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- 02/01/19--05:14: _The Twix McFlurry i...
- 02/01/19--06:55: _People are turning ...
- 02/01/19--07:17: _How to cope if you ...
- 02/01/19--07:52: _Why the cold weathe...
- 02/01/19--08:08: _Valentine’s Day flo...
- 02/02/19--00:00: _Beat the binge: Can...
- 02/02/19--00:31: _Testing the £11 ste...
- 02/02/19--01:15: _Woman slammed after...
- 02/02/19--01:18: _Mum dyes her Great ...
- 02/02/19--01:21: _Lidl is selling a b...
- 02/02/19--01:29: _Boohoo has come und...
- 02/02/19--03:21: _Let’s fall back in ...
- 02/02/19--03:50: _Bodybuilder who’s 3...
- 02/02/19--04:00: _There’s a new festi...
- 02/02/19--04:16: _Is it still sociall...
- 02/02/19--04:26: _The strandid is the...
- 02/02/19--06:08: _Bride re-wears her ...
- 02/02/19--06:18: _Metro Road Trip: Yo...
- 02/02/19--06:49: _It’s freezing outsi...
- 02/02/19--07:27: _Men describe what a...
- 02/01/19--05:14: The Twix McFlurry is finally back on McDonald’s menus
- 02/01/19--06:55: People are turning themselves into Bratz dolls and we’re obsessed
- 02/01/19--07:52: Why the cold weather is wrecking your skin and how to fix it
- 02/02/19--00:00: Beat the binge: Can hypnotherapy cure my emotional eating?
- 02/02/19--01:29: Boohoo has come under fire for labelling size 8 clothes as ‘large’
- 02/02/19--03:50: Bodybuilder who’s 3ft 11 tall won’t let his size hold him back
- 02/02/19--04:16: Is it still socially acceptable to wear a fur coat in public?
- 02/02/19--06:18: Metro Road Trip: Your Instagram pictures of UK cities in January
- 02/02/19--06:49: It’s freezing outside, so here are nine cosy hats to warm your head
- 02/02/19--07:27: Men describe what an orgasm actually feels like
Calling all McDonald’s fans: The Twix McFlurry is finally back.
The Twix McFlurry has returned to McDonald’s menus, and it’s now available for £1.39.
As before, it’s made of soft vanilla ice cream, chocolate-covered biscuits and a swirl of caramel sauce.
There’s also a miniature version for 99p.
If Twix isn’t your thing, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Crunchie and Oreo McFlurries are also on the menu.
This release follows the news that the Big Mac now comes with bacon.
For the first time ever, the burger features an extra topping.
The Big Mac Bacon comes in three sizes: The standard size, the Grand Big Mac Bacon and the Mac Jr. Bacon.
They’re all available in restaurants nationwide for a limited from, until 19 March.
The standard size burger will be available for £3.09, the Mac Jr. £2.29 and the Grand Big Mac will cost £4.09.
Michelle Graham-Clare, Head of Marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: ‘The customer reaction to our Grand Big Mac and Mac Jr. last year was phenomenal, the love for the iconic Big Mac surpassed all expectations.
‘Which is why I am delighted to introduce bacon to the Big Mac range, a twist on a classic which has sparked debates around the world – is a Big Mac still a Big Mac if you add bacon?’
Wonderful News Everyone, The Twix McFlurry Is BackWonderful News Everyone, The Twix McFlurry Is Backhattiegladwellmetro
If you were a kid during the Bratz era, you’ll understand how excited we were when we saw the #BratzChallenge had become a thing.
What started as a Reddit trend has since gone viral on Instagram, with beauty bloggers recreating classic Bratz looks, channelling Yasmin, Cloe, Jade and Sasha.
People are recreating the Bratz looks, complete with massive exaggerated eyes and big, glossy lips.
Every look we’ve seen so far has been brilliant, and so we’re sharing with a few of our favourites – while taking notes for inspiration in the process.
We are in LOVE with this look
Just look at all that pink glitter!
This girl nailed those eyes
This beats Barbie by a mile
Those eyeshadow skills though
Those lips are AMAZING
This is on point…
How cute is this look?
Okay, now THIS is impressive
We are feeling this look
This girl went down the gothic route…
This is so pretty!
And finally, this makeup is too much (in a good way)
The Bratz challenge has gone viral and you need to see these makeup looksThe Bratz challenge has gone viral and you need to see these makeup looksThe Bratz challenge has gone viral and you need to see these makeup looksThe Bratz challenge has gone viral and you need to see these makeup lookshattiegladwellmetro
Sex isn’t the only bedroom activity that can cause issues for couples.
Sleep can be equally problematic – particularly when you’re operating on entirely different schedules.
Whether it’s because of entrenched bedtime habits or unsociable working hours, having a totally different bedtime to your partner can cause all sorts of dramas – both individually, and as a couple.
There are so many reasons why you and your other half might have to hit the sack at different times, and it’s incredibly common.
The good news is that there are coping mechanisms you can use to make sure it doesn’t become a serious issue – but you both have to work at at it and make certain compromises.
One of the biggest problems caused by mismatched bedtimes is the sleep deprivation.
Broken sleep and not getting enough rest can have knock-on health implications, so if you’re being woken up at 2am or 6am every morning by your partner coming home or going out to work – you’ll probably start to feel it.
The NHS says that most people need to get around eight hours of sleep in order to function like normal human beings.
They say that the odd night of broken sleep isn’t something to worry about, but when you’re regularly not getting enough sleep it can lead to brain fog, difficulty concentrating and low moods.
Regular poor sleep actually puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So it’s not something to be shrugged off and masked with a gargantuan coffee.
Beyond the implications for your health, one of the biggest problems for couples is the loss of those golden hours of pillow talk.
Being in bed together, when you’re not sleeping, having sex or watching Netflix, can be some of the most intimate moments for a couple. It’s a rare, distraction-free time to lie, nose-to-nose and talk, really talk, about everything and anything.
You’re physically and metaphorically close, clinging to each other in a way you never would by daylight. It’s a magic, suspended time before sleep – and the importance of these moments shouldn’t be underestimated.
Bex is a doctor with full-on hours, her boyfriend also works shifts. She says sometimes they are like ships in the night and don’t see each other for days.
‘My partner and I are often on completely different sleep schedules,’ Bex tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I work within emergency medicine, which is a job I love, but it involves a lot of evening and night shifts. So sleeping in late, and sometimes throughout the day becomes normal if I want to have any quality of life where I’m not a zombie.
‘Some weeks we don’t actually physically see each other. I creep into bed and there is a lump under the covers that may or may not be my boyfriend, and when I wake up he’s already left for work.
‘Although we always try and speak on the phone, it’s a poor substitute for a kiss and a cuddle at the end of a shift.’
There isn’t really an end in sight for Bex’s irregular sleeping patterns, so they’ve had to resort to pretty drastic measures to make sure they’re both getting enough sleep.
But Bex doesn’t see it as a negative at all.
‘Other weeks it gets too much, and we will constantly disturb each other, become considerably grumpier due to sleep deprivation and resort to sleeping in separate bedrooms.
‘This always used to make me sad because I felt like we lost some intimacy as a couple. And there were definitely some snarky remarks and incredulous looks when I told people about it.
‘I think there is this 1950s stereotype that associates sleeping in separate beds as a sign of an unhappy relationship, when in reality it’s anything but.
‘The benefits of sometimes having our own bed and our own space means we wake up well-rested, happier, and it makes me fully appreciate the times when we can wake up next to each other and cuddle.
‘We still have quality time together but shift work does make me appreciate it even more.’
But if you don’t want to opt for seperate beds – what are the options? How do you make sure your tiredness and discomfort doesn’t turn into resentment?
Author Sara Tasker says it’s a big source of contention for her and her husband. And the pressure only intensifies when there are children involved.
‘I run my own business and just seem to work best at night,’ Sara tells Metro.co.uk.
‘He’s very much a morning person and thinks I should adjust my schedule to match, but I’m the breadwinner and think my productivity should take priority.
‘My husband always has to get my daughter up and ready for school in the mornings because often I’ll have only been in bed a few hours. When it’s bad, it means we don’t manage any family breakfasts together.
‘It also drives my husband nuts if I make any noise at all when I’m getting ready for bed, as of course it’s the middle of the night for him.
‘My husband works for me, and it’s got worse since he came on board, I think because we’re both at home in the day.
‘When I was writing my book I could only get anything done after everyone else was in bed and there were no interruptions.’
What Sara wants people to understand is that not everyone has the same body clock, and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone.
‘I probably sound like a pain in the bum to live with. But I really think the whole 9-5 productivity schedule just doesn’t work for everyone, and we’ve been sold a bit of a lie that it does,’ she explains.
‘I spent years trying to fight against it, but once I finally surrendered and just followed what my brain wanted to do, everything started happening for me.’
Mindfulness and sleep psychologist, Hope Bastine, says there are a number of tangible reasons why different sleep patterns can put pressure on a relationship.
‘The first noticeable problem is if one is a light sleeper and experiences sleep disturbances when their partner comes to bed,’ Hope tells Metro.co.uk.
‘The second noticeable problem is if you are used to sleeping together and struggle to get to sleep when your loved one is absent.
‘Finally, it can have an impact on the intimacy on your relationship. Sleep disruption of any kind over a long period of time can have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health. Shift workers are especially prone to depression and reduced immune system health challenges.
For Hope it’s the threat to intimacy that is the biggest potential problem for couples to address.
‘Sleep deprivation effects intimacy in two main ways,’ she explains.
‘It reduces the hormonal balances in the body, which can cause a reduction in sex drive and even fertility issues. We also notice a drop in the cuddle hormone, oxytocin, which is responsible for cementing the bond between loved ones.
‘The second way sleep disruption impacts relationships is the reduction in interpretation and a couple’s ability to use non-verbal communication. We end up misinterpreting each other and feeling hurt and misunderstood.’
But Hope says that if you’re honest and open with your partner it can limit feelings of resentment and help to make sure the issue of sleep doesn’t drive you apart.
‘Don’t put up with it,’ advises Hope.
‘If you are a light sleeper, tell you partner what bugs you and wakes you up. Communicate your needs and respect the sanctity of sleep.
‘If you miss your partner and can’t nod off, having an item with their scent on it will feel comforting. Lay on their pillow, or wear their t-shirt. If you’re the opposite and like to spread out when they’re not there, but feel guilty for it, luxuriate in how it feels to have the bed to yourself.
‘Carve out a date night and lock it in the diary.
‘One couple I worked with booked a hotel every two weeks to help preserve the romance in the relationship.
