The battle of the recipe boxes

We’ve all been there. Got home from work late, staring blankly at a fridge full of ingredients, trying to come up with some inspiration, failing miserably and before you know it the pull of Deliveroo is too strong and a Nando’s is on it’s way…

For 9-5 workers and especially those of us in London it’s a feeling all too familiar. According to London newspaper City A.M Londoners spend 107 hours a year on their commute so when combined with the hours actually spent working it’s no wonder the majority of us don’t have the motivation or inspiration to decide what to cook.

That’s where recipe boxes/kits come in. The concept of having food delivered to our door isn’t exactly new but what’s different about these deliveries are that you choose your ingredients based on the menus you choose. Meaning you’ve already decided what you want to eat so you’re only getting enough for what you’ve opted for. There are so many on the market but I put the main 3 to the test; Gousto, Hello Fresh and Mindful Chef. But which came out on top?

Mindful chef:

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The most expensive of the three I trialled mindful chef thanks to a 25% discount code through work. Each recipe is priced per portion and all recipes are dairy and gluten free. They’ve also partnered with food blogger Madeline Shaw to allow you recreate some of her favourite recipes.

The box:

I ordered a 3 meal box that came to £38 with the discount and included a Sri Lankan prawn curry, chicken and pesto courgetti and a fajita steak salad. Quite frankly I couldn’t taste the difference in the quality of the ingredients versus the cost and mindful chef really annoyed me with the courgetti dish. I know you can get pre-spirallized courgetti in the supermarket so given that the recipe stated the dish was courgetti it failed to let me know I required my own spirallizer until it was too late. Though perhaps this reflects more the target market of mindful chef. Furthermore the recipes used ingredients quite foreign to us so getting the cooking right with such new ingredients was a challenge and even sometimes just choosing the menu. Not everything I want to eat should come with pomegranate even though it’s one of my favourite fruits. We were supposed to have 25% off our first 3 boxes but I cancelled it after the first – a severe disappointment in our eyes.

Hello Fresh:

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Our first venture into the “recipe box world” we got a discount on our first 4 boxes with hello fresh. Unlike mindful chef the costing is broken down by number of dishes you have. The more dishes you go for in a week, the less the price per portion so at full cost 4 meals for the week would cost £34.99. Like with all these recipe boxes you can build your menu around you staring at the start if you’re vegetarian, vegan etc so your menu is completely tailored.

The box:

Of the 4 boxes we had total our general feelings were “ok”. We had some absolutely stand out dishes that we’ve often gone back to and our eyes have been opened to adding more citrus ingredients to stir fry dishes. However we also had some shockers including a turkey dish that resulted in us throwing away the “crispy kale” element. The recipe cards are on full sized A4 paper. A huge plus for both hello fresh and mindful chef are that the recipes are bagged up separately and numbered accordingly so all your ingredients are kept in one place ready when you need them. We went back to hello fresh again with another discount code but generally it still fell short of the mark for us. There were never really anything massively wrong with the meals (bar the odd few) but there weren’t any that really wowed either.

Gousto

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Ahhhhh our crowning glory. I literally LOVED gousto from the first box. The extra touches just seal it. From the info booklet on where the ingredients are sourced to the free wooden spoon there’s just something about gousto. At exactly the same price as hello fresh (4 meals for £34.99) it’s been a revelation. Not only have 90% of the dishes been super tasty but a lot have wowed us. There’s a particular Thai chicken curry that I’ve recreated at least 3 times it’s THAT good. If I could combine the individual ingredient bagging of hello fresh with gousto I’d never go anywhere else. All the recipe cards are pre hole punched and you get a nifty little ring binder with box 2 – and every subsequent 50th box to build up your own little recipe library.

