Do you know what? This is something that has been bugging me for a while now so I am going to write a blog post about it.

We, as women, are all blessed with difference. We have different hair, skin, eyes, faces and body types. Body type is something which is highly debated in the media and what is a ‘desirable’ body shape for a woman can change seemingly from day to day.

I used to really, really stress over my body. A few years ago I was feeling down about my weight and how I looked. So, I decided to change it. A combination of regular work outs and cleaning up my diet resulted in me losing two stone of body fat. HOWEVER, even though I had lost a fair amount of weight, I still did not have the leggy, slim, super model body I was dreaming about. This is when I realised that I was just not built for that kind of body. I am 5ft3, stocky and although I’m now fairly lean I’m definitely not what you’d call skinny. I’m just not built that way. The more I worked out the stronger I became.

Strength in women is something that comes with quite a stigma. I love progressing my weights every week at the gym and I get a real thrill out of lifting heavy, as I know many girls do. But I often get women (and men actually) asking me things like, ‘Aren’t you worried about getting too muscly?’ and ‘Oh, I don’t like really muscly women. It’s not attractive.’ Um, I don’t care. I don’t do it for you. I do it for me. I like being strong and I’m proud of my muscles. And also – would you say that to Jessica Ennis?? Or any of the other super inspirational and STRONG female athletes? No. Why does a woman have any less of a right to be and look strong than a man, based on what society believes to be ‘attractive.’

I am lucky enough to attend a gym which is bursting at the seams with super strong women who lift in the free weights area and put some of the guys to shame which is really inspiring. But I know a lot of gyms aren’t like this. I hate the stigma attached the women using the free weights or working out in the ‘men’s area’. What rubbish!

So, I guess the moral of this rant blog post is; LADIES, be proud of your strength.  Don’t let anyone, male or female, dictate what is or isn’t acceptable for you and LOVE YOURSELF tall, small, slim, curvy, muscles, no muscles, body builder WHATEVER. You’re amazing.

GIRL LOVE


Some of you may know that when I started working out in January 2016 it was inspired by my impending wedding and I was motivated by getting in shape to look hot for my big day! One of the things top of my list of flabby bits to tone was ARMS. I always struggled with confidence around my upper arms and always felt they looked flabby in certain outfits. This would not do in a wedding dress!

So, my aim – to get toned sexy arms weren’t too muscley or ‘stacked’. Contrary to popular belief, if you lift weights in the gym – you will not get stacked over night!! Seriously I know so many girls who avoid the free weights because they think their arms will get too big. Body building takes months or even years of constantly lifting and using VERY HEAVY WEIGHTS. Trust me, you’ll be fine.

I’m really pleased with how my arms look now – I feel that they are slender and I have some muscle definition but not too much growth. I achieved this by doing one upper body workout per week where I worked all the muscle groups in my arm, and by keeping the weights mostly the same or increasing by a small amount (1kg at a time).

My favourite arm exercises:

💙 Push ups

💙 Pull ups (assisted or non – depending on how hardcore you are)

💙 Tricep dips

💙 Bicep & Tricep curls using the cable

💙 Bar bell clean & press (great all body toner)

💙 Kettle bell swings (tones the whole arm)

The important thing to remember is it’s okay to start with very low weights. If you think about it – the Bicep and Tricep muscles on your body are actually pretty tiny compared to, say, your leg muscles. The key is to complete the exercise slowly and controlled with a weight that is challenging, but still enables you to complete the movement.

So, get down the gym and boss those arms. Being strong is sexy!

Do you like upper body workouts? What’s your favourite?

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Sometimes you lose your rhythm in fitness. It can be anything, a change in routine, an upset, difficult period in your life or maybe just you’re really tired. For me, I’ve recently started placement in a school and I have to leave the house at 7am. Given that my gym opens at 6.30am this is not realistically enough for me to have a workout in the morning. I now go 3 times a week (one evening and both days of the weekend) compared to my old routine which was 5 mornings a week.

This has been a really hard upset for me, not just because I enjoyed it and it really set me up for the day but also because I had genuinely become a morning person ! I loved getting up early and thrashing all my stress from the day before out in the gym. It made me feel alive, and awake actually! These days I struggle out of the house feeling sleepy and lethargic. I’ve also noticed I’ve put on 3 pounds which has been upsetting me a bit.

HOWEVER, it’s important to not be too hard on ourselves and recognise our achievements so far! I’ve still lost nearly 2&1/2 stone and managed to maintain it. The first picture was taken in January 2016 and the second is now. It’s still an amazing achievement!

I figure I’ve just got to stop giving myself a hard time and understand that it takes time to adjust to a new job and routine.

Do you find it difficult to fit fitness in around a demanding job? What are your thoughts on this?

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Anyone who works out or does any kind of sports or exercise knows how important it is to stretch. But how many of us actually do it?? Nah.

I would never stretch after working out, mainly due to laziness, wanting to get the hell outta there as soon as I was done and also kinda out of embarrassment that I can’t touch my toes (really, I can’t).

But – a little tip. I spent a bit of time looking up some yoga poses and also some cheerleading stretching (I used to cheer for my uni) and have began working towards these. By giving myself a challenge I have not got really into my stretching after every workout. Some of the poses are actually a workout in themselves!

Below is me working towards my ‘Scorpion’, a cheer shape which is a lot harder than it looks! It’s actually really hard work and I work up a proper sweat practising it! I started on the floor first trying to touch my head with my feet, then moved on to holding onto the wall, then once my balance and core strength improved I moved onto free standing and using a resistance band. As you can see I can’t quite hold my foot in my hand yet!! But I’m determined to get there.

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 This one is the more commonly known ‘warrior’ pose from yoga. This one is hard work too, but I always try and do it in the morning as it gives your body a certain stillness and focus as well as testing your balance and core. I have put this picture up because Zakynthos is much prettier than my gym in London!

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What is your favourite stretch?

xox

Woohoo it’s Wednesday and so far I have smashed out a gym session every morning this week before work! Feeling motivated, fit and fab.

Something that was high on my priority list when I started my body transformation, and I think a high on many girls lists, was to build a solid booty. Booty gains. It’s what we all want. It’s what we all squat for.

And I’m pleased to report, a la photo above, my butt building is coming on nicely! I’m definitely starting to notice a difference in shape and also strength in my glutes when I work out.

On the Alex Crockford she fit plan (the programme I have been following) there is one ‘booty firmer’ day per week so I work it hard but only once a week to give it time to recover! These workout days often leave me walking with jelly legs for days! But it’s definitely working 🙂

xox