Believe In Yourself

Why is it that we always believe in everyone else but not always ourselves? We constantly tell people they are good enough to reach their goals but often have little confidence and belief in ourselves.

We were at an event not that long ago and we were asked to jot down something we wanted to achieve. When we were asked if we thought we could achieve the goal the majority of people said they didn’t think they could. It’s funny though because what we both wrote down we didn’t think we would be able to achieve but we immediately turned to each other and said ‘you can achieve that’ but why weren’t we able to say that about our own goals?

Believing in yourself doesn’t make you over confident or arrogant it just means you know you can do something no matter how hard it is or how far out your comfort zone it is going to take you. It’s true what they say ‘nothing worth having comes easy’ we have to work towards what we want and even if that means taking a few steps back every now and then.

The more you tell yourself you can do something the more you are going to actually start believing it. Stop thinking you cannot achieve something because you can actually achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

Try your hardest to push past the discomforting feeling you feel when you think you cannot do something. Say goodbye to those negative comments in your brain that would usually hold you back. It is hard to begin with but like with anything good things take time so stick with it and you will finally learn to trust yourself and your abilities.

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Why you should always set yourself goals

‘If you do not know where you are heading, you will never get there’

We read the above somewhere and it has forever stuck with us because quite frankly it is SO true. Setting yourself goals isn’t necessarily creating a life plan instead it is about giving yourself the creativeness that is required to aim for things you never thought were possible.

To be successful we need to set ourselves courageous and realistic goals. Last year just before Christmas we sat down together and wrote down a list of goals that we thought we could achieve in the next year. We then decided to put them in a sealed envelope and not open them until the following year after we had set ourselves a new set of goals (we are yet to open them yet!).

Why you ask? We wanted to see if the goals we set for next year are less challenging than the goals we set for this year. We honestly cannot remember the goals we wrote down on our list and it will be really interesting to see whether or not we have smashed these goals or not come close. So we will sit down in December 2017 again this year and write ourselves a new set of goals these will then go in another envelope and will not be looked at until December 2018. Once our new set of goals have been written we will open last years goals!

We love setting ourselves yearly goals but day to day we focus on our daily, weekly or monthly goals. If we don’t set and focus on the smaller goals then how are we ever supposed to reach our big yearly goals?  A goal that is big or small to you may be the opposite for someone else. Its so important we don’t compare our goals to anyone elses because everyone is totally different and we will all achieve our goals differently.

Why don’t you give it a go this year?

How to De-Stress over the Holidays

Life can be so hectic and sometimes the only time we allow ourselves to chill at home not doing much other than eating and spending time with family is at Christmas time. We have spoken to endless amounts of people about this prior to writing this post and almost everyone says the same thing- Christmas is the only holiday we spend at home doing nothing and don’t feel guilty for it.

It’s important that we have time to switch off from everyday life and the stresses that can come from it. Take the time to do the things you love but don’t usually prioritise or have time to fit in around your daily routine whether this is baking a cake, going for a run, painting your nails or watching your favourite TV show that you are now 5 seasons behind on.

This shouldn’t be just at Christmas time though, try and schedule a weekend in every now and again where you just spend time doing the things you really want to do. We always talk about how much we LOVE these weekends, we wouldn’t want these kinds of weekends all the time because we wouldn’t appreciate them as much but it is nice when you have been so hectic just to sit at home on a Saturday evening with a glass of wine in hand watching your favourite TV show.

We have set ourselves a challenge to make sure we start to schedule in these weekends, putting our self-care and health as a priority. This is going to be really hard for us because we always love being on the go making the most of our weekends and making them as jam packed as possible, but we know sometimes we end up burning the candle at both ends and it usually results in us becoming poorly which isn’t something we want.

So we urge you to do the same as us, start off with Christmas (if you can and have the time off work). Really allow yourself to switch off from your daily routine, say goodbye to the stressful morning commute, work deadlines and everything anything else that angers you or causes you stress on a daily basis. We can assure you your body and mind will thank you for it and you will feel so much better for it, going back to work in January feeling refreshed with a new optimistic mind that is ready to smash everything that comes your way.