‘Luckily, their family was really supportive and agreed to babysit. Ten years later, this couple told me this was the key to their successful marriage.’
As with so many things when it comes to relationships, it all boils down to empathy and understanding the needs of the other person.
Life is not simple, and it’s more than likely that at some point you and your partner will find yourselves on completely opposing schedules – it’s your ability to work through these obstacles that will make you stronger in the long run.
You both want to get enough sleep and you both want to spend time with each other.
If you’re both being considerate where you can, and making the effort to find quality time with each other, then differing bedtimes shouldn’t become a real problem.
people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodpeople tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the moodnataliemorris88How getting into a new relationship is wrecking people's sleep
You’re breaking out in a glorious combination of spots and dry patches. You’re strangely blotchy. You don’t have even a hint of a glow.
This is winter skin. It is awful. But why does it happen? And what can you do about it, beyond bundling a scarf halfway up your face?
Winter ravaged skin is down to a couple of key factors: the drop in temperature, the drop in humidity, and indoor heating.
Nurse Alice Jenkins, dermatologist and medical director at Harley Injectables, tells us: ‘During the winter months, temperatures and humidity both drop which can have a huge impact on the skin.
‘It can become dry, flaky and can sometimes even crack, which can be painful or itchy.
‘When the weather gets cooler we also tend to turn up the indoor heating which can zap moisture from the air and from your skin – leaving it dehydrated and in need some some serious TLC.’
To get more sciene-y, the cold air and low humidity increases what’s called trans epidermal water loss (TEWL), causing the skin barrier to degrade.
Facialist Andy Millward explains: ‘Some TEWL is normal and needed for maintaining healthy skin, however when it’s accelerated or becomes excessive, the skin lacks the essential water it needs for many enzyme functions with the skin and skin feels dry and tight.
‘In an environment that is low in water, free radicals (or reactive oxygen species) are also more concentrated, and pro-inflammatory cytokines are released by the keratinocyte (the cells that make up the epidermis), again contributing to the breakdown in skin barrier function.
So, in short, cold weather means a whole lot of dryness. That can cause the obvious – tight skin, flaking, dullness – but also spots. When your skin becomes too dry, it can react by overproducing natural oils, which then sit on the skin, mix with grime and dirt, and form blemishes.
Add in the reduction in daylight – UV light can reduce acne for some – and it makes sense that you’re having a sudden flare-up.
If you have a skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, winter is even worse. All of these skin conditions are affected by extremes in temperature (so yes, you’ll suffer in the summer, too. Fun) and can cause serious irritation, cracking, and pain.
Andy notes that studies show that during winter, the skin produces lower levels of essential fatty acids, ceramides, and cholesterol, worsening dermatitis and eczema.
Some people also develop a type of urticaria (hives) when exposed to the cold, as well as general itching.
Oh, and your skin won’t be getting as many of its usual nutrients, as the cold makes the blood vessels in our skin contract in order to preserve heat, limiting the ability of oxygen and any other good bits to reach the skin. That means reduced skin regeneration and longer recovery for any damage.
Basically, winter skin isn’t great. What can you do about it?
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
We know you know that you should be drinking more water, but it really is worth repeating.
It feels more instinctive to down bottles of water in the summer when you’re trying to cool down, so make a reminder to keep sipping throughout the day.
As always, you’re aiming for around eight glasses of water a day. Try to avoid hitting the mulled wine and hot chocolate too hard – alcohol and sugar can increase inflammation, meaning more redness and irritation.
Avoid certain ingredients
Avoid soaps, which will only dry you out further – especially if you have eczema.
Instead use a gentle cleanser that won’t draw moisturise away from the skin.
Alice Jenkins recommends checking your cleanser’s ingredients list for sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate and avoiding these like the plague – they’re super drying, while Andy specifies that’s best to avoid humectants.
A humectant is an ingredient that attracts water to itself, which works brilliantly when it’s humid as the product will draw moisture into the skin.
But when humidity is low, a humectant will instead draw moisture from the lower layers of your skin, making it even more dehydrated.
Humectants include ingredients such as glycerin, propylene glycol, pentlyene glycol, hyaluronic acid, sorbiol, and the higher these are in the ingredients list, the higher concentration. Keep an eye out for those in the winter and steer clear. The higher up the INCI list, the higher concentration of humectants.
Use a richer moisturiser
Andy emphasises the importance on replenishing the epidermal lipids that our skin produces at a lower volume in winter. How do you do that, exactly? By picking up moisturisers rich in key ingredients.
‘Switching to a cream that contains a combination of blend of humectants and emollients including fatty acids (plant oils), ceramides and cholesterols can help to put back what the skin is lacking and support the skin barrier,’ he explains.
That means choosing a heavier, more moisturising cream than your usual.
If you aren’t ready to make a full switch to a heavier product, you can go for layering, instead, by applying a balm on top of particularly dry areas. Think of it as buying a big puffa jacket versus putting a jacket on top of a jumper on top of some thermals.
Supercharge your sleep
Sleep is when your skin recuperates, and it’s a smart move to use this time to its full potential.
Try using a super hydrating overnight mask or a nourishing night oil to lock in as much moisture as possible. This is when you can go really heavy on the moisturiser, as, well, you’re asleep. You’re not going to be worried about looking shiny or having makeup slide off.
Make sure to get plenty of sleep, too. That’s essential for keeping your body and skin running as they should.
Make your diet skin-healthy
Oils are your friend. Try fish oil and flaxseed oil, or dig into some oily fish – all of these will help maintain your skin’s balance and counteract the dryness.
It might be handy to add some supplements into your winter routine, too. Anything containing omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids is a good shout, and some extra vitamin D to balance out the lack of sunlight won’t go amiss.
Try a humidifier
Remember: it’s not just the cold that’s drying you out, but the drop in humidity, too.
Having the heating on all day can dry out the air, making your skin itch, flake, and react by producing more oil.
If you find your skin feels extra dry as the temperature drops, it may be worth using a humidifier in your home or office. You can get some fancy scented ones if you want to add more to the atmosphere than a low hum.
Or just turn down the heating
Save money as well as your skin. Turn down the heating and stick on a jumper. Easy.
It’s also best to avoid long soaks in the bath, no matter how good they may feel – a lengthy bath will strip away natural oils from the skin. Go for a quick shower – not too hot – instead, then pat yourself dry with a towel rather than rubbing.
Choose your clothing wisely
You’re probably bundled up in as many jumpers and blankets as you can find, but take care of what fabrics are coming into contact with your skin.
Dr Clare Morrison of MedExpress advises layers of soft cotton clothing rather than anything abrasive or synthetic (sorry, it’s a no to that itchy jumper your nan knitted).
Try to cover up any skin that’ll be exposed to bracing winds and snow, but, says Clare, ‘make sure you take a layer off if you get too warm’, as any sweat left sitting on the skin will be bad news.
Don’t stop exfoliating
Skincare expert and facialist Vaishaly explains that all the rich moisturisers you’re using when it’s cold could leave you with a build-up dead skin that clogs pores – that’s why exfoliating is still so important.
Don’t go too hard, or you’ll dry your skin out all over again.
Vaishaly tells us: ‘Just use a mild scrub or chemical exfoliant to gently wipe away any build-up of dead cells from the skin’s surface, allowing your pores to flow freely. Always moisturise well afterwards.’
Take special care of exposed areas
Your hands, lips, nose, and ears are all prone to wind burn, which can cause dryness and chapping.
Layer on special balms in these areas, protect them from the cold (don’t forget your gloves and earmuffs), and slather them in moisturiser when you can.
Why your skin turns to shit in cold weatherWhy your skin turns to shit in cold weatherellencscottWhy your skin turns to shit in cold weatherDo you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?
So, you’ve decided to get ahead and organise a Valentine’s Day flowers delivery before the last-minute rush – well done. Nothing says ‘I love you more’ than a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered on February 14th.
At least, that’s what the florists want you to think.
So, if you want to enter into the spirit of St Valentine, now that we are in 2019, having flowers delivered straight to your special someone on Valentine’s Day has never been easier.
Whether your Valentine likes red roses, colourful carnations or tantalising tulips, here are the best offers and all the information you need on how to send flowers on Valentine’s Day 2019.
A tasteful alternative to a dozen red roses, this Serenata Flowers bouquet features three pink Astrantias, four white Lisianthus and five pink roses as standard.
This bouquet has had £10 knocked off its price, is available in three sizes and to top it all off comes with nominated day free delivery.
Serenata Flowers Bella Bouquet, £39.99, serenataflowers.com
You simply cannot go wrong with 100 roses, especially when they cost just £24.99.
Prestige Flowers’ bouquet is made up of miniature roses of mixed colours including, red, pink and white and comes with a free box of handmade British truffles.
Next day delivery is available for those that like to leave it until the last minute.
Prestige Flowers 100 Roses, £24.99, prestigeflowers.co.uk
Interflora’s 18 large-headed red Freedom roses are a classic and arranged by local florists and delivered by hand.
The order also comes with flower food and a care guide, meaning your Valentine can be reminded of your love long after the big day.
Interflora offers same day delivery specified to AM/PM time slots.
Interflora Dramatic Eighteen Roses, £69, interflora.co.uk
Bloom & Wild have broken their Valentine’s Day flower offering into sections that range from classics, through contemporary selections, all the way to grand gestures.
Our favourite named The Wild One, includes 24 stems of roses, calla lilies, delphiniums, as well as fronds of palm and seasonal foliage.
At £53 they’re expensive, but they’re well worth it, as they come with a vase and free next-day delivery via Royal Mail Tracked.
Bloom & Wild The Wild One & Vase, £53, bloomandwild.com
Eflorist Endless Love
A selection of 10 pink, cerise and ruby red Roses that comes with a free box of chocolates and is already £10 cheaper – what’s not to like?
Eflorist Endless Love, £29.99, eflorist.co.uk
Red roses, a box of Swiss chocolates AND a bottle of red wine for just £32?
They sound like the key ingredients for a perfect Valentine’s Day and night. Plus, there’s free delivery available for any date of your choice.
Red Rose Plant, Red Wine and Swiss Chocolate Hamper, £32, marksandspencer.com
Valentines Tulip Letterbox
Worried about organising a massive bouquet delivery for someone who might not be in?
Last thing you want is for your romantic gift to be left with the next-door neighbour. Thankfully companies like Next Flowers have bouquets that are specifically packaged to fit right through the letterbox.
And at £20 with free delivery, it certainly won’t break the budget.
