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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Chocolate Orange Mocha Zoats with Little’s

This has to be one of my favourite oaty recipes to date!

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Currently on my competition prep, I get porridge/oats twice a week so I like to make the most of them and spend time over them.

Let’s cut to the chase, here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 50g oats- I used 30g Jordan’s Chunky Jumbo Oats and 20g Quaker rolled oats
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Protein- I used Sun Warrior
  • 1 medium Courgette grated  (optional)
  • 10g chia seeds
  • Alpro Unsweetened Almond Milk – I use around 300ml
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder- Game changer!!
  • 1 tsp Little’s Chocolate Orange Coffee
  • Optional Squeeze of a fresh orange
  • Topped with 40g Vanilla Coyo- optional

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Method:

  1. Pour oats, baking powder and milk into a saucepan
  2. Cook on medium until soft and fluffy
  3. Optional- add courgette
  4. Continue to cook and stir
  5. Add in protein powder, coffee and chia seeds
  6. May need to add more milk- I like might less thick
  7. Add orange juice and stir – if using
  8. Take off of the heat and leave to settle for two minutes
  9. Pour into your favourite bowl
  10. Top with yoghurt or anything your heart may desire!

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These are SO tasty!

Why courgette and baking powder?

They both work to make the bowl bigger…. I am ALL about volume. Like I said, I only get oats twice a week so I will do anything I can to make them last as long as possible!

What are your favourite go-to Sunday breakfasts?

 

Love Char x

The Importance of a Good Support Network

I have to be honest and say that I am so lucky to have SUCH a great support network. But why is it so important?

Competition prep is hard at the best of times never mind if you haven’t got people to turn to for support. We have (for the most part) set food and set training so if you’re not careful it can be very easy to alienate anyone around you who isn’t part of either of those factors. What we should really be doing is making sure that exactly that doesn’t happen. Sure, not everyone understands when you’re saying about how hard it is because this is a lifestyle or a single comp choice you have actively made BUT having people around you to talk to and/or distract you and pick you up is so important

Bikini competitions from the outside look (in my opinion) very glam. You get super tanned, put on the most sparkly, embellished bikini you will ever wear, you do your hair and make up all sexy, pop on your heels and strut around on stage in what could be the best condition of your entire life.

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What people don’t see (unless they’re really close to you) is the hours, days, weeks and months of preparation it takes to get there. They don’t see the mind games that your prep brain plays on you when you’re 12% body fat but don’t feel Lean enough. Even I had meat cravings last week and I haven’t eaten meat for over two years! Madness!

Most people only share their good moments and progresses on their social media- so you see the ‘YESSSS look at these gains!’ Photos or the ‘check out my cheat meal I love my prep’ photos and statuses. People are less willing to let you in on when they’re having bad prep days, when calories are low but training is high and they’re struggling mentally. I mean that’s totally fine that they don’t want to share that! But what I’m saying is, it’s those days where you really need that support network, someone you can just text and be like ‘hey, really struggling today’ and they’ll chat with you and either distract you or talk it out.

I’ve been away at summer camp for one week of my prep and I managed to prep most of my food for 5 days so that I could stay on track rather than the surprises that awaited in the dining room. The structure to my day was different to how it would be in London so I had to work out how I would be spacing my meals. The first day was very tough but my body soon acclimatised and Unworked through it. It was on the final day where it’s tradition for the coaches/staff to have dominoes pizza delivered in and have a drink to celebrate the end of a great summer together, that I found the hardest. I saved my final meal to eat with everyone so I didn’t alienate myself and just remove myself from the celebrations. I also told myself as a treat I could have a Diet Coke from our tuck shop while everyone was tucking into pizza, wine, beer and cider. We had no Diet Coke….. You know when you’ve thought about something all day and you’ve told yourself you can have it so you’re looking forward to it… And then you can’t, it’s out of your control you can’t have it. I DON’T EVEN LIKE FIZZY DRINKS! I went and boiled the kettle and sat down with a Twinings Nutty Chocolate Assam tea. Whilst yes it was delicious, it just didn’t have the same satisfaction as that treat of a Diet Coke was going to be. After a little while, sat there quite hungry, everyone having a great time all of a sudden I felt oh so overwhelmed, I removed myself from the room and had a little cry. Now, this isn’t a pity party and now on reflection it does sound silly but at the time I found that whole scenario very hard. Luckily my friends at camp are some of the best people I have ever met. Abi followed me out of the room, gave me a hug and was like ‘Charlotte, you’re incredible and I completely admire what you’re doing. I don’t know how you’ve done it here but you’re doing so well’ I needed that. A few of my other friends shared kind words in support too and even though it seems like a silly thing to be getting upset over, they were so understanding and supportive of was wonderful!