So we are going to help you to start, grab a pen and paper and write down everything you love doing in your spare time that you want to do regularly going forward you can see some of the things that are on our lists below:

Annie
Bake banana loaf- my favourite
Swimming
Catch up on Nashville- best TV show ever
Go for a long walk in the woods
Straightening my hair

Rach
Painting my nails
Reading and finishing a book
Cleanse my skin
Cross Stich
Reading my favourite magazines

Say Goodbye To The Summer Blues

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We have already started to wave goodbye to the care free warm summer nights where evenings were spent in the garden catching some rays and sipping on a cold beverage hoping and wishing the hot weather would last forever. Unfortunately it didn’t and as we say hello to September we can already feel autumn in the air. We are already mentally preparing ourselves for the cosy evenings spent by a fire watching The X Factor and eating our body weight in chocolate (yes supermarkets are already selling chocolate tins swear it gets earlier and earlier every year).

Now don’t get us wrong we love autumn, well in fact we love all the seasons in the UK we just wished that the cold months didn’t last as long and that we actually had a proper summer and not just a hot day here and there. Living in the UK though means we are going to have to get over this though unless we migrate to another country where summer is there to stay for the majority of the year… dreams.

Just because summer is coming to an end in the UK as much as we don’t want to admit or believe it it doesn’t mean our moods have to as well. We have collated a list of top tips to help you get over the summer blues, if you have any others then please do share them with us!

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1). Keep living your summer life- why is it that everyone goes into hibernation during the winter months and cannot be bothered to socialise? This year we are going to keep living our summer social lives well into the winter months, okay so a glass of Pimms may be swapped for a mulled wine and a pair of sunglasses for a bobble hat but that’s okay we can deal with that.

2). Book a getaway- why not book a getaway so you have something to look forward to. It doesn’t even have to be in a hot country it could be a ‘staycation’ after all aren’t these the new ‘vacation’? We are going to make sure we have lots of fun things crammed into our diaries at the weekends so we have lots of things to look forward to.

4). Start a new hobby- why not start a new hobby during the week after work so you have things to look forward to after work. We all remember that horrible feeling of going to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark, so make sure you have something to look forward to in your spare time. We are going to try some new fitness classes in London this winter to help keep us motivated.

5). Get outside- just because its winter doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, wrap up warm, show off your new winter coat and get outside. We love walking in the winter and always like to visit new national trust places, the UK is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer.

6). Get a good night’s sleep- make sure you get enough sleep, it will leave your body and mind feeling refreshed, revitalized and motivated to beat the summer blues!

 

 

What’s In Our Gym Bag 

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We really enjoy watching ‘What’s in my bag’ YouTube videos so decided to write a ‘what’s in my gym bag’ blog post. Whether you are popping to the gym or heading to work we always like to carry some essentials with us as you never know when you might need them! Some of the items below we wouldn’t carry to the gym if we didn’t have any plans pre or post workout, instead we would go home and get ready for the day.

At the moment the gym bag Annie is currently using is a black Adidas rucksack and Rachel has a limited edition Cath Kidston Mickey Mouse bag. These rucksacks literally come everywhere with us, they are the perfect size and comfortable to wear.

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Sweat Towel- One of the Boutique gyms we go to actually provides sweat towels which is great as you don’t have to pack your own, if your gym doesn’t provide sweat towels we would suggest bringing your own! There is something worse than using the blue paper towels some gyms provide.

Headphones- When working out alone whether this is running or the gym headphones are essential! Whether you use them to catch up on Youtube when on the treadmill or listen to music when lifting weights. When we work out together we don’t wear headphones as we have each other to talk to.

Water Bottle- It is so important to stay hydrated at the gym. Your ability to perform well will decline if you are dehydrated. Drinking water is essential if you want to get most out of your workout and feel good while you’re doing it. If you don’t drink enough water when working out you may experience dizziness, tiredness and muscle cramps.

