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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.

Finding my thoughts again

It's surprisingly hard to grab hold of a hobby once you've had to stop for a while. For me it's both the blog and gym that have been missing for a while now. And I really think that the guilty feeling over losing the connection with both hobbies is making it even more difficult to get back into them.

Since I started having issues with sleeping, I've stopped going to the gym. I've also tried several different things in order to try and figure out, why I've been sleeping so poorly. And right now it feels like it was just a combination of stress over uni and then putting a bit too much pressure on my body on top of that. I'm hopefully getting started with gym again this week, I do really miss it!

And in a way I feel like I've let both myself and all of my readers down lately because of all the stress. Describing my diet as poor is an absolute understatement - takeaways, sweets, chocolate, alcohol.. I've also only been having one Vi shake a day for the past week now, I've just been craving all sorts of different foods all week and it's really destroying my good progress.

But on a happier note, I've got a job as a photographer now! :) I had my interview last Saturday and they got back to me about it yesterday. I'm very excited to actually do something I really enjoy doing. It's going to be such a welcome change to my life, photography has always been so close to my heart and actually getting to do it for a living is incredible.
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