Day 7: Fighting Fit

No, despite having eaten way too many dominoes and having been a full time couch potato, I’m not suffering from the boyfriend 20. Yes, I just made that up. In all seriousness getting fit and healthy has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Like many people I’ve never been completely happy with the way I look. I’m not overweight, in fact I’m probably not far off being in the shape I want to be, I just never found the motivation until now. It’s only been since the beginning of this week that I started to take it seriously. I’ve jogged three days in a row and plan to do so for the rest of the week. The goal is to continue whilst I’m on holiday so that I can lose 4-8 pounds – although how likely that is in America I don’t know. If you’re like me and you’re finding it hard to stay motivated, then here are a few of the things I did to get going:

1. Really feel it – it’s easy to say that you’re going to get fit, but it’s different to feel it. You’ll know it when you do. It’s called determination. It’s that feeling in you’re gut saying “I’ve had enough!” Unfortunately, it might take until you feel terrible for it to happen, but when it does take full advantage and get out there!

2. Do things you enjoy doing – So many people I know follow the herd and join the gym, and then never end up going again (I’ve been one of them). I’m here to say its OK not to like the gym. Gyms can be intimidating places, and if you’re like me you might prefer exercising alone. After all, gyms are expensive! Instead, find things that you enjoy doing. For me its cycling, swimming and then jogging.

3. Don’t get disheartened – One of the reasons I stopped exercising was because I wasn’t seeing any results. I had lost almost 10 pounds and then nothing. It’s often the case that you plateau after losing a big chunk of weight. Don’t let it put you off though, it only means you have to work that little bit harder!

4. Diet first – It’s important to have a healthy diet and exercise, but I’m a firm believer that you should get your diet sorted before you start exercising. Think about it, you wouldn’t have to worry about having to increase your exercise because you ate a packet of twinkies as a midnight snack.

5. Go with the flow – Weight loss can be pretty unpredictable. I often struggled when I’d given myself a weight goal or a exercise schedule. The truth is your body weight fluctuates all the time anyway, and you aren’t always going to feel up to exercise. I say exercise when you feel like it no matter what time of the day. I usually prefer early mornings, but every now and then I like a lay in, which is OK! Don’t punish yourself for having a break – it could be your bodies’ way of telling you it needs it.

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P.S. Sometimes you don’t realise how far you’ve come!

xxx

Day 7: A Bit of Window Shopping Never Hurt

Men will never understand why women love to shop in their free time, because for them its not the same experience. For many women it’s a creative output. We get to express our personalities through the way that we dress. During difficult times it can be a welcome distraction. You can browse the shops and ooh and ah at all the things you want to buy, and maybe even buy a few. It’s also a chance to spend some time on yourself. You get to think about how you want to look and the things you like. After a break-up its a great reminder that you no longer have to worry about what someone else thinks about the way you look. A certain weight is almost lifted off your shoulders. It can be addictive though, so don’t go spending all your money. Then you’ll have bigger problems to deal with! I took a picture of the top I bought during my therapeutic shopping trip.

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Top: H&M 12.99 (pounds)

Day 6: Having Dreams and Making Plans

When you’re in a serious relationship your dreams and future plans often involve your other half. My mother always drummed into me that I should never let a man change my plans, but I think it’s natural to want to include someone you love in your life. The trouble is your future can become very confusing when a relationship breaks down. What do you do now when your dreams are no longer possible?

The truth is it only seems that way. We all had dreams and plans before we got into relationships. They’re just often overshadowed my new, more emotionally driven dreams. There still there whether the relationship works out or not. If you’re like me and you drew the short straw, the answer is about rediscovering what you want to do.

I had to ask myself that very same question, and it was harder than I thought. Once you make new plans, it’s sets it in stone that your previous ones aren’t going to happen. It’s scary to completely rule out something that is so important to you. It feels like riding a bike without training wheels for the first time: unsafe.

At the same time it’s exciting. My whole world has opened up again and I can pick and choose my adventures. I just had to tell myself, “if I don’t do it now then when?” The answer is probably never. So after a long hard think, here are my dreams:

1. Move to Berlin and get a CELTA (check!)

2. Learn German

3. Move to Spain and learn Spanish

4. Discover what more I can do…

5. Go on a cooking holiday

6. Learn guitar

7. Get fit and healthy (a.k.a feeling HOT)

8. Make friends and keep in touch with old ones

9. Take dancing lessons

10. Be happy to be me!

x

Day 5: A New Look

When you’re going through a break up you naturally start to doubt yourself. You question your actions, you question your ex’s actions, and you question your beauty. To try and take myself out of that mind set, I felt some pampering was needed. I took a trip to the hair salon and treated myself to a new haircut. Haircuts always make you feel great afterwards and almost give the impression of a new start. Here is my ‘transformation’:

