Gym wear review: Skechers Flex Appeal

As you know, SWHH tends to focus on the normal struggles of normal twenty-somethings (well, as normal as myself and Miss Regan can get) and with those struggles comes the constant attempts at maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.

You’ve read about our juice diets, various 30-day fitness challenges and now the Slimming World journey my co-editor is currently embarking on. As for me, I feel for the first time that I’m very much in a good, controlled and happy place when it comes to my health and fitness.

I’ve managed to find a routine that doesn’t feel like a laborious chore and I’ve changed my diet to accommodate a few things that I never thought it would… Yes people, I’ve boycotted the blue WKD and instead embraced the world of fruit juice *gasp* and even *faint*

That aside, I’ve also stuck to going to the gym four days a week, trimmed my food portions and upped Denver’s walks so we both have a bit more cardio going on – and it’s working. But, because of new said lifestyle, I’ve had to say goodbye to my old gym attire and welcome some new hardcore gym bunny clothing (yes, that sentence just happened).

First up are my new trainers. These are the Skechers Flex Appeal in pink (obvs) and despite not being a girly girl, I absolutely LOVE them!

Feeling like an utterly cool late-90s Britney, I’ve always had a slight soft spot for the American shoe company, although I didn’t know that they actually make damn good trainers.

Yes they’re pegged as a ‘running shoe’ and you all know by now that I ain’t no runner, but in terms of going to the gym and taking the dog out on his walks, these are the most comfortable trainers I’ve ever worn. The memory foam insole is genius, moulding to my feet so that every time I put them on it’s like walking on a pillow and the mesh fabric sends a lovely breeze of fresh air through to keep everything nice and cool.

Skechers Flex Appeal, £58.99, Cloggs

If I were to take up running (and when I wear these, the really ambitious part of me thinks I can) they would definitely be the shoes I would wear. Having abnormally thin feet, I’m also often plagued with the delight that is ‘new shoe blisters’ but they didn’t even fall foul of that fate, which in itself is miraculous.

The saying ‘Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life‘, (which I live by FYI), is in this instance true. Looking more the part and feeling unbelievably comfortable have been key to the maintaining of my new regime.

I’m also fairly certain that good ol’ Cinders would be rocking a pair of these beauties if you stumbled across her at the gym…

– love Stef x

While the boyf’s away…

So, November 29 rolled around meaning my lovely boyf. has gone to Thailand and won’t be returning until December 16.

Now, for most girls that would mean sulking in pyjamas, eating a lot of Ben & Jerry’s, watching hundreds of chick flicks and counting down the days until their return.

Well not this girl.

Although I’m going to miss him terribly, especially given that it’s the festive season, it’s a once in a lifetime experience for him.

Yes, I’m a bit jealous that I won’t be exploring another country for three weeks, but it means, should we ever decide to go to Thailand, I have my very own personal tour guide who will know all the best places.

But, I digress – my point is that while the boyf. is away, I have set myself a bit of a challenge.

Call it temporary insanity (or just plain stupidity) but I’m going to partake in the following:

Why I hear you ask? Well, I don’t have my distraction around to encourage me to eat Dominos, and in doing this I might just look and feel strong and healthy for all the Christmas parties that are around the corner.

Plus, it will allow me to live off tins of Roses and Quality Street guilt-free once the boyf. returns…

Wish me luck!

– love Stef x

The 30 Day Challenge: It’s the end!

So, it’s come to the end of April and my attempt at the 30 Day Challenge – at the halfway point I’d (somehow) seen an actual difference in my measurements, and now that the 30 days are up, it’s time to see the final result.

Now, I haven’t exactly played by the rules (shown below) – it was more of my own adaption, but I took the shopping list and adopted a healthier, green tea-based lifestyle.

30 day challengeThere were obstacles to overcome, such as my great dislike of fruit (which is a Challenge staple, dammit), my birthday celebrations (green tea was swiftly swapped for prosecco), and then Easter (chocolate. Lots of chocolate).

I did, however, stick to my adaption (and I’m fairly certain a bout of tonsillitis may have helped), but here are my measurements:

Before                           Halfway                              After                      Difference

Bust: 35 inches                  Bust: 34 inches                        Bust: 34 inches                     Bust: – 1 inch

Waist: 27 inches                Waist: 26 inches                      Waist: 25 inches                   Waist: – 2 inches

Hips: 38 inches                  Hips: 36 inches                       Hips: 35.5 inches                  Hips: – 2.5 inches

 

I have to say I’m surprised, chuffed and slightly baffled – I wouldn’t say I have a terrible diet (doughnuts for breakfast is allowed, right?) but somehow, just adopting certain healthier choices has made a difference.

