Adidas Original Superstars!

As you know this isn't my usual kind of post however the more I wear these the more I love them and I wear them nearly every day and so needed to share with you guys.

I'm not one who spends a lot on fashion and actually it's always my steals that get compliments, (typical!) but I love, by love, I mean a small obsession with trainers and these Adidas Original Superstar shoes I could wear all day, all night with my gym wear and a pair of ripped jeans or shorts now the sun is out. I've wanted a pair for so so long and my god they are worth the wait. They are my go to and grab shoe no matter what I am wearing!

Why do I love them so... let's talk!

  • They're super comfy and fit like a glove I range from a 4.5-5.5 in trainers (brand dependant!) but these are a size 5 and are perfect and never rubbed!
  • You can wear them with anything from a summer dress, playsuit, jeans, shorts and gym wear (or if you were me the other day, right before jumping into the serpentine in Hyde Park!). What more could you want!
  • They come in different colours although mine are white and beige (simple girl when it comes to colours, you'll hardly ever see me in brights or frills!!)
  • They will also last for years as mine still look brand new and I've worn my a hell of a lot.
  • Summer or winter... who cares you can wear these in both and perfect to take on holiday!
  • I recently spoke at BodyPower which you may know (post coming soon!) and these kicks came with me not only to travel but for dinner and to do my talk so if you're thinking of getting some just do it - trust me you will not look back!!!

https://m.jdsports.co.uk/women/womens-footwear/trainers/

Sophie xx

 

Rest is BEST! Go ahead, have a snooze!

 

Never underestimate the power rest, and implementing recovery for that matter to!  These are often over looked, under-utilised and least planned when it comes to enhancing performance as well as every day life. Lets focus on training first.

 

Being that rest and recovery are critical components of any successful training program, why do we all seem to think we can beat and forget about it. In this mad, non stop life we all lead now we basically all keep buzzing about life until our bodies physically cant or we hit a bump in the road.  Sleep is where the magic happens. 

Understanding how to implement them both is a different matter. Rest refers to time spend sleeping and not training. Recovery, however, refers to the techniques and actions taken to maximise repair on your body after the hours spent hitting it hard in the gym.  These include; hydration, nutrition, posture, heat, stretching, stress etc. Recovery involves more than just muscle repair, it also includes; chemical and hormonal balance, nervous system repair, mental state, and more.

We have a number of different systems that need to recover. These include hormonal, neurological, and structural. Our structural system includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Muscles recover the quickest because they receive direct blood flow. Tendons, ligaments, and bones receive indirect blood flow and therefore can take longer to recover and be more susceptible to overtraining stress.


So without getting overwhelmed with trying to aim for perfection on this (unless you are a professional athlete) us gym goers and those who love sport should just be looking got that life balance so to kick ass in the gym and going out an having fun with friends. I am very passionate about balance in life in every aspect. It is seriously importantly for a happy and healthy mindset and body.  Actually going and doing what you enjoy will put you in a better place to perform rather than forcing yourself to do things that put you in a negative mindset. Life is for living. Don't get me wrong, we all have to do things we don't want to every so often.

A balanced combination of rest and recovery along with proper diet and exercise should be a part of any fitness regime. Eighty percent of your time can be spent focusing on diet and exercise, while twenty percent should be left for enjoying life. In other words, don’t let yourself get too wrapped up in perfection.  I would never want to be perfect, why? Read this!

There are a number of factors to think about when it comes to ret and recovery to improve performance and importantly, quality of life. After all, a healthy and happy person not only performs better but also has the ability to give time and energy to those who you love and that love you.

I am going to share 8 facts you may not have realised as to why sleep is so important.

1) Go ahead, snooze!

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles.

Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and mood.

2)Improve memory

Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or "practice" skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).

3) Live longer

Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan—although it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too.) So Stop taking it for granted!

4) Spur creativity

Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper.

In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganise and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.

5) Be a winner

If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep.

6)Have a healthy weight

If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too. Something I tell my clients all the time!! Poor sleep an be linked to weight gain!

7)Lower stress

When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same—and both can affect cardiovascular health. It can also improve immune function.

8)Poor sleep and inflammation

Sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in the body. In fact, sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage.Poor sleep has been strongly linked to long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, in disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases

I bloody LOVE sleep and make sure I get enough of it as often as I can so go and take a nap!

Sophie xx

Tattoos… I blaaady LOVE them.

I get a lot of messages asking about my tattoos so I am going to do a quick blog about each of them and why I decided on them. I am a huge fan but I will only get something that symbolises a time in my life or something i believe in/feel strongly about.

