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Being body positive

This year I set myself a couple of New Year’s resolutions. Some I broke quite quickly and others I’m continuing to practice, one of which includes being ‘body positive’. If you’re wondering what, why and how, then read on.

“It’s a sign from a greater power!”
While browsing through my ‘recommendations’ on ASOS, a bright pink book appeared and on the front was a gorgeous girl, with a big smile and amazingly colourful hair. Seeing this picture instantly cheered me up and so I was intrigued to find out what it was exactly.

Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe aka @bodyposipanda
When I enlarged the photo I was sucked in by the tagline “How to stop dieting, make peace with your body and live”. Some may say discovering this book was just down to a very clever shopping algorithm, but I say it was a sign from a greater power telling me to snap out of my body shaming ways!

Megan Jayne Crabbe bravely shares her own body image issues which led to anorexia and – during her years of ‘recovery’ – episodes of binge eating and yo yo dieting; until she found body positivity. She tells readers how she’s finally escaped the ‘cult of thin’ and details what the body positive movement means.

I bought the book as an early Christmas present to myself, but have only been reading it since the New Year. A few chapters in and I have felt liberated, a desire to wear the clothes i’ve been telling myself I’ll buy when I drop 3 dress sizes and an urge to dye my hair pink! I’ve not done the last one yet but these pages have been touching, emotional, inspiring and challenging.

If this was a complete book review, i’d say BRILLIANT, 5 STARS!
I’ve not finished reading Megan’s book, so this isn’t a complete book review, but it has made me think very differently towards diet, exercise and my past weight loss experiences. All of which has left me feeling motivated to beat my obsession with being ‘thin’ and the constant guilt I have when eating.

Instead, I’d love to learn/ re-learn (because i’m genuinely interested in it) more about good nutrition and healthy eating. In the process, I’ll work on accepting what i’ve got and enjoying everything else around me; because I’ve spent far too many years overthinking and stressing about food and my weight. That said I’ll still be blogging about it for many years to come!

One step at a time eh!

Thanks for reading,
Chloe x

5 things I have learnt as a Vegan

A few years ago I had a vague idea what veganism is and if you had asked me what I thought about it my answer would of been something like this; “bit extreme but each to their own”. However, veganism seems to be dominating many of conversations lately and I’ve become a little fascinated with what it’s all about; so much so that (like many this month) I challenged myself to go vegan. Here’s a little bit about my days as a vegan and what I’ve learnt.

What is Veganism?
From my understanding, being a vegan is all about enjoying a plant-based diet and  saying no to all animal products – be it meat, dairy or even honey.

For many, the main motivator behind this way of eating is to banish animal cruelty and exploitation that comes from breeding animals for food consumption, clothing and so on.

For others the driving force is an environmental one, as consuming less meat, dairy and fish lowers your carbon footprint significantly – it requires a lot less water and feed to rear animals, when compared to growing plant-based crops.

Going vegan may also strive from health reasons, as it’s believed that a plant-based diet can aid weight loss, reduced symptoms from food allergies and improve heart health – just to name a handful of benefits.

For a few like me, it’s pure curiosity and wanting to be like Beyonce… remember when she went vegan with hubby Jay Z? I do! They followed Marco Borges vegan plan and Beyonce has even written a foreword in later editions of his book “The 22-day Revolution”.

5 things I learnt as a Vegan
1. I’m a pretty pants vegan. I set off to go 10 days without consuming any animal  products, and by day 4 I had such a headache I convinced myself I needed food not on the vegan menu. In truth, I probably just needed to be more prepared and educated with  how to fuel my body properly on a vegan diet.

2. Weight loss is no longer my main obsession when it comes to veganism. Having read a little more about it and the environmental implications of eating meat or drinking dairy, I’m shocked to learn about the strain rearing animals for our benefit puts on the planet. A plant-based diet is significantly more sustainable in comparison, too. I’ve also become aware that those who protest against traditional animal rearing have received death threats and much worse. This was first highlighted to me in the document Cowspiracy, available to watch on Netflix.

3. A Vegan lifestyle makes you very regular. I will say no more on that subject.

4. I’m in awe of my husband who is still enjoying a vegan diet and has lost over 10lbs so far this month thanks to eating all plant-based foods.

5. There’s a lot of research out there that proves the consumption of animal products (proteins) can actually lead to certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune diseases! More can be read in The China Study.

