There is no denying that the staying on top of your health and fitness regime is HARD during the festive season. For one thing, it’s cold and dark and who wants to get their bum down the gym in those kind of conditions. Secondly, the number of parties and social events in most people’s calanders tend to step up a gear at this time of year meaning more food, drink and general merriment. Bah humbug say my abs.

Here are my top tips for getting the balance right and managing health and fitness without losing out on having fun:

­čĺŚ Indulge in moderation. If you deprive yourself then you’ll only binge later. Plus, there’s no fun in being the only one at the party who won’t indulge in a treat. If you want something; eat it. Just eat one or two (or a slice – don’t eat one or two Christmas puddings!!) and use your common sense as to when enough is enough.

­čĺŚ Work it off. I tend to work with my body on a kind of negotiation basis. ‘If you eat that baked Camembert you have to do 50 burpees in the gym tomorrow’ and so on. And then I make sure I follow through on my promises! Setting these kind of guidelines ensure that you work off any extra calories which might cause weight gain. I also love sweating it out in the gym after I feel like I’ve over-indulged – it helps get my body feeling normal again.

­čĺŚ Watch those proseccos. Alchohol – the invisible calories. And my enemy. I’m not saying don’t drink – just remember to take those few bottles glasses into account when you’re doing your negotiations for the gym tomorrow. On that note, you may not exactly feel like the gym tomorrow. Do not give in to the hangover. Get up, get out, work it off, start again!

­čĺŚ Don’t stuff yourself silly. There’s nothing worse than, when you’ve enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner cooked with love and maximum effort, feeling sick as a dog because you wanted just one more pig in a blanket. Eat by all means. But don’t eat until you feel ill. It’s not good for your health or your waistline.

­čĺŚ Be chilled. You might get on the scales on 28th December and shudder a bit. Chill out. It’s normal to put on a few Christmas pounds. You’ll just have to hit the gym even harder in January.

Above all, enjoy yourself and have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. 

Love from,

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I absolutely love ‘what’s in my bag‘ posts. Maybe I’m a bit nosy but I love seeing what others keep in their bags. I’d love to do a ‘what’s in my handbag?’ post, but I’m afraid it’s in no fit state for it’s insides to be seen at the moment! It needs a real clear out and several hundred old receipts and sweet wrappers removed before I can start that one.

However, my gym bag is a lot more organised! Plus, handbags can be a bit samey, but what we keep in our workout kits can vary hugely from person to person. I go to the gym 5 mornings a week so it’s a big part of my life. I also go before work at silly-o-clock in the morning, so it’s important for me to keep what I take streamlined, organised and to make sure I have everything I need. I hope you find this interesting and it might give you an insight into me and my fitness lifestyle.

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Workout Essentials

Gym towel – total essential if you are going to work HARD and get SWEATY!

Nike gym gloves – also really important if you are lifting weights of any size; callouses are not nice.

Phillips Bluetooth headphones – I literally can’t work out without my music blaring in my ears and I can’t be dealing with wires they get in my way. I love that these are white too they look awesome.

USA Pro hair bands – the best hair elastics for workouts; they hold my ponytail for an entire workout without needing fussing or redoing, plus the patterns and colours are so cool.

Digital sports watch – for timing exercises, rest periods or just keeping an eye on the time, having a digital watch is pretty essential for me in the gym.

Beauty Bits

After my workout I usually have a quick shower and shoot off for work, I only carry a few beauty products but they all do their job and are perfect for beauty on-the-go.

Molton Brown mini shower gel – the most compact shower gels I’ve one across, and they smell divine.

Clarins satin smooth body lotion – winter dry skin BE GONE! I use this on my hands too.

Impulse body spray – much lighter and less bulky than a bottle of perfume but still keeps me smelling nice!

Liz Earle instant boost skin tonic spritz – essential for rejuvinating my skin and making me feel awake and ready to take the day!

The Body Shop Seaweed Oil moisturiser – a lightweight cream which works wonders on my skin.

Cotton Wool

Makeup

I hardly wear any makeup to work – I work with kids so it’s not like it would stay perfectly on my face anyway! And plus, I simply don’t have the time in the morning. But I do keep two things in my bag at all times just incase.

Bare Minerals liquid under eye concealer – for the tired eye days.

Burts Bees lip balm – this keeps my lips hydrated even in this weather.

Miscellaneous

Workout print out – I find deciding what workout I’m going to do in advance and having a print out of it helps me to focus in the gym and waste less time wandering around.

Pen- I like to write down my weights/ times on the workout sheet to try to improve next time.

Gym card

Phone – occasionally I feel the urge to take a gym selfie!

And that’s it! How about you? I’d love to know what’s in your gym bag!

