Why It’s Good When Your Blog And Career Crossover

A few weeks ago, my lovely blogging buddy Alice over at Flash Anthology wrote a post that really resonated with me. It was called 'Why It's Good To Work Full-Time And Blog'. I completely understood her point, because if I was working full time (as I was when I started this blog) I would be of the same mindset. However, that's not the case for me.

Fortunately for me, there is a huge crossover between my blog and my career (or I'd prefer to call it it my passion). And that makes me happy. I can see why people would be happy to have a blog that talks about topics they don't deal with all day at work. But I don't mind; because inspiring other people is my life goal. Quite literally.

You Get Variety
As a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor I think it'd be easy to be solely focused on what I'm doing for others. I can be kept busy creating session plans, personal programmes and playlists. As a blogger I get the opportunity to try out lots of different classes, studios, concepts and events which actually serve well to keep me inspired and ensure my sessions are fresh, current and eclectic. These opportunities also provide inspiration for content for the blog and allows me to keep a finger on the pulse of the fitness industry in London. It helps me to keep learning and be that source of inspiration, motivation and empowerment for you! 

You Control Your Income
So we've all been there (or are there); "all hail the stable income". A stable income is probably the one factor that keeps people in their jobs and at times holds them back from pursuing their passions. It certainly did that to me. I was scared to give up my two day a week, £600 a month job because it was a kinda guaranteed income (the only sick pay was statutory so if you didn't work, you didn't earn). Then I kinda got over myself and realised that that belief was actually limiting me. I'm lucky that my outgoings are not too high and I know for a fact that we could all manage on whatever income we have if we lived within our means. So I took the plunge and quit my job. I'm only 3 weeks in but I figure if I don't try now, when will I?! 

So now, I choose my income. I've set myself a monthly stretch goal. And there's obviously the goal I have to make ends meet. The more I work, the more I earn, the more I have to enjoy life, travel and maybe even save for a rainy day. I can now pick which classes I teach and am available for more ad hoc teaching. I pick which projects I want to take on and when. I don't work 9-5 but I work around things I love doing like making big breakfasts and hitting up classes. 

Your Schedule Goes Against The Grain
Yup, I typically work when my 9-5 friends are off. But you know what, you keep your old friends and you make new ones too. New ones that share a similarly crazy schedule that can meet you for coffee during office hours and train with you when the gym is quiet. It means you get to go to the shops when they're quieter and you (potentially) never miss the postman! It means that Monday is actually one of my favourite days of the week because it's part of my "weekend". It means that's all your 9-5 clients want to meet you for coffee / breakfast / lunch so they can escape the office for an hour. Having been teaching classes for years and working shifts for the past few years, I've been used to this anyway the difference now being that I choose. I choose when to take time off and then its my responsibility to make sure I can make up for it / make do without it. 

You Could Get Lonely
This is true. Lucky for me, I enjoy my own company! And like I said above, I can make the effort to meet up with friends or clients whenever I choose. Should the opportunity arise, I'd be happy to work from a co-working space where I'm sure I'lll get to be surrounded by lots of creative and driven individuals. 

You Learn Great Time Management Skills
I'm working on this one starting with creating an awesome morning routine which involves water, coffee, good food and sweating. It'll also mean I'm dressed and can cover classes at the last minute should they come up. 

You realise that if you procrastinate less there really is no reason to have to work 8 full hours each day. I create a to do list for the (work) day of 6 work related tasks and 2 personal tasks and that's it. All because you've learnt, and can recognise the value of your time. Time is money. Quite literally.

You Couldn't Possibly Be Too Self Involved
I learnt quite early on that blog posts which were just about me never did as well as ones that people could take something away from. I mean, it isn't even interesting for me to read my running training plan in detail each week so why would you?! If I'm gonna talk about training for a run I wanna add value - I wanna share a training plan, or tips for fitting one in around life or even awesome kit I've tried that you might love too! If I talk about myself, I want it to be insightful rather than self indulgent! 

From the work perspective, as much as I'm self employed I still need other people to work for and with. I need to be able to see the bigger picture and not just my own ecosystem. I'd want to be seen as relatable, accessible and knowledgable in my industry; health, leisure, sport & fitness allowing me to connect with everyday people just like myself. My goal is basically to create a community that brands cannot create themselves, for bloggers and those who are interested in living an active life! 


So yes, I'm a blogger. But I'm also a professional. I've spent 10+ years working in this industry and that counts for something. I don't just have opinions, I have experience and my only goal is to have a platform to continuously learn and share it all! 

Do you work full time or are you self employed?! What is your goal with blogging?! 

Elle :) 

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All photos from BRITA Power Hour event; post to follow. 


Elle About Town, Summer Classes 2016

People! It's Summer, and it's pretty much been 6 months since I've done an 'Elle About Town" round up! ...and there has been plenty going on to share so I thought it was about time I caught up!

Here's what I've been getting up to recently around "Landan Tawn"! 