From a teenager I always wanted a tattoo and much to my parents uncertainty they granted me permission to go and get my first one at 18 with my cousin (who also loves them!) and they do get so addictive that there is always something else I want due to personal achievement or even something that has happened in my life. I dated a Tattooist for 2 years so I am surprised I only have 7.

 

  1. Horse shoe on my hip - growing up being horse obsessed and shared the passion with my cousin and my grandad was a Saddler. I always wanted one but whats so special about it - its hand drawn by someone who made a massive impact on my life when growing up.
  2. LAS symbol on my left ankle - hardly seen but means the world. Both my sisters have the same and mum - its all of our initials (Lucy, Anna & Sophie)
  3. Poppy left rib - two reasons why this is so special, one, my sister Anna has the exact same tattoo and its for my grandad who we were lucky enough to grow up with - he was so special to us, truly wonderful man. We used to call him Poppa, and poppies remind us of him.
  4. Rose, left hip around the horseshoe - Read this story and you will understand
  5. Feather on my right hip - I absolutely love the symbolic meaning - freedom to follow your passions, inspire and travel; physically, mentally and spiritually.
  6. Left rib below my poppy - this was actually a cover up, I had the words ‘Every breath counts, Keep on Fighting’ however the ink bled so now I have 3 roses.
  7. Right foot - A couple of reasons as to why I have this tattoo. Firstly, I totally believe in this quote and live by it ‘An arrow can only be shot by pulling backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming’ and also my Best Friend has the same one.

I really want another… one for my horse who I sadly lost 10 Months ago, one to mark the achievement of Mount Kilimanjaro 18 Months ago but also perhaps something else.  Any Ideas?

Sophie xx

Goals, Goals, Goals!

Set a goal so big, that when you achieve it, you blow your own damn mind!!

So, lets chat.. Ive done previous blogs on goals but this time round I have set some non-fitness related goals.. This girl is growing up.. a little (always a kid at heart don't worry!)

A lot has been going on behind the scenes which have created some ups and downs in the world of Sophie Grace Holmes.

Some which I have shared in relation to my health which if you have been following me you will know about. Some in relation to having to relocate a lot more of my time back to home by the sea rather than London, although I am still in London a couple of days a week and some to do with expanding my career.

Sometimes I think we all get so wrapped up in exceeding in the gym, pushing limits and the world of social media and coming up with fancy exercises which I still believe all of these are fantastic. But for me right now, I am happy to keep doing as I am, keep training hard but without any goal related pressure other than to relax and actually just enjoy training for what is and reasons why I do it.  I am still training with structure as I need to get my health back in the 100’s but not gunning every single session.  And you know what, it has re-inspired me and my training and I have fallen in love with it again and that in itself will shine through into your everyday life.  Training should be a celebration of what your body can achieve and definitely not a comparison to a stranger on Instagram as this can lead to a negative mindset.

What I am talking about here is life goals, self improvement goals. Goals to ensure inner peace and happiness to create a life I dream for.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life, the one I have made for myself over the past few years, so thankful and grateful for all the opportunities I have been given but of course as we grow, the things we want naturally change so although I am living an amazing life, there is always ways you can make it better to suit your needs and wants now not 5 years ago.

I have set 5 goals, keeping them relatively simple.

  1. Buy my own flat, by my self - something I have always wanted to do but I am going for it and have a time line for it. 
  2. Do exactly what makes me happy, not what I think I should be doing or always putting others first - I still will but I also need to keep grounded to caring for me
  3. Focus on pursuing my career in the direction I want it to expand into (share soon, don't worry I am staying in Fitness!!)
  4. Health comes first. I have let this slack, not anymore - Ive got life to live to the fullest!
  5. Get that balance back, work has taken over for various reasons but I am getting balance back slowly. Its time for a new adventure and challenge… what could it be!!

Have a think about what yours would be. I have found setting completely different and brand new goals really refreshing and I am so excited to reach them because essentially they will bring me steps closer to creating a life that will make my mind and soul happy while having adventure, challenging myself and having lots of fun with friends and family.

if you want a happy life, tie it to a goal not a person!

Sophie xx

Lent 2017

Lent

So before I go into what I am going to do this year during lent, let’s not forget the history of why we undergo a period of 40 days of reflection .. it's not all about Pancake Day and Easter Eggs, which is what I used to see it as when I was little (always focusing on food!)

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.

