Getting Active Again

So I am now “one of those people”I have started Couch to 5K ( a 9 week running programme) This won’t sound that remarkable to most people. A lot of people have exercise integrated into their lives, but it has taken me a long time to get back into it.

Spoiler: this post does not contain any before and after pictures, neither does it contain any inspirational quotes.

Why have I bothered?

I used to run when I was at School – always long distance. People thought I was mad for liking cross country but it was something I could do relatively well; running for my district and my county sometimes. But I didn’t keep the exercise up while I was at uni which was an error. I forgot the positive feeling of running and when I discovered my body wasn’t as healthy as I thought it was  in my early twenties I had kind of resigned myself, rather sadly, to never putting my trainers on again. I did yoga and the like but I didn’t really see myself as the regular gym going type.

I envied my friends who seemed to always be out on their bikes, or doing marathons and other amazing things, tracking their exercise and living by their fitbits but was never compelled to try and follow suit – seeing this level of activity as unattainable now my body decided it wanted to act as though I was an old lady. To this day, whenever I find my body struggling to do basic things I refer to it as being my old lady body or OLB for short.

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Healthy body, healthy mind?

In addition to my physical health, the prospect of going to the gym, running in public and the associated little/no make up look that often goes with it was also daunting for my mental health as well! I did try the gym for a while pre-instagram boom and anxiety had me in a state where I was convinced as soon as I left the gym people were laughing at me for even trying. I told myself that if I couldn’t do a ‘reasonable’ stint at the gym (what does that even mean?) It wasn’t worth going at all.

But here I am, almost on week 3 of ‘couch to 5K’. Going to the gym every other day, I have even having managed going running in public more than once. Week 1 I felt constantly shattered,  asking myself when I would feel like #thisgirlcan  and “I don’t sweat, I glow”. I wondered where the boundless energy associated with being healthy, could be located. But I have pushed through and I now think that doing something is better than doing nothing.

We live amidst an instagram frenzy with almost everyone on there and tons of lifestyle and fitness posts. I already notice a difference in gym goers. The guys are more muscly and the girls are leaner-more power to them but that is kind of intimidating as I kill myself on a treadmill.

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I get the impression that there is increasing pressure on young people to look good or to be living life in a certain way. I used to think the pressure was mainly on women but now I can see guys are expected to look a certain way as well. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who aspires to look like the instagram posts we see and is battling inner demons like the ones I have described above. I’m surprised at myself and am apprehensive that I will hit a wall sometime soon, but I’m no longer making excuses.

This post isn’t meant as a brag, I’m just happy my body is currently letting me get out of bed and more. I’m feeling a tad more positive and as though I now earn any time I choose to sit on the couch and do very little.

My next step is to make sure I couple this exercise with some decent, healthy food before/after the gym. Any tips on that would be gratefully received; @eemaalou 

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So it’s been a while, I have some news

Last time I wrote a post here I had been to an interview and had been feeling very frantic. Since then I had another interview I may blog about later (I was approached via social media which some people don’t believe can happen) but first; I HAVE SOME NEWS

I have been made permanent in my position at work

After having worked here for nearly 3 years my contract has gone from fixed term to permanent. I am seriously happy. This doesn’t mean I will stay here forever and I will continue to pursue opportunities for roles I am interested in BUT it does give me some stability. For the first time since graduating 4 years ago I feel I have something sorted. I have earned this.

The latest job search actually had me feeling more stressed and anxious than usual and I think that was clear from my last post. I’d like to thank all my friends who have listened and picked me up during this tricky period.

I have yet to decide whether to keep this page up. I had started it as a means of fine tuning my skills, then to try and help students learn more about certain job titles . I also try and share the great posts I enjoy reading a lot of which are written by friends of mine. Now I find myself increasingly tempted to blog about the things I am passionate about. Which may or may not be good for my online professional profile, I have definitely shared a lot with you. But there have been work related posts too!  However I will admit I got a little bit hippy-dippy around new years. I guess what I am saying is, it’s hard to see where to go from here…

SO HELP ME OUT PLEASE, INTERNET 🙂 

If any of you feel inclined to write a comment below telling me the kind of posts you’ve read on here and found interesting/useful or which kind you think I should keep writing that would be great.  hint… click the links above if you’re not so familiar.

How can you say no to that face?

 

 

Why I think everyone should work in Retail/Customer Service at least once in their lives

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Inspired by this photo, I thought I would write a little blog about why I think that people should work in retail, or a difficult customer service job at least once in their life. I think that a lot of British consumers take a lot of granted and although I loved meeting new customers and making people happy everyday I was faced with some people who came in to speak to staff like s**t knowing they could pick a fight and not get any aggro back. Although this is a soul crushing part of the job it is in fact what shapes you as a person and young professional.

To go over some of my experiences;

I have been shouted at, sworn at, spat at, insulted, had things thrown at me and told I am stupid and that’s why I should stay working in a shop, I have cleaned up puke and wee. Been told that they feel sorry for “people like me” (whatever that meant).

I have worked with customers who are old , young, disabled, drunk, high – and more. I have met the challenges head on and yeah, there have definitely been some tears but I have come out on top (or feel as though I have).

In many industries resources are tight and more and more employees are having to hit the ground running, train on the job and have to battle through each day feeling pulled in all directions. But here’s why I think everyone should have to work in retail/customer service at least for a while on their road to success, whether they want to be a head honcho of a company or someone behind the scenes doing the little things that make it all tick over.

1. The people (staff and customers); Yes you come across some absolute idiots anywhere you work but the team you work with will always pull through and back one another up. Some of the best people I have met have been my retail colleagues and even if we don’t always still keep in touch I have big respect for them! They may not be wiping bums or cleaning toilets (OK so some of them have come close to bum wiping and have cleaned toilets) but they have big hearts as well as drive and determination.

2. Retail can make you or break you; it tests your limits and makes you see that what you thought was impossible is actually possible. There will be days where you have a cheeky sob in the stock room but there is always tomorrow.

3. It makes you ambitious even if you hate it; it lets you realise what you do and do not want in a job. It can help you see that the only way is up and out.

4. Some customers are just down right rude! If they had to be in your shoes, on your feet all day selling things you have little or no interest in they probably wouldn’t last as long. I often thought that if each nasty customer had to deal with what I dealt with, they would never treat a member of staff badly again. It promotes humility and respect for your fellow human.

5. People push their luck in customer service situations so you learn their trick and know how you can weedle your own way. It helps you become more confident if you aren’t happy with the service someone is giving you (“What do you mean it won’t be delivered today?! I paid for next day delivery! I expect to be compensated!”) This is not to say having worked in customer service gives you the right to be nasty to staff in return. NOT COOL!

6. It sorts the men from the boys (or the girls from the ladies), you can have someone who thinks they are the bees knees in school – straight A’s! But it helps you see that not all intelligence is about grades! It shows you the value of common sense.

I suppose points 4 and 5 are the ones I feel most passionate about. I think retail/customer service really cuts people down to size. And although I know what I am writing here won’t illuminate the idiots of the world who just want to go and upset someone I still think people should take it on board. Everyone has bad days, the difference between us is the way we deal with it. And there is never an excuse for taking stuff out on staff be that in a shop, restaurant, airplane – whatever!

Please tell me if I’m wrong, as always I’d love to know your comments