LV In Love With

Confessions Of A Former Fitness Failure

It's the long weekend of hot cross buns and Easter eggs so perhaps now isn't the best time to start talking about fitness - or perhaps it's the perfect time, depending on how you look at it. I've never really talked about fitness or weight or anything like that on my blog. So perhaps a recap would be helpful - let's start from the beginning (promise I won't babble on too much). 

When it comes to fitness, I was never particularly sporty at school. I had a glittering start as one of the fastest runners and an A-team netball player in primary school, but these talents soon dried up from the age of 11 onwards (probably due to there being more than 15 people to pick from for teams in secondary school). Pair this with an annoying personality trait where I basically stop trying if I don't think I'm good enough (a kind of self-preservation from presumed embarrassment that rears its ugly head in many aspects of my life) and its meant that my attitude towards exercise has been less than favourable. In other words, I hardly did any. 

Things ticked along like this pretty much until my mid-twenties - with my youthful metabolism keeping me at a weight I deemed acceptable enough and any fluctuations combatted with a few sit-ups here and there. However, at around 25 I noticed my weight was creeping up and also noticed that my fitness was near non-existent (when a flight of stairs start to really puff you out, you know things may have gotten out of hand). So I joined a gym, started running and ate better and things all got better....haha lol jk. NOPE, no they did not. In hindsight, there were two vital errors. Firstly, my healthy eating was healthy but I was eating way too much of it (I was living with a boy at the time which I tend to try and blame but really...I was just being greedy and food is yummy - sue me). Secondly, I didn't have the first clue what I was doing at the gym. I'd just wander in there, do a little bit on the treadmill, a couple of sit ups and then go home smug that I was basically a fitness guru. I wish I could insert an eye roll emoji here. 
Unsurprisingly I wasn't seeing or feeling any differences. But then, I was unexpectantly single again - urgh, I hate that this sounds so cliche but this life hiccup did actually spur me to taking this fitness thing seriously. A 'revenge body' wasn't in my sights (where's that eye roll emoji already?!) but having something to focus my energy was. So I picked the gym and getting healthy - and here are a few things that I found worked for me. It's by no means a list of magical secrets, I'm sure you've heard this all before but - this is what worked for me, kept me motivated and helped me to learn to love exercise (seriously, who am I?!).

1. Find your thing

I tried my hand at many forms of exercise until the right ones just stuck, for me this is currently the gym, running and a little bit of yoga here and there. For you it could be horse-riding or zumba or hiking. I'm pretty aware though that I'll no doubt get bored of my current routine so next on my list to try is ballet barre, pole-dancing and pilates.

2. Kayla bloody Itsines

If you want to try and make gymming your thing, then I implore you to try Kayla Itsines' bikini body workout. It has literally transformed my attitude towards exercising, giving me a really easy structure to follow so that I felt like I at least look like I know what I was doing in the gym. If you're on a budget, just do a little Google and you'll find pdfs and YouTube videos that show you the workout plan.

3. All the vegetables

After realising that one of my major failures in the past was eating too much healthy food, I made a new rule for myself. Portions sizes were going to be really cut down, except for vegetables where I could eat as much as I wanted. This meant that I filled up on things like spinach, broccoli, salad and courgetti - not rocket science but it really worked for me.

4. Treadmill -> Pavement

Again, just something that worked for me, but I was consistently finding running outside a struggle. Whether it was starting too fast or giving up too quickly, I just couldn't get the knack of it somehow. What seemed to do the trick for me was improving my fitness with the cardio from the Kayla workouts then moving onto the treadmill where I could control my pace easily. It took a few weeks but eventually I was able to run 5k on the treadmill under 30 minutes and after that, running outside was a whole lot more enjoyable.

5. All the pretty workout gear

Not the most important piece of advice, but this certainly helped my motivation - pretty workout clothes! Before I started my 'fitness journey', workout clothes seemed over-expensive and just not a priority - and that's fine if that's how you feel too. The two things I would recommend investing in is a good sports bra and leggings. For your more specialist things, I love Sweaty Betty and Nike, but everything else (like tops, vests and shorts) I pick up at places like M&S and Primark. I'm loving these dreamy galaxy print leggings from OWfit, which are some of the comfiest I own - perfect for yoga. And how cute is my Gym Bunny sweat?! It's from Ellie Ellie and I just can't stop wearing it at the moment (even if it is when I'm lying in best munching on Easter eggs). 

Spring Is Here (kinda)

So this weekend the clocks went forward, the start of spring right? Well not if these photos are anything to go by. To give the great British weather its dues, these were taken a week or so ago - so technically it wasn't spring - but my god it was chilly (and windy and misty)!

To give a mini life update on me - two big things, I've had an offer accepted on a flat and I'm going on holiday to Miami next week! It's been a mad few weeks and there's been some stress-induced tears to do with the flat, but (touch wood) everything seems to be going ok and I should be able to have a bit of a break next week in the Florida sunshine. So this means, in the short term look out for Instagram updates from Miami and in the long term, check back for interiors and house updates on the blog. 
So because buying a flat is an expensive business (who knew?!) I've been on a swift spending ban which is a bit of a nightmare when you like clothes as much as me. It's been tough, but I've had to make myself fall in love again with the clothes I already own and I've learnt that accessories are key. That's why I was thrilled when Thomas Sabo got in touch to offer up a couple of their pieces to style - just two little accessories have made my (quite well worn) outfit feel new again. Both the rose gold hoop earrings and the evil eye rose gold necklace have delicate touches of sparkle that I really love - even on a murky day they were catching the light beautifully. Paired with my favourite Whistles leather jacket and Topshop floral wrap top (which just snuck in before the spending ban), I felt like I was wearing a whole new outfit for the season. 

