Wednesday, 10 July 2019

My F45 8 Week Challenge Experience and Results



I'm gonna start this blog post off with a picture of me in Ibiza last week, cos I'm so bloody PROUD of myself and my body and the number of jump lunges I've forced myself to do over the last couple of months. But don't worry... the dreaded 'BEFORE' picture is looming!!!! (Make sure you're sat down before you scroll.)

I’m not going to lie, I was SUPER nervous for my first F45 class. From what I had heard about F45 is that it’s a bit of a cult. But since relocating here, I have realised that Londoners LOVE fitness, and there are so many boujee fitness studios that people swear by: 1Rebel, Psycle, Barry’s Bootcamp etc etc, and you only have to take one look at their IG pages to feel totally intimidated. The women are super toned and work out in Lululemon sports bra co-ords and the men are absolutely ripped- and then there’s me. Fresh from my 2 week all inclusive holiday eating and drinking my way through the Dominican Republic.

Body type = bag of custard. The super thick clotted cream Ambrosia one. Not a #LEWK.


The 8-week challenge happens around 4 or 5 times a year, and every F45 studio across the world takes part at the same time. For a set price (around £200 p/m) you get access to as many classes as you can handle, a meal training plan (including recipes for every single meal and snack of each day during the 8 weeks) and round-the-clock support from the trainers at your studio. We were split into teams and each allocated a trainer to keep us motivated through the duration of the challenge. 

The classes themselves are split into cardio and weight training- Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are cardio, and the rest weights. And let me tell you this, Cardio is HARDIO. Every class is equally as tough as the last but (and I’m not just saying this because #gifted), there has never been a time when I have regretted a class. The energy in the room is always buzzy, the music is loud and the trainers and so encouraging and to be fair, they have totally made F45 what it is for me. They are so supportive and push me to my limit in every class (which I really appreciate even though I don’t look like I do at the time..!)

When I started the challenge, I had to do the dreaded body scan. Which is basically a machine that tells you how heavy you are, where the majority of fat from that KFC Deliveroo has been stored around your body, and if you’re gonna die of clogged arteries any time soon. Joking. Well, Mike (one of the owners) told me the main things to watch are body fat %, muscle %. Throughout the 8 weeks I wanted to see my body fat go down, and my muscle go up- simple right?

I had no idea what I thought my body fat would be, as I would consider myself generally quite fit, but I have never been so mortified when I was told it was 36%(!!!!!!), on a page which came out the printer next to the words SLIGHTLY OBESE in bold capitals. Brilliant.

Anyway, on to my results! (Hyperventilating as I get ready to post the dreaded before and after photos)

Time: 8 weeks
Classes: 48 (average of 6x per week)
Body scans: 2
Burpees: 87364873483277
Body fat before: 36%
Body fat after: 30.8%

You can see from the stats that I didn’t really lose any weight throughout the challenge, which is weird because before the challenge I thought weight was the only metric that mattered when it came to my body. BUT look at the difference in my back between week 1-8!

(It makes me feel violently sick to post this photo, but I have to post it as motivation to push on aka keep dragging myself out of bed for the 7.40 classes and not turn back into a potato.)

Week 1- week 8


Although 8 weeks feels like a lifetime, two months absolutely flew by, and I’m still as obsessed with the classes than I was on day 1! It sounds SUPER cringe, but it really has changed my life. I am so confident with my body- something I have had issues with for as long as I can remember. 

These are my results from February until now:

Week 1 - week 16



My diet has been slacking (I blame beer gardens and chilli heatwave Doritos) but I've kept to my routine of hitting f45 at least 5x a week, so I'm looking forward to seeing how my body changes in the next couple of months- hopefully my one singular ab will turn into 2!

What kind of exercise makes you actually *want* to do it? Have you tried F45?

Monday, 13 May 2019

Have You Tried Floatation Therapy?

I never thought of myself to be someone who gets easily stressed out, but since I moved to London- in a totally different environment with a new job and a new house and new friends- I have found myself to get stressed super easily.



I’ve struggled with anxiety, and with a super active social life combined with my f45 obsession and my job in social media meaning I am always online, I find it hard to switch off. I’ve toyed with apps like Calm and Headspace, and although I’ve had them downloaded on my phone for about 8 months, I’ve probably used each one about three times maximum.



