Unplug || Wait || Reset || Go

That’s what we do with our electronics when they aren’t working properly right?! So why shouldn’t we do the same with ourselves? Sure we aren’t robots, we aren’t electronic BUT for those very reasons only it should mean that we do need rest and cannot go on forever at full speed.

Since I started my competition prep training I have been actively trying to pay close attention to making the most of my rest days and time off. Before, I was very ‘team no days off’ I would be working 15 hour days AND training and always doing something on my days off too. It didn’t take very long before I ended up really sick with two weeks off work and on a cocktail of different medications. Fortunately for me, that was a while ago now and I’ve learned my lesson.

I train 6 days a week and I also work on those 6 days. The great news here is that my rest day also falls on my day off from work so where possible I will take full advantage of this and either do nothing or make sure I plan something that makes me truly happy.

After accidentally walking 12 miles on my last rest day, I decided this week it was time to switch off, relax and reset.

I didn’t set an alarm and just let my body wake naturally. I then made myself the best big bowl of protein zoats which I look forward to so very much throughout the week! I took them back to bed and just relaxed to the entire showing of Sunday Brunch. Sheer bliss.


The only activity I took part in was a walk to Sainsbury’s to buy most of my food for the week. This day was for me to relax so for the first time in a LONG time I even did a face mask and nose strip.


Being in the gym, on the tube and constantly on the go means that my skin comes into contact with some awful stuff on a day to day basis. I am very low maintenance when it comes to my hair and skin so don’t normally put a lot of time into it, my skin didn’t quite know what was going on when I was paying it some attention Sunday but my goodness it loved me for it! I’ve never felt it so smooth!


After feeling like I was getting sick on Saturday I have awoken on Monday feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to attack another week.

Taking your rest day to do nothing but focus on you as a whole will not hinder any training, it will help you on the whole. The last thing we need is to shutdown involuntarily and if you’re not careful and keep ploughing through each day at full speed it will inevitably happen.

Look after yourself; mind, body and soul. YOU are the most important project you will ever work on. Allow yourself to press pause from time to time, your body will thank you for it.

(c) Rees Thompson

Love Char x

Advertisements

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!

image

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.

image.jpeg

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!

image

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

OSHUN white

Last month OSHUNwhite sent me a 14day teeth whitening oil pulling kit and a copper tongue cleaner. What with always being in front of the camera, I am always wanting whiter teeth. In January 2015 I took part in a study with the BBC to test the effectiveness of over the counter teeth whitening kits. The results came in and no one’s teeth had been whitened to a degree where it was noticeable to the human eye. This is because the active ingredient in teeth whitening kits isn’t strong enough and can’t be strong enough due to EU regulations. Many people get teeth whitening products sent over from the US because their rules and regulations are different. I have never used anything stronger than can be bought in the UK because I always get nervous about them damaging my teeth and only having myself to blame for being so silly. This was the reason why Oil Pulling has intrigued me for some time now.

IMG_4273

Oil pulling has been practiced for thousands of years as part of the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda. The practice involves swishing a small amount of oil around your mouth for 5 to 15 minutes each day. Traditionally, unflavoured coconut or sesame oil would be used.

Oil pulling works to reduce the levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which are pulled out with the oil. This delivers a powerful, natural oral detox, resulting in reduced plaque, long-lasting fresh breath and a beautiful white smile.

~ OSHUNwhite

OSHUNwhite offer a 14 day kit, one sachet each day first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. This is really handy because if you’re staying at friends let’s say, you don’t have to carry around your great huge jar of coconut oil, you can just pop a sachet in your bag. They offer 4 flavours, Crushed Lime, Wild Cherry, Spearmint and Peppermint. The flavours really help to distract you from the fact you have coconut oil filled with toxins in your mouth…

I tried the Crushed Lime flavour. The guidelines say to swill it around your mouth for 5-15minutes, on my first time I lasted 5! I was SO disappointed in myself but its such a new and surreal sensation that I just couldn’t keep going any longer. Luckily like with most things practice made it better and more tolerable, however, even after the full course I still only managed 10minutes max! (what a wimp!)  I think for me it was the oily texture, yes I know it’s coconut oil before you say anything, it just didn’t feel like something I should be holding in my mouth for that long. Although I must say, the Lime flavour definitely helped!

IMG_4414

As much as I hate to admit it (because I was rubbish at it) it actually did work! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Oil Pulling so it was nice to be able to experience my own results. My teeth felt cleaners and glossier and they looked whiter so it’s definitely something I want to be able to learn to love. So thank you OSHUNwhite for introducing me to oil pulling and making it a nicer experience with such great flavours and convenient kits!

To get your hands on an OSHUNwhite 14 day kit head to their website here.

IMG_4403

Here’s to naturally healthier, whiter smiles!

Char x

Festival Studio 2.0

In July I headed back once again to shoot with Festival Studio Photography. You may or may not know that Jessica and I shot with them in October 2014 too. This time I was shooting alone with around eight photographers. Like before it was a very fun shoot, very relaxed (hard work) but a great environment to work in.