Events / Classes: Spin Up with Santander at Tower Bridge 

After attending their first event way above London in The Shard, I was super excited to join the crew at Boom Cycle and Santander for a sunset spin class inside / on top of Tower Bridge. I've only ever driven over Tower Bridge a few times, so as a Londoner who's never made time to check it out otherwise this was an amazing experience for me! 

Classes: Full Body Workout with ME!! and WeTrain 

Photo Credit: Lolography
I've added two new classes to my weekly teaching schedule which will be for WeTrain over at Clapham Common. Clapham Common used to be my old stomping ground for teaching so I'm excited to be a part of the community again. I'll be teaching on Tuesday evenings at 630pm and 730pm; both sessions are 45 minutes long and cost £12 (you can get £5 off with code WETRAIN until it reaches its usage limit!)

Book 630pm: https://goo.gl/2s2Wo8 

Classes: Speedflex, London  

Speedflex has been on my list of studios to check out for such a long time however their induction times never worked with my schedule and they offered no other solution in the past as you are required to go through the induction before you can train there. 

The premise behind Speedflex is that the machines you use are low impact therefore causing you minimal soreness the next day. The workouts are all still high intensity but that is whatever high intensity means to your level of fitness.

Recently, they changed their schedule which also meant a change in induction times so I was finally able to pop along! For the induction, you meet one of their Trainers and go through an assessment which measures your body composition. We didn't exactly get off to the best start when the results put me in the overweight (!?!) category! Hmmmm. After your assessment, you're then given a run through of the machines and the basic exercises. 

After your induction, you're able to sign up to a two week trial for £20. I made it down twice in the two weeks both for the rolling sessions (you can turn up and leave whenever it suits you). The first time I stayed around 35 minutes and had to go home for a nap! It certainly was a tough but effective workout! The second session, I stayed for around 45 minutes and again it was a sweaty one! Speedflex suggest 3 sessions per week to get the best results and I can imagine you would get the results if you put the work in! 

Coming Up....

I've got so much more to share that I'll have to post some more 'Elle About Town' with some running specific events, restaurant reviews and what I've been getting up to with Borrow My // Blender!

What's on your agenda in the next month or so?! ...been to any good classes / events?! 

Elle :) x

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In Training For L'Etape London with Hire Fitness

Remember when I announced that I'd be taking on my first sportive in September?! Yup, well I got straight down to business with training even getting out on a few weekend long rides. Then, typically, life got in the way so I started to explore ways of fitting training in around my schedule. I looked into getting a turbo trainer but having never used one before, I was unsure if it was a good option for me. 
As if by luck, Hire Fitness got in touch with me and when I saw they had a turbo trainer available for rental, I signed up!

The process couldn't have been simpler really; once you choose your equipment, you just arrange delivery. You're also informed of your approximate collection date and left contact details should you need to update your rental or arrange an earlier collection to fit your schedule. 

The Turbo Trainer attaches to my regular road-bike (pictured above) so I can experience indoor cycling in the comfort of my own home. It allows the bike to move in the same way as it would outdoors, meaning I maintain an optimum cycling position and get used to being in the saddle through mimicking outdoor training.

After reaching out to peeps on Twitter about training plans, I was pointed in the direction of the GCN YouTube channel which has sessions from 14 minutes to one hour so is the perfect way to start any training plan. I currently track the workouts I do on my Polar A360 (via heart rate) whilst I get the right set up in place to record RPM and cadence on the bike. I also fitted the Polar Bluetooth Speed & Cadence Sensors to my bike but will only really be able to use those when I hit the road as the front wheel doesn't rotate on the turbo trainer so its unable to take readings. Polar told me to check out these apps to sync with the sensors: Ride with GPS, Wahoo Fitness, Cyclemeter GPS, MapMyRide, Zwift, Strava & MapMyFitness. Have you used any of these apps?! Indoors, or outdoors?!

Use Code: keepitsimpelle at Hire Fitness for 20% off the first four weeks hire charge
(T&C's: valid on all hires of 12 weeks or longer. Delivery charge not affected) 

And if you'd like to take on L'Etape with me this September you can get yourself 20% off your entry with the code 'ELLE'. There are three distances to choose from so if you're a more accomplished cyclist than me you can take on a distance up to 117 miles / 185km (a good substitute if you didn't get a place in Ride London?!) ...sign up at www.humanrace.co.uk/cycling and then let me know you're in!! ...You can also get £3 off your entry in the Cycletta Women's Only series with code 'ELLE'. 

Elle :) 

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In My Skin || 3 Of The Best Supplements I've Tried For Gut Health

It's been a while since I did an "In My Skin" update and this one has been in my drafts for a while, so I finally completed it as part of my 10 day blogging challenge!

Somehow, I think we forget how important our digestive system is; It is the biggest organ that we have and it's vital to our health through the key role in absorbing the nutrients from the food we eat. It also removes any waste materials ready for removal from our bodies.

The function of the digestive system relies heavily on the balance of bacteria within; too little friendly bacteria can lead to sluggish digestion, weakened immune function, and susceptibility to infection. If waste moves through the digestive system slowly, some of the toxins can be reabsorbed by the body, causing a rise in the level of dangerous bacteria, and posing a number of potential health issues.

