Where’d the sun go?

Where’d the sun go?

Happy Monday guys πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

Hope you’ve all had a chance to enjoy the gorgeous weather over the weekend, I certainly did. I made sure I was in the gym early and trained before 9 so the days were mine. I couldn’t imagine having to peel myself out of the garden to get to the gym in the afternoon. I’d have had zero motivation to do anything, the weather was too good to miss!

With this weather comes me just wanting to eat fresh salads and fruits which is perfect as I’m normally a hearty cottage pie or Roast kind of girl. Though cravings for Twister ice lollies and 99’s with Flakes when I hear the ice cream van have been a serious thing! I’m gutted the weathers changed, I could really have got used to it. It’s just made me excited for my holiday now, not long to go, just 7 and a half weeks πŸ™„.

Ive had some news… I made it onto the All England’s competition in Northampton at the end of May. I’d originally only made the reserve list so just presumed I wouldn’t be able to lift but they’ve had that many applications they’re putting on two platforms to accommodate which is fantastic! How amazing that so many people are wanting to lift!! It’s going to be a very busy day.

Obviously that has now put me in a little predicament about the Greater Manchester champs next weekend. I was gearing up for my weight cut but I don’t really want to do two within the space of four weeks of one another. I know the toll it takes on my body so I had to work out what I wanted more. I’ve been training so so hard and decided I’m in no way going to pull out of the NW competition. So much graft goes into putting these events on and it’s been a while since I’ve had chance to take part so I’m going to go and compete but I’m probably going to be guesting as I doubt I’ll be at weight. Im going to stay on track with my dieting and just lift without any stress on Sunday afternoon. I’m looking forward to having a relaxing run up to the competition.

Also this means I may not have to weight cut for the All England’s in May as my weight is already sitting lower than I normally would be so far ahead of a competition and I won’t have that ballooning phase after I weigh in. All in all this has worked out pretty well. I’m seeing Sunday as a practice run, getting me used to the platform again. Working out what works in the warm up area and getting a feel for that really fashionable Lycra singlet 😍!

A part of me does feel like I’ve let myself down though and Danny too but it’s just how things have worked out this time round and I’m not going to dwell on it. I lift because I enjoy it and I’m going to remind myself how much I love it on Sunday.

Fingers crossed I pull out good numbers, I’ll let you know how I get on in next weeks blog. I’ve also had a Mindful Chef delivery today which is exciting. I’ll be getting my cook on this week and featuring the recipes on my instagram and on next weeks blog too. They’re all meals I would never think to make so I’m looking forward to mixing things up a bit.

Thanks again for reading and for all your support.

Love J πŸ’Œ

Oh one more thing, I’ve heard Hollyoaks is really good this week, so tune in yeah 😁

Goodbye Hollyoaks, Hello Halo Top πŸ¦

Goodbye Hollyoaks, Hello Halo Top πŸ¦

It’s all out in the open now and I feel like a weight has been lifted.

I’m bowing out of the fabulous Hollyoaks.

Not for any particular reason other than the time felt right. I’ve spent nearly 8 years there, that’s longer than I was at high school and that felt like ages!! I’ve been given the chance to tackle some brilliant storylines whilst I’ve been there and I’ve learnt so much about myself and about my profession in the process. It’s been a dream working there and I want to thank everyone I met on the way, my experience would not have been the same without you!

My last episode airs the 30th of this month so please stay tuned πŸ“Ί

I’m not giving up acting, I can’t, I’m not qualified to do anything else (in fact I’m not sure I’m qualified to act). I’m just now actively looking for my next adventure which feels really weird as I’ve never been in this situation before. I quit university for Hollyoaks so I’ve always been doing something, until now. Unemployment does suit me though πŸ™ˆ.

It’s given me a chance to solely focus on my training which is nice. I get up in a morning and my main goal is to get into the gym and get stronger which has put me in such a positive place. I really like how I feel at the moment which is strange for me as I’m normally quite a negative person HA!

I may have became a little bit cocky with my squats lately, so they decided to show me who’s boss and reminded me that I need to concentrate before I go into a lift. I put 110kg on my back and stepped out like it was 80kg, dropped to the floor and had to grindddddd to get it back up. I did it though. 110kg for two sets of three, the second set was definitely stronger than the first once I’d given my head a wobble.