The box:

As with all the above, the boxes come with the individual ingredients. All chilled ingredients come in a fully recyclable cool bag with ice packs that can be put in the freezer and re-used for picnics etc. This means you can have the box delivered when you’re not even home and it keeps the ingredients fresh. They stay fresh for a while too, there was one box we forgot to cancel over Christmas that had to stay in our foyer for a couple of days – still fresh. Gousto are also pledging to reduce their plastic packaging and already send a lot of ingredients loose for this reason. Big plus for the environment. Most of the recipes have been really tasty and if anything the biggest disappointments have been the ones that have been in collaboration with Joe Wicks aka ‘The Body Coach’. The next menu is released on Tuesdays at 12pm and gousto have a cross-platform app so you can easily choose your menu for the week. The subscription is completely flexible giving you the option to pause, skip and changed delivery dates with ease to suit your eating pattern for that week.

For the cost there generally isn’t much in it except mindful chef which is quite frankly not worth it in my eyes but there is just something about the gousto recipes that have been far superior to anything else we’ve tried.

To try and of these recipes boxes visit the sites below. These links are referral links and therefore I do receive “credit” to use on future boxes for myself but do not receive direct payment from the companies for the referral.

Gousto – Get 50% off your first box and 30% off any additional in the first month: cook.gousto.co.uk/raf/?promo_code=CHLOE18158490&utm_source=weblink

Hello Fresh – Get £20 off your first order: https://www.hellofresh.co.uk?c=TOMNOD&utm_source=raf-share&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=clipboard

Mindful Chef – Get £20 off your first order: https://www.mindfulchef.com/?referral_code=96ZMGQB

 

REVIEW: The Book of Mormon

I have a confession. I don’t like any animated comedy TV series. Family Guy, Simpsons, American Dad, Futurama and even South Park. I’m not just talking an “I don’t find them funny” kind of dislike; oh no. I’m talking full scale them actually being on in the background borderline angers me kind of dislike. So why on earth would I go to a musical created by the same people behind such TV shows I hear you cry. Well, it was the top of Tom’s list and recently his birthday so I decided to put my personal opinion aside and get him tickets. Also part of me was curious. I mean with nine Tony Awards and a Grammy I couldn’t possibly hate it could I?

The Theatre

The Prince of Wales Theatre in the heart of Leicester Square is the BoM’s home. A Mackintosh theatre it has multiple bars with a surprising amount of room as far as theatre’s go. I’m also a big fan of the fact that like many of the London theatres they serve Yorkshire crisps and popcorn #represent. We had dress circle tickets and I have to say the gradient of the rake was quite impressive. It certainly helps make the theatre feel intimate and you can pretty much guarantee a decent view right from the back. Added bonus that you don’t have to be concerned about someone tall sitting in front and as a shortie this is a regular concern for me.

The view from our ‘Row E’ seats

The Music

I don’t know where to start. I went in to this pretty much blind. I’d only ever heard the opening song “Hello” and that was from a video from Facebook a few weeks before my theatre visit. Needless to say that one video was enough for it to be on repeat in my head EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. But “Hello” is only one of the many incredible songs in this show. It has a remarkable way of taking some controversial subjects, putting a joke into and still making the music sound like an absolute broadway classic. Seriously impressive stuff. Though good luck picking a favourite song AND not having “Hello” in your head for daaaaays.

The Show

Whilst it’s certainly not “family friendly” though that does depend on the sense of humour of your family I guess. It sheds light on some very important themes and messages. Religion being the obvious one, Mormon culture and values another and not forgetting the oppression and violence facing the villagers in Uganda. Though you will be forgiven for laughing at what can sometimes feel like the most inappropriate times. You’ll come away laughing as if you’ve spent the last 2 hours at a stand up comedy gig. I guess that’s the brilliance of comedy writing. There’ll be moments that will touch your heart, make you spit out your drink and come away thinking “WTF”. Never in my life did I expect to see a scene in a musical that included Hitler, giant dancing coffee cups and skeletons with doughnuts but BoM more than delivered on that front. You’ll also never think of/look at a frog in the same way.

