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Yesterday my work colleague, who I shall call L, and I were discussing the running that we do. I told her that I went for a 5km run on Sunday so was having 2 days off to recover before running again last night. Her first response was ‘if you are doing a marathon you have to do more than that‘. This made me feel really annoyed. It was as if she was judging me for not running as much as she does.

I have entered myself for the Virgin London Marathon in April 2011, which she knows about, but don’t know yet whether I have got in. I have looked at the training plan that they suggest and if I go get a place I will start this in October. I only recently started running properly in April/May, in preparation for a possible marathon, but even if I don’t get a place I will continue running and do other races.

Her comment got me thinking about running and why some people do more than others. I go running 3 – 4 times a week and at least two of those runs are over 2 miles. For me this is still quite a long way and my current mile pace is juts under 10 mins. I know that I cannot run everyday of the week for many reasons:

  • My body needs time to recover between long runs
  • I have other responsibilities at home such as cooking the evening meal / spending time with my boyfriend
  • I work long hours so do get very tired towards the end of the week (well throughout the week actually!)

I know a lot of people who run everyday, L runs 5 miles and I don’t think it’s for the best reasons. I run to improve my fitness and to increase my mileage. It is also a great way to relax after a hard day at work.

A lot of the bloggers I keep up with do run everyday, a lot don’t. They know what works for them. I too know what works for me. Even though I felt slightly pressurized to increase my run amount and distance I know that I don’t need to justify my exercise to anyone.

It would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on this – how often do you run and how long for? Have you ever felt pressure from someone else to increase your exercise?

[Title source: Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (to wear Sunscreen)]

I’ve been searching for a monthly magazine for while now that is focused on healthy living and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. It needed to tell me of new exercises I could do, healthy things that I could eat, tips about healthy living and ways in which I could improve myself. I finally found this when I bought the June issue of Zest magazine. Even after flicking through quickly it I knew if was perfect for me.

Review of Zest Magazine

The first few pages are split into 5 areas: Fitness, Nutrition, Beauty, Self and Health and these areas are carried throughout the rest of the magazine. They provide great tips, ideas and stats that are easy to remember. After their woman of the month feature (a great positive role model) there is a section about a ‘total body plan’. This focuses on new exercises that anyone can do to tone up and small changes that you can make to your diet and body. All of the fitness advice in Zest caters to everyone and you can find something to help you whatever your fitness level.  And it’s not “in your face” advice, it’s little suggestions that you can choose from – perfect!

There is then a large Expert section in which the 5 areas touched on at the beginning are looked at in more focus. This is good as you can really learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle – it’s not just about eating well and exercising. It makes you realise that you have to take care off yourself a whole.

The food / healthy eating sections are great as they don’t suggest unachievable diets. There is a really effort to provide balanced diets and healthy recipes that will appeal to meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

There are a lot of products (clothes, make-up, gadgets, books, cookery courses, dvds) throughout the magazine in a range of prices.  Unlike some health magazines, the products offered aren’t stupidly expensive and things that you will never afford / need! Even if you are on a budget, you will be able to find something that you can afford and if you want to splash out, you can! All in all it’s a great magazine, packed full of brilliant advice and useful tips, and one that I can’t wait to buy again.

Beauty Magazines

I’m really pleased that I bought this magazine and do feel that it is money well spent as I will keep referring back to it. This is NOT the case though when I’ve bought the weekly glossy magazines such as Heat, Closer, Now etc. I only read them once then throw them away – disposable gossip. As the title says, these sort of magazines do make me feel “fat”. There is such a focus on the weight and image  of celebrities and pictures of someone looking “too fat” or ” shockingly skinny” or “badly-dressed” or” perfectly dressed” are splashed across the front cover. Turn inside and you will read the stories of how this celebrity is depressed / that one is looking fabulous at 40 / the other one had dropped 20 pounds in a week / the next is wearing an awful dress (what is she thinking?!) / and she is just perfect – model looks, legs up to her armpits and a great dress sense!

Why do the media focus so much on women’s weight and appearance??? No wonder there are go many people on destructive diets, trying to reach that elusive number on the scale. We are under so much pressure to look every second of the day that we think the celebrity look is the ideal. These glossy magazines don’t help us to realise that this is not the case. The celebrity is an odd creature who has a lot of people around them who are paid to make them look immaculate. If you saw them when they rolled out of bed they would not be a beautiful as they are in their photos!

These magazines obviously appeal to me / us as we love keeping up with the latest gossip from Celeb land! However I don’t feel fulfilled by them. I am not slating anyone who reads them though as I would be a hypocrite!I do occasionally buy them – if I’m flying, for beach reading or if I just want to relax – and they are great for a bit of light reading. But  I’ve made the decision that magazines like Zest are much better for me as I can actually learn from them and improve my lifestyle and knowledge of healthy living.

It will be interesting to know how you feel about this issue – do you feel that gossip magazines are bad for women’s self-esteem or just harmless fun? What magazines do you usually buy?

It is the bf’s birthday today and to celebrate we had a nice brunch of poached eggs on toast.

I’ve been reading a lot in the papers recently about eating eggs for breakfast as they set you up well for the day. They are being said to be the new superfood! I like this idea as it definitely makes a change from the cereal I normally eat. So I decided to do a little research into the benefits that eggs have:

  • The are one of the most nutrient-dense foods as they contain Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Selenium and Choline. They also have a rich mix of essential amino acids so are packed full of protein.
  • Eggs help to ensure growth and repair so are a vital food for children and teenagers.
  • They also contain high levels of antioxidants so may help to prevent age-related degeneration.
  • Eggs are low in calories – a medium sized egg contains 80 calories so are a great healthy choice for breakfast. Just don’t fry them!

[Source]

All of these points have convinced me that eating eggs in the morning is a good idea. It doesn’t take long at all to poach an egg or make scrambled eggs and I think I will introduce them more into my diet, especially at breakfast time.

Do you eat eggs for breakfast? Do you think they set you up for the day?

I’ve been at home this weekend, which I love, but it has got me thinking about a few things. Why is it that when I go home I feel that it is ok to indulge? At home there are always a few tins full of homemade cakes, a cupboard full of chocolate treats and a biscuit tin full of biscuits. I find it very difficult to resist and, as I try not to indulge in them too much, I feel as if I have to try one of everything! I always tell myself that it is ok as I am only home for a few days and I’ll soon be back to my ‘normal’ healthy eating. But is this the best attitude to have? I don’t think that a little indulgence, maybe a slice of cake at lunch or a pudding at dinner, is bad for me at all but the fact that I have over indulged, by having treats at every meal, somewhat disappoints me. I seem to lose all self-will at home and my eyes are bigger than my stomach! It is very interesting how I ‘allow’ myself to eat more at home, like it’s some sort of comfort to me. Maybe it is, maybe I link home with food…

Thinking about it, our family life does somewhat revolve around food. We always have a big dinner followed by pudding on Saturday and a roast followed by dessert on Sunday. My mum always has a pudding or cake on hand that we can enjoy if we want. We usually celebrate birthdays, family occasions and family meetings by going out for a meal, usually a 3 course one. These are all reasons why I must associate home with food and maybe why I feel I can indulge.

Do any of you feel like you eat differently when you go back to your parent’s house(s)? If so, why?  

Hi! I'm Helen, 23 and from the UK. I love food, keeping fit, going out with friends, wine, gin, having fun, laughing and living life to the max! Motto for this year is to say YES to everything and see what happens!

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