UKBFF athlete and Brighton based Personal Trainer. All things fitness - thoughts, inspirations and the harsh truth.
So the last time I wrote here I got all deep and personal. I think it may have been the most popular of all my written posts (bar the ones of me practising posing with my bum out) which reconfirms that everyone does in fact, like a bit of honesty and is actually the same. The last few weeks I have been trying to work out what exactly I am doing with my life and came to the realisation that I am 23 so really, I should not have a clue. All you can do is chose something you love, work hard at it and get lost in it without worrying about what you’re going to be doing when you’re 56 years old. Now whilst forward planning is important, it is also important to not get caught up in the future or the past, but live for the now, this very moment right here. So what makes you happy right now? Not last year, or next year, but right this second? Even if you are sad, depressed, lost or confused, there will be one little thing that brings you joy. Got it? Hold onto that and never let it go.
With that in mind, I have come to the conclusion that yes, being fit, healthy and lean does make me happy. Being strong makes me happy. Feeling like I am in control and on top of the world makes me happy. When I last wrote I questioned if all the sacrifice and hard work is worth it. And I can now tell you with complete confidence that it is. We will all have days where we feel like giving up, throwing in the towel and burying ourselves in ben and jerrys but at the end of the day, the result and that feeling of accomplishing something will always win over a sugar coma.
I had a conversation with a bikini client yesterday who is struggling to stick to her diet 100% and all I could tell her was that it is all down to her to give this everything she has. It will take over your life but that does not have to be a bad thing. After all, everyone is slightly obsessed with something…be it a workoholic who will not leave until it is done, a social butterfly who will always be making friends and cannot be alone, a young girl with an addiction to the gossip girl series. Whatever your addiction, we all have one and it is not always a bad thing. When it comes to competing, you have to be addicted to it…for if you are not, you will not last long.
The moral of the story is to find something you enjoy and work your arse off for it. Do not give up on the bad days for there will always be some, those days are the ones that will make you stronger.
My decision - I will compete again. I am changing federation and category for the last time. I am confident that this category fits me better than any one I have competed in or researched before and I look forward to the hard work, the accomplishments and even those bad days that it will take to get me there.
This may well be my most open and honest post. If you have followed my journey from the start or only recently, then please take the time to read…
When I first set up this blog I was completely in love with fitness, with training, with learning, with eating healthily, with the idea of becoming a fitness model pro. I wrote daily of my workouts, my struggles, my dreams with not a care in the world for who was to read it or what they might think. I was just another blogger with another story with something else to say. Now I feel like this healthy outlet has become something else, it has been taken over by some other force and I have lost what was so wonderful about it in the first place. Personal training is my job, fitness is my life and competing has taken up every minute of thought of the last year, consuming every aspect of my life. I sit here in bed at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon feeling run down and fed up with the whole thing. I stopped writing so much, so openly, so frequently as now there was more at stake - there were people I had to impress, companies to try to get spotted by, sponsorship opportunities to work towards, clients to bring in, people not to let down. But enough is enough. This should be, like it always used to be, a place of openness and honesty. I am not linking this to twitter, I am not linking this to facebook, I just want to write. So to all those who are still with me, who don’t even know me, who have never even met me, to all of you who don’t have a clue what you’re doing, to what you want out of life, to all of you I write. I write not for anyone or with anyone in mind but with the simple desire to share my thoughts and my fears in the belief that we are all fundamentally the same. We all struggle, we all feel, we are all uncertain.
I have been thinking recently about the grander scheme of things. What do you want in life? What is going to make you happy? What are you going to do to make these things happen? I realised that being 7% body fat for 1 day is not going to make me happy, living a life of restriction, rules and meticulous calculation is not going to make me happy. I realised that in all honesty, I don’t know what will…but I know two things. 1 - I want to be healthy, happy and loved, and 2 - I already have the most important thing in the world, a man who I love with all my heart and trust with my life. No status, job, amount of money, possession, number of trophies or the most prestigious sponsorship would, or ever could mean more than that.