Valentines Tulip Letterbox, £20, nextflowers.co.uk
As the old poem doesn’t go, ‘Roses are rainbow-coloured, violets are blue’. These roses from Waitrose Florist are glow-dyed to give them a kaleidoscopic range of colours that will definitely stand out from the sea of red roses being delivered on Valentine’s Day.
Delivery is available between 12 and 14 February, so schedule it and relax knowing you’ve got the big day sorted.
Valentine’s Day Rainbow Roses Bouquet, £35, waitroseflorist.com
This gift-wrapped pink lily plant from Blossoming Gifts is Instagram-ready.
The potted plant comes with free delivery, as well as a free gift card and message in which to write just how you feel about your loved one.
Gift-wrapped Pink Lily Plant, £27.99, blossominggifts.com
There’s pushing the boat out, then there’s swapping the boat for a luxurious yacht.
Just imagine the look on your loved one’s face when 200 red roses arrives on their doorstep, it’s sure to be a delivery they’ll never forget.
200 Red Roses, £299.99, appleyardflowers.com
It’s not 200 red roses, but the message of love is the same nonetheless.
Costing £24 with optional next-day delivery for an additional £4, it’s great for a more affordable option.
The 12 Red Roses, £24, moonpig.com
Valentine's Day RoseValentine's Day Roseemilyknott17Valentine’s Day Flowers Delivery: from Serenata Flowers to Moonpig, the best UK offers to make February 14th the perfect daySerenata Flowers Bella BouquetPrestige Flowers 100 RosesInterflora Dramatic Eighteen RosesBloom & Wild The Wild One & VaseEflorist Endless LoveRed Rose Plant, Red Wine and Swiss Chocolate HamperValentines Tulip LetterboxValentine’s Day Rainbow Roses BouquetGift-wrapped Pink Lily Plant200 Red RosesThe 12 Red Roses
Let’s be honest, most of us have used food to feel better. Whether it’s deep diving into Ben & Jerry’s after you discover his secret sexts, or heading home with a double crust after a bad day at the office, emotional eating happens to the best of us.
For some however, it’s a constant, daily struggle that keeps them from ever achieving a healthy weight or successfully keeping off weight they do manage to lose.
Emotionally triggered eating means that we use food to regulate our emotions – and trying to stop it can feel impossible.
I remember one famous nutritionist telling me: ‘If someone is willing to commit to my programme, I can help anyone lose weight and get the body of their dreams – that is, unless they are an emotional eater. That’s pretty much impossible.’
As someone who has used food to handle stress for most of my life – this was, needless to say, discouraging.
I realise that losing weight is doable, having attempted all manner of diets from Keto and Paleo to Weight Watchers and Juice Cleanse. But when things go bad, I invariably act like I am going to find the answers to my problems at the bottom of a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
I remember my sister texting me once after I’d had a particularly messy break up, saying: ‘Remember, Señor Dominos is not your friend.’
Discovering that UK hypnotist Malminder Gill, who has treated some of the most famous faces in the world, has a speciality in helping beat emotional eating was intriguing.
I went in dubious. I’d been hypnotised before – once to deal with food cravings and once for fertility – and the effects lasted all of about five minutes.
This time was different.
Entering her Harley Street clinic, Gill puts me immediately at ease. With a smile that lights up her face, she exudes warmth.
She starts by asking me a lot of questions – about my childhood, my relationships, what is stressing me out at the moment and what makes me happy.
Her manner is comforting – I feel like I’m talking to a friend. Then, she starts to ask questions centred around about my eating habits. It feels like a doctor gently poking around a sensitive area – trying to figure out what hurts.
She says: Look, emotional eating is something a lot of my clients struggle with. We tend to think of emotional eating as happening only when we’re sad or stressed, but I have clients who eat emotionally when they’re really happy, or even angry, too.’
She asks me in particular about my morning routine – saying it’s the most important moment to make change as it sets you up for the day.
When she finds out I put artificial sweetener in my coffee – and by the way, I have an addiction to diet Coke – it’s like the penny drops. ‘Ah…’ she says. ‘You need to stop the artificial. Did you know that they give artificial sweeteners to pigs in order to get them to eat more before they are slaughtered? It really pushes them (and you) to eat more. It’s just about the worst thing you can do.’
Although were just having a conversation – I was not hypnotised in any way yet – she mentions the pig thing a few more times. I find myself in the coming days thinking of ‘fat pigs’ every time I see my beloved Pepsi Max on the supermarket shelf. Needless to say, I don’t buy it.
My homework for the week is to sit back and observe when I feel a food craving. To feel it begin, and to mentally stand back and say to myself, ‘oh yes, this is a craving happening right now’, to actually time it, feel it get stronger and feel it ebb. And over the course of the next few weeks, she manages to do something no one ever has in 15 years: Get me to stop drinking a daily diet Coke and to stop sweetening my coffee.
Our next session begins with hypnosis where she begins to tackle the emotions.
Before we get started, she reminds me that there are no good or bad foods. ‘I am working on raising your level of intention when you eat. Eating is not a reaction or a tool to soothe you – but a conscious choice. I don’t believe in diets because they are temporary solutions. We need to figure out your relationship to food, what is driving you to use it for comfort and find other ways to get that done. That’s it.’
She calls her technique ‘Mindful Eating’ because she says it’s not about following a programme to the letter – there are no foods off limits here – it’s about re-programming your mind so that you eat from a place of intention, not in reaction to something else.
Gill says: ‘Of course I understand why people want to lose weight quickly and take drastic measures – cutting out entire food groups, shunning carbs or practising intensive fasting. But I say, stop dieting all together. Learn to stop eating because of emotions and get reacquainted with hunger and fullness cues.’
As I lay with my eyes closed on a table in her dimly lit office she begins in a soothing, quiet voice – she talks about my habits, my emotions, and intention.
I feel very calm and relaxed during the session. Gill has created a ‘script’ that is personal to me and includes a lot of the things I’d told her. I am aware of her voice when she talks about letting go of the things that are holding me back from the healthy lifestyle I want to live – I am not asleep exactly, but I am very, very relaxed. It feels like I’ve just had a decent dose of co-codamol.
As I emerge from the session and head towards the Tube I feel really clear about what my goals are and what I’m working towards – a place of wellness and healthy choices.
My homework is to eat with intention. Gill says: ‘We have forgotten how to be present when we eat. We combine eating with something else, whether it’s TV, scrolling through phones or working.
‘While we may focus on the first bite, we rarely continue those thoughts as we progress. Instead of doing two things at once, pay full attention to the experience and what is happening both inside and outside your body.
‘Note the sensations you experience, such as the colour, smell, taste, texture, temperature and sound of the food. Take notice of how your body reacts when you are feeling hungry or full and how satisfied you are.’
And finally Malminder adds that I don’t need to change everything instantly. Instead, I should try to adopt a mindful approach for one meal per day. ‘Eat somewhere quiet with no distractions and start to experience your food and make it an enjoyable experience. Very quickly you’ll enjoy the sensation and pleasure of mindful eating and want to do it more often to give you maximum benefits and achieve your weight and health goals.’
From this moment on and in the weeks following I begin to lose weight. It doesn’t happen all at once, but it’s gradual and real.
There is no enormous ‘aha!’ moment for me, it’s more like I wake up on a Wednesday and realise I haven’t had a diet Coke in 2 weeks.
I stop missing sweetener in my coffee. And when I’m on the sofa eating popcorn and start to feel full, I notice that I’m full – and choose to stop eating.
I am more aware of what I’m doing – like the the static noise in my brain has been turned down and I can hear what’s going on.
Of course, I still make the occasional choice that isn’t great – but I feel I may finally have the tools to handle my reactions – and to choose to eat that piece of pizza from a place of control, not of compulsion.
Top Tips to beat emotional eating
To beat emotional eating you need to retune your body to start learning from its own cues. It is a mindset change, not a diet or a quick fix. However, once you develop a practice, it can provide long-term results and benefits that surpass any diet.
According to Gill, there are four key areas to work on: emotional awareness, beating cravings, handling portion control and making healthy choices.
Be aware of any emotional issues that are impacting your relationship with food and eating – when you eat for other reasons than genuine physical hunger.
If you find that your desire to eat is driven by emotional factors, such as eating for comfort due to stress, loneliness, etc, what you want to do is build a new relationship with food, one that is based on a conscious decision to eat only when you’re hungry which will lead to healthier, intentional food choices.
Be aware when you are eating emotionally. Will you feel worse for giving in when you are trying to be healthy? Most of the time you will feel worse for letting your emotions ‘win’ and saying no may benefit your health goals and your emotions too.
When you have the sudden impulse to reach for the giant size bag of Malteasers, stop and recognise the emotion that you are feeling when you go to get it. With this level of awareness you can immediately ask yourself, ‘Why am I doing this right now? And is this is a pattern I want to keep feeding?’
Remember: The more times you stop and recognise the emotion that is driving you and identify what it is, the less likely you are to give in and eat.
Keep an Emotional Food Diary. This will help you to see links to what and why you are eating.
Emotional eating is often a way to experience pleasure. Ask yourself if you really will feel pleasure from eating, and if you do, make the most of it and allow yourself to fully enjoy it and stop when you stop the enjoyment.
Some people find that they ‘eat on auto-pilot’, or can’t stop eating until they feel uncomfortably full or sick, and once they start on the 7 packs of Skittles in the drawer or whole family size bar of chocolate they feel like they cannot stop until it’s gone.
One thing Gill asks clients to do when this happens to give themselves permission to eat it but only if you can eat it very, very slowly – in other words go ahead and eat the 7 packs of Skittles but you have to chew each mouthful at least 30 times before swallowing.
Again, it’s about driving awareness and increasing mindfulness in eating.
You can start to understand why you have specific cravings, the triggers that cause them and the alternatives that can satisfy you. By enjoying the taste of all of your food, you may notice that cravings reduce. Unlike a diet, mindful eating does not restrict you, you can act on cravings if you want to, but more importantly, you will start to understand why you have cravings.
By asking you to stop and question ‘Why am I eating this? Is it because I’m hungry?” each and every time you eat – it will raise awareness which will help illuminate the real motivation and reasons why you are over-eating. By flexing this mental muscle, again and again, over time this will give you the control you need to handle the craving without giving in.
Gill says: ‘If you have a craving, wait 15 minutes before succumbing. When my clients put this into practice, they give into their cravings 30% less of the time.’
Picture the food that you crave. By focusing on the image you achieve sensory boredom which means you don’t need to taste it anymore.
Give in and appreciate the craving, but while you are eating be aware of why you have the craving (are you tired, crave sugar, bored etc) and if it actually feels beneficial to you.
