Winter Blues

7 Dec

Tonight, I’m sad. No tissues, hugs or sympathy please. I’m telling you this because I want to share with you my strategy for pulling myself out of this.
I’m not sure what’s the matter, realistically it’s probably nothing, nothing more than winter blues and a little tiredness. BUT I don’t want to feel like this tomorrow so here’s what I did to pull myself out of this.

  • I had a nap. Not very pro-active you might say but I needed a rest. I woke with just enough energy to do the other things that will make me cheer up.
  • I ate some wholesome, nutritious food. Sound straight-forward right? Well if you can say you always eat well that’s amazing and have a huge pat on the back. I knew after eating some broccolli with my chicken and rice and tsp horseradish that the latter would be my little gift to me and that the broccolli is one of my saintly foods that I always feel proud I’ve eaten. So a meal down and already I’m feeling better.
  • I made a forward plan. As I said, no looking back, what could I do moving forwards?

I set myself some mini goals for next week as these things have slipped a little and I want to be in control of giving myself the healthiest life I can:

  1. I will set alarms on my Outlook at work, to make sure I’m eating exactly when I should. The odd extra half hour creeps in here and there and I don’t want it to.
  2. I will drink 1 bottle of water before my lunch break and then an additional one between post-lunch and leaving work.
  3. I will open my rice cakes and take out what’s needed then put the packet away. I tend to eat my rice cakes at work one by one from the packet and if I get side-tracked I forget how many I’ve had. This isn’t really good enough.
  4. I will get in 3 solid workouts next week – whatever the circumstances.

That’s it for now but I KNOW I’m going to look back at this blog post next Friday, and pat myself on the back. Small babysteps forward add up to the big changes.

So, that’s my ‘Get Happy’ plan! Know what will make you feel better and make a plan to put it into action!


On other news, I can pat myself on the back for completing the Muscletalk 12 week Shape Up Challenge! You can see my results on their website


What positive changes will you make this week ahead? Why wait til New Year?

Play hard, train harder,
Flick x


People or things inspiring me at the moment…

11 Oct

Just a quick post, to let you know who or what is inspiring me in the exercise world:

  • Darran Clemmit and Aaron Hallett‘s journeys the the UKBFF Brits in 10 days time. These two are both close friends of mine so it’s been great to watch them shrink as they get lean and mean ready for the show.
  • Anita Albrecht vs Nicola Joyce this weekend at UKDFBA in Rugby. Both ladies competing in the Ladies Bodybuilding class.
  • The BNBF Team getting ready for the DFAC World Finals in Miami. Rachel Hayes, who just won a comp a few weekends ago, is writing a great blog on her journey to Miami here
  • Jenna Bowden – friend of mine, wants to compete in Figure next year. Her update photos never fail to inspire me, nor does her enthusiasm!
  • Tania George – Powerlifter, getting ready for the WPC World Finals in Vegas. Her passion for lifting and wanting to better herself is why I LOVE Powerlifting so much!
  • My new gym, The Gym, even though thus far, my PIN number doesn’t work and I can’t get in there! When I can, I’ll be ready!
  • The Muscletalk Shape Up Challenge. Myself and a friend Welshy have both entered the ladies section and are working our butts off – me for holiday in Malta at the end of October.

What/who’s inspiring you at the moment?

Next blog post to come… Flick’s Tomato and Chicken loaf recipe…Keep your eye out for it!

Play hard, train harder,

My take on the BNBF Finals

19 Sep

I made the long trip to Manchester this year for the BNBF Finals. I say ‘long’ trip because, it’s much easier for me to fly to Glasgow than to get to Manchester! We drove up on Saturday, thanks to Fi  who drove us all there and back. The journey took a good 6.5 hours, plus the 1.5 hours it took me to get to Fi’s house to start the journey! Note to self, if I ever compete there, I will most definitely fly up, not sure I could cope with that many wee breaks.

We stayed at the Laystall Apartments, and I think they were great. It was a bit like being back at school with competitors in a lot of the apartments, but it was great for the competitor we were sharing with to be able to cook her food and keep it cool (a common problem for competing far from home). The apartments were spacious and nicely decked out, I hope the BNBF decides to use them again next year.

Sunday morning I was woken early with a tanning request (opting to be part of the crew and having the regular star tanner staying elsewhere comes with the territory) and so I was tanning non-stop from 7-10am before we left for the venue!

I’ve never been to the venue for the finals, the Royal Northern College of Music was a spot on choice. Backstage there was plenty of room (for once!) and the front of house area gave sponsors a great opportunity to sell their merchandise. The stage itself was big and lighting was spot on.

So, down to the show itself. For pre judging I only caught Figure, Masters Figure, Physique, Lightweights, 2 rounds of the Middleweights and the Heavyweights as I was backstage the rest of the time. In the Evening Show, I helped the girls get ready nice and early so I could watch most of the show.

