Getting serious – Hitting the Gym 2016.

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Yes I did it, I used a quote from Pinterest, in my defence I love quotes like this and will only post or pin them if I believe in them. Today was my first gym session of 2016, I went past yesterday and had a little inside groan. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to work out, it was because I was nervous about going alone. When I was in the hospital gym I at least had the trainers that I knew and then I got to know some of the other patients and then I went to the gym at home with my Gramps. I’ve never been to a gym alone. Still I paid the £5 for the day pass so that would make me go.

As soon as I had my gym clothes on I was back in the mind set and apart from a few little things (thinking I’d locked all my stuff away and couldn’t get back in, not having any change, generally looking totally new and lost) I was determined. Luckily I spotted someone with a Kingston Uni hoodie and nervously started talking, she’s called Alice and from that point we worked out together and chatted the whole time. Apart from being at the same uni we have a lot in common and I felt so relieved, although possibly I talked too much because you know it’s me.

I left with a pizza date, a new friend and an incredible sense of accomplishment. Honestly through talking and laughing I didn’t even notice that an hour have gone by and I needed to go home and shower before uni. Now, I am aching and pretty tired now but I’d happily go back tomorrow if my spine could handle it. Who know’s maybe one day my spine will be able to handle a lot more exercise, that’s the hope anyway. It’s honestly become a healthy addiction for me, I love it so much.

As for 2016, I’ve now paid for a membership and it looks like I have a gym buddy. I’m really determined to try and be fit and healthy this year. I know there will be times where my body lets me down and I will get frustrated but I’m going to keep going and hopefully I’ll be in a lot better shape this time next year. Plus, like the poster says I’m going to be going to bed tonight with satisfaction :).

1 down, 1 to go – Fitness and Weight Loss!

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I’ve been really honest about how my injury has impacted my life in loads of different ways. I’ve really been trying to work on building up everything in the gym and not overdoing it. That said I was a little worried over christmas because there’s so much food and everyone is offering you ‘just one more’. I both did and didn’t want to see how my progress was going and I was pleasantly surprised.

On the right is before and the left is now, 1 stone lighter! I’m very strict with myself about checking my weight I mentioned it before  that I wanted to be careful and that I didn’t want to get obsessive and controlling again, like I was in my teens.

I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve here and it’s all been in a healthy way. There have been no crash diets, no cutting out food groups, unhealthy amounts of exercise or not eating. Everything you see has 100% come from portion control, healthier eating and 1 hour a week exercise (the only exercise I can do at the moment).

I wanted to share this with you all because before I didn’t believe in this. I thought I was stuck the way I was and the whole exercise and  small portions wasn’t something I could do but I did and I actually really enjoy the gym. Thank you for all the support I’ve received on my blog, Twitter,  Facebook and Instagram. I can’t wait to carry on my fitness and share it with you!

My Year – 2015

It’s been a funny old year for me. I sit down to write this post and I don’t know what to think. My overwhelming feeling is at one end I’ve learnt a lot but at the other I’ve also had to deal with things I wouldn’t have imagined. I feel like next year is going to be a mixed year too, but hopefully not as painful. 2016 has a lot of new challenges lined up and if I’m honest I am scared but I’m also excited. For now, here’s a roundup of 2015!

January

I played my first show in central London

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Back in January the boys and I played our first show just around the corner of Leicester Square! We got a great number of people down and had a great time!

I fell in love with a horse

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At the stables I fell in love with Ruby. In January I started going to the stable at the weekends, grooming and spending hours just playing and stroking her.

I had a tough time, then treated myself

I struggled in January for a few different reasons and so I went and treated myself to some new bits and a hair cut. I started to listen to how I felt and what I needed to stay well.

I got to share horse riding with my sister

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I got to take my little sister horse riding! She loved it and it was great for my Mum and Summer to see me ride.