Before opening the fridge or cabinet, take a breath and ask yourself, ‘Am I really hungry?’ Do something else, like reading or going on a short walk. Or, and this is important, do something about the feeling you are experiencing. So if you are stressed or bored or lonely, do something about it – make a list, tackle the problem head on, call a friend, start a new book etc.
Gill says: ‘I once asked a client to blindfold themselves during their evening meal so as to concentrate on their food only. Yes, it was weird but they were surprised at how big their eyes were as they only finished around half of what was on their plate. It’s amazing how what your brain thinks you need or want can be disconnected from what is best for your body.’
She advises that instead of eating until you finish your plate, you learn to stop eating when you feel satisfied and full. Instead of focusing on consuming lots, you can start to focus on tasting food to give you the satisfaction. Even in social situations, you can ensure you eat only as much as your body needs.
Eat protein first to fill you up and notice the sensation of being full.
Avoid fizzy drinks, which can increase your hunger levels. Try to stick to water.
Break the cycle of salt and sugar by minimising both to stop the triggers for each.
Set your kitchen timer to 20 minutes, and take that time to eat a normal-sized meal.
Try eating with your non-dominant hand. If you’re a righty, hold your fork in your left hand when lifting food to your mouth.
Use chopsticks if you don’t normally use them.
Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal, from the sun’s rays to the farmer to the grocer to the cook.
Take small bites and chew well.
By getting to understand your body and the sensations of food, you can learn what food fuels you best for exercise, enjoyment and work. You may also start to enjoy the taste of healthy foods instead of simply eating them ‘to be good’. Begin to realise that the unhealthy foods you like do not make you feel very good and healthy foods are more beneficial to your body, energy levels, mood and state.
Hypnosis is a great one for this because we can nudge the subconscious to seek out healthier foods, for example, to love the taste of vegetables and dislike the taste of crisps.
However, even without hypnosis here’s what you can do:
Making healthy choices can be enjoyable when you start to appreciate the taste of healthy foods rather than feeling like you are denied your favourite unhealthy foods. Write down the three foods you do not want to consume on a healthy diet. Instead, find healthy alternatives
Enjoy how your tastebuds changes to enjoy healthy food choices.
Do not shop when you are hungry. If you are easily tempted, shop online, which will stop you from adding treats to your shopping basket.
Emotional Eating Hypnosis with Malminder Gill starts at £500. For more information go to hypnosis-in-london.com
hypnosis-in-london-weight-loss-680x380-f265hypnosis-in-london-weight-loss-680x380-f265ashleysinlondon4142103270_31881d9cf9_z-640x380-9a78Hypnotherapist and Life Coach Malminder GillHypnotherapist Malminder Gill
Flat Iron, the affordable steak place with 6 locations across London, has just expanded to SE1.
The new outpost is on Tooley street, a couple of minutes from London Bridge station and, just a couple of weeks into its launch, it’s already packed.
A potential hour wait in the first week put us off but we returned on Wednesday night, arriving at 7.45pm, and while it was full, we were told a table would be available in 20 minutes.
The pager system means you don’t actually have to wait in line, or even at the restaurant, but the bar area at the front – pink lit, smooth metal bar, buzzy atmosphere – was perfect for a quick drink while we waited and the service to bring us a beer and a wine while we did so was immediate.
The table happened to clear much quicker, and we were sat within 10 minutes, max. This city branch is clearly popular with the after-work crowd, so it fills early but empties early too.
The place opened out as we walked back – it’s actually pretty big. Beyond the quite intimate bar there’s a large restaurant, but designed with plenty of plants, circular seating and nooks to make it a welcoming environment – this isn’t just one big cavernous steak factory.
It’s earned itself the moniker of new ‘hipster’ steak place, likely because it doesn’t use plates and it has exposed brick and filament light bulbs as decor. Really though, it’s just affordable, good steak in modern, lively, nicely designed venues.
Flat Iron’s thing is inexpensive steak done well. The classic Flat Iron is an £11 featherblade (or flat iron) shoulder cut served with salad. Sides – very good dripping chips, creamed spinach, special greens (hispi cabbage or purple sprouting broccoli, on our visit) are from £3.
A roast aubergine side with tomato basil and parmesan is the most expensive side, at £4.50 – but it’s still less money and much more interesting than the single half of a completely plain sweet potato we paid £5 for at Gaucho once.
They have specials – a burger, a 300-day, barley-finished Angus bavette for £16 and a wagyu rib-eye for £19 – but if you want to keep costs down, you can.
Peppercorn, bearnaise or Fred’s Sauce (a spicy tomato) are £1. A wild mushroom sauce is £1.50.
The price does not mean quality suffers. The beef is sourced from UK farms and butchers, and some from Flat Iron’s own herd, based in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, where the farmer who cares for them – third generation beef farmer Charles Ashbridge – is name-checked on the menu. They choose underused cuts of beef that are just as good as popular cuts, but less expensive to buy in.
The flat iron steak was a lean cut, perfectly cooked, the ribeye, with its higher fat content, was juicy and very flavoursome. Both were perfectly seasoned.
The steaks are served on slate and wood chopping boards, the chips and sides in enamel cups and bowls.
Cocktails, all £7, are inventive – blood orange Old Fashioned, pomegranate and rose G&T, sloe & strawberry bellini – and they have a Negroni Fountain (Campari, gin, vermouth, citrus) on tap for £9.50.
The menu is simple – no starters, just one pudding, 5 reds, 3 whites, 1 rose. It’s partly this simplicity that means service is slick and fast.
The waiting staff are friendly and knowledgeable, they come with drinks fast, popcorn is on the table that you can nibble while you choose, food comes out super quickly and you can easily catch someone’s eye for more drinks the moment you want them.
For a large restaurant, that’s no mean feat. And for a new opening, it’s even more impressive. Poor service is the quickest mood-killer in a restaurant, and failing to return for drinks orders – something that, shockingly, considering it’s the fastest way for a restaurant to make money, is all too common.
Twice in the past week we’ve ended up on an enforced Dry Jan when popular restaurants (naming no names, but really) in London left us with empty glasses for most of our meal. We won’t be going back in a hurry.
There’s a note on the menu entitled ‘Souvenir Alert’ that asks diners not to nick the lovely wooden-handled cleavers and hip flasks. As my companion said, what cheapskate would nick the cutlery? People clearly do though – so they’ve made them available to buy for £10.
Another nice touch – and another good quality bargain – in a very self-aware, very good steak place that is riding a zeitgeist brilliantly well.
BILL FOR 2: £52.29 inc 12% service.
Flat Iron, 112 – 116 Tooley Street, flatironsteak.co.uk. Other locations: Soho, Covent Garden, Shoreditch, Kings Cross, Golborne Road (this one accepts reservations, all others walk-in only).
flatironsteak-theclassicflatiron2cc2a311-34b3flatironsteak-theclassicflatiron2cc2a311-34b3akismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdFlat Iron steak - the classic flat iron, £11 Flat Iron steak selection - you can spot one of the tempting little cleavers in the bottom row - just say no to stealing them, kids
A woman has received backlash online after she told Mamamia how she buys dresses and returns them after wearing them, to ensure she isn’t wasting money.
Chelsea, a 25-year-old mum-of-two, explained that she’s been wearing and returning dresses for the past nine years – and reckons she’s been refunded the costs of around 15 dresses ranging from $150 – $300.
She started doing this when she was 16 and still in school. She had no money for a party, and so bought a dress online, wore it for the night, returned it and got her money back.
She says she felt guilty, but as the dresses were ‘still in really good nick’ she justified it in her head as being ‘as long as there’s no damage to it, why not?’
She said: ‘The way I see it, they’re not losing money. As long as that item is in really good nick then they can sell it.
‘It’s kind of a win-win situation for everyone, so I don’t really feel as guilty. I still feel a tiny bit guilty, but not as much as I did.’
Chelsea has worn and returned dresses and jumpsuits for events including weddings, engagement parties and hen nights.
She tucks the tags in when wearing them, and makes sure the dress is completely clean when she returns it.
‘If it’s dirty I won’t wash it and send it back. I’ll keep it,’ she said.
So far, Chelsea has been refunded for every dress she’s returned – which she thinks is a fair deal, as she can’t ‘justify’ spending $300 on a dress for one night.
She says that would just be ‘wasting’ money that could go towards a family holiday.
But, since the article was published, the response hasn’t been very positive – with some people thinking what Chelsea is doing is really bad.
One person said: ‘I regularly wear dresses to more than one event. Suggesting that there’s insurmountable pressure to buy new clothes for every event is a bit silly, and is just an excuse to justify bad behaviour!’
Someone else wrote: ‘Dress it up how you like, it’s being dishonest.’
Another said she was stealing: ‘What an awful thing she’s doing. She should feel bad. She’s basically stealing!
‘You can rent dresses for around $100. So if people want caviar you encourage them to steal it because they can’t justify the price of caviar? BUY CHEAPER CLOTHES. Rent them. Go to outlets. Sales etc.
‘”Poor me I can’t afford a $300 dress so I’ll buy it and return it with my body sweat on it. No harm!” No wonder some stores won’t refund anymore. People like this exist and ruin it for everyone!’
Do you think what Chelsea is doing is wrong? Let us know in the comments.
Disgusting? mum slammed after admitting she?s been wearing ?150 dresses and sending them back for NINE yearsDisgusting? mum slammed after admitting she?s been wearing ?150 dresses and sending them back for NINE yearshattiegladwellmetrowoman paying with contactless card in clothing store
A mum had dyed her Great Dane pink and painted her nails, in hopes strangers will stop being so scared of her.
21-year-old Jessica Williams says she noticed strangers were often scared of Great Danes due to their size.
To ease strangers’ fears – and to ensure her five-month-old puppy Drama was given heaps of attention when on walks – Jessica decided dyeing her pink would make her more approachable.
Seeing that her own dog-groomer friend had recently dyed her own dog, Jessica, from Fort Campbell in Kentucky, USA, had the idea to make Drama as inviting as possible – by dyeing her bright pink and purple, and trimming and painting her nails.
Jessica says ever since, Drama gets more positive attention, and that she’s ‘hooked’ on the new trend for her puppy.
She said: ‘People are generally scared of big dogs, and I’ve noticed that some people might not approach my dogs as much as little ones.
‘With them being dyed it makes it easier to socialise them, because not nearly as many people are afraid – especially when they’re pink and purple.
‘It also means that Drama can be the reason someone smiles, and they would be more eager to walk up to us and ask to pet them.
‘And alongside her short, pink nails, it makes it clear to people that she isn’t going to do any harm!’
Jessica dyed Drama for the first time on 22 January , and forked out £76 for the treatment.
