Staying motivated this summer!

exercise-exercise-equipment-fitness-209968

Stay accountable

Share your intentions with someone who can hold you accountable. Book a consultation with a personal trainer at your gym. Talk to someone qualified that can give you professional advice and guidance.

Scout out a new gym

New gym, new start, right? Check out the gyms in your area and enjoy a change of scenery! Get a feel for the community and see what they have to offer.

Set yourself a goal

Start with small goals and work up to bigger ones. Make sure your goals realistic and achievable – you’ll only get frustrated and give up if they’re too ambitious. “Getting in shape” is too vague. “I’ll  go for a 30 min morning run before work on Monday, Wednesday, Friday” is the type of thing you should be aiming for.

Schedule your workouts in like you would meetings at work

Make your health a priority. Until you place high value on your health and the benefits of a physically active lifestyle, your efforts will most likely fall short.

Keep an exercise diary

Record what you do during each training session and the weights you lift/distance you’ve run. Tracking your workouts will help you work positively toward your goals, and remind you that you are making progress, even when you think you’re not.

Find a workout buddy

If you need an extra push then why not drag a friend long with you?  You’re less likely to head home for a night on the sofa if you know you’re leaving your workout partner in the lurch!

Reward yourself

After each session, I like to just take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives me. I always feel so refreshed and empowered after my sessions. Comparing how you feel mentally, before and after exercise is an important internal reward that will hopefully help you make a long-term commitment to exercise.

Create a gym playlist

Download your favourite songs and make a bangin’ playlist! A good workout playlist can keep you motivated and working harder for longer. When it’s heavy squats I know exactly what to listen to, to get me through that those last grueling reps!

Mix up your workouts

Variety is key to keeping exercise fun and engaging. If you’re doing the same thing, day in, day out – you’re going to get bored and most likely fall off the bandwagon! Try a new class, take your cardio outside, or round up some friends for a group session? An open mind and sense of adventure can keep you motivated and looking forward to your next workout.

Spruce up your gym wardrobe

Buying new gym kit gets me so excited to workout!  Scruffy tees and your old grey tracksuit bottoms aren’t going to inspire you to get fit. The way you feel in what you’re wearing during your workout is incredibly important, so maybe it’s time to update your gym wardrobe and let yourself feel good about you at the same time.

Join a team sport

Forming a netball team was one of the best things I ever did.  I love being around like-minded people who have now become some of my best friends. Join a gym class, find out if your local sports team are recruiting – just get involved with awesome people like you that just want to get fit and have fun doing so!

Let me know how you get on!

P x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Thriva review and my Blood Test results

ThrivaDeal-1

Ever wondered what your health looks like from the inside? 

Thanks to Thriva, getting a better understanding of our internal health has never been easier.

Thriva’s revolutionary home health kits test the important functions of our body’s main systems through the form of an at-home finger prick blood test. No doctors appointment required means time saved and a heated convo with the annoying receptionist can also be avoided – hoorah!

thriva 0

“There is no simple and convenient way to track what’s really going on inside your body which means most people are forced to wait until something goes wrong until they can react – we want to change that.” Founders of Thriva

There are three different type of kits available Essential, Baseline, Advanced and back in April I was lucky enough to be sent one of the Baseline kits for trial.

The Baseline kit tracks multiple key indicators, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, folate, iron, liver, cholesterol and more. As soon as I got the test I was so excited to do it right there and then, but I couldn’t. There are set of important instructions to follow with the Thriva test and you do need to be very careful when carrying out the procedure.

So how does it work? Carry on reading for my full review!