We worked through a few looks and themes. Contemporary dance, Aerial Silks, Aerial Hoop, Acro on a mirror and the Grand Finalé- a shoot using flour to capture an image that carried motion. As you can see we had a lot to fit into the day, each of the photographers had one on one time with me in each of the themes. I’ll include for you at least one image from each of the themes.

Some of the photographers came with specific ideas of what they wanted to capture and some with reference picture to try and recreate. Others, were happy to let me move through sequences and positions for them to capture.

Festival Studio always know how to look after me and is always the most inviting atmosphere to work in.

I am also delighted to tell you that I have been invited back once again to shoot with Festival Studio in October. There was a great reaction to the flour shots and people have requested a second shoot date- great news! So in light of this coming up have a look below at what we achieved in the July shoot.

We had Charlotte as our subject model fir an aerials, contemporary dance, modelling and powder shoot at the studio recently. Her performance was flawless, giving great energy and fun to whoever photographed her. A lovely girl who brought confidence and great humour. Thoroughly recommended.

~ Chris Sharp,  Festival Studio Photography

What Next…..?

So today marks the end of a very busy, fun-filled summer working for Exsportise Ltd. My previous posts will give you an insight into life in orange, let me say just this I either love it a lot or I’m a little crazy as it was my fifth summer working for this summer camp. Thank you Exsportise it’s been a pleasure. That is all over now after seven great weeks, so what will I be getting up to next?

11870928_10155938601120075_3753804662985610015_n11898627_10155938601150075_2702541146062520261_n

Tomorrow I have a shoot with Frame Studios shooting new content for their website and social media accounts. This is a pretty exciting shoot for me especially since I will be shooting with one of my good friends Laura too. We’ll be shooting some solo content each and then some shots together, it will be super fun. Website address: http://www.moveyourframe.com Have a look at their classes, they’re pretty badass!

Frame

After that I am hoping to get some shoots in in the week before heading off to Spain for a week with my sister Jessica. We’ll be chasing sunsets and doing some partner acro-yoga on the beach. For those of you who know me, this is literally perfect! (of course there will be plenty of photographs too!)

Screenshot_2015-04-15-06-25-13

In October I have also lined up another shoot with Festival Studio Photography. I haven’t yet shared with you the images from my most recent shoot with them but I already have another shoot on the way! It will be similar to the image below involving lots of flour to capture images with motion. I was invited to model for them again as lots of photographers contacted the studio requesting a shoot like this as they missed the previous one. This is exciting for me, having people requesting I model for them and that they are genuinely upset that they missed the last shoot. The last shoot was SO fun that I actually can’t wait for this October shoot! Have a look at the image below for an idea of what’s to come.

11703064_935361776522211_3567492945821076700_n

My aims and goals for the next year:

  • Branch more into Fitness Modelling
  • Shoot for a yoga/activewear clothing brand
  • Live each day mindfully

Now not all of these have an explicitly obviously result, but they are three things I will have at the forefront of my mind working towards over the next 10 months. Why 10 months? Because hopefully I will be returning to spend a sixth summer dressed in Orange with Exsportise!

11846543_10153055408545924_419619432771312182_n

charlotteXmalcolm – Fitness/Swimwear Collab

Hello!

So I’m feeling pretty much on top of the world right now. Last weekend I escaped from West Sussex where I have been coaching dance and ran away back to London for the whole weekend. Since I knew this was my plan I contacted a Malcolm Fitt and asked if he wanted to get together and make the most of my visit back to London and shoot together….I have just received my images back from the shoot  on Sunday 16th August. I love love love them!

As you may have seen, Malcolm (the photographer) and I have collaborated a few times now. This shoot particularly, was more of a creative exchange as we both had an idea each and style we wanted to achieve so we split the shoot into two sections. The first was a fitness shoot proposed by myself as I would really like to try and branch out into more fitness/ Sports/ activewear modelling. Whilst I am on top of my body and training, it would have been a shame to have missed this opportunity to shoot. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, the sun was shining and bouncing off of my skin emphasising the shadows in my muscle tone and definition making me look strong and lean. We worked with three outfits and both agreed on the same favourite one. The mint green Nike sports bra with the Adidas tights and Nike trainers.  The combination created a crisp, professional look that really complimented my body. The mint green worked with my skin tone to make me look like I had a healthy golden glow, whilst the stripes running down the side of the Adidas tights lengthened my legs. I am so happy with the images as a whole. To me they look like something you could easily find in a Women’s Health magazine, that sort of feel.  That’s what I think anyway, have a look for yourself and see if you agree…

The latter part of the shoot was swimwear. I found myself THE most gorgeous and flattering swimsuit by South Beach Swim. The high neckline compliments my shape as I have a small chest and also small shoulders.  The cut of the leg and bum were gorgeous too, elongating my legs and giving the illusion that I do in fact have a fuller bum than I actually do (which is great). If it was acceptable, I would wear it everyday because it made me feel great! It also helped that it was white which made me look tanned too (always great!) The feel we were going for was more of a St Tropez ad campaign rather than swimwear catalogue. I believe we achieved just that between the white swimsuit, wet hair and greenery for a backdrop. The feel is classy, elegant and tropical. But don’t take my word for it, have a look yourself!