So, Lent is usually a time where people decide to give up sugary snacks, alcohol, smoking or anything they feel they have fallen into a bad habit with. My big sister, who I think is amazing, every year used to give up everything from sweets, chocolate and biscuits to caffeine and alcohol.   Incredible right?   Especially as living with me who needs to eat as many calories as possible - when I was younger a usual after school snack (before you go on, bear in mind this is a snack..! Bloody love snacks!) would be 3 bags of crisps, 2 chocolate bars, a glass of Ribena (containing mainly Ribena!!) and a tin of tuna (this obviously counteracted the rest..!) oh, and all before dinner!   Not even kidding.   And I would have dessert!   Of course I now live a much healthier lifestyle after a lot of education and reading especially for someone who doesn't produce digestive enzymes so I have to take these each time I eat.   It's essential for me to look after my tummy.    I keep everything in balance as this benefits my health physically and mentally. 

As much as we think by completely giving up the things we all love dearly but aren't so good for you, we can really transform our lifestyle to a much a healthier one for mind and body.   Especially if you keep it up post Lent and after feasting on as many Easter eggs as you can, you really will reap all the benefits.  There is no better feeling than fit, strong, happy and healthy.

For me, living a balanced healthy lifestyle already I look upon this time of year another way. Why not think about improving something? Or being more consistent or being more grateful for the things or people you have in your life.

I have been reflecting a lot on a few things year already as my life and lifestyle has changed a lot for the better and potentially worse which have caused an impact on my health, one I have kept stable for the last 6/7 years.  Without going into a massive essay as to why, I'll explain in a couple of short paragraphs.

7 months ago I lost the biggest part of my life, my horse. He certainly kept me on my toes which I loved but much more than that, he was my sanity, my time out of a busy life, my passion but most of all he kept me well mentally and physically.  The 8 years I was lucky to spend enjoying him, I was at my healthiest- being outside in the fresh sea air riding 6 days a week (and strength training 4/5 days a week). 

My career has headed into London which I am enjoying, thriving and loving the buzz but this has also led to a few things, I will admit I am not training as much due to time, (poor excuse!) energy, due to more working hours, travel etc and also I am no longer in the fresh air but inhaling the smoke of the city most days, which has adversely affected my health.

With this in consideration, for Lent this year I am going to be more consistent and focussed. 

  1. Training needs to become more of a priority (always putting clients and others first!) I haven't lost fitness or much strength, as for me there is no better feeling than, fit, strong and healthy. Trust me. You will feel happy, positive and have so much energy and with spring in the air this is what we all want. Also to clarify, I am not going to obsess over this just simply be efficient with my time while also training smart in order to optimise my health. 
  2. Medication... I will also admit there are days I miss certain ones due to time restraints (extremely poor excuse!) but I want to be honest and we are all human.  So I am making it my mission to not skip a single inhaler, tablet or session to improve my health. Enough is enough!! 
  3. Work life balance. Mine, has gone totally one way which isn't okay by any means. So I am reorganising my work so I have more time to do the things I love without causing too much impact. You have to get to that point where you put your foot down or you'll get stuck in the madness and realise you haven't taken a single day off (other than bank holidays or a couple of days at Christmas) for 6 months (guilty!) and life is for living not working all the time.   Remember that as you will miss out on the things that matter.  

Although I truly believe you shouldn't have to tie a time of year down to turn your life around, it does help and it does give you a massive reason and purpose to get down to business. 

I am going to leave you with my favourite quotes:

You were only given a little spark of madness, you mustn't lose it..... Robin Williams. 

Why am I leaving you with this during Lent?  It's important to focus on you, be you - don't lose that, doing what you love, achieve what you want, self development and do not worry or obsess over anything too much as everything does work out the way we want in the end.  I live by the rule;  “If it won't matter in 5 years don't worry for more than 5 minutes.” So this year do something your future self will thank you for by creating new positive habits or following a passion, being grateful or more consistent.

Sophie xx 

 

 

 

7 facts about me.

 

So.. I am going to keep this short and sweet (hard for me as I love to chat!) but this blog really is for you to get to me know a little better, so I am going to be sharing 7 things you may not know about me. Some may come as a surprise.

I think social media is a brilliant tool when used in the right way, so long as we don't obsess and compare as that will cause a silly amount of unhappiness, lack of confidence and generally a less positive outlook on life. I also believe on keeping it real and raw. If you're having a bad day its ok - I mean there is balance in everythingbut also shows you are human y’know. 

I am a very upbeat and naturally positive person, you will rarely see me let the hardships of life get to me, I want to live to the fullest everyday. I will always find a positive in every situation and believe every thing happens for a reason. But to keep me, me and real I am trying to show you some of my struggles from daily life to my CF it the hope you can relate in your own little way, we are all in this together. I simply want to inspire, motivate and show you can defy anything you're going through.

