New year, same me

Hi everyone,

Wow – what a year it’s been! In both my little ol’ life and the wider world itself.

There’s always such an emphasis this time of year on making New Year’s resolutions. Here’s the thing – I’ve decided that when it comes down it, I really quite like the person that I am.

It’s not only been this way and of course I am far from perfect. Even now I, like every other person, have bad days, days of self-loathing and so on.

I tweeted recently about how this time last year I was depressed, broke and a shell of my normal self.

But what a difference a year makes! It makes me so happy that I now sit here writing with the same zest for life as I had before. Last year, I did a little end of year blog post, which was all about what I’d learned in 2015.

This year, I want to take a different approach. So many great things have happened, so I’m using my past posts to highlight some of the best parts of my 2016.

But just as importantly, I hope you guys have had a fantastic year, too. If you haven’t, fear not because I want to share with you some wisdom.

If I’ve learned anything throughout the past few years, it’s that the start of your year does not dictate the year to come. 

If you read my blog post from this time last year titled “Let’s talk about mental health” and can relate, don’t worry. Things can and will get better,

Speaking of which, I want to take you through my 2016.

January – a trip to the most beautiful, underrated place

In January, after a catalyst of pretty awful events, I went on holiday with my Mum, Dad, Chaz, my brother and his partner, James.

This little four day trip wasn’t anything ground-breaking in itself but, in a way, for me it was.

We haven’t been on a family holiday for years. Now that my brother and I work full-time, it’s a nightmare trying to find a mutual time we can all take time off.

We spent the four days exploring Lisbon in the sun as a six, having such a laugh together and eating and drinking the amazing food and wine the city has to offer.

For the first time in ages I’d felt really happy, surrounded by these amazing people that I am lucky enough to call my family and boyfriend.

Read my Travel Photo Diaries from my trip to Lisbon here.

May – who knew this body could run long-distance?

Now whether I knew it or not, I think the decision to train for and run my first ever 10k was a partly a sub-conscious one aimed toward improving my mental health.

It wasn’t just the running that helped, but having the end goal in sight on May. 

Looking back, I really have to admire myself for doing it. I threw myself into training with a determined naivety, taking to the roads of Sheffield come rain or shine. I’d never done anything like it before, so it really was all new to me.

I would take a bus, perhaps to Meadowhall, Hunters Bar or to the very edge of Fulwood and run home – just me, myself and my Nike running app. And these for me were like little adventures that gave me a new purpose, not to mention an endorphin rush. 

It didn’t cure the struggles I was facing with anxiety and depression, but it certainly helped substantially.

As a result, it came to race day on 22nd May and I managed the whole race without stopping, just shy of my goal of under an hour in 1 hour 2 minutes. 

I wish I could explain the euphoria I felt – the sense of pride and achievement. Knowing I had a well-earned pizza calling my name that evening was an added bonus!

I also raised almost £300 for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity, too. I wore my Team Theo running shirt with pride that day, and it will remain in my drawer until my next endeavour when I can do Sheffield proud once more.

Read the post here.

June – I won!

In May I was asked if I would like to enter the Multipower Great British Health Bake Off competition (quite a mouthful!) 

To enter I had to create a recipe incorporating their protein powder, which I did with my dark chocolate and vanilla protein torte.

Members of the public had to vote for their favourite recipe, and so I was really pleasantly surprised to found out that I had won!

I am now a Multipower brand ambassador, which with it comes with loads of awesome perks. I also write a healthy protein recipe for them every month – you can find them on my own blog here, and on the Multipower blog.

Read the announcement blog post here.

July – My first TV debut

They say do one thing every day that scares you, right?

Well this summer I made my first ever TV show debut and appeared on iBody TV, a new health and fitness show. 

To say I don’t usually like seeing myself recorded (hence why I haven’t vlogged as of yet) I actually really enjoyed the experience and met some amazing new people in the process.

Read the post here.

October – 24 Hours in Paris

The icing on the cake of an incredible year has to be my trip to Paris with Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Sidekick PR. 

One of my best friends said to me recently that it’s amazing how my blog has grown from me just writing because I enjoy it, to being offered incredible experiences like this just for doing something that I love.

I will never, ever take things like this for granted. From event invites to collaborations, brands and PRs should know how humbled and grateful I am for every opportunity that comes my way.

You can read the blog post here.

I would also like to give a very special thanks to my photographer, Chris from Barton Chase Inc. 

Chris and I met earlier this year at the masquerade ball and since then he has worked tirelessly with me through rain, shine, “mmm” and “OOH” reactions to photos, to give me the most incredible imagery for my site. Your hard work and talent are so very appreciated. I am incredibly thankful to have met you.

On that note, I think it’s time to bid a very fond farewell to what has been an incredible year, and give a warm welcome to 2017.

All my love,
H x

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