 Considering I’ve been lucky enough to see shows at £20 a ticket BoM is certainly on the slightly more expensive side of the scale but it’s also worth every penny. Like with all the shows week nights will always be cheaper and there are plenty of websites out there with flash sales and last minute “seat filling” offers. The run time is 2 hours 30 mins with a 15 minute interval. Bookings are currently available until mid May with group bookings running longer. There is also a daily lottery where 21 top-price tickets from each day are made available for £20 each. More information can be found on the theatre website:

https://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/tickets/the-book-of-mormon/

NG x

 

Learning to love the girl in the mirror*

I’m back! I recently took a bit of a blogging hiatus for no particular reason other than I simply didn’t have the motivation to write. I hate nothing more than having to force myself to put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard in this case – so I simply don’t do it. Luckily for me, during my break I received a copy of Learning to love the girl in the mirror*. A self help book from actress Helena Grace Donald about she overcame her eating habits and mental health struggles.

The book made a great travel companion

About the book

For me, the book couldn’t have landed at a better time. I have/had been struggling mentally. Putting myself on cruel, punishing diets that left me both physically and mentally drained to the point where I resented every single thing about myself. Quite the antithesis to LOVING the girl in the mirror.

Whilst it’s clear the book is aimed at teenagers currently going through their problems it wasn’t difficult to make it relate to my now “adult” problems as well as remember exactly how I was suffering throughout my teenage years. It was emotional thinking back and the throwback social media challenge of looking back to 2012 nearly made it more difficult but it was a very constructive read.

What I love about this book is how female empowering it is. Every chapter starts with a quote from a female icon and the big sister notes honestly make you feel like you’re not alone. Finding people in your circle who can relate and understand is one of the hardest things. I try and explain how my dark days feel to Tom so he at least understands but being able to relate is impossible. Being able to find that feeling in a book is truly incredible and all hats off to Helen for that.

Whilst reading this book, for the first time ever I had my ‘light bulb’ epiphany moment of “I actually have my shit together.” I have a successful career, a creative hobby I love, a wonderful supportive boyfriend, I find time to go to the gym, I cook so I can eat relatively healthy and I live in London. All at 23. I can finally say I love me. My little miss critical will still try and find faults every time I’m in front of a mirror but each day she gets weaker because I get stronger. I no longer fear food/snacks but listen to my body so I can fuel it for my crazy lifestyle.

My favourite quote from the book

About the author

Helena Grace Donald was born in London and moved to LA to pursue her acting ambitions. Having overcome her own ‘Little Miss Critical’ from her teenage years, she founded Girl Unfiltered where she works to inspire girls and young women to learn to value themselves beyond their struggles. You can found out more about her mission and follow her through her website and social media channels:

www.girlunfiltered.com

www.instagram.com/girl_unfiltered

Are there any self-help books that you’ve been loving recently?

NG x

*I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review but all thoughts and opinion are my own

 

10 Things I’ve learnt after a year in London

  1. Cheesy chips and gravy? Not a thing. *GASP* I know. Chips and gravy can be a struggle and cheesy chips are still a novelty in some places. Save this for home/returning to the North – especially if you’re aware of The Pie Shop.
  2. That bag you’re seeing EVERYWHERE? It’s a Longchamp tote.
  3. There will never be a good time to shop on Oxford Street so don’t try it. Try one of the Westfield centres instead or even better, the shopping centre at Canary Wharf – bliss.
  4. Build up your alcohol tolerance as you’ll need it. Get used to weekend day drinking starting with boozy brunches, weekend evening drinking, mid-week drinks, Prosecco Thursdays. That no drinking on a school night idea? Gone by week 2.

    Less than a week living in LDN and already exploring bars

  5. Tiger is the greatest shop on earth.
  6. Become a RTC (reduced to clear) ninja so you can pounce at the supermarket. Get to know the RTC staff if you have to so you know when the good stuff goes out or you’ll be left with a single yoghurt and some flavoured cottage cheese.
  7. Learn to pronounce stations. There’s nothing worse than a Londoner looking down on you ’cause you say Hol-Born.
  8. The number of Prets outweigh Greggs 2:1 so savour your sausage rolls when you do find them.
  9. You’ll flock to fellow northerners like a homing beacon – getting exceptionally excited when you hear another northern accent.
  10. As much as The North seems miles away, you wouldn’t trade living in The City.

        A beautiful view from Greenwich Hill

NG x

Northern Girl on… my body image story – Update 4

It’s that time again! Another whole month since I last updated you on my body positivity and my mental health. 

