Monday, 28 November 2016

My weight loss struggles

Hello Everyone!

I have been on my weight loss journey for around 8 weeks now and have lost 16 lbs all together which I think it incredible!

When I first started this I had talked to a few people who have gone through a similar experience, and they made it seem as if weight loss was the easiest thing in the world - however none of them were overweight when they wanted to lose a couple of pounds. They made out as though weight loss was a breeze and that a couple of lbs was piss easy to lose, I dove into this believing that I could be the same, some sit ups here and a salad there and I would be healthy and bikini body ready in no time.

Oh how I was so very wrong...

The thing I remembered after a while was that I started this OVERWEIGHT - not like some of my friends who were already slim at the time, I had more than a couple of pounds to lose.
I have run into so many obstacles, mainly mentally and I am still tying to battle my way through them! So without rambling on any more here are the 5 things that I have been struggling with during my weight loss.

1. Fitspo/Thinspo 

Many times I have been told that looking at Fitspo and Thinspo on Tumblr and instagram would help motivate me to keep up with my exercise and diet - it did the exact opposite!!
Looking at all these posts of the fit girls with the flat stomachs and the plump bootay made me feel worthless, in fact it caused me to start pinching my fat and making lists on everything I hated about my body.
The end result of me looking at these supposedly inspirational posts? Binge eating - yup! I won't deny that these types of inspo may help some people lose weight but for me it made me feel terrible about my self. I manged to conquer this by switching out these images for before and after ones and they worked so well for me! Looking at the progress people have made makes it seem more achievable for me than looking at people who are ALWAYS have been fit and thin.

2. Having full control over food shopping

Right now I currently live 4 hours away from my family at Bangor University and this means I ultimately have full control over my food shopping because no one else is going to be eating these foods except me!
This has also been a struggle and one that I am still learning to deal with, obviously shopping on an empty stomach isn't exactly the best thing in the world - I would find myself picking up snacks and junk food (Vegan of course but it doesn't make it healthy!!!) Picking, choosing and planning meals for the day is something I am still struggling with.
I have next to no idea what kinds of food I should be eating during the day and also no idea how much of it I am eating too - A way in which I hope to gain a bit more control over how much I eat instead of just control over what I can eat is to buy a food diary and document my daily meals and snacks. I know this way I can physically see what I am eating and can start prepping and planning my meals in advance!

3. Late night cravings

One of the main reasons I piled on the weight so quick is because of one simple reason - Binge eating and snacking late at night.
Low self esteem and being ashamed of eating certain foods in front of people would push me to binge eating late at night once everyone had gone to bed, meaning I had full access to cupboards and the fridge. Now since being in uni this has stopped slightly, however sometimes at around 9pm I get the urge for something savoury and it's normally crisps that I crave. Which has led to me a couple of times nipping to the shop for one bag and coming back with five different things and eating it all in one night. This isn't healthy but it is something I am working on - I have taken to buying 20 calorie brown rice cakes that taste of salt and vinegar crisps and whenever I feel a craving I will just eat one of these slowly and normally the cravings subside - if anyone else has any tips on how to stop the snacking then please let me know in the comments because this is an issue I would just like to see gone!

4. Guilt

Kind of ties in with the cravings struggle guilt is something that never really goes away and I think it will be a long time before it does. Now i'm not talking about pigging out all day kind of guilt. i'm talking about me feeling immensely guilty for having a few sips of pop or eating 1 bag of crisps throughout the day etc. I know people can feel guilty sometimes but feeling guilty every day for something teeny has been a huge struggle. Again any advice is appreciated. I feel like I am too hard on myself, that because I have told people I am actually going to drop the weight this time that I have something major to prove to everyone - like one slip up could mean the end of the world and all my progress from the last 8 weeks is lost. Which is ridiculous, you're not going to put 16 lbs back on from one can of diet coke! I feel so much pressure to lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time and body dis-morphia can definitely be a cause of this when you feel like no matter how much weight you're losing you look the same! Sometimes things take a lot longer to work on and this is the biggest struggle for me yet!!

