Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Wanderer Returns

I can't believe how long it's been since I have been able to sit down and physically write a blog post for you guys! The past few months have been a whirlwind of finishing my degree, working in America, moving house and starting a new job - so as you can imagine it's been pretty full on! So much of my life has changed in such a small amount of time and I cannot wait to be able to share my new life with you all. So! You'll be glad to hear however that I am now back for good with a gazillion post ideas as well as an actual laptop to write them all down on. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart for baring with me.

So let me know if there's anything that you've seen me get up to on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that you'd love to hear more on, and I'll get some posts out to you lovely lot within the next couple of days! :)

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

3 Reasons Why I Cancelled My Gym Membership

1. Because I do too much

Now I'm NEVER one to say that you can be too busy to exercise, but I AM one to say that it doesn't have to be in the form of slogging it out at the gym. Me and my local PureGym have had some wonderful times and since cancelling there have been times when I've missed that fitness environment and being surrounded by others who are all trying to better themselves. But even with cheerleading practice 5 times a week (if not more!) plus ramping up my swimming hours in a bid to pass the American Lifeguard test at the end of May, I would still end the day feeling guilty that I hadn't been to the gym despite doing 6 hours of exercise some days. There was no real reason for me to feel guilty so why was I?!
A massive weight has been lifted since cancelling in regards to this. I feel a lot happier in what I am doing, and I'm still making fantastic progress! :)

2. Because summer is around the corner!

Now some may hear their words and go running for their gym bag to get some extra hours in for their beach bod this year, but for me summer means running outdoors without my ears and chest exploding from the cold, and lots of fun outdoor and adventures in the sun. I'm a massive sun lover so the thought of exercising inside when I could be out in the big wide world running the streets or doing circuits in the park is just so unappealing to me. I always feel so revitalised from being in the fresh air so now that it's getting warmer I can't wait for morning jogs and (attempting) some yoga in my garden.

3. Because I needed a change

I've preached lifting weights over being a cardio bunny for pretty much three years now, since I first began my fitness journey. I lived seeing the weights increase as my body got stronger and relished the post-workout DOMS signalling a tough workout. The past couple of months though I've found a real love for more body-weight based workouts, and have been inspired by the likes of the SBC workouts and other more high intensity-based regimes. With my stint in America just around the corner I haven't forked out for the SBC workouts yet, but as soon as I'm back in August I fully intend to take the plunge and put myself at it's mercy!

So there we have it. Boy a weight has been lifted from my shoulders (and not one from the gym for once!). I still get querying looks from friends and those who know me when I tell them that I am no longer a literal gym-bunny, but sometimes you need a change of scenery and I already feel so much better for it! 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Giveaway | Reebok Spartan Race UK!

I can't even tell you how long I have wanted to do a Spartan Race for. But I can tell you that it's a LONG time. I've always loved the type of exercise that really pushes me to my absolute limits and the idea of races such as these really sum up everything which I could possibly want in a challenge. Your body is capable of so much more than most people could ever imagine - certainly far more than many ever get to use it for during their day-to-day life, but I am - and forever will be - fascinated with seeing just what my body is capable of!

At the beginning of 2015 I had told myself that I would do a Spartan Race this year, but final year of university, and heading to Texas for the summer has meant that I've had to put it on the back-burner. That said, if you've been itching to give one a go for a while but haven't got around to registering - or if you'd never heard of it before but are a little bit intrigued! - I have the perfect opportunity for you.

Thanks to the lovely folks at Spartan Race Inc., I have one free race entry code to give away to one lucky reader! As usual, entries can be gained using the Rafflecopter widget below, and the winner will be selected at random also using Rafflecopter on Friday 22nd May 2015 - so not long to get your entries in! The more parts of giveaway widget you complete the more chances you have of winning - simple! :)
There are races happening up and down the country including Manchester, South Wales and Scotland (and many more!) so there's plenty of opportunity to get your Spartan-on and show yourself and the rest of the world what you're made of!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to get pumped in the mean time? Spartan Race UK are also holding a couple of free workout classes as part of their Spartan Workout Tour with the last two being in Oxford & Manchester - so get yourself down there for a killer workout! Just make sure that you register here beforehand.
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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Healthy Revision Snacking

My final year of university has now finally come to an end meaning that I've now been left with this strange mixture of immense relief, and a heap of excitement of what the next few months will bring including working on a children's camp in America and starting my job!

Whilst I was lucky to be one of the fortunate few who's exam timetable meant that I've finished already, I know there are a lot of you who are still suffering with exam revision and assignment deadlines. Boredom eating was (and occasionally still is) a pretty major vice for me, and getting on a role with whichever topic I am studying means that meal times can often go out of the window as I tend to graze throughout the day instead. This means that I had to make sure that I had plenty of healthy snacks around me to limit the damage from craving snacks as well as ensuring that I still get all the nutrients that I need.
The biggest thing that I learnt was to make sure that I would measure out portions at the beginning of the day. I'm not going to lie to you guys, at the end of March/beginning of April I did start to put a fair bit of weight back on. I would put a bag of nuts or a whole punnet of grapes or whatever on the table with me when I started revising, and within two or so hours the entire thing would be gone without me even realising! So I started putting grapes into a bowl, buying small pots of houmous instead of big ones and basically making sure I only take what I actually want to eat.

So what have been my go-to snacks to get me through those long days of staring at screens and scrawling notes?

Fruit & Veg has been a big one. Celery or carrot with different flavoured houmous dips to spice things up a little, grapes and slices of apple with a serving of peanut butter - HEAVEN.
I've also been stocking up on healthy snack bars such as Nature Valley's new protein bars which have been an absolute saviour for when I've needed a slightly sweeter treat without jeopardising my healthy eating. Packed with nuts, seeds and wholegrain oats, I've been munching on the Peanut & Chocolate and Roasted Peanuts with Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds to get a boost of protein and keep
my hunger pangs at bay and to satisfy my sweet tooth!
If I need a slightly bigger protein hit or don't feel like eating I've also been reaching for protein shakes - especially MyProtein's Pineapple-flavoured Impact Whey which is literally like drinking a Pina Colada. Yum!

What snacks have you been munching on to get you through these last few weeks of school or university? Post them in the comments below! :)

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Spring Spirit

Ever since I got injured a couple of months a go, I have found it incredibly hard to get back into the gym. Despite being a daily visitor to my gym,  I've been craving a different form of fitness away from my usual haunt since coming back from injury.
Cheer & dance training and the odd bit of yoga remain ever-present, and I am now trialling the Les Mills GRIT programme to see if I just need to try a different form of workout at. Other than that I have swapping my dumbbells for swimming goggles and the treadmill for the great outdoors. I'm finding that I'm really enjoying the change in exercise routine! Has anyone else ever felt the same?

In the spirit of Spring I've been making great use of my reversible Sweaty Betty leggings but have swapped my standard gym vest top for a slightly thicker Nike technical t-shirt, to help protect from the nippiness that's left in the air. There is no love lost between me and the winter, so it's been lovely to be able to get exercising in the fresh air. It's also making me super excited for summer when I can get all my exercise in the great outdoors!

I have some super awesome news that I will be spending two months working on a children's camp in Texas as part of the Camp America programme! I am so excited - it's going to be an amazing experience! Being away from May-August may mess with my fitness blogging a little, but I am planning on documenting it all here on The Barbelle. If you have any ideas of what you'd like to see (whether videos, specific blog posts etc.) please let me know!

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| Some of these products may have been sent to me to review. All opinions are honest and fair. Please see disclaimer for details. |
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