My relationship with my body

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I have alway been a ‘big’ child. I even think I have considered myself as chubby. I was always taller than all the other girls, I was always more mature than the other girls. My boobs started growing considerably quicker, my acne started getting worse. It almost seemed like every one of my friends had a boy who fancied her, except for me. To make it even worse, my hair got greasy really easily and I was foreign; not that there is anything wrong with that, it just stuck out to the bullies, apparently.
Looking back at it now, it all feels so silly. The strive for acceptance is long gone, but at the age of 13 I really struggled to fit in. I remember sitting at my dining room table, talking to my mum and crying about how I will never have a boyfriend and that no boy will ever like me. As a mum, she always used to tell me I was beautiful and that my time has not come yet, but according to my logic, she didn’t know what she was talking about. I mean, she met my dad when she was 16 and has been happy ever since, so how can she know what being lonely feels like?
I remember she once pointed out that I have inherited her wide calves and ankles. I never noticed it before. Ever since, even in the hottest summers I used to insist on wearing black tights and jeans. My legs were not to be shown to anyone.
I was always the loud, obnoxious friend. I think I was trying to compensate for the lack of confidence in my appearance. I went through many stages; I was a rocker, I listened to hip hop, I tried to be like Rihanna in ‘We found love’ which was a big hit at the time. Nothing quite worked for me. I got really into make up to try and cover up the acne. I used to pile on layers of powder and fake tan (which were two considerably different shades. I looked ridiculous). Those days were the ones that I am, until this day, really ashamed of. Alcohol started appearing in the picture; I used to get drunk a lot and kiss a lot of boys. I strived for any chance of affection from anyone, even if it meant being called a slut the next day. It still makes me shiver, and oh god help me, I really hope my daughter never falls that low.
But one day, when I was about 17, I noticed that I wasn’t the tallest girl anymore. My acne has cleared and my hair was not as greasy anymore. Hey, a boy fancied me and I even got beeped at on the streets. I looked in the mirror. I wasn’t ‘chubby’ anymore. I have grown out of it. My brother always used to laugh at how skinny my arms were. All of that felt nice; it quickly became addictive. I really started caring about my appearance, I loved the attention that I have never received before. It’s a vicious circle. You are never going to feel good about yourself if it is only ever based on others’ judgements. But nevertheless, it felt nice.
But then, a boy happened. I absolutely fell for him. Oh dear, I even thought I loved him, which looking back at it now, I definitely did not know anything about love back then. But he was the first person to openly tell me I was pretty, beautiful, smart. I thought it was forever. See, I’m a very romantic person as it is, but if it’s the first experience of ‘love’ you have in your life, you’re doomed to become a lot more attached than you would normally. For the first time in my teenage years I felt so happy.
One day, he just stopped caring. He stopped ‘loving’ me. He ignored my messages, calls. I was devastated. My only chance for a happy ending was gone and I would now definitely, forever be alone. As bad as it makes me cringe, I begged for him to stay. I did not want to loose the only acceptance I have ever received in my life. But as much as you can try to make someone love you, it never works. But I tried in the worst possible ways that I am not proud of. I used to starve myself for days, hoping he would notice, feel sorry for me and come back. I am, until this day, thankful that he did not. This kind of blackmail is the most vicious and fucked up blackmail you could use, but this toxicity is definitely something for another post.
Before, I wasn’t big but I became even skinnier than before to the point where my friends would comment on how slim I was. And again, I loved it.
I met Bart when I was 18 and quickly, I learned what love really was.  He accepted me just as I was and I can’t explain how lucky I still feel to this day. Never did I feel that he would want to change my appearance in any way, shape or form. Even when naked, there was nothing I was worried about. I felt and still feel really loved. If you have someone like that in your life, you are a one lucky person. For a while I forgot about the boy who hurt me, about trying to be accepted by others and fit into the society. He increased my confidence and slowly but surely, it worked. Hey, I even started wearing shorts on holidays!
But over one summer holiday, when I was at home and off university, I started discovering blogging and youtube societies. I used to watch so many people, all beautiful, leading a perfect life with their perfect relationships and yes, you guessed it, figures.
Till this day I remember one Youtuber telling me to love myself the way I am, while undergoing a breast enhancement herself and having her nose straightened.
When I think about it now, all I can think of is how hypocritical the whole industry was and probably still is. Television, internet were all filled with people telling me to love myself while all not being able to do so. It’s easy to love yourself, when anything you have can be enhanced and when you look absolutely stunning. But what about the girl with the wide ankles and calves? What about the girl with the big nose? I wish I knew back then.
I found that calves and ankles liposuction was a thing. I quickly became obsessed. As you can probably tell, I do have quite an obsessive personality. It’s easy for me to delve on something and for it to become a thing I constantly think about. I started researching the cost, tips for money saving and testimonies from people who have undergone the procedure. I came to the point where I though I would be better at blogging if my legs were slimmer as I would be able to post short skirts and shorts outfit posts. I used to sit there and pinch my calves, hating them, to the point where it would leave bruises.
I talked to my mum and cried. I quickly realised that as well as having the liposuction, I would also want to make my nose smaller, lips bigger, boobs less saggy and get rid of that massive wrinkle in between my eyebrows. She looked at me and asked, whether I realised how many people would love to look like me. But I just didn’t see it. I was obsessing over the smallest things because that is what the whole world does. Ever since that day, I have decided to try and love myself the way I am. With the big nose and the wide ankles.
I exercise regularly, but nothing will ever change the appearance of my ankles or calves. It’s genetics. I value a healthy lifestyle for my own benefits, but I realise that I will never look like the fitness bloggers I once strived to look like. I still admire their hard work and perseverance, but it will never be me.
Now, I refuse to believe I am less because of the way I look. I refuse to believe I cannot be a good blogger, person, influence just because my ankles are slightly wider than everyone else’s and I have cellulite on my bum. I am telling you to love yourself. Without the interference of a surgeon.
Go and read a book. Travel. Sing and dance. Flourish as an intelligent, aware human being. Focus on experiences. You are nothing short of amazing.
I love you.
Julia.

