Category: lifestyle

Why trainers are hotter than high heels

trainers for fitness

I grew up thinking that girly girls don’t wear trainers.    I have had about 3 pairs of trainers in my life and I can promise you I didn’t wear the treads of any of them (until three years ago)

Anyone who has contemplated exercising will know that you might need trainers and you keep telling yourself that you can’t start exercising until you have all the right gear.  Delay, procrastinate, put off, any other words suitable?

I picked a mighty silly day to buy trainers  and it turned out really funny.  I had a hospital appointment about my hand, and didn’t realise they were going to numb it and inject steroids into it …

So picture this ….

Somehow I got myself into my car and got myself strapped in and drove around the corner to the sports store.  Didn’t realise that it is quite hard to fit a shoe on your foot with one numb hand (imagine post dentist numbness but in your hand instead of your jaw).  Added to the fact that I fairly unfit and coudln’t exactly touch my toes.

I wanted pretty trainers, the pink sparkly type ones worn by a 5 year old.  I have size 8 feet!  Not a great start.

The young man who helped me needs a medal – he had to literally put my feet into trainer after trainer all the while trying very hard to steer me towards a practical pair.  I think I tried them all on.

It was a bit like Cinderella in reverse.  One prince one ‘princess’ and hundreds of pairs of shoes.

I left the store with a great pair of shoes, notsparkly, but they have pink stripes.

My trainers first day out – complete with nice pink socks.  Apparantly my son did tell me that you have to wear a new pair of trainers in.  But I wasn’t listening or maybe it wasn’t said at all.

Now before this I had already started walking and built up some stamina – simply working in my normal shoes and boots.  So off I went on a nice circuit – the kind of walk that once you have done half there is no turning back.  Just after half way the blisters started. And continued and grew and spread.  I am quite determined, so I carried on and swung by the pharmacy to buy blister plasters on the way back.

So they don’t make blister plasters big enough for the blisters I had created. By now the exercise bug and hit and I needed another form of exercise that didn’t involve walking in trainers.

I decided the answer was a trampoline.  Don’t panic, just a mini one.

Years ago I heard that if you exercise on a mini trampoline the value of what you do is multiplied by some unbelievable factor.  I wanted one so bad, and a friend kindly gifted me one,  second hand.  I found it so useful. For about 5 years it served as a clothes hanger, laundry basket, Christmas wrapping station, and general depository for stuff.  It also tripped me up a few times on the way to the loo in the dark.

My first exercise was to unearth the trampoline and then to start jumping.  Now the exercise you do on it isn’t exactly jumping in the air, more like bouncing and dancing and generally having a laugh while watching TV or listening to music.

One small piece of advice for fabulous ladies taking up this exercise – get a good bra!!

This all happened 3 years ago.  My trainers are still in use and so is my trampoline.  I am not perfect and I don’t get exercise in every day.  I do try though and I definitely know I am fitter than I have been for many many years.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for all the comments and support.

Kerry xx

How giving up dieting changed a fat girl’s life

Untitled design (4)

I grew up thinking I was fat.  From day one really.  I don’t know why because when I look at those old faded photos with the white borders, I wasn’t.  But, I thought I was and that’s what counts.

I started dieting radically when I was 13.  I attended a slimming clinic where I was put onto a high protein diet and spent two hours a week a bit like a mental patient bandaged up with electrodes placed around my body to help burn fat.

To cut a very long story very short – I believe that crash dieting makes you fat.  I have through my life probably lost my entire body weight (not a small amount) at least twice.  I have mastered almost every diet known to man and woman.  I am an expert dieter.  I have got gold stars, stickers and even spoken as a motivator for a diet.  And yet as I crept into my forties I was fatter and unfitter than I had ever been.

Now, I know that it isn’t all’ dieting’s’ fault.  I have quite a few medical conditions including depression. Medication doesn’t help either.  I have also suffered from depression for a long time A couple of years ago I started changing my life and this is part of my journey.

Today, I am a little thinner, but a lot fitter – and fit feels good

After a three or four year period where I had just given up dieting (and surprisingly stayed the same large size rather than gaining weight), I made a decision that the time had come to ‘deal’ with it.

What made me so determined.  Are you ready? I wanted to feel sexy and feminine.  Each person will find their own motivator, but this was it for me.

My first step was to make up a mantra.

‘Nothing tastes as good as sexy feels.’

