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Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

I can’t say I have always been interested in being fit or healthy because I haven’t. In fact the only consistent loves of my life are pizza and S’mores.

Then a combination of reaching my mid 20’s and the growing popularity of stretchy leggings as acceptable day attire meant the skinny jeans which once fit, suddenly became another item of clothing destined to hang in my cupboard forever. Or at least until car boot sale season came around and I could flog them for a pound, eradicating all evidence that I was once thin.

Then came the season of Crop Tops and Bralet’s and it dawned on me, that if I ever wanted to get out of leggings and into something non elasticated I was going to have to unhand the box of Oreo cookies and pick up the occasional carrot stick.

If all that sounds a bit too familiar but you don’t know the first thing about getting into shape, well first finish reading this blog and then consider getting someone to advise you on your fitness journey. Mine started with the help of a personal trainer who helped me set realistic goals and told me where I was going wrong; according to him, swapping lunch for chocolate was not an acceptable weight loss technique and upon reflection, perhaps he was right.

But since even a trainer can’t come to your house at 1am and confiscate the cookies from your hands, you have to accept that this journey is going to require some will power.

But first, the basics:

1. Commit To It
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You can’t lose weight on a half-hearted diet. I have been on a life long search of how to stay in shape without making any effort what so ever. It turns out, you can’t.

2. Set A Goal
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Your body goal is something only you can set. No one can tell you what size or shape is right for you. However, if the shape you want is not the shape you have, then set a target and work towards it.

3. Learn How To Eat
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I know what you’re thinking “Learn how to eat? What a load of old tosh. Eating is just about the only thing I do know how to do”. But trust me, eating and eating right are two different things.

Achieving the body you want is 30% exercise and 70% diet. Learn what foods can help maximize your results, cut down on salt and sugar, increase your protein and vegetable intake and don’t be scared of carbs. Excuse the cliché but, a good diet is a balanced one.

4. Exercise
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No, walking from your desk to the office kitchen doesn’t count.

Work out 3 times a week, don’t be afraid of weights and try exercising with a friend for extra motivation. If you make working out fun, you won’t dread it as much, in fact eventually you’ll start to look forward to it.

5. Establish a routine
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On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. So all  you have to do is stick to it for two months and then it will become part of your life. If you want to maintain a fit and healthy body you have to accept that it’s all about making a positive lifestyle change.

6. Understand where you’re going wrong
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Everyone has a vice; whether it’s too much alcohol, too much sugar or too much snacking on the wrong things, if you’re having trouble achieving your goal weight, you’re probably going wrong somewhere. I found that keeping a food diary was key in identifying where the extra weight was coming from.

Before you begin your diet, considering writing down everything you eat or drink for a week, after all, it’s hard to deny the truth when it’s written in front of you. My vices? Six cups of tea a day with 2 spoons of sugar each. Large meals after midnight and no breakfast resulting in large 11am pre-lunch, lunches.

7. Stop counting calories
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You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right. 2,000 daily calories in burgers, chocolate and fizzy drinks is never going to get you where you want. 2000 calories consisting of healthy meals, vegetables and low-fat snacks will.

8. Don’t turn a cheat meal into a cheat day
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Losing weight shouldn’t be slow and painful torture. If you fancy being a little bit bad, go ahead. Just remember that a cheat meal does not need to turn into a cheat day (or a cheat week). Change that “I’ll start on Monday” attitude to “I’ll start after this cupcake” and you’re half way to success. Well, figuratively speaking anyway.

9. Focus on your health, not your weight
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Work towards being a healthier person and the weight will sort itself out. In the mean time, don’t get caught up on what the scales show you, think “fat loss” not “weight loss”.

10. Don’t expect to work out once and wake up with a booty like Beyoncé.
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It just don’t work like that. 

It takes 4 weeks to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Keep at it and results will come.

As for the personal trainer part, if you’re in the market for someone to help you squat to your ideal bottom size, click here to check out mine.

