Me Too.

Anger. Sadness. Depression. Anxiety. Insomnia. Fatigue. Panic. Everything that I have been combating the last few months. In no way am I writing this to generate a huge response… , I feel that I just need to get how I’ve been feeling and WHY I have been feeling this way out there somewhere, written down, even if no-one see’s this at all. I just want to let this go and satisfy the initial aim of getting a blog, which was to share my experiences and treat this as a safe space and like my diary. I’ve been back and forth about letting this go live, this has been sat in my drafts for months! I’m even scared this is going to be too strong a topic for my blog. But this is real and these are my feelings that I have slowly built back up to being strong and positive, one day at a time.

In April I was signed off work for one month due to anxiety and stress. Unlike every other time my anxiety has kicked in, I knew the cause of this episode. My workplace. Or more specifically the Chairman of my workplace. Or even MORE specifically – the Father of my direct boss. I work in a family office and PA for the Daughter who is inspiring and motivational, hence this was a very tricky and difficult situation. I do not want to go into details as they are crude and really won’t make for a pleasurable or insightful reading experience but my work environment was all wrong. He was sick, often had toilet accidents (yes number two’s included!) and had a potty mouth that made me cringe and feel uncomfortable – this is not something I go to work for.

I pride myself for working hard and trying my best, but in this environment, I was tense, angry and frustrated. There was no room to even think in my own mind as it was just filled with degrading and disgusting comments that nobody should be subject to. Comments about my appearance, about sex, about my body – even though he was sick and apparently didn’t know what he was saying, this is still inexcusable and measures should have been put in place to protect employee’s from this behaviour.

After a few conversations with my direct boss (his daughter) and being signed off by the Doctor – I think she saw how serious this actually was. I had lost myself, I was emotional and angry and felt that she should be accountable for my welfare. I was left in an office with this monster when she chose to hardly ever show up (I don’t blame her, I question how she is still sane when bought up with a Father like hers).

One month off work did me wonders. I caught up on sleep. Walked a hell of a lot. Lots of time to think my own thoughts instead of my mind being possessed with anger and negativity. I’m so proud to say that I am through the other side of this anxiety hurricane I was experiencing. I am back to work (Yes with the same company!) My boss has taken measures to move my office so I am away from the chaos. There was definitely some settling back in issues and I was super nervous to return to work but 3 months on and I can truly say I am so glad that I found the strength to push through and speak up. My mental health suffered being in that awful environment and it is super scary having honest conversations (especially when blood is thicker than water!) but I was true to myself and made it through the other end.

Now.. onwards and upwards!

Charlotte xoxo

My 2019 Goals And Resolutions

It is the time of the year where we have all over indulged over Christmas, lived in a blur of not knowing what day of the week it is, and dreading the return to work. I have absolutely adored not setting an alarm, cherishing my sleep and spending quality time with my loved ones. But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and my end was facing reality and getting back into a much needed routine!

I’ve been really trying to put some resolutions and goals in place for 2019 and I think for the first time ever I have not set these around my physical appearance. My resolution is not to lose 1 stone in a certain amount of time. It isn’t to tone my thighs so my legs look better in that dress for my friend’s birthday. It isn’t to start going to the gym twice a day for January to lose the Christmas bloat that I gained through spending time with people who make me happy.

This year my resolutions are based around things in my life that I feel will help my mind and boost positivity. As mentioned in some of my previous posts my anxiety has been creeping back at certain points and I really want to get my mind back to the best it can be. I want to feel completely happy again eliminating any worries that could be feeding my anxiety.

I have been really open with my money problems and very poor spending habits in the past which has now left me with a horrible amount of debt and is going to hinder my future plans. I had a very honest chat with my Mum about this and I realised that not only am I putting this worry on myself but I am also causing her stress which absolutely breaks my heart. I feel like a complete failure and it is my Mum that is beating herself up about it as she keeps asking herself… “what did I do wrong.” Nothing Mum. This was all me.

It was a conversation that we needed to have and it ended with her telling me that she knows I can pay off this debt if I put my mind to it. So my only real ‘solid’ resolution for 2019 is to make a dent in this debt. I am trying to be very mindful, save and really think about if I truly need what I have in my ASOS basket! It is so true that spending your money on ‘experiences’ rather than ‘things’ is worth so much more. Instead of Christmas presents this year me and my boyfriend went to Prague for 3 days, we got a really good deal and it was so nice to have an adventure over the Christmas break. Honestly the amount it cost us to go and explore a new City, which gave me true happiness was equivalent to some of my mindless splurges that give me 5 minutes of ‘joy’ but are quickly forgotten.  I think I’m going to do a review and travel post on Prague so that I change things up on here! I do not want to be all doom and gloom!

