Exciting stuff coming in 2016…

Hi Everyone!

In 2016 I will be embarking on a collection of adventures, these aren’t ‘New Years Resolutions’ and have been in the works for a couple of months already.

The biggest challenge 2016 holds for me is the Three Peaks Challenge. In just 24 hours (although we’ll be happy with under 30!) we will climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. My soul will be broken and my muscles sore but  I am incredibly excited to have this opportunity as it is something that I have been looking to do for years. I will be doing this with a team from work and training for most of us has already begun. Unfortunately, due to a recent bout of illness, my training is already behind! This means I’ll be working twice as hard to catch up over the next few months. The climb date is set for 2nd July 2016. Watch this space for updates on my progress during training and information about the charity we are supporting, as well as information on the best kit to use and the food etc that I will be taking with me!

snowdon
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

The second challenge of note was a stroke of luck! Thanks to an Instagram competition, my sister and I are going to be some of the first to try the new Green and Lean workout and meal plan. We won this competition through @honestlyhealthy and will be updating on progress and reviewing the workout plan as we go along!

Green and Lean Winners
Photo Courtesy of @honestlyhealthy on Instagram

On top of these fitness and food adventures, I have a holiday to prepare for! I want to be looking my best on the beach, so I’m going to be working hard to feel confident in my bikini! We fly on 30th March, so I have just 3 months to get ready to #RockThatSwimsuit!

This year also marks the 3rd year I will have been doing taekwondo and the year I can finally obtain my black belt. Thanks to the training and support I receive every week at the Taekwondo Academy I’m feeling ready to hit this goal and to approach 2016 with more determination and dedication than ever before! Today I’m a red belt, by the end of 2016 I hope to be a Black Belt Level 1 Senior Instructor. Bring it on, Travis!

I’ll also be signing up to a collection of races and challenges throughout the year, likely including the Colour Run and the Colour Obstacle Rush. More on this as they get booked up.

I hope everyone is feeling as excited as I am about the New Year and as usual, we would love to hear your goals! Feel free to chat to us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Happy New Year!

Tilly x

Why I’m not changing my FB profile picture to the French flag

Last night I sat, like most of the world, watching in horror at the events unfolding in Paris and hoping for the safety of all of the innocent people involved, silently devastated at each new loss.

My heart weeps for everyone affected by this heinous act of terrorism, for the destruction and loss.

I am not going to change my profile picture to have a filter of the French flag on it. Here’s why:

  • The same day as the attacks in France, a bomb was detonated at a funeral in Baghdad. I didn’t hear about it until after the attack in Paris.
  • The day before the attacks in France, over 40 people were killed in Beirut and over 200 were injured. I didn’t hear about it until after the attack in Paris.
  • Mexico and Japan have both been hit by major earthquakes, I haven’t heard much at all about these incidents.

Every day more and more people are being killed by acts of terrorism, or huge natural disasters. Changing my profile picture in support of one country is not going to help this. That is why I pledge to donate to relief funds for each of the countries named above and to find out if there are any other ways I can help.

The refugee crisis is still a problem and they are not the cause of these incidents, this is exactly what they are trying to escape. If we block our borders, we’re forcing them to decide to either go back to the same hell we’ve just witnessed or to stay in camps not knowing their final destinations.

They may have different coloured skin, or speak a different language, but they are the same as you and me and they want to live in peace.

I stand with Paris. I stand with Beirut. I stand with Baghdad. I stand with Mexico. I stand with Japan. 

I am human, we are one.

#WeAreOne

Jamie’s Sugar Rush

Hi All,

I have just finished watching Jamie’s Sugar Rush. What a documentary, its extremely inspirational and motivational to cut out sugar from your diet.

Jamie Oliver has now added a tax on all sugary drinks in his restaurants, which is something I applaud, I would love for one day to see this tax applied in all restaurants.

Living a “Sugar Free” lifestyle is challenging at first, but so rewarding to your mind and body. I’ll admit, recently i have slipped with my eating habits, but having watched this documentary and purchased three new superfood and sugar free cookbooks, i am so ready to get back to where i was not long ago and i encourage anyone reading to join me.

You can find all three books on amazon. Sugar Free Sugar Free Sugar Free

Alongside the three cookbooks, i also purchased a spiralizer, which i cannot wait to try! Courgette & Carrot Spaghetti are just the beginning. Look out for future posts from me going spiral crazy!

