Sunday, 31 August 2014


For over a year, Sundays at home have always begun with a workout. Traditionally, Sundays were my long run day while I was training for my half marathon. I would get up, run 7, 8, 9 miles, have breakfast, do the food shopping and get on with my day. Even if I stayed at Phil's, which I did most Saturday nights, I would still rush home for my workout. Waking up this morning knowing I couldn't workout was horrible. My foot is in a lot of pain. I have a doctors appointment on Thursday which while it may not result in a diagnosis, will hopefully get me a referral. I'm pretty certain it is a stress fracture now, which will put me out from running for at least 6 weeks. I'm undoubtedly going to have to withdraw from my 10K next month. It's going to be a struggle- I feel like I'm missing a limb- but I know if I try to push it too soon I could end up with an even worse injury. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post- they made me feel a lot better! I'm planning to go swimming this week and see how it goes, and if it doesn't hurt I'm planning to go a couple of times a week and maybe see how I get on with some strength training. I've also heard great things about pilates for injuries. Do any of you guys have any recommendations? I've experienced a lot of acceptance over the last few days, difficult as it has been. Life happens, injuries happen. I'd rather this happen now than have happened right before a half marathon. And I'm sure I'll get into a routine of swimming, strength and anything else I try. I just need to try not to do too much too soon!
dress- River Island
jumper- H&M
boots- New Look
This outfit is pretty similar to most of my outfits at the moment. Dress, jumper, tights, boots. I've been rediscovering some of my old outfits (my favourites are circa October 2012) with jumpers layered over dresses, and I recently had these boots reheeled and resoled to get another winter or two out of them. To be honest I'm feeling pretty uninspired at the moment. I feel like a lot of my clothes are too young for me now. I no longer want to wear little lacey dresses or cutesy skater skirts any more, but I'm struggling for inspiration. I'm finding a lot of twenty-something bloggers too immature, too kitschy, too twee. Blogs I used to love now look the same as they did five years ago, and older, more mature bloggers have a much larger disposable income than I. I need new inspiration but I don't know where to find it. I'm tired of the blogs I used to read and sick of seeing outfits composed entirely of free items. My wardrobe traditionally has been split into "work" and "weekend" but now I work in a place that doesn't have a dress code I'm sticking to my jeans and jumpers and ignoring my beautiful blazers, shirts and pencil skirts, banished to another wardrobe. But part of this is because I rarely wear heels during the day, and having short legs, I don't fancy a pencil skirt with flat shoes. I guess I'm just stuck in a rut and in desperate need of some new inspiration.
Wow this post took an unintentional turn towards the miserable! Sorry about that. I promise I'm not feeling as mopey as I seem! It's a new season and lots of things have changed, and I think with my foot injury and Phil moving out of his flat and a new job I'm just craving some routine. I'm sure I'll settle into one soon.
Today, once I got through not having Insanity to do, has actually been really nice. I went food shopping with my dad and got home and made soup for my lunches at work. Then Phil's Mum picked me up and I went to the pub to watch Liverpool with Phil and his sister, Suzie. Then my parents came to get me and they had a cup of tea and a chat with Phil's family which was really lovely.When I got home I continued with my Sunday meal planning and cooking! I made Quorn tagine for dinner tonight and tomorrow, endurance crackers for dipping in my soup at work, and I've got an egg and quorn sausage casserole in the oven for my breakfasts this week. I had my acrylic nails taken off yesterday and for the first time in my life I have long, natural nails so I'm spending tonight painting them! I've loved having acrylics and although my nails are weak, I've never had them so long as a life-long nail biter. I think I might have finally broken the habit!
Hope you've had a lovely weekend.

