30th June

Hey folks,

Not feeling so good tonight unfortunately…. it would seem my black dog has pounced on and pinned me down. Not sure where it’s come from, as was fine earlier on today. But I guess these things happen. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.

It’s not been a bad day as a whole; it was a rest day, so instead of sitting around at home, I went to town! Naughty me. Needed to get a few things though, so had to be done really. Treated myself to a caramel macchiato from Starbucks too, a soy version of course! Came in at 270 calories, so it was definitely classed as a treat! But, I’ve still come in at just over 1,500 calories for the day, so I’ve done well.

My Breville blend active turned up this morning, as well as a couple of recipe books that I ordered too; so I’m all set to make a breakfast smoothie tomorrow! Am quite excited about that to be honest, sad I know!

Tonight was Rock Choir, which lightened my mood a little bit, but by the end I just wanted to get home really. Which isn’t like me. Maybe I’m just tired, I don’t know.

I also went to the library today, and picked up Allen Carr’s Easyway to stop smoking; will have a read of that over the next few days, with a view to attempt a quit again next week. At the moment my head is just not in the game for it, neither is my heart to be honest. I need to get myself back into the positive frame of mind that I had last time for it really. How long that will take, I just can’t say. It could all go well and I quit next week, or it could go horribly wrong and not work out at all.

The other book I got from the library, is called ‘Fitness For Life Manual’; It covers everything I need to know about fitness and nutrition, so should be a good read. It will also likely help with my course, when I eventually get going with it. Am still waiting to hear back from Student Finance….ugh, I hate waiting!

Oh and I also had my interview at Boots this morning; it went well I think, probably the most positive interview I’ve had in the last few weeks to be honest. So fingers crossed. I’ll be a customer assistant, but also trained to be a healthcare assistant as well, as I’ll be dealing with pharmacy too. So it’s pretty full on, but I’m up for the challenge. Will keep you posted of course.

Right, I’m so done with today, am taking myself off to bed with a cuppa and my books. Thanks for reading folks, I’ll be alright, it’ll pass I’m sure. Take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x

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29th June

Hey folks,

Today’s been a tough day for me emotionally. It’s the 4 year anniversary of my dad’s passing, which always gets me down. I miss him so much and would do anything to have him back, even for just one day. I know he’s watching over me always, and I just hope that I’m making him proud. I’ll always love him and he’ll live on in my heart, but it’s just hard when day’s like this come around. Here’s what was read out at his funeral, I think it’s really nice –

God saw him getting tired, a cure was not meant to be.
He wrapped him in his loving arms and whispered ‘come with me’.
He suffered much in silence, his spirit did not bend.
He faced his pain with courage, until the very end.
He tried so hard to stay with you, but his fight was not in vain.
God took him to his loving home and freed him from his pain.

Brings tears to my eyes to read it though.

In other news, today was gym day! Chest, shoulders and biceps. Smashed it with the following workout –

Warm up on the rower for 5 minutes, level 4, burning 52 calories;
Chest Press machine – M21’s 3ย rounds @ 11kg.
Shoulder Press machine – M21’s 2 rounds @ 9kg
With 4kg Dumbbells, each 4 sets of 10 reps:
Chest Flys
Lateral Raises
Front Raises
Bicep Curls
Reverse Bicep Curls
Hammer Curls

My arms were like jelly by the end, so I know I worked them well. I may be missing leg day on Wednesday, as I’m expecting a Musclefood delivery, and they said it’ll be between 7am and 9pm!!!! I can always do a workout at home when hubby gets in though, so it won’t be a complete write off day! Tomorrow is a rest day; been told to take at least 2 a week, as I burnt myself out last week by doing so much. I did love all the classes that I did, but it was just too much, I realise that now. You live and learn! My PT did tell me off a little for not taking proper rest days, as of course it interfered with my training with him; so lesson learned, and I’ll behave from now on!

Also tomorrow, I have an interview for an hour in the morning, 9-10am. It’s for a customer assistant position at the little Boots store in the village. Fingers crossed it all goes well!! Really need a job, and I loved my work experience with the company back all those years ago as a 16 year old! Feels like forever ago haha!

