A journey to a healthier and happier you

A journey to a healthier and happier you

Almost a year ago now I took the leap and joined as an independent consultant in an incredible company called Arbonne. I fell in love instantly with the ethos of this company, and as I have lived and experienced it, I have become more passionate about it each day. A huge part of the brand is their clean and healthy nutrition, with a selection of incredible everyday supplements to help you ensure a balanced diet, but also the amazing and infamous ’30 days to healthy living’ programme. Now, before you think to yourself ‘oh gosh no not another diet plan I’m being sold’, I can assure you that it 100% is as far from that as you can get. I myself was dubious at first, however once I understood the concept and the intention of the plan I was in awe. I myself did my 30 days in January, and plan on doing it again in June. 

As a very brief overlook and first point to make, this plan is all about resetting your gut and equipping you with the skills to sustain the ideals of the plan and lead to a much healthier and balanced lifestyle. Over three months in and my habits have rarely swayed from doing the 30 days. The results of this plan are to firstly make you feel more energised, alive and reset, with your body being able to consume all healthy nutrition you give it correctly. Don’t get me wrong, weight loss is included in this. By the end of my plan I had lost 12 pounds, however this is merely a by-product of the journey and in my opinion, simply an extra positive. The biggest effect for me personally was my increased energy levels and much better quality of sleep. 

As an example of how the plan works, and these are all things I love about it, I still ate three incredibly healthy meals a day and got to experiment and feed my love for cooking whilst trying new recipes laid out by one of our companies incredible nutritionists. I then used supplement products such as protein to fill and fuel myself (something I already used and still use each day), as well as what we call ‘fizz sticks’ which are a healthy caffeine replacement derived from green tea. I have about three of these a day… I am hooked on the delicious taste and subtle boost of energy. Each day I then had what we like to call a ‘green shot’ which includes water, mixed with our greens supplement, digestion plus and probiotics which all contribute to cleaning your gut and resetting your digestive system. Mixed with an active lifestyle, workouts as I was doing previously, my results were incredible. 

Whilst on the subject of the products that make up the plan, I must go back to the ethos of the company and the initial reason as to why I loved the brand from the get-go. All these products are clean and healthy, meaning they are free from ingredients such as wheat, dairy, soy and parabens, as well as being sustainably curated and all vegan certified. They are simply the best in my opinion. In fact, Arbonne was made a ‘B corporation’ in January this year, which is an incredibly important accomplishment. To learn more about this, please click here.

When doing things like this previously, I would share some before and after pictures which I did capture and do show the results, however, the message I want to get across most of all here on my blog is the positive impact this had on my health inside and also mentally. I literally had not felt that healthy since I was around 10 years old, and even now several months later, I still can feel the positive effects. So much so, I can’t wait to start it again and fuel my body with the nutrients it needs for a much-needed health kick… especially after all the lockdown indulging. So, I am not going to share those images as for me, they are not what is important about this incredible plan. 

The last thing I love about this is that we really are all in it together. We have an amazing support group online with thousands of others giving it ago, which always makes trying something new so much easier and more enjoyable. As a consultant, I also take pride in supporting those completing the 30 days one to one, offering all guidance I possibly can and often, taking part too! If you would like to give this a go, perhaps in June with me, leave me a message below and I will be in touch! 

Below I have included a section from the 30 days guide as a brief introduction. If you have any questions or would like to give it a go, please leave me a message below! Thank you x

Sustainable Gymwear from Feel Fit UK

Sustainable Gymwear from Feel Fit UK

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen by now that I was lucky to be involved in a photo shoot in January as a favour to a friend for her beautiful new gym wear range. Hannah, who takes all my photos for this blog was the star photographer and we spent a few hours shooting the collection of sustainable gym wear by Ellie for the launch of her brand. I also got to have my makeup done by the wonderful Sophie, which I was thrilled about as I had been following her on Instagram for such a long time. In the range there are three colours, and I chose the light grey, as I know from my colour session that I have spoken about here on the blog, lighter more pastel colours work for me. 

After the photo shoot, I knew straight away that I would want to use a few of the photos and create a blog to tell you guys all about the collection, why it is amazing and what makes it different to so many brands I have used before. I asked Ellie if she could answer a few questions to help me put this together, with information I think could help you guys and sum up the brand so you can see just how amazing it is. 

