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Friday, 31 May 2013

Fitness Friday| Healthy Snacking| Total Greek Fruyo Yoghurts

Total greek Fruyo Yoghurt reviewnatural greek fruyo yoghurt reviewfage fruyo yoghurt reviewnatural greek fruyo yoghurt review 2
Following on from my post about healthy snacking and showing you my fun with fruit recipes I was kindly given the chance to try Total Greek’s new range of yoghurts Fruyo*… now I am not the type of girl that says no to food, especially not free food so obviously I jumped at the chance to try them.
I was especially excited as I eat tones of yoghurt… in my diet it is in its own food group. You would never open my fridge and not find a tub of Greek Yoghurt in there. It is so versatile, healthy and great for those with a sweet tooth. I use yoghurt in my overnight oats, in  smoothies, in recipes as a replacement for cream and as a healthy sweet snack; top it with fruit or honey or crushed up meringue or as a replacement for icecream.

Since I have moved house I now make sure all my post goes to my work address so that stuff isn’t left in the lobby in my apartment building. With most things its alright as it’s normally, clothes or makeup that is delivered there. However when my parcel arrived from Total Greek there was a bit of confusion as to why there was a cool bag of yoghurt being delivered there…. it’s not normally something that people order for themselves. I had to explain it was for my blog to the confused looks on my colleagues faces. When I opened the massive box I was very surprised to see a huge cool bag full of a wide collection of Fruyo flavours; Vanilla, Cherry, Peach and Pineapple. I had to guard the bag with my life as my colleagues were eyeing it up all day.

Anyways onto the product it self. Total Greek Yoghurt say that “Fruyo yoghurts are an exceptionally thick, protein-packed, fat-free Greek yoghurt with real fruit pieces. Ideal for breakfast, as a snack or dessert. It is packed full of protein with 7.7g of protein per 100g yoghurt… a benefit which will appeal to foodies, slimmers and fitness enthusiast alike. With no preservative, colourings or artificial sweeteners this is a substantial yoghurt upgrade for many.”

I love them!  Their vanilla flavour is divine!! You get a substantial amount of yoghurt in one pot and it is unbelievably thick and creamy! Unlike some Greek Yoghurt I have tried there is no sharpness at all. Matt and I have been having one each day as one of our snacks and I have been using the non flavoured one in my meals. I can quite honestly say that I am a total convert. I love that they are packed full of  protein in as well! It means I'm fuller for longer!

Do you eat yoghurt as much as I clearly do? Have you ever tried Fruyo yoghurts? Which is your favourite brand of Greek Yoghurt?

p.s. The picture above only shows a couple of flavours, but as they were so yummy Matt and I had eaten man before I got round to taking pictures… whoops!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Share the Love| Meet My Sponsors


It’s that time of the month again; time for me to share with you the lovely sponsors who have been supporting me from my side bar this month. This month was extra special as I was joined by two other AMAZING fitness and health bloggers. There is starting to be little group of us now. We all tweet each other often and offer support through our fitness and health journeys… it’s a lot more fun that doing it on your own!

I personally am a huge fan of both of their blogs and have been reading and following them both for some time. They post often about fitness and health, but also motivation, recipes and day to day life. Both blogs are full of personality… which is always a great thing. I truly hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Please go and share some love with them.

Gym bags and glad rags

Hi, I'm Cantara. I'm on a mission to improve my body, my sense of style & my skills with a make up brush. I'll be blogging about my progress on shaping up and slimming down, tips & tricks on how to live a healthy lifestyle, recipes, workouts, meal plans, as well as OOTD's, new buys and beauty loves. Join me if you want to get fitter, look stylish & be beautified too! :)




Hello Cotton-


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I'm Rhiannon, a 20 year old Advertising & Marketing Student from Coventry. I'm a huge lover of keeping fit and healthy, and love coming up with  new recipes and workouts to try! I started The Barbelle to help me log my progress and any recipes that I find along the way, as well as being to give other people ideas for what to do to help push themselves further and live healthier lifestyles! :)

I like to think my blog's a bit of everything as even though the gym is like my second home, I love make up and clothes so there may be a couple of non-health-related posts thrown into the mix every now and then - who says fitness bloggers can't be girly too?! I'm super friendly and I'm happy to answer any questions my readers have so don't be afraid to say hello if you ever fancy a chat! :)

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Instagram: @thebarbelle


Be sure to give them all a read, I guarantee that you won’t regret it! If you are interested in featuring on my side bar then visit my advertising page for all the details.


