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fitness, Food, Home, Lifestyle

Relax and unwind with David lloyd, not just a gym…

david lloyd collage photos relax and unwind with david lloyd

Relax and unwind with David Lloyd Clubs

I regularly go to the gym, workout and then leave. Sometimes I stop off for a quick coffee or breakfast, but often overlooking the other great facilities that are available to me. I go to the gym to get into shape and then go about my day to day activities. Recently I’ve had a stressful time in my personal life. It can really take its toll on your mental health so I’ve needed to learn to relax more and find some ‘me time’. I’ve looked for ways to help me to de-stress and I now feel like I’m finally learning to relax and unwind with David Lloyd.

Over the past few weeks I’ve made sure to book into some of the more relaxing classes like Pilates and Body Balance. I always walk out of a class feeling so good, feeling like I am benefiting both my mind and body. Recently I’ve been using the David Lloyd club as a spa experience. I’ve met up with friends, relaxed by the pool, treated myself to a jacuzzi, followed by a steam or sauna session. I have enjoyed eating some delicious lunches, relaxing in the quiet room with a book and catching up with friends on a comfy sofa in the lounge over a coffee (or wine!). When the weather gets warmer I’m really looking forward to making the most of the outdoor pool and relaxing on a sun lounger outside, dreaming of warmer climates!

A collage of images at David LLoyd, swimming pool, a flatbread, gym equipment and studio

A collage of images at David LLoyd, outdoor swimming pool, lounge, coffee cup

Fun for kids

David Lloyd has been great for my daughter too, I’ve been able to get some much needed ‘me time’ whilst Eden is busy having fun. David Lloyd offer a mix of sports and games clubs, dancing, football, along with creative art and craft classes. She has an amazing time in one of the many classes or meeting new friends playing in the soft play area. It’s allowed me to just sit quietly with a coffee and catch up on life! Sometimes we forget about our mental well being and how important it is to look after ourselves both physically and mentally. I always train hard and try to eat well (in between the afternoon teas)! I now know to spend a little bit more time focusing on me and relaxing more too! It has really helped me get back on track these past few weeks. I’ve continued with my usual classes in the gym and incorporated some relaxing using the other facilities.

My local David Lloyd Club hosts lots of brilliant social activities too, whether it’s a theatre coach trip to the Westend or a Casino night in house. The kids are not forgotten either… there were Chocolate making parties at Easter, a fabulous panto at Christmas and lots of great things on for kids throughout the year! Once a month they even have a children’s entertainer come down to party with the kids with no extra to pay! The kids absolutely love it, especially Eden, she is a party animal!

David lloyd, eden swimming, kids club with a balloon hat and a view of the soft play area

Check out David Lloyd’s website or pop into your local club to see what activities or offers they have available! You would be surprised David Lloyd is not just a gym but also a great social experience too and perfect for kids. See why we love being members at our local David lloyd here.

Thank you for reading ‘relax and unwind with David lloyd, not just a gym’.

david lloyd collage, gym equipment and people smiling

Written in collaboration with David Lloyd, all views and comments are my own.

Family Life, fitness, Home, Lifestyle

New Year’s Resolution, how to succeed!

New Year, New You!

I think most of us are guilty of setting a New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier, maybe lose some weight. Quite often forgotten about within just a few weeks.

After the Christmas celebrations I think most of us are wearing a few extra pounds (or stones!!!). Each year in January, I’m on a mission to lose some of that extra weight… ‘I would just like to lose this extra stone’ (sound familiar?)!

Last January I wanted to lose that extra bit of weight and set myself a super strict low carb diet, not only that I started at the gym too. After just a couple of months of such a restrictive diet I started to cheat more and more. Over the course of the past year, I never lost that extra stone but I did work hard at the gym and tried half heartedly with eating right. My downfall is that I like to eat socially… a lot! I love nothing more than an afternoon tea with my family or a huge yummy roast at the weekend!

Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a plate

My weight

My weight stayed the same over the course of the year, fluctuated by a few pounds but on the whole remained pretty level. What did happen was my body shape completely changed. I developed muscle and toned and shaped my body. With muscle weighing more than fat, there was no surprise there was no change on the scales, so I tried not to get disheartened by the scales and kept going. I actually started to like what I saw in the mirror and stopped giving myself such a hard time.

What I discovered during this time was much more important… I finally realised after all these years, it wasn’t losing that stone that would make me happy… it was about finding my confidence again. No I didn’t weigh what I did when I was 25 but I was working hard at the gym and getting happier and falling back in love with my body. The number on the scales stopped mattering and instead I took photos to see my progress. This time last year I carried more weight around my bottom, waist, upper thighs and back. This year however I weigh the same but I now have a waist, a really strong core, my bottom has lifted and I’ve shed a load of back fat… I also stopped judging myself so harshly and started concentrating on what actually makes me happy.

I’ve come to realise that no one actually cares what you weigh, it’s actually all down to how you see your self. Quite often that pressure comes from you. You have to learn to not only like but love yourself and actually the only opinion that should matter about how you look should be yours, not that of a family member or old school friend! You need to stop judging yourself so harshly and be kinder to yourself.

My feet with gym in the background and kettlebell

Fitness balls and weight bags at david lloyd gym

My New Year’s Resolution

This year I’m continuing with all my hard work at the gym, building my confidence and trying to target those areas I’m still less than happy with… for me it’s my arms. I go to a David Lloyd gym and find there are a huge range of classes which means I can be flexible with my training. I like to challenge myself and try new classes and keep things fresh. I also take my daughter and she absolutely loves going to the DL kids club there. The children’s timetable is brilliant with so much for them to do and keep them active. To read more about why we love training as a family see here.

Mental Health

Over the last year I also discovered that I need to put at lot more effort not into my physical health but also my mental health. People can be so busy with their lives that their own mental health can be way down on their list of priorities. I had a particularly stressful time last year and I neglected my own mental health. The stresses of daily life took their toll. It made me realise just how important it is to look after yourself mentally as well as physically. At the gym I now book classes that are just as great for your mind as they are your body. David Lloyd recognise this and offer so many great holistic classes. I always look forward to relaxing on a matt at the end of a Body Balance class, lying in the dimly lit studio concentrating on my breathing and forgetting about whether I’ve loaded the dishwasher or if Eden has clean uniform for the following day. I’ve really found classes like that are helping me to deal with my stress and anxiety.

 

Setting up for Pilates class with ball, matt and water bottle

Declutter

As part of my New Year’s resolution for 2018 I need to tackle my clutter! I think it’s important to break down big tasks into more manageable chunks to avoid being overwhelmed. My desk at home is almost always a mess and I constantly mean to go through and declutter my wardrobe… each time I look at them my heart sinks as it seems such a huge task. I’ve now started to take the pressure off and set myself a target of 30 mins a day. I set myself a timer and tackle a bit at a time instead of spending a whole day doing it. This gives me peace of mind, I feel like I can ‘cope’ and don’t feel so overwhelmed by it all. I really wish (and so does my husband) that I were a ‘super tidy neat freak’ and that it came more naturally to me… but sadly not!

This year… I will succeed!

So this year, I’m not setting myself an unrealistic challenge of losing a stone in a month. I’m eating healthy but if I want a cake at the weekend or ice cream at the cinema I’m going to allow myself that treat. I’m concentrating on working hard on the inside as well as the outside. I want to be strong and healthy not skinny. This year I’m going to do what makes me happy and going to the gym really does (I never ever thought I would say that!!!). I’m going to tackle my house and declutter where I need to and I’m going to make time for me! Most importantly I am going to continue making happy memories with what is most important to me… my family.

Look after yourselves… get healthy but in a safe way, make good food swaps, don’t deny yourself something you truly love, forget unrealistic goals, ditch the fad diets, try out a new class and learn to love yourself in 2018!!!

