Like a few of my recent 'Personal' posts, this isn't something I'd usually write about. I think it's gradually become more important to people that we eat well and take care of ourselves. I have actually lost a lot of weight since January and I'm really proud of it. Much like my recent 'Social Media' post, I'm in no way putting myself above others - I simply want to share my experience.
Last year, I absolutely hated my appearance. I really mean that. I would look at my body in the mirror and would struggle to find something I liked. I have an unhealthy relationship with the gym, where I will go from being there five days a week to not going for months. After a breakup last year, I lost a lot of weight. This wasn't intentional, but I struggled to eat and I was going to the gym for hours on end as a means of distraction. Once I was over the initial phase and was back to college, the weight piled back on. Fast forward to my 18th and Christmas-time where I'd go out and drink after every shift (virtually every night) and you've got me looking and, more importantly, feeling unhealthy.
Cue January, the health kick that we all get and me feeling literally repulsive. I had used Herbalife before, but not religiously thanks to the gruesome work hours and just not being able to get into the habit. I was desperate to look and feel amazing.
You're probably wondering what 'Herbalife' is. It's a life changer, in my opinion. It's basically a company that sends you everything you need for a healthy lifestyle, including a meal and workout plan. My most recent (third) order was at the start of March, which cost me £125 and I have some products leftover from my second order.
So, what did I get for all that money? It seems a lot when you look at it like that, but when I spend around £4 a day getting lunch at college and this order covers breakfast too, I think it's a great deal.
This order included two shake powders, I have a milkshake for breakfast and lunch everyday so I buy two different flavours to prevent myself from getting bored. They're surprisingly filling, too! I then bought thermal tablets which I ordered instead of a herbal tea this time, I have one in the morning and two in the afternoon. Mango aloe was also included in my second order, which I can put in my water or tea just for a metabolism boost. I have to be honest, I don't use this as much as I should purely because I forget to which is why I have so much leftover. The last products that come in this order are the vitamins I need for the day, which I take two of before each meal and I take one, specifically for women, at the same time.
On top of using these products, I've been exercising more and regularly. I must say that putting the right things into my body has really made a difference to how I feel on the inside and how I feel about myself. Of course, I have 'cheat days' and an unhealthy snack is no stranger to my diet but I believe it becomes less 'fun' when you're strict with what you eat. Exercise wise, I usually just go to gym classes. I much prefer being in a group and I go with my stepmum which is a big motivator. I also like that these classes have a variety, and are led by people who actually know what they're doing. I think my favourite class is "Circuits", which is an hour of intense (you guessed it!) circuits and it leaves me aching for the next few days - clear evidence that I have worked hard.
Here's a quick before and after. Me on 2nd January (because I was too hungover to move on the first) and me on 20th Feb. This blog post was actually meant to go up at the start of March, but obviously I took some time away from the blog. In the February pictures, I was actually recovering from the flu so had lost some muscle, but I still think the difference is insane.
I think the point of this post is to say that it doesn't take a lot to feel good about yourself. I now have a fairly healthy lifestyle and I can honestly say that eating good changes how you feel about yourself massively. I should probably mention that, since New Year's Eve, I've had three nights out where I've drunk alcohol, it hasn't been intentional to not go out but I believe it's made a difference. I've never felt better and I look healthy, too. I can imagine that I will be putting some weight back on when it comes to exam season because I won't have a lot of time to exercise and I'll probably be comfort eating like it's my religion, but for now I will enjoy the healthy lifestyle I lead.
As always, feel free to drop me a comment (what are your healthy treats? I'm always wanting ideas!) and thank you for reading.
Happy Earth Day, everyone! I originally had no intentions of posting today, but the gorgeous weather made me feel really motivated to write a post about how we can love our earth more. Here are a few simple ways of being kinder to the planet without having to drastically change your everyday life.
It's so obvious, I don't know why more people don't do it. I understand that it's not always accessible to recycle something (for example, at college there's only two recycling bins) but it is so easy to be considerate when at home. It really doesn't take much to think "is this recyclable" and then popping an item into its designated pile. It will also make you feel as though you've done something good, too!
There's a bonus in it for you on this one. Selling your pre-loved belongings is a great way of preventing waste. I sell a lot of makeup and clothes on Depop, meaning I get a bit of extra cash, someone else has had a bargain and needless waste has been prevented! All I'd say is, with selling makeup, make sure it is sanitary - sanitise bullet lipsticks and don't sell products like liquid lippies and mascaras if they've been used.
Much like selling, you can also buy/swap products online.
It's so simple, and probably better for your bank balance, to buy products that you can reuse. I constantly carry a water bottle with me and the one's I use only cost about £5 and they're great - we're lucky enough to have access to free, hygienic water so why bother spending money on bottled? I think it's also a good idea to transfer from plastic to metal straws at home, and I think Wetherspoons have done a great deed in using paper straws (even if they do go soggy).
