Wednesday, 1 June 2016

No gym, no kitchen. The holiday struggle.



[Picture 1: Holiday_1]

As I sit on my return flight from quite honestly, the best and most satisfying holiday of my life, I feel the need to express my surprise.

Switching off, relaxing, not training and eating "normally". Erm, no. I don't do that. We don't do that. Were my words to a number of people before I left for Turkey. I'm going to do my best to relax but stick to clean eating. It's my lifestyle. True, yes. It is very much my lifestyle. My career depends on it in fact. But is it really 1) achievable for a foodie like me, 2) achievable when my man can pretty much eat what he likes and retain a killer 8 pack and 3) that good for me mentally?

When Tom and I decided we were to take a holiday, our words were - no training, just relaxation away from reality. Switch off, just us two, quality time. When I then mentioned my concern for eating clean, Tom was quick to tell me otherwise. Suggesting I was mad, the whole reason we were going away was to escape our reality; gym, Tupperware and all. And to a certain extent I agreed. But that didn't mean I wasn't petrified of the outcome of a week off plan. 

Firstly, I just need to look at a slice of bread or cake and my weight rockets. I can then however, shift it fast too, with a combination of perfect nutrition, willingness to workout and determination like no other. But, the deal was, no training. Hmm. This wasn't going to be easy. 
Secondly, there was no kitchen. No where for me to get all OCD, weigh my food, and follow my usual steps to Tupperware perfection. Again, this was pre planned, knowing the food in Turkey is cheap and can be clean, with grilled meat and fish and salads being a staple food choice.

This all sounds doable... Right? 

To my complete surprise, my mindset had changed completely by the end of day one.
Being completely comfortable that I wanted to eat ice cream, have a few G & T's and enjoy foods that I wouldn't usually have. Knowing I would gain a few, ok so more like a lot of pounds, suddenly became less of a priority. Yes, I did go for several 5k runs, first thing while sleeping beauty had his lie ins, but that wasn't for weight management. I just really wanted to run. My food choices were, and always will be, never completely OTT. I love grilled fish, chicken, veg and salads, and don't enjoy fried food, especially chips (YUK). But it was the boozy dinners, deserts, sneaky biscuits and large portions that have made me pile on the pounds. Two things that are NEVER part of my diet back home - booze and sugar. "Pointless calories to feel shit" would be my usual mindset.


A typical meal in Icmeler, Turkey.

As I said previously, I sit on my return flight to London, A LOT fluffier, and actually pretty uncomfortable. Full of water retention in my legs and certainly no abs. But for the first time in a long time, I really couldn't care less.
Firstly, I know I will get the weight off within a few weeks, and feel comfortable in just a couple of days.
Secondly, I know I didn't hold back. At all. And I'm quite honestly, extremely proud of myself. I make myself feel guilty for the most minor of errors in my diet and training back home. So it's actually, an achievement for me not to care.
But most importantly, it's made me realise how lucky I am to have my man. For those of you that didn't see my post on social media (queue soppy post)...


"I will never be ungreatful for being the luckiest girl in the world. I'm told a lot, and it never gets old. Believe me, I know more than anyone.

Anyone who knows me knows how insecure I can be, about my body and most significantly, my skin and wearing makeup. Never have I ever worn nothing on my face to leave the house, go to the gym or even head to the beach. But then again, never have I ever been so comfortable and in love.
Always filling me with confidence, telling me I'm beautiful, that it doesn't matter, that I've no one to impress. Yes, I'm fluffier than a week ago but I wouldn't change it for the world. This has been the best week of my life, not because of a fancy hotel or beautiful surroundings. But because of how I've been made to feel so special.

My PIC, my man, my love.
Truly my best friend.

