Post Show Blues and then some…

SO….

I touched on something on Instagram the other day.  I’m going to pop the post below and then just talk some more after…

I left the theatre on show day on the BIGGEST high! Then it all kinda went downhill from there in my personal life. Now, don’t worry I’m not about to speak anymore about the break up itself because a) TMI and b) boooooooring ! You guys don’t wanna be sat reading about that.

I spent a couple of days post show kinda letting loose and eating whatever I wanted without boundaries. Two days later, I was messaging my coach like- I’m done I just want to nail my reverse diet now  ( given my eating disorder history- this was HUGE). Day one I NAILED, absolutely nailed it… then I continued to stick to the macros for the majority but then add treats in if I was out seeing friends or just fancied something else. No binges just extra treats here and there. Then a couple of days later after a stressful and anxiety fuelled few days the break up came and all of a sudden it was like a reverse diet never existed…

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The food flood gates opened and  I lost my drive, my motivation and control. Still no binges as such…. I was just constantly mindlessly eating allllll day because I could. Tubs of Ben and Jerry’s, Family sharing chocolate bars gone in one, more chocolate bars. My sweet tooth knew no limits. I became someone I didn’t want to be, I was setting all the wrong examples, I wasn’t being a good role model to anyone coming out of a show or even to myself.

One of my best friends even messaged me after I put up an Instagram story and was like – “[…] When I’m listening to your videos your fight has gone. Find it get it back […]”

So that’s what I’m doing. Prioritising myself, what makes me happy, who makes me happy and what is going to get me to where I want to be. As I’m writing this I’m actually sat at home by myself on a Saturday night waiting for the Asda delivery man to arrive with my reverse diet shopping. I’ve got two weeks until my next photoshoot and also two weeks until my team christmas get together. I want to nail these next two weeks and set myself up with a good foundation to build some more muscle before my next show.  My shoot is a lifestyle shoot in a big house so I by no means need to be in a shredded condition;  I just want to feel good you know?!

Here’s to the next two weeks, taking one step at a time. Day by day, meal by meal just focusing on the bigger picture. It’s all about getting my body and mind all back in tune with one another.

I’m not one for a sob story and I definitely won’t be talking any more about this break up. I just had to be honest about how it REALLY affected my reverse out of my show. I wanted to be the person nailing my reverse diet, I was SO ready to nail my reverse diet and then the unexpected happened and it all got flipped upside down.  I’m taking back control and I’m not allowing someone who isn’t part of my life anymore live rent free inside my head and get in the way of me, my future and my goals.

Here’s to celebrating ourselves. Doing what is best for us and always moving forward

Love Char x

 

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Third Time Lucky

Hey Guys,

Gosh it’s been a while hasn’t it! Well I am back and just can’t wait to get sharing with you again!

 

On Saturday 28th October I took to the Pure Elite World Championships Stage. It was my third time competing with Pure Elite. In fact it was my third time competing altogether. How was I feeling leading up to the show…. nervous…excited….ready…..not ready….happy….anxious…. Literally every emotion.

I had been prepping for this one show for a year. The last time I competed was October 2016 where I entered three categories and didn’t place in any. It just wasn’t my time. After some tears on the day (…and by some tears I mean a waterfall…) I asked for feedback, went back to my coach and drew up a plan for the next year. Mission build was a go!

We took a year to build more muscle and I actually stepped on stage this time around 4kg HEAVIER than I did last year. During this time I also switched from a vegan diet to a full meat eating diet. ( <– I’ll post separately about this process)

 

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18months in the making, Left April 2016, Right October 2017

 

April 2016 I decided to take to the Pure Elite stage for the very first time, I came away empty handed but knew I was onto something good with Pure Elite. I caught the bug!  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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October 2016 I decided to take to the Pure Elite stage for the second time, I came away empty handed. I was devastated and cried alot. This proved to me just how much it all meant to me. I got feedback and spent a whole year working to improve what I could bring to the stage. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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October 2017 I decided to take to the Pure Elite stage for the third time at the World Championships and came away with THREE trophies and my pro card. A first place, a third place and a fifth place  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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I didn’t give up because I didn’t win my first ever comp, I didn’t go running to other feds because I hadn’t done well here….yet! I knew I was onto something good with Pure Elite. Such a supportive and inclusive federation I am so proud to be a part of and now a recognised pro with. If you want something enough, get out there and work your butt off and go and get it! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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You can’t rush these things. I take so much pride in taking time to build my body to where I want it to be and if that means a longer off season, then so be it! I’m not about cutting corners, this is my passion.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

If you want something enough believe in yourself, work hard, stay consistent and it’ll happen! Don’t give up !
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So what’s next? You’ll just have to stay tuned for the next post! In the meantime, keep scrolling down for some of my favourite pictures from show day 🙂

 

Love Char x

 

So you want to compete?

