Sunday, 28 January 2018

Too Fat for the Gym?

If you follow me on social media, you will know that I went to the gym for the first time in two years this week. The reason I hadn't been in so long wasn't due to an injury or anything physical. In fact the reason I hadn't been was a mental thing. I thought I was too fat for the gym.

Back story for you all. I am a size 18-20 and I have been this way for a good while. It took me a long time to be happy in the body that I have, for years I hated being the size I am. In fact it wasn't until I began blogging and vlogging that I gained confidence in myself and my body.

Although I love being the size I am, I also like to be fit and exercise. For the past four years, I have received membership to my local leisure centre from my parents and that means that I can go to all the exercise classes that I want (I currently do three classes a week - Zumba, Cardio Combat and Aqua Jogging) and on top of that I have unlimited access to the gym.

When I first got my membership, I got excited by the idea that I could visit the gym because I had always thought that it looked "fun" to go on all the machines. But the moment I walked in...every exciting thought and little moodlet I had about going to the gym was whipped away.

Instead I was greated by thin gorgeous people, jogging on the treadmills and picking up massive weights, all without sweating not even a drop. I tried to carry on and do everything I wanted to, whilst getting more and more red and sweaty. And then I went for a go on the piece of apparatus that scared me the most...the treadmill. The moment I started to walk on it, it began to shake under the weight of me and that made me so self conscious. I started to think everyone was looking me and I quickly finished off my stroll and exited rather quickly.

This experience made me fear I was too fat for the gym, I couldn't compete with these lovely gorgeous fit people. They had abs for days and me well I had rolls for days instead. I stuck to my exercise classes where I felt more at home and that was it...until this week.

This Thursday just gone, something snapped inside me and I suddenly decided to give the gym another go after so long away. I strolled through the door just like before and instead of thinking what I or anyone looked like, I just took my jacket off, put my headphones on loud and strolled over to the bikes to begin my work out. In 10 minutes I cycled 3 miles and I was so proud of myself. After that I did 10 minutes on the rowing machine, in which I reached 2014m. I carried on going round the machines getting more and more confident as I went.

Then the time was nigh...I tried out the treadmill once again. I only planned to go on for a few minutes for a little stoll but something changed my must have been this new confidence. I downloaded a Couch to 5k app onto my phone and I had a go, thinking I'd give up after a few minutes. But I didn't, I completed all 30 minutes of that work out...I ran (jogged) on a treadmill and yes it shuck uncontrollably and made the water bottle look like there was an earthquake in the area but I didn't care. IN FACT, I laughed at it all. It was like a little two fingers up to anyone around who was sprinting a mile a minute.

I may not be the thinnest person at my gym but I have not enjoyed myself exercising so much in such a while. I'm going back next week and I will keep going for it all to see if I can improve my distances on the machines each week and who knows I might be sprinting with the rest of them before you know it.

The long and short of this post is to tell a story. If you have had thoughts this month about trying out the gym, do it... get some good headphones, some great music and do it for you.

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Sunday, 14 January 2018

So you're Cruelty Free...Now What?

uIf you do not know, I have recently made he decision to go cruelty free in regards to my beauty products. This isn't some spur of the moment thing, it is more something I have been thinking about doing, alongside eating less meat too.

At the end of the day, animals like us only have one life and they don't deserve to have products tested on them just so that we can have snazzy new make up products. With this is in mind, I announced on my YouTube channel at the start of this month that I was going to strive to be cruelty free and then suddenly I was hit with a sense of now what?

This first feeling first hit me during my first trip into a Boots since my decision. Before, I would have spent hours looking at all the "new in" stickers and walking out with a bag full of new products. But this time instead of the feeling of joy that I used to have, I was struck with a sense of confusion...not really knowing who was a cruelty free brand and who wasn't.

I sent a quick message to some friends who have been cruelty free for a while to ask for suggestions of which brands were cruelty free in the store ready for next time, picked up the mouthwash I went in for, paid and big bag of new goodies in hand nothing.

Since then I have researching and researching again, constantly googling brand names and then adding cruelty free at the end and the results have been interesting. Some brands I knew even before researching that they were going to be no go areas, the likes of MAC who come under the parent company of Estee Lauder who sell in China and are therefore not cruelty free. Same with L'Oreal, Origins and many more brands too.

If actually saw me researching certain well loved brands, I actually celebrated when I saw that they were cruelty free. I literally wanted to high five those brands for doing the good thing. So going back to the title, I'm going cruelty what now?

Well I've created a list, which you can find here and also on the top banner. The aim of this to share with you all the brands that are doing the good thing but also to help me remember where I should spend my money. If I have missed any out, or if I discover any more then I will continue to update the list. But in the grand scheme of things for the blog and any beauty reviews that I do, there will be no difference but I thought I'd just have a chat about the new cruelty free me.

I look forward to my new journey.

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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Was it my Fault?

In January, it is usually all about new beginnings and happy things. For me however, it's also a time to reflect on the past. One thing that has been in the back on my head for the past few days is the lost friendships of my past.

At the age of 27, I have had many a friendship. Some have lasted for years and years, some have appeared over the last few years and have become deep and meaningful very quickly. Other friendships have gone by too quickly and I lost touch with people. When I think of the friendships I have lost, I have began to wonder....Was it my fault?