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The Season Of Earmuffs Is Upon Us

The Season Of Earmuffs Is Upon Us

It’s here, whether we like it or not the season of ear muffs and grandma type jumpers is upon us. To some it’s the season to be jolly, but to most it’s the season to wake up at 7am and chisel ice off your windshield in minus temperatures.

The days are shorter, working hours seem longer and if the sun ever does decide to make an appearance, most of us miss it as we’re chained to the confines of our office until past sunset. As if being pale from sun deprivation wasn’t depressing enough, most of us also have to deal with weight gain and increased lethargy.

Hibernation being the obvious solution to this chilly problem, it’s a shame taking a 3 month nap-break from work isn’t an acceptable way to deal with winter.

When it comes to advice on dealing with the winter months I’ve heard it all: buy a vitamin D supplement, take up ice skating, invest in some cosy mittens and my personal favourite… invest in a light box which simulates the suns natural rays and trick your body into thinking it’s day light when it’s not.

If you ask me it seems like a lot of effort with minimal results. No amount of sitting under a really bright light bulb is going to make me forget that summer is another 240 days away.

So other than moaning about it (which granted is a mini therapy in itself) is there anything that can make us warm to winter? These are my tips: tried, tested and not yet rejected.

How I Feel Every Morning

How I Feel Every Morning

1.  Invest in a heated blanket. It’s a given that during winter you’re more and more drawn to your bed and since we’ve already accepted we’re spending most of the live long winter there, optimizing duvet time is sure to increase happiness levels.

Throughout summer people speak of how amazing it is to get into a nice cool bed… that feeling of crisp sheets and cold pillows. In the winter that sounds about as appealing as getting a face full of rain on your way out your front door in the morning. Warm and snug is the way forward, ditch the hot water bottle and heat your bed up with the click of a button before you jump in and re-think that hibernation idea.

2. Use your gym membership (you know… the one you signed up to four months ago and used twice in the week leading up to your summer holiday). It’s a common misconception that summer is the season of working out and winter is the season of food. Well, not a total misinterpretation, the latter is true, but the season of food comes at a heavy cost (heavy being the operative word).

Two consecutive months of baggy jumper and legging combos and the weight creeps on without you or your skinny jeans being any the wiser. I’m just saying, the person with the biggest belly at your work Christmas party should technically be the guy in the corner who came dressed as Santa. Don’t pass up on those mince pies just yet however; there’s nothing a few work outs won’t work off.

3. Go Out. If I can still make it to the pub in 6 inch stilettos over a floor full of ice, you can too (the 6 inch part is optional, but the socializing part is not). I often find as soon as the temperature plummets below 10 degrees, people will find any excuse to stay in on a Friday and Saturday night.

Don’t get me wrong; when they invent a bar which I can shuffle on down to in my onesie and bath robe, I will be the first one there. Until that day comes however, putting on (three layers) of real clothes and going out with your friends really is the most effective way of forgetting we’re only half way through what feels like an ice age.

Plus, nothing warms you up mid-winter like a large glass of wine.

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I’ve never been a fan of metrosexuality; there’s something distinctly unattractive about a man who takes several hours longer than me to get ready for a night out.

My advice would be, if it takes longer than ten minutes to fix your hair in the morning, cut it off. If you have a deeply receding hairline, just own it and shave it off. And lastly if you plan to kiss a girl, she’s probably going to want to run her fingers through your hair, when she does this, she doesn’t want to get stuck in there, so seriously, go easy on the hair gel.

Shower. Every day. Don’t look at me like that. You may think this is common sense, but millions of others don’t. Having lived in halls of residence way back in my first year of university I learnt many things: canned spaghetti bolognaise takes a lot like boiled tomatoes, 100 shots of beer will probably make you sick, and men do not wash nearly as often as us women would like to think.

Also, I’m not sure if this turning-your-boxers-inside-out rumour is true, but I’m telling you from now, short of chlamydia, skid-marks on the outside of your boxers are about the least sexy thing a woman can find down there. There is never a good enough excuse for this. Someone broke into your house and stole every last piece of clothing you own? Manufacture a man-diaper out of towels if you have to, and waddle over to your nearest Primark.