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The tan, the sparkle, the muscles, the photoshoots, the prizes, the trophies  … It all looks very glam doesn’t it…

Over the past year or so it seems to have become quite ‘trendy ‘ to enter bikini competitions and I’ve seen so many people go about it in great ways but also some very dangerous ways also.

First off the big question…. why do you want to compete?

• because the girls on Instagram are doing it?

• for the likes and follows on Instagram?

• for the free stuff you might get along the way?

• because you hate your body?

 

All of the above are the wrong reasons!

 

 

Competing isn’t something to be taken lightly. It isn’t easy. You have to love your body In your off season as well as when you’re on stage otherwise no improvements will be made. In order to build muscle effectively you need to be in quite a calorie surplus so 1500 calories in your off season just isn’t going to cut it. You have to trust the process that it isn’t going to happen over night,  it’s going to take time, it’s going to test your patience and it’s going to take everything you’ve got.

You HAVE to be strong willed and in a good place mentally. It is very much a psychological journey as much, if not more than a physical one. If you can’t fathom being near to a maintenance calorie level or a surplus at all, this is not the sport for you. It isn’t all about dieting and cutting.

You HAVE to do your research. Which federation do you want to compete with? Which coach can get you there? Which coach has good experience prepping people for that show? What category do you want to enter? What’s your budget?

There are some very dangerous coaches out there who have girls on 500-1000kcal per day with hours of cardio…. THAT IS NOT SAFE. I’m not even sure how these girls function. Do your research!

So you’ve found yourself a coach….

They know their shit. If they’re telling you to eat x amount of calories and do x amount of training, you do it and if you’re concerned talk to them and they’ll be able to tell you their reasonings. Otherwise you’re wasting your money, your time, their time and you’ll be moaning that you aren’t seeing progress but it’s actually really your own fault. If you’re straying from your plan, stay accountable, you are to blame. There’s a reason they’re your coach. Listen to them and TRUST THE PROCESS.

There probably will be mornings close to show day where you have to get up at 5am to sneak in the extra cardio, or night’s where you have to stay up just a little bit later to prep your food. It’s just part of it.

I LOVE the whole process, seeing my body build, learning more about myself and about training every single day, surrounding myself with other people just as passionate as I am. I have got the best and most supportive team behind me and I really feel part of something. I know my nutrition plans and trainings plans are made for me and aren’t a ‘one size fits all‘ job.

Sometimes the days I don’t feel like training actually turn out to be the best sessions and I just get in and get it done.

Sure, I have more opportunities now than ever before with brands/ photographers/ other athletes etc but that’s because you can see it’s something I’m truly passionate about. When I get in the gym I train HARD, I don’t just move things around. At the end of the day you’re only going to get out as much as you put in.

Have I won a trophy yet? no. Is that okay? YES! I’m working for bigger things and always bettering myself, you’ve not seen the best of me yet…

You are not in for an easy ride.

If you’re doing it for the Instagram likes. Don’t.

If you’re in it because it’s something you really truly honestly want to do. Then you’re in for the best time of your life.

 

But before you make any decisions just ask yourself…. why?

 

 

lots of love, Char xx

Here are some proud competing moments:

1.Me on stage

2. Zoe winning twice at the UKBFF at Fitcon

3. Curtis and Rico winning their categories at the Coleman Classic

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Get Your Game Face On!

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Growing up as a dancer meant I was constantly surrounded by make up for exams and shows.  As I got into my teens I carried this love of make up into my personal life, I’d wear it to school, to dancing, just out and about. Before I knew it, I wouldn’t  leave the house unless I had make up on telling myself and everyone else that I needed it, or wasn’t gifted with skin that could be makeup free.

