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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Testing new beauty products

It’s that wonderful time of year where I start to think about transitioning away from my winter make up. I put down the berry lipstick and purple shades in favour of brighter and softer colours. This is the idea anyway, I still creep back into my witchy make up ways every now and then, even at the height of summer I will rock a bikini and a berry lip. I’ve been out trying a few new beauty bits and I thought it might make something worth reading. I never buy anything without reading a review first and you can at least trust me to be brutally honest.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Simplifying and decluttering life

I've been trapped in a bit of a funk recently. I'm busy all of the time. There's so much that I want to do but I'm getting caught up on the details. My mind is a bit muddy and I'm not as productive as I normally am. It's a bit rubbish really. I'm finding little ways to clear my head space and make things easier for myself. Our house is staring to feel like home but there are still things that drive me crazy and get on my nerves. I'm trying to be a grown up and have it all and do everything and be okay about it. If I start small I might be able to make things easier for myself instead of over complicating everything and making myself mad.

Getting rid of sh*t I don’t need

This has been such a huge overhaul for me. I'm literally giving things away and throwing out bags of rubbish that I've been holding onto for years. I'm not really one for the minimalist lifestyle either. I'd happily have ten Alex draws filled with make up just for me, but in reality they are just filled with old paperwork and rubbish. 

I work in events, the black tie variety, meaning I buy a different ball dress for every event. I’m never going to wear these dresses again so why are they taking up precious wardrobe space I don’t have? They are pretty and all, but I can’t exactly stroll around Tesco in a floor length, backless, red number. They’ve all gone onto eBay to find new homes and I can buy some everyday dresses to do my food shopping in.

Old magazines are catnip for hoarders. I don’t know why I do this to myself but they are all over our house. Hello recycling bin, these are for you! Its things like this where you can take out twenty minutes of your day and instantly feel better about your space. My office is my sanctuary but it’s also the most cluttered room in the house. I’m now on a mission to make it better!

Putting things away

I can’t just get rid of everything so sometimes I have to be a grown up and tidy by bloody house. We’ve only been in the house for a couple of months which means we still have little piles of things that haven’t found their forever place yet. Taking time out to just organise and put things, I do actually need, away is so good for my mind. I feel a lot calmer when I’m not boxed in by just stuff. I don’t know what it is about clutter but it makes me crazy. Messy space = messy mind.

Scheduling my time

My schedule is a complicated mess. Sometimes I work evenings and weekends, I take a lot of classes for pole and aerial hoop plus general fitness and gym time, then I juggle time with family, friends and Dom, I look after my little blog, I have life admin to do and it all gets a bit much. Soemtimes I'm just drowning in the pressure of it all. I love it though. I want to be busy and happy. I have been trialing a system where I delegate days to parts of my life and its simplified things a lot. Mondays are for blog days, I see my family Wednesdays and Sunday afternoons, Tuesday is date night and so on. Having a set schedule stops me from getting stressed and letting people down. 

Digital Detox

Digital clutter is the worst, you can't see it and yet somehow its taking up space. Deleting all of the emails I don't need is therapeutic in an unexpected way. Unsubscribing from pointless email lists has decreased that amount of emails I'm getting daily. I don't need to be spending ten minutes a day deleting emails I'm getting so why get them in the first place? Spending spare time on clearing things like this away is making my life less complicated. 

The other digital detox is to clear up social channels. Unfollowing people is messy business but if I'm not interested in what they have to say, why follow them on social media? My Twitter feed is full of funny interesting people, my Instagram is loved ones, bloggers, circus performers and travel photos and I'm slowly narrowing Facebook down to just real friends. I don't need to be looking at irrelevant information about people who have nothing to say. It sounds harsh but why do that to yourself. 

I feel better already and I can't wait to have an even bigger sort out to get my head on straight. Goodbye to things I don't need, hello to head space and simpler living.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

How pole dancing changed the way I feel about my body

Pole dancing was never something I thought of trying. I’ve been an aerialist for a couple of years now but I started pole classes in May last year. I’m not going to lie, I was terrified. Aerial hoop and silks allow you to wear lots of layers and long leggings to protect your skin from catching. Pole is the exact opposite of that. You use your skin to grip to the pole, meaning the less you wear, the more you have to grip with. Pole classes often consist of shorts and a sports bra. Oh, and a room of other beautiful women. Do you know what happened when I went? I fell in love with the classes and the skill. I stopped caring about my body hang ups and what other people might think and just let myself enjoy being in class. 

I started working on my body in a different way

Dieting and working out purely for the intention to get thin fast, has stopped being my main priority. In fact, it's not even my top five. I train my body to be stronger and allow me to do more. I work on being able to hold my own body weight and lift myself (even if I don't quite manage to do so gracefully). My upper body strength has improved so much in a year and I’m only getting stronger. Losing weight has been an outcome from that but it's not all encompassing in my mind anymore. I’m also working every day to become more flexible. Pole has lead me to work on myself in a whole new way. Being stick thin wouldn’t work for me anymore because I want strong defined shoulders that will hold me up. Taking classes has completely changed my outlook on how I want my body to be and I’m so grateful. 

I learnt not to compare

These days I’m more jealous of a girl's splits than her body. Don’t get me wrong, I still see girls and think ‘Wow, I would love to have her X, she is beautiful’ but it’s not in a petty, self-hate kind of way. It can be incredibly daunting to stand in a room full of gorgeous, talented woman and feel at home but the sense of community is a lot stronger than the fear. I learn tricks and routines in my own time and everyone in class is supportive; we root for each other’s success. I don’t need to stand there and compare my body to anyone else because mine is mine, it will change however I change it over time. 
I’m happy with myself and that's a result of facing my body fears head on, albeit in shorts and upside down.

I appreciate what my body can do

I train my body in some way or another every day and I’ve seen first-hand the results it brings. If I treat myself right, and nourish my body, it will pay me back in kind and do what I want it to. I don’t believe in detox laxative teas or starving myself because I won’t have the energy to work at my best. My flexibility teacher encouraged us to complete a straddle challenge throughout January which I have been doing almost every day. The results are obvious and after just one month I am so much closer to the ground! I can do things I never thought I would be capable of and in a year, I know I will be even further on my journey. 

I’m not ashamed

In the past, I have been the girl to stand in front of a mirror and cry. I'm not ashamed to say that because I know I am far from alone in that fact. These days, I’m surrounded by mirrors and I couldn’t feel more at home. I use them to correct my posture rather than hate myself. When we start pole tricks, and I take off my leggings and shirt, I stand proud in my shorts and sports bra because I know I love what I’m doing. I don't feel the need to judge myself or feel judged by others. To be perfectly honest, people are more interested in my bruises than my jiggly bits!

I still need to lose a bit more weight but I’m doing it positively instead of obsessively. It's really not about weight loss. Pole has been a huge confident boost for me. I may not love my body all the time, but I love what it can do and it’s the only one I will ever have. I’m looking forward to learning new things and taking my flexibility and strength further. I want to take care of myself and just be happy with what I have. I’m so thankful I took up pole dancing. Anyone feeling insecure about going? Just do it. I haven’t ever looked back. 
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