Why I’m Loving Aqua Aerobics

This year I’ve really been trying to get back into working out. Mainly to bolster my mental health, I find it one of the most effective ways I personally can feel less depressed on a daily basis.

My partner and I initially started with swimming. However, we found that because of the timing of the aqua aerobics class on a Tuesday we were missing out on a workout on the day I’m often most enthusiastic. So, having talked to people who had been, we decided to give aqua aerobics a go and we loved it.

I have been to several aqua aerobics classes in the past and I will say, like any class, how good it is depends on the instructor.

These are the reasons I love it so much, above most other classes I’ve ever done:

  • You’re water cooled. This sounds a bit weird but it means you can exercise harder before you feel like you’re cooking – it’s awesome.
  • You’re not just doing cardio. You’re constantly pushing against the water, so building muscle as well. I really prefer this as it feels like a better workout. There are also so many benefits to building muscle.
  • It isn’t just standard aerobics (obviously depending on your instructor’s training). We’ve had one class that’s combat, one that’s like legs, bums and tums, we’ve done circuits… We’ve used water weights, pool woggles, resistance gloves, floats… Every week can be completely different and it keeps me interested and excited.
  • It’s lower impact. There are benefits of both but especially if you’re not perfectly fit, having some lower impact exercise as part of your routine can be very helpful!
  • If you don’t feel it was a strenuous enough workout (most places) you can stay and swim after/before. We regularly swim for 10-15 minutes after our class, as it’s only a 45 minute class.
  • You’re already wet and walking out into the showers – so having a shower doesn’t feel like such a pain as after the gym can. Or is that just me showing my laziness?
  • You really can take it at your own pace. As you’re in water, no one can really see what you’re doing. So if you need to take it easier one week, or on a particular exercise you can without anyone noticing. You can also go really hard and push yourself.
  • If you are finding it too easy, you can invest in a pair of the resistance gloves to wear for the whole lesson. You’ll definitely start getting an awesome arm workout with those (again, you can find these cheaply).
  • All you need is swimwear. If you look somewhere like Sports Direct you can find one for around £10 most of the time. Obviously you’ll still need to pay for the class but you don’t need a whole outfit and trainers.
  • One final added bonus. Due to it being low impact, you’ll usually get a lot of older people in the class. Whilst they do always seem to be disturbingly fitter than me, their eyes feel a lot less judgemental and they’re rarely taking a class too seriously. I like that!

If you haven’t tried aqua aerobics I’d highly recommend it. I find it so fun and it’s really kept me wanting to go back every week! What’s your favourite exercise class? Or do you hate them all?

xo Fleur xo

Conversations about weight #7

This post was very much sparked by the awful LUSH Instagram post. If you haven’t seen it, or the outrage around it – they decided to fat shame. They have since apologised but I don’t think weight is something they should ever have tried to talk about, whatever. Overall, though, it got me thinking.

Which type of health do I focus on? My mental health or my physical health? Both?

I think the tweet that stood out to me most was

‘Why did fat people feel attacked? as a “thin” person I didnt think “fat” I thought obese and unwell’

and from LUSH’s actual post

‘70% of deaths and morbidity are largely lifestyle related and preventable’

I’ll deal with the comment first. I’m obese. How does this automatically make me unwell?! I’m not. I’m not in hospital, I don’t need to go to the doctor… I’m not unwell but I’m also not healthy. The health problems I have, I had when I was a healthy BMI and still have now I’m obese. So I wouldn’t consider myself to be healthy but I won’t be healthy at ANY weight. I don’t have that luxury AND millions of people have it worse than me. If I want to bawl at the constant “as long as you’re healthy” when I never will be, then consider how anyone who has a serious lifelong health condition must feel.

My problem with the quote from LUSH is that death isn’t preventable right now. Not to put a downer on your day but you will die of something. Yes, your lifestyle plays into that and essentially helps decide at what age you die but wtf? DEATH ISN’T PREVENTABLE LUSH.

Which leads me back to what I really want to talk about. Health isn’t just about size or just about physical health. Which type of health do I focus on? My mental health, my physical health, both? Or is there a balance? I currently feel like I can’t have both but can I?

