Friday, 14 February 2014

Fashion Fridays... Happy Valentines!

Erm so this isn't really about Fashion. It's about Valentines. Kinda.

I've always believed that boyfriends / girlfriends come and go, but that are friends are our true soulmates. I have a few friends in my life that I love endlessly. They give me love and hope, don't cause me pain. They make me laugh until I cry and wipe away my tears. I do hope I'm not single forever but, should I be, at least I know I will always have love in my life.

In vaguely fashion related news, my nephew LOVES dressing up. When I see him, 80% of the time, he's dressed as SpiderMan and refuses to answer to his actual name, will only respond when you call him SpiderMan. So cute!
Today, his mum sent me this picture. He decided to be my knight today and send me this valentines pic because "I luvs Aunty Oyee". I nearly died of cuteness. 

Who needs a boyfriend in their life? This little man gives me all the love I ever need!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Workout Wednesday...Gloves and gasps!

Last week I realised that I have NEVER washed my weightlifting gloves. I've been using them for at least 6 months now, several times a week. When I think of how unhygienic that is, I shiver.

So I decided to wash them. The label claimed they can be machine washed but my washing machine is a little crazy so I decided to hand wash them, to be safe. I only used a touch of fabric condition and lots of warm water. After lots of gentle massaging and rinsing lots of black water out (hopefully dye from the leather!), I laid them to dry on my airer.

The next day, I was in a rush to get to the gym after work. I grabbed the gloves, threw them in my bag and trotted off to the gym. After my warm up, I got out my gloves, ready for some super heavy deadlifts. I put on my gloves and disaster struck. They had dried into this strange crunchy texture. When I put them on, the seams split on 4 different fingers! I tried to lift my bar but had no grip and feared it would slip. I had to sigh and move on with my workout and get blisters on my hands.

This was how impressed I was with my latest disaster.

To some, breaking a pair of gloves might not seem like a big deal. They were relatively cheap (less than £20) and I've definitely had more than my money's worth out of them. However, these were the first item I bought when I decided to get serious about my training. They were the starting point of my love of weights. I based all of my subsequent fitness attire around them (black and shade of dark pink). They're a solid part of my gym 'uniform'. When I put them on, I feel ready to face the rack.

It's safe to say I've grown attached to them! But I decided to pick myself up and move on. Nothing lasts forever. I'm taking this as a symbolic gesture from the universe that it's time to start my new training phase; heavier, harder, and happier than before.

At the end of January, I posted this post of all the lovely gloves I'd like to buy and how I'd like to expand my glove collection. Unfortunately, at the moment, I'm not in a financial position to spend tons of money of various pairs of fancy gloves.  I needed to be practical and frugal.

So the following day on my lunch break, I made my friend come to Sports Direct with me in the hunt for new gloves. By some magical miracle from the Gym Gods, we found what we needed almost immediately and at half price!

I got these beauties. Somehow, I paid £5.99 for them in shop and they're only £4 online but I'm trying not to dwell on that!

I really like these gloves; They're a good fit, have added wrist support and fit into my colour scheme. They do have an annoying downside - the inner seams which hold together the leather and velcro are SUPER itchy on my wrists! I'm going to have to either man up or hunt through the interweb for a magical solution.

Either way, I'm happy my problem is solved and can carry on with my lifting mission!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Fashion Fridays... Sizing needs to Shape Up!

I'm afraid today's post isn't going to be full of pretty pictures and happy things. This is quite a rant and I understand if you don't read it but... 

Why is there no standardisation of sizing in the clothing industry in the UK?!

This is something that has been bothering me for a long time. I used to think it was just me that had an issue with it but after moaning away to various unfortunate friends, I have discovered it is a common stressor amongst women in the UK.

I recently tried to buy a formal business outfit. For the sake of keeping costs low, I hit the high street in the search of a simple plain suit, under which I could put a nice bright top to personalise it. Never did I think it would be the hardest task of my adult life. 

My first though was Primark; cheap and easy. However... They didnt have any actual suits for women! They had separate trousers and jackets which didn't match and were awful. 

The first pair of trousers I tried on were kind of stretchy, with a nice gold button and tapered down to the ankle. I tried on a 16 and couldn't even come close to doing the butting up. I tried on an 18 and barely squeezed myself in. This in itsel had me almost in tears. I've been working so hard in the gym & eating right; there's no way I could have gone  UP to a size 20! 

Distraught and angry, I left the shop without trying anything else, went home and sulked into my protein shake. 

Two days later I went back, picked up a different - but very similar - pair. Unbeknownst to me, I had picked up a size 14. They were well fitting in the waist but about a foot too long and baggy in the legs. 

When I realised my mistake, I was shocked. How could I have gone DOWN three sizes in 48 hours?!

