Goodbye 2018

Last sweat session of the year

All glammed up

How beautiful is this girl?!

At Portsea Hotel

2018 definitely ended in an amazing way. Em and I took the car down the Peninsula to celebrate it at Portsea Hotel. We were lucky enough to stay with a family friend of her’s in Rye. It was such a lovely little escape for over New Year’s.

The day started with a workout by the hill where we do hill sprints on Sundays with the Crossfit crew (I usually opt for the track but do try to go once in a while for the challenge). It was a sweaty session and it just felt great to get a workout in before the New Years festivities begun.

We got to Rye with a couple of hours to go before the party and took the opportunity to sit in the sun for a bit. It was hot!! When we had enough we went inside to get ready. It was nice to for once take the time to get properly ready and dressed up. I usually do it in like 20 min or so but this time we spent over an hour curling our hair and doing our make up whilst having some drinks. Fun to be a bit girly for once! Rarely ever happens.

New Years at Portsea Hotel was really good. Plenty of drinks and met a fun bunch to hang out with who were also down from Melbourne for New Years. The view from the terrace over the ocean was stunning! Around midnight Em and I decided to go to see the crew from the gym who were also down in the same area. I had missed them so it was good to see them.

Just before two we were back at the house smashing some food because we were starving and then headed to sleep. A pretty fun start to the year.

What I learnt in 2018

For the first time in ages I got dressed up, did my make up and curled my hair. Starting 2019 in style!

Hello my dears! Happy new year! I hope you had a fantastic start to it. I was down the Peninsula with my lovely Em celebrating it at Portsea Hotel. It was a great time and I’ll be writing a post about it soon. It’s been a little while since my last post and I thought with 2018 coming to an end it was time to turn back to the blog and reflect back on these extremely eventful twelve months. A life changing twelve months. At the beginning of this year if someone would have told me I would be sitting in this flat here in Elsternwick in Melbourne in AUSTRALIA writing this post, I’m not sure I would’ve believed them. Things can really change in a short space of time. One move can change your course for life. This year didn’t come off to the best start but if it’s one thing I truly did this year is find myself again. As I mentioned before, I was pretty broken when I came to Australia. I was emotionally drained and this place has healed me and reminded me of the person I am and want to be. I feel the happiest I’ve been for a while.

So without further ado, here are a couple of things I’ve learnt in 2018 and will be taking with me into 2019:

1. Go with the flow

I have always been a planner. I plan everything, I suppose to have as much control over situations as I can. I’m not quite sure why but I enjoy planning. Since moving to Australia I have noticed this mindset shift. It must be something in the water or the air air here because I’ve never felt so chilled in my life. I’ve definitely have become more of a go with the flow person and let things just happen rather than plan for everything. I do still plan a bit (can’t entirely let go of my old ways) but it’s nice to just let things be as well and let them unfold naturally.

2. Friends are everywhere

A big learning this year is you can find great people everywhere. When I moved over to Melbourne from Glasgow I didn’t have any friends here at all. The last time I had to start from scratch like this was when I moved to Glasgow but then I was going to uni and you naturally will find friends there through your halls and course. To find friends in the adult world is a different story. I keep on thinking how lucky I am to have a passion like training Crossfit and how you naturally find friends there who have similar interests and vibes as you. I have no idea how I otherwise would’ve made friends. I can’t imagine my life without these people now. I even live with one of them, Mim (I don’t think I’d survive without her). This was also proven to me once again when I went to Sydney last week and met my friends Christian and Sam. We clicked immediately. It was a bit nervy travelling alone but I think if you go in with a positive mindset and are happy to talk to people you’ll always find your tribe.

3. You can’t save people

Wow, this was a tough one this year. Leaving a relationship because of the other half fighting a battle you can’t help them with anymore. I had gotten to a point where this battle was taking a massive toll on me, more than I realised when I was in it. I tried everything in my power to help but in the end I had to accept the fact that it was not meant to be fixed by me. I couldn’t fix it as much as I tried and hoped I somehow could. It wasn’t my fault, even though I sometimes blamed myself thinking I could do more, be more supportive. I do think you can be a support and help people but what I realised is that you can only go so far, the rest is up to them. I was stubborn and didn’t want to give up but eventually came to the realisation that I had given it everything I got, I was losing myself and it was time to let go.