Am I now a vegan?
Not quite, however I have personally felt a lot better for having mostly vegan meals and for cutting out a lot of dairy from my diet by switching to soya milk and plain soya yogurt. My main vegan blocker has been chocolate! I had a few small bars knocking around from Christmas that I just couldn’t resist. So I have eaten them, plus the vegan chocolate I discovered too! With a better understanding of veganism and if I finally banish my sugar addiction, maybe one day I will be.

New Year’s Resolutions

For those who read my last post, I’m pleased to share that the prosecco I consumed NYE has now left my system and I’m ready (11 days later) to get back to business (a.k.a. my usual routine alongside blogging about weight loss things). However, this year I’d like to share more of the heathy weight loss tips, advice, theories and recipes I come across and just a touch less about my personal ups and downs on the scales. Reasons being?

1.I’d like my blog to reflect the efforts i’m making in being more body positive and leading a healthy lifestyle, when it comes to food and exercise – not just that number on the scales.

2. I’m also conscious that multiple posts just about my weekly weigh ins might be a little bit of a boring to read (do let me know if you disagree) and let’s face it, I can go on a bit revealing clear signs of verbal diarrhoea, or blogger diarrhoea. Is that a phrase? You know what I mean – I’m doing it right now! I’m also guilty of bragging about any weight loss I have, and because I have a major sweet too, gains our not uncommon when i’ve been a bit ‘bingey’! It hurts so much to reveal when I’ve gained – it’s all very emotional you know! I am actually laughing as I write this, but it can feel pretty pants to share details of a gain, even though it’s a normal part of any weight loss journey. It’s not that I won’t share those details ever, just in moderation! 

So, hopefully I can do all of those things throughout 2018 and provide an interesting read to anyone who stumbles across these pages.

Thanks for reading and see you soon,
Chloe x

Happy New Year!

Hello 2018! I’m excited you’re here and I can’t wait to see what you have in store. After a few too many prosecco’s last night, I will keep this post brief but I’ll be back again soon with my New Years resolutions and general health and fitness chit chat!

Chloe x

My year as a buggy runner in 7 photos

With Christmas just around the corner and 2018 approaching fast, it feels natural to do a bit of reminiscing and today I would like to review my year as a buggy runner.

Before having the phil&teds Sport buggy, I was so frustrated not being able to exercise in the way that I wanted. I was keen to shift my post-baby weight and enjoy a bit of ‘me-time’ working out. However, finding the time and child care to go for a jog or hit the gym wasn’t always easy. Thanks to this simple buggy, I was able to combine my fitness goals with looking after my little girl, and keeping her thoroughly entertained on our many running adventures.

Here are a few photos that are special to me and capture my journey from complete buggy runner novice to feeling super confident with this superb set of wheels. I genuinely love this phil&teds running buggy as it’s helped me to lose weight, regain my fitness and enjoy new adventures with my daughter – which in turn has encouraged me to feel a bit more like the ‘pre-baby’ me, if that makes any sense!

1. On a high after my first buggy run that went very smoothly!

2. When I got to my weight loss goal!

3. Feeling so confident with my new running buggy that the endorphins encouraged me to take this sweaty post-run selfie! This was the moment I decided to sign up to a 10k run, feeling certain I’d be able to complete training now I had some new phil&teds wheels for my little one.

4. One of the first times I realised my jogging seemed to be inspiring my daughter to take up running too!

5. Running 10k in under an hour after training with my phil&teds sport buggy. Such a fantastic, and challenging day. I really didn’t think I’d be able to run long distances after having my daughter, I love that a simple buggy helped me to regain my fitness and so much more.

6. Moving house and exploring new running routes – so thankful this buggy is suited for all terrains! You may notice a difference between this shot and some of my earlier running views.

7. Ending the year with a family Santa fun run!

 

Santa buggy run complete!

Hello December! This weekend I’ve felt extremely Christmassy – the decorations are up, baubles are on the tree and my daughter completed her first Santa run!

The 3k route was just a few laps around our local park and my little one actually did run most of the course. We were by no means the fastest but it was a lot of fun. Half way round my daughter decided to motivate fellow Santa joggers by singing every nursery rhyme she knew at the top of her voice!

It was such a great event and lovely to see my girl give it her all as the crowd cheered her on. She hopped in our phil&teds running buggy a few times, but she mostly wanted to run herself. I’m so glad we did it with the buggy though, as I wasn’t sure how quickly we would all start running or what my daughter would be like in a structured run event; having the buggy meant we could still run if she was tired and she had a comfy seat to rest in while the race got going. I absolutely love how big the basket is on the phil&teds Sport running buggy and for the run it was packed with extra layers, snacks and toys just in case we needed them. Plus, compared to other buggies, it’s so easy to manoeuvre, great on all surfaces and keeps wonderfully steady when you up the pace with it.