She believes it is worth the money to allow her puppy to be more accepted when in public.
She said: ‘Even though Drama has only been dyed once, I am definitely hooked!
‘We make sure that a safe dye is being used on her and she loves the experience – it’s like she’s having her own spa day.
‘Unfortunately, Drama is colour-blind, so can’t see just how fabulous she looks, but everyone else definitely thinks she is!
‘As soon as her dye starts to fade I will definitely be taking her back to the groomers to have it done again, she looks great.’
Jessica admits that she has received backlash from people who believe dyeing her dog is cruel.
She said: ‘Most people love it, but others hate it and think she’s embarrassed.
‘A lot of people don’t realise that the dye being used is really safe so start to think it’s cruel, so I make sure I tell everyone that it’s a safe dye and doesn’t harm Drama at all.
‘I’ve had complaints about painting and trimming her nails too, but I always make sure Drama is comfortable and a good dog owner should always take care of their pooches feet.
‘I’ve even received death threats about the fact I dye my dog – but in reality all of my dogs are spoiled more than most adults!’
A doting mother has dyed her huge Great Dane pink and even paints her nails - in a bid to stop strangers being scared of her. After owning four Great Danes, Jessica Williams, 21, noticed that strangers were often scared of them for their big size and fast natureA doting mother has dyed her huge Great Dane pink and even paints her nails - in a bid to stop strangers being scared of her. After owning four Great Danes, Jessica Williams, 21, noticed that strangers were often scared of them for their big size and fast naturehattiegladwellmetroPICS BY JESSICA WILLIAMS / CATERS (PICTURED : Five month old Great Dane Drama who was dyed pink and purple to make him more approachable.) - A doting mother has dyed her huge Great Dane pink and even paints her nails - in a bid to stop strangers being scared of her. After owning four Great Danes, Jessica Williams, 21, noticed that strangers were often scared of them for their big size and fast nature. So in a bid to stop this being the case, and to ensure her five month old puppy Drama was showered with attention on walks, Jessica had the idea to make her more approachable. Seeing that her dog-groomer friend had recently dyed her own pooch, Jessica, from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, had the idea to make Drama as inviting as ever by dying her bright pink and purple and even trimming and painting her nails. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY JESSICA WILLIAMS / CATERS (PICTURED : Dramas paws were even dyed purple and nails trimmed and painted pink) - A doting mother has dyed her huge Great Dane pink and even paints her nails - in a bid to stop strangers being scared of her. After owning four Great Danes, Jessica Williams, 21, noticed that strangers were often scared of them for their big size and fast nature. So in a bid to stop this being the case, and to ensure her five month old puppy Drama was showered with attention on walks, Jessica had the idea to make her more approachable. Seeing that her dog-groomer friend had recently dyed her own pooch, Jessica, from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, had the idea to make Drama as inviting as ever by dying her bright pink and purple and even trimming and painting her nails. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY JESSICA WILLIAMS / CATERS (PICTURED : Five month old Great Dane Drama who was dyed pink and purple to make him more approachable.) - A doting mother has dyed her huge Great Dane pink and even paints her nails - in a bid to stop strangers being scared of her. After owning four Great Danes, Jessica Williams, 21, noticed that strangers were often scared of them for their big size and fast nature. So in a bid to stop this being the case, and to ensure her five month old puppy Drama was showered with attention on walks, Jessica had the idea to make her more approachable. Seeing that her dog-groomer friend had recently dyed her own pooch, Jessica, from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, had the idea to make Drama as inviting as ever by dying her bright pink and purple and even trimming and painting her nails. - SEE CATERS COPY
Somehow, we’ve made it through January – even though it seemed like the longest month ever.
And now we’ve hit February, Valentine’s Day is coming up fast.
So it’s time to start scouring the internet for gifts – unless you’re a last minute person who’s going to buy a bunch of flowers on the way home from work.
If you are looking to buy flowers, Lidl is here to help – as the super cheap supermarket, which was voted Fresh Flower Supermarket of the Year 2018 at the Retail Industry Awards, is now selling 100 red roses for £25.
That’s pretty cheap when you compare it to other stores’ offers.
For instance, it’s a third of Marks & Spencer’s £75 100 red rose bouquet, while Waitrose’s 100 red sweetheart roses bouquet costs £45.
Lidl’s red roses will be available to buy from 12 February.
As you can imagine, they’re probably going to sell out fast, so if you want to get your hands on them you’ll have to be quick – which means nipping in at 6.30pm after your shift might not work out for you.
If you are looking to spend a little more money, and fancy buying more than just flowers, gin bouquets might be a better idea.
From 30 January, Edinburgh Gin is selling Botanical Bouquets – they’re flower bouquets with a bottle of gin hidden within them.
Each bouquet contains an arrangement of chamomile daisies, hot pink rose petals and lavender, and a 70cl bottle of Edinburgh Gin Valentine’s acting as a vase.
The gin-filled bouquets are on sale now for £65.
SEI_50168127-4e8fSEI_50168127-4e8fhattiegladwellmetroLidl is selling 100 red roses for ?25 this Valentine's Day LIDL
People have been taking to Twitter to express their anger over Boohoo’s sizing.
Customers question why certain clothes are listed as ‘large’ to describe a size 8.
A pair of Chain Trim Cargo Trousers are seen being modelled on a size 10 model.
In the description, it states that a large size is a size 8, a medium is a size 6 and a small is a size 4 – which shoppers are saying is ridiculous.
Another girl, who’s a size 8, shared a photo of her wearing a size 8-10 skirt, also labelled as large, which fit her perfectly.
She wrote: ‘@boohoo since when did large mean size 8-10 ??’
Someone else, a size 12, ordered clothing which was supposed to be her actual size. She ordered a large, but it wouldn’t fit her at all.
According to Boohoo’s standards, she is apparently a size 16-18.
Others have been saying that Boohoo sizes have really affected their self-esteem, and have been left wondering how on earth they’re supposed to order from the site when they’re unable to tell what size would actually fit them.
Metro.co.uk has contacted Boohoo for comment, but they haven’t responded yet.
This isn’t the first time shops have come under fire for their sizing issues.
Last August H&M was criticised for their sizing.
I went in and tried various types of jeans – and struggled to find anything that fit.
I went into the store wearing Topshop jeans, which were a size 12 and fit me perfectly.
I took them off and started trying on H&M’s, and found that I couldn’t fit into anything anywhere near my size. The size 12 wouldn’t even go over my thighs, and I struggled with a 14-16.
In one pair, I fit into an 18-20, and in another I fit into a size 16.
What I did learn? Shopping for clothes is bloody infuriating and downright exhausting.
Boohoo slammed by shoppers for selling size 8 clothes labelled as ?Large?Boohoo slammed by shoppers for selling size 8 clothes labelled as ?Large?hattiegladwellmetro
Email is the bane of our existence.
You can tell by the weekly emergence of an article pondering what to do with the excruciating evil of email, from accepting inbox infinity to the two minute rule to the desperation of an email amnesty, in which you delete everything and hope that if something is that important it’ll return.
Oh, and the tweets, and the low moan from coworkers as another pointless email clogs up their inbox, and the despair I feel as I watch the messages in my inbox pass 7,000.
The issue with emails is simple: Every email demands an action.
You have to respond. If you’re bothered by having a high number of unreads, you at least need to open it. Perhaps you should delete it, or sort it into a folder. Whichever way you go, you have to engage with your email at work, and each time a new one arrives it takes up another precious few seconds of your life, another chunk of your focus.
Throw in the brutal reality that most emails are not emails you have any desire or need to see, and it makes sense that the topic of emails inspires a sense of dread.
But what if it’s not emails that we hate at work, but simply the need to communicate with anyone, ever?
And if we ditch email, where will we turn when it comes to asking our coworkers to sponsor us in a marathon, asking our boss for a quick catch-up, or asking someone to do something we don’t particularly want to do?
The unbearable truth is that there is no form of work communication that’s actually good.
Slack’s instant messaging works for gossip and quick questions, but doesn’t have the formality required to feel appropriate for contacting someone senior or who you’ve never met before.
The notifications are just as bad as email, if not worse. With instant messaging, there’s an expectation that your response will be, well, instant. I can see you’re online. Why aren’t you messaging back? I know there’s a notification in your bottom right corner. I know it’s popped up on your phone, and there’s a red icon on your Slack tab.
There’s a similar issue with Whatsapp, whose blue ticks inspire anxiety if you’re on the receiving end (okay, they’ve read it, why aren’t they responding) or if you realise you’ve just delivered them (sh*t, they know I’ve seen it).
Facebook or Twitter messaging feels like a boundary crossed, work officially infiltrating your social life. Same with texting, which also brings up confusion around formatting – if you’re texting someone from work, do you need to sign off with your name? Do you need to say ‘good morning!’ at the start?
You could try switching to phone calls, but come on. Who hears the phone ring and actually wants to answer it? In what world would you prefer a form of communication that allows no pause to formulate a response, that lets the caller hear your nerves, your frustration, the way you’re absentmindedly typing?
Then there’s the IRL alternative – actually going over to someone you work with to have a chat. What a horrific idea.
There’s no power to ignore a real-life interaction, to delete it without even a passing glance. Someone’s right there, by your desk, demanding your time and attention. Not only can they hear your voice but they can see your face – the millisecond you grimace at their arrival, your minimal eye roll.
It’s also not at all practical if you’re trying to communicate with people outside the immediate vicinity of your office.
No, none of these alternatives will do. It’s time to appreciate email for what it is: the only half-way decent means of talking to people in a work setting.
Yes, sending an email will send you into spiralling doubt about how many exclamation marks to use. But it also allows you to carefully construct every message to convey your mood, your needs, your general vibe.
Will you start with an ‘oh, hey’, like the kooky creative you are? A cheery ‘hi!’? A ‘Dear’, to indicate that you’re about to get serious? The possibilities are so open, and while this can inspire worry, we should instead see it as a chance to get creative.
Emails have the unique ability to convey the detailed fabric of passive aggression.
You can end with a ‘thanks in advance!’ to convey that really, this task should have already been done. You can write ‘as per my previous email’, and it’s a glorious ‘f*** you’ in a way that won’t get you sacked.
Email has the potential for deeply enjoyable levels of pettiness. A reply all is the ultimate mic drop, the equivalent of standing tall in front of all and unleashing a battle cry. You can CC in someone senior, far more satisfying than secretly screenshotting a message and dobbing someone in.
Email interactions give you time to formulate the ultimate reply, which, yes, can lead to time wasted obsessing over punctuation and word choice, but can also allow you to create true art.