Talking about the murky day, big shout out to my lovely friend Kitty who took these beautiful photos in the freezing cold - I've never seen such dedication to the perfect shot! She's immensely talented and you can see her work on her Instagram (@kittywshaw) and website

Oh Hey 2017

This time last year, I thought I was going to be buying a flat in a matter of weeks with my then boyfriend. Seeing as I've just described him as my 'then boyfriend', no prizes for guessing that that didn't quite work out. It meant that I spent the beginning of 2016 basically freaking out about what the hell I was doing with my life. 

I sulked off back home to my mum's, cried at work (embarrassing), didn't eat for about two weeks (which for me, is unheard of - food is the best) and thought I'd have to start from scratch. I thought I'd have to leave Brighton (I'd moved with my boyfriend, knowing pretty much no one), leave my job which I loved and have to bankrupt myself again by moving to London (no offence London, but you are hella expensive). 

But here I am in January 2017, still in Brighton, still at my job (with a promotion under my belt), living in a beautiful house with beautiful housemates, surrounded by more people that care for me than I could have thought possible 12 months ago. In March I will have lived in Brighton for two years, but really I think I only properly started living here the day I moved into my new house. Without sounding too wanky, I've actually felt myself these past 12 months - and I'd kinda forgotten what that felt like. 

Last year, I may have neglected my blog a little but I was putting myself back together one little bit at a time. I travelled to new places, climbed a mountain in Bali, drank delicious red wine in Tuscany, took my mum to her first Airbnb in Lisbon, made a bunch of amazing friends, went on Tinder and didn't hate it (seriously!), saw some of my favourite artists play live, got a promotion at work, starting looking for flats to buy of my own, got fit and started running (and actually liked it) and just had a blast. 

They say you get older and wiser, but by no means am I wise. I frequently go to bed with my make-up on, think it's an excellent idea to drink and text and don't read nearly enough books. However, a series of ups and downs over the years has made me realise that I can deal with a lot more shit than I'd previously thought. So 2017, I am so ready for you. 

Coat - M&S // Jumper - White Company // Jeans - Topshop // Boots - Aldo

Why You Need To Visit Bali In 2017

If you were following me on Instagram around about spring last year, you might have seen that I went on a trip to Bali with my bestie. After a rough start to 2016, we wanted to escape to somewhere beautiful and exotic for two weeks and Bali seemed to tick all the boxes. I may have been a little slow to share the details with you guys, but seeing as it's the beginning of the year and lots of people are thinking of where they want to on holiday I thought I'd share how I spent my two weeks - maybe it'll inspire you to take a trip this year!

I'm going to split these posts up as otherwise they'll get a little picture heavy! Check back in the next coming days for posts on Ubud and the Gili Islands - but first, here's a little on Seminyak. 

Seminyak - 4 days

We started our trip in Seminyak, which is about a half an hour taxi drive away from the airport so it's totally feasible to go there straight after landing. Seminyak is just up from Kuta (which doesn't have the best of reputations - think Magaluf) and although it doesn't feel like the most authentic Balinese place, it was a great place to start our trip. We stayed at The Dipan Resort which was a short walk to the beach and just down the road from the W Hotel and the Potato Head Beach Club.

If you're looking for somewhere 'easy' to start your trip in Bali, this is the place. It feels pretty Austrailian and the prices for food and drink seem to match, this was the most expensive place on our trip (though, still cheaper than London prices). It's also pretty quiet, at least at the end of Seminyak we were staying in - so of you're more of a dinner and drinks kinda person then this would probably suit you.
Talking about dinner and drinks, here are a few of the places we went to that I recommend you check out -

W Hotel - for swanky (and not cheap) cocktails on the beach
Potato Head Beach Club - for all day lazing, eating and drinking. We were lucky enough to have a day bed saved for us, but normally it's a turn-up and put your name down kind of affair so I suggest getting there before lunch if you're looking to lounge.
Bambu - the priciest meal we had the whole trip, but it was amazing! Gorgeous setting and delicious food.
Sisterfields Cafe - quite Aussie style breakfast place, gets busy but perfect for breakfast with a sore head from the night before
Cafe Organic - if you want those Instagram-able acai bowls, this is the place!
La Favela - the liveliest places we went to in Seminyak (I think it was off season, so the whole place seemed a little quieter), a fun bar with lots of dancing (and a lot of Aussies and Brits!)
Seminyak was a great first stop off for our trip, it's easy to see why so many Australian's pop over here for some winter sun. Like I said, it's not the most authentic place in Bali by a long shot (I reckon for some people it might be a tad too touristy) but if you're looking for nice bars, big beaches and yummy food it's a great place to visit as part of your trip. I'll be posting about what we got up to in Ubud and the Gili Islands in the next couple of days so watch this space.


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