Sunday, 22 December 2013

It's Christmas Time

I can’t quite believe how fast Christmas has snuck up on us; time has been my complete nemesis this year, never have I longed for a festive holiday like this one. No I didn’t manage to hand make all my gifts and cards like originally planned, or clean the house from top to bottom (like previous years), update my blog or get my hair cut, but you know what I tried my best and that’s all that matters. 
Presents are wrapped, good food and drinks bought and wonderful company planned – I’m finally ready for you Christmas.
This was me last weekend, at Simon’s work do. It was a defining moment for me – this time last year I was much heavier and being able to wear a dress that I would have never imagined myself wearing was the ultimate reward. Losing weight is hard, making running a part of my everyday life is tough and maintaining the weight loss is an everyday battle. But I do not for a single second regret it. I am the happiest and most confident I have ever been in my entire life.

Have a magical Christmas beautiful friends.

Love always Alice.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

A New Chapter

I can only apologise for my absence on the whole blogging front.  I far underestimated how little time I would have to do all of the things that I wanted. A little while ago I got offered a full-time waitressing job which to go alongside my cleaning work takes up a lot of my time. No it’s not the dream, but for someone who has had such trouble finding a job in the past it’s a big step.
I’m still working on carving out that dream career I’ve always dreamed of, and believe me that fire in my belly is stronger than ever. But right now having guaranteed work is a huge stepping stone for both mine and Simon’s future.  
The wedding is drawing ever nearer, with less than nine months to go the planning and preparation has fully notched up a gear. Again I failed at underestimating the time and energy that goes into it. Emotionally I feel a little bit overwhelmed, even the smallest of things (listening to our first dance song) and wondering how I will cope when it’s time for my Dad to give me away.

  Is my life line, I live and breathe it. Which I never thought in a million years I would. I can’t imagine a time in my life where running was not a part of it. I feel a zest for life when I run, I feel alive and at my fittest.  Exercise and healthy eating is a big part of my life, and takes up a lot of my spare time. I’ve worked hard for my body and having lost 4st in weight, I’m determined to stay both fit and healthy.

So where does this leave the blog?

Well I’ve realised a lot of things have changed, but deep down I’m still the girl who loves to write. I still love to engage and oh heck I love vintage, charity shops and second-hand so we’ll just see where this journey takes us. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

A Brick Wall

I’ve documented my weight loss on here – and the dramatic change and impact it has had on my life, but this week saw me start to question whether the journey had gone too far. 7 months ago I weighed an unhealthy 11st – I was overweight and desperately unhealthy.
This year I have undoubtedly turned my life around – I’ve got fit, shed the weight and completely changed my outlook on life.  It’s took bravery, strength and courage to do this and I am not ashamed in saying this is my proudest achievement.

Me this weekend.
I’ve always loved food and have a great appetite – it’s been hard cutting out all the foods I used to love and replacing them with healthy ones. But it is manageable and I have found some amazing foods throughout my journey that I would have never thought to try or eat before.
I was reluctant to join a gym – and still don’t think a gym is an environment I would personally feel comfortable in. Instead I dusted off my trainers and put on my running shoes – and it’s turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I LOVE running. I get such a kick and drive knowing I can start my day with a run in the morning. It keeps me physically fit, but also gives me that bit of space mentally – whilst I’m running nothing else matters – I can be whoever I want to be, and however much stress there is in the rest of my life, I can put it all aside whilst I’m running. 
Me at my heaviest and lightest.

The question I have to ask myself right now is has this gone too far? Of course I’m thrilled to be slim and the boost when buying clothes is undeniable. But weighing little over 7st and finding size 8 jeans too big – do I really want to be this small?
I’m not scared to admit weight loss is addictive – seeing the pounds and then stones change on the scales is rewarding. Being able to recognise just how far you have come is the biggest boost. But when you reach target (I never had a target as such – I just wanted to be ‘slim’), what is there left to achieve?

