Saturday, 28 May 2011

C25K - The Beginning.

Hello readers, and welcome to my 100th post on A Little Less Of Lauren!! You're excited, I can tell.

In all seriousness though, I am on here to update you because today I started the Couch To 5k program, known from here on in as C25K. For those of you who aren't familiar with this program its running for beginners, and basically claims that it can have pretty much anyone running 5k within 9 weeks - or thereabouts. If you want to check out the program in more detail, you can do so here. I started today on Week 1, Day 1 (funnily enough) and man it was hard. I don't care what anyone says, running outside is a lot harder than running in the gym. When I run in the gym I can do probably four or five minutes straight (yes, I know this doesn't sound like a lot. Lets please bear in mind that not a year and a half ago I couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs. Baby steps.), but today I struggled with the minute intervals. I think it was to do with the way the time is structured - 60 seconds running, 90 seconds power-walking, and repeat. I've run outside before but I kind of ran for as long as I could, and then walked until I had my breath back. This time I had to start running again even if I wasn't quite prepared! I did it though. My legs aren't thanking me now, but I did it.

I was also breaking in my new 'proper running trainers' today as well. Why do they have to be so ugly? Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a nice pair of trainers. They're so clumpy and chunky-looking. And they've given me some mean blisters on the back of my heels, even from just 25 minutes in them. Its just because they're new (I hope), and once I've worn them a few times they'll be ok.

C25K recommends running three times a week while you're going through the program, and giving yourself days between to rest and recover. I've decided that this week I'm going Tuesday and Thursday - I can go after work on Tuesday and during the day on Thursday as I'm off. Hopefully, depending on how it goes this week, I can start Week 2 over next weekend, and soon I'll look like this:


Instead of like this:


In other news, I've managed to stick to low-carbs, high protein for the last couple of days - or as much as is possible. I went out for lunch with my dad yesterday, and as we went to Prezzo (yummy Italian food!) of course some bread did sneak in. I went for a salad instead of a pizza or pasta though, which I was proud of. And I passed on dessert in favour of black coffee with sweetener! Even though I really really wanted the chocolate fudge cake, I didn't surrender. Chocolate is the enemy, my body is a temple, and all that jazz.

Also, inspiration has struck in the form of Krystle over at Skinny Jeans Dreams, who has made the cutest 'I Know I Can' (if any of you have yet to check out her blog, I suggest you do so pronto, because she's fabulous). I'm nowhere near as artistic as Krystle is, so I'm settling for posting my NSVs and all the other little things that remind me that I can on here instead!! 

  • I can buy clothes from normal shops again.
  • I weigh less now than I have since I was in Sixth Form.
  • I no longer use food as a comfort or because I'm bored.
  • I can exercise around without getting out of breath.
  • I no longer hate the way I look - granted, I don't particularly like it, but I'm starting to notice things about my body that I never saw before. I'm not just 'fat' anymore, I have actual features.
So those are my 'I know I can's! Just a few little things that have changed over the last few months that I never thought would change. What are the things that keep you motivated to carry on with what you're doing - whether it be weight loss or starting up your own business, or anything else for that matter?

Right my lovelies, thats your lot from me tonight! Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

Love to you all!
Lauren xxx

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Paint Your Love: Exercise Your Body, Exercise Your Will.

This weeks PYL from the beautiful Moorea could not have come at a better time for me. 
(Very clearly, these aren't my nails!)

After a horrible and totally unjustified gain at my meeting yesterday, I've been thinking of ways to speed up my weight loss and make sure I don't see another gain this week. Like I said in my post yesterday, I desperately need to step up the exercise. Before my Easter holidays I had a really good routine going with the gym and I found myself enjoying it as well, something that I never thought would happen. After the holidays my gym routine went out of the window, which is annoying because I had no lectures and therefore no reason not to go. On the other hand I managed to stay on track throughout the exam period which is unheard of for me - usually as soon as essays are due or exams are looming I go completely off the rails and exist on a diet of nachos and cheese on toast for two weeks. Anyway, I digress.

This weeks PYL is all about exercise and its benefits to your body and mind. You can read more about it in Moorea's own words here. She talks about how exercise is a great way to keep healthy and happy and to challenge yourself. Obviously there are the obvious benefits to exercise like calroie burning and toning up, but then there are all the lovely endorphins it releases and how well you sleep after. I always find it makes my skin clearer as well, which is never a bad thing as like most other people my age I suffer from the dreaded spots, particularly around a certain time of the month!

