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:

💗 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.

💗 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.

💗 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!

💗 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.

💗 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,

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS PLEASE VOTE FOR ME IN THE UK BLOG AWARDS 2017 FOR BEAT LIFESTYLE BLOG!

Click here.

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:

💙 Push ups

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

💙 Tricep dips

💙 Bicep & Tricep curls using the cable

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

💙 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?

INSTAGRAM// BLOGLOVIN// PINTEREST

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?

For daily fitness motivation follow my INSTAGRAM.

  Body transformation journeys are extremely personal. I want to put this up, mainly because I am proud of my achievements so far and I want to continue to motivate myself and hold myself accountable for my results, however I am a bit nervous about posting pictures.

First thing to say: this is not a “weight loss” journey, which is why it is not named as such.  Weight loss has been a nice bio-product of me changing my lifestyle, hopefully for good. I have now been on this journey for 4 months, there have been ups, downs, alterations and compromises, but overall I am feeling like a new person.

I just want to point out that this is my journey, these are my views and my choices, I am in no way preaching as to who needs to lose weight or that certain things are good or bad. It’s how you feel that counts and I truly believe that.

Let’s rewind to December 2015. This was when I decided something needed to change. I was gaining weight and struggling to fit into my clothes and therefore struggling with confidence and self esteem. I was suffering with insomnia which has been an ongoing thing and most of all I was just feeling generally unfit and rubbish. Something had to give and I think a looming wedding was enough to push me to really change my lifestyle.

I hit the ground running. January 1st I joined a gym, I cut out carbs (completely) and began a totally “paleo” diet.  Essentially, all I was eating was meat, fish, eggs and nuts.  I started going to the gym 3 times a week for cardio and a bit of weight training. It was tough, but in the first 6 weeks I made a huge amount of progress and I found it motivating.

However, by month two I had plateaued. And I was miserable on the paleo diet! For me, it was just too restrictive. So Paul and I had a chat and decided that we would lax off slightly on the diet front.  We now eat our version of a “healthy” diet, only putting things in our body which are as natural as possible and free from artificial ingredients. We have reintroduced brown rice for example, and rarely a bit of wholemeal pasta. I have found this change really helped me to maintain the diet plan and stopped me from giving up.  I now love what we eat.

At this point I also wanted a shake up in my workout routine. I was getting bored and didn’t really know what I was doing! So Paul and I contacted a friend we used to work with who is a successful personal trainer who develops and sells body transformation work out plans.  Alex Crockford’s “She-Fit” programme costs £50 for an intense, 12 week gym and fitness programme which is sent to you in document form.  The programme requires 4 resistance workouts per week plus cardio and works in cycles so the workout changes every few weeks or so.  I am now 5 weeks into this programme and I can honestly say it’s changed the way I feel about the gym! I now look forward to getting up at 6am and sweating it out for an hour!

 

So this is where I’m at now, 4 months in. I’m really pleased with my achievements and I’m proud of myself. I’ve lost a dress size and 2 stone but it’s more about what I’ve gained that I’m so pleased with. I’ve gained confidence, a low of exercise rather than a dread of it, a healthier and more positive outlook on life. I’d even go as far as to say that I’ve seen a reduction in anxiety and I’m sleeping better.  I know making changes like these won’t solve all problems, but I’ve certainly seen many of mine improve drastically. I would recommend a lifestyle change to anyone, even if it’s just baby steps.

Let’s see where the next 4 months takes me!

xox