I think that’s all from me for tonight, am so hot and desperate to get this laptop off my hot legs! So with that said, thanks for reading my lovelies, take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x

28th June

Hey folks,

Today has been a bit all over the place really! This morning we were up far too early for a Sunday, for the car show. Which turned out to be complete and utter rubbish! To start with, the crew we were supposed to convoy down with, all shot off so we hadn’t a clue where we were going and got completely lost! Then when we eventually found the place, it started to rain, there was naff all else going on, and we just mooched around for an hour to two before deciding enough was enough, and cameย home. I’m so very tired, after being woken at 6am by the alarm! Am planning on a nap after I’m done blogging!

When we got home we had some lunch, and then I got to do my most favourite thing, workout! Oh how I missed it yesterday! I missed being pushed to my limits by my PT, and missed the fun and laughter we have at my sessions. Cannot wait to smash it next week!! Back to the gym tomorrow for shoulders, chest and biceps, with my workout buddy! She’s back with me, yay! She’s been on holiday for a week, then off the gym for a further week as she was busy, so it’s been a long time since we worked out together! It’ll be good to catch up too.

I’m feeling quite reflective today to be honest; am amazed at how far I’ve come in the past couple of years. Considering where I was back in August 2013. It’s been a long haul, and hasn’t been without it’s difficulties for sure. But I’ve battled through the worst times, conquered the demons within my head and made the most of the good times. Right now, I’m feeling really good, happy and content with life. Of course a lottery win would be the icing on the cake, haha, but for now, I’m making the best of what I’ve got. You don’t realise how lucky you really are in life, until you really sit down and think about what you have. Like I’ve got a roof over my head, food in my cupboards and clothes on my back. I may not have a job yet, but I can’t, or rather shouldn’t, complain. I’ve got a lot more than some others have, and I am grateful for the life that I do have. I’ve got a wonderful, loving husband, who supports me no matter what; I’ve got fantastic friends and a family who loves me. To be honest, I’ve got quite a bright future ahead of me, and I’m looking forward to every moment.

I can remember a time when I didn’t even want to see the next hour of my day, let alone weeks, months or years. It was a very dark place, and one I never want to return to that’s for sure. To feel that low and worthless, was quite simply awful. It’s hard to explain, but it felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, pushing me further and further into the ground. I didn’t want to get up each morning, and then when I did I would just shut myself away at home. I didn’t want to see or speak to anyone, and I hated my own company too. I felt stuck in a black hole of nothingness, and I honestly never thought I’d get out of it. It felt like I’d been robbed of my life, my spark, my soul even.

But, day by day, with the love and support of all my friends and family, and the great medical care I received from the mental health team and my GP, I finally started to get better. Every day I took the small steps to my recovery, and getting my life back. I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and each day I focused on it as it grew and grew. Of course there were days where that light would fade and feel oh so far away again. I faced countless setbacks and hurdles, but not once did I give up. I never gave in to the suicidal thoughts that plagued me day in, day out. Something inside of me was coming back to life – my strength. Each day I dug deeper and deeper, and pulled on that strength, until I started to feel more in control. You don’t realise how strong you really are, until being strong is the only choice you have.

For anyone reading this right now who may be struggling, I’ll offer you one piece of advice right now – NEVER GIVE UP. No matter how hard things may seem, there is life after mental illness. I’m living proof of that. It may not feel like it right now, trust me I know that feeling; but there truly is and one day you’ll look back like I am, and be proud of yourself for fighting through it. I’m definitely proud of myself; I’ve overcome so much and won some fierce battles with my own mind. Yes, I do get down days still, but they’re few and far between now, and I can handle them much better too. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and I think that has come from hitting rock bottom. It gave me the foundation to build myself back up again. Something solid to stand upon, and work on myself, rebuilding myself bit by bit. It was a slow and often painful experience, but I’m so so glad that I stuck with it and kept on fighting. I’m glad that I never gave up. Please never give up folks, trust me, it’s worth fighting through each and every day, no matter what. Yes it will be hard, nothing worth having ever comes easily. But you’ll get there, and be glad that you have done so.

If you’d said to me almost 2 years ago, that I would be where I’m at now in life, I’d never have believed you. But here I am, telling my story to the world every single day. I hope I help people by sharing my story, it’s my aim to motivate, inspire and encourage others to keep strong and get through the difficulties we all face. It’s totally worth it.