Charlotte x

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Right Way, the Wrong Way and the Whitby Way

In my post from last week, amongst the moaning about Insanity and my foot injury, I mentioned that I went to Whitby with Phil's family. They go every August bank holiday weekend so it was lovely of them to ask me to come along too! On Friday they picked me up and we headed up to York for the night. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos in York (even though it is such a beautiful city!). We started out with a tour of York Brewery and spent the rest of the day mooching around. In the evening, Phil, his sister Suzie and I did a ghost walk (after much deliberation and consulting of TripAdvisor to find the best one!) and the guy that did it was pretty scary and didn't break character once. It was a little early at 7.30 and it wasn't fully dark, but I love a good ghost walk, and this one was excellent.
On Saturday we drove to Whitby and headed to our hostel, which is right at the top of the 199 steps right by the Abbey. On Saturday, Phil's parents showed me some of their favourite places, and pointed out all of the places they have stayed over the years. While Phil missed a few trips while he was at Uni, Suzie has been every year since she was 18 months old (she's 16 now). Afterwards, Phil, Suzie and I headed down to play on the arcades where Phil spent way too much money being defeated by a cuddly burger and I won a whole 4p. FOUR PENCE. We then got the biggest 99s EVER, and met Phil's parents for dinner at The Magpie. If you don't know, The Magpie is probably the most popular Fish and Chip restaurant in Whitby and considered one of the best places for fish and chips in the UK. There is always a huge queue out of the door. But somehow, at 5pm on a bank holiday Saturday, we walked straight in. I had cod, chips, mushy peas (YUM) and curry sauce. It was amazing, I have to say. Up there with the best fish and chips I've ever had.

After dinner, we headed back up to the hostel to meet Phil's brother Andy and his girlfriend, Lizzie, who joined us for the last two days. Then we legged it back down to the front to catch the Whitby ghost walk. I like ghost walks! This one was also great, but I'm disappointed we didn't get a chance to do the Dracula walk, as Dracula is one of my all-time favourite books. Phil has promised me we can do it next year.
On Sunday, we walked to Robin Hood's Bay. The reason being- when I was 11, we went on a school trip to Whitby, but I was poorly after a few days and I had to be picked up by my Dad. I was having a great time and didn't want to leave, and my Dad remembers me crying that "they're going to Robin Hood's Bay tomorrow to dig up fossils" as the beautiful scenery rushed by. Because I missed out that day I have always wanted to go back. The walk to Robin Hood's Bay turned out to be very long, very uphill and very tiring. While the signs claimed it was only 6 miles, I think up and down all the hills it was at least 8 or 9. The walk took us 3 hours! This was also around the time that my foot started to get even worse. After a drink and a walk around, we took the bus back to Whitby, and Phil, Suzie, Andy, Lizzie and I went for lunch. Then Suzie, Phil and I went to play crazy golf (I am terrible!) before we went for dinner. After dinner we followed the usual Cantillon family tradition of going to see a production by the local amateur dramatics society, who are, to put it nicely, not the best actors in the world. The play was terrible, the acting was terrible, but we had a laugh. 
Monday was our last day, so Phil and I went down to town to look for some gifts and buy fudge before going to explore the Abbey and watch a live-action production of Dracula, which naturally, I loved. It was only three actors playing all the characters, and you followed them around various spots around the Abbey ruins. It was very well done and very funny and I enjoyed it a lot. Then after lunch, we packed up the cars and said goodbye to Whitby.
I'm already looking forward to next year's trip.

Charlotte x

Friday, 29 August 2014

On Having Too Many Goals (and being injured whilst trying to achieve them)

I'm a goal-orientated person.
I've never really seen this as a bad thing.
It's the kind of thing you say in job interviews to show you're driven and passionate and determined.
It's good to have goals, right?
Goals give you something to aim for.
Something to work towards.

Here is a small selection of my current goals
- complete Insanity
- run a 5K in under half an hour
- beat my Stockport 10K time from last year
- run a 10K in under an hour
- run another half marathon
- run a half marathon in under 2:30
- run a marathon before I'm 30
- read at least 30 books this year
- cook a new meal once a month
- stop biting my nails
- visit 5 new places this year
- build my strength with consistent strength training
- practice speed work once a week
- run park run every Saturday

I mentioned in my last post that I hurt my foot.
It's looking increasingly likely that I have a stress fracture caused by Insanity.
Walking on it in Whitby didn't help and a week after I first noticed the pain, it hurts even more.
Only rest seems to help it.
Rest I don't have time for.

