chronic illness · Fitness · Uncategorized

Going To The Gym With Chronic Pain.

At the end of March I started getting serious about my fitness journey. It was something I’d talked about probably for the last 6 months. I just hadn’t got round to doing it. Honestly I think it was fear that put me off. The fear of hurting myself and ending up adding to my existing pain.

That hasn’t been the case though and I’ve enjoyed every gym session. Even the ones where I’ve felt like shite and dragging myself to a workout has been the last thing I wanna do. Don’t get me wrong it’s not been easy, but investing in a personal trainer and a gym membership has definitely been a worthwhile investment.

I’m still very early into my training programme and have been sharing my journey so far across social media, mainly for myself, as a way of holding myself accountable and keeping a visual diary of any progress.

Mentioning the decision to get fit online was really fucking scary. I’d be a liar if I said all the feedback has been positive but judging by my inbox several people have been ‘inspired’. (I’m no inspiration believe me) I hope this post helps in some way based on my experience so far.

Getting started on your fitness journey first of all requires some brutal honesty with yourself, mainly are you really ready? Whilst there’s no doubt that exercise can be helpful at any point in your chronic pain journey, jumping in full force only a few weeks after diagnosis sounds like it could only end badly. My personal belief is that you need to have already grieved for your past life and accepted your condition and limitations BEFORE making the decision to ‘get fit’.

This leads to my next point about being somewhat stable. Working out requires being able to tell the difference between what is your ‘normal’ pain that you can push past, (I hate the term normal but can’t think of another way to word this) acute pain that means something’s wrong / you need to stop and finally the good pain associated with a good training session. Yeah I know, believe it or not there is a ‘good’ type of pain, who’d of thought?

You need to be able to commit. Ready to commit. This whole journey has been outrageously frustrating at times. There’s been tears more times than I’d like to admit. There’s been a lot of laughs too though. You can’t just give up at the first hurdle. Unfortunately you’ve just gotta accept it’s gonna be hard at times.

Be open minded and flexible. Originally my goal was to just be able to get out of bed, show up and survive a training session. Now we’re coming into October and my goal has changed. Not every day or session is gonna be easy. Life gets in the way, health gets in the way. Accept that this is a journey and sometimes there’s going to be bumps in the road.

Take things one day at a time and try not to get discouraged. That’s my plan anyway.

You can follow and keep up with my journey on Instagram.

Charlotte

xxx

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Primark, Palettes & Apps – April Favourites

I missed doing a March favourites due to technology fails. April is one of my favourite months of the year though, and I couldn’t wait to share some of the things I’ve been loving.

Primark

Primark has been killing it lately and I’m sure every Disney fan has been loving it. The Disney collaboration has no doubt been something I’ve been fan girling over. I’m a massive fan of Beauty and the Beast after all. The Rose makeup brush I’ve included a pic of is just beautiful. The slip on sneakers are of course right up my streetIt’s the children’s clothing though that I’ve been really impressed with. I don’t have my own kids but I’m an auntie who absolutely loves to spoil my nieces and nephews. They just have the cutest collection to choose from. All great quality and for the price you can really go on a bit of a spree. Also great when you consider how fast kids grow.

Palettes

The Sweet Peach palette by too faced has become a staple in my collection, which honestly I’m surprised by, considering I wasn’t totally sold on buying it in the first place.

In general I prefer fairly natural looks but I’ve been trying to be more adventurous with my makeup lately. The colours in this palette have allowed me to, I guess take baby steps towards more out there and creative looks. The pigmentation is great and the smell, just like most too faced palettes is amazing.

I’m no beauty guru so I find makeup is hard for me to review. Sorry.

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are something I’ve read about many times in the chronic pain community. Hailed as an all natural, all rounder product with more benefits than I can name. It’s been something I’ve been meaning to try for a while but never got round to.

Well over the last month I finally gave them a go. Admittedly I only tried possibly the cheapest, most generic tub I could get, (£1.50 from Tesco if you’re interested) but It’s turned out to be love at first sight. Relaxing in a nice hot bath of them, has really made a difference to some of the muscular tightness and pain I struggle with. Especially after gym workouts.

Even when my facial pain has flared, a pain I can’t soak in the bath. I found them to help me relax more than other bath soaks, it seemed to also help reduce some of the general puffiness I’ve been experiencing. Plus my skin felt stupidly soft afterwards.

I’d be interested in testing out some more expensive brands.

