Friday, 2 December 2016

Hello December!

Well, there's no hiding from it now; 2016 is almost over, with less than a month to go before we'll be ringing in the New Year! There's always so much going on in December, from Christmas shopping, card-writing and gift-wrapping through to cleaning, decorating, and baking - but I'm still hoping to achieve a few goals before the year is out... I've also decided that, having given up chocolate at the end of August, three months of no chocolate is enough to be going on with, so I'm pretty excited that I've got an Advent calendar!
Hello December
See friends at least twice. This should be pretty easy, as I've got a Christmas dinner planned with a big group of friends, as well as an evening out with work colleagues. Even so, it's traditional for me to have this goal each month, and I'm not about to break with tradition at this late juncture!
Keep up going to the gym regularly. I've got quite nicely into the habit of going to the gym before work, and I'd like to stick to this as much as possible, as I really do feel so much better for it! Going before work means I still have my evenings free for blogging and socialising, which is partly why it's working so well for me. I'm hoping to go at least five times a week, although I'll need to check the Christmas opening hours.
Have a proper make-up cull. This is something I started towards the end of November - I have so much make-up, half of which I never use, and a lot of it is probably well past its best-before date. I'm well overdue a good sort through of my stash, and I'll be getting rid of a few bits and pieces and generally trimming the stash down a little.
Reach 4000 Twitter followers. I think I'm leaning a little on the ambitious side here as I'll need to gain almost 300 followers to achieve this, but hey, aim high! I'd love to hit 4k before the end of the year and I have noticed a decent amount of growth in the past couple of months so we'll have to see how I get on with that. I'd love to hit 1500 on Instagram, too, but I seem to have hit a plateau on there - for every follower I gain, it seems another disappears. Just me!?

What have you got planned for December? Is there anything you're hoping to achieve this month? Do you have any fun plans?

xo
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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

In Retrospect | November 2016

As if tomorrow is December!? This is a little bit beyond my comprehension capabilities... I honestly don't know where this year has gone, and I know I'm not the only one! November has been a busy one for me, with a whole load of new stuff starting up at work, application forms, trying to keep up with my blog (which has been a whole lot more successful this month, yay!), going to the gym, having a life... Oh, and the fact we have no bathroom at the moment as my parents have ripped the old suite out to have a whole new bathroom fitted. Literally our bathroom has no floor, ceiling or walls at the moment... I'm showering at the gym and our neighbour is kindly loaning her bathroom for my parents to shower!
November In Retrospect
Empties.
I've made a fair old dent in my toiletries stash this month, and even managed to finish off a make-up product! I'm trying to slim my stash down a little because of the aforementioned bathroom situation, so it's great to be clearing out so many products - I'm on a real mission to finish off all the half-used products I seem to have acquired...
November Empties
Will Repurchase: Super Facialist by Una Brennan Salicylic Acid Anti-Blemish Purifying Face Wash | My favourite face wash ever! I already have a new tube of this, I love it. // The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Butter | This stuff smells incredible and is perfect for keeping my limbs hydrated. I think it was a Limited Edition scent but I'll certainly be buying more TBS Body Butters - they're brilliant. // The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector | I'm pretty sure this is the best hand cream in the world, I love it! It works so well to soothe the awful patches of eczema I've been getting. // Merumaya Concentrated Spot Treatment | I already have a new tube of this, it's perfect for dabbing onto any blemishes at bedtime - it never fails to bring them down overnight.
Might Repurchase: Natural Collection Pressed Powder | I really like this, especially for the bargain price tag! It doesn't look chalky or cakey and works as well as any other drugstore powder I've tried. // Botanics All Bright Cleansing Foam Wash | This isn't up there with the Super Facialist face wash for me, but it is quite nice and it's a right bargain! // Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream | Not the best eye cream I've ever used, but it's alright. // Dr Organic Manuka Honey Body Wash | This has a very strong, almost sickly honey scent which was a bit too much for me on some days, but I do like the Dr Organic range in general, and it's SLS-free which is a bonus for my eczema! // Forever Living Relaxation Shower Gel | I'm not the world's biggest lover of lavender scents but I did really enjoy this one, it wasn't too overwhelming and made for quite a nice showering experience! It's just a little bit pricey for me, really.
Won't Repurchase: Nivea Sensitive Cleansing Wipes | Sensitive my arse! These didn't half make my face sting, I only really use facewipes for removing my make-up at the gym and I'd always rinse my face afterwards so I used them up, but there's not a chance I'd repurchase. // Percy & Reed Wonder Overnight Recovery | I have to admit that this did leave my hair feeling super silky-soft, which I loved, but I can't get past the smell of it, which really catches my throat somehow. I found the scent lingered in my hair even after I'd washed the product out the next morning, which was a real shame.

