Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Bring on 2018!

New year, new look, new commitment.

I hope you like the new design of the website and my social media pages. I love having a fresh start in January. It’s not about resolutions that I won’t keep. It’s about checking in with what I want from this one precious life I’ve been given.

Do you set intentions in the New Year? I do.

I’m still nutting mine out, figuring out what is feasible and getting specific with them.

Here is where I’m at:

  1. Restarting my studies. I used to take professional exams to further my career in mathematics, but then life took off and it was too exciting, I lacked the motivation. Now I’m turning my head to them again. This means an exam every six months, for the next 18 months. They aren’t easy and they will take up a lot of time. But the payoffs for my career and my future are huge.
  2. Yoga with Adriene – every January she does a bootcamp of daily yoga videos. They are free and inspiring. The theme of this year’s journey is “TRUE”. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve also been building up my gym attendance to several times a week and am hoping to keep that going through the new year.
  3. Renewing my commitment to my blog and my novel. I’m going to have to see how the studies pan out, alongside the full time work, before I can nut out the details of how this commitment will look. But with a fresh new design – and yet another year over of knowing that I can’t live without writing – I have to somehow make this a priority. Write in the gaps of life. Schedule it in.

Hope you have a wonderful 2018!

Jesi x


Posted by jhamby in Blogging, 2 comments
I want to fight like a girl

I want to fight like a girl

Like Celaena Sardothien in Sarah J Maas’ Throne of Glass series. 

Like Alanna or Keladry of Tamora Pierce’s many novels set in Tortall. 

Like in Girls of the Wild’s, the Korean manhwa webtoon series written by Hun and illustrated by Zhena (Kim Hye-jin). 

Like Sailor-moon. Like Mulan. Like Boudicca. Like Diana of the Hunt. Like Supergirl, Wonderwoman, Black Widow, Captain Marvel and all the other comic book warrior women.  

Like Emily Blunt’s character Rita in Edge of Tomorrow. Check out this awesome blog about her workout. 

I get this amazing sense of energy, freedom and strength after seeing films or reading about these women. Or even when seeing fighters or dancers on stage!

I want to fight like a girl. I want to train like a girl. I want to be strong, fit and persistent, like a girl. 

Do you get your workout motivation from characters and actors too? 

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You hate me, don’t you?

You hate me, don’t you?

No, I hate myself.

This was a real life exchange between two women (one may have been me, you can guess which) drenched in sweat, throwing their bodies into mountain climbers in an intense Tabata session, after a weight session that was also no joke.

Tabata is 4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, and it burns. It was all body weight and the mountain climbers were only the first of four different exercises. The others were squat jumps, plank jacks and finally, burpees.

The first 40 minutes of the class had been spent alternating deadlifts with planks, clean and presses with wall sits, and sumo deadlifts with flute bridges. The instructors were fantastic at coming around and fixing technique. They were also tough. If something looked too easy, they gave you a weight to hold or suggested an adjustment.

So, yes – at around the 43 minute mark, barely halfway into mountain climbers, where the look on my face was deadly and my grunts were inhuman, my friend started to feel a little guilty, and I was insanely jealous of the instructor’s ripped body.

How the hell did they get so strong? Did they do this every day? Could they put themselves through this with their own force of will without an instructor badgering them on?

My God.

In short, I loved it. I ached for several days afterwards, but not in a bad way.

It was worth it. I love the high I get from trying something new. From pushing my body to some new level.

I didn’t used to. But 2017 is the year for changing my attitude to exercise. I’m not doing it to ‘lose weight’ or even to ‘get fit’. That doesn’t work for me as motivation. If that happens as a side effect, fan-bloody-tastic!

This year, my goals are more specific.

I am exercising regularly to maintain my mental health. If I don’t get outside for a run regularly, or stretch out my spine and fix my alignment, my mind goes on a bender.

I’m exercising because I want to be balanced and flexible. I like feeling stretchy. I like to create space in my body. All these feelings translate outside of the workout. I feel more balanced and resilient in life. I feel like I have the space inside of me to deal with anything.

I’m exercising so that I sleep better and eat better. To grow stronger. To build healthy and sustainable habits. I dream of a future where I am a mother, and I want to be able to pick up my children, play with them and chase after them, teach them how to acknowledge and feel emotion without being overcome by it.

So yes, in the middle of an intense workout, my dear friend thought that I hated her, when really I was hating myself. But it didn’t last. Because by the end of that class, I loved myself and I loved her. I loved what our bodies accomplished. I loved that we committed the time to ourselves and pushed through all the mental shit and uncertainty to be our best selves.

What motivates you to exercise? How do you make it work for you? 

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Be Proactive

Be Proactive

I knew which habit I sucked at most rather early into reading Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

Did you notice the silence lately? That was a distinct lack of proactivity.

I did the quiz thingy after. It’s official. But who needs a quiz when you just know.

Putting first things first, prioritising, also not a strong point. Of course, it would help if I had a strong handle on what the first things are. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I want is more sleep, even if I’ve had hours. When I get to work, the first thing I want is to sip tea and check emails – even though I know that’s not productive.

Beginning with the end in mind is my third worst of the habits. Is that part of being a daydreamer? There are so many possible ends, how do I pick just one?

Private victories. My weaknesses.

I can keep at a proactive bent for a while. It’s easier if there is some external motivation: team to play sport with, people to run with, fellow NaPoWriMo bloggers to keep me on track. But without that external motivating force? Relying only my internals?

This is why I eat eggs on toast when it’s just me, but will roast a chicken or two when I have guests over.

So this is my new personal motto: be proactive.

I want to build that internal muscle. Interdependency is great – but I’ve got to bring my own self to the table first otherwise it’s just dependency.

Even now, when I’m coughing a lung up after a holiday to Dallas gave me allergies to bring back to chilly London, I’m trying to be proactive on the small things like washing dishes, and clothes, and bullet journalling daily and some of the big things – like this blog 🙂

Start small, fire up.

What habits do you want to build? How do you work on being proactive?

Posted by jhamby in Blogging, Reading, 0 comments