It’s those kinds of people you need in your life. No matter how small the problem- because it will feel huge at the time- we need people we can turn to to talk to. Without that support network, it all brews inside your head and makes everything so much worse.

Now, I LOVE competition prep and have very little to complain about. I was actually very excited to get back on prep and everyone laughed at me and was like ‘you must be the only one!’ I don’t just love the body I get at the end of it, I actually do love the whole process, watching my body transform and the intricacies of all the training and food planning. It’s amazing. I have chosen this lifestyle and it isn’t for everyone that’s for sure but I completely love it. I’m just saying, at some point you’re going to need those people around you for support so even though they may not completely understand your training, diet, Lifestyle… Just don’t push them away.

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To Mum, Dad, Jessica and my wonderful friends, thank you so much for your support I couldn’t do it without you

Love Char xxx

But you’re a PT, why do you need a coach?

Sorry for being a bit here and there lately but competition prep has well and truly begun again.

I have a new coach, Tom Ford and I am LOVING prep so far! It is already so different to last time, it works better for me for sure but by no means is that slating my prep last time at all. They’re just two very different experiences.

So, as you know I qualified as a level 2 fitness instructor and level 3 PT in June this year. Honestly the best course ever! BUT that’s not the point of this post, let’s not meander now. As I was saying I qualified as a PT, I often now get asked why I then choose to take on a competition prep coach for my competition. I have a couple of answers here for you!

I thought about doing it myself, I really did! I thought about it a lot and my tutor on my course told me that my case study for a competitor was good enough to implement on someone, so I have the capacity to atleast physically train someone to compete. I just didn’t like the idea of not having anyone else to check in with or was an outside eye.

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I decided that if I prepped myself I wouldn’t be able to view the experience subjectively so I went on the hunt for a coach!

I had been training bits in a big bodybuilding gym in North London and started my search in there. Here’s how it went:

(After some small talk and pleasantries)

Me: so yeah, I’m looking to compete in October and need a coach

Them: okay cool so tell me more about you and your training now, have you ever competed before?

Me: yep, I competed in April for the first time, loved it and want to do it again…. And I’m vegan….
(Awkward pause)

Them: okayyyyyyyy…..

Me: (talks about being a non ethical vegan blah blah blah)

Them: oh so if you’re a non ethical vegan, you won’t be on prep right?…

Me: erm no it doesn’t quite work like that I’ll be staying vegan …

Them: erm okay I’m going to have to think….

So that’s how one story went. I left feeling like as a vegan I wouldn’t be taken seriously in competing. I messaged friends and family asking for advice, do I go against everything I’ve done for the last two years and leave veganism behind whilst on prep? The messages I got back were so supportive and I decided that somewhere out there was a coach that would take me on confidently as a vegan and I wouldn’t compromise this part of my life.

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So I put out a call for a coach who would take on a vegan and the response was overwhelming. SO many people got back to me with recommendations and from there I contacted some coaches and made my decision.

Oh hey #TeamTomFord ! So far, two weeks in I am LOVING prep and honestly very happy with my decision. Pure Elite October I am coming for you. This girl is committed and determined and passionate, there’s no stopping me now!

Head over and follow my other channels to keep up more regularly with how prep is going and what I’m up to:

Insta- @charlotteclarkeuk

Twitter- @charljclarke

YouTube- search charlclarke

Snapchat- charclarke91

Love Char xx

Readjusting post-competition

Going from super lean and having a competition to be ready for and train for to coming out the other side and that structure disappearing can be pretty hard to deal with and adjust to.

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I went from tracking my food every day that my trainer had worked out for me and training with him 5 days a week, an extra day day by myself as well as cardio all of those days, to waking up the day after my competition and none of that being in place anymore.