Sample Sachets.
I managed to finish a measly one sample sachet this month - poor effort Jess! Still, one is better than none, right!?
MOR Candied Vanilla Hand Cream
Mor Candied Vanilla Hand Cream | This was  FeelUnique Pick 'N' Mix sample sachet which I eked out for about six or seven uses; it has a nice, light, non-sticky texture and does smell lovely but I don't think I'll be forking out the full price! (£15/100ml here)

October Goals.
Apply for clinical training. Yay! I finally got the form finished and submitted at the weekend, so now it's time to wait... Hopefully I should hear mid-March whether I'm being invited for any interviews, which is a long time to wait, and a long time to cross my fingers. We'll see. Either way, the form is done now, so that's one less thing to worry about!
Start Christmas shopping. Well I've bought one gift so it counts, right!? It's a small start but it's still a start... I'm still really struggling for what to get people, and I have the added fun of a couple of Secret Santas to shop for - one which I organised with a few blogging friends, which is fine, and one with our pub quiz team, which is also fine, but the work one... I'm really stuck on what to get!
See friends at least twice. An early morning walk and breakfast date with my best friend, a couple of late-night walks/drives with another friend, and a pub quiz with a whole group of friends - bonus point: we came third! That's the best I've ever done in a pub quiz, ha!
Go to the gym regularly. Yep! I've managed to get to the gym either before or after work most days this month (I think I've only missed one workday), as well as a couple of weekend sessions. I'm making the most of my membership! If you're wondering how the heck I get to the gym before work, check out my top tips for early-morning workouts.
Four out of four on my goals, woohoo!
October Loves.
Catherine wrote about her tips for becoming a morning person, which is definitely something I'd like to achieve at some point in my life!
tips for becoming a morning person
Caitlin reviewed a W7 foundation which is, apparently, a dupe for NARS Luminous Weightless Foundation - I'm feeling a strong need to try it out! Can we also take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous Caitlin's photos are, like, always!?
Hannah shared twelve things to remember when you're on your period - a brilliant and relatable read, reminding us all about the virtues of hot water bottles, cuddly toys and chocolate to help us through that time of the month.
12 things to remember when you're on your period
The fabulous Jasmine wrote about her top tips for staying motivated during Autumn & Winter - something I know I struggle with, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Check out her post for some ways to make the most of the dark days!
Here on The Indigo Hours, my favourite posts included my favourite nail polishes for Autumn, and seven things that happen when you start to practice self-care, so do pop over and give those a read if you missed them!

November In Summary.
A busy month but I feel like I've achieved a fair bit - mostly because of finally submitting my application for clinical training, but also including a few fun things too, such as a meal out with my family and seeing Russell Kane for my Mum's birthday at the beginning of the month - which was a fab evening, he was hilarious!
What have you been up to in November? What have you been loving this month?

xo
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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Seven Seas Perfect7 Woman Supplements*