It is so easy to get caught up, to become obsessive about your body image, about how to get your abs, how to make your legs smaller, how to have wider shoulders or a curvier bum. Are these things really truly going to make you happy? I think what I am trying to say is that I have learnt a lot in the last year and I have learnt to accept my body the way it is, stretch marks and cellulite and all. I want to find a way to be healthy and happy every day of my life, not in peak condition for 1 day or 1 week, but for every day. Something that is sustainable, that allows me to enjoy myself and not cry over eating extra oats and a few strawberries. Whilst competing is a wonderful challenge, a glorious triumph, I cannot stop asking myself “Is it all really worth it”? Is it worth working yourself into the ground for? Is it worth all the sacrifice and all the structure, is it worth not enjoying champagne on your graduation, not having birthday cake on your birthday, not being able to go on holiday because you’re prepping? Is it worth feeling so completely exhausted and drained both mentally and physically? I’m really not sure that it is.
I believe people need to stop focusing on how they look to a certain extent and focus on being healthy and happy and enjoying their lives. I’m not saying to hell with it, lets all eat ice cream for breakfast…I’m just saying, let’s find a balance, lets not obsess over the number on the scales, at eating 150g of sweet potato at 3pm, at scheduling our cardio. Let’s LIVE. Let’s be ACTIVE. Let’s be HEALTHY. And remember the important things…who cares if you have a bit of cellulite on your bum…if the price you pay for that is LIFE then I say, welcome that little bit of cellulite.
For anyone struggling - mentally, physically or in any way that a person can struggle, know that you are not the only one. Everyone is struggling, just not everyone shows it. Now look at yourself and learn to love what you see for it is not the be all and end all. You can change your image, you can change your life, just whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy.
I want to confess something that I think many people in the bodybuilding world experience and should also confess. That being: I ate too much cake in my off season. Cake and almond butter. Oh my days the almond butter. It became a slight obsession and has led to where I am right now in this moment, exhausted yet excited for what lies ahead.
I will be the first to admit I put on too much weight (i.e. fat/insulation/rolls/cellulite) during the brief period of my very first off season which ran from November 2012 until about April 2013. During this time I eased off on my previous strictness, enjoyed many a fancy coffee house lattes and basked in the wonderfulness that was my new found food and body freedom. Now this is all too common - after months of strict dieting, restrictions and weighing out everything down to the gram, many a competitor find themselves in this situation. And what do we do? Well firstly, cry at the sight of yourself in the mirror, looking at the reflection of what seems like someone who ate you. Then you realise how utterly mad this whole process is and come to the realisation that this extreme contrast is not making you happy or by any means, is the way you want to continue to live.
Cut to me now, 3 months in to the new me, Lorna 2.0 and I am 11% bodyfat down, 1 and a half stone down and am starting to resemble what I used to be, just with more muscle. I can safely say that I have learnt a lot from my first go at an ‘off season’ and will be doing it very differently next time around. For starters, I will not be doing the post show binge-athon that can only lead to distress, tears and a slightly painful food coma situation. I have also come to the realisation that rather than bringing myself down and seeing this whole experience as a negative thing, I can learn from it and move forward. I have researched into this matter, researched competitors dietary habits, the metabolism and the effect of the post show binge and even though it will be much harder post show after months of restriction to stay on a plan of action, I know that I have it in me to reverse diet rather than begin storing fat as if I’m going to the Arctic for 5 months without an insulated coat. Another positive thing that came out of the huge calorie surplus over the last few months is that I have put on a decent amount of muscle.
There are things to be learned from all failures, from all slip ups and mistakes. No one is perfect, we are all human and make mistakes. The best thing we can do is continue to work hard, make lots of mistakes and learn an awful lot from them. Do not fear failure, it will teach you more than success ever will.
As of a few days ago I am now a Pro Grips sponsored athlete and an ambassador/athlete with NMB nutrition! I’m looking forward to working with both of them. They’re both great companies with quality products. Any of you that have been reading my blog for a while will know that I am 100% honest in my posts and I would never promote a product or supplement that I did not truly believe in. I have been approached by another company that shall not be named that I have chosen not to work with. The reason for this is that their product is absolute bull-shite. Yes, it may be all the craze in the US and have lost people weight but I am not about promoting a product full of crap that encourages people to not eat real foods. Anyone can lose weight by having shakes or not eating anything but do you really want to live and eat like that all your life?? I THINK NOT! With that in mind, I stand by NMB nutrition, a new supplement company based in the UK that offer quality protein and other supplements, ones that I personally use and love. You must be careful of what you put in your body, you only get one after all…
It’s all slowly starting to come together. In the last 2 years I have transformed from a cardio and ryvita queen to a bikini-turned figure competitor, personal trainer and sponsored athlete! It just goes to show your hard work will be rewarded and people will support and believe in you as a person and a competitor. This is one very important step for me on my journey and it only spurs me on even more to do well in this wonderful and challenging sport.