A girl smiling, me, flexing her muscle jokingly

 

Thank you for reading ‘New Year’s Resolution, how to succeed!’

 

Working in collaboration with David Lloyd Gyms. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

Family Life, Home, Lifestyle

Family Gym Time – 3 months on at David Lloyd

Family gym time

Three months ago our family set out on a new and exciting journey. We became members of our local David Lloyd club with a ‘family membership’. You can read about the start of our family gym time journey here.

Before joining the David Lloyd club, myself and my husband attended two different local gyms without any kids clubs facilities. This meant that my husband and I never trained together and all of our workouts needed to be during the week whilst Eden was at school or one of us had to look after Eden whilst the other one went to the gym. This was the complete opposite of spending family time together.

Training together

Since starting our membership, it has allowed us family gym time. We can all visit the gym together. Eden is always so excited to head off into kids club, whether it’s ‘Get active’ or a ‘Make and Create’ class. The options for kids don’t stop there. Eden regularly enjoyed Ballet, Tap and street dance classes all included within the membership. David Lloyd also runs other classes, swimming, tennis and yoga along with a monthly Friday club night with a children’s entertainer, movie nights, special event night. There are so many options to entertain the kids.

Whilst Eden was off enjoying a class meant that my husband and I were able to go off and train in the gym together. It became a regular family event, enjoying every Sunday morning at the gym together. Afterwards treating ourselves to a family brunch. It definitely brought us together as a family, spending much more time together during the week. It also meant that with so many kids classes on offer I didn’t have to cram my workout into the day but I could take Eden after school.

 

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd get make and create class

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd eden waiting for class

Classes

The classes available at David Lloyd far super cede those available at my previous gym. I really enjoyed trying lots of new classes and each week changing up my training plan. I was able to mix up my weight training with my husband, with brilliant HIIT classes, Fight Klub, Pilates, Core and Legs, Bums & Tums. I have definitely benefited from training at David Lloyd both physically and mentally, I have proof that my body is improving by using the Boditrax system. It measures not just your weight but fat, water and muscle, along with other things. After tracking my progress each month, my muscle mass is growing and fat decreasing, I’ve even manage to improve my metabolic age by 5 years!

I think it’s so important to look after ourselves both physically and mentally and by having family gym time we are setting a good example to Eden from early age. We are showing her just how important it is to keep fit, stay active, eat healthy and to look after yourself.

I believe David Lloyd clubs are not ‘just a gym’, they are so much more than that, it is a way of life.

They are so family focused, the food menu is healthy and delicious, they offer brilliant classes for all ages and abilities, and if you don’t fancy any of that you can chill and some ‘me time’ in the lounge area or have a swim and steam. We have truly enjoyed our time at David Lloyd and look forward to our time ahead.

To find out more information about your local David Lloyd, visit their website.

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd fight klub

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd Squash

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd in the gym

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd. Hubby and I

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd our family

Thank you for reading ‘keeping fit as a family – 3 months on at David Lloyd’.

Written in collaboration with David Lloyd Clubs but all opinions and views are my own.

Crafts, Days Out, Eating Out, Fashion, Food, Lifestyle, My weekly round up

My weekly round up with My Little Loves 12/08/17

weekly round up bracelets

My weekly round up

Well I have to apologise… it’s more like my two weekly round up (possibly verging on three!). Since the school holidays hit I’ve literally been on auto pilot and my feet have barely touched the floor. I’m exhausted to say the least. I’ve been juggling days out, working, the gym, volunteering, parenting, party planning and the odd bit of housework! So with all that going on I have to confess. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat for the last couple of weeks.

So it’s been jam packed so far. We’ve had my husbands family come to stay for the first week. They travelled down from Scotland hoping for some sunshine sadly, all they got was rain! We soldiered on and went on plenty of days out braving the truly rubbish British weather! We still had a fantastic time.