Of course I know the rational answer is to stay healthy and maintain the weight loss, but sometimes in the back of your mind all you really want to do is lose just one more pound. But when you convince yourself and others there is no need to lose anymore – and then you do, you feel a little bit mixed up about things.
I think my biggest challenge is to get a balance – of exercise and food. I need to remind myself just how far I’ve come and remember that being healthy means an equal amount of both. I am not anorexic, bulimic or have an eating disorder (I can safely confirm that), but I need to look after myself and my body.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

On Saturday

I wore this outfit on Saturday for Tramlines in Sheffield, it was a wonderful afternoon and evening spent in the beautiful city. The weather had been so immensely warm all week long prior I took a gamble and decided to wear this. If only the sun had shone a little brighter I wouldn’t have been so chilly by 9pm, but we live to tell the tale...
 Zara Top via Car Boot 50p, Denim Shorts via Car Boot £1, Wedges from Store Twenty-One on clearance in April this year £2.
I never thought I would see the day that I would be able to wear denim ‘shorts’ – I always hid my legs before I lost weight,  and with good reason. I’m a little bit in love with this embroidered butterfly pair from the car boot. 
The top was another car boot gem – I found it mid-morning heaped on a chair, the seller asked 50p for any clothing she’d got on the pile. I spied a Zara label and knew it was guaranteed to be something a little special! The silk material is amazing, and although a little delicate (to iron at least) I just love the print. 
 I wasn’t even sure how I was going to wear/style it, but I think the gamble paid off. I got lots of compliments that day!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Oh So Quiet

I suddenly have the urge to write, and finally sit down and blog. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, since returning from holiday I have really thrown myself into a number of activities – from setting up my own cleaning business (living the glam lifestyle) and working for myself, to getting fit and putting my running shoes on, to selling my wares at the car boot and inevitably bringing some home too. I’ve pushed myself to the ultimate extreme and it’s been challenging, but one hundred and ten percent worthwhile – I genuinely feel refreshed, rejuvenated and stronger than I have ever felt.
 If I’m being totally honest, this time 6 months ago I led a very different lifestyle - I was lethargic, unhealthy, boring and most concerning unhappy with myself. It’s such a difficult thing to admit – my life has always been shadowed with uncertainty and I’ve often been crippled with shyness and confidence issues. I’ve had my hard share of knockbacks and disappointments in various aspect of my life, but I do believe these have shaped me and taught me the value of inner strength. 

I’m lucky that I have had the incredible support of my long-term love (and husband to-be) Simon, which has been the real making of me. Before I met him I was a lost little girl, tied up in my own troubles and so shadowed from the world. I hadn’t experienced life as I know it now - I hadn’t travelled, I hadn’t developed my own independence, I hadn’t got into a car and learnt to drive, and most significantly I hadn’t learnt to love. He has whole-heartedly provided me with courage, strength and determination and most significantly a purpose and zest for life. He is my back bone and I know without him I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today. 

Sometimes the most simple of things seem the biggest struggle for me – making conversations and talking to strangers is my most deep rooted issue and has stuck with me my entire life.  But from what I often lack in confidence, I do strongly believe I make up for in passion. I have that burning desire to create, make, do, mend, and be happy.

What I have learnt is that you really do carve your own lifestyle out. Life can throw you some obstacles and at times the whole world can seem against you – but ultimately life is yours.  And you have to grab it with both hands. You can’t afford to sit on the side lines and be unhappy.  You might not have the best job, or an attractive set of luxuries to go with it – but ‘lifestyle’ is free, you can be whoever you want to be.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Difference a Year Makes

I’ve been scared to write this for so long. Part of me wanted to share it and another part desperately didn’t. Looking at the photo on the left makes me feel terribly sad – at the time this photo was taken (June 2012) I was overweight, unhappy and unfit. But I was too scared to admit it. Or do anything about it.  
Me holiday June 2012 - Me holiday June 2013
I had been overweight for the best part of ten years, and had always hid under layers of clothing, and endless scarves. I always had to cover up in any situation and never dreamt that one day in the future... I would be able to wear a bikini whilst on holiday.

Leading up to the holiday I was so anxious about what to wear and what to pack because my wardrobe was no longer ‘mine’. Nothing fitting and worse still I felt a stranger in my old clothing, it was a struggle and I never thought losing weight would mean throwing away my entire wardrobe and starting all over again. 