Jamie Oliver has started a petition for their to be a tax on all sugary drinks, which I have signed to support this. I have copied a link to the petition below, please show your support and sign.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-sugar-rush

My Progress So Far – Jo

my new life

 

Hi All,

When we created this blog, we wanted to help, inspire and motivate girls and guys as far as we could reach that changing your lifestyle is affordable and easier that you think, with a little will power and encouragement, anyone can do this.

Both Tilly and I have been in the “slump” position, where going to the gym or doing any kind of exercise isn’t appealing and we would procrastinate to the moon and back.

I do not want to go back to what i was and i think i speak for Tilly as well following her “summer struggle” blog.

When i decided to change the lifestyle i lead and get fitter and most definitely lose some weight, about this time last year,  i was extremely naive about what was labelled as “healthy” so when i was busting my ass at the gym and then tucking into a “healthy” chicken caesar salad drenched in the dressing, i was wondering why my body wasn’t changing and why i wasn’t feeling any better in myself.

Once i ditched the “fad” diets and started focussing more on a healthier lifestyle change, the penny dropped. I hadn’t been eating anything nutritious and i had been dedicated to the gym for what seemed like nothing.

You-cant-out-exercise-a-bad-diet170/30

 

Eat. Nourish. Glow by Amelia Freer saved me from this black hole of fad and unrealistic “diets” I would recommend this book to anyone. It’s a fantastic read. I learnt so much about food from Amelia.

eat nourish glow

Both Tilly and I walked the 5K colour run last year in October and we both decided that the following year we wanted to be able to run 5k if not more and come back next year and smash it out of the park

Tilly, Jo, Kerrie
BEFORE: Tilly, Jo, Kerrie
After
AFTER: Tilly, Kerrie, Lynn, Jo, Guy

I started running in January as well as going to the gym, i started with interval training to help build my stamina up, it was a 12/14 week long process to get me up to 5k – which was a massive achievement when i first started.

My advice to anyone who has started running or looking to start, do interval training, you can download apps for free on android and app store.

I ran my first 5k run in March this year. Blacklight Portsmouth. 7pm start – pretty much a colour run but in the dark! Whats not to love?!

Pre – run we were getting pretty cold waiting for the race to start, so we thought selfies would pass the time and keep us warm!

PRE RUN: Travis, Jo, Tilly
PRE RUN: Travis, Jo, Tilly

We ran 5k in 30 minutes, what an achievement for all of us, our first 5K!

POST RUN: Amelia, Jo, Tilly, Travis
POST RUN: Amelia, Jo, Tilly, Travis

Without interval training, i don’t think i would have kept up with running, i looked forward to every run to push myself each time, to run a little longer every time.

So once i knew i could run 5k, without collapsing! I decided to then set myself the next challenge, 10k double what i had just ran that night. That meant a new interval training app to motivate me and keep me going. I was so excited and proud that i hadn’t given up and kept pushing myself.

On 22nd May, i did it. I ran my first 10k. In two months i had achieved another goal i had set myself! So i think you can guess what next challenge i was setting myself…

My first 10k completed
My first 10k completed

 

Do NOT give up with interval training, you will feel like you are hitting a wall, but this is a temporary wall that you can smash through, think of the finish line.

This was then around the time that both Tilly and I decided to set up Clean and Green Girls, we were both setting ourselves goals for the short and long term and i can’t believe that we have both hit so many of them before our own “ideal target time”

Aswell as running and the gym, i still wanted a challenge and started “insanity” – which totally lives up to its name! I wasn’t strictly following insanity like the guide tells you, i was fitting this workout around me as an additional extra.

I have recently completed a 22k run, funny story really.

I had a hair appointment with Harry’s mum at her salon in Fernhurst. I wanted a fresh barnet for my cousins wedding (25th July) – this has been my deadline for weight loss.

It was a Saturday appointment so naturally Harry had a cricket game and needed the cargo get himself there, now for people that don’t know where Fernhurst or Petersfield are, i have mapped them on google maps below:

petersfield - fernhurst

So about a week before my appointment, i had an ideal to run home from Fernhurst after getting my hair done. When i get an idea in my head, I’m pretty much set on it. I mapped out my route carefully with Harry and was ready to push my mind and body to double the running capacity i am used to.