4. I love this planet

This year I’ve taken a giant leap when it come to my lifestyle and diet. I’ve worked so hard to minimise my waste in ways that I can control. I’ve also pretty much now taken the leap and become fully vegan or plant based. It’s what I identify more with now than anything else. At the beginning of the year I was still eating eggs and even fish/seafood once in a while. What I’ve come to the conclusion is that I love this planet we’re on and in order for it to continue existing eating plant based is the way to go. I also don’t want to hurt animals because of what I eat. I’m feeling great and do not think my plant-based diet is limiting in anyway. I feel like I look the best I’ve done as well in terms of physique too which is always a nice bonus. To look back at old photos from the beginning of this year to where I am not is pretty eye opening. It just shows that you grow muscle and train hard being fuelled by plants.

Living in Melbourne has helped considerably with this, having vegan options everywhere readily available I never feel like I miss out. The discovery of tofu scramble allowed be to say goodbye to eggs and as time has gone by I no longer miss fish or seafood that much. I’m still of the opinion that if I really want to eat something I will, I’m not going to label limit me but for now I’m very happy living this way and doing my bit for the planet. It’s a great feeling, you feel empowered every day knowing you’ve saved the planet a little bit for the environment and the animals. One thing I will say is I don’t see myself ever eating meat again, you never know, things may change but yes that door is closed for the foreseeable future.

5. Drinking

This is a point I didn’t really saw coming. You guys know last year I only drank like four drinks the entire year and since coming to Australia I can put my hands up and say that it’s been more drinks than I can count on my two hands. It’s been fun being single and going out once in a while with my friends. We have had some amazing nights. My main reasoning for not drinking before was because of my training but to be honest I’ve never felt fitter or stronger than I do now and I really don’t feel like it’s affected it at all. I still wouldn’t go out days in a row but every now and again it’s a good time! Still not a fan of the hangover the next day but I guess it forces me to take a day off the gym too haha.

6. I love tofu and tempeh

As a lot of people are, I was very sceptical towards soy products up until this year. I was convinced it was not the best for my health and stayed clear of it as much as I could. Well, I can say that’s changed. After doing a lot of reading about it I’m no all on board and I’ve become a bit obsessed, especially with tempeh. I have tempeh almost every day and tofu is pretty great too. Both tempeh and tofu are so easy to chuck in a pan and quickly cook up on when I come home starving from training. Definitely a game changer.

7. I can make it on my own

I was in a relationship for almost six years. Six years with another person by my side, through the good times and the bad I always had him there to support me. We grew up together, chased our dreams together, found our passions together. I was convinced for a while we were meant to be together forever. I have learned that things change and that’s okay. I believe it happens for a reason. I was scared for us to end. I wasn’t sure what my life would be without him. He was my life. However, I made it to Australia all on my own and have since built an entire life here without his support. All from having nothing here. I’ve gone through hardships without having him by my side, which I always relied on and I made it through. I knew I would deep inside but I think this year I was reminded that I can do it myself, with a bit of help from my friends and family. I’m a strong independent woman šŸ˜‰

8. Australia

I absolutely love Australia. This place is a dream come true and whatever I thought it would be, it’s even better. I never thought it could be. I feel right at home here. When I came to this place and met all the incredible people I’ve met I felt like it was a puzzle piece that had finally been put into place. Like there was a place for me waiting all this time. How everyone just kind of fit me into their lives here. All these incredible people. I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve all of them in my life but I’m going to cherish all of them forever.

9. Things will be okay

I was going through one of the most difficult times at the beginning of this year. I felt like a shell of a person. I cried several times a week and I felt like my life was on hold. I was waiting for some kind of change to happen. For something to get better. The turning point was when my parents and friends encouraged me to book my flight to Australia. They realised I needed a change, a fresh start and direction in life. Once I got here everything started to change, I got to step out of my bubble in Glasgow and got new perspective on things. No matter how difficult things seem to be, if you are willing to work for it, things will be okay. It’ll get easier.