Some other things that aren’t so much resolutions but more things to try and maintain are:

  • Try a new spin class (I have been saying this for SO long) and after a few bad spin classes at past gyms I have been put off. But seeing the sweaty glow from people leaving my gym’s spin class has got me kind of jealous! So 2019 is the year to try something new!
  • Keep up with my running. I am definitely no pro here and I can just about run 5k (I am literally at throw up stage!) but this is comparing myself to a girl who couldn’t even run for 3 minutes this time last year. I am very proud of myself and want to continue watching myself improve.
  • Reduce the amount of heat I put on my hair. Silly one I know, but in the interest of keeping my hair healthy (and of course saving time) I am cutting down with the straighteners!

Anyway, here is to a happy and healthy 2019 everyone!

Charlotte xox

An Update: Keto Lifestyle, Exercising Like Crazy and Thinking Too Much!

I failed… I am reading my last post and I am sat here chuckling to myself! I LOVE the optimism that I had but oh my god was I making things hard for myself!

October 6th was when I wrote the last post explaining that I was putting myself on a Keto journey, so technically I should be 1 month and 1 day into this now. HAHAHAHA! Definitely not. After 6 days of a Keto diet I packed it in. I felt so light headed and miserable and I had no energy whatsoever. It was such a struggle to get through the day at work because around 3pm I was hit with the worst migraine and the NEED to nap. Continuing with the Keto diet was just not worth it to me, I started it because as mentioned I was in a very ‘bleurgh’ place and I thought it could be a positive journey but for me it just was not. I came on my period as well for 2 days and the lead up to this I felt like I had been hit by a bus, the fatigue and aches did not help my motivation for persevering. I know with many things that you have to persevere to reap the benefits but I did not have any willpower.

For me the Keto diet was not just restricting myself to 20g-30g of Carbs a day but it was also a mental war. The mental energy that was zapped from me was too much. I constantly had to think about how many grams of Carbs and Protein and Fat I was consuming and this just did not work for me. “Fail to prepare… prepare to fail” could not be more appropriate in this instance, you really need sufficient time to prep all of your meals to reduce this thinking process and for me I lack the time to do this in my week. I value time with my boyfriend, friends and family over chopping veggies and meal prep in the kitchen.

I go to Dubai in 4 months and I began to put pressure on myself to lose weight, tone up, eat healthier but in all honesty, what is the point of doing this if I am stressing myself out and am not happy? This just does not work for me – looking back in the past, the times where I have lost weight, is where I have just not been thinking about it too much. Yes I was eating healthy and exercising but I wasn’t so obsessed with it. Day 6 of my supposed Keto diet, I ate a Weetabix because I felt so faint, and I gave myself such a hard time because 1 Weetabix biscuit contains 25.7g of Carbohydrates, almost 1 day’s allowance. I don’t like it when my mind goes like that … Dear Lord it’s only a Weetabix!!

I am lucky because I am not one of those people that dread the gym, I go most mornings before work, it changes my mindset for the day and it makes me feel good so trying to force myself to then go AGAIN after work was pure h e l l. Why was I trying to turn something that I love into something I dreaded? 1 workout a day is enough surely! I might have had a shot if I was going straight from work and my gym was down the road but after waiting for delayed trains to turn up and being on a train crammed against other people like some sardines for 40 minutes, the gym is the last thing I want to do!

Looking at my list of mini resolutions, I have actually upped my sleep. I really have felt so tired recently and I really feel like I need my sleep, I am struggling to wake up in the mornings, so early nights haven’t been hard to implement, I get to 9pm and my eyes need toothpicks to stay open, such a party pooper at the moment!

Overall I need to learn not to be so hard on myself and not to set myself ridiculous goals that I know I am just not going to achieve. I am going to continue to eat intuitively and exercising how I am, I need to listen to my body and not put strain on it by introducing a diet that is just not for me and does not fit into my weekly routine.

I do need a change in my life because I am still not feeling my best and I need some excitement and focus on something. I find it fascinating that when I feel like I need a change my diet and exercise routine are the first things to get altered and are what I associate with change. Maybe I need to start a new project or look for a new job… we will see!

 

Charlotte xoxo

Introducing New Habits

I’ve been feeling so ‘bleurgh’ recently. That is the only word that sums up how I have been feeling for the past month.  I  feel very vanilla and I don’t know why. I’m lacking oomph in everything, my diet, my workouts, my appearance, I just feel so bleak. All I want to do when I feel like this is sit in bed and scoff chocolate and biscuits. Yes I know, throwing myself a pity party and feeling sorry for myself. I seem to have acquired a double chin and a bloated belly, my mood swings have been crazy lately, bursting into tears many times in public for no reason whatsoever – my boyfriend said to me the other day “who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend Charlotte”. I’ve been selfish with other peoples feelings because I’ve been more concerned with making myself feel better, no matter how I do it, I have literally wanted to rip peoples heads off. The poor guy in Pret yesterday even got a glimpse of my dragon side because he was eating his food too loudly….. (in my defence there really was no need for him to be slapping his lips like that).

