30.10.15

A Day In The Life Of My Runderwear

Imagine, a whole damn post dedicated to my underwear. Nope?! Well, apologies in advance then because that is exactly what I bring you today.

Photo Credit: http://www.runderwear.co.uk

I was lucky enough to be sent a brief and crop top to test out and figured I would save them for THE most testing, sweaty day I had in my diary. That day came quickly and this is how it went...

630am || wake up alarm 

I get up, get showered and adorn myself in this seamless, moisture wicking, chafe free set of under garments. These are their words, not mine, right! Big promises huh?!


Initial thoughts were that they were super comfy; well fitting (I am a huge fan of Bridget Jones'esque style pants)! And right now, I am concerned my derriere is larger than normal so was apprehensive about still fitting into the size small I requested). I did notice how high waisted they were though but this did not put me off; in fact it assured me that coverage would not be an issue!

730am || Test One: The Central Line 

It doesn't get much sweatier than this to be fair. The Central is hotter when it is hot, and colder when it is cold. This particular day I would describe as warmer than expected hence the sweat inducing temperatures on the tube only made worse by us being packed liked sardines in tin cans.

Sweat was produced. Comfort was not compromised. 

1215pm || Test Two: Teaching Nike Training Club 

Somehow, I always manage to work up a sweat when teaching. It does make me wonder how much my clients sweat too huh?! Cos they are doing the entire thing as hard as they allow me to push them! I also choose my clothing well to ensure my dignity remains in tact (but no worries here with the high waist of the briefs!!).

Sweat was produced. Dignity remained intact. 

530pm || Test Three: Treadmill Running Class 

Now this one was the real test for the crop top. I've read many of the reviews where the women with ample bosom have retorted at the notion of wearing this for running and I get where they are coming from. I wasn't excessively blessed in this department but this doesn't make it any less important. We won't go into bounce but the fact of the matter is that you probably should wear a sports bra underneath this. It could in fact be a saving grace; something simple / discreet to cover up the somewhat unsightly sports bras that we have yet to part with.


On this occasion, I ran in the crop top alone. And I would do it again. Mainly for comfort and the fact that I wasn't going to be running a marathon.

Sweat was produced. Bounce discomfort not present. 

700pm || Test Four: Launch Party 

The final test of the day - going out having a few drinks in THE most packed bar in like, ever! I was so busy saying hello to everyone and getting my bearings that I kept my jacket on for ages while I sweltered amongst all the people.

The bra nor the briefs were unsightly underneath my clothes so I felt comfortable and confident all evening chatting (and drinking!) away! All that's left to say is...

Sweat was produced. A party was had!! 

Any #runderwearers in the house?! What is your undergarment of choice when pounding the pavements?!


Elle :) 


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28.10.15

In My Skin || Black Girl Magic

I've seen this hashtag #BlackGirlMagic banded around and if I'm honest I don't get it. At the same time though, I haven't fully done much research into it because on the surface it doesn't interest me. I've never been one to pull the race card, nor the sex card, nor the age card; that's just not me. So even I was surprised that I had the reaction / thoughts / feelings about what I am going to share today.

To put it into a little more context before I share the background story, I went to a course over the weekend and this one thing really resonated with me. We were talking about "agreements" and how not speaking up is taken as an agreement in a given situation even though you might not. Sitting back, and not taking a stand says "I agree with what you are doing". It made me think back to this situation.

In August, as per usual, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a friends photo of her birthday gifts including a new TRIANGL Bikini. Now I'd seen them around and had been meaning to check them out but with no holidays imminent I'd yet to delve deeper to find out about them. I took this opportunity to click through to their Instagram and had a good ol' scroll.

I scrolled, and scrolled. And scrolled. And scrolled some more. I noticed how beautifully curated their Instagram was; Each row was either two shots of people in their product : to one scenery or one person / product shot : to two scenery shots. Enough to evoke you to book a holiday immediately and purchase as many of these bikinis as you could afford.

