Why I choose to commute

I’ve always had jobs that were close to home. My first “proper job” out of uni was a 30 minute drive down the motorway, my job after that was 10 minutes. I always vowed that I would never be part of the hustle and bustle of people who spend half their lives on the train and less time at home.

So, as I’m sitting on my second tube ride of the day (in my hour and a bit commute home) I thought I’d write a little about why I’ve chosen to commute, and how I manage it!

1. I love my job

When I went for the interview at CRUK I knew for a fact it would involve commuting. We lived in Chesham at that point in time and it was at the end of a line and into central London. However, where I work is the biggest charity in the UK. It’s an exciting job that I would never be able to replicate closer to home and I adore it. It makes it worth that travel everyday.

2. Prices in London vs. Prices in the suburbs

I grew up on the outskirts of London and even then the prices were extortionate. Living on a tube line meant nearly 300 quid more a month and we’ve been able to save a fair amount of money by being further out.

3. My husband and my family

Luke and I live in the town he grew up in, he works from home and he’s also not massively keen on London. My family aren’t in central and to be honest, I value being close to them and keeping my hubs happy a lot!

4. I get a lot done on the journey

I feel like I read so many books now that I have two and a bit extra hours in the day to myself. I answer emails, I plan stories, I waste a lot of time on twitter (you’ll notice my most active hours on social media are between 7-9 and 5-6!) and although I’d rather have some time in bed, I try to utilise this time as best I can!

5. Work from home perks

I’m lucky that I work at a place that often lets me work from home and I’m able to do the majority of the work from my sofa if I want to. Being that bit further out means that I’m able to utilise that from time to time which is great!

6. Separate lives

I now get to live outside the city, next to a canal and with plenty of gorgeous countryside within a shots distance of my house! Although I’m not in the middle of nowhere, I feel like not working and living in the city allows me a bit of distance and breathing space!

Do you commute? Lemme know how you find it in the comments!

Rach

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TW: Promises to My Body

Although bulimia is something that I no longer fight a daily battle with, talking openly with other people about my eating disorder this week has really reminded me just how far I have actually come in the last few years.

It’s funny how much time I used to dedicate to thinking about, writing about, talking about and avoiding food. A bloody basic requirement of life and something that I have a much healthier relationship with now. So, today I thought I would write out and share with you a few of the things that I’ve promised to my body and how we’re going to live harmoniously moving forward, eating food, talking about weight and shunning all things diet culture!

Dear body,

Ipromise to never put you on an extreme diet again.

I’m sorry for all the years I spent starving you, purging the food from you and mixing cups of maple syrup with cayenne pepper. These aren’t the kind of things that any body should have to process or deal with. I’ve always known that starvation diets are a short-term fix for a long-term disaster, and I’m finally implementing that. Even in the lead-up to my wedding day, we weren’t going to waste time with that anymore!

I promise to not poke and prod at the bits that are curvier.

I’m sorry for the hours spent staring in the mirror, turning sideways and examining my (perfectly fine) stomach. I’m sorry for pulling at the fat around my thighs, that give me my gorgeous big hips! I’m sorry for poking you and treating you like that, when I know that the curves and edges are there to protect my organs, and not because my body is my enemy.

I promise to nourish you. Whether that’s with vegetables, fruits, carbs or cakes.. you’ll have what you need.

There was a time when food was just fuel to keep me going. Although that might have been in childhood, I promise to try and get us back to that place. I promise to eat for fullness and nourishment. BUT, I also promise to eat for fun and pleasure. To enjoy food with my family, cosy nights in with my husband and drinks and chips after a night out with my best friends.

I promise to appreciate what you do for me.

Running on the beach, yoga, dancing at my wedding, hugging the people I love… hopefully carrying a baby one day. All amazing miraculous things that I wouldn’t be able to do without my body. Things that I’m SO grateful for.

I promise to stop comparing you to other people.

I’ve spent too long wondering why I’m so much fatter than other people. I’ve questioned my body and my willpower and wondered why I can’t have ”her” body or ”her” legs or ”her” boobs. But I’m pretty sure most of those other girls are thinking the exact same about other people too. We’re all beautiful in our own ways, however, that might appear. I’m tired of the negative self-talk. This is my body and the only one I’ve got. Who cares what other people are doing with theirs!

I promise to stop sucking in my stomach in photos and taking fake selfies.

I feel like selfies to me, are fairly poisonous. I’ve manipulated my face to hide my freckles, to remove laughter lines, to make my chin appear thinner and my cheekbones more prominent. But NO MORE. The last few selfies and photos of myself i’ve put up have been so much more genuine and happy and I’m happier as a result. I also don’t want to waste my time taking pictures of my face anymore when I’m not in the mood really. Put down the camera, spend time with the people I’m with and if I fancy taking some photos and giving myself that self-love, then that’s cool too! A night out still happens, even if I don’t have the photos to prove it!