Everytime I looked at a chocolate or eyed up seconds I would repeat it in my head. I shared it with a few people and got varying responses. There were some who said they would go for the chocolate, and there were days I would agree. (and then I ate chocolate, and still do)

The next step was to get an appointment with a dietician.  The tiny lady who saved my life

Seriously!  Both that she is tiny and that she saved my life. Blood tests unearthed two very scary diseases – diabetes and pernicious anaemia.

I have always had this idea that dieticians shouldn’t be too skinny otherwise they might make the fatties feel uncomfortable.  Well my dietician is seriously skinny – but healthy.  You can see it on her face so after my first misgivings I started to listen.

I remember 3 things from that first consultation.

  1. Change only your lunch – nothing else.
  2. Small changes
  3. Have blood tests (including an iron test)

Blood tests unearthed two very scary diseases – diabetes and pernicious anaemia as well as a very low iron count.

I told her my mantra – still not sure what she thought.

The journey towards health started with small changes, primarily my lunch.

She had also said that I couldn’t eat lunch with my work mate.  We had got into a routine of taking turns making a nice lunch.  Which of course normally turned into a silent competition of who can put together the nicest  spread.  Speaking honestly we also rewarded each other with food.

Bad Day = Croissant or a danish

Good Day =  Curley Wurley (a dieters chocolate)

Boring Day = Long lunch with a pudding

You get the picture…..

The first month wasn’t hard.  I changed my lunch and made sure I was eating a protein at every lunch (not the easiest thing for a vegetarian who lived on cheese), and simply kept the goodies for the evening.

When I weighed in a month later I was 9 pounds lighter!!!!!!!!!!!

This was the first step in a long journey which as led to a complete overhaul of my eating habits and of course my path to fitness.

An extra message before I sign off from this post.  Compliment your children and give them a positive body image – I don’t know why I thought I was fat as a child, but after a long while I can look at these childhood pictures and realise that I was pretty and perfect!

Thanks for reading.

Kerry xx

A recipe for friendship

friendship

I am rich!  In friendship.  Over my life I have made some really special friends and what really makes me rich is that I have kept these friends.

Through the teenage years, the turbulent twenties, marriages, separations, children, careers and a move halfway across the world my friendships have survived.  I am really blessed because I am still making friends.

A big shout out and a thank you to communication platforms like Skype and Facebook which make it easy to bridge the gap.

All this got me thinking about what ingredients make a good friendship

Ingredients: (in no particular order)

Positivity

We can’t always be positive, but it does help.  In a friendship this is really important especially when you are listening and being supportive.  We all go through hard times, and when your friend is having a tough time, this is your chance to balance out with some positive vibes, thoughts and actions

Being a giver

This is really big.  Give of yourself, give of your time, and give from your heart.  On my birthday I received a crazy parcel from South Africa.  Lots and lots of little goodies, each with a memory or thought.  It isn’t about value, but it is about thought.  Looking around me now, my friends are reflected in little goodies all around my siting room.

One of my special friends often brings me a tiny gift from a day out, and I do the same in return.  It isn’t about money, it is about thought and making your friend feel special.

Communication

Best case scenario, sitting face to face sharing a cup of tea and a piece of cake.  This isn’t always possible, but in today’s world we have so many extra options open to us.  Facebook, Skype, Email.  Even the old fashioned letter or parcel.  Keep in touch!

Meaningful communication is soul food.

Listening

In every friendship there is a time to talk and a time to listen.  Listening is so very important.  Sometimes all a friend needs is someone to listen, I know I do.  Thoughts jumble around my brain and fall out.  Knowing that they are falling onto ears that care means a huge amount.

Empathy

The first time I heard about the concept of empathy, the whole world made sense to me.  The Greater Good defines empathy like this.  The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.

Loyalty and respect

Loyalty in friendship is essential.  Listen, but don’t speak.  and respect our friends feelings.  Imagine yourself back on the playground and ‘stick-up’ for your friend.  My friends that have stood by me, especially in the last couple of years have made a huge difference in how I have coped with live’s little curve balls.

Honesty – sometimes

Really honesty is good all the time.  You need to have people in your life who will tell you the truth, but with empathy and understanding.  I rely on my friends to tell me if I am badly dressed or not seeing things straight.  It isn’t always easy to hear, but if you are going to hear it let it be from a good friend.

Be there

Such an important one.  True friends are simply there, and especially when it counts.  As you know i have some health issues, and I am so grateful to the friends who have simply been there for me.  Listen to your friend cry.  Be there to celebrate the good times with a sparkling glass of prosecco.  Be there, to enourage them when they are climbing mountains.  I can think of so many occassions when friends of mine have been there for me – those are moments that are treasures.

