Rose Vs Fat #1 – From the beginning

Like many people I find myself in a constant battle with all things unhealthy. I have always loved food – my mum’s cooking is so delicious – but my problems with food didn’t start until uni did. The endless drinking and takeaways took their toll during first year and I gained roughly a stone which, unfortunately, happens to many students in first year. So of course when second year began I used the slim fast diet to lose a few pounds – I did lose some weight but not as much as I’d gained. A couple of years and several failed gym memberships later I discovered the first of many stretch marks…yes I know it’s not something we like to talk about but it’s true…and not uncommon.

I had now reached the end of my degree, graduating with a 2.1 in Forensic Psychology (yay!), and had just moved in with my boyfriend. It took a further six months of constant snacking, no exercise and too much alcohol for me to realise how unhappy I was becoming with my weight. I am not the first to say this but eating healthily when being in a relationship is hard, especially when pretty much everything you have in the cupboards are crisps and there isn’t a piece of fruit in sight! Come Christmas I decided enough was enough – I was joining the gym. This was great for the first two months and the weight did start to come off, but then I started a new job meaning I could no longer workout during the day and more often than not felt too tired to do it after I got home.

The turning point came when I went to my boyfriend’s brother’s wedding in May this year. The wedding was down in Devon, the weather was stunningly beautiful and there I was feeling miserable and fat trying to cover myself up the whole time.

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Now, I know I’m not huge but I have gained enough weight to feel like a shadow of my former self and I am sick of cropping photos to make myself look skinnier. I had been avoiding mirrors for months lying to myself about the situation and continuing to binge eat. After seeing the wedding photos and spending a lot of time feeling very uncomfortable around others I decided now was the time to act…and to stick to it this time.

In the last three months I have lost 6lbs. I know this doesn’t sound like much and the progress has been very slow but I am getting there. I fell off the diet wagon for the first three weeks of this month after my weight loss plateaued – I didn’t go crazy with food and only gained 1lb but it was enough to knock my confidence again. Going home for a long weekend was a savior however, and after a few days eating super healthily I lost the pound I had put on and lost a further 2lbs this week. My confidence has been rebooted – I am cutting down my calorie intake and doing more exercise (no gym, just a home workout with squats, dumbbells, sit-ups and a mini stepper – and I now get off the bus a few stops early on the way to and from work just to do a little extra).

I am going on holiday on the 9th of this month so I have ten days left to try to lose a couple more pounds, and I have promised myself that my healthier lifestyle will continue as soon as I get back. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

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2013…My Best Year Yet?!

As the end of the year is approaching, I feel now is an appropriate time for some reflection on the past year.

This year has changed my life in numerous ways for the best. Yes, there have been times when things weren’t going according to plan and where I’ve felt lost, but by the looks of it 2013 has been the best year of my life so far and I have very high hopes for the future.

First on my list is the fact that I turned 21 this year!! Which is of course a momentous occasion for anyone, and one experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

My 21st Birthday Cake

2013 was also the year in which I made the decision to move into a flat with my boyfriend and we have been amazingly happy ever since!!

Me and Sam at the graduation ball

Perhaps the most important part of my year was in July when I graduated with a 2.1 BSc in Forensic Psychology!! I still can’t believe that my time as a student has finished (for now anyway) but graduation was unforgettable and I wish I could do it all over over again. Nothing can compare to the feeling that you have made your parents proud of you and that you have succeeded in what you set out to do!!

Graduation

Despite having a great year leading up to September, I faced a major setback when I had trouble arranging a professional career development loan which meant that I could not do the Masters on which I had already gained a place. This set-back was huge, for a time I was completely gutted and despaired that ‘everything’ had fallen apart. Thanks to the support of my family, boyfriend and friends I changed my career plan and began looking for NHS jobs which would give me the experience I need for a PhD I intend to apply for in a few years time. I still want to complete an MSc, however that part of the plan is on hold for now.

After applying for numerous NHS and health care related jobs I had an interview last week, and on Monday I was offered a full-time job as a Medical Illustration Support Worker where I will assist with Diabetic Retinal Screening. I am still in a state of shock, but I am so happy that I will get to finish this year on a high!! Not only will this job give me invaluable skills and experiences, it will also enable me to pay off my student overdraft and also to have a long-awaited holiday next summer.

Now, as there are exactly 3 weeks until Christmas, I intend to relax and make the most of my free time before the real work begins in the New Year.