#fitness #brunette #girl #fitnessmodel #fitfam #fitspo #inspiration #beautiful #cute #photooftheday #athlete #smile #instafit #fit #strongnotskinny #girlswholift #muscle #weekend #holiday #laugh #love #live #fitcouple #couple #bestfriend #weekend"

Being happy and comfortable is one thing, and getting too comfortable is another. I will never lose sight of my aspirations as a competitor, fitness model, personal trainer and motivator. I'll therefore never allow an episode of relaxation like this to happen frequently, and I'm genuinely looking forward to getting in the gym, sweating buckets and prepping my food to get the weight off. But ultimately, I'm happy, proud and so thankful for my biggest supporter and best friend who made me feel so content and realise that life's for living... And ice cream.

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Monday, 16 May 2016

Focus On Your Journey


With the rise and rise of social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, swiping through various feeds/accounts on the daily has become the new normal. A positive aspect is that we have the ability to see what our friends & favourite 'celebs'/bloggers are up to. The Negativity airs where many stumble and instead of it being an aid it becomes the goal.  When you get sucked in by what other people look like you can start to lose focus on what your own personal goals should be, or what you even want the end result to be. Which in turn can lead to being consistently dissatisfied with your progress. Seeing the changes week by week can be the most satisfying part of a new regime and by focusing on how far you still have to go, you are not really appreciating all you have achieved thus far.

One of my aims this year is to improve my strength. Every few weeks i seem to lifting heavier 
(obviously not to the level of pros such as Meisha ) and seeing the weights increase drives me to complete all reps/sets. This is another way of ensuring you are focusing on your own improvements and reaping in some serious rewards!

Last year i was striving to look like a number of different women. 
Did it motivate me? Yes.
Did it help me get results? Yes. 
But longterm did it allow me to appreciate MY body? No. 
Time for a change! 
Left - 1 Month in. Training but not pushing myself. Diet 60% Clean.Right - 7 Weeks later. Focus was in building my strength. Diet 80% clean.
This year the aim was to improve on the Tone of my body and increase my strength. Of course I had an idea of what I wanted to look like, but rather than yearning to be a direct clone of someone else,I took elements such as looking athletic, healthy with some ab definition and made these my focus. I will always carry weight on my lower body, so instead of trying to lose my shape i wanted to enhance it. My exact words to Meisha in training session No1 of 2016 may have been along the lines of ' Mate seriously i want a bigger butt'. No, seriously! 

In just 8 weeks of of training hard, increasing the number of times per week i trained with weights and cleaning up my diet 80% of the time i feel so much more confident. I focused on my weekly progress strength wise rather than how i looked in comparison to a picture on pinterest. 

The biggest lesson learnt this time around : as soon as you start to appreciate your progress rather than focusing on where you could be or comparing your body with that of another , you gain a certain level of satisfaction. This can become the biggest aid in your journey, as by looking at how far you've come can be all you need to spur you on just as complacency kicks in. 

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

#RoadtoShreds Episode 3 - So this is peak week? Oh. Damn.



I come to you today one shoot down out of three. All the hard work was about to be shown off in all its glory... In a sports bra and teeny shorts.

But before we get to that, I'd like to indulge you in my peak week. There's been lots of confusion across my social media -

"When's the comp Meisha?"
          I'm not competing.
"Oh... So, a peak week for a shoot? Who does that?"
          No. For 3 shoots.

Each to their own, I've always loved a challenge. Combine that with the immense pressure I put upon myself and the combination of wanting to look better than my last shoot and wanting to feel good when I shoot has meant, yes, I've basically done a full on comp prep for my shoots.
Call me mad, but the results I've had in 8 weeks talk for themselves. And ultimately, how did I feel on shoot number 1? Satisfied. Happy. Proud. I couldn't ask for anymore.

So anyway, I'm rambling. Peak week has been, and continues to be the hardest (but most successful) I've ever had. Having competed twice and cruised to the finish line, it was a big ask to expect the shreds I wanted. But as always, the boss and I were up to the challenge.

This meant a SERIOUS depletion phase.

When people talk of peak week, phrases that often associate -

Fml.
Emotional turmoil.
Exhausted like never before.