What promises have you made to your body?

Rach

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TW: How I’m Trying to Eat Intuitively

I have lived an existence throughout my life of numbers. Number of calories, number of steps walked per day, number of binges in a week, number of laxatives taken, numbers numbers numbers.

Whilst battling my eating disorder, the easiest way for me to control what I was putting into my body, was by giving it a number value.

Forget nutrition, how many fruits/veg I was having or anything that actually mattered – I was all about the maths, and even now after so many years in recovery, I still find it incredibly hard to separate myself from this habit and slight sense of control.

Although I would say that I was almost 95% recovered from my bulimic tendencies, I still find myself clinging to the ‘calories’ aspect of eating and I’ve used calorie tracking apps since even before I had a phone in my hand. (Honestly, I have notebooks full of what I’ve eaten that day!)

So, now that I’m more settled, secure and happier than ever in most aspects of my life, this is something that I want to get a handle on. I’m trying more than ever to begin to be an ‘intuitive eater’ – which essentially means, eating when I’m hungry, eating things that nourish my body and feel full on my own terms.

So here’s the kind of steps that I’m currently taking to be intuative about food:

1. I’m not giving up tracking what I’m eating

I may still be using a notebook to write down the foods that I’m eating in the day, BUT the key difference for me is that I’m not putting any numbers or calories next to eat item of food. I’m allowing myself to see the nutrition and healthiness of food instead.

2. I’m using a hunger scale to dictate when I eat

I’ve always had a weird relationship with the ‘3 meals a day’ structure that we have. I often don’t feel hungry for a few hours when I wake up, I like to have a bigger dinner and I always crave something sweet in the afternoon. I’m beginning to learn about my own patterns of eating and what suits me, but instead of eating ‘because I feel like it’s the right time to’ – I’m trying to process how hungry I am, then eat.

3. Stop when you’re full

I’m so guilty of eating to finish up things or clearing my plate if I’m at my family home, because I think it’s ”rude” to stop when I’m full. I’m chucking that thought out the window and trying to make sure that if I’m full, I’m stopping. Listening to my body has become so important.

4. I’m ignoring diet culture

I have continually found it hard to break the assumption that thin = good. When I had the flu earlier this month I lost about 5 pounds and I won’t lie, I was HAPPY. But that thought in itself is RIDICULOUS. Why was I happy that I’d essentially become so starved and dehydrated that I’d lost all this weight. This thoughts are things that I’ve grown up with and they are hard to break, but I’m going to give some body positive books a read and remember exactly why I’m doing this.

5. Exercise and peace with my body

For me, exercise has also been a part of what I would do to lose weight. I’m trying to rediscover the exercises that I actually enjoy doing for the strength of my body and to look after myself and my mental health. I’m going climbing this afternoon, which I think is a good start there! Plus, always trying to get in the fresh air for a walk.

6. My body is a temple

Ah cringe but true! This body is the only one I’ve got! It’s the body that will hopefully one day carry a baby, it’s the body that gets me from place to place and it’s the one that I’m stuck with – I might as well start trying to give it what it needs, rather than worrying all the time about what number of calories I’m giving it!

Are you trying intuitive eating? Have you had any success? Let me know!

Rach

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January Wrap-Up

Ugh god, was January just the longest month in existence, or was that just me? After battling the flu this month, managing a chesty cough, work being chaotic and generally not feeling on top of my game, I am GLAD to see the back of it and to kick Feb off with a bang.

However, I thought it might be fun to do a little ‘January favourites/ mini-review’ style blog post about all the NEW films, tv shows, books and music that I watched, read and listened to last month – and give my thoughts on it in mini reviews. Enjoy!

Films I saw: Jan 2019

Glass

After watching ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split’ last year, I was massively hyped for the final in the trilogy from M N Shamalan. However, although this was an enjoyable movie – I felt like it lost it’s direction a bit and definitely did not do the character of David Dunn justice. It felt slightly like an afterthought – and although the story was unpredictable in places and didn’t follow a traditional linear plot structure, I found that I wasn’t as invested in the characters and that the ending fell short. James McAvoy was STAND OUT however!  He’s such a fantastic actor and brought so much to the table in this one. 6.5/10

Mary Queen of Scots:

We went to see Mary Queen of Scots on the day of release for my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary. Although I’m a huge fan of historical fiction (The Other Boleyn Girl was one of my top films ever) I felt like this one might be slightly less my cup of tea, knowing very little about who Mary Queen of Scots actually was. (I know, would you believe I have a history A-level week) I really enjoyed this film however. Saorise Ronan really dazzled in every scene she was in, the filming on location was stunning – and although there wasn’t that much about Queen Elizabeth, I found learning about their dynamic and the ‘’history’’ of this so interesting. I’m sure a lot of it was way overdramatised, but it was enjoyable (although perhaps 20 mins too long?) 7/10

