Fit Not Fed Up: Motivation for the Festive Season

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Brrr! December is certainly living up to it’s seasonal reputation – it feels like I’ve been in a permanent state of wet feet and red nose for weeks! Not only this but with all of the festive merriment going on, our health and fitness priorities have a little habit of going out the window don’t they? I’ve been thinking about what’s been keeping me motivated lately and thought I’d share it here.

Get Yourself a Buddy: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, having a partner in crime is a must if you feel your will power slacking. I recently joined the same gym as one of my friends. Having someone there who to laugh through the pain of Pure Abs with made the torturous nature of side crunches just that bit more bearable. Even if we’re not going at the same time, it’s good to be around people are are pushing toward similar goals to you. So look at who’s around you and encourage each other in these dark days of Winter!

Do Something For a Good Cause: There are tons of sponsored walks, runs, hikes, swims and dives at this time of year for so many good causes. Although Winter events tend to have a higher risk of cancellation – which myself and Chris fell victim to a couple of weeks ago when our BHF 10k was cancelled due to course flooding- when they do go ahead it’s a great day out. I ran the Glasgow Santa Dash 5k in aid of the Prince and Princess of Wales Trust Glasgow 2 weeks ago. It was a fantastic event with Santas of all ages – and a couple of dogs disguised as Reindeer – running through the streets of Glasgow on what was a beautiful mid Winter’s day. With all of the parties and days out this season, you could do worse than having a day out in the fresh air planned where you can meet people and generally have a bit of good clean fun. It’s great for the body, soul and you’re helping someone who needs it!
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You Don’t Need To Party All Night: I love a good night out but with the sheer amount of Christmas festivities right now I’m finding it impossible to have a late one every time! When I went out the pantomime last week it was a great night but I decided to take the last train home instead of face the queues in the cold for a taxi later. Committing yourself to public transport or a lift home may not be as glamorous but for some reason I enjoy the night more when I do it! Plus you can get a cheeky hot chocolate on the way back too if you’re hear a late opening Greggs too! Win win .
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If You See Some Good Weather…Go!:
Beautiful days can be few and far between so if you see one get the runners or walking boots on! Even in the depths of Winter nature is beautiful especially covered in frost and lit by pale sunlight. Dress warmly and make sure your footwear has good grip. It my be an antiquated notion and I do think gyms are great but you can’t beat some fresh air especially in these dark days.

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Four Reasons to be Cheerful

Saturday, for me had to be a day to switch off. It was one of those classic November days in Glasgow where the rain is pouring down and while the juxtaposition of the orange leaves and the gray sky is pleasing to the eye, it’s not actually weather that you want to be out in if you can avoid it. So I totally avoided it!

I find it pretty hard to sit about and do nothing for a day but I needed this. The last week has been packed with things to do and I needed a day to just chill out.

I had to take a rest week from exercise this week because I was getting over a cold and I’m glad I just focused on Yoga and stretching rather than doing any cardio. Taking a day off on Saturday was a good chance to reflect too on what I’m thankful for this week:

Fireworks and Fun: So one of my favorite things about living in Scotland is that not only do we have Halloween, there’s also Guy Fawkes! I love the fireworks and this year I went to see the big display in Glasgow Green. I’ve done this every year since I moved here and it’s become a tradition now. This time me, Chris and my friend Naomi went to West Brewery for mouthwatering outdoor burgers and beer (well, hot chocolate for me – I had an early start for an event the next day). I had some friends over to the flat last week for Halloween and even though I was getting over a cold it was such a fun night. The girls and I dressed up as trolls and we danced the night away. It was the most effort and make up that I have possibly ever worn but we truly felt like magical creatures! I was pretty reluctant to take my wig off at the end of the night if truth be told!

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A Day in the Snow: I organised a work event at the indoor slopes in Braehead and it was a great day out. As with any event there was a huge amount of preparation in the lead up to it but it was a pleasure to get 70 people out of the office and onto the slopes. Seeing a day come together like that is always really rewarding and while the lead up was exhausting – I was up till all hours the night before making last minute edits to the presentations and doing arts and crafts! – it’s just worth it every time in the end. I feel very lucky to be able to do things like this in my job.

