Weight Loss Wednesdays: Thinspiration | Fitspiration

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Lack of motivation is a constant problem for me, whether it's a couple of days, a fortnight, or 2 months into dieting. And because it's always been a "diet" and not a lifestyle change, I've always had, and have been used to, fast results.

This time around, it's not going to be my usual crash diet, meaning a slow and steady loss, which equals my motivation, resolve and willpower really being tested!

I've compiled my top 10 tips that help me out most, in hope that, if you're anything like me and need constant encouragement, you can refer back to it to keep you firmly on the right track.

1. Find some photos

If there was a time in your life, maybe a few months or years ago, where you were happy with your weight, these are the best kind. They make me think "I've been there before, I can be there again." If you've always been big, don't fret! There are many photos of gorgeous celebrities to thinspire/fitspire you!



2. Get out the vidcam

Whether the camera puts on pounds or gives you the most accurate representation of how you look to the world, video footage is a great way to document your journey. Strip off (oo-er) to your undermost layers and do a little twirl for the camera to show your front, back and side once every 2 weeks or each month. Watching back the vids when you feel low and slumpy gives you either the biggest boost if you can see your body changing or in my case, I think "Ergh you still look revolting, don't have that slab of cake!" Taking photos is good too, although there's something about seeing yourself in 3D that's a real brain engage-er. 

3. Quote up your room

One of my Phd pals will have to explain the science to me but seeing the right, motivational quotation can really resonate with you. Unfortunately for me, their effects are short lived so my best tip is to stick them up everywhere so you're being constantly reminded of them; on your bedroom walls, ceiling, your phone and laptop backgrounds, the fridge!!




4. Don't get too scale crazy

I think I need to listen to my own advice here because I get addicted to the scales! The number you see isn't the be all and end all. You may have gained muscle whilst losing fat. You may have put on water weight. For us girls especially, our weight fluctuates naturally, even throughout the same day. 

5. Get yourself a choice garment.

Something gorgeous, a bit special, and in a size or 2 too small. Hang it up and use it as a treat to look forward to. Don't be tempted to try it on too soon though, likewise with other clothing that's too small, it does take a while to lose dress sizes and trying on something you think ought to fit, only to find that it doesn't, can have the most detrimental effect!

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6. Start speaking out loud

I have my beliefs firmly set in logic, science and reasoning, so this seemed silly to me, but all I will say is give it a go, and stick with it for a while. When you can feel your hand gravitating for the phone and takeaway menu, say "No.", forcibly, out loud and tell yourself out loud how terrible, annoyed with yourself and sick you feel every time you've binged on something you shouldn't have. When you look in the mirror in the mornings, tell yourself out loud that today's going to be a great day and you're going to come in within your calories, or you're going to go for a run today and enjoy it! It's a funny trick I grant you but one that's worked.

7. Have a morning workout

This one's really simple, if you can force yourself to get up earlier and work out before work/the start of your day, you're less likely to eat the cake that will negate the work out you had to lose sleep for.


8. Touch but don't eat

So it's pretty established that refined sugars aren't the best for our weight loss efforts, but we can use them for motivation! The next time you're a bit bummed that you've "only lost a lb", pop down (or power walk!) to the shops and lift a bag of sugar. That pound feels a bit more substantial now I'd expect!

9. Treat yourself

Be realistic with your goals and when your reach little milestones, treat yourself. Buy yourself some new makeup, book a facial or a spa day, get some new shoes. We're only human, we respond to the promise of shiny, material things, use it to your advantage!


10. Go slow and don't worry so much

Lastly, if you mess up, it doesn't matter. Don't be like me and say "Well that's the whole day ruined!" and go and eat a McDonalds. Take each day at a time and if you can't manage that, take each meal at a time. If you weren't as good as you'd hoped on a lunch out with friends, (Did I really eat that lobster roll, fries AND cheesecake???) don't start again Monday morning, or tomorrow morning, start again the next time you eat something, then the lobster roll, fries and cheesecake doesn't turn into lobster roll, fries, cheesecake, burritos, salted caramel brownies, steak.. you get the jist..



I hope these tips serve as your arsenal against the motivation slump! 

Jennifer x


L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Review | First Glance

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How excited am I about this.

L'Oreal have finally launched their 17-years-in-the-works hair thickening range. Their patented technology surrounds their wonder molecule Filloxane, said to penetrate deep into the hair, expanding each individual hair diameter for fuller, thicker hairs.


