Fitness, Punishment, and Carrie Hope Fletcher | #FitLife

Part of the reason I wanted to do this #FitLife series on this blog was in response to Carrie Hope Fletcher's posts about fitness on her Instagram and Youtube channel in January. She talked about how fitness shouldn't be about punishing yourself and it truly resonated with me because I thought about fitness in that way for many years.

If you don't know Carrie, she is a West End actress, author of several books, and popular vlogger. She's always been someone I've looked up to for years both as a content creator and as a young woman making her way in the world without losing her principles.

Here is the image she shared on Instagram along with her caption and the YouTube video she followed up with:

"I've been going to the gym recently. I had a very unhealthy 2017, in which I drank more alcohol in the space of six months than I have ever drunk in my entire life, I ate all the good food the UK had to offer and I did zero exercise to balance it all out. Basically, Addams Family was the university experience I never had as a young adult! So now, I’m making up for it and exercising properly to balance out the vanilla lattes I drink and the Gu pots I eat. BUT I am going to the gym because I LOVE my body and the more I love it, the more it’ll love me back. 

And sooo...BECAUSE my reason for going to the gym is that I love my body, I need to talk about this poster that I saw today because it’s made me quite angry and uncomfortable. 

I’m not a small girl. I haven’t been since the age of 14. I’ve always been buxom. But no matter what size or shape I am, I should NEVER be made to feel like I have to “punish” myself into being something different. Being bigger or less “buff” than those around me isn’t a punishable offense. It’s not an offense, FULL STOP. Exercising regularly should be something you do because you LOVE your body and you want to care for and nurture it. It should be about self care. Not punishment. 

I do have moments when I look at my body and don’t feel satisfied by it’s appearance but I have to remind myself that...I am not just my body. I am not just my appearance and anyone who judges other people purely based on how they look isn’t worth your time or tears. I am not just my body. I am my brain, my voice, my talent. I am my kindness, my creativity, my big heart. I am my passion, my courage and my determination. I am not just my body. And so my worries are often short lived because I know that I am long loved. By those I choose to keep close who love ALL of me but most importantly, I am loved by me."

I wanted to take the time to share Carrie's statements and thoughts because I agree with them so intensely and because I think it's important to hear these kind of ideas from someone who has a platform that she's using for good. 

I plan on sharing more about my ideas and personal fitness journey in a later post, but I spent years thinking fitness was about 'fixing' my body or 'punishing' myself for over-indulging - and it's a common ideology in popular culture. 

My ideas about fitness changed completely when I started seeing it as an extension of health care and simply a way to take care of - and maybe even celebrate - my body. What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with Carrie (and me)? x

The Diary of a Beginner Yogi | #FitLife

When my friend Kimbely offered to write a post about her experiences with yoga, I was thrilled. I actually have recently decided to try going to yoga classes again because it embodies everything that I want fitness to be more me - something to improve my mind and body. Especially if you love books, definitely check out Kim's amazing blog.

The Diary of a Beginner Yogi
I don't know if it's just me, but yoga has been all over my news feed lately. I see the practice on Instagram and Facebook, and I pass at least three studios on my way to work, so I've definitely been thinking about it a lot. I've always wanted to get into yoga because I think it's such a beneficial practice for the mind and body, but I never stuck to the classes either because of time constraints or fear of inadequacy.

I've been consistently going to the gym for about two months now (yay!), so I decided a fun way to mix up my fitness routine in 2018 would be to add monthly challenges to my schedule. In February, I tackled a diet challenge (check it out on my blog in a few days) where I cut out carbs for a month and I also decided to incorporate yoga into my routine twice a week.

Typically I work out in the morning before work, so on my break days, I decided to do thirty minutes of light yoga instead of completely forgoing physical activity.

So, Here's the Thing About Starting Yoga...
When I first started to practice yoga, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I remember queuing up the first video, which was a beginner's morning yoga session and feeling so bored with the first ten minutes. Then, all of a sudden it got hard. I feel like yoga seems deceptively easy because it's all about stretching and breathing, but it requires an immense amount of strength as well as discipline.

Something I love is that I can do yoga from home. This means the two days of the week I do yoga, I have a little extra time to drink my tea at home or go into the office early to get some work done. There are amazing resources online (I'll get to those later), which means yoga doesn't have to break the bank.