“By increasing convenience, ease and insightfulness, we’re providing the products and services that will empower people to proactively manage their health. Once you know what’s going on inside your body, you can understand the impact of your lifestyle on your health and start to make small changes that add up to a healthier you.” Founders of Thriva

The kit comes in a sleek, clean design, with all of the contents you need to carry out the test (as pictured below). Instructions, an anti-bacterial wipe, the tube for your blood, three finger pricks (lancets), plasters and the prepaid packaging to return the sample back to the lab.

thriva 2.png

I had a good look through everything after work, and as mentioned above had time to do the test there and then, but I couldn’t. The test must be done in the morning, preferably after a hot shower. Why? Because it ensures your fingers are soft and the blood is flowing well.

So the following morning I woke up a little bit earlier, prepared the kit, laid the instructions out and jumped in the shower. The instructions are super easy to follow with images demonstrating exactly what to do. I recommend getting everything prepared prior to taking a shower so as soon as you jump out you can catch your hands at the right time – nice and warm!

I pricked my finger with the lancet, massaged the palm of my hand as instructed and started trying to fill the tube. I did find it a little awkward at first as not much blood was coming out. The tube is quite narrow and I was struggling to direct the drops of blood in there, however, after massaging my palm for a little longer (a minute or so later) the blood was coming a lot quicker and the tube was much easier to fill at this point. So I’d say within 4-5 mins I’d filled the lancet with the required amount of blood. My advice for this important stage would be to massage the palm thoroughly as it really does help with the blood flow and make the process much easier.

No it doesn’t hurt – it’s a tiny pin prick, honestly. I actually did the prick twice as I didn’t quite get it right the first time I don’t think. When the tube is filled, put the cap on. Do not shake it! Write on the label as instructed and stick it to the tube. Pop it into the free returns envelope and voila! You’re done.

Thriva promises the analysis will be returned within 48 hours, however, from the day I posted my sample it took no longer than 24 hours to get the results! How quick!? Was not expecting that I’ve got to say.

An overview of my Thriva results

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To get your Thriva results all you need to do is log into your account. Once logged in you’ll be presented with your personalised dashboard of data and results. You are immediately presented with a summary of your data along with an analysis from a doctor.

As you can see from the screen grabs above, Thriva breaks down each test with a description and shows your results alongside the optimum level of where it should be.  So it tells you if you have too much, too little or just enough of a health marker in your blood.

Each test analysed has a colour code of green, orange or red. All of mine are within the green marker which is great news! If you click on the “view more details” option you can see a more detailed breakdown of your results. In this option the doctor also gives specific advice and information on lifestyle changes and how you can improve your health. I’m not sure if these notes are pre-written, or not, but my friend did a test at the same time as me and her doctors notes were a lot more personal to her which interesting. Her results weren’t quite as straight-forward as mine though. All in all I was surprised with the amount of informative feedback provided by Thriva. I was really impressed.

If you’re serious about your health (you should be!) then you really ought to be keeping track of what’s going on on inside of you. My next Thriva test is due in November and now I know where my body is at, I can’t wait to see what improvements I make between now and then.

Taking the Thriva test was a fascinating experiment. Simple, accurate, convenient and motivating – there’s no reason why people shouldn’t be keeping on top of their body’s vital systems to ensure optimum health for now and the future. Look after YOU!

Convenient testing. Results you can trust. Advice based in science.

“POLLY50” gets you 50% off Thriva’s top tier subscriptions – Baseline and Advanced. So take a test for yourself and let me know what you learn!

P x

My Microblading Experience: Was it worth it?!

I finally did it! I took my poor, patchy brows and transformed them into fleek-tastic fluffy beauties! How I hear you ask? I got them Microbladed by the amazing Lilly Garmston, owner of Lilly Garmston SPMU.

Clinic-1
EF Medi Spa in Clifton Bristol where Lilly operates from

What is Microblading?

Microblading is a type of semi-permanent tattoo, in which pigment is inserted into the skin in a series of tiny, realistic-looking hair strokes, designed to mimic the look of natural eyebrow hair.

Why did I get it done?

