23 August 2016

Help i'm eating all the food

I'd like to think I'm a really happy guy who is in a really happy place right now.

Family life is good, work is kind of good at the moment and I'm still doing the odd blog post when I get time.

Can't say fairer than that.

I turned 34 a few months ago which kind of surprised a lot of my social media following because they actually thought I was a lot younger than I am.
I obviously took this as a massive complement and to be totally honest I do agree with them, but not in a vain way, I just don't think I look too bad for my age.

Plus I have a beard and that adds a few years on too.

I always wonder how old people would think I am if I shaved it off...buts that's never going to happen.

But I  know what you must thinking - things can't be all that good, there must something not 100% and yes, you would be right I'm not happy at all with my weight.

When I mention my weight in tweets and other social platforms, people are like, "What are you on about? You look fine".

I reckon I must have a gift of hiding my unwanted chunky bits under my clothes really well because over the past eight years I have gone from a 32 inch waist to a 36 and even have to buy a 38 inch sized waist depending on the style of the pants.

Which is quite a leap really.

I mean, no, I'm not mega unhappy about my weight but I think if I don't do something about it now then very soon I will be pushing towards wearing a 40 inch waist and that's something I definitely don't want to do.

So what is my downfall?  What is the reason behind me finding it so hard to control my weight?

Well, it's FOOD.

I just can not stop eating all the FOOD.

And I know people will say that I can eat all the food I like and still control my weight, I just need to eat the right food.

Well yes, I know that - I've tried it, many times, and have failed loads of times.

And this is the reason why...

All of my working life, all 16 years of it so far, I have done a manual job involving a lot of driving around the country and fixing doors.

On my first ever day working - on my 16th birthday - I remember my Dad taking me for my first proper butty, it was a BEAST consisting of bacon, egg, sausage, and tomato.

And over the years, from then to now, I wouldn't dare to even try count back the amount of breakfast butties I've had.

It's dangerous.

I've tried taking cereal to work but it just doesn't fill me up, not like a huge, warm sandwich does.
Some days are so tiring too, I really do think I need a few extra calories to see me through the day.

I've tried taking packed lunches with me for dinner but for some reason I just hate eating them and I don't even know why.

I really wish I did though because it would save me a lot of money...

...like I said, I drive all over the place so the food options open to me during the day are massive...

McDonald's, KFC, Subway...

I can't control my self.

I've reached a stage now where even I will sometimes be like "Come on Carl, today is the day. Today is the day the healthy eating starts."

And the next thing I know, I'm sat in McDonald's eating a spicy mayo chicken legend meal.

Large sized.

It's as though my mind goes blank and something takes over my body ignoring all my healthy eating thoughts.

Even when I sometimes visit Cafes in the mornings with work mates, I will be thinking to myself, "I'm getting scrambled eggs and beans on toast", and I will keep saying it to myself right until it's my turn to order and then I get asked what I want...

"Full English please...with extra toast"

I'm a total healthy eating failure.

But since Willow was born I've noticed that I've really been getting out of breath so easy and even my wife tells me I've started to snore a lot at night.

It's not good - I feel really unfit and my motivation levels have dropped loads.

It's time to take some action.

And that is exactly what I am doing.

Not only have I taken action with my diet but I have with my fitness too...but look out for that story in a post coming soon.

So how have I altered my diet?

Well to started me off properly, the amazing people over at Exante have sent me over a little package full of goodies...


If you've never heard of Exante then here's a post I did on them quite a while ago when I first started blogging. 

Exante Diet is the UK's leading online, diet and weight-management service and they offer a huge range of meal-replacement products, including diet soups, diet bars, shakes plus many more.


I first tried out some of the shakes as they are perfect for me because they are really quick and easy to make first thing in a morning before I dash out of the door to work.

I don't tend to eat first thing in the morning which is probably the reason why I crave unhealthy stuff about an hour later and this has to stop.


The shakes are high in protein, fiber and are packed with vitamins and minerals and are suitable for vegetarians.

All you need to do is add 200ml of cold water to the powder - I used bottled water from the fridge which gave the shake a nice chill - and then simply whisk it up or use a blender or a smoothie maker like I did.

All the shakes blend really well and taste quite nice, I mean I've had so many diet shakes before which taste horrible, so I was extremely pleased with these.

The four shakes I used were...

Lemon and Raspberry 

Vanilla

Chocolate

Banana 

My favorite was the Vanilla but only because it was really, really sweet.

The shakes did OK as a meal replacement but I must admit I was starving by the time dinner time rolled by.


Next up were some snacks for throughout the day.


