Friday, 1 May 2015

Hair removal

Well summer is getting closer and the legs will be allowed to breath once more.  I will be donning leggings and maybe, just maybe, a dress.

Now I don't want to scare anybody who may think a gorilla has escaped from the zoo so I will be de-fuzzing the legs.  Actually i'm quite lucky because I am very fair so its not easily seen but that just makes me worse.  I sometimes go a very long time between shaving my legs but since they are never on show in the winter who cares, right?

BTW it is quite ok to go au natural.  I choose to de-fuzz because I prefer it in the spring/summer or if i'm going swimming.

Anyway back to the point in hand.  Hair removal and my opinion on different methods i've tried.  Thats right my opinion.  Everybody is different and what works for me wont necessarily work for anybody else.


I think most people will be familiar with shaving.  It's pretty quick and feels nice and smooth.  It doesn't last long though.  I tend to have stubble after a couple of days.  Personally i've never cut myself but I know plenty who have.  Its not cheap if you buy decent razors.  I preferred disposable and would use a fresh one for legs then another for underarms.  So 2 razors per shaving session and 3 times a week starts to add up.  I wanted to try and find a solution that lasted a bit longer.  Which brings us onto........


Waxing lasts a bit longer than shaving.  Since it pulls the hair out from the follicle it takes longer for the hair to grow back and its not as stubbly since the hair hasn't been cut.  Some people find this method painful but I quite enjoyed it.  Yes im a bit strange but there is something strangely satisfying about the feeling of having the hair ripped out.  I have never self waxed, there are far too many scary stories of people who have tried it.  I always went to the salon to have my legs done.  It was cheaper than shaving but still was a regular cost and with young children I needed to find time to visit the salon.  I wanted something that I could do at home but didn't cost much.  That is where I discovered.....


This is the method that works best for me.  My epilator cost £51 from argos.  That was 1 payment and I have already had my moneys worth.  I had heard so many horror stories about how painful it was and I admit I was a bit terrified to try it but I am so pleased I did.  My legs have never been so smooth.  The first couple of times i did it my legs went really quite bumpy but after exfoliating and moisturising they were fine.

The way it works is by 40 little tweezers spinning round and plucking your hairs out.  You get some that you can use in the bath/shower which is meant to make it feel a bit better.

If you want to try it but the thought is a bit scary then a little trick you could try would be to shave then a couple of days later epilate.  There will not be a huge amount of growth so it wont have lots to remove.  Continue doing it daily for about a week or so, you could probably do it every couple of days, and that should help make the starting process easier.  Just remember to exfoliate and moisturise often.

There are a number of other options but I haven't tried them.  Feel free to leave a comment about tips and what works for you.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

My visit to run4it runlab and my new running shoes

Yesterday I headed up to Glasgow for date day with Kenny. I had planned on going to run4it at some point and thought I would do it while I was there anyway.

I went into the store and a nice girl came over and offered her assistance.  I explained I had been having pain when I ran and she took a look at my trainers and told me there was no support for my feet.  The next step was to get on the treadmill with bare feet while a camera filmed my legs.  Once I had ran for maybe 30 seconds she showed me the results on the computer.

She showed me how on my left ankle there was a curve when it should be straight.  It is the left shin I have the pain in so I was pleased to know there was a reason and more importantly, a possible solution.  She suggested I get a stability shoe.  I would only need mild stability so she recommended a level 3 shoe.  She asked my preferences and budget and brought out the first option.  As soon as I tried it on I felt my foot was much more supported.  I ran again on the treadmill and both ankles were straight.  She took out 2 more pairs to try.  1 pair didn't feel as comfortable and when recorded on the treadmill it showed my right foot rolling over.  The last pair was ok but again the first was the most comfortable.  That just showed me that even though they all had a stability level of 3 they didn't all suit my foot.

I ended up buying the first pair I tried on and I love them.  They are Brooks Ravenna 6 Stability.

I thoroughly recommend going along if you suffer from pain while running or even if you just want to make sure you are wearing the correct shoe.  The whole process took about 20 minutes.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

How to get into running.

I hadn't ran since primary school.  The actual thought of it was enough to break me out into a cold sweat.  My friend used to ask me to go out running with her but I thought because of my size I wouldn't be able to do it.  I was so self conscious and worried about what people would say or think I didn't even want to try in case I looked stupid or failed.  There was always an excuse not to start.