Now, I’m planning a future that I never imagined I could have; one as a Personal Trainer. No matter what it takes, even if I have to work my socks off to pay for my course, I will do it. I’m so determined and focused on my goal. Admittedly I’m holding out the hope of getting my student loan to make it a simple thing, but I have my back up plan if that doesn’t go through. My forms and birth certificate should reach the student finance company tomorrow morning, so by the end of this week I should know one way or the other. My course advisor said as soon as the finance company has made their decision, if it’s an acceptance for a loan, I can start my course! I feel really nervous but also excited. Nervous in case they say no, and excited for if they say yes and I can get going straight away. It’s going to be hard work, but I’m dedicated and motivated to put in the time and effort and get myself qualified. Watch this space folks, I’ll keep you posted!

Right, I think I’ve waffled on enough for today! Well over 1,000 words for the first time in a while! So, I shall leave it there folks! I’m still working up the courage to do a Vlog one day soon too!

Thanks for reading as always, take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x

27th June

Hey folks,

Not much for me to say today, but thought I’d check in with you all and say hey!

Today has been my official rest day; and yes, I’ve actually rested! Zero exercise, for the first time in 8 weeks. Much needed to be honest, as rest is just as important as exercise. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not been to the gym every day for the past 8 weeks, but 6 out of 7 days I’ve worked out hard, and walked on the 7th day! So, for me to do zero exercise is a big deal! I’ve been so bored!! But, with that said, my body is thanking me for it. I’m already beginning to feel more energised and better for it. So, next week I’ll be back on it from Monday, working hard and taking steps to reach my goals. I may sneak in a workout tomorrow, but at a car show for most of the day, so not sure I’ll get the time. But if I have a spare half hour I’ll definitely get cracking with something. I’ve totally missed working out today, and was rather bummed out about missing my PT session. But it had to be done. I desperately needed it, and I’m glad I took it to be honest.

I’ve kind of limited my calories as well today, to allow for the lack of activity. I’ve not restricted as such, but I’ve been very careful with what I’ve put in my mouth haha! I’ve just completed my diary on myfitnesspal, and it’s totalled 1,091 calories for the day. I had a cereal bar for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch, turkey salad for dinner, and for treats I’ve had some Reeces Pieces and a rocket ice lolly! My macros are looking pretty good for a change, with my protein intake a lot higher than usual, and my carbs not so bad! Over the week I’ve watched my carb intake, and do feel a lot better for reducing them. I’m not nearly as bloated as I normally am, and do have more energy. So it’s definitely the way forward for me.

As I said above, tomorrows plans are to go to a car show; we’re even entering our car into it! Which is a bit exciting. However, it does require a really early start, which is not so appealing on a Sunday! We’ve got to be up around 6am! Not looking forward to that part at all! But it should be a good day hopefully.

Well I think that about sums up my day today! Thanks for checking in and reading lovely people, as always it means a lot to me that you take the time out of your day to read my ramblings! Take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x

26th June

Hey folks,

Had a really productive day today; this morning I sent off my forms and birth certificate off to student finance, yay! It’s really exciting, and I’m keeping everything crossed that I’m approved for my student loan. I could be started on my course within a week if all goes well! ๐Ÿ˜€

After I sorted that, I went into town. Had to get a few things, including a pre-ordered game for the hubby! My good deed of the day haha. Spent a bit of time just mooching around the shops, just for something to do really! Today was a ‘rest day’ from the gym, as I’ve done a class every day so far this week. I think I earned a rest haha.

Since getting home, I demolished a tuna salad and some naughty chocolate (all within calorie allowance of course!), sorted out the car tax, and placed my very first order with MuscleFood. They’re a company who supply meat in bulk, for athletes basically. Lean meats, packed full of goodness and protein and none of that artificial rubbish you get with shop bought stuff. I spent ยฃ80, and it’ll do 80 meals! My freezer is going to be fit to bursting haha! It’ll help my diet no end though, so it’s all good. I then did a small grocery shop for veg etc to go with all the meat! I’m really looking forward to it, sad I know! But I do love my food….

