‘Healthy’ Words and Phrases You Need to Rethink

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, everyone is different, and that’s ok. Everyone’s body is different, and the fact is different things work better for some than others; its all about understand your body and finding what is best for you.

But when it comes to fitness and health, there’s something I feel very strongly about, and that’s people trying to do things in a way that isn’t healthy, and while it might not seem like it to some, the way we talk about food and fitness can be very unhealthy. What am I talking about? Well do you use any of these terms?

Cheat days

There’s an actual psychological term called the ‘what the hell’ effect, and this is actually used in relation to diet psychology. Essentially its the whole ‘oh, I’ve had one slice of pizza, I might as well eat it all’ thing that I bet we’re all too familiar with. Well the same thing tends to happen when people give themselves a ‘cheat day’.

More than that though, the unhealthiest thing about cheat days is they make us feel guilty. You’re allowed to eat whatever you like, and eating what you want to eat isn’t cheating – all you’re doing is creating negative association.

Guilt-free and guilty

On the back of cheat days, I’m tired of people referring to things as either guilt-free or guilty. I’ll say it again: YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU LIKE and you don’t have to justify what you eat to anyone. Food is fuel, and your body needs fuel to function, end of.

Weight loss

No, I’m not saying that you can’t think about weight loss if you’re trying to be healthier, but weight loss shouldn’t be your only goal. I am fitter now than I’ve been in the last few years, but I also weigh more, and that’s totally normal because while I have lost fat I’ve gained muscle. So many people, women especially, concentrate far too much on what the scales say, and get down when they don’t see that number dropping, but what you really need to be looking at is how you feel and look at measurements rather than weight.

‘Skinny’

Nothing gets me riled up more than ‘skinny teas’, ‘skinny pills’ or quite frankly any use of the word in relation to a product or food item. Chances are these products are full of chemicals, or just full of something that’s just designed to help you poop your innards out, and there’s nothing actually healthy about them at all.

Calorie-controlled

Sure, there’s evidence to say that reducing your calorie intake can lead to results, but if you limit yourself to 1300 calories a day but are still eating junk, that doesn’t make it any healthier. Calorie counting can also become an obsessive behaviour, and that unhealthy relationship with food that I talked about earlier, plus not giving your body enough fuel to function.

For me, the most important part of staying healthy is keeping everything in balance. We all have good days and bad days, but rather than stressing ourselves out over the bad days, we just have to relax and accept that it happens every now and then. Mental health is just as important as physical health, they both go hand in hand and you have to put yourself and your happiness first, always.

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Improving My Sleep Habits

Sleep and I are fickle friends; its a love/hate relationship really. The fact is, I really cannot function without it, and while everyone says this, I am the kind of person that can rarely make it to midnight, and more often than not is in bed by 10pm, if not earlier. I am also a napper, and if I am tired and need sleep, it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, if my body decides its time to sleep, I probably will – I think my finest moment was falling asleep while standing on a train in Japan. Oh yes.

The hate part of my relationship is that sometimes sleep doesn’t like me. I can be a fairly vivid dreamer, and while some nights I’ll sleep like an absolute baby, other nights I’ll be awake on the hour every hour. I’m not an insomniac, I’m just fairly restless, and some nights actually feel more draining than they do refreshing and restful.

So I’m in the market for anything I can do to improve my shut-eye, and I’ve already identified a few changes that need to be made in the hopes that I can see some real progression, and from here on out, I’ll be doing my best to stick to these new habits.

Clearing the clutter

I have this awful habit of leaving things in my bed when I’m about to go to sleep. Chances are my laptop will be on there somewhere, and probably a notepad or two, plus my iPad and maybe even some clothes that I haven’t got round to putting away yet – no more! From here on out my bed will be a place for me to sleep and just me.

Not getting into bed until I’m ready

I also have this horrible habit of getting into bed as soon as I get in from work, fully dressed with a full face of makeup, grabbing my laptop and getting a bit of writing done before I go to sleep, or putting on Netflix for a bit. The problem with this is that I then rarely want to get back out, so sometimes I’ll end up going to sleep without taking of my makeup and sometimes even sleeping in whatever shirt I was wearing that day so I don’t have to get up and change. Yikes, right?