I have continuous acid reflux, which means ideally I need to be a healthy BMI because being overweight makes it worse. Since I hit 15 stone, the drugs I take to stop the acid reflux really don’t work as well – so I’m having to take gaviscon regularly. I also can’t eat certain foods and most alcohol gives me acid reflux for days. Being overweight is also making my knees and back hurt constantly and I’m pretty sure that long term the extra pressure will cause damage. So to improve my physical health, I really need to lose weight.

Yet, eating makes me happy, trying to eat less makes me sad. I’m not the kind of person who can lose weight/maintain a healthy BMI without calorie counting and weighing myself. When I’m hungry I’ll eat and if I’m not paying attention I’ll happily consume 3000 calories a day without realising. I also comfort eat, I use food to improve my mood – I know that’s less than ideal but it works. Eating whatever I want, whenever I want, makes me really happy.

There’s also how I currently feel about my body. For the first time in my life I genuinely feel so comfortable and happy in my body. Other people might not like how I look but I don’t care. The parts I’ve never liked are still the same, I had a double chin and keratosis pilaris when I was a size 8. So I’m a size 18 now, so what? I feel confident, I feel great. My mental health is just fine with me being obese.

So I don’t really know what to do. Do I work towards better physical health and risk damaging my mental health in the process? Do I just continue on and focus on my mental health? Is there some medium point where I could have good mental and physical health, maybe where I’m overweight but not obese?

I’m currently trying to work towards that middle ground. What do you think? Is there an answer? There’s so many questions in this post I feel slightly ridiculous but I’d love to know your opinions!

xo Fleur xo


Um, I’ve regretted a workout?

Every so often the phrase ‘You’ll never regret a workout’ or ‘A workout always makes you feel better’ often followed by ‘but you will regret not working out’ pops up on my social media… I know this is fully intended to be inspirational and help people to get moving, which is awesome but every time I see it I want to shout no.

I’ve regretted so many workouts. I’ve regretted doing physical activity full stop and I love exercise.

If you haven’t been to the gym in a while, if you’re trying to coerce yourself out of bed after your rest day for that morning run then the idea that you’ll only ever feel better after a workout is SO motivational. I really do get that and I’m not trying to bash it but I did want to chuck a tiny bit of reality in too.

I’ve currently got a knee in rehab from overdoing it in a spinning lesson nearly three years ago. I 100% regret that workout.

I fell over whilst ice skating (I thought it would be a fun but energetic trip out) and had to take a week off work because I had soft tissue damage and was in a leg brace. I regretted pushing my body that far in what definitely turned into a workout.

I’ve pushed too hard at the gym and been unable to move for a week. I’ve regretted those workouts.

I’ve been so stressed and tried to get it out at the gym but ended up raising my cortisol levels instead. I came back more stressed out and regretting that workout.

I’ve been skiing (which I’d really consider an exercise holiday) and tore up my legs so badly I couldn’t walk for three months. I lost my part-time job (I was 17, had no contract, they needed staff and I was replaced) and my mum had to drive me to and from college for three months. I also couldn’t exercise for those three months. I regretted that trip.

I’ve gone to the gym too full and wanted to throw up, ended up desperately needing a wee but feeling too awkward to leave a class, I’ve been to awful classes with horrible instructors and I’ve tried to play team sports and left feeling pathetic and useless.

At the moment, as I’m getting back into exercise, my body hurts constantly all over when I’ve exercised. It’s hard to deal with that pain and still feel like the workout was worth it, it’s hard not to regret doing that exercise.

Usually though, I leave feeling elated. I have more energy, I feel more confident and happier. Regular exercise makes me, me. Without it I’m not the person I want to be.

So, if you’ve ever regretted a workout, you’re not alone. If you’re ever trying to force yourself to the gym for the 5th day in a row and you’re not feeling it – don’t feel bad and if you’re really not feeling it, don’t go. Those are the days you’ll end up regretting it. If you’re always hating your workout and never feeling positive afterwards, you’re doing the wrong workout.

It’s great to be positive but it’s also good to be realistic. We’re not all superheroes and there is such a thing as over training.

xo Fleur xo

Beauty Bay Birthday Haul

Yep, this is another post that should have been up months ago… I’m a shitty blogger *shrugs* which means I can only improve, right? I’m feeling a lot more motivated currently so hopefully you should be seeing more posts soon!

