Comparison kills, but you can prevent it.

Lifestyle

Whether it’s consciously or sub-consciously, we compare ourselves to other people. Whether it be on bodily appearance, facial appearance, their intelligence, humour, lives, relationships or wealth, we all do it.  

Summer, statistically, heightens the rate of comparison especially of body image, it seems that Instagram becomes an atmosphere that celebrates ‘bikini bodies’ and who has the best figure, often forgetting that our bodies do incredible things and are healthy even if you do get rolls when you sit down or bend over. See, this is the danger of comparison, it makes you believe that you aren’t normal, or attractive or healthy because you don’t look like the people on the TV. Take ‘Love Island’ for example, gorgeous, toned, young men and women all locked up in one villa for the whole nation to watch and not one of them look bad, no one actually has any bit of flesh that isn’t joined to muscle, no one has legs that wobble a bit when they walk, none of their thighs touch when they walk, they all look gorgeous all the time, they all have great clothes, lovely hair and never ever get a sunburn. However, we are tricking ourselves if we compare ourselves to these people, because I bet you weren’t aware that when you sat and stared at Megan’s (Love Island) frankly flawless face you didn’t know that actually there is unlimited and free Rimell make up in the Villa. There is also a range of Missguided clothes that they can choose from, there is an indoor hair-stylist for them and let’s not forget, these people have trained solidly in the gym knowing full well the whole nation is going to see them in basically underwear. So, next time you feel yourself comparing your hair to their hair, remember that they don’t always do their own hair, a professional does.  

I think we often forget that not everyone’s lives are as they seem, and still, we compare ourselves to them and actually put ourselves down because of it. When in actual fact 9 times out of 10, you are healthy, you are successful, you are funny, you have a great relationship and you spend your life with those you love. It’s unfair on yourself to be comparing yourself to people like Kim Kardashian, I think we are all guilty of logging onto Instagram and scrolling down your feed to see Kim K posing in next to nothing or just nothing and staring, wondering why you don’t look like that and then punishing your healthy and wonderful body. But this is unfair, there is no point comparing yourself to Kim K because most of us, if not all of us, live a very different life to her. We don’t have the money for the best personal trainer, nor a gym in our home, or the skincare treatment she gets, or the clothes she buys and gets altered to suit her even more. It would be like comparing a fish and a monkey on how well they can climb up trees. It makes no sense.  

So why don’t we stop? Why don’t we, instead of looking at those hideous rolls of flesh on our stomachs, look at our cute rolls of fat on our stomachs which are there to protect our insides in a season of illness or cold temperatures, that are fun to play with and poke. Why don’t we, instead of staring at our big round arms in the mirror, look at our arms that allow us to dance, to walk, to run, to get dressed and even shower. Instead of wishing our boobs were bigger, can’t we just appreciate the perkiness? Instead of comparing your body to someone else’s, why don’t we appreciate our bodies, our hair, our intelligence, our humour, our lives, our families and our health before looking at anyone else’s. I think that sounds a plan.  

-L

What does Easter really mean for us?

Faith, Uncategorized

I found it was really well explained in the book of Romans. It’s found in the New Testament, written by Paul probably around the year 57AD, it has 16 chapters and 9,447 words. I think it’s so important to really read into Romans 8:37-39, which states, ‘No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ 

So, let’s take it in steps and see what it really means.

Let’s take the first sentence, ‘No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.‘In all these things’, is referring to different situations in life, which he later explains but the emphasis here on ‘all’ is incredible. In that Paul is stating that from his understanding of Jesus (which is probably more than we will understand in our lifetime!) that the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus is so that in every single situation we could possibly face in life, we are ‘more than conquerors through him who loved us.’ Meaning that through Jesus, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, you are a conqueror to everything that can face your way.

Paul continues, ‘For I am convinced’, convinced is defined in the dictionary to be ‘completely certain about something’, which has great significance within this passage as Paul describes what the death and resurrection of Jesus actually means, pragmatically, to us, he is certain of it! Absolutely sure, it’s like fact for him. We should be so encouraged by this, Paul knows that this is what Jesus has done for all of us and so we should all take confidence in it too.

‘Neither death nor life’ – People find death a scary thing, it seems permanent. Death isn’t right, but Paul is certain that even death, cannot and will not separate you from God’s love. So, even in the most permanent thing humans can comprehend, can’t separate us from the love of God! So, of course, it goes, that nothing in life can either. No illness, no fallout, no crime, no sin, no relationship, no grade, no job, no human can literally ever take us away from God’s love. There is freedom in God’s love.

‘Neither angels nor demons’ – Effectively meaning that anything in any realm can’t separate us from God’s love.

‘Neither the present nor the future’ – Many people are fearful of the future and what it might bring, whether you’ll get the grade, marry ‘the one’, whether your kids will graduate, whether your money will make it that long and so on. Yet here, Paul is promising us that in any concern whether it be now or in the future, the one thing that is constant and will never change is God’s love for you. No decision, no position or choice could possibly take this away from you.

Nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation’ – Here, Paul is eliminating anything you could possibly think of. But this has a massive importance because he is stressing to us that literally nothing can separate us from the love of God. All these things were defeated, when Jesus was on the cross and died for you and I.

This is Easter. This is the love that takes shame away, and sets you completely free, because what have you to fear? NOTHING! You are, and you will be loved for all of the days, through all of the situations you go through, in every decision and even in death, you are connected to the love that sets souls free. So be happy, rejoice and live in this freedom because that is the reason for the cross, that is the reason for resurrection. You are so loved.