My favourite ways to relax

Hi guys,
I don’t know if you already know this, but I am a stress freak. I stress about pretty much anything; asking for help in shops, having to call someone. I even stress about the stress that I know is coming. Due to this, one of my resolutions this year was to learn how to relax. I found and experienced a lot of techniques and these I find to be the most satisfying. Enjoy!
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  1. Going outside – Recently we have been lucky enough to visit Poznan, Poland and stay in a lovely hotel and SPA – Hotelarnia. Despite the SPA being a very relaxing experience, what I enjoyed the most was the fact that the hotel was situated within a one minute walking distance to the local National Park which was beyond beautiful. It was so peaceful there, often not a person in sight. We sat down by the lake or on a forest glade and enjoyed the sound of… nothing! (well, maybe just the birds singing or frogs ribbiting). I think it is safe to say that I have not felt so relaxed in a long while.
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2. Spending time with your loved ones – Of course, not everyone has access to a National Park. Or even a normal park. What do I do when I am stuck at home and stressed out of my mind? I talk to my boyfriend, mum, friends. Nothing can cheer me up as much as they can and nothing else could talk me out of my worries as effectively. I honestly don’t know where they get their patience from, but I am forever thankful.
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3. Active rest – I do have to say I’ve been really good with working out this year. I have literally been doing it 5 times a week. Usually, this includes youtube videos which I have shared with you before, however, the hotel mentioned above offered rental of bikes. Now, I have not cycled in what seems like forever, so this was quite a challenge and I did end up with two quite nasty bruises on my legs. However, I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun! Being active makes me get rid of my worries and ‘shake them off’. I know that if I don’t work out when planned, it is going to be a bad day.
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4. Pamper night – I love a pamper night. Face masks, baths, candles… It doesn’t get any better than that. I like to put on some relaxing music or a favourite movie (Grease forever!), pop on a face mask (some of my favourites in the photo), lay in bed or a bath and just give myself some time with just me. I do the things I love and take time in enjoying them and experiencing the moment.
Those are my favourite ways to relax. What do you like to do when you’re feeling a bit stressed or under the weather? Let me know!
Julia x

 

My favourite breakfast – Creamy Coconut Porridge

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Hi guys,
Today I’m coming at you with a recipe. This is my favourite breakfast ever; it’s not only healthy but also creamy and delicious. As you have probably guessed from the picture and the title, it is a porridge. I have initially used the Deliciously Ella recipe but have since adapted it, but only very slightly. Interested in how to make it? Keep reading.
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 a cup of oats
  • 1/3 a cup of water
  • 1/3 a cup of milk of your choice (I use almond milk as I’m trying to cut out dairy as much as possible. However… cheese!)
  • 1/2 banana (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
Instructions:
  • Firstly, put the banana, oats, water and milk in a pan and allow it heat for about 10 minutes.
  • After the texture starts becoming thick, add the peanut butter, coconut oil and chia seeds (if using) and allow all of the ingredients to melt together.
  • Once done, put into a bowl and serve with any toppings of your choice. One of my favourites include blueberries and almonds flakes as shown in the picture above.
Enjoy!
What are your favourite breakfasts? Anything healthy I may want to try?