I love the way my body feels during and after yoga. It's a much subtler practice than heavy weightlifting, but I can already feel the muscles in my legs and arms growing stronger and leaner from all the downward dogs and warrior poses. I'm also much more aware of my posture while sitting at work and I take the time to roll out my joints (like my neck and my wrists) more frequently than I used to.

These changes aren't astronomical, but it does make me feel a little better to have more awareness of my being and leads me to believe that that awareness will continue to grow as I grow in my practice.

Things to Remember
Yoga is not going to automatically be easy for you. It takes a lot of discipline, continued practice, and patience with your body. I've never been a nimble person, so I'm reminding myself every day that getting into the practice takes time and the little changes I see every day are leading up to big growth.

Don't stop before you've even started. You might not be able to hold anything other than a child's pose for a while, but you're trying and that's what's important. Keep doing your best and know that change will come.

Resources for Your Practice 
My favorite channel to turn to for longer yoga practice is Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. She has a full playlist for beginners and a range of videos from 10 minutes to a full hour. I love how focused her practice is on perfecting the movements and focusing on the breath. I feel incredibly centered after a yoga session with Adrienne and I've never felt that way before. I also usually have a difficult time following along to yoga videos, but Adrienne makes it so easy I don't even realize I'm not in a class setting.

I also checked out Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube, which I think is a lot better for people who are looking to do a little bit of yoga every day. I found the videos to be a bit more fast-paced and a shorter time period. I don't think I'd recommend Sarah Beth Yoga for 100% newbies like myself, but if you're just looking to do some additional yoga practice at home, these videos are a great aid.

Yoga is a wonderful addition to any lifestyle in my opinion. It doesn't require fancy equipment or $100 memberships. You don't have to be crazy strong or bendy - you just have to be you and you have to be willing to put in the work. I think it's a great way to center our minds and calm ourselves before the insanity of the day gets the better of us. It's always a good idea to incorporate practices into your life that better your mind, body and spirit, and yoga does just that.

I'm no yogi yet, but I'm excited to see where this practice takes me.


Peanut Butter Banana Pancake Recipe | #FitLife

My friend Stefanie always makes the best healthy pancakes -- not only are they gluten free for those who need that, they're also lactose free (and your girl here discovered she's somewhat lactose intolerant over the summer and tries to cut it out where possible).
I asked her if I could share her recipe on my blog and luckily for all of you, she said yes! It's not the most exact recipe -- you can add or take out things as you wish, but hopefully it'll inspire you to find a way that you like them best.


  • 1-2 bananas
  • 2-3 eggs (vegan eggs can be substituted) 
  • Almond/coconut flour to thicken the batter
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tiny scoop of pure stevia leaf sweetener 

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend the batter until mostly smooth. (If you don't have a blender available, it's possible to mash it all together by hand.) 

Preheat the griddle or skillet to medium heat. Spoon batter onto the griddle using a small measuring cup or spoon, a few at a time.

Cook approximately 2-3 minutes or until the edges are setting. Flip the pancakes and cook another few minutes.

Make as many pancakes as you like. Leftover batter can be put in the fridge and used the next day.

Don't Skip Brain Day | #FitLife

My lovely friend Jenna has written a guest post about the importance of mental health as part of fitness and some tips and tricks to keep your mind active. If you'd like to see more of Jenna's writing (and I highly recommend you do!), check out her blog about her time in medical school and her writing. 

With all the focus on being healthy, working out, and keeping one's body in tip top shape, a lot of people forget to work out one of the most important body parts - the brain. Being mentally fit is just as important as being able to bench press or perform a perfect squat, yet it does not get the attention it deserves.

What is mental fitness? Why do I care? 
Mental fitness is having a strong mind capable of handling the challenges and opportunities that happen every day. Increasing mental fitness will help you improve concentration and focus, better handle stress, let go of negative emotions and grudges, form better relationships, and live an overall happier and more-fulfilling life.

So how can I train my brain? 
The same way you train your other muscles - exercise!

Keep a gratitude log.
Cultivate positive thoughts and appreciation by keeping a list of things you're grateful for. I usually dedicate a page or two of my bullet journal to gratitude logs. My thanks range from loving my warm bed to a cup of coffee to a great friend I've made here at school.