Cosmo blog awards 2013P.s If you enjoy my posts or my blog inspires you to workout and eat healthier, it would mean the world to me if you could vote it as “Best Lifestyle Blog” in the Cosmo Blog Awards.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Wednesday’s Workout| Tone your arms


fitness friday tone your arms 2-vert-horz

How is your week going? My week started yesterday seems it was a Bank Holiday and it started with a bang! I am attempting a modified version of the Tone It Up Seven Day Slim Down to kick start my diet seems it was lacking last week and Bootcamp last night was a killer! Like have to stand to the side for a minute to gasp air into my lungs killer… but no pain no gain! I may not be the fastest in the class but I kept going. I would love to get a Polar HRM Watch so I could  see how many calories I’m burning… maybe on payday!

Anyway, this weeks workout is going to concentrate on an areas many young girls ignore, their arms. However did you know that your arms are the easiest part of your body to tone up. If you try lifting some dumbbells, holding the plank or doing some push ups for a good 15 minutes a couple times of week you will notice a difference.

Now I understand that many of you do not want muscly arms, but you won’t… women aren't built so that they bulk up. Women's bodies tone up before you bulk then up. If you tone your arms, you will be less susceptible to bingo wings when you are older, and your arms will be lean and no longer look fatter in your side on photos… if you know what I mean. 

As your arms are one of the easiest parts to tone up you will see results very quickly which is a great motivator! My arms have toned up loads from doing regular toning exercise and it’s great to see muscle there instead of fat. My arms now have shape to them.

If you want to tone your arms then dumbbells are a great investment. You can buy them form anywhere now.. I think I’ve even bought some from Tesco before. If you don’t have dumbbells get inventive and use tins of beans, or water bottles filled with pebbles or sand. However you do not need equipment to tone your arms. I have included two videos in today’s post one that you don’t need equipment for and one that you need equipment for. Both are only about 7 mins long, but you don’t need long to feel the burn in your arms!

Do you want to tone up your arms? Which exercises do you use to tone your arms?


Cosmo blog awards 2013P.s If you enjoy my posts or my blog inspires you to workout and eat healthier, it would mean the world to me if you could vote it as “Best Lifestyle Blog” in the Cosmo Blog Awards.


Don't forget to check out my blogger of the week Cantara from Gym Bags and Glad Rags. If you enjoy my fitness post you will fall in love with her blog. She is a stunner with a great blog!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Fitness Friday| Fitness Bootcamp Explained

Kendal bootcamp class explainedkendal bootcamp cumbriakendal bootcamp class cumbriawhat is bootcamp like bootcamp kendal
Over the past few months you may have seen my many tweets or instagrams about the Kendal Bootcamp Class that I have been attending. Some of you know exactly what bootcamp is and attend one locally, others are intrigued and want to know exactly what they would be letting themselves in for. So this post is a review of the class and an explanation of exactly what you can expect at a bootcamp class.

What is a bootcamp class like?
Obviously all classes will differ, however they are all based around the same principles of getting out in your local park, getting you to work hard by mixing strength and cardio, getting muddy, having a laugh, and getting results!

So to start with there is about a 7 minute warm up which in my class consists of jogging about 100 meters about 4 times; alternating between high knees, side shuffles, heels to bums etc. During the 7 mins we also do a few 10 second bursts of sprinting on the spot, some punching and ab twists. The 7 mins really does warm you up from head to toe and can be quite tiring; in my first class I was knackered after only the warm up!

