How to Run (or walk…or crawl…) for Beginners

As many of you know I’m a runner, a slow runner, but I run none the less. When I first started “running” a year ago I could not physically run for more than 30 seconds. Last night I ran (jogged) for 15 minutes! I know for a lot of you serious runners that may not seem much, but to me it’s a massive achievement! I think a lot of people, especially women, don’t think that they can run. And I understand, I thought the same thing, and I was so self conscious about running too and I know that’s a major problem for a lot of people. So here’s a few tips and pieces of advice on how to get started…

  1. You may not be able to run more than 10 seconds. And that’s okay. What’s important is that you go out, and you run those 10 seconds. Just don’t stop moving. When I started I ran for 30 seconds then walked for 5 minutes, and if that’s all you can do then that’s absolutely fine, just don’t stop moving!
  2. Dress the part. I used to run in really baggy tracksuit bottoms and t-shirts, but as I started to lose weight I brought myself some proper running clothes and it just makes you feel so much more confident! Also, don’t buy really cheap crappy shoes like I did… They will hurt! Give running a go first, but if you’re planning on doing this for the long haul invest in some halfway decent shoes!
  3. Don’t run everyday. I made this mistake! I ran every single morning, until my body was hurting so much and I pulled a muscle in my leg and couldn’t run for the next two weeks. So, pace yourself! If you can, try giving yourself a day’s rest in-between each run. And if you’re a beginner, maybe run 2-3 times a week, that’s probably a good starting point.
  4. Stretch. For the love of all that is holy, please stretch before and after running! There are thousands of YouTube videos and websites showing you a few stretches you can do, and just take 5 minutes before and after running to do them to help prevent injuries.
  5. You don’t have to run in the mornings. Some people are naturally morning people, so if you are then do your running in the morning. But if you’re like me, I much prefer to run in the evening. Find out when you’re at your most energetic and run then.
  6. Please don’t be self-conscious. This was a huge problem for me. I used to wake up at 6am, in winter, and go for a run then because I was terrified of people looking at me. Now I just don’t care. My body has carried me thousands of miles, it has been through hell and yet here it is, looking fabulous! If this really is holding you back though, maybe start off running in the early mornings or later at night. But as you get better and faster and stronger, you’ll start to realise how amazing your body is!
  7. Eat and drink well. How can you expect your body to work hard if you feed it crap? Food is still a big problem for me because I have a habit of snacking. But try to just be more aware of the food you eat, and a lot of people find it really useful to write down what they eat each day. I personally really struggled to cut back on food, especially because my family is really unhealthy. In the end I bought myself healthy snacks, like dried fruit and cereal bars. Anything to stop me eating 5 packets of crisps a day! Also, cut out fizzy drinks. Trust me, they taste absolutely amazing when you haven’t has them in ages! If you drink fizzy drinks everyday, maybe try just having one a week? And try to drink more water!
  8. Treat yourself. Don’t cut out every food you love though! Because this will most likely lead you to quitting and binge-eating. Just eat everything in moderation and you’ll be fine! I know this is easier said than done, but just use your common sense 🙂
  9. Don’t focus on losing weight. Instead, focus on “non-weight related goals”. I made a list of mine, because as you all know, I love lists 🙂 So these may include things like: being able to run from one place to another without stopping, being able to walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath, or maybe you just want to feel good. The weight will drop off if you stick with running and eating better, but I just don’t want anyone to get discouraged because weight loss takes a very long time. This sounds silly, but my main goal was to be able to feel my collarbones. Two years ago I had never felt my collarbones, I wasn’t entirely convinced I even had them! But here they are, and I love them! And if you’re really focused on losing weight, don’t focus on how much you weigh, focus on how many inches you’ve lost around your waist and hips etc. Because as you run you’ll gain muscle, and of course, muscle weighs more than fat so your weight might not drop but seeing those inches go down can be a real motivator.
  10. Running is not for everyone. Despite how much I encourage people to run, it isn’t for everyone. Give it a go, but if you really hate it then don’t do it. Instead, try other forms of exercise. Join a club, try swimming or cycling, or even home workout videos. My favourite is Blogilates, if you don’t want to go outside to get fit then try her videos, they’re amazing!!