I’d been getting my eyebrows tinted for many years, to give them some shape and fill in the pesky little gaps! The tint only really lasted for two weeks max and once worn off I’d be filling them in with a brow kit or a pencil. Anyway, to cut a long story, short, it didn’t bode well with my active lifestyle. In and out of the gym daily meant my eyebrows would go walkies…down my face. That, paired with the fact I don’t have the time, skill nor patience to be filling my brows in every day, confirmed my decision. I needed something more permanent. So I began researching Microblading in the South West, and asking friends for recommendations. That’s when I discovered Lilly.

image1 (2)
SPMU by Lilly Garmston

The Process

The first – and arguably most important – part of the microblading process involves drawing on the shape of the brows. This was the only time I felt nerves…eek it’s happening!

Also I’ll just say at this point, this is why it’s so important to choose someone you trust to carry out the procedure. Anyone can be trained to do microblading, but it takes artistry, and an eye for facial aesthetics to be able to create great-looking brows. So I was very reassured by the amount of time and attention Lilly gave to this. Although I already felt sure she would do an amazing job – she’s looked after a few of my friends brows, and her portfolio and client testimonials on Facebook are nothing less than outstanding. She is one of, if not, the best in the South West of England (her waiting list is crazy so if you want in then you must book in advance) with people travelling from far and wide to see her.

Anyway, I digress. Once Lilly had finished drawing on the shape I sat up and had a look at in a close-up mirror. She then asked me to go to the bathroom mirror so I could see the brows from a distance. I was totally happy with what she’d done. I remember thinking “omg they look amazing already and she’s only penciled them on!”. So, I didn’t want to change anything but obviously that would be your chance to make changes to the shape if you felt necessary.

I then got back onto the bed and laid down. Ready for treatment, she got the needle prepared and talked me through next steps. I just tried to relax, shut my eyes and think about other things as I was waited for the pain….

Resized-1IX3X
The treatment bed!

Is it painful? So many people have asked me this already and in my opinion it wasn’t painful, just a little uncomfortable at times. It felt like little cat scratches? I felt more pain post treatment to be honest. My brows felt sore and achey.  However, I know people who thought the treatment itself was quite painful, so it’ll be down to your pain threshold at the end of the day. All I can say is, it’s 100% worth it!

Resized-AGZ5F
Note: The bottom photo was taken immediately after treatment hence the redness

The Cost

  • 50% deposit required upon booking: £50.00
  • First procedure: £140.00 (I paid £90 on the day as I had already paid the £50.00 deposit)
  • Second procedure: £80.00
  • Yearly top ups (advised to have every 8-12 months): £80.00

About Lilly

Lilly is a fully qualified semi-permanent make-up artist with five years experience, offering semi permanent eyebrows – both hairstroke (nano needle) and ombre powder brows, and semi permanent eyeliner. Check out her work on Instagram and Facebook and contact her on any of the below!

Website: http://www.spmbylilly.co.uk
Clinic: EF Medispa 10a Whiteladies Road, BS8 1PD
Email: info@spmbylilly.co.uk
Tel: 07837 429966

When the entire procedure is complete (so after my second treatment) I’ll blog again with what happened next and of course photos of my finished brows! Hopefully this has given all you ladies umming and ahhing about the treatment an honest and insightful view of what’s to come if you go for it!

I’m so glad I did decide to get it done. I can tell already it’s going to make life a whole lot easier, not to mention I’m going to have 24/7 fleeky brows 😉

Love them so much already!

P x

Transform your food prep with EatZest!

Homepage_Banner

Last week I was very lucky to be sent seven freshly prepared, gourmet meals by EatZest.

As soon as I opened the box I knew these meals were in a completely different league to your average bro diet food prep company. No chicken, rice and broccoli here, kids!

EatZest offers three different types of meal plan, depending on your lifestyle and goals. They are: Burn,Balance and Bulk.

