What’s In My Gym Bag?

Rather than actually go to the gym and do a workout, I’ve decided to write a very self indulgent blog about just what my gym bag holds – cause everyone is dying to know what’s in my smelly backpack, aren’t they?

So, if you’re at all arsed, here’s what I actually do make it out of bed and to the treadmill.

http://dentonstation.co.uk/extraordinary-meeting-2/ The Bag gym-bag_burned

Yep, it’s a 99p special from Home & Bargain that looks just like the one’s you’d have at school. I’m not trying to be quriky; I was skint and desperately needed a replacement for my threadbare adidas tote. Although, I’m going to feel ridiculously smug when these are in Urban Outfitters selling for about twenty quid. I don’t need a big bag as my gym is literally 5 minutes away from my flat so i get showered at home and risk bumping into all my crushes and enemies on the walk home; sweating and glowing. Ming, aren’t I?

The Cigarettes


Look, life is all about balance. I look to my main girl Gwyneth Paltrow in times like this. She allows herself one ciggie per week and so will I. The woman is in her forties and looks about 27 so I will treat Goop newsletters like the Holy Bible. When I’m already lightheaded from taking it too far on the rower while hungover and sweating out the previous night’s ale intake, I like to add to my buzz by getting some niccy rush on my way home.

(Dead by 30 I suspect)

http://seaprof.com/courses/calendar/action~month/page_offset~3/time_limit~1448553600/request_format~html/ The Water Bottle 

I’ve lost count of the amount of fancy water bottles I’ve lost over the years; leaving them in the holder on the cross trainer or accidentally binning them on the walk back thinking it’s a disposable one (I was very light headed after spinning). My current bottle is a freebie from when I was at a Channel 4 Talent Day last year and it does the job. It also makes it look like I perhaps work for a national TV company when in reality I haven’t even got a job that can afford me a decent TV and instead watch 4OD on my laptop.

The Gym Gear

I’ve been a loyal adidas girl since the Christmas I broke my mother’s heart by only asking for trackies and trainers and confirming that my tomboy phase was sticking around for a while. However, without my mum paying for my sportswear these days, I’ve become more of a broke loyal adidas girl these days. Over the years I’ve found myself relying on gym wear from Matalan and Primark rather than exclusively donning the three stripes.

Here’s the thing though, if you’re a bit self conscious* on the treadmill at the best of times, the last thing you need to add to that is feeling like an imposter amongst all the gym regulars and worrying that your cheap running leggings are revealing your Primark neon thong to everyone else working out.

*how I describe my crippling anxiety and paranoia about my appearance. 

During the summer I splashed out on some Sunday Best leggings from Kate Hudson’s Fabletics website. Yep, that Kate Hudson – the actress and sometimes drinking pal of Tony Blair* has gone and created a line of activewear and you know what? Fair enough, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of her and not wanted to swap bodies with her – even when she was pregnant. She’s certainly a good advert for her business.

*still don’t understand this one but it’s 2016, anything goes it seems.

There’s a twist with Fabletics – it’s like Netflix for exercise junkies. You can become a VIP member, pay a monthly fee and reap the rewards and find yourself with a wardrobe stocked with quirky original gym clothes. If you find yourself in trainers more than heels, this is certainly a more suitable subscription to look into than say ASOS premier. 

i need to order cytotec without a prescription The Trainers Women's Ride 9

I like running. I like cardio in general to be honest. I’m weird, I know. I guess I don’t feel like I’m actually burning fat unless I’m out of breath and dripping with sweat. Yes, I’m well aware that lifting weights is sometimes much better for weight loss but I’m much happier on the treadmill than I am bench pressing. Actually, my ideal location is running along the Albert Dock late at night; terrifying everyone that I’m going to trip and fall in the Mersey (or jump if I’m particularly hungover).

I’ve mentioned my trainers, Ride 9 Running shoes from Saucony , in previous blogs and I’m still loving them, months on. I never thought that what you wore on your feet made that much of a difference to be honest; I wasn’t exactly jogging in a pair of Converse but I hadn’t upgraded my trainees for a good couple of years before I was gifted these. A few runs in these babies and I realised how naive i’d been. Towards the end of a run, my feet are almost as fresh as when i first tied the laces – fewer blisters, better support, comfort and, most important of all, they look cute too.