10. Training is life

Haha okay, I suppose that’s nothing new but 2018 has been a fantastic year of training! I remember sitting down writing my fitness goals here on the blog at the beginning of the year (I’ll be writing a separate post on this soon) and I come out of 2018 improved in so many ways. I’ve had time to compete in three competitions (two individual and one partner) where I’ve placed better than I could’ve imagined. I’ve mastered new skills like toes to bar, handstand push ups, double unders and improved my upper body strength considerably. I feel the best I’ve ever felt. I’m currently working on muscle ups. I’m attempting handstand walks. Things I never thought I could even dream of. I’ve lifted heavier than I ever had and wow, my running is the best it’s ever been. I’m happy to say that whenever there’s a running workout now, I know I stand a good chance of having one of the best times. Something I NEVER thought would happen.

It’s not been easy and at time I’ve been extremely frustrated with the lack of progress through periods. I’ve injured myself like with shin splints, smashing my chest just before Battle of the Bluff and I don’t think anyone in my gym will forget when I face planted attempting handstand walks haha. It’s a constant grind and things don’t always go your way but oh man, do I love it. It really is my happy place.

11. Screw fear

Fear, the thing that can hold you back from living life to the fullest. The “what if” and being scared of the unknown. How many times haven’t we let fear stop us from doing something? I know I’ve been guilty of it. In 2018 something switched. I went to Australia despite the fact I was absolutely terrified, I had no idea what was waiting here. All on my own. I entered my first individual Crossfit comp, Rainhill Trials in Manchester. I was terrified. I entered two more comps down here in Australia even though they scared me too. I booked my first solo trip over Christmas to Bondi. I had never travelled alone before. I went on a couple of dates with guys I didn’t even know, despite I was worried it was going to be awkward.

If it’s one thing I’ve learnt through all of this is it’s okay to be scared or nervous. It’s a completely natural thing. What is not okay is to let it dictate your life. The more you break down these walls and limitations you set on yourself the less scary it gets. My solo trip to Bondi was nowhere near as scary as moving over to Australia on my own. I was nowhere near as nervous at Battle of the Bluff as I was at Rainhill. You learn from each experience and you grow more confident and stronger with each little win over the fear. When that voice of doubt comes creeping in I think, “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” and if it happens, so what? It’ll be okay and you learn from it and move on. The big reward of doing it and is that you may win so much more. If I hadn’t booked that one way ticket, I wouldn’t be here where I am now. I would’ve missed out on so much just because I was avoiding a little period of fear and discomfort.

Those are some of things I’m taking away from 2018. I feel like I’ve grown a lot this year and become so content and happy in myself. I have this inner calm and confidence I haven’t felt before. I feel like I’ve really become me again, not even again, I’ve found myself and become a new and better me. I’ve found people who appreciate me for exactly who I am and where I feel loved no matter what. I’m lucky to have them spread all over the world and thankfully I’ve got social media to turn to whenever I want to speak to them.

I walk out of 2018 as if I’ve run a long marathon and finally crossed the finish line. It’s been filled with ups and downs. Relationships ending, being single for the first time in almost 6 years and a new life beginning. New adventures on the other side of the globe. I feel like 2019 is going to be an exciting year.

Happy New Year my dears. I’m hoping it will be bring more content to this blog. I can’t promise anything still but I’ll do my very best. I want to find that spark and passion for writing again.

M xxx

Next level scrambled tofu

Who would’ve thought we live around the corner from some of the best tofu scramble I’ve ever had the privilege of eating?! I’ve been walking past Wishbone for ages and been intrigued by their menu. From the moment I read miso scrambled tofu I knew I had to pay them a visit. Their entire menu is brunchy food with Japanese vibes throughout, a pretty cool and unique idea.

After our morning fridge drama two weeks ago Mim and I were starving and needing a place nearby to eat pronto. I remembered Wishbone and suggested us to go and boy were we glad we went. That tofu scramble hit the spot. We added avocado to it because you always need avocado in your life. Whilst waiting for our food to arrive I had a lovely matcha latte and Mim had a coffee. It makes me happy every time when I see matcha lattes on menus but not all places get them right. Some don’t mix the powder properly, others add sweetener (god I HATE when they do that without saying, it tastes awful) and other times it’s too bitter. Wishbone’s was good!

When the food came out Mim and I couldn’t wait to dig in. It looked and smelled incredible. It tasted even better, didn’t think that would be possible. It’s up there as one of the best scrambled tofus I’ve had. I just loved the Japanese flavours. So different and so right. It’s making me hungry even writing about it now. If you’re ever in my hood Elsternwick (which you should be because it’s amazing), go check Wishbone out!

