2019, Off Topic, personal, Uncategorized

My Blogger Journey

So yesterday I asked what you would like to see on the blog today and a personal post won. I’ve been at work today and it’s been a hectic day to say the least, but I’ve been racking my brains with what to write and my blogger journey just kept coming to the forefront of my mind.

I’ve already mentioned my Fight Klub and my fitness stuff including the Exercise to Music qualification and everything that’s gone with that. Alongside my Slimming World journey and what that’s taught me in relation to my relationship with food so I thought let’s delve into being a blogger.

My blog originally started over on Blogger and it was called the Ramblings of a London Girl- I loved it but there was no real focus and I was often posting short posts just to post and quotes etc. Over on Blogger I had started writing book reviews as books and reading is a passion I’ve had since I was small. I have to mention my beloved Grandad Sam – my most favourite bookworm whose birthday it is today. I miss him dearly and this morning I finished listening to the audiobook of a George Orwell Classic and I instantly missed him once again.

I knew nothing about book blogging and then a friend of mine Casey was looking for reviewers to join her over on Dark-readers.com also a blogger site. I jumped at the chance, and just like that I was a book blogger being invited to events and meeting lots of other likeminded readers. It took me a while to realise that on Dark Readers I could review any books not just fantasy and paranormal although back then I was heavily invested in angels and vampires. So much so I had to take a break from those books. I then decided I wanted to talk about a number of subjects and I was interested to try a WordPress blog.

Hayleyslilworld was born – I used this platform for book, film and quite possibly theatre reviews. I undertook a number of writing prompts spoke of events I went to and used it as an outlet to share some of the articles I had via various work placements at publications and online.

Life was good I had two platforms to share content. Casey and I drifted apart and on Hayleyslilworld I started to receive a huge number of troll like messages getting to the point I didn’t want to blog anymore. Every time I received a notification I was scared to read it until I couldn’t take anymore and I made the page private and stopped altogether.

Hayley Reviews – which I write from now originally started as a blog about my volunteering with Cancer Research until I moved over to be a paid member of staff. I had got an ok following and thought it was a shame to get rid of it. So I changed the name and started talking about books. I had a few contacts from the Dark Readers days but some of the publishers moved on and my reading habits changed in some aspects.

Of late now the main hardcore studying has been done I’m now getting my reading mojo back and I’m loving it. It made my day last week to have been the first review for Daisy Tate that was a blogger highlight, and this month my reading has been great so much so I’ve started penning my what did I read in July and I’m so chuffed with the results already and there’s still a week or so to go. Although major fail I forgot my latest paperback read I’ve been missing it all day and I had hoped to finish it today.

Watch this space.

I’m looking at doing more questions and adding different additions to the blog. So give me a shout if you have a burning question or you would like to see me do something specific the meme’s have been working quite well of late.

Also if you’re an author or another blogger who would love to guest over at Hayley Reviews also give me a shout.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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2019, Fitness, Me, Off Topic, personal, Uncategorized

Self Doubt

Now today there should be a well overdue Thriller review but after some fantastic news yesterday and some insightful conversations I decided to pen a more personal post.

Anyone that knows me even if you don’t particularly like me knows I’m a damn hard worker. You tell me no and I’m determined to prove you wrong, I have always been the same.

When I was at school I really enjoyed PE even took it as part of my GCSES but I was made to feel that I wasn’t good enough. So as much as it was something I truly enjoyed I looked into other passions and this one was shelved. At school it’s easy to get the necessary exercise in your day and then exams and life take over.

Anyway I’m rambling now.

Last year I found out a lot about me my habits, traits and I have changed so much in a year.

Not only am I eating things I would never have imagined I’m pushing myself both mentally and physically.

Almost a year ago I discovered Fight Klub a high intensity workout to music using punch bags. From the moment I took part I was addicted and had to work out when I could go again. I regularly attend the Falconwood class and sometimes make the Bexleyheath class. Between better eating and dedication I’m now a lot fitter than I was. At my first ever class I loved it but I was so out of my depth.

In November 2018 I took a few weeks out of work to study Exercise to Music – a course that opened my eyes and my imagination. I was one of nine ladies on the course and how each of us changed during those few weeks was impressive. I had done all the course work that I could before the course had start so in that instance I was a few segments ahead but for me nerves always take over on exam day.