Being an innocent and virtuous girl, I am in no position to confirm this, however I have it on good authority that some men don’t taste great. Don’t all rush for the Listerine; I’m not talking about your mouths. What you eat effects your body fluids, so perhaps instead of three burgers a day, consider switching over to a salad every once in a while. I’ve heard pineapple also works wonders, so how about you give it a go?

I know what you’re thinking, sounds like a lot of unnecessary work made up by women to feel like their men are contributing something to the relationship. And I suppose that’s fair enough, but next time your misses is ‘too tired’ to give you a little BJ, you’re going to have to wonder if some melon for breakfast would have resulted in a three-course orgasm for lunch.

Every woman likes a man who knows how to dress well; but when it comes down to it we’re all much more concerned about what’s underneath the Armani shirt. Every girl is different, some like men who wear designer brands; others really couldn’t care less what the guy wears as long as his mother didn’t make it.

Personally I have a particular aversion to men wearing pink or baby blue. But let’s be honest, if a girls been single for a while, upon meeting an attractive man, unless he’s wearing bright tangerine with baby pink trimmings, she probably wouldn’t care less about what he’s wearing.

Of course everyone’s different and the girls like myself who want Manolo Blahnik’s more than they want children are probably shallow enough to be a little put off by a man who dresses badly. But I beg of you, don’t hold it against us; we also happen to be our own worst critics.

If you happen to fall for one such (slightly) shallow creature, all is not lost. When in doubt: turn to dark jeans and black shirts. As for shoes, avoid dirty white trainers and pretty much anything with tassels.

Take it from me, what my advice lacks in scientific backing, it makes up for in life experience.

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Him: S’cuse me, I wondered if you could help me.
Me: Yes?
Him: I have a lactose intolerance… got milk? *stares blatantly at my breasts*
Me: *unimpressed*

There is not enough Jack Daniels in the world to make a line like that work. It’s not that I have anything against chat up lines; but perhaps in the 30 seconds it takes you to walk from your end of the bar to mine, you can think of something to talk about which doesn’t involve my bra.

The problem is any fool with a half-baked line he read on google thinks he can pull it off and I’m here to set the record straight.

Just because a few vodka-ed up girls with self-esteem issues have thrown themselves at you after you reel off some line about her dress looking great on your bedroom floor, doesn’t mean it’s going to work on me. Or in fact on anyone with an IQ above 40.

“Do you believe in love at first sight … or should I walk past again?”
For goodness sake go back to the drawing board and come back with something I haven’t heard twenty times before. There’s this thing called originality, why don’t you shock me to death and try it once in a while.

“There are 256 bones in your body! Would you like another?”
Pretty damn funny but you’re still going home alone. While I love a confident guy as much as the next girl, you don’t have to make it quite so clear that you think I look easier than a Sunday morning.

In fact this goes hand in hand with the guys that pester you to text them pictures of yourself a week after you’ve met them. “Please babe send me a picture of you in that sexy outfit” – calm down mate, you bought me a £3.99 glass of wine from Weatherspoons and now you expect a peep show? Heaven forbid you paid for a cinema ticket, who knows what you would expect from me then.

“I’m not saying this 2 impress you but, I’m batman!!!”
I’m not lying; I’d probably take this one home. What can I say; I’m a sucker for a man with a good sense of humour.

I mean there are guys who think they’re funny. Guys who look funny, guys who try so hard to be funny. But a guy who can actually string a sentence together and produce something that elicits a genuine laugh? Well ladies, if you’re reading, send that guy all the pictures he wants. He’s a dying breed and it’s our duty to do what we can to keep the species alive.

And for the gentlemen who aren’t comically inclined? Well I have a tip for you too: hit the gym. If you can’t make me laugh, then at the very least provide a Danny Cipriani-esque body to distract me from that fact.