Recently, I shared one of my favourite quotes which I turn to when I feel like I have the weight of the world on me as we all have those days.

What I've learnt from life is that for every inch of sadness lies a foot of happiness ahead. I've learnt that the simplest of times bring the grandest pleasures and the hardest goodbyes often lead to the best hellos. I've learnt the crazy chances guide us to unexpected discoveries and tough times unveil sincerity of people. I've learnt that you have to hold onto your smile everyday and free yourself from that frown.

Okay, on to the those 7 things, are you readdddy:

  1. I was born 10 weeks premature, my birthday is 27 July, I was supposed to be born in October! Clearly eager for life.. I was a little scrap weighting 3lb12oz.
     
  2. This may be a shock horror (since my Instagram would definitely say differently) I never used to like eggs… seriously, Mumma Holmes would verify which is why she thinks its funny I am obsessed with them now.
     
  3. Before hitting the gym I used to be passionate about sprinting, competing to a high level 100m, 200m & 400m. Until I sadly sprained my ankle badly and so I couldn't run as fast, I was gutted. I still trained though (of course racing the men… to their delight I could beat some of them!) - I mean challenge me and I will push myself but the girls out there are amazing! I miss those days. I am seriously competitive, especially if you get me in the right zone!
     
  4. I have to eat a minimum of 3000 kcals a day to maintain my weight. Thats a hell of a lot especially if you are wanting to try and focus on nutrients. (dont get me wrong, I love PNB and Nutella, ice cream, the lot as you know) but due to my poor digestion and not producing digestive enzymes because of my CF (I have to supplement these) I try and eat well or the pain / bloating I suffer is unreal… I even had my appendix out by mistake because it was a misdiagnosed pain (thats a whole new story) If i want to put on weight or lean muscle, well, thats a hell of a lot of eating.
     
  5. I have a bucket list of things I want to see, achieve, make, you name it it'll been there of over 250 things - I am slowly working my way through them. Anyone wants to join the journey let me know. My biggest achievement from it is summiting Mount Kilimanjaro October 2015. It was the hardest thing of my life, but, by far the most life changing and incredible. Seriously rewarding. It was also very liberating being cut off from the world (in the nicest possible way) for a week.
     
  6. I am a massive adrenaline Junkie! Let me jump out of a plane, gallop or jump a horse at speed, drive a super car, go white water rafting, wake boarding, snow boarding any day.. its these things that give me the bigggg buzz, make me feel alive, the exciting fear you get in your belly. I love it. Most people think I mad, I am, I would rather be insane than boring… I mean I realise they might not be the everyday thing but I will do them as much as I can and even better if I can travel with them too!
     
  7. I am actually a qualified legal secretary.. believe it or not. However, it wasn't for me and I love being in the fitness industry. I am not the sort of person who can be sat behind a desk. I love my busy little crazy life running about (literally). Also, that type of lifestyle caused me to be unwell so I wanted to change my life for the better and long term.

So heres a few little facts you may know, if not, you've learnt some new things about me. I am happy to be open and share away so if you have any burning questions drop me a line.

Sophie xx

New year, New Me? NO..

New Year, Improved me! I love the girl I've fought to become. 

So it would be a lie if we said we didn't have things to improve on. I mean, that's the beauty of it, I know I do. We can always strive to be better than the person we are today. Taking those baby steps is what counts. Firstly, it’s about learning it love the bits of us we look in the mirror and pick on and rather punishing ourselves to become better, and enjoying the journey getting there. Especially, in a world where social media tries to dictate how we are supposed to look, what we should eat and how we should lead our lives. Never let it stop being you!! 

Taking away from appearance for a moment. Let's talk mindset. I am a naturally very upbeat, positive person who will always look for the best people, situations and whatever life decides to throw at us. I truly believe every cloud has a silver lining. Without having the sad or bad times in life we wouldn't appreciate the exciting, happy times. Think of it this way. Sometimes, we focus on self improvements through negative situations. Granted not always, naturally the good things also motivate and push us to achieve even more. But, for example, we go through a break up... Most of us push it harder in our lives, work or especially in the gym because it makes us feel good and also gives us confidence as well as the aesthetic side. (Although this also works if you met someone who was in cracking shape and successful. It would motivate me in all areas of my life to kick ass!!). If make an effort every day to appreciate what you have as well as starting it with a positive thought, postive changes start to happen leading to a postive life. Trust me..

