The Lifestyle Planner: Free Download!

lifestyle planner

Have you ever put yourself on a mission to get your life together? If so, you will know that it’s not an easy task. From the day I left home, I was adamant to live my life to the fullest. However, it was a tough learning curve. Saving money was never my strong point, nor was living a healthy life. I’m now on my way thanks to the lifestyle planner.

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The Importance of Loving your Womanhood

If you know me, you will know that I’m a fairly confident person. When it comes to my womanhood, however, I know there was a time where I embraced it much more than I do now.

In the last couple of years I have noticed that while I try to get a grip on my job, my plans for the future, and my life in general, the idea of being sensible began to cast a shadow over my womanhood. Though I have always been encouraging towards other women with what they wish to do with their lives and their bodies, I was unknowingly beginning to cover myself up.

What I want for my womanhood

I have always been surrounded by a wonderful group of friends who share the same values as me when it comes to womanhood. Your body is your own, no one can or should tell you what you can or cannot do with it, no one can decide whether your sexual actions are taboo or otherwise, and you should do whatever you like as long as you’re never intentionally hurting anyone in the process (we also have to remember that people are only human and make mistakes so it would be foolish to shame someone for hurting another unintentionally). So why do I not apply this to my own womanhood?

Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t WANT to do something sexually, there is no reason to argue otherwise, that is your personal stance on your own womanhood. If you want to wear clothes that cover you head to toe, then that’s perfectly okay. If you don’t want to talk to friends about your sex life, that’s okay too. For me, however, I’m one of those people who wish to wear more “risque” clothes and has honest conversations about what goes on in the bedroom, but sometimes I find myself being blocked by my conscience, and I find it to be a knock to my womanhood.

You can’t judge a book by its cover

Though you may have seen photos and other posts on my social media accounts that suggest I’m extremely confident with my womanhood, knowing me on a more personal level would perhaps suggest that I tend to put up a shield without intending to do so. I’ll put an outfit on that I think looks fabulous, then in an hour, I’m in a public place, worrying about the fact that I look “too slutty” or that I appear to be trying too hard.

I will say, however, that pole is something where I don’t even have to think about my womanhood. When in training, I don’t see myself as either being too sexual or too prudish, my body is simply mine and I’m working hard to be proud of it. But despite having a sanctuary where my womanhood doesn’t feel sheltered, I want to bring that out of the studio and into my everyday life.

Baby steps to rediscover my womanhood

So what changes have I chosen to make? Many of you may have heard of Katherine Elizabeth if you are based in Manchester. Though she is a dear friend of mine, she is also an incredible photographer with a knack for making anyone feel comfortable in front of the camera. As part of the plan to rediscover my womanhood, we came up with the idea of a simple photo shoot to help rebuild my confidence.

If I were to go to any other photographer, I fear we would have been there for hours trying to get the right selection of images. We had too many to choose from by the time we were done, and we were surprised that the shooting time took as little as it did. We managed to narrow down the images to a selection of around thirty. I had to ask her to surprise me with the final few as I was so overwhelmed with how happy I was with the photos!

Seeing things clearly

I don’t remember the last time I looked at a photo of myself and thought “Wow, I am hot!” It’s just not the norm to think that way, we’re supposedly not allowed to fully embrace our womanhood. We are told that we should love ourselves more, but the second we start to embrace how we look, our sexiness, our “duck faces” and “smizes”, we are suddenly vain and full of ourselves.

Since the photo shoot, I have felt more confident in my womanhood. I won’t say that I am where I aim to be just yet, but it’s a start and a big one at that. I’m taking more selfies, being more adventurous with my makeup and wardrobe choices, and caring less about what others may think.

What do you want for your womanhood?

As I said, this is journey is my own. I can’t determine what your idea of womanhood is, nor anyone else’s, but if you feel that something is missing then I encourage you to look for it. It’s not up to the rest of the world to decide what we do with our bodies or our life, so it’s important to look in the mirror from time to time and tell yourself that you are amazing, wonderful, spectacular and that no one else can determine otherwise.

However you view your womanhood, it is always going to be yours and it’s up to you to own it!

Though I have said it a so many times in these last few weeks, I am beyond grateful to Katherine Elizabeth for taking the time to do this shoot with me and put a reminder in my brain to love my womanhood for what it is and how I want to carry it with me. You may see some changes in my social media now, but I don’t think my journey to loving my womanhood is complete just yet.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to embrace your womanhood? I would love to know your thoughts.

LaceyFitspo xx

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Realistic Resolutions: Feel Good 2018

Honesty Hour: How many of you say every year that you’re going to get fit and healthy, only to look back at the end and find you’ve DEFINITELY not stuck to that plan?