Before:                                                After:

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So my next piece of advice to you is to take care of yourself. Spend the time on yourself that you spent before you were in a relationship. It’ll not only make you feel amazing, it will also help you get used to the way things were before.

x

Day 2: Getting to Know Me

Although my ex taught me a lot about myself, you can often forget to do the things that you enjoy when you’re with someone so often. So today I decided that I am going to reunite with some of my passions, one of which is cooking. Here is a recipe that I tried and tested (a.k.a ate) yesterday:

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

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Ingredients:

50g butter

50g sugar

1/2 pineapple

100g flour

1sp baking powder

100g sugar

100g butter

1 tbsp pineapple juice/coconut milk

2 eggs

Method:

1. Mix together the butter and sugar (50g) and cover the bottom of a 20 inch round tin (make sure its not a loose bottom tin).

2. Chop up the pineapple into chunks and arrange on the bottom of the pan.

3. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and poor the batter on top of the pineapple.

4. Place in an oven at 160 for 35-40 minutes.

Day 1: Good Friends and Good Food

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“Hard times will always reveal true friends”

Losing someone that I spent all my time with made me feel quite lonely. I had made the rookie error of focussing all my attention on my boyfriend, neglecting my friends. Luckily I found that my friends were still there for me when it all ended. I’m going to make sure that I don’t make that mistake again. So today I spent the day with a good friend of mine. It wasn’t that I needed to talk to someone about it all, it was that I needed sometime to forget about it. It was a welcome distraction to sitting in my room and dwelling on the past. I got to laugh, have good food, and think about what someone else was doing for a change.

So my first piece of advice for any of you out there who are going through a similar thing is to reach out to your friends, even if you made the same mistake as me. Not only are they there for you to vent, but they are there to distract you from your own thoughts.

Food: Club Burrito, Canterbury

My Journey Forward

People always tell you that breaking up with someone always leaves a hole in your life, but this has to be one of the first break-ups I’ve gone through where I actually feel like that. Honestly I don’t know how to handle it, but I’m going to try. I’m sure that there are a lot of you out there who are feeling the same way as me. For the coming days, I’m going to post what I’m doing to get through this difficult time. I hope that you all come along with me and gain something from my experiences.

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“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello” – Paulo Coelho

A Letter to a Loved One

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Goodbye has to be the biggest oxymoron of them all. My life has been full of good-byes, and I can honestly say that none of them have been good. It seems unfair that life can so easily take you away from the people you love for such meaningless reasons. Money, a good education, a good home are things we all seem to be pushed towards. I would give up all of those things in a heart beat to have the people I love with me. I’m sick of being told to live and see the world, when living couldn’t make me feel more lonely.

For once in my life I made a life for myself somewhere. I made friends that I knew would stick around, and I even met someone that I love beyond belief. Yet once again my life is taking me away from that person, and I’ve had to say the hardest good-bye to date. To him, I would like to tell him what he has given me.

Dear X,

When you met me I avoided seeing myself completely in hope that no-one else would either, but you saw me. First you saw me as a friend. You saw me as someone you could joke with, confide in, and spend time with. Soon enough you started to love me, something that no-one else had really done before. You showed your love through caring for me, comforting me and  kissing me. I loved you a whole lot in return.

Looking back at our time together, I think about all the things that you’re love gave me. I let someone see me for me, and I started looking at myself the way you saw me. I started to let others take a look too. It’s because of you that I got where I am today with the friends that I have today. I can only hope that you remain one of them.

There’s always the risk of having regrets when you look back, and unfortunately I have some when it comes to you. I regret that I didn’t tell you I loved you every day. I regret that I didn’t make the most of every time I saw you. I regret that I took so long to let you in, but I will never regret saying yes to being your girlfriend.

If I had it my way I would keep you by my side forever, but I know that it would be unfair to not let you explore everything the world has to offer you. There’s so much for you out there. You are such a beautiful person with the biggest heart of anyone I know. I only wished you thought about yourself the way that I think about you. I hope that you come to realise that in the future.

I hate not knowing where my life is taking me, because that pretty much means it will be away from you. But even though you won’t be next to me, I hope that you remain a big part of my life. If that doesn’t work out, I wish you all the happiness in the world. Secretly, I hope that our paths cross again. Whatever the case may be, I will always love you.

Your Emma

P.S. It’s not goodbye.