Week 1

During the first week we visited the Fairies and Elves festival at Audley End Miniature Railway… it was a truly magical day. A ride on the train through the woods followed by lots of fun with the fairies, you can read about it here.

weekly round up audley end fairy and elf festival

We also got some more use from our Merlin Annual Passes and visited Chessington World of Adventures. The rain meant few queues so was great news for us! Read our review on the Merlin Annual pass here.

weekly round up eden at chessington

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Barbican Centre to meet ‘Buttons’ the animatronic Cadbury Cow. We had a life drawing class with illustrator Rose Blake and stuffed our faces full of chocolate! My kind of day! It was part of Cadbury’s ‘Adopt a Cow’ campaign. You can read more about it here.

weekly round up cadbury adopt a cow Buttons

I’ve also recently been invited to try out our local David Lloyd club, so have been making the most of it. It’s been brilliant taking Eden along to the kids club classes and I’ve been able to train with my husband in the gym. It’s really taken the pressure off childcare during the school holidays. We even tried out the squash courts and I managed to hit myself with the racquet! The bruise is still going strong after a week. ha ha. Read more about it here.

weekly round up david lloyd gymweekly round up david lloyd squash courtweekly round up david lloyd selfie collage

Read

Well I’ve recently been enjoying reading a new blog ‘whinge whinge wine’. Fran has been making me laugh out loud this week and choke on my coffee. Not forgetting her amusing Facebook posts… the Ta Ta towels were quite an eyeful! I love looking out for Fran’s posts!

Watched

I am volunteer befriender for Age UK and regularly visit a wonderful elderly lady called Beryl. She is 90 years young, just celebrated her birthday this week. We have a lovely bond and natter away for hours each visit putting the world to rights. During the school holidays I’ve taken Eden with me to meet her. Initially I was nervous that Eden might get bored or play up but she has made me very proud. It was so warming to watch the two of them together. Reading books, laughing, joking, colouring in and having a cuddle on the sofa. It was simply magical. Eden told me as we left ‘she is a very nice lady isn’t she mummy’ and I tend to agree with her!

Heard

About million questions every day from my almost 5 year old. My brain needs a rest! Enough said!

Wore

Well I think this adorable outfit with matching headband from Next has to be my ‘wore’ choice this week. I just loved Eden in this outfit with lemon leggings and matching cardi. I think she look so adorable. Doug my husband passed comment that she looked like a little washer woman! What does he know?!

weekly round up eden in next dressweekly round up eden in next dress and headband

Made

Eden made me the prettiest little friendship bracelet. She also made herself a matching one too. She used up all the heart charms on my one so didn’t have enough for her own! I love it, Eden can be so thoughtful, I will treasure it forever.

We also went on a Scrapbook Safari at Hylands House, set in the Park. Unfortunately it was in the rain so wasn’t a great time to see the grounds! But after getting soaking wet outside we got to go into Hylands House. Eden got to make scrapbook pages about the trail, this weeks theme was ‘under the sea’ and we made a cardboard fish. The least waterproof type of fish!

weekly round up Our friendship bracelets
weekly round up eden at hylands house nature trailweekly round up cardboard fish and scrapbook

Ate

We returned to one of my favourite afternoon tea spots, Camelia Hotel in Southend. We were thoroughly spoilt with the warmest, freshest scones straight out of the oven! Served with a huge cup of clotted cream, just as they should be! Read more about my favourite afternoon tea spots here.

weekly round up camelia hotel afternoon tea

And lastly

We have partied hard over the last few weeks. Many of Eden’s friends are turning 5 so we’ve been busy attending all the parties. Best is yet to come though as Eden’s will be next week! I cannot believe that my little pickle will be 5! That went by in the blink of an eye!
So next week I will be busy making the cake, balloon towers, card and a Playdoh surprise egg (oh god help me!). The last one took me about 4 hours… you can see Eden open her last one here! What am I thinking doing it again, I must be mad?! I’ll blog about it and let you know!

weekly round up eden and balloons

weekly round up party table and cakes

Thank you for reading ‘My weekly round up with My Little Loves 12/08/17’

Linking up with My Little loves

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Family Life, Lifestyle

Getting some Mum Me Time with David Lloyd Clubs

Mum me time with David Lloyd

I had two main concerns when approaching the school summer holidays:
1. How will I get a ‘break’ during the school holidays?
And
2. How am I going to get to the gym regularly?