Sweatcoin

So in some sort of attempt to encourage myself to walk outside more, I downloaded the sweatcoin app upon recommendation of a relative.

In absolute basic terms it pays you for walking outside. You can then get free products, use what you earn towards gift vouchers and even save up for larger things like phones, TVs etc.

Here’s a snapshot of my earnings over the last 2 weeks. Believe me I hardly walk anywhere.

Click here to download.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about a few of my favourites. I’d be interested to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve tried Epsom salts and be sure to tweet me and let me know how you get on if you choose to download sweatcoin.

Twitter

Instagram

Love Charlotte

xxx

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27 Things

In case you didn’t know (I mean why would you?) I celebrated my 27th birthday this week. Yay!!

In honour of reaching this glorious milestone, because honestly there’s been plenty of times I thought I wouldn’t.

Let me jump straight into this totally unoriginal idea of a blog post.

27 Things I’ve Learnt in 27 Years

  • You can’t rely on other people to determine your happiness, that’s up to you and you only.
  • Nothing is more important than your health.
  • Not just your physical health, your mental health is pretty damn important too.
  • Life is about balance, you can’t work yourself into the ground, you probably shouldn’t party yourself into the ground either.
  • You can’t do everything at once.
  • It’s ok to make mistakes, everyone does.
  • It’s important to learn from your mistakes. Was it really even a mistake if you learnt from it and did it better next time?
  • Life gets tough at times and unfortunately there’s not a lot you can do about it. Everyone goes through tough times. Hang in there.
  • Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom in order to work yourself up.
  • You need to stop comparing yourself to others.
  • Life’s not a competition, we’re all in a different race.
  • Buy the right size clothing. No matter what size you are, you’ll look a hell of a lot better when your clothing fits.
  • Accept you can’t make everyone like you.
  • Save money, when you can.
  • Remember to treat yourself. You only live once after all.
  • Challenge yourself in life. Whether it’s doing something that scares you. Something that you won’t find easy. It could be anything. Imagine how accomplished you’ll feel afterwards.
  • It’s never too late for education and you’re never too old to learn.
  • Exercise!!
  • Know your self worth.
  • You need to love and respect yourself before you can expect others too.
  • Be kind to others.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to think for yourself. At the end of the day you’re the one who has to live with your decision.
  • Accept help and advice. Especially from professionals and loved ones.
  • Don’t have regrets.
  • Accept you can’t change the past.
  • Be present. There are times it’s great to just be there. Living in the moment, The there and now, not focusing on a phone / screen of some sort.
  • I’m absolutely positive a lot of these points won’t be new to a lot of you. To me though, they’re truly some of the most important lessons I’ve learnt over the last 27 years.

Hope you enjoyed this post and feel free to hit me up and let me know something important you’ve learnt in life.Love Charlotte xxxIncluded a few pics from Birthday celebrations. Follow me on Instagram for more 🙂

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We’re grown ups now (possibly)

When we were kids we couldn’t wait to grow up, leave school and start our lives. Only now as a fully fledged adult (in the eyes of the government and law) I can’t help but think my childhood went by far to quick.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to the days where who you were gonna play with at break time, or sit next to in math we’re the biggest problems in life. Bills and taxes weren’t in our vocabulary and relationships started with a note featuring a tick box option then ended with another note less than a week later.

Whilst in terms of fundamental life skills I was prepared for being an adult. There’s a bunch of stuff you can’t be or just weren’t prepared for, well at least in my case. (I can’t be the only one right?)

Let me share a few of them in this post

Heartbreak- Ok whilst a lot of people feel heartbreak for the first time as an adolescent. It’s not something you’re ever prepared for, both then and as an adult.

Chronic Illness- Either being diagnosed yourself or watching a family member become ill. Everyone thinks it’ll never happen to them. Unfortunately it has to happen to someone.

Taxes- Whilst we grow up knowing the basics, nothing prepares you for looking at your very first payslip where the government automatically takes 20%. Yep if you work a 5 day week, essentially you’re working at least 1 of those days for money you’ll never see. Oh and the more you earn the more they take.

Banking / Finance In General- Absolute basics that I certainly never learnt from school. Credit cards, loans, APR, PPI (wtf???). How do I manage debt? Adultings hard.

Bills- Whilst I knew about bills and had a rough idea of what bills were involved with living independently. I speak to so many people my own age who genuinely didn’t know utilities such as water weren’t free.

