Since moving to Northwich, I find theres some Artisan market on nearby almost every weekend! I went to the ‘Makers Market’ in Knutsford a few weeks ago. I’ve been a couple of times now and it’s a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Running from around 11am to 4pm, the streets are full of wooden stalls selling local ales, crafts and baked goods. There’s so much food on offer it’s difficult deciding which treats to buy and I usually end up going a little overboard. With my trusty little Manchester bamboo travel coffee cup in hand to keep me in caffeine (I actually picked this up in the Northwich Artisan Markets), here's what I've gotten up to on my visits so far.
It’s a pretty small place and parking isn’t always ideal in my experience. If you do have to park then Booths is a good place as it’s free on a Sunday, for 2 hours, enough time to make the most of the markets. I apologise in advance if this post makes you hungry, about 75% of the stalls are some form of food whether that be relishes, pies, flapjacks, watermelons or brownies. It’s a good idea to make sure you have a healthy appetite when you go, Every time I go, I try something new. There's tons of tasters on offer when you walk around, helping you make decisions when deciding what to buy.
Whether or not the sun is shining it doesn't stop me from grabbing an ice cream (I absolutely love ice cream, in any weather), my favourite so far has been the vegan ice cream (made from crushed bananas) which was a lot more refreshing and guilt free, although the toppings weren't exactly healthy (pictured top of post). I snapped up one of these adorable ‘Beer Can Cacti’ last time and added it to my windowsill. I really love the window boxes though and am pretty tempted to pick one up when they next pop up. Plants are such a great home addition and being a graphic designer (as well as lover of craft beers), the cans really caught my eye. The most difficult decision was finding the perfect combination or beer can design and cute cactus.
The markets are great for picking up hand crafted homeware and decorative bits and bobs. I often see a lot of prints I’d like to hang on my wall, but I do tend to design this sort of stuff myself. If you know a crafty person then it is an ideal hotspot for birthday or christmas gifts. It is for a specific audience I feel, those who enjoy high end brand store shopping, probably won't find this all too appealing. The outdoorsy dog lovers however, will appreciate the atmosphere and I definitely fall a little more into this category (most of the time). As Danny would say I'm a bit of a hipster.
There’s this vintage crockery stall that sells mismatched teacups and saucers, that makes me fell a bit like Alice down the rabbit hole. If only I had a tea party planned they would be perfect. If you're into gardening then theres countless floral bouquets on offer to add to your home or garden. I stick with the cacti because they're a lot harder to kill, (more independent that most plants) but it's a very colourful affair with some blooming beautiful flowers.
Then when it's time to stop for a bite of lunch. If you’re not already stuffed from all the goodies on offer they do have a kind of food court set up. This ranges from stonebaked pizza made fresh in front of you (I always tend to be drawn to this, I really should do a pizza post), hotdogs, noodles, burgers and loads more. It’s hard to choose just one, I always say go with someone else (one or two friends preferably) and then split your options. That way you can try a little bit of everything you fancy! The watermelon bowls are another favourite of ours because they don't feel all that bad for you (unless you add the cream of course), I try my best to stick to the healthier options. However, I do usually take home a sweet treat box for with a cup of tea when I get home (a scone, brownie or cinnamon bun will do) because it would be rude not too. Support your local businesses!
If you're in Knutsford (the markets are the first weekend of every month) I would recommend heading over to Tatton Park if the weather is nice, it's full of wildlife and a perfect place to relax in a little afternoon sunshine. There is also a delicious local honey shop just a short drive from the town, (check it out) that sells every flavour infused honey you could imagine, candles, lip balms and jars big or small. I've already had 3 jars from them and each was sweeter than the last. Not going to lie I think for me this will be a monthly thing, it's a different pace from my usual working weekday or weekend of hiking. Plus, enjoying a coffee with a box of macaroons never gets old.