As we approached the finish line my daughter decided it was best to complete the run in the buggy. As we jogged a little faster towards the end, my cheeky husband decided to make a break for it so that he could say he beat me! We’ll get him next year! My daughter also decided one guy in particular was the ‘real’ Santa, I have no idea why but her reaction to him was quite hilarious. We also learnt that she doesn’t like it when me and daddy wear Santa beards!

I’d definitely recommend getting involved in your local Santa run and it looks as though more more events like these are thankfully becoming pushchair friendly.

Here’s to another week trying my best to live a healthy lifestyle! As always, thank you for reading.

Chloe x
#mondaymotivation

How to keep running through Winter

As it continues to get colder I’ve needed to dig deep to get out the house to go for a run. Then I realised what I needed to do for some extra motivation – a charity Santa fun run! Having the Windsor 10k to prep for over summer was a great reason to keep training, and so I hope having another run in the diary will do the same for me over the next few cold weeks.

Running in the cold can really sabotage your motivation to go out for a jog. As much as I love running, I also love being warm! Creating a ‘Winter fit kit’* has definitely helped, as I know once we’re out in the running buggy neither of us our actually cold with all the layers we have one, and it’s pretty refreshing to jog when it’s cool. However, i’m so pleased to have another run to look forward to.

This time i’ll be running a much shorter route of 3k and i’m so excited that my daughter can join too, as it’s a pushchair friendly route; although if you follow me on instagram, you’ll see that she often likes to run too! We’ll also be raising money for Woking and Sam Bear Hospices.

I’m so excited for our next run and it’s already giving me an extra boost when I think about going out for a buggy run. In prep for the event I’ve pulled together a few essential items we’ll need for the day – see photo! Thank goodness for the large basket on my phil&teds Sport buggy as I often pack a fair bit!

About the photo: I have to be honest, this pic doesn’t include absolutely everything – that small person who comes with me running didn’t let me add all the extra layers, spare clothes, purse, keys, multiple snacks and toys, or nappies! Note to self, I’ll attempt another photo like this when she’s asleep!

My race day kit

  1. Christmas jumper – obvs!
  2. Extra layers – for me and daughter
  3. Gloves and hat
  4. Toys and snacks – to keep the little one sweet
  5. Water – my daughter is a bit obsessed with water bottles, so this is her ‘sport’ one
  6. Phil & Teds Sport buggy snuggle and snooze sleeping bag and waterproof cover
  7. Baby wipes
  8. iPhone and headphones – I’ll pack my headphones but I’m not planning listening to music on the way round, but I always regret it when I don’t have them just in case my daughter falls asleep and I fancy some music to jog to. Plus Netflix can come in handy if there’s any waiting around! 
  9. Running headband – I love my new ‘push it’ headband from runningbuggies.com and it really doesn’t slip. My hair loves to do it’s own thing when I run, but at least it’s now out of my eyes!  
  10. Trainers – maybe these should of been at the top of the list!

Wish us luck!

Notes*Next time I promise to share what my Winter fit kit involves! Looking back at posts I completely forgot to say how I’ve prepped for my Winter runs. Sorry about that! Stay tuned for more Winter running tips!

Treasure Cove Woking review

Woking has a new play centre and today I was able to experience all that Treasure Cove has to offer. You’ll find Treasure Cove where the almighty Blockbusters used to be and wow has it changed.

What to expect
This children’s centre is jammed packed with goodies to keep your littles ones entertained, and it’s surprisingly spacious. There are several themed areas for kids to enjoy, these include a dressing up area; a large ball pit pirate ship; a construction area; a place for toy babies and buggies, a music zone and lots more. To be put simply – everything young children love playing with.

Practical stuff – coffee shop and parking
There’s no on site parking but there are places to park not too far away, or you can park right in town and walk 5/10 minutes to the Treasure Cove. When you enter, you’re asked to leave your shoes and (if you have one with you) buggy just outside the main soft play area – the only thing is once it got busy, this small area (when compared to the rest of Treasure Cove) got a little messy.

The coffee shop was lovely and the cakes looked delicious, I didn’t spot any healthy snacks for the kids though and during busy times it could be a little tricky to bag yourself a seat in the main sit down area.

Overall thoughts…
We had a great time at Treasure Cove and I would definitely visit again. My only criticism would be the buggy park/shoe area and sitting area for grown ups was on the small side and could be a bit problematic during busy times – but isn’t that the case with all kiddy play venues! The toys and different areas for the children are brilliant and my daughter loved exploring it all. The staff were friendly and it’s lovely to see some life in a building that has been empty for so long!