-L

Be Content

Faith

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:35

Reads easily enough, but the Bible becomes real and relevant when you see how it might fit with your life. So, the first question would be:

What do you have?

This question, I find, we state all the material things we have. A car, a house, the newest phone, food and water and so the list continues. All of these are great things to have and those who have them are, of course, fortunate and we should be massively thankful. Yet, these are the easy things to think of, what about the people in your life? Your family, whether biological, adopted, however dysfunctional you think they are, the people who get you through, day by day. Your friends, your actual friends, the ones that get you, that see value in you, the ones that build you up, they are people to be thankful for. Some of you may have a SO (significant other), be thankful for them, they help you get through day by day.

However, the things we hardly ever think about are the things we might take for granted, but they play a crucial part in who we are, how we were made, and what gets us through days, months and years. Interest and passions, these shape us, give up energy to go out and do what we do. They create culture, create differences and create something for us to learn about and get involved in. Human Rights, we should never forget how lucky we are to have these. Joy and humour, literally makes us feel better, it is known that when we laugh, we actually release endorphins (the same hormone that is released during exercise that makes us feel good) meaning that laughing, caused by joy and humour makes us feel good. Freedom of speech, without which I couldn’t be doing this, no movements would have been caused, no change would have been made and well, we would be silenced.

So, when God calls us to be content with what we have and not get obsessed with what money can get us, we can see that we have a lot. Without which we would not be who we are. Be content in this, content in your joy, content in your humour, content in your peace, content in your rights, content in your interests, content in your passions and content in any health that you have.

Does this mean money is evil?

It’s crucial to notice that within the verse it states ‘love of money’, not ‘money’. Some people are blessed with money, some work hard for money, and some don’t have any money, this verse is not about slamming those with money, but about stopping those who are in love with money. Those who are obsessed with money, do everything to get it, think about it time and time again, and end up revolving around it. If this is you, and you’re struggling, I feel urged to point out that you cannot be alone in this, this was an issue in 65 AD when Hebrews was written. Further, I believe that the Bible is words inspired by God, so God understands you in your struggle with this too. All will be well.

Please feel free to comment and get involved,

-L

10 Reasons why Monday’s are actually great

Lifestyle
  1. They offer a new start every week.

    A fresh start with healthy eating, your new hobby that you promised yourself you’d start but didn’t, your promise that you’d be nicer to people, your new Gym routine, getting 8 hours sleep every night. It’s like having a New Years every week.

  2. Re-find your motivation

    Monday gives you an opportunity to get motivated again. Get moving, do what makes you motivated and excited, make sure you have the best week yet!

  3. Perfect time to set new goals

    Break old habits, set a mark that you want to get on your exam, a length you want to run. Monday gives you the perfect place to start these new goals and work towards them.

  4. You have a whole week to accomplish what you want to get done.

    You have a brand new 7 days to accomplish absolutely everything that you need to accomplish, which all start with Monday, your first day to get things sorted and solved to organise yourself in preparation for the following days.

  5. TV shows

    Everyone knows that all of the best TV shows start on Monday’s, there is always at least two decent shows on a Monday night.

  6. Hating it doesn’t help

    You can’t go on hating that much of life, hating 52 days of the year will not help with dealing with the day anyway. 

  7.  Clean hair!

    Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday means hair wash day, so Monday means clean and shiny hair to flick around with pride!

  8. Monday means less rain

    According to statistics, Monday is the least rainy day in the week, giving you all the more reason to get out there and do something that you would previously be putting off because of the weather.

  9. One step closer to the weekend

    Yes, only 4 more days before the weekend start, you’ve done one get up, what’s four more?

  10. All the other reasons

    There will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths and 42 million hugs. 600 people will get a promotion, 600 dogs will be adopted, 35,000 balloons sold and 800,000 skittles sold. Finally, the words ‘I love you” will be said over 9 million times. Enjoy Monday.

    -L

5 Things to do with all your Christmas chocolate 

Lifestyle

Chocolate, sweets and money are the 3 most common things my family buy me for Christmas, so by January time I’m obese but slightly rich. So, here are 5 things that I have previously done with all my chocolate that save me eating my body weight and means that other people get a little treat too.

  1. Chocolate Fondue – the best thing for a cosy night in with friends and family. It’s practically healthy too if you use fruit, I mean can you really have strawberries without chocolate? All you need is your favourite chocolate, a microwave, some fruit or marshmallows and some skewers and you’re all set.
  2. Chocolate cake – cupcakes or a big cake it doesn’t matter, this way you get to enjoy some baking and get to spread some love in this gloomy post-Christmas period. Just make sure you have some cute cupcake cases to go with it.
  3. Brownies – I don’t know why these haven’t made it to the top of the list if I’m honest but oh well. Brownies go with anything, custard, cream, ice cream, hot and even cold. Plus you can put endless amounts of chocolate in it so you can get rid of a lot of your chocolate in just one go. For the best brownies, I use BBC good food brownie recipe.
  4. Cookies – who doesn’t love a good cookie? Warm, gooey, melt in the mouth good cookies. The perfect way to light up anyone’s day, and use up even more of your chocolate. I find American recipes are the best, but any work.
  5. Smore’s – perfect for any time of the year, marshmallow’s, biscuit (chocolate digestive is THE best) and a little fire.

Hope this helps with having 10 Kilos of chocolate,

Enjoy,

-L