Anyway, back to the actual post! For my birthday, back in February, my bf’s father and his partner gave me a £100 Beauty Bay voucher (I’m so spoilt I know but I am really truly thankful). So here’s what I bought! This obviously isn’t sponsored & I would like to note that if you ever get a Beauty Bay voucher they have an annoying system where you can’t spend it for 48 hours. SO frustrating! (especially when it means you can’t use your birthday 10% off…)

The first thing I knew I had to buy was the Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso – it really does live up to the ridiculous hype it has. If you love a shimmery peach blush, you need this.

I also decided to try a Wet Brush having heard so much about them. I think I already need another for my gym kit! This somehow manages to brush my hair without taking chunks out of it. I does work better on wet hair than dry hair (I guess the clue is in the name) so if you mainly brush your hair when it’s dry I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. Otherwise, I really would.

I’ve been wanting the Makeup Geek blush in Secret Admirer for well over a year now, so I decided to bite the bullet and just get it. I’ve only used this once and it’s not my favourite, I found it so patchy. I do need to try it again having used translucent powder underneath to see if that helps. I’m really hoping it does because it’s a gorgeous shade.

I’ve been meaning to buy a smudger brush for my lower lash line for a while too. When I saw the Zoeva Rose Golden Smudger Brush and how cute it is, it went in the basket. I’ve been using this almost every day and it’s perfect for the lower lash line, I’d almost say it’s an essential for me now.

I haven’t used the Milani Easybrow Tinted Fiber Gel yet as I want to finish my current one first. I’m hoping it will be good though as I’d love to have a fiber brow gel that’s easy to get my hands on. This one is also cruelty free and I’m slowly trying to go cruelty free (in fact I tried to make sure this whole haul was cruelty free).

I also chose two of the Milani Amore Matte Mattallics Lip Creams in Ravin’ Matte and Matterialistic. These are completely gorgeous. The purple (Ravin’ Matte) does need a couple of layers but they don’t seem to bunch or go gross, so that’s not an issue. I really want to buy one of the lighter shades so I can wear it for every day – I just want to wear it to work!

Finally I bought the Cover FX Custom Blot Drops. At £34 I was very on the edge about buying these and so far I regret my purchase. I do need to give them another shot but when I’ve used them I found they made me oilier and I think they broke me out. So I’m waiting for my skin to be really clear and happy before I try them again. I hope I find they work because otherwise it’ll have been a massive waste of money. I also really hate the packaging, it’s just awkward and feels a lot like I’m rubbing snot over my face – gross!

I think I did pretty well with getting loads of awesome things. Especially as I already use three items daily. What would you choose from Beauty Bay? Or just in general? I’m currently trying to convince myself that I don’t need the Sugarpill Pro Palette (I really do though, don’t I?).

xo Fleur xo

What I got for my birthday!

This is so ridiculously late (my birthday was the 15th February) that I don’t even know whether I should be posting it BUT I love reading other peoples birthday present posts soooo… Here’s mine!

As with everyone, I’m not bragging! It’s just really interesting to see the different things people buy and I always find present inspiration from these posts too.

First of all was this incredible selection of makeup from my boyfriend. If you read my birthday wish list post, you’ll see quite how incredible he is ❤

It included: the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette, Sugarpill’s Mochi eyeshadow and U4EA lipstick, NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream in Out of This World and the BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes palette.

My colleagues bought me these makeup charts which should be pretty fun to use! Though planning my makeup in advance might be a little beyond me… It was such a thoughtful present though.

My mum got me this cute unicorn pendant! She saw it on a charm bracelet whilst on a jewellery course and knew I needed it. She also gave me the box of bath time goodies below (she did win it in a raffle where I work but we’ll forgive her this time :P).

My mum also get me some shower gel, this amazing memory stick, a candle made by some of the kids where I work and a slightly random fish… As well as the gorgeous seahorse stoppered bottle below! (perfect for decanting a cheap bubble bath into 😉 so it looks really expensive and lovely).

My boyfriends mum bought me the most wonderful bag! Mine was starting to fall apart so I was so glad to be able to bin it… This one is also the perfect shade for me and kind of makes me think of a mermaid’s tail, just me?

This necklace was given to me by my boyfriends grandparents and I love it! It’s exactly the kind of thing i’d have chosen for myself and matches some jewellery I already have perfectly.

How perfect for a blogger are these candles that spell my name? My boyfriends sister bought them for me and I’m in love. I think they’ll feature in a lot of posts and I’ll probably never burn them… I also discovered that the wax pops out quite easily so they could also be perfect for storing makeup brushes/pencils?