The Loss Of A Parent- The natural order of things suggests that at some point we’re all going to witness and grieve the loss of a parent. It’s something you can never be prepared for.

Relationships / Partnerships- As an adult relationships can be a little more complicated than dating your childhood sweetheart. Throw in a jealous ex, 2 kids each with previous partners and some emotional issues. It’s not easy. When do you fight for someone? When do you let go? What’s an abusive relationship?

Yeah life can be difficult at times, but adulthood is just something we have to navigate. Through the twists and turns, ups and downs we keep on moving forward. Let’s face it we can’t go backwards.

I’ve just realised this post doesn’t seem overly positive. Don’t forget all the awesome parts of being an adult. Alcohol, sex, independence.

Thanks for reading guys. I’d really appreciate if you gave the blog a follow. I’ve got something exciting coming up oh and I’VE ACTUALLY GOT POSTS SCHEDULED!!! YAY!!!

Adulting, what’s something you weren’t prepared for?

Let me know.

Love Charlotte

xxx

My laptop unfortunately gave up on life. The WordPress app then decided it wasn’t having it either on both my iPad and phone, which kinda sucked. It’s taken until now to find a way to upload anything. I hate that it’s been almost a month since I last posted.
Personal · Uncategorized

How Tattoos Increased My Confidence

Grab a cuppa, get comfy, because this is something I’ve wanted to share for a little while. Whilst the topic is primarily about tattoos, it’s not aimed at just those with tattoos.

Getting asked about my tattoos is a regular occurrence, both when live streaming and in real life. They’ve always been a great ice breaker when meeting and talking to new people, plus on the whole, generally people are very complimentary.

Of course, on the flip side there’s always a few negative comments / judgemental toned questions too.

“Why did you ruin your skin like that?”

“What do your parents think?”

“Tattoos aren’t very feminine, they definitely look better on males”

“Do they actually mean anything?”

“I’m sure you were so pretty before you did that”

Don’t even get me started on those people who think they’re entitled to just grab or touch your arm / leg (insert body part here) etc, in order to admire / judge your artwork. *Serious eye roll / face palm.*

The reasons people get tattoos are as varied as tattoos themselves. Some have a deep meaning or sentimental reasons for getting some ink done, others simply think a certain design is aesthetically pleasing. In this post I thought I’d share a long story short version of the meaning behind my own artwork.

I don’t really remember developing a love for ink. It just kinda happened. Whilst I’d had the odd piercing growing up, the moment I got my first tattoo I knew it wouldn’t be my last.

Growing up I struggled majorly with my mental health. I spent the majority of my teen years in and out of hospital desperately trying to gain some control over my eating disorder and self harming behaviour. Eventually at the age of 17 I was detained under the mental health act and forced to undertake intense treatment. It was only as I was deep in to recovery that I truly began to comprehend the damage I was doing / had done to myself. I’d essentially cut myself to shreds. The scars a constant reminder of the past.

I think I got the idea watching an episode of Miami Ink, or something similar. A young woman who’d also struggled with self harm was having a sleeve tattooed in order to cover up the scars. Through getting inked she was turning a really painful part of her life into something beautiful… I knew that was what I wanted too.

So at 18 I got my first tattoo and the rest as they say is history. Whilst I don’t have a sleeve, I’ve got a fair few individual pieces that take up some space. If you’re up close you can still see the scars underneath but very few people get that up close and personal.

Each individual piece has some sort of meaning. Whether it’s in memory of a friend or family member, a favourite quote or just something that means something to me.

I personally feel like my ink has increased my confidence. They’re a part of me and at this point I couldn’t imagine not having them.

So when people say I’ve ruined my skin or how I must have been so pretty before I got them done. The temptation to slap them is real because I know damn well my skin was ruined beforehand.

I don’t feel the need to explain my tattoo story to everyone who grabs my arm and starts to ask questions or make comments. It’s totally ok to not even have a story and just have ink because you think it looks nice. No judgement here.

Oh and how about we all just stop randomly grabbing each other’s arms / legs. It’s not ok. You wouldn’t do it to someone without tattoos, so don’t do it to those of us inked up awesome people. Just ask nicely if you’d like to have a closer look at their artwork. Generally being polite / basic manners go a long way. Please. Thankyou.

Whether you have tattoos or not I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

It’d mean a lot if you followed the blog and maybe checked out my social media.