I also mentioned in my last post that I only have a week of Insanity left and then I've signed up for the Stockport 10K in less than 4 weeks.
While I struggled through Insanity on Tuesday, on Wednesday I couldn't even make it through the warm up.
It doesn't look likely I'm going to finish my last week of Insanity.
And it definitely doesn't look like I'll be running this race.

Last night, after a lovely meal out with Phil and his sister, I started to cry.
I have to finish Insanity.
I have to run this race.
I have to beat my time from last year.
I can't be injured, I have too much to I need to do.

It spiraled.

Suddenly it was, I'm getting worse at running. 
I haven't run a 10K faster than 1 hour 10 in almost a year.
I haven't run a 5K in under 32:30 since last October.
It took me 3 hours to run a half marathon.
I'm awful at running.
I'm awful at everything.

Then Phil pointed out the thing that was staring me in the face.
I had too many goals.
Did I want to finish Insanity or beat my 10K time?
While I started Insanity to help my running, it's unlikely I will beat my 10K time with only a few runs before the race after over two months off.
Do I want to run another half marathon, or run a 10K in under an hour?
Do I want to run a 10K in under an hour or a 5K in under half an hour?
I can't do all of these things at once.
Running long distances in my half marathon training took me away from speed training.
I taught my body to run long and slow, not short and fast.
I can't train for both these types of running at once.

I need a focus.

There are always going to be roadblocks.
Not being able to finish Insanity is killing me after 8 weeks of hard work.
But I know I can't push myself through this last week without making my foot even worse.
Which could damage my foot long term and put me out for even longer.

I'm sad.
I've missed running so much and I've loved Insanity.
Truth is, I wanted the Insanity tshirt. I wanted the before and after photos.
I wanted to have done it and proved I could do it.
And I know I could and I know missing one week shouldn't matter when I've done eight weeks.
But I didn't achieve my goal.

The Stockport 10K is my race.
My favourite race.
My hometown.
The first race I ever ran.
My first 10K.

But I can't do it with a fractured foot.

I've got a doctors appointment next week which will probably result in a referral.
Then I don't know what comes next.
But I know if it is a stress fracture I could be out for weeks.
6-8 weeks.

But you can plan all you like.
Have all the goals you want.
But like all the cooks spoiling the broth, you can't focus on multiple goals at once.

Running is my passion and my love and I've missed it these past few months.
But hopefully if I give it a break now, I'll have the rest of my life to run.

My goals shouldn't leave me disappointed and overwhelmed and frustrated.
They should keep me motivated and inspired.
I shouldn't feel like I'm constantly letting myself down.

It's great to have goals, it's great to strive for better, for more, for faster.
But not at the expense of health, of happiness, of mental health.

I've posted before the quote "you can do anything but not everything."
And never has it been more relevant.
I can't work towards those goals without being disappointed.
Worse, disappointed in myself.

As I moaned last night about my slow running, Phil reminded me of all the people who don't run at all.
I'm already beating them.

My goals are tbc...

