29.10.17

LIFE UPDATE / PART 2

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Afternoon lovelies!

It's a miserable, rainy Sunday so I thought I'd carry on with my life update post - this time focusing on the gym, fashion and travel. Hopefully this post won't be as wordy as the last one!

GYM

So I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but when I went travelling I put on about a stone in weight. No biggie, it's pretty much a given when you go on a 9 month holiday. In fact, I'm surprised I didn't put on more with the amount of alcohol and $5 Dominoes I consumed. I was having so much fun, I didn't really care at the time. I literally lived in hostels non stop for just under a year, so even if I wanted to get in shape, I wasn't living in the right environment to do so. Cooking in hostels is awkward, there's a massive drinking culture and gyms in Australia are EXPENSIVE. I knew that when the time was right, I would make it my priority again and get the weight off.

I tried when I was back in England for 3 months. I went back to my old gym, but my motivation just wasn't there. I was unhappy in my job, so I couldn't force myself to go to the gym every night and eat healthy when all I wanted was comfort. Like most people, I'm an emotional eater. Not to the extent some people are, but I can't focus my mind on weight loss if I'm unhappy and distracted by other things. I ended up going to America for 6 weeks the same weight, but weirdly came back a few pounds lighter. Don't ask me how that works (have you SEEN portion sizes in the US?). Then there was the whole moving to Manchester thing. I told myself I wasn't going to worry about losing weight until I settled in properly. My priority was making friends and having a social life, so if that meant eating out a lot then so be it. Like I said, when the time was right, I knew I would put my mind to it. I did it before I went travelling and flew to Thailand the lightest I've ever been. It can be done, I knew that.

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So here we are 3 months later, settled and ready to focus on shifting that weight. I have Christmas parties and my birthday to spur me on which always helps. I'm definitely not big (I'm still a size 10 like I've always been), but I know I'd feel more confident if I trimmed down to the weight I used to be. Luckily portion control or appetite isn't a problem for me. It's more cutting out the alcohol and the 100's of snacks we have hanging around the office. You know what it's like, temptation everywhere. Me and my manager have signed up to Nuffield Health together. We get discount from work but it's still pretty pricey at £40 a month. I used to pay £18 at Pure Gym, but I'll admit it's quite nice going to a swanky gym for a change. Way less intimidating than the cheaper, overcrowded ones. It even has a pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room! I signed up to Nuffield because it's 5 mins from work, so I thought it would encourage me to go more. Especially now I don't drive to the gym, it takes a lot more effort to convince myself to walk there. But I've been doing okay. I'm definitely not a '6 times a week' gal like I used to be, but I'll get there. It's baby steps, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

FASHION

I lost my way with fashion and trends when I went travelling. Hardly surprising when you're living out of a backpack and would rather spend money on experiences than clothes. It's actually quite refreshing because no one judges you or cares what you wear. I always find it funny when bloggers go 'travelling' and spend their entire time taking ootd's looking uber glamorous. That's honestly not what it's like. In Asia, you're lucky if you wash your clothes once a fortnight, and you bet I'm wearing my one 'nice' dress 3 times that week. Ahh those were the days.

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Now I'm back in England, it's been exciting rediscovering my style and what I like and dislike. It helps that Manchester's a pretty cool city, so I've been taking a lot of inspo from people I see wandering the streets. I like to think of my style as casual and boyish, with some quirky pieces thrown in for good measure. I'm definitely more of a Kendal than a Kylie, and I don't like to look like I've tried too hard. That whole groomed and done up to the nines thing just isn't me. Now I've rediscovered my style and got to grips with what trends I like, I find shopping enjoyable again. I have my confidence back and have fallen back in love with fashion.



TRAVEL

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You might have read in one of my previous posts that I decided to take a break from travel when I came back from my America trip. I was pretty worn out and knew I wanted to leave it a while before jetting off again, mainly so I could give my body a rest and erase the pressure of having to constantly save. Fast forward 4 months and I'm ready to get planning again! The constant search for tours and flights never stopped if I'm honest, but I feel like now is the right time to start laying down some firm foundations. Monthly savings have been calculated, weather reports googled and if all goes to plan... I should be heading off to Japan in May! So nothing's booked yet, but as always I'm determined to make my dream trips a reality. I've wanted to go to Japan for SO LONG, and although I wanted to make it happen next year, I wasn't sure if it would be possible. Japan is one of the most expensive countries you can visit, and the tour I wanna do + flights + spending money would cost around £3,000 for 2 weeks. I'm still not 100% sure I can do it (especially now I live away from home and have bills to pay), but there's no harm in trying right? I'll keep you updated, but as well as losing weight, this is my main goal and priority at the moment. If I can stay focused, I'm hoping I'll have the funds to book something soon. Wish me luck!

xxx

28.10.17

LIFE UPDATE / PART 1

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Hey guys!

So I've been wanting to write this post for SO LONG, but the past 2/3 months have been majorly hectic. Not that I'm complaining, but I feel like my social life has gone from 0 to 100 and I don't really know where to start.

When you move to a new city, you expect things to start off slow. It takes a while to find your feet, make friends and get settled in your job. I didn't really have any expectations. I knew I wanted to throw myself into my job, and that down the line I would probably use meet up websites to make new friends. But I wasn't at all prepared for how easily everything would fall into place, without me even having to try.

