Week 5 of my ‘transformation’

So, commencing week 5 of my personal training sessions with Pure Gym and I’m knackered. Health and lifestyle blogs will typically have a load of bullshit about how great they’re feeling and how they’re fit as ever, but this will be a more candid and honest representation…

I started this challenge at the same time I was beginning my third and final year of University, as well as working my part-time job at a bar and being chair of the netball committee so it’s fair to say I’ve put a lot of my plate. Along with that I suffer with anxiety which is best friends with stress, just to add to my worries. Why did I do this to myself you ask? I have no idea.

Working out is a fantastic stress buster and I would definitely be more stressed without it! You let it all out sprinting on the treadmill or squatting your personal best – so I’d advice anyone with anxiety or stress related issues to start hitting the gym. Getting a personal trainer like Chris is getting a councillor all in one as well – they’re there to make you feel the best version of yourself, physically and mentally.

My issue is food. Ok, you see Khloe Kardashian’s workouts on snapchat with her professional trainer but behind the scenes she probably has a high end chef to cook her whatever she wants and she can afford all the quinoa and kale she likes! A student like me cannot and I don’t always have the time to cook up a storm either – sometimes all I want to do is whack a curry in the microwave and get on my way (but the 900 calories a meal tell me to do otherwise).

Time and money isn’t my only issue relating to food. If you’ve had a long day at work, what’s the first thing you think about doing? Glass of wine? Takeaway? Chocolate? Yeah, I thought so. For me, if I’m stressed all I have to indulge on to cheer me up is an Alpen bar which just doesn’t work the same magic on my mood. Oh and then there’s all my friend’s 21st birthdays. Whilst they’re indulging on cake and wine, I’m there sipping a vodka Diet Coke wishing it was a glass of rosé the size of my head.

Actual training wise, it’s getting better but I find myself just wanting to be in bed when I’m there. If I had nothing else going on with my day I’d be totally up for it, ready and raring to go, but because I’m so tired I’m slightly lacking in motivation when I’m there. Despite this, Chris is great at giving me the kick up the arse that I need. He knows when I’m genuinely at “failure” compared to when I’m just not pushing hard enough which has assisted me in making some of the progress I have done.

Even though I am drowning in everything right now, seeing the beginnings of the changes I’ve been trying for keeps me going (especially when my boyfriend notices too!). I don’t just want to grind to a halt at the end of the 12 week period – I want to continue keeping up my fitness and staying in shape so I’m determined to get my head fully in the zone.

 

 

 

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Is detox dieting a load of bullsh*t?

In recent years, everyone has become obsessed with ‘detoxing’ their bodies of toxins to become fitter and healthier versions of themselves – but the question is, is it a actually a load of crap?

Basically, yes. To continuously get rid of every single toxin in our body, we’d have to spend the majority of our lives on the toilet as that’s the main way to get rid of toxins. Toxins come from everywhere, from air pollution to food packaging to tap water; they’re pretty much inescapable. However, not all toxins are bad which commercial markets forget to remind you of so getting rid of all toxins could actually do your body more harm than good.

There are several celebrity endorsed brands like BooTea and FitTea who have the likes of Lucy Watson and Ashley Tisdale advertising them. Advertising these products to a large following of young, female instagrammers which could be detrimental as we are already living in a body obsessed world with 725,000 people in the uk having an eating disorder in 2015.

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Source: instagram @ashleytisdale

What the people who buy these commercialised “detox” diets do not know is that their bodies are already fully equipped to fight off bad toxins on their own. The human body is an amazing thing and with the help from the likes of our livers, kidneys and gastrointestinal systems we are perfectly fine battling off toxins by ourselves without having to spend ridiculous amounts of money on these detoxes (and ridiculous amounts of time on the toilet for that matter!).

Only 20% of dieting actually works. The majority of doctors will advise you to do the boring, old-fashioned technique of healthy eating, exercising more and eating smaller portions. With “detox” diets, they make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from the food were are ingesting because they’re going through our system too quickly as detox teas are a form of laxative. Due to this, it leads to people majorly lacking in energy because no energy has been absorbed so not only are you on the toilet all the time, you’re feeling pretty shitty too (pun intended). It’s extremely unlikely you will end up looking like the ridiculous toned and muscular girls who advertise these ‘teatoxes’ because you won’t actually have the energy to work out.