Now, while I still have no issue with getting straight into bed when I finish my day at work (so much more common now I’m working 12 hour shifts), I won’t do it until I’ve eaten dinner, brushed my teeth, getting fully changed and all makeup off. I’m even making more of an effort during this time to get everything for the next day out and ready for the morning!

Having actual pyjamas

As I mentioned above, pyjamas are a bit of a fluid concept for me. I do have them, but sometimes I’ve been known to just grab whatever comfy top I can find rather than using actual pyjama options. Yes, I do have a few t-shirts and tops that I still have designated as pj options rather than day-to-day wear, but I’m training myself to remember to reach for these instead of any old shirt I can find.

Setting a pre-sleep skincare routine

More than just remembering to take off my makeup before bed, I’m actually working on sticking to a proper skincare routine before bed: makeup off, cleanse and tone face, moisturise etc. As well as being so much better for my skin, its actually a great way to wind down before getting into bed, and a little bit of self-care goes a long way!

Reducing the number of screens I’m on

I can be that person who is on my phone checking Instagram while trying to write a blog post on my laptop and also Netflixing on my iPad in the background. I like to consider myself a multi-tasker but really I’m just overstimulating myself. Now I’m on 12 hour shifts, I’ve found that I’m not reaching for my laptop anymore as soon as I get home, so I’m trying to make it more of a habit to leave my laptop for my days off, and instead just watch a movie or plan blog stuff in my notebook in the evenings after work – which also helps towards not sleeping with a laptop in my bed!

Doing distracting jobs

I’ve written before about the strange things that are the only things that I can stay awake doing, so rather than being on my many screens right before bed, I like to mix things up a few nights a week by getting other things done, like cleaning my makeup brushes, sewing or writing to-do lists for the coming days.

I’ve been trying to do all these for about 2 weeks now and I feel like I’m already seeing small improvements, so here’s hoping for the best!

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My Favourite Lower Body Exercises

So despite starting the year with a promise of monthly fitness update posts, that literally only happened in January. Oops, my bad.

I’m a little bit ashamed to say I’ve yo-yo’d a bit this year. I started the year on a high, but various aspects of life have been challenging my fitness journey and this has led to inconsistencies and going backwards at times, and while I’m a little bit annoyed about this, there’s nothing I can do looking back on it so all I can do is move forward.

My gym recently went through a big refurb, and while it never looked back in the first place, it looks so much better now! We have new equipment, new areas and a new pink wall that I’m particularly fond of, and the update has done wonders for my motivation.

If you read my new fitness plan back in May, you might have seen that summer is the time when I tend to focus more on my legs as I’m not running as much (and hate running during summer heat), and these are some of my favourite workouts for my lower body at the moment:

Plyo Box Jumps

The most popular new piece of kit in the gym is our new PlyoSoft boxes, and while I’d always considered them to be torture before I’d actually used them, but now I’m obsessed! I start off on a 45cm, the quickly moved up to 60cm and now I’m on 75cm and I’m aiming for 90cm by the end of August. Its a great bodyweight-only workout and I’m already seeing results!

Bosu ball squats

Because squatting isn’t tricky enough at the best of times, I’ve now taken to doing them on top of a bosu ball.. While this might not seem too different to squatting on solid ground, you’ll be amazed at how many more muscles you get working while you’re trying to maintain your stability!

Donkey kicks

While it may seem very cliche gym-girl, I love donkey kicks, and all the different variations of them. I have a little donkey kick routine that’s my go-to on days when I’m focusing on lower body, and I will do it over and over until the backs of my legs are screaming just cos for some reason I really seem to enjoy it..

Wall sits

Wall sits are probably the easiest possible exercise for your legs ever, and its amazing how much you feel the burn afterwards. If my legs aren’t already knackered, I’ll try and get in a few minutes of a wall sit at the end of a workout just to push myself right to the end – and then probably fall down the stairs out of the gym.

Swiss ball leg raises

These are killer for both abs and legs! Gripping a Swiss ball between your knees/calves, then raising your legs straight up and down while lying on the floor; I’ll tell you now its a killer!

What are your go-to leg moves in the gym?