The poetry of a snarky email is unmatched. A ‘regards’ instead of ‘kind regards’? Brutal.
It’s time to take joy in email once again, to revel in its potential for being a massive dick and to embrace the sheer fun of someone sending the wrong attachment or calling you an entirely incorrect name.
Stop seeing questions of punctuation as miserable. Allow your inbox to be a place of fun rather than aggravation and clutter. Flex your fingers, ready your keyboard, and settle into the sheer thrill of typing out a perfectly cutting email designed to enrage and entice.
howexactlyshouldyousignoffanemail3f-bfa8howexactlyshouldyousignoffanemail3f-bfa8ellencscott**Illustration request** Does social media make life easier for people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder? (Violet Fenn)
Lee Liston is, by all definition, absolutely ripped.
He’s also quite small, standing at 3ft 11.
Despite trolls telling him someone with dwarfism can’t lift weights, Lee is training for his first bodybuilding competition in April. He can’t wait to show everyone what he can do.
Lee, from Utah, began training at the gym one year ago, and now goes six times a week.
He says he’s become addicted to building his muscles.
‘I don’t go to the gym for an ego boost, it’s more for motivation and a sense of belonging,’ says Lee.
‘Anywhere other than the gym, I’m seen an a little person, but when I’m in the gym I’m respected because of my muscles – I’m seen as an equal.
‘I feel more on the level of others around me, when people stare it’s not because I’m different, they stare because I have muscles.
‘I’m feeling pretty good about my up-and-coming competition – it’s pretty exciting.
‘I’m only nervous about making sure I get lean enough while maintaining muscle!’
As part of his training, Lee bulked up for three months by eating 1,855 calories per day as well as 104g of protein.
Originally he started to train to audition for Dwayne Johnson’s show Titan Games, but he didn’t make it. That didn’t stop him, though.
Lee said: ‘I think the biggest change is that I actually count the calories and macro-nutrients that I put into my body, so being more self aware is awesome.
‘I used to overeat a lot and not really think about what I was putting in my body – saying that I still allow myself a treat from time, to time.
‘My life is basically just eat, gym, sleep, repeat!’
That training would be challenging for anyone, but it’s especially tough for Lee as he has achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism that affects his bones.
Bodybuilding has given him a passion, and a place where he’s accepted for who he is.
He says: ‘When I was younger I remember running into my dad’s room crying and yelling, “I hate being little, I don’t look like other kids, all they do is stare and call me a midget!”
‘But I’ve come to embrace my size, which has always been a challenge; there have been days that I wake up wishing I wasn’t little but I think my confidence grew over time.
‘Once I found out who I was, what I wanted, and what I could do, the rest became noise.
‘My biggest issue in the gym is my range of motion as I have shorter limbs than others, but some people think that’s a perk as I don’t have to push the bar up very high.
‘Luckily, my family and friends have been super supportive about all this – a friend of mine works in the fitness industry and thinks I’ll go far.
‘Parents of kids with dwarfism have asked me advice on how to give their child confidence because they weren’t prepared to have a child with achondroplasia like me.
‘It’s so cool that I can be an advocate and ambassador for it.’
DWARF BODYBUILDERDWARF BODYBUILDERellencscottPIC FROM @stanphotography1/Caters News - (PICTURED: Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, is 3ft 11ins tall and a bodybuilder) - A mini bodybuilder with big dreams and even bigger muscles is set for huge success after dedicated his life to the gym. Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, who stands at 3ft 11ins tall, first began training in the gym a year ago and now works out six times per week. After becoming addicted to building his bulging muscles, Lee, who was born with dwarfism, is set to enter his first bodybuilding competition in April this year.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, is 3ft 11ins tall and a bodybuilder) - A mini bodybuilder with big dreams and even bigger muscles is set for huge success after dedicated his life to the gym. Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, who stands at 3ft 11ins tall, first began training in the gym a year ago and now works out six times per week. After becoming addicted to building his bulging muscles, Lee, who was born with dwarfism, is set to enter his first bodybuilding competition in April this year.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM @stanphotography1/Caters News - (PICTURED: Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, is 3ft 11ins tall and a bodybuilder) - A mini bodybuilder with big dreams and even bigger muscles is set for huge success after dedicated his life to the gym. Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, who stands at 3ft 11ins tall, first began training in the gym a year ago and now works out six times per week. After becoming addicted to building his bulging muscles, Lee, who was born with dwarfism, is set to enter his first bodybuilding competition in April this year.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, with proffesional bodybuilder Jay Cutler) - A mini bodybuilder with big dreams and even bigger muscles is set for huge success after dedicated his life to the gym. Lee Liston, 26, from Utah, America, who stands at 3ft 11ins tall, first began training in the gym a year ago and now works out six times per week. After becoming addicted to building his bulging muscles, Lee, who was born with dwarfism, is set to enter his first bodybuilding competition in April this year.SEE CATERS COPY
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about couples showering each other with cute gifts and going for romantic meals.
No, the day of love is just as much for singles as it is for those who are in relationships. And while said couples are off gazing into each other’s eyes over candle-lit dinners, why not indulge yourself in a little fun of your own?
We’re not just talking about getting yourself off (although by all means, enjoy).
On 14 February, there’s a self-pleasure festival coming to London where you can learn about self-care and listen in on panels discussing topics such as ‘what does sexual wellness mean to you’, ‘the power of solo-dates’ and ‘why being alone isn’t bad, but can be amazing’.
There’ll be some juicy stuff too, with focus on how caring for yourself can lead to a better sex life.
Panellists include Honey Ross, co-founder of the Pink Protest; Rukiat Ashawe, a sexual health & feminist writer; Frankie Wells, founder of Foundation FM and Project Pleasure and comedian, presenter and model, Kelly Ford.
After the talks, guests are encouraged to write love letters to themselves with body positivity brand School of Strut, as well as enjoying a Reiki healing session, getting a massage from the Zen Sisters or playing Goddess Cards.
The event is hosted from 7pm to 10pm at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Advance tickets cost £10 and you can also pay on the door, but it’ll cost you £15 – though both prices include a two-for-one offer on cocktails.
Just because you’re single, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a big dose of love on Valentine’s.
Go, treat yourself.
Masturbation routinesMasturbation routinesallieabgarian(backgrounds have been changed) Credit: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
Over the last decade, there’s been a significant shift in social responsibility on major topics like the environment, animal rights and whether we should all go vegan for the good of the planet.
The public is constantly challenging outdated perspectives and there’s one in particular that’s still being intensely debated, especially with the cold weather drawing in and London Fashion Week around the corner. We’re talking about fur – or more specifically, fur coats.
As an individual, you might find it difficult to navigate this very sensitive landscape. You consider yourself an animal rights supporter and you don’t buy fashion from unethical brands, but there it is, a real fur coat hanging in the back of your closet.
Maybe it was a gift from a close family member.
Maybe it has strong sentimental value.
Maybe it’s vintage and you bought it long before the world changed its view on fur.
But a fur coat is no longer just a fur coat – whether knowingly or not, if you wear the coat in public, it’s considered a statement to many people.
So, to find out whether it’s still socially acceptable to wear it in public, we asked a few women (some who own fur and some who don’t) what they think.
Melanie, 51, owns a fur coat but won’t wear it
‘I have a beautiful vintage 50s coat that looks like something Audrey Hepburn would wear, with a rabbit fur collar on it.
‘It was a different time when I bought it. I couldn’t bear to see such a beautiful coat get chucked, but I have never worn it. And I wouldn’t in the UK (plus I am not that tiny anymore). I would feel awful wearing it now.
‘While I didn’t buy it new, it would still be wearing real animal fur for decoration. Perhaps I might feel a bit different somewhere like New Zealand where rabbits do so much ecological damage that they need to removed, and it does feel just as wrong to not at least make use of what’s left – for that reason you will get rabbit and possum fur on items.
‘It feels wrong to wear, but it also feels just as wrong to just throw out these beautiful items.’
Clodagh, 28, owns a fur coat and accidentally wore it to a date with a vegetarian
‘I have a vintage rabbit fur coat.
‘I wore it on a first date. Turns out my date was vegetarian and he took us to London Zoo.
‘It was so cold and I was already wearing it, so it was too late to change. He kind of laughed it off – he worked in fashion and said he appreciated it for what it was, but I could tell he was absolutely mortified. Needless to say that relationship was short-lived.
‘I wear it sometimes but I wouldn’t wear it to work (it’s a bit too glam for my office) and I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.’
Naomi, 39, vegan who won’t wear fur (but owns some leather items)
‘Just to go all Indiana Jones: “it belongs in a museum”.
‘When I gave up eating animals and their products I toyed with the idea of wearing second-hand leather, and then I realised that it was a bit weird because it was a dead thing – even if it was beautiful and practical.
‘I still have legacy items such as bags etc., but I don’t wear them. I feel like they need a burial as they were once a living, feeling being, but that is in conflict with my waste awareness. So they are in storage until some kind of amnesty takes place.’
Gemma, 42, won’t wear real or fake fur (despite being offered a vintage one by her grandmother)
‘My gran always tried to interest me in her mink coat, but I was very squeamish about it.
‘Trouble is, wearing them now, even if vintage or high welfare, encourages the return of fur to the high street, and the problem with that is that cheap fur from India or China is made with the most horrific cruelty.
‘So while I can understand, say, Inuit or Alaskan or Siberian people wearing it, in small amounts, because it is super warm and lovely, I feel quite strongly about not wearing it as a fashion item. Doesn’t need to go to landfill – animal rescues welcome it as a comforter for rescues.
‘I don’t wear fake fur either for the same reason, plus the damage that fine plastic fibres do to the environment and animals in the long-term. But I think that’s currently an unusual position.’
Lindsay, owns a vintage fur coat and wears it
‘I have my glamorous grandma’s white mink jacket with her initials in the lining. It’s so warm, but I only wear it in the dark.
‘Always have an explanation ready that it’s a really good Topshop fake.’
Hayley, 30, doesn’t own fur and would be offended if a friend wore it
‘If a friend or colleague wore a fur coat in my presence, I think I’d feel quite offended.
‘I’m openly vegan and against animal cruelty, so I’d see it as a sign of ignorance and insensitivity. I would never judge people by their fashion choices, but with so much spotlight on how animals are killed for their products, I would like to think people would make better choices.’
Christabel, 53, is a vegetarian but wears a fur coat she inherited from her mother
‘I inherited my mum’s sable last year when she died.