Share

From a simple meal shared to sharing of your thoughts and moments.  Sharing is a true basic ingredient of friendship.  Like sharing your cookie on the playground, for me it is all about giving of yourself.  Now if you have two people sharing, you have such a cool friendship.

Method:

Listen to your heart, be consistent and yes, you have to work at it.  Schedule calls, send emails, set up tea dates.  Our lives get so busy it is easy enough to let things slip.  A true friend will always be there, even after ages of no communication, but it is so much better to be a good friend, and keep in touch.

This blog post goes out to all my friends. Fabulous Woman who are so special to me.  You know who you are xx

Friendship is so important so please feel free to share!

Kerry xx

My Word of the Year Idea – Balance!

Balance (2)I have always been the type of person to make new year resolutions, and to keep them as much as I can.  At th end of 2011 I decided to upgrade this and choose a word for the year.  A word to change my life, step at a time.  I am proud to say that not only have I kept this up, but I have inspired many people to choose a word a year.  This is going to be a series on my blog as I share my ups and downs and how this little idea has helped shape my life.

Four year’s ago my life was in a dark place, and a little self reflection made me realise that my life was completely out of balance.  Work consumed me,  it even defined my friendships and leisure time.  I realise now that I worked because it was easier to do this than think about the other areas of my life that were not  under my control.

My health was not good.  I knew that I needed to improve my fitness levels, and yet didn’t have sufficient motivation to do anything about it.

This was my first year with a ‘word’ and I had no idea how much it would change my life.

Before I continue, I want to ask you to close your eyes and imagine me at the end of the year, in my walking gear, having returned from a walk and having a staring competition while standing on one leg with my son.  I can’t remember who won, but it lasted for a significant amount of time.  No matter what you read below, and in the rest of the series, I have dealt with it and worked to overcome and be positive in everything.  And yes, there have been bad days and tears, but this is a positive story.

The impact of the word ‘balance’  wasn’t anything dramatic to start with, I simply thought about my word, meditated on in and started to contemplate how I could incorporate more balance into my life.  I was contemplating balance not in the physical way, but more in respect of priorities and emotions.  However, be careful what word you choose.

The first six months there were no huge changes, although I consciously started to put aside time for leisure related activities that were not work related.  I explored new friendships and rekindled old ones.  I stepped up my reading and looked for new interests and started an ongoing fascination with psychology.

My world started to rock when I started marriage counselling early in the year.  It was never really couples counselling as the counsellor quickly realised that the situation required individual counselling.  There is a lot more to tell about that, but I digress.

My doctor at the time always invited me for my birthday blood tests.  An annual reminder to check up a few things.  I have had an underactive thyroid for years and years, as well as some hormone issues, that needed monitoring.  A week later I received a call asking me to come into the surgery urgently.  I had pernicious anaemia.  I had to google the word pernicious – I hadn’t a clue what it meant.  (Not going to go into detail now, but it wasn’t good).  Two weeks later I was told that I had Diabetes.  A month after that I got Shingles in my eye.

All this added to the emotional turmoil set me more off balance than I was to start with.  I was really in a place where I felt as though I had no choices at all.  I couldn’t see a way forward, and I felt myself sinking backwards.

The doctor mentioned walking. I didn’t even own a pair of trainers!  The first day I walked, it was on Spiddal beachfront and I walked with a kind friend who encouraged me and said how well I had done – I think that this was what would now be a 5 minute walk or less!  Looking back it was the start for me.  The start of change and getting balance in my life, in all aspects of my life, including physical.

I have found writing this first post both positive and negative.  I am proud to look back and look at my journey.  I am also excited to consider what lies ahead.  To follow my story, come back and visit my blog.  I hope to put up at least three posts a month about my words.  More on balance, and then change, discipline and create.

Thank you so much for reading.

Kerry x

Fabulous Woman – #bizpartyinspires conference and the power of twitter!

Photo credit: Rafal Kostrzewa @dublinheadshot

I went off to the Bizpartyinspires conference in Dublin not really knowing what to expect.  I came away with so much, having learnt, networked and become inspired.  Especially by lots of fabulous women.

As you all know I am fascinated by fabulousness, and meeting fabulous woman was a real gift.  I attended the conference for work, but was gifted with so much more.

Let me start my story with the night I arrived.  I reached the hotel and was so very very tired, with sore feet.  After checking into my room, I sat on the bed and realised that my first priority was to quench my thirst and eat something.  I wondered about going down to the bar area on my own.  Being a new twitter addict I checked twitter, and there it was, a tweet from the Tweeting Goddess herself, along with a photo of smiley people inviting anyone arriving to join them.  How nice is that?