Beautiful Boy:

I had really not seen the hype for ‘Beautiful Boy’ when it was advertised, but on a whim, my husband and I decided to go and see it. The story follows Steve Carrell and Timothy Chalamet characterising David and Nic Sheff, as Nic battles an addiction to drugs. Although most of the critics didn’t rate it highly, I absolutely loved this movie. Watching Nic’s slow demise, repetitive cycles and the cracks forming between an addict and their father was fascinating. The story was beautifully crafted, the soundtrack was immense and it was an incredible delicate and emotional film. 8/10

Books I read: Jan 2019

Everything I Never Told You: Celeste Ng

The story follows a Chinese American family after the death of their oldest daughter Lydia, through supposed suicide. What starts as a suggested accident, soon becomes more complex as you find out about the dynamics of the family and the way that race is perceived in small-town America. Celeste Ng is one of those writers whose words just absolutely flow with such elegance. I read another of her books last year, and although the character style and themes remained the same, I could not put ‘Everything I Never Told You’ down. 8.5/10

My Thoughts Exactly: Lily Allen

I LOVE Lily Allen and after being gifted this book, I’ve gotta say that I love her even more. This is an ‘autobiography’ of sorts, except it’s SO raw, honest and hides no details about the realities of fame, that it’s one you have to read. I really enjoyed it and it definitely gave her music a new view and lease of life in my eyes! Not the best writing, but definitely a story worth your time! 7.5/10

Happiness For Humans: P Z Reizin

What happens when AI becomes self-aware, and starts meddling in your love life? This is essentially the story that ‘Happiness For Humans’ tells. I don’t want to write too much about it for fear of spoiling the story, but my goodness this is one of the cutest, most lovely and lighthearted stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I would thoroughly recommend. 9/10

Lullaby: Leila Simani

On the first page of Lullaby, we find out the ending. The nanny murders the children. As soon as I picked up this book I knew it was going to be something stand-out, and I wasn’t wrong. Although this book has a troubling subject matter, is incredibly dark and definitely not a light read-  I absolutely loved the characters that Leila Simani formed and the weird subtle hints of how the nanny and the family relationship changed throughout the book. 8.5/10

One Day In December: Josie Silver

I felt like I’d read a lot of intense books across January, so I picked up a trashy chic-lit my mum recommended me at the end of the month, during my bout of flu. Although it was cheesy and a bit silly, I really enjoyed this book and the characters were really believable. I thoroughly enjoyed! 8/10 

An Edited Life: Anna Newton

Although I am an absolute whore for organisation and trying to streamline my life in as many ways as possible, I really didn’t enjoy Youtuber Anna Newton’s book very much. Although it was pretty and there were some nice passages, I felt like none of the tips were anything much more than common sense and I found myself pretty bored when reading it! 5/10

New Music I Listened To: Jan 2019

Billie Eilish: Bury A Friend

Okay I know that Billie Eilish is only 17, but my goodness does she have some RAW talent. I discovered her a long while ago, but her latest single release is SO SO good lord help me. It’s haunting, her voice is so ethereal and the song is so fresh and completely unlike anything else that’s coming from any other artist at the moment. I’m a woman obsessed. 10/10

So that’s what I’ve been doing this month!

Cya soon!

Rach

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Dear Diary… Why Can’t I Switch Off

Over the last few days, I’m beginning to experience what I can only describe as “mental burnout”. I’ve felt knackered even when I wake up in the morning, I’ve felt unmotivated to do anything on my commute but stare out the window and at work I’ve had to really fuel myself with caffeine and motivational music to keep myself going.

I don’t know what’s going on lately but I think I’m beginning to realise is that, even during my downtime, I really cannot switch off my brain.

I don’t mean that in a, ‘god look how great I am, I’m always motivated to do things’ way… but rather, I find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to fully relax, to take a break and to not give myself endless projects and stress for myself to manage.

Which inevitably, has lead to a bad case of burnout at the moment.

I’m realising that if I’ve got a weekend stretched out in front of me, with no plans and no reason to get up… and say, I wake up at 10 – I will honestly beat myself up for wasting time in the day.

Time that could be spent at the gym, or writing, reading, calling friends, baking, shopping, chores, journaling… any number of things that I feel obliged to go and do.

If I’ve got a moment to myself I’m immediately questioning myself, berating myself for not being more motivated to get things done

So, as a resolution to myself, I’d like this year to be a year where I give myself a break. Not necessarily from working hard or filling my time, but a break from feeling guilty on the days when I’m not doing that.

And with that- I’m going to go and lie on the sofa and binge Netflix all evening!

Rach

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