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Glass Slipper Camp – Tiana HIIT

Hey Glass Slipper campers, are you ready for another workout?!

This month we’re gonna mix things up a little bit with a HIIT workout, so get ready to dig a little deeper because this month its all about Tiana!

So what is HIIT?

It stands for High Intensity Inverval Training, and the basic idea is that you give it everything you’ve got for a set length of time, then rest for a short space, then go again. Push, rest, push, rest; you get the picture. The best way to keep to your timings on this is to download an interval timer app on your phone, and set it to beep at each changeover.

The best part about this workout is it requires no equipment whatsoever, so find yourself some space and let’s get going! I recommend starting off doing each exercise for 20 seconds, and taking a 10 second rest between each exercise. If this is quite comfortable, push yourself to 30 seconds on, 10/15 seconds off, and try and get in as many rounds as you can!

This workout is designed to focus on your legs, so be sure to stretch well once you’re done!

Burpee jumps

While I often consider burpees to be torture, they are a great exercise for working your whole body and getting your heart pumping!

Frog Hops

To get the full effect, keep your body low and stick your butt right out as you hop in and out. (Apologies for my weak left knee!)

Frog Jumps

Like with the frog hops, try and keep low and movements small. Focus on just tapping the floor with your fingers each time, but keep your chest and head up.

Lateral frog jumps

Imagine you’re hopping from lilypad to lilypad. Really push up from each jump to drive sideways, and be sure to land on both feet at the same time.

Squat jumps

Finish off the set with a round of power jumps! Squat low and push up hard, little frog princess!

Congratulations princesses, you’ve just earned yourself a discount code! Buy either the Glass Slipper Camp or KettleBelle tank top, and get the second for just £5! Shop here, and just use ‘FITPRINCESS’ at the checkout!

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My New Fitness Routine

I mean, I couldn’t stay at Muscle Beach forever..

In line with my post from Sunday, I’ve gotta get back on track with my fitness training. Having only just recovered from the jet lag, this morning was my first day back at the gym since before holiday, and although I did spend my holiday running a 10K and a half marathon, I’m definitely feeling the slump from a lack of workouts recently!

Now I’m a firm believer that the term ‘bikini body’ is a load of bull, and it really does grind my gears when health and fitness companies try to use the summer as a way to shame people into thinking they should be slimmer, but while my motivation has nothing to do with that, I do want to up my training heading into the summer months, for myself, my body confidence and no other reason.

Running

Personally, I hate running during the summer. I live on the beach and you’d think that would be perfect for running during the summer but I cannot stand it; it’s busy and the sun is glaring down and there’s no shade plus kids and dogs and bikes are everywhere. No thanks.

I also don’t do any big races during the summer, primarily due to heat, so I don’t have to worry about training too much, but I do want to maintain my consistency, so I’ll be aiming to do at least two runs a week – preferably a 5K and a 10K, just to keep myself moving and on form. I don’t see the point in pushing myself too much as I’m too prone to injury!

Gym

The gym is probably where I feel my most confident when it comes to fitness. I’ve seen such amazing progression that I don’t feel at all ashamed to say that I’m proud of myself, and I’m not stopping here. I’ll be aiming to visit at least 3-4 days a week, mixing both weight and strength training with some cardio options like spinning and rowing.

Given that I’m reining back my run training, I can get away with doing more leg training, as when I’m preparing for races I’m very cautious about what lower body work that I do, so I’ll definitely be stepping up with squats and lunges galore. My main focus has always really been upper body, especially my arms, and that will still be a big focus for me, but I also really enjoy finding more functional moves and workouts to get my whole body engaged!

Home Workouts

Where most people would probably have an area rug on their bedroom floor, I have my yoga mat rolled out at all times. I try not to waste precious gym time doing exercises that I can easily do at home, so evenings are the times that I generally do more calisthetics. I have both the Tone It Up and Blogilates apps on my phone, so I’m aiming to stick to the TIU daily moves every day, as well as one video by either K&K or one of my Blogilates faves.

I’m also hoping to fit some more yoga into my routine, both for strength and flexibility as well as time for meditation and relaxation, and praying I can master that forearm stand!

