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Ok, I don't mean literally naked. What I mean to say is: do I need to take photos of myself wearing minimal clothing to prove that I'm "fit?" It's totally unavoidable these days; you log onto Instagram and BAM there's a girl with a six pack, wearing nothing but a bra top, tiny gym shorts, who's perfectly tanned, and you guessed it: she's into fitness. She blogs about it, she writes about it, maybe she even makes a living out of it.
I'm not trying to say that doing that is wrong: you've got a great body, of course you want to show it off! But where does that leave the rest of us, who might be really fit, eat super healthy, train hard, but don't quite want to take such revealing photos of themselves all the time? I don't know about you, but the huge pressure I feel to "prove" to the online world that I'm fit is immense. I love to workout, I love to eat clean, I love to feel good about myself, and I love knowing that my boyfriend thinks I'm attractive. What I don't love is how often I find myself feeling self conscious about the fact that I don't often post photos of my six pack (disclaimer: there isn't one.) Am I only, truly, healthy and fit when I can confidently post a photo of an incredible six pack? I've posted photos on my Instagram account before of my progress, but did that make me feel good about myself? Honestly... most of the time I was ended up spending more time worrying that people would look at them and judge my new found confidence. You can't win!
Now, I'm not suggesting that all these amazingly fit, really attractive girls should stop posting photos of their incredible bodies (oh my goodness, please don't, I have so much admiration!) but what I'm trying to say it, can't there be some balance? One person who I've seen take this on really well is one of my favourite fitness bloggers: Zanna Van Dijk. She's young, super tall, and really, really fit. She shows off her great bod, but she writes very truthfully about the fact that she isn't perfect; and that reassures me. It shows that you can be fit, feel good about yourself, whilst not being 100% perfect.
[video width="568" height="320" mp4="http://www.oliviablogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/boxing.mp4"][/video]
The good news is that I feel fit and strong. I've never actually felt so good about what my body can do! The video above shows that (thanks to my PT Steve for filming!) I've got a few things I still want to sort out (like actually be able to lift that 60KG deadlift properly without passing out because I'm not breathing), and I definitely have body conformation goals... and that's ok! I'm just not sure I'll be posting on Instagram about my six pack all the time.
Anyway, I'm definitely rambling, but this has been on my mind. What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel pressure to prove to the world that you're fit? I'd love to know!
I'm not very big on New Year's Resolutions. I've never really made them before, because I know for a fact that I'm setting myself up for failure. A New Year's resolution kind of implies to me that in the whole previous year, I've been doing things wrong. I'm quite an ambitious person, though, so I'm always setting myself goals. With Christmas almost here, and New Years approaching fast, resolution stuff begins to pop up left, right and center, and of course that makes me start to reflect on what new goals (or current goals) I'd like to work on. Let's call it a "refocus."
- Work. I'm a work-a-holic. I've been "working" on some kind of project since I was 15, all the time. It started off with photography at 15 and it consumed me. Then Atlas came about, and that's been my primary focus since I was 20. We've got so many big projects for Atlas, and I won't go into massive detail about them now because this blog isn't really supposed to focus on Atlas, but I'd like to grow the business more, take our print issues worldwide, grow our audience, and collaborate with more brands in future. It's exciting! See what we're up to here.
- Photography. My photography took a bit of a back seat for a few years (for various reasons), but I'm feeling incredibly inspired lately and have been thinking about what kind of work I'd like to produce. My day to day work with Atlas involved reviewing submissions from talented people all around the world. It definitely gets me inspired, and I'd like to start shooting again, more frequently, working with local Cornish designers. I've seen some of the talented designers there are in the area, and it's so inspiring! I'd also like to use film more. It's a medium I adore to work with, but didn't feel confident enough to really test out when I was younger.
- Fitness. I'm currently working towards some new goals, which is ongoing and has started well before the New Year. In a nutshell, I'd like to finally push the excess body fat I have around my middle. No, it's not big, and no I'm certainly not overweight at all, but I'm someone who likes to see how far I can go, and I would really really like to be confident in myself in a bikini. I know it's very superficial, but this is a place for honesty, right? I'd also like to see how strong I can get! In the past 6 months, I can't believe how much stronger and fitter I am. Never in a million years did I think I'd be able to run 10 miles (16km), but I can! And I can just about deadlift 60KG (we're working on it), I've improved my sprint time by 5 seconds, I sit between 150 W and 160 W in my spin class, and I can punch harder than I ever thought I could before. Feeling myself get stronger and fitter is the most incredible thing and I can't wait to see where I am in 6 more months!
- Health. 2015 was a big year for me in terms of my digestive health. It's well known on this blog that since I was 15, I've struggled more and more with my IBS. It steadily got worse, then when I was 20 I made changes, and it got better, but it would still come and go in waves. I went on the Low FODMAP diet this summer, and it has been life changing for me. Hard, I'll admit, and there are certain things which still trigger my IBS (ie. stress) but overall, I'm so much better than I ever was. All I really want to do in 2016 is to carry on eating what makes me feel good, developing recipes that are Low FODMAP, and sharing them here! (PS. I have loads of new ones, but I'm currently visiting my parents in Switzerland, so I can't photograph any of them to share with you!)
- Happiness. One thing that I realized (big time) this year was how important it is for me to take the time to relax. I have a problem where I feel guilty if I'm not constantly working. I feel like there's so much to do, and I'm totally aware of it, so if I stop, sit on the sofa and watch Homeland with my boyfriend, I get a pang of guilt because, really, I could be at my desk hammering out more emails or doing more strategy work. But taking that time out every day to do something that I enjoy, even if it's as simple as reading a few blogs, or watching some YouTube videos refreshes me, and I'm so much more productive (and enthusiastic!) if I've been able to recharge my batteries. In 2016, I'd really like to continue to do that.
So there you go, some goals which aren't really goals cause I'm sort of already doing them, but things I'd like to carry on doing! I find the end of the year is, more than anything, simply a really good time to reflect, think about where you are, and what you'd like to continue working on.
What are your "resolutions?" Do you have any? What's your take on New Year's resolutions? Let me know in the comments bellow!