Now this is a hard one. It’s something I’ve really struggled with in the past, and still struggle with now. Growing up I always worried what other people thought of me. I worried about what I should be wearing, whether people would judge what I’m doing, and if I’m totally honest, what other people would think of who I am. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve felt like you can’t say something? Or questioned your ability because you’re worried you’ll sound stupid? This has been me on many occasions.

I think I come across as quite a confident person, but deep down I am always battling with myself over what others think of me. I remember starting my Instagram account (which took a good few months of talking myself into it) and worrying SO much about what to write and what others would think. I didn’t tell any of my friends or family at the time, as I was embarrassed about their opinion of it. It’s only been quite recently that I’ve relaxed a little, but there are still times now that I’ll question myself and have a mini panic about what I’m doing. Firstly, I want to point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like this. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that is hard to control and we can only try and help ourselves by changing our mindset and thinking – much easier said than done I know! I used to look at other people and wish I was as laid back and care free as them, until I realised that this is who I am, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of!

I think we are all guilty of wanting to look or be like someone else. Those models on Instagram, celebrities, even our friends. It’s easy to want someone else’s life, when everything seems totally ‘perfect’ from our own. I think as humans we will always want what we can’t have! There’s a few things that I have learnt throughout my fitness journey that I really want to share with you…

You are unique in your own way

We all have different bodies and are built in different ways. I read something the other day that I loved – isn’t it amazing how we are all totally unique? It’s so true, no one other person can look exactly like you, act like you, dress like you etc. It’s time we embraced our imperfections and saw them as unique and perfect in our own way. I used to be extremely self-conscious with my body, however after time I realised that everyone has their own insecurities, but it’s what makes us who we are today!

Comparing yourself can only lead to disappointment

So you set a goal to look exactly like someone, but what happens when you don’t achieve it? You’re much more likely to give up or get down on yourself, right? This isn’t just going to lower your self-esteem, it’s going to make you question yourself and how you look when you’re perfect to begin with! My best tip would be to find motivation in others around you, but embark on your own journey. Compare yourself to yourself and you’ll see how far YOU have come and feel so proud!

Have a strong support network

I have to say, I’m extremely lucky that I have really supportive family and friends around me. Whenever I’m feeling down or worried about something they will always be there for me. Instead of dealing with all your problems yourself, confide in a friend to help you. You’ll always feel so much better talking to someone else, and chances are they may have some good advice for you.

Be yourself

Don’t be afraid to be different or have a voice. If you don’t agree with what someone else does, it doesn’t mean you have to copy them or follow what they do! Be confident in yourself and last but not least be proud of what you’ve achieved!

I hope this helps some of you realise how AMAZING you are! I never used to, however I’m slowly getting better at being more confident in myself. Be proud of how far you’ve come and enjoy your journey! Comparing yourself to others can only get you down on yourself, so don’t allow yourself to. I think we all need a little reminding that self-love is one of the most important things!

Lucy xx

 

My biggest excuse before getting fit was ‘I don’t have enough time’ or ‘I’m too busy to exercise.’ Sound familiar? I could never understand how people cours have full time jobs AND stay fit. A few years back, my routine was waking up as late as possible before work, sitting at my desk all day and coming home to watch TV, then going to bed early. Sounds super fun right?

After realising this wasn’t how I wanted to live my life and finally getting myself into a routine, I now look back and wonder how I carried on being so lazy for so long. What I thought was impossible was actually really achievable. Once you get yourself into a good routine, it all falls into place – it’s getting over those first few hurdles that’s the hard part. I have a full time job, continue blogging and still have time to do the things I want to do like seeing my friends and going for brunches – we all know how much I love brunching – because I organise my time effectively.

I think the most important thing is, you need to want to exercise.. whether that’s to lose weight, tone up, be healthier, get stronger – the list is endless! At the end of the day, the only person who is going to make this change is you, so you’ve got to be disciplined and really work hard.