Moorea's main point in her PYL post this week was how exercise is a great way to challenge yourself and push yourself further - something I'm definitely guilty of avoiding at all costs. I do not like to be challenged. I certainly don't like challenging myself. I stay in my own comfort zone at all times, at all costs. Part of it is due to my being lazy, but mostly it comes down to how much I hate to fail at anything. One example of this that springs to mind is my English GCSE (for those of you out there who don't know what these are, they're the exams that British schoolchildren sit at age 15/16 in year 11 - or 11th Grade). I had finished all my coursework with a solid grade B, and my teacher wanted me to redraft some of it to push my grade up to an A. To my mind, that was futile because a) it was a lot of effort, and b) it was well out of my comfort zone. What if I redid the work and didn't get the grade anyway? Not worth the risk. (I should point out that I ended up with an A* in my English GCSE - I'm not a Lit Student on a whim, its literally the only thing I've ever been good at!) I'm much the same way when it comes to exercise. I won't go to classes or run in public. I won't go to the gym with other people. All of these are things that I see as challenges, because I know each of them will push me to work harder than I would otherwise, and thats something that scares me. I'm too lazy and scared of failing to want to push myself outside of where I'm comfortable. 

Hopefully these are both habits that I can break out of over the next few weeks, with some inspiration from Moorea's words and my own will-power. I plan to start C25K which will involve running in public, and my mum will be joining me after she's fully recovered from her op so I'll have a running buddy as well, something else that I would normally avoid like the plague. Hopefully these small steps will go some way towards eventually taking bigger steps, like going to an actual exercise class instead of going it alone in the gym.

As well as stepping up the exercise over the next few weeks, I've also decided to really cut down on carbs. I eat far too much pasta and bread-type-stuff so I'm going to try to focus primarily on protein and vegetables with small portions of carbs with my dinners. I normally rely on carbs a lot for energy and to fill me up so it'll be interesting to see how I cope without them during the day. I'll keep you posted!!

How is everyone doing?? Good luck to everyone at their weigh-ins this week!

Lots of love
Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Bleurgh.

I am SO not happy.

Just got home from weigh-in and I've gained 2.5lb. GAINED. Where is the justice?!

When I got on the scales and saw a gain I was ok...but the more I think about it the more annoyed I'm getting. I've been within my points all week, and have been doing a lot of walking to, from and around work. Its not like I've been sat on my arse eating chocolate - although I wish I had. At least then it would have been worth the gain!

I'm putting it down to a number of things - firstly, I normally weigh in the mornings. Believe it or not, this makes all the difference, especially as I had quite a heavy lunch today and drank a lot of water. Secondly, I'm due on, which makes me bloated and disgusting and certainly doesn't like the scales. And thirdly, I'm weighing on different scales from my usual ones so there may be a discrepancy there - especially since my scales say I'm 3lb lighter than the ones at the meeting! Like I've said before, my scales are normally accurate to within 1lb of the scales at my meeting at Canterbury, so I can't see how they'd be so drastically wrong today. Urgh who knows! Like I said, the more I think about it the more annoyed I'm getting! So from now on its behind me, its done, moving on and hopefully the scales will be kinder next week!

In another Weight Watchers-related point, I've decided to set some goals for myself every week, in the hope that I can make sure this summer isn't a total waste of time. So this week, my goal is....

  • More exercise! I'm going shopping with mum tomorrow and I'm going to invest in some proper running trainers and some new gym stuff. I'm thinking that I'm going to start running after work in the park opposite the train station, on the condition I can sort out some wee technicalities such as getting changed and storing my bags! I'm also going to crack out my 30 Day Shred DVD and start going on the Wii Fit every day as well - when my stepdad finally brings it over that is! Hopefully if I can get some form of exercise in every day I'll reap the benefits when I get weighed this time next week!

As well as weigh-in news, I also wanted to show off some of my newest purchases. I got a bit trigger happy with the debit card in New Look on Monday, although after getting the stuff home and trying it on I've decided that most of it is going back. What I am keeping though, are these two tops:



These photos aren't great as I'm too lazy to search for my camera so I had to take them on my phone. They're particularly rubbish at showing the colour of the tops - the first one is a really bright hot pink and the second is kind of an orangey-coral type colour. I love the first one, but I'm still not 100% decided on the second - what do we think??

Gotta run now my loves, I'm off to watch Insidious with mum and the baby bro!

Love to you all
Lauren xxx

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Damn You Blogger.

Ok, so this post was going to be me showing off some of my most recently purchased summer clothes...instead I'm having a right nightmare getting into my blogger account!! Anyone else having similar problems this evening?? I finally managed to get onto it using my brothers computer. He has a tiny little netbook thing and I'm really struggling on the keyboard, my arms are all cramped together because its so teeny! Needless to say that you lovelies won't be getting a proper post on here tonight, so just consider this as me checking in to say hi! Its WI tomorrow evening and fingers crossed I will have sorted out blogger by then and will be able to give you all a proper update including some pictures!

Hope everyone is well and that the week is treating you kindly so far!

Lots of love
Lauren xxx

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Just Call Me Super Lauren.

Hi guys!!