Birthday post – where do I want to be in 10 years?

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(Yes, this was my birthday cake, thanks mummy!)
So, I am now officially 21 as you all probably gathered as I keep going on about it. My birthday was one of the loveliest times this year (not that we’re that far into it!) and I’ve been spoilt rotten, especially with the amounts of food I have consumed within my birthday week.  But turning into a full grown adult (not according to my mum, though) made me realise that I am nowhere near where I thought I would be at 21 when I was 10 years old. Do I own a house? No. Am I married? No. Thinking about kids? Occasionally but then I remember that in my brain I am still a kid myself. So, how do I sort my life out? Here is a list of things I wish to achieve and look back to when I’m 31.
  1. Travel more. Everyone I know loves travelling or at least talk about how much they love it. I am going as far as to say that I… like traveling. I was never tempted to go anywhere further than Europe and that already would stress me out. Being the anxious person that I am, I have to have every little detail of my trip planned, going as far as having the exact bus timetable of the town on my phone, downloaded before I even get there. Being in new, unknown places scares me. Meeting new people, not being able to communicate, getting lost are just a few of my fears. I would like to see myself go past this and explore what the world has to offer without doubting my every move.
  2. Get married and start a family. I know some of you are probably screaming at the screen. This isn’t the sense of 21st century woman’s life, except.. it is for me. Ever since I was a child all I ever wanted to be was a ‘mummy’. I dreamed of a big, white wedding and my charming prince on a horse (exaggeration, I know, the love of my life is nowhere near the royalty!) and that feeling never quite went away. To think about getting married and starting a family in the next 10 years is scary; it really doesn’t sound like a long way away, at all! But bearing in mind that I think I have already found the one, it shouldn’t be this difficult, should it?
  3. Flourish in my career. I reckon this will be the trickiest one of all. I am not a one to settle for a job; my boyfriend always jokes how I would always find something to dislike about any career path I could ever choose. I am currently training to be a Primary School teacher. Do I love it? Nope. Should I? Probably! I just don’t see myself doing it for the rest of my life. But.. beside from singing, do I really see myself doing ANYTHING for the rest of my life? I think this thought of this far commitment really scares me and makes quite unhappy. I want to learn to love my job, enjoy it. Is this even possible?
So yes, these are my main points of what I would love to achieve in the next ten years of my life. Will I? Maybe yes. Maybe not. But that is what life is about; I heard a saying once that if you wanted to make God laugh, you should tell him about your plans and that is possibly very true which is a lesson I learned while planning my life out at 10 years old. However, I do still keep my hopes up (should I sign my boyfriend up for horse riding lessons? :))
Are there any goals you wish to achieve in the future? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Are you completely opposite to me? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

What make up did I get for my birthday?

Hi guys!

So yes, it was my birthday. I am now officially an adult in all countries; I am 21. Still feel about 16 though, anyone feel me?

Today I wanted to show you all the make up I was kindly gifted by my family and friends. Part two of my birthday gifts will be coming soon with all the remaining birthday gifts that didn’t quite make it into the make up category. I am beyond excited to start using all of this!

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Anastasia Beverly Hills – Modern Renaissance Palette – £41.00
Sigma Beauty – Tapered Blending Brush (E40) – £12.75
Zoeva – Luxe Classic Shader Brush (232) in Rose Gold – £8.99
Zoeva – Luxe Highlight Brush (105) – £12.99
Zoeva – Soft Concealer Brush – £8.99
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown – £15.00
Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz in Dark Brown – £15.50
MAC – Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre- £16.00

 

Favourite Youtube Workouts

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Hi!
Starting to workout has actually been one of my New Year’s resolutions. I have worked out before for various amounts of time but always struggled to keep up for longer than 3 months. Whether it was because I wasn’t determined enough or because I got bored of the repetitive exercises I do not know. So i have decided to change up my game a little bit this year and I have been doing surprisingly well. Ever since New Year’s I have been working out at least 5 times a week and actually having fun, mainly thanks to those amazing videos which I am about to share with you. I hope I can provide some motivation or maybe give you some additional ideas to your workout.
Warm Up:
To warm up my body ready for exercise I usually like doing something really fun just to get me in the right mood. Usually I really like to dance it out. Not only does it involve the whole body and increases your heart rate ready for further exercise, it is also incredibly funny if you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror. I have been using Zumba videos to do this and one of my favourite channels for this is Sid Vicious. I choose 3 songs that I fancy on the day and off I go!

