Looking good whilst working hard

So Thursday morning I tweeted something with regards to ‘active makeup’ (Primark’s finest!) now being an actual thing and my thoughts on that – and I’ve been bombarded with responses on both sides of the fence (by bombarded, I mean like, 10 replies) Unfortunately, Twitter has a habit of being a bad place to get into a discussion because 140 characters is literally NOT ENOUGH! So I’m here because I want to open up the conversation and share some of my broader thoughts on the subject.

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10 things that unnecessarily annoy me at the gym

Yes, I know gyms are inclusive and anyone is allowed to do what they want, wear what they want and enjoy their workout sessions doing their own thang, but there are certain things that really wind me up. So here is a short and sweet list (note, about 10 things on the list and, I’m not actually being that sweet about anyone or anything, don’t say I didn’t warn you)

  • Anyone who is wearing a vest  WITH A HOOD. I mean, when was this ever cool. Literally never is the answer so please don’t do it again.
  • Anyone who spends more time looking in the mirror than they do actually doing any work. Or sitting on their phone. There is ‘using a phone for looking at your workouts’ and then there is ‘you could just do that in your living room don’t take up my space’. Same with ‘using the mirror to check form’ and ‘I think I am absolutely bangin’, don’t you agree?’
  • Floppy fringes. There was a guy yesterday who literally spent the entire time swishing his hair around.I don’t even know how he could see anything. Wear a flipping headband if it’s getting in your face.Or get a hair cut.  GAH. (Sub-point here…girls who exercise with their hair down. How do you even do that?!)
  • People who put the treadmills on really high inclines and then hold onto the handrails the.whole.time. You are literally doing half the work you think you are doing.
  • Facial expressions. I mean, I know people can’t really help what they look like when at the gym, but sometimes people should just calm it down. No-one needs to see you gurn (but now I’ve noticed I can’t stop looking)
  • People who cheat. Yes, I mean you who is on the leg press with his mate “spotting” (aka pushing) and also pushing your thighs with your hands. NO THAT DOES NOT COUNT as 200KG. You are as bad as people holding onto the handrails of a treadmill. Do it properly. You’re only kidding yourself (eyeroll)
  • Ladies only sections. Basically, I know I’m toeing the line here, people will disagree and this (and gender-specific races) merits its own post, but if I was suddenly not allowed in a specific section of the gym that was always quieter than the rest, I’d probably kick off. Also, why can’t we have the ladies only section full of squat racks and benches so we can use them to our hearts content, rather than just treadmill after treadmill. Riddle me that.
  • Really low gym ceilings. Basically, at Virgin Active at Barbican there is nowhere you can do box jumps because you are in danger of hitting your head. Sort it out. Oh, whilst I’m on it, those Grid classes that basically take up the only free floor space there really is in the gym and use about 15 kettlebells and all the TRXs. I get that the class needs to take place, but everyone is trying to work out at 7.30am and I can’t wait 30 minutes please thank you.
  • People who have really bad form but think they don’t. I’m all for giving things a go, getting some help and braving things like weights for the first time – everyone has to start somewhere and no one is perfect. But what really bugs me is people who think they are super pro, are doing things appallingly (ridiculously swinging your arms during bicep curls is cheating, duh) and it’s like nah bro calm down. (Note, these people would also probably refer to themselves as ‘bro; so it is totally legit for me to do so)
  • People who bring their entire makeup kit and have time to put hair extensions in after working out in the morning. I mean I literally blow dry the sweat out of my hair and do my make up in about 2 minutes. It’s less that these people irritate me, more that they just make me realise I am really not putting much effort into life.

I would like to open this up – what’s your personal gym bugbear?

(Note – I am not a mean person in real life, just intolerant xoxo)

Pubic hair. Yes, you read that correctly.

I know this isn’t strictly to do with sport, but given the only time I really come into contact with this as a subject is in the changing rooms at the gym or swimming pool, I’m lumping it in under the women’s sport umbrella. The subject being: pubes.

That’s right people, roll up, roll up, I wanna have a conversation about our bushes. Our beavers. Our foofs. Our lady gardens. The grass on our wickets. Our fuzzy landing strips. Our carpets (whether they match the curtains, or otherwise). Our untamed shrews. Our shaven havens. Our vajazzles.

The other day I read an article extolling the virtues of something called ‘Bush Oil‘, a British-made mix of essential oils designed to make pubic hair smoother, shinier and healthier. ‘Delightful!’ I hear you cry, ‘what has that got to do with anything?’ Well, seeing as you ask, it goes some way to evidence the fact that many of us are turning our backs on the painfully trendy fad of waxing off most, if not all, of our pubic hair. In fact, I would go so far as to say, the bush is back. Hooray!

I’m not sure whether this is weird or not (you can be the judge) but the only time I really give a monkeys about the state of my wax (or lack thereof) is not in the bedroom – frankly, if you have enough time to worry about it during the throws of passion, you’re probably doing it wrong – rather, it’s in the shower after the gym, swimming or playing sport, when the only people who’ll see are other women.

Kim Kardashian once proclaimed that women shouldn’t have hair anywhere but their heads, and Victoria Beckham suggested we should all be made to have our first Brazilian waxes at 15. As if we don’t give each other a hard enough time as it is! We judge each other on so many other beauty standards – how clear our skin is, how much make-up we wear, whether we are too fat or too thin – do we have to eyeball each other’s nether regions and pass judgement too? Is nothing sacred!? And why is it that women believe they should be bare down there in the first place? A number of things, but primary amongst them, porn. There’s a school of thought which theorises visual pornographers actively seek to infantilise women, but on a simpler level, pubic hair is a no-no in the porn world because it gets in the way of a clear shot of the action.

