Flab to Fab (Hopefully!)

So people it’s that time of the year again where I, along with what feels like the majority of the UK population, am on a mission to get fit – and quick!

All winter (and most of Spring) I’ve been piling on the pounds, eating copious amounts of cake and sweets without a care in the world. And, to be honest, it’s been great. Yes there’s been a bit more “cushioning” around my waist than normal, but with the trend for baggy jumpers no-one was any the wiser. The gym inside my apartment complex had become a foreign territory and my fitness levels were pretty much at zero. The motivation had gone.

And then the sun came out…

The revelation hit me when I was walking to work with a cheeky bit of leg on show. I looked down at my feet because my ankle socks were digging into my skin. Now, get this… there was a ROLL OF FLAB hanging over my socks.

THE HORROR.

I did not know that this was even a thing, I mean who gets fat ankles?! This is not an issue that I have ever seen highlighted in Women’s Health or Cosmo. I felt somewhat cheated.

But anyway, it was a wake-up call: it was time to eat clean and train mean. I’m going on holiday in July and need to be back to Rhian circa Summer 2015 before I leave. This doesn’t leave much time.

So I donned my gym shorts, signed up for another half marathon for motivation (one where you do a wine-tasting every 2 miles! Now that’s my kind of run! Check it out: http://eventstolive.co.uk/products/bacchus-half-marathon) and googled “Healthy Dinner Recipes”.

I decided that I should try and make small changes to my lifestyle in the hope that I would be more likely to stick to them. So I started running 1 mile, 3 times a week. Easy. You’re in and out of the gym in less than 10 minutes! Now what I found amazing is how quickly my fitness increased. In a matter of 2 and a half weeks I had knocked nearly a minute off of my 1 mile time!

Next was changing my eating habits. Here the cure was Instagram. I started following lots of #eatclean Instagram accounts and came up with a new goal: to become an insta-celebrity. The plan: to make healthy dinners which will be #instaworthy and (somehow) grow my followers into the thousands. Quite the mission. Now I’m still VERY far away from reaching this goal, but it’s been fantastic motivation to eat more healthily and I’ve spent longer appreciating my food, meaning that I ultimately eat less. It has also encouraged me to invent new recipes, some which have gone better than others… Check them out at https://www.instagram.com/rhianhawkins/ .

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This isn’t one of those blog posts where I tell you I’ve lost four stone – I actually have lost a measly 3 pounds. But the real change is in how much fitter & more toned I feel. I genuinely can’t believe how much my fitness & energy levels have changed in a matter of weeks, and with such small life changes!

If you’re also starting to get beach body ready and have any tips please let me know!

Rhian x

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Being a Grown Up vs. Buying Shoes

My sensible side is so cross with me right now. There I am, signing on the dotted line to rent a flat with my boyfriend, officially starting my new grown up life in London Town. And yet… all I can think about is how hard it will be to justify paying a deposit AND the worlds most beautiful sandals, all in one month.

Let’s just take a minute to marvel at their beauty, shall we.

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Wow. When I first saw them in the shop window I was so distracted I tripped up: yes, that’s right people, I literally fell in love with them.

There were SO many reasons not to buy them:

  1. They are super pricey and I am super poor.
  2. My feet are so wide they actually hang over the edge, taking away from the aesthetics somewhat.
  3. It’s not sandal weather.
  4. There is also a matching clutch bag and I would feel obliged to buy the set.
  5. I own zero outfits to go with said sandals.

All very rational arguments. And yet…

I found myself envisaging what life would be like in these sandals. The return of investment would be huge. Of course I would be more successful at work – I would be 100 times more sassy and confident whenever I entered a room. And I would undoubtedly save money on entertainment – who needs to buy tickets for the cinema when you can spend 90mins gazing at those beauties. I would be invited to countless classy events and would survive on a diet of canapés and champagne, eliminating the need for a food & alcohol budget. Essentially these sandals would MAKE me money.

So, to cut a long story short, I bought them and, in fact, I’m wearing them right now. Perhaps I’ll never take them off – that way at least I’ll ensure I get my money’s worth.