Mindfulness is more than just a buzzword. It's an approach that teaches you to better handle any unexpected obstacle.

Learn something new. 
Try to take up a new instrument or download Duolingo to learn the basics of a foreign language. This will keep your brain working, maybe with different skills than you normally use.

Utilize free apps to challenge your intellect. 
Everyone plays games on their phone. Try your hand at crosswords or sudokus so that ten minutes of phone procrastination turns into a mini work-out for your mind.

Read - often and from many genres. 
Read often and read everything. Join a book club. Ask friends for recommendations or just grab a book from the library with an interesting title. Listen to audio books on your commute. Nothing is more useful to your development than an unread book in my opinion.

Check out the following resources for more information. 

I hope these tips help you make your cerebral cortex as 'swoll' as your biceps. Here's to a happy and healthy brain and body!

Intro to #FitLife

Welcome to a new series on Flower Crowns and Revolutionaries called #FitLife, all about the importance of physical and mental fitness. I originally planned on doing this in February and calling it #FitFebruary, but the month got completely away from me so I decided to rename it and push it out a bit to get the most out of it.

Where did the inspiration come from?
I've had a difficult relationship with fitness and being healthy for many years but have recently reached a place in which I have learned how to pursue physical health as a way of taking care of my body rather than trying to 'fix' it. I wanted to share some tips and tricks with my blog readers about how to look at fitness in an emotionally healthy way in case it might help anyone.

I was also inspired by Carrie Hope Fletcher's recent posts on social media about how fitness shouldn't be about punishing yourself, but taking care of your body...but more on that later in the series!

Who is contributing to #FitLife? 
One of the other most important things to me was that this wouldn't just be a platform for myself, but one for other friends and bloggers too. So you can expect guest posts and hopefully even a little interview coming your way soon. (If you're interested in contributing, shoot me an email because it's not too late!)

What kind of posts will there be?
There will be guest posts about mental and physical fitness, hopefully an interview with a fitness content creator, a post about my personal journey with fitness, and even some recipes. So get excited for something a bit new to this blog, although there will also probably be some theatre content interspersed as well.

When's the first real post? 
The true first post (after this introduction) is going live tomorrow and it's a great guest post from my friend and med school student, Jenna, about the importance of mental fitness and how you can improve yours. Definitely check back tomorrow!

I hope that all of my readers will enjoy but also get something out of this #FitLife series and also maybe discover some other blogs to read as well through it. Do feel free to leave comments or contact me on social media to let me know your feedback. x

February Goals

It feels like January flew by. I've been sick for quite a lot of it, with a virus early in the month and then recently a cold that I'm still trying to get over so I think that's why it feels like I lost a lot of time -- and why I didn't get my goals done.

Goal Update - January Goals

1) Get back into going to the gym. This definitely didn't happen, but as I've been sick so much of the month, I haven't been able to even think about going to the gym.

2) Finish my essays. I finished my essays on time, though just barely because of being ill. Luckily, I've gotten back two grades thus far and they went well. I'm excited not to have to do more essays until April.

3) Write at least eight blog posts. I sadly didn't hit this one, publishing only five posts this month. However, because I've been quite busy, I'm trying not to be too down about it.

4) Find a great outfit for my first day of my internship. I definitely achieved this! I got a beautiful black velvet dress and hunter green cardigan from Madewell for Christmas that I wore on my first day and got lots of compliments on.

February Goals

1) Be vegetarian for two weeks. I've decided to be vegetarian for one week every month of this year. However, I decided to line up January and February's weeks to coincide with when my friend Stefanie is visiting me because she's vegetarian.

2) Network. I want to work more on networking this month and my major step that I'm taking is attending a conference for youth in the arts. I'm hoping to also set up some coffee dates with people!

3) Stay on top of my class reading. It's a bit intimidating to be back to doing reading for class every week -- on top of writing for BWW and working at the Donmar. But I want to try my hardest to stay up to date.

4) Do a blog series. I have an amazing blog series planned for the month of February which I will be introducing very soon. I really want to see it succeed.

What are you hoping to accomplish this month? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter. x
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