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A first date is like roast dinner, if you follow the recipe you can’t go wrong. So call me Martha Stewart and take note.

Firstly, coming from a girl who has a naturally sultry (fine moody) looking face, believe me, a smile goes a long way. Spinach teeth syndrome aside – brush, floss, rinse please – it’s always nice to give your date a little indication you’re not inwardly singing along to Rupert Holmes Pina Colada song.

You notice the occasional dramatic pause at the end of every few sentences? He’s not waiting for you to input your opinion; he just tried to make a funny, and is waiting for your reaction. Insert smile here, or if you really like him, go all out and fake a laugh. And if the laugh is genuine? Well then lady he’s a keeper.

Physical contact is always a hard one to master. One of the most exciting parts of a first date is the sexual electricity that comes from never having touched before. In these moments, every ‘accidental’ graze of the knee and soft brush of the arm is like foreplay. Men are like little children and you are their toy; it’s not of much interest until someone tells them they’re not allowed to play with it. So in this case, less is more.

My next tip: seamless underwear. At one point in the date, you will go to the restroom. Partly because it’s nice to check your lipstick hadn’t got smeared onto your teeth from all the earlier smiling, but mostly because you want him to watch as you walk away. Work on your walk if you have to: storming off to the ladies with a walk last seen on Jurassic Park will probably mean his plans for a hot dessert, now involve something available on the menu.

For numerous reasons I will be stating shortly, I feel heels on a first date and the toilet-trip-saunter go hand in hand. A nice pair of six inchers will lift your butt, lengthen your legs and give you something to measure him by. I feel I can say this without generating offence, as I too am vertically challenged: if a man is shorter than you in heels, dump him. That’s my professional opinion and I’m sticking to it. There are exceptions I’m sure, but life’s too short for me to list them.

If your first date involves eating, I have two words for you… small bites. You’re mouth is supposed to be a desirable and sensual haven; chewing like a hyena and talking with your mouthful are qualities you want to hide from him as long as possible.

And lets be adults about this now, whether you like it or not, through the eyes of a man, your mouth is a pleasure portal. Honestly, if you allow yours to resemble a mousetrap, I assure you, his desire to run away will overpower his need for cheese.

Now time for a little mathematics: also known as, the first kiss. Not all first dates end with a kiss, sometimes the guy wants to leave you with the illusion that he respects you, other times he’s just shy. Now I don’t care if you’ve been staring lustfully at his lips all night and feel you may implode if he doesn’t press them against yours imminently.

You give him 20% – no more. That is the furthest you can lean forward without it seeming like you’re going to kiss him. You close the distance, and if he wants to kiss you, he’ll do the rest. But be careful, if he does start closing in on you, don’t jump straight for his mouth, as there’s a chance he’s just going for the cheek. I speak from experience. Poor boy seemed to think I just got lost on the way to his lips.

Infallible flirting tips aside; there is one aspect I cannot help you with. I can give you the wood to start a fire; I can give you the gasoline to douse it with, but if you don’t have a match to start the spark, don’t expect your world to catch alight. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes you need a little more than physical attraction; unfortunately great arms and a sexy smile can only get you so far.

Now when it comes to all this ‘true love’ malarkey, I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a cynic. However, I’m ready to throw a bone to the romantics of the world and acknowledge that when you meet someone worthwhile, it feels like November 5th every day.

After all, every girl knows deep down when a guy’s worth shaving her legs for.

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Number one: do not insert your penis into any other area of any other woman. It does not matter how substantial your excuse may be, forgiveness is out of the question. Some women are insecure enough to stand by you despite your penal misdirection, but they’ll never truly forgive you.

I mean feel free to give it your best shot, and get real creative with the excuses; but it still won’t be good enough. Someone spiked your orange juice with Viagra and then you tripped over your pants and fell into her? Yawn. Better yet, you had an incurable disease and she was the only cure. I’m just not interested, and neither will she be.