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I'm a Graphic Designer by trade (for those of you who don't know), I spend a lot of my free time doodling or out with my camera, capturing anything and everything! Here are a couple of recent illustrations, my Monday motivation, all with a positive message to help get you through the
end of the week. My life has been busier than usual lately (which has resulted in only one post the last two weeks) and I'm trying to find that balance, between work, blogging and spending time
with the people I love.
My Trek America is officially 50 days away! I'm off down to London tomorrow, taking the polaroid camera, with Danny for company and there should be plenty of ace content to come on Sunday all about that! I've got 4 birthdays in the next 5 weeks, including my very best friends. While I try and plan for all of that, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes, I like to produce illustrations that remind me of the simple things. Life moves pretty fast as Bueller would say, so I try my very best to appreciate all the experiences that come my way.
If you want to see a bit more, visit my website abydesign.co.ukabydesign.co.uk
1. Bear with it, no matter what you're working on at the minute or whatever isn't quite working
out for you. Don't give up, keep pushing yourself. You'll either succeed eventually, or if you fail
then there is always a lesson to be learned.
2. This didn't need any text, its all about loving the people around you. Hold on to them and
don't let go. You have to appreciate the time you have with them and show them you care.
3. A little quote taken from Game of Thrones, 'I am a wolf and will not be afraid'. Don't let
anything or anyone scare you, fear stops you from doing what you really want. Remember
you're strong and can do anything you put your mind to.
4. We've all had those tough moments, days, weeks or even years. Whether its
financial, work related or heartbreak, don't let it define you. Come back stronger, forgive
and move on. Never forget what it taught you though, that's the important thing.
5. My favourite thing to do. Life wasn't meant to be lived in one place and I never feel
more alive than when I'm off exploring a foreign land. Whether than be travelling
abroad or climbing a mountain. Explore the unknown, 5 or 5000 miles away.
6. Be yourself. People judge me for my sense of style, my taste in music,
my tattoos and what I post online. Don't let their opinions stop you from being yourself.
7. We can all admit we spend way to much time living digitally, so put the phone away
at least once a week and just take an afternoon or even just an hour for yourself. Go without it,
trust me you'll be much happier that you did.
I hope you found one of these positive messages was helpful, or gave you that little bit of inspiration we all need on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. Life is short lived, don't waste it worrying about anything.
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I've been pretty quiet on the blog this week. Instead of posting twice last week, I thought I'd wait as I had something exciting planned! A week ago, I got my very first adventure camera. I've been working a lot this week (two jobs take up a lot of hours) and researching for my next project, vlogging. It's something I have always wanted to do but just figured I couldn't, or wouldn't be any good at. This year I seem to be pushing myself more than ever, so I figured there's no better time to give it a go.
To give it a proper test meant I needed to go exploring. This year I have conquered both Ben Nevis and Snowdon, so I decided to complete the three peaks (individually), by scaling Scafell on Sunday 20th August. Accompanied by two friends, Amy and Yasmine, who have there own youtube channel. They've vlogged there own travels, spending several months exploring Asia last year (A2Y Travellers, if you're interested). They know a lot more than me in this area, so I figured it was a good idea to ask questions and absorb some of their knowledge. I've had some experience with editing but never usually supply the footage, I'm pretty camera shy normally and want that to change!
The climb itself was stunning! We got a cloudy, but dry day which was a huge bonus. The video I put together doesn't have any conversation/ speaking in it just yet, I'm saving that for my next video. A little introduction seems like a good idea but I had no idea what to say, so we are strictly calling this a test run. I'm going to be featuring more in my next video, and saying hello to anyone who's watching. This weekend was all about me getting hands on experience, getting comfortable documenting the adventure as we moved along. Remembering to film, and think about the kind of shots that I wanted to capture whilst at the same time dealing with the physical challenge.
Amy and Yasmine brought along there drone (which is yet to be officially named). I can only imagine how ace that footage for their video will be, I'll definitely be sharing it once it goes live. I'm still an intern and excited to just get to see it at work, be a part of the process.