My Top Tips

Get lots of sleep

I never used to be a morning person, but it’s something that I’ve trained myself to do. Don’t get me wrong, this was hard work at the beginning, but now it’s rare if I’m ever up later than 7am (even on a weekend!) You’ve got to have discipline and set yourself goals to achieve this. I realised that staying up late and getting up at 6am just wasn’t going to work, so I started going to bed a little earlier to make this easier for myself.

Plan your time

I love planning, so I’ll always stay on top of my diary so I know I can fit everything in that I want to. If you know you have an extremely busy week ahead, plan exactly when you are going to fit your workouts in. Even if it’s a quick 20 min HIIT session, make sure you plan ahead otherwise you’ll say you’re too busy.

Write lists

My memory is terrible. I honestly need a list for nearly everything I do – it’s quite embarrassing! However, it means that I never forget things as I’m always on top of what I need to do. I like to make lists or set alarms on my phone so that I won’t forget to do anything important – you get used to writing everything down I promise!

Rest

This is something that I constantly have to remind myself to do. I have to say, I do find it quite difficult to relax, as I get twitchy sitting around not doing anything. I always feel like there is something else to do, so it’s really important to remember to have some time to yourself and rest. I used to get ill quite a lot because I would run myself into the ground with so much going on, but now I make sure to plan some time to myself during the week, whether that’s a long walk or sitting and having a coffee.

Fuel yourself

It sounds obvious, but a lot of people forget to eat or drink water when they are really busy. If you’re hungry and tired you’re much less likely to exercise, so planning out your meals for the day and having a water bottle to hand always helps. Try and make your own food rather than processed meals when you can, so you’re filling your body with the right nutrients it needs.

Home workouts

I’m now a member of a gym, but when I first started to exercise I would do it at home as it meant I had longer in bed! I would wake up a little earlier and squeeze in 30 minutes before work, which made the process a lot easier as I wasn’t changing my lifestyle dramatically. I love to workout in the morning as it frees up my evening to see friends or cook a nice dinner.

Hopefully these tips will help you find the time to exercise and stop making excuses like I used to! It’s definitely possible if you have the right mindset and plan your time effectively. Let me know if you have any great tips that work for you?

Lucy x

Nike

We all know that feeling. Monday morning after a long weekend and your 6am alarm goes off to exercise… or any morning for that matter! You wouldn’t be human if you jumped out of bed straight away with a skip in your stride! It was weeks before my body got used to this change, but when I finally did, it started to become so much easier and I slowly started to become a morning person. Once you get into a consistent routine, it becomes habit. To help any of you out there who are wanting to exercise in the morning but currently struggling to wake up, I’m sharing my 10 top tips to help you!

Image: Pinterest

#1 PREPARE

Make sure you have everything ready the night before. I can’t explain how much this helps. I’m talking every last thing! You want this process to be as easy as possible, so rolling out of bed with everything ready right next to the bed is a good place to start!

#2 EARLY NIGHT = EARLY MORNING

For the first few weeks of starting on an early schedule, I would highly recommend an early night. If you’re up late and tired in the morning, you’re unlikely to pull yourself out of your warm, cosy bed – especially in the winter!

#3 SET MULTIPLE ALARMS

And say sorry in advance if you have a partner you’ll wake up every day! I usually set 3 alarms, but most of the time I’ll get up after the second. Make sure they are close together, and if necessary set as many as you need to force yourself out of bed. It will be annoying, but it really works!

#4 PLAN YOUR WORKOUT

Waking up without knowing what you’re doing is a sure way to stay in bed. Do a plan every Sunday evening or each night before to ensure you know exactly what you’re doing when you wake up.

Image: Pinterest

#5 HYDRATE

Make sure you drink a good amount of water when you first wake up. Obviously this isn’t the time to be downing a litre of liquid, but you need to make sure you’re hydrated for your workout.

#6 FUEL

Have a post-workout treat planned. Whether that’s your breakfast or a protein shake. Your body will need something to keep it going so make sure to eat right away if you can, to replenish your muscles. I used to wait until getting to work to eat anything, and would always feel really unwell and weak on my journey. I then started making protein smoothies to have right away, and would eat my breakfast when I got to work. I usually do my morning workouts fasted, however if you’re doing a heavy weights session I would recommend eating something beforehand.