‘I am vegetarian and against cruelty of all kinds – happy to admit that makes me unusually conflicted and off-message on the fur front. I wear it because it’s beautiful, blissfully warm and more than anything, reminds me of being a child and watching my mum slip it on for a rare night at the theatre or a posh dinner.
‘She instantly assumed a new confident persona and Hollywood / Queen-like glamour. I channel that when I put it on, though I wear it over jeans on the school run. It feels like a hug.
‘I’ve only been challenged once, by an animal-rights activist, who pushed his face to mine and said “you wouldn’t like it if I drugged you and slit your throat” – I can’t believe violently bullying people is right.’
If you do want to dispose of your real fur items, but don’t want to throw them away, you can donate them to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Can you still wear your real fur coat in public?Can you still wear your real fur coat in public?allieabgarianFur coat on hanger isolated on plain background
Scroll through Instagram and you’ll spot a pose we’re calling the strandid.
It’s simple. You delicately clutch a few strands of hair, then pull them away from your head.
You can make eye contact with the camera and pout, you can shmile, whatever. The key to a strandid is holding a chunk of hair away from your face while looking totally candid.
Strand of hair plus candid equals strandid. Get it?
Trust us, once you’re aware of this pose, you’ll spot it absolutely everywhere. Every influencer, model, or casual ‘grammer has done it.
Where did it come from? We truly have no idea.
We imagine one model or influencer did it, got a load of likes, looked cool, and everyone followed suit.
It’s now so ubiquitous that if you take a look at any of the popular Instagram locations in London – Peggy Porschen, Saint Aymes, Palm Vaults – you’ll spot rows of women with perfectly waved hair standing against flower walls or lounging on velvet sofas, all doing the exact same thing.
Its purpose seems to be to look totally casual. Rather than looking super posed, you’re just playing with your hair as someone snaps a pic. You just happen to look absolutely gorgeous. No big deal.
There are plenty of ways to adapt the strandid, if you’re keen to try it.
You can pull the hair slightly away from your face in a downwards position. You can hold some strands up and out to show off your highlights. You can select so few strands that you can barely see the hair, just your middle finger and thumb touching.
The pose does not appear to be common among those with natural curls, but beyond that your hair styling choice is up to you. Many models are fans of the ponytail strandid, pulling a section of their pony up and out to the side.
The strandid is not to be confused, however, with the entirely different ‘oops, you caught me tucking my hair behind my ears’ pose, or the ‘look at me run my fingers through my luscious waves’, or the migraine pose.
The strandid is very specific in its requirements. A section of hair must be isolated and held out. This is the method and you must not stray from it.
Is it magically flattering? Not as far as we can tell. But it does have the benefit of giving you something to do with your hands.
Is it cool? We’re not sure.
But the fact is that every influencer worth their double tap is doing it. If you posed with a wodge of pink cake and a matcha latte and you didn’t do a strandid, you did Instagram wrong.
Don’t panic though – there’s plenty of time to perfect your strandid for next time. We’ve popped some inspo below.
Straight hair and a selfie suits the strandid perfectly
Curls work too
Olivia Attwood is a big fan
The same goes for Olivia Buck
The strandid provides a strong twist on a photo of the back of your head as you look at a stunning view
Make sure to nail your strandid next time you’re in front of a fancy shop
Or at a pretty cafe
Ponytails are acceptable
Tendrils left loose do the trick
You can fidget while doing your strandid to create some movement
Got it yet?
Feel free to blame the wind
Please do make sure you practise your strandid carefully, and recruit a friend patient enough to take 73 photos as you figure out exactly how many strands to hold aloft.
It’s all worth it for the ‘Gram.
SEI_50191363-1b42SEI_50191363-1b42ellencscottStrand of hair pose Instagram / @oliviaculpo
When you’re spending a load of money on a wedding dress, it makes sense to get as much wear out of it as possible.
Learn from Zoe Aust, who wore the dress from her special day in 33 countries, all so she could take stunning wedding photos around the world.
Here’s hoping she’ll continue to wear it for every photo from now on. A selfie in McDonald’s while wearing lace sounds incredible.
Zoe and her now-husband Nick came up with the idea of global wedding photos on their very first date, when they joked that if things worked out, they would travel the world together. Sweet.
They got engaged in 2016, married in 2017, and after that Nick decided to fulfill that promise from their first date.
The couple packed up their things – wedding dress included – and set off around the world, starting with Thailand.
‘Life is too short to only wear your wedding dress once,’ said Zoe. ‘And the world is too big to only stay in your little town your whole entire life.
‘Our hope is that when people see our pictures they feel nothing but inspired to explore a new place, try a new hobby and fulfill that dream they’ve always had.’
In each location, the couple posed together in their glad rags for a project they called MarryMeIn.
They were surprised that the wedding dress stayed intact throughout the journey, which took them to Barcelona, Rome, Dubai, Mount Everest, and the Great Wall of China.
The couple’s journey lasted until October 2018 when they finished their trip in the Seychelles.
That won’t be the end of their travels, though. Nick and Zoe plan to keep exploring the world together – just perhaps without having to lug a wedding dress around with them.
‘There are many things that we’ve loved about this project, like people telling us they’d love to do the same thing one day or the cool relationships we’ve built with people,’ said Nick
‘But, to be completely honest, our favorite thing about this project was that every photoshoot – we got the chance to put back on the outfits we wore on our wedding day.
‘That was by far the best day of both of our lives and to be able to re-live that day in some of the most beautiful places in the world is really what made us so happy about the whole thing.’
The Great Wall of China
Wedding photos in 33 countriesWedding photos in 33 countriesellencscottPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured: Nick and Zoe Aust in Mount Everest) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured: Nick and Zoe Aust in Santorini) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured: Nick and Zoe Aust in Barcelona, Spain) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured: Nick and Zoe Aust in Cape Town, South Africa) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured: Nick and Zoe Aust inTaj Mahal, India) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured: Nick and Zoe Aust in Eltz Castle, Germany) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured:Nick and Zoe Aust in Sydney, Australia) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured:Nick and Zoe Aust in Cappadocia, Turkey) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured:Nick and Zoe Aust in Paris, France) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY MARRYMEIN / CATERS - (Pictured: Nick and Zoe Aust at the Great Wall of China, China) - These globetrotting newlyweds decided to take their wedding photos to the next level, snapping their couple shots not only at the wedding venue itself but across 33 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Nick and Zoe Aust travelled the world to take their wedding photos in the likes of Barcelona, Dubai, Rome, on the Great Wall of China - even on MOUNT EVEREST. In the beautiful shots, Zoe can be seen wearing her dress in front of everything from tourist landmarks to beautiful backdrops. The idea came to the couple - who are based in New Jersey, USA - on their very first date, when they joked to themselves that, if things worked out, they would like to travel the world together one day. - SEE CATERS COPY
Our Instagram tour of the UK has begun for 2019, and we’re visiting your home cities.
On our @Metro.co.uk feed we are travelling from pillar to post, to bring you stunning shots of metropolitan skylines and historic castles and landmarks.
We still have many cities to come so use #MetroRoadTrip to have your images feature.
We couldn’t feature Edinburgh without a trip to the castle, photo by @viewofedinburgh.
A stunning view of Cardiff Bay by @the_global_joe.
The impressive monument in Belfast erected to remember the Titanic tragedy of 1912.
A stunning tribute to such a horrific event, thanks for this shot @qubekmanchester.
Selfridges appears to be missing a disc in this shot by @laura.mckie_photography.
A peek into the university grounds in Glasgow with this shot by @edinburgh_explorer.
What a colourful city Bristol is from above and a treat to see this from @max_renaud.
A glimpse at those long-haired lovers from Liverpool, captured by @jdhred88.
Midnight snack anyone? This is certainly a tasty pic from @lang_shot_photography.
A murmuration marvelously caught on camera by @richardftaylor.
Our most liked shot from the York feature of our roadtrip – thanks for capturing @thomholmes.
A night out in Newcastle, taken by @markyhodgson.
An incredible view above Oxford University, with thanks to @imagingbyjoetomlin for this shot.
We had to visit the baths in Bath, picture taken by @petite.bondine.
We do love a local pub, especially this one captured by @ritatobaldo.
A stunning shot of the Bridge of Sighs by @diegotekpo.
An alternative shot from a city by the sea, captured by @onemanandhisdrone.
A fairytale castle just outside Aberdeen, taken by @berriestagram.
Moody skies over Reading, captured by @paras_mehmood_photography.
A smattering of balloons captured over Leicester by @kurtbarley.photos.
What a shot of such a magnificent ship, taken by @tom8enjamin.
We’ll never get sick of Cathedral interiors – shot by @dan3dfox.
You can follow us at @Metro.co.uk, where we regularly post the best pictures from London using #MetroLDN and across the country with #MetroRoadTrip.
It’s absolutely freezing outside.
And while we dream of holidays in the sun and being able to sleep without three extra blankets and the heating on full blast, at least there’s one silver lining to the piercing cold.
If there was ever an excuse to buy a stylish and warm hat, it would be sub-zero weather.
To save you from having to venture from shop to shop to find ‘the one’, we’ve put together a list of the finest headwear on the high street right now.
Pom-poms, leopard prints and furry ear muffs are currently very popular, but we’ve got something for everyone, including those of you who just want a ‘nice hat’ without the extra frills..
Oliver Bonas, £18
Who doesn’t love a bouncy pom-pom.
This beanie has a wide turned-up hem and is made from soft-touch yarn in an icy blue colour that looks cool, but will keep you very warm.
Marks & Spencer, £15
Another excellent pom-pom beanie option, but this one is available in eight different colours – just in case you fancy getting more than one, and mixing things up.
Made in a cable knit design from 100% acrylic materials.
Like your parents probably told you when you were a child: cover up those ears and avoid getting a cold.
The faux fur is made from polyester, the band from acrylic. There’s also a furry, candy-floss pink alternative.
If you want a cosy but basic option that’ll work with pretty much any outfit, try this chunky knit beanie.
The over-sized pom-pom gives it that extra finesse.
The UK is a notoriously rainy country, which means that sometimes a knitted hat just doesn’t cut it.
Avoid ruining your hairdo with this snake-skin print rain hat made from polyester and cotton. The glossy outside layer is 100% thermoplastic (basically, no matter how harsh, the rain won’t soak through).
Urban Outfitters, £6
The classic French beret has also made a comeback and lends a more sophisticated look.
Made from wool and nylon, this one is currently on sale (and is also the second cheapest option in our list).
The leopard print trend that took over skirt designs in 2018 is still alive and well, but now in beanies.
This version is stylish and practical, in a light-weight knit with a soft-touch style.