Fun Fitness

On top of everyday exercise, I’m hoping to squeeze a lot more fun into the summer months – Swimming, long adventurous walks, high ropes, trampolining, anything that’s a little bit different and a whole lotta fun really! If I’m enjoying myself and I’m being active then even better, right?

Do you mix up your fitness routine when summer comes?

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Rewarding Fitness

Rewarding Fitness

Seeing results along your fitness journey is a fantastic motivator – it shows that all that hard work you’re putting in is paying off, and who doesn’t like to know that?

Rewarding yourself for hitting little goals is great, but defining those goals can be a little tricky. If your goal is weight loss, then its fairly straightfoward, but if, like me, your fitness journey doesn’t necessarily mean that the scales will be going down at all – for example, if you’re trying to gain more lean muscle. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about new ways in which I can define success so I can reward myself with some treats!

Personal bests

A PB is always time for celebration, so set yourself a target to work towards, like a time for a certain distance, or a weight, and use that as the goal!

Fitbit streak

Now I have a Fitbit again, I’m back on the addictive path of constantly wanting to meet my step and activity targets for each day, so I’m going to be aiming to hit those goals every day for a consecutive period (30 or maybe 50 days) and using every time I manage it, treat for me!

Measurements

While sometimes you won’t find the number on the scales dropping, you’ll often see a huge difference in your body itself. Take a few measurements – waist, hips, arms etc – and check them every so often. You can reward yourself when you see those numbers changing in the way you want them too, perhaps every inch or two!

Sticking to routine

If you’re aiming to hit the gym 5 days a week, or go for a run everyday, reward yourself every time you manage to do this successfully over a certain timeframe, a month, for example!

Getting out of the comfort zone

Instead of just treating yourself over long periods of time, try and do something different every once in a while, and treat yourself when you do. For me, these are the days were I go to the gym in a crop top or sports bra, because it always takes a lot of confidence to be able to do that.

Have a think about what might work best for you, and roll with it! Then comes the fun part: deciding on your rewards and treats! To give you some inspiration, here are some of mine for this year:

  • New yoga mat
  • A pretty new swimsuit I’ve had my eye on
  • New jeans
  • Treating myself to a nice lunch
  • Nice running headphones

Have some fun coming up with your treats – the better they are, they harder you’ll want to work towards them! Good luck!

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Getting Fitness Ready for 2017


Let’s face it, no matter how hard we try to keep totally healthy over Christmas, its never going to happen. There are Christmas parties, Advent calendars and desserts galore, and quite frankly, at the end of the year you deserve these treats.

And with the year coming to a close, instead of looking back on my fitness journey from the past year, I’m enjoying myself in the run up to Christmas, but also using this time to start preparing for the year ahead!

To kick myself back into gear for New Years, I’ve bought myself a new Fitbit – the Charge 2. I had a Zip, but unfortunately it went through the washing machine at the start of the year and slowly died as a result, and I’ve since gone the year with no tracker, so I figured it was time to replace, and while I did love my Zip, I think the extra features on the new Charge 2 will really motivate me to keep active and track myself better! I especially love that it can connect to my GPS on my phone for my runs, and also I’m intrigued to see my heart rate and also my sleep patterns!

I’ve also spent a lot of time scrolling fitness on Pinterest for new workout ideas and healthy recipes, as well as pinning loads of motivational photos. Pinterest is so packed of great stuff, and I’ve found myself using it more and more recently to gear myself up for an amazing 2017!

A new year also means a new load of races to prepare for, and as I’ve been fairly lapse in my training recently, I’ve been going back to ParkRun to slowly ease myself back into running. The great part of that is that its not been as hard as I thought, and while my pace is probably a bit slower than it has been for the last year, I’m not struggling at all and my stamina still seems to be fairly good. We’ve also been running to and from the course, turning the 5k into a 10k, which is halfway to a 1/2 so bring on next year and my RunDisney events!

I’m also loading my phone with fitness apps, like Tone It Up and Blogilates, so I’ve got access to more motivation, inspiration and daily workouts! I love that loads of these workouts are quick and easy, and need no equipment, making them perfect for doing first thing in the morning before work, or before going to bed!

Here’s to making 2017 the best year on my fitness journey!

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