A few weeks ago now, I was offered the opportunity to try Seven Seas' newly-lauched Perfect7 Woman* supplements, which (as the name suggests!) claim to support seven aspects of women's health from skin, hair and nails through to the brain. I was sent a 30-day duo pack; the daily dose consists of one tablet and one capsule, and this pack contains 30 of each. I'm generally quite wary of supplements and the like, but Seven Seas is a well-known and reputable brand, so I decided to give them a go.
Seven Seas Perfect7 Woman
Packaging-wise, there's plenty of information about the potential benefits - and, importantly if you're me and like to know where claims are coming from, the nutrient(s) behind the claim. For example, the supplements contain Zinc which is shown to support the skin and nails, whilst Vitamin B2 is important for vision. Personally, I was most interested in the benefits for my skin (as it's very oily and prone to blemishes, especially just before my period) and the regulation of hormonal activity - again, regarding my skin, and also PMS and the migraines I get whilst on my period.
Perfect 7 Woman Claims
Now I'm just going to put this out there: the tablets and capsules are huge. I'm the sort of person who can swallow paracetamol dry, but I really needed a good drink with these, which is definitely something to consider if you struggle to swallow tablets. Aside from that, I found it quite easy to get into the routine of taking these each morning with a glass of water or OJ, and actually only missed one day out of the 30 I was using the supplements - which is pretty impressive for me! I noticed a slight fishy aftertaste on a few days (maybe four or five days out of the 30, so not a huge number) which I presume is from the Fish Oil capsule, which wasn't exactly unpleasant but wasn't unbearable, either; I found that making sure I had plenty to drink reduced this problem.
Perfect 7 Woman Supplements
But did I see any benefit? Honestly, I think it's difficult to say from just trying them for one month - particularly because my cycle is excessively long, so I didn't have a period whilst taking them. That said, I do feel like I had more energy, and I do think my skin was better - less oily and fewer spots. Obviously it's difficult to be sure from such a short trial, but I'd certainly be interested to see whether the effects hold up in the longer-term. Other benefits, such as those to the brain and heart, are more difficult to notice, but it's obviously really important to take those into consideration, too.
Seven Seas Perfect 7 Nutrition Information
Seven Seas Perfect7 Woman supplements are priced at £10.49 for the 30-day pack at Boots, where they are often on a 3-for-2 offer, so you could stock up on a few months' worth and save yourself a bit of cash. I'm strongly considering picking up a couple more packs next time I'm in town as I'm keen to see whether I'd notice any further benefits to taking the Perfect7 supplements regularly. Do you take any multivitamins or supplements? Would you try Perfect7?

xo
[*Product provided for consideration.]
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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Nails Inc 'Lexington Street'

You've probably seen by now that this month's issue of Glamour magazine comes with a choice of four Nails Inc nail polishes; one of the two I picked up was 'Lexington Street', a pretty baby pink/nude shade which I put on my nails last night, so I thought I'd share! You can check out the other free shades in my December Magazine Freebies post...
Nails Inc Lexington Street
I found that 'Lexington Street' applied quite nicely; I used a base of Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails, and found that the majority of my nails looked fab with two medium coats - the odd nail took a third coat to just even out some minor streaks. Photos are taken with no top coat, as it dries to a lovely glossy finish by itself!
Nails Inc Lexington Street Glamour Freebies
What do you think? Don't forget to have a peek at the other Nails Inc shades available with Glamour until the end of the month, and check out my top Autumn nail polish picks! What have you got on your nails at the moment? Have you picked up any of the free Nails Inc polishes?

xo
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Monday, 21 November 2016

Tips For Getting To The Gym Before Work

I posted a couple of weeks ago about the reasons I'm loving being a member of a gym again, and spoke about how I've kind of got into the habit of going before work. Now I don't start work til 9am, and I have the luxury of working literally three minutes' drive from the gym, but even so I'm pretty amazed that I've been managing this, given that I'm totally not a morning person! I've found that to ge ta proper workout in, I need to be in the gym by 7.10, which gives me 45-50 minutes before I need to head off to shower and get changed. This post was totally inspired by Charlotte's brilliant 'How to become a morning exerciser' post, and I definitely suggest checking her tips out, too!
Tips for getting to the gym before work
[Photo credit: Ivory Mix. Edited by me.]
Get everything ready the night before.
I know this is obvious! Really, I do. However, it's also key, so we're gonna talk about it. If you're gonna need it in the morning, get it ready the night before. I try to have gym kit ready to put on as soon as I get up, my gym bag ready with clothes for work, my make-up bag, and things for a shower... Breakfast (I just take some granola in a little tupperware tub and a yoghurt - easy peasy!), lunch, and anything I need for work, all ready to just grab and go. Especially if you're not a morning person, this makes all the difference!
Give yourself plenty of time.
This took a little perfecting for me - it's about 20 minutes drive to the gym, so I try to leave by 6.45, so my alarm is set for 6.30. (I actually have two alarms; one on my phone, and one horrible obnoxious old-school alarm clock which I keep on the other side of the room - then I have to get out of bed to switch it off!) This gives me 15 mintues to get dressed, have a quick wash and brush my teeth, and grab my lunch from the fridge - I've found anything less than that is just too much of a rush, and I end up forgetting something important like my lunch.
Plan ahead.
I'm definitely still on Autopilot by the time I get to the gym, so I like to know what I'm going to be doing so I can get started without having to think about it - whether it's swimming, cardio on the cross-trainer or bike, or weights... Having a plan means I can just crack on without having to make early-morning decision, because they're just the worst.
Get an early night.
Another obvious one... I'm still working on this! I'm just not very good at it, especially when I feel like I'm missing out on a fun evening - I'd far rather do the pub quiz or go to the cinema than have an early night. Even when I'm not doing anything, I often find myself reading, or drafting blog posts, or trying to make my way through my Bloglovin' feed... But I'm trying to get better at this, and I'm trying to implement an 11pm rule, so I'm getting at least 7.5 hours. I find I sleep far better when I'm exercising regularly, so I can get away with a bit less sleep - plus an early morning workout does wonders to wake me up!
Think about why it's important to you.
Like anything in life, it's easier to get up early and drag yourself to the gym when you know why you're doing it! Maybe it means you can spend evenings with your partner? Maybe it's the only way you can fit in training for a race? Maybe you just want a challenge? Whatever it is, I really do think you need to have a reason to drag yourself out of bed and out into the cold in the depths of winter - you need to be doing it for you, and because at some level you want to do it.
Early Gym Sunrise
I honestly never thought that I'd be the sort of person that goes to the gym before work, but I've actually found that it's a routine that really works for me; I've tried going after work a few times, for example when I'm working away and simply don't have time to go in the morning, but it's so much busier - plus I find it way harder when I'm tired and hungry. I actually enjoy it more in the morning! If you're not sure, I'd suggest commiting to a two-week trial of early-morning workouts and seeing how you feel afterwards - you might just surprise yourself!
When do you like to work out? Do you have any early-morning workout tips to share?