The biggest issue was I thought "normal" people would be able to get up one day and decide they want to start running and off they would go running miles at a time.  I know now this is not the case.  I think if you want to get into running, no matter what your size, the easiest way is to download a couch to 5K app.  There are so many out there.  I use 5K runner.  I like it because you get little badges (its the simple things) and little "you can do it" comments.  It does cost £2.29 but I like it and think its worth the money.  There are plenty other options that are free if you don't fancy spending any money.

So what other things helped me get started?

Sports Bra

A sports bra is an essential piece of kit if you are doing any sort of exercise no matter how much you have to fill them with.  If like me, you have been given more boobage to stuff into a sport bra then it becomes even more essential.  I am still on the lookout for the perfect bra (feel free to make suggestions).  What you need is a high impact sports bra with wide shoulder straps for extra comfort.

Running shoes

I love my trainers.  I read lots on how to choose the correct shoe and did the wet footprint test.  They feel comfortable and I love how they look.  I do want to go to run 4 it in Glasgow and have the proper gait analysis done when I get the time.  I think if your serious about running then this is well worth doing.  Its free to have it done and there are a number of stores available.

Comfortable clothes

Yes you can run in a baggy t-shirt and a pair of leggings or even your Pj's (i have a treadmill and used to do this) but it is so much better to get kitted out in good quality running gear.  The fabric is breathable and flexible which make it much nicer to run in.  I have found a few places that do workout wear in bigger sizes.  I love fabletics.  It is a subscription service but the quality of the clothes are very high and they are comfortable.  If you do decide to sign up then please make sure you read everything so there are no surprises.  I also get stuff from sports direct and premark.

A support network

Now I don't mean go out and join a running club or rope family and friends into running with you.  Not that that is a bad idea but it is not possible for everybody to do.  I mean join forums and facebook pages etc.  I am a member of the running bug and a couch 2 5K challenge group.  Both of these have been so much help.  The members are very helpful and supportive.  There is no question too stupid.  They keep you going and there are people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.

Motivation and Determination

Without these things there is no point.  You need to remember it will not happen overnight but I promise if you stick with it you will notice changes within a week.  When I first started I couldn't even run for 30 seconds but I kept going and at the end of week 1 I still hadn't completed a full session.  I started on day 1 again and I did it.  It felt so good to see that there was actually changes happening to my body.

I am not writing this pretending to be an expert.  I'm writing this knowing what its like to be starting out and I would love for you all to join me.  I had an injury (please please please remember rest days and don't try and push yourself too hard) so I am started from day 1 again.  There is no shame in stepping back.  It would be so much worse to think, "I cant do it" and give up.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sour cherry and Blackthorn gel mask

Ilcsi Sour Cherry and Blackthorn Mask

I bought this mask a wee while ago and thought I would give it a proper trial before I gave my opinion on it.
I have use it once a week and I have to say I am truly impressed.  I have quite dry, dehydrated skin and it has made a huge improvement.  My skin feels softer and is less puffy.  I noticed the next day that my makeup goes on better.
The mask does look a bit grim when its on but it smells amazing.  Its a 15 minute fix for my skin and it has made it to the bathroom shelf which is a big deal since I lack space and only my most used products make it.

All in all it is an awesome mask that makes a big difference to my skin.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The new me

As you know January was a very bad month for me.  February turned out to be a pretty awesome month.  I took a long hard look at my life and decided things needed to change.  I needed to fix me and learn to love myself.  Cliche I know but its amazing the difference since I started to actively change things.
I learnt to look at things differently and realised that if I didn't do anything different then nothing would change.  As Einstein used to say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  So what changes did I make?  I decided I was worth while.  I was more than good enough and that I can do anything I want to if I set my mind to it.  I stopped hating who I saw in the mirror and started to make changes.  Real changes I mean.  My weight has always been a big issue for me.  I am the only person who can change that so that is what I have been doing.  I have been working out about 4 or 5 times a week and have noticed I feel so much better.  I have more energy and I actually want to participate in life.  My anxiety has improved and I feel 100 times better.  My relationship is back on track and better than ever so yes all together February has been a pretty awesome month.

So what have I been doing?  Firstly I was doing the couch 2 5K on the treadmill which I was loving but I ended up hurting myself so I needed to find alternatives.


There are so many things on this website it is amazing.  You have monthly calenders, forums, recipes and a shop that does ship to the UK.  All her workouts are on You Tube but if you follow her monthly calender then they are all on the page for you.  She also had an app.  I use it on the iPhone but I think there is one available for android too.


This is an American site but you can still use it in the UK.  You chose a game to join and place your bet.  The amount is in dollars.  I used paypal to place my bet.  Then you need to weigh in by taking a full length picture of yourself then another of you on the scales with the word of the day next to the display.  Then you have 4 weeks to lose 4% of your body weight or you could do a longer game where you have 6 months to lose 10%.  At the end you do a final weigh in and if you have achieved your goal you will get a % of the money in the pot back.