So what’s new since my last update 

1. I’ve started an exercise plan that I’m sticking to and enjoying.

2. I’ve started tracking meals which is forcing me to make conscious decisions about my food (and also saying f*ck it occasionally since it’s allowed).

3. I’ve started a nutrition and health qualification which has helped me understand what my body needs.

4. I invested in the skinny coffee club – Don’t judge. I had my reasons.

5. I’ve turned pescatarian.

But it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing. It’s been another up and down month. As part of my new exercise programme I decided to treat myself to some new exercise leggings and cropped top. I was on such a high when I bought a size 8 bottom and they actually felt baggy! I’d gotten so used to buying size 10 jeans that this was huge. Then in the same moment I’d be mid HIIT workout disgusted at the fat rolls that would appear mid v-sit or that would hang during other exercises.

New gym gear that I love

I wore a crop top to work and felt great. Then I saw my reflection in a dlr train and literally hated myself. I spent the 10 minute walk home cursing myself for thinking I could do such a thing. All I could think about was how many people must have seen me and thought to themselves “she shouldn’t be wearing a crop top.” Would I have thought the same if I’d seen me? The chances are that nobody thought that, but I couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t wait to get out of these clothes and put on a baggy t-shirt and escape those horrible thoughts.

Generally I’ve definitely spent more of this month feeling low about my body and I definitely can’t really recall many highs. It’s been exhausting but I have to say in a lot of other aspects I’ve been on a high. I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time. My health is in the best place it’s been in a while thanks to going back pescatarian and I’m finally having regular scans to get the diagnosis I need. Here’s to hoping I can just work on the body positivity a bit more.

Post HIIT home work out. Taking my fitness seriously 

Until next month! Ng x

Northern Girl reviews… Skinny Living

On Wednesday me and Tom had managed to secure ourselves tickets to see Skinny Living live at an event – we would eventually discover – put on by Sony music. The gig was held in an intimate, basement venue in town just off Tottenham Court Road and with free drinks and canapes we were set for a dream evening out. The venue honestly couldn’t have been more perfect with sporadic glass tables and candles and the stage protruding into the audience it felt like it was made for such an event and I hope I get to return! 

Free drinks and sliders!

So I’ll swiftly move on to the band. If you haven’t heard of them already then shame on you. If you were at #BSTHydePark when Bieber was there then they may sound familiar (they were a support act after all) but if not they’ve featured more recently on BBC Radio 1 as well as being featured in Spotify’s viral top 50. I’ll hold my hands up and admit apart from hearing “Why” on Spotify and their beautiful acoustic video from their time in Hyde park, I was relatively new to their work but I know a lot of people back home who are huge fans and I trusted their judgement entirely.

So onto the music itself. I was already pretty familiar with why so it was no surprise this was their opener but I was blown away actually seeing it performed live and the lyrics resonate around the room so much more. 

Their next was a funky, acoustic vibe and then we got into fade. The band worked the crowd and got us to sing along. By this point in the gig I hadn’t stopped dancing and I was grinning from ear to ear. I don’t know if it’s the Irish lilt of the lead singer but fade almost reminded me of The Script in their early days. It’s perfect, bounce-along pop with amazing instruments thrown in and my inner indie girl from my teens fell in love with the band. 

The next song was an emotional one and I enjoyed it just as much. Messiah is a truly beautiful song with the most beautiful lyrics and story and the perfect balance to fade.

There is literally nothing not to love about Skinny Loving. You only have to spend 5 minutes listening to the lead singer talk about the band to know how much it truly means to them and yet there’s almost that air of disbelief that all of this is happening to them (they quite clearly deserve every inch of success). They have an insane amount of talent and yet seem like this band is where they are meant to be.

So what’s next from the band?

Well from what I can gather from speaking to the band, they have a string of festivals in the summer, an EP imminent and an album on its way which I quite simply can’t wait for. There wasn’t a single fault I could pick with any of the songs I heard and I have no doubt that their album will become one of those where you literally listen to it from start to finish – no skipping required, the sign of a truly good album. I’ve been to a string of gigs recently but it has been so long since I last saw something where I literally couldn’t stop grinning like a Cheshire cat all the way through. The music is refreshing whilst familiar all at the same time and it is something the charts are so desperate for right now.