**UPDATE** Since writing this review, you’ll see that the lovely folks at Treasure Cove have replied and it sounds like all the small things that maybe didn’t go as smoothly on my first visit, are being addressed. See the comments for more details and thanks again Treasure Cove for the reply – all the updates sounds great.

The WW Flex Effect – 3 reasons why I love it

Weight Watchers have announced some changes to their plan and if you’re already a member like me, you don’t have to look far to find a mixed bag of reactions to the announcement. I’m for one am over the moon to learn about the Weight Watchers Flex programme and here are 3 reasons why I already love the improved Weight Watchers plan and the flex effect!

1. More food, less guilt, healthier choices
The beauty of Weight Watchers is that you can eat anything you like, but with the expertise of Weight Watchers there is a wealth of material at your fingertips to help guide on what foods are best for healthy living and weight loss. The recent changes to the plan include a wider range of foods, mostly protein, that you no longer need to be count as part of your daily allowance. I love this because once again it will steer me towards foods that are healthy, will fill me up properly and (I hope) will stop me from overindulging on chocolate when I’m in one of those moods…

An example;
If I have 2 SmartPoints remaining at the end of the day and I’m hungry, I more often than not opt for a low calorie chocolate bar. I know this won’t fill me up but i’m a sugar addict (i’m working on that) and I think it will at least take the edge off my hunger and give me my sweet fix. Only problem is that one bar often leads to more (if I’m having an off day) and then I get myself in a vicious cycle, as I’m annoyed with myself for having eaten multiple chocolate bars then i’m like “well I’ve done it now so i’ll keep going”! However with more zero foods on the list, and foods that I tend to have around or i’m intrigued to try, I can now fill myself up on good things and i’m hoping this will help me to still enjoy a sweet treat but not go crazy on them as i’ll genuinely be full. I hope that makes some kind of sense!

2. Increase fuel for exercising
As my fitness improves and I’m exercising more, I’ve struggled to satisfy my post-workout hunger. I’ve read a lot about eating protein after working out (and in general) but I couldn’t quite get my numbers right when it came fitting in the extra protein into my Weight Watchers SmartPoints allowance; not that it couldn’t be done, I just needed the professionals (aka Weight Watchers) to spell it out for me!

3. Change can be good to get past a plateau
Completely my own doing, but I have been losing and gaining the same few pounds for last few months. I’m so excited to see if the Weight Watchers Flexible programme will help me get past those same pesky pounds and into the next stone down.

I’ll keep you posted!

5 unusual reasons why I love buggy running

I’ve been asked lots lately if I would ‘really’ recommend buggy running and my answer is yes! Can’t you tell? I talk about it all the time! Here’s a little on why I love buggy running and my Phil & Teds Sport.

1. I feel so free!
Getting fit and losing some unwanted pounds is really important to me, but I felt so frustrated having to be dependent on childcare if I wanted to go for a run (something I enjoyed doing before having a baby). Thanks to buggy running that’s no longer an issue. Plus, now my daughter is older we can make quite an event out of it by including a park visit before or after my jog.

2. It makes me feel like a super mum keeping me and my daughter active
This is a bit silly but when i’m running with my daughter in the buggy I feel like a right super mum. ”Check me out keeping fit and looking after this one” is what usually goes through my head. “Someone applaud me” but that never happens. The running bug seems to be catching too and my daughter does enjoy a good jog as well, and seems genuinely excited when I say lets go for a run.

3. Having all that fresh air helps me feel less guilty about staying in for the rest of the day
As much as I love running, I also like sitting on the sofa! Going for a jog with a park visit included helps me feel like we’ve earned ourselves some lazy time once we’re back home.

4. My Phil & Teds Sport has the best shopping basket
I use my running buggy to go for walks too and sometimes (often) that includes a visit to the shops. I’ve had my fair share of buggies and I can say with confidence that this has the best and biggest basket, which is so handy for picking up some essentials (or treats) when we’re out and about.

5. I feel so much fitter and stronger
The first run I went on after having my daughter was extremely challenging. I definitely thought that was it, no more running for me. I’m so thankful running buggies exist as mine has helped me to regain my fitness at my own pace, and at times that worked for me and my family. So much so that (if you hadn’t spotted) I completed a 10k run in under hour just a few months ago, all thanks to training with my running buggy.

Thanks for reading and see you again soon,
Chloe

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