xo
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Friday, 18 November 2016

Born Pretty Oval Brush*

Oval make-up brushes have been making waves in the beauty world lately, starting  (I think!) with the pricey Artis brushes, with versions quickly popping up from everyone from MAC to Makeup Revolution. So when I saw that Born Pretty Store had their own version, I was eager to give it a go and see what all the fuss was about!
Born pretty oval brush
The Oval Brush* was described as being suitable for both cream and powder products; I went for the silver option, but the brush was also available in Rose Gold and one other colour which I can't remember. My first impressions were that it feels quite cheap - and to be fair, it is, so I can't really complain! I did feel that the handle felt quite flimsy, although the fibres feel nice and soft and are well-cut.
BornPrettyStore Oval Brush
I tried this first for liquid foundation, and I've tried a couple of brands, applying product onto the back of my hand, directly onto the brush, or dabbing on my face and then blending. With all three techniques, I found that the brush seemed to move product around rather than blending it in, leaving it looking streaky and patchy. Not to be put off, I've also tried the brush for powder-based products such as blusher and loose powder; sadly, the fibres seem to be too densely-packed to pick product up properly, or distribute it evenly on the skin. Again, it ends up looking patchy and uneven - I've tried everything I can think of but just haven't been able to get it to work for me.
BPS Oval Brush
Sadly (or not?), the Born Pretty Oval Brush doesn't seem to be available on their site anymore, but I seem to recall it was around £3; it's probably worth keeping an eye on the site if you're interested, as the stock seems to be updated pretty frequently. Have you tried any oval make-up brushes? Is there a brand you'd recommend?

xo
[*Product provided for consideration.]
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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