Do I feel guilty? Oh absolutely! When it’s the week before payday and I’m surviving on a diet of bread and margarine (unable to even stretch to butter) I’m going to hate myself.

And yet I don’t regret it for one second. Life in your twenties suddenly gets so serious: it becomes all about settling down and being a proper grown up. Sometimes you’ve got to say ‘yes’ to buying the girly polka dot shoes that are out of your price range. Everyone deserves an extravagant self-treat every now and again.

Now to buy the matching clutch bag…

Rhian x

 

The 22 Steps When Training For a Half Marathon in Your Twenties

  1. How it starts: You’ve just eaten your body weight in pizza and cake. Perhaps you’ve drunk a cheeky bottle of vino. You rack your tipsy brain to think of a way that will make your feel less guilty about your filthy, unhealthy lifestyle. So you sign up for a Half Marathon on a whim. Done.
  2. Instant regret.
  3. You go for your first run. Mile 1: “Hey this isn’t so bad! I could totally 13 of these”. Mile 2: “OH MY GOD, MY HEART. THIS IS IT. THIS IS HOW I DIE.” Mile 3: Walk home and buy chocolate and various other unhealthy snacks on the way.
  4. Go shopping for activewear. You will definitely be faster with the proper gear.
  5. Go for another run. Definitely not faster.
  6. Convince yourself it MUST be the trainers that are slowing you down. Spend £100 on the latest pair (and make sure they go with your new activewear, obviously).
  7. Go for another run. Your speed suffers as you concentrate on avoiding every puddle/tiny bit of dirt that will ruin your beautiful new shoes.
  8. Accidentally step in mud. Die a little inside.
  9. Decide the best form of motivation is if you run to a pub for food and beer. Genius.
  10. Wake up the next morning and realise you cannot move. Hobble to work like an invalid. Hmm so THAT’S why stretching is important.
  11. The Half Marathon is fast approaching. You have not yet run over 5 miles. Panic sets in.
  12. Buy a book on running.
  13. Read the first 5 pages and then get bored. Decide to go on an actual run instead.
  14. Somehow manage 7 miles.
  15. Tell EVERYONE that you ran 7 miles.
  16. Decide that now you are a semi-professional athlete you should up your carb and protein intake. It is what the pros do…
  17. Weigh yourself a couple of weeks later. Cry at your hefty weight increase. Vow never to have a protein shake again.
  18. Do a super long run. Lose the feeling in your legs after mile 8 but somehow keep going regardless. Feel like you can actually do this for the first time!
  19. A week before the run. Eat a years supply of pasta in 7 days. Feel bloated but great.
  20. Race day! Activewear and trainers are on- you’re looking fly. Jelly Babies are in your pocket ready for the mile 7 slump. You are totally ready.
  21. THANK GOD IT’S OVER. You lie on the ground unable to move your legs and vow never to sign up to something so crazy ever again.
  22. 6 months later after a bottle of red and a 16″pizza: yup. You guessed it. Signed up to another half marathon …

Rhian xxx

Why Tuesday is the New Friday

Recently my friends and I have got into the cheeky habit of meeting up every Tuesday.

Friday’s are just sooo last week after all.

There’s something rather fabulous about meeting up mid week. For one, you never struggle to get a table for dinner. There’s also a surprising number of fun & obscure things that you can do. A couple of Tuesday’s ago we went to the Moscow State Circus. Admittedly this coincided with Half Term, meaning that it was essentially the three of us and a bunch of 5-7 year olds. Not what we had in mind. The performers also forgot they were in the UK half way through and started conversing in Russian…. Still – all part of the fun.

imageThis evening we visited a bar called Veeno in the centre of Nottingham and had a wine tasting, the sophisticated people that we are. As I sipped my glasses of red and pretended that I could taste the rich peppery notes (is that even a thing?!) I thought to myself: why don’t more people make the most of a Tuesday?

In my eyes it’s the hardest day of the week. You’re not yet over the hump and you are beyond tired from the early starts that come with the day job.

The thing that gets me through my Tuesday blues is the thought of meeting up, gossiping and giggling with the girls.

If, next Tuesday, it gets to 3pm and you have hit the almost-mid-week-slump do yourself a favour and ring some of your nearest and dearest. And do something wacky and fun – the week will fly by!