After everyone is warm we go into a cardio circuit. The cardio circuit is done in pairs and consists of 4 different stations. Person 1 completes an exercise at the station while person 2 sprints out to a lamppost about 70 metres away and sprints back. The whole time that person 2 is running person 1 will be completing an exercise such as mountain climbers, jumping jacks, holding a plank, push-ups or whacking a large tire with a 10 pound hammer. Once person 2 returns you swap. So this time, person 1 will be running to the lamppost and back while person 2 completes the exercise. Once the pair have both completed the exercise they move onto the next station which will consist of exactly the same thing, one runs while the other competes an exercise  Obviously the exercise is different at each station. Sometimes when our trainer, Ady is feeling mean he makes one of the stations a Bergan run, so instead of just sprinting off while your partner does the exercise, you have to sprint off while carrying a 30 pound rucksack on your back! It is very much pair work as the slower your partner runs the longer you have to complete the exercise. There is no rest between the exercises and you move quickly from one movement to another, meaning your heat rate is high and you are burning fat fast! It's a tough ten minutes, but much more effective than traditional workouts.

Once everyone has completed the 4 stations we move onto the next circuit which has 7 stations that vary between cardio and strength. Each one works a different area of your body. The photos above give you a good indication of what the stations can consist of. This circuit is timed and each station lasts for 1 minute, which doesn't sound long but when you are doing squats/running with a tire/holding a plank it is a loooong time! Ady walks around each of the stations during the minute to ensure that you are doing the moves correctly, getting the most out of it and pushing you to work harder. Thankfully he’s not a nasty drill sergeant that shouts in your face, he just offers gentle encouragement to push you harder, run faster and squat deeper. He knows each of the bootcampers well and understands their motives and fitness levels and adapts his approach to each of them.

After everyone has completed each of the stations we all play a game/relay race. This is  a great fun way to finish the session, and gets everyone's competitive side out, but it also provides a good laugh. After the games we cool down and have a good chat.

Review and Results
You can probably gather from my write up that I am an avid bootcamper. I go three times a week and actually find myself looking forward to class. It has to be the only form of exercise that I want to do all the time i.e no matter what my mood I still want to go to bootcamp. It works me hard, I always have a good laugh, I've made some great friends, it's affordable and I'm seeing amazing results.

I have been going to bootcamp for about 6 weeks now and I have seen a huge difference in my fitness levels and stamina. To be honest with you I thought I was fit until I went to the first class and almost threw up after only 25 minutes! I still get my but kicked every session but the joy with bootcamp is you get out of it what you put in. Everyone can benefit from it, you just have to go at your own speed... which for me is faster that it was 6 weeks ago. I don't weigh myself so can't tell you if I've lost any pounds, but I have significantly toned up and now have lovely toned arms, with a pretty good muscles definition;  my bum is more lifted and rounder, rather than just being large; my legs are getting more toned and my cellulite has almost disappeared; and for the first time in years my abs have some definition.

Overall I could not recommend a bootcamp class more. If like me you are anxious about starting a new class, please just bite the bullet. I put off coming for a long while because I was too anxious about meeting new people and starting something new, but I am so glad I had the courage to attend. I have significantly improved my fitness levels, which has helped massively with my running, and have toned up so much in only 6 weeks; I can't wait to see what I look like in another 6 weeks!

If you do live in Kendal and the surrounding area then please visit for more info. Come down and give it a try or drop Ady an email or text; very often he lets you try your first class to see what its like and if it's for you. For June there is 50% off so you can attend all classes in June for only £25... bargain!

Do you attend a local bootcamp class? Do you love it as much as I do? Do you regularly attend a different type of exercise class that you love as much as I love bootcamp? 

250x250 barbelle blog button advertDon't forget to check out my blogger of the week Rhiannon from The Barbelle. If you enjoy my fitness and health posts you will love her blog. It is crammed full of fitspiration!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Wednesday’s Workout| Plank Challenge