Monday, 25 August 2014

Insanity: Reflections on Month 2

It's Bank Holiday Monday night. I've just got back from a perfect weekend in Whitby where the only exercise I did was walking and I ate everything from fish and chips to pizza to fudge and didn't track my calories once. I haven't done Insanity for three days.
And I've got my foot elevated on a chair with frozen peas resting on top.
Doing Insanity without shoes isn't advisable, and I knew my foot was starting to hurt from being on my tiptoes for everything from planks to push ups to various jumps and squats. I attempted the workouts with shoes one day last week and had to abandon them after a few minutes as they were getting stuck in the thick carpet. Big mistake.
I felt my foot go on Friday morning but struggled through. On Saturday, after a day of walking around York, it was worse. By Sunday my whole foot hurt, even more so because I had started to walk funny to compensate for the pain. And also because we did the longest 6 mile walk of my life, entirely up and downhill (I'm convinced it was more like 9 miles). 
And me being me, my first thought was "I can't have hurt my foot! I only have a week of Insanity left! I can't give up now and I've just signed up for a 10K in 4 weeks!"
Month two of Insanity is something else.
Don't get me wrong, month one is hard. But it's a walk in the part compared to month two.
Squat pushups.
Power pushups.
Full body drills.
Side burpees.
I even struggled through the warm up for the first few days.
It's tough.
I can see how many people told me they gave up after a few days of month two. Add to that the fact that working 8-5pm has meant that I've had to start working out after work instead of my usual early morning.
This also means I've had to move days around a lot more to accommodate after-work plans, and summon the motivation to get straight home from work, straight into my workout gear and straight into my workout.
Sitting down is deadly.
But I do like finishing my workout and diving straight into the shower and then eating dinner in my pajamas. I feel I can push harder when I don't have anything to do afterwards. It also means I have more time, not that mad rush of a morning workout.
And I can't be sure, but I do sometimes think I have more energy in the afternoon than in the morning.
The extra circuit and extra 20 minutes don't bother me. An hour of month two workouts doesn't seem much more than 40 minutes of month one.
And the circuits seem to go:  Circuit One- what am I doing again? Circuit Two- Oh right, got it. Circuit Three- Ah it's my last round!
I've also been modifying some moves. Power pushups are impossible for me, so I just do burpees or press ups, and Level 3 drills are a joke, so I do Level 2 drills instead.
I've got a week to go and I am just about starting to get bored, but I know I only have a week left and I can see the progression of my strength and how much harder I can push each workout. While in month one my calorie burn varied wildly, I've managed to get it more consistent in month two, and I can easily push myself to burn over 10 calories a minute.
Except in my most hated workout, Max Recovery.
I've been a little more flexible this month, but that's mostly necessity rather than choice.
Last week I ended up moving my rest day, which meant I ended up with 9 days of workouts in a row (no wonder I hurt my foot!) and was pretty fatigued by day 7. Muscle fatigue and tiredness has been a bit more of an issue this month. I've been achey and I've been sore, but I've also been glad of this because it feels like it's working.
I moved the fit test last week and had a brutal double-workout day, but I unexpectedly aced the fit test, even if my workout straight after suffered.
I've missed two workouts and a rest day this weekend through being away, so tomorrow I'll be completing those workouts, included my missed rest day. If I stick to the plan and my foot doesn't give me too much trouble (I'm going to modify anything that hurts me), I should be finishing off the programme next Wednesday, after nine brilliant weeks.
And what's next? Well another reason why I was worried about my foot was that I've signed up for this year's Stockport 10K which is only 4 weeks away. I knew I didn't have time to lose any Insanity time because I need time to train for the race, especially after not running properly since June. 
My foot has had more of  rest today, thanks to a three and a half hour car journey, and plenty of elevation and ice, so fingers crossed I can keep going tomorrow and finish next week.
I've loved Insanity and I'm going to miss it, but I've been looking through my Focus T25 DVDs and I'm planning to integrate them into my running routine and it looks intense! I can't wait!
Getting back into running is going to be a challenge but I have to remind myself how much I love to run and that the whole point of Insanity was to make me a faster runner.
I hope it has!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What's new?

When I first started blogging, I blogged whenever the mood took me. Tiny little posts I used to call "musings". Just a little chat, a little catch up. Over time, I got a little more self conscious. I only posted when I had perfectly constructed photos, taken with my DSLR. The photography became the content, not the commentary. But I hate that. I should be able to blog whenever I want to blog, whether I have a pretty outfit to accompany it or not. 
At the moment, I'm not feeling super inspired fashion-wise. And even if I did, starting work at 8 and getting home at 5.30pm to plunge straight into Insanity doesn't give me much time to photograph outfits. I'm bored yet I don't want to buy more clothes cause I know I don't really need anything. And I've been kind of okay with being uninspired.

But I want to talk to you, I want to catch up with you. I have so much going on right now that I want to share with you! So I thought I'd write a little life update post. With a few Instagram snaps for fun.