Linking to the laxative effect of the detox diets, it can often cause implications with taking the contraceptive pill. Many people have complained about getting pregnant whilst doing these diets despite taking their contraceptive pill like they usually would. The reason for this is, again, because it completely flushes everything out including your contraceptive pill! It isn’t that everyone one will become pregnant who does these diets, but it does massively increase your chances of accidentally doing so. Is shedding a few pounds worth accidentally getting pregnant? Nope.

Lastly, detox diets are all just a fad. You take them and yes, you shift a few pounds (that said shift, not shit) and you feel slimmer… but as soon as you stop taking the tea or juice or whatever it is, those pounds will just come back again.

In conclusion, these diets could make you feel rubbish, make you go to the toilet all the time, they don’t actually help you lose weight in the long term and could potentially make you pregnant with a baby you were not intending to have. Worth it? I think not.

A candid look at 30 years of marriage

In 2014, there were 111,169 divorces with the average marriage lasting 8 – 12 years. However, for Bev and Andrew Shackleton (my wonderful parents), last week marked their 30th wedding anniversary proving not all marriages end in divorce. 

After meeting at sixth form at the ages of 16, they went on to marry at the ages of 22 and 23 – my Mum is a cougar by six months. Before marrying, they endured a long distance relationship with my Dad studying in London and my Mum being home in Blackpool after she dropped out of Leeds university. In a time of no mobiles and internet – yeah, I know… there was once a time when everyone did not know what everyone was doing every second of every day – they still managed to remain a couple together despite the 247 (approximately) miles between them. They then went on to marry in 1987. So, in a society where divorce has become extremely common, I asked them how they’ve survived so long…

What were your toughest battles over the past 30 years and how did you overcome them?

Dad: “When we first married we were living in the Midlands in Birmingham and your Mum moved down there because I was there when she possibly didn’t really want to. It took your mother out of her comfort zone and just sort of pitched the two of us together as two 23 year olds in a new city and a new flat without the family support mechanism.”

I went on to ask how they coped as couple when my Mum became ill after giving birth to me and then my Grandma (her Mum) passing away from cancer a few months later:

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My parents in Spain, 2013

Mum: “It tends to make your relationship stronger. In the face of adversity you pull together and support each other more.”

I also asked how my Dad deals with my Mum suffering with anxiety as sometimes it can be difficult to take care of someone with mental health issues:

Dad: “You used to be worse than you are now [to my Mum]. It was honestly never an issue and never a cause of conflict. If you marry somebody, you marry that person. You take on board each persons’ strength and weaknesses – your mother takes on mine and I do hers.”

Mum: “I don’t think we were surprised by each other when we got married because we already knew each other very well so I don’t feel we went into a relationship and thought  “I didn’t realise you were going to be like this.”

What annoys you about each other? 

Dad: *sheepishly* “you start…”

Mum: “Erm, there’s nothing really that annoys me about your Dad because if it did we wouldn’t have been together all this time. Anything that annoys me about your Dad he knows, like his snoring and his grumpiness that has come with age.”

Dad: “Your mum’s shopping habits aren’t great… and she never does the bins. Your mother’s stubborn too. It doesn’t annoy me [*he says sheepishly again*], it’s just an observation.”

Have you ever gone through a rough patch in your marriage? 

Mum: “I think people who go through rough patches are people who have issues with each other, not the situations that are going on in their lives. Everybody goes through times in their life that are hard, but if you have a strong relationship you support each other and the reason marriages break up is because people give in too easy.”

Dad: “Either people aren’t suited, shouldn’t have got married in the first place or let little things become a big deal. They just use it as an excuse and don’t stick to it.”

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My parents in Italy, 2016

Mum: “A lot of people end up divorced because of a third party. One person in the relationship will think that ‘there must be something better than this’ and they’re tempted by what they think might be better than what they’ve got. A lot of the time they go on to find that’s not the case and what they had was comfortable and secure. They’ve given that up for something they thought was initially exciting but turns out to be mundane and ordinary.”

What advice would you give to newly married couples? 

Mum: Just think about how the other feels about things all the time and don’t set your expectations too high. The thing is when you first get married you take on a lot of financial responsibility as well, it’s all very boring and everything but you just kind of get on with it. You’re learning all the time.”