I had a Strawberry Jam and Yogurt Crunch bar, a Chocolate Orange bar which is actually a meal replacement bar...which I only realised now as I write this post looking back at the photos, and a Hot Cross Bun flavored bar, which I'm already a big fan of because I've had these before.


All of the bars are quite dry and chewy really but are packed full of flavour - they taste really good, and just like the shakes, the bars are full of all the goodness my body will need to get it through the day.



And then last but by no means least are the dinners, all high in protein and made with natural flavours.

All three of these are meals I would buy from a supermarket if I was in rush and fancied a really quick tea.

These three didn't disappoint either - don't get me wrong, they not the tastiest meals in the world but they are quite nice and are really filling, which for me, was great for a meal with such a low calorie content.



So, my summery of the Exante products...

All of the products I tried have really great flavours and are really filling which is key for any diet plan.
Over the past four days I have used the products and I didn't feel like I needed to eat all the food I came across and to be honest, I do feel really good.

I'm not sure if I have actually lost any weight but, like I said, I'm feeling better and that's more than fine by me.


I was sent the products to review, all photos and opinions are my own


11 August 2016

Like father like son


Like father, like son: dressing for special occasions 



I’m a big believer in letting my kids choose their own style and sense of self.
What they wear and show to the outside world is hugely important to their development, will massively affect their confidence in later life, and I for one will always be supportive of whatever they want to do, be and wear. 

It just so happens though that my son seems to have a very similar style to me!
As I noted in a recent post on Father’s Day, we always go for comfort above anything else, and wear shorts wherever we can but when it comes to dressing up though, this can pose certain problems. 

With it being summer and with more evenings out and parties on the horizon, I thought I’d write today’s post on dressing for those special occasions, and how to match up with your son – enjoy! 

Suited and booted 

The obvious place to start is with a need for a suit. As you’ll no doubt have noted from many of my recent fashion posts, I’ve been giving my collection of suits a bit of a boost recently but summer calls for something a little different though.
This will probably come in handy for all those August weddings your wife will drag you to, in which case you’ll need something lightweight for the hotter weather, as well as affordable as you’ll be needing something more hardwearing for everyday use. 

Jacamo do a fantastic selection of men’s suits, with a variety of colours, patterns and prices.
Even for your son, you’d be surprised how many brands tailor (pun intended) to the smaller frame, and you can find some incredibly smart suits right here, from pinstripe to cobalt blue. 

Getting shirty 

Are you going away for the summer this year?
Whether you’re heading to an exotic island somewhere, or just next door for a neighbour’s barbecue, picking up a few smart-casual shirts will save you a lot of trouble.

Smart-casual has always annoyed me as a term because it’s confusing - how do you balance the two?
These days though, it’s easy. I think both my son and I will be pairing a smart checked shirt with some khaki shorts and hey presto - we have solved our smart-casual conundrum. 

Shirts typically have quite boring patterns though and you’ll need something thinner in terms of material too.
Again though, Jacamo has a great variety of patterned men’s shirts so you can pick something that fits your style and they really give a versatile look.
My boy agrees with me which is why I’m sure he’ll be picking one of these.


casual shirts too.

Then, all you need are some matching shades and flip-flops and the two of you are ready to hit the streets. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post on matching outfits with your son.

Will any of you dads be trying this out?

I’d love to hear from you so please leave me a comment and tell me your story.


CARL

Collaborative post

2 August 2016

In Barber's We Trust

Over the last few weeks I have become a bit of a slob if I'm honest, I just can't get motivated to do anything, and I really do mean anything.

I have been so quiet on the blog and even on social media recently - I've found myself looking down my Twitter feed and finding things I would usually interact with but have just closed the app down instead. 

Clothes wise it's just been my work uniform then a quick t-shirt an shorts change on an evening.
I have so many great outfit posts that I need to do but at the moment I just honestly don't feel up to it.

My personal appearance has gone down hill, my skincare routine is non existent and my beard and hair is just all over the place.

It's not good and I haven't felt like this for a long time, the last time was a few years go actually and that phase lasted a lot longer than two weeks - I only sorted myself out when my wife had to have a word and tell me I looked really scruffy.

And I did.

I'm not sure why I've slipped back though, maybe it's because I'm in such a comfortable position with my life at the moment with my little happy family that I just forget to do stuff.

I don't know if it's because I'm happily married and I think maybe I don't need to look after myself to impress anyone anymore...but this got me thinking - I do want to impress someone.

I want to impress my wife and I should make sure I'm dressed well when I'm with her and I should make sure my 34 year old skin is looking clean and fresh all the time.
I should put on that fragrance that she likes and I should visit the barbers more often than I do to keep my hair and beard looking nice for her.

