Why I shouldn’t be your #bodygoals

All Things Fitness

As a health and fitness blogger I try and keep to a rounded selection of content from food, to supplements, to training, to recipes, to my body…. At the moment it has been VERY competition prep based. Why? Well that’s my life right now I am 5 weeks out from my next competition, surrounded by others on prep and if I don’t make it my life and throw everything into it, there’s no real point in doing it. I’m very all or nothing and if I get relaxed about my prep, well it’s self explanatory, the results won’t come!

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So why shouldn’t you want your body to look like mine?

My body is sitting at around 10% body fat and I’m 55kg- that means that of my entire body only about 5.5kg of that is fat. It is recommended that women shouldn’t have a body fat percentage lower than 10% as that is the lowest necessary level for normal body function. But let’s take a moment to remember that I am in prep for a purely aesthetics based competition and to be a serious contender I need those lower levels of body fat. A normal healthy woman shouldn’t really be striving for this level of body fat.

It can happen at different levels of body fat for different girls BUT I have now stopped having my period. This is just one example of how my body is dealing with what is being thrown at it. At first when it happened for a couple of months I started taking pregnancy tests because of the paranoid person that I am even though I knew it was impossible for that to be the answer, given where my romantic status is right now… (You catch my drift- oh hey immaculate conception…)

After this competition I am looking to take a year until I compete again for a couple of reasons:

• my body needs a break and to work its way back to a healthy state of internal homeostasis

• I want to build more muscle and if I’m constantly cutting and in a calorie deficit then that cannot happen

So while I LOVE competing and competition prep, if I want to keep doing it for quite some time I need to be sensible and strategic about it.

I post progress pictures and flexed six pack pictures because I’m proud of myself. I am proud of what I am achieving, the progress I’m making and how I’m getting on in my competition prep. Whilst I am super proud of myself this doesn’t mean you should want my abs, or my new found back muscles and pecs.

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So if I don’t want to inspire you with my body, how do I want to be inspiring you?

I would love you to be inspired by my positive outlook on life, my attitude towards goal setting and smashing those goals, my ideals of uplifting people and supporting each other even if they are your competition and if I can have this attitude in life, you can too!

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After my competition I will be progressively gaining some more body fat to a healthy and maintainable level and maybe once I’m there, my body could inspire you to get that butt in the gym. But for now I shouldn’t be your body inspiration.

If I can inspire you to make healthy changes and life choices, encourage some more body confidence and self love then I will be one happy bunny.

Please just remember I am prepping for a bodybuilding bikini competition that is purely aesthetics based and only maintainable for a short period of time.

Big love Char xxx

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The body fat trap

All Things Fitness

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Hands up how many of you either own a set of scales that has a body fat measuring setting or have used one of the ‘pay me £1 and I’ll measure everything’ scales in your gym changing rooms…

It’s okay, me too!

So for anyone that doesn’t know, I just started my Level 2 and 3 Personal trainer course. On day one we got onto talking about body fat measuring and our tutor asked if anyone was brave enough to get theirs measured. So I popped my hand up and figured I had nothing to lose since I’ve recently competed. We weren’t told how it was being measured yet. Out came the scales with a handle that pulls out for you to hold onto that sends signals through your body and when those signals feed back, you get your body fat percentage. On I got, gripping the handles feeling pretty confident for what was going to come back.

For my competition I sat at under 13% body fat. I knew I had to work to put some on after my competition so my reading wouldn’t have come back at that same level of lean….. There I am hands on the handles, what is the reading? … 26%

Now, I knew this wasn’t right because I know my body. So why did it come back incorrect? Here are a few reasons of why it could be incorrect:

• I’d drank coffee recently so there was caffeine in my system. The readings base around how hydrated you are and caffeine dehydrates your muscles, affecting the reading.
• I had eaten recently. Undigested food counts as weight and goes into the readings, I don’t think I want my undigested porridge going into my calculations….
• I needed the loo. A full bladder will also affect the readings.
• The scale was on a carpet floor. For a more accurate reading, the scale should be place on an even hard surface.

There are many more reasons that I could go into as to why the reading wasn’t correct. I’m just fortunate now to know that this wasn’t my actual body fat reading. If I was a newbie to the gym at the start of my journey, I’d have probably believed that over 1/4 of my body was fat because that’s what the machine was telling me.

So why do we need to know our body fat percentage?

We don’t!

Plain and simple. Unless you’re an elite athlete where those kinds of measurements NEED to be taken and tracked, you don’t NEED to know this. Much like measuring your weight and stepping on the scales, it is one of those things that it is easy to fall into obsessing over. We get caught up in the numbers and seeing them decrease causing all kinds of anxiety and pressures placed on ourselves by ourselves.

The most important thing is how you FEEL. No matter your fitness, health, weight loss goals it is a much nicer journey when you judge by how you feel in your own skin. If you look in the mirror and go ‘yes girl you are looking great today! The hard work is paying off’ then amazing!; stepping on the scale after that to check if you’re right to feel that way can easily diminish all of those great feelings if you aren’t happy with the reading.

So come on ladies (and gents) join me and step away from those addictive and (probably) incorrect fat scanners. If you feel great, own it! Celebrate that great feeling and you’ll look much more radiant because it’s coming from within. No one else can see the numbers so it’s only going to mess with you.

Here’s to feeling good and letting it shine from the inside out!

Char x