Day 1, Week 1, 134lbs

Day 1, Week 1

Many of you will have seen my post on social media yesterday, but I always like to update FF when I have the time as it allows me to go into much more detail about where I start, how I work towards an aesthetic goal, and where I hope to end up.

From the end of May, throughout June and all the way into early July, I had 2 tasks at hand:

1. Finally finish the first draft of my book, The 4 Week Body Blitz (more on this later)

2. Get in the best shape possible for the book’s cover shoot and 2 other syndicated fitness shoots, by the end of June / beginning of July.

I achieved both. Yay me.

Anyone who follows either my partner on social media or the rugby will know that during this 7 week period of my life, he was touring the other side of the world.

Yes my partner is a professional athlete and yes I am extremely good at knuckling the fuck down and focusing the fuck up, but I am still human, and like my sisters before me, nothing can make me fall off the wagon quite like love. Wine, ice cream and a movie night with my boy? That to me is the epitome of temptation.

So it goes without saying that his 2 month disappearing act could not have come at a better time. I got myself into incredible shape and I loved every dedicated, sweaty, sore, macro tracking minute of it.

I knew that I had goals (photoshoots) and I knew that I had a break (4 weeks away with my missing person). Don’t discount these factors, they are both pivotal motivational tools. Knowing that there is a reason why you are busting your balls every day, and knowing that there is a change of scenery coming soon, is what keeps me and most of my clients going. I say most because not all of my clients (my partner included) need to see the horizon to keep going. But I do, and many others do, too.

So there I was, strutting around the pool with my abs of steel and vascular leanness, ready to celebrate the end of a gruelling 2 months for both him and I, independently and as a couple.

Anyone who has been following me for a while will know that this is my modus operandi – I get in killer shape, I go on holiday, I get out of killer shape, I come back off holiday, and I start all over again.

Some people have issues with this, I frequently get comments such as:

Why are you undoing all your hard work?!

You can’t be that serious about health and fitness if you’re drinking every day for a week and happily gaining weight.

How can you put that poison into your body? #Unfollow

I have never been ambiguous about who I am, why I do this and how I do this. But in case anyone thinks I’m a fraud, let me explain…

  • I fell in love with training – weight lifting specifically – and that is how I ended up getting qualified and starting a blog that later developed into a business.
  • I still enjoy training so much that I train almost daily on holiday. In the gym and in the pool and or sea. I move all day every day, I am naturally a very active, very physical girl.
  • The dietary aspect of what I do is FASCINATING to me. The science of it is what keeps me going time and time again, I am my own aesthetic experiment and I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me researching nutrition. I am a massive geek about it and one day, I fully intend on studying it properly and becoming a registered dietician.
  • HOWEVER, I LOVE FOOD and everything that comes with it. Sitting down with my boyfriend and sharing a bottle of incredible wine? Going out with my family to phonemail restaurants and trying everyone’s food? Waking up with my girlfriends in France and going out for coffee and croissants? These are aspects and memories of my life that I treasure with all my heart, and they may not happen daily, weekly or even monthly, but I’ll be fucked if they don’t happen period.

Yes I work in health and fitness and yes health and fitness is my passion. But like all work and all passions, sometimes I need to come up for air.

So here I am, 10lbs up from last month, soft, curvy, happy and ready.

I am currently doing:

  • 30 mins MISS (moderate intensity steady state cardio) every morning.
  • Weight lifting every evening followed by 20mins HIIT
  • A 3 day low, 1 day high carb cycle

I will update again next week, but I am not expecting any aesthetic changes to occur until week 4.

Here we go again!


My Dietary Tick List

With so much conflicting diet advice out there, planning your body transformation can get pretty overwhelming.

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Even I have to sit down and write a check list every now and then, simply to remind myself what the dietary fundamentals are, and to make sure I am implementing them daily.

I realise that over 5 years into my ‘journey’, this knowledge is a long term amassment that not everyone has yet, and so I wanted to share my tick list with you all… Continue Reading

The End

No, I don’t mean the end of daily gym visits and broccoli mashing.