Saturday is here, Harry’s mum greets me and then says “Oh been to the gym this morning Jo?!” Jo: ” Not exactly” Glynis:”What do you mean?” Jo:”I’m going for a run later” (Harry has to leave and says his goodbyes) Glynis: ” How are you getting home after this then if Harry has just taken the c…”

Needless to say her face was a picture when she realised my plan and told me to make sure i condition my hair when i got home!

Pre 20/22k Run Selfie.
Pre 20/22k Run Selfie.

 

So where am i now…

The wedding was last weekend and what a blast it was to see family after such a long time! Too Long.

Jo, Harry, Tom, Sophie, Chloe
Jo, Harry, Tom, Sophie, Chloe

No one appreciated our selfie stick except these guys… 

A couple of weeks Harry and i booked a week away to Marrakech in October

Not long before a well deserved week away
Not long before a well deserved week away

and today i have signed myself up to a 10 Mile run at the end of October. So i definitely still have some motivation to push myself to maintain this amazing lifestyle.

I feel great about myself now, more energy, motivation and I’m much happier as a person.

When i started this process i was 12st 5lbs, overweight and over indulging. Now.. 10st on the dot. Healthier, happier and certainly still indulging, but on the right things!

If you have read this all the way through, Thank you and please do not give up if you are following a similar journey.

Jo x

 

An Open Letter: To My Friends Finishing Uni

We’ve made it through! Three long years apart, you’ve been away having the time of your lives and our journeys have taken very different paths but we made it, we’re still friends and the love never left.

You have no idea how happy this makes me; it’s been hard without you, it’s been hard going through different jobs and moving out on my own without other people going through the same struggles to talk about these things. There are some things I’ve learned in the past 3 years that I want to share with you that (I hope) will help you through the next few months (or maybe year)…

I’ll start at the first next-stage of your lives…

Finding A Job.

Job hunting isn’t easy, it isn’t fun and it certainly isn’t glamorous. My advice? Keep going and use who you know. You might apply for 10, 20, maybe even 50 jobs before you get called in for an interview and you might not even get that job. Don’t be disheartened, the jobs you don’t get weren’t meant for you. I truly believe that you’ll fall in to the perfect job for you at the time you take it. This doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it – far from it, but you will definitely learn things that you never knew before. I now know how NOT to be a manager, how making friends at work can be dangerous but can also create some of the strongest friendships you’ll ever have and how office/workplace gossip is the most annoying thing about work and how difficult it is to stay out of. Another top tip: sign up to recruitment agencies but don’t rely on them. A lot of companies don’t accept applications from recruitment agencies as it costs them a lot of money, you could miss out on the greatest opportunity of your life by relying on someone else to find a job for you!

Your First 6 Months

So you’ve found a new job? I am so happy for you! But here’s the kicker… you are going to be tired. You’ll be physically and emotionally exhausted and you’re going to wonder how it’s even possible to be this tired and surely you’ll get used to the hours and the work and once you’ve learned the ropes your brain won’t be so overloaded so you won’t be so tired any more. The weariness doesn’t go away, but you do get used to it. I understand that you’ll be tired for the first 6 months or so and you won’t be out as much as you thought because you ‘need to sort my sleeping pattern’ or ‘had a long day and I’m exhausted’. I understand this because I’ve been through it and I know one day you’ll think, just like I did, ‘I can’t let being tired keep me from my personal and social life, suck it up and get out and see people’. Take the time you need to settle in to your new routine but don’t let work take over your personal or social life because you deserve a life outside your job. I’ll be waiting for you whenever you’re ready.

Work Is To Make Money, Not Friends

Likewise with being tired all the time, one of the biggest mistakes I have made in the workplace is entering it with the wrong attitude. I tried to get everyone to like me, I wanted everyone to be my friend and I never wanted anyone in the office/shop/branch to have a reason to b*tch about me behind my back. Now I realise how impossible this is and I go in to work to make money, not friends. I have you guys for friendship – I don’t need any more friends!

Strangely enough, this new attitude has honestly created some great unintended friendships and sometimes those are the best kind. I haven’t heard any office whispers about someone saying something behind my back and people always seem perfectly happy to say anything they have an issue with to my face because they know I’m not going to take it the wrong way. Go to work, be yourself, establish boundaries but don’t try to make friends – you’re all fantastic people and you’ll make genuine friends anyway.