So, who is Ellie and what is Feel Fit UK? 

“So I haven’t always been into fitness at all in fact the opposite. I found strength training and it changed my life. I am a strong believer that when you are physically strong you are mentally, emotionally strong too and are able to cope with whatever life throws at you! Now I am not staying everyone should lift weights either – what I do promote is fitness in whatever form that fits you. Fitness, health, nutrition should be sustainable, it should fit your lifestyle, it should be consistent, and it should make you feel good. What are you training for Ellie? LIFE!! I want to move well, I want to be strong, I want to be able to look after myself at 85 and not rely on someone else.” 

Ellie – Feel Fit UK

When Ellie told me this, I resonated with her words so much. I myself am a totally different person when I am keeping to my consistent routine of moving my body and the benefits of physical movement are undoubtedly so important for us mentally. Ever since the shoot, I have been hooked on Ellies Instagram, her positive energy and her amazing tips and tricks for those of us who do need motivation and ideas to keep it varied each day. Give her a follow >> all details below. 

“So where do the clothes fit in, it is something I have always wanted to do and when I started looking into sustainability, I was shocked at how fast fashion is ruining our planet. So, my items are designed to last, they are created so they don’t go out of fashion and they are luxury but affordable. Comfy, squat proof leggings and tops that are designed for any workout and leisure wear! I literally live in mine!”

Ellie – Feel Fit UK

I can vouch for this. Ellie kindly gifted me the grey sports bra I wore in this shoot and I live in it… in the gym… and when running around at home! It is so comfortable, supportive, sits beautifully underneath all tops and looks fab. The sustainable side of this collection is incredible, and when Ellie was talking to me about it at the shoot I was hooked. The research she has put in is outstanding and the attention to detail is second to none. If you would like to read a little more about this part of the collection, please click on this link here

“I am so passionate about the health & fitness industry and I want to help, inspire and motivate people to be the best version of their selves. And if we can do that while helping save the planet then my job is done!” 

Ellie – Feel Fit UK

So, there you have it. A collection that is practical, looks great and takes care of our world. What more could you ever ask for? If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or Ellie using the details below. Ellie and I will also be doing a LIVE Instagram today at 12, which will be saved to my Instagram. Check it out if you are interested! 

My Instagram – @ladyhunterblog

My email – ladyhunter@abigailhuntermarketing.co.uk

Ellie’s Instagram – @feelfituk

Website – https://myfeelfit.com

Email – ellie@myfeelfit.com

I have not been paid for this blog post and all views and opinions are entirely my own, unless stated. 

Gym stereotypes we need to get over

Gym stereotypes we need to get over

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Today I wanted to share a short and snappy blog post all about working out and attempting to get into a healthy gym routine. I am by no means in a position to educate nor specifically advice on the subject, as I myself need a lot of motivation to get my bum to the gym, and I have no qualifications whatsoever when it comes to what to do. Since my surgery at the end of 2017, it has been a long battle for me to get into a healthy gym routine, seeing it more as a lifestyle rather than a diet. I have worked hard with a PT to widen the variety of exercise I choose to do day to day, as well as focusing a lot more on what I eat and choose to put into my body. Obviously, anything I recommend or have an opinion on here is solely based on what is currently working for me, bearing in mind the level I am at which is still very low.

Instead of simply listing the things that I am currently doing, which I have done before so I will link it here, I thought I would simply discuss some of the obstacles I have to overcome to encourage myself to stick to such a routine and keep me motivated. I honestly am queen of excuses and will come up with absolutely anything to get me out of a workout, or an excuse to eat something naughty. Thankfully, this is something that I am getting much better at, however by no means have I yet overcome this. The first stereotype that I still find really hard is other people in the gym. The environment on the whole is incredibly intimidating, which I think is something a lot of us find whatever our level. The atmosphere tends to be (at least in my gym), very male heavy. As much as it pains me to admit it, I do get embarrassed if I look a state, so the gym is the last place that I want to be with loads of men around. I mean, I have a boyfriend, but you all will get what I’m saying. Lucy, my PT, has been really helping me attempt to overcome this intimidation, getting straight to the point. In reality, is anyone actually looking at you? During one of our workouts, I mentioned this to Lucy, who has heard it many times before, and she simply put, ‘but no one is actually looking’, which is more than correct. If you actually stop what you’re doing and observe the space around you, you quickly realise how everyone is so focused on what they are doing that they couldn’t care less about you. It is something in our minds that tells us it is happening when it really isn’t. Put your headphones in, increase the volume and use it as an opportunity to zone out.