Amongst others, i have to admit, I'd never experienced. I didn't know what the fuss was about.
Oh. How times change.

6 days, zero carbs, zero fats. Yep. Like I said, SERIOUS depletion. And anyone that spent any time with me throughout this will tell you, I definitely lost a bit of me. I felt like I wasn't in the room. Not being able to answer the most simple of questions like "how are you?". Yeh. Pretty fucked.

And after a day of carb loading (which was A LOT harder than I expected), I was ready. And I felt tight, tiny and ultimately, shredded. We'd pulled it off.

11kg down in 8 weeks. I'd smashed it.

So what's up next? I've got 2 more shoots and the plan is in full force. Deplete once more to pull in tightest for Monday. I've done 8 weeks. What's 5 more days? I'VE GOT THIS.



I'll leave you with a brief insight into my shoot with EFECTIV Nutrition. I was told I pull off the attitude... No wait, how did they put it? The "fuck you and fuck off" face really well. Well, thank you very much. I would have to agree, my bitch face game is strong when I will it.

The shots were got, and I left proud of the day.

On to the next!
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Monday, 11 April 2016

#RoadToShreds Episode 2: You’re full of sh*t.



What’s a girl to do? You’re doing everything your coach tells you – fasted cardio every day, training hard 6 times a week, and sticking to your carb cycling diet to perfection. 
Then someone upstairs inflicts the power of the LURGY. Cheers bud, just what I needed. 3 weeks out and I'm struck with every possible virus known to man (and no I never, ever, in a million years, exaggerate). You name it, the big man upstairs wanted to throw it at me. The trots, fever, tonsillitis and for the finale, the mother of all migraines. So when I was left with a cold... PAH! I'm invincible again! 
Unfortunately, I was also left with a parting gift. Something we all need to get rid of on the reg, apparently, wasn't going anywhere... 
It had been 5 days and counting, and dropping my carbs to just 40g oats in the morning wasn't helping. 
Tuesday arrives. It's check in day. 
"Yep. Meisha, you're full of shit" says Ed in front of a room full at the gym after prodding my lower abdomen. No shit Sherlock (never has there been a more appropriate use for that phrase).

My focus, my inspiration - my condition in November 2015 where I won my WBFF Pro card.
So, I go back to my initial rhetorical question-
What's a girl to do?
Unfortunately, it's inevitable that your body is going to react to hard training, decreased calories and sickness. This is how it tested me. And what's harder, I was "gaining" weight. Now obviously the reason was piling up in my gut, but still, when you're on a cut, it's not an easy thing to get your head round. 
Finally, after many attempts, after 6 days, shit happened. And for once, it was a welcomed phrase. 
Take it from me, your body will do everything to test you when you put it through such hardship. 
When you diet and train to the extreme I do, there's going to be times where your body says, you know what, screw you. I need to chill. Or, deal with this, bitch. But, it's all a test.
"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny" ~ C. S. Lewis
Couldn't have said it better myself. 
If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. And that's why I love it. Being capable of pushing yourself to challenge yourself daily is exhilarating.
So now, with less than 2 weeks til the first of 3 shoots, it's step up time. Time to step up and take the responsibility. It's now or never.
The calories are down and the focus is ramped. Let's do this. Time for shred city to come my way.

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

Project #RoadtoShreds - Episode 1




So yet again, I'm on another journey to get shredded. Last time I documented my journey to the WBFF competition stage, the highs, the lows and everything in between. Well, although similar in routine, I'm currently in full prep mode for a selection of photoshoots I have in just 5 weeks time and thought I'd share the differences.

A gym shoot, a bikini shoot, and a fitness and fashion studio shoot... No pressure then.

Ultimately, the biggest difference I have compared to last time is my team. In main, my coach. Although Adam Parr was incredibly talented, and essentially helped me achieve my Pro status by sticking by me through 2 preps, I felt it was time to try a new approach and push the boundaries once more.


Eddie pictures here (right) with legends Jay Cutler (left) and Ronnie Coleman (centre).