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Narcos: I am obsessed with this show on Netflix. Narcos is based in late 1980’s Columbia during the war on drug baron’s and the rise of Pablo Escobar. If gritty drama, intelligent scripts, history and subtitles are your thing, check this one out!

Crafting: Okay, I’m a self confessed Winter hater but these cold evenings in are starting to grow on me a bit. I’ve been a bit more creative around the house have started recycling old jars for storage and adding a few little touches to brighten the place up a bit. My two friends and I have been getting together for little craft nights and it’s been a lovely way to spend a dark weeknight. It’s nice to have some homemade comforts around the house and while I’m definitely not an artist or really remotely talented when it comes to crafting I like having some pieces that are just my own little concoctions! Plus creativity, friends and wine are always a winner in my book.

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Book perfectionists look away now!
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So I cannot take credit for the hand knit stag cushion you see before you. My friend in the US sent this ti me as a housewarming gift and I absolutely love it. I just wanted to show it here because I'm so proud to have something so unique in my home. While I'll never have this level of talent she's definitely inspired me to be a bit more creative!

So these were the little things I was thankful for this week.

Are you a crafting novice like me? Do you have any recommendations for good series right now – because I’m getting through Narcos at an alarming rate -?

Sunday Post: September Walk

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It’s so important to take time out to appreciate what’s around us. Our various newsfeeds are about to be bombarded by Autumn appreciation and images of hats, pumpkin spice lattes and leafy footpaths, and, well I thought I’d get right in on that! Seriously though, what better way to kick off my first September Saturday than a nice reflective walk with my camera.

This week I have been feeling particularly grateful for the comfort and security in my life when I see images of the immigration crisis and the hypocrisy surrounding the tragedy and waste of human life. Autumn is a season when life bursts forth from living things which know that they are not long for this world in a whirl of colour. It’s a reminder make as much as you can out of each day that you have. The short lives that we live are determined by so many huge and minuscule factors. We can’t ignore that some of us are incredibly privileged with the lives that we have. We should use that privilege for good and not ignore those who have absolutely nothing. Take the time to take a walk this month, appreciate what you have, who you are and what is all around you.

Getting Ready for my walk camera in tow
Getting Ready for my walk camera in tow

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Time Makes You Bolder

I don’t take much heed when it comes to age. Success and happiness aren’t age related in my view (although statistics may tell me otherwise, over 60’s I’m looking at you!).  This week I turned 26. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don’t see the big fuss about birthdays – although I will say that my boyfriend, family and friends made it a special day for me – but given the recent occasion, I thought that I would share with you a few things that I have learned in my 26 years in this world. Because…well, I’m a fairly newbie blogger and everyone needs to do a post like this at lease once!

Seriously though, these are lessons that have been in some cases hard learned, so if you would like the benefit of a life’s experience in just one post, please, read on!

1. If you want something, ask for it.

Take control of your life. Apply for the job you want, text him first, tell the woman in the canteen that the coffee machine is broken. Nothing in life falls on your lap, if you want it, ask. If you’re told no, ask someone else.

2. You have to earn other people’s respect. And they have to earn yours.

Unfortunately, you can’t just walk into a room and expect people to listen to you. People can be harsh and that’s life. If you want other people to value you, give them a reason to. Show them who you are. Listen to them. Likewise, no one has the right to walk into a room and expect you to listen to them or do as they say either! If they are not willing to earn your respect, do not give it to them!

3. Be kind. To everyone.

You may not like everyone you meet or interact with, but there is no one in the world who deserves your cruelty. Being kind to people is the antiote to hatred and jealously. You do not know what happened to the waitress whose hands were shaking and spilled coffee all over your pancakes. I have a particular disdain for people who treat people in customer services like crap, actually. Don’t be that person.

4. Never walk into a meeting unprepared.

Okay I say meeting but I mean any arrangement really. I’ve been caught off guard so many times for silly things, even losing my way en route to parties! Prepared people look smart and feel confident and are able to deal with anything that gets thrown at them. Smart girls go in prepared.