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iPod Satisfaction

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I don’t know about you, but I get so much satisfaction out of updating my music. Once a month or so I come to the conclusion that it’s about time I plugged my little iPod nano (3rd generation) into my laptop and download some new tunes – today is one of those days!!

Some of the new additions to my music library include:

  • Bastille – Pompeii (my new favourite)
  • Deadmau5 ft. Gerard Way – Professional Griefers
  • Boyce Avenue – Locked Out Of Heaven
  • The Robert Cray Band – Bad Influence (old school but awesome)
  • David Bowie – Cat People
  • Jake Bugg – Lightening Bolt

Check them out!! Happy listening!!

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2013…The Most Important Year Of My Life So Far

The fact that it is 2013 already makes me anxious. This year will be huge.

Having made it to the new year, I have come to the shocking realisation that this is my last year of uni and that I will be graduating in July. Not only that, I also have to decide what course of life to take next and rather frighteningly – what job I would like to have a career in. Now, all that stands between me and my Forensic Psychology degree is 30 lectures (roughly), 2 essays, 2 exams and a dissertation…needless to say I will be working extremely hard these next few months.

After considering my options for after uni, I have decided that I would like to complete a Masters with the hope of going on to study for a PhD in Clinical Psychology…and then to work in the mental health environment. Despite this being the plan for what I want to do in the near future, I have a lot of concerns. The main one is that I worry I’m not smart enough to do a PhD. If I can’t do one, I have no idea what else I would do. How can you tell if you’re smart enough for these things? I guess I won’t know until I try, but not knowing is extremely hard. I also have lots of worries about applications and of course funding. Funding was always going to be an issue…I just wish you could get student finance for more than three years! I will have already built up at least £20,000 of student debt by the time I finish this degree in May, let alone how much more I’ll be in from doing further study. It will be worth it in the end – it’s just a lot to think about.

Anyway, for now I intend to blog much more than I have in the past few months, I want to document this important year through this blog and hopefully I will be able to show off my degree later on in the year!!

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!!

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Appreciating quality time with family

I am the first to admit that I was dreading coming back to my home-town again. I wanted more than anything to stay in Leeds, relaxing with my friends and enjoying my new house. But things don’t always work out the way you planned.

I’ve come back here mainly in order to save money, but also to see my family. We don’t always get on but when we do things are great. In the past, when I have come back from university I certainly haven’t been on my best behaviour – I have taken them for granted and been somewhat ignorant of how much they do for me. I have since turned over a new leaf – no matter how much I love my life in Leeds I still miss my family and therefore intend to make the most of the time I do spend with them.

When I am away it is my brother that I miss the most. Me and Ollie have always had a sort of love/hate relationship, but since I started my course things are better than ever between us. Days spent with my brother usually consist of playing xbox games (Lord of the Rings: War in the North and Mortal Kombat are the current favourites), eating sweets and general messing about. Needless to say these are good days filled with laughter and comfort food.

Which brings me to this weekend. Yesterday my family, myself and an old family friend went to an old pub and sat outside by the river drinking pints of scrumpy cider. This particular cider looks like orange squash and somehow three pints can get you completely drunk – which is of course what happened when we were drinking for several hours! This drinking later led to us ordering curries for tea and my brother and I rowing a rubber dingy, in the dark, on a smelly lake at this family friends’ house. We thought it was brilliant…even though I was absolutely hopeless at rowing and nearly knocked Ollie into the water!

 

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Today has also been a good day. I visited my grandparents – who I haven’t actually seen since before Christmas!! I’ve played xbox with Ollie, watched Ice Age with everyone and am currently waiting for a delicious Sunday roast (beef and yorkshire pudding). Life doesn’t get much better than this. It may sound like a bit of a cliché but I’m healthy, happy, have great friends and most importantly have a family who love me.

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Introductions.

So it’s probably a good idea that I introduce myself…I currently live in Leeds (my favourite city in the UK) as I’ve just finished my second year of my forensic psychology degree.

Life has been going great recently! Particularly as I just moved into my new PINK house with some of the greatest friends anyone could have! We did have a few disasters when we first moved in – a broken oven, a leaky boiler and mouse traps all over the kitchen for starters – but the house is awesome and I love living there with everyone!

Anyway, I decided to start a blog this summer to document my experiences, thoughts and hopefully some interesting things that I learn as 2012 progresses.

Hope you enjoy

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