What's new work
Friday Cake-day
I touched on this briefly in my last post, but two and a half weeks in and I can honestly say I love my job! Being made redundant was one of the most awful things that has ever happened to me (and I am aware of how fortunate I am to be able to say that) but I try to believe that everything happens for a reason. And I'm starting to believe that is true. I don't know if I really explained what I do, but I work at a content marketing agency (Axonn Media) in their marketing team as a marketing content assistant. Basically my job is to co-ordinate all of the content for Axonn's website and marketing, so I write everything from blog posts to case studies to research papers. It's challenging and fun and incredibly interesting. If you're interested in content marketing, you can read my first blog post- What I've Learned About Content Marketing in Three Days and follow my work-related Twitter handle, @cecrowley30 
On Fridays we have cake at 10am (we have a cake rota so a different person bakes every week) and today we went out for a delicious lunch. Plus it's right in the city centre, which leads me to my next point...

What's new... with my home life
One of the reasons I was extra excited to get a job in the city centre was because... Phil and I are moving in together! Not until next year (our plan is January) but we've been keeping our eyes out for flats in the city centre and we've seen a few that we like. Phil currently lives in the Northern Quarter but he's moving back home at the end of the month (his parents only live a few miles from me so it's not too bad!) so we're looking mainly at the Northern Quarter for somewhere together. I am so excited! I stay at Phil's quite a bit but I'm excited for us to have our own space together. I know it's going to be incredibly stressful over the next few months but I know it's going to be worth it. I'm excited for this new chapter of my life.

What's new... with exercise
7 weeks of Insanity down! Only 2 weeks to go! I've got a post planned this week on my second month of Insanity, but honestly, I love it. I really love it. Nothing gets me pumped and exhausted like it. I've got T25 coming in the next few days (I got a bargain from Gumtree!) but I am going to be starting running again in September. I'm hoping to do the Stockport 10K (which you might remember was my first ever 10K last year)on September 21st if my fitness is up to it, and then I am going to start half marathon training at some point with a plan to do my second half marathon next year (I have my eye on the Liverpool Rock n Roll Half Marathon in June). As I mentioned before, I work 8-5pm now so unfortunately, being a morning exerciser no longer fits my schedule. It's sad because I miss my morning workouts but getting up at 4.30am to do Insanity was never going to happen. I like the lack of time restrictions I have working out after work, but I do have to move things around when I have plans after work.

What's new.. with travel
I'm off to Whitby this weekend with Phil's family and I can't wait. I went to Whitby with school years ago but I had to come home early because I was poorly and I've always wanted to go back. Funny story-on our second date, Phil mentioned to me that his family go to Whitby every year and even after two dates I did think "ooh I wonder if I'll be going with them next year". I can't have been the only one though cause Phil asked me if I wanted to come with them back in January- we'd only been together for 2 months! t's a tradition in Phil's family so I'm really honoured to be invited. And along the same going-away-with-your-partner's-family theme, we've just booked flights to Spain in October with my parents. I went with my parents last year to their apartment and it was just the most relaxing trip. I'm looking forward to that. We're also going to Birmingham for the weekend in September for my friend Becca's birthday. Phil hasn't really been to Birmingham and as I went to Uni there I want to give him a proper tour so I think we're going to make a weekend of it.

What else is new?
I got pretty attached to my inflatable guitar at Ultimate Power
Ready for the wedding
I think that's it really! I'm pretty exhausted this week because we went out on Friday night to Ultimate Power at the Ritz, which is hands-down the best night in Manchester. I'm not a going-out person at all and usually get tired at 12.30pm after two glasses of wine, but this time I didn't want to go home (ahem, got home at 3am)! Then on Saturday we went to the wedding of a colleague of Phil's and the DJ got the 5ive and the Backstreet Boys out at about midnight so I didn't get home til 2! Sunday was spent watching Liverpool and dragging myself through my Insanity workout, and then last night I had to do an hour workout before choir. Tonight I had the Fit Test and then Max Plyo Interval so I am utterly pooped! 