I was welcomed warmly and made to feel like I had immediately made good friends.  That evening I met three woman who inspired me right off, and continued to do so the next day.  I would like to tell you about these fabulous ladies.

Samantha Kelly, the founder of Irishbizparty is so down to earth and genuine.  After a few minutes in her company, and you know that Sam has great empathy.  She is a connector, and has helped so many individuals and companies.  I know this, not because I read it on the website, but because I saw it in the way Samantha interacts with people, and in the amazing success of the event.  A fabulous woman who started a twitter tidal wave in her pyjamas!  She truly is a Tweeting Goddess.

Mairead Healy, the second of the fabulous woman I met is a singer extrodinaire!  I didn’t know this when I met her, we started chatting, and then she mentioned that she sang.  Nice, I thought in my head.  Mairead is a wonderful woman, a teacher and a monther, who started using Twitter before allowing her daughter a twitter account.  Just after lunch, a new Mairead appeared, beautifully dressed in singing clothes, she stood before us. The most magnificent soprano voice filled the room, and transported me.  I always say that art and music is judged on how it makes you feel.  This touched my heart and soul.   Take a listen here.

Carol Brill, was the third fabulous woman I met.  I could probably dedicate a full blog post to Carol’s story and how inspirational this lady is.  When I met her in the pub, I simply met a beautiful woman.  As the evening went on, I discovered that Carol has Usher syndrome – Usher syndrome is a genetic condition that causes both hearing loss and progressive deterioration in vision due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP).  Over my visit I got to know Carol and although at this stage I hadn’t heard her presentation, I was already inspired by this brave woman who put her daughter first.  Carol only has 3 percent of her vision left, and the Irishbizparty has raised funds so that Carol and her daughter Sara can see Disney in July this year!

Carol’s presentation at the conference blew me away.  In fact it blew everyone away.  As she spoke about being diagnosed with Usher Syndrome and the journey she has travelled on, there were a few sniffles around the room.  Carol does not ask for sympathy or attention, she simply tells a story with sincerity, humour and humility.  Please visit her website at Seeing Disney.

I went to the conference to learn about social media and especially Twitter.  I learnt all of that but I also came away inspired by these woman.  Being honest, there were many other fabulous woman too, but these three stood out for me.

Thanks for reading, and please visit the links.

Thanks for reading

Kerry

The Liebster Award – time to learn a little more about me!

Thank you to ashleighthebeautyaddict for nominating me for nominating me for the Liebster award.  Great fun and I  get to look at so many blogs.  Honestly since I have been blogging I have learnt so much and ‘met’ such amazing people – I feel really honoured.

Liebster

Here are the rules:

1) Thank and link back to the person(s) who nominated you and display the award

2) Answer their 11 questions the nominee asked

3) Give 11 random facts about yourself

4) Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers

5) Notify the bloggers you chose for the award

6) Make a list of 11 different questions for your nominees to answer

My questions from Ashleighthebeautyaddict

One:  What is the one makeup product you always ‘need’ to buy, yet you have a thousand different ones in the drawer?

Foundation – I seem to have developed a bit of an addiction for it.  I must be my quest for a flawless skin.  I promise I will use them all.  I tend to swop and change depending on the occasion.

Two:  Are you allergic to anything?

I must be, just can’t think of anything right now.  Oh! I know I am allergic to unkind people – they bring me out in hives!!!

Three:  If I was to quickly look at your profile pic, what would be the one thing I would never ever guess about you?

That I was blond most of my life.  The red hair is part of me striving to be fabulous and be strong.

Four:  Name the first lipstick shade name that comes to mind!

Blushing ballroom

Five:  Okay now join that name with the name of the first street you lived on, that’s your Superhero name! What power do you have and why?

Blushing Ballroom Rosemary – Well obviously this superhero can dance like a dream and forget the cares of her life while dancing.  The real superpower I would like to have is to make people feel good about themselves despite what they are dealing with.

Six:  What is the one thing you cannot stand to be around? (a certain smell/place/animal/insect?)

I don’t really like the smell of raw meat – a butcher shop makes me feel sick!  I was a vegetarian most of my life.

Seven:  What beauty product did you cave and buy that totally didn’t work out for you?

Nothing comes to mind, but I know I do know that I have too many handcreams.  I seem to buy lots of them, and then never get to use them up.

Eight:  Is there a certain product/brand/place you rave about to everyone? It could even be a game or a book!

That’s easy Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream.  It is my go to solution for everything skin.  I think friends and family are tired of hearing about it.  It is a miracle cream.