You can find the band on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Spotify.

NG x 

The liebster award

A huge thank you to Yella from yeallahawk.com for inviting me to do my first ever blogger tag post! I got asked some great questions which you can see the answers to below but first, the rules of the tag.

  • Thank the person for tagging you
  • Answer their questions 
  • Tag between 5-11 other bloggers 
  • Give them 5-11 questions
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged

What would the perfect Sunday morning look like to you? It would have to start with waffles from The Green Cafe in Greenwich. I’ve almost spoilt myself as the first place we’ve lived in London is walking distance to Greenwich. Then I’d probably have to wander round the clock tower vintage market before picking up a Pimms and fresh lemonade from Greenwich market.


What’s your all time favourite book?
Oh this is so hard! I go through so many phases with book genres that I’m obsessed with (right now its psychological thrillers) but the book I probably always come back to is The Great Gatsby. Ironically when I studied it for my AS levels I actually hated it but as I began to understand the sub stories and complexities it gripped me and I probably go back to it every year and come away remembering something new each time.

What’s your biggest goal in life? Probably just being happy? Obviously I have different goals for all aspects of my life from blog to career to body image but those are all relative compared to just having a happy healthy life with my family.

What do you love most about your blog? The fact that it gives me a purpose to get out and explore interesting and different pockets of London. And that it introduced me to the blogging community where I feel like I’ve established some genuine friendships that are only going to flourish.

Who inspired you recently? This is really difficult.I sometimes think I’m inspired without really realising it. To be honest some of the deep conversations me and Tom have really get me thinking about myself and my life and can often spur blog ideas so he inspires me a lot and makes me challenge my own thought process.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start blogging? Go for it! Honestly don’t ever look back. Do what suits you and join blog chats as often as you can!

What’s your favourite cocktail? Hands down an espresso martini. I’m a little bit of a caffeine addict so it’s just my absolute dream in a glass. It also helps that you can get them for free in London from with the help of Drinki App!

I’ll be tagging my bloggers ball blog squad:

Chloe from imjustagirl16.co.uk

Kirsty from thevioletblonde.com

Chloe from chloealicelily.co.uk

Lauren from mylifeaslauren1993

Chloe from simplychlo.co.uk

Here are your questions girls! 

  1. What’s your ultimate pet hate?
  2. What’s your favourite animal ?
  3. What would be your death row meal?
  4. Where’s your favourite city ?
  5. If you could choose only one to use what would it be? Twitter/Instagram/Facebook?
  6. What’s your favourite cuisine?
  7. Least favourite household chore?
  8. If you’ve ever been to London what’s your favourite thing about it?
  9. What’s your ultimate blogging tip?
  10. Who’s your favourite blogger (big or small)?
  11. And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Am I a bad blogger? A blogger’s crisis of confidence 

  1. I don’t schedule tweets
  2. I don’t have a blog schedule
  3. I’m really bad at remembering to promote old content
  4. I couldn’t even tell you what my latest stats are
  5. I have 0 subscribers
  6. I have never been approached by a single brand about anything
  7. I don’t own a marble background nor am I able to nail the perfect flatlay
  8. I don’t use Photoshop and barely edit anything
  9. I don’t vlog
  10. I don’t always reply to my comments

So am I a bad blogger?

I am an insanely jealous person and I will openly hold my hands up and admit that. I’m also very competitive so maybe that breeds jealousy. Not exactly traits you’d expect from a blogger in what has recently been described as a “saturated market” but here I am. You’d be forgiven for reading this and thinking I’m a total b*tch, I’d hope anyone who has got to know me know that this isn’t the case  (though I’m sure there are some who do know me and still think it).

As a blogger it’s all too easy to look at other people’s success and compare it to your own (or lack of)! Don’t get me wrong, when I tell other bloggers I’m happy for them I genuinely am. There are so many amazing bloggers out there who work so incredibly hard and I’m genuinely proud of them but I’m also jealous – it’s embarrassing to admit it but I am.

