Why I’m Not Following You On Twitter

I follow lots of lovely, like-minded people on Twitter and really love getting to know new people but you may be wondering why I don’t follow you back I hope this post clears it up. (Disclaimer: Please note that this post is meant to be a little bit of fun with some truth in it inspired by a post by Holly over at www.closingwinter.co.uk)

  1. You don’t interact with me – If you follow me then never interact with me I probably won’t follow you back. I know you can’t possibly interact with every single person you follow every day, that would be completely unreasonable. Even just a “hello, I found you through X and love that you’re in to Y” will make me far more likely to follow you back.
  2. You tweet or blog about diet products/weight loss and/or you body shame yourself through social media. Normally when a new account follows me I quickly flick through their “Media” tab to get an idea if they are into any of the things I mentioned above. I find that so difficult to deal with and if I did follow you I would probably have to mute you anyway so it’s pointless.
  3. You’re an egg – If you don’t have a profile picture (even of a pet or a flower) I’m going to assume you are a spam account.
  4. You tweet a lot about something I really don’t care about – I know that people unfollow me for this reason all the time. Not a lot of lifestyle/body positive/fitness bloggers are also huge Casualty, Holby City and Tennis fans. Obviously I accept that a lot of them don’t want their timelines filled with blow-by-blow accounts of my favourite TV shows or my favourite tennis players’ matches.
  5. I don’t like you – It’s far more likely to be one of the reasons above but we can’t like everyone, can we?!

Leave a comment below with your reasons for not following people on social media accounts also leave your twitter handle and I’ll (maybe :P) follow you. 😉
V ❤

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What To Expect… Smear Tests

Recently a friend and I were discussing smear tests. She’s a little younger than me and had never had one before and had no idea what it’s like making me realise that no one really talks about it so from my experiences here’s what to expect.

Normally your smear test will be carried out by a nurse at your GP practice/well woman clinic but I know from other people that you can request to have it carried out by a doctor. When you arrive you will normally sit down with the nurse/doctor and they will run through some lifestyle questions covering things like your periods, alcohol intake, whether or not you check your boobs for lumps etc. The nurse may also check your blood pressure and ask to check your weight and height. The last time I had a smear test I said no to the weight check, remember you can always say no and decline to answer any questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering.

Next the nurse will get you to go over to the bed in the room and draw the curtain around it. She’ll allow you time to take off your trousers/tights and your pants and get up on to the bed. There will normally be a sheet of paper towel to cover yourself up with. Once you are ready she will come back into the room. In order for you to be examined, if you are able to, you will be asked to put your feet up as close to your bum as possible keeping your feet together and flopping your knees outwards, (the same position as you would be in for a bikini wax).

Once you’re comfortable the nurse will gently insert a speculum into your vagina. This allows her to open you up enough that she can examine your cervix. It is slightly uncomfortable but it shouldn’t be painful. Most nurses/doctors are very good at helping you to relax and checking that it’s not too uncomfortable. Once you are in position a tiny little brush is used to pick up some cells from your cervix. The smear test itself won’t normally take more than 5 minutes.

After you’ve had the test, especially if it’s your first one, it’s likely that there will be a little bit of spotting afterwards. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about. Your doctor’s surgery will get the test results back after about 6 weeks but generally you don’t hear from them unless there is something wrong or if the test is inconclusive. An inconclusive test sometimes happens if you bleed during the test and they can’t get enough cells to test. It just means that you’ll need to go back and get the test done again. If your test does raise any issues you will be able to discuss this with your doctor/specialist if you are referred.

I hope you found this post useful. These “What to expect” posts will be on Fridays going forwards. If you have any questions leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer.

V<3

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Weekend

We all know how it goes, Sunday night rolls around, the weekend is suddenly over and we feel like we’ve completely wasted it. Up until very recently this was happening to me most weeks but I made some changes and now I go back to work on Monday having accomplished at least some of the things I’d set out to achieve over the weekend.

It’s key to manage your expectations with this. In the past I would set myself up to fail, unfortunately the weekend is only 2 days so it’s very unlikely that you can binge watch 3 seasons of your favourite show, read all the Sunday papers and single-handedly bring about world peace. (If only!) With that in mind I like to plan, just roughly in my head, what I’m going to do over the course of weekend factoring in all the boring adult stuff  like laundry, food shopping etc. For example today I knew I wanted to go for a walk along the beach to play PokemonGo so I took my backpack and reusable bags and extended my walk to go passed the supermarket I wanted to go to. It’s all about making the best use of your time.