Plank challengePlank challenge-vert
Who’s ready to get some amazing abs? I’m sure the thought of bikini season being just around the corner is pushing you to try a tone up a little so you are your most confident on the beach. Now abs are completely made in the kitchen, so if you are wanting some definition yes you need to work out your core but you also need to shed the fat so you can show off your new abs.
One of the most effective moves for toning the whole of your core is the plank. Not only is it effective, it is super simple to do, requires no equipment and only takes minutes to work you hard. You can see all the muscles that the plank works in the picture above.
The Tone It Up Girls know that the plank is a super effective and have started a challenge of their own the; #bikiniseries5minplank challenge… yes we even have our own hashtag! You can see mine and others attempts in the picture above, but follow everyone’s journey on instagram and Twitter with the hashtag. So the challenge is fairly self explanatory we are aiming to hold a 5 minute plank in 6 weeks time. Yes it seems like a long time! I’m still a long way off, with my max being 1.25, however each day I rack up more seconds so I should be there in 6 weeks!
I have only been doing the challenge for 7 days but already I am seeing great results. My abs are definitely stronger, especially my lower abs, I feel more toned and solid… if you know what I mean… less jiggly! So I could not recommend this challenge enough!
If you want to plank it out and mix it up a little, the below video is a great super short workout that is full of modified planks. It is only about 7 minutes long and you hold each move for around 30 seconds, so it is very manageable if you are a beginner, but the length of means it is still a good workout for those that are a little fitter. I cannot recommend the plank enough! If you want to have a toned core in time for your bikini then start today you will soon see results within a few weeks.
What do you think of the plank? Are you a lover of a hater of it? Which other abs moves do you recommend?

250x250 barbelle blog button advertDon't forget to check out my blogger of the week Rhiannon from The Barbelle. If you enjoy my fitness and health posts you will love her blog. It is crammed full of fitspiration!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Come on Sunshine| Nails Inc Springtime Shades

Nails Inc Springnail ince spring coloursNails inc Ebury bridge westferry cricus holly bush vale summer place york streetNails inc spring colours 6
Where has spring gone? Normally May is such a reliable month, but this May it poured down on my birthday and I’ve barely seen the sun! In protest of the none existent springtime up here in  Cumbria I decided to try out my newest Nails Inc collection that my gorgeous friend bought me for my birthday… she knows me so well!

As it was a collection of 5 I thought it was best to swatch each one onto each of my fingers so I could show you them all at the same time. At first I was going to remove the multi-coloured look I had going on before I went to work the next day however I decided to keep it on and embrace the colourful look….it’s a good job I had no meetings the next day. It’s not the most professional nail art I have worn but it was definitely the brightest and definitely made me smile everytime I looked down at my keyboard and saw my nails. I embraced the look for a few days until someone said that it reminded them of the circus and clowns. Upon mentioning clowns, that was all I could think about whenever I looked at my nails, which isn’t great for a person with clown phobia!

I do love the look, but don’t think I will be wearing them all at once again. My favourite’s out of the bunch are York Street and Westferry Circus, mainly as they are two shades that I don’t have already. The others I have a number of nails varnishes that are of about the same shade.

Have you ever worn colourful nails to make your day a little more cheerful? Which of the above shades is your favourite? Which Nails Inc shades would you recommend  me to try next?

Don't forget to check out my blogger of the week Cantara from Gym Bags and Glad Rags. If you enjoy my fitness post you will fall in love with her blog. She is a stunner with a great blog!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Fitness Friday| Healthy Snacking| Fun Fruit

Healthy snack ideas apple chunksHealthy Snack Ideas Banana BitesHealthy snack peanut butter appleHealth snack banana and nutella
A foodie post for you all today. I’m really trying to make significant changes to my diet at the moment and have found that if I plan and prepare my meals then I am more likely to eat healthier. I decided that my diet needs to change as my fitness regime is pretty much there now, as in I am loving exercising and have to do it 5/6 times a week otherwise I go stir crazy. I pretty much hate my rest days and when I injured my leg the other day my first thought was “ oh no, I won’t be able to workout” I pretty much panicked. I know that I am going to have to rest it so that it recovers quickly, but my days feel incomplete if I haven’t worked out.
My diet on the other hand needs to improve, I still give into my cravings which is ok every now and again but not all the time. I need to eat less processed food and less sugar. So the snacks I am sharing with you above are perfect! Yes they do have sugar in them due to the fruit and little amount of chocolate spread, but they are a healthier alternative to chocolate bars or cake.