5. Workouts

I have taken a great liking to the gym - I love working out and I find it de-stresses me a lot. There are however some days where while working out....I get so frustrated...I actually cry.
Yes sometimes I cry during my workouts, I will be all fine running on a treadmill when I feel super out of breathe and need to stop - but the girl next to me is still going, shes slim and toned and not out of breathe at all. So I try and run a little more, but I run 10 more seconds and I need to stop quickly! This frustrates me so much that I cry, I compare myself to others so much that I forget this is all a learning experience. The same with home exercises such as sit ups, plank, press ups ect. I get incredibly upset when I do a sit up and my belly is like a mountain as I crunch, and the result is crying sit ups. I get super sad when I see how much I have let myself go and wonder what I was thinking to ever let myself get this unhealthy and overweight. But this is why I am doing this now, so I wont have to feel like this anymore.


If you are like me and have a lot of weight to lose - if someone tells you its super easy please don't get upset if you feel like it's not. I learnt that some people find it easy and others find it difficult and they experience their own problems along the way. There is always a way to get through it and push through the mentality of 'I can't do this'. YOU CAN! No matter what anyone tells you, you can do anything you set your mind to. I know that one day I will look back on this blog post and laugh to myself of how I managed to overcome every struggle I have listed.

It takes time - but this date next year you will be so glad you started. Also I am thinking of starting a YouTube channel to document my weight loss so please let me know if you would like to see that! I am planing it a soon as this blog post has uploaded!



Have a great day!

Renee x




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Saturday, 19 November 2016

My experience at Voltaire

Good morning everyone!

I hope you are all having a good weekend so far, mine has been pretty quiet but lovely!

While I was vegetarian I always knew there were lots of food options for me at various restaurants so I never really had to worry about eating out with friends. However, recently turning vegan made me realise that if I was to have lunch with friends outside of the flat I would have to find a place that catered for the vegan lifestyle.
After some searching I found the Bangor University Vegetarian and Vegan society, naturally I joined and a small restaurant was mentioned that was strictly vegan with some vegetarian options.
After organising a dinner date with two of my friends, we decided on a little restaurant called Voltaire.

Upon entering the restaurant, we noticed a peaceful ambience about the place. Dimmed lights and jazz music made this small place super cosy and welcoming.

One of the things I really enjoyed were the little quotes written on the chalkboard wall.


This wall also had some information such as which celebrities were vegan and also included which past known or famous people were vegan too, the board covered in just overall cute little quotes that made the experience even more enjoyable!


The single bulbs hanging from the ceiling above each table made for an overall calming experience, me and my friends couldn't stop smiling at how homely it felt to be in Voltaire. 
The rest of the walls were covered in skateboards, and artwork finished off with the 'Day of the Dead' decorations to really give it that rustic feel. The tables were lined with candles and if anyone knows me they know a good candle will always brighten my mood! 





Now onto the food! 

The menu was incredible! From burgers to burritos, hummus and curry, anything that would tickle your fancy would be provided for you but without the horrible animal products included! Me and my friend Hannah ordered the 'Desperado burger' which was a burger topped with five bean chilli, jalapenos and tortillas with a side of chips and salad. The burger itself cost £10 BUT for the size it was and what it came with it was a pretty reasonable price and none of us were complaining! Chris ordered the 'Bangor's Best Bangers and Mash' which was a large serving (Made him very happy). 



The portion sizes were amazing and the food itself was super tasty, out of all the veggie burgers I have tried this one by far takes the top! I was full half way through, but it taste so good that I had to soldier on and finish this bad boy!



The staff were super helpful and very friendly, they made the experience of Voltaire very pleasant and I thank them for their outstanding customer service! 

I think overall Voltaire will be one restaurant I will eat at maybe once a week! Everything about it was so comfortable and welcoming, with some relaxing jazz music in the background our little friend date was an extremely enjoyable time! 