February 

I celebrated Harry Potter Book Night

Joe and I trekked into London for Harry Potter Book Night. It was so much fun to dress up, hand out with one of my best mates, meet the new illustrator and win a signed copy of Philosopher’s Stone.

I struggled and I swam.

While trying to look after myself I started trying to swim whenever I felt down, a big step for me.

I got told I was a ‘game changer’

I got filmed for a documentary that a third year student was making. I was called a ‘game changer’ which I didn’t believe but was really pleased with all the same 🙂

March

I couldn’t say goodbye…and broke my heart

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The beautiful Ruby was sold and I never got a chance to say goodbye and it broke my heart. She was such an incredible horse and I had an amazing connection with her.

I won a KU Talent award!

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I was up for two awards this year ‘Second Year of the Year’ and ‘Overcoming Adversity to Achieve’, which I won. I was so shocked because the category was so strong, I had an amazing night with my Mum and it was definitely one of the highlights of my year!

I became a President 

I became President of the Kingston University Horse Riding Society and won most improved rider for the year! It was a true honor and another great part to the month.

I fell in love with Sign Language again

Working with young people who were hearing impaired was a great experience and made me even more determined to work with disabled students at the university.

…I dropped my phone down the toilet.

Oh yeah, that.

April 

I had the best Easter

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I had such a fun family easter! We really had fun all together, my sister doesn’t look happy because for the first time in years I beat her at the egg hunt!

I went back to Durham!

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I was lucky enough to take a trip back up to Durham to see Ali’s grandparents for their anniversary. I absolutely love going up to Durham it’s beautiful and always relaxing.

I got my two babies

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I bought Hamski and Noodle home ❤ My two little fur babies came home together and although they were eventually separated they originally loved cuddling together! They also proved to be a much needed distraction in the coming months.

I fell off a horse…

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Yep, a simple fall meant my first ride in an ambulance. I was taken in, left in a hospital in the middle of nowhere and luckily had Laura with me. At first I was told I was fine and got back on a horse 3 days later…

May 

I found out that I had broken my spine

After 2 weeks of feeling really sore and then an MRI scan I found out that I’d broken my spine with further damage to other vertebrate, muscle, soft tissue and nerve damage. The 7 hours wait to find out what had gone wrong was just the start of a very long journey ahead.

I used a wheelchair for the first time

I cried a lot when I had to use the chair because I couldn’t walk. Luckily Amy came to get me so I didn’t miss out on our girls dinner before Alissa went back to the US. I ended up having fun and forgetting about the chair for a little bit.

I was part of a winning society!!

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I wasn’t in any fit state to travel so I had to cancel Prague with Dani and Eleanor. To keep my spirits up Amy and Laura took me to the society awards where our society won 2 awards!!

I got my first Spinal Brace

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My physiotherapist is an angel and made sure I had my brace before I flew to Athens. It was hot, sweaty and uncomfortable but it done the job, I was honestly just relieved to have some support for my spine!

June 

I went on my first international creative trip & my first holiday with just Ali (by accident)

What was supposed to be a solo trip to write became a couples trip when I still couldn’t walk! Ali and I ended up having a great time and I finally felt like a writer!

I got a dream job

I got my job as a Social Media Coordinator, one I applied for but never thought I would get. It’s honestly been one of the best jobs I’ve ever had and it was great having the responsibility!

I got a new tattoo!

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I couldn’t go to Foo Fighters in my wheelchair (it was cancelled in the end anyway) so I used the money to get a tattoo that was particularly meaningful then and still is now.

I bought a lot of books…a lot.

What else is a girl to do when she’s mostly stuck in the house?

July 

I said goodbye to friends again

I said goodbye to Eleanor and Maisha as they jetted off for a year of study in New Zealand! Proud friend moment!

I played Basingstoke Live!

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This was my first show post diagnoses. I had my own box, my brace had been taken off and there was a ramp for me. I don’t know how but I got through and it was a great show!

I got frustrated.