Instagram

Twitter

Twitter for Health / Chronic Illness Chat

Facebook

Live.me

Love Charlotte

xxx



Life isn’t about finding yourself . Life is about creating yourself.
Uncategorized

Pills, Apps & Adidas – February Faves

There’s been a few things I’ve been loving in the month of February. Let’s just jump straight in.

Instagram Stories

Late to the game as always (plus I used to be a hardcore snapchat fan) I’ve recently fallen in love with the Instagram stories feature. In fact in case you haven’t noticed, what I tend to do is take the actual pic on Snapchat and then upload it to IG, add the stickers, location, etc.

Recently I haven’t done anything particularly Insta worthy. However the stories feature allows me to regularly update my audience with slightly more ‘real’ snapshots. The stuff I wouldn’t necessarily want permanently on my feed.

Check it all out at www.instagram.com/charlottedebs

Pill Mate

Having recently had an overhaul of my medication regime. I’ve been finding it rather difficult to keep track of what to take and when. Not only that but sometimes I take my tablets only to then forget wether I’ve taken them or not, and then take them again.

I recently bought a handy organiser by the brand pill mate, from Superdrug, for around £13. A whole week of clearly labelled compartments, with easy to access sliding windows and a flip open cover to keep everything sealed and safe.

Money well spent.

Here’s a link to one on Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shantys-Pillmate-maxi-multi-dose/dp/B006EHY50O

*Not Sponsored or an Affiliate link, I just love the product

Pandora Jewellery

Hey I’m basic. I own way too much pandora Jewellery as it is. Did I own the rose gold bracelet though? No. Well now I do. Plus some beautiful new charms too.It’s gonna sit pretty on my wrist next to the other two bracelets I own. Every charm a memory, occasion or sentiment. I’m not sorry in the slightest.AdidasMy January faves contained a super comfortable Jack Wills hoodie and this month I’m including a super girly and fun Adidas one.Ok, so technically it arrived in March thanks to the snow. I bought it in February though so it still counts right? It’s definitely more of a statement piece. Printed and pretty pastel for spring. It’s also on the thinner side so definitely one for when the weather warms up a little. I haven’t managed to get a decent pic of myself in it yet, sorry you’ll have to make do with a stock image.Pancakes & ValentinesIt’s was a month of food and love, that even myself as a single Pringle managed to find joy in. My Grandad turned out to be the only valentine I needed (also the only person sweet enough to give me a card). Plus who doesn’t love pancake day? Pancakes are awesome. Especially smothered in Nutella and strawberries. Of course the presentation might need work. It tasted amazing though. Weight watchers what? Where? Who?What did you love in the month of love?Let me knowCharlotte xxx

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The Rise Of Social Media

Social media is something that was basically non existent ten years ago. Ok so some sites were in their earliest stages, but it all seemed a world away from the Snapchat, Insta, Twitter checking on the hour, every hour existence of today.

You can’t deny the positive effects. People have found long lost family members. It closes the gap in long distance relationships, friendships etc. Social media in a way, opens up a whole new world, especially to those of us who have become trapped in situations that limit how we experience the world around us, eg, illnesses, responsibilities, financial restrictions.

As a blogger / avid social media lover, the effect of social media platforms, has essentially changed my life. It’s provided my life with a purpose, reduced the feelings of loneliness and isolation and increased my confidence greatly. There’s now very little that can be said to upset me (thanks trolls). Camera shy? Not me 😉

Check my Instagram

www.instagram.com/charlottedebs

However/but (there’s always a but) I can’t help thinking it’s not all good, well at least from my own experience and point of view. If I’m totally honest, I say my confidence has increased but only in certain situations. In, like, actual real life, I struggle. Dating, meeting new people, being social on the whole, it’s hard. Without the safety of a computer or screen, I freeze. Ten years ago that wouldn’t of been a problem. Speaking on the phone wouldn’t of been a problem either, due to the increase in texting, emails, emojis and more however, it is. I’m sure I can’t be the only person who feels it is.

I truely don’t know what the solution is. In this day and age I really don’t think throwing out the smartphones is the answer. Maybe instead of texting we could make the odd phone call. I don’t know.

Let me know your thoughts and follow the blog to keep up with upcoming content. I’ve actually got posts scheduled (shock horror 😲 lol).

Love Charlotte xxx

I’m aware my grammar is terrible. I guess that’s what happens when you drop out of school early. Sorry. I really do write as I speak. Some people love it, some hate it. Don’t let it put you off though. I promise you’ll get used to it.