On the course we did both theory exams back to back – I didn’t do badly I got 26 for Anatomy and 24 for Principles the pass mark was 28. I was deflated but had to let it go as I wouldn’t have had a chance to retake until after my practical exam.

Illness meant my practical was pretty much a car crash but my girls from the course were amazing and I got some really great feedback I felt awful and I felt like I had let myself down. So I had a bit of time going back over my theory and some time out for me.

As I have a full time job it was then trying to work out when I could take the exams. So on 10th April I went in and retook my Principles exam I improved I got 26 still two short of a pass. As these exams are multiple choice there’s no actual feedback I was frustrated but I had my Anatomy exam two weeks later so had no time to dwell. I felt much more confident and hadn’t over checked my answers and second guessed myself or so I thought. Over a week later I got an email to say I had got 24 that was two less than what I’d got on the course.

That nagging doubt and negativity crept in. I was also frustrated as the exams are done on Wednesday evenings and Wednesday’s are a pretty crazy day at work so I couldn’t see when I could redo any of them. After a few chats I had put in to redo my Principles exam on 29th May – I did some of the same revision plus I took a tutors advice and went back onto the online portal and in re-listening to it and doing the quizzes I started to see my confidence peak. Seeing as I get plagued by nerves I also decided to try Kalms tablets so I took them for a few days before and on the day of my exam.

Yesterday I received the email that would make my week I passed my Principles exam with a score of 29. I’m now one step closer to the ETM Exercise to Music qualification I’ve had a brief email chat with the tutor who gave me some advice and encouragement and I’m hoping to get booked on go retake my Anatomy exam on the 19th.

One step closer to ETM and one step closer to becoming a Fight Klub instructor.

2019, Mothers Day, personal, Uncategorized, update

Mother’s Day….

Today is Mothering Sunday here in the UK and I want to talk about stereotyping. So it’s a step away from books. I have got Mum a few books in the past mainly autobiography’s but she’s not really a big reader she would much rather watch NCIS, Only Fools and Horses or the Football.

For me Mother’s Day adverts really do make me laugh, and that’s not me being funny it’s because every single ad is so far from my Mum it’s untrue.

My sister and I had a right laugh with our lovely Mum about this subject matter. It’s all treat Mum to her favourite perfume, bath stuff, even the Prosecco. Don’t get me wrong Mum loves the smell of certain perfumes and bath stuff but she has to be so careful as she has super sensitive skin so bar a few that we know we can’t really buy her things like that. Mum has had a wine with me in the past but it’s not her tipple she would much rather a Beer or a Bacardi. This year mum asked for some practical gifts but she will also have a treat 🙂

The last thing I will add is we shouldn’t only celebrate our Mums on one day of the year. Always show them how much you care even when they drive you mental. My heart also goes out to all of those without their Mum’s or to those who never knew. I’m sure there’s someone by your side who loves you unconditionally.

I’m not feeling great today but I wanted to finish and post this today. I intend to have a chilled Sunday before the working week defends. Whatever you do today make your future self proud.

2018, Fitness, personal, Uncategorized, update

A brand new journey – Exercise to Music

Today I’m embarking on a brand new journey and I’m scared and excited.

Since I was a kid I’ve always loved Sporty Spice aka Melanie C. I adored everything she stood for, a kick ass female who proudly sported a football shirt in a society where girls are expected not to understand the beautiful game.

Ever since taking GCSE PE I always thought I would do more with it. I’d lived and breathed Netball, running and trampolining to name a few of my favourite sports. I don’t know what changed I guess I became overlooked and then my love of writing and of all things media overtook and as I got older I started going out and my exercise regime slowly diminished.

Earlier this year I learnt more about myself and how I treat my body. Not only have I started eating foods I would never have imagined and lessened foods that I’d ate in excess I also discovered fitness sessions that I adore and for me that’s what has changed. I’ve been doing Zumba on and off for years and I’m not saying I don’t love it but for me it wasn’t enough and now that my food is a lot better alongside that a stupid amount of walking and Fight Klub I now feel like I get proper decent workouts. I’ve also just recently started Piyo which I also love – it’s bloody hard work and takes it out of me but it’s so good for the strengthening of my body.

