I Don’t Want To Be Defined

Holly India Dexter

It’s that time of year where the dreaded results day is looming. At the time of writing, it’s precisely 3 days, 7 hours, 5 minutes and 40 seconds away, which is PRETTY BLOODY CLOSE let me tell you. For those who are blissfully unaware, most 18 year olds in the UK will be receiving their A-Level results on Thursday 13th August, which will determine whether they get into their chosen university, or even any university at all.

I’m sure most of you will agree that this a time of great stress, not helped by the media (see The Telegraph’s latest article here) and the general pressure from parents, teachers and peers who will have done that bit better than you. I’ve seen comments from students who believe it will be ‘the end of the world’ if they don’t achieve X grade, or get into X university, but really, I don’t…

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Holiday Packing Essentials 

Holly India Dexter

It’s that time of year again where everyone you know seems to be jetting to some glamorous (or otherwise) location, and hopefully that includes yourself! Packing can be a daunting experience, but it’s one that I personally love, so here are some of my tips to make it a stress-free task.

The Suitcase:

If like me you didn’t feel like paying £40 for the luxury of a checked suitcase, you’ll be taking on the challenge of squeezing all of your possessions into hand luggage. This can make packing a bit more tricky, but there are plenty of ways round it. All airlines have different restrictions when it comes to hand luggage; on British Airways you’re allowed a suitcase and a ‘personal bag’ (so a handbag) with reasonably fair measurements. Some allow a bit less than this and you won’t always be allowed a handbag, so make sure you check beforehand!…

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Where is my mind at?

I wrote to this blog last year as a means to an end. no, we have not reached that end, but my god are we closer.

The end goal for me had always been and will always be – Pride. I want to stand tall and say, I did what I wanted, I achieved what I set out to and I’m damn proud of the outcome. Can I say it yet? Well no, it’s not really my nature. HOWEVER! I am somewhat proud of pieces.

Don’t get me wrong, in the time I have been absent from this blog I experienced an exponential set back in my mental well-being (it’s a weird one but hear me out). A matter of months ago I found myself competing at British Nationals in powerlifting, an event which had all the foundations to be ‘my moment’, though it didn’t quite happen like that.

In the early stages of the event, things were going outrageously well, to the extent i wasn’t just competing, I was putting myself in line to make it to Worlds! Three squats into the event and I was in SECOND PLACE. Then we moved onto bench (if you don’t know how this works … Google it). Opener lift – Failed on judges command; embarrassing, of course, but no big issue. Second lift, too heavy, fail. Then it dawns on me, not only are my chances of worlds already gone (knowing I won’t get this weight), I’m about to bomb out of the event and won’t even place. Now this hurts for three main reasons. 1 – My name is off the board, this takes away my bare minimum expectation. 2 – In my head, getting to Worlds was about to be a fact, that’s a lot further to fall. 3 – There is nothing I can do to stop it, this weight is already noticeably out of reach.

I took that third lift (I even went on to finish my deadlifts which would have put me in second and taken me onwards) and it went as I knew it would. I can’t explain the pain I felt internally the second the bar was taken from my hands. utter despair that hurts to this day. i let myself fall so far, all pride of having made it there left me in the first beat of my heart after that failure.

So that is the bad bit. Here is the good.

I got there, I was on my way to achieving something I thought was impossible, setting me on the path to continue in the endeavour of powerlifting, now headed back to take a record for myself. if you know me at all, you know my failures are a big part of me, I like to stack the world on my shoulders, and then barbell. I have told myself that ‘the minimum’ does not exist, there is success, there is failure and that’s about it.

Am I proud?

Yes and no. Luckily, fitness isn’t all I have going. Clients, University, my girl, fitness, apparel, study, YouTube, Instagram, family and more. Having all of this offers me enough small success in each to pull me along when another shows failure, providing a degree of pride in general achievements. Nonetheless, me being me stops this amounting to substantial pride, none of it lasts and I see the failures over all else.

I am working on it, having made substantial changes to my life, it seems I’m getting a little closer, but we are not there yet.

As always,

Aspire to Inspire.

I Am A Mother Of Two Children And I Cannot (And Will Not) Support Feminism Tara Kennedy-Kline

I’m a wife, mother, sister, daughter, business owner, sports nut and beer lover, but I am not a feminist. I may have been at one time, but then I became the mother of two boys and I realized that I cannot align with a message that has changed into something degrading, offensive, accusatory and opposed to the morals and messages I am teaching my kids.

You see, I’m kind of psyched to be raising my boys as gentlemen. I am proud to raise them to be hard-working and dedicated providers. I am raising them to treat the women in their lives like princesses, and to make eye contact with, and say hello to, everyone they meet. I am raising them to appreciate the beauty in a person based on what that person believes and how that person makes my boys feel, not on what that person is wearing or how much of their skin is exposed.

want my boys to be chivalrous, to open doors and carry heavy loads, to ask a girl out on a date and pay the bill without expecting anything in return. I am encouraging my sons to tell girls when they think those girls look beautiful. I love that my boys want to surprise me (and eventually their partners) with gifts, and the spontaneous hug or peck on the cheek from time to time to show their love.

But, the latest campaigns by the feminist movement are telling boys they are wrong if they do these things, or anything else that would make a girl feel stereotypically “girly,” or my sons to act stereotypically “gentleman-like.” The FCKH8 Campaign would have girls tell my sons to “fuck off” if they called them pretty or reached for their hand without permission.

