Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Weightloss Motivation - Some Before and After Photos

Primal Performance Diet As you may know by now, I'm on a personal fat fighting mission, I'm pumping weights (up to 45kg now wahoo), I'm running (well, ambling), I'm kicking my body into touch and even more bizarrely, I'm not entirely hating it. For the first time in a very long while, I feel inspired to get fit, get healthy and not go through the same old motions (of which usually included an expensive waste of time) of heading to my local Weightwatchers group - I'm eating a personalised eating plan that includes more food and meals than I know what to do with. The more I eat, the more weight I lose, it's that common sense that we all know deep down, but as a comfort eater, I don't always stick to... it's why I'm on this journey in the first place, so I can't lie about that. Primal Performance Diet But I can do something about and I'm doing just that. My personal trainer is AWESOME (I'm using Sarah from Primal Performance) and she's motivated me to head to a spa and take on a FITNESS retreat over a lazy relaxing one and she's even inspired me to get running with my local running group... two things I would have laughed at if you had told me I would be doing late last year. She's helping me to transform my life and for the very first time, I can actually picture myself as a slimmer, leaner, fitter model. This is a REAL first for me, as I've always been a big girl in every photo I've ever been in... apart from as a baby of course... I think... I don't have any photos to look back on and say "I want to be there again"... as I've always been big for my age for as long as I can remember. So I am having to use my current photos to inspire me and get me picturing in my mind how I am going to look in months/years to come. Primal Performance Diet This time I have stuck at it and WILL stick at it because I have a different support around me. I have the RIGHT people around me for the first time in my weight loss mission. I am lucky to have found a trainer who needed a lost cause (yup, I really was haha) and she's helped me hugely, but then there's the other clients she's put me in touch with over the last few months, the running group who support me and don't mock me for trying, my boyfriend for supporting me throughout the entirety and even doing it for himself too, my family and friends who tell me how amazing I look and what awesome inspiration my updates are to keep them in the know. It's all helping me hugely, it really is. Primal Performance Diet I also follow my lovely blogging friend, ReeRee Rockette at who is also on a personal weightloss and fitness mission and she inspires me immensely. I love reading about her thrifty finds in charity shops when it comes to gym gear and her "before and after" photos throughout her own journey, I love sitting down and reading her updates, so I love hearing when mine do the same thing for other people. You then know it's worth shouting about it, without trying to "preach", as this isn't my intention. In fact, I'm growing my hair so that I can treat myself to a victory hair colour & style once I'm at a satisfied weight loss goal, so ReeRee, save me a salon seat, I will be heading down to you in the near future! I've learnt lately that you can't run around in the mud and rain with slamballs and kettle bells and have long nails - they ping off here, there and everywhere and really aren't practical for interval or circuit training, trust me. Primal Performance Diet Had you told me a few months back that I would be turning down cake (yes, really!) and buying more keep fit clothing than normal outfits, I would have laughed you out of the park. But, it's true, I buy and wear more tracksuits and Lycra than I do anything else in my entire wardrobe. Not only is it comfortable, it also helps to make you feel very smug when in a coffee shop sipping on a herbal tea whilst everybody else around you is eating a cake with their mocha - the little things! Primal Performance Diet I feel stronger (I can lift my dog into the bath without oohing and aahing and cramping with back pain, a small victory!) and I'm even eating chili for my breakfast. Yes, savoury foods for breakfast are the way forward and Sarah (my trainer) is more chuffed with this little victory than any other goal previously hit haha, she's mental! I'm taking dog walks between meetings and skipping up staircases instead of taking the lifts or shuffling up step by step, I'm full of beans most days. Primal Performance Diet I won't lie, I've had some really bad days, where all I want to do is bury by head in a victoria sponge and drown my negative feelings with a packet of digestives and a vat of tea... or something stronger. I've decided to ignore that tuna steak and salad and opt for a Chinese takeaway instead - I'm only human. I am struggling with the feelings of guilt and anger I have after attacking these foods, but I am allowed to eat what I want, when I want, I just need to learn to control these cravings and this is something I will learn over time. My anger turns into some sort of "Hulk"-esque character until I've eaten one of my planned meals of the day, but once I have food inside me, I'm all good to go again haha. In fact, thinking about it, I'm a bit like a Gremlin in reverse... if you don't feed me, I get rather tetchy ; ) Primal Performance Diet I guess I just want to update people on how I'm feeling (it's been tough over the New Year, I won't lie) after being poorly for a few weeks and not exercising very much, I'm now all guns blazing and I'm ready for spring and the new challenges I will face. I've also started to meditate using a "non cheesy" app on my phone ("Headspace"), just ten minutes a day really helps me to unwind and try to let go of some of the useless thoughts floating around in my head. Without the de-stress and a good night's sleep, you don't actually lose as much as weight as you could be doing, so it's important to listen to this advice - I've learnt this the hard way and I finally burnt out by not sleeping well or relaxing properly. If I now want to (and can) work in my onesie on the sofa, that's what I am doing and it feels GREAT. I'm over 2 stone lighter, 2 dress sizes down and sometimes not even I can see or feel it (if we look at ourselves every day in the mirror, we switch off to how we look I am finding) so I've been putting together some of the terribly stretched clothes I've squeezed myself into at my largest late last year and I've been wearing them, realising just how far I've come in such a short amount of time. Primal Performance Diet These "before & after" photos have helped to keep me on track and remind me of what an awesome job I'm doing to my body. I will keep taking them, you will most likely get sick of them, but they're changing my outlook, truly. I'd love to hear from you if you are inspired, motivated or currently changing something about yourself for the better too... this support is the most important kind and I would be thrilled to hear your thoughts below if you fancy a natter. Primal Performance Diet Now, time for a nap... because I deserve it!   Miss Sue Flay  