The snacks are super easy to make for the Banana Bites all you need it Nutella and a banana… these remind me of banana and Nutella crepes that I used to live on when I lived in France. You simply slice the banana then spread the Nutella onto one piece of banana and top with a second to make a little Banana Sandwich.
For the Apple Chunks you need Peanut Butter, desiccated coconut and an apple. Slice an apple and chop off the end so they are flat, this gives you an area for coat with peanut butter. After spreading on the peanut butter sprinkle desiccated coconut on top. The Apple Chunks are great to prepare for the next day in the office. I tend to have half in the morning and half in the afternoon. The Banana Bites I have in the evening if I’m craving something sweet.

Snacking is very important if you are trying to watch your weight as having a healthy snack between your meals can help reduce the amount you eat during your meals, it ensures that you don’t over eat as you are never hungry. If you prepare a healthy snack and have one to hand you are less likely to grab something unhealthy on the move. You should always have some fruit of nuts in your bag to ensure you don’t grab a bag of crisps or chocolate bar while at the train station etc. A healthy snack that is made up of complex carbs, protein and health fats increases your energy levels for a longer period of time than a sugary snack does. This will ensure that you don’t have the 3 o clock slump in the afternoon.

Nutritional value (approx..)
Banana Bites - Calories-205 carbs- 27g Fat-6g Protein-3g
Apple Chunks - Calories- 225 Carbs-27g Fat- 12g Protein-0g

Don't forget to check out my blogger of the week Cantara from Gym Bags and Glad Rags. If you enjoy my fitness post you will fall in love with her blog. She is a stunner with a great blog!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wednesday's Workout| Tone your Muffin Top & Love Handles

Firstly I would just like to thank each and every one of you for your amazing comments on the progress picture I posted on Friday. Your feedback has completely overwhelmed me and made me very proud of my achievements so far, however it is has also encouraged me to work harder so that my next progress picture will be just as impressive. I was literally brought to tears by some of your kind words; I've even had old uni friends comment on how much better and happier I look.Yesterday my Granddad rang me to inform me that he'd read my blog and just wanted to let me know how amazing I look and how proud he is of me. All of your support and amazingly kind comments always make my low days easier, and they always encourage me to lace up my trainers and drag myself out for a run when I really don't want to. So thankyou so much for reading my blog, commenting, tweeting and instagramming me, your support means the world to me.

Anyways enough of the smoochy stuff and onto our next workout! How is your week going? We are now half way through the month, so you should be half way through your newest fitness and health goals... if you aren't what are you waiting for... start now! There are only 6 weeks until summer so if you don't start now, when are you?

This weeks Wednesday Workout is going to concentrate on your muffin-top; that area of fat that sticks out from over your jeans, and Love Handles; the area at the side of your waist. Now you may be very lucky and have very little fat on your lower or side Abs but these workouts will help you tone up so still give them a go. These workouts will work the side, middle and lower Abs. They are both short videos of around 10 minutes long and both incorporate a number of moves all designed to work your Abs. Some of the moves are repeated in both videos, but there are new moves in each video so I wanted to share both of them with you. They are a little tough and will work you hard, but if you do manage them with ease just do the workout another 2 or 3 times to increase intensity. 

Please be warned the intro to the second video is very weird and a little scary so if you scare easily please skip it to 32 seconds in. If you don't scare easy then you will sit and wonder what the hell did you just watch as I do every-time I see it. 

What are your favouirte moves to tone the Muffin Top and Love Handles? Let me know what you think of the workouts. Or if you have any areas you would like to tone and would like me to find a good video for you. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube so that you have all the workouts in one easy place! 

Don't forget to check out my blogger of the week Cantara from Gym Bags and Glad Rags. If you enjoy my fitness post you will fall in love with her blog. She is a stunner with a great blog!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Turning 24| My Birthday Celebrations

cute cupcake stand 5023pizzaparty new 2party new 7photo (71)-tileparty new

This week was my birthday…. possibly one of my most favourite days in the year. Although it has always been special, it used to have the shine taken off it as it was always in the middle of exam and assignment hand-in time. However now I have finished university I think that my birthday is perfectly placed in the year. It is kind of halfway through the year, so not near Christmas and New Year and overlooked or during the summer so is favoured for Summer Holidays.

