7 Tips for Fitness Beginners

fitness motivation quotes collage exercise health
All photos (except top right) - weheartit 

Today's post is a tad different from my usual content but as fitness is becoming a bigger part of my life I thought it would be fun to share some of the tips I've learnt along the way.
Growing up, my weight always fluctuated as I could never stick to an exercise regime and I had an awful diet. Although my diet is still far from healthy, I feel I've got my fitness routine pretty much down. I lost just over a stone and had a 'goal weight' in mind but after losing 1.4 stone, I realised I'd rather focus on toning up than being a specific weight as I rather like my curvy figure.
That being said, I'd like to just put it out there that I am by no means an expert and these are just some tips that personally helped me and could potentially work for you also. Enough rambling, here they are...

Make small changes - The prospect of losing weight can seem quite daunting at first so one of the ways I found to make it a little more gradual was to make small lifestyle changes. Instead of getting the bus to work, I walked the 35 mins there and back 3 times a week and on the way there I'd always be walking quite fast (shoutout to my fellow tardy people). I also moved house and as I don't have a car, I would have to go grocery shopping and carry it home by hand. This may not seem like much but when you've got milk, laundry detergent and other heavy items it can be quite a workout. Little things that you wouldn't think of doing normally such as walking to work, or even getting off your bus a couple of stops early all count towards your daily exercise.

Insta-spiration - Social media is an amazing tool to help motivation and my personal favourite is Instagram. I love following fitness accounts where people post their meals and workouts daily. Seeing someone else doing an hour workout after they've done a full day's work kind of guilts me into doing a workout too. Some of my fave people to follow are: rachsfitnessjourney, camillamackintosh, rosaacosta and chloehelenmiles.
Another more recent love of mine is weheartit. I created a 'fitspiration collection' which I plan on filling with loads of motivational quotes (see above) and beautiful bodies to inspire me to work out and not give up so easily.

Use frenemies as motivation - Another social media based tip but one that really works for me is having fitness fanatics as friends (or enemies). A few of my best friends always snapchat me when they're in the gym or going for a run and it always motivates me to get off my arse and do something. If you have a friend that's into fitness, ask them for help as they probably know what they're doing when it comes to the gym and can share their fave routines with you or even join you for a run if you're lacking confidence.
Also a little bit immature but seeing someone I don't like (think your ex's new partner or even a celeb you dislike) working out and looking good makes me push myself to be better than them. Probably not the healthiest mindset but if it pushes you to go that extra mile then don't knock it!

Change your mindset - One of the biggest things for me to overcome was getting over the negative view I had of exercise. From years of being forced to do sports I didn't enjoy in school, I viewed exercise as a horrible chore. Finding the right exercise for you really makes a big difference as you can actually enjoy it and dare I say it, look forward to it! I always feel amazing for the rest of the day if I've exercised in the morning and suffering from long term mental health issues, I've found exercise to be the only thing that significantly lifts my mood.

Find the workout that works for you - This point ties in with my previous one as one of the main reasons I didn't exercise regularly was because I hated it. After hearing about blogilates, I decided to give her pilates a go as you can do it in your own home and the only equipment you need is an exercise mat so it was cheap too. It seems that the majority of women think their only option is cardio but I much prefer doing pilates and strength training. If you think lifting weights will make you bulky, you are wrong!
People don't realise how many options there are when it comes to exercise and there's something for everyone, you don't have to be a cardio bunny. Try out different things to see what works best for you. You may prefer working out in the comfort of your own home, going to the gym or exercising outdoors. You could do really well in classes/with friends or you could really enjoy working out alone with music blasting out. It's all about figuring out what works best for you.

Trick yourself - This applies to all my fellow lazy people out there. Sometimes I just can't be bothered working out. Ya feel me? So I'll 'trick' myself by saying I'll just do a quick 5 minute workout as it's better than nothing. Then once you're in your work out gear and all pumped up from your first workout, you'll be a lot easier to convince to keep going. As I watch Youtube videos I'll click on a 6 minute one, then another, then another and before I know it I've done 45 mins of different videos. I know it sounds ridiculous but it genuinely works for me as I think I might as well keep going seen as it's making me feel good.