Dad: Just be aware of each others short comings. Make each other laugh. Always know you’re going to lose the argument – pretend to have a quick argument then let it go.”

How have you overall survived 30 years of marriage?

Dad: Because we love each other, we make each other laugh and we’re best mates.

 

So, there is such thing as soul mates – not all hope is lost people.

 

Confessions of an over-thinker

To ‘overthink’ is to think about something too much for too long – from why didn’t my friend text me back, to what do I want to do with my life? It’s an on going cycle of thoughts churning when most of the time it’s all over nothing.

Example number 1: friendships

If you don’t text back within half an hour, we will think you’ve either died or you hate us. We’ll be staring at our phone like we’re waiting to find out if you’ve survived surgery when you had a 50/50 chance of survival… when really we’re just waiting on a reply if you want to come out tonight. Whilst we’re sat there wondering if you’ve had a car crash, you’re probably just in the shower.

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Source: Giphy.com

Example number 2: relationships

Don’t get me started- if relationships aren’t a trip to anxiety-ville, I don’t know what is. Being in a generation of playing “hard to get” is hell to an over-thinker. Does he like me, does he not? Is he speaking to someone else? Does he even want a girlfriend? Did the date go OK? Did I have something in my teeth? He heard me fart didn’t he? I swore it was silent. Etc.

Then when you’re actually in the relationship, it doesn’t get much better. Every small thing you do it a sign to us. He wants to go out with the lads this weekend… to probably bitch about me. His mum definitely hates me. He’s not text much today, he definitely wants to break up… but he was just on his Xbox.

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Source: Giphy.com

Example number 3: the battle with trying to sleep

Ah, 10:30pm, maybe I should head off to sleep. 3 hours later you’re still laid there questioning things from the purpose of life to what you should wear to your Grandma’s birthday this weekend. Our brains. don’t. turn. off.

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Source: Giphy.com

Example 4: being a sarcastic bastard

Do you know how hard is it to be queen of sarcasm but on then overthink the sarcy comment you made. You’ll be bringing the banter and drop a sarcastic line that blows everyone away – next thing you know you’re thinking about the comment several days later wondering if it a bit harsh and if they knew you were joking. Argh! It quickly goes from giggling at your own savage-ness to rocking back and forth in your room thinking about what a bad person you are.

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Source: Giphy.com

Example number 5: attempting the “fuck it” lifestyle

Knowing you’re £-500 but find a pair of jeans on Asos you simply love and order them on impulse. Then you worry about it for 3-5 working days until they arrive and send them straight back knowing you don’t have £35 to spare. Or, thinking “fuck it” and go out with your friends despite the fact you have a 9am lecture tomorrow then spend the whole night out thinking about how you should be in bed right now. Damn it.

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Source: Giphy.com

 

So over all, an over-thinker will never be a care-free person who all of a sudden decides to pack up their bags and travel the world or something – well actually we might do but we would overthink it, panic and unpack our bags immediately…

Why Social Media’s Brainwashing Us

At the age of 20, I find it truly surreal how badly peoples lives revolve around social media – the main culprits being Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. We are living in a time where it is the norm to document every single movement we make, letting the world know where we are and what we’re doing. Also, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels 99.9% of what people are posting is complete and utter bullshit.

Instagram is the bane of my life. I will often look down the posts of people I follow and wonder how in God’s name there are 13-year-olds gaining over 200 likes on the photos when I’ll scrape 30 on a good day (I’m not jealous… honest). Instagram didn’t become popular until I was about 15 or 16, but these 13-year-olds in their crop tops, Topshop ‘Joni‘ jeans and Adidas superstars have had these social media platforms since primary school.

Then there’s the photoshoppers. For the love of God if you’re that desperate for likes you feel the need to photoshop your pictures then you need to seriously re-evulate your life. It’s extremely sad we live in a society where people think it’s necessary to photoshop themselves for their Instagram followers to think they’re a bit slimmer that they are or have perfectly airbrushed skin – which FYI doesn’t actually look realistic. I’ll hold my hands up to admitting I’m all for some good lighting and angling but photoshopping is excessive. It’s sad girls aren’t confident enough in their own skin to just put a nice, genuine picture up of themselves. Is it just me that would be truly mortified to meet a new person and have them discover how completely different you look in life to the way you look on Instagram?