I first found out about Floatworks when I saw a couple of PT’s from my F45 studio upload it on their IG stories, so I had a browse of their website and wanted to try it out ASAP! Basically, you lie in a ‘float tank’ which is a huge pod filled with water, for an hour and just totally switch off. Music plays for the first 10 minutes and the last 5 minutes of the session, but aside from that it’s totally silent.



I thought I was going to get bored around 30 minutes in, but I can’t explain the feeling of just total relaxation- no phones, no people, nothing to think about apart from my breathing.

My time slot was 6-7, which was perfect timing as I got home, made dinner and then slept like an absolute baby!


After doing some reading on the website, I realised that the benefits of floatation therapy are absolutely endless! The key ones I picked out are:


  • Promotes total calm and peaceful relaxation
  • Improves sleep
  • Alleviates stress (mental and physical)
  • Energises, rejuvenates and revitalises
  • Increases motivation, diminishes depression, anxiety and fear
  • Facilitates freedom from habits, phobias and addictions
  • Deepens meditation
  • Expands awareness, intensifies acuteness of all the senses, accelerates learning
  • Enhances hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis
  • Speeds up rehabilitation and recovery
  • Relieves pain
  • Improves circulation and distribution of oxygen and nutrients
  • Reduces blood pressure, pulse, heart rate and oxygen consumption

Have you tried floatation therapy? What did you think?


(I visited the Vauxhall studio of Floatworks)


*session was gifted

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Mothers Day Gift Guide: 2019

As much as I love putting gift guides together, my mum is SO hard to buy for, especially now that I don't live at home so I'm not there to listen out for her mentioning certain things she likes, so I have to guess! 

I've gone for a baby pink theme this year, covering all bases: booze, beauty, practical stuff, homeware and of course, a touch of luxury! All items linked below. Happy shopping!







Monday, 25 February 2019

Having Braces As An Actual 26 Year Old Adult

How I will be smiling from now until July 2019.

I don’t know if I’ve spoken about it enough yet… But if you didn’t know, I’VE GOT BRACES! Not Invisalign- full on train tracks. On the top row and the bottom now. Think Katy Perry in the TGIF video, and that’s what I currently look like.

I get compliments alllllll the time about how straight and white my top teeth are (Crest strips are the one guys) but my bottom row of teeth look like a smashed-up garden fence and I just want everything on my face to be perfect! It’s really annoying that I couldn’t just get braces to sort out the garden fence teeth, but because they would be bringing my teeth out into a neater row, my top teeth wouldn’t sit right so they need to be braced up and rearranged slightly too.

LOCK UP YOUR SONS!!!!

ONTO THE GOOD NEWS (kinda)- I only need them on for 6 months! The method I’ve got is called QST (Quick Straight Teeth) and it’s for people with healthy gums who don’t need tooooo much rearranging. I also couldn’t really eat anything for the first week so I’m a *skinny icon* They don’t hurt at all AND they make my lips look like I’ve had 5ml of filler which I am absolutely loving.

THE BAD NEWS- I can’t really chew anything properly so I will inhale my dinner and still feel starving because I’ve wolfed it down that quick my stomach hasn’t even registered food yet. My cheeks are shredded to smithereens and I can't eat any of the office MAOAM's.

I’ve only had them on for 3 weeks and I feel like it’s been an eternity. 21 weeks to go then it's OVER for you hoes!!!!! (lol jk I've just always wanted to say that ok)

Any tips for keeping the inside of my cheeks intact greatly appreciated guys!
(Done by the fabulous Dr Caitlin Roondog at 47 Dental. Get in touch with her practise if you want the best teeth in town.)

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Why Being an Oversharer Isn't a Bad Thing



At least once a week I see one of those ‘A quiet life is a happy life’ or something else about keeping your boyfriend/girlfriend secret being the key to a long successful relationship. YAWN. I’m an oversharer and I always have been. Partly because I’m usually the loudest one in the room and I always have something interesting to say (modest, I know) but also because people knowing my business really doesn’t annoy me- and that’s the same online. I love making people laugh and I love being at the centre of a conversation, and that usually involves me sharing stories about my tragic Bridget-Jones-esque daily life.

I post a LOT on IG. I really like thinking out loud to my followers on my IG stories and getting the most hilarious responses back. Of course, I get the odd one every so often telling me to stfu which absolutely baffles me because??? You’re?? Still?? Following? Me?????

