I’m Taking Part In RED January

I’m Taking Part In RED January

Happy New Year everyone!! 2019 is upon us, and I can’t wait to see what great things are going to happen this year.

For me, this is the year of me trying new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone; and what better way to start than by doing something I’ve never done before! Cycling. Now, I know what you’re thinking, how can I have never cycled before??

Well, that’s not 100% true, the last time I had a bike I was 6 and it still had stabilisers on it with pink tassels on the handlebars. So in my mind, I’ve never really done any cycling. Especially not on my own bike now that I’m an adult.

So, what even is RED January?

RED January was founded by Hannah Beecham after she found out how your mental health can benefit from exercise; she found this through helping her mother through the darkest of her depression with love, support and by working together towards a goal (The Walk The Walk Midnight Marathon).

RED January Poster

Why am I taking part in RED January?

One of my new years resolutions for this year is to raise some money for charities that I have had a personal relationship with. And one of those charities is MIND.

I decided to take part in this challenge because I realised that I’m actually reasonably active; this is due to having to do physio for my back (that’s a post for another day) and developing a healthy relationship with exercise since recovering from anorexia, and it has definitely improved my mental health.

And also because I’ve just received my first every bike, I’m now cycling to work every day! So it makes sense that if I’m already being active every day and feeling the benefit, why not raise a little money in the process??

RED January Poster - I'm getting active every day, to beat the blues away.

So that’s what I’m doing this month. Even on my birthday, the 17th! Taking part in RED January doesn’t sign you up for having to force yourself to do something terrible every day that is harrowing. The only requirement is that you do something active everyday in January, if you don’t like running, you can go for a walk, what if it’s raining and cold outside? You could do some yoga, find a workout on YouTube or simply dance around your house just in your pants if you want. That active part is up to you.

Now, since today is the 5th January, I’m about to go do day 5 of the blogilates 100 Ab challenge (wish me luck! I’ll be doing a follow up of this at the end of the month so stay tuned!) and then go for a bike ride if it’s nice outside.

Oh, and if you wanted to sponsor me, you can find my JustGiving page here! I know we’re all tight on money since Christmas is over, so don’t worry if you can’t donate, why not sign up to do the challenge yourself with me?

Have a great day lovelies!! See you next week!


Victoria Blog Signature
Red January Banner - I'm getting active every day, to beat the blues away.
Why I’m Refusing To Make New Years Resolutions About My Body.

Why I’m Refusing To Make New Years Resolutions About My Body.

Hello my lovelies! I hope you have all had a happy Christmas and a very peaceful few days in the lead up to the end of the year! And of course, because we’re coming up to the New Year, New Years resolutions are popping up all over the place.

Which brings me to this post. For as long as I can remember, I have made New Years resolutions each year; and EVERY SINGLE ONE has been about how my body looks and my weight. It’s always along the lines of: I will lose weight, I will drop a dress size, I will change my body, I will go to the gym 6 times a week, I will stop eating certain foods etc. etc. etc.

This year I REFUSE to make a resolution about changing my body.

Now, some of you who are subscribed to my blog will know that I have spoken out about my body image issues and having suffered with Anorexia (see my previous post about it here!). Well, this past year I have been lucky enough to get some help and support and I am happy to announce that I am in recovery!

Writing this post came from seeing everyone’s resolutions on social media, with the majority of them being about their bodies and how they want them to look; and before I started my recovery journey, mine would have been like that too. I started thinking about what I want for the new year ahead and for the first time in.. well forever, I don’t know what my resolution should be if it isn’t about my appearance.

Here’s why I’m refusing to make my new years resolutions about my body:

  • My body does NOT need to change to be beautiful. It already is.
  • Resolving to eat less food/calories is stupid, food is fuel and we need energy to do all the amazing things we want to accomplish.
  • Food is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it’s just food.
  • Taking up less space does NOT mean I am a better human being.
  • Losing weight does not solve all your problems.
  • Spending hours in the gym trying to make my body into something it’s naturally not supposed to be is useless. And boring!

Here’s when it’s okay to make a new years resolution about your body:

  • Deciding to get help with a medical condition or something you’ve been struggling with.
  • Deciding to love your body.
  • Resolving to develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise. And no I don’t mean deciding to go on a so-called ‘healthy’ diet that makes you hate yourself and feel guilty for eating!!