Post workout protein smoothie

#7 MUSIC

Make sure you’ve got a good playlist on hand to get you through your workout. This is great for your motivation!

#8 PODCASTS

It may sound silly, but listening to motivational podcasts or reading up on anything fitness related before going to sleep will give you some motivation to get up in the morning.

#9 FRIENDS

Drag someone down with you! If you’re going to the gym or a class, arrange to go with a friend. You’re much less likely to skip a workout if you know you’re letting someone down.

Image: Pinterest

#10 REWARD

Reward yourself if you do get your morning workout done. I like to treat myself with a takeaway coffee on my way to work as it’s one of my favourite things. It also helps with tiredness and is basically life – for me anyway! If you don’t like coffee, maybe a fresh smoothie or healthy snack from your favourite shop.

Image: Nike

So there you have it! Ten things that worked for me and changed my lifestyle completely. Some may work for you, some may not, but be sure to try them all out and remember that it doesn’t happen overnight! Give your body time to get used to the change and it will become easier each day!

Lucy x

There are SO many different types of protein out there, it can be a little overwhelming when trying to choose one. I starting taking protein when I realised I wasn’t getting enough from my diet alone. I was looking to gain more muscle, so I found taking protein powder a good way to get the extra calories in. Please note before reading the below, this blog post is based on my own research on the topic – I’m not a qualified nutritionist!

Of course you can get protein from only food. Foods rich in protein include chicken, eggs, milk, cheese and fish. However, if you want to gain more muscle, your protein intake needs to be at quite a high level to achieve this. For this reason, a lot of people turn to protein powders. I tend to workout in the morning, so the thought of making a high protein meal was not convenient for me. Taking a protein shake takes away the hassle of cooking, plus it also absorbs more quickly than food does, getting to your muscles quickly. I can literally make up a shake in 1 minute, in comparison to cooking a meal which would be time consuming when I have little time in the morning.

When choosing your protein, like anything, there are a number of benefits and downsides, so it’s usually a bit of trial and error to find what works for you. As I’ve been trying some of Protein World’s products over the past few months, I thought I could give you an overview and my recommendations on what might work for you.

Using Protein World Slender Blend

Whey Protein

Whey protein is probably the one you’ve heard of when it comes to protein powders. It’s usually cheaper than your plant based proteins, and it’s great for muscle growth. It’s also the protein that most people think will ‘bulk’ you up like a body builder – which is absolutely NOT true! I think if you’re a beginner however, it’s a good place to start.

Callum Von Moger – Body Builder

There are two types of whey – Concentrate and Isolate. Without going into too much detail, they are both derived from milk, however concentrate is about 80% protein and isolate is around 90%. Isolate is best taken straight after exercise, as it is more rapidly absorbed by the muscles.

We then have casein protein, which is known as a slow protein – slower for your body to digest. You might ask why you would take a slow protein if your goal is to gain muscle. Well, for muscle growth to take place, you also need muscle breakdown to take place – this is where casein comes into play. This is best taken at night as it takes at least 4 hours to get into your system. The Bedtime Blend is perfect for this, as you get a slow release of protein throughout the night.

My favourite protein at the moment is the Slender Blend range (pictured above), which a high protein, low calorie combination. It’s made up of whey protein, but has 24g protein per shake! I don’t have a dairy intolerance, so for me this is perfect. I have this straight after I workout 1-2 times per day.

Plant Protein

The downsides of whey, is that it can be difficult to digest for some people. Personally, I’ve not had any problems like this, but if you are dairy intolerant, a plant based protein would be best for you. There are many different types including; soy, hemp, pea (and many more). These have a bit of a reputation of being a little less tasty than your whey protein, however they are gluten and dairy free so a great alternative if you find whey difficult to drink. The Vegan Blend Slender Blend is a pea protein with 30g protein per shake, and like the other Slender Blend products, it is low calorie and low fat. There is no bad or gritty aftertaste like you may find with some other plant proteins, and it comes in the vanilla flavour which is by far my favourite!