Speaking of food, I’m about to get ready to go to Melbourne Street Eatz in Elwood this evening with some of the gym crew. I feel like all I do is eat but living in a place like this and haing friends who also love food, it’s difficult not too. Hoping for some yuuum vegan options! It’s a bit of a hit or miss when it’s not a vegan food festival but I’ve had a look at what’s going to be there and I think there’ll be some good options!

Have a lovely evening,

M xxx

This feeds my soul

I had to take a photo in front of this shed, painted in one of my favouriteĀ colours!

The tour guide

Talking Tastebuds by Venetia Falconer back in the UK is one of my favourite podcasts. If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to it, you’ve been missing out all this time because it is amazing. It is about food and it’s role in our lives and influence over our wellbeing. Venetia is an incredible lady and you should really go and follow her on every single social media platform out there. She’s a strong advocate of sustainability in every single sense of the word, from promoting a vegan diet to reducing waste in our every day lives and more recently she’s been using her platforms to promote sustainable fashion. A lady using her social media influence to really do some good in the world, I love her for it. Thank goodness there are people like her on this planet who care but also have the power to influence others to care.

Wow I went off on a bit of a tangent there! Back to my point, in Venetia’s Talking Tastebuds she has set questions she asks everyone who’s a guest on her show. In the most recent series, series three, there was a new addition to these questions which was “What feeds your soul?”. I love this question and yesterday I had a moment when I felt that this right here feeds mine.

It was a pretty normal day, the class in the gym had been a killer! As usual we started off with a strength piece, which on this day was two front squats every minute for 10 minutes. EMOMs (every minute on the minute) are one of my favourite things to do in the gym and I managed to do it with 140lbs which is just over my bodyweight. The last three rep max I tested was 143lbs, so I was really happy that I could do 20 reps at 140! To finish off we had two cardio pieces, they looked pretty alright on the board, however, one thing you learn from Crossfit is that the simplest looking pieces are the ones who floor you. This is exactly what happened.

First we went on the bike for five rounds trying to hold a 72 rpm for as long as possible every two minutes. After that I felt like I was going to throw up. Then after a bit of rest we were on the rowers, 1 min on and 1 min off trying to accumulate as many metres as possible for five rounds. I rolled off the rower after we had finished. All my energy was gone. We were all lying on the ground, contemplating why we do this to ourselves! Usually we do extra work after the class but I don’t think anyone did, no one moved for a good half an hour from their spot.

As I was leaving the gym chatting to PC I thought it was too nice of an evening to just go home so I suggested we should swing by the beach for a cool down walk. He liked the idea and decided to drive us to a beach he’s been talking about for a while called Gnotuck Beach, in Aspendale, which is further down the coast.

We got there and straight away I was blown away. Shoes were taken straight off. The sand was almost snowy white and so soft as I let my feet sink into it as I stepped out onto the beach. How good is that feeling of silky smooth sand between your toes? The water was turquoise and gradually went darker the further from the beach you looked. The sun was slowly setting on the horizon with the clouds looking like beautifully fluffy cotton candy, shifting colours into soft pinks as the the sun was gradually disappearing. We could’ve done without the wind but even with it, you couldn’t complain at all. It was breathtaking and I probably took a million photos because every second the lighting and colours changed slightly and I wanted to capture it all. However, photos just never do justice to sunsets in my opinion. I tried my best.

With a little protein shake to tie me over to dinner (any form of fuel was welcomed after that workout, I felt dead) and the beautiful scenery, I felt myself slowly coming back to life. My energy came back and I just wanted to skip, jump and run out of nowhere. I dipped my legs in the ocean and skipped in the sand. PC must’ve thought I’d gone a bit crazy but I just felt this spark and love for life in that moment, being on that beach and I thought, this is what feeds my soul. Being on the beach, by the sea with a friend talking about life. It’s in those moments you feel like you don’t really have any worries and you’re there in the moment taking it all in. This was especially needed as I the evening before had been feeling a bit down about mum, for some reason I was missing her a bit extra.

As we were walking there I was saying to PC that one of my goals when I worked at lululemon, which I wrote down for our vision and goals you have to do as en employee was to live in a house like the ones facing the beach we were walking on and waking up to that view every day. What more could you need? You could roll out of bed onto the beach every morning. It may feel out of reach at the moment but so did Australia for a long time and I somehow managed to figure that one out! One can always dream.

M xxx