The best part about their claims and what intrigues me most are the words "cumulative effect". Filloxane remains inside the hair fibre for long lasting thickness and you can build on each use over a number of washes to create thicker hair each time. 

I won't lie, I'm really excited.

The haircare range, priced akin to other Elvive haircare collections, consists of the L'Oreal Elvive Fibrology Thickening Shampoo, Conditioner, Masque, Thickness Booster and Thickness Creation Double Serum. Bar the booster, I bought the whole lot, oops!

My first impressions are that I really like the packaging, it's not particularly chic or dressing-table-worthy but the colours work well together. If you're like me, ingredients in beauty products matter and the shampoo is SLS heavy, which I know I'm meant to be steering well clear of but I just couldn't resist. The conditioning products are cone heavy too so I've added photos of the ingredients for your perusal. 







The ingredients were difficult to get a good photo of due to the big curve of the pot but feel free to message me if you'd like them!




I used to get a hair treatment at the salon called Fiberceutic (also by L'Oreal) and I can only pray that this is an equivalent 'at home version' of that treatment because it worked fantastically well on my hair.


This review is only but Part 1. Although I want to be a real eager beaver and jump into using the range, I wanted to do a proper test of the products, with proper before and after photos, so you (and myself!) can gauge whether it really lives up to it's claims, so keep your eyes peeled as I'll be uploading that very soon! 


Jennifer x




Plumped-to-Perfection Skin: PharmaClinix Product Review

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Beautiful Skin Matters.

That's the tagline of London based skincare brand PharmaClinix, and being a self-confessed skincare obsessive, it's one that appeals to me.

Beautiful skin, to me, does matter, it's something that I try to strive for, and as a result, I won't just smear products onto my face without prior consideration. Having had a good peruse of the brand, phrases like "pharmaceutical grade active ingredients" and "peer reviewed clinical studies" (if you're a science geek like me, you'll appreciate that one!) convinced me to try out their signature moisturiser, Moisturix (*). £34.99 for 50ml.


Claims

"A scientifically developed long lasting moisturising cream with SPF 25 for protecting the skin from UVA/UVB radiation. Prevents premature wrinkling and pigmentation. Also contains antioxidants for extra protection against pollution. Apply twice daily."

It also claims specifically to increase moisture levels by up to 23% in 5 hours. I love an instant-results product so let's see how it stands up.

First Impressions

Although PharmaClinix specialise in Asian and Dark skintones, this moisturiser is suitable for all tones and ethnicities.

The packaging doesn't excite me but is not unattractive; a purple and chrome colour scheme that does look rather "dermatologist" and science orientated, sitting on your dressing table. I really like that the Best Before date is printed on both the bottom of the box and jar, it's something I should, but never pay attention to with beauty products. There are also some really nice ingredients; lots of oil extracts, namely coconut, avocado, sweet almond, sesame and jojoba. Unfortunately parabens are not amiss here, if that is a problem for you.
The SPF 25 is certainly nice to see, and it's great that the sunscreen covers both types of UV ray.


The scent is delicious! It smells exactly like something else I own but I've been trying to put my finger on it for days, with no luck. If you own or know the Laneige Water Bank line, that's the closest I can get; a really pleasant, sweet-floral that is faint and doesn't linger too long.

Opening the jar, I expected the "standard" face cream texture, something like the No7 day creams, but instead was surprised to find a sumptuously thick, emollient cream that reminds me most of butter you've left out of the fridge for a few hours. Actually, "buttery" is an excellent word to describe it.




Conclusions

I didn't think I'd get on well with such a thick cream, I tend to veer away from heavy textures, but I was actually really pleasantly surprised at how much better it seeped into my skin than other heavy creams I've tried. It's great for those of you who don't want to use facial oils but feel like you ought to!

With regards to it's claims, I'd love to be able to test it scientifically to see exactly how much moisture it gave me, but I definitely felt an improvement within the 5 hours stated. On my normal to combination skin, I'd say it takes a few minutes to really sink in but after that, it feels so undetectable that I could stand wearing this during the day; looks like the SPF 25 won't be going to waste! On drier skins, this would make the perfect day cream.