Then I found my passion in fitness….

I started wearing less and less make up and embracing my own natural skin as it is. I did a complete 180 and went from full face 24/7 to bare faced and care free. But we all get those days where we’re tired and a bit blotchy, or we’ve eaten badly over the weekend and blemishes start coming up, or dehydrated and the dark purple eye circles surface….

This was when I realised I needed something to help me deal with this whilst also not looking like I had a full face of make up. A little make up and skincare to help me achieve a natural no-make up look but also lets my skin breathe whilst working as a Personal Trainer/ Fitness Instructor and workout out in the gym too.

SportFX have put together a gorgeous collection for the active woman. Whether you want to wear make up while working out because it gives you more confidence in the gym or if you want to prime your skin pre-workout to reduce redness for after, SportFX have got you covered.

Key features of the collection:

  • An Anti redness cooling primer ( my favourite go-to daily product)
  • A breathable vitamin enriched BB Cream (perfect light weight coverage)
  • A sweat resistant high stamina mascara ( doesn’t leave you looking like a panda!)
  • A refreshing face mist that doubles as a make up setting spray ( what’s better than two in one?!)

 

As a personal trainer, athlete and fitness model I’m often going from the gym, to work, to meetings, to shoots all one after another so to have products to hand that see me through all of this is essential.

You can shop the collection here and also be sure to check them out on Instagram.

 

Love Char xxx

Here are some of my favourites from the collection:

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This is a sponsored post with SportFX cosmetics. However all views are my own.
Photos cannot be used without prior permission

How to stay motivated

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As the mornings get colder and stay darker for longer the temptation to just stay curled up in bed can be all too much sometimes. Everyone loves to train in summer when it’s lighter and warmer but motivation tends to dip towards to winter months. I’m forever being asked how I stay so motivated so I’ve come up with a few tips to help you stay motivated.

• Set your self SMART goals- Specific, Measurable, Agreeable, Realistic, Time (timeframe to achieve your goal)

• Set one big goal- this will be the bigger picture to always keep in mind

• Set smaller achievable goals along the way. Eg if your main goal is to lose 10kg or fit into your old favourite jeans but you only go to the gym once a week, a smaller achievable goal might be to up your gym attendance to 2-3 times per week to start with. Or say you want to be able to do 3 unassisted pull ups in 12 weeks, you might set yourself a target of being able to do one in six weeks.

• Surround yourself with people who lift you up and motivate you, perhaps these people do it without even realising.

• Give yourself a reward for when you achieve your goal. Preferably not food based…. Nice one you’ve lost 12kg here’s a dominoes and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s well done…. No! Perhaps it’s some new gym kit or a spa break or a new dress or activity tracker. I don’t know, something that’s going to make you work that little bit harder.

• Train in a way that you ENJOY! If Boxfit isn’t for you then don’t force yourself to go because you aren’t going to enjoy it and are less likely to be consistent in going and give it your all. If you LOVE the sweat and burn of the Stairmaster then do that!

• Be prepared- prep your food and your gym kit the night before. This way when you wake up you can just grab your things and go. Especially with your food, if you’re prepared you’re more likely to stay on track

• If you listen to music while you train, create a playlist that really gets you fired up and motivated

Most of all make sure you are doing it for YOU!

These are just a few of my tips to help keep you motivated through your training. If you feel a dip in motivation have a look and see what’s changed around you. It could be the weather, it could be a change in your work hours so you’re having to find new times to train but so long as you’re doing it for you and you truly WANT to be training and ENJOY your training, you can make it work.

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You’ve got this, I believe in you!

Love Char xxx

Mince Pie Toasties


It may not even be November yet but I can’t be the only one craving Christmassy foods already. If you LOVE mince pies like I do, this is the recipe for you! This winter breakfast is indulgent and probably best saved for a nice Sunday morning or a cheat day/meal rather than a daily feat. These are delicious, far cheaper than mince pies and can be enjoyed pretty much as soon as you fancy something festive.

