.

Take time for yourself

Simple eh? But it’s one that I tend to ignore the most. I prefer to distract myself, especially from the thoughts in my head that are tearing me down. But it’s important to take a step back, note down what you’re feeling & write down what you have achieved whilst feeling like this, no matter how small or big that is. Write down what you’d like to do & that means that one day you can strive towards it.

Remember you’re not alone

I always remember the saying ‘a problem solved is a problem halved’ & practising this it may make your negative thoughts seem less daunting, less scary. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with, let them listen & lift you up, it may be surprising what a relief it is to talk about everything that is going on. There are also plenty of charities that may be able to support; Mind offer a range of different helplines.

Find your Self-Care ‘routine’

This completely depends on what works for you. It may be doing a skincare routine, getting out for a walk, run, football etc, or it may be finding your creative outlet. It’s important to look after yourself & to take time to breathe. Sometimes I don’t realise how anxious I am until I take some space, for example, going for a walk & noticing the difference in my mood.

So, I’ve written this post with the hope that it’ll support anyone to find the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ – it’s a tricky journey but cherish the days when you feel ‘okay’.

Let me know the ways that help you stay positive?

I’m always up for a chat so you can drop me an email at theimlifeblog@gmail.com or send a dm on Instagram or Twitter.

Im x

The Ultimate Veggie Pie Recipe

When I decided to become a vegetarian, I found myself loving all the new recipes I could try & all the Linda McCartney treats available. But I found myself lacking a ‘go-to’ option for a roast dinner. Pretty much a Sunday staple during winters in the UK, especially Christmas Day.

For this pie, you can use whatever veg you like, whatever veg you’ve got left in the fridge – it’s completely up to you!

I’m all for simple & easy cooking so here I present the ‘ultimate veggie pie’ recipe…

Veggie Pie Recipe (makes 4 portions typically)

Core Ingredients: 1 Onion (red or white), Tin of Tomatoes, Sprinkle of garlic powder (or add a clove of garlic), 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of oregano & 1 Pack of Shortcrust pastry (I used Just Rol)

The Veg I used this time: 1 courgette, pepper & leek, 1/2 aubergine & 1/2 tub of mushrooms.

Start by chopping up all of your chosen veg into medium sized chunks, before starting to fry the onion on a medium heat for around five mins. Add the chopped veg to the pan & stir for around another five minutes.

Then, pour the tin of tomatoes into the pan, mixing with the veg. Add the seasoning (sprinkle of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of oregano & paprika). Leave the mixture on a low heat for around 15 minutes, whilst prepping the pastry.


If you’re like me & want for a quick recipe, then using shortcrust pastry from the packet is easiest. But if you want to make your own pastry, then I take my hat off to you!!

Using a sprinkle of flour on the surface (if it’s a student kitchen, hopefully you’ve got some clear surface left?) & on the rolling pin, splitting the pastry into two squares & rolling to fit the dish you are using. Line the bottom of your dish with one of the pastry squares, making sure there is enough to hang over the edges & scoop the mixture into the dish.

All you’ve got left to do is cover the top of the pie with the second pastry square. Pierce the top of the pie just in-case your mixture decides it wants to try & escape in the oven. Briefly brush egg or milk (vegan option) over the pastry for a golden crisp pastry.

Cook for 30 minutes at 200 degrees & ta-da, you’re sorted for a veggie roast dinner!

Do you have a favourite ‘go-to’ veggie recipe?

Im x

Easy Skincare in 5 Minutes

Feel like you’ve got no time to sort out your skin before work/uni? I’ve got you sorted…Welcome to the wonders of skincare, but in a quick & easy way.

I always used to say that I ‘didn’t have time’, but in reality, I wasn’t giving myself time for it. At the same time, I was frustrated by having dry skin – it didn’t feel as though any moisturiser worked & the skincare routines online always seemed a few too many steps for me & the time I had. So with a bit of trial & error, I’ve streamlined the skincare products that I *try* to use on a daily basis.

