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First run in ages!

I actually had to browse back to early March to find a post about exercise. Has it really been that long? It sure felt like it tonight! I was actually dying to do something active, and my train of thought went as follows:
"Oh I think I'll do a Jillian workout tonight, haven't done one in a while!"
"... oh crap, I don't have any dumbbells." (this has now been solved, ordered a brand new set from Amazon :D)

So yeah, running it was! My running shoes greeted me with the oh so comfy feel when I slipped my feet into them and headed out. I've always thought that running is the best stress relief, and tonight really wasn't an exception. Even though it feels like murder at the time, the post run euphoria is so great. I've been feeling so incredibly down for a few days now, and this just made me feel a whole lot better.

I've actually noticed that my body has been leaning towards a better lifestyle again! It's amazing how our bodies just start saying no to the bad things after a while - I've actually felt a little sick thinking about all the junk we have in the house. So glad about that to be fair, it's about time I get back on track! I even got this massive chocolate champagne bottle for Easter, I could barely eat half of it when it started getting far too sickly to eat. Instead I've loaded our fridge with delicious soya desserts I can eat without feeling like I'm torturing my body!

Bognor Regis seafront at night. Apologies for the atrocious quality, but didn't think that taking my Nikon out for a run was a great idea. ;)

Oh and I've found an eyeliner that seems to be even more exercise proof than my old one! This baby holds on through 11 hour shifts at work and quite a bit of sweat as well! This absolute gem of an eyeliner is Blink by Barry M. and it's definitely come to stay in my very minimal makeup bag (honestly, I have about 6 items in that bag + brushes and eyeshadow palette)! It's also far easier to apply than my previous Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner, which makes my mornings a lot easier.

Oh and just to mention, I've teamed up with Chemist Direct and over a month or so will be reviewing some of their products! This is such an exciting opportunity for me, as they stock a lot of brands I've been really curious of but never got around to trying them out - one of them being an oil for stretch marks. Hopefully I'll be able to start the reviews in a week or so! Stay tuned. ;)

How to stay motivated?

Every time I feel like I need some time away from everything in my life, I go to the beach. Just watching the waves come and go, listen to the sound the crashing waves make and breathing in the salty sea air calms me down. It gives me the opportunity to arrange my thoughts and come up with solutions to anything that's bothering me.

I only needed to be at work for 3pm yesterday so had a lot of time in the morning to just enjoy the sunshine. I figured that I'll take my camera with me as well, see if there's anything worth taking pictures of.

I started thinking of my weight loss journey. For the past month or so, it's just all been on pause - even though it really shouldn't. It's so easy to just slip into old habits when life gets too hectic to manage properly. This time last year I had nothing but spare time on my hands, so planning my workouts and meals was so effortless. Now I'm juggling uni and work (and so far I've had no time to touch any of my uni assignments), and most nights I'm only back home between 8 and 9 so by the time I've cooked dinner and cleaned up it's pretty much time to go to bed!

For the past week or so I've been trying to come up with practical ways to keep up with the healthy lifestyle I've been pushing for since January last year. I must admit, I'm drinking a ton of Diet Coke right now. It does get fairly hot at work so we need to keep hydrated, and most of the time Coke really feels more appealing than stale water (bottled water really does taste awful!). It's really a conscious decision to go for the "bad" drink, and I just need to find a bit of self discipline again.

And luckily for me my job involves me being on my feet pretty much the entire day. And now that the weather is getting better, we will be walking around with cameras a lot. So hopefully that'll at least keep my weight where it is now, as long as I'm smart about what I eat..

I've also kind of stopped going on the scale. I know it so well that I've been eating poorly and done next to no exercise, and that's really making the scale my worst enemy. I'm so sure that I've put on a few kilos, and just the thought of that popping up on the scale is making me feel slightly anxious.

All I really need is a motivation boost again. Would taking part in a challenge like DietBet boost my motivation enough to keep pushing? I'm such a competitive person, that doing something like that will probably be exactly what I'd need. Should I constantly be aiming towards a bigger goal to achieve what I want in life? Should my next step be a fitness competition? Should I start an active hobby that'll keep me occupied a few nights a week? Or maybe I just need a friend to go to the gym with me?

.. and saying that, my other half has actually been thinking about joining my gym. May the most epic plan of this spring commence!