Secondly, the stereotype that I find I have had to really overcome is ‘doing weights will make me look like a man’. Before my surgery, and ever training with a PT, I only ever did boring cardio-based workouts which I just repeated over and over again. In theory I was quite small, however I had absolutely no strength to me at all and I was by no means toned. I had this stubborn illusion in my head that told me that by completing weight workouts it would dramatically increase my muscles and I would look masculine. Obviously, after one session with Lucy, this idea was officially crushed forever. Unless taking some sort of drugs, women physically do not have enough testosterone to grow that much muscle, therefore weight training is only ever going to give you that toned finish that we all crave. I may want to get a lot smaller, back to how I was a few years ago, however I also want to be strong, healthy and smoother.

Another stereotype that I have come across, mainly because of my not so perfect heart, is that exercise can be deemed bad for you if you have a medical problem. Obviously, this is generally dependant on the condition, however most heart conditions can actually be made better with exercise. The heart is a muscle that wants to be used, and in my case, I can hand on heart (pun intended) say that when I exercise, I feel so much better. I feel fitter, more energised and generally a much happier and positive person. In my opinion, I think unless instructed not to exercise by a medical professional, we should all be finding ways to be a lot more active on an everyday basis.

Finally, the last stereotype I really can’t stand is ‘you have to be either all or nothing’. I have met so many people who are adamant they simply don’t have the time to exercise. I can definitely relate to this, when I have a very busy work week I struggle too to get to the gym, however this doesn’t mean that it is impossible. I have had to find ways to make it work around my life, holding myself and only myself accountable for me not getting it done. If I have a day working I will get up earlier and do a home workout, if I am struggling I will go for a half an hour walk on my lunch break to get moving, and if I am stressed I will get myself to the gym for a swim in the evening to relax and burn some calories. You don’t have to commit your whole life to a strict exercise programme, it is about committing the little time you have and making each workout work for you, around your other commitments, even if it is only 20 minutes.

What exercise and gym stereotypes make you laugh?

 

Shop this Post:

 

Top & Leggings – Oysho

Sports Bra – Nike

Trainers – Nike

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

15 + 3 =

4 Years of Lady Hunter

4 Years of Lady Hunter

Four years ago today, I wrote my first ever blog post. I’m pretty sure it was some sort of extremely cheesy introduction, probably incredibly boring with me just going on and on about how I needed to find a hobby and all the things I wanted to share on here. I can kind of forgive myself, as I hope you can too, as it was just the childish 16-year-old me writing on something in a way that I had never done so before. Before blogging, I had always felt like I was missing something – something to keep me occupied and somewhere to express all the thoughts and creative energy going on in my mind. I came up with the idea of starting a blog after I was sharing lots of photos on Instagram and really enjoying the thought process, taking and editing photos, as well as the engagement that I got from it. To be completely honest, I had never read a blog before and hadn’t even heard of the YouTube sensation, Zoella. I mean, I literally must have been living under a rock or something. I was never really someone who was constantly glued to their phone, so I guess that is why I didn’t really know that this huge blogging bubble industry really existed.

I still remember now running into my grandparent’s bedroom and screaming to my grandma ‘I’M GOING TO START A BLOG, I’M GOING TO START A BLOG!’ I was always coming up with new and extravagant ideas, so by this point she was probably just thinking it was another phase that I would not stop talking about. Well, four years later, I am still here and I think it probably is a shock to both of us!