Charlotte’s physique is particularly suited to form fitting outfits so both of these themes were great. As I said, Charlotte and I have worked together a few times now in a collaborative mutually beneficial capacity. We are open to each other’s suggestions and ideas and know how to work together to achieve them as smoothly as possible.  We also respect each other’s complete (and some times brutal) honesty when it comes to reviewing the photographs post-shoot. (Fitt, 2015)

Both Malcolm and I are very pleased with the overall result of both parts to the shoot, I have incorporated a few of the images into this post but to see more of the shoot have a look here.

Lifestyle Shoot July 2015

Hello!

At the start of the month (July 2015) myself and Malcolm Fitt collaborated once again for a photoshoot. The aesthetic/style/theme this time was Lifestyle; so the sort of thing you might find in a lifestyle magazine etc. You may recognise Malcolm’s name from previous posts here- we did a sports/running shoot in January 2015 and a Boho fashion shoot in June 2015 (all photos in the `gallery)

Unfortunately, neither of us live in houses/flats that would accommodate such a shoot so we spent the day shooting in someone else’s BEAUTIFUL home. It was a stunning converted pub and couldn’t have been more perfect. So grateful to the family who vacated their home in order for us to shoot for the day.

I love shooting with Malcolm (I’ve said it before i know) he makes me look good! Seriously, he knows what he’s doing! When you see the images, you’ll understand how it could have been a little awkward but it absolutely wasn’t at all. Really enjoyed the shoot and i believe we have gotten some lovely images as a result Have look and i’d love to hear what you think. There are a couple of images below and the rest can be found at https://charlclarke.com/the-gallery/

also check out Malcolm’s website at http://www.malcolmskfitt.co.uk

~ C xx

Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015 © Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015 © Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015 © Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015 © Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
Lifestyle Shoot. July 2015
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography

Boho Field Shoot with Malcolm SK Fitt Photography

On Saturday 30th May I had the opportunity to shoot once again with Malcolm Fitt. You may (or may not) have read on here that we previously shot together in January on a ‘Nike style’ shoot in the freezing cold. The shoot was fun and Malcolm was great to shoot with so we decided to shoot again on a different theme, This shoot was a Boho fashion shoot in a field in London. The locations were perfect, two parts of one field. First location was long grasses and the second, a field of summery buttercups, both giving a completely different feel to the images and my look. The weather was just perfect. It was like London decided to have a day of summer amongst a period of hideous rain and cold. There were these amazing clouds in the sky that added depth and contrast in the background. We shot the first location in the long grasses in a selection of outfits and then reviewed the images before returning to shoot in the second location later on. Here have a look at some images from the first location:

© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography

So, after reviewing and rehydrating we headed back to the field to dance among the buttercups. It was SUCH a beautiful location and so summery. Literally the perfect set up with the sun out as well.  Take a look :

© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography
© Malcolm SK Fitt Photography

Malcolm is really great to work with, he makes you feel really comfortable in from of the camera and has such a great eye. So great that I struggled to pick out my favourite shots I highly recommend him as a photographer and you should head over and look at his website right now! http://www.malcolmskfitt.co.uk If you want to see more from the shoot head over to ‘The Gallery‘. What’s next? We are already planning to shoot at sunrise in late June and I can’t wait! ~C xx

Sneak Peak

On Saturday May 30th, I spent the day with Malcolm Fitt shooting a variety Boho Fashion looks. It was a really great day shooting but I’ll tell you more about it in my next post.

I am currently waiting to receive the images through to use but here is a sneak peak at what you’re in for. Once I have more images, I’ll post again and share them with you… I can’t wait!

11048747_10155604049335075_2066093267077216973_o

In the mean time, why not have a look at our previous shoot together  here and also at his website: http://www.malcolmskfitt.co.uk

~ C xx

Neil Anthony Photography 2015

In March 2015 I had the joy of shooting with a great photographer called Neil Anthony. We did some location shooting and then moved inside to his studio to create a different aesthetic. Take a look and see what you think. I would recommend Neil to anyone looking to update their portfolio. If you’re interested leave me a comment or get in contact with me through my Contact page and i’ll pass on details.

cropped-cropped-img_42421.jpgIMG_6133

Neil Anthony Photography March 2015
Neil Anthony Photography March 2015
Neil Anthony Photography March 2015
Neil Anthony Photography March 2015
Neil Anthony Photography March 2015
Neil Anthony Photography March 2015
Neil Anthony Photography March 2015
Neil Anthony Photography March 2015