The most unpopular suggestion for making the most out of your weekend is to get up earlier. I can hear your collective groans as I write this. I’m not an early riser by any stretch of the imagination and I’m not talking about being up and raring to go at 6am but I certainly try to be up before 9am on the weekends these days and that way you feel like you’ve had a full day. Getting up at 11am or later means it’s afternoon before you’re ready to do anything.

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content” springs to mind here. I certainly feel like I’ve had a more productive weekend when I start the week ready to go, lunch prepared, laundry all done, a nice clean kitchen to work in etc. I also prefer to get a lot of my chores done on a Saturday so I can have a relaxing Sunday, maybe go for a walk or workout, meet up with a friend for brunch, catch up on some TV, play with Misty (my kitty, you can read about her here) and perhaps work on my blog and schedule tweets. I also like to end the weekend on a good note. My perfect evening is a bubble bath with a good book. ❤

How do you all make the most out of your weekend? Leave a comment below.

V<3

Exciting Blog News!!

Firstly I want to thank you all for your support since I’ve started blogging. All your comments, likes and shares mean a lot.

Now for my news… I’m launching a new series on my blog – “What to expect…”. This has been inspired by people asking me advice about various topics recently so I already have the following topics planned:

  • Smear tests
  • Using listening services
  • Visiting your GP about mental ill health
  • Moving in to student halls

I need your help. What other topics would you like me to cover? Please leave a comment below or tweet/message me.

V ❤

 

How To Exercise For Enjoyment

So many people exercise because they feel that they have to in order to look a certain way and they end up sucked into boring routines, endless cardio, forcing themselves to exercise even though they are tired or not in the mood. This post is about rejecting all of that and exercising purely for enjoyment..

One of the key things, at least for me, was to stop equating exercise to calories. If you work out in the gym and the machines you use measure calories burned there is sometimes a way to turn that feature off which is the easiest way to do it. Otherwise trying to ignore it is the other option. I recently changed gyms and the only cardio machine where you can completely turn the calories display off is the rowing machine so it is taking a bit of getting used to.

Finding activities that you genuinely like is the other crucial thing. I know a lot of people who love to run and are never happier than when out frolicking through parks or whatever it is they get up to out there. For others they couldn’t imagine anything worse than the tedium of running for miles. It’s all just personal preference. The best thing is exercise is literally any activity where you are moving your body and getting your heart pumping or stretching your muscles. It doesn’t have to be a structured, daunting task.

We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves when it comes to our work outs for example thinking “I’m going to the gym and will run for x number of miles and deadlift x amount of weight”. I still struggle with setting these kind of tasks for myself when really I should go and enjoy what I’m doing and listen to my body. If you set these targets too high then it can lead to low self esteem and mood after your workout as well as detracting from your enjoyment while you’re there as you are constantly stressing about reaching this target. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t set goals for yourself but like with everything in life they should be realistic and gradual. This post is focussed on purely enjoying what you’re doing, not training for a specific event.

Fuelling our bodies properly before exercise is crucial for enjoyment of the work out as well. When I used to go to the gym after work this was something I often struggled with, if I left it too late to eat before going I’d be bloated and lethargic but if I didn’t eat before going I’d be too hungry to do anything having not eaten anything substantial since lunchtime. It’s a difficult balancing act but feeling satisfied and hydrated will definitely help you have the most fun during exercise.

If you do feel that you’re pushing yourself really hard in a gym session that was meant to be for relaxation or fun it’s worth asking yourself why. Certainly with me when I go into a gym environment it’s very easy for my mindset to shift back to where it was a couple of years ago and I start to think about pushing myself and “results” and burning off x number of calories etc. Stopping and taking a minute to snap out of that mindset can be very worthwhile to stop things spiralling.

Everyone is different and everyone’s experience of exercise will be different but for me these are some of the key things to consider when I exercise purely for fun and I hope that this may help others. If you have any other tips leave them in the comments.

V ❤

The Struggles of Having a Needy Cat

Some of you may know this already but I foster a 14 year old domestic longhaired cat called Misty and she’s incredibly needy. This isn’t just her being a demanding manipulative cat. Her long term owner died and she’s deaf so she needs constant reassurance. She wants to be able to see and touch me at all times, needless to say she’s hard work. This is of course a humorous post that I think a lot of cat owners will be able to relate to, I wouldn’t change her for the world.

This is Misty with her paw on my shoulder checking that I survived the night. IMG_20160722_203047_1(1).jpg

The biggest struggle is that you can’t do anything on your own. Whether that’s going to the toilet or having a bath, eating dinner or of course, writing blog posts.

Misty’s contribution to this post is  “111 I’~:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::YTtttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[;.7]p—————-0gffffffffff=t333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333-6jmz\ cxxxxxxxxxxc” from walking across and sitting on the keyboard. She also caused all kinds of warnings to pop up on my screen during the writing of this post as she held in function keys. I resorted to placing the laptop on the cushion next to me and typing at a weird ankle purely so that Misty can sit comfortably on my lap.