Oh the joys of PCOS.

I have been thinking for a while that I need to change things up, I do really need to start taking care of my body and implementing a routine that is going to nourish my body and support my PCOS, this last month has spurred me on to take action because I am honestly so fed up of feeling like this.

I have been doing a lot of research and on Monday 15th October I am going to be trying the Ketogenic diet . A Keto diet (according to the information that I have been reading) supports PCOS. The Keto diet is essentially well known for being a low carb, high fat diet where the body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. Usually when you eat something high in carbs your body will produce glucose and insulin, so now (if done correctly) my body will burn fat for energy.

I know you need carbs in your diet to provide energy, and with my busy schedule I am certainly not going to be cutting them out completely. Therefore, I am going to be eating 20-30 grams of carbs a day, 60-70 grams of healthy fats a day and a moderate portion of protein a day. I am not saying that I am going to love this diet but with how I am feeling I am going to give it a go and give it a good chance.

As I am going to be starting a new ‘diet’ (I HATE that word), I also thought that I would introduce some new lifestyle habits and report back.

  • Drink 4 litres of water a day (I am going to be peeing every 5 minutes!!!) This may seem like a lot, but I drink 3 and bit litres already and want to up this!
  •  Aim for 7 hours of sleep a night. Last week I had 3 nights in a row where I was asleep for 9:30pm and oh my god did I feel better for it. Some nights I know this isn’t possible as i’ll be at my boyfriends and there is no way that he will be going to sleep that early, but I am going to aim to get 7 hours sleep at least 4 days a week.
  • Read  more as a hobby rather than aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. I feel good when I read, so why not do more of what makes me feel good?
  • Meditate a little every day – even if this is only 3 minutes. I use meditation as a last minute tool for my anxiety and it does calm me down.  I want to reap the benefits of this daily.
  • Organise myself for the week ahead at the weekend- I am going to use a Sunday afternoon as time for self-love, self-care and organisation. I want to organise my outfits for the week, my meals and my diary so I know exactly what I am wearing, what I am eating and where  I am going! This should save me from doing this in the week and hopefully free up some time for those early nights.

I also tried a Circuit class with my Mum last week and I loved it so I am also going to be adding in one circuit class a week to my workouts. Working out makes me feel so good (YAY for endorphins!) At the moment I go to the gym before work and it is solidified into my routine so working out 5 times a week is not difficult for me. But I want to be doing workouts where I feel GOOD about myself after, not just hating life on the running machine, doing it because in fact, it is easier to get to the station from my gym in the morning then from home.

I am going to aim to incorporate the following workouts into my week, listening to my body if I need to rest and not giving myself a hard time if I don’t feel it.

  • 2 x Bodypump classes a week
  • 1 x Circuit Class a week
  • 2 x Cardio Sessions a week
  • 1 x Weights/Resistance workout a week
  • 2 x rest days

I tend to do Cardio on a Monday and Friday, Bodypump on a Tuesday and Thursday (sometimes even a Saturday if I’m feeling it!), Circuits on a Wednesday, rest on a Friday and Sunday … I will most likely combine the weight session with my Cardio session on the Monday, so I need add in 1 more cardio sesh over the weekend which is doable.

Anyway, I am going to be taking on these new habits from the 15th October 2018, I will be taking note of how I am feeling, what I am eating, how much I am sleeping and hopefully this can help me to find my sparkle again.

Charlotte

xoxo

Setting a Five Year Plan

How do you make a five year plan when you want to squeeze so much in? I feel like I am still so young but am reaching a point in my life where I do really have to start making some adult decisions!

I am all for setting goals and aims to work towards, but right now my life feels so crazy and unorganised that I feel as though if I set some goals and put in place a five year plan then I am just setting myself up to fail. I hate failing.

I am ambitious and I work very hard, I constantly want my brain to take in more and with my career I am always looking for my next challenge. My personal life however I am very much the opposite, I feel scared of life, and I do things on the safe side and at the moment I feel as though I am stuck and not getting anywhere. If you had asked me five years ago, I could not see myself being in this mess…

If you ask me what I would like to achieve in the next five years it would be the below. I am 25 so I feel as though setting some goals and aspirations at this point in my life is significant, I am a quarter of a century after all!

Charlotte’s goals to achieve by 30 years of age: 

  • Clear all my debt
  • Have sufficient savings
  • Own a home
  • Be at the peak of my career
  • Be happy
  • Be expecting a child or be very close to having one!