Ok, so, I'm HOOOOMEEE. Safe and sound, back in the land of white stilletos and people who say 'Shu'uuuuup'. I was greeted when I got home with a rather spectacular roast dinner a la Mummy Jones and a glass of red, which went down a treat. And I'm not ashamed to tell you that I just tucked into some raspberry brulee cheesecake and chocolate gateau for dessert as well - a slither of each, that has been tracked and pointed. Excuse me while I polish my halo.

I have to admit that I'm amazed by the extent of my organisation today. As we are all aware, I am the Queen Bee of procrastination, and yet I've managed to unpack and put away all the stuff I brought back with me - which is an achievement in itself because my room at home is about the third of the size of my room at uni and contains the same amount of stuff. I've also made and packed tomorrows lunch (biggest salad you've ever seen) AND ironed my clothes for tomorrow, both normal clothes and my uniform. I swear, I don't even know myself anymore. Why can't I be this motivated when I've got an essay to write?!

I will admit to getting a little distracted this afternoon when I found a stack of old Weight Watchers magazines under my bed. One of the 'success stories' was a girl who lost her weight as a student. She said one of the things she did to keep herself motivated was 'lbs for paperclips' - for every lb she lost, she added another paperclip to the chain. Naturally, I had to do it as well. Have any of you ever made a chain out of 54 paperclips?? Its long. Longer than I thought it was going to be. I'm not entirely sure that its what I'd call motivating, but it was certainly one way to kill five minutes of unpacking-induced boredom.

The other thing I discovered upon my homecoming is that my 'little' brother is now taller than me. He's not even fifteen yet! He must be pushing 6ft now, and his voice has broken. It's so weird! And it makes me feel ridiculously old - I remember the day he was born and the first time I held him (he screamed the place down and everyone said I'd pinched him) and how he's taller than me! I can't even threaten him with violence anymore when he annoys me!

I'm going to love you and leave you now - I was just checking in :) Enjoy whats rest of Sunday evening and I hope everyone has a lovely day tomorrow! I've just set my 6.30am alarm for work...its not going to be pretty!

Love
Lauren xxx

Pack Up Your Troubles.

Hi guys!

I apologise if this post gets a bit long, I was planning to include some of the stuff on yesterdays post but I was so tired that I didn't get round to it!

Ok, so like I said....I finished second year!!! I sat my final exam yesterday morning. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't as terrible as the one I had on Wednesday which was diabolical. After I'd done the exam I had a wander into town and made some...ahem...'investments'.



That's right, I got more Barry M nail paints. The colours shown here are Bright Pink and Instant Nail Effects in White. Together, they look like this:


It kinda reminds me of stawberry milkshake...or is that just me? The girls all said it was cute, the boys said it looked like I'd been messing around with a tin of emulsion. But since when have men known what they're talking about!?

I also got some yummy bodyshop shower-gels that were on offer, so over the next few weeks I will be smelling of either coconut, strawberry, grapefruit or tangerine. Which has the potential to be quite dangerous as I'll be using public transport every day...hope no mad people on the tube try to eat me. As well as that I got some new mascara and some St. Tropez (which I'm currently slathered in, resulting in me looking like some sort of deranged Oompa Loompa). By far my favourite purchases were the underwear! I mentioned a few weeks ago in one of my posts that I was having some 'bra issues'. To tell a long story short, the girls have shrunk and I was in desperate need of some new bras. And if you're getting the bra, well then its just rude if you don't get the matching pants! Both these sets were from good old M&S - they're so cute!! And comfy! I'm a definite fan.

As well as unlimited shopping time, the end of exams also means that I'm so much less wound-up, which in turn resulted in me getting the best nights sleep ever last night. I swear I must have lapsed into a coma. I woke up around half seven this morning just in time to message all the people who had exams this morning (World Best Friend, I shit you not) before I fell back to sleep for another five hours. It was 1pm before I dragged my sorry carcass out of bed and headed straight out for a pub lunch with the boys - its a tough old life, isn't it? We went to a lovely pub just outside Canterbury, and I made a very Weight-Watchers friendly choice - haddock and salmon fishcakes with salad (we won't talk about the two Magners I had with lunch). We headed home via McDonalds because the boys wanted a McFlurry. Shockingly, I didn't. It wasn't even like I wanted one and wasn't getting one because of Weight Watchers - I genuinely was full from lunch and didn't want one. A year ago I would have got one and eaten it anyway, even if I was full. That, my friends, is progress.

Sadly this evening has not been quite so leisurely...I've been packing!! 

From this:



To this:


How in the hell did I accumulate so much junk? The only good thing about packing up my entire room has been finding all the clothes at the back of my wardrobe that now either fit or are very close to fitting. Yay!