During prep my mind had played games with me and made me crave bad foods and naughty foods, so I went out and bought them to have once my competition was over. I had also arranged with my flatmates to have a huge Chinese dinner the day after comp too. Half way through my plate and I was super uncomfortable, stomach distended so far out and in pain from the food and quantity of food that my body just wasn’t used to. I then followed this up with a few days of still eating poorly and snacking like crazy and it made me physically sick. In one respect it’s great because it meant that my body was telling me to stop and it actually didn’t want the naughtiness, but still not pleasant to be ill.

So that’s the food side of things. I’m still not tracking my food at the moment but I am eating better and cleaner foods.

I went straight back into training two days after comp, on the Monday. I just couldn’t not train, it had become SUCH a massive part of my life. The only difference being was that I was now training by myself, well with Tyla, but I was so used to being trained by Artur that I felt a by lost and it all felt a bit foreign. I didn’t know what weights I’d been using because I chose not to focus on that before, I didn’t know what order to do the exercises in, I didn’t know how much was too much or too little for my body but because everyone knew me in the gym and what I’d been training for, I had to just pretend I knew what I was doing and that I had my shit together. I didn’t.

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I’ve chosen to spend the next six months focusing on building my upper body to match my lower body. In order to do this, I have to eat more and gain a little body fat so that my body is fuelled correctly in order to grow and not turn to my muscles for energy. Going from super lean to fairly ‘fluffy’ shall we say, is not a process that sits well. It’s a process I need to trust and know is necessary and when I’m feeling logical I know this, but on those emotional days where logic doesn’t come into it, it is hard. Having said that, I want arms and shoulders that are bigger for the next competition so I do know it’s necessary.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that if I didn’t choose to take control, it would be VERY easy to get stuck feeling lost and out of sorts Post-Comp. I know I have my competitions in October to focus on and that’s my next goal and where I’m putting my energy. I need to accept that I don’t NEED visible six pack abs right now, I NEED more (good) food and body fat to fuel my muscle growth.

Yes, I do feel somewhat lost in the gym without Artur training me everyday and I do miss our sessions, but hopefully I might be able to twist his arm into helping me out nearer the time when competition prep is back in full swing again for October. However I do need to learn how to train myself because the luxury of having someone doing it for me does not last forever. Luckily for me, all of the trainers, managers and clients in my gym are highly supportive of me and my journey so if I ever did feel in a pickle there are people there.

If I’m honest, I underestimated how much of a readjustment it would be and how hard it would be but I just need to surround myself with good energy and good people and trust the process.

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Here’s to maintaining my newly grown peachy bum and growing some shoulders and arms to match!

Char x

Pure Elite: My First Competition

So following my peak week series, it’s about time i updated you on the competition day itself.

I woke up at 6am ready and raring to go… well almost, I actually woke up with a raging headache but it was nothing that a bowl of oats and a coffee couldn’t sort out. I chose to do my own hair and make up for the competition, may as well put my years of dance show prep to use and know exactly what i want and will look like rather than pay someone and feel super guilty if i want to change it after if i don’t like it. So off i set curling my hair and painting my face, my tan from the day before still getting darker by the second. Tyla made me wake her up early so she could sit with me while i get ready so that she didn’t miss a thing from the day- cutie!

Disaster strikes- heart starts palpitating as 70 million beats per minute as I open an email to say that the competition couldn’t find the confirmation for my category change so I was competing as Fitness Model Tall… when I had changed to Bikini Babe Short so unless I could find the confirmation email, thats where I was…. I have never scrolled through my email so fast yet so thoroughly in my entire life. I found it!! Thank goodness! I sent the emails back and everything was fine and i was reassured I would be competing in Bikini Short. With over 300 athletes to organise and with all sorts of category and admin changes to be made in the run up to the show it was only natural that the odd mistake would be made here and there, we are all human! Now that that was sorted I could calm back down and carry on getting excited for the day ahead and my first ever competition.

Once i was as ready as i could be, Dad drove me to Margate Winter Gardens where the competition was being held so that i could get ANOTHER layer of tan applied- that made three coats…Mahogany doesn’t even begin to describe the colour. It’s so peculiar, in a room amongst 300 other tanned athlete, the colour doesn’t look all that extreme because you’re all the same colour. It isn’t until you leave that backstage bubble and see your family who are a normal shade of Human that you really see what colour you are!