My diets been pretty decent this week though I have had a serious craving for ice cream for the past few days. I decided to treat myself on Sunday evening to a Creme Egg McFlurry. I drove all the way to McDonalds to be told they’ve ran out 😰. Fewwwwwming I took myself to Tesco Express where I was introduced to Halo Top ice cream!! Now that is something special!! 320 calories in a full tub!! A FULL TUB! I only ate a third of it too so probably had a quarter of the calories I would have eaten if I’d been able to have my McFlurry. Winning!

Feeling smug with my Sunday night find and sitting around 56kg is finally getting me excited for the Greater Manchester Championships. I’m not putting pressure on myself this time round and I think that’s made such a difference. I was such a recluse at the beginning of the year solely focused on the British and it didn’t help me at all so still seeing friends and making plans with healthier choices has mentally put me in a better place.

I’ve got to understand that this is now a lifestyle change, I can’t keep working my bollocks off for a competition then ballooning once it’s done. I’ve got to keep a steady weight throughout the year and I’ll be so much more confident in myself.

Whilst I’ve got your attention (well I’d like to think I have) I just want to say thank you. If you’ve read this chances are you’ve taken an interest in my blog, you follow me on social media, you’ve watched Hollyoaks or you’re a bloody good friend. Whichever it is I am truly truly grateful! Im about to jump into the unknown and its pretty daunting so please stay tuned and see where this very odd career choice takes me next. I’ll keep you all updated.

Thanks again for reading.

Love J πŸ’Œ

Sweaty Betty πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Sweaty Betty πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Happy Monday guys ❀️

I’ve had the most amazing weekend! I attended Ross and Phil’s wedding in Clitheroe and it couldn’t have been any more perfect. I danced until my feet swelled like Kim Ks when she was pregnant. Everything about the day was just WOW! I bloody love weddings, especially when you get to see two of your good friends walk down the aisle πŸ˜πŸ˜†. Can we do it again next weekend please πŸ™πŸΌ.

Gutted I had to miss the Sweaty Betty Olympics in London on Sunday though, it looked like such a fab event and from the pictures on Instagram the girls looked like they had the best time. So instead I donned my Union Jack SB gear and set to the gym myself, it made me feel better for missing out on it. The gym always makes me feel better, the weather helped too 🌀 and the fact that the quality of Sweaty Betty gym wear is up there with the best around just made my Sunday session all that bit more perfect. Training this week has been a mixture of emotions. I don’t want to jinx it but my deadlift seems to be going well πŸ’ƒπŸΌ. I finally got my gym PB of 127.5kg which is still a way off my comp PB but I can never seem to concentrate in the gym when I’m deadlifting. I’m a talker. And I’m always getting distracted, I’ll never attempt to deadlift at peak times, too many people knocking about. But I finally did it and I was so happy, fingers crossed that this is a turning point, I’m definitely feeling more positive towards it anyway.

My bench this week was MEH. It just felt really bloody heavy. I’d had a weekend off up in Scotland so hadn’t seen Danny (my PT) in about 6 days and was feeling a little demotivated. I was even talking about bailing on the competition 😱, don’t worry he soon sorted my head out, but I was in a totally different headspace than what I normally am and so I think it showed in my bench, which then left me feeling even more shitty. Tuesday wasn’t a good day. I’m not good with not doing what I’m supposed to do in my plan either. Makes me feel like I’ve failed. I just need to keep reminding myself that everyone has bad days, it’s normal.

I also had to miss the friendly competition the guys at Adlington Barbell had set up this Sunday. It would have been good to get into all my powerlifting gear and get back on the platform seen as though the last time I made it was June πŸ˜‘. Instead I did a lovely shoulder workout on my own, headphones on and really got into it. I enjoy working my shoulders, it’s probably the one session where I get a proper sweat on and can feel a burn. I’m mostly low reps high numbers so to be doing 10/12 reps I can really feel it. I ended the week on a high. Just under three weeks until competition and I feel like I’ve done a full 360 from last weekend, mad what a pep talk and positive attitude can do.

Finally I’ve been trying Huel, which I found out about when I was looking for plant based protein shakes. They’re not a protein shake but are actually a meal replacement and I’ve been giving them a go this past week whilst I’m keeping my weight down for the competition. I’m not usually big on meal replacements, I’m a foodie and I enjoy eating and chewing and tasting different flavours but I can honestly say it’s done the trick. I’ve only replaced my breakfast with a shake as I know there is no way I could get rid of two meals a day but it keeps me full and is quite enjoyable. I’ve only been blending 1 and a half scoops of Huel with a banana and water for after my fasted cardio. The powder comes with a starter booklet so gives you plenty of ideas to mix up the flavours so it doesn’t become boring and also tells you how many calories are in your scoops so if your trying to maintain or even gain weight it’s easy to work out how much you need. I’m obviously keeping mine low so my one and a half scoops with my banana (which just gives it an extra kick with flavour) is around 320 calories which is perfect for me and gives me a nice amount of carbs to set me up for the day and helps me with the rest of my cut!