7 Things That Happen When You Start To Practice Self-Care

I think self-care is a bit of a buzzword at the moment; certainly, I've seen it popping up all over the place in guises from mindfulness & meditation through to the Danish hygge trend. I'm not knocking it, I think  it's great - it's so important to take care of ourselves and the benefits to doing so are huge. All too often, we are used to putting everyone else's needs before our own, and so at first, self-care can feel foreign and uncomfortable, even selfish. But, as with most things, the more you practice, the easier and more natural it will become! Here are seven things that will happen when you start to make self-care a priority.
Seven Things That Happen When You Start To Practice Self-Care
[Image Credit: Wonderfelle. Edited by myself.]
You'll reduce your dependency on unhealthy coping strategies.
From drinking one too many on a Saturday night through to self-harm, there are a myriad of unhelpful ways people cope with stress; learning to take better care of yourself means you have more resources to draw on when things are tough, and other things to turn to when it all gets a bit much. There's plenty of research to show that self-care is a brilliant way to improve your mental health - and that doesn't just apply to those with mental health difficulties. We all have mental health, and just as everyone can benefit from taking care of their physical health, we can all reap the rewards of improved mental health.
You'll have something to look forwards to each day.
Even if you just commit five minutes each day to doing something purely for yourself - that's five minutes where you don't have to worry about anything else! Maybe you could use it to motivate yourself to get out of bed a little earlier each mornng, or give yourself something nice to do at the end of a hard day at work. Giving yourself at least one good thing in each day can make such a difference.
You'll feel more valued by others.
The funny thing about learning to value yourself is - other people start to value you, too. If you often feel like people take advantage of you or just don't consider your feelings, practicing some self-care can give you a quiet confidence that will change that.
You'll sleep better.
And what part of a good night's sleep isn't winning!? A few minutes spent looking after yourself will help you to unwind and deal with stress, which will in turn help you sleep better. We all know a good night's sleep can make all our problems seem less daunting, and so this becomes a bit of a cycle - you feel better, so you sleep better, so you feel better...
Self-Care
[Image credit: Justyna Ka Photography.]
Your relationships will improve.
Just a few minutes a day spent nurturing yourself, can gradually shift your mindset; you'll find yourself becoming gentler, more compassionate, and calmer. It may sound a bit backwards, but taking the time to look after yourself and think about what you need, can make it easier to understand what others need from you - and give you more resources to give it. Be nice to yourself, and it becomes a whole lot easier to be nice to other people!
Other people's opinions will matter to you less.
Sure, there are always going to be people in your life whose wisdom you'll seek, or who you'll go to for advice when you're struggling. But when you start to treat yourself well and value yourself, you'll start to have more faith in your ability to make decisions by yourself. You'll find yourself a whole lot less concerned what others might or might not think about your outfit, your parenting or your life choices. Being able to do things for you is a huge gift!
You'll start to accept your flaws.
No-one is perfect. We all know that, and yet somehow we're a lot more accepting of that in others than we are of it in ourselves. We all have a friend who's always late, or never rememers birthdays, but we still love them; we probably don't even notice flaws our loved ones see in themselves, whether it's a wonky nose or a jiggly tummy. How nice would it be to feel that way about yourself? Sure, you've got your faults - who doesn't? - but actually, you're still a pretty amazing human being! Treating yourself well will help you to realise this.
The Importance of Self-Care
[Image credit: Wonderfelle.]
Now I'm not trying to pretend that self-care is the cure of all ills - we all have shitty days/weeks/months, and taking care of yourself won't stop that altogether. Just as eating well and exercising doesn't stop you getting ill - it can reduce the frequency, and so too can self-care reduce the frequency of those shitty days!
How do you like to practice self-care? Have you noticed anything else about practicing regularly? If you'd like to learn a bit more about self-care, or get some suggestions of things you could try, Mind have a fab article, or check out my Wellbeing board on Pinterest!

xo
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Saturday, 12 November 2016

Five Nail Polish Shades That Are Perfect For Autumn!

Much as I'm not really a fan of Autumn, one thing I do love about the cooler months is the rich, deep colours - give me a good burgundy or navy over pastels, anyday! I struggle to find the time to paint my nails very often, but here are a few of the shades you're likely to find me wearing in the coming weeks...
Five Nail Polish Shades That Are Perfect For Autumn
Nails Inc 'Midnight' | You can actually pick this up for free with this month's issue of Glamour if you're in the UK! It's a beautiful deep, super-glossy navy which I'm currently wearing on my toenails. I love this one, I think it looks really chic and classy. (Swatch shows one coat)
Ciaté 'Dangerous Affair' | A gorgeous autumnal burgundy shade, this is the sort of thing I love for a subtle pop of colour in the autumn months; it's a bit different than a simple nude or black, but will go with most things and looks really polished. This was actually a magazine freebie last month, but you can find it at £9 for 13.5ml here. (Swatch shows two coats)
Nails Inc 'Lexington Street' | I know I said I don't go for pastels, and I know this is kind of a pastel... But I'm including it as a nude. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! This is a really pretty almost baby-pink creme shade which will look "done" without being overdone. Free with Glamour this month, or you can buy the NailKale version at £14 for 14ml here. (Swatch shows two coats)
Models Own 'Absinthe' | This gorgeous emerald-green shade from Models Own's Velvet Goth collection is the perfect party shade in my book! A gorgeous shade with plenty of sparkle, this is one of my favourite nail polishes ever. I can't actually find it to buy online which I'm a bit sad about. (Swatch shows two coats)
Barry M 'Raspberry' | Now here's a classic! This is, as the name suggests, a beautiful pinky-red raspberry shade, with a smooth creamy finish - it's the brightest of the bunch but still deep enough to be decidedly autumnal. I hadn't realised how similar this is to the Ciaté shade until I looked back at these photos - 'Raspberry' is just a tiny bit brighter. And of cours, Barry M polishes are a bargain - grab this at just £2.99 for 10ml here. (Swatch shows one coat)
Autumn Nail Polish Swatches
Autumn Nail Polishes
What are you wearing on your nails at the moment? Do you like the look of any of my picks? Do you have any go-to Autumn shades that I need to try?