Jillian Michaels 30 day shred

This is a lot of fun but its not easy.  The first time I did it I couldn't complete it.  Now I'm managing it and I love it.  Its pretty self explanatory.  You do use weights on this workout but a couple bottles of water or tins of beans would work just as well.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

No excuses. Its time to get healthy.

Well so much has happened since I last posted.  I have been sticking to my plan of working out though.  Its not been easy, what with one thing or another.

Ok a quick rundown of whats been going on in January.
Firstly there was my Grandmas funeral which was hugely difficult.
I have been redecorating which has been stressful too.  Totally worth it now though since its pretty much finished.  I will do a post about that later if you like.
My relationship ended which is completely heartbreaking and I am still trying to deal with it.

So yes January was a very difficult and stressful month.  I have decided that February is the month where things change.

I bought myself a daily greatness journal to make myself accountable for everything.  It only just arrived today and from what I can gather from reading through it, it should be started on a Monday so I will be aiming to do that next week.  It seems great.  Its a 12 week plan that you make yourself.  You add your goal etc and input daily thoughts etc just like you would a diary.  I will do a more in depth post about it when I have had the chance to use it.

Another fitness purchase was the fitbit charge HR.  I love this thing.  I did used to have the fitbit flex which was also great.  The charge HR however is amazing.  It does everything I need it to do.  It counts steps, its a watch, tracks heart rate (thats what the HR stands for and they do have a charge without the HR), has caller display if you connect it to your phone, has a great battery and it has silent alarms.  The phone app it really good too.  I use it on my iphone but my friend has the android version and she loves it too.  You can track exercise too.  The flex was waterproof which was great but the charge HR sadly isn't.  I think its the only bad thing I can say about it to be honest.

I have started using a couch to 5K app for my phone.  Im still trying to find one that I love so feel free to give me your opinions.  I am only at the very start but I am determined to do this.  I have a treadmill so there really is no excuses.

I will leave my usernames below and you are more than welcome to join me.  If you have any other sites you think I should check out then just leave a comment and I will go have a look.

Xbox fitness Gamertag - alanasmummy
Fitbit - Click here and add me

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Plus size fitness

Well after my New Years Resolution post went down so well I thought I would do another about fitness.  It's actually a little bit of a rant to be honest, along with some mini reviews on some things I have found.

Ok firstly do you have any idea how difficult it is to find work out clothes if you are larger than a size 16?  It is a complete nightmare.  If you do find any then you are looking at silly money.  Im sorry but my plan is that they wont fit for long so I refuse to spend a lot of money on them.  I realise that I can just wear a pair of leggings and a top (which is what I have to do) but why should I need to?  It is almost like they assume that if you are larger then you clearly sit on your bum and eat cake so there really isn't any need to make nice workout clothes.  Oh and sports bras are awful.  I recently bought a sports bra that was meant to be my size and it wouldn't even fasten.  It was way too small.  Running without a good supportive bra is not much fun especially when you have been blessed with more than most.

If like me you don't particularly want to venture out into public then there are other options.  Here are what I plan to use.

Games console

I use my xbox one.  It has a very good fitness app that has lots of workouts available.  As long as you have Xbox live gold and kinect then you will be able to use this.  I like it because there are programmes that are good for the complete beginner (me) to really advanced workouts like insanity etc.
It gives you good feedback and lets you know when you need to work a bit harder and which muscles you are working.  I also like to try and beat my "gamerscore" which is fun and that way you know you are getting better.
If you feel the urge then send me a message and ill give you my gamertag if you want to do it together.

You obviously have the wii fit too but I don't have much experience with that.


I have been doing a lot of research and plan on buying a treadmill once the shed arrives.  Thats the problem with a treadmill, they take up a fair bit of space.  Anyway, i've seen one that I quite like the look of.  It is called NordicTrack T12.2 and ticks all my boxes.  It is compatible with iFit which seems like it could be a lot of fun.   Ill do a complete review on the treadmill and the ifit once it arrives.


Don't underestimate the power of Youtube.  There is pretty much anything you could think of on there.  There are full workouts, tips, yoga, palates and so much more.  I really like yoga with Adriene. Her voice is very calming and she has workouts for complete beginners to more advanced.

Im sure there are plenty more options available to the public shy but these are the options I plan on using.  If you can think of more than please comment below.

I am going to aim at doing a fitness post once a week telling you about what I have done and any progress I have made and like I said if you want to join me then you are more than welcome.