Writing Hiatus

Hi Guys,

 

Currently I am working a lot of hours and I don’t have a lot of time available to me to deliver you new content and writing. I will be blogging next week again maybe- but in the worst case scenario that its a while until my next post, I wanted to make all you lovely people aware that I am okay- I am just working hard for my money so I can afford adventures and rent!

I have some great and exciting plans over the next couple of months, so when I blog it will probably be a bit more personal and a little bit more of an insider into my life. I’m also going to try to start my youtube account properly so exploring thoughts has a visual too.

I hope you all have a lovely week and that you are all doing okay!

 

 

My Health Goals/Health Log For 2017 (So Far) 

As many of you probably already know, I started this year with a vow to myself that I would be an all round healthier person. This includes physical, mental and emotional health. I’ve been super careful and relaxed about the whole process, I haven’t put any unnessescary pressure on myself and I’ve enjoyed where I’ve been so far. I wasn’t sure when I was going to write this blog post, as it’s quite personal but I’m starting to upload more personal posts so that you can get to know me as a blogger. This is so if I want to communicate with any of you in future, it’s easier to do so. 

In January I pledged to myself that I would make smaller changes to make myself healthier. 2016 was a huge rocky path for me and I feel like I went up and down like a yo yo health wise. I started to tune in to my body and listen to what it needed- rather than what I wanted. So there I was, start of January flicking through various web pages noting things down that I was going to do to make myself healthier. It wasn’t that easy. When you write down things and tell yourself you must stick to it, it becomes unbelievably hard for you to do so. I’m a spontaneous and free thinker, I knew that if I was going to do the cliche ‘healthier me’ process, I was going to have to theoretically wing it. 

I downloaded an app called Lifesum which basically encourages you to stay on track and based on the data you put in during the week, it gives you a life score so you can work out what you’re doing to your body. Some days I’m balanced, some days I’m super good. I haven’t got to the bottom tiers yet, thank god. But you can track your water, your meals and your exercise. It’s not all about calorie counting or excessively restricting yourself- it just gives you an idea of what you should be eating more of. For example, if I ate a meal that was mainly rice or something, the app would give me advice on how to add more vegetables. It’s really handy, and comes with a great recipe page, too. 

So I’ve been using that and loving it. I think it will be a staple for me when I’m at university too, just so I can beat the freshers flu by eating my veg. 

I’ve been drinking more water. A lot more water. I will easily get through about 1.5 litres a day, and that doesn’t include water I get from tea and sugar free squash. If there’s a day where I’m working and I can’t drink as much, my skin automatically knows. I break out and my body craves sugar, because I’m not giving it what it wants and it’s clinging for something else. 

I’ve been trying to eat less meat. I will never be a vegetarian or a vegan. When I tried to go vegetarian, I had no energy and felt so weak and ill that I just started introducing small amounts of meat back into my diet. Having a family that cooks for you and are strong meat eaters can be difficult- you can’t deny it as you feel rude but at the same time you don’t want to force it on the body you have which already has had enough. You end up having to avoid having meat put on your plate and filling it up with veggies instead- which has been fine, but a little awkward at times. I do still eat meat, just less of it. Quorn do amazing substitutes which I have a lot of. 

I picked up High Intensity Interval Training. This is a high intensity workout that I can get done in fifteen minutes, so can be done on a busy day. It just makes me feel more refreshed and definitely more energised. I follow some by the body coach, but also Anna Saccone’s workout videos are incredible if you want something to watch in the background. 

Emotionally, I’ve cut people out. People who don’t deserve my time or efforts don’t get it- simple as. I am definitely a person who finds it hard to make friends, but when I have them I treasure them so I’ve taken it to heart when the same amount of effort hasn’t been put in. I’m a people person, but I don’t need people in my life who want to mess me around. 

Mentally, I’ve started listening to my heart and ignoring my head. My head is poisened with anxiety, but it’s fine, I don’t have to listen to it. Admittedly I find most days difficult, but I’m in a recovery position where I feel stronger and able to know where I’m at. Exercise has helped a great deal with coping with my anxiety and has put my panic attacks on pause. 

