One week later...

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It's been one week since I started my new 'diet' of eating healthy foods that I actually enjoy...and boy am I enjoying it! Who would have though that I would ever enjoy eating healthy foods, and yet here I am, having eaten more fruit and vegetables in the last week than I have done in the last, I don't know, six years or so! Anyway, as it's been one week, I thought I'd share my food diary with you so you could see what's been going on...

Monday.

Breakfast: Bowl of Coco Pops, glass of water. 
Lunch: 4 cream crackers with low fat margarine and ham, a handful of button mushrooms and some prawns with two glasses of water.
Dinner: Pitta Pizzas (one pitta bread with tomato pizza base sauce, three slices of mozzarella and three slices of pepperoni), two spoonfuls of home made potato salad and some ordinary salad consisting of lettuce, pepper, spring onions and cucumber. No chips! I also had one glass of a tropical fizzy drink from the fridge as it was a boiling day.

Tuesday.

Brunch: One tortilla wrap with mozzarella and pepperoni, a small grating of cheese, lettuce, pepper, spring onion and cucumber with two hard boiled eggs on the side and a glass of orange juice. 

Dinner: A BBQ chicken thigh, one BBQ sausage in white finger roll, side salad made up of lettuce, pepper, spring onion, tomato and cucumber and then two spoonfuls of home made potato salad. I also had a mini candyfloss flavoured ice lolly- when I say mini, I mean it was the size of my palm! 



Wednesday. 

Lunch: One pitta filled with ham, lettuce, cucumber and spring onion, a handful of button mushrooms, a handful of green grapes and an apple- my first apple in around 6 years! I also had some strawberry infused water which I had made myself at home. 

Dinner: Chicken salad with chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, spring onion, cucumber and pepper, home made potato salad, one pickled egg and two glasses of lemonade. I had some vienetta and a cookie for pudding as a bit of a treat!

Thursday.

Brunch: ? I can't remember!

Snack: Philadelphia breadstick pot thing (kind of like a dairylea dunker pot?) that came to just 120 calories! 

Dinner: Chilli in stand and stuff tacos with salad instead of rice. Ice cream for pudding. 

Friday.

Snack: Another Philadelphia breadstick pot. 

Dinner: A bit of a cheat day! I went out for dinner and had two plates of very stodgy Chinese food from the Chinese eat as much as you like buffet! It mainly consisted of egg fried rice, yo min noodles, king prawns, chicken, mushrooms and prawn crackers! 


Saturday.

Brunch: Salad (cucumber and lettuce) wrap with some ham and some yellow pepper sticks on the side. 

Dinner: It's terrible to say, but I had no dinner. My 'brunch' was quite late and then I went to a friends house for a night out with a lot of alcohol...so I racked up the calories that way.

Sunday.

Brunch: Chorizo and salad wrap with a slight sprinkling of cheese, one hard boiled egg and some yellow pepper sticks with a glass of orange juice and a glass of water.

Snack: Handful of strawberries. 

Dinner: Carbonara with three slices of part baked baguette and butter with an ice cream for pudding. I can sin on the weekend okay? 


Okay, so looking back on that I can already see how much my diet has improved this week- I've dramatically upped the intake of vegetables in my meals, and even had some fruit this week too! Usually I don't even have one piece in a week (I know, I know, how bad is that?). However, I can still see room for improvement- for example, I had three ice creams this week! I know it's been hot but I think one ice cream would maybe have sufficed! Obviously I had my cheat meal on Friday with my sisters but this was a one off treat. Sunday night's meal was very carb based but you are allowed an all carb meal in the week, so I'm not too worried about that. 

In terms of exercise, I haven't done a lot I won't lie. My mum and I despise people saying they don't have time to work out, but this week I have genuinely not had the time, I've had more work going on than ever before! However, this week it's my main focus, to continue with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and also to go for a run or two (although I find them so much harder without my sister running along side me, motivating me so we shall see how that goes!).

I'd also like to point out, a lot of days I'm having "brunch"/just two meals. This is because my shifts are awkward times e.g. 10-3 or 11-5 so I kind of miss the lunch period, as I don't get a break on shifts that are less than 6 hours. This leads me to have just brunch and dinner or brunch and dinner with a snack in between. 

Is there anything you'd add or take away from my current diet? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace 

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How social media is helping my weight loss

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This post is going to be a bit of a weird one. I'm going to sound more millennial and social media obsessed than ever before, but I'm always honest on my blog, and this was something that I wanted to share with you guys, so. Today I'm going to tell you guys how social media is helping my weight loss. 