This year for me is about being thankful for my life and self improvement. There are a couple of reasons; I have lost a lot of friends over the years to CF - life is so precious and as much as I work hard to keep well I am also very lucky to be so well and living / building a life I love, I also lost the biggest part of my life 6 months ago (28 July 2016), my rock, my best friend, the guy who would wipe up my tears but also make me laugh, who brought me nearly 10 years of joy, a lifetime of cherished memories and I deeply miss him, heart ache like no other and even writing a few sentences about him makes tears roll down my cheeks because he was my world, my escape… Sounds like the perfect man right? Otis he always will be the one horse that changed my life, the one who believed in me and made me realise how strong I am. If you have a horse or an animal you have had an unbelievable, unbreakable, strong connection with where you can tell what each other are thinking. You will know what I mean, especially when you lose them suddenly.  

Turning this very sad time on its head (not to forget as I never will) but to see my loss as an opening of a new door, new opportunities that perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to pursue other wise. I will announcing a big one next Sunday which I am so excited about. But you have to believe everything happens for a reason.. there has always been on for me when there have been hard times. 

 So that brings me in to my 7 goals I have set myself. I wanted to take time to really think about what I wanted for this year as there has been a lot of things happening, amazing things, hence why I did not stare until now. 

  1. To focus on improving my flexibility and mobility as much as I do my training. I will put my hand up and say I slack on this… due to 'lack of time' no! Its about making time and putting in the effort. Also, improving these will also aid your strength and conditioning work in the gym as it will improve your ROM (range of motion!) which will have a massive effect on your progress and will also prevent injury!! I also find it relaxing too so mentally time to switch off for a while from our fast paced lives!
     
  2. To be more grateful for what I have, my family and friends. I am extremely lucky. Sometimes we take for granted what we have while working for what we want. Especially my wonderful mum and dad who do so much for me. So if you're reading this. I love you both to pieces and thank you for always putting up with me, believing in me and encouraging me and my crazy ideas which leave you worried sick, but I hope proud. It's about making time for these people and making memories. Never regret the time you failed to make for people. You will miss otherwise.
     
  3. I also want to educate myself even more, I love learning and want to make more time for it. I find the human body fascinating, how it works and what it does. I also want to gain a nutrition qualification as coming from me who has digestive issues due to my CF I am always trying to learn more about how nutrition affects the body and delving further into health and fitness especially health conditions, and functional anatomy. I thrive on gaining new knowledge and sharing it as well as learning about self development.  
     
  4. I am going to focus on self care. I will admit I am always putting others first or working too hard. I am going to put my health first a little more. You may think I am I mad and you probably think I always practise what I preach. I am human and sometimes I get carried away in the whirlwind of life. Sometimes I miss my medications, I don't train as much as I wish, eat as well as I want or sleep enough. I am going to make a conscious effort to. My CF does like to remind me every so often I am superwoman and can't always take on the world. 
     
  5. To do more of what makes me happy. I work 6 days a week, so I am going to try reduce this down to 5 so I can have more time doing what I love, spending time with those who makes me happy and enjoying my life. Basically finding that work life balance…..
     
  6. Learn a new skill.. for me this will be on a board. I would love to be able to wakeboard and snowboard to a better standard. Granted I have done this before but very limited experience so for me I want to master the art because I cannot tell you how incredible it feels being out on a lake, on a board carving the water. Having said that, mastering a handstand would also be pretty cool.
     
  7. Go to a place I have never been before.. for me this will be visiting my big sister in Singapore later on in the year. But, if an opportunity of a long weekend adventuring a new place I wouldn’t say no.

What are your goals for 2017?

Whatever they may be, make choices that bring you peace.

Sophie xx 

 

Why Giving up is NEVER an option

Todays post is all about the will to never giving up, including how I keep going when you feel life is against you, when it gets tough or you feel you have simply had enough. Life has a funny way of unfolding and most of the time in ways we don't understand or even want but each moment leads to another and so forth. These moments are preparing us for the big things, the extraordinary achievements, experiences or challenges we have to overcome to become that person we aspire to be. 

Sometimes we are led down paths which we don't want or understand or things happen which we don't want or expect but without struggle or uncertainty we wouldn't find greatness and it is within these times we grow and become a stronger version of ourselves. This, again prepares you for even more, for the grand plan I like to think. I do believe we all have a sole purpose or a number of them, something we are meant for.

