Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Investing in yourself


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Lately I've been thinking a lot about making resolutions - promises to yourself, if you will. I feel like I need to really invest in myself this year, and I don't necessarily mean just money. Time and energy are just as important.

Cards on the table time - I look awful at the moment. I'm ill all the time. Nothing serious, just colds, mostly, but you know how crappy you feel and look with a cold, right? And I've been getting them monthly since November, which means I was over my last one for about two weeks before I got this one. I'm exhausted all the time too - partly from the colds, but it's also probably causing the colds. My skin isn't great, my hair looks dull and I'm pretty sure the bags under my eyes are visible from space.

I'm also overweight - back to where I was before I started Weight Watchers two years ago, which leaves me with an 'obese' BMI. My diet is awful, I'm drinking a bit too frequently and I don't even enjoy shopping or clothes any more, since I'm cycling through the 5 or 6 dresses that still fit every week as I resent spending money on new ones. Oh, and I permanently ache somewhere at all times. My shoulders, my hips, my knees, my feet - I generally feel like I've been in a fight.

To be completely honest with you, it's freaking me out. I'm 33 this year and so am at kind of a dangerous point. The older you get, the harder it is to bounce back, and I feel like I'm doing myself no favours. Something's got to change.

So this is why I'm thinking about making resolutions, because I don't think I'm going to do anything about it until I write it all down. So here is my list of promises to myself, to truly invest in myself in 2015. We might be three months in, but better late than never, right?


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1. Eat healthy
I don't intend to give up sugar or wheat or anything huge like that, but I know from experience that if I up my intake of fresh fruit and vegetables and control my portion sizes, I'll see results. Losing weight is a result I want - I'm not going to deny it - but when I did this before, the biggest difference is how I felt. I had more energy, was much happier, my skin looked better and I had no more bloating or funny tummies.

2. Get moving
I am not a natural exerciser. I have never been someone who goes for a run or a long walk because I feel like it. I exercise because I HAVE to, because I know it's good for me and because it will help me lose weight, but honestly, if I was one of those natural size 8s, I would probably never exercise. The thing is, though, that once I start exercising, I quite like it - as long as I choose something that I don't hate. Swimming, walking, fun exercise classes like zumba - I need to re-incorporate these into my routine. My constant aching isn't normal, and I think the main reasons for it are my inactiveness and my weight, because honestly, it's not great for my body to be carrying so much extra weight around. Getting moving will help my energy levels too, and they need all the help they can get. I want to start by getting some proper quality walking shoes and then I can begin scheduling in good long walks.

3. Less processed crap
I love to cook, and when I'm on top of things I will have a freezer full of healthy batch cooked meals, packed with vegetables and cooked from scratch. It's just as easy to heat one of these up after work as a ready meal, but they taste better, are more filling and aren't full of processed crap. I want to swap my morning Oatsosimple sachet for just oats, honey and milk, I want to start making my own lunchtime soups and salads instead of buying them, and eventually I want to cut out all the additive filled diet foods (that means you, Diet Coke, my one true love) and focus on the good stuff.


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4. Make more effort
I think I've established that taking care of your insides will reflect on your outside, but until I start seeing those results, I need to focus a bit more on my outside. Being in a relationship has made me quite lazy about my looks - I hardly bother with accessorising any more (haven't worn a belt in like a year) and I actually hate most of my clothes, because all I wear is what fits. I feel like a scruff most of the time, basically, but I know that if I took a little more time on my appearance, I'd feel happier for it. I probably should buy some more clothes, just so I feel a little less bored about what's on my back. I think I need to spend more time on my hair and makeup, make the effort to wear heels more, paint my nails, get my eyebrows done - all that stuff that I used to love (heck, the reasons why I started a fashion blog) and I'll start to feel more me.