The Workplace Is Not As Accepting As University

One of the things I think I really missed out on by not going to University is the social movements. Feminism, equal rights for the LGBTQA community, tuition fee protests etc are all amazing social movements headed up by University students. The truth is though, in the workplace you’re going to face some pretty bad comments and judgement… and there isn’t much you can do about it. Although I try to call people out where I can, sexism is a real issue in the workplace and for some people it’s so ingrained that they don’t even realise they are doing it. Social movements are great at University but don’t place your job under threat over someone else’s misplaced comment.

Sexism isn’t the only issue in today’s workplace. Ageism is a real issue that every single one of you will face. A lot of people in managerial positions have spent years climbing the ladder and they aren’t going to offer high paying jobs to someone fresh from the clutches of Uni. Sometimes you have to sit it out and watch the bloke who can’t even send an email get a promotion over you just because he’s been there the longest. Get over it, your time will come and if it bothers you then speak to whoever represents your HR department… or you can vent to me!

Speak to HR (or your union rep)

Whether it’s a small company or a large company there should be a HR(or union) representative available for you to speak to if you have any issues. These people are literally company geniuses; they will know almost every (if not all) policies the company has or where to find them and they also will know the rest of the staff and how they will react to certain circumstances. If you aren’t sure of something or someone has made you uncomfortable in the workplace speak to HR or your union rep. Never be afraid to speak to the people representing you, they are there to help and I have never met a union rep or anyone from HR who didn’t have my best interests at heart and who wasn’t sincere and willing to say something bluntly to me or to any offenders.  I’ve quit jobs because I was unhappy but I never went through the right channels to resolve the issues before they reached a point I couldn’t deal with them any more. Don’t make the same mistakes I have, when you join your new company, take note of who’s in charge of your welfare and talk to them when the issues arise, don’t let them build to a point you can no longer cope with them.

Don’t Let Anyone Make You Do Something You’re Uncomfortable With

Take this one with a pinch of salt because, ocassionally, you’ll have to do things you don’t want to do to get the job done. There will always be aspects of your job that you don’t like, whether it’s paperwork, call outs or whatever is relevant to your field. However, if someone asks you to do something that you morally do not agree with, do not do it. If you feel under threat of your job, speak to HR/your union rep. If you’re in a tiny company and you don’t have anyone to speak to or are worried you’ll get in trouble if you speak to anyone then PLEASE let me know what’s going on. There are external sources that can help you such as the Citizens Advice Bureau but there might be much easier ways to deal with things that you haven’t thought of. Just as I use your knowledge of the best clubs to hit up in your Uni towns, feel free to use my knowledge and experiences in the workplace.

Some of this might sound like common sense, but you’ll be surprised how the work place can change your attitude towards a lot of things and how difficult it can be to speak up at work. You’re all lovely, strong, incredible, intelligent, beautiful people and I am so proud of you all for the hard work and dedication you’ve put in to your degrees. Your results are testament to the work you’ve put in but I also know you’ve had the chance to party and have fun too! Things are going to change now and I want you to feel comfortable asking me anything you want to with no judgement and complete understanding along with the sometimes very blunt truths I can offer.

This letter comes with a multitude of love and affection and hope for the future and I’m excited for us to grow, learn, love and live together.

Mostly though, I’m just really glad to have you all home again.

So much love you don’t even understand,

Tilly xo

The Body Image Issue

I am aware that my view may be controversial but it’s one I think a lot of people secretly would agree with. My view is simple:

There is a difference between promoting body confidence and promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. 

And we’ve gone too far. In trying to promote self-confidence and a love of oneself, we’ve allowed people who are clinically obese to become ‘supermodels’ and role models, these people are celebrated for ‘breaking the boundaries’ and ‘crushing stereotypes’. These people are also wildly unhealthy – one comment I heard from a self-confessed overweight model is that celebrities don’t get criticised for smoking – so why should she be criticised for being overweight? The response was an outcry of people agreeing that she should be celebrated too. My response? You’re right, the person who is promoting smoking should probably be in some hot water too. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Celebrating obesity isn’t celebrating body confidence – it’s not letting people (especially impressionable young women) know that people come in all shapes and sizes and to be comfortable in themselves – it’s telling these people that it’s okay to be unhealthy. How can we, as a society and as a body image positive movement, justify allowing severely overweight and unhealthy people becoming models when we’ve worked so hard to stop (and in some countries, make illegal) underweight and unhealthy models being hired and shown in the media?