5. Trust your instincts.

You can feel it when someone is being genuine with you. Trust that. Looks, words, pictures on Instagram, they portray one thing, but you always know deep down whether someone or something is worth your time or not.

6. You cannot be happy unless you are open to love.

A lot of people think that if you are open to love, you are also open to being very sad. This is true. However, if you are open to love and you get hurt, you are open to love healing the sadness you feel. This counts for all kinds of love from family, to romantic love, to friends to animals. Don’t close yourself off to it, everyone deserves to have love in their life, and the more you have the more you get.

7. Stand up for yourself. Even if you feel stupid.

This is hard, and people can make you feel silly for doing it. But always stand up for yourself. You owe it to yourself. You don’t need to shout or to be dramatic about it. If you need to say something, wait until you are calm and then logically outline why you are unhappy with the other persons behaviour. It’s very hard to argue with a calm person.

8. Check your spelling!!

Like it or not, bad spelling makes you look less clever than you are – this post may not be a good example, spelling is a lifelong struggle….

These are just some small bits of wisdom which I’ve cultivated over the years and you can be sure that there will be plenty more to learn. Which is good because we learn from experience, and there are many, many things that I want to do and see!

Have you learned any life lessons over the years? Keep the conversation going and leave a comment below!

Jen

Lovely Cards
Lovely Cards
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Celebrating another year
Happy Sunflowers
Happy Sunflowers

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Sunday Post: Bloggers and Braggers

Sometimes I take part in blogger chats on Twitter and earlier this week I stumbled upon the #socialbloggers chat. One of the first questions asked was when you started blogging and I realised: I have been blogging for 6 months! It feels nice to have kept this little hobby up and I have to say that I’m proud of my little piece of the internet.

One thing that I love about blogging is that it provides a network of support and interest in your chosen subject. It actually is meaningful when someone you have never met compliments your writing, or an achievement you posted about or nominates you for an award. That really makes blogging for me. Acknowledging achievements and supporting people in their endeavors shows your quality as a human being. When you are a person who has an interest, you are open to praise and encouragement, but you are also open to judgement and of course the dreaded “humble bragger”.

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that like anything else, people who care about their fitness can be bloody competitive about it. There is nothing more irritating than being in the presence of someone who asks you about an achievement only to belittle it. You can always tell when people ask about your running times whether they are genuinely interested or whether they are looking for a chance to put you down. People jump on fitness or healthy eating bandwagons all of the time and work toward whatever goal they want to achieve. Some people do it for themselves, and some people do it for their status among others. It is generally in the latter that we find the braggers and the put downs. I’ll be honest with you, I am a confident girl. I like the way I look, I like the things that I have done and I have a good idea of what I want out of life. At 25 I have less and less time for anyone who has a problem with that. Simple as.

Listening to a boaster go on about how strong or fit they are or how much organic unpronounceable superfoods they consume on a daily basis doesn’t make me lose hope or feel like I am rubbish. Because I am too comfortable in myself to stop running just because someone looks at me funny when I tell them the time of my last race. But some people are put off by that. Some people do think that because they aren’t hitting a particular mark that they should just stop. Or that because they can’t afford to buy this expensive grain or juicer that there isn’t much point in continuing with their healthy lifestyle because so and so says that any other approach is rubbish. Who would want to be a person that puts others off bettering themselves? You won’t get anything from it, other than the isolation of being the only person who wants to be the best. You won’t be happy with what you have achieved because whatever satisfaction you get from putting one person down will be short lived because there is always, always going to be someone who is better than you.

If you are good at something don’t sour your achievement by using it to make other people feel small. It only makes you look insecure. If you find yourself talking to someone who is putting you down, just remember that your goals are personal. You’re not working for anyone else but yourself and we all feel bad about where we are sometimes. Please keep going! I probably should give some tactic here for how to steer a conversation away from bragging and into more positive territory, but honestly? If someone is being like that just finish the conversation and move on to someone with better chat.

As far as I’m concerned, the braggers can get in the bin.