WORK

I'll be honest, I spent the first month at my new job stressed as hell. This wasn't stress they were putting on me, but pressure I was putting on myself. The issue was that I was comparing myself to the other new guy on my team. We both started at the exact same time and had the same workload. It wasn't long before I noticed how much faster he was than me. In my eyes, he was also a much better writer. Feeling like the weaker link is always going to knock your confidence, so much so that I kept taking work home so I could catch up with him. It wasn't expected of me (my managers didn't even know I was doing it), but it was something I wanted to do to put my mind at ease. Long story short, I eventually spoke with my manager about it who told me not to worry. I wasn't being slow, he was just very very fast. She reassured me that I was a good writer and that I shouldn't compare myself to others, as we both have different strengths and weaknesses. When I began focusing on what I was good at, like building rapport with a lot of people on the team, I started to relax. Those stresses I had have now completely gone. Looking back, I think I reacted like that for a reason. It showed me that I can be passionate about a job. For once in my life, I'm more than willing to work extra hours because my job is important to me. I've never really felt like that before. At almost 25, I guess I'm finally in the stage of my life where I'm ready to focus on my career.

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As for the social side of work, I've really hit the jackpot. I've never known a workplace like it (apart from Google, I'm pretty sure they win hands down). But seriously, we've all bonded so quickly. There's barely any girls on our floor (we're based in the male dominated IT team), so me and my manager Elle have become really good friends. She's only 4 years older than me, but we're so similar it's ridiculous. We're gym buddies, drinking buddies and are the first to message each other about guys and office gossip (c'mon who doesn't love a gossip?). The other 2 guys in the content team complete the group, and the dynamics between us work really well. It doesn't matter if you're a newbie or a manager, you're gonna get the piss taken out of you. There's days when the banter doesn't stop and we're literally in tears crying with laughter. The Head of Content, who I sit next to, is always on top form and is one of the most sarcastically funny people I've ever met. Never a dull moment. There's been work nights out, free pizza and beer nights, free bowling and open bar nights, meals out at lunchtime, themed lunches where we all bring food from home to share... it really is endless. Work alone has provided me with the best social life ever.

MY HOUSE SHARE

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Me, Mary and Katie (the girl I replaced in the houseshare, who also happens to be from my hometown!)

Then there's my housemates. Again, I've been so lucky. I'd say we're all quite different, but we're probably one of the most harmonious house shares ever. They're honestly 3 of the nicest people I've ever met, so there's never any arguing or bickering. No one ever gets aggy if the kitchen's a mess or if no one's bought toilet roll. We just sort of plod along and accept that things will get done eventually. We all work different hours so do things when we can, but I'd say we all pull our weight equally. Tess, who's from Scotland, works unsociable hours in a bar so I see her the least. Nick, who's from Stoke, works a full time job and a bar job at the weekend. I'll see him most weekday evenings for a few hours. I see Mary, my only Mancunian housemate, the most. We both work 9-5 so spend our evenings together chatting and watching TV. The only time all 4 of us are together is on a night out. I wanted sociable housemates, but boyyyy do they have stamina. Going out every weekend isn't something I'm used to, so it's been hard for me trying to keep up. It's different when you're travelling because you don't work. But when you're working 9-5 Mon-Fri, all I wanna do at the weekend is rest. I spent my first couple of months going out when they did, because I wanted to appear sociable. But one thing I've learnt is that that lifestyle just isn't for me (more on that later). Regardless, I'm so so lucky to live with 'yes' people. Whether it's the cinema or going out for a meal, they're always up for socialising. And for me, that's by far the most important thing.

GOING OUT

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Like I said, I spent my first couple of months in Manchester partying. I'm talking every weekend. During the week too. If I wasn't out with work or my housemates, I was meeting up with travel or uni friends from all over the country. It always used to be me who initiate plans with friends. When I stopped to focus on the move, I was inundated with messages from friends wanting to meet up. Before I knew it, I had friends booking 5 hour trains to come and visit me. Friends asking me to go and visit them in France and Edinburgh. Travel reunions in London. At first it was great. I loved having a full calendar. But then alcohol started making me really, really ill.



I know everyone gets hungover, but let me tell you, these weren't normal hangovers. For someone who'd drank a lot whilst travelling, I should have built up a tolerance right? I mean I was used to drinking pretty much every day, getting up at 6.30am and being absolutely fine. So why was I suddenly experiencing the worst hangovers of my life? I'm talking a full 10 hours of throwing up the next day. Not being able to have a sip of water without throwing it straight back up. Staying in bed til 8pm just to sleep it off. At first I thought it was just a one off - maybe I'd been mixing so it was my own fault. But it started happening every. single. weekend. My friends were drinking more than me and were absolutely fine. It just didn't make sense. It got to the point where I didn't want to drink anymore. It was ruining my weekend. I was going back to work on Monday feeling completely exhausted.



All I wanted was to stop drinking, but I still had a long list of nights out in my calendar that couldn't be cancelled. I cancelled what I could (like visiting my friend in France as I hadn't booked my flights yet) and only went along to the nights I'd committed too. I'm at the point now where my calendar is more or less empty (apart from Halloween and things I have planned with my mum), and I couldn't be happier. I've realised I'm not one of those people who NEED to be busy to feel important. I actually prefer having time to myself to unwind. I feel better when I haven't been drinking. I know I'm only 25, but I've partied A LOT since I turned 18. From uni to travelling, I've had enough wild memories to last me a lifetime. That's not to say I'm never going to drink again. I still enjoy casual drinks, and the odd heavy night out. But it's not something I want to do every weekend. I won't be going out just because my housemates are. I'm more productive, feel healthier and have more money when I don't drink. Those things are way more important to me than a night of clubbing. I'm settled now and know what type of life I want to lead.

There's so much to update on I'm going to leave PART 2 for another time.
Speak soon
xxx