For me I love the mountains more than I can explain (funny that I hadn't even climbed a single one 12 months ago), I start quoting 'Lord of the Rings' or 'Game of Thrones' whilst out in the wilderness (well the lake district). It does make feel like an escape, just like the movies, it's a world away from my usual day to day routine. We passed quite a few people as we reached the summit but the majority of the walk up was peaceful.
I found filming to be pretty easy, although I definitely need some more attachments and something to stabilise the camera. The footage wasn't too shaky but it would be nice to get a tripod, both for balance and to set up time-lapse sequences, whilst I do other things. My Trek America is going to be a lot of moving around, so it's pretty key I know what works and what doesn't for me with the action camera. I've already started thinking about shots, a time-lapse of the sunrise at The Grand Canyon, as well as filming from the camper van windows as we drive down Route 66. This will help me plan what filming stuff to take for the trip so I can capture the best bits!
I also took my camera, as I can't help but take photos (as you can see on this post). The camera didn't get in the way or slow me down, a bonus of it being so small and compact. I kept it out most of the hike and was able to slot it into my backpack pretty easily, when I needed to use my hands for three points of contact climbing. One bit of advice I got (thanks Yasmine), was to film as much as you can because you might only like small bits of footage, that means the more you have to cut from the better. I found that to be true when editing, even though I just wanted a short test it was difficult finding clips I thought were good. I'm definitely still more of a photography person, but I wanted to challenge myself and capture these challenges from a different perspective. I always post photos and tell people about it but a video helps show more.
The time aspect is another thing to consider, it takes a lot longer to climb up and down a mountain when you're taking regular breaks to film, or take photographs. I had a blast as always and don't need to talk to much about Scafell Pike, the climb itself it was pretty gradual but there were some steep sections, especially as we neared the rocky summit. I got to use my thermometer and take bearings, knew which direction we were walking with my handy travel whistle/ compass. Usually I'm following someone else but in my recent climbs I've been able to take more lead.
I'm going to be getting my camera out on the regular now, hoping to start doing fortnightly vlogs, this should help push me to do more challenges. Whether that be climbs, travel or something different who knows yet. The next video will be of a trip down to London next week with Danny, so that will be a completely different subject and I'm excited to film in front of people, because thats the biggest hurdle for me. I want to talk about the city and show you around, not hiding behind the camera the entire time. Whereas Scafell Pike didn't really need much explaining, it's more visual.
Right now, I'm tinkering in Adobe Premiere to try and learn a lot more about editing. I'm looking forward to getting a bit more confident in front of the camera and preparing for my Trek America, the main reason I'm doing any of this in the first place. I'll be stateside in less than 60 days!!! I want to produce something great from that, that I am proud to share and it will give my family and friends an insight into the experience.
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I recently found a post that talked about something similar to this and I was so inspired to make my own. It's a little challenge I've set myself...
20 COUNTRIES IN MY 20s
I love to travel and want to see so much more. I've already seen a couple of countries but this would give me the next 6 years to visit another 14 countries, so I better get planning. I'm considering attempting to see all 50 states too but I don't want to put a time limit on that (currently on 2, just New York and Illinois. I'm going to be stopping in California, Nevada and Arizona in October though on my Trek America). CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, so here are a few places that are top of my list.
United Kingdom 1/20 - I live in the UK so this one was pretty easy, I feel good including it because I have seen a fair bit. Having travelled to Wales, up to Scotland, lived in London and to cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.
United States 2/20 - It was my first destination once I was old enough to go abroad on my own. For my 20th Birthday I went to New York, then earlier this year I was lucky enough to go on a work trip to Chicago. It's incredible, each city with it's own distinct buzz about it. In October I'm heading to do a Trek America so a few sights in 3 different states, I'll definitely be writing and filming some of that. It's sure to feature on here!
Ireland 3/20 - Dublin to be exact, to bring in the New Year (2016). Such a cute, warm and cosy little city I plan to see Belfast eventually and travel to more of the remote locations. Especially those were some 'Game of Thrones' stuff has been filmed, I know I'm a nerd.
