My (Non)Fitness Journey (So Far)

It started in school, the teacher told me I could run fast so she put me in the best teams for the relay races on sports day, we always won. We always knew we would win. Long legs galloping across the field in the baking heat, with infinite energy reserves, we could run home afterward.

It was a few years later when I attempted to run the full length of a football pitch and got too tired half way, in fact I don’t even think I made it half way. I’d certainly lost my level of fitness from childhood. I took up yoga at the leisure centre, and loved it but no one else did and I couldn’t bring myself to go alone, when I couldn’t hear the instructor I relied on others to get the next move right. That was the end of that.

Then, the Nintendo Wii craze began, and I started to pick up my longevity again because that was fun exercise. I maintained a slim but healthy body, I think I was mid-teens then. I remember my accompanying strict diet of Evian and salads. I was a bit of a strange kid and felt embarrassed buying junk food for some reason that no one knows, so I did live on healthy foods a lot, but also I had bad acne and thought it would help my skin – it didn’t.

When the Wii Fit fad died off I made the terrible mistake of not replacing it with anything else, I still walked to college and back everyday but it wasn’t enough. When I moved on to university, it was more of the same, walking and bits of healthy food, I was still a size ten so I was happy.

The dreaded first car. When I finished university and to improve my chances of finding work I got my first car. It’s all over now. I could drive to McDonalds! Seriously, if I could put all together the amount of chicken nuggets I have consumed since 2010 because of my car, I think I’d throw up. I met my fiancé a year later, he liked pizza and beer and regular chocolate. Once again I did no exercise, I began to get comfortable but this was also a time I became extremely unhappy with my body, and with other aspects of my life, so what did I do? I ate, and drove, and ate….

Now, I never had good knees, at least not since my growth spurt, but they started to buckle under the extra weight, it was starting to hurt to walk and sometimes driving hurt a little. I had to do something. This takes me up to the last couple of months, and I joined a gym – women only – I paid £4 to do the best I could to get some vague level of healthy. I went only once a week though but in my eyes that was better than nothing but gyms become so boring, but I found that I was catching a cold every week, it was making me more tired, not energised and I felt like something was wrong so I felt I had to stop. I haven’t been back since, I only occasionally walk about and I did a little ten minute jog in the pouring rain and almost suffocated in my sports bra. It became so hard to breathe I thought I’d caused my lungs to collapse for a second, what the hell?!

I think I push myself too hard in short spaces of time, as I’m getting older I would probably be better suited to making small changes, and controlling my diet more carefully. I have been doing mini yoga stints while watching the evening news, I’ve switched to ‘light’ everything in food and condiments and I think that’s the best I may get for a while without making myself constantly unwell.

Current MeasurementsAge: 28

Bust: 36″

Waist: 31″

Hips: 45″

Size: 12-14

Weight: 11.2st

Goal Measurements

Age: 22 (pa-ha)

Bust: 34″

Waist: 28″

Hips: 40″

Size: 10-12

Weight: 9.5-10st

It’s a Midi World

Scrolling through my Twitter feed, it's full of fashion related crap, celebrity news and I have to include other serious BBC updates to prove I'm a grown up. I can sometimes find myself immersed in politics and I think that's what gives me a minimal, conservative kind of style, or as Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman said "boring". The fact that I'm a little older, little more grown up (but not that much, I'm still obsessed with Disney) a little rounder and more womanly, I don't feel like I can have a debate about the NHS in a baby pink mini skirt, it just doesn't seem right. I happened upon a post from Topshop, a little assortment of seasonal pieces befitting the current weather status and I wanted to buy it all! I've linked some of my favourites from my wish list.

Ruffle Mensy Trousers

Bridgeless Sunglasses

Denim Midi Skirt

My style in one word is 'covered'. Arms covered, boobs covered and legs covered at least to the knee. I don't want any of that on show for the world to see. In recent years that kind of style has crept back into fashion if it were gone only long enough for me to notice that I couldn't find anything I wanted to wear in stores for a while. I was a bit fed up with shopping. I used to find things that were long but had short arms, I found pencil skirts which were great but when I wanted another they were scarce, long sleeves but too short on the bottom. I almost lost hope until Topshop suddenly seemed to stock everything 'midi' length, WIN!