It’s okay, it’s completely human and to be expected, but I don’t see why it should be routine each year. This doesn’t mean to say we shouldn’t strive for a healthier year, but I think its’s time to focus less on the weight and inches, and more on getting our spring back and feeling fab. So here’s my resolutions for the year ahead:

Have a 3:2 method

One of the reasons I would often find my regime falling off the wagon was because I would go through the motions of working out all week for about two weeks or so… and then I would give up for a month and eat even more crap. So my new plan is to do two days of extra effort exercise (for me that is zumba and pole) and then have three days of short, gentle workouts such as lightly jogging or Wii Fit.

Find more adventures

Over Christmas I have been driving around with Larry and we have passed some beautiful areas in the UK that I really want to explore, and there’s so many activities I keep seeing online that I want to take part in… So why am I not doing it!? I want to go hiking, trampolining, dancing… anything!

Prep more food

I know, I know… I love my food prep. However, with the schedule I have, I often forget and end up too tired to make anything when I get in from work (six days a week is enough to exhaust a gal). So I’ll be writing up a prep plan, which I will be sharing with you guys, and my fridge/freezer will be packed with all my favourite healthy meals!

Listen to my body more

Another problem I have come across when trying to stay fit was learning to rest and relax. I work so much, but my one day off a week is normally spent catching up on everything I haven’t done at home during the week. I’m planning on spending an hour an evening on my blogs so that my day off can be completely dedicated to myself! I’ve also booked more holidays from work so I can get a good few weeks off until the end of the work year.

Stop beating myself up over my indulgences

It’s not worth it. The chocolate was eaten. Move on and do better the next day.

I don’t want to look back on 2018 and think that I didn’t stick to anything that I knew would be good for me. I don’t want to set resolutions that feel unattainable and eventually become nothing. I want a year where I don’t worry about my weight, my body shape or anything like that.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018! What are your resolutions for the year?

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Redefining Fitspo

This has been re-uploaded from LaceyFitspo Tumblr back in March 2017.

I have always considered myself to be a “fitspo” blog, but a while back I found myself falling out of love with the word as I noticed there were a few people who considered it to be the new skinny. so I thought I would remind myself and others how the perception of fitness has changed over the past couple of years.

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t truly aware of what it meant to be healthy. I’m no expert on fitness and nutrition, but to constantly wear myself out at the gym and worry about whether I am eating right or not is not good. As many of you may already be aware, I have been trying to move away from this focus, and to instead balance a healthy lifestyle with a happy one.

A lot of online platforms are changing the game when it comes to health and fitness. PopSugar are a very encouraging website if you’re looking for health guidance, with not only mouth watering recipes that are good for you, but there’s also body positive articles which bring you down to earth and remind you that you don’t need to have the body of Miranda Kerr for your body to be beautiful. That’s something we need to see more of.

Even Cosmo are jumping on the bandwagon, and they don’t just cover exercise and body talk, they actually cover medical stories too, which some people could feel motivated by reading. I may be slightly biased, however, as the header image on the website is a girl in a sports bra eating a huge slice of pizza…

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I will admit that I don’t get the same encouragement from magazines. I have never been a big magazine reader, but now and then I give them a chance and I will feel like I have wasted my money. Why? Because I buy it based on what’s on the cover, hoping to find some handy guides, but it is mostly just advertising. I know that many magazines make their money through promoting products, but there is often so much jammed into the articles that it’s basically saying “you will never be worthy unless you waste your money on these.” So to round that bit up… Don’t turn to a magazine if you want health and fitness advice.

Social media? I will be honest here, if you want the right advice or inspiration then you need to look in the right places. I have followed various accounts on Instagram only to unfollow them later because their views aren’t as healthy as I originally thought. I stand by Blogilates religiously, but I will also recommend Grace Fit (especially for booty inspiration… not that it should be a specific goal, but it may convince you to not skip leg day). But also remember to follow smaller accounts to create social encouragement and interact with one another.

So this is my take on the great things, and a slight view on the bad things, about being fitspo! What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

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Alternative Exercise! 5 ways to keep your mind stimulated.

One of the main reasons for my blog is that I’m not a regular fitness blogger. Exercise is important, but I don’t feel like it’s something your have to focus your life around, and there is an area I feel we don’t cover enough: Our minds.

Whenever it gets colder I find myself wanting to go out less, but I need to keep my mind stimulated. So I bought myself a few things to keep myself busy during rainy days, and I feel so much better for it.

1. Sudoku or Puzzle Books

I found this little beauty in Poundland of all places! But cuteness aside I looooove Sudoku. I can get around 3/4 done in a couple of hours. There are many studies that suggest puzzles can help our brains as we get older, but personally, I feel at peace while I’m doing it as well.

2. Reading/Audiobooks

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Who doesn’t love a good book? I’m not the biggest reader, so when I buy a book I make it my mission to complete it. I’m currently working my way through The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If you’re not a big reader, however, I recommend using Audible and spend an hour or two laying down and having a listen. It’s a great way to help your mind relax before bed.