Don't be hard on yourself - I think a lot of us tend to stick to a strict work out routine and when we fall off the wagon, we give ourselves such a hard time for it. Remember you are only human! If you've had a bad day and were planning on going to the gym but would rather cuddle up with a loved one, don't spend the whole night feeling guilty. And if you want to treat yourself to a calorific meal out, do it! But just remember it is that, a treat. If you do it too often, it stops being a treat and becomes your normal routine. You are allowed a guilt free night off though as it's better to have a little treat every so often than to go on a full on chocolate binge because you've denied yourself it for a month. Trust me, I've been there.

Most importantly, I think you have to stop looking for shortcuts and realise this is a lifestyle change. If you want it, you have to work for it and keep working for it. Yes you can pick up tips along the way to make it easier but the sooner you realise there's no short cut to being fit, the sooner you will become fit.
Like I said before, I am far from a fitness expert and I am still on my journey and constantly learning but I hope this post will help some of you get active! Remember, excuses don't burn calories... haha.


Drugstore Beauty Dupes (including Mac and Benefit)

There's nothing I love more than the feeling of finding a bargain and recently I've found three. Talk about hitting the jackpot! Dupe posts are always one of my favourite to read and seem to be very popular in the blogging world so I thought I'd share my finds with you.

Nail Polish Twist Pot £1 - Primark
I remember when the Bourjois version of this first came out, lazy girls everywhere went mad for it but I could never justify spending £5 on a pot when I can get a bottle of nail polish remover for 69p. But when I saw this in Primark last week for only £1, I jumped at the chance to try it. You literally stick your finger in the middle of the sponge inside and twist. Yep, it's really that simple and it completely removes your nail polish. Having never tried the Bourjois one before, I don't know how long it lasts but for the fifth of the price I don't mind if it doesn't last quite as long. Either way, I'm officially calling this a dupe.

Brow Drama Sculping Mascara in Dark Blond £4.99 - Maybelline 
I had been wanting something to use on my brows for a while and had been looking into the Benefit Gimme Brow as it sets them and adds colour as well. However at £18.50 this was a little pricey for me so I sought out a cheaper alternative and this is what I found. The brush is a little different than the Benefit one but it still does the same job. Just comb it through your brows and they'll stay in place all day as well as adding some definition to them and filling in any sparse areas. I have the shade Dark Blond and it matches my brows perfectly but it also comes in two darker shades and a transparent gel if you're just wanting something to set your brows with so there's something for everyone. This is a great formula that lasts all day and at less than third of the price of the high end version this is a brilliant dupe.

Top - Collection's 'Cappuccino' Bottom - Mac's 'Honeylove'

Work the Colour Lip Butter in Cappuccino £2.99 - Collection
Recently in Boots there was an offer on the Collection range to get a free lip butter when you spent over £5 and as I get my concealer from this brand I decided to stock up and picked up the lip butter in the shade Cappuccino. I wasn't expecting much from this but it's actually perfect for the recent 90's brown toned nude lip trend that's been popularised by Kylie Jenner. If you're wanting to try out the look but don't have £15.50 to buy a Mac lipstick then this is a really good alternative. As you can see from the photo above, it's not an exact match to Honeylove as it is a bit lighter but it's still fairly similar and I actually find it a lot more moisturising which is brilliant if you have dry lips like me. My lips do not work well with the Mac Matte formula, unfortunately!

So these are my recent budget finds from the drugstore but I'm always on the look out for more so let me know if there's any good dupes you've discovered lately!


Fashion | Festival Looks - Crochet

If you didn't see my previous post last week then I'll break it down for you, I'm creating a few lookbooks for festival season based on trends I'm loving this spring/summer and this is part two. For part one, click here.

The second trend that seems to be everywhere at the moment is crochet. As well as being perfect for festivals, it'll also look great on holidays or at a garden party so you'll definitely get your money's worth if you decide to invest in some crochet pieces. I think this is a good trend if you're not feeling particularly brave as you can keep it monochrome or pair a crochet trim top with denim shorts for a simple take on the look. You can choose how bold you want to go with this look which makes it perfect for everyone!