Photo Credit: https://instagram.com/triangl/

Then I realised that something just didn't sit comfortably with me; everyone on the feed looked the same. None of them looked like me. It felt like a disconnect for me from the brand and instantly made me feel apprehensive. What's so strange is that I've never felt this way before! At that point in time, I thought I'd just shoot them an email and see what they said:


And if I'm honest, I never expected a response. But I got one. And it was one that if I had have expected a reply, it wouldn't be this:


Hmmmmm. So I had a read and I thought, oh, okay! Like, firstly, they are THE luckiest brand in the world to have a customer base that looks like that everyday! Or is it the bikini that makes them look like this?! Right now as I write this, I'm thinking well I haven't bought one as I'm in two minds after looking at Instagram so maybe every other girl in the world who doesn't see themselves in these images are also put off??? ...at this point now, I'm pondering their reply when I get another email:

Well, THAT told me! lol Everything has been solved. Maybe on their part?! They did their job; they responded in whatever timescales they are supposed to. And part of me went, fine, case closed. They forgot about it, I forgot about it.

A month later, I saw said friend and it popped into my mind so I shared what had gone on with her. We went onto their IG to take a little look and look what we found, just a couple weeks after I emailed them:

Photo Credit: https://instagram.com/triangl/

I mean, none of us can miss this beautiful young woman, can we?! Does this make it all okay?!

I vented my frustration via a post on my personal FB page because I just needed to share it. And that was that. Until I went on this weekend course and realised that me not responding to that email, and me not sharing this was me sitting in silent agreement. It was me telling them, and all other brands that it's okay to not feature different types of women. It's okay for them to make us feel inadequate and make us wish we had "her body".

And actually, I realised that I am so not okay with this. And I'm so not okay with sitting here in silence. I started blogging to give myself a voice and I almost didn't use it! The truth be told, I didn't want go "there". I wanted to just talk about all the glossy stuff rather than share my true and deepest feelings.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right for choosing a certain type of woman to represent their brand.   I'm just saying that I stand for diversity. I want to see myself in the women chosen, I wanna relate to them and know that they feel what I feel. At the end of the day, I want for everyone what I want for myself, to feel inspired, motivated and empowered.

Let's BE those! 

Elle :) 

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26.10.15

Running || Get Back On Track

There's less than 100 days till The London Winter Run, people! I don't know about you, but I am just a little bit out of running shape!


A couple weeks ago I went along to a treadmill masterclass at Nuffield Health City and I thought I would share the workout with you to help us all get back on track and ready for race day on 31st January 2016.


...and don't forget to stretch!!


Other examples of running intervals specific to 10k training include: 

Beginner - 6-8 x 200m Rest 2:00 between sets
Intermediate - 8-10 x 200m Rest 2:00 between sets

Beginner - 2-3 x 800m Rest 3:00 between sets
Intermediate - 4-5 x 800m Rest 2:30 between sets

Beginner - 8-10 x 200m Rest 2:00 between sets
Intermediate - 5-6 x 300m Rest 2:00 between sets

Beginner - 3-4 x 800m Rest 3:00 between sets
Intermediate - 4-5 x 800m 600m active recovery

Beginner - 3 x 1000m Rest 3:30 between sets
Intermediate - 4 x 1000 Rest 3:00 between sets

You should be able to maintain the same relative pace for each of these intervals.

Train to avoid pacing errors; gain an understanding of what paces you can hold for different distances (4, 5 & 6 miles). Tempo and time trials runs should be used as tools to gain understanding of the paces you can maintain at particular distances beyond 5k. Achieving this will enable you to gain an idea of a sensible starting pace when you run your 10km race.

If you've not entered yet, I have an exclusive discount for you! Use code SIMPELLE to get yourself £3 off entry (for London, Manchester or Liverpool)!


See you at the start line?! 

Elle :) 

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23.10.15

2015 || with Passion Planner

I posted about Passion Planner way back in November of 2014; firstly I wanna say a huge Thank You to everyone that read the post, made a purchase and listed me as their referrer!


I realised not so long ago that I hadn't actually shared with you about how I've been using the Passion Planner (PP) in 2015! I get emails probably on a weekly basis from people running kickstarter campaigns asking me to share their project and what I think they fail to realise is that I don't share projects for a job / for fun; I share them because I genuinely love them and am prepared to back them with my own money.

And that's what I did with PP. They launched another kickstarter campaign not long after I discovered them, for their new compact size for 2015. I backed the project for 3 planners, kept one for myself and sold the others on eBay to help recoup some of my postage costs.