We all know just how addicted I am to social media. Not only is it my job to post on social media but I also love to update my social media every minute of every day! Not only does it help me to promote my blog and magazine, it helps me to make new friends, stay connected with old friends and creates a digital diary, so I can look back in a years time using things like TimeHop to see what I was doing a year ago, two years ago and so on. 

My favourite social media site is Instagram, and it's Instagram that has been helping me to stay on track with my healthy eating and my get fit regime. Like many people, I'm obsessed with making my Instagram look pretty and "themed", although my theme is pretty boring- bright pictures, in focus, white borders. Anyway. A lot of people I follow post really great, arty shots of things they're eating and drinking, healthy or not, and this has started to provide me with inspiration to do the same on my feed. 

But here's the catch. I've been very open on my blog and on Twitter about my new healthy diet and my weight loss journey, so I can't be posting photo's of tubs of pick 'n' mix or dorito's and dip all the time, can I ? So because of my avid social media use mixed with my total honesty, I have to keep eating healthily in order to post photo's on Instagram. See what I mean? 






Of course, I want to be eating healthily to reach my target weight and boost my overall healthiness anyway, but Instagram is definitely helping me to stay on track. Every time I go to have an unhealthy snack, I just think "Do I really want to Instagram this? Whilst I'm moaning online about my body image?" and that stops me in my tracks. Of course, I do still have treats! At dinner with my Dad this week we had chicken salad, but I still had a cookie for a snack there and ice cream for pudding. I'm not depriving myself completely of anything sugary, that's for sure! 

It's also thanks to YouTube that I have been doing so well in my first week of trying to improve my habits too. I watched Velvet Gh0st's recent video about nine healthy snacks and they all looked so delicious that I felt totally inspired. I went out the next day and bought lots of healthy bits and pieces instead of crisps and chocolate in order to attempt some of her snacks/meals. Then from her video, there were several suggested videos in the side bar about healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners and I watched about 15 of them, getting hundreds of new ideas I had never even thought about! 



And of course, there's the blogs, hundreds and hundreds of them writing about new recipes they're trying, healthy alternatives to unhealthy snacks. Even just people on Twitter making suggestions to me, like my friend Lydia who suggested frying tortilla's in 1 cal spray with some paprika to make a healthier version of dorito's, something I was really craving at the time. 

Social media generally has just been a great support system too. I have constant stream of encouragement from people when I write posts about my weight loss, when I post photo's, telling me if I look like I'm getting healthier, that the food I'm eating looks nice etc.! Without the encouragement and suggestions, my journey would definitely be a lot more difficult. 

So yes, it might sound totally bizarre and totally social media obsessed, but social media is definitely helping me with my weight loss journey! Of course, it can be damaging when a small portion of people write negatively about it, but the nicer people manage to outnumber the nasty. It's only been one week and I've already lost half an inch from my tummy just from improving my eating habits, so this week, I'm going to focus on increasing my exercise too. Here's hoping I continue to improve! 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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All Lives Matter

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Black. White. Pink. Brown. We all have different coloured skin, depending on where we're from, our family history, who our relatives are, etc. etc. We all have different coloured eyes, different coloured hair, different sized feet, different weights. We're all the same thing, a human being with a brain and a heart, we're all the same on the inside. Just on the outside, we all look different. 

So it's kind of ridiculous that we are still judging people in the worst kind of ways for being different, for looking different? Particularly for having different coloured skin. I think you know what I'm getting at here. I'm getting at the current issue Black Lives Matter. 

I've written about it before and I will continue to write about it so that people don't try to brush this under the carpet and forget about it. Racism towards black people- particularly towards black people in America- is alive and well and seems to be rewinding right back to the way things were in the early to mid 1900's. It wouldn't surprise me at all if we heard that America were reintroducing segregation at the rate things are going. 

But I'm not here to retell you all of the things that are going on. Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know it all already. I'm here to talk about the specific trend Black Lives Matter.

We've all seen it on Twitter, on Instagram and on Facebook. And we've all seen hundreds of thousands of non black people respond to this trend:

"But what about white people? Don't our lives matter"

"Surely ALL lives matter"

"#AllLivesMatter"

"#WhiteLivesMatter"

These four tweets are taken directly from Twitter, although I have left out the names for privacy reasons, but they were not alone in their thoughts. Hundreds and hundreds of people had joined in, sharing these views. 

Now, I kind of understand why people are saying "All lives matter", because of course, yes, all lives matter. But the point here is, if all lives matter, why are black people still being targeted by white people? Why are black people still being shot by police in situations where white people are not? Why are black people still being oppressed? I saw a quote from the Huffington Post that summed it up perfectly:



Now, this is very true. Because if all lives did matter, there would be no need for the black lives matter trend in the first place, would there? Of course, there is still an issue with this quote, because other people are being oppressed to- such as Asian Muslims (or most people of the Islamic faith for that matter) who are branded "terrorists" and all painted with the same brush every time ISIS make an attack on the world. People from other "third world" countries are oppressed by white people when they are in need of aid, or help, of refugee from their own country. 