There is one thing that I really like about the cream, and that's how it makes my skin feel, hours after I've used it. In Korean we call it "tong tong", and I think the nearest translation I'll get in this context is "bouncy". It makes my skin feel like a plump, blown up balloon rather than a haggard, rubbery one that's losing it's air.

I've recently been working out outside as part of Weight Loss Wednesdays and my face really takes a buffeting from the cold, harsh, countryside air, returning dry and blushing. This cream has put a stop to that, my mother even noticed my skin looked better once I'd come back from my run! It acts like a barrier between my face and the elements, and I think it's here that it's earned a place in my skincare collection.

Overall, I can understand that the price may be off putting and I'd maybe like to see a different packaging but if you're a big fan of skincare, like me, and are willing to invest in it, I'd definitely recommend you try Moisturix out. For the bounce-ability it gives to my skin, for me, it's a keeper!

Jennifer x


Disclaimer: I was kindly sent this product to try, but this has no effect on my critique and my opinions remain 100% honest. I'm very particular with my skincare and would never recommend a product that I didn't like!




Weight Loss Wednesdays: girly slaw

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I love a good condiment, a good dip, a good side. 

Unfortunately, lashings of ketchup, full fat houmous, mayonnaise laden dips and the like are discouraged (I have to constantly tell myself..) on my healthy eating kick (Weight Loss Wednesdays) and I'm already missing them.

A good restaurant coleslaw is a firm and delicious favourite but they're often brimming with full fat mayo; even the more "healthy" varieties have unnecessary carbs, sugars and additives. In steps my super easy Girly Slaw: a fat free, low cal coleslaw, all pretty in pink!




What you'll need: 

♥ Red cabbage (that's purple in my Antioxidant rainbow covered!)
♥ White cabbage
♥ Carrot
♥ Red or white onion
♥ Lemon
♥ Fat free plain yoghurt (Greek/Fromage frais/Natural, anything works)


1. Finely slice or grate equal quantities of the red cabbage, white cabbage and carrot. I've gone for 40g of each which makes 2 portions.



2. Grate between 10-20g of onion, 20g if you really want to taste the onion, 10g if you only want a hint.

3. Mix it all together with 4 tablespoons of yoghurt, a good squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. A nice fresh red cabbage will seep gorgeous purpley juices into the yoghurt, turning your ordinary coleslaw into a pink Girly Slaw!



Around 60 calories per portion, and full of antioxidants, vitamins and protein, it's fat free, sugar free, additive free, low carb and low cal; a winner all round!

I had mine with slow cooked pork (all visible fat removed) and tomatoes for a delicious low carb meal. 





Enjoy perhaps with a delicious, gourmet, open topped burger or in place of mayonnaise in a chicken sandwich, but best of all, enjoy guilt free!


Jennifer 




A Week In The Life Of

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I've not yet done a post like this before, although it seems a popular format amongst most of the FBL blogging community, so, especially for the nosy amongst us like myself, here's what I've been up to!





It's been the week of my mother's birthday so the family and I have been out and about to all sorts of lovely places. My dad bought her the most beautiful bunch of roses for her birthday from Martin Crossley in Windsor; the most pretty florists I've seen in a while, housed in a gorgeous little typically-Tudor building.

Mum and I went museum-ing and to The Stables Spa before heading off, pampered to within an inch of our lives, for delicious patisseries. The spa is completely glorious, I'd definitely recommend you pop down if you're in the Berkshire area.

Highlights of a shopping trip included the cutest "noughts and crosses" set I've ever seen, an adorable Q-tip holder that, full, resembles a hedgehog (!!) and a completely innovative and useful purse with built in phone charger (I think primarily for Iphone) that claims to charge your phone twice over; a definite necessity for me.

More delicious yet probably not so healthy food in the form of Bibimnengmyeon (absolutely delicious) and more afternoon tea... and a gorgeous Astley Clarke bracelet,


And my attempt to try and correct some of the calories I've crammed in over the week! A healthy lunch of houmous, a hike (yes I know) in the wilderness, which I thought looked a bit like an African savanna, and a Korean food shop to try and buy some healthy, delicious goodies.

Do let me know what you've been up to! Hopefully my Weight Loss Wednesday-ers have been healthier than me this week!



What I Eat: Weight Loss Wednesdays

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I am the biggest foodie. 

It is one of my life's joys and passions. I adore cooking, reading about food and buzz around the plethora of London restaurants like a gluttonous, fat bee.