So that is where I’m at. It’s July 1st, so I’ve been doing this seven months now. But in total I’ve lost seven pounds, I’ve gained so much respect for myself and also so much discipline. This is something I decided to do for myself, nobody decided it for me. This is something I felt I needed to do and I’m so glad I have. 

The ‘F’ Word

The word ‘Fat’ has become the most common insult there is. It’s the one kids use the most when they can’t swear yet. It’s the one we think will damage a person the most. But in this day an age, we are surrounded by such a need to be a healthy weight that even a tiny little bit of chub is considered fat. 

It’s 2017- fitness is now trendy and social media is full of so called ‘Gym Sharks’ telling people about their gains and how well they did in that gym session. They are telling people to cut carbs, eat their eggs but god forbid, don’t use any oil other than coconut even though it’s £10 and we are in a recession. Well that’s great for them- but not everybody has to be like that. Not every body has to be a personal trainer or a model or a body positivity representative. Somebody might just want to be known for their personality- what they can do, not about their weight or what their body looks like. 

From a young age- I had always been called Fat. I was chubby from the minute I was born even though I didn’t eat much of anything because I was fussy. But I didn’t realise it was deemed a bad thing until I started school and the other kids would say it behind my back like I couldn’t hear- or to my face and hoping to get a reaction which they just didn’t have. I used to go home and cry, I used to starve myself, it took until I was sixteen to be able to eat a meal in front of people. And because of what? Because people love using the word. It’s more damaging then any other swear word out there. 

There’s so many negative connotations with the word fat- you expect somebody who is overweight to sit in front of the TV all day doing nothing but stuffing junk into their mouths. This isn’t true. That is a disgusting stereotype of a plus size person- a person who is probably and most likely very active and living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. 

We see fitness fans post on social media- “There’s no excuses.” But what if it just isn’t an excuse? What if I don’t want to be ripped and shredded and toned? What if I am happy with my thick thighs and my little legs and the fact I have no upper arm strength. I’m not a sporty person, I’m not going to force myself to be super active and hate doing it because I am told i should look a certain way. 

Exercise is important and I do exercise- I’m not saying I don’t. I do yoga three times a week, I walk every where and usually do about 11,000 steps per day. As a kid, I did dance and gymnastics. I enjoyed swimming, figure skating and hockey. In the winter, I go for a run when I have free time. But I am never going to be a person who enjoys lifting weights, taking logs and obsessively counting my calories. I find that very toxic and poisonous- and I’m allowed to disagree with doing that, because I know you disagree with me not doing it. 

I remember once I was approached by a weight loss campaign on Instagram who wanted me to promote their book, “The Secret of Weight Loss.” And inside, it was propaganda to just calorie count obsessively and never spend anymore calories then you have, otherwise you’re in food overdraft. I thought that was disgusting. Nutrition is so much more than calories. Enriching yourself from the inside starts with eating your fruit and veg- a healthy dosage and volume of fruit and veg requires a lot of calories. 

As a kid, I hated the word fat and I will always discipline my sisters if I ever hear them use the word. I see fatphobics on Facebook behind their keyboard accuse a size twelve of being obese. I see internet doctors tell kids they are gonna get cancer if they haven’t lost their puppy fat. Why are they so afraid? If it doesn’t affect you as a person, don’t say anything. It’s not fair to put your input into how somebody else looks- it’s degrading in the nastiest form. 

I’m not saying that people who are at risk of dying because of obesity should be sheltered- that should be treated medically and realistically. But medically and realistically, how can we say that any size above a size eight is at risk of obesity? 

If people have insults to throw, I believe it should always be about personality. Appearance is a door- but personality unlocks everything and it’s somebody’s personality you should be worried about. It’s not fat people or the idea you hate- it’s the connotations. It’s the idea of laziness, overeating and slobbing, which are negative traits. But I can guarantee every person has been guilty of doing all three of those things at one point. 


I’m eighteen, and I have been called Fat since the age of seven. But let me tell you something, the word used to hurt. But it just doesn’t. Because if you wanna call me or others fat that’s fine- but it says more about you than it does about anybody else. If having a healthy lifestyle and going on adventures and loving my life isn’t something to judge me on, then I guess you’re gonna go back to the F word. The F word that makes you feel more comfortable. The word that has become way too socially acceptable for my liking. Particularly in schools. 