Tonight we’re having a naughty chinese (also allowed within my calories too! winner!). It’s been a long week and neither of us fancied cooking! Was quite funny though, when I put my beef chow mein into myfitnesspal, it claims it’s high in protein, yay me! I’m trying desperately to cut my carb consumption and up my protein. So far it’s going quite well to be honest. I’m feeling a lot better and it’s reduced the bloating that I used to get from my carb loaded diet! Also, had a sneaky weigh in today and it’s gone down .2kg in a week, which is progress. Small, but is good none the less, considering certain circumstances at the moment! Will say no more on that though ๐Ÿ˜›

Tomorrow is my PT session, which I’m looking forward to as per usual ๐Ÿ™‚ will be my 8th session; can’t believe that really, it’s gone so quick! What I love the most is that I’m seeing and feeling the results now; my clothes are getting looser, and I’ve got more energy these days too. My fitness levels are continuously improving as well, which is great. I’m going to get this quit smoking done asap, to increase those levels even more. It’s a lot easier said than done though unfortunately. But I’ll get there.

Right, hubby will be home shortly and we’ll head out to get our chinese ๐Ÿ™‚ so I’ll leave it there for today. I’m honestly feeling really good today, totally content and rather excited about my potential future as a Personal Trainer ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading as always folks, take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x

25th June

Hey folks,

Still disappointed in myself; still smoking. It feels like I took 1 step forward and then 10 back again. But, I will do it. Just not this week….

On a positive note though, my birth certificate turned up in the post this morning!!!! Now the next challenge, is to find someone to countersign my form for me. It has to be someone who has known me for 2 years or more, a professional, has a valid UK passport, and isn’t related to me either by blood or marriage. Sounds a lot easier than it’s proving to be! Have asked a few people, but so far no luck for this week. I’m determined to get it done somehow though, so fingers crossed! Then it can be sent, via special delivery of course, on to Student Finance. Then hopefully, (everything possible crossed), I’ll get accepted for my student loan and I can start my course!! I’m not going to give up on my dream. I’ll do whatever it takes to get myself qualified. It’s going to happen, no matter what!! Determined!

Today has been a fairly good day too. Went to the gym this morning for Ladies Tone class, which was ace. However, I have pulled a muscle in my gluteus maximus! Haha, yes that is my butt! Rather sore…. I blame the lunges! At least I know I was working the right muscles though haha. It does make me laugh to be honest. We did all sorts as usual, like deadlifts, squats, plank…. oooh yeah, a new achievement for me, I can hold a side plank! Okay only for 30 seconds, but that’s more than I could do before. I used to just flop after like a second haha. So that’s made me proud ๐Ÿ™‚ We also did weighted glute bridges, walking lunges, crunches, and mountain climbers. A really great class, as per usual ๐Ÿ™‚

Right, it’s time for me to go get my dinner now, so I shall leave it there for today. I’ve not done anything else today any way!

Thanks for reading as usual my lovelies, take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x

24th June

Hey folks,

Feeling rather disappointed in myself tonight; I smoked last night, and again tonight. I go through the day craving constantly, but manage to keep myself distracted enough to not smoke. Then it all goes wrong in the evenings. I’m not sure what it is – lack of willpower perhaps? Not really wanting it badly enough? I honestly don’t know ๐Ÿ˜ฆ How can I possibly be a good example as a personal trainer, if I’m still smoking?! I know I’ve not even begun my training yet, but I really wanted to get the smoking thing nailed before that anyway. For my fitness levels now, more than anything. Watch this space I guess…. I’ll keep trying.

Quitting smoking is definitely one of the hardest things ever, fact.

Anyway…. other than that, today’s been a reasonably good day again. I went to the gym for LBT class this morning, then intended to do my usual leg session as well; but, after the class my legs were screaming at me to stop. They’re still aching from Spin class yesterday to be honest. So really, the sensible thing would have been to have a rest day today, but nooooo, I was stubborn haha. Plus I love LBT. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s Legs, Bums and Tums!

And then, not satisfied with just the LBT, I then went on a walk this afternoon because I was bored. 3.23 miles! So I’m really a bit of a fool to myself. To be honest though, since the walk, my legs have felt a bit better. So maybe it’s not all bad.

Diet wise, I’ve done really well again today. Coming in at around 1,700 calories today. I’m finding that because I’m eating better at meal times, I’m not wanting to snack so much, so therefore not using so many calories. It’s all good. In time I’ll actually probably reduce my daily calories down to 1,800, as I don’t seem to use over that on many days anyway!

Anyway, that’s all from me for today; thank you for reading as always. Take care, stay strong and until next time….

x Sara Phoenix x