I chose to order from the Balance Menu “the perfect Balance of high-quality protein and carbs to help fuel your training” – providing a balanced split of protein and carbohydrates. Working out at over 40g of protein per meal, there were so many amazing meals to choose from! I went for the below:

  • X2 Chicken Katsu & Sticky Rice (my fave!)
  • Harrissa Chicken & Chorizo Bake with Couscous
  • BBQ Pulled Pork
  • Chargrilled Peppers & Goats Cheese
  • Jamacian Jerk Chicken
  • Handmade Sicilian Meatballs.

Packed with locally sourced clean ingredients and free range British meats, such as Pulled Pork, Beef Meatballs, Chicken, White Fish and more, the meals are handmade daily, packed with flavour, and can be delivered directly to your door! Does it get much better than that?

The-Meals_Tandoori_Fish_8bed7c13-c738-424f-9921-8cdad39fc74e

Developed by executive chefs with a passion for healthy food, the EatZest meals are nutritionally balanced, high in protein, and don’t rely on added salt, sugar and butter for their flavour! Instead, they are cooked in rapeseed oil to reduce the saturated fat content. Personally I didn’t find this reduced the tastiness of the meals, however I did end up adding a few shakes of salt to a few of the meals. But that’s just my personal preference – I’m bad when it comes to salt!

The-Meals_Chicken-Katsu
My favourite of the Balance meals. The Chicken Katsu & Sticky Rice

If your food prep meals are missing that touch of zest then be get online and check out these guys our! Whatever your goal, they’ll have your macros and your taste buds covered.

Don’t forget you can get 10% off by entering POLLY10 at checkout http://www.eastzest.co.uk

Enjoy guys!

P x

Guess who’s going to the worlds biggest fitness trade expo?

Meeeeeeeeeeeee! How have I not blogged about this yet!?

Last Summer I was asked by my sponsors Grenade if I would be keen to represent them at FIBO! Of course I said yes…immediately! An absolutely amazing opportunity. To be honest I couldn’t quite believe they asked me.

The show is creeping up and I’m uber excited/nervous. I had an email from Juliet (Grenade CEO) last weekend confirming the airport parking booking at Standstead and I was like whaaaaat! I need to get my ass in gear. I need new trainers, new outfits and heck do I need a spray tan!

bodypower
Me & the Grenade Team at BodyPower Expo UK, in May 2017

The show is in Germany at the Exhibition Centre Cologne and runs for four days from Thursday 12th April through to Sunday 15th April – so yes, it’s going to be a lot bigger and more intense than the BodyPower weekend, and that was busy! I’ll be flying out a day before on the Wednesday to meet the team and help set up before the gates open on the Thursday morning. Hopefully I’ll get an early night too but probably not….haha!

The show is BIG. It welcomes approx. 1,000 exhibitors from across the world each year and more than 150,000 visitors – all coming to see and hear about the latest innovations and all that’s important in the health and fitness industry. I’m sure there’s going to be some pretty amazing things happening so I’ll be vlogging daily over on insta stories – keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! And of course if you’re attending, or you’re feeling a weekend away in Germany, then make sure you come and see me – stand 10.2/B80!

Can you tell I’m excited?

P x

Private launch preview of “Scandilish”

Sorry for being a bit MIA recently guys. I was poorly for two weeks with a sinus infection and migraine which sucked! Anyway, I’ve been up to a couple of exciting things recently so I wanted to hop on and update you all.

On Thursday I went to the exciting private launch preview of Scandilish“. Scandilish was set up recently by a friend of mine, offering the very best Scandinavian lifestyle brands, right here in Somerset. The showroom is located in Somerton, a cute market town here in the South West.

image1 (2)

I absolutely adore sportswear so I was in my element when I saw the gorgeous Casall collection on display as I walked through the showroom doors. I own one pair of leggings by Casall already, but they’re a few years old now so yes…it was time to update my wardrobe! The products, designs and technology have come so far in such a short space of time, I was really was blown away. The Scandinavian designs are very kind to us long limbed ladies too, so if you’re tall like me – take note – this is a brand for you!