I’m now on my lunch break and I’ve learnt so much already.

Find what you love and run with it.

2018, A thought? A question, Me, Monday motivation and smiles, Off Topic, personal, update

Ask Away….

Happy Monday all.

It’s the start of a brand new week and I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you’re happy and healthy.

A while ago I asked for questions on my Twitter in lieu of writing a blog post answering said questions and it fizzled out. So yesterday I asked again on my Twitter and Facebook account. So far I have two fabulous questions. I’m aiming for 10-20 before I can warrant sharing my answers.

2018, Fitness, Me, Off Topic, personal

Change

I had a manager from my O2 at the O2 days who used to say it takes 28 days to form a habit. This speech would regularly come out if there were major changes and especially when he thought we wouldn’t ever be willing to try and get on board. After having a night out with my old pals it got me thinking.

Now I’ve mentioned before and I dare say it will come up again, in April I joined Slimming World and my relationship with food changed. Some of you think I’m not eating properly and that couldn’t be further from the truth if anything I eat more these days it’s just what I’m eating and how I’m making it. That’s the key.

What I’ve noticed threefold is I don’t eat in the same way. I’m more appreciative and my sweet tooth is still there it’s just not as greedy as it once was which is a good thing for my health.

I’ve always been quite an active person but in finding Slimming World I shortly after found Fight Klub and for the first time in a while I felt truly excited. If I can’t make a class I’m grumpy. Recently when I hurt my back I missed two weeks of classes. This week I returned at a lower pace although I don’t think my right shoulder thinks that was the case saying that this morning it’s feeling a lot better but I haven’t reached work yet.

Now I’m a target member I’m not trying to loose any more weight. I’m now trying to find the right balance. I’m still enjoying trying new things and there’s still a number of things I’d love to make. I’m line with that on 12th November I’m embarking on an ETM Exercise To Music course and for the first time in ages I’m truly excited to study once again. I did GCSE PE and I honestly thought i’d have done more with it and now I’m on a whole new journey. This year has been remarkable for me and when opportunity knocks say yes what’s the worst that can happen. There are a few other potentials which I haven’t ruled out either.

I have recently become a Just Strong ambassador, I’m extremely new to this but I’m very much on board for inspiring and empowering women. I have just received my package but as I was out having a cheeky night off I haven’t opened it as yet. I dare say there will be an update on this as I cannot wait to try on my new gear. www.juststrong.com as a thank you to you beauties I am able to share with you my 10% discount code HAYLTHO10 I will be reviewing the top and jogging bottoms that I have purchased. If you have any questions or would like me to try something also get in touch. I’ve seen a few girls modelling the hoodies and I maybe swayed on that as these days are getting colder.

2018, Blogtober, personal, Uncategorized

Life is a Rollercoaster

It isn’t the first and won’t be the last time I name check my favourites classic song for a personal blog entry.

Today is another day where my Blogtober ideas change and change again.

I’m sorry for the late entry on a day where it should have happened hours ago. I’ve had the weekend off which is another novelty and after personal post won on my poll I’ve been toying with what to say and I must admit this wasn’t my original thought.

On Monday I did something to my back at work, and I can’t even pinpoint when or what actually caused it. I’ve been extremely frustrated since then. In joining Slimming World back in April I’ve learnt so much about myself and my habits and routines have changed so much for the better.

In attending a boxfit class my enthusiasm changed dramatically and then I attended a Fight Klub class and that was me well and truly hooked. There is something truly awe inspiring in the feelings that Fight Klub brought out of me. So much so I will be doing an Exercise to Music course in November – I honestly cannot wait. I’m so rating to go which is why this week has well and truly KO’d me. I could never have imagined I’d be going back to college but I do feel like I’ve come full circle in some respects as at school I studied GCSE PE and had thought I would have done more with it.

I haven’t attended any classes and I’m extremely frustrated not only for my fitness but for my piece of mind. Exercise is good for the soul and nourishing for the mind. I’ve missed them so much and today I feel like I hit breaking point – I haven’t done too much as wanted to rest and bam the pain seemed to change. I can’t even comprehend another week without my classes – they’re a part of me and I feel so much happier and full of life when I’m putting my body through its paces.