I quickly realised I had put on a fair bit of weight and couldn’t really leave the house, sad times.

I had my sister come to stay 🙂

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One of the highlights of my summer was having this munchkin stay with me and going to see Paper Towns early!

August 

I met Don Broco

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Acoustically beautiful and some really lovely lads,

I celebrated living with Ali for a year!

We didn’t kill each other even when I couldn’t move without him! He’s been amazing this year!

I went to my first book club

I got out of my comfort zone, met a friend and bought a lot of books!

I went to the Zoo with some little monkeys

Even though I had to use a wheelchair for our family day out and got rained on I had a great day spending time with family 🙂

I got addicted to comic books

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Damn you Joe, Damn you!

I survived second year!

Despite everything I got through second year with a 2:1 overall…5 marks off of a 1st!

September

I became a third year

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I got told I was medically shorter than last year!

If I wasn’t short enough, I was told after my CT scans that I have officially lost height and may never get full feeling back in my left leg. That said I also got told that I was healing nicely!

I went to Amsterdam

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A great 21st birthday trip with Dani and Amy! Amsterdam was so much fun and my back behaved itself which is a first.

I turned 21!

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I had an incredible 21st I was spoilt and just felt so loved. This was the handmade cake that my sister made me, I don’t think I’ve ever been given so much cake in my life!

I had a stall at Fresher’s Fair

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Rounding up new recruits for the society!

I watched Star Wars…finally 

Now I’m completely obsessed! This started the countdown to see the new film.

I got recording! 

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We got serious about the EP and I was able to record without a panic attack or doubting myself. A big win for me!

October 

I was mentioned in the New York Times

Just for mentioning the 5p plastic bag charge!

I met Katie Piper

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I met one of my idols, Katie Piper. We had a great chat, photos and talked about Hampshire where we’re both from. It was also amazing to get a message from KAtie written in my book, she really is a lovely woman.

I went to my first Comic-con

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I fell in love with Comic-con and bought a stupid amount of pops, spending the last of my birthday money. It really encouraged me to get creative for the next one in May.

November 

I tried to be classy with Joe

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McDonalds and Galleries…what more could you want.

I was allowed to go to the gym class!

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A big step in my recovery! 6 weeks of gym sessions proved my spine was healing the right way and I loved them.

I left the society

Unfortunately I couldn’t cope running the society. I had to step down immediately and spent a lot of the month after pretty poorly both mentally and physically.

December 

I got to meet Ed!

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I got to meet this adorable little man that now takes over my bed!

I saw Star Wars!

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I fell in love with the new cast and am now even more obsessed. Star Wars is the best.

I went to Olympia!

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Laura finally got to use her 21st birthday present and we went to Olympia Horse Show! Such an amazing day out and we’ll definitely be going again next year.

I had an incredible Christmas 

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No lows, family time, amazing gifts. A great Christmas ❤

I decided I wasn’t giving up…

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This year has had some huge challenges and I’ve gotten through them. There’s no doubt I’ve struggled this year a lot and there will be times next year where I’m ready to give up but I won’t.

Happy New Year to all of my lovely readers and thank you so, so much for all your support this year ❤

Workouts and Willpower

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Work it!! 

For the last 6 weeks I’ve been trying really hard to get fitter and healthier. As soon as I was told that I was allowed to attempt a little more exercise I wanted to work on it. I went to physio religiously and only missed one week because I had the sickness bug and wasn’t allowed to. I’ve never really had the kick up the butt I needed before, but after the accident I had a huge appreciation for, you know, a working body.

Now I’m at home it would be easy for me to say ‘oh well! I’ll just start again in January!’ and then eat everything, ignore my routine and then cry in January. I refuse to forget my progress. So, a few weeks ago I called the biggest gym enthusiast I knew and asked if he could be my gym buddy once I was home. This morning I was picked up by my Gramps and we headed to the gym for my induction and his work out.