In Figure, my initial favourite, Emma Sills from the Centrals unfortunately looked a little softer than her qualifer. She didn’t ‘own’ the stage until the evening show when she did a fabulous t-walk. I preferred the look of Kerri Stewart (2nd) to Julia Hubbard (1st) – it’s completely subjective but Kerri had a little more muscle, I think however Kerri’s presentation let her down a little whereas Julia was extremely polished.

In Masters Figure it was a 2-horse race from Northern girls Jo Peruzza (1st) and Angela Wilkinson (2nd). I was so pleased for Jo, there isn’t a single thing I dislike about her Figure, and it’s certainly one I aspire to. It was the one time I actually shed a tear, as did half of backstage when I went back there! It was nice to see Tracy Austin come 4th and also showed that you can have a more lithe Figure and do well. Jo Peruzza also won the Overall, which just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what age you are Open or Masters – you can still do well!

In Physique, Mary Anderson is the biggest Physique lady I’ve seen in a long time! She doesn’t have the most aesthetic of physiques but I would 100% swop a smaller, more aesthetic physique for hers anytime! She was hard with amazing condition and also won Best Wheels. I was also told that from her qualifer to the finals, she came in 6kgs heavier and looked even better for it! That’s what switching to a high-carb diet strategy does for you eh? I thought Kelly Freeman in 2nd place looked great, she was just unlucky to be beaten that day by a genetically-huge monster, I hope she still goes on to Miami and tears it up there.

I got the results of the Lightweight class completely wrong! I don’t know how, but Plamen, for some reason, wasn’t in my top 3. I felt Darren Loxton was unlucky with 3rd place – he was the most conditioned competitor in the class and won the symmetry round for me, but just became unstuck in muscularity as he was smaller than others in the class.

In the Middleweights, Andrew Chappell (1st) had crazy vascularity (how many Niacin did you take this year???) and made a great start to his first year in the Mr’s classes. Shane Raymond has some serious-sized Quads but has a high origin point for his calves which for me, throws his physique off a little. He also didn’t have Andrew’s conditioning but should be pleased with 2nd. I love how he’s always smiling onstage, makes it really easy to watch him.

In the Heavyweights, Sotonye came out fighting with a teeny tiny waist and never-ending back, but was pushed by Gordon Adams who has such a big frame he just looks immense. I love his physique and he’d rally brought his conditioning. Nigel St Lewis took 3rd convincingly and one of the things I was most pleased about the Heavyweight class, was that it was the best conditioned Heavyweight finals I’ve seen since I started 5 years ago!

In the Overall, I thought Andrew had it over Nate but I was sitting side stage and to be fair, could see Andrew a lot better than I could Nate. Nate has cartoon proportions (again another member of the tiny waist club) and will be a great addition to the Pro Ranks. First ever Junior to win an Overall Pro Card – is this a sign of things to come?

My only gripe about the whole show was that unfortunately, one competitor decided to use Dream Tan at the venue. It shows complete and utter disrespect to your fellow competitors to do that and is a real shame. On a positive note, everyone’s tans seemed to look spot on, so well done – the extra effort worked.

Where the show left me in terms of my future, I’m not sure yet. But I had a ball, came away very motivated and was very glad to have been part of it. Bring on 2013!

What did you think of the finals? Were you there? Did you compete?

Play hard, train harder,

Meals I’m loving at the moment

8 Sep

A friend asked me for some meal inspiration the other day so thought I’d share a couple of meals I’m LOVING at the moment:


2 slices wholegrain bread
3 egg whites
tsp cinnamon, nutmeg and Stevia
tsp honey (optional)

Whisk egg whites, cinammon, nutmeg, stevia together. Soak bread one side then the other in the mixture and pop in a hot pan with spray oil. Turn over after about 45 secs and repeat. Drizzle with tsp honey.
This is my current off-season breakfast staple at the moment.



150g White fish
tsp red pesto
4 olives
50g rice

Cook white fish, cook rice, pop in tupperware with a teaspoon of red pesto over the fish (for good fats) and 4 olives in the box. The pesto and olives work really well together and make white fish a little less boring, again for off-season.


Last part of my post – my pat on the back: Don’t laugh, but I tried my first Nectarine yesterday! (Kirsty -is that what they’re called?) I’m not a big fruit eater but when challenged by two babies under a year and their mums, I didn’t feel like I had a choice! Thanks K and thanks for the tip on when to eat them after buying!

Have a great weekend and remember, play hard, train harder,

Post-prep analysis – why it’s important

6 Sep

A really important thing about preparing for a competition is analysing what you did afterwards. If you don’t know what you did, how will you be able to make positive changes for the future? While you’re dieting, it’s hard to think objectively about a) what you’re doing and b) how you look. If you leave it too long, you’ll completely forget all the minute details. So, with that in mind, I did my own photo comparisons along with having a look at my diet at each stage. I made the comparisons from 7 weeks out (because prior to that it was quite hard to see anything as I was still carrying a lot of bodyfat).