Introducing Eddie Abbew. An ex Olympian BodyBuilder with female prep experience dating back almost as old as me. Not only does this guy produce champions, he's an ex nurse with the health and wellbeing of his athletes as a priority. When I say his knowledge is endless, I really mean it. He blows my mind on a weekly basis when I check in and he looks at my body and it's changes. Training at his gym means I get his expertise as often as I need it, making prepping so much easier. 

So where do I sit currently? Well, on the scales, I'm the heaviest I ever recall being (even compared to my pink elephant days) which quite honestly, I find a real struggle in itself. No matter my own knowledge of muscular development and the weight of this compared to fat, I can't help but feel disappointment when I step on the scales. But, that's where the belief and trust in your coach and the process has to overrule. And ultimately, I'm carrying more muscle than ever before. Plus, I've done it before in a shorter period. So of course, I can do it again. With better results. 


Here's 4 out 5 of a typical Low Carb day for me. Green veg all the way.

2 weeks in, I'm 3.5kg down (mostly water loss) and getting leaner by the day. After my check in with the boss today, he's happy with my progress, and vows that I'm set to look the best I have. Ok big man, let's see what you got.... 
Ed: The food goes down and the cardio is back (which is what I expected). Ed squints at me anticipating I'm going to whinge or shed a tear. What this guy is yet to fully learn, is that when I'm told what to do by someone I respect and trust, I do it 110%. I'm an angel. And actually, as much as I may get hangry on the reg and start to talk in burgers and biscuits, I love the process. I love the feeling of hunger, the sweat and hardship in the gym. Because ultimately, I know that means it's working. And I'm well in the zone to getting the cheese grater abs I'm renowned for. 

Bring on the COD Fish. I got this.

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Monday, 21 March 2016

Don’t use your work as your excuse. Get Moving!


Feel like you're stuck to your desk at work? Struggle to even go for a walk at lunch because you're so god damn busy and you can't trust Sandra to send that important email if you were to pop out to the gym? (She's just not got a clue).
Well fear not. There's plenty you can do using your office chair or desk, so you can get moving and take the credit for not leaving your post.
Even if you're a gym bunny morning or night, spend your own time slogging your butt to the gym, research suggests that may not be enough for those who lead such sedentary lives on the whole... AKA, you. The committed employee.
Don't get me wrong, these moves won't achieve ripped abs or marathon level fitness (if only it was that easy) but splitting up your day with a bit of body weight resistance work will definitely leave your mind and body energized and healthier.

Start with a stretch –
Sitting most of the day can quite often lead to postural or lower back problems. Sit up straight away from the back rest, twist your torso, hold on to one side of your chair with both hands and release some tension. Repeat twice per side.

Chair Squats –
Sink your chair to a lower position. Stand and sit on your chair without using your arms to support you. Repeat this about 20 times. Now let’s step it up a notch. Do the same thing but stand and sit only standing on one leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg. Take your time and don’t just collapse. Your glutes should fire and help stabilise the movement.

Chair Dips –
“Bingo Wings”? Not anymore with this savvy move. Place your hands parallel at the edge of your chair with your fingers hanging off the edge, scoot your butt forward so it’s off the chair and your knees at right angles. Bend your elbows toward the back of the chair lowering yourself toward the floor. Push back up to a straight arm. Feel the burn!

Leg Lifts –
This sneaky move works your abs a treat. Grasp the sides of a stationary chair with your knees together in front of you, resting on your toes. Straighten one leg completely to form a right angle with your upper body, and point the toe. Keep your abs tight as you lift the leg an inch, then lower an inch, completing 15 to 20 lifts. Switch sides.

Seated Ab Twists –
Twist and crunch, the ultimate core move. Sit up straight and away from the back of the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Position your hands behind your head and lift one knee toward the opposite elbow, twisting your body down toward it, then return to the seated, straight-back position. Try 15 a side.