Photo Credit: Passion Planner

And the best news is; there's a Kickstarter running RIGHT NOW! This time, they're doing a Get One, Give One campaign so for every PP that is bought they give one to someone who is less fortunate. I've backed for just one of the Limited Edition #StayGOALden 2016 compact planners; I would've backed for more but they just didn't have the combinations that I wanted. I did think that I would go for the classic next time but I love the portability of the compact size and after finding erasable pens I have no issues with the small spaces to write in appointments.

Sometimes I get a little envious of the really creative people who have their planners looking like works of art but at the end of the day, I do what I do with mine because it works for me! If I had more time and energy to think what I could draw and add I would! On a creative note though, I used the plain white pages to sketch out my plan to decorate the living room and where all my picture frames / ornaments and clock would go!


I used the paper with the squares to draw out floor plans of my living room when I was deciding which furniture to get and where it would go!

But I'm not here to sell you PP's; I simply wanna share how it's helped me in 2015!

Photo Credit: Passion Planner

At the start of the year, I sat down and scribbled out my 3 month, 1 year, 3 year and lifetime goals. With this starting point, I broke each goal down and created a roadmap of how I was going to get there. One example was my house move planned for April 2015; I broke down all the tasks that needed doing in the lead up to the move and everything that would be done during the move and after. I was so ridiculously planned that my move was as stress free as I could ever have imagined!

It's been great to have my goals (short term and long term) there with me every single day to serve as a reminder! There's also space to check in at the end of the month and plan the next month ahead! I record events, appointments, workouts, social meetings, work hours and training plans with each having it's respective colour so I can see at a glance how my week balanced out!

And balancing out my week is tough. I've learnt to say no a lot more recently when I can see that there is just too much going on at a certain time and as you know, I've cut down my blogging schedule to three times per week meaning I'm more choosy about what I post about!

Ready for 2016, I'll be buying some washi tape, new highlighters and an extra stash of erasable pens! All ready to plan out how I'll be tackling all the half marathons, triathlons and cycling sportive that I have in the diary already! Take a look at the { Train With Elle } page to find out what races I'm booked in for, are on my wish list and previous race reports!

What do you use to keep on track with your goals?! 


Elle :) 

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21.10.15

Vegetable Spiced Breakfast Waffles with The Groovy Food Company

I took on the challenge of trying out some products from The Groovy Food Company... oh, and to create a Halloween themed recipe!

One day I was walking and tweeting (I don't suggest anyone do this!) and I came across a recipe for Carrot Cake Waffles with a secret ingredient; carrot puree baby food. I happened to be outside a supermarket at the time so I popped straight in. They didn't have just carrot so I ended up getting a carrot, apple and parsnip organic puree. So let it be known, that that recipe and this recipe for oat flour waffles are my inspiration!


Vegetable Spiced Breakfast Waffles with The Groovy Food Company 
Dairy Free | Gluten Free* | Wheat Free | Vegan | 10 mins to prepare 
6 - 8 mins to cook | Serves 2 | approx 345kcal per serving



Ingredients

You know me; I pulled out the Vitamix to make my oat flour from my packet of porridge oats! Also, make your flax egg at the start so it has a few minutes to stand and thicken. Spray your waffle iron with coconut oil spray and turn on to allow it to heat up while you make your waffle mix.


I then put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and used a hand whisk to mix them up.

I added the coconut oil to the milk and microwaved for 20 seconds to melt the oil. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix with the whisk.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and give it a quick whisk. When your waffle iron is ready, pour the mix into it and close to cook.

Buy my Waffle Iron from Amazon
I think 6 - 8 minutes would have been perfect for my waffle iron but I was a little enthusiastic and turned if off after 5 minutes then turned it on again and almost cremated the waffles! I guess it is Halloween after all!



FYI, I then went against the whole dairy free, vegan thing and served them with a knob of butter! #sorrynotsorry 


Agave Nectar
This time I used the amber and mild agave nectar which is a great substitute for sugar. It's fat free and organic too :) so can count towards your small changes! Agave is the only sweetener I have in my kitchen cupboard and I use it anytime a recipe calls for honey or even maple syrup and as it's so much sweeter than sugar itself you can use a third less!