 

Main exercise:
The part of my body that I exercise depends on the day. My bum and thighs are my problem areas so I tend to focus on these, however, I do try to exercise the whole body regularly. My favourite channel to get workouts from is POPSUGAR Fitness. There are so many great videos on there that I absolutely love. I switch the videos up all the time depending on what I currently want to work on but there are so many great trainers there and so many great workouts that sometimes it is just too difficult! Here are some of my favourites.
Cool down: 
Stretching is really important. To cool down I like to do a bit of yoga. It doesn’t only stretch out your muscles but also provides focus on your breathing and mind which is something I really need after a heavy workout. Boho Beautiful provides some great Yoga videos while looking absolutely stunning. A definite relaxation coming your way!

 

I hope you found this post somewhat helpful. How do you work out? Do you have any Youtube videos that you work out to or do you prefer the gym?
Love,
Julia x

How to keep a relationship strong? – My advice

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Hi guys!
Today, I’m coming to you with a slightly wordier post which I am really excited to write. My parents have been together for the past 30 years. Whoever knows them, also knows how much they still love each other. Having this example throughout my whole childhood, I always had a very idealistic idea of love; you meet someone by bumping in them on the street, you share a moment and that is it, happily ever after, right? Sadly, it really isn’t. Relationships actually require a lot more work which I have actually been talking about with my mum recently. I have been with Bart for the past three years and with our third anniversary just around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about our relationship. We are a very happy couple. Every day I feel that I fall in love with him just that little bit more, despite thinking I could never possibly love him more. Unfortunately, finding a person that you have these feelings towards can be difficult in today’s society. With so many relationships falling apart and couples breaking up, what could you do to try and keep your relationship strong? Here is some advice from me and my three year relationship, and my Mum with a 30 years’ experience!
  1. Give each other space – I can’t stress this enough. Despite wanting to spend every minute of the day with each other when we first got together, it isn’t always healthy. Having your own hobbies and interests develop you as a person and if you can’t grow within yourself, then your relationship won’t either. A healthy, fruitful relationship consists of two people that are content in themselves. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend quality time together, in fact, you definitely should! It just means that at the end of the day, each one of you has your own life and you still manage to fascinate each other as individuals.
  2. Respect each other – So, sometimes people fight. Sometimes things get heated and that is absolutely normal. What isn’t, is when disrespect starts to creep in. People have different temperaments and you have to acknowledge that, however, personally there is nothing that justifies swearing, throwing and even worse, hitting. I have heard somewhere about a rule of not going to bed mad at each other. I try to put it in practice and although it doesn’t ALWAYS work, we do try our best. Respect isn’t only related to fights though. Respecting your significant other’s choices, decisions and views is also necessary not only for them, but for yourself also; at the end of the day, why would you want to be with someone who holds views so different to yours?
  3. Make sure you’re with the right person- This is a tricky one, because often people don’t know who the right person is. Before I met Bart, I thought I was in love when in fact, I was just smitten and ended up having a broken heart which will happen if it isn’t the right person. I really appreciate the experience and wouldn’t change it but I always had the mindset of having a relationship with someone I really cared about not just anyone, only for the sake of having a relationship. When I met my boyfriend, I just knew (as cliche as it sounds). So if your relationship doesn’t seem to work then maybe you should ask yourself whether you do indeed think they are the ones.
  4. Trust and friendship – I think this is perhaps the most important one. Before anything else, my boyfriend is my best friend.  I trust him with absolutely everything; I can moan about work and friends, I can tell him my silliest fears without being laughed at, I can end up laughing my head off with him after a terrible day, I can fully count on his support with whatever I do. There is no better feeling. So before love, make sure you are friends because spending your life with someone whose presence you truly enjoy is the best thing in the world. Be each other’s best friend and you are much more likely to achieve what my parents have (well, at least that is what my mum says!)
I hope these have been somewhat helpful. What do you think good relationships should consist of? What is a quality you look for in a partner? Let me know, as I would be more than interested to hear you views.
Lots of love,