15 Years

In 2000/2001 (I don’t remember the exact date, but the first snapshot that I can find on archive.org is 17th May 2001 – I know I had it for like a year before that though!), I bought a domain via a friend and started what we now know as a blog. Back then? I can’t even remember how it was referred to, but I would write about what happened at sixth form, and had individual pages with photos of friends on that I could link to when I mentioned them in a post – because it wasn’t like I could just link to their blog or Twitter account, because no one had them!

I choose 25th April 2001 as my blogging birthday because that’s when I started my Livejournal. Livejournal, for those of you who aren’t a 30-odd year old girl reading this, was a free blogging platform where you could write posts and have people leave comments that you could reply to and join communities about things you loved. These things seem like the most basic activities to us now, but this is back in the days when Blogger didn’t even have comments built in. We coded our sites by hand in Notepad, looking at other sites code to see how they did this thing and tweaked it to suit our style. (Back when I was in sixth form and had free periods, I would draw and write out what I wanted my site to look like because I couldn’t get onto a computer!)

That’s why I find it so funny when people lamenting about how blogging just isn’t the same, you guyssss as it was back in the day – because that’s how I was feeling when they were all starting out!

Blogging for me has always been a place to babble about what’s going on – from 17 year old me talking about boys, through to my uni life (and talking about boys), and, well, whatever. There were the times that I wanted to be one of the cam girls (Before they became all nudey and had paid for members only sites) and when I wrote lots of posts with affiliate links in which earned me a nice bit of pocket money, but didn’t feel very me.

Blogging in the future for me will be much of the same – I like what I do and I do this for fun. It’s why I’ve not really pushed the monetisation thing on here because it turned something fun into a chore.

Here’s to much more babble!

Things I’ve Learnt From The Gym

Maybe it’s just the blogs that I read, but it seems like in the last 6 months, there’s been a real shift in the amount of people who are going to the gym and talking about it (because what else are we going to talk about?)

My own ~*fitness journey*~ (which I think you can tell what I think of that phrase when I use the wanky lines around it) started last August when I started seeing a personal trainer. I joined the Pure Gym in the middle of town because it was reasonably priced and easy to get to – both reasons meaning that I had no excuse to not go!

I have been seeing my PT twice a week since then, I changed who I was seeing in November as my original PT went to Florida for a few months. I have found that having someone plan a workout for me means that I work out harder than I would if I planned my own routine. I tried to explain this to Alex by saying that if I go by myself, then I stick to the cardio machines that I know well, and put in maybe 7/10 effort. If I go with a friend, then I put in a bit more effort (like 8/10) but if I’m with the PT, then I put in the most effort, because I’m paying for it, so it would be silly not to want to get the most from it!

Alex found that he could get a David Lloyd membership through his work as well, which suited him because he wanted to play more tennis, so I was added onto his membership in December…yeah, I didn’t think I’d be a member of one gym a year ago, never mind two. I like both gyms for different reasons – the cardio machines at David Lloyd are a little more up to date (and have TV’s in them…always good for distraction!) but I prefer the weight machines at Pure (because they have the weights in both lbs and kgs)

Here are a few things that I have learnt since going to the gym…

Working on your core makes back problems easier to deal with

My main reason for joining the gym was to see whether my back problems could be managed better. I was taking the strongest painkillers which still didn’t do enough sometimes. Building up my core strength has meant that I haven’t taken any painkillers for my back since December (woo!)
I also started seeing a physio at the same sort of time, which does help of course, but it’s more of a reset every few weeks to put my back into the right position rather than actually treating the daily problems.

Working on your core means you can wear heels more.

This is one of those things that no one has ever mentioned to me, but I’m pretty sure everyone would want to know. Building up my core strength (and working on my legs – I love the leg press machine!) meant that at a recent wedding, I wore my heels all day and didn’t need to keep sitting down and taking them off. Oh heels. I have missed you.

Weights aren’t just for blokes

This is one of the things that seeing a PT has helped most with. When I went to a gym a few years ago, my induction was more focused on the cardio machines like treadmills and elliptical – there was a general wave at the weights area and a comment made that I probably wouldn’t be interested in that. Lifting weights is always seen as a very male dominated area, and I have to admit, I’m still a little intimidated sometimes at picking up a barbell to do some lunges with when I’m on my own.

Numbers mean bugger all.

I need to remember this myself sometimes. The easiest way to measure progress is to step onto the scales every day and let them record my weight and BMI, but really, those numbers mean nothing. What matters most is how you feel about yourself, which brings me to my next point

Working on your strength makes you like your body a bit more

I turned up to my first PT session wearing a baggy t-shirt and bulky jogging bottoms, but as I’ve worked out more and learnt to appreciate what my body can actually do, I’ve moved into wearing cropped leggings and more recently, brightly coloured leggings – things I wouldn’t even have considered previously.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean bullshit diets or denying yourself good food.

I have never been a fan of things like Slimming World or Weight Watchers, etc. I hate when people say they’re “being good” when they choose a salad over a burger. Just the idea of calorie counting makes me really sad, because I love food. Everything is good in moderation, and really, who could eat their favourite food constantly?

As an example, and because I don’t know how to end this post, here’s what I had for dinner last night – a Smokestack burger at Grillstock and some chocolate and hazelnut gelato at Swoon. Damn, that was some good eats.

Hnnnnng

A photo posted by Hayley Constantine (@hayleyc) on

Accidentally a @swoon_gelato. (Thats how it works @waiyeehong, right?)

A photo posted by Hayley Constantine (@hayleyc) on

Purple Is The Colour

When Rainbow Club emailed to offer me a pair of custom coloured shoes, I didn’t even need to think twice about what colour I would choose. You probably guessed from my overuse of purple over on Bonjour, Blogger! that it’s my favourite colour which has been the case for as long as I can remember. It took longer to choose which shoes I was going to wear, but I went for the Stevie satin pumps because I don’t wear heels very much outside of work.

I intended to wear these for a friends wedding recently and take lots of photos in the beautiful countryside but when I was about a mile away from the hotel, I realised I had left them behind in Bristol! Super annoying. Still, a week later, I had a chance to really test the shoes out when I wore them to take part in the Bath in Fashion bloggers preview day. I knew there would be lots of walking so this would be a good chance to see how the shoes would hold up all day.

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These photos were taken at the end of the day, and the shoes were still perfectly comfortable, despite the amount of walking we had done! The shoes are slightly padded on the inside (although this didn’t affect the actual sizing of the shoe – no need to size up or down on this) which meant they were still super comfy after 8 hours of wear. I even had a few people complimenting my shoes when we were in a shop – very unexpected!

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Rainbow Club were also very kind enough to send over a pair of shoe clips which can help you change up the look of the shoes. I chose the Selena shoe clips because, well, go big and sparkly, or go home. The shoe clips are literally just that – like a little hair clip on the back of the sparkles that allow you to pop the shoe clip anywhere on the shoe that suits you – I like them on the back of the shoe!

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One of the things I noticed while browsing on the site to get the links for this post was that after the wedding, you can send the shoes back to Rainbow Club and have them dyed into a more everyday sort of colour – like getting two pairs of shoes for the price of one!

I’d totally recommend these shoes if you’re looking for a specific colour shoe for an outfit – not just for weddings!