If you’re not a hat person, but still want something to wear until the worst of the cold weather goes away, go for this lime green style.
It’s very on-trend, and it’ll cost you less than a pint.
Zara have so many good hat options, we’ve decided to include the brand twice.
A no-frills, super-soft, contemporary design beanie, available in black, grey and beige.
Hat fashion round-upHat fashion round-upallieabgarianPicture: Oliver Bonas Hat fashion round-upPicture: M&S Hat fashion round-upPicture: Next Hat fashion round-upPicture: Accessorize Hat fashion round-upPicture: Zara Hat fashion round-upPicture: Urban Outfitters Hat fashion round-upPicture: ASOS Hat fashion round-upPicture: Primark Hat fashion round-upPicture: Zara Hat fashion round-up
What does an orgasm feel like for men?
It’s one of those questions that’s tricky to answer.
Can you ever truly know what someone else feels? Maybe not. But we can try.
So, just as we asked women to describe the wonders of the female orgasm, we asked a bunch of men to explain what an orgasm feels like when you have a penis.
Here are their answers – names have been changed because shockingly not everyone wants their identity associated with lengthy prose about ejaculation. Fair play.
‘I know maybe two seconds before that I am going to orgasm. The build up is short, like going from 0kmh to 100kmh in 2 seconds. It’s pretty short but super intense.
‘I think the old “shake a bottle of champagne” metaphor is accurate.
‘When my prostate is also stimulated the resulting orgasm is way longer and the intensity is cranked up to maximum. There’s also a significantly larger amount of semen.
‘It’s definitely a tingling/shivering sensation and when it’s a great orgasm my arms and legs go numb and I’m lightheaded afterwards. That’s usually only the case when I had sex. I’ve never achieved this from masturbating.
‘This tingling/shivering starts in my groin area and spreads along my spine.
‘When I use a butt plug the orgasm usually starts in my prostate. Then it’s like an electric buzz starting spreading in waves accompanied by muscle contractions in my stomach, back and chest. This is a much deeper feeling and I feel spent and exhausted in a good way afterwards. Probably comparable to an intensive workout that leaves you shaking.’
‘For me, there is a build up of tension but a good kind, where you’re trying to let it grow and grow, filling you up until I’m tensing my muscles hard.
‘At that point it’s either a challenge to maintain that feeling and prolong the climax or just let it go, and the release is felt all the way from somewhere deep inside, I can feel the pulse and the surges as it happens.
‘Then within five seconds a wave of relaxation, an endorphin hit that chills me out like nothing else can.’
‘Male ejaculation isn’t a one-trick pony, it’s a sliding scale of pleasure. A towering high to chase. The sensation can cover a wide range of bodily satisfactions depending on – but not limited to – method, form and timeliness.
‘At their best, they feel like a Spider-Man web sling from the pits of your being. Powerful in distance and mass. Sexcalibur unsheathed.
‘At worst, they’re a dribble that oozes out of you like a lost caterpillar.
‘It’s a precision game, but if everything lines up just right you can achieve an almost holy kickback from your release. The kind that makes you want to arch your neck backwards as you levitate into the ethereal plane.
‘To achieve carnal perfection (and I am sorry) you aim to stomp on the sweet spot of a full toothpaste tube, rather than desperately rolling the end up.
‘It’s the greatest game on Earth.’
‘I can feel my heart pounding then my mind goes completely blank and I’m not aware of anything around me.
‘Then I just feel relaxed and sleepy.’
‘It’s like a build up, anticipation, excitement, hormone rush. The balls feel little throbbing from within and tighten up.
‘With every stroke the sensitivity increases and comes the point of no return. You feel a sensation rising from your balls and through the cock. And then you explode into a world of ecstasy, relaxation, and pleasure.’
‘It’s great to hold your cock in your hand when it’s come out of slumbering, standby,mode, to feel it engorged and straining, like some wild beast that you’ve awakened, and you don’t even know yourself quite how it’s going to behave when you come.
‘I’ve filmed myself ejaculating in slow motion, and it’s fascinating, and suspenseful, waiting to see how each spurt manifests itself.
‘I keep stiff by gripping my shaft just under my helmet and stroking the top third of my shaft. The zone where my helmet meets my shaft becomes the starting point for the build up of sensation, and this zone expands in my consciousness, and other body sensations diminish accordingly.
‘I find that, as I focus on my erotic thought or an erotic stimulus, I’m no longer so aware of my conscious control of my hand, it’s acting primarily on muscle memory as I focus on feeling myself becoming aroused.
‘This manifests itself in a feeling that starts from the base of my glans, where it meets my shaft, and then starts to spread both up and down from that region simultaneously.
‘I’m sensing that my body’s automatically started its own mechanism towards the end result, and I’m trying to assist this process, with my brain’s erotic conscious thoughts, a bit like my penis is sitting in swing, but the swing is the rest of my body, and my brain is me pushing the swing, picking just the right moment to push, each time, and also just the right amount of push, so that the swing keeps getting higher and higher, until…
‘As this is happening, I’m reaching full stiffness and engorgement, and feeling my girth, now fully developed, adds to the pleasure, and the sensation is almost at the base of my cock
‘I’ve been struggling to find the best way to describe how that sensation actually feels. The best I can think of is that it’s like that feeling when you are waiting to sneeze.’
‘I’ve always thought of orgasms feeling like a satisfying stretch after a long sleep, travelling upwards from my inside-knees, to the thighs, groin, and then penis head with an ‘explosion’ that I’d compare to a really exaggerated feeling of satisfaction at the penis head.’
‘The buildup is a tickly butterfly feeling that slowly builds around the head and in/down the shaft.
‘This spreads to lower stomach and groin area building with intensity. If whatever is causing this is stopped the feeling fades. If started again the same feelings build again, quicker each time.
‘Gooch area starts to twitch / tense as time goes on and the feelings build, until the feeling suddenly goes over my body and that’s it!
‘The ejaculation is a really nice feeling as the cum comes out. The amount can differ and it’s a better feeling if there’s more.
‘Initially the feeling as it comes out is uncontrollable, but towards the end, you can “push” more. At the very moment of orgasm my whole body shudders, any tense muscles momentarily go weak. Have to be careful not to fall on people.
‘I don’t know if it’s just me but I’ve never managed to orgasm with my eyes open. No matter how hard I’ve tried my eyes roll back and lids shut – the feeling is too intense and uncontrollable.
‘The end leaves my body feeling like those Indian head scratcher massager things do, only stronger – before a really nice sleepy feeling comes in and I lay there useless. After my ‘little chap’ is extremely sensitive – too much to touch.’
‘It’s like a surge of electricity that feels like a conversation between your human and spiritual bodies.
‘It previews in your root, where your sex organs are and then energy rises and connects with the rest of the core of your body.
‘The point of ejaculation is like a beautiful synchronicity between your body, mind and soul with an inescapable pulsating focused around your g spot, phallus and brain chemistry.’
‘Warm, tingly. Imagine shaking up a bottle of Coke and then unscrewing the lid.’
‘It’s almost painful. It grows from a want to a need very quickly. Like flicking a switch. Every ounce of energy becomes dedicated to getting that fix.
‘Sometimes I ejaculate but haven’t had the orgasm. Then when it comes it hits hard. Not just in my cock but all over.
‘It’s like an electric shock that courses round and makes every part of me buzzed and with heightened reactions.’
‘The best way to describe it is a release, like something’s been building up and you’re finally letting it go.
‘A bit like taking a shit or piss when you really need one, but better.’
‘Everything spirals in, sucked into a single point, a black hole in the pit of my groin, the whole universe collapsing into nothingness, waiting, waiting… and then suddenly exploding out the other side, flooding into some place with colour and light.
‘That’s what it’s like if I’m by myself. It can be like that with a partner, but usually isn’t.
‘Orgasm with a partner isn’t as dark; there’s colour and warmth the whole time. And, while that’s distracting on the one hand, it’s worth it on the other.’
‘My orgasms tend to come in one of three varieties:
‘The utility – basically my libido won’t let me focus on anything else, and it’s more of a chore. Just getting it done so I can focus on work.
‘The show piece – while I don’t fake my orgasms for my customers, this tends to be a bit more showy due to the fact I’m focusing on my moans, my performance, keeping the role, etc. While this feels fine (I love performing), it’s still not the best.
‘The actual – typically I only get this when I’m with my partners or someone I care about because I am an utter and absolute sap. This feels absolutely wonderful, like every synapse fires in my brain simultaneously.
‘It leaves me dumb-struck for a moment, and is absolutely woven in with the emotional attachment to the person. The last time I had one this good, I actually stuttered for like fifteen minutes after.’
‘The start of an orgasm is a point of no return – once it starts there’s a feeling of inevitability.
‘Ever held a hose and put your finger over the hole? That sensation of pent-up release, of the throbbing of the hose as the water is finally allowed to pour out, is very similar to an orgasm.
‘But it’s not one continuous stream of pleasure, but rather blissful bursts of joy which are sadly over all too quickly.’
‘For the build-up, breathing gets a lot deeper. When simulating the penis head, it feels incredibly nice. It’s like having a massage but for your genitals.
‘For the release, once the build-up has been achieved, and seconds before release you’ll feel the cum coming through the penis…It’s the same when you want to pee, except that this is forceful and once you reach this stage there’s no holding back. You can’t hold it in and you can’t stop it.
‘The release is the best feeling ever! But it depends on how well the person did for the build up.
‘To put it in another way so that everyone can understand, it’s like holding your pee for a long time and once you let it out, it feels good.
‘But in terms of release it doesn’t just all come out straight away, it comes out in bursts. So, the best way to describe it, is like peeing, then holding it for a second, then peeing again.’
‘It is an overall sensation unlike any other I experience. It involves my whole body. I am left gasping and shuddering after sex irrespective of size of orgasm. To the extent that female partners ask if I’m OK. Once my heart rate decreases I can usually reassure them.
‘Prior to orgasm I can feel a build up of tension through my mid section and at the base of my dick. During orgasm I feel spasms in my dick that are utterly uncontrollable.
‘In a really really big orgasm the level of spasms are scary, both for size and time. The feeling of ejaculation is sublime, but seems to have no relationship to the quantity of sperm shot out. As I’ve aged that quantity has decreased.
‘I do not feel my nuts throb as “I pump my love juices” into my partner. That appears to me to be a fiction of porn. A fun thought though.’
What a male orgasm actually feels likeWhat a male orgasm actually feels likeellencscottWhat a male orgasm actually feels likeInventor designs self-engorging condom to beat erectile dysfunction and make micro-penises 'more satisfying' picture: Getty/Metro.co.ukcouple in bed