The Supplements 


When I made the decision to adopt a ridiculously annoying diet (Dairy Free Pescatarian Except For Now & Again At Barburrito or When Really Really Drunk) I got a lot of lectures about taking vitamins and supplements blah blah blah.

I’ve obviously stocked my cabinet up with all the usual suspects but also, some Pure-Col Collagen capsules that are perfect for regular gym goers and those looking to improve their skin and keep signs of ageing at bay. Collagen tablets are very much the new thing to know about I’ve been told.

Bonus – they’re vegan friendly so perfect for my pretentious lifestyle.

The Snacks 


Speaking of my diet, I of course carry some snacks on me at all times and huge tumblr points to me for getting on board with Chika’s vegan-friendly and GMO and gluten-free products. My personal favourite is the Sea Salt & Black Pepper Cashews.

They have a really cute back story and are currently running ‘Snack for Change’ which aims to increase child education across the world via people purchasing their products. Helping via eating delicious treats is my kind of charity work.

The Padlockpadlocl_burned

And finally, I don’t want all my valuables* getting robbed so I lock ’em all up with my boring old padlock – jazzed up with a keyring from my mate’s amazing online boutique.


See also: The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Exercise

10 Things You Only Understand If You Have A Personal Trainer

What’s the best thing about having a personal trainer? You’re thinking it’s the results you see after getting dedicated, tailored one on one sessions with a fitness professional, aren’t you? WRONG. It’s getting to feel all fancy saying that you have a personal trainer.

I still can’t quite believe I fork out for a PT; I’ll be voting Tory next if I carry on with this kind of behaviour.*

Jodie, my trainer, is absolutely amazing and has helped me go from looking like a right butterball to a healthier, happier version of me.

Here for The Metro is 10 Things You Only Know If You Have a Personal Trainer.

I feel sick & anxious letting anyone see that hideous* picture of me on the left so hence why I'm posting this at 4am on a Saturday & will most likely delete it in a few hours. Obviously it's a really bad angle and I don't think I ever did look quite *that* bad but I had let myself go. Anyway, the difference between these two pictures is roughly a year and I'm so happy I made positive changes. I was in a horrible place when the before picture was taken & had stopped going to the gym and eating healthy, for various reasons. I'm only 5'1 so even a couple of extra pounds on me looks a lot. Training with @jodiemartinpt once a week has got me completely back on track and I'm almost the same size I was before I piled on all the weight. It's not just the weight loss that the sessions have helped me with; I'm also learning to love and like my body more, getting physically fitter and stronger and taking more of a care in my appearance generally. Self care innit. 💪🏽 PS * I know that you shouldn't lose weight & hate your "fat" former self and it's dead unhealthy to be associate your happiness & self worth with your dress size – I'm working on it. #beforeandafter #weightloss #personaltrainer #personaltraining #girlswholift #fitfam #fitnessmotivation #gym #healthy #instafit #weights #transformation #weightloss #bodytransformation #fitnesstransformation #fitness #workout #health #gains

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*It hurt me to even just type that as a joke. 

See also: Protein World & the ‘Strong is the New Skinny’ Culture 

The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Exercise #NationalFitnessDay

As it’s National Fitness Day, I thought I’d share my tips and tricks on how to quit being a Full Time Lazy Cow and actually do some exercise now and again. Now, I’m not exactly an expert (I did once eat a burrito while walking on the treadmill after all) but I have learnt a few #LifeHacks over the past couple of years that can help you get your arse into gear.

Here’s the 10 Step Lazy Girl’s Guide to Exercise:

1. Join a gym 

Yep, step one is literally ‘join a gym’. The first hurdle most people fall at is convincing themselves they’ll save a bit of money and exercise at home. We all know any workout in your house results in lying on the sofa in your gym kit, eating biscuits instead of doing burpees. You might tell yourself you’ll use The Body Coach’s YouTube channel rather than fork out for a fancy gym membership but come on, can you actually listen to his voice for longer than 10 minutes without wanting to saw your ears off with a rusty knife? Really?

Me 'exercising' at home

Me ‘exercising’ at home

Nope, the only thing for it is to see that twenty quid leave your bank account every month to remind yourself that you should be at the gym, getting your money’s worth. Don’t fight it, just get it over with and join.

2. Spend all your cash on gym accessories 

Make exercise and fitness your new obsession and spend all your cash on it. Get yourself fancy leggings, ridiculously complicated water bottles that you don’t really know how to work, expensive heart rate monitors you’ll never use – go all out. Once you’ve spent all your money on workout accessories, you’ll have no cash left to do anything else but exercise. Goodbye social life, hello gym.