So, because I am not making any resolutions to do with changing my body here are some resolutions that I AM making:

  • Riding my bike to work instead of driving so I become more confident in cycling. (I just got my first bike this Christmas!)
  • Read more.
  • Continue writing my blog, it’s by far one of the best things I decided to do this past year and I absolutely love it!
  • Learning to love my body more for everything it is and does.
  • Wearing clothes that I feel comfortable and confident in, regardless of what other people think.
  • Raise some money for charity. (you can check out my JustGiving page for MIND here if you want to!)

Those are just a few of my many resolutions for the new year; and I just want to share with you how much I truly appreciate every single one of you for reading, commenting, liking and interacting with me on here. You have made my year so happy and I can’t thank you enough for all of your support! What’re your new years resolutions? Let me know if the comments!!

I hope you all have a great New Years Eve and a very Happy New Year! Love,

Victoria Blog Signature

P.S. Thank you for voting for me and all of the other amazing bloggers nominated in the UKBloggerAwards!!

Trying Out Bootea For 14 Days

Trying Out Bootea For 14 Days

Since I tried BoomBod for a week about 2 months ago, I’ve been getting lots of requests for more posts like that! So over the past 2 weeks I’ve been trying the oh so famous Bootea! I wanted to see if all of the claims it makes are true or if it’s going to be a similar story to my experience with BoomBod.

I will state now though, that these posts aren’t sponsored and that these are just my personal experiences and reviews with these products and how I found them to work! So even if something doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work for other people.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I ordered:

Bootea Box

(You can buy the two week teatox here!)

So, it is claimed that this teatox “will leave you feeling energized and motivated to reach all of your fitness goals. Beat the bloat and feel better than ever with our two-week programme, complete with Daytime and Bedtime tea bags to keep you on track” – Bootea 14 Day teatox description.

Well, I’m here to put this to the test.. and see if it would do anything for me without changing my lifestyle. Just for the record, I currently work out regularly between 4-6 times a week and have a healthy diet, so whatever happens should be from the teatox.

With the teatox you’re supposed to drink the day tea first thing in the morning and then the night tea every other evening before you go to bed. So if you order it and are wondering why there’s half the night teabags, that’s why.

Right, on with the review! I’ll give you a rundown of how my two weeks went and then show you my photos from throughout the week! First off, here’s what the tea looks like, yes it looks like pee when made, so don’t be alarmed when I goes a yellowy colour!

Day 1 – 3

Thoughts: If this does anything I’ll be impressed, especially because it’s just a cup of tea in the morning and every other night. Taste wise these are okay, the morning tea tastes like a variation of green tea to me; which I personally don’t mind. The night tea however tastes like peppermint tea, which I haven’t ever had before so we’ll see if I end up liking it by the end of this.

Thoughts at the end of day 3: This seems very easy compared to Boombod, and since I love a good cup of tea, this is pretty good if it does anything!

Day 4 – 7

Thoughts: So far I’m not seeing any results, but I am finding that the peppermint night tea helps me fall asleep a bit better than without it. I think I’m starting to get used to the taste of it too which is good. I have found that the morning tea keeps me fuller for longer and I’m finding that I don’t need anything after breakfast to tide me over until lunchtime.

End of day 7 thoughts: I quite like this teatox, but there doesn’t really appear to be any visible results as of yet.

Day 8 – 11

Thoughts: Today I feel like I’m starting to see a little more definition in my stomach, but my stomach still looks bloated in my opinion. At least this is a simple teatox rather than something that’s a hassle to make up every time. One thing I have noticed is that I’ve started looking forward to the teas in the morning and especially in the evenings. I’ve been trying to be mindful as I’m having my tea first thing, which has been quite a good de-stressor for me, so that’s good.

End of day 11 thoughts: I wonder if this would make a difference if I started exercising even more and eating healthier? But then the results could just be from upping my exercise routine and changing my lifestyle further.

Day 12 – 14

Thoughts: I think I might actually re-buy this teatox, purely because I like the taste of it, not because it’s done anything physically. I’m pretty sure the only reason I’ve actually enjoyed this teatox is because I’m a bit of a tea addict, and love a good cuppa to wake up with first thing in the morning, and throughout the day t be honest..haha. These two weeks have gone fast, and I think the only difference physically is very minimal between the start and now, so I do wonder what this tea is actually supposed to do.

End of the 2 weeks thoughts: When I started this I thought that the only thing these teas could possibly do was make you need the loo more, which I doesn’t anymore than normal green tea. And I didn’t expect the tea to do much else, which I have to admit I was right in my opinion.

Here’s my before, during and afters! And as you know by now, I like being real with you on here, so here you’ll get to witness me in my very unsexy pants and pyjamas because I’m not going to dress up and be fake to you guys, this is me (I took these first thing in the morning half asleep!) and what the teatox actually did..haha!