Coconut Oil Spray
This coconut oil spray is the newest kid on the block. Groovy blend coconut oil with rapeseed oil to make this cooking spray. I like it as it's great for portion control when using oil to fry, roast or bake; it's just 1 calorie per spray! I used it on this occasion to grease the waffle iron with one spray per waffle grid!

I used the regular jarred coconut oil in the actual recipe as a substitute for butter. Helps with the 'ol dairy thing too for those of you, who like me, are lactose intolerant!

So if you don't already own one, go buy a waffle iron! It's one of my favourite kitchen purchases this year and gets used more often than it probably should!

Well, there you go! Happy Halloween and all! 


Elle :) 

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19.10.15

The Beginners Guide To Bike Maintenance

Just a couple weeks ago, I shared with you some basic tips to transition from commuter to competitor on your two wheels. I wrote the post in conjunction with Ellie, through a question and answer, conversation and whilst chatting away about the various aspects of training it dawned on me that I was missing some of the basic knowledge and skills when it comes to bike maintenance. I mean, Ellie said something about cleaning your chain?! ...Cue raised eyebrows and a blank expression (and that was not just from me!). 

So when Halfords created this infographic (who doesn't love an infographic), I had to have a read and then decided to share it with y'all! ...with my annotations of course! 


Okay, so I own a couple of these tools and others I've never heard of in my life! A store assistant was once kind enough to give me a multi tool and that, along with some tyre levers have gotten me through! 

I did buy some special wipes for cleaning my bike though but unless I put my bike in the bath, it's never gonna get a proper bath due to lack of space. 


Now, you've almost lost me at this point! But, these are pretty important things! I've experienced the difference that tyre pressure makes! This one time, I actually thought something was wrong with me! I just did not have the strength to make my bike move at a decent speed! I most probably googled it and that resulted in me buying a track pump and blowing up my tyres. Cue, super speed! 


I'm not at the stage where I want to upgrade my bike yet. Maybe, ever! If there is one part I would consider upgrading though, it would be the saddle! Oh and I upgraded my pedals to double sided one's (I take back what I just said; but it was actually because the bike didn't come with pedals so I had to buy SOMETHING, and chose these) - one side for clip-ins and one side flat for the times I just wanna pop down the road, or not take another pair of shoes to change into. 


Please tell me I'm not alone here?! Do you own a bike?! How well do you look after it?! 

What's the one thing you do when it coms to your bike, without fail?! 

Elle :) 

16.10.15

Elle About Town, October 2015

October - and the weather is certainly making that clear with chilly mornings and sunny afternoons. I've half turned the heating on too; in the bedroom and then rely on the oven cooking dinner to warm up the living space! I'm not going to give in fully yet! 

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

Events / Classes: Rumble at 1Rebel 


I popped along to the latest 1Rebel studio in Broadgate Circle, Liverpool Street to try out their latest class; Rumble. It's a high intensity interval based boxing / martial arts inspired workout. You get kitted out in wraps and gloves then situate yourself with a bag and the instructor in the middle. 

After class, we were treated to Prosecco, nibbles, juice and hair braiding! Yup! It was a great evening and I got the opportunity to chat to some interesting people whilst trying out some new products / brands! 

The next day, my glutes were feeling the effects of the kicks that we did and my arms were tired from all the punching! Would I do it again?! ...it sure is good to release any pent up frustrations!!

Classes: Exerceo



When Exerceo got in touch, I was a little intrigued. A 25 minute workout that would burn fat and increase muscle mass. I wouldn't need to take any clothes or shoes. And I would get hooked up to some form of straightjacket. Well, if it's good enough for Ussain Bolt?! 

The session uses Electric Muscle Stimulation - they basically send electrical waves through the jacket to your muscles which makes them work harder. You're given undergarments to wear (over your underwear), and then a waistcoat, and "shorts" which both get wired up to the "control station". I'm not gonna lie, I was sh*t scared for some reason. But honestly, once I felt the sensation I was put totally at ease. To me, it's kinda like a power plate but you're wearing it rather than standing on it! 