Effectively, the problem is...well, white people. We are so blinded by our own privilege that we seem to have allowed it to intoxicate us and treat anyone who isn't white with little to no respect. Now of course, that is a sweeping generalisation. I know plenty of white people who support movements like Black Lives Matter, who support refugees, who are anything but racist or blind to their white privilege. But there are plenty of white people who are blind to their privilege, which of course, I have another great quote for:



Most white people, they don't think they have privilege. And that's because it's invisible to them. They don't understand the privilege they have, because they never haven't had it. To them, it's just ordinary life. But if you changed their skin colour for a day, they'd realise just how much easier their life was when they were white. In America, they wouldn't have to fear being shot by a policeman who "didn't know" why he did what he did. In England, you wouldn't have to worry about your four year old Asian daughter being branded a terrorist and having fake dog poo rubbed in her face by a full grown white man thanks to ISIS attacks (yes, that really did happen earlier on this week)

As a white person, statistics show you're more likely to get a job over a person of colour. You're more likely to get into universities than a person of colour. In America, grade boundaries to certain colleges are actually dropped for white people, so that people of colour have to work harder to gain entry to college! As a white person, you won't ever be called a "nigger" or a "paki". You won't ever have a derogatory name thrown at you simply for walking down the street. You won't have your culture laughed at and then appropriated by a more "accepted" culture. As a white person, you will have the easiest life in the world. 

Of course, not all black people are perfect. We have all seen the videos of people taking Black Lives Matter to extremes and begin to attack white people, killing police officers and so on. But as with all movements, there are always extremists who let the side down. You can look at feminism for a prime example of that. 

But generally speaking, Black Lives Matter is needed. We need to stop using our white privilege against people who aren't white. Our pale skin colour does not make us a prestige race, and I just don't understand why people think it does. As I said at the start of this post, we are all the same. We are all humans. So why do we treat some people like they are less than that? 

Black Lives Matter, and yes, all lives truly do matter. But when it comes down to it, all lives can't matter until every oppressed person of colour's life matters too. All Lives Matter exists with the idea that white people aren't oppressed against. But we don't face oppression anyway- and that makes All Lives Matter pretty obsolete. 

Let's focus on treating everyone who isn't a westernized white person with the same love and respect that westernized white people show each other and then maybe one day, all lives will matter. 

Love from,
Florence Grace
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I got all my sisters with me!

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Today I did something I've never done before; I went out for dinner with just my sisters. 

My relationship with my sisters is, as I imagine, the same as it is for everyone with sisters. One minute you're the best of friends, the next you're at each other's throats. For me, I've found my relationship has improved with both of my sisters as I've gotten older. When my parents split up, it was an emotional time, and I feel since then I've grown closer to my youngest sister, doing all I can to make her happy. I take her shopping, buy her treats and spoil her rotten, just to make her smile. 

My relationship with the middle sister is a little more turbulent. On and off through our teens we have had a love/hate relationship, especially when our boyfriends had an intense dislike for each other too. But I've been there for her at some of her most emotional moments, and she for mine, and even if we're in the biggest battle, it doesn't matter. If one of us is upset, the other is there for her, and that's what matters, right?



Over the last year or so, whilst I feel we have grown closer, there has definitely been more distance between us. My youngest sister has begun to develop her own social life and does her own thing and me and the middle sister are working multiple jobs all of the time whilst she handles a boyfriend and I handle my social life. Sometimes I go for days without seeing my middle sister, despite sharing a room with her. It's very rare to get all three of us in the same room. 

So today, we all went for dinner and an evening stroll. We were only together for two hours but it was two hours to catch up, have a gossip, laugh our heads off at stupid things and buy My Little Pony toys to add to our collection (yep, at 20, 18 and 13 we still collect MLP's!). We have agreed to try and do this at least once a month, just the three of us, because as I've said, it so rarely happens. 



I love my sisters to pieces, and even when we fight, they are still my best pals and my number 1's! I will always try to make them happy and, as the eldest, I will always try to look after them to. 

Love from,
Florence Grace

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So you're just working here now?

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I dread seeing people from my past when I go to work. But, working in one of the most popular shops in the centre of my town means that, unfortunately, it happens quite a lot. 

People from my past ranges from old teachers, old friends, old not-friends (enemies?) and even the parents of people I used to know and be friends with. As soon as one of them approaches the till where I happen to be serving, a feeling of dread takes over because I know what question is undoubtedly going to pop up. 

"So, you're just working here then?".