Diets, counting calories, or even lifestyle changes, can feel utterly miserable so today's Weight Loss Wednesday post is a little snapshot into some of my meals this week; it might give you some inspiration towards colourful, wholesome, kinda-healthy cooking.


 1. Super skinny KFC 373 cals
2. Chicken, mushroom and broccoli rice pot, the sauce of which has seeped into the rice 456 cals as I had seconds
3. Houmous with carrot sticks and grapes 235 cals



4. Brown rice, steamed salmon and steam-fried veg 329 cals
5. Skinny pizza (literally and in calories) and alfafa salad 483 cals
6. Mussels in garlic sauce with bread 167 cals



7. (poorly) Boiled eggs and toasted onion bread with an orange 331 cals
8. Quinoa, lentil, brown rice, salmon, sweet potato, broccoli, peppers with tomato salad 494 cals
9. Korean pear, grapes and pineapple 90 cals


For healthy snacks, I really recommend Graze boxes! They make healthy snacks so much more interesting and yummy.
 You can nab my friendcode: LDT6G5VXB and get your 1st, 5th and 10th boxes free! (although you're well within your rights to just try the free one and cancel!)



Oh and here (unashamedly) is some of the not so healthy.





I'm putting in place the 80/20 rule. 80% of what I'm eating is nutritious, healthy and wholesome food. The other 20% is buttery Danish apple tarts, triple cooked chips, Lola's cupcakes, Po-boys and the like. If this is going to be a lifestyle change this time and not a diet, I don't see the point in making myself miserable and depriving myself of one of my first loves!

P.s yes I've lost weight this week eating all this :)


What's in my Handbag?

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I'm trying to stop being a "I-carry-my-life-in-my-handbag" kind of person, so my current bag contents are quite minimal but it stops me foraging around in there like a squirrel, just trying to find a pen or a hairtie! Here are my choice items:



iPhone: This is the 4s which works perfectly well for me, it's starting to look a little battered now as I use it so much! 

iPad Air: This is just a godsend for doing anything on the go. With all the great productivity apps, I can do work whilst I'm travelling or look up anything I need to, at any time. It's also a great backup for when my phone inevitably runs our of battery..

Paracetamol: As I am forever getting headaches! Not good.




Sencha Green Tea Mints: These are in the flavour Moroccan Mint and I adore them. They taste delicious and give me a little hit of green tea goodness throughout the day. They're also made with Stevia, my chosen sweetener.

Perfume: This small bottle of Jo Malone's Nectarine Blossom and Honey is perfect for carrying around and is my 2nd favourite scent of all time; I adore peach scents.

Lipbalm: I can't be without lipbalm, especially in the cold winter months. This Chanel Coco Baume is not only beautiful but it does an amazing job at moisturising my lips and has just the right texture for me; I am unbelievably fussy with lipbalms. It's not medicinal but actually works brilliantly at healing any cuts or dryness on my lips too!

Compact: I take around this MAC Studio Fix compact as a multifunctional product; it has a mirror which is always useful and the product itself has coverage if I were to need any touch-ups throughout the day. 

Diary and pen: For some reason I am such a traditionalist when it comes to calendars and timekeeping. I've tried using my phone and such but always revert back to good old pen and paper. This Moleskine diary is my favourite as it has a notes page for every week if I need to jot things down and is practical and affordable. 

Hand cream: I am currently using this Vitamin E hand cream by The Body Shop. It smells really pleasant, absorbs well, moisturises well and contains SPF as hands need protecting too! I think it's meant for use on your face but I find it's a little too heavy or creamy for mine.

Hair ties: I keep these in my bag for when I get hot (aren't London tubes the worst?!) or need to get my hair out of the way. The little spiral tie is the best thing ever. It keeps a good hold of your ponytail and doesn't snag or damage in the slightest. 




Do link me if you have a similar post, I'd love to know what you carry around with you at the moment :)

Jennifer  


Weight Loss Wednesdays: Week 1

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And hello to Weight Loss Wednesdays!