The show began at 12.30… (give or take half an hour) with the athletes parade. We all walked on, gave a little wave and the stage filled with 300 odd competitors all crammed together. We had lift off, the excitement escalated and we were off! My category wasn’t on until around 4.30pm so I spent most of the day meeting some really lovely girls and guys, practising my posing and walking and eating rice cakes. I tell you, if you were a fly on the wall in this room and you didn’t know what was going on, what it was all about or anything you would be fascinated and probably think we were the strangest people.

We were the third class after the interval so when the interval came around it was time to jump back into my bikini and heels- well not quite jump, the bikini bottoms required lots of wiggling. I had set myself up with some of the loveliest girls and we just all got excited together, started getting ourselves ‘pumped up’ and lots of ‘ooooh have you got this’ ‘ooooh can i borrow that?’ NOTHING like my dance competition days where there was SO much bitchiness and rivalry. This was perfect.

That’s our call, we were up. Time to head backstage and find out our order and do our final bits to get ourselves in the right headspace to step onstage. I was the penultimate girl in our class, there were about 30 of us and the competition was FIERCE. On i walked for my T walk. Walk, Pose, Walk 3 poses, Walk, Pose, Walk, Pose, walk to the back, pose. Then the first group were called forward for quarter turns. This was our turn to go forward and pose to the front, the side, the back, the other side and then the front so they could see direct comparison before heading back to the back of the stage to keep posing while the other two groups headed forward for their quarter turns. Finally the sassiest pose off happens where all competitors are called forward, everyone fighting to be seen and be at the front in the middle. The best thing to do here is remain graceful, classy and composed and let your posing do the talking. We were DONE! We were ushered off stage.

I came off and was overcome by all of the emotions you could possibly ever feel in one go. I had the time of my life up on that stage. I will openly say that I felt like I wanted to cry because it was over and I loved it so much SADDO! I couldn’t decide whether I then wanted to go out and see my family and friends or just keep backstage until everything was done. I was scared that I’d go out and see them and hear ‘Charlotte you were great, you’ll definitely place’ ‘you were the best up there’ ‘yep you smashed that’ While of course those are always wonderful things to hear, your family and friends will always be biased and we don’t know EXACTLY what the judges are after. I did choose to head out and see everyone and I did hear those things which in some respects does breed disappointment when you don’t place but I know they were just incredibly proud of how far i’d come and were just also incredibly excited in the whole atmosphere. I also got to see pictures and videos of my performance and I will openly say I can’t believe how good my bum and legs looked! So that was a great boost for me.

Results time! We again popped out bikinis and heels back on and went on stage to line up and hope you hear your name and number called out in those all important placings. Now, I didn’t place and while it would have been lovely to place, this was my first competition and I’ve only been training for five months. This competition for me was to get a feel for things, see how it all works and decide if competing was something i wanted to continue to pursue. In the lead up to things I grew concerned that I’d fallen in love with the process of getting to the stage, that there was always the possibility that I’d step on the stage and not enjoy the performance side of it after dreaming of doing it for years. Luckily for me, I LOVED the competition side too. I only trained for five months, what I keep saying to people is, I wouldn’t only train dance for five months of my entire life and EXPECT to land a role on the went end in my first ever audition. So while I didn’t place, I had the time of my life at Pure Elite and am so happy that this was the competition I chose to enter as my first. Stewart and Janine (the founder and director of Pure Elite) have managed to create a competition with a supportive family feel between the competitors and themselves and that’s a really wonderful thing to be able to achieve so thank you both!

I have had my images back from Matt Marsh and he really is incredible, I am so happy with my stage shots. Thank you Matt!

I am planning on competing with Pure Elite in their competition in October. I will be spending the next six months  focusing mainly on building my upper body and mainly maintaining my lower body (okay maybe some booty gains). I will invest more in my posing and stage routine in terms of coaching and professional help, hopefully from The Champion Maker herself Audrey Kaipio. See what magic she can work on this dancer! I have spoken about how proud of myself I am and how happy I was with what i did on stage.That isn’t narcissism, it’s just pride from a huge journey for me. I know I have lots to work on for my next competition and that hard work has already started.