The session consisted of body weight exercises, cardio high intensity interval drills, some pad work and core work. Lex and I left the session feeling pretty invigorated! 

Classes: Yoga with Madelaine Shaw  


Popular blogger and nutritionist Madelaine lead a yoga class with RED magazine and I figured I'd pop along, get my stretch on and meet the lady herself! The class was a little shorter than planned due to Madelaine getting stuck in traffic on her way to us (cue frustration from waiting; not the best way to start yoga!). 

This was all followed by a just as short Q&A session before she then had to dash off to go on vacation! I can't say I remember much about what we talked about?! ...maybe how often she practiced yoga, her new juice range, her book etc. I got a survey about the event just the other day and they asked "did you leave the event feeling smarter?" ....Erm, well, no I didn't. 

Coming Up....

Style Sportif Launch 
I'm looking forward to joining everyone for the launch of Style Sportif, a brand new e-commerce
website which will offer a curated collection of the best in premium activewear! The launch party will be taking place at Lights of Soho a trendy art gallery turned members club in the heart of London!  

Blogfest 
Blogfest is a conference put on my Mumsnet; you don't need to have children to be a part of their network nor to go to the conference! It's a day packed full of speakers and workshops al on topics surrounding blogging! I decided that I wanted to be there this year rather than watch from afar (via twitter and Facebook) and sufffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). I got in there on the early bird tickets and am looking forward to a day of learning, networking and inspiration. Oh and they've talked up the goody bag A LOT!

What fun stuff is coming up for you in the next month or so?! 

Elle :) x

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14.10.15

Running Hot || Running Cold

Autumn is most definitely settling in; the mornings are darker and our evening light is getting shorter, and shorter. I guess there's two ways to look at it; either 1) get down about it and start counting down the days till "summer" or 2) suck it up and enjoy what the new colder seasons have to offer us!

Last year, I chose option 2. Mostly because at the time, Jen, who was co-leading run club with me made it clear that we didn't stop because it got cold... or rained! Then I signed up for my first spring half marathon (read about Brighton HM) and just kept. on. running.

Running Hot || Fire Up Your Run


I was lucky enough to get sent over a box of A-MAZING goodies from active brand Nathan to help me fire up my run this winter! Everything from socks to strobe lights, torches to a reflective vest. Also included are a pair of lock laces; I discovered these at some point last year and basically never looked back during my triathlon season. Have a read of my previous post on {how to set up your lock laces in 5 minutes}.

It's gonna take me a little while to test everything out, but I'll be sure to keep you posted! But I've got my eye on this light spur which attaches quickly and securely to the heel of your shoe. It has multiple settings from static to flashing; the battery is replaceable too offering 40+ hours of illumination!



In the meantime it's food for thought that there are so many runners out there who don't make themselves as visible as possible. It's easier for drivers to spot us if we have lights on multiple points too so they can recognise us quicker as people running.

How do you stay visible in the darker months?!

Running Cold || Cancer Research Winter Run, London


I've already picked up my polar bear hugs but they were to get me motivated to get back into running and training through the winter. A small group of us popped along to Nuffield Health City Gym to be taken through our paces in a treadmill masterclass.



The 10k flat route event, takes place on Sunday 31st January 2016; starting in Trafalgar Square and kicking off with a Snow Blast-Off! The event is the perfect opportunity for runners of all levels to start the New Year with a bang! 

Considering joining in all the fun?! ...

WIN || A Place In The London Winter Run

I have ONE place to give away to one of you lucky lot! Please have a read of the terms and conditions before entering, otherwise, BEST OF LUCK! ...and see you there?! p.s you don't have to run with me ...unless you want to! haha!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lets go pound the pavements! 

What races do you have lined up?! 


Elle :) 


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12.10.15

In My Skin || Perfect7 Challenge

I've become really passionate about my In My Skin series since it was just an idea in my mind. Today's post is an extension of I Wear Make Up In The Gym.

