Exercise for cheats

22 January 2015

Picture this. You've done a full day at work, you need to stop at Waitrose on the way home to pick up some food for the week, the dog needs walking, you've got laundry and other chores to do. Where is the time to get to the gym? I know, I've been guilty of saying that to myself too. Personally, I don't think there are enough hours in the day - not nearly enough. Just as I'm getting started, the day is nearly over and all the extra things I like to do are pushed to the side.

However, you can still add in exercise without making it to the gym. Exercise for cheats.

Me? I love to exercise. I've always loved sport since I was tiny and I love the feeling of going to the gym. However, sometimes I run out of time in the day - hell, I've been doing a week of 12 hour days..it's not really that practical sometimes to be dragging my heels to the gym after a long, long day at work. But, on these days, I know I have a number of ways to keep myself motivated and add in those 'cheat exercises' that really do count.

Deskercises: If you work in an office or sit at a desk, there are loads of ways to add in some exercise. One of my favourites are simple leg raises - pretty much no-one can see them and they work your legs really well. Whilst seated, just raise one (or both) of your legs, hold for 10 seconds and lower. Hold your abs tight, do this for a couple of reps and you'll be feeling the burn in no time. There are loads of great examples of deskercise on Pinterest and there will always be an exercise to suit everyone.

Stairs: We're all guilty of heading straight to the lift or escalator. Sounds silly, but taking the stairs is one of the most simple things we can do to raise the heart rate and work our legs. Even when you're heading home from work and you're on the underground, don't just stand on the escalator - walk it!

Pedometers: One of my favourite tools is the pedometer I have on my phone. I use an app called Pacer and it tracks every step you take, even when the app isn't open. Not only this, but it shows when you've walked during the day by time, calories burnt, the amount of time that you were active and how many kilometres you actually walked. It's amazing how quickly you can walk the suggested 10,000 steps. The photo below is a screenshot I took of an average day at work for me. Pretty good eh!

Advert squats: The average TV programme is an hour. Most channels show adverts every 15 minutes of so, and these adverts last 3 minutes. Instead of sitting on the sofa and moaning about watching the annoying Go Compare adverts over and over, stand up and start doing some squats or some push ups. If you do this in every advert break, you will have done between 10-15 minutes of toning. Easy peasy. And in one month, you could be seeing a massive difference in your booty.

Breakfast plank: I try to do this every morning. Even the most busiest of people have time to do a simple plank in the morning before their shower don't they? A lot of people have been doing the 'plank-a-day' challenge recently and it's a great way of challenging yourself. Set a timer on your phone, hit the floor and see how long you can hold your plank every day for a whole month. I bet you right now that you'll surprise yourself with how long you can hold your plank by the final day.

Simple - none of it involves a gym. Just changes in little things we do daily. I dare you to be an 'exercise cheat'...it's the small things we do every day that will make a huge difference in the long run!

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Chapter Close

19 January 2015

So this is a blog post I never thought I'd be writing, but I feel I should write about it - partly for myself, and partly because this person played such a big part in my life that other people knew lots about him too. So bear with me.

Blair Waldorf explains everything so perfectly doesn't she?

A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to end my relationship. Jonathan and I had been together for over 6 years. There were so many questions I had to ask myself.
-Is this the right thing to do?
-Am I making too much of a rash decision?
-How do you even end a relationship?

The majority of people reading my blog will know that Jonathan is part of the British military. He has been as long as we've been together and he still is now. We'd been through it all. Training, passing out ceremonies, more training, more passing out ceremonies, deployments, exercises, months and months and months apart, and even more training. I've written posts on our relationship before - military relationships are not easy. I won't lie, guys look hot in uniforms, and the feeling of pride you get is unlike any other, but that doesn't get rid of the fact that it's not at all easy.