Nine:  Would you rather throw out your eyeshadow’s, pigments and palettes or your foundations, mascara’s and lipsticks?

It would be my lipsticks.  I love them, but forget to apply them throughout the day, so am often bare lipped.

Ten:  Is there a word/brand you were told you have been saying wrong the entire time? (I thought Morphe was pronounced Morphe not Morph-ee)

Took me a long time to learn to say lingerie as a child.  I think I was in my twenties before I learnt how to pronounce it!

Eleven:  Name one person on Instagram or Youtube that you admire.

I haven’t explored Youtube enough yet.  My summer project! – so watch this space.

I do love Tedtalks – so inspiring.

11 Random facts about me

  1. I have 2 different colour eyes – one blue and one green
  2. I am a middle child
  3. I tell everyone (and honestly secretly believe) that I can talk dog! I am sure I understand them and that they understand me
  4. I have a really boy/techie side to me
  5. Through my son – I have developed a huge interest into the psychology of video games.
  6. I have a number of tiaras/crowns (perhaps that isn’t a big secret)
  7. I am very untidy
  8. Friends are my real wealth
  9. I had serious imaginary friends as a child
  10. I pretended to be my brother’s twin for a good few years (and he is 6 years younger than me!)
  11. I love to paint

I am nominating 11 bloggers – I hope you haven’t done this before …

(May I just say I have loved this research – could read blogs all day!)

Style Gamblers

EA Loves

Enhance what is yours

Beechmount Art Studio

Helpless while Drying

Sometimes Write

Squidgy Moments

But you have such a pretty face

Lilliwhiterose

Glittermamawishes

Red Lips Red Hair

My Questions:

  1. Did you have a nickname as a child – and what was it?
  2. Did you have an imaginary friend? Tell us please?
  3. Where do you come in your family? Is it a good or bad thing
  4. TV guilty pleasure
  5. Your best bathtime routine – favourite products, scented candles ….
  6. Quote that defines your life
  7. Your favourite exercise
  8. Have you ever considered online dating?
  9. What triggered your first blog post
  10. What beauty product in your make-up bag makes you feel really special
  11. The book that changed your life?

7 Essentials for a Fabulicious Bathtime

 

Bath like you deserve it! (2)I sincerely believe that we have to treat ourselves.  In the past (and sometimes in the present) treats often revolve around food. Cake or chocolate in front of the TV.  I am trying to change, as I continue on my  journey to improve my health.  One of my favourite treats these days is a luxurious bath.

A bath can become a home spa with a bit of planning.  A gift to the senses that is not only extremely pleasurable, but also really good for you.  Read this post and start planning ladies, we all need some me time! Loads of  lapping steamy water to luxuriate in and more importantly a complete switch-off with no interruptions.

In the rush of everyday life it is all about a quick shower, but you cannot beat a bath for pure indulgence.  I find that an evening bath has all sorts of added benefits including the fact that it really helps me sleep – I get into bed all warm and cosy and completely relaxed.  And, I am told that sleeping helps you loose weight so double win!

Here are my 7 essentials for a fabulicious bathtime.

  1. Scented candles.  I love the flickering glow and the gorgeous scent.  Tonight I indulged inUrban Apothecary London’s Peony Rose luxury scented candle from my Mother’s day treatment Glossy Box.  I light the candle when I start running the bath and keep the door closed so that the aroma of the candle and the bath oils treat the senses.
  2. Lots of hot water – maybe it doesn’t need to be said, but I am one of those people who top up during the bath and I need to know that there is steamy water waiting for me.
  3. Oils.  I used to love a good bubble bath but I am now a convert to oils.  The lovely Elmis frangipani monoi oil from my ITWBN goody bag, a gift from the Raddison Blu in Galway.  Although this is a body oil I find a few drops in the bath along with my cheat product (almond oil that I buy from the Asian food store) makes a really special bath.  Aroma and moisturising – double benefit.
  4. Music:  mellow jazz.
  5. A good book.  Yes, I am a reader and I love reading in the bath.  It is especially fun when it is a book that I can loose myself in.
  6. A fluffy soft bath sheet.  As I am not skinny I like a towel that can wrap around me and keep me warm while I dry myself.  If the heating is on I warm it on the radiator for an extra sensual experience.
  7. Luxury body lotion.  Currently Naobay body radiance lotion from my Glossy Box again.

And then when I am super relaxed, my skin hydrated, I hop into my warm bed.  Switch the light off and know that at least tonight I will get 6 to 8 hours sleep.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your bath!

Kerry x

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