Walking my way out

In my first year of university I hated, as in despised speaking out loud in lectures and seminars. Compared to the other people on my course, I felt like I had nothing valuable to add to debates and discussions, so I let that lie get to my head and it stopped me from speaking out when I sometimes did have ideas, whether or not they were relevant or useful. These lies followed me into other aspects of university such as my social life and fitness aspects. I didn’t feel like I belonged in certain places for reasons that were really irrational and didn’t actually exist.

I’ve walked into this year feeling more confident, more determined and more willing to shut those lies up and walk on out of my mindset of overthinking everything I do. And it’s working. I’m not afraid to speak out in seminar discussions, I’ve joined the gym despite fearing judgement from more experienced gym goers, I’ve been feeling so comfortable when out at social events with friends (the ones covid allows). The thing that keeps repeating in my head every single day is this; “you deserve to be there just as much as anybody else” and for me, that pretty much changed everything.

Every single day I’m become more self-aware, more confident and I’m on my way to becoming a better version of myself. Don’t let fear or comparison to others stop you from doing anything. I know it’s daunting and sometimes impossible to always think positively about yourself, believe me, I struggle too, but the moment you start believing for yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to, you will do it.

And don’t worry if you don’t always have it together. If you had a peak into my life you’d see that 85% of the time I haven’t got a clue about what I’m doing – and I quite like being organised. We’re all winging it, we’re all finding our way out of the things that once held us back and we’re all on our way to a better tomorrow. Set your goals and smash them!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

A New Found Fitness?!?!

During university, I put on a load of weight. Beforehand I wasn’t necessarily a gym fanatic but I certainly did a lot more than I did once I begun my new chapter at uni. It got to the point that I hate looking at the group pictures I took on my 19th birthday. My diet changed, obviously cooking for myself and only myself I naturally ate more and without having anyone to stop me I ordered a lot more takeaways.

This affected me a lot because I have always been an active person. I danced for many years both at school and at an academy. From the age of 8 until about 14, I participated in both football and athletics competing at a borough level on school teams. I took GCSE PE in year 9 and completed it in year 10 so that was two years of intense gym and various training in various sports. Even after that was over I continued dancing until year 13. I was always quite healthy and I never really had body confidence issues regarding my weight.

After seeing the pictures on my birthday I was absolutely horrified but still didn’t feel motivated enough to anything about it. I wasn’t incredibly or overtly massive but because of how fit and active I was used to being, it was hard to look at myself and not be happy with what I saw. I spent weeks being upset about it, comparing myself to all the beautiful people around me and even shutting off opportunities of talking to people and going to social events at university because it begun to affect me mentally. One day, before I came home I decided it was time to change and I started working out in my room a couple times a week.

Coming home from university has been a blessing in disguise. I’ve established a workout routine using videos from YouTube and go on runs (only once a day maximum and maintaining social distancing) on some days. Check out Rebecca Louise’s fitness videos btw! I’m eating healthier, drinking lots of water and I’m beginning to feel stronger and a lot happier mentally.

Some people want to gain weight, and some want to lose it. Some people are bigger than me and are happy and some are smaller than me and are happy. What’s important is that you’re healthy and that you are confident in your body and how you look and more importantly how you feel. It’s a journey for me. I love working out now. I love the sensation in my muscles the next day. I love seeing the progress! You’re all beautiful the way you are but sometimes a few lifestyle changes can have you feeling that little bit more amazing!

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Redefining Feminism

As you may know, I study English Literature. One of the modules on my course involve looking at different readings of Literature. One of them is Feminism. What does Feminism mean to you?

There have been mutilple waves of Feminism and we are currently in the fourth wave; the present. what Feminism meant in the 19th and 20th century has drastically evolved and has become redefined. Everyone has a different views and opinions regarding the topic. Some are positive, inspiring and thought crippling. Others…. are not.

Feminism from the start has been about equality. Giving women equal opportunities to men. It’s not about hating or putting men down, men are awesome too! I love being a women in the 21st century. I am confident that I can do everything that I set to achieve. I believe that I am as strong, as intelligent and as capable as my male counterparts. However, in some aspects of life women are still made to feel inferior.

Feminism to me means freedom of choice. If I want to go out to work 5 days a week when I am married with kids I will do that. If I want to stay and look after my home and children 5 days a week, guess what, I will! I feel that some people defining themselves as feminists can make other women feel like less becuase they choose a maybe more “traditional” role in life. Likewise for stay-at-home dads. Is this a gender issue or an employment issue?

This is toxic and defeats the whole point of allowing women (and men) to think and act for themselves. My mother is the strongest woman that I know and I am so blessed to have been raised by her. She spent her years working until she had my 3 siblings and I. She took years off work until we were old enough to look after ourselves after school and even when she went back to work she was still there for us after school! Many modern “feminists” may have seen my mothers decision as going against the fight and sneered and judged her for it, but it was her choice. And I’m glad she made it herself.

I can only talk about my own experiences. Not everyone has another adult figure in the household with a stable income and so have to go to work. Some work from home. Some go out to work and look after their kids. Some hire a babysitter so they can work a stable job. Some people don’t have kids. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, all that matters is everyone is valued for what they do and not looked down on for making the choice that suits their own lifestyle.

Perhaps feminism nowadays should be about equality amongst women’s choices as well as equality in comparison to men. No one is less or greater than the next. Let’s live to collaborate and not to divide.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Change of Plan

I’m so glad that I enjoy writing on the spot. Today took an unexpected turn. I planned a blog to write on “Redefining Feminism”, I scheduled it to be written, finalised and publish by 10pm tonight and as you’ve probably noticed – it hasn’t happened.

My day just went differently, and although I could be writing something engaging and meaningful about how there have been multiple waves of feminism which have all been a refinement on the last, I am instead writing about why that hasn’t happened. I planned to be home by a certain time tonight, I had a list of things to do and suddenly me and my housemates for next year get a call from the landlord of the most ideal student property for our second year. Of course we rushed at the opportunity, put an offer for the house and sorted out our finances surrounded it. That was the first thing.

Secondly and lastly actually, I realised I had something to prepare for one of my seminars tomorrow morning. I realised halfway through that I’ve missed the point completely and had to start all over again! I can be so clumsy sometimes but I’m also incredibly particular when it comes to being thorough and correct in my work.

This blog means a lot to me, and although few at the moment, I love my readers too. I can’t promise to always be on time or to have things completely together despite my constant and endless creations of list. This blog is my life, my real life, the good and the not so good. I will always update you on my Instagram but I will be always posting something on the days I’ve planned! I can’t promise to always have it together, plans sometimes change.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

The Art of Pursuit

First things first, I am incredibly sorry for the extremely late post. I was meant to post yesterday but life took over – you know how it is.

What I want to talk about today is pursuit, the beauty of it, the art of it. Throughout my life I have pursued so many things. People, business ideas and new experiences. Some of them succeeded, some didn’t – but that’s because I gave up. The beauty of pursuit is that it never has to stop. There’s always more to learn, more to find, more to build.

Whether it’s a new business venture, a new career or a new friendship/relationship, the trick is to never stop pursuing, never stop striving and never stop growing.

Love Always,

Shadz xo