Slimming Down for the Gown

This time last year, my wonderful boyfriend became my incredible fiance. I am so grateful to have such a supportive man through everything, and I can’t believe I’m the lucky woman that gets him for life. With the wedding now becoming the main focus in our life, the first fear I have is the dress and my confidence in the dress. I’ve been so obsessed with making sure Chris is happy, I find myself thinking less and less about my actual happiness. Loving someone else starts with loving yourself.  Self care really does reflect on your relationships and life.

For a very long time, I didn’t take care of myself. I either ate too much or too little. I wouldn’t care so much about my appearance. And I definitely didn’t think I deserved love. But if there is one thing Chris has taught me in the time I’ve been with him, It’s that confidence is so powerful. You want something that bad, you can do it. Positive mind, positive body, positive life. Once everything is set, there isn’t anything that can stop you.

So for all my fellow brides to be, my ladies who don’t need no man and everyone in between. Be strong. Be happy. But most importantly, take care of yourself. Because you are important, and you deserve not only to look but to feel happy. And you can do it! Because you deserve to.

L x

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This is Only the Beginning.

You’ve done it! You’ve hit your goal weight!! Now what?

This is my problem with quick diets. You can loose the weight fast, but 9/10 times it will go back on once you reach your goal! I tried a meal replacement diet recently – Protein World 7 day Slender Blend collection. For 7 days, all I had to do was replace my breakfast and lunch with these shakes, and take the fat metaboliser and the hunger buster capsules with them.

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The shakes at first were a little sweet for me, but as the week went on, I found that my palette adjusted and I started to really enjoy the flavour. I tried to make sure I didn’t get bored of the taste by varying them up. I used either almond milk, skimmed milk or just plain water, and that seem to work fine. But even with mixing it up, I found was just missing eating food! Sure, I was still eating one ‘real meal’ a day, but having liquid for the other two just took its toll. That whole week, I felt so low with energy that my body felt like it went into survival mode! I struggled to concentrate, my running felt more strenuous and I felt so tired!

Don’t get me wrong. I followed this plan as closely as I could, and became 6 pounds lighter in a week! These kind of diets are great for if you need to drop a few pounds before a big event. But I would never encourage anyone to keep on a diet like this. Sure, it may be an extreme example of a diet. But some people do try and keep these up! Do yourself and your body a favour. Eat 3 clean meals a day and exercise to keep healthy. And remember one thing:

It’s not a diet, It’s a lifestyle change.

So the next time your hoping you can find that ‘quick fix’ pill or diet that can get you slim, just remember. Results can only last with a lifestyle change. Diets can help to kick start weight loss, but they aren’t going keep results. And they certainly wont make you happy!

L x

Motivation Music Monday

Music has always been a huge part of my life. From playing clarinet to sitting in my room blasting my favourite tunes. I always used it to escape from what was going on in my life. I get so much of my motivation and determination from songs. Just closing my eyes and letting the music build up inside of me is a really powerful tool.

The right song can really push you to the next level of a workout. Everyone has those songs that get them going and pushing boundaries. Doing all my running, I have a few that really get me to the end of my 5K.

Have a listen:

Power – Little Mix

Unstoppable – Sia

Centuries – Fall Out Boy

Get Low – Dillon Francis

What are your Motivational songs?

L x

How Much Do You Want It?

I get a lot of questions when people find out I’ve lost 54lbs. How did you do it? Where did you start? What program did you follow?  Truth is, it was all me. I didn’t follow a program or routine. I started off just using MyFitnessPal to tell me my calorie allowance, and rolled with it. I made sure that no matter what, I stuck to my calorie goal. Then, once I got my diet started, I focused on getting regular exercise in my routine. 3 to 4 times a week I would go to the gym. This is when the weight really started to fall off.

Though this got me on the right road, there was a few bumps along the way. Your not going to say no all the time. Your not going to have the strength all the time. Someone will offer you that doughnut or that cookie, and you’ll cave. You’ll give the excuses to your mind and get away with it. You deserve it right? You’ve been clean for 4 days and deserve it. Then 2 days later, you cave again, because you’ve been good since that cookie right? And the cycle will go on, until you are back where you started.

It’s so easy to fall back to the habits. But didn’t you want to change? Didn’t you start your journey to see it to the end? How much do you want it? How much do you want to fit into those size 8 jeans? How much did you want to change your health? Only you can do it. Only you can change your life and lose that weight. Only you can change your habits. I wanted it. I fought for it. And now I have it. And believe me, it feels so good to finally be at my goal!

So when someone offers you that cookie, or that chocolate bar, or that doughnut, just think. How much do I want it? Willpower is your greatest friend in your fight against food. Let’s show food who’s really in charge.

L x

Goals and 365 Days of Running

So for anyone that doesn’t know, I am currently 144 days into a charity challenge. I am running 5k a day for 365 days for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. Yes, I am mad. Yes, it’s a lot of running. But who makes a challenge easy for themselves?

Hitting my goal weight had always been my aim for 2 years. Then, when I did hit my goal, I felt lost. I hit my goal, but I still wanted to be challenged. I wanted to hit the next goal, but what was it?

You can make hundreds of goals, but I can guarantee that if you try to do them all at once, you will fail. You will put so much pressure on yourself that you will think it is easier to just give up. DONT! Just take them one at a time. Hit one goal, move to the next. Simple! They don’t have to be big goals, just achievable. My first goal was to loose 3 stone. The next? to run 1km without stopping. Then to run a half marathon. I know, It escalated quickly. But without these goals to keep us moving and challenge our boundaries, it’s very easy to slip into old habits again.