I think the key takeaway from this is that I'm really happy at the moment and it's nice. I thought I had everything fall into place until I was made redundant, but now I think it's starting to fit back in again. So fingers crossed it stays this way!

Thank you for always listening.

Charlotte x

Friday, 8 August 2014

Houndstooth and Mint

Wheee it's been a busy week. First full working week in a while! I absolutely love my new job though and it's so great to be in the city centre! On Monday it was lovely at lunchtime so I got to eat my lunch sat in Piccadilly Gardens. I absolutely love Manchester in the sun, and I'm not sure if the novelty of being able to pop to Topshop on my break is going to wear off any time soon, but my bank balance might take a bit of a hit! The people I work with are lovely and I already feel like I've been working there for ages- in a good way! It's the first time I've had a job where it's not entirely all brand new to me. I've worked in digital before, and worked in marketing before so it's been quite easy to pick up, which is a relief! Getting used to a new routine is a challenge though. For my first few days I worked 9am til 6pm, before realising that absolutely nobody in the office works past 5, so on Wednesday I swiftly asked if I could work 8am til 5pm like everybody else! It means my morning workouts are out of the window, as I would need to get up at 4.30am to do the hour-long month-two Insanity workouts before work, so I'm back to working out after work. I'm a total creature of habit and I love my morning workouts so I resisted for a while, but I have to accept that with a new job comes changes for me to adapt to and I just have to make things work. I'll go into more detail about this in my next Insanity post.
Haha major head tilt here!
trousers- Topshop
blouse- Boohoo
jacket- Topshop
ballet flats- Warehouse
Nearly everything in this outfit is new. Or new-ish. I've been living in both these trousers and this jacket lately, so it only made sense to put them together. This shirt is also my new favourite thing. It's just a white sleeveless shirt and I think it was only about £8, but it goes with everything. I've been a lot more selective about clothes shopping lately. I'm starting to prefer basics and quality pieces and I've send back a lot of cheap, "blah" dresses and boring tops. But boucle jackets and printed trousers are always good. I wore a version of this for my first day at work on Monday, but with my pink boucle jacket instead, which I think I prefer, and different shoes. I'll try to snap a photo of that at some point. Speaking of photos, I'm sorry these are a bit overexposed! Not sure how that happened but there were a proper nightmare to edit.
Well we've just booked our flights to Spain which is pretty exciting! Phil and I are going with my parents to our apartment and even though it's not til October I'm really excited. We're also only two weeks away from our trip to Whitby with Phil's parents! I've got a pretty quiet weekend ahead, which is what I need after my first working week, but I am having lunch tomorrow with my best friend Steph who just got back from 3 months travelling in South America! I talked to her all the time while she was away but I'm glad I've got her back now!
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Charlotte x

PS. Check out my colleague Natalie's blog too. She does awesome nail art!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Insanity: Reflections on Month 1 and Recovery Week