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Want to know another thing that’s sad? That people live their lives for Instagram –  I’d bet some people only go travelling for the Instagram opportunities. It’s almost like a virtual reality that it’s a true representation of your life or the person you are. Serial instagrammers are more interested in taking a picture of the food they’ve got instead of actually eating it and they’re more interested in taking a picture of where they are than actually enjoying the experience. Yawn.

Over to Snapchat. Bloody snapchat. It’s like people feel they have to snapchat their nights out to prove themselves. We get it, you went to a club, congratulations. Instead of wasting your time (and battery for that matter) snapchatting every song played or the “fun” you’re having, appreciate the moment you are in and the people there with you for god sake! Pet peeve alert: this filter is not a true representation of how you look! No one honestly has that slimmer face and eyes that big. This filter it totally cheating at life (as demonstrated by actress, Anna Kendrick):

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Source: Instagram @annakendrick47

 

Moving over to the bullshit-fest that is Facebook. Facebook is full of fake friendships and crappy relationships. The only reason I still have Facebook is to assist me with my journalism and for the highly entertaining memes (sorry to my friends that I tag in 7 a day). Why frequently post about you’re undying love for your boyfriend or girlfriend? What are you trying to prove? That you’re actual crappy relationship is all fine and dandy when it’s really on the rocks? Do yourself a favour and spend time working on your relationship instead of wasting time trying to justify it to the people of Facebook.

We’ve become transfixed with focusing on how we present ourselves on social media; whether than be slimmer, or happier than we genuinely are. People have become alienated into believing that social media is the be-all and end-all of their lives and without it they’re nothing. You do not need to look like society wants you to and you don’t need to act that way either. If you go to McDonald’s for a date instead of the Alchemist, who gives a damn. If you go caravanning on holiday instead of a cruise, again, who gives a damn. I saddens me that society has come to a point where people can only feel secure in themselves and the way they look by conveying a false persona.

If you feel the same way as I do, unfollow the people that aggravate you and take a day off from social media. Trust me, you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.

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Source: giphy.com

“What’s More Important, Your Boobs or Your Life?”

Similar to Angelina Jolie, Grace Marshall and Lydia Hughes may have inherited the BRCA gene meaning they too need to consider major surgeries in the future…

Grace, a 21-year-old civil servant, and Lydia, a 20-year-old Lancaster university student, may have the BRCA2 gene meaning they have a lifetime cancer risk of 70%. Most women have a 12.5% lifetime risk.

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Grace (left) and Lydia (right)- Source: Facebook

Women with the BRCA2 gene need to consider major preventative surgery like mastectomies and hysterectomies which is a difficult decision to make, especially at the age of 20 and 21.

The BRCA gene (types one and two) are a genetic mutation that increases a person’s chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer in women, and breast and prostate cancer in men. The gene itself does not cause the cancer to occur; the BRCA mutation impairs the cell’s ability to repair DNA damage making it easier for a cell to become cancerous.

Grace’s mother and Lydia’s auntie, Diane, was diagnosed with cancer in 2001.  After a family history of breast cancer she was tested to see if she had the gene. Unfortunately, Diane did have the BRCA2 mutation, and soon after finding out, two of her three sisters found they had the gene too. This lead to their double mastectomies and hysterectomies.

Most young women are thinking about planning what holiday to go on next year, or what festival to go to, but that is different for girls like Lydia and Grace. They will soon have to decide when to take these genetic tests to find out if they have inherited this gene; and from that plan when and if to have preventive surgeries.

“When I was 18 my Mum didn’t want me to find out and I wasn’t bothered either way,” Grace said. “Now Mum’s like, ‘I think you’re mature enough to know’. At the end of the day, it is my choice.”

Lydia said, “I’m not going to have it now, so I’m not going to know. Because I’m not having it now I’m just going to continue as normal until I do have it. I feel like I know that these decisions are coming up but I don’t have to think about that until I have the test. It’s like it will become real if I do have it.”

Lydia currently plans on having the test in her late 20’s, whilst Grace said the only reason she has not had it yet was because she’s been busy, not because she is wanting to hold it off.

