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health

Diet Diary with Changes Clinic: Days 4 and 5

Life StoriesLouise WhitmoreComment

Dear diary — the weekend brought diet days four and five, and it’s been 120 hours since my last coffee!

I’m on the Changes Clinic week-long diet challenge — they feed me five times per day for seven days to kickstart my new healthy eating lifestyle.

I’m not going to lie — I feel dreadful. I’ve got caffeine withdrawal, my head is pounding, and it’s the weekend. I’ve just moved home, so this Saturday was full of box-emptying and sorting out where to put stuff. Luckily, I didn’t have room in my brain to think about food!

The family had a takeaway tonight, and I had a delicious bowl of chicken soup. It’s a bit like space food in small portions, but it’s blooming tasty!

On Sunday, I cheated, as I went to Brighton for a date day with my husband to see Jack Whitehall. I had a sneaky French Martini 🍸 But I did keep to salads, and my Changes Clinic snacks.

So far, so good — only two days to go ’til the big weigh-in!

Portsmouth #GirlBoss: Shelley Buxey, her Hackney HIITsters, and StrongLiving PT

Friends of Love Southsea, #GirlBossLouise WhitmoreComment

Today, I hopped on the Gosport Ferry from Portsmouth to meet Shelley Buxey, a personal trainer and sports therapist. Shelley has recently moved back home to Gosport from London to settle down, and has created a new style of gym workout right here in Portsmouth, at StrongLiving PT!

Shelley went to school in Gosport at Bay House, where she discovered her love of running! Bay House didn't just nurture her academically — they nurtured her specialist interest in sport, too, so she was in good hands. Shelley ran for the county from the age of 13 through to 15.

Rejuvenating LED light facials at Portsmouth's Changes Clinic

Friends of Love SouthseaLouise WhitmoreComment

Don't hold this against me, but I'm a sucker for reality telly, like TOWIE, Made in Chelsea, and the Kardashians! It was during one of my TV binges of The Real Housewives of Cheshire, I saw one of the wives (not sure which one, I don't pay that much attention!) have an LED light facial. Wow!

I needed to try this. Before the TV show, I had only seen this type of facial on Instagram, with Hollywood celebs taking selfies with the mask on — Jessica Alba looked particularly stunning in her picture.

At the age of 44, I'm up for trying out anything non-abrasive to help my ageing face! To my joy, I found that our very own Changes Clinic right here in Portsmouth offered this facial.

I booked in last week to give it a go. Changes is best-known for the amazing work they do with hair-replacement procedures, cosmetic dental work, and innovative skincare, literally changing people's lives, helping them to overcome scarring and aches. It was no surprise to me that they had a start-of-the-art LED light machine in their arsenal!

Changes Clinic is based at Lakeside North Harbour. It's very plush, and looks more like an upmarket hotel than a clinic, with stunning views out over the lakes.

Changes’ Rosie came to see me. I had to fill out a medical questionnaire. Once I was all signed up, Rosie took me into a private room and explained the process to me, then took a ‘Before’ photo.

I was having the ‘Signature Facial’, a three-part procedure. First, they cleanse the skin, take off all your makeup, and a radio frequency tightening machine heats up your skin. This triggers your brain to stimulate natural collagen, soften wrinkles, and tighten your skin.

Next up — the part I wasn't expecting! — was a chemical peel. Here, Rosie wiped chemicals over my face, and then soothed my skin by playing staccato on my cheeks!

This treatment is perfect for rejuvenating the skin, as the acid takes off the first layer of your skin, again stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in a beautiful glow — a bit like the best facial scrub you have ever had!

Next up, the moment I had been waiting for: the LED light facial. This light mask gets placed over your face, with the choice of three colours.

  • Red for fine lines and wrinkles
  • Green for discolouration like pigment problems
  • Blue for skin problems, like acne

I went for the anti-ageing red colour — this procedure lasts for 15 minutes. During this time, as I laid there in the glow of the light, Rosie gave me a hand and arm massage.

The overall experience was very relaxing — I was told to take it easy for the rest of the day, and to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and to avoid caffeine for 24 hours — that second one was a toughie! I was also told to keep putting on a good sunscreen — broke out the Factor 50!