Bootea progress photos
On the left is day 1 of my Bootea journey and the right is after 4 days of the teas.

Bootea progress photos
Here’s what was going on after an entire week of Bootea and then here I am after 11 days of the Teatox.

Bootea Before and After
On the left is before Bootea and the right is after the 2 week Teatox.

What I would take away from this is that if you’re looking for a quick fix to lose weight, this isn’t the answer; sorry, I know for a lot of us we wish it is, but the sad reality is that working hard and eating right is the healthy way to do that.

What I will say is that I have decided to order another batch of Bootea, purely because I like how it tastes and I’m curious to see if doing it for another 2 weeks will make any difference. But don’t worry, I’ll do a follow up in another 2 weeks time if anything has changed after doing this for longer!(nothing changed! Surprise..surprise..)

My final thoughts on the Bootea 14 Day Teatox are that for me it didn’t really change anything physically. However, I have noticed that I feel more confident in my appearance due to drinking the teas and feeling like they could be helping me feel a tiny bit less bloated; but I think the reality is that it’s the placebo affect.

Nevertheless I would suggest giving this a go if you’re generally curious or wanting to try out some new teas. The only reason for saying give this a go if you’re curious is due to the fact that It’s surprisingly cheap considering the reputation they have with celebrities promoting it and stuff. I bought my pack whilst it was on offer for £12.45, so it didn’t feel like a waste of money giving this a go and not seeing results.

At the end of the day though, this experience has been a reminder of how we should all learn to love ourselves as we are, with no ideal body types, shapes, sizes or colours in mind; because we’re all beautiful no matter what. One thing I did notice was how Bootea did say on their website that they do not promote a certain body ideal, which I do appreciate. But I think that celebrities and influencers should take care in what they promote, because you never know how their messages can effect someone.

I hope this helps out any of you looking to try out Bootea! And remember, you’re perfect as you are and the only thing you need to do is realise that! Have a great weekend lovelies! Love,

Victoria Signature

How I Lost 42lbs

How I Lost 42lbs

You might be wondering why I’m writing this post? Well because I get asked this question pretty often when people find out I used to be very overweight and unhealthy. Before I get started I would like to point out that although I lost a lot of weight in a healthy manner, it’s important to be aware that whilst losing weight I was healthy and it was only after I had lost the weight that I realised that I’d developed an eating disorder. By following what I did to lose weigh should not cause you to develop an eating disorder; for me, I’ve always struggled with my weight and food so it was just one of those things that happened to me. I would also like to point out that I am not a professional and I am not a nutritionist, dietitian or in any medical profession; I am simply sharing my story. If you are planning to change your lifestyle then I suggest you visit your GP and discuss it with them first.

Also, I would like to say that being bigger is not a bad thing. And neither is being smaller. All that’s important is that you love your bodies because they’re all beautiful in different ways. They carry us through all walks of life and keep us alive. After all, you only get one body so it’s a good idea to love it!!

So, with all that out of the way, lets start at the beginning.

“Why did you want to lose weight?”

Well for me, I have struggled with my body image and size for a long time, when I was younger and carefree I loved it. But as I got older, not so much. I never truly liked how I looked, and I was very unhealthy.

Something people are probably wondering is – “Well, were you always fat?”.

Short answer – no. Well, I didn’t think I was, I have always been pretty short and my posture wasn’t great so I did look a bit plumper when I were younger. Here’s some old photos of me that I’ve dug out so you can have a look for yourself! If I’m completely honest, I think my weight gain started when I was getting to the end of secondary school. Being able to buy and make my own food didn’t help, especially since I’m a naturally fussy eater. I think my weight rapidly went up over the course of a few years from about 2012-2017, which funnily enough was round about when I got into my relationship with my boyfriend, Matt. (Here we are on my birthday).

Me and Matt

“Did getting into my relationship cause me to gain weight?”

Well, yes and no. I think this one is something that happened partly from going out to dinner probably too often and we’re both fussy eaters (me more than him). But I do think that during our time together I started working so I had my own income which I would spend the majority of it on takeaways. Sometimes I’d have 2 takeaways in a day everyday for a week!!! So, although I’m in a relationship, I don’t think that’s really to blame as much as my own lifestyle choices at that time. Also I would like to put right here that Matt has been a true gem through it all, and even on my bad body image days he still tells me I’m beautiful, and that he thought I was when I were bigger too and just as much now that I’m smaller. (he’s a keeper I know).

“When did you decide you were going to lose weight?”