I feel really positive at the moment and I feel like I should probably apologise for my blog posts these past few weeks, they’ve been very whiny and same old (I was told off for writing the same shit over and over) and so this week I made sure I actively changed that!

Thanks so much for reading, please feel free to leave comments. I love hearing feedback.Love J πŸ’Œ

Cardio Queen πŸ‘‘

Cardio Queen πŸ‘‘

Hope you’ve all had a lovely bank holiday weekend and indulged in that many Easter eggs you went to bed feeling sick.

Is it just me or did people seem to make more of a fuss about Easter this year than normal? I felt like kids were getting actual toys as well as eggs and more and more people were wishing me Happy Easter. I’ve never really celebrated it, I just normally love the bank holiday it gives us. This is the first time I’ve been in this country for Easter weekend for a while (and then I was up in Scotland).

I received a Harry Potter sorting hat Easter egg from Slatterys (I know) it’s amazing! My parents didn’t buy me an egg as I still had chocolate left over from Christmas πŸ™„ so yesterday I ate a Thornton’s chocolate Santa instead 😊. I bet you can guess I’m still sitting at 58kg this morning, can’t you.

With travelling up to Scotland early hours of Thursday morning and spending Wednesday in London at the Wilkinson Sword new FAB razor launch I’ve had zero time to get into the gym which has actually stressed me out a bit. I love going to the gym and woke up this morning excited to get back to some form of normality. I had to squeeze my heavy bench, deadlifts and squat sessions into three days, now normally I would never train all these so close together, rest days are really important but desperate times!

My deadlifts moved well. I was training on my own so end up finding myself in my own little world and so the less I think about what I’m lifting the easier it becomes. I moved 122.5kg for a double which 4 months ago was such a struggle so fingers crossed I’ve got over my fear. I know the deadlift is my weakest lift and it’s something I need to focus on the most for a little while. Like I did with my squats and now look at them!

This weeks squats went 105kgx3 (was supposed to be 110 but we loaded the bar wrong) so then I had a little panic that i wouldn’t be able to do 110kg because 105kg felt pretty heavy but you know what it moved and it was only the last rep I had a little fight with. Then 95kg for 5×3 followed by paused squats at 60kg 2×10 which feel like they take forever! I’m so pleased with my squats. 110kg is my comp max at the moment so to be consistently repping it shows my progress.

With me not then being able to get into the gym for 4 whole days 😱 I decided to try a bit of running up in Scotland! The views up there are just stunning and I was out for 7:30 each morning so it was so so peaceful! Friday morning I managed to run 4K which for my first time running in well over a year I was pretty chuffed with. I’ve signed up to do the Race for Life with my mum in July so I suppose I can see it as a bit of training for that. I did the 4K in 37 minutes which I know isn’t the quickest but any little niggle I felt in my ankle or my knee panicked me as I obviously don’t want to injure myself so I took it nice and slow and enjoyed the view.

So long as you’re getting a sweat on that’s all that matters!

The Saturday morning I did the same 4K but this time felt a little bit more confident so managed to do it in 33 minutes. I was happy that in just two days I’d progressed and I actually feel like I could run the Race for Life quite easily. Now it’s time to get my mum in training.

Today I had a light deadlift and squat session just to get me back into the swing of things, felt like a cardio session if I’m honest I got a decent sweat on but I could really feel my lower back. Not when I was doing the exercises but more in my rest periods and it was more of a dull ache rather than a pain. I’m guessing this is from the jogging, so I’m going to have to make sure I stretch off properly. Foam roller here I come.

Also I feel like I’m doing so much cardio at the moment πŸ™ˆ. Maybe I am turning back into cardio queen.

We’re four weeks out from the GM championships. I’m obviously starting to second guess myself with the whole weight situation again. On one hand I’m slightly pissed off I’ve allowed myself to get like this again but then on the other I don’t regret anything because I’ve had a lovely time. Having that pressure to keep your weight down is really quite annoying. It’s always in the back of your mind when you’re out having fun. Not that I listen to it but it’s there. Fingers crossed we have a good report next Monday.