Hollaback! sends the message that if my sons make eye contact with, or say “hello” to, a woman they don’t know, they are a predator, or at the very least, a “creepy douchebag.” #YesAllWomen wants my boys to know that the fact they have a penis makes them a threat. They cite the statistic that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted, but seem to ignore that they are sending the message to little girls to assume 100% of all men are rapists.

#FreeTheNipples preaches to end “slut shaming,” yet what they are really doing is flipping the shame of “sluttiness” from the girls who expose their breasts (and bellies and butt cheeks) to the boys who look at them. TakePart.com supports teen girls spin doctoring age-old terms like “boys will be boys,” which is more about farting, burping, and falling out of trees than it is sexual harassment. They make claims like “dress codes are the result of boys not being able to control their sexual urges,” but how about encouraging all students to simply dress with decency in a public institution designed for education and growth, instead of focusing on elevating social status and hooking up?

Teaching my boys that they are somehow wrong, perverted or bad if they look at what is being flaunted in front of them is also making the job of parents a thousand times harder to have that conversation about steering clear of “easy” girls. And, let’s not assume for one second that there aren’t plenty of them.

When the term feminism turned from being a message of empowerment and gender fairness to basically a list of rules, restrictions, idiosyncrasies, offenses and grievances directed at all things male, I tapped out. I do not believe that opposite sexes can ever be completely equal, as there are very specific limitations for each gender.

I also believe that there is nothing wrong with many of the gender roles that have been honored throughout history. I want my sons to love unconditionally and I want their partners to do the same. I want my sons to choose a partner who honors their manliness, strength, valor, chivalry and masculinity, and I am raising them to honor the qualities and virtues in their partner as well, even if those qualities include being maternal, ladylike, demure, and feminine. I don’t want my sons to ever have to submit to the anger of a woman who believes she is justified in treating him with disrespect based on the feminist movement.

I support fairness for everyone, but as long as being feminist means suppressing masculinity, it cannot possibly be called a “quest for equality.” Respect is earned, not demanded. There will never be a time when I will tell my boys not to treasure, protect and admire the women in their lives because “Women don’t need a man to feel valued.” I say, “Value all people and the gifts they bring.” Only then will the world be truly fair and equal.

Oh look I have a blog…

Yeahhh…. I’ve been neglecting this a bit.

Frankly i’m not sure who reads this, nor what they would want to see on here. Which is odd as there are bloody thousands of you reading now! A comment or two would be great 😉

My other use for the blog was venting, or planning, but recently things are all going well and i’m on top of everything…for once. So venting also isn’t really needed.

If there is something you want to know, read, see, whatever, comment below and i’ll get on it!

Aspire to Inspire.

Ambition.

Is ambition a gift? Or is it a curse?

I’m starting to wonder. There was a time in my life when I didn’t care, at all. There was nothing I wanted, no aspirations or anything alike.

My god is that a different time because now I want the world. I want my gym, I want my apparel, my physique, my health, my strength, my education, my qualifications, my girl, my respect. A little more than I had once even dreamed.

So have I moved forward? Well yeah i suppose I definitely have, yet things are, in a sense, harder than ever. ‘Proud but never satisfied’ seems to play a role here. i love what I have, I am grateful and am proud of all I have achieved so far, but with every goal reached, new ones grow and take hold of me. Being ambitious brings a better, more interesting and more passionate life, but this goes hand in hand with struggle.

The sickening reality? I wouldn’t change a thing.

I like pushing, being ‘obsessed’, dedicated, passionate. I couldn’t stand the person I once was, now ironically I am damn happy to be me but the world (people included) seem to be throwing it back at me. Life’s a bitch I guess.

ANYWAY – Be proud to be you! But don’t get satisfied with what you have, strive for more, every-single-day.

Aspire to Inspire.

Six Months

Holly India Dexter

Earlier, I was thinking back to exactly six months ago, 11th May 2014. It was a Sunday, reasonably chilly for Spring, and I was getting ready for a first date with a virtual stranger. (OK, it’s 11am so I may not have been getting ready yet… but bear with me.) What was happening with my life six months ago? I was about to take my AS/A Level exams. I had a job which I hated in Primark. I was the only single one out of my close friends. Yes, I was happy, as I’ve always been a highly positive person, but there was always that disappointment when the weekend rolled round and I knew my friends would be having cosy nights in whilst I was at home with my family. Turns out that May 11th was going to put a stop to that.

I won’t go into all the details…

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6 Months

What can you do in six months? How much can change?

This post is looking at the past 6 months in two ways.

1- Its been 6months with my gorgeous girlfriend and as this is my damn blog, i’ll brag as much as I like.

2- 6months of life progress that I personally wouldn’t believe (6months ago)

But i’ll combine them both as they do, at times, go hand in hand.

So, the missus. This girl, my god this girl. It’s taken 21 years, but i’ve found someone who will put up with me, who understands me, does’t judge me and, most importantly, loves me. Who could ask for more than that? Of course this effects me in a number of ways. The confidence in myself from being accepted by someone quite so outstanding, is quite astonishing. The motivation of having her to impress has kept me in check in my nutrition/training. Having her to vent to, to listen to me, to help me and just to help me relax has made me relax, open up, adapt my lifestyle more freely and just enjoy myself more.

My own progress of competing, qualifying for nationals, completing a spartan race, progressing my apparel, sticking with my training – in part….a bloody big part, goes to her. Maybe I could have done it alone, but would I have? Would it be anywhere near this enjoyable?

Not a fucking chance.

So to her, I can only say thank you. You’ve changed my life for the better. With you beside me, I fell no limits, I envy nobody and I get to enjoy being me; because I have you.