I am currently snuggled up on the couch nursing a tiny hangover after celebrating my 24th birthday last night with my boyfriend and closest friends. Matt and I spent Saturday morning baking and cooking ready for everyone to arrive. I made three flavours of cupcake; Oreo, Malteser and Rolo, you can see pictures of my handy work above. Matt made homemade pizzas and potato wedges for dinner… a big carb dinner, perfect to line our stomachs for all the fizzy cocktails.

After getting glammed up, my friends and I all sat around and played the usual drinking games, before heading off into town for more cocktails and some dancing. I haven’t been out partying in my new hometown much and it’s definitely a big change from my old favourite drinking establishments in Newcastle, but we made the most of it. It was actually great to go out to places that weren’t full of idiots and posers. To be able to go out and not worry about what you look like, but rather go out let your hair down and dance like a loon with your friends. We stayed out until closing time, then went back to our apartment and made more pizzas and caught up with The Voice before all passing out. Overall it was a perfect night and a great way to celebrate my birthday. So thank-you to all my gorgeous friends for travelling hundred of miles to visit me, my family for all the love you share with me and my boy for spoiling me like he does everyday.

What’s your preferred way to spend your birthday? A night with the girls, a dinner with family or a weeks worth of celebrations like me (might as well make the most of it!)

250x250 barbelle blog button advertDon't forget to check out my blogger of the week Rhiannon from The Barbelle. If you enjoy my fitness and health posts you will love her blog. It is crammed full of fitspiration!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Fitness Friday| One Year On

Fitness Friday One Year On

If you didn't realise form my Tweeting and Instagramming this week, Wednesday was my birthday. Now usually birthdays to me are a day that revolves around me; a day in which I can behave like the princess that I think I am without anyone telling me to stop being a diva. Obviously the day did go along those lines, but this year was more special to me as it was a day to reflect on how far I have come in my health gain and weight loss journey. I didn't actually start my new healthy lifestyle until the end of June last year but I thought I would still celebrate my success on my birthday by wearing the same dress I wore the year before, but with a completely different body underneath. 

I thought that by wearing the same dress I would be able to see the changes in my body more clearly  and I think the picture above shows very well how far I have come, but also how far I have left to go. If you know me and read my blog regularly then you will know that I don't weight myself as I have an unhealthy relationship with the scales, but mark my progress through inches lost. I still have fat to lose and muscle to gain, and would say that I am 2/3 of the way through my health gain journey. 

The past year has been a year of change for me; moving across the country, moving away from my boyfriend (thankfully we're back in the same apartment again), getting a new job, new body and new lifestyle. The past year has also been an empowering one for me.  My weight used to be a very sensitive subject for me and even when I was at my thinnest I was never body confident, and this grew to whole new levels of awful when I gained weight at university. When I went to university I essentially lost control of my body and will power. My confidence took a massive knock but I would still smile my way through it and kid myself that I didn't look too bad. I now know that wasn't the truth. 

This year has been the year when I have gained back control of my body! This past year I have learnt that a healthy lifestyle can be tough to learn and master, I still have slip ups. I have learnt that my body is capable of so much more than I thought it was. I've learnt how to push myself, when to be proud but when to not over do it. Even though my body is not yet where I want it to be I am starting to love it again and can look in a mirror and feel proud, not disgusted. 

So one year on I look at the picture above and feel proud. I look in the mirror and see a smile not a look of disgust. I am now 24 years old and for once in my life I am feeling more body confident, and to me this is the best birthday present I can give to myself. 

250x250 barbelle blog button advertDon't forget to check out my blogger of the week Rhiannon from The Barbelle. If you enjoy my fitness and health posts you will love her blog. It is crammed full of fitspiration!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Wednesday’s Workout| Tone It Up Malibu Booty

Tone it up malibu booty workout squat
*Images from Tumblr

Happy Hump day girls, what better excuse to work on your own humps? You can see from above that even Ryan Gosling knows the importance of working on your butt! I’m sure he loves a girl who squats! I’m working mine hard this month and am currently on day 13 of the 30 Day Squat Challenge. The squats are getting a little easier but my legs and bum ache all the time! I’ve taken a few extra rest days to compensate as don’t want to completely seize up and not be able to do any exercise…. worst nightmare!