Just because it’s (generally) easier to be overweight than underweight it doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous. This has to stop.

I absolutely believe that everyone should be comfortable in their own body, and will admit that I was not comfortable in mine  – I am still self-conscious but I didn’t realise it for years. The time I started to embrace my differences is when I focused on health and fitness rather than looks. The one thing I say to people and fully believe is that it’s okay to be any shape, size, colour, or whatever as long as you are healthy! I don’t mean you need to be as fitness obsessed as myself – rather you shouldn’t feel bloated all the time or fear the slightest bit of exercise. To me it’s that simple.

So PLEASE, let’s stop celebrating unhealthy people because it’s in fashion, let’s stop idolising overweight people because they ‘promote body confidence’. Let’s not undo all of the hard work that was put in to having healthy models in magazines rather than underweight ones. Let’s get real – let’s celebrate healthy, strong people.

nike-women-make-yourself-team-group-1
Photo from Nike Ad Campaign

We are Generation (wh)Y

Every new generation brings a definitive, collective movement. Think suffragettes, think MLK and Rosa Parks; now imagine a whole generation campaigning for equality. That’s us. There’s no definitive age range for Generation Y (or Millennials as we’re also known), so I’m going to go with anyone born in the 1980’s all the way through to the early 2000’s.

2014 saw a huge amount of protest and focus on the inequalities people are faced with, whether you’re LGBTQ, black, a woman or Fergusonany of a variety of other minorities, there was a huge movement for you to get behind and it’s still going. (Think: Ferguson, #TransIsBeautiful and #HeForShe, to name a few.)

We’re a generation where the majority of us have never seen a whole year of peace, who have been hit with worldwide recession and who are constantly called ‘lazy, unengaged and unsociable’ by our predecessors. We’re also a generation of innovation, a generation who focuses on health and the environment, who campaign for inclusion and equality. The evidence is that we are more active,  more engaged with politics and current affairs (as could be seen on anyone’s Facebook timeline during the 2015 UK General Election) and more social thanks  to the invention of social media.

On top of this, thanks to the World Wide Web, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips, accessible at any time through smart phones, laptops or tablets (or any internet capable device – the Internet of Things is real, people). We question ‘Why?’ and we find an immediate answer. This has helped us to be more informed and so we fear social change less than previous generations as we can truly understand different perspectives on topical matters. We are willing to learn and work hard to grow, it may be easier to access the information but we still make the effort to look for it – because of that simple question ‘Why?’.

So next time you’re told our generation ‘has it easy’, is ‘entitled’ and are ‘lazy’, don’t be afraid to question it – why do you think that? We’ve been through economical hell, been discriminated against, and are trying to fix the planet that has been destroyed by your greed and entitlement. We are (for the most part) working towards a safer, more inclusive, healthier society and you don’t hear us blaming you constantly for the state society and our planet have been left in.

Stop fighting against us, stop pushing us down. Work with us on creating a new world and fix the mistakes humans have made in the past. I promise you everyone will be happier that way.

Defend_Equality_free_your_mind_by_domnx
Graphic by domnx on DeviantArt

Disclaimer: I am aware that segregating the generations isn’t 100% accurate and that there are, indeed, some ignorant idiots in our generation and there are a lot of inclusive and active people in previous generations but just let me have this one, okay? 

It’s our launch!

Hello!

Firstly I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to have a look around! As you can see from the above tabs, we have 4 main focusses on this blog; beauty, fitness, food and thoughts.

The two main contributors to this blog are myself (Tilly) and Jo, we hope to update you daily with our latest strides towards a happier, healthier lifestyle!

We believe we are part of one of the most interesting, inclusive generations to date, a generation who uses the wide world of Big Data and science to work towards a healthier lifestyle, whilst ensuring that everyone knows that they are important and individuality is celebrated. (We’ll discuss this more later under ‘Thoughts’).

We also really really really love food! Experimenting in the kitchen can turn out amazingly well (or sometimes not so well) and we will share our favourite recipes with you here.

This is a double launch with my new venture with Younique. The Clean and Green Girls business sells ethical, high quality, affordable beauty products. You can buy from my current party or set up a party yourself to earn free make up products!

Always feel free to comment on any of our posts and join in the discussion.

It’s great to be here – thanks for joining us!

Tilly

Josh, Jo and Tilly
Jo (centre) and Tilly (bottom) with our friend Josh (left)