So what changed? What changed me from being strong, supportive Tamsin to someone who didn't want to be a part of it any more? I loved (and still do) him with every little bit of love I could give him and would have done anything for him. But, I started realising that maybe I just couldn't see myself marrying him. This doesn't mean that I wanted marriage right this second. Not at all. However, I'm at the point in my life where lots of my friends are engaged, getting married, having kids and buying properties. After 6 years, you want to know that you're looking to the future and want the same things. Jonathan is so passionate about his career, and he deserves to be. We all deserve to be passionate about something. Who am I to get in the way of something? I wouldn't dare be that person. In the many years we were together, I never really moaned. Not really. I used to make digs at the military on Twitter occasionally, but I would never moan to him and give him an 'its me or the job' scenario.

Once I started thinking things over, I started seeing things I may not have seen before. We had become comfortable in our relationship, and probably too comfortable. We always did nice things together, ate at fine restaurants, went on brilliant holidays, but that special feeling had gone. I would always be happy snuggled on the sofa watching an old James Bond film on a Sunday. But I did want that feeling of being special. You would think that not seeing each other that much would mean he would go out of his way, but he didn't. There were no surprises, there were no spontaneous flowers, he never cooked dinner for me. He was comfortable with me being second to his career.

I decided, that wasn't enough. Not for me.

Am I fine? Yes, I'm fine (and not in a Ross Gellar way..I swear!) I truly am ok. I've learned that your gut is probably right. I could have stayed in a relationship with him and settled, but I don't want to settle. I keep telling myself that I'm worth it - I'm 100% worth it to someone who can make me a priority. Do I blame Jonathan? No, I don't. Quite the opposite. He loves his career and he's good at it. I hope he enjoys many more years in the military and goes on to be really successful. Truly. I will never forget the wonderful years and experiences we had together. We had fun, and you never forget something that made you smile.

Another thing I've learnt is not to be afraid to speak to your friends about these things. I used to think that no-one else could comment on your relationship or give you advice, but they really can, and true friends will be so insightful and gracious with the whole thing. Whether its long walks and phone conversations in the park (Brogan..) or 1am emails expressing serious doubt (Charlotte..).

But for now, it's chapter close, and on to a new one. I'm off to find my sparkle, excitement and Prince Charming. I don't think he's too far away..

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'Me Time' January

15 January 2015

I don't really do resolutions in the New Year. I agree that New Year is a good time to start something new or reinvent yourself, but I'm one of these people who thinks that there's no reason you can't do that on any day during the year. Why wait till 1st January? Be unstoppable now. However, I have decided to make my January the month of 'me time'. Not a resolution per se, but more of a way of the month. Not only that, it means I focus on turning one of the most (statistically) depressing months of the year, into a month that's reflective and positive.

Firstly, I've been treating myself more when it comes to beauty. I'm lucky enough to have a beauty therapist for a mum, but I really wanted to find a local salon that I could visit for treatments. There's nothing quite like visiting your fav therapist and chatting about your whole life. I visited The Little Parlour last week and I've definitely found my local boutique salon of choice. Jo (who is utterly wonderful) did some gorgeous shellac nails for me ready for my work party, and we discussed life, relationships and music. The salon itself is lovely too, and has a real girly, shabby chic vibe about it. It's homey and almost like your living room. Perfect. I've already booked in for other treatments.

Secondly, I've been organising things that I really want to do. Like really, really.

So I booked two holidays in the space of four days. I KNOW. Calm the hell down Tamsin. But January is 'me time' month and I need things to work for and look forward to. So I've booked two holidays. So where am I off to? I'm headed to do some skiing in less than 8 weeks time which I can't wait for, as I've been skiing all my life, usually going 3 or 4 times a year but I didn't manage to get away last year as work was so busy. But never fear...in 50 days time, I will be on those slopes in my usual resort of Avoriaz.

The other holiday is...Orlando. Yep. It's finally booked. 2 weeks in the place of dreams..Walt Disney World, and I'm SO excited to be heading back. We're staying in the Disney Old Key West resort this time which I'm very much looking forward to. You that feeling where you just can't contain yourself? Yer....that. So there will most definitely, probably, 100% be lots of Disney posts to follow this year.