Weight Loss Wednesdays or #bloggersWLW is a community and motivational haven I've decided to create amongst bloggers wanting to lose weight/become healthy/get fit for 2014. If you want to find out what's involved, how it can benefit you, and how to join, check out the #bloggersWLW tab just up there ^^ on my Topbar/Navbar/Ceilingbar :)



So for the 1st post, I sent a little email out to the girls with the task of introducing our goals, what we want to achieve with the help of #bloggersWLW and to find (at least) one picture that we find motivational/thinspirational/fitspirational to share :)

My Goals

There was a period in college where (little did I know it but) I was happy with my weight. Since then I have always been the "crash diet girl". I've worried my friends, my family, and myself! with my dubious-bordering-dangerous eating habits so my first goal is to, for the first time, jump on board the healthy lifestyle train and eat for health rather than to "get skinny."

Another, more tangible, goal is to lose 3 stone. I'm the type of person to put off doing things until I've lost weight, which undoubtedly means I've missed out on a lot of things I would have liked doing, and it's something that fuels my crash diet mentality; an old friend will suggest meeting up and I suddenly think I have to lose the stone I was planning to lose over the next 3 months, in 3 days. It's going to be a real personal struggle but I want to overcome that this year!

Motivation

I find it funny how just seeing the "right" picture, quote, message really fuels my motivation; here are a small selection of my favourites to share with you:






Don't forget to message me if you'd like to join, the group is still open for new arrivals!

Good luck everyone!

Jennifer 







Weight Loss Wednesdays #bloggersWLW

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Before you say that today is not a Wednesday, this is a quick taster and introductory post to something that I'm very excited about to share!


Weight Loss Wednesdays, known to Twitter as #bloggersWLW, is a community and motivational haven I've decided to create amongst bloggers wanting to lose weight/become healthy/get fit for 2014.

For what's involved, how it'll benefit you, and how to join, click the #BloggersWLW tab on my Topbar/Navbar/Ceilingbar just up there ^ :)

Let's all get gorgeous this 2014 :)

Jennifer 




New Year's Beauty Resolutions

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Happy New Year!!! 

I hope everyone had a joyous, symbolic end of the year, whether you went out and celebrated with sparklers and multiple Magnums (or Balthazars...) or whether you stayed in, with a snuggly blanket in your pyjamas. 

To kick off the new year with motivation and gusto, today I'm sharing with you my beauty resolutions for 2014! 

1. LOSE WEIGHT! 

weheartit: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

This is a common one :P But this year (as what feels like every year) I'm going to pledge to keep this resolution!

Which actually leads me onto the Bloggers Weight Loss Group! I'm going to be starting a weight loss group amongst us bloggers for 2014 that will hopefully be a support network for everyone who wants to lose weight, a place where we can help/motivate/encourage and support eachother through our journeys! Please share the word around and drop me an email at jnnfrch@hotmail.co.uk if you'd like to be a part of it!

2. Remove my makeup at the end of every day.

How often do we hear this?! I think it's probably the most important thing you can do for your face, the elusive double cleanse. Let's be honest though, our lives are brimming with "things-we're-supposed-to-do-daily-and-yes-that-means-the-everyday-kind-of-daily", it's unlikely that I'm going to manage to be double-cleanse-perfect everyday but I'm going to cleanse my face in some manner every night!!

3. Drink water.

You lose 1.5L in water a day, and it's important to replenish that as much as you possibly can. I'm not bad at drinking water, I just don't drink enough of it, so my resolution this year is to drink at least the 1.5L a day, 2L would be better.

4. Eat for my skin.

weheartit
I'm going to try and be really good to my skin this year. That means cutting down on processed, sugar-laden foods and eating more healthy fats and nourishing minerals and nutrients. I'm going to start this by trying to eat a rainbow of colours in my fruit and veg everyday! It'll make it easier for me to keep tabs on my daily nutrient goals :) Red grapes/strawberries, Orange apricots, Yellow pineapple, Green broccoli, Blueberries and Blackberries, Ruby pink raspberries, delicious!

5. Look after my hair.


I've been, inadvertently at first, experimenting with non-heat methods of curling my hair and have been having some very pretty results! If you'd like me to do a post on them, comment below :)

6. Give up (or at least extremely cut down on) alcohol. 


I read an article about Beyonce, in which it said she treats her body like a temple; she doesn't eat bread and she doesn't drink any alcohol whatsoever, and it made me think, why not try being better to my body??? I think that's what 2014 is going to be all about. So I'm going to try and replace alcohol with delicious juices and smoothies.

If you have a similar post, please do link me below, I'd love to read your resolutions for 2014 :)

Jennifer 
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