Wrap Dress

Red Shopper Bag

That is how it became my go-to store, that and the simplicity, plain things looked good (instead of cheap) like they never had done before. Some stores (I will not name here) went crazy with the patterns, animals prints and florals, you'd walk out seeing spots from the insult to your senses. Topshop was the direction I wanted to be headed, simple items as a base but also the occasional quirky piece that you seem to keep for years because it's fabulous!

Orion Cross Body Bag

Stripe Cropped Tee

Nude Heels

Midi, black+neutral, trousers and denim all the way!

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[images source: all images Topshop.com]

Wedding Dress Shopping For The Anti-Girl

Did I mention that I got engaged?!?!

Yes, last month my guy got down on one knee and committed to being skint for five years for me! It was a perfect day, he bought me roses, and we hopped on the train into the city for Starbucks and to choose my ring. Which I was ecstatic about the fact that I could get it sized there and then and take it home with me.

My solitaire diamond echoes mine and his agreement to host a simple traditional wedding ceremony for our close family. White dresses and all…. I was never that kind of girl, I never dreamt of a glittery wedding day, never desired to be the centre of attention and never desired to spend that much money on one day. It’s just not me.

We have quite some time to prepare ourselves, two years to be exact, but it didn’t stop my sister from booking an appointment at a bridal store last week. I didn’t get those tingly feelings when I saw them hanging from the rails, I didn’t marvel at their huge collection of lace trimmed, embroidered frocks and I certainly didn’t have to catch my breath when I stood in a wedding dress for the first time. I had to hobble into it in my black bra and pants, feeling uncomfortable half naked in front of a random stranger. 

Wedding dress shopping has been my worst nightmare ever since he proposed.


That being said I did find a favourite (not the one pictured here), I chose the most flattering, but a style I never thought I’d go for. Before I arrived I had in my head that I wanted simple, no train, nothing to trip me up, arms covered, and what did I pick? The most princess-like dress that I tried! It was a champagne colour, lace bodice with shoulder straps and an open back. The opposite of what I thought I wanted. A three foot train protruded with pearl buttons and crystals, my arms were all out, my waist was cinched in, I was sold. At £1450 it was much cheaper than I thought but with only slightly less than two years until the day I could not commit unfortunately.

I take away the knowledge that I know which style suits me and exactly what to zone in on when the ocassion calls for it, but I am still reluctant to go back for a second try on. Although the girl made us quite comfortable, offered tea and didn’t once rush us out the door, I still felt so very uncomfortable standing and looking at myself in full length mirrors for long periods of time and all I did was find the dress that made me look the thinnest, but not what is truly me.

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To Dress Or Not To Dress

According to Topshops size guide I have a size 12 bust with a size 14 waist and I’m in between size 16 and 18 hips. Err… what?!

Basically the website may as well prompt me when I click on the dresses section ‘no hope, don’t bother’. I love how easy dresses are but none of them fit me, it’s a fact I need to come to terms with.


So what is a girl to do when she is too small on the top and too big on the bottom for conventional clothes sizes? Not wear dresses I suppose, unless the 1950’s prom style suits and I don’t know about anyone else but I feel rather like a pleated teepee and I don’t like the fact that if you sit for too long you get to look like a creased trash bag for the rest of the day. There is very little choice around.

So, I’m thinking about this because I have to go to a wedding at the end of July that I’ve been trying to find a dress for since March and with just under 3 weeks to go, I’m quickly running out of time, and it doesn’t help that I don’t have time to physically shop, I have to order online which takes ten times as long.

I had been frantically checking cheaper high street stores first as it’s friends of my fiancé I didn’t really put too much value on my dress code. With these kind of weddings I tend to linger in the back ground because nobody really knows me that well so a plain dress from H&M wouldn’t have attracted any scrutiny. I couldn’t find anything that looked like it would accommodate my large hips and small shoulders so I gave up on that quite quickly and have now opted for a dress from my favourite. Topshop.


I’ve bought Broderie Midi Dress in a (coughs) 14 for £65 just now. I love the textures of it but unsure of the colour on me, but I feel that it’s outdoor wedding appropriate. I’m pairing it with these very open and airy Gold Leather Sandals (I’m a size 7, shhh) as I am so clumsy as it is and can’t be dealing with conquering the great outdoors with any kind of heel.