Lydia explained her reasoning for wanting to hold off  on having the test, “If i found out now then I have to make these decisions now, and I don’t want to because I’m 19 [at the time of the interview], living at uni, and just… that’s not what I want to think about.”

Despite the big decisions after having the genetic testing, Grace said nothing would stop her having the test done, “ I see my auntie Colette and Claire, they’ve had the gene and they’re fine, and I see my Mum who got the actual cancer and well… she’s not fine, but she’s lived for over ten years. If I do get it there are things to stop it, and if it is terminal, you can still live quite a lengthy life with it.”

Lydia also had quite an optimistic view on her chances of having the BRCA2 gene, “It doesn’t bother me because I knew my Mum (Colette) and auntie Claire had the gene and I know that there’s options so I can just have preventative surgery giving me the same chance as everyone else.”

People who have the BRCA2 gene have a 50/50 chance of passing it on to their children. When Lydia was asked if it would stop her having children she said, “No because I know how we have been growing up knowing this and I know that we have all been fine with it. I know by the time that we have kids, my Mum’s been telling me they’re finding new ways to treat it and flip the gene so it’s not mutated anymore, so by the time I have kids this might have come into fruition.”

However Grace had different thoughts, “If I did have it (the gene), I’d never have a child without making sure that the child wasn’t going to get it because I don’t want to pass it on anymore.”

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Finding out you may inherit a gene like the BRCA2 and deciding to have genetic testing to find out can be stressful for any young adult, and not everyone will have the same family support and positive outlook as Grace and Lydia’s.

From one young adult in this situation to another, Grace said, “I think if you are stressing about it you should find out. If it’s something that plays on your mind every day, then you need to know. Think about how many people have it, and how many people live with it, I don’t think it should be a thing that is hidden away from. There should be more of casual look on it. Sometimes it’s like the C bomb isn’t it?”

Lydia said, “Even though you do have a gene that puts you at a higher risk, it’s a blessing in disguise because then it opens the doors to so much more help. You’d get offered so many things, like counselling, and more screenings more regularly. We might have a higher chance of getting  cancer, but we have a higher chance of it being found early and treated properly.”

If you are struggling with finding out the results of your test, contemplating having the test done or you’re simply just wanting to know more about genetic mutations, go online to www.cancerresearchuk.org or go speak to your local GP.

The Darker Side to Student Life

People like to think of university as all fun and games, but when it comes down to reality, it’s not. Yes, we might get money given to us for three (or four) years, but it’s usually hardly enough to cover our rent. Yes, we might be able to sleep in until noon sometimes, but that’s because we were working on essays until 1AM the night before. 

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Students end up facing several new things when moving to univeristy – you become completely indepedent when just a few months ago you had zero to worry about.

Problem number 1Money

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Source: giphy

In my first year of university I received a scholarship off the university for my A-Level grades that went straight into my pocket which massively helped me. Second year, I don’t receive a scholarship and I feel like I may need to sell a limb to get by this year.

An earlier study showed that financial stress was the most significant factor in triggering depression at university. The current financial stresses on students are significantly greater than they were at the time of the study! – studentsagainstdepression.org

Student loans are CRAP. Students who’s parents do not earn a lot get higher loans than student who’s parents earn more – the government do not take into account that just because a student’s parents aren’t badly off, does not mean they will fund their way through university. Students who get a bigger loan, are likely to have a bigger overdraft to dip into too. If you don’t end up in debt with your bank, you’ll end up in debt with your parents!

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Where students look to find extra money –  Source: savethestudent.org

Savethestudent.org conducted a survey that found that 78% of students that took part think student finance is unfair and that 80% worry about financially making ends meet, which effects their diet and grades. Students who struggle to get a job during university will turn to some extreme measures to earn some quick cash. One student on savethestudent.org said “I ate an entire flower for £20” … maybe stick to the normal jobs available guys.

Need help on budgeting? Click here for some advice!

Problem number 2 – Moving away from home

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Source: giphy

Whether you’re an hour away, or a country away, the move is hard. One minute you have your mum cooking up a delicious roast dinner, next think you know you’re at uni and realizing you haven’t changed  your bed sheets in 5 weeks (oops).

People struggle with different aspects of the move; whether it’s taking responsibility for yourself and having to do adult things like food shopping and washing  up, or if it’s because all your close mates are dotted around different parts of the country.