It's always the same slight head tilt, patronising tone of voice and, sometimes, even a pained smile as though they can't quite believe I am "just" working in retail. Sometimes it gets worse when it's a half term or school holidays, and the question extends to "So, you're just working here whilst you're back from uni then?". It makes me cringe, sigh inwardly and want to throw something at them simultaneously. 

First of all, so what if I was "just" working in retail? It's honestly not as easy as you think it is. Dealing with rude people, for one, is hard enough. However, in my place of work (obviously I can't speak for everyone) we have individual targets to meet, we have a whole list of questions we have to ask customers at the till, we have to do certain things on the shop floor or we're pulled up for it. We have to remember what the new trends are named, the song and the muse that matches the trend, the description of the trend. We have to remember where every item of clothing is, despite the shop being moved around once a week. We have to help style customers, assist them with their needs, do multiple tasks at once. Sure, retail isn't the most strenuous of jobs, but it isn't the big joke of a job that people make it out to be, and to ask if I'm "just" working here now is pretty insulting. 

It would be better to ask me what I'm up to now, surely? "Hey, how are you, what do you do nowadays?". That kind of thing. I'd love to turn around and say "Oh just working here so I have a permanent source of income to run my own magazine and be able to work my 6 other jobs". I'd like to see them turn around and say I was "just" working in retail then. 

I think the most irksome part of the sentence is the word "just". Like it's nothing special to be working here, it's not worthwhile. I should be at uni, in a full time career or whatever else. Not "just" working here. But guess what? Everyone is different and everyone does different things with their lives. I've decided to skip out on uni and yes I "just" work here, alongside doing 6 other jobs. And I'm happy with that decision. 

I don't know, maybe I'm just being over sensitive but I "just" (haha) find it very rude of people to assume either that this is all I'm doing with my life or that even if this is all I'm doing with my life it's somehow not good enough- at least for the person asking. 

Yes I "just" work here. But I do a hell of a lot more things than that too.

Love from,
Florence Grace 
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I'm not your competition.

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You know what's really awkward? 

Someone openly referring to you as their personal competition. You, and your accomplishments, mark their competition. Weird, right? 


I mean, at first I was flattered. Flattered that they felt I was someone worthy of competing against, someone they could mark their own successes against. That seemed kind of cool, and indicated to me that I was obviously doing some stuff in my life well. 

But then I really thought about it, and I realised that actually, it was a little insulting. Competing against someone means that someone has to lose. Effectively, this individual basically told me they use me as a benchmark and try to do better. They want to be better than me. But if they do better than me, that's not going to be good for me, is it? I want to be the best if we're making this a game! 

I'm being totally honest when I say I don't compete with anyone. No one- and I mean no one- that I know has the same goals and ambitions as me. So that means I'm safe, I don't have to worry too much about being 'better' than anyone else or outdoing anyone. I can just do me and hopefully be okay. So why can't others do the same?

Obviously, working in the media is a competitive industry and so there is going to be competition- this is clearly what said individual was getting at. They probably didn't mean it to come across the way that it did, but it still seemed uncomfortable. Even if I did have a mental competition going on with someone, I would never openly admit that to them! I might word it differently, stating that they inspired me to do better, words to that effect, That, or I'd say nothing at all. 


I don't want people to be competing with me. My work, my goals and, ultimately my life is not a race, not a game. There's only one person playing and that's me. My only 'competition' is myself. In my opinion, that's how it should be for everyone. Be inspired or empowered by other people to strive to be better than you currently are- but don't compete. 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from,
Florence Grace 
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HEAT ANGER

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After what seems like an incredibly long day, I have finally got to sit down to have some relaxing time- for about an hour before I have to go to bed. I'm irritated because the heat slowed me down today. It took me three hours to write one article earlier on, and therefore I haven't been able to work out today. It's incredibly frustrating for me. 

animated upset woman bed frustrated

However, I have been offered another social media position, so I can add that to my list of things to do. I now have seven jobs (two of them unpaid), not including running my magazine and daily blogging too. Now I'm wondering if I should class one of those jobs as "freelance content creator" and take my jobs down to 4 by grouping them? It seems ridiculous to say I work seven jobs! 

It might sound crazy to work so much but I love being busy, I'm incredibly passionate about what I do and  on top of all that, I know that all of the work is taking me to where I want to end up. I'm making new contacts, making new friends, opening new doors. The more I do, the more this happens, and who doesn't want that? 

Hopefully I'll soon have enough content creation work on a freelance basis that I will be able to drop one of the unrelated jobs (e.g. working in the nursery). That's the dream, anyway! Until then, I'm still going to spend 18+ hours a day working and writing...!

Love from,
Florence Grace


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