I hope this will encourage a few of you at home to get up and run! If it has then I’d love to hear from you, and if you have any more running tips let me know in the comments 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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If I were a boy…

My boyfriend and I were discussing who had it worse, guys or girls. And this got me thinking, what would be different if I was born as a male? Here’s my list, and as ever these are my personal opinions and I’d love to hear what you think about this in the comments 🙂

If I were a boy…

  • I could be into superheroes without being judged, or told I’m just pretending to like it to get attention.
  • I could have sex without being judged. If women don’t have sex they’re frigid, a nun, a bitch, a prude. But if they do have sex they’re a slut, a whore, easy. When men have sex it’s seen as an achievement and something to shout about, but when women do it it’s seen as dirty and something they should keep private.
  • I could be dominant without being called a “bitch”. Or I could be in a position of power without everyone assuming I opened my legs to get there.
  • I can have children and a career and not get asked how I’m going to deal with both, without losing my job, and without worrying about having to go to work straight after giving birth because many companies do not give maternity leave at all (or very little).
  • Walking around at night would be nothing. I wouldn’t be afraid of being attacked because family and friends would never tell me this is a likelihood.
  • My nipples wouldn’t be illegal. Women’s nipples are not sexual. They are for feeding children. The media have made them sexualised, and anywhere that allows men to walk around topless should allow women to do the same.
  • I wouldn’t have to carry something to protect myself. There would be no need for rape whistles, pepper sprays, and keys between our fingers.
  • I could pursue a career in science without people being shocked, and without it being considered “sexy”. In fact, I could have a career in most sectors and people wouldn’t be surprised (such as motoring, aviation, business etc.).
  • Music videos wouldn’t show me as a sex object. If you look at the videos for the top 40 songs in the UK/US 90% of them feature women who are scantily clad, who have stereotypical female roles (such as a waitress), and are objects for men to look at.
  • I could wear the same clothes twice in a row and not have anyone question it, or freak out about it.
  • Shaving would be optional. Women are under so much pressure to shave every single hair from their neck downwards. Newsflash! Woman have body hair! Yet if a woman goes out with her legs and armpits unshaved she would be seen as ‘disgusting’ and ‘dirty’.
  • Getting in a taxi alone would not be frightening. Many women are worried about this, as they are constantly warned that there is a serious risk of assault.
  • Makeup wouldn’t be people’s go-to gift. Many people just assume women wear makeup, or that they should. Women should only wear makeup if it makes them happy, but there should be no pressure to.
  • My ass wouldn’t be grabbed every time I go out. Women get sexually harassed (and yes, this is sexual harassment) every time they go out to a club. It’s not okay, and it can feel very frightening.
  • Catcalling wouldn’t be an issue. Catcalling can make females feel uncomfortable, and can be threatening. Never has a woman wanted to talk/meet/sleep with the person who catcalls them, so why do it? You’re not going to get anything out of it.
  • I wouldn’t be seen as weak. A lot of women feel as though men automatically consider them weak and this can feel intimidating and frustrating at times.
  • Going to the gym would involve less sexual harassment. Just because a woman is at the gym does not mean she wants you to comment on how sexy she looks and what you would like to do to her. Also, if you’re going to take the piss about her lifting weights you should shut your mouth.
  • I could do my job without being stereotyped. Yes, women work as delivery drivers too. We get it, you’re shocked, there’s no need to repeatedly tell me and laugh about it.
  • The products aimed at me wouldn’t all be pink. Pink clothes, pink shoes, pink razors, pink towels, pink barbie dolls, pink phone cases, pink glue sticks! You name it, if it’s marketed at women it’s going to be pink.
  • I wouldn’t be judged on my body weight. As a women, everyone has an opinion on your body weight. If you’re slim you’re anorexic, you need to eat a salad, you’re ugly. (Calling anyone anorexic because they are slim is very offensive to them, and to those with this mental condition) But if you’re curvier you’re fat, you need to stop eating McDonald’s, you’re ugly. Women cannot win!
  • I could get drunk without fear of assault. Women are repeatedly warned that when they go out they must cover their drinks, never leave their drinks alone, never go out alone, always carry a phone with you etc.
  • My hairstyle/colour wouldn’t impact my daily life. Because women should always have long hair, and if they don’t they’re automatically a lesbian. Yeah, that’s not how sexuality works! Plus, just because a woman is blonde does not mean she is dumb.
  • I could fit my hand in my pocket. Men’s trousers can fit a phone, keys, wallet, £30 in loose change, a bottle of beer, and a laptop. Yet I know there are women reading this who can’t fit their little finger into their pockets, or worse, their clothes have fake pockets or no pockets at all!
  • I wouldn’t be judged on my food order. If a woman orders a ton of food they get looked at like they’re a pig. But then again, if they order a salad they’re “skinny bitches”. Again, women can’t win!
  • There would be no periods.  For my male readers, having a period is like someone scraping your inside with a teaspoon then putting the contents in your underwear, which is accompanied by pain, feeling sick, having a headache, being hormonal, hungry, bloated, and emotional for a week and then having to act as normal. Not fun.