On that note, I am now 7.5 weeks away from stepping on stage for the first time in the figure category. I have now been prepping for 8.5 weeks and I can honestly say I am enjoying the journey. This is a whole different story from the previous season as I began at 25% bodyfat, a far cry from the standard I need to be at come show day. This has been tough, there has been a serious amount of HIIT training and a strict diet right from the get go. I have nearly cried numerous times in the gym, a sign that I am well and truly in the swing of things. But it is all starting to pay off. All I can say is that I am looking forward to the next 7 weeks, uping my game and bringing my very best on August 18th. That is all anyone can ever do - your ABSOLUTE BEST.
#teamNMB #teampg BOOM.
As you can probably tell, I have suddenly become obsessed with recipe hunting and looking at (drooling at) pretty pictures of decadent food since I’ve started dieting. However, during this hunt I have come across some amazing food and recipe journals and blogs that I simply have to share. Healthy recipes that are delicious too….can you get any better!? Check out “a hint of honey" for some lovely recipes to add a bit of variety to your diet including this beauty:
Anonymous asked: Do you have an Instagram account? If not u should really get one, your posts are really great :)
Why thankyou! Yes I sure do :) It is mostly pictures of my food haha but I shall start doing the whole ‘selfie’ thing…here it is:
I have finally entered the world of pinterest and my God is it addictive. Check out my board “Yummy Food and Clean Recipes" for some clean eating recipes and the naughty yummy recipes for those oh so wonderful cheat meals…
thelongwalkback asked: Hey! You're one of the only firblrs that I follow who has probably gone through a few "build/bulk" phases so I thought that I would ask you some questions. I'm a little into a build phase and I'm curious about a few things. How many more calories do you eat (over maintenance), I've been hitting around 100 to 300 over. How often should I lift, should I split it into different muscle group?. And, how did you feel going through a build phase?(I have more questions but running out of room!)thks
Hello! A build phase is quite tough both mentally and physically, even more so for a woman as we simply don’t have the hormonal make-up to put on a great deal of muscle mass naturally. However, with the right training and nutrition along with rest and recovery, you can put on a decent amount. Personally what I found the most difficult was the mental adjustment - getting used to and accepting the fact that I would not be as lean as I’m used to was challenging. I hated not seeing my abs but that’s just part of bulking.
In terms of nutrition, I would suggest increasing your calories more than you have done. A 100 calorie increase is not enough to make much of a difference, you’d need to be nearer the 500 mark Or there abouts. You’ll want to train heavier and focus on one body part at a time and your lagging body part maybe even twice a week. In saying this, the most important thing is to rest and recover, you will build and repair whilst you’re asleep so there’s a good excuse to stay in bed a little longer!
Good luck with the bulking, happy eating! :)
And remember…don’t be THAT guy….ha!
Anonymous asked: Hi! You are a big inspiration. I'am trying to get ,,fit,, and stronger the next three weeks. I am on vacation so i can't lift weights (no gym). Any tips how I can reach my goals? Thanks:)
Hey! Aw thank you! When it comes to training without a gym there is so much you can do with your bodyweight alone. I’d suggest to create a high intensity circuit including exercises like press ups, sit ups, chin ups, mountain climbers, burpees, box jumps (onto a step or short wall or anything you can find that is stable and secure), squats, jump squats, walking lunges etc. Pick 6-10 exercises and perform the, back to back with high reps of 20-30 to really get your heart rate up. You could also incorporate sprints into the circuit.
As for additional cardio (that circuit IS cardio!) you could find a set of stairs and do drills running up then walking back down them. You could even buy TRX resistance straps which take up hardly any luggage space and are ideal for training the whole body whilst travelling!
Basically, just get creative with whatever resources you have, time yourself or get a friend or family member involved to compete against and make sure you do it each day. I’d suggest doing it early in the morning before holiday activities distract you! in saying all of this, it is important to have a rest every 6-8 weeks completely from training so your body (and mind) might need a holiday too…
Below: TRX bands are a great way to get in a good workout wherever you are!