It is very weird that my Gramps is so much healthier than me and while I was being shown around, he was on all the machines! Eventually I got started and we were doing some of our exercises side by side. It’s nice because we’ve always been super close, to the point where I wouldn’t sleep as a toddler until he’d come home from work, so having this to do just the two of us was nice. Hopefully I’ll get at least 2 more sessions in before I go back to London.

I left feeling energised and really proud of myself. No one forced me to go and work out today I wanted too and felt so good after. My new gym buddy was pretty pleased too. If 16 year old me had been told I’d love the gym she would have fainted (I’ve never been sporty at all, riding was the only thing and, well, you know how that went).

Now, the other thing I need to work on over the holidays is not over indulging on sweets, chocolates, my Mum’s amazing cooking and my sisters delicious baking. Over the past few days I’ve been very good. I’m using my app and still eating my recommended amount of calories but it is hard. I don’t want to just not eat but at the same time I don’t want to seem rude. It’s a tough balance and on days like today sometimes I don’t want to eat because I know I’ve done so well, then I quickly remind myself that I’m not getting into that cycle again. I’m doing this the healthy way or not at all, hence why I won’t have any scales in my flat.

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Mine and Summer’s Gingerbread House…looks so yummy!

My willpower is being pushed to the limit but so far, so good. I feel healthy, happy and actually really accomplished that I’m sticking to something I’ve found so difficult in the past. Unlike a lot of the ‘new year, new me’ types that will head into the gym January I’m not doing this to lose that big of extra weight or because I ‘should’, I’m doing it because I’m really proud of my body. After all the healing and growing new bone after so much damage (some of which may be permanent) I’m going to treat it as well as I damn well can.

 

Starting December right!

It’s been a pretty positive start to the week and now the month, just what I needed! There’s been some really shitty parts to this year, especially in the last few months so I’m determined to send 2015 off in a positive year and look forward to 2016…even if I am a little bit terrified of it! I wasn’t feeling particularly great about today, I was anxious about my gym class because of the pain I’ve been having but it turns out I didn’t need to be. That said I was already in a good mood from last night after having a long and lovely Skype conversation with Eleanor, it’s hard with her being all the way in New Zealand but we’re making it work.

Of course today is December 1st (I know, how is it December already?!?) so it’s advent calender time but since I haven’t been back home in a while I had no advent calendar this morning…the first time since I was 1. Luckily Mum text me a picture this morning of a maltesers advent calendar all for me, yay! I also picked up Star Wars ones for me and Ali too because IT’S FINALLY STAR WARS MONTH AND MY TICKETS ARE BOOKED, AHHHHHH.

As always I trekked to the hospital for 9am *sob* for my morning gym recovery class. I’d had a rough week last week so I was lucky I could talk to Mum before going and try and get in a good mindset before going in, got mistaken for a student nurse (I wish!) and got told that ‘surely I still have time to grow’ after I complained I was so tiny… the people in the class thought I was in my teens. Of course the real reason I was nervous was pain but I tackled all the machines, including a new one, and I kicked butt! There is no better feeling for me at the moment than coming home covered in sweat and knowing I’ve worked hard to get better, even if I do pay for it later. Oh and because my physio instructor for the gym is amazing I got given a sticker because I worked so hard…being the youngest has its perks!

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Another really amazing thing is that as I’ve mentioned before I’ve struggled with the fact I’ve put on weight because of the accident and recovery, as well as the implications of my medication. As I wrote before I won’t mention numbers on here but I can confirm my healthier eating habits and gradually building up movement is working I’m finally losing the weight I gained!! I’m really proud of myself for doing something healthy and my strength in will power!

I ended a good day with a great evening at The Fighting Cocks with Ali, Charlotte, Rhys and later Joe. I got to play in the quiz, laugh a lot, get drawn on and just get out of the house with no expectation to get drunk which was really nice. It also helps that whenever me and Charlotte hang out we can’t stop laughing.

