2019, Off Topic, personal, Uncategorized

10 years on…

Ten years ago tomorrow my life changed…some of you may sigh and call me dramatic but life really did change the minute we found out Stephen Gately had died.

I still to this day feel fortunate to have been at Emma’s I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I was alone. It’s funny as we had seen Ronan on a TV show about the Carpenters and then I stayed at Emma’s, we’d had a nice meal out with her family and gone to sleep like any other time.

To then be woken at 3am to Emma’s sister giving us the earth shattering news. Neither of us wanted to believe it, imagining it to be a sick joke. We’d both turned our phones off but when we powered them up we both had hundreds of messages from mutual friends, my family and school friends that neither of us had spoken to in years.

In speaking to loved ones and on Emma putting the TV on our fears case true.

Early that year we’d made comments on not understanding it when Michael Jackson died but when Steo passed it hit us like a train. I’d been a massive Boyzone fan since I was small and all I’d wanted was to meet them. I had met all of them bar Mikey during their solo time but when they reunited in 2007 I was given that chance to go all round the country seeing them and making friends.

That child I was would never have believed how lucky I was….Boyzone will always be a five piece and they will always mean the world to me. They let me escape when I needed to and their music always lifts my mood. Steo lives on in the music and he’s never forgotten.

This is still one of my most treasured photos

Grief is a funny thing that effects us all. I’ve changed so much since 2009 but that raw emotion is still there. It’s not always tears but it’s definitely there.

2019, A thought? A question, Off Topic, personal, Uncategorized

Senses…

Now to start this post I’m going to have to ramble slightly so I apologise in advance. At the beginning of July well to be honest it could have been from the end of June but I remember it being July as I had tried to get a doctors appointment before my weekend in Dublin. I had been struggling with a piercing earache where it was leaking and all sorts leaving me in pain and slightly death.

It seems whenever I’m unwell I cannot be seen by a GP so I’m usually sat in urgent care or listening to advice from others. I went to Ireland for the weekend and I had a great time although I was still struggling with an earache. So on my return I went to Boots and purchased Earex, it helped for a bit, the puss stopped and the pain subsided temporarily at least. Mid August I was seriously struggling but with a holiday looming I wanted some answers and I wanted something to dull the pain so I went through the process of trying to be seen.

In August I was given both ear drops and then antibiotics (first via urgent care, second via an actual appointment with a GP) it improved but I knew deep down I wasn’t done with the ear pain. I then managed to get a doctors appointment and was seen by a helpful lady who told me what I knew, my ear was still blocked and I would need to be seen by ENT. That again seemed to be another battle, if they had listened to me before my holiday I would have been seen by ENT earlier.

My first experience in ENT left me in tears and I was grateful for a good book and to have work to get back to. Not only did I feel lost I felt vulnerable, having studied Physical Education and most recently fitness I know a lot of technical terms but of the ear I’m baffled. I understand that the NHS do an amazing job and are seriously stretched but on the occasions I’ve been seen I’ve been made to feel like an inconvenience. I didn’t understand what the doctors were telling me and I instantly burst into tears.

Thankfully my fears weren’t as bad as I first thought but it’s a long process that I’m still waiting on. I had to go back the following Monday – the hearing test was well explained to me and I felt somewhat better now I was being listened to. When I was then called in to see the doctor I instantly felt that vulnerability and sadness once again. On my initial appointment I was told on my next visit I would have the hearing test and the MRI and from there I would know if I needed an operation. That wasn’t the case and when I explained my frustrations and asked if there were any dos and don’ts in the meantime whilst I await the MRI letter I was merely treated like an inconvenience – like why would you ask something so stupid?

Here I was thinking that your hearing was an important part of daily life.

To my surprise it wasn’t an eight week wait for my letter regarding an MRI appointment on 1st October I arrived home after my induction for my new job to a letter for an appointment on 4th October. So as I type the continuation of this blog post I’ve had my MRI and it wasn’t fun in the slightest. That’s over with now to await my results.

Having just started a new job it’s not ideal at all but I’m hoping that seeing as I was seen a lot sooner than expected I hope that means my full hearing could be back with me soon.

The one thing that’s terrified me in this whole experience is how vulnerable I have felt. I can’t hear people walking by me until they are right in my face. It’s also made me value my senses a lot more than I have before. Feeling helpless is heartbreaking and my journey isn’t over yet but I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation.

I love audiobooks but as it stands I’ve put a hold on my audible account as my hearing is limited unless I’m listening in the comfort of my own home. I guess the positive there is that I save some money.

I’ll keep you posted…that’s if your interested.

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.

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, Blogtober, Uncategorized

What do you class as Self Care?

These posts of mine seem to be getting later and later, would you believe I usually start drafting them between 6.30 and 7.30am whilst on my walk into work listening to Magic or an audiobook.

Seeing as I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment I thought I would channel that into something productive.

What do you class as self care?

So without any definitions I would say self care is taking care of yourself. That’s a pretty broad statement I know. It’s also taking steps to make your life and well being better.

On Monday at work I done something to my back. I’m not sure if I just over done it or whether I twisted it but since then I’ve been in a lot of pain. It’s also made me think what do I do for me??

Dictionary definitions of self care…

The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.

‘autonomy in self-care and insulin administration’

1.1 The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. ‘expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care’ as modifier ‘self-care methods such as meditation’

I’ve had to change up my routine to include more me time – I am sad that I’ve missed my classes but I know it’s for my well being especially as I will be starting my Exercise to Music course next month and I want to be fully fit and raring to go for that.

I haven’t done too much this evening but it’s been chilled which is what you need sometimes.

My question for you. What’s your perfect evening?

Mine would be a comforting meal very much like what I had tonight jacket potatoes with baked beans and mushrooms a good bath with either Lush goodies or stress relief Radox – which was what I had tonight. A hot chocolate or an Irish coffee and a good book or some Netflix. I’m grateful to have another weekend off and I’m eager to take this time for me, I will be doing some of my course work and watching and reading a few things and I simply cannot wait.

I have a Christmas novella review for you tomorrow I just need to get it finished.

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, 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.