Drying Towel- We tend to go to the gym before work and during our lunch break so it’s important we remember to pack a drying towel.

Spare Clothes- Spare clothes are essential if you go to the gym before work or if you have plans post workout.

Wash bag & Make up- Remember to pack make up remover and face wash so you can wash your face pre workout, there is nothing worse than sweating off your make up you have been wearing all day. Other items we like to pack in our wash bag are: Deodorant, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower gel, Moisturiser and our makeup bag.

Protein Shaker- We like to carry a protein shaker in our bag so we can refuel. This isn’t something we carry in our bag all the time. We would have a protein shake after the gym if we have a while to wait for our next meal e.g. on the way to work pre breakfast.

Are you lacking fitness motivation?

Scrolling through Instagram is sometimes enough to motivate us to get to the gym. Our Instagram feed is full of fitness fanatics who never seem to lack motivation. This isn’t true though, people only show what they want to show on Instagram so it is important to remember these people do run out of energy and can also lack motivation!

Everyone has those months were they are feeling less motivated. Most of the time motivation and consistency is never a problem for us, we look forward to going to the gym in the morning, but we do notice it takes us a little bit longer to get out of bed during those cold winter months.

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We love the lifestyle we lead and we never desire another routine or lifestyle. When we have a bad day at work working out really helps us regain a positive attitude. It’s our place where we can switch off from the rest of the world and just focus on our work out. 99% of the time we will leave and have a completely different view on the problems we were facing beforehand.
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Below are a few tips to help keep you dedicated and motivated to your fitness regime:

Don’t stress- It’s really important you don’t stress yourself out if you cannot fit a work out in, stress can cause de motivation. Sometimes other things get in the way that you have to prioritise and that’s just life. You aren’t going to throw away all your gains just because you missed a class. On the flip side of you do miss a class don’t let this demotivate you, get back up and go again tomorrow.

Make fitness part of your life but not your life- it’s so important you have the correct balance, that’s not to say that you should feel bad for turning down an event if you have your favourite fitness class that night. If you find yourself constantly doing this you could find yourself falling out of love with fitness.We like to work out in the morning so we can plan to see our friends and family during the evening.

Eat well- when we don’t eat a healthy balanced diet our body tells us off! We wake up feeling sluggish and lethargic with little or no energy. We know our bodies don’t agree with too much sugar and salt so it is important we personally eat this in moderation. Don’t restrict yourself though as you are likely to fall off the wagon, instead eat a balanced diet treating yourself every now and then.

Find a friend- working out with a friend can be so motivating! They are there to motivate you and maybe even get you there in the first place. If you have arranged to meet a friend in the morning you are less likely to stay in bed!

Pack your bag- we always pack our bag for the next day before going to bed! We also like to place our gym clothes by the bed so we just have to pull them on and go!

Set yourself a goal- we like to set ourselves regular goals so we have something to work towards. A few examples would be: run a certain distance, lift a certain weight, do a deadlift, do a pull up etc.

What are your top tips for keeping motivated, we would like to know!

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Positive vibes only

Positive- A desirable or constructive quality or attribute

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty- Winston Churchill

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We are constantly striving to see the positive in every situation; this is something that can take years of practice but with a bit of encouragement from each other we are doing a pretty good job. When things go wrong it’s important to recognise that life isn’t always perfect and we are strong believers of ‘everything happens for a reason’. Try to see the positive in a negative situation, it can be tough at times but it will make you feel a lot better after.

Every day we surround ourselves with a variety of different people, all of which will have different characteristics. The majority of these will be a delight to be around, they will love, encourage and support the decisions you make in life.  These are the people you can turn to when good things happen like getting a new job or a promotion at work, they will be happy for you, congratulate you and won’t be jealous of your success.