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Ingredients:

Two slices of bread

1 heaped tsp Vegetarian mincemeat

Vegan butter/ butter

3 squares dark chocolate (optional)

Icing sugar to dust

 

Method:

1. Turn on toastie maker/george foreman to heat

2. Butter one side of each slice of bread

3. Spoon mincemeat onto the non buttered side of one slice

4. Top with dark a chocolate squares

5. Top with the second slice of bread, butter on the outside

6. Place in the toastie maker and cook!

7. Dust with icing sugar and devour!

(Leave to cool for a minute or so, the filling will be piping hot!)


Don’t fancy them for breakfast? Maybe make them to have with an episode of Corrie in the evening accompanied by a Baileys hot chocolate. Now we’re talking!

Enjoy!

Love Char xxx

Method in pictures:


All images are my own and not to be used without permission

Trick or Treat with Total Sweet

This recipe has been created in collaboration with Total Sweet Xylitol

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The season is here for things sweet and spiced and everything nice. So I teamed up with Total Sweet Xylitol to bring you these Orange Spiced chocolate chunk sandwich cookies.

Total sweet is a natural sugar alternative. Unlike other alternatives Total Sweet has the same texture and bakes/cooks in the same way as sugar just with fewer calories and carbs. Erm hello?! Is this not the dream?! I thought it was too good to be true too so I gave it go in these gorgeous Halloween inspired cookies.

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They aren’t my usual healthy protein creation but we all deserve an actually slightly naughty treat here and there. Now you can enjoy them too by following this recipe:

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Makes 40 cookies/ 20 cookie sandwiches

Ingredients

Cookies:
500g gluten free self raising flour
500g dairy free butter
500g Total Sweet xylitol
Egg substitute- Equivalent of 2 large eggs
1 bar green and blacks dark ginger chocolate
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
2-3 tsp orange flavouring
1 tsp vanilla extra

Filling:
125ml Alpro soya cream
1 large bar bourneville chocolate

Topping:
1 large bar dark chocolate
Icing sugar
Water
Orange colouring
Orange flavouring

Method:

Cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
2. Grease large baking trays
3. In a mixing bowl cream together butter and Total Sweet Xylitol
4. Make up your egg substitute and add to the mixture
5. Add orange and vanilla extracts
6. Mix in the flour and cinnamon
7. Break up Green and Blacks into small pieces
8. Spoon mixture onto baking tray and press chocolate chunks into each cookie
9. Bake for approx 15 mins or until golden

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Filling:
1. Finely chop one bar of bourneville and place in a bowl
2. Heat cream- but do not boil
3. Pour cream over chocolate, leave it and let it melt
4. Stir the mixture to combine the chocolate and cream
5. Leave to stand and then chill in the fridge

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To finish:
1. Spoon filling between two cookies to sandwich together
2. Place in fridge to set together for approx 20-30mins
3. Melt the rest of your dark chocolate
4. Dip cookie sandwiches into the melted chocolate at one end.
5. Make up a thick orange icing using the icing sugar, water, orange flavouring and orange colouring
6. Drizzle icing across the top of the cookies and leave to set
7. Arrange beautifully and take photographs (optional)

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The recipe can be used just to make the cookies if you are after a slightly smaller treat or have less time. They are very delicious ! (even if I do say so myself)

The Total Sweet worked just like sugar and I can’t believe how happy I am with the final product. I will definitely be continuing to use it throughout my baking. You can find it in large supermarkets.

Why not head over and check out their website here.

Let me know if you make these and what Halloween inspired baking you are getting up to!

Love Char xxx

Dr Zak’s Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

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Before I started following a plant based diet I was partial to a Reese’s in any form- Cups, Pieces, Nutrageous bars. What I’m trying to say I guess is that I have a long standing love affair with Chocolate and Peanut Butter. In my opinion they’re a match made in heaven so when Dr Zak’s sent me some of their powdered peanut butters I knew exactly what I was making.

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I chose to use powdered peanut butter because it’s lower in fat than your run of the mill jar of nut butter. It’s also really convent as you just mix it with water and ta-dah peanut butter. Have a look at the comparison below mine is the chocolate powdered peanut butter so it is higher in carbs but just look at the difference in fats per 100g.