As well as the 30 day squat challenge I have done the below workout for my booty from the gorgeous Tone It Up Girls. This one is probably one of my favourite work outs from Tone It Up as the moves as simple to master so getting your form spot on it simple, but they work you hard! I am yet to do it all the way  through without taking a little rest. There are a lot of different moves that work the different muscles in your upper legs and booty to help lift and sculpt you butt so it looks like one of those gorgeous one above. The aim is to do the 8 minute long routine 3 time through to get a great workout but if you are finding it too tough just do it once of twice. It’s better to build up to something than to overdo it and cause yourself an injury.

I plan on doing this workout today even though it is my Birthday, so if I can wake up early and cram it in then you can definitely give it ago for at least 8 minutes! Let me know how you get on and if you enjoy it?

250x250 barbelle blog button advertDon't forget to check out my blogger of the week Rhiannon from The Barbelle. If you enjoy my fitness and health posts you will love her blog. It is crammed full of fitspiration!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

A May Wedding| OOTD

wedding outift 3-horzwedding outfit 5wedding face 2

How is everyone’s Bank Holiday Weekend going? What are your plans? Today I had my brother, his girlfriend and my mum around for lunch so we could show off our new apartment. So Matt and I put on a little spread and I had an excuse to bake some cupcakes. This time I made some strawberry flavoured one’s with jam in the centre, they were very strawberry flavoured! You can see pictures of them on my Instagram. For the rest of the day Matt and I are going to relax, he will probably watch sport, and I’m busy blogging and catching up with Hart of Dixie. Today is a rest day for me on the exercise so I’m only doing my squats and the 30 Day Abs Challenge and planning my workouts for the week ahead. The weather isn’t the best over here in the Lakes so tomorrow may have to be a lazy indoor one as well… I may even get round to putting the rest of my “fat clothes” on eBay.

Anyways onto the point of this post, yesterday I attended the wedding of my Mum’s ex-husband (I have a very complicated family, so I won’t go into it), so thought I would share with you the outfit I chose to wear. I was super excited for the wedding, obviously because I love a good celebration, it was a chance to catch up with family and friends and also this is the first wedding I have ever attended where I haven’t been in the wedding party, so I actually got a chance to choose what to wear.

It turned out choice is a bad thing for me. I ended up spending weeks wondering about what to wear. The wedding was an informal one so a long dress was out of the question, so instead I chose a short dress. This dress is from Dorothy Perkins and I bought it last weekend with 10% off so it was only around £30. Even though it was a casual wedding I still wanted to wear a fascinator, I would of loved to wear a big hat but that would of been a bit too much, so the fascinator had to do. Plus it was a bargain… only £3 in the sale at Accessorize!

The wedding day itself was lovely. The weather stayed bright so the ceremony is a memorial hall in a park was beautiful. The ceremony was simple and sweet and the reception small and personal, but it was great to be at a reception filled with the bride’s and groom’s closest family and friends. I do love a wedding!

Are you a wedding fanatic like me? Do you struggle as much as I do when picking an outfit? Are you attending any weddings this year?

P.s You probably will have already noticed that the Cosmo Blog Awards are back! After being a finalist last year it would mean the world for me to be back amongst it all again this year. I’m very disappointed that there isn’t a Best Fitness and Health Blog category so am instead vying for Best Lifestyle Blog. If you enjoy my blog and find it motivating it would be amazing if you could vote for me, just click one of the buttons below. Thank-you soooooo much!

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Don't forget to check out my blogger of the week Cantara from Gym Bags and Glad Rags. If you enjoy my fitness post you will fall in love with her blog. She is a stunner with a great blog!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Fitness Friday| Being Accountable

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It’s the third of May, which  means for many of you, you are 3 days into a new/ your newest fitness and health drive. I love the start of a new month, as it’s a chance to set some new challenge and goals for myself. So have you started off strong or are you already dwindling?  If you haven’t had the best of starts remember that every day is the chance to start again… whatever you do do not wait until next month or the next Monday, just pick yourself back up and start again now! A great way to motivate yourself is to become accountable for your actions, that’s what I have been working on this week.