Have a watch of my video and then read on for a little more information:
 

Just to quickly recap, I'm taking part in a 7 week challenge with Seven Seas Perfect7 who conducted some research and identified 7 healthy habits of younger looking people - 

1. They drank more than 2 litres of water a day 
2. They didn’t smoke 
3. They ate a lot of oily fish (2 or more portions a week) 
4. They drank less alcohol 
5. They ate less refined sugar 
6. They ate high levels of fruit and vegetables 
7. They had a positive attitude

They tasked 7 bloggers to take on ONE of the habits over 7 weeks and share our journey! My new habit will be to consume two or more portions of oily fish each week during the 7 weeks. During this time, we'll also be taking the Perfect7 Woman Supplement. 


My plan is to keep a "skin diary" and a little log of the food (especially which oily fish) that I consume. 

If there is a secret to anti-ageing, then I'm starting the mission to find out what it is! 

What are your secrets?!

Elle :) 

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7.10.15

Easy Coconut Banana Loaf with The Groovy Food Company

Picture this. It's Sunday. I'm due a food shop. All that's left in the house are two bananas which took like they may grow legs at any point and run off. I'm perusing instagram and people are baking banana loaves...but what can I bake mine with?! I google recipes and I don't have everything I need so I decide to improvise and...

...Voila!


What I did have to hand though was a selection of The Groovy Food Company products.

I know when I read recipes, I hate to have to scroll down miles to see the recipe so I'm gonna share that then talk about it after!

Easy Coconut Banana Loaf with The Groovy Food Company 
Dairy Free | Gluten Free* | 15 mins preperation
60 minutes to cook


Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3 ripe bananas 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cups organic brown rice (ground into flour)
  • 3/4 cups oats (ground into flour)*use gluten free oats to make recipe GF
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 cup almond milk 
Plus...
  • cacoa nibs 
  • 1/4 cup oats 

If like me, you don't own flour, you have to be creative. I had the tiniest bit of organic brown rice left so I ground it into flour (using a Vitamix) and then ground enough oats to make up the 1.5 cups of flour needed. 

I kid you not, I then threw everything in the Vitamix and blitzed it like a smoothie then poured it into my silicone loaf tin. I was a little worried that the mixture was too runny so thats where the extra 1/4 of oats came in (whole) which I mixed into the batter when in the loaf tin. I topped the batter with a generous sprinkling of cacao nibs and shoved it in the oven at approx 165 degrees (fan assisted) for 60 minutes (or more accurately until my knife slid out clean). 

We (my mum and I) had the loaf sliced and served with butter and a cup of tea as an indulgent treat that Sunday evening. The rest of the loaf, I had without butter. It's perfect as it's not ridiculously sweet like some loaves I have made in the past. The moistness of the oat flour is met with the dryness of the rice flour balancing everything out perfectly!


Agave Nectar 
This dark and rich agave nectar is a great natural replacement for brown sugar; and because it's so much sweeter than sugar, you can use a third less!! It also has a low GI (of 27) which means no crazy sugar highs for us! It is sooooo smooth, 100% organic and fat free; a staple in my kitchen cupboard since I discovered it a few years ago! 

Coconut Oil 
Another great organic product and healthy swap for butter in this case! Coconut oil has a high smoke point which means it's good for frying, roasting and baking; not losing its nutrients in the process. I think we've all gone a little beauty crazy for coconut oil but it still gets used almost daily in my kitchen!

So, I don't expect you to have read this far. I mean, surely you're in the kitchen sourcing your ingredients to make this. Right. Now.

If you do give it a go, let me know your thoughts! Otherwise, let me know what your healthy swaps in cooking and baking are?! 

Elle :) 

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5.10.15

In My Skin || Part I, Body Confidence


When you're a BAD ASSED, strong willed, determined and vocal individual it's sometimes hard to understand where those of a completely polar opposite nature are coming from. I mean, f**k me, the amount of body confidence, body shaming, bodies bodies bodies... articles I've seen around in the past few months has rocketed. Many have claimed lower levels of self esteem are linked to the rise in social media. I get it. But some people do find their inspiration and motivation online following their #fitspiration.

Where Do You Find Your Inspiration To Keep Fit?!

I personally don't seek nor find inspiration externally which brought me to a realisation recently about why I may lack motivation to exercise and a huge part of it comes down to what I see in the media, on social media and how those around me speak of exercise. Every article seems to be about losing weight, or getting a bigger butt. Thinner arms, reduce back fat, achieve thinner thighs. What about those of us who work out for the feeling or the social interaction rather than the aesthetics?!