While I was packing I also felt compelled to snap a picture of myself:


You'll have to excuse my happy face, and the mess in the background - I was just baffled as to where that waist came from?? I actually look like a girl now, instead of a beach-ball with arms and legs. Just in time for summer! Very excited.

I'm off now, for another nice long sleep before heading back home tomorrow. The next time you hear from me, I'll be safely back in Essex!

Love you all!
Lauren xxx

P.S - In the spirit of packing up....


Perfect. Summer. Tune. Enjoy!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Second Year: Done.

Thats right folks, second year is finally complete. And what have I learnt?


megavideo is the enemy of productivity; cheese on toast is acceptable at any/all meal times; Thursday morning lectures after Wednesday nights at the Venue are never pretty; Moby Dick is NOT a 'classic'; takeaways, new clothes and nights out are a perfectly acceptable use of ones student loan; housework is the best means of procrastination20 is far too young to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life; if you're not up until 4am on deadline day finishing an essay then you're not working hard enough; impromptu nights out are always better than planned ones; international drinking rules and pub golf will inevitably result in you losing your phone/purse/keys/dignity - or all of the above; first impressions count for nothing; engaging your lecturer in a discussion as to why the Labour party are shit is a sure-fire way to make her dislike you for the rest of the term; drunkenly jumping in front of your friends camera on a night out will come back to haunt you when you check facebook the next day; Canterbury definitely needs a Primark; anyone who tells you that you can't write an essay the day before its due and get a 1st is lying;  you're never too old to go running home to mummy; and just because something didn't go to plan, that doesn't mean that it didn't work out for the best.

And what did I learn about literature, I hear you cry? Sylvia Plath was a lunatic, Ralph Ellison had a chip on his shoulder, and Shakespeare was definitely on something.

£3,290 well spent if you ask me.

Love to you all!!!
Lauren xxx

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Exam Update, *Unofficial* Weigh-In and Paint Your Love.

Yes folks, its that time of week again! I know that I only weighed in on Sunday, hence this being an unofficial weigh-in. I just like to keep track of everything regularly and I've got used to weighing-in on Wednesdays so I hopped on my scales this morning when I got up, and they showed....

-1.5lb

Granted I don't know how accurate they are in relation to the scales at the Weight Watchers meeting. They're normally within 1lb either way so regardless of whether they're 100% accurate or not I'm still taking it as a loss and encouragement to carry on. If they are accurate it means I'm dead-on 4st off which would be awesome! I'm not counting my eggs before they've hatched though...or before they're laid...or chickens...or something. You know what I'm getting at! I'll wait for my official weigh-in this time next week before I change my stats.

After I'd weighed this morning I toddled off to my exam....three down, one more to go! The one this morning wasn't pleasant at all...well none of them have been pleasant, they're exams, they're supposed to be torturous - but this one was particularly nasty. Whatever though, its done, and I only needed about 15% to pass the module which I'm pretty sure I got. If I didn't then I'm even more dense than I give myself credit for...

Anyway, post-exam...I should have come home and immediately started revising for the fourth and final exam on Friday morning. Needless to say, I didn't. I decided that a few hours to chill out and wind-down before going back to the Shakespeare were more than well deserved, cue an afternoon lounging in my room, watching Castle and reading Cosmo. Particularly interesting in 'Cosmostrology' (aka horoscopes) this month was this little tit-bit...

'Virgos stand a good chance of a hit blog or book by 2012.' 

Guess who's a Virgo baby!? (Hint: ME!) Needless to say as soon as I'd read that I immediately messaged everyone I know who reads this blog to tell them about it...yes, I know its a horoscope and those things are pulled out of a hat in the office the day before the mags go to press...but its still cool!!

While I was doing aforementioned lounging I got down to some Paint Your Love action -


This picture doesn't show the colour very well, but they're a lovely sparkly deep blue - another Barry M colour, of course. Blue is chilled, so hopefully having it on my hands this week will remind me to take a deep breath and re-laaax, as apparently I've been a little bit stressed out of late - or so I'm told. (I actually cried yesterday. Genuine tears. And I never cry!) And failing that its sure to provide something entertaining for me to pick at during my exam on Friday when I'm too stressed to function any longer. Silver lining and all that.

I'm also already a little bit addicted to this guy...


Weight Watchers ProPoints pedometer!! I had one of the old-school ones but stopped using it when the new ProPoints stuff came in. I'd forgotten how much having it on motivates you to get up and move around, it definitely does the job! I don't think I'll be using the exercise points I earn - I struggle to use my weekly points most of the time - but its nice to know how much I've done in a day and that they're there should I need them! It was definitely an investment!