This one was something I’ve thought about for a while and to be honest, I constantly wanted to lose the weight over the course of about 5 years. But it wasn’t until I woke up one morning that something must’ve gone off in my head like a lightbulb that was just like ‘that’s it, from today I cannot be like this anymore. I will change and I will love myself again’. And if I’m being frank, I had sort of decided that if I couldn’t lose the weight and be healthier this time then I would just give up trying.

So, the all important how? How did I lose 42lbs and how long did it take?

Well for starters it took from the 8th July 2017 – January 2018. I know what you’re thinking if you’ve been in the same boat I was in, that’s not long at all! You must’ve starved yourself! How did you lose weight at Christmas?! Well you’d be surprised at how quickly the time actually went once the pounds started coming off. And something you’ll be happy to know if you’re not a big fan of exercise is that when I was actually losing weight, I did little to no exercise at all outside of walking(which was all done at work as I worked in a shop and did around 10,000 – 20,000 steps a day).

I lost the weight through using slimming worlds methods but with my own twists. And I will admit, when I went through the doors to sign up to slimming world I actually felt a bit of shame. Maybe that’s weird, maybe that’s normal for people going there for the first time, I don’t know. But I think the reason I felt shame was because I was basically admitting that I can’t do it on my own, that I’d failed. But in actual fact, even though I’d turned to help for losing weight, they didn’t make me lose the weight. I did that myself, with determination, will power, and A LOT of meal prep. And I mean A LOT.Treat Day

Does trying to lose weight mean you can’t ever eat treats? No. I allocated myself a treat day every week (usually my weigh in day) where I would typically go to Cineworld for a huge ice cream sundae and/or have a Chinese takeaway. It’s weird, but Cineworld actually have the best ice cream flavours out there and certainly stopped my sugar cravings! Here’s me taking my little sister for ice cream and slushies!!

What could I eat? Where there any rules or restrictions?

I generally went by the rule that if I’ve made it from scratch, it’s usually okay to eat. Slimming world goes by these rules:

  • Free food.

Free food is unlimited. Free foods are fruits and vegetables, meats cooked without oil or butter(or I cooked them with fry-light), dried rice, pasta, lentils, eggs, fat free yoghurts and other things like cooking with spices, and drinks with water like tea and coffee.

  • Healthy Extras.

You tend to get a ‘Healthy A’ and a ‘Healthy B’. You are allowed one of each a day. Your ‘Healthy A’ is things with a high amount of calcium in, like milk, cheese (yes, you can have cheese still!!!). A ‘Healthy B’ choice is food that is high in fibre, so things like dried porridge oats, wholemeal breads and certain cereals. I would like to note, with these I had to measure them out. I’ll list a few typical meals I had in a week for you and a week menu for you to try out a little further below!

  • Syns.

If you have been to slimming world before, or know someone who has or is going to slimming world, you’ll know about syns. Syns are things that are usually processed in some form. These are things like chocolate (obviously duh!), crisps, ready meals, butters, sauces, pre-made pasta sauces and basically anything you haven’t cooked yourself in my eyes. It might seem doom and gloom at this point but it really isn’t that bad, with syns you’re allowed 5-15syns per day, and this is because if you deprive yourself too much you’ll just binge. And no one wants that. I know what you’re thinking, but we don’t know how many syns are in everything?! My answer to that is to google it because someone somewhere will have put it online, also I go by the rule that if its something small and in moderation, it won’t be too bad. And anything that is ‘low fat’ will generally not do too much harm. My personal favourite treats were ‘Metcalfes skinny sweet & salty popcorn’ (half of a big bag is around 7.5 syns from memory) and any of the ‘Halo Top’ or ‘Breyers’ ice creams. The ‘Halo Top cinnamon bun’ ice cream is literally liquid heaven (and it’s only 360 calories for the ENTIRE tub). Virtually guilt free!!

So what sort of things did I eat in a week?

Let’s give you a run down of breakfasts:

  • Strawberries with Tesco healthy living fat free fromage frias (with some low calorie non aspartame sweetener in) with 1/3 cup of porridge oats, I would usually add cinnamon in the oats and on the strawberries which made breakfast taste like a dessert. (I would pour it all in a bowl or make these insta worthy pots shown below!)
  • Simple marmite on toast with 4 teaspoons (they’re smaller than you think when you use measuring spoons! haha) of Tesco’s butter me up low fat spread on two small wholemeal slice of bread. For the small loaves of bread I’d recommend the Tesco ones (they seem like bigger or thicker slices?)
  • Quaker oats big bowl of porridge original with semi-skimmed milk.
  • Sweet French toast with strawberries and 2 teaspoons of sugar. (let me know if you want a recipe post!)
  • 2 Weetabix with semi skimmed milk and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  • 2 Weetabix with fat free yoghurt on top and sliced fruit. (it is a bit like how you’d prepare a crisp bread? Warning- it gets messy when you eat it but tastes really good!)
  • 2 Scrambled eggs on 2 slices of small wholemeal toast.