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Closing the door on old relationships can be hard, just because you have been friends with someone for years doesn’t mean the relationship is a strong and happy relationship. If you find yourself making excuses about meeting up or not looking forward to seeing someone this is a good indication of an unhappy relationship. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself or doesn’t respect you as an individual you don’t have to continue the relationship.

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We often become like those we are closest too, look around at your friends and think are they who you would like to become? Do you respect them? Are you happy around them? If the answer is no to any of the above then take some time to think why, it’s hard to live a positive life if you surround yourself with negative people.

Initially it may be hard to stop negative thoughts, be patient with yourself. Every time you have a negative thought try and think of two positive things in your life. So many of us take things for granted for example having a bed to sleep in every night, having access to clean water or having a body that lets us experience life each day.

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5 Healthy lunch ideas to take to work 

We have got into the habit of taking a pack lunch to work on a daily basis. This way we know the food we are putting in our bodies whilst also saving a LOT of money.

We tend to make our lunch the night before or even bulk make it at the weekend. We all know the saying after all; Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Below are five ideas that make the perfect lunch! Let us know if you have any other ideas as we would love to know!

Homemade soup- There is nothing better than tucking into some homemade soup in the winter at work. Soup is ridiculously easy to make and you will find tonnes of recipes online, BBC food always has simple recipes to follow. Some great soups to make our: Carrot and Coriander, Leek and Potato, Tomato, Butternut Squash, Pea and mint and so many more!

Homemade Hummus with veggies and wholemeal pitta- Why not try making your own hummus? The only ingredients you will need are chickpeas, tahini, lemon Juice, olive oil & a sprinkle of paprika. Once again have a look on the BBC food website for a recipe to follow. If you wanted to be extra adventurous you could even experiment by making beetroot, sundried tomato or roasted pepper hummus all of which taste delicious. If you don’t have time to make hummus then you can also purchase three mini hummus pots from Tesco. There is a selection of flavour: Sweet Chilli, Lemon and Coriander, Caramelised red onion, Roasted Red pepper, Sun blushed Tomato etc.

Salad- Salad is a great lunch as it is so versatile! We have lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, radish and sugar snap peas as a base and then add on whatever we fancy for a topping. Some great toppings are: smoked salmon, tuna, falafel, parma ham, feta cheese, olives, chickpeas etc. Try not to flavour your salad with shop bought dressings as they can be full of sugar. Instead if we are at work we tend to use balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Roasted Veg- Roasted root vegetables are a perfect lunch now the weather is getting a little bit colder. We tend to just cook more vegetables the night before with dinner which will save you time when it comes to making your lunch. The roasted vegetables we are loving at the moment are: sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot, peppers, courgette, carrot and red onion. Wack it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to make sure they are heated through.

Roasted Chicken breast/Salmon Fillet with Brown Rice- This lunch is perfect after a post run lunch (read our previous blog about lunch time running here). You can roast the Chicken or salmon the night before but we would advise purchasing the 2 minute microwave rice bags as rice carries lots of bacteria so shouldn’t be re heated. You can purchase the rice bags at all super markets.

High Street Active Wear

Apart from looking half smart for work we practically live in gym gear, its super comfy so why not. We don’t tend to spend too much money on sports wear because, well, you don’t necessarily need to! There are plenty of high street stores that now offer a large range of active wear, so we decided to put it all to the test! Buying new gym gear is great motivation to get back to the gym, just the motivation to burn off those extra mince pies and beat the January blues!

New Look: New look have a great selection of active wear, and its even better when its in the sale! The leggings are very comfy and fit very well. The tops are cool and we are a bit of a sucker for these slogan tees. You still have to look stylish when working out right?!

Primark: We cannot resist popping into Primark, especially when there’s one on the highstreet right by work. Primarks gym gear is affordable, comfy and also bang on trend. We cannot resist a bargain and Primark certainly offers this!

Forever 21: Forever 21 offer a great range of gym gear, and when they have 10% student discount ever better. However we do find their sizes a bit dodgy and their leggings have been know to keep falling down – you don’t want to be constantly pulling up those leggings whilst on the tread mill not such a good look! We recomend you try the Forever 21 range  on before buying!

