My next challenge…

So now I’ve finished my diploma, I’ve found myself searching for the next challenge to take on. I felt like I wanted to do something that challenged me mentally, physically and emotionally, but something I also got enjoyment out of, and a sense of personal achievement. So last Wednesday afternoon, I signed up to do a half marathon in my local town.

Fitness and wellbeing is something I’ve always been interested in and passionate about, so this seemed like the perfect challenge for me. I began taking up running last year; this started as a result of the classic ‘I’m going on holiday in 6 weeks and need a beach body’ ritual we all know so well! However, once I started, it became something much more to me than that. It actually became my escape from the anxieties of everyday life, allowed me to be alone with my thoughts, reflecting on my day, my relationships, and the general day to day trivialities that pop into my head. I won’t lie, it is a struggle when the alarm clock goes off at 5:35am, and my body is aching with tiredness. But as soon as I step outside into the crisp morning air, all my worries are left at home and all I need to think about is mapping my route, and beating my previous pace and time. I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful village in the Cotswolds, where if you are out and about before 7am, there are some wonderful sights to see – the light fog, still lingering over the fields, or the wild rabbits and the occasional fox still doing their morning route. One of the best moments however, is crossing the paths of other runners. We all do the same thing – run past each other, with a ‘knowing’ smile, a silent ‘well done for getting up and doing this’ as we could all so easily turn over when the alarm goes off and snooze it for an extra hour.

So this is what has led me to the decision to take part in the half marathon. Running is something that I truly enjoy, and get a lot of motivation and satisfaction out of. I’ve completed week one of my training so far – it’s been tough, and it will only get tougher, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I have set myself the goal of completing it in under 2 hours. Ambitious I know, but it wouldn’t be a challenge otherwise!

Chloe x

Fitness, Lifestyle

The Road to Healthy and Happy

So after my “epiphany” (if you can call it that!) in Wynn’s coffee shop, over the past week I’ve been making small changes to try to improve my happiness and my lifestyle.

I’ve always seen myself as a very positive person, and I always like to see the best in people and take the best out of a situation. However, recently I have found myself feeling down, and exuding negative vibes. So getting back to my positive and happy self is definitely top of my list.

One big area of my life is health and fitness. Since I was young, I’ve always been body-conscious. I certainly believe the media plays a large role in the distortions of body image we receive on a daily basis, and nowadays social media sites such as Instagram is a big influence on today’s health and fitness society.

I used to have a negative relationship with the media in terms of body image, however I have found in recent years, sites such as Instagram and Pinterest promote health and fitness in a positive light; giving some great tips in terms of meal ideas, workouts you can do at home if you don’t have time to get to the gym and even an inspirational quote now and again can simply lift your mood!!

Another area of social media that is a great motivator are health and fitness blogs. One in particular that I have been following for the past two years is Madeleine Shaw’s blog. Again she is a blogger who promotes health and fitness, however what I like about her blog is that she promotes happiness within yourself whilst doing it. So many people associate the word ‘diet’ with being unhappy and under eating. I used to have this view of ‘dieting’, however Madeleine Shaw inspired me to have a good relationship with food, and see it as a lifestyle change for the long term rather than a short term fix.

Over the past 7 days, I’ve been back to clean eating and my morning gym routine; it’s amazing how a minor change in one small area of my life has managed to alter my mindset in such a small space of time. I’ve found myself waking up feeling much more positive, awake and fresh. I leave my worries and negativity in the gym and both of these areas have made a noticeable difference in my stress levels, my body and my positivity.