But then I sit myself down and I have a reality check…

I didn’t start this blog expecting it to be incredible and be flooded by PR requests. I love writing, I always have. My biggest regret in life is not going to uni and studying language and linguistics. I keep travel diaries when I go on holiday and I keep countless notebooks. I started this blog because it gave me a hobby I could be passionate about. I started this blog so I could share my advice about living in London and all the incredible things there is to do here and as a result of starting this blog I get out and explore this beautiful city more. My family and friends get to see life updates. I get a space where I feel like I can share anything and I get to make some incredible friends (hopefully)!

I’d be lying if I said I’d be happy if I never got contracted by any brands but I’d be ok with it. I mean how many people can say they get paid to do their hobby? I also know that there are a lot more things I could do if I had the time to grow and develop (organically) my blog which I don’t currently – though I’m desperately trying to change that.

So whilst I may not be a good blogger, I’m at least proud to say that I’m a genuine one.

NG x

Northern Girl on… half year goals list

I can’t believe we’re in June already! I was so new to blogging back in January I didn’t realise how much of a thing “goals lists” were so I never did one. Thinking about it now, I have no idea why I didn’t think to, even if I didn’t share it I should have set out my aims and goals- I’m a sucker for a to do list after all! To make up for it I’ve decided to do a half-year one with my aims for the remainder of 2017, separating them into blog, life and health.

Blog:

  • I was very lucky to hit my initial target of 1000 twitter followers by my birthday so I’m going to be even more ambitious and hope for 2k by the new year 
  • Similarly, I’d love reach 500 instagram followers 
  • I’m hoping that I can attend my first blog event/get my first sponsored post offer 
  • I’d also love to regularly meet up with other local bloggers and try and formulate some friendships.  One of the hardest things about moving to London has been adapting to the loneliness. Tom has worked shifts our entire relationship so that’s nothing new but before if he was working on an evening/weekend I’d be able to call round and see family/friends – not so easy when you’re 200km away. Whilst we regularly catch up on phone calls/facetime it’s not the same.
  • Improve my blog photography. This will probably be the one I struggle most with as I’m far from a natural photographer but I’ve bought a few pretty props and dug out my ancient Olympus EP-1 So it’s a start.

We recently took the camera on a walk with us for practice

    Life:

    • I’m a money worrier so a big part of my 2017 is clearing a huge chunk off my credit card. I have another couple of years to clear it so I’m not too worried but it’ll be good to get rid of a lot.
    • Likewise keep squirreling away our savings. This is quite easy to do as I have automated payments set up to a help to buy isa. We’d love to be able to afford our own house but it’s looking impossible in London atm so it’s not our number one priority but we can both comfortably afford the payments whilst we adjust to our London life. 
    • I didn’t go to university so I’ve fought for where I am at work, especially in a heavily male environment so I’m hoping to continue to grow this and increase my role and responsibility.
    • I’d also love to learn to cook. I owe Tom a cooking masterclass for his birthday so it’s definitely one to tick off this year.
    • I’d love to grow my hair again to donate it. I have such a love/hate relationship with my hair. When it’s long and thick it takes so much to maintain and style but when it’s short I miss being able to throw it back in a pony on my lazy days but I know it will always grow again and it’s satisfying knowing that it has been donated to a good cause. If I do donate again it will be my third donation to The Little Princess’ Trust.
    • I received the most amazing journals for my birthday so one will be my new blog notebook, the other I’m planning on turning into a bullet journal.