xo
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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Magazine Freebies | December 2016

There's disappointingly little in the way of magazine freebies on offer this month - in fact, I've spotted the grand total of one so far! At least it's a pretty good one...
Magazine-Freebies-December-2016
Glamour (£2, Suki Waterhouse on the cover) comes with a choice of four full-sized Nails Inc polishes, which are each worth £11 - so if you're after a new nail polish for Christmas party season, this could be just the ticket! I picked up 'Lexington Street', a nude-baby pink, and 'Midnight', a super-dark navy blue. The other two shades are 'Tate', a bright red, and 'Victoria', a deeper burgundy shade. All four look gorgeous and they're a right bargain at just £2 a pop!
Glamour-Nails-Inc-Freebies-December-2016
Nails-Inc-Freebies-Glamour-December-2016
Have you spotted any other freebies with this month's magazines? Will you be picking up Glamour? What shade(s) will you be going for?

xo
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Five Reasons I Love Going To The Gym

Since re-joining the gym (all of a week and a half ago, let's be honest - I can't really claim it's a long-standing habit just yet!), I've been making the effort to get up a bit earlier and fit a workout in before work. I've found that if I'm organised the night before, I can fit in a whole workout by getting up just 45 minutes earlier! Whereas before I'd faff around in the morning, deciding what to make for lunch, what to wear, and scrolling through Twitter - now I can get up, get dressed, grab my things and go. It makes me feel all virtuous. Here are five other reasons I'm loving my new-found early morning gym almost-habit...
Five Reasons I Love Going To The Gym
[Photo Credit: Death To Stock.]
It gives me chance to wake up.
I'm not a morning person. We've talked about this. However, this little routine means that I can drag myself from my bed when my alarm goes off, put on clothes that are already ready, pick up gym kit and work stuff that are already packed, get breakfast and lunch from the fridge that are already made and get on my way - all on autopilot. As long as I've got some idea what I'm doing when I get to the gym, I can get started on that and shock myself awake quite nicely!
New gymwear.
I've been raiding Primark and feeling entirely justified in stocking up on new sports bras and the like. I was quickly finding I was running out of clean gym kit - especially considering I'm going straight from the gym to work, and then wanting to pack my kit for the next morning soon after I get home - it doesn't leave much time for drying things out! And few things beat the feeling of pretty new gymwear...
CC_CreativeMinimalism_V1
[Photo Credit: Pink Pot.]
It's worked wonders for my body image - already!
Whilst I know there's not been any physical change in my body just yet (it's only been a fortnight!), I've already had a massive shift in what I see in the mirror - which was honestly just what I needed. Whereas before I'd look at my reflection and see "imperfections" - wobbly thighs, flabby tummy, flappy bits on my arms - now, it's like looking at someone else altogether. I see muscle definition and a strong, confident woman, which sounds cheesy and a bit daft, but it's true. There's lots of research about the benefits of exercise for mental health and body image - and I'm definitely seeing it in action!
I'm less inclined towards cake at lunchtime...
My office is within a three-minute walk of Asda, which is frankly dangerous! I'd got into a bit of a bad habit of "just popping to the shop" on my dinner break and buying food - despite the fact of having brought lunch with me. I'm really trying to focus on healthier habits, which don't involve binge-eating share packs of chocolate buttons, and I find that I'm much less inclined to do so when I've been to the gym - it would feel like a waste of my hard work! This is also great financially - if I save just £1.50 per workday, it's paid off my gym membership for the month...

& there's no guilt when cake o'clock does happen.
Because some days, it's just inevitable, y'know? But hey, who cares, I burnt off my French Fancy while the rest of the office was still asleep! Actually that's probably not strictly true since most of my office has small children, but even so... It's all about moderation, right!? A little mid-afternoon treat is much more acceptable when I've raised my metabolism early on in the day with a good blast on the cross-trainer or a few sets of squats...
What are your favourite things about exercising? Do you have anything to add to my list? If you're looking for some tips on how to get into exercising in the morning, check out Charlotte's fab post - she's an inspiration!

xo
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