That's where Probiotics come in; they can help to avoid these problems by helping to break down food and aiding the absorption of nutrients, along with defending the body from bad bacteria. I was recommended to try them during a conversation I had with a nutritionist at an event last year and have been taking them most days since then! I also have tried a few other ways to get probiotics into my system and thought I would share them with you...

1. Probiotic Max from Simply Supplements - I took this supplement for the first three months of 2016. I started taking probiotics after speaking to a nutritionist at an event I went to last year and realised how much it could potentially help my skin.

2. Kombucha - is a fermented tea which is hailed for its health benefits(most well known for its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties). To be honest, I'm still getting my head around it but I thought I would share it to see if anyone has any good stories / comments to share about it. I tried it once or twice via my friend Lex, who prepares her own at home. It can now also be bought in health food stores { check out the range at Planet Organic }.

3. Nestle La Laitiere Natural Yogurt from Ocado - this was a random discovery as I actually bought these yoghurts just for the jars (which I'm sure you will see pop up over on Instagram very soon!). They became a daily snack topped with a little zero sugar maple syrup and some frozen berries. As the ingredients list starter cultures, I can only assume you could use this unflavoured yoghurt to make your own yoghurt at home.

How do you look after your digestive system?! 

Elle :) 

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Living the simpElle life: Wande

Back in 2014, I started this 'living the simpElle life' series! I managed to share 29 of my favourite stories... and then life happened and the feature discontinued. I've continued to meet more amazing people each and everyday and thought the celebration of four years blogging would be a great time to share another story - the 30th story!

I created this series after I heard a great phrase all the way back in 2013 -

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms" 

- so that is what I wanted to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual whose story I have shared embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and I hope that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Wande Osuntokun Wayo 

I met Wande through teaching Nike Training Club classes on Clapham Common quite a few years back now! Wande was one of the amazing women I met during that time, whose effort and motivation shone through every session! ...here's Wande's story... 

 - {THEN} -

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What was your plan / goals?

Wande: I have always been into fitness and working out but sometimes it falls off my radar due to a busy life! My goal is always to stay fit and healthy and losing a few pounds helps too ;) Strong is the new thin so that’s the focus!

- { HOW } - 

Elle: What's your favourite way to workout?

Wande: I love spinning and reformer pilates. I fall in and out of love with running on a regular basis, depends on what races are on the calendar and what the medal looks like ;) what can I say, I like shiny!

Elle: What's your typical weekly schedule?

Wande: My weekly schedule is pretty insane! I try to work out 5 to 6 times a week in order to keep my body guessing. Variety is key so it’s usually spin, reformer pilates, yoga, a personal training session. On top of that I have a pretty demanding job and social schedule ☺ I guess I suffer from Londonitis!

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Wande: My inspiration is anyone who has goals and works hard to achieve them! I cried when I crossed the finish line of my first organized 5K run ☺ I can be super emotional when it comes to my workouts and as a result I have made alot of awesome friendships via my fitness activities.

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Wande: I guess my first 5K! I always thought I couldn’t run because I was overweight and also struggled with asthma. Doing my first 5K with my husband was such an adrenaline rush: getting to Hyde park, getting my race t shirt and then crossing the finish line ☺ I couldn’t believe I ran non-stop for 27 minutes! And lived to tell the tale! Also becoming a morning person: you couldn’t get me out of bed to exercise ever! But then i met some awesome women a few years ago in Clapham who thought working out in the morning was the way forward and I haven’t looked back ever since.

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Wande: Sadly I have always been a dieter ☹ Over the last couple of years, I have managed to change my focus from dieting to healthy eating and a ‘lifestyle change’ vs ‘trying to squeeze into a dress for a weddingin a month’! I started on the paleo plan a year ago and it has been great for me. It isn’t for everyone so it’s important to find what works for you and hopefully stick with it! That being said I have fallen off the wagon over the last few weeks, I blame being ill for that ☹ Something about toast and honey while hiding under the duvet just seems like bliss and it has been!

- { NOW } - 

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Wande: The journey is a marathon vs a sprint so the goals are always being tweaked ;) I still obsess with a goal weight but I also know I won’t weigh what I did when I was 16 so time to let that dream go!

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Wande: Motivation comes from within 90% of the time but it helps when my husband says I look great or when I can slip into my jeans with ease ☺ I have been pretty committed with exercise over the last 12 months, classpass has been really helpful with that as I can go to studios all over the city for one cost! I still buy classes for all my other loves, it’s an addiction really!

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!

Wande: The ‘before’ me would not eat frigging Cornish pasties or fruit toast from Starbucks at Victoria station!!! I commuted out of Victoria when I moved to London and did not make great choices with food and as a result, I gained some serious London lbs when I moved here in 2007! I would also say ‘live love and laugh’ ☺ All while working out and not being too hard on oneself!

....so what d'you think?! ...I've loved reading Wande's story and so happy to have had the opportunity to share it with you! Please leave Wande any comments below along with anything else you would like to share with us!

If you would like to be featured on the blog, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the 'Contact' page!

Until then, keep living that simpelle life ;) 

Elle :) 

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