And that’s it, of course there are so many more but I don’t want to bore you guys! However, if anyone reading this would like to add anything to this list or to give their opinions I’d love to hear it. And I will be doing an “If I were a girl…” post soon so if any of you have any ideas for that I’d love to hear them. Thank you for reading 🙂

You Look Disgusting

A friend of mine showed me this video and suggested I make a blog post about it. Twenty seconds in and I had already made up my mind that I had to write about this.

This woman (whose blog you can visit here) posted photos of herself online when she was not wearing make up. The comments she recieved were awful, and phrases such as “revolting” and “ugly” and “gross” were thrown at her. Let’s just get this straight. You are entitled to have an opinion, but if you can’t express this opinion in a polite and respectable manner then please keep it to yourself. Especially about something as personal as someone’s appearance.

The woman in this video has acne. Almost as if she’s a human, right?! As a teenager I have acne. Growing up I had acne pretty bad and I was so self conscious so I used to cover my face in tons of makeup, and I used to have my hair hanging over my face to try and cover them up. Until I just woke up one day and just thought fuck it, I have spots because my body has a ton of chemicals whizzing around and there’s not much I can do about it. So I walked into school with no makeup on and my hair in a ponytail and guess what… no one cared! Please do not feel like you have to wear makeup to feel beautiful, and if you don’t like wearing makeup please don’t feel like you have to to please others.

But.

If you want to wear makeup because you like the way it looks and it makes you happy, then wear it, you’re beautiful! Don’t let anyone tell you what to put on your face.

So here’s a few final words for those reading this:

  • If you have spots, you’re beautiful.
  • If you don’t have spots, you’re beautiful.
  • If you don’t wear makeup, you’re beautiful.
  • If you wear makeup, you’re beautiful.
  • If you spread love and happiness, you’re beautiful.
  • If you’re reading this, you’re hella beautiful. Fact.

Thank you for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic 🙂

GUEST POST: Love you! Like a fat kid loves cake… – By Shaye

I want to give a massive thank you to Shaye for being a guest writer. I know how difficult it was for her to write this, so thank you so much.

…Why can’t it be like a fat kid likes green beans, or like a fat kid likes sushi. There are lots of things fat kids like to eat, other than cake. I should know, I have been one most of my life. In fact a lot of skinny people I know LOVE cake, and soda, waaaay more than the fat kids do. This saying has always had a double edged sword protruding out of it and there is no way to get rid of it until the positive body image movement happens, which in reality I don’t see happening anytime soon.

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As I type this I have just finished a rather large meal of gorgeous steak with a rather large loaded potato and now am watch my songbird and my charming bake boozy cupcakes whilst I diddle away at the keys. I am not to blame when it comes to using inappropriate terms, nor am I one to turn around and say “Well, since I am a chubby gal I can say it and you can’t”. I’m not THAT kind of narcissist. I keep calling this my “last fat kid weekend”, my final fiesta before I head back on the path toward my weight-loss journey that I started so many years ago. But why don’t we start at the beginning. Before the neurosis and binge eating disorder, before the surgeries and body dysmorphia. There was a little girl. And I do mean little girl.