When it comes to relationships, I see these quotes ALLLLL the time:

  • The best parts of my life didn’t make it to social media
  • Be lowkey, be private, be humble
  • A quiet relationship is a happy relationship
  • Relationships last longer when nobody knows your business

All equally as cringe as each other, but not as cringe as people that share it like it’s the absolute gospel and if you even THINK about setting yourself as ‘in a relationship’ on Facebook with your 10-year strong boyfriend you’re going to burst into flames and he’s going to run off with your mum. I’m currently single, but when I did have a boyfriend (lol) I would post about him all the time! In fact, he featured so regularly on my IG stories that my followers would talk about him to me like they knew him as well which I thought was hilarious! (and quite cute)

When I was younger, and I would go on a date,  I used to do the whole- take a photo of my wine glass on the dinner table in a restaurant and just get a teeny glimpse of his watch in the background- and then act all coy when I got bombarded with WHO IS THAT!!!! messages, but now I’m just over it. I mean, I’m not QUITE at the Tessa Durkin level of doing an IG live on a first date (#ICONIC) but I’m a lot more relaxed about the severity of posting boys on my IG. As in, it’s reeeeally not that deep. If I wanna do it I will, and if I don’t, I won’t. It’s not going to effect the relationship.

Obviously, the quotes above are related to cheating, which brings me to my second point- WHY HAVE A PARTNER IF YOU ARE GOING TO CHEAT ON THEM?! Of course a bloody quiet relationship is a happy relationship cos your 7 different girlfriends don’t know about each other!

Someone else DM’ed me recently and said they never need to check how I am because they see it every day on IG, and I couldn’t decide if it was a compliment or a bit of a dig? On the plus side it means I’m not dead in a gutter somewhere because I’m still posting, but on the downside, I wouldn’t want it to mean my friends to stop contacting me because they get complacent watching me chat shit on the reg online? I mean, as much as I am v. active online, I still like to have a real social life with real people!

I’ve probably been on IG for about 5 years now, and it still really makes me smile when I mention something that happened ages ago, and people reply like OMG I REMEMBER THIS! (Mainly Sorority Girls related stuff because I am still determined to be famous and this is all I’ve got going for me atm so let me live #neverforget) I love that my followers feel like they know me, or can relate to me, or, even though it sounds SO cringey, even if I just make one person smile that day then it makes me smile!

At the end of the day, it’s social media. Everyone has seen the show Catfish- why would you pretend to be someone else online? (YES, I’m just as loud n proud in the flesh)

You have the power to click the unfollow button if you feel like someone is OTT. Keep seeing them crop up? BLOCK THEM! Wanna talk on IG about how your period bled through your jeans that day? DO IT! Dying reply to that fit boys DM even though you have a bf? CHEAT ON THEM! (Ok, so I’m joking about the last one ok)


What are your thoughts about oversharing online? How much is too much?

Sunday, 10 February 2019

February Resolutions


Read more books

No lie, I haven’t touched a book since I was in my first year of uni and had to read Wuthering Heights as part of my first assignment. In fact, I didn’t even read it- I took one look at the thickness of the book and the miniscule size of the text, bought it on DVD which I didn’t realise was SIXTEEN HOURS LONG, then dropped out of the course.

Magazines don’t count unfortunately, and neither does a morning scroll through the Daily Mail app on my phone, but on top of that, I’ve already read TWO books this year, and I’m on my third! Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton and This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay, both absolutely brilliant and 10/10 would recommend! Now I’m powering through The rules do not Apply – Ariel Levy, so if anyone has any more recommendations….talk nerdy to me.

Stop Binge Eating/Drinking

I’ve just started the F45 8-week challenge, so I’m enduring savage circuit training workouts 3 or 4 times a week. I’m pretty good on the fitness side, but it’s my diet that lets me down. I am SO good during the week, my willpower is unstoppable, howeeeeeeever, as soon as the weekend hits, my diet turns to shit. I mean, who wakes up with a raging hangover and thinks, ‘do you know what I really fancy? 10 almonds.’ NO ONE DOES. It’s Deliveroo or die.

Fortunately, with this f45 challenge, we get a meal plan, support group AND the shame and humiliation of the possibility of losing no weight at the end of it when everyone’s results are shared. Now THERE’S my motivation!

Reduce my Impulse Spending

I nearly wrote STOP impulse buying, but that’s impossible, so I’m gonna try as hard as I can to significantly reduce pissing my money up the wall every month. I’ve got a money tracker app and I’ve hidden all my shopping apps into a little folder on my iPhone to stop me scrolling ASOS new-in section every half an hour.