Always try to take photos in the same light/bikini. This is the hardest thing of all to do. The seasons obviously change, and so lighting at the same point in the day weeks apart can look completely different. You can see below my photos suffer from the ‘lighting’ effect.

2012 comparison Front

As a female, the tell-tale comparison pics are always from the back. This isn’t the same for every woman, but I carry my fat on my butt so if I keep an eye on that, I’ll know if I’m making progress. Also, always try to stand the same! See below for an example of how NOT to do this:

2012 Back comparison

At 7 weeks out, my hips were noticeably wider from the front, and from the back my butt was small, but soft. My back had started to show leanness.
At 5 weeks out my hips were narrower, my Sartorius had started to come through, my hips weren’t quite so pointy and my butt had more shape but was still soft.
At 3 weeks out (I’d had a big slip-up between weeks 5 and 3 to the point where I wanted to pull out of the show), from the front I look softer and smaller, from the back I found some Hamstring but added some size onto my butt (note this could be the slightly different camera angle – we were having lighting problems that day).
At 1 week out I was happier from the front, but the lower carbs and diet slip had taken their toll from the back and my legs and butt were softer.

Looking into the future, if I competed again, I’d go back and look at my diet from the 5 week mark and see what I’d changed and compare this to the photos and decide what to do moving forwards. I learnt a few things from my prep:

  • I have to be really stable in work to be able to prep properly. I was working two jobs this year and doing a lot of travelling locally and I found it really tough.
  • Whilst I stayed high carb throughout my diet, and it allowed me to train more intensely and gave me bags of energy; I was perhaps a little too enthusiastic with this and need to accept that there does come a time where I do need to drop my carbs to make further progress with leanness.
  • Even though I prefer to train first thing in the morning, this isn’t feasible to get enough cardio in. For me, 20mins wasn’t really cutting it and I needed to give myself time to do more.
  • Cheat meals do not work wonders for the metabolism if you have them week in week out. This is the first year I’ve had a weekly cheat, and although it pains me to say it because I like my food, but I’ll never do this again.

I hope some of my thoughts have helped you think about how analysing your prep can help you for the future. There’s one thing about bodybuilding and that’s that it’s always a learning curve!

Play hard, train harder,

Blowing my own trumpet…

23 Aug

It’s not often I give myself a pat on the back, but I achieved something I’m so proud of, after such a long time waiting, I had to share it with you.

I’ve been battling with a 100kg Deadlift for a while now. It used to not be a big deal back in the day, but for the past year, it’s been harder and harder to even get a single rep out at that weight. It was starting to consume me a little bit to the point of obsession!

I recently switched to Sumo Deadlifts. These aren’t great for building a good bodybuilding Back, but as I’m looking to lift the most weight possible for a single repetition, I thought I’d give Sumo a try. A Sumo Deadlift is different because you stand a lot wider, think Sumo wrestler and you’re getting close. The wider stance means less distance for the bar to travel in order to complete a rep. In Powerlifting Sumo is perfectly legal so I thought ‘Why not?’ Easier? Yes possibly, but the number was really starting to get to me and I’d do anything to achieve my goal.

I planned my workout yesterday to end on a 100kg single. I WAS going to do it, I was determined. Lo and behold, I did the following:

40kgs 10 reps (warm up)
60kgs 8 reps (warm up)
80kgs 5 reps
90kgs 3 reps
100kgs 3 reps!!!!

How I managed it I’ll never know, but I can heave a huge sigh of relief and de-load now, ready for my next battle. The even better thing is, I’ve only been working without wraps for 8 weeks, and my grip totally witheld the weight!

What have you achieved this week? What are you proud of? Come get your pat on the back here!

Play hard, train harder,

The patient tree waiteth…

20 Aug

Sometimes there’s no better feeling than getting a new client. In this case I was grinning from ear to ear.

I has a consultation early this year with a couple. One side of the couple I clicked with immediately and we began working together pretty much straight away, and have been ever since. The client in question has dropped bodyfat in that time, and strength has gone through the roof – I’ve been very impressed.

The other side of the couple was a tougher nut to crack. We didn’t necessarily share the same training philosophies and she wasn’t entirely convinced I was the trainer for her. I understood completely – to get the most from your trainer, you need to have 100% belief in them.

I went back last week, and did an update for my client, I also saw my client’s partner, who suddenly said “I’d like to book in a session please” -I was grinning from ear to ear. Through seeing the progress made, she finally believes in me and we’re going to do a session together this Friday! I’m so excited, there aren’t many better feelings that can top that!

I hope you all have a great week, and remember, patience is a virtue.

Play hard, train harder,