Hitting it Hard – 19 Weeks Out

That’s right folks! 19 weeks to go until my second UKBFF Bikini Competition. And I am PUMPED. Finally after a long, hard few months of bouncing up and down with my emotions and a total lack of drive, I’ve found that drive and headspace again.

I have a new trainer who has given me a fresh approach to training and been working on some correctional exercises and mobilisation. My workouts consist of heavy, high rep and isolation exercises targeting my weak bikini areas of my back, shoulders and quads. I know that I have been pushing myself in every session by the amount of DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness) that I’ve had since I started the programme but I’m pushing through to get those gains over the coming weeks. Over the last three weeks, I’ve already pushed myself more than in the last few months and I’ve been smashing some PB’s too. I’m still waiting on the visuals to really show, but I’m feeling a lot thicker and stronger in my back and glutes already so I’m excited to see what I can do in another 7 weeks.

It’s difficult, as I am also trying to avoid the scales. Numbers aren’t important, I know this. But after years of obsession about those numbers going down instead of up, it’s sometimes hard to wrap your head around the idea that you sometimes have to go up to come down. Ironically, having now got to grips with the right foods and macros for me I am feeling the leanest I have been in quite a while. I have also increased my calories by 300 this week in order to be putting on some more muscle mass. I’ll be honest, I find this hard and I am terrified of putting on weight. or more specifically FAT but I know a little increase is part of the process.

This time it’s going to different and I am not going to lose the momentum after comp. Both my trainer and I agreed a good solid post comp plan is or paramount importance for any bikini competitor. I now know a good post comp plan is as important as prep. I also don’t want to put myself in the position where I lose so much control that I end up feeling like I’m back at the beginning which is exactly what I did the first time round.

So it’s good! I’m good! I’m looking forward to bright summer mornings and long evenings to get me through my workouts. I’m looking forward to seeing all the changes to come and having some consistency back in my life. I feel STRONG. So here’s to comp prep number two.

For anyone on their bikini journey at the moment, here’s to you! Not everyone succeeds. Not everyone has the will power.

We got this.


Paris to London – A Clean Sweep

I’ve had a really busy and productive two weeks travelling around the UK and Europe! With only 21 weeks to go to my bikini competition, my diet and training are now at the forefront of my mind. However I with so much travel recently, I have taken a slightly flexible approach to food when it comes to eating out.

I was lucky enough to be in Paris at the end of March for my day job and I knew sticking to macros was not going to be achievable (nor did I want it to be!) Let’s face it, life is about balance and you don’t get to be in one of the greatest culinary cities in the world every day! So yes, I did slip and enjoy some gorgeous sweet treats while I was there but I made sure I didn’t over indulge either. I was still conscious about eating whole clean foods.

Luckily then, around the corner from the office was a fresh little cafe selling home made salads, bagels and sandwiches called Midore. I ended up eating here every day for lunch and was so happy to have stumbled on great food just a two minute walk away from my office. Potato and bacon salad, wholemeal smoked salmon bagels and prosciutto and mozzarella on rocket with tomato were just some of the options that kept me fuelled through the long office hours!

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Spinach, tomato, potato, egg and bacon salad, freshly made at Midore in Paris

One week later I’m up in London for an Enchanced CPD training course as part of my Personal Training qualifications. After an exhausting day of circuit training and running around a studio for six hours, I was in need of some much needed fuel! My greatest find being up and down to the city this year has in fact been right at Waterloo station. The Natural Kitchen is one of the best clean restaurants I’ve discovered and has a huge selection of beautifully made hot and cold mains, healthy treats and edible gifts. The next time you are traveling, ditch the Cornish Pasty Shop and Burger King and head to the Kitchen for fast food which will leave you feeling refreshed and revived.