Celebrating Active Women 

...doing their thing, no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets. This is  Sport England trying to buck a trend with the #ThisGirlCan campaign. I had hoped this campaign would be aimed at inspiring those who are not participating in sport or exercise but it seems that the people taking to the campaign are the ones who already go to the gym, eat healthily and generally lead an active life.

I've been lucky enough to have been involved in sport all through my younger years (with the usual drop out gap between the ages of 14 - 18) and have been pretty active since leaving school, studying the science behind exercise (all the -ologies including psychology, physiology and sociology) then forging a career in this very, very fickle world. I'm not saying I have lived this life without my own issues though!

Photo Credit: Georgina of Fitcetera

Struggling With The Reality Of Change 

If you knew me when I was growing up, and before I joined in on the fitness game you'd know! In my younger teenage years I was basically two dimensional and for that reason hated my arms being on show but loved a crop top. Then I started to fill out at university (albeit because I actually started eating more food!) and quite liked my arms! As I've gotten older (I'm now 30) it's felt like every year comes with an extra kg. I hover somewhere between 63 and 66kg depending on what activities I've been up to. And I'm kinda alright with that.

I recently took up swimming which has to be one of the most unforgiving and exposing sports! Dressed in a tight swimsuit, no make up (cos yes I do wear make up to the gym) my hair squashed underneath a swim cap (I can never achieve the post swim bed head hair look) doing something that I have no experience in. That has to be the height of my insecurities, right?! Then add to that, the fact that this was all part of a national magazine campaign where I had to pose for before and after shots as well as have my entire journey documented on camera with no photoshopping. That experience showed me how much like everyone else I am. I immediately cleaned up my diet a little and committed to my swim programme.

At the half way point, I considered taking more drastic action then decided a) I could not be bothered and b) I wanted this to be an honest and authentic experience. If you saw the magazine feature you'll know there were not many significant changes in my physique (I think I look aight anyway) but I gained heaps in my fitness and confidence in the water. I guess I got the results of a normal person, with a normal schedule, eating normal food.

Choose Now... Your Body, Or Her Body?

In summary, I feel like body confidence comes at the point where you finally accept yourself for who you are, both inside and out. When you accept that change is a good thing and sometimes no change is a good thing too! It's a choice that you make.

So choose now.  Right now. Your Body? Or her body?

I choose every imperfection and flaw that makes me who I am. I choose that somedays I feel great and somedays I don't feel so great. I choose me. 


Elle :) 

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2.10.15

Behind The Screen: September 2015 Report

It's that time of the month again; where I talk all things blogging and statistics! I know a lot of people who read blogs are bloggers so it's always great to get an insight into how other bloggers operate. For those of you reading who are not bloggers get a behind the screen insight into what bloggers get up to and how you play a part in helping us to continue to do what we love! 

Statistics; September 2015 

Google Analytics



September 1st - September 30th
Google Analytics (GA) statistics seem to be the benchmark for blog statistics so I'm moving away from trusting what Blogger says and using these statistics going forward. It' s great to be able to see a month to month growth and know that I'm reaching a wider audience every time.

August vs September

Users 2,630 vs 2,029 (-601) 
Page Views 5,211 vs 3,866 (-1345) 

Well, we all knew this had to come at some point after months of reporting increases. Having seen a few other bloggers talking about this on Facebook it seems that they put it down to September being the month that everyone returns to work / school / college / university which means they have less time to be reading blogs.

With me popping off to Bestival too, I don't think I had the most consistent of months with posting and quality content. I posted 14 times in September compared to 21 in August so no doubt this would make a difference as well as having spent August heavily promoting #ThePhoto101 workshop which drove traffic to my blog! The engagement level hasn't seemed to have changed though and that matters more to me than numbers!

FB page likes - 659 vs 679 (+20) 
IG followers - 1053 vs 1121  (+68) 
Pinterest followers - 526 vs 531 (+5) 
Twitter followers - 2477 vs 2531 (+54) 
BlogLovin' followers - 233 vs 238 (+5) 

Amazon Associates
- 1st September - 30th September
- £0

This month I didn't do anything different with Amazon; I got about just under 100 clicks throughs but no purchases. I find the best way of sharing amazon links is vis twitter when I am shopping myself and just sharing what I am buying / loving!