I’m stupidly excited about this start to December and I hope more than anything it carries on!

10 Reasons to Keep Smiling

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We all have days where we need a little pick me up, sometimes for no reason. I decided to write 10 reasons to keep smiling, even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing. The days are getting shorter and I for one know I have had a bit of  rough time lately so I hope you enjoy!

1. Smile at others 

This really does make you feel better! I usually like smiling at old people because you just see their whole face light up and it makes me feel good as well as them! Just one smile can change another persons whole day as well as yours!

2. Do something you love 

We all have loves, hobbies or just little things we enjoy doing. Since I’ve had to give up horse riding (which is really, really hard but not worth the risk to my health) I’ve had to find other things to do to unwind. Now I’ve started to write and draw more.

3. Be around people who make you feel good 

There is nothing worse than being around people who put you down or make you miserable. If your having an off day then staying away is a must! Stick around the people who make you smile just from their company and you’ll feel much better.

4. Write a list 

Write a list of things you need to do, things you’ve done, anything! If your struggling breaking it down can make you go ‘oh okay that isn’t as bad’. If you’re feeling happy anyway why not write a list of things you enjoy, places you want to visit etc (my top tip write in funky colours!).  If I’m really down I try and write down things to be grateful for.

5. Think of 5 things you are grateful you have 

I used to do this on the way to school to cheer myself up, it would make me focus on the positives in my life and then the negatives didn’t seem so bad at all. There are really simple thing to be grateful for for me they’re things like having a family to love and support me, that I can make music, that I have my education and a strong and solid relationship.

6. Comfort food IS OK!!!! 

I hate fad diets, if you want to eat then go eat. I can’t stand people talking to me about calories or trying to make me feel bad. Don’t let others dictate to you what you should eat if I want to go to McDonalds or get some chocolate I will, regardless of anyone else!

7. Turn the music up and dance like nobody can see you 

This is great especially when your cleaning just dance around like your bonkers and make yourself laugh. I like doing this with my sister when we agree on music 🙂

8. Give someone a hug 

Hugs are great, I love hugs.

9. Read a good book 🙂 

Oh come on could I really leave this out?! Reading just takes me away to an entirely different place.

10. Laughter is really the best medicine

I will watch funny Youtube video, stand up comedy and movies. That or I’ll be around people I know I love to laugh with.

Laugh lots. Laugh while you love. Laugh while you live.  

What are your reasons to keep smiling?

The Queen’s not the only one with two birthdays

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For the past two days I have been spoilt by my family. Because there is so many of them and my flat is more than a little cosy I decided to come home and visit both grandparents to see everyone and celebrate my 21st a few days early.

I spent yesterday in town with my sister, getting my hair cut and spending more than a little on the new H&M beauty range (but more in that in another blog post). Later I popped to see my Dads family for presents and cake.

Today I was on the move again (although my spine really has been protesting), to meet one of my oldest friends and beautiful goddaughter to exchange birthday presents. From Lucy and Lexi I received a necklace of Hermione’s wand and a Harley Quinn graphic novel. I had so much fun with a little girl who melts my heart every time and a great friend in her Mum.

Now, there have been whispers and mentions of surprises all week. I was left at home while my Mum went ahead to my grandparents house, only to arrive and find this…

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A little family party with a Little Mermaid theme, my favourite princess as a kid!! A badass cake, plates, customised banners, pictures of me growing up! I couldn’t have asked for more, my Mum really outdid her surprises this time! I felt like a kid again and it was obvious how much time and effort had gone into this and all for me!

I’ve been thoroughly spoilt in terms of gifts as well and I’m so happy with all of them, a new pandora necklace and charm, some little mermaid goodies and  another charm for my Pandora bracelet. I can’t believe I feel this loved and it’s not even my birthday. Oh and we had a brilliant pizza party too thanks to Nanna and Gramps who ordered pizza for everyone!

I think this is going to be a very good week! ❤

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