France 4/20 - My mum's sister lived here for a while, we used to visit as kids. Mostly in the South of France, but I don't really remember. I'm in the process of booking a weekend away to Paris for November with Danny, I'll definitely remember it this time.
Spain (Canary Islands) 5/20 - Not one for warmer climates, but the idea of being on an island appealed to me. Clear skies and deep blue waters, this was a stunning little escape that I'd like to stop by again sometime. Barcelona is next on my list for Spain though!
Germany 6/20 - Another work trip to visit some colleagues, we stayed in Stuttgart. Pretty cool place if I'm being honest. The beer and the food won me over, I'd definitely go back for a lot longer next time. Explore the local museums and galleries which I missed out on.
Italy 7/20 - I live for coffee and pizza. This makes sense to me on every level, also if you ever saw the Lizzie Maguire movie then you'll understand. Rome or Venice are a must, it's on for next year. A 25th birthday present perhaps? The Dolomites appeal to the mountaineer in me so who knows, where I'll stop by first.
Croatia 8/20 - I'm planning this one for next year currently, a little week retreat. I've had a few people tell me how beautiful the islands are and that the cobbled towns are stunning. It's a perfect destination to escape to. I'll be booking this as soon as I have the funds.
Australia 9/20 - I've always wanted to see Australia ever since seeing the film 'Our Lips Are Sealed' (2000) featuring none other than the Olsen twins. It's such a massive place to explore, I'm more interested in the outback than the sand and surf. I would love to spend a few weeks here so I could see both sides. On that note...
New Zealand 10/20 - I think this could definitely be added onto the Australia trip and make it a two week getaway (at least). Who doesn't want to visit middle earth? Sea, sand and second breakfasts. Sounds like a dream come true!
Belgium 11/20 - Chocolate! Christmas markets here are very tempting. I figure France this year, Belgium next? It's not too far from home and a weekend break would be a lot of fun.
Canada 12/20 - I'm over in the states regularly it would seem, so I don't see why a detour to Canada isn't on the cards in the future. There are some amazing mountain ranges to climb, Trek America do tours that go here so I'd maybe consider signing up to one of those.
Iceland 13/20 - The Faroe Islands as well. It's absolutely stunning and I'd love to see the Northern lights, but I will settle for walking along glaciers and breathtaking baron views. Can't imagine a more beautiful looking landscape.
Eygpt 14/20 - The pyramids are a wonder of the world. The temples and ancient culture here have always intrigued me so I do think it would be an incredible adventure. I'd feel a little like Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones. I'm quite the explorer deep down, not one for soaking in the sun, which is why most of these involve sightseeing or island hopping.
Sweden 15/20 - I've never been snowboarding or skiing and I think Sweden would be a perfect place. My mums been actually and I she knows people over there so I could get in touch.
Thailand 16/20 - My friends have been here and did invite me but some unforeseen financial circumstances meant I couldn't go. It's on my list because of the islands, and I'm a love of thai food as well. Plus, they already have the experience so can tell me where is best to go.
Peru 17/20 - Hiking Machu Picchu is something I've been dreaming of for the last 12 months. This one would take some serious planning and saving but never say never.
Brazil 18/20 - South America remains a mystery to me, Rio de Janeiro would be an incredible place to visit. Climbing Corcovado mountain to the 'Christ the Redeemer' statue looking out from 2,300 ft. To experience a carnival here would be unforgettable to! Maybe I could even take a little excursion to explore some of the Amazon river and rainforests too.
China/Japan 19/20 - The culture here is something I would love to experience, from rural villages and temples to skyscrapers and neon signs. It's a big distance to travel but that won't stop me. This is definitely one for later in my twenties. Walking along the 'Great Wall of China' is high up on my list.
Netherlands 20/20 - This is mostly for Amsterdam, I know a lot of people head over here and I haven't been yet. The towns look cute and picturesque, its a place I could head over for a couple of days and snap away with my camera.