Even though the old photos make me feel incredibly alienated and disgusted, they will always have a purpose.  Body image and weight is such a personal issue, and this has undoubtedly been my biggest challenge. I’m not perfect and never will be, I will always be insecure and lack great confidence in myself, but to finally have achieved something I never thought was even possible has taught me that if you want to make a change in your life - there is only you who can make it happen.

To finally be able to walk down the street without a shield of guilt so tightly wrapped around me, to be able to go into a clothing shop and actually enjoy trying on clothes that fit and to have someone tell me I look beautiful and for me to believe it for the first time in my life – it's emotional for me to express into words how much of an impact this has had.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Be Happy.

A couple of weeks ago I got really stressed out about my life, I had a lot of different things happening and changing around me all at once and I just couldn’t find the time to focus on my own blog or catching up with others. I was drained physically and emotionally.
I was lost, from dealing with an emotional and life-changing weight loss to securing some independent work of my own and making wedding preparations and worrying over them.  It all got a little too much.

Last week we took a break – and it was the most exhilarating 7 days of my life. I felt alive - for the first time in such a long time.

I promise to be back soon.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Bank Holiday Booting

This Bank Holiday weekend has involved a lot of car booting - we decided to have a much needed clear out and sell our wares at the car boot sale on Saturday afternoon.  It was a beautiful day, which meant crowds were plenty, and we got lots of custom and in turn got rid of lots of junk.
Of course as ever, I couldn’t resist a quick snoop around the other stalls, I didn’t venture round the whole field (it would have taken me far too long and I didn’t want to abandon Simon who was minding the stall), but I did manage to snag a few bargains from close by.
It’s always common that however much junk we clear out, there will always be something to replace it with. These wooden Beatrix Potter magnets captured me completely, at 20p each I couldn’t resist them! 
These sport bits were super-duper cheap – socks 3 pairs for £1 and the Karrimor running belt for £1.50 all brand new.  It’s always good when you find things that you actually need and would have cost much more to buy in the shop.
Roxy a long standing favourite of mine, I’m always drawn towards the surf brand and this bag is the perfect size for taking on holiday with me. I managed to haggle the seller down from £2 to £1.50.

Sunday morning I woke at 8am and had this sudden urge to go to the car boot sale, I think having caught the bug the previous day, I knew there was a local one nearby I could pop to.  I went alone and surprisingly had so much fun! (Whoever said you can’t have fun in your own company?)
Thinking I would only be there half an hour or so, I ended up staying 2 hours! Blimey, but I did find some wonderful things…
I tried to win one of these Diet Coke bags designed by Marc Jacobs a few months ago, but failed, so when I spotted this one on a stall I made an instant dash towards it, you know how I love a good gimmick/free gift/anything remotely tacky.
 The irony is I’d seen one at Saturday’s car boot, but when the lady wanted £5 for it, I politely left it behind. Less than 24 hours later I stumbled upon a second one and when I asked how much this one was, the stall holder said £1!  Of course I couldn’t have been more smug (patience always pays off).
More Beatrix Potter, this time the miniature collection for £1. These are incredibly cute books indeed; I adore the box they come in too.
Towards the middle of the morning stall holders tend to reduce their prices – which obviously means more bargains!
I got these various miscellaneous items for 10p each…which is madness….
Another Roxy gem and brand new with its tag! I was expecting and would have paid a couple of pounds for this, but when the lady asked for only 10p I was pretty surprised!
My favourite make-up brand ever Urban Decay – before I even asked how much it was, the stall holder had already offered it me for 10p! 
A Jacqueline Wilson book for old times’ sake, this one is sparkly, glittery and takes me back to the first time I made friends with Tracey Beaker.  On a stall where everything had been reduced down to 10p – I could not pass this by!
And finally I couldn’t resist some Madonna vinyl to feed my collection; I got the lot for £2.
Two days of booting has certainly reignited my burning passion for second-hand shopping!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Save The Date

A year today I will be marrying my love, in the most beautiful setting: a quaint village church and stunning hotel reception.  I’m the luckiest girl in the world to be marrying my absolute soul mate, best friend and true love – the day I’ve dreamt of my entire life.   
Saturday 24th May 2014
 I have always known in life that no matter how unpredictable other aspects are, I am whole-heartedly truly, madly and deeply in love with you –
 Mr Taylor, I can’t wait to be your wife.

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