  1. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (am & pm) – This product is a go-to for me, whether I’m starting the day or taking make-up off. Everyone always seems to mention this as their go-to cleanser & I can see why; it’s fairly affordable as a cleanser, using 1-2 pumps a day means it tends to last quite a while & it is the simplest way for your skin to feel smooth & fresh after! The best way to use is moisturising the product into your skin before using a muslim cloth (typically the bottle comes with 1/2 muslim cloths) to rinse it off is literally the easiest thing ever.
  2. Liz Earle Exfoliator (2-3 times a week) – The first time I tried this my skin honestly felt x10 smoother, for someone with fairly dry skin this has been a game changer really. I apply 2-3 times a week for the best results, but in the same way as the cleanser, rinsing off the exfoliator with a muslim cloth doesn’t add that much time to your routine either.
  3. Pixi Rose Tonic (am) – this is perfect for my skin, smoothing out any redness & refreshing the skin overall. I’d heard so much about the Glow tonic & Rose tonic & once tried, I was completely sold. I tend to apply with a reusable cotton pad after cleansing before moisturiser.

Moisturising – this is something that I definitely do not miss & with having dry skin, I’ve tried numerous products over the years. Now, I’ve found a moisturising combo that is currently working really well for my skin.

  1. The Body Shop – ‘Oils of Life’ Facial Oil (am & pm) – bit of a long title there & I only nipped into The Body Shop for some soap & next thing you know I’m spending £30 on a facial oil. But it is fabulous & well worth the money. Using the pipette to get a small amount (makes me feel like I’m back in Chemistry lessons to be honest) & as soon as it’s applied, it soaks into your skin with a smooth silky finish (not to mention it smells incredible).
  2. Olay Complete 3in1 Day Fluid (am & pm) – following the facial oil, I use this lightweight moisturiser, especially as it contains SPF 15. It’s not greasy at all, meaning that along with the facial oil, it’s not too heavy on your skin which is what I’ve found with moisturisers before.

August Bullet Journal

August is only the second month in my bullet journal, so I’m dipping my toes in the water in terms of design, creativity & pages I use. For July, I added pages as I went along, which I have now included into the August spread.
This month’s spread has also been inspired by Planner Fest (gifted ticket), where all stationary/planner lovers united for the day. There were talks, workshops & plenty of shops to browse. I loved the calligraphy workshop by Mellor and Rose and have attempted to put it into practice this month.

Full ticket holders received a gift bag, full of stationary from all the different stall holders, along with a Tombow pen. I’ve used this pen for the title page here, not quite mastering the calligraphy but trying to get the different between the down stroke & up stroke.

During PlannerFest, I realised how much I like stickers so I have used these a bit more throughout the August spread.

For the monthly planner, I’ve kept it simple with 6×6 squares for each day, using some stickers for the days of the week. I’ll fill it in with upcoming plans, but after chatting to people at PlannerFest, the idea of a memory page came about. So, I’ll fill the days in with what I’ve been up too & it’ll be a nice way to look back at the end of August.

The next page is blog-related. With a bit more free time this month, I’m trying to get into a blog posting schedule so will use these pages to plan my ideas & when they will be posted. I’ve created a ‘favourites’ box as well as if there is something that I’ve really enjoyed over the month then this could be inspiration for a future blog post!

The final two pages are trackers for myself. I added a ‘Books I’ve Read’ page at the end of July & found it really useful (mainly because I never keep up with my Good Reads account). I do love reading but tend to not always put time aside for it so this page will be a good way of making sure I reach the goal of 10 books a month, no matter how busy I am!

I’ve also included an exercise tracker, mainly because I’ve got a sponsored walk coming up in September, but also because it’s the satisfaction of seeing the exercise you do. Using my fit bit to see weekly exercise is really good but I thought noting down everything I’ve done this month will definitely be motivation for myself.

So that’s my August bullet journal all set up! I’m still a novice & keeping it fairly simple for the time-being, but would love to get more creative with the designs & pages I use.

How do you use your bullet journal? Do you have any design ideas for September?

Im x

Vogue 73 Questions

Before we know it, July is flying by! Today’s post is a little bit different for me, as I’ve very kindly been nominated by Megan from @meganelifestyle to answer the 73 quick-fire questions from Vogue, but blogger style, before tagging other bloggers to do it too!

There’s plenty of questions so I better get started with answering, here we go…

1.What’s your usual Starbuck’s order?

I’m a loyal Costa Coffee gal to be honest, but I’d probably go for a caramel latte.

2. What does your workstation look like?

White desk, grey swivel chair & a plant that I’m trying to bring back to life. But I do spend a lot of my time sat on my bed with my laptop.