Love J πŸ’Œ

We’re just under 5 weeks out from the greater Manchester championships and on Friday I weighed 56.4kg which for me so far away from a comp is brilliant, I’m normally sitting at 56kg two weeks before so you can imagine how happy I was.

Yeah, that didn’t last for long. Once again the weekend’s ruined it and I’m gutted with myself. I had afternoon tea with my mum and auntie Jackie on Friday then went to London Saturday for my friends birthday. I promise I had every intention of eating healthy and keeping up the hard work but once I’ve had a bit of sugar or a drink it’s like I’m a different person and I go into ‘f*ck it’ mode and do the whole ‘you only live once’ thing and enjoy every last cocktail and every last bag of crisps (and let me tell you Anna Shaffer had SO MANY crisps at her party). I weighed myself again Monday morning and I’m back at 58kg. Honestly if there was a book about yo-yo dieters it would have a picture of me on the front. Livid with myself. So it’s back to the grind. LOL how many times have I wrote that.

Training has been going really well though and I’m actually enjoying doing a bit more cardio. I went to a HIIT class last Thursday (I know, I know) at V1be which is a new gym that’s opened up in Manchester. The atmosphere in there was mint and we worked out whilst DJ Sarah Giggle played drum n bass which was really cool, I proper got into it. Nearly died like but it was good to push myself to the max. The gym is underground which gives it a gritty feel and with the neon lights and top equipment the whole place looks brilliant, if you’re knocking about in Manchester you should check them out. I’ll definitely be going back.

Im obviously all about strength training though, don’t worry I’m not going to start running marathons and become cardio queen but it’s good to know I can still do a bit of high intensity training and not die πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ. It probably really bloody helped me reach 56.4kg the next morning too πŸ˜‚.

Back to my powerlifting and my bench is starting to get heavy. It was definitely my favourite lift at one point because I found it the easiest, but now my numbers are increasing more and more it’s actually a graft and you know me I’d prefer it if things were a doddle.

57.5kg for 5×3 today took it out of me. Less than a year ago this was my comp max so it’s good to see how well I’ve progressed. Today has definitely been my first bench session in a while where I’ve felt like I’ve had to really push myself. I’ve moved up to 12.5kg on my chest flies too and I really had to concentrate with them. Shits getting serious.

My squats are still the love of my powerlifting life and I really look forward to training when I know it’s leg day. Once over I used to hate how my quads were growing and now it’s possibly one of the things I’m most proud of. I love having strong legs. I’m so glad thick thighs are in at the moment not that I’d give a shit if they weren’t but remember when everyone wanted a thigh gap 😐 I’ve not had a thigh gap since I was in the womb.

Deadlifts are deadlifts and they’re moving in the right direction so that’s all I have to say about that. Maybe next week I’ll write something nice about them.

Finally I had the most lovely parcel arrive in the post this morning from Sweaty Betty! Made my Monday a little bit better. I’m obsessed with their gear but I only ever buy it as a treat as I know it’s a proper splurge to spend so much on gym wear (you do pay for what you get though). How amazing is their new Union Jack set which they’ve brought out to celebrate their 20th Birthday!

I can’t wait to train in it!!

Love JπŸ’Œ

BMI bullshit.

BMI bullshit.

It’s Monday and we’re 6 weeks out from my next competition so guess what… the health kick has started again. The past week hasn’t been good for me, well it has, it’s been a lovely week but diet wise I’m still at square one. Weighing in this morning at around 58kg I know I’ve got to seriously get my head down now. If I had a fiver for every time I said that πŸ˜‚!

I just wish I was one of those people who ate to live. I don’t mean the ones that eat the bare minimum to survive but the ones who eat 3/5 small balanced meals a day. How amazing would it be to have that willpower, like I genuinely think they’re superhuman. I would love to be able to sustain a healthy diet but i find it really bloody difficult. I cave in at any test, even the simple event of the cinema. I’m literally a kid in a candy store. That wall of pick n mix is my best friend whilst also being my enemy and even when I’m sat watching the film, repeatedly eating foam bananas I’m telling myself to stop, but I can’t. Whilst I know there’s still sweets in that tub I’m not finished.