Let’s just remember that before we try to brush health issues on somebody based on their appearance- maybe you should get a check up. Or maybe you should get a degree in Medicine. Or have an actual doctors career. 

And for everyone that has been called it- 

  • It does not determine your personality. 
  • If you are worried about your weight, slimming world is an incredible, easy way of losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. 
  • Fat doesn’t mean ugly, so don’t let it affect your confidence or the way you feel about the way you look today. Slay. 
  • Karma catches up with everyone. 
  • As long as you know your healthy on the inside for sure then you got this. 

Three Places I would Like to Visit in the UK 

When we think of exploring or adventures, it’s very rare we think of our own countries, cities, towns etc to explore. We take what we have naturally for granted, but there are some gorgeous places I would love to visit in the U.K. at some point. 

1. Brighton 


Brighton always seems like a gem amongst others, by those who live there and have visited it’s a haven. For those who don’t live there or have visited, you know of it but you don’t quite appreciate what it has to offer. Brighton is known for its kooky shopping areas, beautiful buildings and diverse communities. Furthermore it is respected for its cultural music and arts scene, as well as it’s huge LGBT population. A beautiful sea side by Day and a pumping nightlife by night, it is the perfect place in the UK for a young person’s getaway. There are some amazing independent shops and cafes, cool tattoo parlours and places to go for a walk. The Pier is supposed to be a hub of excitement, with so much to do. 

The beach is perfect on a summer’s day, but even in the autumn or winter. Take a walk in the cooler temperatures in your rain mac and chat with a friend. Every place you go is a photo opportunity with such a pretty place to visit. 
2. Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire 


I’ve already been here once before when I was younger, but it was so perfect I would love to go again. We went in the middle of Summer and we stayed in a Haven camp, but spent most of our time travelling the surrounding areas such as Whitby and Filey. The coast is it’s most raw and free here, with the sea crashing against rocks every three minutes. 

It’s like something from a book of Fairytales- the setting is something you wouldn’t imagine to be from real life. High, Mysterious Cliffs sit above old fishing cottages that go up to the edge of the sea. You can walk up and down the cliffs on public pathways designed for walks around and through the bay, which makes a day full of exercise and breathtaking views. 

It honestly looks like it should be somewhere in Switzerland. There is a ‘Heidi’ esque vibe to the place and the nature is very sentimental. The locals are friendly, jolly and humble. There are so many cute independent restaurants and cafes and so much greenery. Everything is so picturesque which completely defies the stereotype us Brits have of the North. 
3. The Cotswolds 


I’ve been to the Cotswolds many a time, but again, as a kid. My hometown is part of the Cotswolds, but my best childhood memories were spent at Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Bourton on the Water. 

I love places that look beautiful and like I can imagine a story being set there. Part of my love for the Cotswolds is how much it looks like it should be part of an ITV drama. There’s so many beautiful villages and greenery, so many gorgeous independent businesses and cafes. There’s an abundance of places to walk and explore- and can easily be a cheap day out if you’re close enough. Bourton on the Water has some lovely shops, I do remember there being an amazing little toy shop that sold all kinds of old and new toys. Also, it’s home of Birdland which is fun entertainment for the whole family. Moreton in Marsh is great for country walks, cycling or chilling in the country pubs. 
So those are three places I would like to visit in the U.K at some point. Of course there are many more, but those are definitely at the top of my list! 

Have a good day, and let me know in the comments where you’d like to visit! 

Calorie Counting: An Every Day Danger 

Dieting campaigns are everywhere. We see them on the TV, in magazines, on social media and on the way to work stuck on a billboard. With so much hysteria surrounding weight loss and the ‘body ideal’, it’s no surprise that we are seeing a huge increase in Eating Disorders over the past five years. 

Something which has come around with this is an increase is calorie counting based diets, which of course is the natural scientific way to lose weight. But these diets are obsessive, restrictive and forgets basic nutrition. As healthy food items such as Avacado, Sweet Potato and Coconut Oil are all heavy in calories- but high in nutrients. With so much emphasis on Calorie Counting and Fasting Diets, particularly on social media- are we really forgetting that it’s an Eating Disorder Trigger and feeding that into every day? 