3. Favourite food?

Veggie Fajitas.

4. Favourite author?

Tricky one, I’ve been loving JoJo Moyes & Libby Page at the moment – I think it depends on what I enjoy reading at the time!

5. What do you think of open relationships?

Personally wouldn’t be my choice, but if it works for you, fair enough!

6. What is your favourite video game?

Don’t really play them, does nintendogs count?

7. Guilty pleasure treat?

Custard Creams

8. Favourite movie?

The Greatest Showman

9. Favourite book?

A recent book I really loved was ‘Work Like a Woman’ by Mary Portas so I’ll say that’s my current favourite!

10. Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram, I haven’t quite got the hang of twitter yet!

11. Desktop or laptop?

Laptop.

12. Best advice you’ve ever received?
Stay strong & it’ll figure itself out – I tend to get quite worried about change, so but now I try to take take it in my stride & seeing what happens!

13. What project are you working on right now?

For the summer, I’ll be focusing on my blog as much as possible.

14.  Favourite colour?

Purple

15. Did you get good grades in school?

They got me to the university I wanted to go to, so I’d say yes!

16. Dream job?

I do have a dream of starting a coffee shop brand!

17. Play any sports?

Used to horse-ride, but now I just tend to go to the gym.

18. Do you have a degree?

Currently undertaking a Business Management degree at the University of Birmingham

19. Nationality?

British

20. What is your favourite kind of blog post?

I’m loving bullet journal posts at the moment, but would also say travel guides & sustainability tips!

21. What do you like to collect?

Memories, I have a huge box at home of birthday cards, tickets, etc.

22. Describe yourself in three words?

Loyal, supportive & a mixture between introvert and extrovert.

23. If you were a rapper what would your stage name be?

Lets go with Spinball (childhood nickname lol)

24. Who was the last person you DMed?

Boyf

25. What’s on top of your wish list right now?

To blissfully enjoy the summer before going back to uni

26. Sorting house?

I’d hope Griffindor

27.  How many tattoos do you have?

None

28. What are you most grateful for this year?

I’m grateful for all the family & friends that have supported me through my diagnosis.

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?

My consultant confirmed that I’ve been seizure free for four months now!

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

My positive mindset feels like it is getting back on track!

31. What’s the best thing ever?

Love

32. Favourite season?

Always spring, I love it when it starts to get warmer.

33. Favourite holiday?

Spending three weeks interrailing Europe! (travel guides for each city are on the blog!)

one of the many palaces in Vienna (ft. backpack)

34. What fictional character do you relate to the most?

I’d probably say Hermione Granger – she always wanted to do her best.

35. Do you like surprises?

As long as they are nice!

36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?

My friends organised a canal boat party for my 19th birthday!

37. Which surprise made you cry?

Robbie Williams tickets as a Christmas present

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve given someone else?

I try to always make birthday presents a good surprise.

39. Do you like muffins?

Yesssss

40. Do you cook often?

At uni, I cook quite a bit! Typical recipes tend to be veggie chilli/fajitas/spag bol etc – the easy ones!

I would like to cook a bit more outside of my comfort zone though!

41. What’s your favourite dessert?

Chocolate brownies

42. Is there a dessert you don’t like?

I’m not a massive fan of ice-cream

43. Cake or pie?

Cake

44. What’s your least favourite food?

Tuna & Mashed potato – it’s a no from me!

45. What’s your favourite condiment?

Mayo all the way

46. It’s 4am on a random Saturday. What are you eating?

Potentially some chips if I’ve been out. But if not, I’d be sleeping!

47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?

How to reduce plastic in everyday life as it’s something I’m really passionate about!

48. Best animated film?

The Lion King

49. What has a guy said or done to impress you?

It’s definitely the little things in a relationship that I love the most.

50. Best thing to do on a first date?

Probs would recommend an activity, I’m always a fan of bowling lol

51. Worst thing to do on a first date?

Not be yourself

52. What’s the best pick up line?

Always got to be Joey Tribiani – “How u doin'”

Thursday TTGP Check-in 4/27 — The Bump

53. Best comic book character?

Not really a comic book fan!

54. Name three things which can always be found in your purse.

My Chillys bottle, headphones & train tickets usually!