Operation: Hair

I had a day off from work on Saturday, and had amazing plans of going to the gym or just for a long walk to stretch my legs a little bit. But what did I do instead? Do my hair. Again. I used a very warm, redish colour a few weeks ago, and I really should learn to just give up on anything red. All the red pigment had washed out ages ago and my hair was left so ugly and messy, I just couldn't keep looking at it anymore!

The 'before' picture! :D

I went for my usual set again - Colour B4 hair colour remover and two packs of Garnier Olia hair colours. I knew the colour would go a lot darker than what the pack shows, so figured that it'd be a wise choice to pick a tone few shades lighter than I was after.

The colour stripping process is quite a lengthy one. I use the one designed for darker hair colours, so I actually need to leave the mix in my hair for an hour. On top of that I have to wash my hair for ten minutes afterwards to get the colour molecules washed off properly. As my hair is getting a bit longer now, they recommend covering your hair with cling film to keep the heat in and speed up the process. I always get really funny looks from my other half when I do this.

As I've been colouring my hair red for years, the red pigment has permanently stained my hair. The end result of the colour remover was a very ginger monstrosity, I'm just very glad I bought the hair colours as well. :D If I didn't like red hair so much, I'd probably get back to my natural colour every time I did this.

There's one thing about Olia that still annoys me - the amount of bottles you get in the packs! The applicator bottle is empty instead of having the developer cream in it already, which just makes the colouring process a little more awkward! I mean, who gets all the cream out of the tube? Why couldn't it just be in the bottle like in every other hair colour you buy?

And ta-dah! The colour does look a bit darker in the picture than it really is, but I'm very happy with the result. :) A nice, even colour without any patches - and changing the overall tone from warm to cold is quite refreshing.

And just to finish this post with a bit of food heaven - amazing Tesco's Finest beef burgers with wholemeal buns, sweet potato chips and fresh salad on the side. This kept me going for the entire hair operation, hah!

Delicious beef & sweet potato burger patties

I actually made these weeks ago, but never got around to posting the recipe! And now that I actually took the pictures out of my camera, I realised how unattractive I made them look like! These burger patties are incredibly delicious and easy to make, so there's no need to spend hours in the kitchen!

Beef & sweet potato burger patties

500g ground beef
2 medium sweet potatoes, grated
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 egg
salt & pepper
your favourite spices for seasoning

Pre-heat your oven to 220C and make sure you take the beef out of the fridge a good 20 minutes before you start cooking. This will allow the meat to rest in room temperature, so the meat won't turn watery and bland when cooking in the oven.

In a frying pan, heat up a little bit of oil (I also use a dollop of margarine to give the onions fantastic flavour). Fry the onions and towards the end add garlic and any spices you fancy (leave the salt and pepper out, though!). If needed, throw a few tablespoons of water on the pan to really get the flavours mixed up properly.

Once the onions and garlic have cooked, take them off the heat and let the mix cool down. Meanwhile mix the beef, salt & pepper, egg and grated sweet potato in a separate bowl. Once the onion mix has cooled down, add that to the beef mix and turn into patties (this is to prevent the egg from scrambling). This recipe makes about 4-6 patties, depending on desired size.

Place the patties on a baking tray and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional). Cook for 20-25 minutes and serve with carb source of choice - they're really great with even just a side salad!


My friend pointed it out today, that my blog has been extremely quiet for such a long time now. It's become so obvious that I need to cut down on something, and unfortunately that has meant that my blog has been the one to be pushed aside.

The rest of my spring is going to be absolutely manic (and I feel like saying that is an absolute understatement). It was the last day of term today, which means that I've got a two week Easter holiday coming up. I'm finally going to start my new job properly next week, and this means that I'm going to be doing ~10 hour days at work next week! So very excited about it, I'm happy to be working that much!

On top of work I have 5-6 uni assignments to complete over the holiday. This is going to mean a lot of late nights and trying to juggle things around in order to get everything done on time. Oh and I've got a trip to London ahead of me next week when I have a day off, desperately need to get my passport renewed before we fly to Holland in May.. Busy busy busy!

So this does mean that the blog is going on a hiatus for a while. Maybe I'll be able to get back to it during the summer, when I no longer have uni to worry about. We'll see what happens. This does not mean that I'm giving up on healthy living, though! It is obvious to me now, that there is no way I'm going to hit that dream target date with the way I've been eating (and not exercising) for the past three or four weeks, but that's OK. I'm still making progress, and that's all that matters.
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