So I've survived Month 1! It has not been easy but I am so proud of myself for doing Insanity every day, even the days when I have really, really not wanted to do it.
I've learned a lot the last few weeks and the honest truth is, I love it. Of course, I don't always love it when it's the last repeat of a horrible circuit (I'm looking at you, Plyometric Cardio Circuit!), but I feel so good afterwards and not tired and sleepy as I often feel after running.
My favourite thing about Insanity, as you can imagine, is the results. With running I can often go months without noticing a change in my speed or my fitness or endurance. With Insanity it's almost every day.
A few weeks ago I couldn't do full push ups and would do them on my knees. Now I can jump straight into those Level 1 Drills with no worries! The strength and core parts are still difficult, by far the hardest for me, but I can feel myself improving and I'm really pushing myself to keep going. There are still lots of things I can't do or can't do well, but I know Insanity is pushing my endurance and strength to new levels.
Last week was my last week of Month 1, and honestly, I was just about starting to get bored of the workouts, so Recovery Week has been a welcome break. It's great to find I can do the warm up with no breaks now though, and that I can push myself through most of the workouts without stopping. I convinced Phil to do Plyometric Cardio with me once after he had stayed at my house and I don't think he expected it to be so hard. He's desperate to borrow it from me when I've finished it! 
The commitment of doing Insanity every day (bar Sundays) is really tough, and I can see how committing to the schedule is the main reason why people don't complete the programme, but personally, it works for me. Knowing I have a particular workout to do each day pushes me to get it done! And usually getting started is the hardest bit.
The thing with Insanity is that you get out of it what you put it. Because I use my Polar I can tell when I haven't worked as hard, because my workout calories will be much less than last time I did the workout. I try to burn 10 calories a minute and I always keep an eye on my heart rate.
Recovery week has been nice, but definitely not a recovery! I thought I would get bored of doing the same workout every day for 6 days but I've actually really enjoyed it. Core Cardio and Balance is my favourite- probably because it's the easiest!
I don't follow the meal plan because it doesn't work for my lifestyle, but I am super-conscious to ensure I get enough protein. I have a protein shake with milk straight after my workout and aim for at least 100g of protein per day. I've been loading up on yoghurt, eggs, chia seeds, milk, beans, frozen peas and fish. However I've eaten out a lot the last few weeks and I'm also just trying to live my life as normal. Rather than eat back my calories from each workout, I eat about 2000 calories a day. I follow Funeral for my Fat's BMR 101 guide.
I've also recently bought myself a Zaggora Hot Top so I workout now in my Zaggora Hot Top and Hot Pants and yes, it gets very sweaty but I love it!
So how are the results? As I mentioned in my last post, I'm not looking as much to lose weight but more to build muscle. I've lost about 2 pounds so far which is great, and I took my measurements today- 0.75" off my waist, 2.5" off my hips, 1" from each thigh and 0.5" from each arm. However the most noticeable difference is from the before photos! I took before photos the day before I started Insanity, and today at the end of Recovery Week I took 12 more. You don't notice the difference until you see it right in front of you! I can really see the difference in my arms, shoulders and stomach. I might show you the before and after photos when I finish the programme.
I start my new job tomorrow so 5.30am workouts are back on the table. Thankfully my new job is a much shorter commute so I will get a little longer in bed than when I worked at AO when I had to leave the house at 7.15am. However it will coincide with my first day of the Max workouts which is going to be a challenge. I'm determined to push through though. I hear Month 2 is absolutely horrible but I'm ready for Shaun T to bring it!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Otters, Deer and Houndstooth Trousers

Wayyyyy back on New Year's Eve, Phil and I made plans with his friend Tom and his girlfriend, Fi (who weirdly, read my blog for years before I met Phil- small world!) made plans to go to the otter park. Fi and I both love otters (Fi really loves otters!), so we decided as the otter park was only a half an hour drive away, it would be a really nice double date activity. So 7 months later, we finally got around to it! The Chesnut Centre is a lovely little wildlife park with deer, owls, wild cats and of course, otters! It was a bit of a cooler day so I wore my new favourite houndstooth trousers, and convinced Phil to take some photos for me.
trousers- Topshop
shirt- Primark (borrowed from Mum)
ballet flats- H&M
sunglasses- H&M
Phil made me laugh!
Turns out it's been so long since someone other than me took my blog photos that I actually really don't like it any more and felt really awkward and self conscious, so I've just ended up with a few! Don't worry, you'll be seeing these trousers a LOT. After taking some photos, we met up with Tom and Fi and headed off to find some otters. And instead found owls. Lots of owls. And at least half a dozen cages that declared "otters" with no otters to be seen inside! We're not sure if they were hiding under the water, asleep in the shade somewhere or just moved to another cage, but we were started to get pretty disappointed! Finally, in one of the last few areas, we found them! Fi and I spent a good fifteen minutes squealing at them and then we managed to find some more! At 3pm we headed over to the giant otter pool for a feeding, only to find they had been hiding under the water all day, but popped out for their fishy dinner. Unfortunately I couldn't get close enough to get a good photo of the giant ones (my favourites!) but look at these little cuties...
It's definitely worth a trip there if you're in the area and want a fun little afternoon activity. And of course, if you like otters!

Charlotte x