Affiliate Windows
- £1.68


This month I joined Predator Nutrition, GoNutrition and DECIEM programmes. I'm already signed up to MyProtein, Planet Organic, Simply Supplements and LessBounce.

I've been working on sharing the links as authentically as I can and my click throughs have shown that. Purchases are down to whether people want to shop or not and that's not really something I can personally affect.

Affiliate Window (AW) have a facility where you add an opportunity for brands and then they reach out to you if they are interested. This worked well for me last month; at the last minute before I went to Bestival, I shared an opportunity for collaborations and that is how I came to work with DECIEM. I ended up testing out a few of their products and secured a discount for anyone wanting to try their stuff for themselves!

It costs about £5 to join AW but you can make that back really quickly (if you try!).

Other Advertising
- 1st September - 30th September
- £4.10
- unpaid

Kayla Itsines Affiliate Program
- $A0

I eventually got a response from the affiliate manager after reaching out to them asking to work together and collaborate so I could generate some content. I got a response along the lines of "if you generate more sales, we'll do more with you"; kind of counter-productive in my eyes but what can I do!

I'm considering leaving this programme as it's not actively contributing to my blog goals and is a lot of work for no return.

Collaborative & Sponsored Posts
- £0

I didn't accept any sponsored or collaborative posts this month for various reasons such as no time and inappropriate content.

I also made a recent decision to increase and standardise my fee for such posts. This will 100% mean a reduced income to start with but I'm happy with that.

Other work and consulting
- $30

I randomly made $30 by referring someone to TapInfluence; I'm not sure how I did this, but hey ho! It equated to about £19 when converted on PayPal.

Costs / Outgoings
- iCloud storage upgrade - £0.79

While You're Here
Please take two minutes to {vote for me} in the MyProtein Fitness Blogger Awards! 



What Worked Well Last Month
I updated my Media Kit in the last month to share my latest stats and information. I also made it easier to edit and improved the colours to be more aligned with my branding. 

I wrote one of those "real" posts about my skin and the feedback was awesome. I had the post in drafts for weeks and weeks so now I'm happy and relieved I hit publish. The rest of the series is coming in due course. 

What I Did New Last Month
I got a new lens for my Olympus PEN - the 45mm f1.8. The pictures this lens takes is just out of this world; being able to adjust my camera settings makes the world of difference too! Check out my IG to see the shots I've been taking with the new lens. Here are a couple of shots I took when trying out the 45mm:



I saved a lot of money on my lens (i.e don't use the 25% discount code Olympus have at the moment) and I was eligible to get some cashback on my purchase so I used the money I saved to buy the tripod I've been saying I'm going to buy for the past few months. I went for the Velbon EF-51.

I also spent some time focusing on Instagram. I sat in on an awesome webinar where I picked up a few tips. One I just implemented was to create the @keepitsimpElle handle incase people accidentally think that is my IG handle and use it. That way, I won't miss a thing. Literally. I also made sure my actual profile uses my name as my handle - @ellelinton - but then has my blog name in the profile so it is searchable.

What I Will Try Next Month 
- I'm cutting down my posts from 4/week to 3/week. The aim is to have more quality content which adds value to those who read it! It'll also give me more time to promote my blog due to a little less time writing! I'll continue to focus on great imagery too!

- add quick links for following on social media platforms at the end of posts... like this...

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- I'm looking to bring back my Sport'n Style posts but with great photography and styling this time :) I'm going to use the next month to think about how I want these posts to look and for style inspiration 

- I'm THIS close (or probably have done by the time you read this) to buying myself a ticket to Mumsnet Blogfest. The last couple of years I've looked in from the outside wishing I was there; this year I may just bite the bullet for the awesome line up! 

Posts On Blogging You Have To Read: 
6 Quick Tips For Sharing Affiliate Links

Goals For The Next Month

GOAL - share one workout on the blog with images and 'pin-able' title image

GOAL - have a go at creating some video content for social media or the blog

So... anything I've missed that you'd be interested to know?! 

Do you have blog goals that you are working towards?! Have you blogged about blogging?! Share your posts with me too! 


Elle :) 

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