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The Natural Kitchen at Waterloo provide hot and cod healthy meals – Harissa Chicken with Greek, pasta and pesto and bean salads

A trip to London also wouldn’t be complete without a quick stop to Whole Foods Market at Piccadilly Circus. My friend who commutes to London recently bought me some goodies from them after I discovered I am lactose intolerant. I was like a kid in a sweet shop and ended up wth a dairy free treat or two while I’m still in a period of training where I can squeeze a little taste of chocolate into my macros once a week!

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Whole Foods Market in London – The best place to go for natural, clean and organic food

In the past I have used travel as an excuse to eat indulgent foods because it was easy, labelling an entire trip as a ‘treat’. But as it turns out with the influx of ‘clean’ kitchens and cafes are popping up all over the place, healthy fast food is becoming more convenient and readily available for everyone, leaving no excuse to opt for that KFC or McDonalds or those quick sugar fixes. I hope that it is a sign of better things to come with more individuals beginning to take far more responsibility for what they are putting into their bodies.

Finally, as someone who loves food (and all food at that!) whenever I travel, whether in the UK or abroad I now look to discover clean and healthy restaurants and cafes as a really exciting part of the trip and as I have found I am often stumbling across them unexpectedly! Have fun out there and like me, leave your excuses behind when travelling and discover a new and clean culinary experience wherever you go.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy April!


Five Bikini Girl Rules for Competition Prep

1. Get an (experienced) Trainer

Self motivation and determination are essential for this type of adventure but even with the best will in the world, sometimes it can fell like an uphill struggle to be facing an exhausting workout regime on an early, cold, dark morning.

Having someone on my back through the prep was definitely a reason to keep going, especially when it came down to the thought of my first posing lesson; thinking of being judged under bright lights with no tan and a skimpy bikini definitely made me work out harder!

The key is to pick someone with relevant experience to your goal. My trainer had two competitions under her belt placing first and third respectively, and understood both the physical toll of competition prep.

Make sure your trainer is someone who understands the process and is able to push you beyond your limits.

2. Take your time
Losing body fat does not happen overnight. You would have heard of the 12 weeks shred and if you are a seasoned competitor this likely an ample time to achieving that stage ready body. For beginners, it is so important to give yourself enough lead in time to cut effectively.

My first competition prep was 18 weeks long and although tough, I was glad I had this extra time. It is important to recognise that your body will not necessarily respond the same as your trainer’s or peers and some experimentation may be needed to your diet or training in order to achieve those results. A prime example with me was I didn’t start the fasted cardio soon enough and I felt the stress of burning that stubborn fat as I neared the finish line.

Be realistic; slow and steady wins the race.


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My first attempt at posing 11 weeks out – I was so nervous and still had a lot of fat to shred!

3. Clean and Lean Policy
I didn’t track macros through my prep. My trainer put me on a strictly no carbs diet, just high protein and good fats. Pasta, bread, potato, rice and oats were all out, including fruit. Only veggies were my carby friends. l did however listen to my body and if I was particularly struggling with strength or lethargy I would have a maximum of two ‘re-feeds’ a week where I included a complex carbohydrate within a meal after a workout which gave me a boost.

There will be a lot of people who disagree with this methodology and I will discuss macros and carbohydrates in another post, as my view on this approach to food types for competition has changed considerably over the last few months. However I can’t deny that this process did work for me. I was at 13% body fat for my competition and had a nice muscular tone throughout my whole body.

We can all agree though that the clean and lean policy is best. Whole, good, fresh foods cooked in a healthy way to maximise your potential for fat loss and lean muscle preservation. And of course no cheat meals, protein bars or sneaky post workout sweet treats!

Looking back at 2015 and considering what I have discovered with this season of prep, whatever diet you follow make sure do your homework and most importantly listen to your body. Give yourself enough time to find out what works for you.


Eating clean doesn’t need to be dull – Salmon and lentils cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes and spinach

4. Golden Girl or Lady in Red?
Your stage outfit is a really exciting element to plan. All the glitter and glamour of choosing your bikini is a nice respite from the sweaty, testosterone saturated gym you would have practically been living in at this point.

