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

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Cherry and Cinnamon Baked Oats

Hi I’m Charlotte and I’m an oats addict!

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Sundays are my rest days and my high carb/refeed days so I always take my time over my precious oats. This Sunday I decided to try making baked oats. I’ve seen baked oats all over instagram but have never tried making them before so I thought why not today! I didn’t follow a recipe, I just tried it my own way and my god they were good! Now you can make them too!

 

Ingredients:

  • Cherries- fresh or frozen
  • 50g oats
  • 20g chia seeds
  • 400-500ml Unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 medium courgette grated
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more depending on preference)
  • Optional- 1 tablespoon coconut flour

Method:

  1. To be completed the night before:
    1. Mix together the oats, milk, chia seeds, courgette and cinnamon
    2. chill in the fridge overnight
  2. Preheat oven to 180-200 degrees C
  3. Mix in protein powder, baking powder and optional coconut flour to the overnight oats- consistency should be thick
  4. Line your oven safe dish with cherries
  5. Pour oats mixture on top
  6. Press more cherries into the oats
  7. Top with a sprinkle of loose oats to toast on top
  8. Bake for approx 30mins (the longer you bake, the thicker and more ‘cake’ they will be)

 

Oh my goodness, these oats were incredible! Actually incredible! img_8304img_8308img_8327

Let me know how you get on making them!

Love Char xxx

Why I shouldn’t be your #bodygoals

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

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

Making Prep Creative 

Gooooood afternoon you wonderful lot!

Now, if you aren’t IIFYM and you have a repetitive diet on competition prep, it can be very easy to get bored. This is especially the case for me when the sun comes out and all I want is a tub of Almond Dream or Booja Booja ice cream.

So I decided to find a couple of ways to make my prep a little more exciting when I get those pesky cravings.

My third meal of the day includes a shake, so rather than having it as a shake I decided to blend it up and then freeze it in a bowl and make protein Ice cream!

Protein Ice cream

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  • 1 scoop protein powder (Chocolate Sun Warrior Classic)
  • 1 scoop Phil Richards Performance Greens- Coco choc (optional)
  • 10 g chia seeds
  • Approx 150ml water or milk

Method:

  1. Blend together the protein, greens and water
  2. Stir in the chia seeds
  3. Freeze
  4. Depending on how long you have frozen it for you may need to leave out for 5mins or so before serving and/or blend again
  5. Top with your desired toppings. I chose blueberries

It’s so easy to make. Just like ice cream!

BCAA Slushies

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Another great way to cool down on these (occasional) summer days.

  • 2 scoops BCAA – I chose MyProtein BCAA 4:1:1 Berry Blast
  • Water
  • Ice

Method 1

  1. Mix together your BCAA and a little water and blend with ice
  2. Enjoy!

Method 2

  1. Blend your BCAA and water then freeze
  2. Once frozen leave to stand for 5-10 mins
  3. Blend and enjoy!

 

These are so perfect, refreshing and keep you on track towards your goals! You could even make up two flavours and layer them pretending it’s one of those Fanta ones at the cinema…. You all know the ones!

BCAA Ice Lollies


Like the slushies, these are another way to use bcaas to stay on track and cool down without reaching for a fab!

  • BCAA- I used MyProtein BCAA 4:1:1 in Tropical Storm
  • Water
  • Ice lolly moulds

Method:

  1. Make up your BCAAs and pour into your ice lolly moulds
  2. Freeze
  3. Enjoyyyyyyy!

 

These are just a few ways I’m keeping my set prep food exciting. I’d love to hear what you do to keep it interesting too!

Love Char x

FOCUS FITNESS UK : 1

One down, six to go.

So I’m currently one week into my intensive full time Level 2 and Level 3 Personal Trainer course with Focus Fitness UK. We work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.


This week has mainly focused around learning the Level 2 Anatomy and Physiology parts of the course. This is the part of the course that worried me before I started. I wasn’t very good at the sciences at school so feared I would also struggle here.

I completed the main parts of my high school education at King Edward VII School in Kings Lynn. I loved both GCSE and A Level PE there and was taught by some really great teachers, I just didn’t do very well when it came to exams. In class I would know what I was talking about but give me an exam paper and I would struggle SO hard! So it was difficult when everyone including your teachers expect you to do so well in your exams and you come out having done quite bad. I did average in my GCSEs and badly in my A levels BUT somehow nailed my degree and found a passion for learning again. Even though I didn’t do well in those exams at school, I’ve managed to retain the knowledge taught by my PE teachers and am now applying it in my course (thanks guys!). It shows that sure, exams papers weren’t my thing but I did and do know the information. GSCEs and A Levels are more about your ability to pass the test rather than knowing the information and being able to apply it.

It’s all about finding your groove and figuring out what works for you. Sure, it may have taken me to the age of 25 to find that, but now that I’m here and on my way, there’ll be no stopping me. That knowledge was there and now I’m able to access it and apply it to what I’m passionate about.


In short, I’ve found my groove, I’m loving my course and can’t wait to get back on Monday. In week two we’ll spend more time planning sessions and being in the gym itself where I can also apply some of what I learned through my bodybuilding training!

Char  x

Train fitness guest blog

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Last month I was contacted by TRAINFITNESS and was asked if I would put together an article about competing as a vegan. I chose to wait until after my competition so that I could give a rounded account of the whole experience and how I did it.