Life sure is a rollercoaster, do what you love and love what you do for as long as you can.

2018, A thought? A question, Fitness, personal, Uncategorized

From March to October the change has been outstanding….

I honestly feel like I’ve been penning this post in my head for ages. At the beginning of this year I was in a really horrible place. So I appreciate anyone who is feeling low for whatever reason, but just take this it will get better.

Just recently I read an entry from my journal whilst I was away in Furteventura.

I had always said that I’m at my happiest in shorts and vest tops but back in March I didn’t feel that amazing on holiday, the lighter the top the worst I would feel – I honestly felt like I may as well have been naked. Don’t even ask regarding bikini’s before Slimming World the last time I wore a bikini was a girls holiday in 2012.

In the entry I had written how I usually feel like my true self on holiday in shorts and vests but I felt mortified by what I saw in the mirror. I had also written a list of things to start doing and thankfully I surpassed those things threefold.

If back in March you would tell me where I am and what I’ve achieved as of October I wouldn’t have believed a single word.

Following my holiday I had started to make a few changes and in April I bit the bullet and joined Slimming World. If you had told me I would have done that I also wouldn’t have believed you.

Now I don’t want to offend anyone with my next comment but I never would have thought Slimming World would be for me. I wasn’t overly overweight but for my size and build I was definitely uncomfortable to say the least. Before Slimming World I would have only really ate carrots veg wise and now Broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash and spinach are often part of my daily meals. In hindsight a lot of what I have learnt is about moderation and learning what foods help speed up your metabolism. I’ve also realised how easy it is to over eat without realising.

As of now I’m in a much better place my health is good. Last year in trying to get fitter I managed to bust my ankle and I can wholeheartedly say that was part of my downfall with my weight. It’s very easy to ignore things that are right in front on your face.

Not only am I still doing my walk to work and sometimes back again I attend Zumba from time to time I’m addicted by Fight Klub and I’m looking at training to be an instructor which brings me onto the Exercise to Music course that I am embarking on in November. I’m hoping to get some of the theory work started as soon as I can and I’m excited for what this could mean for me. I always had a keen interest in PE at school and I’m glad to be going back to it.

Sporty Spice aka Mel C has always been my favourite she has overcome a number of struggles and keeping fit has helped her. Last night I sampled a Piyo class which was bloody hard work but so much fun. In all honesty half of what I am loving right now I couldn’t have undertaken at the beginning of the year so every hurdle I get through is a massive win.

Life’s not perfect but if you can embrace your passions and start saying yes to more opportunities who knows where they will lead. But the journey sure will be exciting. I’ve loved all the compliments on the new me let’s face it who wouldn’t but the greatest pleasure is when you’re called inspirational that truly warmed my heart and has helped me more than ever.

I hope to make more time to journal yes these things take time and sometimes thinking your personal thoughts could be seen is scary but when you look back they show you just how far you have come….

The picture in the grey was like a week into Slimming World and the England Top was like July. Below are a number of pictures from my family week to the coast. I really enjoyed taking pictures of myself this year and I love the change in me. I had arguments with friends previously as I literally couldn’t bear to see photos of myself.

Always stay true to you and realise that everything passes eventually.

2018, Fitness, Off Topic, personal, Uncategorized

If in doubt Fight it out….

I had a number of options for blog posts today and I never expected it to be this. I also never expected it to be this late in the evening. I promise no complaining and bookish goodness tomorrow. I have some gorgeous guest posts that I cannot wait to share with you.

I had a fabulous holiday and considering I was only by the seaside the weather was pretty good, and it was great to spend time with my family including my four week old niece and nephew alongside their big sister. I’d hit my Slimming World target on the Monday before I left and I expected there to be some changes. I hadn’t been a complete pig but the scales upset me last night. I don’t think it helped that I’d had a strange work day and since returning from holiday I’ve had an awful sore throat cue me feeling extremely sorry for myself.

