Wednesday 23 January 2019

New Year, Same Me? | AD

This January I haven't set myself any grand new year goals and I have to say that it feels refreshingly great! I do have some personal goals that i've been working towards but, as they've already been in motion since last year, I didn't feel the need to make any additional resolutions of any kind.   

If I'm being honest, I think the whole 'new year, new me' thing has thankfully started to fall on its face as more and more of us are learning to like and accept ourselves for who we are. I think the majority of us have also probably learnt the hard way that new year resolutions often fall flat on their face once the initial motivation of a new year has faded, usually around the end of January, if not before. We've all been there!

More recently i've been trying to adopt the mindset that there's no better time than now to act on any changes I want to make. A couple of weeks before Christmas I asked myself why I was waiting for the new year to start running again. In many ways it felt easier to put it off until January but I knew deep down that it would feel like a bigger mountain to climb if I waited until then. So I jumped out of bed, put on my trainers and went out for that first run! I felt so good for it and this meant I was a lot more active over the festive period than I would have been. Acting on impulse like that was the best thing I could have done because I went into the new year actually feeling good about myself and my plan was already in motion.

Part of feeling good and confident in myself also comes down to what i'm wearing. I have a bit of an obsession with sporty clothing at the moment and find myself wearing it even on the days when i'm not working out (one of the many plus points of working from home!). I like to feel confident and comfortable when working out and, for me personally, a big part of this will be the clothes that i'm wearing and how well they fit me. To celebrate the opening of their newest Foodhall in Canvey Island, M&S recently reached out and asked if i'd like to try out their Click & Collect service when buying women's active wear and it honestly couldn't have been better timing for me.

When it comes to ordering things online I more often than not opt for the delivery service but this doesn't always work out as the cheapest or quickest way of doing things. I really like that the M&S Click & Collect service is completely free and that if you order by 10pm you can collect your order the next day. I often find myself waiting days for online orders to turn up so this felt like a much more efficient way of shopping online. I also didn't realise that you can collect online orders from their Foodhall stores too which makes it even easier! I found the whole process of ordering online and collecting from the store so quick and easy, I will definitely be using this service again.

These days I find myself shopping online more than ever before, particularly when it comes to clothing. I like the fact that I can take my time with it and try on things at home as I always tend to feel so flustered and rushed whenever I'm in an actual shop. When browsing the M&S women's active wear range online I was really impressed by the amount of choice and style of the clothes. I picked myself up a Textured Borg Fleece,  a Quick Dry Sweatshirt and a pair of their Quick Dry Joggers. I haven't bought any clothing from M&S recently so I was a little apprehensive around their sizing but I'm pleased to say that everything I bought was true to size and fit really comfortably. 

Before Christmas I mentioned that I was adopting a more flexible approach to both my diet and lifestyle going forward and I've felt ten times better in myself ever since. It's funny what can happen when you take the pressure off yourself! There were moments and certain situations in 2018 when I struggled to be 100% vegan but there's no denying that in this new year it seems that plant based food has become more accessible and part of the mainstream than ever before.

There have been more new vegan releases this month than I can keep up with but a real highlight for me has of course been the new Plant Kitchen range from M&S hitting the shelves. I have been really impressed and blown away by the amount of choice and the quality of these dishes. It feels quite amazing to be able to look back to when I first dipped a toe into veganism a few years ago when there was very little in the way of vegan friendly convenience food compared to what things are like now. I've been fortunate enough to try quite a few different Plant Kitchen dishes and standout favourites for me include the coleslaw (it's mind-blowingly good!), the Cashew Mac (which is by the far the best plant based mac & cheese i've ever tasted) and i'm already a big fan of the No Beef Burgers.

For the most part we like to make our meals from scratch at home and i'm lucky to have a husband who really enjoys cooking because if it wasn't for him I would probably be living off beans on toast! But already this month we've found the Plant Kitchen meals to be a real god send when we haven't had time to be so organised with our meals. We've also enjoyed them as a weekend treat instead of getting our usual Saturday night takeaway which has worked out as a much healthier and cheaper option for us.

Now i'd be lying if I didn't say that I want to lose some weight going forward. It sounds like such a cliché new year thing to say but, again, it's something i've been working on since mid last year so it was already in motion and by the new year i'd already lost over a stone which is so motivating! I find that calorie counting works best for me as it means I don't have to cut anything I love eating out of my diet and it also means I achieve more balance when it comes to the foods that I eat. I've been really pleased to find that the Plant Kitchen dishes that i've tried have easily fitted into my daily allowance without having to make any sacrifices elsewhere in my day. It's also been super easy to stay on track as all of the nutritional information is supplied which I admit often feels more challenging when my husband is throwing various ingredients into a pan!

2019 does feel like the year I am working more on myself but it's with kindness, flexibility and less pressure all round. I want to feel like the best version of myself but I know it's going to take time and i'm ok with that, as long as i'm headed in the right direction. One thing i've realised is that there are no quick fixes and consistency is what ultimately pays off. The fact that i've been working on my goals for a while now also means that i'm feeling more confident than ever about both achieving and maintaining them.

Marks & Spencer will be opening the doors to its newest Foodhall in Canvey Island today at the Canvey Retail Park. M&S Canvey Island will also offer the full range of M&S Clothing and Home products via its Click & Collect service. Customers can opt for next day pick up if they order online by 10pm the night before on M& and the store will also offer hassle free returns. This new store will be open Monday - Saturday 8am - 9pm, and Sunday 10am - 4pm. Claire Benson, Store Manager said, “The team has been working so hard to get ready for the opening and it’s been brilliant to see the community turn out to support us today. The shelves are bursting with everything from lunches to go, to everyday essentials, to dinners perfect for sharing with family and friends. We’re excited to be part of the Canvey Island community and we can’t wait to get to know our local customers.”

* This post was created in collaboration with M&S.
Products featured within this post were gifted to me. 
All views ands opinions are completely my own. 

1 comment

  1. Love that the Click & Collect has next-day collection - that's awesome! Love your haul. :)

    I'm obsessed with the Plant Kitchen range. My faves so far have been the Cashew Mac, Thai Green Curry and Potato Salad but there's soooo many tasty treats!


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