Lunch and dinners can be difficult for some people to eat healthy as you’re not always at home to make it, so I’ll write down a list of at home and work lunches for you! I will suggest now that meal prep will likely be needed so get yourself some value tubs for storage!!)

Let’s move on to typical lunches and dinners:

  • Plain rice or egg fried rice with stir fried bean sprouts, broccoli, baby corn and pak choi in soy sauce. (you can make prep the veggies in the morning or night before and use microwavable rice for in the office).
  • Homemade chips (fry-light cooked) with a chicken breast (add spices here so it’s less boring) and veggies or salad.
  • Jacket potato with tuna, cheese, butter and salad. (jacket potatoes are great if you’re eating out!)
  • Pasta with tuna (or you can use homemade pasta sauce) and veggies.
  • Roast dinner. Which is my absolute favourite! I’m a northern girl so gravy, yorkshire puddings, roasties (fry-light obvs), meat and veggies is absolute heaven!
  • Cod or fish cooked with mash or chips and peas. (if you go out for dinner you can have fish and chips and by not eating the batter, it makes it free, and then you’re only having syns for your chips!)
  • Roasted new potatoes with steak and veggies.
  • Wholemeal sandwich with low fat spread, wafer thin turkey and lettuce.
  • Roasted new potatoes with chicken and salad.

That’s just a handful of meals that I would eat in a week. If you’d like to try a meal plan you can download it here! For snacking, I would have loads of fruit, fat free yoghurts, cereal bars (generally the healthy living or brands own healthy ones as the big branded ones are usually worse than a bar of chocolate!) and things like cooked meats and small bags of popcorn.

It’s important to note that things will not happen overnight. I’ve learnt this the hard way. I would recommend weighing yourself ONCE and only ONCE a week, at the same time. Weighing yourself everyday will not do you any good mentally trust me, I know!). You might be thinking, but how much weight did I lose in the first week? For me it was 4.5lbs, and there on out it was around 1-3lbs per week pretty steadily. Here’s some photos I took along the way. (It took a lot to post these but I hope they help some of you out for visualising transformations!)

Progress Photos

I’d definitely recommend taking photos, when I had a bad day it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come, so looking back it’s a great feeling. Also, find the worst photo of yourself for your before. It sound’s silly I know, but for me, it just gave me more motivation and was a great reminder. I thought it was important to add in a bikini photo because I never wore bikinis before, and taking that photo was a big thing for me to do. So here’s my before and afters:

Losing weight is a hard thing to do. So never tell yourself that you’re a failure if you slip up at any point. I slipped up several times and a still do now! But you can easily get back on track, just start as soon as you realise you’ve gone off track rather than saying ‘Oh, I’ll start again on Monday’.

Finally for me, this wasn’t a diet. Diets restrict everything whereas this didn’t take anything away I just had to eat smarter. And I would definitely recommend you keep checking up on your own mental health and attitudes towards food if you’re going through a transformation, it’s easy to get lost in it all like I have!! (See my ‘What happens when you realise you’ve developed an Eating disorder’ post). I would also like to point out that what you eat should not make you feel guilty, and by doing this method of eating shouldn’t. I know that that sounds a bit like a contradiction because I suffer with an eating disorder now, but that is due to myself having problems with food throughout most of my life. And whilst eating like this I’ve actually nourished my body the best it has ever been in my entire life.

I’ll leave you with this. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure that it’s for the right reasons. For yourself, to be healthy. NOT because you feel like you need to in order to fit in. Because you’re beautiful no matter what a number says on the scale, and that number is unique to you. Everyone is built differently. And we’re all perfectly imperfect!

If you’re going to try any of this then please let me know!! And if you do try any of my meals then let me know what happened and how you found it!! And remember; everyone transforms at their own pace, so don’t compare yourself to others and their transformations. For me, it took around 6 months give or take a few; but for someone else it may take a year or two. Your own journey is valid and you should be proud of any victories, big or small.

I hope you have a great bank holiday weekend my lovelies! I’m off walking in Wales with the bf and can’t wait, fingers crossed it’s sunny!


Victoria x Blog Signature