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I love a bright pair of trainers! I’m not gunna lie, I always do a better work out if I feel confident in my workout gear – and a pair of stylish trainers can real make a gym outfit! I’m a big fan of nikes, but there are a lot of other brands out there with really gorgeous styles. I’ve made a ‘lust list’ of all my favourite trainers on the market which I wouldn’t hesitate to buy if I had the budget or the storage space!!

NIKE FREE TR6 FITNESS TRAINER

This bright pink beauty is a real showstopper! Not only is the four absolutely fabulous but it’s also great for pushing yourself in the gym; lightweight but also durable and with enough support to do your heavy stacked squats!

£45 from JD SPORTS

NIKE LUNAR EPIC FLYKNIT

A little on the pricey side but how amazing are these? I love the colour. They are designed for running rather than gym work and give you all the high tech support, ventilation & ‘barefoot’ feel that runners need. I don’t really like running – but I still want these babies!

£130 from JD SPORTS

UNDER ARMOUR CHARGED BANDIT TRAINERS

I just love the colour of these. If you do t fancy a psychedelic shade like the two above I think this is a really nice compromise. These are all about comfort; with an extra foam layer for shock absorption so would be a good all round training shoe. They are also in the Sports Direct sale at the moment – what’s not to love??

£62.99 from Sports Direct

Karrimor Duma 2 Ladies Running Shoes


Karrimor were the first trainers I ever owned and although they didn’t last as long as my current our of nikes – if you are looking for something that will do the job and not break the bank then these are great. These shoes come ina great choice of colours ranging from the very garish (which I would pick obvs.) to the subtle and plain, as well as having great grip and being an already fitness training shoe. I personally wouldn’t recommend karrimor for serious running; I once did a 10k in my old ones and they we were too heavy and didn’t have enough bounce.

Currently in the sale £24.99 from Sports Direct

Do you lust after fitness shoes like me? What are your favourites?

Some of you may know that when I started working out in January 2016 it was inspired by my impending wedding and I was motivated by getting in shape to look hot for my big day! One of the things top of my list of flabby bits to tone was ARMS. I always struggled with confidence around my upper arms and always felt they looked flabby in certain outfits. This would not do in a wedding dress!

So, my aim – to get toned sexy arms weren’t too muscley or ‘stacked’. Contrary to popular belief, if you lift weights in the gym – you will not get stacked over night!! Seriously I know so many girls who avoid the free weights because they think their arms will get too big. Body building takes months or even years of constantly lifting and using VERY HEAVY WEIGHTS. Trust me, you’ll be fine.

I’m really pleased with how my arms look now – I feel that they are slender and I have some muscle definition but not too much growth. I achieved this by doing one upper body workout per week where I worked all the muscle groups in my arm, and by keeping the weights mostly the same or increasing by a small amount (1kg at a time).

My favourite arm exercises:

­čĺÖ Push ups

­čĺÖ Pull ups (assisted or non – depending on how hardcore you are)

­čĺÖ Tricep dips

­čĺÖ Bicep & Tricep curls using the cable

­čĺÖ Bar bell clean & press (great all body toner)

­čĺÖ Kettle bell swings (tones the whole arm)

The important thing to remember is it’s okay to start with very low weights. If you think about it – the Bicep and Tricep muscles on your body are actually pretty tiny compared to, say, your leg muscles. The key is to complete the exercise slowly and controlled with a weight that is challenging, but still enables you to complete the movement.

So, get down the gym and boss those arms. Being strong is sexy!

Do you like upper body workouts? What’s your favourite?

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Sometimes you lose your rhythm in fitness. It can be anything, a change in routine, an upset, difficult period in your life or maybe just you’re really tired. For me, I’ve recently started placement in a school and I have to leave the house at 7am. Given that my gym opens at 6.30am this is not realistically enough for me to have a workout in the morning. I now go 3 times a week (one evening and both days of the weekend) compared to my old routine which was 5 mornings a week.

This has been a really hard upset for me, not just because I enjoyed it and it really set me up for the day but also because I had genuinely become a morning person ! I loved getting up early and thrashing all my stress from the day before out in the gym. It made me feel alive, and awake actually! These days I struggle out of the house feeling sleepy and lethargic. I’ve also noticed I’ve put on 3 pounds which has been upsetting me a bit.

HOWEVER, it’s important to not be too hard on ourselves and recognise our achievements so far! I’ve still lost nearly 2&1/2 stone and managed to maintain it. The first picture was taken in January 2016 and the second is now. It’s still an amazing achievement!

I figure I’ve just got to stop giving myself a hard time and understand that it takes time to adjust to a new job and routine.

Do you find it difficult to fit fitness in around a demanding job? What are your thoughts on this?

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