And finally, before I love you and leave you all - ADVICE PLEASE. As I've mentioned I'm going back to work full-time on Monday and will be taking food with me as a) KFC is the devil, and b) spending all my wages on ridiculous London food prices offends me. But I need lunch ideas! I don't want to be stuck in a bagel-pitta-sandwich rut for three months, so if any of you have any yummy (and WW friendly - obviously) suggestions then send them my way! I'm on the ProPoints plan, or PlusPoints/PointsPlus as our lovely friends in the states call them, but if you don't know the points for something it won't be hard for me to figure it out! I should probably let you know as well that we have an oven/grill, toaster, microwave and kettle at work so feel free to suggest things that need warming up! Looking forward to reading your ideas :)

Big smooch to you all!
Love,
Lauren xxx

Monday, 16 May 2011

Amazing News!!

Ok, ok, so I've got a little bit blog-crazy over the past few days, but I had to come on here to share some amazing news with you all!!


I'm back in my old jeans!!!

They fit. They actually fit. Not only do they fit, they're comfortable and they look good. I haven't been able to get them over my thighs for almost two years and now they fit and I can wear them again. To be honest I don't think I'm ever going to take them off. I may sleep in them.

So yeah...that's my amazing news for the day. It doesn't matter that I'm going to fail my exam on Wednesday or that I'm so stressed that I may have actually lost all my hair by the weekend...doesn't matter. Because I'm back in my old jeans!!!!

And because I know that I'm back in my old jeans its totally put me off eating the chocolate bar thats sitting on my bedside table. Double whammy!!! Its so motivating!

What motivates you guys? Have any of you got a particular item of clothing that you want to get back into?

I'm going to go now, before my brain spontaneously combusts from all the excitement!!

Love to you all!!!
Lauren xxx

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Weigh-In

Two posts in one day, aren't you lucky!! Or extremely unfortunate. Depending on how you look at it.

I've just popped on to update as I had an impromptu weigh-in this evening. I was flicking back through my old tracker and realised that I haven't tracked at all in over a week - I hadn't realised I'd been that bad. Knowing how easy it is for me to slip back into the dangerous world of 'just one more glass of wine', and after being told off by no less than three people for 'sabotaging myself', I decided I'd better nip it in the bud sharpish. So I went to weigh-in at the meeting in Chartham this evening thats run by my very first Leader Angela. It was lovely to see her and a few of the old faces from when I started last year, not least because of all the compliments! Last time they saw me I was almost 2st heavier than I am now, so they were all saying how much I'd lost and how good I looked. Love them! If I get anymore compliments this week I may not be able to get through a doorway without bruising my ego.

Anyway, back to the important news...

-1lb

I know it doesn't sound like much but lets bear in mind that this is after ten days of not tracking. Ten days that included Two For Tuesday from Dominos, a kebab (lamb shish though, so its not like it counts...ahem), a chinese takeaway and a bottle of wine, a trip to McDonalds, a trip to the Harvester and five or six pints of Magners on Wednesday night. Oh and share-size bar of Dairy Milk. And a packet of chocolate Hobnobs. And doritos...I'm going to stop typing now. So, yes, all things considered I'd say losing 1lb is quite an achievement. It also means that I'm only 1.5lb shy of having lost 4st, which hopefully I can drop before I next weigh-in (officially) on Wednesday 25th May in Billericaaaay! Exciting stuff!!

I'm off to read me some Shakespeare now - love to you all!!
Lauren xxx

ABC's

Ok firstly, I'm here to declare my intent. I'm back to eating proper meals and tracking as of NOW. I got told off this weekend for 'eating Chinese and drinking a bottle of wine', and my justification was 'it's ok because it's the first thing I've eaten all day.' Thats not normal! I've been so wrapped up in the stress of revision and everything else going on that I've slipped back into the bad habits I used to have - no breakfast or lunch and then calorie overload in the evening. Coupled with the fact that I've not been exercising anywhere near as much as I should...you can figure it out. It won't take long for the weight to come back on.

I have five days until exams are over, and eight days until I go back to work in London for three and a half months. Its always so much harder at work because not only am I surrounded by temptation all day (the staffroom is in spitting distance of Eat., Subway and KFC, as well as masses of other restaurants and cafes and ice cream stands) but also because the days are so much longer when I'm there. I'm up at 6am and don't get home in the evenings until almost 7pm - for those of you who aren't so hot on the maths, thats a 13 hour day. Normally when I'm at uni I get up around 9 or 10am. When I'm up at 6am thats an extra four hours eating time that I have to fill without using my entire days points. I'm hoping that weighing in regularly over the summer will motivate me to a certain extent to stay away from the fast food, but the rest is down to me. Thats normally where the problem lies.

So, a few motivators to keep me away from the biscuit tin over the coming months...

1. My Birthday!!!! I'm going to be 21 four months from today - 15th September 2011. Or doomsday, as I like to call it - 21 just seems so grown-up, and honestly I'm not entirely sure how it happened. It was my 16th birthday yesterday...wasn't it??? So why will this motivate me? Well I've been fat on every single birthday I can remember - especially my 19th and 20th. And I know that there's no way I'm going to be at my goal weight by then, but I'd like to be at least 21lbs lighter than I am now, which I don't think is unreasonable.