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I grew up in NYC for most of my life, raised by a Puerto Rican and a Scot. Now I have a HUGE family (of whom I spend more time with my PR side) and they love to eat. I grew up in a world full of food. I was a dancer, a softball player and as one of the ONLY girls in an apartment building I biked and climbed and ran and jumped and skinned my knees on concrete for at least an hour or two a day. Looking back on pictures of me as a child I would not in the least call me heavy, but I was always body conscious. My mother had made me that way from a young age, wearing tee-shirts over my swimsuits or shorts, always being “sure” I wanted to put that last bite of food in my mouth, blousing out my shirts so my non existent belly didn’t show. Things were always a bit too big than just fitting r a bit tight. It didn’t help that I developed a chest early and that it grew fast and furious to the point that my dance teacher told me I would never make it to professional when I was about 9.

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I went to a private school, where if you weren’t popular you were treated like crap and since I went on scholarship I wasn’t popular. And they would tease me, for being ugly to fat to everything else they could think of. The funny part was a lot of them were bigger than I was was, but I still was not that body conscious I wasn’t prepared for the real world I guess. The real world started happening when I was about 9. When I was 9 years old, they thought I had cancer, after major testing and so forth they found out I had Graves Disease. Graves disease is a form of Hypothyroidism. Now for all you non-medical people out there, your thyroid controls your metabolism and all that good jazz, so when your thyroid is hypo you are under-producing the hormone needed to run that machine smoothly, leading to weight gain, fatigue and many other bothersome symptoms. I was to be put on medications and closely monitored. Well, I was fine for a bit, that year I started sleep away camp and found a best friend, who was skinnier that anything (naturally) and the only reason I was like was because of her, and the next year of school (sixth grade) went by so slowly because my medication seemed off. I started getting hives, swelling up for no reason…something was wrong. The doctors played with my meds and as an effort to kill the hives benadryll and prednisone were introduced to my body. And I blew up. Now if you have ever taken prednisone you know what will happen, if not just think about the hungriest you have ever been and multiple that by like Gremlin after midnight and there you go. I gained I can’t tell you how much weight on my small frame. It was not a good year for me.

As far as I remember it that was the year a few things happened, I put my hands and arms through one of those reinforced wired windows at school while trying to open it, my mom signed me up for therapy which she quickly pulled me out of (I still don’t know why she did either) and I started to binge. Now I never liked shopping for clothes unless I was with my GK. GK never picked at me, she let me go through clothes at my own pace and she just got me when it came to clothes. My mother liked terrible things on me and always made me feel huge in the dressing room. It was the year I was in sixth grade that I would wait until everyone was asleep and sneak into the kitchen and eat what I could, I snuck things into my bedroom, I would hide and eat everywhere I went (Even at camp that year I would trade things for snacks because they were rarely given to me). I was just hungry all the time and even if it was a healthy snack I would hide it and at dinner I would eat and eat until I was uncomfortable or until my mother gave me the look. That summer at camp was a lot harder for me, that awkward age between 10 and 11, boys just really noticing you, my best friend having too many boyfriends and me just wanting to be kissed I was by no means a blimp but I had put on the pounds. My asthma was not good and the hives still came back all the time. Constant infirmary visits.

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Between 11 and the summer I turned 13 I went through a lot. I was now in a public school, the same one my best friend went too. I was beginning to be aware of my own body and get very uncomfortable around it. I was realizing that I may not only be attracted to guys (which made the locker rooms a really odd place for me). My friends were all smaller. My hives were so bad I was on a constant stream of steroids and my mother would sit by my bed at night to make sure my throat didn’t close up. We would fight constantly because of my body or my clothes. That summer the doctor that made a decision that would change my whole life, a decision I wish I had more say in, that maybe that had gone about a different way or waited just a little bit longer because it wouldn’t be till soon after that that research would emerge about the side effects. That summer they removed my thyroid.