55. Favourite drink?

Diet coke

56. If you could play a historical character in a movie who would it be?

Hmm I really don’t know!

57. Kittens or puppies?

Puppies

how cute is this one?

58. Favourite sushi roll?

Not a massive fan, but I think I’ve had an avocado one before??

59. What lipstick do you use?

Recently it’s been a bourjouis lip pencil

60. What foundation do you use?

I haven’t strayed from a Bourjouis foundation for a few years now, but would like to give another one a try when it runs out!

61. Blow dry or air dry?

Depends on how much time I have!

62. Who is your fashion icon?

I have so many favourites but would say that I’m loving the minimalist style at the moment!

63. Favourite Disney character?

Moana

64. What are you doing tomorrow?

It’s the weekend so having a chill day!

65. Movie you laughed the hardest through?

I’m really not sure to be honest!

66. Movie that made you cry?

I couldn’t not cry at Me Before You

67. If you could sing a duet with anybody, who would you choose?

Probably Robbie Williams because Angels would be the song choice

68. If your life was a song what would the title be?

Not Giving In

69. What’s your favourite animal?

Horses or Dogs

70. Favourite illustrator?

I’m not sure really, I always love the illustrators that Paper Gang use for their boxes.

71. Person you’d like to have coffee with?

I’d love to have coffee with would be Morgan Harper Nichols – I love her quotes & artwork.

72. What country would you like to visit?

Next on my list is definitely Italy!

73. Best way to decompress?

Take your time, write down your thoughts & watch a feelgood movie (even if it’s emotional, at least you get your emotions out!)

So – if you made it to the end of this blog post, I applaud you. If you read the answer to every question, I’ll give you a medal!

Hopefully you’ve learnt a bit more about me & some of these questions really made me think!

Exercising for Me & My Body

I’ve been thinking about writing a post like this for a while, and there’s no better time than after my first zumba class in a while, whilst I’m full of endorphins & wanting to talk about how great exercise is for our minds. This week, it’s mental health awareness week, and I’ve seen plenty of posts talking all about body image & how we feel about ourselves.

I’m going to start this off by saying I’m not perfect with accepting my body image, I’d love to be that little bit smaller, but the main thing for me, is that I want to feel comfortable, fit & healthy in my own body. Today may not be the best day to write this as I have fuelled my body with cake the last few days, following a cake sale at work, but eh it’s all about balance right? I’ve come back from a 45 minute zumba class & my mindset is x10 better than it was an hour or so before.. and that my friends is what I want to talk about.

i don’t actually lift these weights, but the gym was quiet = selfie

The main question I think is: why do we exercise? Do you do it for you? The reason why I ask this, is that my relationship with exercise has been up & down, (I actually wrote one of my first blog posts on this:
https://theimlifex.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/fitness/ ). Since that blog post, my fitness routine has changed, I’ve got access to a gym, I’ve done weekly yoga classes, & I will begin training for a 15 mile walk, and although I wouldn’t say I’ve lost much weight, but I am definitely fitter & healthier than I was. Normally, if I was exercising regularly and not seeing much of a difference in weight, I’d become demotivated, and question if I was doing enough. But this year, I’ve noticed the change that exercise does to my mindset, especially if I’m feeling stressed – take today for example, I was tired & I could have most definitely sat and watched Netflix all evening (which is perfectly justified just to add!), but I just knew that I needed to move to get rid of all the stress. Zumba worked pretty well for that, I may have felt like I was nearly a professional Latin dancer, but I most definitely was not!!

definitely a quote to live by!
t-shirt – stay wild swim

So, in light of the body image theme for mental health awareness, I think we need to not be too hard on ourselves. Exercise because you want to, not because the voice in your head is telling you to burn off the calories you’ve consumed that day, no matter how much cake you ate. Exercise no matter what size/shape you are, take away the scales & measure progress based on how you feel, your fitness & your strength. It’s okay to have bad days, and to not want to exercise ~ accept those days & move on. Finally, ignore every comment someone makes about your size/fitness/strength etc & remember you are doing this for you, if you want to & when you want to, not for them.

By nourishing our bodies, knowing our capabilities & what makes us smile – we don’t have to be on a track to ‘lose the pounds’, we can be on an exercise journey, simply because we want to. Remember, #bebodykind ~ not just to others, but to yourself as well.