I’m not overly fussed about inch loss, but I would like to be healthier, and I have to say I do feel better inside and out. I would definitely recommend the 30 Day Challenge and I think I’ll stick to some of the rules – I’m a changed woman!

– love Stef x

The Juice Diet #3: Well, this is awkward…

So, I’m just going to say it, the juice diet and I parted ways about two weeks ago – not intentionally though.

I could list all of my reasons/excuses (moving house and being unable to find my juicer being just one factor) but I won’t, there is no real excuse if you’re dedicated.

Although I would like to start it up again, (I am currently on my week of  ‘eating clean’ before I go right back to just juice), I do have to tell you what I did learn from coming off the extreme diet.

1. Eating real food hurts

Big time. On day one of moving day, having not eaten a thing, we opted for a takeaway. Eyes being bigger than my belly, and the fact I am greedy (hence the multiple diets) I had a huge plate full. By the time I had finished I actually felt like I was dying. Moral of the story: don’t eat a plate of chips when you have practically starved yourself for three weeks.

2. You will gain back the weight you lost

I didn’t sit and gorge on take out, and I have had some very healthy meals, but every single pound and inch I managed to lose has crept back on. Makes sense though really, what I lost in two weeks I put back on in two weeks. #depressed.

3. Motivation is hard when you’re hungry

When I am laying in bed watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager, (don’t judge – Daren Kagasoff is a BABE), I have every intention of starting the next day a lot better – none of this waiting for Monday nonsense. But then lunch time comes, and I’m hungry and well, I just want a big-dirty-white-bread-sandwich loaded with mayo.

4. Planning ahead is the key to a diet/life change

Seriously. Due to the above, you really should plan your meals and then you can really get your head in the game.

5. The nutrients really didn’t make me feel any better

I was loaded with all sorts of vitamins which I had read were supposed to make me full of beans and feel like a goddess. I didn’t. I was cold, tired and short-tempered to name but a few. I barely had the energy to do anything other than sit and I quite honestly felt miserable. The only joy I felt was hopping onto the scales and seeing the numbers drop – this was literally my only motivation and is enough to make me do it again to kick-start the weight loss.

I am generally quite unhappy with my weight, so if any of you out there have any tips, recommendations or indeed magic pills, please send them my way. I don’t want to die of heart disease.

– love Carla x

The 30 Day Challenge: The halfway point

We’re halfway through April and that means I’ve somehow gotten halfway through the 30 Day Challenge.

Well, to be completely honest, I’ve probably done about four days of it properly – I had three days off entirely for the birthday weekend (prosecco and cake aren’t listed oddly enough), and for the remaining nine days I’ve ‘adapted’ the challenge.

Granola was pretty hard going, so I switched to Cheerios (same thing, ish) and for lunch I may have opted for soup over salads. Dinner-wise I have stuck to the idea of fish, rice and veg, with plenty of water and green tea in between.

And do you know what? It has worked.

I feel better for it and I’ve lost inches – actual weight loss I have no idea about as scales are forbidden in the Keeling household, but here are my before and after measurements thus far:

Before                              After                           Difference

Bust: 35 inches                  Bust: 34 inches                         Bust: – 1 inch

Waist: 27 inches                Waist: 26 inches                       Waist: – 1 inch

Hips: 38 inches                  Hips: 36 inches                         Hips: – 2 inches

I’m rather impressed, especially considering I haven’t exactly followed the rules, but I will endeavor to maintain this healthier approach to food. For now, it’s a big woop to me and a celebratory green tea (rock ‘n’ roll)…

Have you tried the 30 Day Challenge? How did you find it?

– love Stef x

The 30 Day Challenge

The people I work with are very much like my extended family – I love them dearly and it’s because of this love that they manage to rope me into taking part in ridiculous things.

Ridiculous things like the 30 Day Challenge

So from today and for the whole of April (except for my birthday weekend), I’ll be consuming a scarily large amount of healthy food, lots of water and taking a foray into the world of green tea.

30 day challengeAs you can see from the list, it’s not a bad selection of food and I only spent £20 in Tesco stocking up on goodness. I’ve opted for granola for breakfast, sushi and salad for lunch, and a variety of fish, rice and veg for tea.

Snacks are going to consist of celery, cucumber, and (*shudder*) low-fat peanut butter on rice bread – yes peanut butter isn’t on the list, but I’m swapping the dark chocolate for it.

Oh and if you’re a bit thick like me, ‘quinoa’ is pronounced ‘keen-wah’ and not ‘kwuh-NO-uh’ – thanks Ellie 😉

Have you ever tried the 30 Day Challenge? And more importantly, am I in for a bumpy, starved ride?

– love Stef x