The truth is that I LOVE daily gym visits and I LOVE broccoli mashing. Big bowls of broccoli mash with chicken and hot sauce make my day.

Most of you already know this story, but in the spirit of The End, I’m going to tell it in one fell swoop…

Almost 5 years ago now, my PT of an ex boyfriend put an Olympic bar on my back, and my whole world changed.

I fell in love with weight lifting and started training properly, daily.

I started learning about nutrition so I could see the changes to my body (if you train like an athlete and you’re not getting anywhere aesthetically, you now know you are not genetically blessed – sorry – and your nutrition needs changing).

I learned fast, I changed fast, and I fell in love with every sweaty, painful, scientific second of it. I started this site and began blogging about what I was doing.

I remember watching PT sessions and seething with jealousy, so I enrolled on a PT course, got my L2, later my L3, and finally my nutrition qualifications, before taking on as many clients as I could. At one point, I think I had 21. I have NO idea how I managed that, but thank God I did, because what I learned in those 3 years of PTing in parks and gym studios was invaluable.

My knowledge grew and evolved – continues to grow and evolve – and before I knew it, what I could do to my body and the bodies of those who really wanted it amazed me – continues to amaze me!

Several preps, photoshoots, alterations, implementations and goal posts later, it was October 2016, and I was trying, and failing, to best myself.

Cardio, calories, macros and consistency, and my body had finally stopped responding.

Now, make NO mistakes about it, changing your body is a simple science, and if you follow the formula, you get the results. Period.

But the fool proof formula wasn’t working…as it turned out, there were roads of knowledge I had yet to wander down.

In short, my metabolism had crashed. My body had readjusted to my new patterns and if I wanted to change it AGAIN, I was going to have to take some drastic diet and or training measures. But I was burnt out. I didn’t want to take drastic measures. I’m not a science experiment, I am a 29 year old woman with a life beyond abs. I was done.

I took November and December off. I trained every day, I ate healthy every day, but I didn’t push myself in the gym and I didn’t say no to a glass of wine. I didn’t TRY to do anything to my body other than love it, nurture it, and accept it for its soft, curvy, natural state.

By mid December I was gunning for a push. I am the kind of girl who gets a serious kick out giving something 110%, and then some. I will empty the tank into a task and love every exhausting second of it. But I knew I had to hold tight, Christmas was coming and I wanted to do it properly.

By January 1st 2017 I was well fed, well rested, and well ready for the next few weeks of 100%.

As you can read on this site, I progressively lowered my calories (slowly down to 1300) and my macros (eventually entering a carb cycle), while progressively upping my cardio.

I didn’t cheat. It wasn’t easy. And yes you can do it too. How? YOU JUST FUCKING DO.

By week 9 I was the lightest and leanest I’ve ever been at 122lbs and 12.5% body fat.

Yes this is maintainable – with no cheating for weeks at a time and pretty horrific training sessions.

I am not interested in having a pizza every 3 weeks and I am not interested in horrific training sessions.

I am interested in eating some serious pizza and gaining some serious muscle before May, when I will start my next prep.

No, it’s not ‘throwing it away’, it’s progressing my body, my life, and my goals.

*If you want to change your body, see my 12 Week Body Transformation Guide, written by, followed by, and fully endorsed by me, me, and me.*

Day 4, Week 9

DAY 1 WEEK 1 – 137lbs / 20.1% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 2 – 135.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 3 – 134.4lbs / 18% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 4 – 132.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 5 – 129.9lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 6 – 127.6lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 7 – 126.3lbs / 14.8% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 8 – 124lbs

DAY 4 WEEK 9 – 122.1lbs / 13%bf

Nearly 9 completed weeks of:

  • 6 days weekly cardio and weight lifting – 1 rest day weekly
  • 7 days weekly eating 100% clean – within my calorie and macro counts – implementing a carb cycle in week 4 – progressing said carb cycle weekly (high carb day every 3 days / 4 days / 5 days / 6 days)
  • One big old cheat night after my first photo shoot (exactly 1 week ago today) to refeed and relax

So here I am after nearly 9 full weeks – how am I feeling?