What are your opinions on crochet? I love it and actually have the black version of the cardigan featured above!


Beauty | Disappointing Products

For the most part, I tend to research the beauty products I buy pretty well either by reading blog reviews or watching Youtube videos so it's quite rare when I don't get on with a product but nevertheless it still happens. I actually find these types of posts help me decide whether to purchase something more than a good review does so I thought I'd share a few products that have fallen short for me in the hopes that it helps some of you guys.

'Hand Food' Hand Cream £5.50 - Soap & Glory
In my old job, I used to get really dry hands so much so that they would crack and bleed. Realising that my Morrisons own brand moisturiser probably wasn't cutting it, I decided to invest in this hand cream as it seemed to be a bloggers favourite. This product claims to be hydrating and non-greasy but I found neither of these to be true. It didn't help my hands whatsoever and after I'd rubbed it in I could still feel it on my skin. I also found the scent incredibly sickly and overpowering. This may look prettier on your dressing table but if you actually have dry, chapped hands I'd definitely recommend E45 if you actually want them to heal. Plus it's cheaper too, bonus!

Roller Lash Mascara £19.50 - Benefit
After all the hype over this product, I had pretty high expectations and it really didn't live up to them. Although it's not the worst mascara ever, it certainly isn't the best either. I don't find it curls my lashes as well as my eyelash curler and that's supposed to be the main feature of this mascara. I also found the formula clumps quite easily and it starts to flake off after a few hours and black flecks settle underneath my eyes. Not a good look. When I use it with my eyelash curler it's not too bad but I don't think it's worth almost £20, I'll definitely be sticking to Badgal Lash and They're Real in future if I'm feeling a mascara splurge.

All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray £21 - Urban Decay
As I have an oily complexion, my makeup never seems to last all day and if I re apply powder it can look a bit cakey so after hearing Anna rave about this in a video I decided to try it out. At £21 it doesn't come cheap but I'd heard a few other bloggers mention this so thought I'd risk it. Man, I wish I'd bought the travel size to try out first. This spray claims to stop makeup from fading, settling into fine lines and melting off for up to 16 hours and I don't find it does any of these things. When I spritz it on, it feels like water and it seems to work just the same as water would too... I noticed they do a spray specifically for oil control so maybe I'd have been better off going for that one however it says it's for all skin types and oil free so I still feel like it should've done something for the price.

Porefessional Primer £24.50 - Benefit
Normally I absolutely love any Benefit product I try so I've surprised myself by having two in this post but the brand still remains one of my favourites regardless. This primer is constantly praised online so when I was in New York I picked one up to try for myself. I've tried this many times since buying it and it does make my skin feel silky smooth after applying it but I don't feel it does anything to my overall look. It doesn't minimise my pores or smooth out my wrinkles. It doesn't give my makeup a flawless look like many others have claimed or help my makeup stay in place longer. The only thing it really does is make my skin smoother so my foundation applies a bit easier but for the price and the way everyone hypes it up I thought it would do a lot more. I'm just glad I didn't buy this in the UK because £25 is a lot of money to waste.

Fizz Bar Fragranced Bath Fizzer £5 - Zoella Beauty
Being a follower/subscriber of Zoe for a long time, I was super excited when she brought out this beauty range and couldn't wait to pick up some of the items. This bath fizzer was a bit of a let down though. It says to drop 1-2 cubes in for a 'fragrantly fizzy bath' but the cubes dissolved and left nothing behind, I thought they'd leave some scent or maybe a few bubbles but no, nothing. I didn't give up though and added two more cubes but still my bath was lacking the Zoella scent. I recently purchased her Soak Opera bath soak though and I'm hoping I have more luck with that. Otherwise, I'll be sticking to Lush in future.

(Pugsly wasn't a fan of these products either)

If you were considering buying these products, I hope I've given you a little insight into my thoughts on them and helped you decide if they're right for you. Do you guys find these types of blog posts helpful?