If you head over to their page here, you can have a read for yourself.

Char x

 

Next steps…

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Recently I have had people asking me what’s next Charlotte? What are you going to be doing after your competition? Well now I have an answer for you, well two really.

In May I am very excited to say that I will be starting my Personal Training course *does happy dance* Anyone who has known me for some time will know that this has always been on the agenda it’s just been a matter of timing and funding. I’ll be taking the course with Focus Fitness UK.

imageIt’ll be seven weeks full time finishing at the start of July, just in time to be heading back to Exsportise to coach Dance for two weeks for my SIXTH summer with them.

It is all very exciting. 2016 really is shaping up to be my year, focused on me and my goals and smashing them out of the park.

On top of my PT training and Summer Camp, I’ll also be training to compete again in the Miami Pro Universe Championships in October 2016. I’m hoping to build more muscle to enter as fitness model this time- so hooray to more eating and building!

So there we have it, besides events/ shoots/ appearances etc, that is where my 2016 is headed and I just know I’m going to be loving every day of this wonderful year!

Char x

One Life Personal Training Pt.1

This post is in collaboration with One Life Personal Training

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A few weeks ago I was contacted by Will Fletcher from One Life with an invitation to come by the studio for a session and sports massage with him. I took Will up on his offer and here is my first instalment of my time with Will at One Life Personal Training so far:

The studio is based in Stoke Newington and is a lovely independent studio with MANY services to offer, from Personal Training, to Yoga, to massage and Pilates. They also have a little area outside to give a tyre a good battering!

So what did I get up to?

Picture this, while you were all in bed at 7am on a frosty Sunday morning I was in the studio with Will giving it all that I’ve got. I know I’m crazy but the session was crazy good!

We started on the rower- a piece of equipment I never use! I’m not very good on the rower so I never use it unless I’m on it for my abs! We moved through a series of exercises including interval sprints, treadmill crawls, treadmill bunny hops, chin ups, burpees with a shoulder press and battle ropes. It was a mega session and Will really put me through my paces! I love training with battle ropes but hadn’t done it in quite some time so it annihilated me! Shoulder in pieces! (In a good way!)

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We finished with a sports massage on my upper back. Due to being here there and everywhere during the day, I tend to carry a rather heavy bag so my traps are always super tight and riddled with knots so this was where Will worked his magic for me. I also have bad posture, rolling my shoulders forward giving myself a bit of a hunchback- not good! So we’re going to work on that too.

I left the studio that Sunday feeling energised and relaxed all at the same time. It was a wonderful feeling and a great way to start the day. You still think I’m crazy I know!

If you’re North London based and looking for personal training or classes without the commitment of a gym membership also, then One Life Personal Training is the place to go! You know you need to start training but It can be quite intimidating walking into a gym when you don’t really know what to do. You just end up doing cardio or floor based ab work watching what everyone else does. I’ve been there I know that! So skip that and get stuck in with some sessions or classes and One Life. Whatever your goal, there’s something for you!

Have a look at their website here!

You can also follow them and Will on Instagram:

@onelife_personaltraining

@willfletchpt

Keep an eye out for Pt.2 where I’ll be giving you a tour of the studio and going at a tyre with a massive hammer!

Char x

#EveryBodyWelcome

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Logo image  ©Puregym

Some of you may know that I recently shot for Puregym’s first ever TV advert. Exciting right! We all know I’m no stranger to confessing  my love for Puregym- it is done almost daily over on my twitter!

The amount of support I have received from both gym members and staff since starting my competition prep is overwhelming. The trainers always ask how I’m getting on, what’s next and commenting on my progress. Other regular gym goes who I see in there every single day say hi, ask how I am etc and it’s just lovely. One day a gym member who I have never spoken to, spoke to Artur while I wasn’t in and complimented my attitude to training. How nice is that? He didn’t need to! It is so lovely to be able to step into the free weights area when Artur says ‘Go and get the Olympic Platform, I’ll be down in a moment’ and not feel intimidated by everyone down there. People respect my training and I probably fascinate a few because I still look quite small but my strength is coming on leaps and bounds and I am growing!

Take a look at their advert below and see if you can spot me!

I was also part of their stills ad campaign online across social media etc. Here is and ad that’s been used on Facebook:

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Since there is so much ‘new year new me’ and everyone is heading to the gym, there really is no other choice in my opinion. Get your butts to a Puregym NOW! Memberships are a low price but this does not mean that the service is any less than at a gym where you would pay upwards of £50 a month for! Infant I’ve found I’m having a better experience here than when I was at an expensive gym tied into a contract.

If you’re already a member they’re giving you the chance to win PT sessions and a Puregym bundle with a #PureGymSelfie. All you have to do is take a selfie in front of one of their slogans on the wall, upload it to social media (twitter or instagram) tag your gym and use the hashtags #puregymselfie and #everybodywelcome for your chance to win. Here’s mine:

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So whatever your goal is or your current level of health and/or fitness,  Puregym is my recommended place to be. If you’ve just started your New Year New Me journey into 2016 there are great classes and trainers to help you along the way. Or if like me you’re training with a very specific end goal etc Puregym is also the place for you with people there to push you to your limits! #EverybodyWelcome

Char x