Spend time researching different looks, go to shows and see who stands out on stage and why. Remember the judges look at the whole package; hair, nails, bikini, tan and jewellery so don’t leave it till the last minute to decide. Also, go with a reputable designer to ensure the best quality and fit. Bikini suits are not the cheapest things to purchase but it’s worth getting the most expensive you can afford.

5. Strike a Pose
It’s the part of prep that I dreaded the most. There is nothing nice about being 12 weeks out and having your trainer judge you while your stumble around in your new stage heels, flapping your arms around wildly whilst trying to tense your muscles and look elegant all at the same time!

Practice does make perfect though, so practice, practice, practice. Go to shows, watch loads of YouTube videos and find your own style and flare for those quarter turns and T-Walks.

Enjoy it! You’ve worked hard for that body so make sure you show it off!

Bikini 101

A lighthearted low down to Bikini Competition Prep:

The work place is your enemy                                                                                                      Don’t hover in communal kitchen; get in and out as quickly as possible and avoid those birthday and leaving do treats your colleagues brought in!

Have no friends
Prepared to be a social outcast for the duration of your prep. Going out for a social gathering is one of the worst temptations to cheat possible. Politely decline.

Beautifully bare!
You’ve built the body but flakey skin and cellulite isn’t a good look on anyone. Scrub, moisture and firm everything as part of your prep.


6 weeks out from my first show

Chicken and Broccoli = FAIL
It might be the world’s healthiest food, but if you want to keep your job do not take this meal to work, especially if you’ve had it sitting in tupperware for over 24 hours

Lie to yourself all the time
No, I’m not hungry. No, I don’t want that cookie. No, I’m not exhausted. No, I don’t look like death etc etc…

Take a Break
You work out all the time and spend every spare second looking in the mirror, posing and judging yourself. Give yourself respite and ignore the prep for a while.

A lifetime on the hips
Treats are good anytime – and you’ll need one or two during prep, just make sure they are not edible. Have a spa day, go shopping and enjoy yourself.

Be a Socialite
Twitter and Instagram are great to find other competitors going for your comp. Talk to them, make friends and build your support network. You’ll be glad you did when the nerves kick in backstage!


Some of the lovely competitors backstage who I have continued to keep in touch with

Show off!!
You don’t have those abs all year round so as soon as you lean out, wear that crop top to the gym!

Love your supporters
It’s not your families fault that you are grumpy, miserable and hungry all the time. This is your choice. Be nice to them and remember they are your greatest fans!


Journey to the Stage – An Introduction

It is one of my greatest achievements.

I had dreamt about competing for years until it became all I thought about each and every day. I first stepped on the stage in November 2015 at the UKBFF Sugar’s Classic in Leicester and never had I been so proud to officially call myself a Bikini Fitness Competitor.

Early morning cardio, late night gym sessions and eighteen weeks of dieting, hunger, mood swings and cravings were worth every second being under those bright stage lights and in front of an electric crowd. To say it gave me the competition bug is an understatement. I had achieved the best body I had ever had and those twenty minutes unleashed a new confident person I didn’t quite know was in me.


The one thing I didn’t do during that preparation period was document the journey. Yes I followed my training plan, food and took progress photographs but I didn’t record the successes and pitfalls to achieving that bikini body.

There is plenty of information out there on the web about competing; downloadable workout plans, example diets and social media accounts but I never found anything that delivered the whole picture.

I am about to embark on my second and third competitions in August at the UKBFF Kent Classic and the Pure Elite show in October 2016. This blog is my journey to the stage. I want to share with you a frank insight into the work, dedication and stamina required to competing. Those times of positivity and times of self doubt.

I’ll also be posting about my passed experience and lesson learned as well as my current challenges and successes.

Wishing all you Bikini Girls happy reading and workout gains!