Finally, I've been trying to shut off technology more, as challenged by Endsleigh. We can all be too engulfed by our phones, TVs, laptops etc and it really does help to put the technology away for a few hours and do something else instead. I've been taking Max for extra long walks, having long baths and curling up in bed with a book - I'm currently reading Gone Girl which I'm loving. There's nothing quite like it and it makes you realise how much we focus on our gadgets when to be honest, it's all about a glass of wine and chatting with someone special.

Go on..have a go. Have a 'me time' January and focus on you. I dare you.

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DLP 2014

11 January 2015

It's been nearly a month since I got back from Disneyland Paris and I think I feel about ready to share some photos and a video. No word of a lie, it's like I'm in mourning. Disney for me is more than just the average thing. It's not even about the films and characters, or about the theme park and the rides. It's so much more than that. It's a bit of a safety net for me if I'm honest. Disney takes me to a place where I forget anything and everything and I just feel so free. I have a lot to thank Disney for and it will always be one of the most important things in my life. Some people don't get that, but that's the way it is for me.

We go to Disneyland Paris every year to get a quick Disney fix. DLP is so convenient because it's just a 3 hour train ride or drive away, and is financially a lot cheaper than heading to Orlando. Usually, we stay in the Newport Bay Club Hotel, but this year I was in for a surprise. We had been booked into the Disneyland Hotel as a surprise. Yes, THE Disneyland Hotel. Needless to say, when we arrived at the door of the hotel, I looked like a panda from the amount of mascara around my eyes. It was a dream come true. We took tons of photos, but here's a few to capture your imaginations.

I couldn't not show you our updated Tower of Terror photo - every year, we deliver. Every. Year.

Unlike last year, I decided not to vlog the whole thing. I wanted to be immersed in this trip completely, without worrying too much about filming and chatting to a camera. So I decided to do a short vlog to capture Disneyland Paris and all its atmosphere. It was a wonderful trip with so many memories and I'm so very lucky to go every year with three people who get Disney like I do and all it has done for me.

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Things I Did In 2014

10 January 2015

We're now 10 days into 2015, but I finally feel that I have done my reflecting on last year. I don't think that anyone can ever have a perfect year. To have a perfect year, you would need to have 365 days of total bliss where nothing ever goes wrong, and I think that's pretty impossible. However, I believe in counting your blessings, and always appreciating everything you have. Which is why for me, 2014 was a rather wonderful year. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect. But my did I have some fun. The Christmas/New Year period for me was a really reflective time. I spent a lot of time considering life decisions, thinking about the people that mean the most and made sure that I thought about what is important to me. And whilst thinking about everything, I realised how lucky I was. So here's a couple of highlights from my 2014 and of course, some photos for your perusal - good and bad, they are certainly highlights.

- Seeing in 2014 chundering into a toilet with one of my best friends in the world and managing to eat half a chicken nugget at McDonalds at 10pm that evening. The hashtag #PrayForTamsin was real.
- Teaching Gemma to flip pancakes on Shrove Tuesday
- Moving into our new apartment in a beautiful part of Weybridge
- Chatting to Scott Mills on Radio 1 about 'irrational strops'
- Giving up Diet Coke for Lent and proving everyone wrong!
- Celebrating my 24th birthday at Alton Towers
- Having a pint in the local with Eamonn Holmes
- Seeing McBusted in concert in Cardiff, just because I could
- Having a holiday in Rome with Brogan
- Watching the final day of Royal Ascot from the Royal Enclosure
- Going to Mass at the Vatican
- Going camping for the first time in The New Forest and absolutely loving it
- Acting as tour guide in London to my friends and realising how lucky I am to have grown up in an amazing city
- Performing as Baby Spice in a Spice Girls mock-up video
- ...and then meeting Geri Halliwell the week after and spending the day with her
- Moving jobs and starting a new career adventure as a manager
- Singing at Steph's wedding
- Meeting someone who changed my life for the better
- Staying at the Disneyland Hotel..a total dream come true
- Getting thrown out of the St Pancras hotel for hijacking their piano and singing Taylor Swift
- Dressing up as Queen Elsa on New Years Eve

My mantra for 2015 is to 'go with my gut'. That doesn't mean that I have to do something instantly and impulsively, but it means I need to listen to what my senses are telling me more.

So far, it seems to be working.

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