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

30 Things To Do Before I Turn 30 - A Personal Challenge

OK, so some of you may know, you may not, that over five years ago I set myself a little personal challenge. In fact, many challenges to get my life more exciting and have me meeting new people and experiencing new things... this was my "101 challenges in 1001 days".

Archery 30 before 30

I started it with good intentions, everything from getting a tattoo ( I ended up getting two!), heading to a music festival, going on a random road trip, losing some weight (and then putting it all back on again, until recently!), dining in a posh restaurant (the poshest I had been to was Frankie & Bennies, gulp), riding in a hot hair balloon, holding a scorpion, learning archery,  making new friends (I've made SO many FAB friends since this list began) and sleeping in a haunted house (nothing happened, it was a very sleepy ghost house!).

It kept me busy for a good chunk of time.

30 before 30

I managed to tick off a a healthy 25 challenges before my life took on a whole new list of it's own and I became one busy girl. I was bothered about this for a while, as I felt as though I needed to finish it, I needed to jump out of a plane and go zorbing for goodness sake. But, it didn't matter, one of those challenges was to start my own business and I had no idea at that time, JUST where it was going to take me, there literally has been no stopping me and I am so stupidly proud of my achievements to this point, I'm having a blast living my life and it's taken me a LONG time to ever be able to say that aloud.


30 before 30

I'm about to turn 30 (on 9th April) and although I have been quietly confident that I'm ok about this, I'm having a few niggling thoughts about this failed 101 challenges and the fact that my life has literally revolved around business and fitness only since November 2013. I realised that I haven't been having any fun of late and I need to let my hair down and get ready for the next 10 years of awesomeness before my next panic-worthy milestone!

I recently read a blog post by one of my favourite writers, Kat Williams of Rock and Roll Bride and she has set herself the "30 things to do before my 30th" challenge too. It got my mind racing as to all the little things I want to do for myself over the coming weeks.

So, I got pen to paper and as always, it didn't take long to fill those 30 bullet points and I'm ready to tick off as many as humanly possible before my big three oh.

30 before 30

Perhaps you might like to help me with some of these? If so, get in touch, I would love to hear from you!

1. Stroll on a new beach
2. Play like a kid on a play park
3. Exercise in a new/interesting/exciting/unusual/fun way
4. Dinner & film night with good friends
5. Go for a bike ride - It's been too long
6. Take an unusual date night somewhere / doing something different
7. Lose the 7lbs planned with my personal trainer
8. Get arms waxed and preen myself ready to look amazing
9. Paint my nails a new & daring colour
10. Have an unscheduled duvet day - onesie, healthy food & films just for ME

30 before 30
11. Tidy out my wardrobe & donate my clothes to charity
12. Take a night away somewhere awesome
13. Get my business accounts in order
14. Go swimming in my new swimsuit & feel confident
15. Meditate every day or night to help me relax more
16. Have a day and night away from technology
17. Blow bubblegum bubbles with my manfriend
18. Watch some TED talks to get inspired
19. Enjoy an unscheduled cocktail for the sheer pleasure of it
20. Give blood
21. Have a coffee with a good friend
22. Take friends out for a lunch/treat
23. See Lynn (of Clandestine Cake Club) for a much needed day in Leeds
24. Be surprised (pleasantly!) by somebody else
25. Go to a spa (and relax properly.. no technology!)
26. Come out of my "dancing retirement"
27. Go to a bar for a beer and fries, "American style"
28. Go for afternoon tea
29. Go bowling or crazy golf... or both
30. Sing songs loudly in the car

30 before 30

Have you taken on a similar challenge? Or perhaps this or another challenge has inspired you to change your outlook and try something similar? I'd love to know all about it, so do leave a comment below.... What would your favourite things to do be if you were to do a similar list?