Instagram has become number one for aesthetic photos, diet tracking and life tracking. This is apt for recoverers, dieters and social media junkies. However, with so many encouraging messages from instagram dieters like “you can do it!” is that really just giving us a forced idea that we should be losing weight and being restrictive? 

Pictures of progress photos, tiny portions and weight loss quotes flood my social media. With many young boys and girls on instagram and seeing this, I worry for what the future might bring for eating disorder statistics. 

We must remember that calories are measurements of energy release and that we need that energy. Food is just fuel, it’s not a weapon to destroy ourselves in the need for perfection. Every body type is welcome, every body type exists for a reason. 

We must also remember that there are different types of Eating Disorders out there- it’s not all about starvation and restricting. For many, there’s an awful struggle with overeating, comfort eating and binge eating. 

Obesity and overweight people are forever slaughtered for their body types. They are always told to ‘hit the gym’ or to ‘stop being lazy’ but for many, there’s an extreme darkness behind this behaviour that causes them to be the size they are. Binge Eating or Emotional Eating is just as common as Anerexia, however, in the society we are in, it is less believed and treated as ‘Lazyness’ rather than an illness. Many don’t recognise the intensity of the behaviour and don’t seek recovery, which leads to health issues such as Type 2 Diabetes. 

It is extremely hard for many to admit there is a problem, especially when it may not be recognised. And my fear is that restrictive eating, calorie counting and extreme dieting will become normalised by Social Media and Advertising Campaigns. 

I wrote a list of some healthier options to change your lifestyle, which is a lot safer than those listed above: 

  • Slimming Groups- Like Weight Watchers or Slimming World- where eating is encouraged. 
  • Get a Portion Plate Online- it’s like a baby plate and has a section that should be filled with how much food should be in each part. There’s emphasis on vegetables as all the goodness. 
  • Eat Your Five A Day 
  • Cut Down (Not Out) on Junk 


British Summer 

What even is a British summer? Is it heard of? Is it a myth? Well special people, it really isn’t. The UK is currently expecting their biggest heatwave on record, with temperatures set to hit 34 degrees this week. If you are an autumn/winter lover like me, you might as well have just been teleported to the fiery pits of hell- because this is what it feels like. 

Day One- it’s 25 degrees and already you are done. The air is humid, your house is boiling but luckily for you, the air outside is cooler with a nice summer breeze. Walking long distances all at once is gonna make you wanna spray deodorant and probably change your underwear as soon as you get home but it’s actually bearable. You are grateful the sun has decided to grace you with its presence, but you are also craving autumn nights with Harry Potter and hot chocolate. People race out to beer gardens everywhere! The sun is out = beer garden weather. You are either cracking open a cold one with the boys, or you are trekking to Tesco either by foot or begging for lifts on snapchat from your one friend that drives if you can go pick up a temporary barbeque. Girls on instagram everywhere in the UK show off their bikini bodies/gym bods and if you’re anything like me, you are covering up as much as possible because I’m ginger and even with factor 50+ I burn on my nose.

Day 2- it’s 28 degrees. Enough is enough. You’ve had your beer, you’ve had the barbeque and you are sick of walking from one air conned place to another. You just wish that middle aged hairy men would put a shirt on. You wish that women could walk around topless and didn’t have to wear bras in public. The jealousy and envy is dark green with this one. You’ve started carrying water bottles with you like you’re carrying your first child. You’ve got to pop to B&M or Savers to have a cheeky spend on some £1 cooling spray for those instant scorcher moments when you can just no longer hack it. You’ve got through three cans of deodorant in what seems like two days and you are tired of spending money because of this summer sweat issue. You wish you could be that glowy model that enjoys the holiday in the Bahamas, but then you remember that sticky Britain is nothing like the Bahamas and your body isn’t anything like that model’s either. But that’s okay because the summery days full of fruity calorific cider and barbeque food has been absolutely worth it. You think, anyway. Or you doubt. Suddenly every teenager is wearing the same clothes from Primark or New Look, and everyone looks the same. The only person that doesn’t look the same is the OAP who is still wearing a coat and making you sweat in your vest top because it is just so insatiably wrong. Your hay fever is rife, pollen definitely hates you and you’ve started to have shoulders like a drumstick lolly. It’s okay though, just pop to Poundland and get yourself some aloe Vera gel and you’ll be golden by the time normal weather resumes. 

