Fresh, natural, alive, passionate, creative, inspiring.
I have always been to ambitious for my own good, its like my soul cannot sit still. My creativity and focus shifts on a daily basis, my impulses are something i've called my biggest curse but if not one of the greatest things to influence my creativity and career. I am constantly working on something, to find the end result of satisfaction, but for some reason I never find it. For along time I have always felt like I'm still not where I 'should be' avoiding sleep as I feel like I could be doing something more beneficial with my time. I'm not sure who or what I've measured my life by for so long to make me feel so incomplete. This morning I woke up to find the words Twenty Sixteen in front of me, as I turned the pages of my new diary, full of crisp white pages, waiting for me to write down and fill it with all my hopes and resolutions for the year ahead. I've always been one of those people who has really struggled with the concept of time, I mean we set ourselves milestones that we want to achieve within a certain time frame, but what happens when that day comes and you may not be where you thought!?
If 2015 has taught me anything, it's taught me that you cannot plan everything, as life really isn't that simple. We can give ourselves a rough outline of where we hope we might be heading, and do our best to work towards it. In 2015 I left my full time job in marketing and social media to go freelance, and run my little Lovaine Store full time, well that was the idea, but my life quickly took a new path without me even realising. During my first week of being self employed, an email from Nike landed in my inbox 'we've got something exciting coming up, and we would love you to be apart of it' and I know looking back now, that was the day everything changed, as all my plans and ambitions I'd been working towards quickly got put on hold, as I set off on a new journey.
This year my blog has blessed me with so many incredible opportunities, that even now I'm still so grateful and overwhelmed to have been offered them. I launched my own 5 week workout video series with Adidas, I got signed to the Agency MOT Model's in London! I qualified as Personal Trainer after being offered sponsorship with The Training Room, I travelled to Morocco on a bloggers trip for a hotel launch with the Hyatt Hotel Group, I got engaged to my best friend! I modelled in a billboard campaign for Gym Box and I finally started making an income off my blog! I picked up my camera again and fell back in love with photography, and I've been supported and worked with some incredible brands this year, brands that I never dreamt I'd work alongside of. Brands like Nike, Adidas, Billabong, Misfits, Lululemon, Polar, JD Sports, Motel Rocks, Free People, Asos, Surfgirl..it's incredible what you can achieve when a brand believes in you! And my most favourite thing that 2015 has brought me, is all the beautiful and inspiring people I've been lucky enough to cross paths with thanks to the blogging and fitness world (too many names to mention, but I'm so thankful for my fitness family and how much we inspire and support each other).
Even though this year has had so many high points, this year has also had times which I've had to face and overcome. When you share most of your life online, to then make the conscious decision to hide certain elements, it can sometimes feel like your living a lie..and thats how it felt to me. In May my Doctors referred me to an Eating Disorder Unit for outpatient treatment. Sometimes our eyes can become jaded, and its hard to see when passion gets confused with obsession. I was overexercising and under eating, if I was even eating at all, as well as struggling with Bulimia. I stopped working and my only drive was to exercise and go to the gym, as well as running at least 10K everyday, it was honestly all I could think about. I got so used to running on empty and pushing my body to the extreme that it wasn't until my Doctor assigned me to weekly blood tests and ECG's that I realised just how far away and detached I was from the person I started the year striving to be. Heading into 2016, looking back I can thankfully say I'm now in a completely different, and more relaxed and healthy mindset, and I'm so proud that I was able to be honest and recognize that I needed help (thanks to my partner and best friend) I luckily got placed into a treatment programme almost immediately, which I know isn't always the case for everyone, so I'm so grateful for the NHS, my GP and the team at Campbell House for such an incredible service and support system.
We tend to only show the best part of our lives on social media, filtering out the bad because we worry what other people will think of us, you may have had the worst day or being going through a really tough time, but for some reason we don't allow ourselves to share it, express it, or sometimes even deal with it, putting so much pressure on ourselves to show this perfect life. How can you deal with something and overcome it if you can't be honest about the situation you've found yourself in? and that's where #liftthefilter was born... I created #liftthefilter to let you know, and more importantly let myself know, that it's ok if your having a bad day, week or even year...you WILL get through it. The Blog and Instagram communities are some of the most inspiring groups I've been apart of, and I've met so many amazing friends thanks to it, but I know sometimes my life that I showcase on here isn't that simple, especially during the last 7 months. Today I wanted to #liftthefilter. Our blogs and Instagram's act as our visual diaries, so let's make them honest, lets make them real. If I have one resolution for 2016, it's allowing myself to be honest. I know now that where I was 7 months ago, the situation and struggles I found myself in, it doesn't define me, it's where I am today, the lessons I've learnt, and who and what I strive to be from each day that follows that does. So here's to a clean slate and an honest 2016! For any of you that maybe struggling or feeling overwhelmed with food and exercise, just know help is out there. Reaching out to your GP, friend or loved one is the first step, or head over to BEAT - the UK's leading eating disorder charity for more information and to find services near you.
FAQ: Photo taken from our trip to Morocco on a canon 550D with a 50mm 1.8 lens and Meikon underwater surf housing. The sunset was so beautiful that Flo and I ran straight into the sea fully clothed. It was so cold but so incredibly beautiful. I have never laughed so much in my life!