So that is it, 20 countries in my twenties. These may not necessarily be the order, or even the countries I end up visiting. Who knows what could crop up in the next 6 years but I'm super excited about getting stuck into this. Let the planning begin...
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Last weekend I finally took the plunge with something I have been wanting to do for quite a while! I went from beach blonde to BLEACH blonde. I figured, if I can commit to something as permanent as a tattoo, then I could take a risk with this. I'm happy to say it paid off! This post is just a little information about the process and how I am now looking after my hair, as I never had to worry about it as much before, but the aftercare for bleached hair is pretty essential.
In my own personal opinion, something major like this needs to be done in a salon, I wouldn't risk attempting to bleach my own hair at home. That's a bit too much responsibility for me. It was worth investing in a trip to the hairdressers, because my hair needed cutting anyway and it made the whole process into a less stressful experience. It feels more like being pampered when you have someone else do your hair for you. I also worked out that with the cost of two boxes of bleach (because I have longer hair), two boxes of toner, silver shampoo & conditioner (not to mention the time it takes to ready all the instructions and not destroy my towels in the process), it wasn't any cheaper anyway!
After a quick conversation with my hairdresser, who I know from previous trips to Hair & Beauty Link (Rainhill), she started mixing the bleach. I had gone in for a skin test a few weeks earlier and shown her some photos of what I was looking for, so it was easier to get started when I arrived for my appointment. I've never bleached my hair before and I know it's not the best thing for you, so aftercare is important. I got some tips from my hairdresser, because this was a long visit taking in total about 3 1/2 hours.
NO GOING BACK NOW
The bleach was applied (which took quite a while because I have pretty long and thick hair) then once most my hair was covered we played the waiting game. It's no fun when you don't have wifi or data on your mobile either, lesson learned. After reading multiple magazines and editing photos on my phone, I began to see the colour lighten, this was when panic set it. Had I made the right decision? I'd been dreaming about white blonde, platinum silver hair for the past few months so I tried to ignore the doubt and thought if the worst happened, I could just go back darker. It's not like trying to get light hair back once you've dyed it dark, I did this in high school and it took years to get my natural 'baby spice' blonde back.
After the bleach had been left on for about an hour and we could see that it had lightened my hair enough, she then mixed up more of it too bleach my roots. Now, because these were completely 'virgin' (untouched by any hair dye products) the bleach took to these a lot quicker and they ended up virtually white (in no time at all). This is why she didn't put the bleach on the whole of my head because we were aiming to get an even colour all over. It's also not recommended because bleach on your skin can get uncomfortable, so I've heard. I didn't have any problems luckily, if anything it felt like a normal dye job, just like my previous experiences when dying my hair at home in the past.
Another 20 minutes later, my hair was finally ready to be washed. She used plenty of conditioner and silver shampoo to tone down any brassiness that was left. There was some slightly blonde parts that hadn't fully lifted (my own fault for all the colour experimenting over the last 12 months. Did you know, pink is difficult to shift out of blonde hair), but all together it was a pretty even tone. This is one of the most difficult things to achieve yourself, especially as you can't see the back of your head.
I only wanted a little trim to get rid of any split ends and a quick cut in the front to frame my face a bit more. It wasn't until she began drying my hair I realised just how light it had actually gone. The colour was very bright! I think now it could have done with some toner on it but I had plans to go out afterwards with my sister. I decided against it because this was something I could work on at home. I didn't take a photo after just leaving the hairdressers because there were still some strong blonde tones, but it was completely fine to go out around Liverpool with in the afternoon. (The pictures below are from the day after). Once it had a couple of washes with the BLEACH LONDON silver shampoo and conditioner, as well as an overnight treatment with some hydrating hair mask by MARK HILL, I was officially a 'Targaryen'.