Each time I look back at a struggle, I am actually thankful.  There is always a decision I have made or an achievement that I have accomplished that are life changing. For example, I fell unwell and was admitted into hospital for 2-3 weeks on an intensive medication and physiotherapy regime with a lot of uncertainty of my future. You may not see it or even believe I have a life threatening progressive condition (as most of the time I even forget myself) but CF is a constant battle from the moment I wake up to when I snuggle up at night - I am doing a YouTube Video about what I have to do on a day to day basis to keep alive soon to bring in the reality of the condition (not because I want pity just to raise awareness - I am actually very thankful as its made me, me!!!) especially as on social media even though I am real, there's a lot that isn't seen which I will be bringing to the table more and more.

I hope others can relate with CF or other things you may have going on - life isn't exciting the whole time. To bring it back to the truth as to why I am never going to give up is this. Sitting wired up to machines unsure of my future is what set my determination and strong will on fire, that teeth gritting moment to try harder and to change my life around. It is also when my bucket list was created because I did not want my life to look like this - I had a choice and a chance to make that change and by that I mean I did not want what was in front of me, endless amounts of needles, tablets, bronchoscopies, hospitals etc. I am well and look the picture of health but that's the problem, things are not always the way they seem and you may never know when I am unwell. There are words I will never ever forget because they are the fuel to my fire, proving him wrong and defying science was, and is my mission.  I keep these close to remind myself to not stop or give up as even I have those times of having enough of battling on then I realise there is living to be done. As I lay there terrified like a rabbit in headlights with my parents with hope that I would receive good news, a consultant who I wont name came and spoke words I am not sure how anyone who take let alone a 19 year old girl. ‘Sophie, we are doing our best but I think you need to start accepting you are on that slippery slope that eventually all patients with Cystic Fibrosis reach. You are not superwoman you can't fight this forever. It gets the better of everyone’. By that he meant, declining health and eventually ending on the transplant list praying for a donor.

At that moment I made a decision, the moment I was feeling rock bottom to dig deeper and to turn my life around by retraining as as Personal Trainer, educating myself on health and fitness and it was the best decision I have ever made - I absolutely love being in this industry as I am constantly educating myself and I am fitter, happier, healthier and stronger. Since then, I made it my mission to keep challenging and pushing myself (knowing my limits but always exceeding in order to stay well). The human body is extraordinary with what it does for us, we can learn a lot by being in tune with it and with that I try my best to nourish it.

Don’t get me wrong, its not all been rosy. I have had other periods of time where I again hit my lowest with health and personal circumstances but you can either let it defy you or use the situation as a positive. Me, I am naturally a positive person and want to live life, therefore, every cloud has a silver lining. 

Another example, I am known for making big decisions and take risks to do life changing things off the back of harder times, the last time; I booked and summited Mount Kilimanjaro in October 2015 even though the odds of me making it were very low (with only 1 other person with CF reaching the ever because of the altitude!!). But I wasn't ever going to leave Africa until I did and I even did a few burpees up there. You are stronger than you realise. It's your mind you have to convince. 

You always have a choice; either to keep going or to give up. Now, I am not sure about you but giving up would feel pretty rubbish so, that leaves one option. Yes, life is tough, it can be unfair but remember just because you aren't where you want to be now doesn't mean you won't be soon. Have courage to pursue what you truly want, regardless of the opinion of others. Never judge as you have no idea really what everyone else is going through.  This is your life. There is also another thing to think about. That is this; if you don't get what you want, it wasn't meant for you anyway and this is because there is greater out there for you. Set you goals so high you have to grow as a person to achieve them and only ever look back to see how far you have come.

So what do I do when I have those moments of uncertainty:

  1. I do something that I love, something therapeutic for that instant feel good factor.
  2. Set a mini goal to get to that big goal.
  3. Probably have a spoonful of Nutella or PNB.
  4. See my friends or people who inspire me, give me a spring in my step - surrounding yourself with the right people is essential - get rid of any negativity.
  5. Write a list (I do love a list) of things I am thankful or lucky to have.
  6. Remember WHY I am on this journey, that's important.

Last words of wisdom:

If you fail, NEVER GIVE UP. Fail means First Attempt in Learning. End is not the end. Effort Never Dies. If you get NO as an answer remember it means Next Opportunity.  Good things come to those who believe and who are patient while working hard and never giving up.

Sophie x x

Confidence


“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

So, lets talk about confidence. Before we get into the nitty gritty of it all. What is Self-Confidence? For me it refers to the assuredness in your own worth, ability and power no matter what situation you find yourself in.  A confident person has a strong sense of belief and certainty in themselves as well as being calm, composed and self aware.

Also consider self esteem. To me having positive self-esteem means, in essence, that you like and accept yourself. If you have low self-esteem you may think you aren't 'good enough', that people don't like you or that you need to change yourself. Feeling like this can affect the way you live your life and can hinder you from reaching your full potential.