Today I have had a good and organised food day. I’m starting to cough up crap (sorry tmi) and I’ve just finished an awesome Fight Klub class. This class has me well and truly addicted, I’m hooked and I hate missing it. I’ve even got to the point I’m now changing my plans to fit in another session tomorrow. In that hour I let out some aggression and hopefully sweated out this awful bug that I feel I have.

This is the definition of Fight Klub that is stated on the group I attend in Bexleyheath and Falconwood.

FIGHT KLUB® is the boxing and martial arts inspired workout scene sweeping the nation! Using FIGHT KLUB®’s uniquely designed punch bag, the workout is formed of structured combinations of authentic boxing, kick boxing and Thai boxing moves. Suitable for ALL levels of fitness and set to Drum & Bass and House music, the workout hits all major muscle groups in the upper and lower body. Participants benefit from improvements in cardiovascular endurance, core strength, weight loss and muscle tone.

I literally cannot imagine life without this class, so much so I’ve even started thinking about becoming a trainer. Not that I think I’m anywhere near as awesome as Maxine and Sarah are. So through some crap stuff this week I have found my strength and determination thanks to friends, family and Fight Klub. If in doubt fight it out. HOW MANY??

https://ravingklubbers.com

2018, a letter to..., personal, Uncategorized

A letter to my 12-year-old Self….

I had always said that I would pen this when football came home. I was so certain that on Sunday 15th July 2018 Gareth Southgate’s England team would be crowned winners of the World Cup 2018 and so many years of hurt and wanting would be redeemed.

Sadly we crashed out in the semi finals but that is an impressive run that hasn’t been done since 1990.

Euro 96 was the first real competitive competition that I remember as a child that was my first real connection with the England team and my love and passion for the beautiful game.

During this time I discovered that I loved the game and loved sharing my thoughts about it through conversation and the written word. This changed a lot for me. I had an article published in a column for the Daily Star Sport about Terry Venables and the England team. This was where my love for all things media stemmed from.

My belief was so strong in each and every game I had passion and hope. The England v Holland game of 96 still remains my favourite game to this day. Watching Shearer and Sheringham gave me so much joy. A prolific goal scorer and a truly remarkable footballing brain combined was a winning combination. And it wasn’t meant to be – losing on penalties to Germany killed me and that heartache still sits heavy on my heart.

Fast forward to 2018 – Gareth Southgate may have been one of the unlucky penalty takers who missed but he’s so much more than that. I truly loved each and every player from the Euro 96 team and I was saddened by the abuse Gareth and Stuart Pearce endured and I’m so pleased to see Gareth being a truly amazing manager. What he has created with this young team is truly inspiring. I haven’t felt this passion and pride since Euro 96 and the whole way through this tournament I’ve felt that passion and hope. I have loved seeing a seemingly inexperienced England team flourish and gain experience as they progressed through this World Cup. I won’t sugar coat it ultimately I’m still as heartbroken by our ending but I’m also extremely proud. Watching England win on penalties was the most stressful yet rewarding thing to do.

Jordan Pickford for me came a long way and that penalty shoot out really was a challenging experience and I believe he played for the better from then on. I’m not embarrassed to say I cried when we won that game – for years everyone has always expected us to crash out on penalties but this time was extremely different. If any England manager was going to practice penalties to death it was always going to be in Gareth’s reign.

I truly believe this is the start of something beautiful for English football and I’m super excited for what’s next. Bring on Euro 2020.

Someone posted this pic below on social media and I felt nothing but proud and extremely happy for all that Gareth has achieved so far.

My final thoughts for my 12-year-old self is keep that passion and hope as the future looks extremely bright. In your lifetime you will see England win the World Cup and you will see our team flourish. My other words of wisdom will be set yourself goals and smash them you will feel amazing for it. Also never lose sight of what you love and what you’re truly passionate about.

Now on my Twitter last night there were three options that came up with mentions but something personal just tipped the scales. Which was a weird one for me seeing as I posted my fitness journey yesterday which still surprises me. I should have posted this back in July but for some reason this half written post wasn’t to be. It means a lot to me and it says a lot about me and my passions for the beautiful game and in sharing my thoughts. I can still remember that feeling in seeing my letter in the Daily Star Sport and I remember my mum buying loads of copies of it. It still makes me smile but it also has a tinge of sadness as in some ways I feel like I have neglected my writing.