Wish me luck!

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[all images from topshop.com]

My Skincare Journey

I can’t even begin to tell you how much money I have spent on skincare over the years, I have bad skin everywhere, and skin problems all over my body. I could be here for weeks discussing my insecurities about the scarring on my arms and the stretch marks on my legs but I’ll just stick to my face today.

I’m an unfortunate when it comes to skin, from birth I’ve been slathered in prescription E45 until I got to the dreaded teens. I was convinced my skin was too dry for bad acne. NOPE! I had bad acne and dry flaky skin. No product relieving the one issue without worsening the other. I had to choose whether I wanted to be spotty or dry on my face, some winters got so bad it would crack and bleed and I was left with scars and stretch marks from the lack of elasticity.

By about seventeen when I had just about tried every moisturiser or spot treatment from the drug store, I decided I needed to expand my price range because nothing affordable worked. When I got a job and was able to buy my own products I went high end and have been relatively happy since with some iffy days or months here and there, I’ve bought Clinique, Clarins, Dior, a combination of cleansers and toners from the various up market brands, a combination of drugstore cleansers and high end moisturisers, however I do often come running back to Clinique at the next available opportunity, despite rumours that the products can be harsh, maybe I need harsh!

A few months ago I had to go to a winter wedding and my skin was dried up from the cold weather and the stress of finding something to wear that I wasn’t going to freeze in for the dreaded group photo. It does not accept make up at this stage and it ruined the day for me. I kept catching a glimpse of myself when I could just to see how much worse it had gotten. It was awful. Although thankful it wasn’t my wedding and most people were ignoring me I still felt that I tainted the couples photos with my hideousness and that thought wouldn’t go away. I had used, prior to the day No.7 oils and masks, and new moisturisers to try to tame it but nothing would sink in, and the oils rested on the surface and my face became worse than I had ever seen it! That was the end of that! Once the wedding was over and it was the day after the stressful day before, I slunk off home, make up-less except for eyebrows, with my satin dress in a suit bag and hoped that nobody was close enough to notice or cared enough to log into memory the state of my face.

I suffer with light scarring you see, and not wearing make up is a no-no for me, so when my face is too dry to wear foundation or concealer my heart does sink into my stomach. So at the moment my regime (I hate that word) is Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser, it’s quite thick but it’s the consistency that I need, followed by Loreal micellar water, then onto Clinique Moisture Surge and finishing with Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion+ to be sure my face is hydrated, I also occasionally whip out a Nature Love hyaluronic face mask when I’m bored. These products work well for me, The cleanser can seem a little heavy in the summer but in the winter it’s great and again on hot summer days I forego the extra lotion, but lets face it, there aren’t many of those days around here..

My foundation of choice after many, many experimentations with drugstore brands like Bourjois and Rimmel (super, super spotty) is Dior Forever and with my skin I need something that does last forever, I had to sit awkwardly on a high stool while a stranger blotted at my face to test it out, walked around a little and decided it was the one for me!

My whole regime costs approximately £130 which is a lot for some but when you’ve wasted so much money on so many products (probably thousands of pounds!) it’s not too bad.

[Featured image: myskin.com]

My Zara Jacket vs. My Age

I look around at glamourously fashionable girls in the city centre, strolling along with bagels and fabulous hair. My fringe just whacked me in the eye. Hair bands suit me, better wearing one than constantly end up brushing your hair off your face until it looks greasy and gross. Hats too, they’re good for me and my obstreperous hair. It’s all about knowing what’s good for you. What suits you.

That being said, I cannot help sometimes being a little obstinate and buying things that I just plain want to buy. Mom jeans fall into this category spectacularly. I feel that I look dreadful in them, I’m not going to lie, I feel fat. With my already large legs, clothing them with jeans that do not flatter and/or suck everything in an inch or two does not do my self esteem much good. 

It was one of those things that I saw everyone wearing and thought, yes! I want to try those! And it took me such a long time to talk myself into buying them. I found a pair that looked great on a slim model and thought that maybe they wouldn’t look so bad. Real stiff denim I have established does my figure no favours but I’ve worn them so many times because they are so spacious. I’m conflicted with feeling awful and comfortable simultaneously.