Number two: Don’t always give her what she wants. Didn’t expect that one did you? Well I’m admitting that us women can be a bit of a handful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put us back in our place (and no I’m not referring to the kitchen). Someone telling me to sit down and stop being so bloody annoying: kind of a turn on. After all, if I wanted a doormat I’d go to B&Q.

Alternatively some ladies demand a lot of presents (usually an after effect of the daddy’s girl syndrome) and while there’s nothing wrong with wanting, they should also become familiarised with the word ‘no’.  Eventually you’re going to have to decipher whom she’s planning on getting serious with: you or your credit card. And if it is the credit card, then you need to tell her to unhand the Prada and get a Saturday job.

Other girls demand a lot of time. Remember those guys you used to watch Top Gear with, the ones who used to kick your butt at Call of Duty, the ones who you’d watch every Spurs match of the season with? You know… your friends. Well they are unimpressed with the fact that every Friday night you now abandon them to be with your subsequent lover, feeding each other grapes, or whatever it is people in relationships do these days. And they will remain unimpressed four months down the line when you’ve broken up with your ball and chain and want someone to drown your sorrows with.

Number three: Don’t tell her you love her, unless you happen to mean it. Not being fully acquainted with the emotion myself, I’ll keep the advice giving at a minimum. Every girl wants to be told they’re loved. No girl wants to be told she’s loved only to find out three weeks later that what you actually loved was the fact she makes a killer hot-pot and bends like a pretzel.

Print this out if you have to, tattoo it to your foot, anything you like: stick to this guide and the chances of your past lovers torturing a miniature-voodoo-you on a weekly basis in hopes you’ll fall down the stairs and break both your arms will be significantly reduced. As the meerkat would say… simples.

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Gentleman’s Tip.

The first date paying war is what deciphers the boys from the men. My theory is pretty basic: you ask a girl out to dinner, you pay. You ask her out again: you pay. Third date: again you pay. After that all bets are off.

Don’t get me wrong, this is the twenty-first century and the clutch bags that were once filled with Audrey Hepburn type cigarette filters and breath mints now also home a family of girls true best friends… gold, platinum, visa, debit credit. And if at the end of each date the girl doesn’t pull out a few twenties and insist on paying her half, next time leave her at the kerb. I’m not saying she’s not the kind of girl you’ll ever marry; I’m just saying she’ll be walking down the aisle to Kanye West’s Gold-Digger.

The truth of the matter is, whilst us ladies like to pretend we are products of a modern society in which we are your equals, when it comes down to it, we want to feel special. I’m not talking about lavish spending sprees in Gucci; let me be clear, I’m talking about popcorn buying here. Don’t like it… then accept you’ll always be known as Mr. Nice-but-cheap. And when it doesn’t work out, that is how you will forever be remembered.

Despite my apparently blunt delivery of the truth (or at least, what I believe to be the truth) I understand that if you’re not a middle-aged businessman sometimes money can be a bit of an issue. So I’m going to let you in on a little secret. As long as the company’s good we don’t really care where you take us.

This isn’t a green light to take your lady of choice for a spin around McDonald’s drive through and end the night with a happy meal.

All I’m saying is, if a girl winds up at a beautiful restaurant having a lavish three-course meal with a man whose only conversational topic is golf, then the chances are she’ll contemplate accidentally impaling herself on the steak knife just to have an excuse to leave. The date in Starbuck’s involving a £4.99 coffee and muffin with the guy who makes her laugh is a much more likely winner.

Of course every woman is different, and the occasional ultra-feminist will probably find your bid to pay patronizing as opposed to gentlemanly. Though before this frightens you into leaving your wallet at home, I have some comforting news. I have never heard of a woman refusing a second date because the guy tried to pay for her white-wine-spritzer. Don’t offer and I guarantee that it will go straight to your ‘cons’ column, which she’s been constructing in her head all night.

Be it the next day, or two more dates later, either way I guarantee you will eventually be receiving a very awkward message about being busy with work and unable to find time for a relationship. Don’t believe me? Give it a go.

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