A hula hoop! I’ve been wanting a hula hoop for over a year – so when my mum asked what I wanted I immediately knew. This one is from Etsy and I love it!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful day! Do you love these posts as much as I do?

xo Fleur xo

Boots Haul

Last Thursday Boots did a buy £50 worth of products, get £10 worth of points deal. Soooo, I figured it would make sense to stock up on essentials and buy a few new things along the way… I didn’t really intend on spending £89.06 BUT THERE WE GO 😂

It’s all things I’d have ended up buying at some point, so it’s fine, right?

It’s not the most exciting haul but you do get to see some products I love as well as some products I’m about to try out.

First of all there was an offer on L’Oreal shampoo and conditioner. I only actually saved £1.50 but it does mean I can have the conditioner I love in both the shower and in my gym bag. I liked the shampoo but I mainly bought it for the offer, I didn’t feel like buying 3 conditioners made sense…

Next I saw this 2 week L’Oreal Colourista turquoise wash out hair dye. I have a two week break from work coming up and I haven’t dyed my hair in over a year, I need this! Plus I’m super jealous of everyone playing with this range at the moment 😍

The reason I needed to go to Boots in the first place! La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo makes my skin so much better and I can tell I ran out a month ago, my skin has been horrendous. They were also on buy one, get one half price, which was a bonus!

I’m also trying a Soap & Glory makeup remover, one of the new L’Oreal clay face washes and I got the Bioré face wash to go in my gym bag.

I bought a Soap & Glory gift set in the Boots half price sale after Christmas and am now addicted to their Righteous Butter as well as the Hand Food. They actually work and I love smelling amazing.

The last time I bought a razor was 2 years ago? (I have fine hair, little of it and rarely shave) mine still works fine but I decided it was potentially time for a new one!

I find baby wipes great to have around… um, yeah.

I still can’t believe I only bought one item of makeup and such a boring one?! I really didn’t feel inspired by anything I saw, which is pretty upsetting. Anyway, I like this brow pencil and I’m about to run out of my current one so yay.

I’m still slightly in shock that I spent so much, I know I bought a lot of products but woah!

xo Fleur xo

Happy Mother’s Day

I’m an only child in a single parent family. I haven’t seen my dad since I was 12 and whilst I tried to reconnect with him about 9 years ago I now haven’t spoken to him in about 5 years and I never intend on speaking to him again (that’s a story for another day).

My mum is brilliant, she’s been my mother and my father. By no means is she perfect and we regularly struggle but she’s my parent and I wouldn’t swap her for the world. I know I can be just as annoying and awful, just as I can be as thoughtful and wonderful. We’re human and that’s just fine.

What I don’t understand with people like me, who have been raised by their mums, is why they wouldn’t have their mum walk them down the aisle when they get married.

I had a conversation the other day and I said how the only person I’d want in a bridesmaid role is male, so that wouldn’t really work. I was immediately told that I should have him walk me down the aisle and how that would be perfect. I found that so insulting. My mum will be walking me down the aisle if/when I get married. Why would anyone else get that honour?

This then made me think. Of the time I went to a wedding and a male family friend walked the bride down the aisle instead of her mum. Of the film Mama Mia, where she invites all her potential dads and then having known them for 5 seconds asks them to walk her down the aisle? In the TV show I just started watching (Witches of East End) where she’s never met her dad, yet when she meets him the day before her wedding she asks him to have that honour.

I just don’t understand. It’s a massive middle finger to the mother and if I was in their shoes, I’d be heartbroken.

I know it’s tradition for the father to ‘give the daughter away’ BUT if the father hasn’t been there, why the fuck should they get that honour? If, devastatingly, the father isn’t around anymore, why shouldn’t that honour pass to the mother? Obviously if the bride doesn’t get on with her mother at all then sure, choose someone else. Or own it and walk alone or with bridesmaids, like a proud, confident woman breaking traditions. Why choose a man just for the sake of it.

I hate the assumption that it has to be a man. I hate that tv and film pushes the idea that it has to be the father. I hate that I’ve been asked if I’d ask my father to come and walk me, asked by people who know he was abusive. He won’t even be invited.

So this Mother’s Day, I want to shout-out to my mum and unsupported single mothers everywhere. She is my only parent, she has fought for me and with me. She is the only person I’d even consider to walk with me, the only person who deserves that honour.

xo Fleur xo