Day 3- It’s really done it now. It’s hit 30. This is prison. This is sweaty, burning, sore prison. Curries, Asda and Argos have all ran out of bedside table fans, the ice lolly aisles are basically extinct and there is no more barbeque coal anywhere. Despite having no air cons, bars and pubs are full like a year 6 leavers disco. Everyone is cranky and snappy, but for some reason everyone is still out making the most of the weather despite suffering in it. Everyone is burnt. Does anyone in Britain own suncream? Nivea clearly is not making money over here. Dogs are crying on the pavement because their incompetent owners are still walking them despite the pavement being the equivalent of Lava to the poor woofers. And your neighbour has set up his reclining lounger and old radio in his front garden and all you can hear all day is the buzz of rick astley, who you wish he would just give up (ironic isn’t it). Starbucks are making more iced macchiatos and frappes in a day than they’ve made in a year. For some reason, people think icy dairy creamy sugar is gonna hydrate them on a sunny, blazing day. Everyone is rushing out to buy paddling pools and inviting their mates over despite them not coming with instructions and you not owning a hose pipe. You have no idea how to set this up or how to fill it, but if it takes a bucket you’ll do it cause you’ve already invited about six people for a pool party with Lilo’s and wine. You’ve seen your neighbours more times in the past hour putting all your washing on the line than you have in the past two years- Doris just wishes she could “get past the disgusting heat so she can sort the garden”. Doris is also rubbing scalp protector on her husband, Ernie. Lord. 

Day 4- 31 Degrees. Work is cancelled, school is cancelled. Everyone is calling in sick. Sun stroke. Everyone either looks like they’ve been on a lads holiday to Ibiza (even if you’re 70 and a lady) or a tomato that’s been pressed to make homemade pasta sauce. There’s no inbetween. Everyone else is trying to catch up- bottles of Dove Summer Glow have never been sold so much, just for a bit of tan competition. Warnings are issued- ‘Stay Indoors and Drink Lots of Fluid’. Many have been drunk since last Thursday and probably haven’t left the beer garden. Even the wind is now hot, you are praying for rain to clear the air but you just know it’s going to be hot, sticky rain that collects along with your boob sweat and makes you feel like a gross, failing descendant from the Amazon Rainforest rather than a British person trying to get to Boots to buy Aftersun and a cheeky meal deal. Everyone is checking on their parents- “Are you okay? Did you survive the heatwave?”. You should probably water your cacti cause it’s been far too dry for Kenneth the Cacti, too. You haven’t eaten anything but bread rolls and cheap sausages in days and you are starting to feel it around your gut, a long with the cider bloat and alcoholic digestive system you’ve acquired. You’re taking six showers a day and your hair is as dry as your chat up lines, but it’s okay because it’s salty and ‘beachy’. You’ve started to peel like a kiddie satsuma and it’s stinging like an absolute bitch on Christmas. But it’s all alright, because your apple weather app says it will go back down to 21 after the storm on Wednesday. (Hurray, praise the lords. Bring out the vodka.) 

PRIDE: LGBT, STEREOTYPES AND OWNING IT

Welcome to LGBT Month here on Exploring Thoughts. It’s now Pride Month, and places everywhere will be starting to celebrate Pride- unless you’re from the UK in which case celebrations started in May. 

Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is a positive movement against the discrimination, violence and prejudice against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and now Queer individuals or groups. These days, it’s more of a celebration of Gender Diversity, Sexuality and Community, which breaks a massive social stigma. We are now in 2017, and whereas society has moved on massively in support of LGBT people, there are still countries around the world struggling with this. 

For example, In Mexico, a predominantly catholic country, homosexuals are seen as wrong and immoral, society hasn’t really accepted them yet. The same occurs in the City of Rome. However, with the internet and social media, our online identities can celebrate pride and show the world that Gay will always be Okay. 

It was President Obama who declared June as LGBT pride month, so if you’re out there protesting, celebrating or just being yourself, you are doing the world proud at pride. 