5. Skincare routine
My evening skincare routine involves Boots' own brand makeup remover wipes. Ok, that's the entirety of it. It's bad, I know it's bad - I'm probably not removing most of my makeup before I go to sleep, I'm not nourishing my skin and it's probably all contributing to make it look awful (along with my terrible diet). This is a big worry for me. I've always looked young for my age, thanks to oily skin and paleness (all those teenage spots and that inability to tan finally pay off in your thirties, kids), and I'm sure my slightly chubby cheeks help too! But it can't last forever, and lately I'm noticing that my basic concealer doesn't cover my undereye circles for long, and what's more, they're often puffy. I need to dip a toe into the terrifying world of anti-ageing treatments, to restart cleansing, toning and moisturising in the evening, trying out all those beauty blogger standbys like micellar water and serums and whatnot. I also think I need to invest in better makeup - my foundation is amazing, but I think I might need to seek out an industrial strength concealer and an eyeliner that doesn't smudge in thirty seconds.

This feels like quite a shallow post as so much of it focuses on what I look like! But it's really just as much about how I feel as how I look, and writing all this down has really made me think about how much they're impacting on each other. Some of the points make me groan - making more effort means less time in bed, a skincare routine may mean getting to bed even later, sorting out my diet means less pizza and getting active means, well, exercise. But none of it is bad, and I know that I'll actually quite enjoy it once I get into it - and even more so when I see results.

I'd love to know if any of this rings true for you, and any advice would be very much appreciated! Especially on skincare - there really isn't a lot out there on anti-ageing treatments for oily skin!


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7 comments

  1. Hi Sarah! Reading this post was a bit like reading my own mind back in January - the aches and pains, the BMI, the general sluggishness - yep that sounds all too familiar...
    I decided it wasn't how I wanted to live my life anymore so I've started similar resolutions to you, it's a struggle to stick to some of them (I begun the 5:2 to try and get healthy and am trying to really think about what food I'm putting in rather than opting for cheap convenient foods all the time!) and I still struggle to exercise (partly due to all my aches!)
    But I've managed to shift 6lbs in the last month and am trying to walk 10,000 steps a day, and now it's lighter in the evenings I'll be able to drag myself out for a run a few times a week too (I hope...)
    I'm no mega skincare guru but my combination skin has really been loving Superdrug's Vitamin E cleansing oil which is cheap as chips! And I've been using a combo of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + and Vichy Aqualia moisturiser recently, the LRP seems to balance out the heavier moisturiser so my skin doesn't feel too greasy after applying. Oh, also my absolute must have for dark circles is the Bobbi Brown corrector, it's a lifesaver and boosts any concealer, no matter how basic!

    Wishing you the best of luck with sticking to these, I'm sure you can do it! I'm hoping they become habit for me at some point, we shall see! xx

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  2. This is pretty much my life most of the time! I've got so far to go - I'm 31, always been obese, don't have a skincare routine, but a few changes I've made which has helped:
    -challenging myself to drink 2 litres of water a day by taking a litre bottle into work
    -prepping simple lunches to take
    -adding in considered treats rather than buying from the shop
    -joining a back to netball club which has helped with fitness and self esteem

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  3. I'm trying hard to make more changes to my routine. My main problems are that I don't drink enough water and I don't eat enough. What I do eat has been a mixture of processed stuff and meals-from-scratch, but I'm hoping that giving up sugar for Lent will get me into the habit of avoiding the bad stuff. I am pretty good at the exercise thing, but have never worn make up or had a skincare routine.

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  4. Good luck with making the changes - I have cut down on the crap this year and even though its been hard and I sometimes miss it like crazy I do and feel better (and have lost 6lbs) and it's been worth it. Diet Coke is my one true love too but cutting down has definitely done me good - I used to think it filled me up between meals but actually it was making me more bloated and actually hungrier when I came to eat. Now I have it as a treat and actually look forward to it (at my worst I was having 5 or 6 cans per day!) - I now drink sparkling water instead which felt boring at first but is so much nicer than tap water. I have oily skin too and love the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Range - it's nourishing and non-greasy and if you ask nicely in Kiehls stores they'll give you a free sample. It's pricey and I would never have purchased it without trying it out properly first! x

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  5. Sarah, this post rings true to me on so many levels. The past couple of years have been a joke for my well being and I really want to do something about it!

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  6. SO much of this post resonated with me, I am trying to find a new job at the moment and the search is soul-destroying!

    Maria xxx

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  7. Good luck with everything, this post really made me want to give you a hug and a high five and tell you you can do it!!

    Sophia :) xxxx

    Small and Happy lifestyle blog

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