You'd be amazed at the difference one trip to the barbers can do for my appearance.

I really need to sort my self out.

If you've read my blog before then you may have seen my post focusing on the barbers I go to in Leeds called King Koby - and if you haven't then don't worry you can find the post here.

It's so important to have a barber you can trust and have a good relationship with with and I think the place you get your hair cut should be a happy, relaxing place.
Not relaxing as in some mystical room with sounds of the ocean playing in the background, it should be a place that's suits your personality and a place where you can feel at home.

King Koby is totally my sort of place - it has a good mix or music blasting out and all the barbers look cool as (insert swear word).
Everyone is dancing around, singing, rapping and sometimes totally moshing out.

It's like a hair cut and night out rolled into one.

And not only do they giving me the freshest trim they also know how to look after my beard too.
I can really just sit back, relax and enjoy my time there.

For me it's all about trust - you need to trust the person cutting your hair.

Britain’s relationship with ‘the barber’ goes back centuries; from the Latin word ‘barba’ meaning beard, the Barber is steeped in history.

Today, the Barber remains an iconic, treasured part of our high streets. Research* commissioned by Just for Men reveals a unique insight into how British men spend their Man Time and the distinctive relationship they have with their Barber.

There is a huge emphasis on trust for Barbers across all age groups of British men; 63% of men trust their Barber and 81% of men would recommend their Barber to a friend.

British men make an effort to stay loyal and stick with the same Barber; over half (51%) of guys have been visiting their Barber for over 3 years, with 15% visiting the same barber for more than 10 years!
In a bid to remain loyal, 24% of men would go without a trim if their Barber was on holiday, while 44% would travel to get to their favourite Barbers if they moved house.


Visiting the Barber is about much more than a quick trim, 35% of guys are on first name terms with their Barber and 38% of men consider their Barber as a friend; this goes up to almost half (48%) for men aged 25 to 30. 

What’s more, men are opening up and confiding in their Barbers, half of 25-30 year olds would share stories or secrets normally only reserved for family or close friends.
In fact, a significant proportion of this age group (40%) would take their Barber’s advice over that of a friend or family member on personal matters.



While football (49%) and holidays (47%) are the most popular subjects, banter covers a range of topics from work, family life, social issues and even politics plus a healthy dose of amusing anecdotes (31%).

The Barber is often relied upon as a source of information and advice. When it comes to styling their hair, 44% of guys would give their Barber free rein and almost half of the men surveyed (46%) would be more likely to colour their grey hair if recommended by their Barber. As for advice, men are more comfortable speaking to their Barber than anyone else about covering grey hair (22%), hair thinning (22%) and facial hair styling (16%).

As well as entrusting their Barber with looking after their personal styling, British men are looking for Barbers to have a good sense of humour (57%), be great to banter with (41%) and to remember what they like (52%).



When it comes to the dream Barbershop, Just for Men’s research has revealed that British men would be keen to see their Barbershop experience enhanced further with Wi-Fi (58%), sports on TV (53%), beers (40%) and movies (36%). 

So it’s official, British men love the Barbers, a haven to enjoy some much needed Man Time and source of trusted style advice, as well as great banter of course.



CARL
BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

this post is in collaboration with Just For Men

Who's ready for the Olympic games


Who's ready for the intense excitement of having forty two Olympic sport disciplines all in one place?

There will be around 306 events taking place over 19 days of pure intense competition.

And with 136 medals for the women, 161 medals for the men and nine mixed medals ups for grabs intense it is going to be.

 Everything will kick off on the 5th August with the eagerly awaited opening ceremony, and then following will be the games which will be held in Rio this year, and you just know that evening will be packed with colour and excitement.

I for one can not wait to see Team GB walk out, looking super proud of themselves, ready to put all of those days, months and years of hard work and training into action.
I'm hoping Team GB can bring home a plane load of medals with them this year - especially ones of a golden colour.

Who will you be cheering for?


I know I have blog followers from all over the world - so who do you want to win?

I'm really looking forward to seeing the Murray brothers in action, Tom Daley on the boards and then Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah on the tracks.
And let's not forget Leeds born Nicola Adams in the ring.

I really have a good feeling about this year's Team GB, the talent just gets stronger and stronger each year.

But other than Team GB I think I'm most looking forward to watching the world's fastest man, Usian Bolt, in action and I don't think I'm the only one - but will 2016 be the year he is beaten?

I honestly doubt it but you never know.

But back to Britain - Team GB are so impressed with all the amazing support they have receive from their #SUPERFANS they have teamed up with their sponsor Panasonic and filmed a little video



Brilliant.

CARL

BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Post was a collaboration with Panasonic