3. Art Therapy

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I’ve always been the artsy type, but I’m no longer a teenager. I don’t have as much time to be getting the easel out and whip up a painting, and sometimes I don’t have the brain power to do any decent drawings, but adult colouring really helps bring out my creative side.

4. Bullet Journals

I want to write a fuller piece on this as I am really into my new bullet journal. It keeps my mind and my life organised, and I can style it any way I wish. Not only do I feel on top of things, my creative side is brought out as I like to design each page differently.

5. Learn a new language

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I’ve spoken about Memrise before when I was on Tumblr, but it’s the best app I have come across for learning a new language when you don’t have all the time in the world. What I love the most about this app, is that it gets you THINKING in the language you wish to learn. I use it for learning Korean, but there’s a whole list of languages to choose from!

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A bonus to all these is that I save money in the long run by keeping myself distracted from going out and finding something to do. Though some days I will send myself to a local cafe, just so I’m out the house, I would still be spending half of what I normally would on a day out. What do you do to exercise your mind?

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The Importance of Rest…

And why we don’t talk about it enough.

Today (26/09/17) I was supposed to be heading out with a few of my blogger friends to a Christmas menu event. I had been looking forward to it all week, but the moment I arrived home from work and sat on my bed, I knew I wouldn’t be moving for the rest of the evening.

It’s not that I couldn’t have forced myself up and arrive in the nick of time, I’ve done this many times before, but something happened to me on Friday which made me change my perspective on my socially active lifestyle. See, I was out with friends at a showcase, and as fun as the evening was, I felt a weird pressure come over me. Within an hour of this feeling rising, I had to leave the room. I was having an anxiety attack.

Do I know what caused it? If I’m honest, I can’t be too sure, but what I am sure about is that it is somewhat linked to how busy I have been keeping myself over the past two months. I chose to work part time at a basic bistro job so I could go back to working freelance, but as I’ve been working hard on blogging, while making time for the gym, my friends, my family and my boyfriend, I have rarely had time for myself. After Friday, I decided this needs to change. I had three days off work to readjust my plans and sort out what I should prioritise, and though I did put tonight’s events on my list of what I would make time for, my hectic shift at work was enough to tell me I needed to relax again. I will admit that the lack of sleep from the night before heavily contributed to this decision.

Why is it so important to stop?

It has been said that you are much more productive at work if you take that lunch break which you are entitled to, and I think this applies to your personal life as well. How do you expect to do all the things you want without frequently stopping to take care of yourself along the way? Listen to your body when you think you may be too tired to do something. Even if you do get serious FOMO, you will benefit from it in the long run!

So, I’m going to finish watching GBBO, run myself a bubble bath, set up Netflix and completely unwind!!!

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Life Update: Back from Hiatus

 This isn’t Tumblr…

Hello Fitspo’s. I apologise for being away for so long, but there’s just been a lot going on. Some of it I will talk about and some I shall be leaving out as it’s a bit too personal for me to share, but the important thing is that I am back and ready to get back in the blogging game!

Switching domains

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I have been toying with the idea of moving over to WordPress for a while now as it’s clearly the best place for engagement with my readers and blogs which I love to read, but until recently I haven’t really understood how it works! I’ve just been on Tumblr for so long that I never thought to explore other options and learn what works best, but luckily I’m slowly getting there. I will still be using Tumblr, but only to share direct links.

Side Project: LaceySocial

As I’ve been working freelance in social media, I decided that it may be a good idea to start a new blog for bloggers to utilise social media platforms to the best of their ability. I’m only one post in, but it seems to be a success! I’ll be writing a new one up this week, but if you haven’t checked out the first one yet, I urge you to do so after reading this.

Freelance work and networking

As mentioned, I’ve been doing part time freelance work to keep my CV up to date, but as I’m doing it alongside a basic part time job, it’s taken over most of my time. I have also been heading to many events with other bloggers and have joined a little blog squad! You may have seen this on my Instagram and it’s been really fun, but it’s left very little time for me to sit with my laptop and get writing.

Northern Blog Awards

Yaaassss! I went to the Northern Blog Awards with my Blogger friends and it was a wonderful evening. I honestly felt like a princess for one night and it was probably the best opportunity I have had to get to know other bloggers and see some brilliant writers get recognition for their work. I may write a longer post about it, but I’ll leave some photos here just in case I end up not doing so.

 

MacMillan Coffee Afternoon

Finally, I am working on my first event! It’s to raise money for MacMillan,  but it’s also an opportunity for bloggers to sit down with a bit of cake and talk all things blog. I’m really excited for it and will be posting more information soon, but if you think you may be interested then leave a comment with your email address and you’ll be the first to know of all updates!

So… I think I’ve talked enough for now. I’ll be back soon on the new and improved LaceyFitspo!

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