In the above photo I’m in the midst of trying a few things on, but I’m wearing the Glorious Sports Bra and Wave 7/8 Tights. I didn’t actually come away with this set though. I went for the Dashing Sports Bra and Fuzzy Print 7/8 Tights. Both stunning sets.

The super special thing about Scandilish, is that right now in the UK there’s only one place that you can actually see and try on the Casall collection before you buy – and that’s right here in this showroom. Not to mention you get the ultimate personal shopper experience from Christina herself too. It’s a treat! Christina has been working with the Casall brand for 17 years! She absolutely knows her stuff.

I’ll be visiting again soon for sure, so if you’re local and want to come with me, drop me a message? For more information, or to visit the showroom and get a feel for all the amazing Scandinavian brands yourself, just contact Christina on any of the below.

Website: http://www.scandilish.com
Visit: 2 Market Place, Somerton, Somerset
Email: christina@scandilish.com

P x

Living with Eczema and Psoriasis

sunblock-skincare-healthy-skin-heart-161608

A slightly different, somewhat personal post today, about me and my skin.

I’ve got Eczema Atopic Dermatitis. I’ve had it since I was born. I’m 26 now.

My Eczema forms predominantly in the folds/creases of my skin i.e. behind my knees, my armpits, my groin area, in between my fingers etc. It’s more aggravated in areas that get hot, sweaty and are un-exposed to air. Not ideal considering I spend the majority of my time in lycra working out…getting hot and sweaty!

Throughout my life (up until about five years ago), my Eczema was on and off. It was manageable. I’d go through periods of good and bad. Some weeks I’d forget I even had a skin condition, and then bam, I’d have an outbreak.

It was definitely easier when I was younger – I wasn’t bothered or ashamed of walking around showing off my scaly skin, and it wasn’t as bad back then. As I got older it became a big deal to me. My Eczema got worse when I hit my twenty’s. It made me feel disgusting. People started pointing it out, asking questions, and as a result my anxiety went through the roof. Which is a vicious circle in itself. Stress and anxiety just make it a whole lot worse.

image1 (1)

[Above are some photos of my Eczema – the only ones I’m happy to share right now. These particular patches form on my legs and behind my knees.]

Two months ago I finally got my arse in gear and decided it was time to visit my Dermatologist again. Forgetting my body for a moment, the reason I was going was because I’d been experiencing a real discomfort in my scalp. I had raised inflamed scabby patches dotted around my scalp. Mainly at the back of my head, down towards my neck. Gradually they were just spreading bigger and bigger.

The embarrassing thing is that I first noticed these problems in my scalp a year or so ago, but I ignored them and continued using this stupid over the counter medicated shampoo that wasn’t helping at all. Between you and I, I just didn’t want to be told that my Eczema had spread into my scalp. I just didn’t want to know it was getting worse.

Turns out after numerous skin swabs and tests, what I actually have in my scalp is Psoriasis, not Eczema. So it’s Eczema on my body, and Psoriasis on my scalp.

Or is it?

Discovering that I now have Psoriasis as well as Eczema, my Dermo did a further examination of my body and identified patches of Psoriasis developing on my lower back too. £45 worth of prescriptions later and I’m on my second week of treatment – far so good I think. But I’ll have to wait and see. I’ve been warned that if this course of treatment doesn’t work properly, I’ll be referred for light treatment.

In an effort to aid my skin recovery I’m also making conscious diet and lifestyle alterations to help improve the state of my skin. I’ve been doing masses of research into my skin and along the way I’ve found some fantastic sources of information through other YouTubers and Bloggers that are too speaking up about their skin conditions, providing such useful and comforting content.

If you are a sufferer, and you’re reading this, I just wanted to say, I was quite reluctant to post this😣 I know my skin might not be as bad as yours, or someone you know, but it’s still hard to come to terms with the fact that however small or severe our Eczema/Psoriasis is, it’s not “going away”. There is no cure. Only many ways to get relief from the symptoms of these troublesome issues.