Topshop (Ivy Park – Beyonce): This range might be super stylish, but then does it take it a little too far? Who wants to wear a leotard to the gym, imagine that wedgie whilst on the squat rack. You have to draw the line somewhere between looking good but feeling comfortable. We also do not think the quality of the range is that great, you’re better off spending your money elsewhere!

JD Sports Ellesse: If you wear this brand you’ll start to look just like their model Luck Meck right?! Ha, we wish, better get on that Results With Lucy plan! However the range is pretty neat, and we cannot resist a bit of celebrity endorsement, plus this range brings back slight nostalgia of being a kid in the 90s again!

JD Sports Pink Soda: This range is mega fashionable but also very comfy. The cool logo and simple designs makes the range perfect for those who want to spend a little more on gym wear. However when there is a sale on you can nab yourself some bargains, shorts from £20 down to £6, now we are talking!

What is your go to active wear shop, we would love to know yours!?

Saying Goodbye to 2016 

Another year has flown by (I’m sure we say this every year) but really where has the time gone? It feels like we have just blinked and the year is over. 2016 has seen many highlights and also a few challenges that we wanted to document on our blog, mainly so we can go back and read it to remind ourselves just how far we have come.

On the 19th September we received a notification on WordPress to say ‘Congratulations your blog has been alive for one year’ sorry what? One entire year that is just crazy. We have had so much fun creating content for both our Blog and Instagram account for the past year and we cannot wait to keep creating more.

Last year (December 2015) we decided that we didn’t want to go out for NYE, instead we decided to have a dinner party at one of our friends’ houses. January started with us all dancing around the living room in our onesies watching the London Fireworks show- which was amazing.

We have travelled quite a bit this year including; Australia, New Zealand, Amsterdam, Dublin, Jersey, France (Avignon, Paris and Normandy), Spain, Ibiza, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We absolutely love to travel there is something about being in a country you know nothing about and making it your home for the time you are there. We have also visited several cities in the UK this year these being: Manchester, Brighton, Sheffield & Essex.

We started running at the beginning of the year setting ourselves some milestone targets of how many miles we wanted to run. At the beginning of the year we used to struggle running 3 miles but now that seems an absolute breeze, it just shows if you spend enough time doing something you will get better.

We have tried and tested several exercises classes this year: British Military Fitness, Regiment Fitness, Boxercise, Spinning, Pilates, HIIT training,HIIT Combat, Metafit & Yoga to name a few. We believe that mixing up classes and exercises it a great way of challenging yourself. We both received Fitbits for Christmas last year and absolutely love them, as sad as it sounds they have been a big part of 2016. They have followed our every move, making us more active and aware of how many steps we take per day.

Since we love food, baking and cooking it is only right we include the following in our 2016 highlights. We have both become addicted to porridge which has resulted in us experimenting in lots of different flavours and even creating a ‘porridge series’ on the blog. Rachel hates all sorts of nuts but this year she tried cashews and loves them miracle! Maybe soon we can get her loving Peanut butter. Talking about Peanut Butter Annie was not a fan back in 2015 but now absolutely loves the stuff and is working her way through the different brands on offer (it’s not hard!).

We have loved experimenting with our baking, trying new recipes and flavours we wouldn’t have put together before. We have made sure we have baked for every festive season this year and Pinterest has been great inspiration. Even though we are into our health and fitness we are also massive believers of balance.

Life isn’t always easy and when we are faced with challenging situations giving up sometimes seems like the easiest option. It is so important to remember that these challenges and failures make us who we are today, a stronger and more determined individual.

So what can we take from 2016 into 2017? You can never be took kind to anyone, so spread kindness in hope that it will be contagious. We have learnt it is important to care less about what others think and focus more on the things that make us happy. It is important to remember that no one else matters when it comes to the things you enjoy doing and are passionate about.

We have so many exciting plans for 2017. So here’s to another year of challenges, happiness, dreams and friendship.