    Health 

    • I’m hoping 2017 is finally the year I get some sort of diagnosis in way of my stomach problems. I’ve been battling near constant pain for almost 4 years with 1 major surgery and countless other scans/procedures with no success so far but I’m due to see a specialist in June so it’s progress.  
    • I’d always said at the start of this year I wanted to run a 10k so that’s very much still on my mind. I’m aiming for this around September time and I’m looking to do a blog series all about how different people have trained for different running events/distances so watch this space!
    • I’d love this year to be the year I finally combat my body issues. It ultimately felt great recognising my issues with the blog and I think it was a huge step towards recovery. I’m trying not to focus so much on numbers on a scale and more my own confidence and positivity so I’m aiming for:
    1. Feeling confident in my bikini – I’m going on two holidays this year and it’ll be my first beach holiday in 2 years so this is a huge one. I didn’t wear a bikini to a spa weekend last year because I  wasn’t happy so yeah, watch this space.
    2. I would also love to stop focusing on numbers on a scale and more on how I feel in my clothes. I let the numbers my weight was at rule my life for so long so I’m trying to change those goals to things like feeling confident enough to work out in just a sports bra and leggings or getting the confidence to wear crop tops back.
    3. I’m also hoping to celebrate my good days more. I will proudly say that there are days when I do want to celebrate my body. I’m trying to remember to wear clothes that suit my body type rather than just my dress size and embracing this.
    • I’d also love to be able to get my emotions/stress under control.  It’s the number one cause for friction in my relationship so this is another huge thing for me to finally achieve and I hope the two will go somewhat hand in hand. Get my eating under control and the emotions will hopefully follow.  

    The new running gear I got for my birthday to try and motivate me through the summer

      Do you have any goals for this year? NG x

      Northern Girl on… UPDATE – My body image story

      It’s been exactly a month since I first published my eating disorder experience. Yes really, a month. I can’t believe it either. When I first hit that publish button and shut my laptop off I genuinely thought when I woke up the next day I’d delete it instantly but boy am I glad I didn’t. It was never my intention to make people pity me but I have to say the genuine support I received and the incredible feedback I got made it so worthwhile and guess what – the post stayed (though I still can’t read it back).

      It was such a hard post for me to get out and yet it was one of my easiest to write. It had a mixed impact on my mind too. It felt incredible to get it all out there but it certainly made it more real, I had some really down days where I was obsessing over my weight and not being able to shift any of it but it was forcing me to think about it, recognise it and deal with it.

      I can’t explain enough how much support I receive at home every single day. Tom is an actual angel but I always worry that he gets frustrated having to constantly tell me that I am enough. The dark, twisted side of me thinks he does it because he feels obliged to but I know that is never the case. I wish more than anything that I could see what he sees and love the person that I am now, not the person I will be when I’ve lost a bit of the podge. The optimis in me thinks I’ll wake up one morning not caring, like somebody flicked a switch and fixed me. The realist in me knows that this is a long way off, if it even happens at all but the key for me now is that I want this. The truth is I’ve found over my 10 years with this struggle that your mind set will only change if you want it to and I let my mind get too comfortable and it was hard to see that I was content being like this. Now I’m not. Now i’m ready to change.

      I’ll be releasing my Half-year aims list in a couple of weeks – a goals list for the remainder of the year and my mental health is at the forefront of my mind. I’m aiming to not get bogged down with the number on the scales, something I’ve been very hit and miss with over the years. Instead i’m setting myself goals that are around me being comfortable with me. These will be harder to achieve but safer for my mind. I’m also trying to look at things in a different way so when I see the latest celebrity Instagram where a petite socialite is parading around her rock hard abs in a tiny bikini; i’m reminding myself that they are not me. They are not battling a chronic illness that is so painful it means I can’t get out of bed some days. They don’t work 11 hour days in an office for a wage that barely makes rent. They have money for personal trainers and time to train multiple hours a day. I could look like that if I had all of those but I don’t, that isn’t my life and I’m ok with that.

      Another thing I’m hoping to develop in my mind is dressing for my body shape not my dress size. This i’m most interested in seeing if it works because at the minute it’s looking promising and it’s the first time I’ve ever thought about such a mind set. I am trying to feel so proud of my hourglass figure that I know others would be ecstatic to have. I know that I’m going to have good days and bad days. I’m strict with my money so I wouldn’t throw out outfits because they don’t fit right and they make me feel fat – though maybe I should – but I’m trying to re-think outfits where I can so I feel comfortable, sexy and confident so that I can finally champion my own body positivity!

      After a painful 10 years I finally feel like I’m making progress. If you’d have asked me at the start of the year to wear a crop top I’d have told you to stick it.

      Ng x