I look at this list and with how quick time is flying, I truly believe five years is not enough time to achieve all of these and it is making me anxious and very nervous. I look at other people and think “how are you so together?!?!”

For example, as mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been suffering from anxiety because I have recently accepted and taken note of my debt. I really, really, really should have listened to my mum when she told me to set money aside for a rainy day.

How am I going to clear this debt AND own a home AND have sufficient savings? If I am focusing on excelling in my career then do I have time for a baby?  If I am stressing about these things then how am I going to be HAPPY?!

Life is flying so quickly and I never appreciated this when I was younger. Is it best to just live life day by day?

Is setting a five year plan unrealistic and putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves? On the flip side is this way of thinking just burying our heads in the sand and not addressing our problems?

I would love to hear some thoughts on this, I am such an organised and together person at work but when it comes to my own life I feel hopeless!

Charlotte

xox

 

 

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Anxiety.

I honestly feel like I may be having a heart attack. My anxiety has been that bad over the past couple of days.

Today is the 4th day I am suffering with lots of worry,  an extremely fast heart rate and a tight chest. I’m not sure how much longer my body can cope with this.

My anxiety is definitely at its all time peak and I am knowingly having to take myself aside and calm myself down. I have been finding that the app Buddhify has been extremely helpful, in calming down my breathing and heart rate. There are so many options of meditation and controlled breathing exercises, so even if I am at work, I can take myself off for a few minutes so that nobody sees I have gone missing.

I’m not particularly sure what has triggered this surge of anxiety, I think I have got to a point where life has caught up with me and I am really worrying about the future. Will my money troubles stop me from getting a mortgage? Am in the right job for me? Will my hard work ever pay off?  What if I miss an opportunity because I am in the wrong place that day?

I do remind myself that there is so much more to life to spend precious time that I will never get back to worry about the above but I do believe you need to have a balance of reality and positivity.  I try and brush my troubles and worries aside and tell myself that life is too short and look at lovely quotes on Instagram and Pinterest and try and kid myself that reading those will make everything ok…but in reality that really isn’t going to solve my problems, or debt issues! I need to face these and solve them.. and THEN believe that life is too short and start living.

I think I may have even solved my question by writing this post… Having this realisation four days ago triggered my anxiety. I just need to learn to cope with it.

Life is definitely a journey and each year I can say I do learn so much about myself, but the more I learn the more I look back and think.. what were you doing Charlotte! I want to scream at myself, I wish I could go back and change things.. but I can’t.

So time to get on with it I suppose!

 

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Permanent Holiday Needed.

Rest is such a vital factor when it comes to leading a healthy and balanced life. It is just as important, if not more important, as eating healthy and exercising.

It is no secret that I do not sleep enough. I probably go to bed around 11pm and wake up at 5:10am. I am an hour shy of the recommended amount of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and believe me, I am the type of person that needs my 8 hours sleep!

It was evident on my most recent holiday, that I was mentally and physically drained. I went away with my lovely Mumsy for a week, a week that we had intended to switch off and chill and oh my god did we do just that.

Packing my suitcase I had every intention to visit the hotel gym, go on a few long walks with my mum and keep up some sort of fitness regime so that I didn’t completely die when I got back in the gym when I was home. I had every intention to do this (as a quarter of my gym gear took up my suitcase!) but once I was away from life and my routine I just could not find the motivation to do this. I didn’t do ANY exercise for a WHOLE WEEK!

It was obvious my body needed to rest and recharge. I was falling asleep at 10pm most nights and I wasn’t waking up until 10am or 11am the next day. It was bliss. I laid on a sunbed all day (I definitely was not lacking Vitamin D at the moment), I read 3 books, I ate what I want, I had no stresses and I didn’t have to think about anything.

Fast forward 3 weeks and this new refreshed woman I had became is just out of the window. I am working my butt off at work, I feel like I need multiple duvet days and I can’t seem to get back into the gym . I mean I am going but I am just hating it, I feel even more tired and I feel stuck in a rut. I’m getting to bed earlier (I think that is down to Love Island having finished) and even though I am getting that additional hour, I still am really struggling to get out of bed in the mornings!  My snooze button has never been so active!

The good news is, is that I have had 2 periods come through, two months on a trot, which is positive – I’m on the Noriday  Contraceptive Pill which is meant to stop your periods so although this is good, I am a bit confused as to what is going on!?

From next week I am going to be upping my Vegetable intake, I’ve signed up to Hello Fresh UK so that my meals are pre-planned and I will be able to make healthier choices, I have had a glance at the meals and they are full of vegetables and balanced.

I will record my meals and see if I feel there is an improvement with my tiredness.

Other than that i’m not really sure what I can do to help other than, win the lottery, move to a sunny country and start my own business!

Anyway… roll on the next holiday, 33 days (not that i’m counting!)