Deciding that, if I wanted something of a better fit and quality, Primark was not the place to be. I wafted through the town in a cloud of confusion until I somehow found myself standing in front of Next. 

Clearly my subconscious had been at work. I often see adverts for Next's clothes and think they're too formal for my every day wardrobe - the perfect place to be for more sophisticated dressing! 

I compiled an outfit of printed trousers, a simple white silk camisole and a nice navy blue blazer - all in a size 16. On the hangers, this was the perfect outfit. The colours and combinations represented my personality visually; the materials gave an air of sophistication and the complete look was suitably serious but still fashionable and not ageing. 

It was a totally different story when I put it on. The waist just fit. My bum was attempting to burst out the back seam. My ankles were drowning in material in supposedly tapered trousers. The camisole was baggy on my torso but seriously straining over my [medium at the very biggest] chest. The blazer was about 3 inches off the top of the trousers and was pulling right across my back. 

None of this made any sense. I do have thin ankles but I dont think the average woman has ankles 3 times the size of mine. My bum is on the larger side but no disproportionately so to my waist. I do not have a large chest. I do have an hourglass figure but I do not have the shoulders of a rugby player. 

That not one of these pieces fit as it should was beyond frustrating, especially as I was looking at spending £100 on it! 

I could carry on this story for hours. The same result happened in several shops. In the end, I bought a teal shift dress in the M&S sale but it wasn't what I wanted and I don't feel confident in it, despite my mum telling me how lovely I look in it. 

What I want to know is - how is it allowed that sizing can vary so much from shop to shop? I saw an online bikini retailer who advertise a Large as being a size 10-12! I was disgusted. 

With the prevalence of the media, the upward surge of people being diagnosed with eatin disorders, why is there no regulation of sizing requirements in the fashion retail industry of the UK? 

Ranging between a 14 and a 20 in one day is not physically possible. Having to buy something 3 sizes above your actual size is enough to destroy the self-esteem of even the most confident of people - I can't imagine what it would do to someone who has negative issues with their body image. 

If only I could afford tailored clothing! 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Workout Wednesdays... Progress, Recipes & Fitspo

So last week I was moaning about having hit a plateau (sorry).
This week I'm feeling much more positive. Despite being at my mum's for the weekend (which means missing workouts & not eating clean), I've had a good week. I've managed to compensate for missed workouts by combining two into one on a couple of occasions. I've been really good with food prep & only had one little slip up - an emotional day + a bag of mini eggs = a binge. But I've forgiven myself for it and moved on. I am only human, after all.
I don't want to boast but I'm proud of myself today. Last night, I did my first set of measurements since Christmas. So...
Left bicep: 0.5 inch loss
Right bicep: 0.5 inch loss
Chest - 1 inch loss
Waist - 2 inch loss
Hips - 1 inch loss
I'm seriously impressed with this! My thighs have each gained half an inch but, judging by the feel and the slight definition in my quads, this is muscle and not fat so I'm happy with that!
Most weeks, I feel like there's no change on the scales and my jeans aren't getting any looser so monthly progress checks like this are really good for me. I shall be taking another set of progress pictures soon too but these are for my personal gallery; I'm nowhere near confident enough to reveal them to the world just yet!
Part of why I feel successful this week has been down to being prepared. I'm finding it easier and less time consuming each week, now that I know what I'm doing and how much to prep of what for when. Being a lot more confident in all of this has led me to deviate from my original basic diet and experiment & research new recipes.

Yesterday I found this recipe for Omelette Cupcakes from a lovely lady that I follow on twitter (

Mine didn't come out quite as perfectly as hers but that's natural for a first bake! They came out huge & fluffy and subsequently sank quite a bit. Shallowness aside, they were super yummy! I made 10 to have for breakfasts over a few days and chopped up some mushrooms and peppers into the mix to give it a bit of a boost. Very impressed with these, especially as they don't taste too egg-like!

For the final part of this blog post, I wanted to give you a list of some of the accounts that I follow on Twitter that keep me motivated. Whether it be by posting their workouts, recipes, pictures, or just telling me to get in the gym when I'm feeling lazy, these people really make a difference. This list is neither definitive nor exhaustive but they are people who have inspired me in the last week or so!
and, of course, my favourite FitLads of all time...

Get following and get inspired!


This last week I have been really rubbish at blogging. I've had some stressful things going on behind the scenes which has left me uninspired and short on time.

Luckily those stresses are gone now. I'm back to a routine and back to writing to all you lovelies.

Normal services have resumed.

This week is:

Workout Wednesdays - Progress, Recipes & Fitspo
Fashion Fridays -  A rant about sizing in different shops
Skincare Sundays - Makeup Madness.

Better get my scribble on!