Seated Oblique Leans –
This one can be deceiving. Do it holding a water bottle or something with a bit of weight and it works your waist, without, it’s a great stretch. Stretch your arms out straight above your head, holding the bottle at either end between both hands. From your waist, lean to the side pulling your belly button tight in towards your spine. Try alternating for 20 reps.

Desk Push Ups -
We’re getting braver now, it’s time to get out your seat. Lean against your desk with your arms straight, just wider than shoulder width apart at about a 45 degree angle and push up onto your toes. Lean yourself in, forcing your elbows out to the side. Push yourself back to complete the move. Try this 15-20 times.

Standing Ballerina Squats –
What do you think when you think ballerina. Pointed toes? Well here, stand next to your desk, holding on with both hands. Push up onto your toes then lower your body down as far as you can while keeping your back straight (avoid leaning forward), then lift up only until your hips reach knee level. Repeat 15 to 20 reps of lowering down and halfway up, then return all the way to standing.

Butt Kicks -
Finally, lets give the peach a good pumping. Stand holding the edge of a desk or table for support, feet together and facing forward. Bend one leg behind you, flexing the foot. Raise your heel up a few inches toward your butt (squeezing the hamstring), then release slightly and press your foot directly back behind you. Continue to alternate between lifting your heel up, then pressing it back (one of each equals one rep) 20 to 30 times, keeping your bent knee behind the standing leg the entire time. Switch sides.  

Give it a go and let me know how you get on. Like I said, don’t expect extreme results, but get the heart pumping, joints moving and ultimately, moving your hard working self a little more!


*In partnership with MyAccountantFriend.com  
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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

REVIEW – Grilla Fitness, BURN BULLETS



Fat burners. Are they actually worth the money?
The supplement industry is booming, whether it be the standard essentials such as multivitamins, fish oils and whey protein or something more specific, promising to give results like no other. Fat burners are always one of these questionable products. Do they work? Are they bad for you?
In my experience, there are a lot of fat burner supplements on the shelves that will absolutely intrigue the dieters and gym goers out there. I mean, if something’s going to make the process quicker and easier, surely it’s worth the extra dollar? Well… quite often it’s not.
I came across Grilla Fitness’s Burn Bullets a couple of years ago when a client came to me having bought some and was going to try them to help her reach her weight loss goal. I read the ingredients and gave her the go ahead seeing as they were completely natural and pretty generic, known to assist in the short term improvement of metabolic function.
A long story short, this lady, who may I add, had NEVER lifted weights before in her life, went from being hungry and unhappy, to slim, toned and her appetite suppressed. She dropped 3 dress sizes in 3 months and looked and felt better than ever!
Now I’m not saying the Burn Bullets were the only thing that changed her shape. Of course the right nutrition and training had a lot to do with it. But the suppression of her appetite was incredible, which the Bullets had to be credited for. 

Having then gone and tried them myself and encouraged a number of clients to also give them a go, there’s mostly only good words been said. Personally, I don’t feel the need to use any fat burning supplements when I’m prepping, just very specific nutrition and training. But, they certainly gave me an energy boost so I would consider using them time-to-time as a pre workout.
Overall, as far as fat burning supplements go, these guys have nailed it.  The team even sent me a Weight Loss Stack to give their other products a go including CLA gels and their Burn Blend Diet Whey, which I must say, tastes pretty yummy. Nice one guys.



Here’s what a couple of my clients had to say…
Iain – Having a young family it’s difficult to muster up enough energy getting to the gym never mind doing any exercise. Burn Bullets provide the kick I need to power through my programme plus some.
Lauren – Burn Bullets give me a real energy boost and buzz, which makes me work twice as hard in the gym and I’ve found I can lift heavier and do more reps!

*Please note, I am not associated or sponsored by Grilla Fitness, this is just a product review.

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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Guess what… I’M BACK!