OLAPLEX

My hair is absolutely f*cked from bleaching the hell out of it every couple of months ,and I have had it drilled into me from my hairdresser for yeeeeeears about the importance of using hair masks regularly, so I’m actually going to. Especially now I’m a green-juice-drinking-health-goddess-fitness-worshipper who doesn’t have a social life anymore and is in bed by 8pm- I’ve got plenty of time to. I’ve bought Olaplex and I’m going to mix it with cheaper hair masks to make it last longer. (£30 for the teeniest bottle- WAT.)

Do you find it easier to set smaller, monthly goals to work towards too? Keep me motivated over on my IG!

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Living in London: One Year On!


I feel like I’ve blinked, and I’ve been in London for a whole year! (Well, actually 14 months by the time I got around to writing this post.) I’ve lived in countless houses (big up Caitlin for letting me spoon her every night for my first 3 weeks!) until I finally settled in with the Nightingaldem (my current housemates) in Clapham. 

I’ve had quite a few DM’s on IG about how daunting it is to move to London by yourself, so I thought I would share my thoughts on living in the capital one year on..

THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO.
I rarely go to the same place twice (unless it’s the Ship in Wandsworth or G-A-Y) because there is always a new bar or restaurant opening that I NEED to go to. I’ve got a list on my phone that I’m constantly adding to when I discover somewhere else and it is currently tracking on about 30. And growing.

BRUNCH IS A THING.
I knowwww this is the biggest London cliché but brunch really is a *thing*. And I am into it! 'Brunch' back home means one of us doing the KFC run on a very hungover Sunday morning. But I loveeee going for a nice bit of avocado toast post-gym on a hangover-free Sunday, whilst scrolling through all my friends outrageous snapchats from the night before and feeling like the green-juice-health-goddess I was born to be. And I love going for a boozy bottomless brunch on a Saturday where my biggest priority is how efficient the service staff are at topping up my drink and being abso hammered by 4pm and tucked up in bed (fully clothed) by 8pm. Fave places include Bunga Bunga, Megan’s, Granger & Co (for the pancakes!)

EVERTHING IS SO EXPENSIVE.
I know this is stating the obvious, but you only really realise when you've been here a while. A singular gym class is £20, my monthly travel card is £150, two vodka lime and sodas are £34...!!! (Ok, this was at the Mayfair Hotel but I'm going for the shock factor here) Luckily I had some savings (cough, massive overdraft) so I've never been in the position of being genuinely worried about money, but it's a huge reality check! This has actually been such a life lesson for me now because it's taught me to be frugal! (And when I say frugal, it means I will happily eat a can of 45p soup for lunch every day that week if I know I'm going out that weekend.) You know, because food > drinks.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS MY BEST FRIEND
As much as I don't wanna be THAT person who is glued to their phone, I am very very very active. I stalk social media, my whatsapp group chats are constantly going off and I'm constantly checking my emails. Partly because I work in social media so its habit, partly because I'm a show pony so I'm always on IG stories or Snapchat, and partly because I feel like it's really important to stay in close touch with my friends and family (majority of whom all still live in Preston) London can be super lonely, and I never want to experience that feeling, so I do all that I can to keep my best friends close.

IT'S SO EASY TO LOSE TOUCH.
As much as my social life is thriving, it can be so hard to stay in touch with friends. Before I moved here, I just presumed everything was a 30 min maximum tube journey away. How wrong was I! One of my best friends lives in Hackney, one lives in Dalston and one lives in Stratford, and I probably see them once every 2 or 3 months, which is really shit, but fortunately for me they are such good friends I could probably see them once a year and it would still feel like nothing has changed. 

Tinder/Bumble is SO MUCH BETTER.
Have I left the best till last? I swear to god. The standard of men compared to up north (i.e Preston) is on a completely different level. People actually have decent/interesting/similar jobs as opposed to listing their occupation as ‘Hogwarts’ or ‘WOULDN’T YOU LIKE TO KNOW!!!!’ (erm yes actually I would. I need to know the potential father of my 18 children can provide, THANK U)


To sum up, I have absolutely zero savings, our house only has single glazed windows, my carpet is covered in make-up marks (partly my fault) my room is half the size of my room back home, my curtain is about as thick as a piece of tracing paper and our washing machine shakes the entire house when it’s on its last 10 minute spin, but I wouldn’t change it for the WORLD.