In all seriousness though, a little investment in your workout kit can make all the difference. When I first started back at the gym, I had threadbare shorts and an old t shirt that should have been resigned to being slept in and nothing else. I felt self conscious as it was and not looking the part didn’t help. You don’t need to break the bank to get kitted out – most of my gym wardrobe is from Matalan and whatever the adidas shop has put in the sale.

One thing I would suggest investing in is some decent trainers. I was lucky enough to be sent some Ride 9 Running shoes from Saucony and oh my, they have really changed the game for me. I never thought that what you wore on your feet made that much of a difference to be honest; I wasn’t exactly jogging in a pair of Converse but I hadn’t upgraded my trainees for a good couple of years. A few runs in these babies and I realised how naive i’d been. Towards the end of my run, my feet are almost as fresh as when i first tied the laces – fewer blisters, better support, comfort and, most important of all, they look cute too.

Women's Ride 9

Women’s Ride 9 Running Trainers

3. Lash a ‘Before’ picture up on Facebook

You’re going to feel a right divvy if you don’t lash up an ‘After’ picture in a few weeks showing some progress – give yourself the fear. If you’re not trying to get into exercise for weight loss reasons, maybe you’re wanting to improve your fitness levels, use a print screen of the times of one of your runs or something similar.

4. Sign up for something you’re defo not capable of doing 

Back towards the end of 2013, I successfully managed to do a decent run on the treadmill every other day for about two weeks. So naturally, I signed up to do a half marathon happening a few months later seeing as I thought I was the new Paula Radcliffe. At the time of setting up my JustGiving page I hadn’t even so much as run a 10k so God knows why i thought I was ready for 13.5 miles. But it worked. Had I not committed to such a big event my running phase would have been over within weeks. I managed to get through Christmas still fitting in a few jogs, or at least feeling guilty when I didn’t do any form of exercise for a few days, and in March 2014 I actually did the Liverpool Half Marathon without doing a Jade Goody and needing an ambulance at any point during the run.

Phoebe Running


That being said, the day after I ate loads of burgers and pints and pledge to have a few cheat days and rest but it accidentally turned into a year of eating crap and lying in bed rather than getting back to the gym. Oh well.

5. Think about the likes 

“Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” – Wrong Kate Moss. Wrong. Nothing feels as good as all those notifications blowing your phone up after you post your latest picture deadlifting your biggest weight yet.

6. Move in with a PT

I really hit the jackpot when my new flatmate turned out to be a personal trainer; nothing is more motivating to get up and do some exercise when you’re living with someone who smashing a 10k before you’ve even woke up and been knocked sick by the smell of your morning breath. Of course, this isn’t the option for everyone but you can surround yourself with like minded people who’ll keep you motivated. If none of your friends are keen to go all #FitFam with you, take part in classes at your gym or join a club that will introduce you to others on the exercise graft too.

7. Have a goal 

It might be an appearance related goal, like getting back into those jeans that have been gathering dust at the back of your wardrobe for years. Perhaps it a fitness target you’d like to achieve – making it up a flight of stairs without being covered in sweat is always a good one. Whatever it is, have something in mind to spur you to spend the miserable winter nights you’d rather be in bed watching TV spent down the gym instead.

8. Do it bit by bit 

I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. I’m forever pledging to cut out meat, dairy, ciggies and alcohol all at once and it lasts about 4 days before i’m guzzling prosecco, shoving pizza down my gob and chain smoking all my money away.

Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Start with promising yourself you’ll hit the gym at least one day a week and see where you go from there.

9. Get a personal trainer

Read all about why I love my PT in this piece I did for The Metro.

10. Find something you enjoy 

Personally, I like the gym – it works for me. However, loads of people despise it and that’s cool – find another way to exercise. Go climbing, walking, try pole dancing – take up Zumba classes if you’re still stuck in 2013. There’s always something out there that can help you improve your fitness and release those endorphins.

But most importantly, don’t sweat it. Exercise and fitness isn’t the be all and all. I exercise for my mental health and because I feel better when I do. You don’t need to become obsessed with eating clean (Urgh, horrible saying) and your life resolving around exercise. Just swapping one night at the bar for a different kind of bar in the gym is more than enough!

See also: Katie Hopkins: A Weighty Issue