What is Pride? 

Pride is standing strong despite groups of people who disagree. Pride is carrying on when you know there will be judgement. Pride is looking at the community around you and beaming with joy. Pride is knowing who you are from within and owning that with a confidence which no light will over shadow. Pride is standing tall, carrying on, being proud and making those small changes. 

People all over the world who are LGBT, will know the struggle. The criticism, the jokes, the derogatory terms. However, pride stamps all of that out and gives you a magical experience to be a part of- knowing you are part of the massive LGBT community that wants to spread love, peace and a little bit of fun. Pride is a smack in the face to the people who judge. To the traditionalists who look down on LGBT, to the religion which says it is wrong. Pride is a societal weapon, which creates open minds and moves us on forward, but offends many in the process. But you know what? Times are changing. And we are lucky that they have changed. But if somebody is going to judge you over your sexuality, wave that rainbow banner right in their faces and do it with pride- because you have to own who you are. With everything there will be haters, judgers and gossipers, but what does it matter to them who you wanna do the diddly with or love anyway? It’s like saying two people can’t be in love because of the shoes someone wears. 

This month, remember who you are. Remember the long way you’ve come and if you’re struggling and only coming to terms with it, we have all got you, homies. Pride is a safety blanket which will take you to the next chapter of your life and carry you over until you feel comfortable to fly on your own. 

LGBT Stereotypes: 

Of course, everywhere you are gonna get stereotypes. In the media and otherwise, there is a huge bunch of stereotypes related to LGBT which at times are repetitive, insulting and a little bit dry. Let’s take Orange is the New Black for example. You have Big Boo, the most stereotypical Lesbian ever betrayed in the Media ever. 


She has a short hair cut, is bulky and has a big frame, has a low set voice and tries to get off with anything with a vagina. You wouldn’t mess with her, you wouldn’t get into competition with her. 

But then you have characters like Alex who you would not expect to stereotypically be a Lesbian. 


She has long hair, a very feminine tattoo and has a nerdy girl vibe because of her cute glasses. You get the tough exterior, soft interior vibe from her, which completely breaks the stereotype. 

But then you have shows like Sense8, where the stereotypes are challenged and become countertypes. 


You have Nomi and Amanita, both Lesbians, but Nomi is also transgender. Nomi’s backstory is she used to be a hacker called Michael, but had a sex change after she realised she was the wrong gender. Nomi is very feminine, but hyper smart and super sensitive. She is probably the most emotionally empathetic out of all the sense8’s and even though she’s portrayed as a very strong female character, if this was any other TV show, they would have put her with the male protagonist because of her characteristics. 

Then you have homosexual Lito Rodriguez. 


Lito is a huge Mexican Movie star, who is portrayed as a ladies man by the Media. He is in love with a guy called Hernando who he lives with, and all Hernando wants is to walk down the red carpet with Lito. Lito is very masculine, but also in tune with his emotions. He’s like a metrosexual that has been given a testosterone shot. He works out at the gym, he hangs out with girls, he is always coming to the rescue of the Sense8 ladies. 

One thing we don’t really see a lot of in the Media is bisexual characters. Which is something I would definitely like to see change. In reality, there’s a misconception that bisexuals are just ‘greedy’, ‘experimenting’ or ‘can’t decide’. I really think that misconception needs to die pretty soon, as you can’t be okay with homosexuality or heterosexuality but not a bit of both. Also it’s considered that bisexuals have the hardest time trying to open up about it because of those misconceptions, but also because they may not feel their sexuality is ‘final’ because of it. So make sure you have support for bisexuals too. 

And let’s remember, sexuality is a spectrum and you can also be attracted to one gender in a carnal way but not to the other. Just like you can be emotionally connected to one gender, but you can’t to the other- but you can feel attracted to both of them. 

 OWN IT 


Whoever you are attracted to, whatever your sexuality is, own it. It does not determine you as a person or whether you’re good or bad. You are part of an awesome community that will accept you with open arms. And you know what? Your friends and family should do that too, and if they aren’t, they are the immoral people- NOT you. 

So put your flags in the air, put glitter on your face and do it with pride.