I'm super happy with the finished result (for now). I can be quite impatient which was why I spent the following two nights shampooing and conditioning to get the colour right. I didn't realise the difference the products would make! Having never used silver shampoo before. I got the BLEACH LONDON silver shampoo & conditioner from Boots, along with the Mark Hill MiracOILous 2 Minute Mask. The mask smells sensational, very tropical and has Moroccan Argon Oil in it.
Now the silver shampoo says to leave on for 5 minutes but I left it on for closer to 15 (for a more intense colour). Then I used the silver conditioner afterwards and these worked wonders on toning out the remaining brassiness. In certain lighting there are still more blonde bits than I would like, I'm hoping that by using more of the silver shampoo and conditioner in the coming weeks, I can get it to the silvery finish. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the process, it wasn't as complicated or nerve wracking as I had been anticipating. Bleaching can seem like a daunting experience and after watching some blogs were people had struggled to do it at home I opted for a salon, and found it to be an exciting makeover. I've since slept in my MiracOILous Mask a few times and it really has helped the silky smooth condition of my hair. I can't wait to get out and take some photos for future posts with my new do.
Not going to lie I do feel a little like a member of 'The X-Men'. I've already had one friend tell me it makes me look like a superhero, another call me Casper and the obvious 'Game of Thrones' reference (Daenerys Targaryen). You always worry with this stuff you won't like it but wheres the fun in life if theres no risk involved. I would definitely recommend both the Mark Hill Mask and Lee Stafford Coco Loco Hair Mask (with coconut oil). I've invested in both and they've worked wonders for me, I tend to alternate and use the Mark Hill one to sleep in once a week. I'm using the silver shampoo for every wash (at the minute) but will begin alternating to keep the colour from getting a purple tint. This lighter, blonder me does mean that I can now experiment with colours. The temptation is strong but I'm staying blonde for now, just excuse me while I go browse the BLEACH LONDON colours collection.
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This is a particularly personal and difficult post to write. Looking back on 18 year old me I don't feel any connection to her, she doesn't look or feel like me and I'll tell you why. In the last few years I've lost a significant amount of weight (4 and a half stone to be exact). Before I start, this isn’t to say there is anything wrong with being a bigger or curvier figure, as long as you are healthy and happy. For me that wasn’t the case. After just finishing college, one shopping trip I found myself squeezing into size 16 jeans. I broke down, cried and realised something had to change.
I wasn’t happy. I always strived to be the best in my work and succeed academically, but after leaving high school I completely lost control of my weight (puberty didn't exactly help matters either). It’s funny how it only takes one photograph, or one nasty comment, to make you suddenly miserable. I’ve spent the past few years trying to become happy with my appearance. I’ve slowly come to the realisation that it’s impossible, but that's OK.
I’m now a size 8, but to be completely honest I'm more paranoid about my weight and appearance today, than I ever was before. It doesn’t help that we live in a world where size, in the media at least, seems to be the only thing that matters. We try to promote body confidence, celebrating plus size models, but when a slimmer celebrity puts on weight we instantly bring them down for it. At my lowest point, I was working out 5 days a week and eating less than 1000 calories a day. I spent all my time being meticulous about what I was putting in my body, avoiding carbs, chocolate and anything I wanted because I assumed that if I wanted it, I probably shouldn’t have it.
At my heaviest I was around 13 stone 7 pounds (I’m about 5 foot 5 inches just so you know), at my skinniest I was approximately 8 stone 10 pounds. I’m now sitting somewhere around 9 stone 7 pounds but it goes up and down. I run a lot and workout, which can be stressful because whilst my body isn’t necessarily getting bigger, the number on the scales is (muscle weighs more than fat remember). I was always fighting myself, to improve, get healthy, get skinny (more importantly) and I did it. In the process I got comments like ‘you’re so skinny’ but people would also ask ‘Do you not think you’re taking it a bit far now?’ Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Now this isn’t a rant at anyone in particular, I just wanted to share a little insight into what losing a lot of weight is like and the impact it can have on you mentally more than physically. I often get told that the pictures don’t look like me; people don’t remember me that way, it's a nice sentiment. I guess. Exercise has helped me to accept myself more. When I run or workout, I feel healthier and that overshadows my need to be skinnier.