That’s all well and good, but porn movies don’t ever show the realities of the potential side effects of shaving or waxing the old lady garden – or at least I don’t think they do; there’s probably a whole sub-Reddit devoted to the ingrowing hairs, infections and razor rash that I haven’t stumbled across yet. In fact there’s loads of benefits to sporting a bit of fuzz down there; not least of which is that is saves you the time, pain and money it takes to get it waxed.

To summarise, my boyfriend is happy so long as things are trimmed and tidy down there (which makes practical sense to me anyway – spilling out of ones bikini bottoms isn’t a feminist statement, and it will get your Instagram account deleted… that’s a story for another day though), but I am judged by my fellow woman in the gym showers because my pubic region looks too womanly and I’m not in a state of perpetual readiness for filming an adult flick? Great.

 

The New Year Bandwagon – Ditch the detox and kick-start healthy habits instead

It’s January. I had a hectic December and, much like everyone else, ate and drank waaaaay too much. On top of that, I am four months in to a significant change of lifestyle, i.e. student life, and playing a lot less sport as a result. Things were beginning to look grim. Not to mention wobbly. Something had to give, so here I am shamelessly piggybacking off Katie’s recent post about Dry January and friendly sabotage to talk about the January Bandwagon.

It’s still one of the most popular New Year’s resolution in the UK – “I will lose weight”, so people up and down the country part with wodges of cash to join gyms (a lot of Twitter angst was felt towards this by regular gym bunnies) and slimming clubs. Now, I’m not in dire straits by any stretch, so paying to have someone weigh me once a week and talk about ‘syns’ or ‘points’ wasn’t something I felt I needed to do, and as someone who already hits the gym of my own accord I felt fairly well equipped to take myself in hand, but having stood on the scale on New Year’s Eve morning to be faced with 69kgs it was clear I needed to do something. Now.

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Sport for girls should be pink

Happy New Year, everyone! For my first post of 2016, I have been gifted a topic by a red hot (or should that be hot pink?) debate raging in Ireland right now.

[Sidenote: I wrote the first draft of this using a Bic for Her ballpoint pen… If you haven’t read the Amazon reviews I implore you to do so. For the good of your hand health.]

Whilst idly browsing Twitter this morning, I came across something posted by Her.ie magazine that made me double-take. An Irish company appear to be promoting a new product, marketed at women, to encourage the uptake of Gaelic Football by female players – enter, the Ladyball. That’s right y’all, the squidgy, pink #Ladyball.

Image from theladyball.com

Image from theladyball.com

The all new Ladyball specifically designed for a lady’s game – soft touch for a woman’s grip, eazi-play for a woman’s ability, fashion-driven for a woman’s style. Play like the lady you are.”

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Moving back in with your parents…

So, I’ve just moved back in with my parents for a currently unknown period of time – and it’s something I am TOTALLY fine with!  I get on pretty well with my family and we do a lot together, so I decided to put together a list of the pros and cons, particularly from a training, activity and nutrition point of view. 

So here goes! (PS mum I promise I will do my washing and unstack the dishwasher and not leave trainers in every room of the house…)

-1 no more cycling to work. Can’t really do this any more. No unfolded bikes on London Midland and there is NO WAY I am leaving my bike at Euston overnight (plus that would be a grim cycle right through central London). Therefore less automatic bike fitness, more frustration for me of having to take the tube (because it’s too hot and people WALK TOO FLIPPING SLOWLY) and also $$$$$

+1 much nicer cycling at the weekends without having to battle round the Wandsworth gyratory to get anywhere. Plus a new chain gang (well the old ones are back)

+1 onsite bike mechanic. Thanks Dad. Now when things break I don’t have to guess or try and fix it by Facetime.

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Kate and Katie go on the Rebound – Class Review of Rebounce London

Last Wednesday Katie and I went rebounding. No, I don’t mean we hit the dating scene of SW11 hard… rather, we were invited by Missie Frank (dancer, choreographer and founder of Rebounce London) to try a new quirky, sweaty, bouncy exercise class. Being the intrepid explorers that we are, we duly signed up and ventured to Fitness First at Clapham Junction (I say ventured, one of us lives in Battersea and one in Balham so it wasn’t like we had far to go).

Both of us had trampolined before, and there is still a trampoline in the back garden at our respective childhood homes (though, admittedly they are mostly now only used by visiting younger cousins or for sunbathing), but Rebounce is something quite different – it’s fast, choreographed and done to the beat of a pumping playlist!

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Tips and tricks for commuting and exercising before work

Cycling to work actually takes less time than commuting like a normal person, I don’t faff around so much whilst getting ready (Candy Crush, Buzzfeed and enthralling stories on BBC Breakfast can really take up more time than you think they do) and I actually find getting the train/tube incredibly stressful (I sort of dislike people at that time in the morning, plus I always seem to end up as hot and flustered as I would cycling) . It also gets me somewhere I need to be, makes me feel less guilty if I don’t go to the gym and saves me around £40 a week.

….which unfortunately seems to magically disappear.

Having cycled to work regularly since I first moved to London (alternating with running depending on my current training plan) I’ve had my fair share of forgotten items and have learnt a few shortcuts, hints and tips that I HAD to share with you to make things that little bit easier.

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