Last week, in the last 2 days of my 6 day carb cycle, my cardio hit a wall. This was because my quads are big, they are heavy, and when they are depleted, man alive do I feel it. I managed to get through my weight lifting giving 100%, but my cardio took a big hit. I simply couldn’t complete it when I my quads just wouldn’t fire for me. I tried, but only ever managed to get 10 minutes in before I had to walk away.

Knowing I was the lightest and leanest I’d ever been at 124lbs and 14% bf kept me from panicking. Also knowing that I was 2 days out was a huge comfort, a lot of pros stop training at this point as they start to lower their water intake before a shoot / competition, so I knew the fact I had the physical energy to train in the first place was a luxury.

Since having my big old post-shoot-cheat-night, my body and brain are back to their best. A nice reminder that there is a time, place and purpose for a big fat cheat meal.

I have to say that I am shocked at how physically, cognitively, hormonally and emotionally at ease I am given 9 weeks of 100% mental and physical effort. I’ve never done this for so long before, and I am extremely content.

However, like always, KNOWING the end is near is playing HAVOC with my cravings.

I know that in a few short days I will be done with my shoots, and I will allow myself 1 great big cheat night before starting my new plan. This means that ALL I think about now is said cheat night, and it is really annoying.

My new plan will see me SLOWLY and PROGRESSIVELY decrease my cardio and increase my calories and macros over the course of a few weeks. The goal is to get my metabolism up and stable, and get my muscle nice and fed before May, when I will start my next lean prep.

4 days out, and then the next journey begins!

Day 1, Week 8

DAY 1 WEEK 1 – 137lbs / 20.1% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 2 – 135.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 3 – 134.4lbs / 18% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 4 – 132.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 5 – 129.9lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 6 – 127.6lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 7 – 126.3lbs / 14.8% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 8 – 124lbs 

I have now completed 7 full weeks of:

  • 6x weekly cardio sessions
  • 6x weekly weight lifting sessions
  • Eating 100% clean
  • Slowly moving into a progressive carb cycle (the last 3 weeks)
  • 0 cheats, clean carb refeed days only

The longest prep I have ever done was 5.5 weeks, so this is new territory for me, and here’s what I have discovered…

Longer preps are mentally easier. There is time to implement changes, room to manoeuvre, space to stay calm.

However, longer preps are physically the exact same experience. The lead up and the last week, whether that’s week 5 or week 7, is always the last week…

Because of that ‘peak week’ carb cycle – that last ditch attempt to burn fat – my body is now depleted. For me personally, this manifests itself in my quads. They are weak. They are heavy as lead. Walking up stairs is basically an opportunity for my legs to say TIME FOR CARBS NOW!

It sounds minor, but it’s not. It’s unpleasant and exhausting.

This is where I want to talk about carbohydrates…

Yes I carb cycle, every 4th day and eventually leading up to that 7th peak day, over the course of a few weeks, in order to burn fat while continuing to feed my muscles and train hard. But this is as far as I would ever go re carb depletion…

The fact of the matter is, if you train, especially if you lift weights, but cardio bunnies also, your muscles need carbohydrates.

By all means keep them clean – oats, rice, potato etc…

By all means cycle them…

But unless you are super carb sensitive, PLEASE keep them in your diet.

On top of the unpleasant physical feelings of depletion, the visuals aren’t great either. You look and feel flat and soft, both when you train and when you look in the mirror.

There are some amazing arguments for ketosis, especially when it comes to aesthetics, but if you want to train like a BOSS instead of a tortured soul, EAT CARBS.

I have 2 days left until my shoot, so at this point everything is 100% for aesthetic results…

I will slowly decrease my water intake and increase my carbohydrates.

I will have short, sharp training sessions IF I feel up to it, but I’m not going to push, all the hard work is done now.

I want to take a minute to say thank you, everyone, for your amazing messages and support.

I LOVE what I do, it’s fun, and I know I’m good at it.

But like EVERYTHING in life, there are tough days, mentally, physically, internally or externally.

I know I can rant, but the amount of support I get from you lot is PHENOMENAL, and for anyone who has every written a kind word to me or about me, THANK YOU.

It really does help.

Cruise control time…