A quiet week on Sparkle and Shade!
On Tuesday, I brought you my latest MyPure Package review
On Saturday I treated you to the first Inspiration Interview of the New Year with the uber lovely Maylovesmakeup
On Sunday, I pointed you in the direction of some very important info regarding the Glittersniffer Cosmetics recall/refund.
Things have been a little busier on inmywindow this week - I've been enjoying sharing some of my crafts bits and bobs and photography with you. I shared some of my favourite fabrics from the Seamstar sale, did my first sewing tutorial for a fleecy headband/earwarmer and posted my first Project 365 update.
♥ Eye Eye
This week, I've seen a whole new side of myself - an incredibly creative side that is finally able to imagine something in my head and make it a reality. How? Sewing! I utterly love my new sewing machine and I'm finding that it comes quite easily to me. I designed and made a bag for my new camera on Saturday and on Sunday I sewed my first skirt. I love being able to be creative but also have purpose in my creativity.
I've also seen my new class - you might remember that before Christmas I told you I'd be working with a little girl in Reception with William's Syndrome and I started last week. I have to admit, the class I'm in is really pushing me to my limits but I love it. We have a lot of children with a lot of complex needs but it's great fun!
Finally, I've seen a heck of a lot of my GTP application form. After lots of umming and arring, I've decided that I am definitely applying for a GTP in Hull and as the closing date is the end of this month, I've been cracking on with my application form this weekend. I still feel very confused about the whole thing but I figure it's better to apply and reject them than to not apply and regret it.
♥ Whirring Cogs
Obviously I've been thinking a lot about my GTP but there have been quite a few other things on my mind this week.
Firstly, I've been quite worried about money - we're in a frsutrating situation at the moment where no matter how much we cut back our spending, we seem to have less and less money each month and, when we think things are getting better, we seem to just keep hitting financial blow after financial blow. Quite frankly, it sucks.
Another thing that's been on my mind a lot recently is my relationship with God and the church we go to. I don't want to say a lot here because I don't really like blogging about religious stuff, but the long and short of it is that I'm struggling with my faith and I'm struggling to like my church.
I've also been thinking a lot about body image and diets and fitness and all that sort of stuff, but I'll chat a bit more about that in Respect Yourself :)
♥ Hidden Treasures
Again, I've been reading lots of blogs this week and it's always so hard to choose my hidden (or not so hidden) treasures but this week I've been enjoying:
Beautiful You Beauty Blog and her beautiful nails
In a Perfect World - a relatively new blogger but a really sweet girl
Pink Sugar Beauty who has a lovely blog and a far too tiny amount of followers!
♥ The Path...
This week, I'm going to remember that even when I don't see it and don't quite trust in it, God's got a plan for me.
♥ Respect Yourself
Ok, I want to talk about something that's been on my heart all this week. Obviously, January is the perfect time to kick start our healthy eating routines and really work on getting ourselves in shape - I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling a little flabbier now than I did at the start of December. But I want to remind us all to keep something in mind (and I know I mentioned this in my Monday Musings last week, but I want to say it again). Fad diets are not the key to healthy, sustainable weight loss. Your body has an appetite for a reason - to keep you alive. And to keep your body fit and healthy, we need to feed it nutrients and good things. Quick fix diets are exactly that - a quick fix. There's no denying that the weight will drop off when you're on a purely liquid diet, but the minute you return to normal eating, it'll come back, leaving you feeling like a failure/fat/a terrible person/whatever you end up feeling like which probably ends up pushing you towards a restrictive diet again.
Ladies, I want to challenge you to do two things (and I'll explain why in a mo):
1. Ditch the scales! Unless you have an unhealthy BMI, you do not need scales.
2. Ditch the diets and focus on healthy eating and exercise.
Why ditch the scales? Because the number tells you nothing. Do you know that I weigh more when I exercise regularly than I do at the moment? And yet when I'm exercising regularly, I utterly love how my body looks. All the scales tell you is how much you weigh but our bodies aren't just made up of fat and therefore that number doesn't tell us how fat/thin/whatever we are - it just tells us a figure. Instead, lets learn to trust our own instinct of what feels right for us - lets learn to look at our bodies with an open and accepting eye. Not one of us has the perfect body, so lets stop aiming for it! Instead, I want to challenge you ladies to aim for the most healthy, most radiant, most beautiful version of you. We are not all meant to look the same - some of us have big hips, some of us don't. Some of us have non-existant bums, others have curvy ones. That's fine. We're meant to be different. Please ladies, learn to look at the mirror and accept yourself. After you've learnt to do that, start to look in the mirror and love yourself.
Why ditch the diets? Because as I've already mentioned, quick fix diets are not sustainable and promote a vicious cycle of self loathing. Unhealthy restriction is not good for you and whilst it may occasionally result in some weight loss, it will also bring a lot of other things with it - irritableness, guilt, weakness, fatigue, increased vulnerability to colds and flu and in extreme cases, loss of periods, hair loss and other horrid things. Now as you're reading this, you're probably thinking I'm one of those people that's always been ok with their weight and never bothered dieting. One of the people who eats the chocolate biscuit in front of you just because they know you're on a diet. Not true. I first started restricting my food intake when I was 13 and started making myself sick at 14. For years I struggled with "disordered eating", and it's only in recent years that I've managed to find a happy medium and a balance with my diet. And the way I've done that is to develop a healthy relationship with food and a passion for cooking. I've discovered that a healthy, balanced, plentiful diet actually leaves me feeling far better about myself than restricting my intake ever did.
So what is a healthy, balanced diet? For me, it's a diet that's free from meat and (for health reasons) wheat. I also avoid too much dairy because I find it makes me feel icky. I eat cakes and lovely treats in moderation and I try my hardest not to beat myself up about it. I use fresh vegetables all the time, treat myself occasionally to the odd ridiculous meal like veggie sausage and chips and I have fun when I'm cooking! I have big portions because my food is full of good things and fairly low in fat. I try to include good healthy protein in my evening meals (lentils, soya mince and beans) and I eat nuts most days. It's about finding that happy medium and try to work out the things that you can cut out (e.g. the 4 cans of coke, the meat with every meal principle, the Pizza Hut every Friday night) and then educating yourself about delicious things to eat.
I'd really recommend Vegweb for some delicious vegetarian recipes and Oh She Glows for some more reading on ditching the scales and choosing the road to healthy eating.
If you have any questions, please do feel free to ask and let me know if you take up my challenges. Also, please don't think that this is me saying that people who do diet are stupid. I know that a lot of people can make them work and that some of the more sustainable options like Weight Watches and Slimming World are fabulous. Love, love, love xxx