The two areas of my life where the majority of my friendships were lost were University and the start of my blog, two major parts of my life I think you'll agree. In both situations I gained some really good friendships with people, like minded people with similar areas of knowledge, tastes or hobbies and whilst we were all in the moment all was amazing, I had people who had my back when times were hard and people who reminded me everything was ok even when they weren't. On top of that I had people I could make plans with, to go shopping with and to just shoot the breeze with over a cuppa, a pint or some chips.

However, in both situations as the time the moment ended (university finishing or people stopping blogging themselves) got nearer and hit us, the friendship began to fade. Looking back at all of this a few years later, I've began to feel like it was all my fault. Could I have done more?

Could I have messaged more? Tried to arrange to get together for drinks or a meal? Would things have been different if I had? I know it takes two to tango or in this case keep a friendship going however...was it all down to me that I don't have the same circle of friends that I had five or so years ago? Is it my fault I'm now spending so much of my time alone and on a computer instead of making memories with the people that knew me so well? Or is it just that the universe had those people near me at that time before sending us back to the way we were before it all happened? 

I just don't know.

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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

The Cleanser that Changed my Mind

For the most part with beauty, skincare especially if after a few times of using it I don't like it, I decide outright that I don't like it and there it is. It's set in stone and my mind can't be swayed.

One product that was in the there we go don't like it category was Ultrabland cleanser from Lush.

I first tried this cleanser back in about 2014 and I used it for the first times during spring/summer. The mix of pollen in the air and the beeswax in the cleanser gave me a slight allergic reaction near my eye. It is safe to say after that little mishap I backed away from the product, quicker than a quick thing being quick.

However recently in the past year when my exploration deeper into the world of Lush, something in me was urging me to try the product out for a second time. Knowing what could happen if it got too near to my eyes I was very careful and from that feelings had changed.

In case you have never been aquainted with the Ultrabland cleanser from Lush, it is a oily cream cleanser, which emulsifies all make up on the face leaving the skin feeling luscious. It's secret weapon is beeswax, which just makes it feel like it is polishing all the make up off your face. It does leave a little residue on the skin but as I use this product as a first cleanse, the second cleanse which is more of a classic cream cleanser that means the complete package leaves my skin perfectly smooth.

Like I said at the beginning, if after a few times using a product if I don't like it I will not use that product again and will not miss it. Now however, if I was to leave this cleanser alone now, I'd severely miss it and so would my skin. In fact my skin has already started acting out a little bit over the last couple days because I haven't done my normal skincare routine.

It is safe to say that I've done a whole 180 on Ultrabland. Have you ever had a product you completely changed your opinion on?

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Monday, 1 January 2018

Hello 2018...New Year, New Me?

I'm well aware that I am jumping on the blog/vlog bandwagon in creating this post but who cares YOLO and all that. Is that still a thing by the way?

I recently filmed my resolution video  recently, which will be going up soon on my YouTube channel however, I wanted to write down a few things too as a written reminder of a few key points.

I have thoroughly enjoyed restarting my blog from scratch towards the end of 2017. I like that I can look back at the really awkward post from years gone by but without having the whole world being able to see them, which was what was annoying me before.
The fact that I now have a relativly "new" blog again I feel has given me a little bit more freedom to do what I want and not care about anything else. Therefore in this new year, I am going to attempt to continue putting content up for whoever wants to read it. I think I shall keep the mix of life, chat and beauty posts up, which I know is not conforming to a niche like every blogger should but I'm not every blogger I'm me!

I again have enjoyed (for the most part) filming and editing my videos for my three channels. At the current moment I upload twice a week on The Clare Necessities, once a week on The Theatre Necessities and either daily or weekly on The Vlog Necessities depending on which month it is. I love my vlog channel because it helps me to store my memories somewhere of the good things I want to remember in years to come. My "main" channel gives me a space to talk all things beauty and the theatre channel gives me a place to share my undying love of theatre and musicals with whoever listens. I plan to keep up with all three channels in 2018, so please subscribe to all of them to keep up to date.

On top of being ever so present online, I vow that 2018 will be the year that I look after me. I often put everyone and everything in front of myself and that has left me in some very sticky head spaces. I need to remember that although I really enjoy it all, my blog and youtube channels are merely hobbies and I do not gain any monetary help for doing it. If I forget an upload, so be it. If I'm not feeling like tapping the keys and writing a blog post, so be it.
Instead of stressing about those kind of things, I will instead endeavour to make more memories, spend as much time as I can with my good friends and do more of the things I enjoy.
I'd also love to travel again this year. In the past two years, I've been to New Zealand and Norway and when I'm away because I'm exploring new places and taking lots of pictures I am happy in myself and enjoying life. For that reason alone, surely I should travel again?

2018 isn't going to be the year for a new me, because I like the me I am. Instead I want 2018 to be the year for a better me. In 2017, I improved my daily water intake and I felt so much better and my skin appreciated it too. In 2018, I want to continue to drink more water, whilst exercising (and maybe even embracing the gym more) and just improve me and hopefully keep my head space healthy.

Happy New Year everyone.

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