“I am very excited to be writing my first ever blog. So, let me introduce myself. I am Abigail Hunter. I have been debating about whether to start a blog for a while, as i just love capturing all aspects of life and sharing it with people over social networking sites… my favourite being the amazing Instagram! I am a very passionate baker, even though I struggle to find the time with all these dreaded exams, however they will shortly be over and I will have a lot of time to bake and blog! I cannot stress enough how much I cannot wait to leave school and never have to wear my horrible uniform again. It is dreadful. This leads me nicely on to my next major love, fashion. As my best friend would probably tell you, I am very much in love with fashion, especially when it comes to shopping. I live with my grand-parents in Bristol, which means that I am able to take full advantage of grand-parent perks, such as clothes! It is truly fantastic.

Lady Hunter, May 9th 2014

OMG – I CANNOT READ THAT quote WITH A STRAIGHT FACE! So so so so cringe!

I say this a lot, but I am going to say it again anyway, blogging has become such a big part of me as a person, to the point where it has just become more than a part of my life. I think about the blog at all times of the day and night, whatever I am doing. It is like a baby, that I have to nurture, protect and drive to do well. Yes, sometimes it can be incredibly overwhelming, but that never seems to out scale how much enjoyment I get out of it. I don’t do this to make loads of money by becoming a successful blogger, or even to please and entertain others, it is very much something for me that just so happens to be read by others. I feel incredibly lucky to have found a hobby that I love, that can follow me through all the important stages in my life, as well as how I have used it to create a career for myself. I am not a full time blogger – but I do work in social media, and the jobs were opened up to me as a result of blogging. So in a weird way, all those hours of photographing, editing, writing and marketing the hell out of everything on social media really has paid off. It has saved me going to university for a degree and getting into lots of debt, as well as messing around for a few years working in a minimum wage job, not knowing at all what I actually want to do with my life.

I think my favourite thing about Lady Hunter is how it has already followed my life through some pretty tough and amazing times. I have got my life when I was a teenager at school, my proms, family holidays, choosing not to go to university, living a bit more in the real world, falling in love, becoming a cat mummy and going through major surgery. A lot has happened to me in the past four years, and I am so different to the girl who sat writing her first blog post on this date four years ago. It makes me feel so happy to know that I have that transition and time in my life documented somewhere that I know I can always come back to and hopefully it can follow me through with the next stage of my journey – travelling, buying a home, getting married and maybe even having a baby. I mean how incredible would it be to have all that on here?

I just wanted to put together a little post to reflect on the amazing four years Lady Hunter has had, getting the opportunity to work with some incredible brands, meet so many people through this online world and be able to share my experiences in a way that others can relate to what I have been through, and essentially help each other along the way. It also feels quite good to know that I have proved everyone wrong who has ever been nasty about me blogging, or just generally take the piss. It never really bothered me because I was enjoying it, but it is still quite a nice feeling to know that I have proved people wrong and carried on despite what they thought.

<3 <3 <3

This industry has become such a huge part of the world we live in, where companies actually get more traffic and customers out of working with bloggers than they do with original marketing strategies. I feel proud to be doing something that so many others creators do so beautifully, with their really being room for everyone to shine and appeal to different audiences. The blog itself has grown massively since I started, and I do always joke that it is like I only started properly last year. At the beginning of last year, I was going through a pretty tough time in my life and really used the blog to help me get through. I started to use photographers for my photos, I was writing much more detailed and thought out posts and in general started to get a lot more engagement. In the years before that, the blog wasn’t my priority and I didn’t have the time to do what I do now. Last year was when my motivational level for blogging really shot through the roof, and I was proud of the content I was creating. Over a year later, I hope that I am still producing just as good content, perhaps even better?

My 5 Favourite Blog Posts

In the last year I have got so many posts that I am so proud of, but these are probably the top five for photos and content!

Things I Need to Change

How I’ve Become More Confident

Become a Cocktail Expert with Fentimans

My Office Reveal

My Everyday Fashion Tips Ft. Joy Clothing

Do you have a favourite of mine?