Do get in touch, let’s help each other ❤️

Thank you for reading,

P x

Controlling negative thoughts

Happiness of young Asian woman lying with blanket on bed in the

Even though I’m a positive person, I still find it easy to fall prey to negative thoughts sometimes.

Is this you, too?

It can start with just a thought or a feeling. Or maybe with a sentence spoken by someone else. It drains us of energy and keeps us from being in the present moment. We allow it to get the better of us, and it drags us down.

I have struggled in the past to eliminate these thoughts when they enter my head. And whilst it’s much easier said than done to just shift focus to positive thoughts, I have found it really is the only way. Especially if you want to avoid going down a path that is both painful and unnecessary.

“One small negative thought can turn into a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. But a small positive thought can have the same effect, blossoming into a beautiful outcome”

So in this week’s post I want to share with you the tips and habits that have helped me – and still help me – to prevent and overcome my own negative thoughts, but also the negativity that is sometimes around me.

Surround yourself with positive people

I always call on my friends who I know will give me constructive yet loving feedback. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, make sure you talk to people who can really put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.

Go to the gym! Exercise? Attend a Pilates or Yoga class

I go to the gym most evenings, but I feel it helps especially when I need to take my mind of things and have a good word with myself. It takes my focus away from my thoughts and I find myself in a completely different head space. Pilates and Yoga classes are also very good for this. They really help to ease the mind and enable you to concentrate properly on on breathing, helping you to feel calm and composed.

Stop making mountains out of molehills

To stop a small negative thought from becoming a big monster in your mind confront it early. My boyfriend always asks when I’m in a state of worry and negativity “will this bother you in five years? Or even five weeks?” 99.9% of the time, the answer is no. He’s good at leveling me out!

Form your own collection of positive quotes

I’ve got a photo album on my phone, full of quotes, along with a Pinterest board. I love collecting motivational, positive quotes. They act as my little reminders – when I need them – to stay positive when times get tough.

Try changing the tone of your thoughts from negative > positive

I know it’s easier said than done sometimes. But when you are presented with a negative situation, try flipping it on its head. So for example instead of thinking “it’s going to be awful adjusting to these living conditions” try thinking “well, we’re going to face some challenges here, but I’m sure we’ll come up with solutions that we are both be happy with.”

What are you grateful for right now?

Being grateful helps us appreciate so much what we already have. So lay it all out on the table and realise that actually – you’ve got a lot to be thankful for! My list goes something like this: my house, my health, the summer holiday I’ve just been able to book, my new bed, my family and partner, my gorgeous doggy – the list continues!

Don’t play the victim. You create your life – take responsibility

Even if your situation becomes unbearable, just remember – there will always be a way out. We will always have the choice to make change happen, if need be.

Remember that no one is perfect – let yourself move forward

It’s easy to dwell on the mistakes we’ve made. But they happen and they make us who we are today. The only thing we can do is learn from them. Take control and move forward – do not punish yourself. You can’t change what’s happened but you can change what’s yet to come.

P x

16 Health & Wellness Bloggers to watch in 2018 – oh look it’s me!

pexels-photo-204686

Well, yesterday ended with a pleasant surprise!

I was contacted by Thriva – the world’s first preventative health service (be sure to check them out!) They informed me I’d been featured in their latest blog post which is a round-up of the Health & Wellness bloggers to watch in 2018 ‘Kick Start: 16 Health & Wellness Bloggers for 2018’.

In the post they look at “some of the bloggers who may not be as well known but are providing relevant, thought provoking content and resources”. 

I’m really proud to sit alongside such a fantastic bunch of bloggers and of course to be featured by Thriva. Check out the blog post if you’re reading this, and all of the inspiring bloggers featured, here.

I’m always open to blogging content ideas, so please if you have ideas, drop a comment below!

P x