It is well known that any such transition or change, however positive, entails a certain amount of stress. Indeed, for some students – especially international students – these changes can add up to what is known as ‘culture shock’. – studentsagainstdepression.org

Problem number 3 – Balancing everything

 

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Source: giphy

If Ethan Hunt thinks he’s done mission impossible, then he obviously didn’t go to university. Trying to balance several different aspects of university is extremely difficult.

From trying to have a social life, but not getting behind on uni work to attending lectures but finding time to go food shopping or hit the gym, to wanting to go explore exciting things of the new city you’re living in to not spending outside of your means. It’s EXHASUSTING!

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 Problem 4 – Stress

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Source: giphy

Stress is a very common things in university students; the University of Reading says there has been a 20% year-on-year increase in students wanting help from counsellors. Also, a nationally representative study of 1000 students found that 75% of them had suffered with some form of emotional distress whilst at university.

It’s easy to get stressed at university, whether it’s due to money or your work load, but it’s important to take care of yourself as too much stress can make you unwell and could effect your grades and lifestyle.

Particular stress points occur at the beginnings and ends of academic years, especially at the start and towards the end of the academic year. These times of increased stress can represent a tipping point when coping resources can become overwhelmed – a recent study found that student suicides more commonly occur at these times.  – studentsagainstdepression.org

Wanting to understand more about stress? Click here where you can take a test  to see how stressed you are, read about symptoms of  stress and advice on how to beat  it.

 

OK, so university isn’t all doom and gloom, but it’s important to understand the negative aspects of it too. As stressful as it can be, you’ll make new friends, you’ll create new memories and a large percentage of people I know who went to university describes it as “the best years of their lives”.

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source: giphy

Try make life easier for yourself by not doing an essay last minute, socialising a little more if you’re lonely, seeking consounselling if you’re stressed and/or depressed and finding money saving techniques to be able to afford experiencing the city you’re living in.

Enjoy the good times, and seek help if the bad times get too much! 

Ten Things You Probably Didn’t Know About GBBO

It’s the end of summer and that means one thing only, the Great British Bake Off is back! From bread to biscuits, from cakes to pies; the baking competetion wins over the hearts of British viewers every year as we watch the contestants create fabulous bakes… and not so fabulous bakes.

Over these next few weeks, Mary Berry will become our surrogate grandmother, Paul Hollywood our ever-critical uncle and the contestants our long lost baking brothers and sisters. To celebrate GBBO’s 7th series, here’s a few facts you probably didn’t know:

  1. GBBO first premiered 17th August 2010, with an average of 2.77 million UK viewers whilst last years GBBO had 12.50 million UK viewers.

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    Source: giphy
  2. Series 1 was filmed at Fulham Palace, Series 2 at Valentines Mansion, Series 3 & 4 in Harptree Court and Series 5 to 7 in Welford Park.
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    Source: giphy

     

  3. In the 5th series, a number of viewers complained about the volume of innuendos used by presenters, Mel and Sue.

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    Source: giphy
  4. Over the 7 series, GBBO has won three BAFTAs, two National Television Awards and a Rose d’Or lifestyle award.

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    Source: giphy
  5.  This year, over 12,000 people applied to be a GBBO contestant. 300-400 applicants make it to the first audition, and only 50-60 people get to the second audition. The applicants to the show are assessed by a researcher, followed by an audition in London with two of their bakes. They then undergo a screen test and an interview with a producer. The second audition involves the applicants baking two recipes for judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood in front of the cameras.

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    Source: tv.bt.com
  6. The reason the contestants wear the same clothes all weekend, despite the programme being filmed over two days, is for continuity purposes; not just because they only own that one outfit.

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    Source: giphy
  7. You’ll be pleased to know the bakes don’t just go in the bin! Chief home economist Faenia Moore of GBBO said: “It all gets eaten, but in a controlled way. It’s important for the bakers to eat what they’ve slaved over, so after each challenge I make up a ‘baker’s basket’ to go to their lunchroom. Then any leftovers go to the crew lunch.”

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    Source: giphy
  8. Apparently, Paul has a strict ‘no cake ban’ in his day to day life, and only eats it when judging on GBBO.