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If you’re following a low carb, high fats diet then this probably wouldn’t be substitution for you, just stick to your fave nut butter but for the rest of us the substitution is great. They’re super yummy so here’s the recipe:

Serving size- 1 cup

Ingredients:

2 heaped tablespoons Dr Zaks Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter
Dash of water
1 bar Sainsburys Basics Dark Chocolate (easy peasy and cheap!)
You will also need 4 cupcake cases

Method

1. Melt your dark chocolate
2. Make up your peanut butter to a thick consistency
3. Spoon some dark chocolate into each cupcake case and draw the chocolate up the sides also
4. Spoon in your Peanut butter on top of the chocolate dividing the mixture equally
5. Using the rest of the chocolate, spoon into each case so that all nut butter is covered
6. Place either in the fridge over night or in the freezer for a couple of hours to set

Voila! Easy peasy, lower in fat and far cheaper than shop bought peanut butter cups!

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In comparison to a Giant Reese’s Peanut Butter cup

Macros: (each)

Mine:

Kcal- 153
Carbs- 13.4g
Fat- 8.5g
Protein- 4g

Reese’s:

Kcal- 190
Carbs- 22g
Fat- 11g
Protein- 4g

Enjoy!

Love Char xxx

Farfetch X Barrecore Event 

A couple of weeks ago Farfetch invited myself and a selection of other blogger down for a Barre and Breakfast event. We were celebrating the launch of new activewear lines to their site. It was instantly a yes from me. Activewear, Barrecore and breakfast yes please!

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We headed to Mayfair to start our morning with a class at Barrecore. At this point I was 11weeks into my prep- so 2 weeks out from my competition. I walked in feeling pretty confident that as a dancer and in comparison to my other weights sessions, the class would be a breeze. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The class brought about a new stimulus for my muscles and a lot of isolation work for legs and glutes. Having trained legs the day before it is safe to say I found it rather difficult and experienced that really great burning sensation through most of the exercises. I would definitely recommend Barrecore to anyone, whether you’re a serial class pass user or just fancy trying something different, you’re in for a great workout!

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After Barrecore we made our way to NAC for a beautiful breakfast! Luckily for me it was a high carb day and due to being on prep I had to pick something from the menu that was close to what I would usually have in my plan. I opted for an apple Bircher topped with poached quince and a cinnamon and star anise drizzle. It was BEAUTIFUL! Definitely something I’m interested in trying to make myself for sure, I washed it down with a strong black Americano- of course!

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It was so lovely around the table talking blogging, fashion, photography and lifestyles with all of the other amazing girls and the Farfetch team. A very inspiring morning full of new experiences and celebrations. I can’t wait to give my new Varley crop top and Nike trainers a test drive.

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If you’ve never tried Barrecore before and it interests you head over to their site here and get yourself booked in! Also make your way over to the Farfetch website and get filling your basket with all of the gorgeous activewear they have up now!

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Thank you Farfetch for an amazing morning! If only every Wednesday started like this!

Love Char x

Images in this post are a combination of images taken by myself and by the official event photographer- not to be used without permission

Death by pancakes

Now we’ve all seen protein pancakes all over Instagram, and most of us have had a pop at them. Let’s face it they aren’t difficult to make and are actually very tasty and filling.

After being on prep for 13 weeks I decided to act on one of my foodie fantasies and make STUFFED PROTEIN PANCAKES. Yep that’s right! You cut into them and the filling just oozes out! Since I’m such a lovely person, I thought you might like to make them too, so here’s the recipe!

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Ingredients:

•1 scoop chocolate protein powder
•1 scoop oats
•1.5 scoops self raising flour
•0.5 tsp baking powder
•Approx 250ml chocolate milk- I used chocolate oat milk
•Dark chocolate chips
•1 heaped tsp peanut butter
•1 heaped tsp chocolate spread
•1 Oreo

Method:

• mix all together in a bowl (except nut butter, chocolate spread and Oreo) consistency should be similar to American style pancakes, so thicker than crepes

•Spoon mixture into a small frying pan, place Oreo in the centre of the mixture, cover with more mixture – cook on a medium temperature so it cooks through without burning the outside.

• Once you see the mixture has cooked around the edges, flip and cook on the other side

• Repeat these steps with a spoon of PB and Chocolate spread (or desired fillings)

•I also topped mine with melted dark chocolate…

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Then devour and slip slowly into a food coma!

ENJOYYYYYYY

Love Char xxx