2. New Housies. Yeah alright, so this one is sheer pettiness, but I'm living with four guys next year and I'd like to weigh less than at least one of them!! Also, they don't think I can do it, so naturally the stubborn brat in me is ready to live on 400 calories a day purely for the sake of proving them wrong! Nothing tastes as good as being thin right feels!

3. New York. For my 21st and Mummy Jones's 40th - I'm so excited! And I do not want fat holiday photos. I refuse.

4. Graduation. I'm thinking well in advance here - like June 2012. But I need to be at my goal weight by then, not just because I want a graduation picture I can be proud of, but because I will be starting the hunt for a proper grown-up job and I don't want to be walking into interviews feeling like a beached whale!!

Someone found one of my holiday snaps! ;)

So those are my motivating factors, some of the many things I will keep in mind over the summer when I'm struggling. And as I always try to 'fess up when I've stuffed my face, please feel free to point me in the direction of this post if I come on here and tell you that I've eaten my body weight in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!!

Now, onto other business....

I saw this on my friend Rosie's blog (I'm an out-and-out blog stalker, what can I say?) and I thought it would be fun to do! So here goes!

A. Age: 20
B. Bed size: Double.
C. Chore that you hate: emptying the dishwasher.
D. Dogs: Love them...my dog Nancy is my baby!
E. Essential start to your day: snoozing the alarm six times.
F. Favorite color: Purple.
G. Gold or Silver: That would depend on the outfit!
H. Height: 5'11
I. Instruments you play: I can play the Eastenders theme tune on the keyboard, but thats about it!
J. Job title: Student.
K. Kids: none yet - but I want lots!
L. Live: Canterbury, UK.
M. Mother's name: Sheryl Dawn Jones.
N. Nicknames: Jonesy, Lolly, Lopsy, LoJo, Joneslarrr, Loppy...plus many many more.
O. Overnight hospital stays: none!
P. Pet peeve: people writing "your" instead of "you're", people who don't like animals...although thats less of a pet peeve and more of a general disdain.
Q. Quote from a movie:  'I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.' Harry Burns - When Harry Met Sally.


R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: A fifteen year old brother.
T. Time you wake up: normally before 10am.
U. Underwear: frenchies all the way!
V. Vegetable you hate: None...I love all veggies.
W. What makes you run late: my inability to wake up in the morning!
X. X-Rays you've had: ankle, foot, shoulder.
Y. Yummy food that you make: curry, chilli con carne, roast dinners, muffins, cakes...nomnomnom.
Z. Zoo animal: Lions and Tigers!!! Rawwwrrrrrr.

Wow, that took longer than I thought it would!! Must...go...revise...urgh. 

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!!


I won't be fat for much longer...

Love
Lauren xxx

Saturday, 14 May 2011

A Letter To Anybody.

I’ve been feeling really rubbish today, and people keep asking me ‘why?’ I don’t know how to explain to them that I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m in a bad mood, or why I’ve got no energy, or why everything just seems so much worse than it did yesterday. I tell them I’m having a bad day, and they ask me ‘what happened?’, or ‘what’s wrong?’ I don’t know how to tell them that nothing happened. I don’t know how to tell them that the only thing wrong is me. They think I’m being over-dramatic and that I’m whinging for attention. Sometimes I feel like being sarcastic and telling them that I’m brain-damaged...because I am. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain, so that must mean I’m brain-damaged? Maybe it’s just me that’s damaged...I wouldn’t rule it out.

I don’t tell them that though, as much as I’d like to sometimes. I lie to them instead. I tell them I’m hormonal, or that I’m just tired. ‘I’m bored’ or ‘I’m stressed’ always work as well. They give me advice then, on how to make myself feel better. Have a bath, go for a walk, take a nap, watch a film, read a book, have a cup of tea. All these things that they think will fix me...they won’t. They don’t understand what the world looks like on days like today, they don’t understand how I feel. Everything is grey, and food has no taste. I can’t escape into a book or film...the come-down is too hard. I can’t get warm, my hands feel numb, and everything and everyone seems so very far away. There’s nobody here beside me to hold my hand and tell me it’s ok. There’s nobody there to pull me back from the precipice that I’m standing on. Where is everyone?

