Guest Post: Inspire me - 'Aventureswithsal'


Wowsers what a hectic few weeks it's been! It's clear to say Beauty has well and truly kept us busy bee's. Due to having no time to even go to the bloody toilet, sadly it means my weekly guest post has been a little delayed however you'll be happy to know it's back up and running! And I couldn't be happier to introduce to my amazing friend, athlete, runner, foodie, Instagrammer, blogger - Sally Ratcliffe aka 'Adventureswithsal'. 

Known for being the pancake princess, I have to admit Sally is one of my favourite people ever! When I was struggling with Anorexia, there's been days where Sal's posts have motivated me and helped me to keep going. I literally couldn't survive without this girl. Sal has such a lovely balanced approach to life, enjoying healthy living and running. She's given me a lease of life with her positive, beautiful personality & I've envied her delicious food creations many of times haha!

 I was so happy to interview Sal, and I hope she inspires you all just as much as me.

 What does being ‘healthy’ mean to you?

I would say healthy is about balance. Balancing school/jobs, exercise, hobbies, social activities, eating, mental health and physical health to allow yourself to thrive on life and be happy. I'm a big believer in eating well and exercising to allow you to sail through life doing everything you'd ever want to with ease but I often think diet and exercise are focused on too much. For me personally, happiness and well being are key - if I'm happy, I'm healthy.

     What inspired you to start getting into fitness/food/running? 

My parents have always been keen on sport and exercise and so from a young age I've always played sports; tennis, dancing, athletics etc. I attended ballet and other dance classes for several hours a week until I was 14 but I was forced to quit due to foot injuries which were not going to get better if I carried on dancing. I've always raced cross country and took part in athletics at school but I only started training more seriously when I was about 14, my dad would go running everyday and so I decided to tag along. It didn't take long to build up a base fitness and then I joined a club and started training more seriously. As for the food side of things, I used to be an incredibly fussy eater. I hated vegetables and would survive off beans on toast and cereal. Oh how things change! My parents never intervened with my picky eating, they left me to it and I think that's how I was able to try new things on my own terms and start eating a wider variety of foods. My mum loves cooking and all of our family meals are made from fresh ingredients and usually from scratch. Once I started training more and exercising more I realised I had to pay more attention to my diet and so I became pretty obsessed with food. I love trying new recipes and making my own meals - big salads or stacks of pancakes. The more time I've spent in the kitchen experimenting, the more confident I've got and now I love making meals for my family and friends too.

       Do you have any advice/tips for anyone wanting to get into running/fitness? 

Like it says in the question - you'll be most successful if you actually want to do it. If you're quite lazy when it comes to exercise, chances are you're not going to take yourself out running most days... Exercise is very specific and different sports suit different people. If you struggle with confidence, exercising alone can sometimes be easier whereas if motivation if your issue, a team sport or exercising in a group/with friends might be the best option. Secondly, be realistic, you're not going to gain fitness by going for one run but if you stick at it, for a few weeks, you'll see small improvements! Patience is key but also don't do anything that you don't enjoy. Exercise is a great way to de-stress and clear your head, it shouldn't be adding stress to your life. 

  What keeps you motivated?

This is quite ironic because I often struggle to maintain motivation for something. I can be quite impatient and if something isn't working I want to know why immediately or I'll try to change things straight away. I guess working towards goals helps me stay motivated for longer though, I will target specific races and each day when I have to train, I'll remind myself why I'm doing it. Alternatively, I'll reward myself by buying new running kit or trainers or even a nice meal if I get the training done when I'm feeling particularly unmotivated.

        What’s your favourite meal of all time?

This is difficult. I love all food and especially different breakfast/lunch/tea combinations. I guess if I had to choose I'd probably say pancakes because it's a super filling breakfast and you can throw whatever fruit or toppings you want on them. Pancake dates are a nice way to start the day and great fuel for training!

   Who inspires you?

I have a lot of inspirations. My parents are big inspirations - they're both still running now and have always been really supportive and provided me with some of the best opportunities. Additionally my sister. She just gets on with everything in life and doesn't hold back. It's nice to watch her grow up, settle down be successful leading a happy healthy life. 
Paula Radcliffe is also a big inspiration. Her marathon world record is incredible and hasn't even been threatened in the past few years. She is one of very few endurance athletes in that era who competed completely clean and her success is a reflection of a lot of graft and hard work. In my opinion, she is the most respectable distance athlete ever.

      What would you describe as the ‘prefect day’?

The perfect day would be waking up, taking a shower and making pancakes for breakfast. Training late morning followed by some fresh lunch and a nap. Then shopping or exploring in the afternoon before having some dinner and settling down with some tea, chocolate and a film! I'm quite easily pleased really.

        What 3 foods/ingredients could you not live without?

Again, another difficult question - I think coffee is a necessity, if I'm ever feeling down or lethargic, coffee just does the trick! Coffee often makes the difference between resting and smashing out a BIG run or session. Secondly I'd say chocolate. Rule of thumb - never believe anyone who says they don't like chocolate. They're probably lying or using it as a 'diet' excuse. I mean honestly - who doesn't like chocolate?! I can go days without it, don't get me wrong, but I find a couple of squares a day keeps my sugar cravings in control. My personal favourite is Doisy&Dams milk chocolate with Himalayam salt and dates. Finally, I'd say something like falafel or houmous or even bagels. Despite turning completely un-vegetarian, I still love the falafel and houmous combination and bagels are my immediate go-to breakfast before training. Also nut butters... Enough said.

      What do you like to do to stay active and mix things up? 

I don't usually have trouble being active - I'm quite a restless person and I get grumpy if I sit down for too long. I like to run most days and I'll fit in gym work a few times a week. I've recently started doing more yoga and Pilates at home as I find this really helps with my strength and it's very different to just going out for a run. If I'm lacking motivation, I will often mix my training days up and just do a shorter, faster run or do some Fartlek (varying speeds).

    What makes you happy?

Making other people happy makes me happy. I often go out of my way (out of choice) for people as it gives me the satisfaction that I'm making someone else happy. Running makes me happy but also just feeling healthy and free of ill-health. Spending time with family and friends and travelling to new places and seeing new things is also something I enjoy. I lead a pretty stressful life (mostly self-inflicted) so anything which allows me to switch off and relax for an hour or two is bound to make me happy.

    Lastly your favourite quote?

Have courage and be kind (Cinderella)

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