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Now Thyroid surgery is a big deal, if they take out part of your thyroid you are usually better for the long term but since they had to remove all of mine (because they were convinced it was causing the hives…it wasn’t) my whole world changed. You see there has been a proven link between thyroid removal and the switch that keeps the circuit of mental illness at bay. It is like the thin sheet of plastic between the baking soda and vinegar in a homemade volcano, everything is peachy but pull the plastic and KABOOM!!!! I immediately lost all of the weight from the steroids because of the recovery int he hospital, got my first kiss (from my first crush since I was like a year old) and all was well….kinda. I walked back into school that year feeling like a new girl, I was in the 8th grade ready to take my tests for HS and on new meds and actually feeling better. But it didn’t matter, the kids hadn’t gotten any nicer (but I noticed it more, it hurt more), my mother got pickier (so I ate more, it hurt more) and I was getting bigger (everyone told me I was nuts, but I could see it in the mirror). That year, I lined up and took over 200 pills in plain sight of an entire cafeteria full of students during breakfast and no one noticed me. (But that is a whole other story in a whole other post). I couldn’t wait to get out of that school. I tried fad diets and all sorts of shit the teen magazines were peddling but at that point I was just me, and I figured hey this is what I am stuck with, better deal with it. (When I graduated JHS I was a size 12)

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Now we are going to speed through high school because high school was a very up and down point in my life, but that falls more on the mental side of things. I was still binge eating, only now it wouldn’t be hiding it just from my mother, it was from certain friends (like the ones you think are friends but put you down because they want to take your bf or are using you for something). When I started HS I was a size 10, I got called fat. I got told i should hide my *insert body part here*. When I graduated HS (After a year of being on bed rest and being in and out of the hospital) I was a size 16. The names never changed.

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Always yours,

Shaye

xoxo

*Authors Note* As I started to write this I didn’t realize how emotional I would get during it. I am going to piece this out if my darling girl will let me as a guest post or I will continue it on my own blog and my journey has not yet ended and there is so much more to write.

Thank you so much, Shaye, for sharing this. The next part of this post will be posted here soon so please keep an eye out for that. If anyone reading this wants to write a guest post for me please get in touch at: aleve44@hotmail.com. Thank you for reading x

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 3

I want to say a massive thank you to Shivani, Unfashionable Cupcake, My Overflowing Thoughts , Under The Guise Of Glitter and A Teenage Diary Online for nominating me, and if you haven’t checked out their blogs you should because they’re amazing!

Here’s the rules:

  • Thank the person/people who nominated you. Thank you!!
  • Post a quote for three days in a row. 

Here’s my third quote:

“If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, you can find out first hand what it’s like to be me.” – My Chemical Romance, The End

Again, I love this band and this is one of my favourite songs of theirs. I especially like this quote because I think a lot of those reading this can relate to this. There are so many people that hate themselves or want to change themselves, but everyone whose reading this is beautiful 🙂

  • Nominate three other bloggers each day. I’m going to nominate some newer bloggers 🙂
  1. Everyone’s Friend
  2. Mythical Stars
  3. Emily 40810

Thank you so much for the nomination, and thank you for reading 🙂

You are beautiful! (I promise)

*Warning: This video may upset some viewers*

This woman weighs 40lb, the weight of my four year old cousin, and she cannot get help from hospitals because she is a “liability”. Please tell me I am not the only one who thinks this is disgraceful. This woman lives in a first world country where the government has no issue with raising their paychecks by a few million, yet they can’t give help to a woman with a severe psychological disorder. This woman will be getting support, but not because the government have seen sense, but because people across the world have donated money to her (http://www.gofundme.com/savemyrachael) and I hope that in a few years time we will see a much happier and healthier Rachael.

However there are still people out there, heck some may even be reading this, who have this disorder. I think weight is such a taboo subject and I think this may have a part in why so many people have eating disorders. If you are on the larger side you are fat, you must just sit around eating all day, you should be ashamed of your body. If you are on the smaller side then you are anorexic, you must only eat salads, you should be ashamed of your body. This is insane! People are not “one size fits all”, and I think that we should promote being healthy and as long as you’re healthy and happy it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a size XXXS or an XXXL.

And to try and encourage you, my beautiful readers, to talk about your body here are my measurements…

  • Weight: 10.5 stone (147lb)
  • Height: 5ft 3″
  • Waist: 29″
  • Hips: 38″
  • Clothes size: 12
  • Shoe size 5

…Because I LOVE my body and you should love yours too! So if you’re feeling brave feel free to comment with your measurements so we can start spreading the love 🙂