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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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

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

Peak week: 2

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Day 2 of Peak Week

Today was rest day for me so no trips to the  gym. I’ve found that as the competition nears, rest days make me anxious. I know it’s ridiculous because my body needs the time to rest, build, recover and prepare for the next workout.

I woke up with huge veins in my lower abs and some little squiggly ones creeping into my uppers too so that was a great way to start my day!

I ended up working a shift at the pub I used to work it to get myself a little disposable income since the tax man hasn’t been so kind lately and the competition has and still is costing a lot. After competition I want to be able to go out for dinner etc so a little bit of pocket money helps!

The only major downside to this was that I could snack on the crispy roast potatoes in the work kitchen anymore. No seriously, the downside was that I couldn’t eat between 1-5, so I turned up early to eat my couscous, asparagus and spinach before my shift started and then ate as soon as I got home. It was good to be back there, people were happy to see me too so that was a nice feeling.

After work I came home and relaxed for a bit, no work, no blogging, anything. I just popped on Netflix with a cuppa and relaxed. Blissful!

Then things got a little less relaxing…

I decided to buy an epilator for my legs, arms and underarms to prep for my competition….At £50 it was FAR cheaper than paying to have it all waxed. Now, people told me it would hurt…. But MY WORD! I was not prepared AT ALL! I’m pretty sure the box should come with either a few doses of morphine or a complimentary bottle of Vodka to drink neat through the pain. It’s weird, it’s not a pain where I can cry or scream, it silenced me and made me pull all sorts of facial expressions as it felt like needles were being stabbed up my legs. (SUCH A GIRL!) I did one leg, had a break and used the electric shaver attachment on one arm, then had to talk myself int the second leg. The second leg took longer because I knew how much it would hurt and just had to keep egging myself on with the reward being that I could do my other arm after and that was painless. I sound pathetic right?! But seriously so sore!

Not quite the relaxing pre-bedtime activity…

Afterwards I had my final meal to eat. Protein sorbet. Haaaaaaaalllujah! It was delightful and I’ll be sharing the recipe with you shortly.

So day two done. Feeling good, now for a week of training and prep. Catch you tomorrow!

Char x

20 things competition prep has taught me

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A quick fire round of 20 things I’ve realised/learnt during the last 5 months of competition prep:

1. When my muscles burn I cry <–such a girl!

2. I’m naturally quite lean

3. I can maintain body fat at 2750 calories a day (wahoooooo) I can put away A LOT of food!

4. Carbs are my friends…. My best friends actually

5. I can and will eat around the clock

6. Eating low carb and high protein as a vegan is quite difficult but I love a challenge

7. It can be SO expensive so you need to get savvy

8. Keep a close support network- you’ll need it!

9. I can’t count. Always doing too many or too few reps

10. People think I want to be Arnie…. I don’t

11. 1700 calories can go a long way!

12. Abs are not maintainable!

13. I love leg day

14. I can push myself harder than I think

15. I am a walking corpse if I don’t have oats for breakfast

16. I don’t know what it is to eat off a plate anymore. Tupperware is life! But I always lose it…

17. An end goal gives me SO much motivation

18. When in the final weeks my body is craving all sorts of food I don’t even normally eat- chip shop chips!

19. It is SUCH a mental game

20. There are some incredibly bad vegan protein powders…. I have a stash of bad ones I now won’t use

10 days to go eeeeeek!

Char x