I promised I’d update you as a follow-on from this post, that I wrote in February. In it, I shared what I’m doing in order to look and feel my best for our wedding in August.
I didn’t mention fitness in the previous post because I don’t do any “formal” exercise. By formal, I mean that I don’t have gym membership, do classes or follow a programme. However, I’ve been taking steps, quite literally, to increase the amount of exercise I do. I was furloughed for three months last year during the first lockdown. I set myself a target of walking 50,000 steps per week which I managed easily because I had all the time in the world.
Since I returned in June, I work three consecutive 11-hour days. On the two remaining working days, I create the content for my blog and my Optometry Today and Stepper columns. As well as that, I do all of the associated photography and videography. Ian hasn’t been working from our home office very much of late, so I do the photos and videos myself, using a tripod and remote. It takes hours. Hours and hours. The wedding plans, the domestic chores and life’s admin fill my weekends. This is a loooong-winded way of saying that I don’t have much spare time.
However, with a bit of time management and determination, I’ve been walking 5000-7000 steps per day. The walk to and from work takes just ten minutes but I’ve increased that to 15 minutes by taking a more circuitous route. As well as that, I take an additional ten to 15-minute walk during my lunch break. On the remaining four days, I make sure I get out and walk for 45 minutes to get my steps in.
I have some light ankle weights which I wear when walking and also around the house to increase the resistance and, I hope, to tone my legs. New to the agenda is some outdoor skipping and some abdominal exercises. I enjoy it, it’s satisfying, it’s “me time” and it tops up the old vitamin D levels.
Talking of vitamin D, this is one of the supplements I started around two months ago. It’s difficult to quantify the benefits, but I do feel brighter in myself, something compounded by the clocks going forward and the lighter evenings. Getting home from work in daylight makes an enormous difference for sure.
I’m still taking Omega 3 and retinol and I have introduced collagen and co-enzyme Q10 too. I knew already that collagen supplements have a lot of benefits and effects, including that on the skin, but I knew a lot less about co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). I read up about it and discovered that it is a compound made by the body and stored in cell mitochondria. Mitochondria produce energy charge and protect cells from oxidative damage and disease-causing bacteria and viruses. CoQ10 is present in every cell of the body. However, the highest concentrations are found in organs with the greatest energy demands, such as the heart, kidneys, lungs and liver. It occurs naturally in fatty fish such as trout and sardines, and broccoli, spinach, oranges, strawberries, lentils and peanuts as well as some meats. I eat a lot of these foods but decided to try some supplementary capsules.
It’s important to feel comfortable during any type of exercise and the My Protein hoodies and leggings that I’m wearing in these images are a dream to wear. The hoodies are thick and cosy and they wash beautifully.
The leggings are very well-made. They don’t bag or sag at the knees or bottom and they’re long enough. I’m 5 feet 9 tall so a lot of leggings look like they’re cropped.
I have no need for proper running shoes because I hate running. These rainbow-striped trainers are cushioned and supportive so are perfect for walking and for light exercise.
I bought a silk pillowcase after reading a lot of positive press about them. I’ve had it for two months now and I absolutely love it. It stays cooler for longer than cotton and it has eliminated the crinkles I used to see on one side of my face first thing after sleeping on my side. Whether or not I sleep better is debatable- there’s a lot going on right now and it’s hard to switch off, but it feels divine so I’ve treated Ian to one too.
Skincare and Makeup
I’ve extolled the virtues of Ark Skincare on several occasions. I use several products regularly but the Advanced Action Lip-Plumping Cream is my favourite. They invited me to take part in a paid partnership because they know that I’m a genuine fan, so these images are part of that.
The photo on the left shows my lips (slightly dry) and fine lines (especially the horizontal one above my top lip) before the lip cream is applied. The middle photo shows the immediate plumping and smoothing effect. These photographs were taken within five minutes of each other. The photograph on the right shows the results after using the cream every night for three months. It has made a noticeable difference to that horizontal wrinkle. I’m really pleased. (Do take a look at my Instagram Reel which shows the product in use). (And don’t I look strange when I smile without showing my teeth!)
Still on the subject of lips, I want a new lipstick to wear on our wedding day. I don’t want a nude as such, but something between peach and blush. I want to look like I’m wearing lipstick but I don’t want it to overpower. Obviously, there has been no opportunity to try any out. I can’t imagine testers will ever be a thing again. So, I looked at what seemed like hundreds online and ordered this one from Nars. I love it but I don’t know if it is perhaps too pink and not quite peachy enough. Anyway, I shall have a shopping trip sometime soon and at least I will get a better idea of the colour than browsing online allows.
Please do let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations.
Disclosure: This isn’t a sponsored post.
Gifted items are marked as such and affiliate links are marked with an *.
Tonal graphic print hoodies: My Protein, (gift)
Green leggings: My Protein, (gift)
Blue-grey leggings: My Protein, (gift)
Skipping rope: My Protein, (gift)
Yoga mat: My Protein, (gift)
Collagen supplements: My Protein, (gift)
Co-enzyme Q10 supplements: My Protein, (gift)
Rainbow trainers: Switch by Hotter, (gift).
Silk Pillowcase: Slip.
Advanced Action Lip Plumping Cream*, Ark Skincare, (part of a paid collaboration).
Lipstick*: Niagara by Nars.