As this process encourages new collagen and elastin in the face, the facial’s work continues two weeks after its completion — my skin has never felt so soft before, and looks so much fresher and more youthful!

I would 100% recommend this facial — it's excellent for eradicating skin problems, like if you're suffering from acne.

Surfing the Sea of Life with Reiki practitioner Jenni at Solent Medi Spa Southsea

Friends of Love SouthseaLouise WhitmoreComment

Over the past few years, my life has got significantly busier, balancing work — the day-to-day running of my events company Love Southsea — and home life — raising three children and caring for a dog and a cat with my husband Charley. A lifestyle that, while fun, comes with sides of stress and tiredness!

For the past year, I have given up refined sugar, regularly worked out with personal trainers and through classes at SWEAT Southsea, and paid more attention to what I eat and drink. But whilst this has helped big-time in physical fitness, I couldn’t give an answer when someone asked me what I do to maintain my mental health. So when a woman by the name of Jenni approached me to invite me to a Reiki session, I was keen to find out more!

Jenni operates from Solent Medi Spa on Castle Road, Southsea. She named her practice ‘Surfing the Sea of Life’. Jenni tells me she chose the name because she believes we have a lot to learn from surfers about the energy around us and within us which creates waves in our lives. We can then start to recognise its frequency and vibration, and learn how to harness this energy to ride the waves towards our goals and dreams.

We can learn how to predict obstacles and dangers — how to go under or over them — and how to keep ourselves and others safe at the same time. We can learn how to be our healthiest so we can enjoy life to the max, and how to look after our environment in a sustainable way to safeguard the playground of life for future generations.

Jenni, literally surfing the sea of life!

Jenni, literally surfing the sea of life!

Solent Medi Spa on Castle Road, Southsea

Solent Medi Spa on Castle Road, Southsea

Some people want to surf big waves and some are happy with smaller ones. Things are messy and unpredictable in the sea of life, but as long as we give surfing its waves a go and get back up when we fall off, we’re going to learn a little bit more each day and have an amazing time. We were born to surf the sea of life — we do it naturally when we don’t think too much. It’s a skill that we’re all born with; we just tend to pick up some balance-throwing habits along the way. Others learn to surf the waves, and it’s important for us to learn from each other to raise our expectations of what is actually possible, before going out there and smashing through our goals!

Jenni is also a very keen surfer out on the water! In fact, she was an extra in the surfing-centric film ‘Blue Juice’, which starred Sean Pertwee, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Ewan McGregor.

One of my main problems is that, at the end of each day, I found it hard to switch off and relax. I also suffer from anxiety on a daily basis — another issue I needed some help with. While talking to Jenni about the kinds of benefits I’d like to reap from Reiki, she told me about some of the other clients she had due that week, from a lady who was due to do a talk in public and needed her nerves calmed to a chap looking to relax following the nightmare of daily panic attacks.

As the session began, Jenni asked me if I’d endured any major trauma in my life, or any big accidents or health problems. Talking to Jenni about these matters helped her understand where her focus should be while leading the Reiki. I laid down, closed my eyes, and let Jenni start working.

As a Reiki practitioner, Jenni understands that we all have energy surging through us, and that energy can be transformed. As a life coach, she believes that we all have the answers to our problems right inside of us waiting for the right environment to manifest themselves and help us take action to achieve the life of our dreams.

The Reiki and the life coaching form a winning combination to help people understand their energy and the energy around them, and to inspire people to harness it, to make little tweaks and changes to bring themselves back in alignment with their aspirations, and to ultimately feel happy and fulfilled.

During the session, I felt myself switching off, calming down, and clearing my mind, and by the end of the Reiki, I was very chilled out! That night, I slept the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.

As Ferris Bueller wisely said, “life moves pretty fast — if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss.”

As the founder of Surfing the Sea of Life, Jenni shares her philosophies across all of her social media streams, with themes of hope, inspiration, science, history, and fun through which she introduces concepts and ideas from other people, businesses, countries, and centuries. It’s an all-inclusive philosophy with love, understanding, acceptance, and fun at its core.