It’s my job to be strong – that’s always been who I am. Dependable. Reliable. I’m here for everyone else. I’m a daughter and a sister and a granddaughter and a niece and a cousin and an employee. Most importantly I’m a friend. I’m there for all of them...I love being there for all of them. They’re just not there for me. It’s not their fault though, I don’t blame them. People don’t know how to be there for me. I don’t know how to let them be there for me either. If I tell them how I feel it means I’ve failed. If I tell them about these cold, grey, lonely days then they’ll see how weak I am. It’s my job to be strong and to be there for them. I help them deal with their problems, the big ones and the little ones. Which dress to wear, which shirt to buy, what reply to text back, which job to take, what books to revise, what diet to choose. How to act and who to be. All these problems I help solve. All these people I help shape, all these people that help shape me. For every problem I solve I get further from solving my own. For every outfit I choose and text I help compose my role is more cemented. I’m trapped in concrete casing made of all the people I’ve helped. It just keeps getting harder to admit that I need help as well.

Even if I wasn’t so trapped...there’s nothing I could say. ‘I’m feeling really down today. There’s no particular reason. I don’t have any problems. But I need your help all the same.’ It just sounds so ridiculous, they’ll think I’m making it up. I know I’ve got no reason to be depressed. I know how lucky I am. But that doesn’t stop this creeping feeling I’ve got all over my skin. Its like a thousand hands are grabbing me. They’re trying to pull me back down to that pit. How can I voice that to anyone? They’ll think I’m going mad. Maybe I am. Maybe I always was.

These are the days that scare me most, the ones that come from nowhere. I was happy yesterday, I was content. I felt safe and secure. I felt loved. Today I’m all alone and I don’t know what changed. I feel like I’m being punished for being happy before. If I never do anything to be happy again then I never have to have one of these days. But I’m not willing to sacrifice the highs in order to escape the lows. So for now I’ll battle on. I’ll be the person they need me to be, even when the days are cold and grey. I just wish I didn’t have to battle on my own. I wish there was somebody there to help.

Where is everybody?

Friday, 13 May 2011

Paint Your Love: The Comfort Edition.

I was supposed to post this yesterday - however Blogspot was out of action for reasons best known to itself, so you're getting it now instead :) sorry!!!

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First of all - an apology for going MIA this past week. I hadn't even really registered that I hadn't posted all week until my friend Adam, who I have re-christened as my Blog Groupie, informed me that 'seven days is taking the piss slightly' (direct quote). So here I am! I'm still alive!!

Probably the most obvious reason I haven't posted for a few days is the dreaded exams...


I'm now halfway through mine - one on Tuesday morning and one on Wednesday morning. The first one was ok-ish...the second was diabolical. Seriously...Shakespeare is spinning in his grave, in was that bad. Fortunately I'm one of those people who can walk out of an exam and never think about it again. I'm the same way with an essay...as much as I stress about it in the build-up or while I'm doing it, once it's in that's that. What's the point in obsessing over something I can't change? Plus, it was Shakespeare. It was always going to be shit.

As well as exams I've also been stressing over my mum. She had her operation on Tuesday for gallstones, and it wasn't until the back end of the weekend that I was actually more worried about it than I'd let myself think I was. I had this horrendous feeling that someone was going to come into my exam to tell me she'd died on the table or something. Obviously I didn't voice all these thoughts to her, but I think she figured it out from my obsessive calling/texting, both before the operation and since she's been home as well. And despite me thinking I was hiding it all quite well, I think a few of my friends cottoned on as well. The words 'chill out, you lunatic, its gallstones' were used more than once. Thankfully she's fine and dandy and is now home in Essex with baby bro, dosed up on pain meds and enjoying being waited on hand and foot. Lucky devil.

As well as neglecting you all for a week, I must also inform you that I haven't been weighed yet either! My Weight Watchers meeting clashed with my exam on Wednesday. Inconsiderate university. I'm hoping I can sort out a lift to the meeting tomorrow evening as its not walking distance, and if not I'll have to wait until I get home next weekend. Seems a long time, especially as I've fallen off the wagon this week as well! I've weighed myself on my scales at home so I know there hasn't been any real damage as such, but I need to get my head back in the game before I end up gaining half a stone in a fortnight.

I'm also a bit of a disappointment on the Paint Your Love front this week as well....I haven't got any pictures! I sat and painted them this evening, after my lovely outing with my future housemates. But, I can't find my camera. Chances are its under my bed or behind the sofa or in my underwear drawer or somewhere equally bizarre. I went for a gold polish this week, and I got a bit arty by using some cute little flower and diamonte transfers as well. I picked them up from Claire's Accessories today while I was out (and then promptly hid them in my bag so the boys wouldn't see them and start up with the blog jokes...I think they're just bitter because I don't mention them enough). Anyway, my nails look awesome, and I will endeavour not to chew them off this week. I was doing so well on the whole not-biting them thing, until the exams rolled around and then I'd knawed most of them off in record time!