This week I have been taking part in Tone It Up’s Bikini Series, which is essentially 8 weeks of exercises, motivation and recipes to get us girls bikini ready. What the Tone It Up girls have taught me this week is the importance of being accountable. If you follow me on Instagram you will notice that I have been posting daily “Check-In” pictures which are part of the Bikini Series challenge. The idea is that you take pictures of each of your meals and your exercise efforts, make a little collage of them, tag it as #bikiniseries and share it with the world. This means that you are sharing your healthy lifestyle to the world and you are being accountable for your actions. It definitely makes me think twice about what I’m eating if I know I have to photograph it and share it with others, as I want to feel proud of my diet not ashamed.

Being accountable is very important when you are wanting to lose weight, change your lifestyle or up your exercise efforts. You need to be responsible for your actions when you are living a healthy lifestyle, and you need to think about the choices that you are making when you are wanting to become healthier. When you are accountable you think twice about buying that chocolate bar, you think about what you are eating and question whether this food choice is going to help you reach your goal, or are you going to regret it in half and hours time?

There are a number of ways to become more accountable. It doesn't have to involve shoving your healthy lifestyle in front of everyone and their dog. You can be accountable without shouting it from the rooftop. Here are a number of ways to become more accountable and help you on your healthy lifestyle journey;
  • Start a food journal- One of my most successful attempts at losing weight was when I kept a very strict food journal. I counted every calorie that passed my lips. This made me extremely accountable, helped me lose weight but more importantly taught me about food. I would eat 1200 calories a day and when I first started with the food diary I would run out of calories come lunch time, but over time I learnt about food and nutrition and learnt that healthier food had lower calories which meant I could eat loads! From 4 months of keeping this food diary I learn so much!
  • Keep an exercise journal – This is what I currently do. I use a wide range of methods to measure my performance during my workouts. I massively increased my running performance thanks to the Nike Run App. Apps such as these measure how far you ran, how long, how quick you were and how many calories you have burnt.
  • Plan your week- This is a must for me. Every Sunday I sit down and plan my meals for the week by looking through recipe books and magazines. I have a little calendar that I mark with what I’m eating for dinner on that day and I have a calendar that shows me what workouts I am doing each day. This forward planning means I don’t over spend on my shops, I have healthy food in my flat and I can plan my rest days around other events in my schedule that week.
  • Start a weight loss blog- If you are reading this then you will know that this is my weight loss/ health gain blog! I started a few years ago now because I wanted a creative outlet where I could share my knowledge and thoughts on health, fitness and beauty. Fitness Fridays have been on the blog for a year now and have become very popular, as a result you lovely people are my motivators. Your tweets, emails and views on my blog encourage me every day to live healthy and lead by example. I would be a massive hypocrite if I blogged about health but didn't live a healthy lifestyle myself!
  • Create realistic short, medium and long term goals and track your progress- If you don’t have goals then you have nothing to motivate yourself. Whether your goals are to run 5k, fit into a certain dress or pair of jeans, eat healthy 6 days out of 7, compete a triathlon, or to have some killer abs, if you have something to aim for your efforts mean more to you.
  • Take pictures of your body- This is a great way to measure progress, as you very often don’t see any changes yourself and don’t believe others when they comment that you have lost weight. If you have a photo diary you can see the changes with your own eyes! You'll be amazed at your results and the changes in your body.
  • Take your measurements-  Measuring yourself give you a much more realistic view of how your body is changing. Your weight is not a real indicator of health as it can be affected by water, hormones, muscles gained or the time of the day.
  • Post photos of your meals- “If you wont’ tweet it, don’t eat it!” This is a more public way of making yourself accountable, but I’ve found the daily check in I mentioned above have really helped me this week.
I hope you have made a strong start to the month, but if not how about adopting one of the methods I have mentioned to help motivate yourself! If you have started strong how do you make yourself accountable? Do you have any other methods that I haven’t mentioned that others will benefit form hearing?

Don't forget to check out my blogger of the week Cantara from Gym Bags and Glad Rags. If you enjoy my fitness post you will fall in love with her blog. She is a stunner with a great blog!