Perhaps you can help me with my own? If so, get in touch, I would love to hear from you and will try my very best to accommodate your help where possible over the coming weeks.


Miss Sue Flay


Thursday, 6 March 2014

World Book Day (And My Dirty Little Secret...)

So it's world book day today. Miss Sue Flay World Book Day I am surrounded by excited kids (both young and old) who have been getting dressed up as their favourite literary characters and it is honestly starting to feel very festive throughout Facebook and Twitter right now. Today I'm seeing a lot of kids dressing up in "onesies" for their dress up day at school... Erm, who are you dressing up as exactly? I fear that I may be stuck in some sort of book-ish time warp... WHERE are all the Harry Potter and Hobbit photos people? Have these books and stories had their day? I'm sorely disappointed in the lack of creativity teehee. And WHO is this "onesied" character your children all dress up as today? I'm genuinely baffled, but this may be my own fault. Perhaps this lack of creativity is because everybody has the same secret I have held close to my chest at the mere mention of the topic of books during conversations with friends and colleagues? I always shy away from conversations about books, give me a natter about the latest films any day. World Book Day I have a terrible confession to make to you. I don't read. Ok, that might be a little fib, I DO read. I CAN read. I just don't ever really do it. Unless magazines count? I have a magazine addiction too, they just take me months to flick through, I certainly get my value for money! I'm even IN a book, with my very first recipe published in "The Clandestine Cake Club Cookbook", so I do love books, I truly do. My technology and blog addiction has well and truly taken over my life. I read tweets and blogs until the cows come home and they inspire me hugely, but I don't read good, solid books. You can't sniff a blog or rifle through a tweet, not really... unless you are just plain WEIRD. Cookbooks count as books that I read, right?... I do a lot of recipe hunting, so I guess this could count if you wanted to be pernickety. Clandestine Cake Club Pernickety... what a GREAT WORD - I need to learn more great words! (If I see "nom" or "scrummy" in one more book, magazine or blog post I may just scream) We all need to read more, even if it's just the dictionary or thesaurus! The very odd thing is that I have a huge book addiction... I buy them, I stack them, I let them pile up on my bedside table and I START them, but a chapter in, I put it down and get the next one out the very next time I'm ready for a "good book". My overactive mind wanders and I can read an entire chapter without having a clue what I have just read, it's quite the talent really for somebody with a photographic memory (normally). I adore walking into old bookshops... the smell, oh the heavenly, musty, smell, I could spend hours looking at books I'm never going to buy or own, I just have a fascination with the spines, the colours, the photos, I'm a book lover who doesn't read much... is this even normal?! World Book Day I don't have a favourite genre or type of book, I've never read the classics and I lose interest SO easily, that I just haven't really bothered to get stuck in. I'm always being told to read "The Hobbit" or dive into "Great Expectations" to fall in love with this Colin Firth character, but I just haven't felt the need to, I can read all about it on Wikipedia and save myself a great deal of my valuable time... no? After "The Great Gatsby" came to our cinema screens last year, I decided to change my habits and I READ it before I watched it. For this, I'm SO stupidly glad that I did, as I loved the story and I filled in the gaps within the quirky adaptation with my knowledge of the story fresh in my mind. I believe that as a result of reading it, I enjoyed the film even more and I know that if I had read it after watching it, I'd have filled my head with Leo and Toby sloping around in dark corners and driving fast ridiculous cars, not letting my imagination take hold... all of which in my mind is the importance of reading before watching. World Book Day So my dear readers, I offer a question to you. WHICH BOOKS DO I NEED IN MY LIFE?  It's World Book day... or week... or month... I need to put my iPad down and pick up a good book. I've got cravings of visiting my local library, an explored cavern on my very own doorstep. I've been pinning cute pictures of girls curled up in awesome libraries and I need to put myself in that image myself, even if my library doesn't look as great as the ones in those photos ; ) But what to read? What to avoid? What will change my life? What will I enjoy, but also make me look arrogant and smarmy reading it on public transport? What will make me cry? Or laugh out loud annoyingly in a public place. World Book Day I'm counting on you to make sure I don't waste any more time on useless stories that I won't enjoy, give me your book loves and ideas on how to enjoy reading them. Leave me a comment below, or drop me a line via Facebook or Twitter, I'd love to natter ABOUT BOOKS - hurrah! Book romance is a feeling I've never had before, I'm ready to be educated!   Miss Sue Flay