But, don't be fooled, even a confident person (which I see myself to be, although used to be as shy as a mouse and wouldn't talk to anyone, now you can’t shut me up and I enjoy public speaking. Crazy huh!?) can also have those moments of lacking or uncertainty, even me I am just very good and putting on a front. Do you know why? We are HUMAN.. thats the beauty of it, perfectly imperfect so take a deep breath and be aware of that even if you don't see them we all have a wobble and take knocks and know it is ok to have them too. Those knocks only push you to get back up and grow as a person and in confidence so always see the positive. They happen for a reason. I never used to be confident even if I appeared to be (deep down I am a big softy who loves to make others feel good and happy, my friends and family would tell you that but this side doesn't always show), honestly, but I have actively worked on this and its so worth dedicating the time to it!

Also, just because for example I didn't feel as confident yesterday, no way does it mean that today I wont be back to my usual self. It happens a lot for one reason or another. For example; if I am having one of those silly ‘girl’ days I like to call them where a cuddle and some dark chocolate with peanut butter surrounded by your favourite people wouldn't go a miss (my best friend knows all, Nicky, if you read this you are wonder woman, my voice of reason and a one in a million best friend amongst some of my other best friends!) and then there are other where you feel like you could take on the world - always remember how you feel on those days and the days you feel less so its an important learning curve.

Its funny, as I sit here and think about all the times I feel less confident because perhaps the projects i have on aren't moving forward fast enough or I have had to change path on something, I feel so far away from a goal, even an opinion from some else making me feel not worthy, almost useless and incompetent (never ever allow others to make you feel that I have learnt to tackle that one and remember they only shoot you down because they aren't truly happy or confident in themselves or they could be jealous!) or sometimes there is no real reason, my natural response is the peanut butter jar or nutella to make me initially feel better (as you know I am obsessed) and then because theres nothing worse than feeling rubbish, that goes straight back in the cupboard and its time to take action.. we all hate that the feeling of being unproductive and like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.

“With realization of one’s own potential & self confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” ~Dalai Lama

So what do I do when I feel less confident?

  1. Train.

    Put your headphones in and go and hit that session with everything you have with one thing in mind … You are stronger than you think, never give up and lift that bar and go chase a PB. You ALWAYS feel better after a workout because of all the endorphins that are released. I always feel it refocuses my mind and refreshes everything and allows me to see a new perspective. Going to the gym isn't all about aesthetics its about transforming YOU mentally, making you feel good from the inside out, making you feel strong, sexy (yes who doesn't want that and with that feel confident naked!) I said it but you know its right up there. IF you feel better on the inside it shows no the outside… increasing confidence - aesthetics are a bonus from eating well and training smart.

    When you feel confident about your body you are more likely to feel confident in other aspects of your life, this goes in hand with nutrition.
     
  2. Eat well.

    Good nutritious food not only makes you feel good, it also gives you brain power to chase those dreams. Eating well doesn't have to be boring. Take time to learn how to cook your favourite foods, this in itself makes you feel good and actually its totally satisfying.

    Lets look at this in a bit more detail. The idea that food can affect our mood and behaviour isn't new and research shows fascinating links between what we eat and mental health. When it comes to confidence and self-esteem, considering your diet and making any necessary changes can help to reduce anxiety, boost your mood and in turn help you feel better about yourself and more confident.

    So, how you ask? It's all about getting the right balance of nutrients from foods which can help our mood and the way we feel. For example eating carbohydrate-rich foods make the brain receive more serotonin - a hormone that makes you feel positive, relaxed and confident. Too many foods or drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine however can cause mood fluctuations, which can leave you feeling lethargic, irritable and anxious.

    I feel I could write forever on this so… maybe I will do a blog post separately or we will be here for ever. You get my gist.
     
  3. Water!!

    Sounds silly? Anyone else feel lethargic and rubbish when they are slightly dehydrated. Even just 1% of dehydration can lower concentration and energy so get that water in - you will miles better inside and the results show on the outside through your skin, hair and nails as well as your energy levels.. feel good = more confident!
     
  4. Take time to learn who you are!!

    Strengths, weaknesses the lot. Note them down, and work on them. Realise your true potential and accept your flaws. We all have them and thats what makes us unique so embrace them.

    It might help to list five things you do well that you enjoy and five things you’d like to do well. Make an effort to utilise some of the first list and work on some of the second every day. As you use your strengths and improve where there’s room to grow, you’ll develop both confidence and fulfillment simultaneously.
     