Thank you to everyone who helped me get to the stage and supported me in my journey but most of all thank you to Artur Pavlos my coach/trainer. He transformed me from fairly fit slim dancer to strong bikini competitor. At the end of the competition day, he pulled me in for a big hug and told me how proud  of me he was and we already started speaking then about what we should work on for next time. I started to cry because he told me he was proud. Grandma goes ‘it’s okay Charlotte, there’s always next time’ …. I wasn’t crying because i didn’t place, I was crying because Artur told me he was proud. We had been on one hell of a journey together and my first competition was over!

Here’s to the next six months of building and growth both physically and mentally and Pure Elite i’m coming back for more in October! I’ve got the competition bug now!

Char x

Peak Week: 6

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Day 6 of Peak Week

Final day of training today! Madness after 5 months of training with Artur it’s my last session before the big day.

It was a super early start for me, Tyla asked if I’d join her at the gym in the morning before she went to work so we got to the gym for 7.30am for fasted cardio and abs. The early start was hard BUT the session was good and I felt good during it! Party because I knew it was my last cardio session for a while haha!

Afterwards I headed to Woodgreen on the scout for anymore sparkly jewellery I could get my hands on. I found THE perfect bracelet and for only £3 too! So that made me very happy!

Then I met Tyla on her lunch break and this was the most important part of my day for sure…. We jumped on a bus to Camden to a place called Cookies and Scream. If you’ve never head me talk about it before, it’s a vegan gluten free bakery full of all of the delicious naughtiness! We went there to pick up some post-comp treats. This is will power and restraint at it’s best! I have two donuts, a cookie and a brownie chocolatey biscuity slab of greatness just sat there calling my name. But come Saturday night, they will be no more.

After that it was time to train legs with Artur. It was a more circuit based session because we didn’t want to destroy my body before Saturday. It was good, my body is tired and at the end it all overwhelmed me. It suddenly clicked that it was my last session, I still didn’t know how I was eating tomorrow or comp day and I have to leave mine at 10am tomorrow. I suddenly felt scared and unprepared and broke down to Michelle the gym manager. She was wonderful, I couldn’t ask for a more supportive gym manager!

I headed home, spoke to some fellow competitors who helped me out and calmed me down. I did a food shop and prepped and packed all of my things for the next two days. I was now very excited. During all of my packing and prepping I procrastinated quite hard and was just snap chatting Lisa Miller with my post comp treats Hhaha!

I drenched my body and hair in coconut oil knowing that after my final shower and exfoliation tomorrow I couldn’t moisturise again until after the show. I didn’t want my skin to have dry patches to I gave it every fighting chance it had.

Alarm set for 7am, then it’s all systems go to head to Margate for my tan!

Char x

Peak Week: 5

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Day 5 of Peak Week

All I can say is thank goodness today was better than yesterday! Girls, in situations like yesterday talc and sudocrem are your besties!

Today I started the day with upper body with Artur, shoulders, a bit of back and triceps too. It was a good session. I’ve previously had problems with my shoulders and had one strapped up a couple of weeks ago but luckily they were behaving for me yesterday and didn’t hurt in an injured kind of way…. Just burned through the workout hahha We finished the session with a little fun exercise with press-up jumps onto medicine balls. Once I found the confidence in myself to not fall in my face, it was fun!

Then I had a break with some food downstairs in the gym before heading back upstairs to hit interval sprints and abs. Come on Lower Abs you know you want to come out to play!

Before work I headed central early to pick up all my make up for Saturday. SO CLOSE NOW! *confession* I may have also stopped by Holland and Barrett and bought more treats for post- comp in the form of vegan marshmallows, a chocolate Easter bunny and some mint dark chocolate penguins…. Oops! Got quite the little collection coming together.

It was my last evening at work tonight before the competition and I was treated with a hand drawn card from Sophia and a lovely are from Rich too wishing me luck. So lovely! Tomorrow I am off work so I can get all of my stuff together and try and get a good nights sleep before heading down/up to Margate for my tan Friday. Eeeeeeeek!

So so close now. Gotta keep pushing those last couple of days!

Char x