Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lush Haul

I feel like when people say 'haul', it's tons and tons of stuff. Except, this isn't freebies and I am definitely on a budget!I decided to treat myself to some bits and pieces recently -- I love a bubble bath. It's the perfect way to destress and unwind. There's something about being in water that I find so soothing. But anyway, here are some bits I bought recently from Lush. In total they came to around £25.

Products listed from top to bottom: bath melt | bath bomb | milky bath bar | flamingo bubble wand | windmill bubble wand


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quick -- change!

There's something strange about wanting to lose a lot of weight. The changes happen at a microscopic level -- gradually coming to the surface and showing themselves. Do you notice them on a day-to-day basis? Not really. If I search for the changes when I look in the mirror, I won't see them. Instead, I see them when I catch a passing glimpse of myself in a window or put my hand on my waist and feel hardness instead of softness. My body is changing -- slowly, gradually, I am changing. 

Weight loss this week: 1 lb

Total weight loss for March: 8lbs

Aiming for 12lbs in April!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Coping with your PGCE course

In our lecture at university today, they were telling us about the dates for our graduation. Although it's in July, we will only be in university three more times between now and then. We're flying the nest, it would seem...

1. Be kind to yourself:
Make sure you take regular breaks, don't overwhelm yourself with extra responsibilities (just trying to impress people), try to keep to a routine where you finish work at a certain time, don't set all of your classes huge assignments at the same time (marking is time consuming!), don't work all weekend, save at least a couple of days at holidays for an actual break, keep in touch with friends, drink lots of tea and coffee, know that you're not perfect (and that nobody else is either).

2. Learn from the 'bad' teachers:
It is easy as a trainee to sit at the back of a classroom tutting and shaking your head at somebody's teaching practice. Even if you think the person you are observing is the worst teacher, they will be doing some good. It is infinitely easier to pick out the flaws in someone's practice than it is to reflect on what they have done well. There will always be something they've done well.

3. Don't leave university assignments to the last second
It may have worked with your undergraduate degree but leaving your assignments to the last second on a PGCE just means a whole lot of extra stress that you can definitely do without.

4. Don't fear observations
Nobody likes to be judged. Especially if the judge is sat at the back of the room writing and highlighting furiously whilst you're trying to concentrate on teaching. It can be really distracting! Put it to the back of your mind - prepare as much as you can in advance (but don't expect it to be perfect), adapt if necessary, and accept their comments and advice afterwards.

5. Don't blindly follow all advice
When you're training to teach, suddenly everyone is an expert. From my hairdresser to relatives and family friends, everyone thinks they know what teaching is like because they were a student once. Smile and nod. Smile and nod. Similarly, don't feel obliged to follow all the advice trained teachers give you (you may find a lot of it contradicts). Try it out - if it works, keep it, if it doesn't, forget it.

6. Kids (probably) won't kill you
There are behaviour policies in schools that ensure that disruption is dealt with and problem students are removed from a lesson. Know this like it's the back of your hand and don't be afraid to use it. There is a network of support available to you as a trainee and you definitely don't need to deal with it alone.

7. Informal chats about teaching are key
I found that just having a chat with fellow teachers about an issue or student can be really productive. It allows people to share ideas and practice in a way that isn't forced. It also allows you to get to know your colleagues better. Plus you're under no obligation to actually follow their advice...

8. Make friends with people on your course
This one is the number one lifesaver. Don't isolate yourself from your fellow trainees. There were some people on my course who were desperate to establish themselves as 'proper' teachers so didn't really come to training sessions or socialise with us. I know that I couldn't have done this course without my friends. Knowing that there was somebody else out there going through the exact same thing as me was a constant reassurance. Sharing ideas, resources, or just having a good moan....good friends are priceless!

Remember: you will have bad days and you will have amazing days. Keep the amazing days in mind when you're having a bad one and forget all about the bad ones as soon as they're over.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Back on track...

Well this week was a success!

I lost 4.5lbs and am feeling really motivated to stay on track and keep going… I now have another 4.5lbs to go until I have lost 4 stone. The idea of losing four stone (and never regaining it, ever ever again) is enough to make me a little bit giddy. I love looking in the mirror and noticing my changing body shape. I am now more determined than ever to keep it up and to make March 2017 a month I really dedicated to changing my life for the better.

And the secret? Planning. Planning everything I will eat, when I will eat it and making sure I am not forced to grab a supermarket sandwich (those things are so bad for you!) or something equally horrendous…

On another note, thank god the weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining more. It’s making me look forward to summer – lounging on the beach (maybe even getting a bit of a tan….or is that too much to ask for?!) and having more time to read, relax and unwind.

 Weight loss this week: 4.5lbs

 Target weight loss for this week: 3lbs


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Loneliness or longing for change?

Disclaimer: I am not writing this because I have found the answer. I am writing this to try and find an answer.

I can’t remember exactly when it started.

I remember feeling content and happy for a long time. I didn’t have anybody in my life but I was okay with that. Then it started to come. Like waves washing over me. This intense feeling of loneliness.

Watching everyone around you develop, find somebody and settle down is fine for a certain period of time. Then after a while you can see nothing but happy couples.

One thing I have found out though is that finding somebody or something to distract you from that feeling does not work. I do not believe, perhaps incorrectly, that I feel this way sometimes because I am single. I feel it because I am longing for change in my life. I am waiting for somebody to enter my life and change the way I view myself, my life, the world.

I don’t feel like this all the time. I am trying to be more honest and confront these feelings when they come though.

So when the loneliness consumes me I can look in the mirror and tell myself:  

okay, you want change? I’ll give you change.



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Getting back on track

It is easy to lose focus. It is easy to become consumed by the worries and stresses of life.These slips - where we do something we know we shouldn't - don't need to be the end of it all though. They can be just that - momentary slips - before we get back on track. For me, the key to regaining my focus is to plan. To write down what I will do, do it, and tick it off my life.

I know this week hasn't been horrific. I haven't had any major bad days. Instead, what's happened is I have let little things slide here and there (and those little things definitely add up!) Here's my planned menu for this week..

Body Magic
Bacon sandwich

Slimming World Spaghetti Bolognaise with side salad
Gym 45 mins
Bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes.

Salad with boiled eggs, tuna and new potatoes.
Zingy chicken tray bake (family feasts cookbook page 36)

Overnight oats with strawberries and bananas.
Muller light yogurt, banana, apple
Couscous salad with onions, peppers, tomatoes and chicken.
Beef kofta kebabs with spiced potatoes (family feasts cookbook pg 14)

Overnight oats with apple and blueberries
Muller light yogurt, banana, apple
Tuna salad with cherry tomatoes, boiled egg and new potatoes.
Gammon, egg, slimming world chips, carrots.
Gym 30 mins
Overnight oats with strawberries and bananas
Muller light yogurt, banana, apple
Chicken salad
Turkey burgers with tzatziki (family feasts cookbook page 52)

Overnight oats with strawberries
Muller light yogurt, banana, apple
Tuna Salad
Paprika Pork (family feast cookbook page 26)
Gym 30 mins
Overnight oats with apple and blueberries
Muller light yogurt, banana, apple
Ham salad
BBQ chicken (with apple and dill coleslaw) and jacket potatoes. (Family feast cookbook page 40)

I'd forgotten I had this cookbook to be honest - when I picked it up the pages had little stains from previous attempts...there are some seriously delicious recipes in here and the best thing is that the focus is for families on a budget so they're not ridiculous with the ingredients you need to buy.

Maintained this week.

Weight loss next week: 3lbs

{one of the things i want most, being able to wear dresses like that ^}

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