<3 

Thank you so much to everyone who supports what I do, loves being a part of this journey and constantly motivated me every day to carry on doing what I love! xo

Shop this Post:

Top – Primark

Skirt – New Look

Belt – Gucci

Shoes – Lacoste

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Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photogaphy | Location: Anna Cake Couture, Clifton, Bristol

Getting Back into Exercise

Getting Back into Exercise

I am never going to lie to you guys and say that I am a complete gym nerd and I exercise every day, or even that I enjoy it. I joined the gym a few years ago when I decided that it was just getting ridiculous with how little I actually did, and have enjoyed going ever since. I do actually really enjoy exercising and I feel so much better in myself when I have been. Obviously, when I had my surgery, I wasn’t moving at all let alone going to the gym and couldn’t go back until three months’ post-surgery. Going back was really scary, as I had completely lost my confidence and was so unsure about what my body could actually handle. I didn’t really feel like using a personal trainer as I wanted to do it gradually and at my own pace, so tried to get back into it mentally before pushing my body.

Getting back to the gym was a big challenge mentally, in fact probably more so than physically. I completely lost my confidence and suddenly felt so overwhelmed with the thought of exercise.

A big thing I discovered when trying to get back to exercise was how much my body had lost its strength. I have never been someone who would do heavy weights in the gym, well to be honest most of the time I didn’t go near them at all. However, with being fit and probably from working in a café, I naturally was very strong. Whether it be from the lack of exercise or just general lack of movement, I seriously lost it all and very much have lost ay fitness level which I had before. This is naturally making getting back into exercise that little bit harder, as the lack of go from my body is very much demotivating. This is something I am trying to overcome, which is the main reason why I wanted to share this post. It is a part of my life that is very big right now and I wanted to take my readers on this small journey with me.

The Gym

The gym can be a pretty daunting and intimidating place – regardless of the fact that no one else cares what you are actually doing, the atmosphere and the mood of the surroundings will never take that away. When, like me, you are at a point where you don’t feel comfortable in yourself or your fitness levels, this feeling of intimidation can be heightened when you are trying to workout in the gym. I think this is a big factor as to why I haven’t been very motivated to get there. There isn’t really anything you can do about this, however I do think it is possible to change your feelings towards being in the environment. I have found the easiest way to get back into it when feeling like this is by choosing really carefully when you go. For example, I choose to go late in the evening at about eight, or during the day when most people are at work. Obviously if you work a 9 to 5 you can’t do that in the week, so late evenings would have to be an option. If you have to go at peak times, the best thing to do is pop your headphones in, play your favourite playlist and do your best to stay in your own little bubble.

Food & Diet

A big part of feeling better and making exercise easier, is to get the balance right with what you are eating and how much you are moving. Getting back into exercise is much easier if you are fuelling your body in the correct way and you aren’t eating foods that make you feel bloated or heavy. This includes lots of protein, fruit and vegetables as well as brown rice and pasta. I have got much better recently at preparing my meals and making sure I am eating the correct foods, which gradually I know is helping me with my exercise regime. It isn’t about completely stopping eating all the foods you enjoy, as life is about balance, but it is about making small changes that have a very positive effect on your body.

Outdoor Exercise

If the gym isn’t something you are a fan of, there are many other ways to become active without having to enter that environment. By simply going for a walk, light jog or even a run this is getting your body moving and also taking in some good fresh air. I am not a fan of running, never have been, never will be, but a walk I can handle. The alternative is going for a swim. Swimming is one of the best exercises we can do as we are moving our whole bodies, and particularly for me, it is building up natural strength. My pool is in the gym, however there are so many pools you can used that aren’t and usually you can simply pay as you go. My grandma and I have made a pact recently to go swimming two or three times a week together. For her it is to get healthier and for me it is to really get my fitness level up and build up my strength.

There are also loads of classes you can do, such as yoga and pilates, which will increase fitness levels and are things you really can get away with doing just one or two times a week. These kind of classes are good not just physically, but also mentally.

Small Changes

When it comes to being fit and getting healthier, in life there are so many changes you can make which are really small and don’t have much of an effect on your life. For example, parking a little bit further away in the supermarket, walking to the local shop or simply using the stairs as opposed to a lift. It isn’t just about the physical changes, but also the changes you can make mentally as well as with your diet. Mentally I have changed a lot in terms of fitness, I am more open to trying healthy alternatives as well as just eating less throughout the day.

Motivation

Motivation is the key to getting back to exercise, and I can vouch for anyone who says this is the hardest obstacle to overcome. The effects of my surgery have left me feeling so exhausted all the time, therefore not being too good for my motivational levels. I am not quite sure what the exact answer is to overcome this, although what I have learnt from the past is that usually it is all about breaking down the wall in the first two weeks and it instantly becomes so much easier. Trust me, those two weeks will be incredibly tough, but they are the key to your success in terms of getting fitter. It is all about powering through and simply trying your best to break down the barrier.