It’s funny that in losing the weight I have lost that self-confidence I used to have. I don’t ever remember thinking this much about how I looked to everyone else. When relationships have failed I often blame myself, I’m not pretty enough or skinny enough (especially that) and I punish myself after, not eating properly for days. It surprises a lot of people that I'm so insecure about my body, especially whenever I start a new relationship (even more so when its a romantic or physical one). I don’t really want people to know how I used to look, because I don’t want to remember.
I’m training myself to become stronger, putting weight on and remembering it is muscle is harder than I anticipated. In the last 2 years I don't really recognise myself, I'm not the same person and I find it hard to relate to the me, that I used to be.
I have this weird relationship with food now though that I can’t shake; for the most part it’s good. I eat a super healthy diet 90% of the time. However, the days or weeks when I eat the bare minimum and then run to burn off the guilt, still happen intermittently. ‘The Internal Struggle’ as I often call it, do I eat the dessert and have to run 6 miles? or just not indulge. Don’t get me wrong I go out for food, buy icecream, appreciate pizza as much as the next person. There was a point when I wouldn’t even touch these because in my mind it wasn’t worth it. I’ve come a long way since then. Working two jobs (3 if you count blogging), running, hiking and training as well as socialising with friends and family, I know my body needs fuel to keep me going.
'There’s this person inside my head. She’s brilliant, capable, she’s me only so much better. And I’m afraid I’ll never become this person.’ – Meredith Grey
My Instagram is full of travel, fashion and the outdoors (I always seem to be running), but social media doesn't show everything. When I have those days that I can’t bare to look at myself in the mirror, I try to remind myself how far I have come. Take a step back and appreciate what my body has done for me. Taking part in Tough Mudder, mountaineering and hiking... I am in awe of the strength I didn't think I'd ever have. A couple of years ago I couldn’t run for 5 minutes. Now I can run 5 miles without breaking (too much of) a sweat. I don’t hate my body, but I’m pretty sure I don’t love it either (most of the time).
I’m at my happiest when doing the things I love. I want to fill the next 5 years with adventures, focus on being healthy and having new experiences. I’m not looking to settle down anytime soon, why when there’s so much of the world I’ve yet to see. I’m finally in a place where it feels like I can actually do the things on my bucket list. My size doesn't hold me back anymore.
Losing the weight has made me jump out of my comfort zone, and I’m so thankful for the drive it has given me. Was it worth all the hard work? Absolutely. Nothing in life is easy but I'm writing this because without going through it I don’t know who I’d be right now. It’s shaped me (literally) into the person I am. But here is the point I want to make being skinny isn't what makes me happy. What does is travelling to new places, exploring, challenging myself and appreciating those moments with family, friends and boyfriends. If I hadn't lost the weight I wouldn't be here. While I love fitness and being healthy, no one judges me as much as I judge myself, I know that. Don't live in fear of the number on the scales or what dress size you wear, there is so much more to life.
‘People can live a hundred years without really living for a minute.’ – Logan Huntzberger
I’m beginning to accept myself and focus on filling my time with experiences rather than living in the gym. I want to start vlogging but that means getting in front of the camera, which will be nerve wracking. There are things everyone wants to change about themselves. I've learnt that the problems I see with myself, most other people don't. I'll never look the way I want to in my head, it's an impossible goal, because we tend to focus on the negative.
My career, my family, relationships are so much more important. Fitness is part of my routine now and I know that I'll never be that person again (I don't understand how I ever was). Yes, I still have days when I feel very insecure about my appearance. It's not about having a perfect body, what's perfect? Would I be happier looking like a Victoria secret model, maybe for a little while but I highly doubt it would last. It's about accepting my body now, not being too harsh on the flaws that I have and owning it. Your life is so much more than numbers.
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Aby, 24. Northerner.