Key things to look out for:

Low fat (1-5 grams)

Low carb (1-5 grams)

High protein (20-30 grams per serving)

I found these sites really useful when doing my research:

Bodybuilding.com

https://authoritynutrition.com/

Protein World nutritionist advice 

Other Supplements to try:

Now that I’ve been taking protein for some time, I’m currently looking into other supplements that can aid my training, so I’ll also do a review once I’ve tried and tested some products. The main ones I’ll be looking at are BCAA’s, creatine and glutamine, so watch this space!

I hope you’ve found this useful, but please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Lucy x

 

 

When I first started out on my fitness journey, all I wanted was to have a toned stomach. I wanted that dreamy six pack you see spread all over social media and magazines. After all, it’s hard not to! We are surrounded by perfect bodies and #fitpso everywhere we go. Sometimes, it can seem like that is the most important thing, but remember, it’s more about how you feel within YOU that’s top trump!

Grace O’Malley – Source: Pinterest

Social media is swarmed with hundreds of images of toned abs and the ‘ultimate’ bikini pics – we can’t help but drool over them! These pictures become our core focus when we first start to exercise. The goal differs from person to person; whether it’s to look good for that special occasion, or getting that killer booty we’ve all seen! I openly admit I used to hate exercise, but I did it because I wanted to look a certain way – the pictures I’d seen on social media. It’s true that looking good is a great feeling, and after a lot of hard work I was so happy that I achieved a flatter stomach and ‘six pack’ abs that I had always yearned for. However, after the novelty had worn off, I realised that in actual fact the real change had been made within me as a person! After about 12 weeks of training, I started to feel more than the physical changes I was seeing in the mirror. I was starting to FEEL good about myself and ultimately was a much happier person within myself. This was the ultimate goal I never knew I was going to achieve and the best thing about my new lifestyle.

FITSPO – Source: Pinterest

In this industry, it is hard to get away from all of the perfect bodies we surround ourselves with. I totally get that every girl wants a flat stomach, I was one of them! There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting your dream body. It’s great to have goals and I 100% urge you to set targets for yourself. However, as well as wanting abs, I can only say from my personal experience to set goals that are realistic and make you feel good about yourself! That said, I’ve popped below a few things that helped me to achieve a flatter stomach.

My Top Tips for Abs

1

My first realisation was abs really are made in the kitchen. Obviously this should be combined with training, but the food you are putting into your body really does make a HUGE difference, not only to your weight but to your skin, hair, EVERYTHING. For most people, the last bit to go is your lower tummy (this is usually where fat is stored). Cut out refined carbs if you can – things like white bread, pasta, rice, cereals, sugar. These foods spike your insulin levels which stops fat burning and leads to it storing more fat. I replace these sorts of foods with sweet potato, quinoa, extra vegetables etc.

2

My second tip: doing 1,000 sit ups a day WILL NOT give you abs – as much as we all like to think it will! Your muscles need time to recover, so doing abs every day of the week will not aid your progress. This is why I like to promote doing a variety of exercise throughout the week. I found the bikini body guide so great because you work your whole body in all of the workouts. I also like adding weights to help tone your body and build muscle, helping to speed up your metabolism.

3

HIIT (high intensity interval training): personally for me, this was the most effective form of training for loosing fat. There are so many different ways you can do HIIT and it’s an easy transition into exercise. Things I’ve done in the past is sprints (30 sec on, 30 sec rest) for 15 mins. I also really like doing circuits for around 15-20 mins, either 40 sec on, 20 sec rest or TABATA style (30 sec on, 10 sec off) and include full body exercises but things that get your heart pumping – sprints, burpees, squat jumps, lunge jumps, press ups etc. If you do the same HIIT workout each week you will notice yourself getting stronger, which will spur you on to keep going!

I hope you find this an interesting read. I wanted to share my personal experiences with you all to try and show that having abs is not everything. Enjoying exercise and working out is one of the greatest feelings ever, and I want you all to experience it too.

Please let me know your thoughts below – I’d love to hear!

Lucy x