Both of the people who came with me to Voltaire are not vegetarian nor vegan, however they cleared their plates and thought the food was incredible, even they have asked to go again. 
If you ever visit Bangor and are looking for a vegan restaurant, please take the time to visit Voltaire - You will not be disappointed!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend lovelies! 

Renee x




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Thursday, 17 November 2016

What I eat in a day

Hello everyone!

So as I mentioned in my previous post I have been vegan for about 4-5 days now so I thought it would be a good idea to share a 'what I eat in a day' blog post since my eating habits have changed slightly.

If any vegans out there have any meals or recipes they can share, it would be really helpful to me if you commented below so I can get some ideas! Without babbling on any more lets get straight to it!

Breakfast

Breakfast was 2 pieces of wholegrain avocado toast - topped with veggies. One had cucumber and mushroom and the other had mushroom and spinach. Both had half an avocado mashed onto it and seasoned with salt and pepper. I also drank 1 litre of water with this breakfast as I have tried to do every morning.
The lighting is bad in this photo I know it was gloomy out and it was relatively early! Sorry.



Dinner

Dinner was simple - I picked up a wholegrain protein and pumpkin seed role from morrisons and mashed some home made guacamole on one of the slices and topped it with veggies to make a sandwich and I also made a fairly large salad with sweet chilly dressing. The salad contained Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and cucumber. I also added the rest of the guacamole on top.



Snacks

Throughout the day I mainly snacked on fruit so the first thing I had was a punnet of strawberries and I demolished the entire thing! Secondly I had two chopped up apples with organic peanut butter drizzled on top and it was honestly super super tasty!



So that is everything I ate in a day and it gives you an idea of what my diet is going to be like now that I am vegan. Honestly it may not seem like much but this day's worth of food kept me full and satisfied all day and I didn't get any sort of cravings that I normally have that would lead me to binge eat. 
Let me know in the comments what sort of things you eat and if you happen to be vegan hit me up and maybe you can give me some tips haha!

Renee x


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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Vegan transition??

Hello everyone!

Is anyone else getting super excited for Christmas? EEEEEEE!


Today I wanted to talk about my decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle.

(Don't worry I am not going to shove my opinion down your throat - I am simply just telling my story)


Now for a VERY LOOOOOONG time I have been vegetarian and have always thought that it was enough for me to help the planet and contribute towards the saving the animals. There has always been some part of me that wanted to go vegan but, I wasn't very educated and didn't really know what I was doing so I just stayed in my comfort zone of being vegetarian.
Recently I have been watching 'what I eat in a day' videos and I came across a channel belonging to someone called 'Kate Flowers' and began browsing her videos. She is in fact a Raw vegan so if anyone is interested definitely check out her channel, I will link her name for you.

Anyway she suggested that if anyone is considering going vegan to watch 3 documentaries:

1) forks over knives - About how a plant based diet can considerably make you healthier
2) Cowspiracy - About how animal agriculture is the number one contributor to the worlds problems
3)Earthlings - About having compassion for the animals (Upsetting footage).

Me being bored decided to watch the above documentaries in one night and I was so interested I managed to find facts, statistics and did my own research on animal agriculture and found out some disturbing information that upset me quite a bit. The fact that 91% of deforestation is caused by animal agriculture was deeply unsettling, and I found it hard to believe that I have been told all these years that if I recycle I will help the planet and such - When in fact it isn't really making a difference.

After researching I found a youtube clip of a man named 'Gary Yourofsky' who is an animal rights activist and has in fact been banned from many countries because of his protests. However - after watching a speech he gave about why we should be vegan I instantly changed my whole perception of the world and decided that night that I was going to adopt a 100% vegan lifestyle.

It has only been 4 days of me being vegan but I can already see a change happening within myself, I have more energy and I feel like I am a lot happier within myself.
This is just a short summary of how I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan but I will post an update on some of the facts I learned while researching - again I am not going to be one of those vegans who force my opinions at you or slap a burger out of your hand but I do believe that now I have the info I missed I can share it with people who are willing to read.

Renee x

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