It's always good to be considerate of what you're doing and the impact it has. For example, car sharing to work/college or even getting a bus means that there's at least one less car on the road. Using reusable bags when you go to the supermarket, or if you forget them trying to think how many bags you really need. Just keeping yourself aware of your own impact on the earth is an ideal way of making changes.
So, there's a quick and easy post on simple ways to be a little bit kinder to our world. Obviously, you can make bigger changes such as going vegan but that's down to personal choice whereas I think these tips should be followed by near enough everyone. As always, thank you for reading.
So, Arustic is a family-run company that sell the most gorgeous, handmade leather handbags (it's real leather, just for anyone wondering). The bags have a super vintagey vibe to them while still being on trend and practical. I don't yet own an Arustic bag myself, but after looking at them and how insanely cheap they are, I know one will be mine soon! Honestly, real leather handbags for way under £100...I can't believe it's not too good to be true!
I absolutely fell in love with the story of how the company came about (find the story on their site) and I love how they use their company to help the less fortunate. Arustic's aim is to "increase accessibility to food and education for everyone" and they intend on doing this through the sales of their gorgeous handbags. It's a win win for everyone, someone gets a lush new leather handbag for an insanely good price while the less fortunate are getting better opportunities in life.
I've exchanged a few words with Dan, who created Arustic, and I must say the overall heart of the company seems so genuine and just lovely - I for one know I would rather pay less and give money to a family business that donate to charity, than spend ten times the price for a bag with a designer logo.
My favourite bag on their site is easily the 'Harriet' bag, I just love backpacks and I like the (pardon the pun) rustic feel of the bag. There is actually a bag that they sell called 'Sophie', but it's a satchel and I know it would not fit all of my junk in it - which is gutting, but I have a tendency to put everything I own in my handbag.
I hope you guys liked this quick post talking about a brand that I'm really glad to get behind! I wasn't sure whether to put this post in the 'Beauty' or 'Personal' section of my blog, do you think I should make a 'Fashion' page? I'm not sure I'd use it a lot but let me know anyway! Remember, if you want to buy a bag from arustic.co.uk, use the code SOPHIE for 10% off!
This Bank Holiday Monday, my mum and I treated ourselves to a spa day in Birmingham which was full of well needed relaxation and stress relief. Because I wanted to switch off completely, I had no intention of bringing my phone with me nor did I even consider writing a blog post but I fell so in love with the spa that I wanted to share it with all my readers!
We visited the Club and Spa in Birmingham for our chill day, which is in The Cube for those who know Birmingham. We used an offer through Wowcher, which included two 25 minute treatments plus a meal at the restaurant next door for £59 each. Our treatments were booked for midday and lunch was 2:30; we arrived at around 10:30 so we could chill out before our treatments. After spending a while filling out legal forms and upgrading our treatments (oops!), we were given a brief tour and were then left to our own devices.
The spa itself had a swimming pool (which was very insta-worthy), two saunas, a steam room, a salt room (something I'd never heard of before), a room with relaxing swinging pods and a corridor full of treatment rooms. We immediately headed to the pool where we chilled out for a while before giving the salt room a go and then braving the 'Kelo Sauna' and the steam room - two things me and my mum can never cope with. We lasted a measly five minutes in the sauna, which I actually enjoyed after settling down, and about thirty seconds in the steam room. It was straight back to switching off by the pool.
We were initially booked in for a simple facial and neck, back and shoulder massage but upgraded on arrival - we both went for the hot stone massage and mum then had a "bee venom" mask and I had a gel mask which was meant to renew my skin. The treatments flew by, I can't say I noticed an immediate difference in my skin but after a few days it's looking much more glowy and moisturised, and I think my spots have cleared up a fair bit; I definitely noticed a difference in my mum's face which looked lifted and brighter.
After our treatments, we were told not to go in the saunas or steam room because of our facials and I was told not to wear makeup for 24 hours - heartbreaking considering I went into central Birmingham later in the day. We both lay by the pool and actually fell asleep briefly, until hunger woke us up and we headed upstairs to enjoy the meal that was included in our day.
Our lunch was included in our package offer which is one of the reasons we went for it, as we're always ready to enjoy good food! We had lunch at Bellarino's which was also in The Cube and was directly connected to the spa by a stair case. This is one of Marco Pierre White's restaurants in The Cube, the second being the famous steakhouse that's on one of the top floors. We both enjoyed a glass of wine and I had tomato and chilli penne pasta while my mum had a chicken Caesar salad - adventurous, ay? The food was absolutely delicious and I'm gutted I was too full to enjoy a dessert, but after a plate full of pasta I definitely had no room for more food. The restaurant was right on the canal, too, so the views were really nice.
All in all, my mum and I had an absolutely fabulous day that was very well needed. It was such great value for money and the spa was in the ideal place for shopping afterwards (which we certainly did!).