  5. Trust your capabilities.

    You know that saying ‘always say yes, learn how to do it later’? You are capable of mind blowing things if you apply yourself and if you don't try or push yourself out of comfort zones how do you know.. you may have have a secret talent hidden away and it would be sad not to discover it. I always tell people you can do anything when you put your mind to it - trust me. Ive done things I never thought I could do but I achieved by going for it and saying yes to opportunities. Never stand still always keep moving, experience and live life to the fullest. Grow up with stories to tell.
     
  6. Take risks.

    I am a risk taker, I scare the life out of Mamma Holmes at times as she has no idea what I am going to come out with next, especially if I say.. ‘SO, I found a new challenge’ or ‘I have seen this and I am going to do it’ without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that I achieve it, even if its not the exact way I planned, I will get there.  I get the eye rolling emoji look from her (although she is the best mum on this planet and I would never change that, she truly is one in a million - I am so lucky, she will support even my crazy ideas and not moan about taking over an entire cupboard full of PNB - true story that) but the way I see it is, you don't know until you try and if you want it enough you will succeed and this will give you confidence in yourself. Best things I have ever done is take risks in work, relationships, challenges, adventures or opportunities and you will always regret the chances you didn't take. To build the life I have now I took the biggest risk of my life at 20, it was the best thing I could have done 5 years ago and I plan to continue in this fashion in all areas - you succeed or you learn. I will always succeed.
     
  7. Face the fear.

    Embrace the unknown. Similar to risk taking, always do the things you don't want to because out of that you not only gain valuable experience and knowledge you will also overcome some hurdles and this in itself will help with your confidence to know you can deal with whatever life throws at you. Remember also, life only gives you as much as you can handle in one go.. even through those times you feel life is unfair, try see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your positive pants on and keep focussing. With bad times, good is always around the corner.. without the lows you don't appreciate the highs. No risk is a waste of time. If it didn't work, that path isn't for you and you will be led down a much better one.
     
  8. Next, something I admit I am awful at, receiving praise or compliments.

    Every time i have that awkward smile followed by a ‘Thank You’ to be polite but it is important to learn how to accept them in take them on board. it’s amazing how easy it is to believe all the negative things people say and yet discredit the positive… Taking a compliment is an art. Sometimes, it’s instinctive to assume they’re just being nice or that maybe you aren’t really skilled—you just got lucky. Occasionally, this may be true, but for the most part you earn the praise you receive. Don’t talk yourself out of believing it. Instead, recycle it into confidence. You did a fantastic job on your project at work; that means you can do it again. You had an amazing performance; that means you can trust you’re talented. Other people want you to succeed. Now you just have to believe them when they show you you’re worthy.
     
  9. Practise makes progress.

    Practise your confidence with friends, family and those you meet. Replace those feelings of uncertainty and know what you are saying and thinking are true to you. One of my favourite quotes here is ‘believe in yourself so strongly that everyone else has no choice but to believe in you to’. Key example, when I was 19 i was very unwell, hospitalised and unsure of what was ahead even the doctors did not fill me with confidence (bare in mind when I was 15 I was told I wouldn't make 30, I am now 25 and I am determined I will be here until i am at least 87) I made a promise to myself. For as long as I have the control, I am going to make sure I am never going to be in this position again. Guess what, I haven't been - I realise each story is different when it comes to illness but this is mine. That day, I sat, focused my mind and made two lists, one my bucket list (blog post on this soon) two, what I want to achieve and who aspire to be - although this is always changing as I always want to better myself when I reach a milestone. I believed so much I could achieve whats on that paper that I went out and grabbed my goals with two hands a ran and never looked back because I made sure i told myself all the time I could achieve anything I put my mind to. My proudest moment to date is summited Mount Kilimanjaro last year as this was the biggest thing in my list. There were plenty of doubters or those who thought I was crazy (even doctors) but i wasn't leaving until I had done a couple of burpees on the top. Video evidence on my instagram. But what I am saying here is practise and believe in YOURSELF.

    “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”
    Thomas Carlyle


    Above all, remember you are capable and worthy—just as much as anyone else, regardless of what you’ve achieved, regardless of what mistakes you’ve made or what has happened in the past to knock you down. Knowing that intellectually is the first step to believing it in your heart. Believing it is the key to living it. And living it is the key to reaching your potential.

I do love a quote as you can tell from this post so I am going to leave you with this last one. One that I always remind myself of and one my best friend also now lives by and recently had tattooed on my foot (an by request from a few blog post coming on all my tattoos soon)

‘An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means its going to launch you into something great. so just focus and keep aiming’

 

Sophie xx