They make me self conscious in my local shopping mall which I like to call ‘Marks & Spencer central’ because it’s full of middle-aged+ men and women dishing out the dirty looks when I walk by with my intentionally mis-matched handbag and shoes. It ruins fashion for me when so many people stare, nobody has said anything yet but there is always a chance of them picking up on my attempt to feign youth by following trends.

. . .

I put on a multi coloured Zara jacket, fished from the depths of the summery side of my wardrobe from a collection sourced during the dull winter, I felt fantastic! Combined with blue skinny jeans and a pale grey cami, I saw myself parading down the street swinging my handbag to the rhythm of my internal soundtrack (come on, we all have one) but just before I left the room, I changed for something understated and more suited to my age – what does that mean?


How old am I in fashion years and why do I feel afraid of wearing a colourful jacket?

I’m 29 in October and still feel as immature as a 19 year old me tottering around in heels and short skirts. It’s not fair for it to stop being acceptable for a person to wear what he or she wants to at whatever age without judgement, because in the confines of my bedroom I feel like I can take on the world and probably could if it would let me, but as I leave my confidence stays to hide in the wardrobe and leaves me defenceless.

I walked across a supermarket car park in ripped jeans once and the comments from the elderly would keep you awake at night. I couldn’t believe that so many sweet looking little old ladies had so many horrible words to say about jeans, what could they say about an experimental combination of colours fabricated in a vaguely artistic stupor, where my inspiration usually resides? A lot. So I wear what could be considered socially acceptable when really I want to fly out the door in a prom skirt with pink in my hair and run away to find some kindred spirits!

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Telford Hotel & Golf Resort

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’m not an avid golfer. 

A few weeks ago my Mom and Stepdad moved house and I did a lot of running around for them. I didn’t mind of course, I offered help whenever needed and it was gratefully received, and as you do, I didn’t expect anything in return so it was a complete surprise when I discovered my Stepdad had bought a Groupon voucher for me to go to a day spa. 

So, situated in Telford there’s a modern hotel and golf club approximately 5 miles from the main shopping centre with a glorious day spa tucked away at the side of the main hotel entrance. 


Now I’m no connoisseur of spas, I have only been to a handful and most of which were treatment only, these places were ill equipped and unable to keep you comfortable and occupied for long periods of time, so you just went home once you were done with your massage. I’d never had the experience of staying anywhere longer than that, some are so cold and have a harsh or outdated decor or occasionally remind me of a dental surgery.

We rolled up in the pouring rain at 10am, late and flustered and having to sprint across the car park. Once inside we were welcomed warmly despite our lateness (a road was closed, we had to use a diversion which took longer) in a very modestly sized reception/waiting area and rushed through the usual forms, illness, ailments, medication etc. Three girls swiftly came out to take us to our treatment rooms and the relaxing began…

I lay for 25 minutes enjoying a back, neck and scalp massage and then another 25 in pure bliss as my face was oiled and scrubbed and oiled again and then moisturised (I have very dry skin so this was amazing) they called this a mini facial and I’ll admit it was my favourite one out of the two. The Espa products they use there successfully managed to remove all my dead skin cells and as an added bonus the fragrances managed to calm my hectic mind.

I was so self conscious of my body prior to arriving but the dim lighting everywhere was not only calming but generous to those with a few more lumps and bumps than others, it highlighted nothing allowing me to comfortably move from pool to sauna to steam room to showers.

I felt the changing rooms were a little small, there weren’t really enough loungers by the pool as there were guests but despite that, I had such a wonderful and relaxing time using the facilities included with the voucher and met a few friendly people in the steam room (who I almost sat on).

To finish our treat day, we dressed and tottered on over to the bar and restaurant, utterly ravenous, and found a few guests dressed in robes and the odd golf member enjoying a cool drink, seen as they couldn’t play in the rain. The staff it seemed would do anything for you including bringing over a tray of tea and a gorgeous Danish pastry (which has now become my favourite thing). We stayed until the drinks ran out and there were no more light bites left and ventured home.
Purchasing this type of voucher is difficult as they sell out so quickly on the Groupon website, but it’s really worth a shot if you love a little pamper from time to time.

Groupon – Telford Hotel and Golf Resort
[image source: groupon.co.uk]