Shop this Post:

 

Gym Hoodie – New Look

Gym Leggings – New Look

Trainers – Nike

 

Photography by LJ Horton Photography

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Feeling More Confident with Bodyform

Feeling More Confident with Bodyform

When I first started going to the gym, a big thing for me that knocked me back time and time again, was my confidence. This wasn’t only my inability to keep up with everyone else, because quite frankly at the start I was very unfit, but also how intimidating the environment can sometimes be. The gym is quite a threatening sort of place – if you are not used to being there, it can often feel like people are looking at you or watching you as you do your workout. To begin with it made me feel incredibly uncomfortable, and the only way I could overcome it was if I did little things to boost my confidence. After a while, you start to get over this, but occasionally I have days when the feeling comes back. This happens usually when I am feeling a little but heavier in myself or bloated, and sometimes even when it is my time of the month. This is when Bodyform comes in.

“Gym clothes are incredibly restrictive and generally give quite a lot away. Baggy gym clothes don’t work for me at all because they make me feel really hot and uncomfortable. generally my go to is black as it is so much more flattering and extremely slimming on the eye.”

As a result, when I am on my time of the month I have always been a little bit worried about the combination of wearing my gym clothes and being in control of the little problem all us women have. I am not worried about anything bad happening, just simply everything being able to show visibly through my clothes. When working out, I have always found a sanitary pad so much more comfortable, however they are known for being quite big and bulky.

When Bodyform contacted me to let me know about their new range, I was genuinely over the moon. It is a black liner, designed specifically for those who have obviously been encountering the same problem as me for a while. I wanted to share about this product, as I feel it is something that will appeal to so many women going through a similar problem as me. I also feel like it is definitely the kind of product women don’t even know they need until someone tells them about it! 

 

Obviously, the main attraction of these pads is the colour – they are black. In the gym, my colour of choice for my trousers/ leggings is always black. It is an easy colour, much more slimming and makes life easier. White pads always used to worry me so much as I would always think that you could so the colour almost glaring through for everyone to see and laugh about. The colour just makes me feel so much more confident and simply at ease because I know it just completely blends in. It seems like such a small thing when I am writing it, but I know for a fact it has completely boosted my confidence during this time.

You Got This

 

A review from using the product, in terms of its qualities, is that for me the absorption level is just about right. Due to the hormones I have in my body from taking medication, I am lucky not to suffer from extremely bad times of the month. The black liner pads are the perfect amount for me, and to be honest, if it was any worse there is no way I would be going to the gym anyway! The pads fit swiftly in my leggings, not making it at all bulky but still doing the intended job. They are every womens dream when you still want to feel able to get on with life and not let anything hold you back, in particular, mother nature. 

 

As with any other Bodyform product, I have never experienced a problem with how well they stick and are securely in place at all times. These are said to have a secure fit on them, which I can definitely vouch for with these and any other ones I have used from the brand. In the gym it is always a relief to know you are using a product that is going to stay exactly where it needs to be and do the job you need it to do. They fit perfectly in place, and give me peace of mind at all times. What more could you ask for? Except for maybe not have to go through the whole process to begin with 😉

I’m off to the gym. I AM I AM I AM!!!

 

 

The black liners have not just been created for use with gym clothes, but also mainly just with darker coloured underwear. For me, they have completely transformed my workout routine during my time of the month, and would also just if I were wearing darker coloured clothes. The gym is the only time so far that it has ever been a real worry for me, however I see now when lounging around in black leggings or jeans, how incredibly useful the product will be. It is one of those ideas that many of us don’t even realise until the actual product is put right in front of our eyes. 

 

If you try the liners out, let me know what your thought are and if you think they are just as great an idea as I do! 

 

Shop this post:

 

Top – Nike

Sports Bra – Nike

Leggings – Nike

Trainers – Nike

 

Bodyform Black Liners – Bodyform

 

Photography by Abi Galatia  

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This post is in collaboration with Bodyform UK, however all views and opinions are my own.