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    Source: giphy
  9. There are international versions of GBBO such as The Great Australian Bake Off, Bake Off Brazil and The Great South African Bake Off. 

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    Source: dailymotion.com
  10. The filming takes up to 16 hours a day over the two days of baking!

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    Source: giphy

 

Well there you have it – there’s more than meets the eye to one of the UK’s most popular television shows.

Let’s hope difficult bread week goes well for the contestants next week!

Sources: wikipedia, bbcgoodgood.com & mentalfloss.com

Naked Selfies: Confidence Conveying or Just Overly Revealing?

We all know some celebrities love a good naked selfie (or nearly naked selfie), but the question is what is their motive behind such revealing pictures? To convey how confident they feel in their own skin, or to just be some eye candy for their millions and thousands of followers? Are these pictures really setting a good example for young women?

Culprit number 1: Kim Kardashian West

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Mrs Kardashian West is known for her raunchy photos. We all agree her figure is pretty phenomenal, but should a mum and wife really be revealing so much to so many people? (touche to her however for getting back in shape after two kids).

One Facebooker commented on Kim’s naked selfie saying: “If I would look like this I would not only photograph myself naked, I would run around with nothing on all day! Haters should shut the F up. Really. You wish you looked like that,” whilst the next comment is, “Lol kim just can’t stop hoein” – so it’s safe to say there’s quite a divide in opinions on the matter.

Kim’s photo captions range. The naked professionally taken photo captions “#liberated”, showing her confidence, whilst the naked blonde bombshell photo captions, “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL”, arguably trying to cause controversy and gain attention.

The positive outcome of Kim’s photos is embracing more curvaceous bodies… other than that, it’s slightly too ‘X rated’ for me. Discretion has never been her strong point.

When asking my twitter followers on the topic of naked selfies, many felt people do it to be eye candy and come across sexy, rather than liberate women to be confident.

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Culprit number 2: Miley Cyrus 

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In recent years, it seems Miss Cyrus has forgotten what bra is. The once child star has removed the Hannah Montana wig… along with the majority everything else. It’s likely the Wrecking-ball singer, who once had to be a role model to kids, is simply rebelling now  she’s no longer a Disney actress.

From fake boob leotards on stage, to stark naked wrecking-balling, Miley’s rarely seen in a normal pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Cyrus is known for promoting “freedom” and so on, but maybe just a little too much of Miley’s flesh has been freed.

If you’re planning to rebel any time soon, I don’t recommend you follow Miley’s example unless you want to give your parents a heart attack – maybe just “running away” and sitting on your street corner for half an hour would be more appropriate.

I asked girls similar to my own age how they felt about so much nudity on social media & what example it sets for young women:

“I don’t think it sets a good example for young girls. Kim K and Kylie get more attention for putting naked selfies on social media & they know they get attention from doing it. They should promote themselves in a more productive ways, showing girls a positive way of getting attention.” Olivia McKell, 21

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“I think it shows more confidence to be honest, especially when it’s Kim who is rather curvy showing girls it’s okay to have boobs and a big bum rather than be a stick. When I saw Kim’s naked selfie, I just thought ‘Jesus she’s got some balls’.” Chloe Kendrick, 19

“It can go both ways. If things are sleezy and for men, then it’s eye candy, but then I could argue if men have the right to be topless then why can’t women? If they’re confident enough to show themselves off then I think it’s empowering because  it’s giving everyone the right to be confident in themselves.” Abbie Saul, 20

“I think it’s sometimes putting too much pressure on girls these days to want to have that  ‘perfect’ body, when the truth is celebs have probably spent a fortune on themselves to look like that, or by photoshopping pictures. Kudos to the celebs who work hard for it though.” Marie Bibat, 20 

“I feel like there are some things you should keep for yourself and your partner. I couldn’t stand having my naked butt all over the internet. Keep it a bit of mistery, you know?” Ana Iliescu, 20

 

I’m all for promoting being  confident in your own skin, it’s extremely important to be! However, some of these naked pictures (by other celebrities as well as Kardashian West and Cyrus), add to the pressure young girls face of having to be ‘sexy’. Don’t feel pressured into being someone you’re not, and showing things you don’t want to. You can show confidence with your clothes on, just ask constant clothes wearer, Beyoncé .

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