Anyway, just because I haven't got a picture for you this week, doesn't mean I'm not joining in! I said last week that I would be following in Moorea's footsteps (and Rosie's, and lots of other people too) and talking about comfort

Everybody has things that they turn to in times of worry or stress or upset that make them feel safe and comfortable - whether it be a childhood snack, a book, or saying a prayer. One of the most difficult things about losing weight for me has been finding a new way to comfort myself. Before Weight Watchers I depended on food to make myself feel better when I was down. I was self-medicating for depression with food and alcohol, and when I started Weight Watchers I couldn't do that anymore. I had the same depression that had been there before, without anything to take the edge off of it. No wonder I went a bit nuts.


I will admit that I still use food for comfort - who doesn't?? The only difference is that now I don't need comfort food every day. And most of the food that I really consider 'comfort food' isn't horrifyingly fattening or unhealthy, although Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream will always be in the top ten best comfort foods. The things I crave most when I'm feeling down are the hearty home-cooked meals that have been a constant presence in my life - spaghetti bolognaise, sausage and mash, Mum's Goulash and braised red cabbage, Nanny Joan's beef stew (or beef stoo, as she calls it) and dumplings, or a Nanny Beryl Roast Dinner. These are my favourite meals - not three weeks ago was I to be found jumping up and down for joy in my mums kitchen because she'd just told me that we were having Goulash that week. I suppose the reason that these dinners are all so comforting to me is because they will forever be associated with my time with my parents and grandparents, and of feeling safe and loved and like I didn't have anything to worry about. I'd like to go back to a time when life was as simple as going round to Nanny's for beef stoo - without having relationships, exams and rent payments weighing on your mind.

As well as food, I've had to find a few other things to comfort and relax myself other the last couple of years - being at uni I can't just go home in a strop and demand that my mother makes spaghetti for me. As much as I'd like to! So here they are -

1) Painting my nails. Even before I started participating in Paint Your Love, I used painting my nails as a time to chill-out and unwind from whatever was stressing me out or upsetting me. It also makes me feel much more confident if my nails are painted. You can always tell when I'm having a confidence crisis because my nails will be absolutely perfect - just my way of making myself feel better.

2) Harry Potter and Twilight. I know, I know, I'm like a twelve year old girl. As I mentioned in my last post, Harry Potter is my fail-safe way of escaping from the troubles of life. Twilight is a close second, although the problem there lies in the inevitable 'well where's my Edward?' reaction!

3) Watching TV. I am a major TV junkie. A few favourites over the years have included Friends, Desperate Housewives, House, Glee, Eastenders, Waking The Dead, Silent Witness, CSI, One Tree Hill, Top Gear, Mock The Week, 8 out of 10 Cats, Glee, Gavin and Stacey and The Inbetweeners, as well as the two newest additions Castle and True Blood (I have a tiny little Alexander Skarsgard obsession).


4. Films. I've seen them all so many times that I could probably quote them word for word, but I think thats what I like about them! The top ten, in no particular order...The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, The Silence of the Lambs, When Harry Met Sally, The Lion King, Stepmom, Twilight, The Sound Of Music, The Notebook and A Beautiful Mind.

5. Wearing make-up. Sometimes I'll have a good few weeks where I'll just wear the bare minimum of make-up - if any at all. Other times, like now, when I'm stressed and upset, I won't leave my room without my face on. Its like a mask that nobody can see me behind, which can be quite reassuring when you're not feeling yourself.

6. Cleaning. Ok, so I know this one is a bit weird. But I always feel so much better when my room/house are clean and tidy. Something to do with getting rid of the clutter in your home helps clear your mind or something? It just helps me think more clearly and see things for how they really are, as opposed to getting things blown out of proportion in the heat of the moment.

7. Spending time with my future roomies - Jack, Jack, Mark and Terry. They keep it simple and they keep me on my toes. There's no subtext with them, what you see is what you get and that's exactly what I like about spending time with them. I feel very comfortable with them. Its nice to spend time with people and just be able to be - most of the time, especially with girls, the time needs to be filled with mindless chatter. Which is fine, but sometimes I just need a break from it all. The boys are there if I need someone to talk to, and I love that they talk to me about stuff as well. I'm very much looking forward to living with them. And Mark, I know you're reading this. Haven't you got anything better to be doing?

8. Going to the gym - I never thought I'd hear myself say that! I used to hate exercise, now I find it refreshing and relaxing. Go figure.

9. Looking through old photos and yearbooks. I love all the memories of times spent with family and friends. It reminds me of all the amazing people I have in my life and how lucky I am to have them. They're always there when I need them and they've never let me down. Being reminded of that after a bad day is extremely comforting.

10. And finally, listening to these songs:

The Beatles - Let It Be.

The Rolling Stones - Angie.

Don McLean - American Pie.

Train - Drops of Jupiter.

John Mayer - Slow Dancing In A Burning Room.

(I tried to post the videos for them, but it wouldn't let me! I'm such a let-down, I know! I'm sorry!)

Thats your lot from me for now folks!! What are some of the things that comfort you when you're feeling down?

Love to you all!!!
Lauren xxx