This is Misty sending a Tweet. Please excuse the messy desk, this photo was just taken in the moment and I thought it would be nice to share. 🙂 IMAG0674_1.jpg

Since getting Misty I don’t think I’ve managed to have a single  full night’s sleep. She must be very concerned for my welfare as she pokes me in the face to make sure I’m still alive every few hours during the night. She can also never decide whether she wants under the bed covers or not so I lie there like an idiot, getting cold, while she pops her head in and out trying to decide. We’re currently trialing Misty not getting in my room through the night and it’s going ok but when she howls in the night sometimes I’m weak and go and get her.

Because Misty is deaf she’s even more vocal than a normal cat and she miaows in my face a lot of the time. It’s cute when we are just chilling and having a cuddle, less so in the middle of the night. Her favourite toys are also the ones that make the most noise. She has hard plastic balls with bells in them that she batters off the skirting boards at all hours. My neighbours must love me.

Being a natural worrier, having a cat has turned me into paranoid new mum type. Every time Misty sneezes, coughs, has a hiccup, hasn’t pooed for a day, I’m convinced that she’s deathly ill. She is old and has some health issues but on the whole she’s fine and I’m worrying irrationally. As I type this she’s shaking and having a little involuntary kick of her back legs. The shaking I’m used to, the back leg thing I’ve never noticed before but she seems calm about it so it’s probably fine. Needless to say I’m worried.

The fact my cat loves me too much is a massive problem in my life. I’m only fostering Misty so she’s not officially mine. The reason I haven’t adopted her is because of her health problems. I’m worried that if she got sick I wouldn’t be able to pay for her medicine etc but obviously I want to keep her. It scares me just how much she loves me though in case I have to move or something and can’t take her with me. My friends always laugh as each day after the cat has kept me awake a lot of the night I ask them “how do you make your cat love you less”. Misty is the epitome of the “needy cat”.

Do any of you have needy pets? Leave your experiences in the comments below. Also if you have any tips for separation at night time I’d be very grateful. We are going to be trying a calming plug in when it arrives.

V ❤

Life (& Physio) Update

This post follows the thread of a few of my recent ones. It’s not filled with rainbows, sunshine and smiles so sorry if that’s what you’re looking for today. In all honesty I’m feeling a little bit crap.

You will all have gathered that recently I was ill, plus I had a bad fall a few weeks ago as a result of my hypermobility and I really hurt myself. Having pretty much recovered  (or so I thought) I did my first gym session in a while on Saturday morning (a week ago at time of this post going up) and it’s really upset my joints. I rowed 5000m for the first time in a long time, if ever, thinking it would be fine because it’s low impact. Unfortunately I was wrong. The full range of motion really hurt my already injured right knee and the repetitive motion aggravated my left shoulder (which constantly subluxes). As I write this my shoulder and arm are aching while simultaneously feeling numb. My prescribed physio exercises are making my shoulder feel worse so needless to say I’m getting pretty down about the whole thing.

I honestly believe that had I been doing this rowing before I started at physio, my shoulder wouldn’t have been this painful. One of the goals of my physio (decided on by the therapist) is for me to become more aware of how certain parts of my body work, namely little muscles that control joints and bigger muscles. I feel that my lack of awareness of these parts has almost been a coping mechanism for me and now that I pay more attention to what my joints are doing it’s hard to switch off from little niggles that then become bigger niggles. Fingers crossed it’s a getting worse before it gets better scenario.

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to slowly build up my walking again. After my fall I was trying to rest as possible but I’m slowly getting back to using my fitbit and aiming for an easier 10k step goal as opposed to my usual 15k where I’d always really be aiming to get to the high teens or low twenties. After walking I’m still getting a fair bit of pain in my right knee especially when it’s bent in a sitting position or at night in bed so I’m trying not to do too much no matter that it’s tempting when I’m moving around pain free.  Deep down I know the fact that I’m taking things really slow and not pushing myself is such a positive thing. It shows how far I’ve come that I’m accepting my body’s limitations and not pushing it to do more than it can do in order to look a certain way or to present a particular lifestyle to the world. However that doesn’t stop me feeling like a blob.

  • I know there is nothing wrong with my body and whether or not I’ve put on weight while I’ve been injured is not an issue. Unfortunately at the moment my brain seems to hear less of the rational thoughts and more of the “blob” thoughts. The good news, however, is that as I’m writing I’m munching on some of childhood favourite sweets, strawberry vampire fangs” and wearing one of my favourite crop tops that I wore outside today!! I’m definitely not letting the negative body image thoughts take over.