Oh, hey! Yes, it’s been a very very VERY long time since I’ve hit the keyboard. I know. So, with that in mind, firstly, I’d like to apologise to my readers… my bad. All I can say to excuse this despicable behaviour is… WHO CARES COZ I’M BACK NOW AND LIFE IS GOOD.
 Since being crowned one of the newest WBFF Pro Fitness Divas back in November (quite the status, eh?), my life has been one hell of a whirlwind. And I’d be lying if I said it was all good. Ups and downs. But what’s important is my heads back in the game and I can’t wait to delve into the blogging world once again and reveal a whole lot of exciting adventures... I’ve really missed it!
So, what’s next? Where do I start! Well, I’m going to ease you in with a couple of reviews of some products that are becoming very apparent in the industry and give you office bods some ideas on how to get that ass moving whilst not leaving the desk. Then comes tell all time - what I’ve been up to (including some behind the scenes moments from my Aestheitx Era Tour of Holland) and how the pressure of the industry/competing world is a tough life to live. Plus, my road to photo shoot shreds. Seeing as I’ve got 3 HUGE shoots coming up in just 7 weeks time, I’m going to show you how these ‘glamourous’ times can be… well. Actually a bit of a tiring and tough experience
But for now, I’ll leave you with this - 
Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once. The world is a jungle. You either fight or run forever.
See it. Believe it. Fight for it. Make it happen.

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A Positive Approach


Missguided Skirt - Topshop Tee - Zara Boots - Primark Clutch 



So it's been a little while since my last post and it certainly wasn't how i had planned to kick off 2016, but some times that little old thing called 'life' gets in the way. 

The end of 2015/start of 2016 saw me take about 100 leaps back in my aim to maintain a positive outlook on life and in short - Self doubt took over. After with struggling with this for years i know it's most likely never going to truly go away but if i'm honest i'm bored of it taking over & spoiling any good idea i have be it personally or professionally. 

January 2016 for me was about taking time out from my slightly regimented routine of work, gym, business projects, to sit back reflect, re-focus & get back that control on my 'outlook'. This post was meant to pop up on the 1st of February and then BAM something happened in my personal life which has thrown me for six but 4 days on with little to no sleep & a head full of confusion, i'm really trying to keep on track booking in dates with some of my favourites who i know will refuse to see me with anything less than a smile on my face. For me, surrounding yourself with those who value you for who you are today and not what you might be in 5 years is pivotal in maintaing a healthy mindset.

The points i'll be reminding myself of regularly: 
  • You are your own worst enemy. When setting yourself a new goal don't expect too much from yourself. The best things in life take time. Every step forward is progress, no matter how small. Take time out from each day to reflect on the positive progress. 
  • There will always be those ready to bring you down. One lesson i've learnt the hard way; no matter how happy/excited you are about a new goal or project there will be at least 1 person in your close circle who will casually throw in a dose of negativity. They aren't you, they aren't trying to achieve what you are, so why let their opinions affect your progress?
  • Look for positive inspiration. With social media taking over it's easy to see your feeds full of those with a seemingly perfect life. But remember - you can edit out anything you wish when sharing only a snapshot of your life. Don't focus on these individuals, use them to push you to succeed by all means but find those who will inspire you instead of making you doubt yourself. 
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Now this will be my biggest challenge. My goals in life aren't the same as anyone else's out there, on the surface yeah we all want to earn more and travel more etc etc. But the reasoning behind it will be different.  For example; I like to train & try to keep a healthy diet. I've suffered with an unhealthy approach to food and personal body image for over 10 years, so for me the battle is daily to ensure i don't slip back into surviving on a diet of black coffee, hours of cardio & not much else. A personal goal is just that;personal.




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Thursday, 7 January 2016

Don't be a sheep. Be a leader.



A tiger doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.
Don't be a sheep. Be a leader.

It may all be about throwing around heavy weights most of the time, but fashion is very important to me.
I love trying out different looks to suit my body type and standing out from the crowd.
Here I've chucked together an ASOS slogan jumper, Boohoo tee and a Prestige Lifestyle SnapBack.
Who says you can't look good whilst you train 😜
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