Rhian x

(photo by attwelllaura on Instagram)

 

5 Reasons To Never Throw Away Your Childhood Toy

Firstly everyone, I’d like to introduce you to the love of my life: my childhood toy/BFF Clown. (Yes, that’s right, he is a clown and I gave him the rather original name ‘Clown’. Genius.)

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A lot of my friends are scared of Clown. Apparently he is ever so slightly creepy looking? Hmm… I don’t see it personally.

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OK here I can see it.

No matter what they say, I would never EVER throw him away. We all have that toy that is a part of our childhood, don’t we?

Below are five reasons why you shouldn’t throw away your favourite toy, just in case you have started your Spring Cleaning early and are tempted. Don’t do it!!

1.I read an article today that Beanie Babies can be worth up to $3,000 nowadays (who else is gutted that they threw theirs away?!). If they can be worth the same amount as a second-hand car just think how much your childhood toy could be worth in 20 years time!

2. Cuddly toys give the best hugs. According to the Telegraph half of adults still own a cuddly toy, and I firmly believe that’s because they are so squishy and cuddly. It is in their name after all.

3. According to the same article, a third of adults sleep with their cuddly toy, with many noting that it helps them to nod off. More sleep = less wrinkles. It is therefore imperative for your beauty routine that you keep your cuddly toy.

4. One of the key benefits of giving children cuddly toys is that it helps with their emotional development as the child can talk to their toy when they are alone. I’m going to say the same of adults – sometimes it’s far too much effort chatting to other human beings. If you talk to your childhood toy instead you get the opportunity to vent without having to hear their opinion. Best of both worlds!

5. There’s something very nostalgic about still owning your childhood toy. After all, it isn’t just a toy, is a whole heap of memories in the shape of a cuddly bear (or a clown in my case).

Rhian x

 

 

 

 

7 Gifts to Buy Your Boyfriend That Actually Benefit You

It was brought to my attention yesterday that I have a naughty habit of buying my boyfriend Birthday & Christmas gifts that also benefit me. I must stress at this point that this is not done deliberately, it seems I’m just unconsciously savvy. In your twenties you tend to not have lots of money, surely it’s more cost-efficient if a present benefits two people?!

Below is a list of gifts that I have given him over the years. On the surface some are disguised as completely selfless gifts, but do not be fooled – there is always an underlying personal benefit right there!

1.A Romantic Trip to Paris

Decoded: I got to go to Paris.

2. A Cooking Class

Decoded: Now he can cook me fancy food.

3. An Armani Watch

Decoded: Now he will always be on-time for our dates.

4. A Flying Lesson

Decoded: I got to sit in the back of the plane and admire the stunning view.

5. Rugby Tickets

Decoded: Men in shorts. FYI this present didn’t get the reaction I’d been hoping for – turns out there is a difference between Rugby Union & Rugby League?

6. A Fit-Bit

Decoded: Now he will feel obliged to go on runs with me and keep me company.

7. A Ted Baker Wallet

Decoded: A really nice wallet that he can be proud to take out at fancy restaurants…

 

Now his birthday is less than a month away… Who knows what kind of sneaky gift I can get him for that! Any ideas let me know 😉

Rhian x

Why Pick n’ Mix Has to be Served in a Wine Glass

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS people – we made it to Friday! Hurrah! The work week is behind us and it’s time to have some fun. And what better way to kick the weekend off than with a glass of pick n’ mix.

Wait… What?

Yup, you heard me right. I absolutely adore pick n’ mix – it reminds me of the days when Woolworths was still open and my £1.50 pocket money could stretch to a paper bag full to the brim with sweets. Now admittedly £1.50 won’t get you very far anymore, but if you head to Wilko you can get an extra large cup for £3.99 which in my eyes ain’t half bad (can you tell I’ve really looked into this?!).

There’s just one issue: Pick n’ Mix isn’t considered to be particularly classy…

Well fear not people, I’ve got a solution. Whack those jelly beans and flying saucers into a fancy wine glass and voila: you are the definition of sophistication.

Wine not 😉

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Rhian x