I always like to aim for something in life. For me, It’s mainly fitness related as that’s what I like to do.  But you will always have other goals you want to work towards. Promotion at work, learn that new skill or even go skydiving. My point is the more you can if you try. Things will go wrong. The path to your goal won’t be smooth. There will be a lot of hills in the road. But I promise you, the view at the top is great. And it’s such a better feeling than how you feel right now at the bottom of the hill.

So my tip for anyone who is feeling lost right now is to always look forward. What do you want to achieve, and how hard can you work to get there? Because you on a mission? Nothing can stop you.

L x

The Forgotten Element of Dieting

A lot of trying to lose weight is focused around food and exercise. But for me, there is an additional part of weight loss that people forget. WATER! Our body needs water to digest, to circulate blood, to keep your brain healthy and more importantly to function.

People who have known me a while will agree that I use to be terrible at drinking enough water. At best, I would have maybe 1 or 2 glasses a day!  When the recommended amount is 8 glasses, that’s really bad!

To be honest with you all, I only noticed my lack of consumption when my fiance called me out on it. I knew that my energy levels were suffering, but didn’t think it was because I wasnt properly hydrating myself. The fact was, I really wasn’t helping my weight loss at all. I wasn’t even helping my body to just survive! It was only last year that I changed my perception about water. When I hit a plateau with my weight loss, I really pushed forward with drinking at least 2 litres a day. I took Heidi Powell’s advice with the 10 gulp rule and soon enough I was not only feeling more energetic but losing weight again. Now I can’t go a day without at least 3 litres, and recently I’ve been drinking 4 litres a day!

I know, water hasn’t got the most flavour in the world. But I promise you, your body will thank you for it. Especially in those tough workouts! Just google the positive effects of water, and you’ll see all the good it can do for you.

L x

The Diet Starts Monday!

Hands up who said this yesterday? 🙌

And hands up who is sitting here, ruined diet thinking ‘I’ll try again next Monday’ 🙌.

STOP!

I always hated the idea that you have to start anything new on a Monday! There is such a stigma associated with Mondays! Why do we have to start next week? Why not now!

My new lifestyle started on a Tuesday believe it or not! I was fed up of the feeling of failure and waiting to start again, that I snapped. If I was going to change, I was going to do it now! Never let disappointment stop you. Always take it in your stride. So what you had that biscuit today? Who cares that you slipped in your diet! Slipping one day in a week won’t hurt your weight loss. Use that feeling of regret and let that drive you forward.

So to all those people that think that they have to try again in a week. I feel your pain! Lets start again tomorrow, get back on that bandwagon and let’s get this weight loss going!

L x

Trauma and Weight Loss

To say my week has been stressful is probably an understatement. On one of my runs, I was bitten by a dog. Luckily I only came out with a bite on my bum, but that was nothing compared to last Monday.

I know everyones heard about what happened on the 22nd May. It’s certainly a day that I will never forget. Me and my partner were both at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. We were walking down the stairs about to go to the foyer when we heard a loud bang and saw a stampede of people running back into the arena. I have never felt so grateful to be alive.

When it comes to my feelings and my diet, there are many things that I could of done and still do to cope with this trauma. It’s so easy to make excuses and reasons why you should falter. I could of hidden away and done what old Laura did best – eat my feelings away.  But I didn’t.

I stuck to my diet and guns and dealt with my emotions and feelings properly! Sure, I did have treats that week! I definitely felt like I deserved some break from clean eating. But I made sure that I accounted for every bite and every calorie burned! I was not going to let myself down by giving in on my diet! I’ve worked hard over years to get where I am, and no way am I letting anything ruin that.

You can let trauma affect you. It’s ok to be affected. But don’t let yourself become an emotional eater. Separate your emotions and food and try replacing it with a hobby. I usually fall to going for a run or walk when I’m feeling sad. Let the power of your passion become stronger than the food you think makes you happy. Believe me it gives you so much more confidence and strength than that chocolate bar or doughnut.

L x

Hello. It’s Me.

There is a time in everyones life where they say the words ‘It’s time for change’. You are fed up of the situation and your desperate for something in your life to stop. For me that moment happened Feb 2015. I was 6 months into a new relationship, settled into a job and life was going pretty good. The only problem I had was my weight.

The only full length mirror I had was my now fiance’s house. Looking into a mirror was horrible. I was majorly uncomfortable with my body and I didn’t at all feel attractive or happy with what I was looking at. Why can’t I just be slim? Why did I let myself get to 14 stone?

ITS TIME FOR CHANGE!

Fitbit at the ready, I took a leap of faith. Overhauled my diet with the help of MyFitnessPal, joined my first gym and went for it! In the first month of this overhaul, I had managed to loose a stone! For a girl who doubted every move she made, I suddenly had this amazing mental strength! Nothing could stop me in what I wanted.

Over the next year, I grew confidence in my work life, my personal life and my gym life. I slowly and surely got myself down to an amazing 10 1/2 stone by the time July 2016 rolled around. And if my weight loss was one positive, a few more were thrown my way. My boyfriend became my fiance, we had just moved in together and both got new jobs! Finally life didn’t feel so against me.

Fast forward a year, and that brings you to today! I am currently maintaining around the 10 stone mark, happily planning my wedding to an amazing man, and running 5k for 365 days. I could not be in a better place with my health and life.

Starting this blog was to not only share my story as I try to maintain this healthy lifestyle, but to hopefully give someone else there ‘It’s time for change’ moment.

L x