My usual gym routine consists of dropping Eden at school and heading straight to the gym for my workout. This works perfectly for me and I’ve worried about what I’m going to do during the summer holidays. My current gym doesn’t offer kids clubs that would allow me to train 4-5 times a week.

I think as a mum it’s really important to not only have family time together but actually schedule in some ‘me time’. I think I need it for my sanity. Constantly juggling working, parenting and home life takes its toll. Sometimes my brain feels like it can’t switch off so I think it’s so important to give yourself a break from it. For me, the gym is my ‘mum me time’ so it’s vital that I fit it in.

I was invited to go along to my local David Lloyd Club for some Mum Me Time so I jumped at the chance. It also meant that I got to take Eden along and take advantage of the kids club. Eden was super excited about this, going off making new friends and trying out new activities.

David Lloyd Club

On arrival at our local David Lloyd Club I was immediately impressed, such a friendly family environment. In the cafe and lounge area, there is a soft play area for kids to use along with computers and tablets. Allowing the kids to play within sight and the adults to relax. I could already imagine chilling in a comfy chair with a coffee whilst Eden played in the soft play area.
Mum me time with David Lloyd CafeMum me time with David Lloyd Soft play

I handed over a super excited Eden to kids club and went on a tour of the club. The facilities are amazing, a lovely gym split into clearly defined areas for training with brand new equipment. Large studios for classes, spin studio, indoor pool with children’s pool, heated outdoor pool, badminton, squash and tennis courts. Another nice touch is the not just male and female changing rooms but a family changing room too! Makes the awkward changing situation so much easier as a family.

I took part in a Synergy HIIT workout which was brilliant, really pushed my limits and followed it with a relaxing ‘Wellbeing’ stretch class. The instructors were both friendly and really knew their stuff. I can often feel self conscious in gyms and especially in classes but I felt totally comfortable and at ease at the David Lloyd.
Mum me time with David Lloyd gym

Mum me time with David Lloyd GymMum me time with David Lloyd Synrgy circuitMum me time with David Lloyd Studio

Mum me time with David Lloyd tennis courts
Mum me time with David Lloyd Me after workout

Lunch

Feeling refreshed after my workout I collected a very happy Eden from kids club. She excitedly told me about her morning playing football, doing crafts and colouring. We had a lovely lunch together, the food was of a really high standard with brilliant healthy food choices on the menu. Eden finished before me and got to enjoy the soft play whilst I finished my lunch in peace!
Mum me time with David Lloyd Food

After lunch we got changed and I took Eden for a swim in both the indoor and outdoor pools, we spent hours happily splashing around. Eden had a whale of a time and I’m looking forward to increasing her confidence during the summer months. Although she loves the water she will not put her face in the water without having a melt down so this is something I’m going to try to improve over the next couple of months.

Mum me time with David Lloyd Eden swimmingMum me time with David Lloyd outdoor pool

The months ahead

I can’t tell you how excited I am about making the most of the facilities at our local David Lloyd Club over the next few months. The facilities and schedule of kids clubs is brilliant. There is something for all ages at a range of times, meaning I can train all summer whilst Eden is being entertained. Even better the kids clubs are included in the membership, you can’t ask for better than that.

With a family membership it also means I can train with my husband. We are currently members at different gyms which means we never get to train together. I’m really excited about this, we will actually get some time together and they do say after all that ‘Couples that train together, stay together!’. I’m looking forward to going to the gym as a family, getting my ‘mum me time’, training with my husband and Eden having lots of fun.

Check out your local David Lloyd Club, they have over 100 clubs up and down the country.

mum me time with david lloyd

Thank you for reading ‘Mum me time with David Lloyd’
Written in collaboration with David Lloyd Clubs but all opinions and views are my own.