Dear Katie: Starting out the year right

Dear Katie,

I promised I’d check in and hold myself accountable for my 2018 New Year Goals, so here I am.

It’s been a week, and a pretty good one at that, but then I guess most people come out of the gates strong in the first week of January only for it to head south rapidly after that. I suppose only time will tell. Anyway, this is the summary of this my efforts this past week for your delectation:

Goal One: Run a half marathon

  • I still hate running. But we’re signed up to the Reading Half so I’m committed. Was delighted not to massively embarrass myself at the training day on Saturday…
  • …however, some of the photographs that were taken that day have hammered home my need to reduce my waistline. Motivation!
  • I have a new found respect for people who run. It’s hard! My fitbit tells me it gets my heart rate up better than any other exercise I do and my legs are in tatters after two days of training!
  • Realising recovery is key means I’m actually using my foam roller and stretching more!

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REVIEW: Hot Yoga with Everyone Active

We’re on a bit of a yoga roll right now. Off the back of our recent trip to Yoga Hive, Everyone Active invited us to try out the latest addition to their Leisure Centre offering – Hot Yoga!

Katie
Tucked away in a little side road just off Carnaby Street, away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus, aka my least favourite place, Marshall Street Leisure Centre offers a welcome calmness in a stunning art deco building. I am still fairly bad at being blasé when it comes to taking “blogger photos”, so there are fewer pictures than usual. Plus, I was a bit busy actually doing stuff like sweating my butt off in yoga to take too many photos of it and I thought it would have been a bit rude to everyone else there. But that’s for another day…

So, enough about the building and the beautiful swimming pool, and back to the reason why we were there – to get our sweat on with some hot yoga, the perfect way to ease into a Wednesday morning. Continue reading

REVIEW: Yoga Hive – Where Art & Vinyasa Flow Collide

As you will probably have seen on Instagram, we recently attended a Vinyasa Flow session with Robyn from yogahive , which took place at the Curious Duke gallery near Old Street/Barbican. As “people who don’t do much yoga but understand it is really important”, we jumped at the opportunity!

Kate

I know that I should stretch more. I should stretch more before I work out. I should stretch more after I work out. I should stretch first thing in the morning and I should stretch to aid recovery. And yet, I don’t. I always manage to convince myself that somehow it’s a waste of time, and that attitude only changes when I tweak something and berate myself for not having warmed up properly. So, when Katie and I were asked by the lovely (and pretty inspiring!) Robyn at Yoga Hive to pop along to check out a class in their amazing gallery space, I was delighted to have the excuse to give yoga a try again. Continue reading

Ditch the matchsticks. Get some sleep.

I love my sleep. I mean I really love my sleep. This isn’t even the first time I’ve blogged about it. The only problem is that I’m not very good at it.

Once, when on an expedition trip to Borneo as a wide-eyed fifteen year old, I was told off by our tour leader for falling asleep on a bus ride through a city – “You’re missing out on all the sights!”. I turned my head and went right on sleeping. We’d been in the jungle for a week, ‘sleeping’ on hideously uncomfortable canvass hammocks and hiking for miles every day. I was exhausted.

Sure, I probably missed a couple of spectacular buildings and some exotic goods being touted on street-side market stalls, but frankly I’m not one of those people who subscribes to the idea that “you can sleep when your dead”. Rather, if I’m operating in a sleep deprived state, I feel dead. I can’t concentrate. I feel unwell. I can’t function. And that just won’t do.

We all know that a lack of sleep is bad for us – at best we end up grouchy and at worst a regular lack of sleep can lead to heightened risk of serious medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes – so how can we make sure that we’re getting more of this precious luxury?

Our friends at Casper have sent us simple but effective tips and set us the challenge of pledging to make a change to our bedtime habits for a month to see how much of a difference it makes. Casper knows first hand that a lot goes into your sleep and your sleep routine but something as simple as heading to bed 30 mins early or even looking into a new bed, can drastically benefit your nights rest (and wellbeing)!

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For me the problem is no longer the discomfort of rainforest sleeping arrangements, but rather having a lot of thoughts buzzing around in my head, so I am pledging to put my phone down an hour before going to sleep and reading, rather than looking at a screen, before bed.

We’d love to hear any more tips you guys have for getting a good night sleep too – leave us comment below.

Good night!

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.

 

A Valentine’s Day Special…dating someone sporty

The endless conundrum. Do guys like sporty girls? Do they like girly girls? Does it really matter? (Probably/not at all/who cares?) However, the media (and by that we mean the tripartite of Elite Daily, Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed), seem to frequently give somewhat mixed opinions on it – so we wanted to to challenge it.

I’m well aware that the reason I run, hit the gym and play a variety of sports isn’t to look good and keep guys happy.  Far from it. And Kate & I  have both been pretty vocal about our opinions on this –  anyone who has sat in a pub post rugby with the two of us will very much testify that we aren’t doing anything to keep anyone but ourselves happy – but it is an interesting question that I’m pretty sure men themselves don’t even understand. I mean I could make you well aware of what a lot of guys will immediately say about girls playing rugby, however, on the other hand, they will also wax lyrical about how annoying it is to have a girlfriend who doesn’t know or care about their chosen sport and moans when their weekends are consumed by it. HOW CAN YOU WIN? Simples. The answer is do it right back at them.

(Kate and I both met our boyfriends through playing rugby. They obviously don’t have too much of a problem with that)

We constructed a bunch of thoughts and I then asked for a male opinion – and he was all to happy to oblige.

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10 Reasons More Women Should Take Up Hiking

We’ve been talking about rugby a lot recently. Now for something completely different.

Hiking is great, I love it. You have an excuse to head out on an adventure in the great outdoors, with the wind in your hair and the mud squelching satisfyingly underfoot. Sometimes I consider plastering myself in blue face paint, wielding a big old stick and hurtling naked down a mountain side screeching “I AM QUEEN BOUDICA!”, but then I think it might just be easier to call one of my outdoorsy mates and suggest we take a jaunt up a big hill.

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10 superfoods every health conscious 20-something should rely upon

1. Peanut butter. Actually any form of nut butter. Full of protein and healthy fats, the benefits of which multiply by 100 if you choose the ‘eating it from a spoon’ method. Also exponential benefits related to the size of tub purchased.

PB

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Q&A with Kate and Katie (Part 2)

Back for more are we? Really sold it to you with the Clare Balding love and egg hatred? In the second of our two-part, tell-all exposé, Katie reveals rather too much about her gross, old pants and Kate is thoroughly ‘smashing’…

  1. What would you always find in your fridge?

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Confessions of an active handbag

I’m not currently cycling in because of my Achilles tendon being a bit of a PITA and I’ve got my eyes on the prize of a) skiing on Saturday and b) the marathon being 7 weeks away and I would still like to at least attempt it.

So I’m doing a lot of gym sessions and this morning I realised exactly how much junk I am carrying around and how much of it is to do with the fact I am a self proclaimed ‘fitness chick’ (rolling my eyes at myself for using that phrase) So I thought I would give you the low down and you can either agree with me that it is all necessary or roll your eyes knowing this is exactly why females get back and shoulder problems and diseases from their handbag contents.

PS I also don’t have a proper gym bag as because I usually cycle I have my super cool ninja turtle bright blue rucksack. So today my clothes are in a Sweaty Betty bag for life. Although getting one might solve some of my hoarding issues.

Weapon of choice – a cavernous black Bayswater tote (it can carry like everything including my laptop, several pieces of Tupperware, spare shoes, 27 hair ties…

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