I know that it’s cool to have bad days, you should have bad days but I’m the kind of person who has one crappy day then thinks sod it for the rest of the week until I look at myself and get down because I don’t look like how I did a month ago. Us females have enough pressure from magazines and social media about how we are ‘supposed’ to look so making ourselves feel worse because we ate a bit more than normal is not ok. Also balls to social media! We all need to remember people are living their best life on Instagram, we are all culprits of it! Why would we post rubbish photos? So long as we all remember Instagram isn’t real and it’s just snippets of people’s best bits then we may all actually stay sane & not care that much that we just ate a share size bar of Dairy Milk to ourselves! Just get back on the wagon! Like me, again 🀣.

On Thursday I went to see the nurse, just to collect a repeat prescription for my contraception pill and she decided she was going to check my height and weight, it hadn’t been done since 2013. She told me I’m classed as overweight. Now I know for a fact I’m not overweight and in hindsight I wish I’d had some sassy comment to come back with but it was taking all my power to not laugh in her face. I was politely asked if I exercised??? Have you seen these f*cking quads! I left that surgery so bloody angry. I know she was just doing her job but please please please tell me how on earth your height and weight can determine if you’re healthy or not! She told me I’d gained 8lbs since 2013 and I’m not surprised I have! I work my arse off in the gym building muscle and keep my body fat down. To be fair to her, she knows little about me so she probably doesn’t have a clue about the kind of training I do but can you imagine if I wasn’t as head strong as I am and decided that because the nurse has said I’m overweight that must mean that I am! What if I had no clue about nutrition and went on some mad crash diet to get my weight down! We need to be careful what we say to people! There’s so many ways you can trigger someone into feeling bad about themselves! Build people up! I put into my body what I know will help me pull out big numbers in the gym, I’m healthy the majority of the time, I have cheat meals, cheat days and cheat weeks but I know what to do to sort it out. Anywayyyyyy after my appointment I went to my Auntie Jackie’s, ate a curry and a blackcurrent tart! F U BMI, you’re a load of shit.

I’ve had quite an eventful week this week actually. A day trip to London on Tuesday meant I traded the gym for a couple of beers and an Italian meal with my mum and I had a night out on Friday in Liverpool. The hangover I had Saturday was easily the worst one I’ve had yet, I was still being sick at 4pm and it reminded me why I hardly drink! Sunday consisted of eating everything in the cupboards as I knew I was back to it Monday morning. Why do we do this? When you know you’re going to be good the next day it’s like you have one last hurrah and eat everything in sight. I’m fully aware of how difficult I’m making this for myself and writing it down makes me feel even more guilty but it’s done now, I’m on the straight and narrow and I’m actually looking forward feeling good about myself once again. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had a lovely few weeks, I think at heart I’m a proper foodie. Maybe I should just make a female version of Man vs Food and give up the powerlifting. Maybe I’ve got the wrong hobby.

It’s all about balance.

It’s all about balance.

Sometimes you have to weigh up if things are worth it. Do you go all out and enjoy it, or if you restrict yourself will you look back and regret it? I’ve had a weekend where I had to ask myself this question a couple of times.

I have had a weekend at the most gorgeous Spa Hotel in Penrith, where I decided I can still enjoy myself whilst making good choices. Normally on weekends like this I will just sit and eat and drink and eat and drink but I did that in Wales and I didn’t feel good because of it. I may have turned a corner with the whole binging thing which is a massive step for me as I don’t think I have a very healthy relationship with food. As I’ve said many times, I’m all or nothing. So to go away and enjoy delicious meals, still drink alcohol and not come away 2kg heavier Is a pretty good achievement for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still sitting at 57kg, I haven’t lost anything, but to not gain anything either is a Brucey bonus. I still drank, a lot 😬 but I just stuck to Gin and slimline tonic. No sugary cocktails and i swapped the fries that were supposed to come with my seafood grill for green beans. Though I did have a Sunday roast with all the trimmings but we had just tracked up Aira Force and the Gowbarrow in Ullswater so it was well deserved. Everything is about balance!

Also, I’ve managed to secure a place on the Greater Manchester championships comp at the end of April, so having that in the back of my mind has focused me more. I refuse to mess it up this time. I’ve not competed since last June and I need to get back on that platform. 7 weeks out 5kg to lose πŸ’ͺ🏼.

My diary is manic this March, I hadn’t planned on competing so soon after the British so March was my time off to enjoy. Every weekend I’m either away, or at a party, I’ve got meals booked midweek and a couple of trips planned to London. Now I have a competition in April I’m going to have to still enjoy all my arrangements whilst being good. It’s gone from being a relaxing, fun month to being challenging.

I’ve also realised I put so much pressure on myself. I probably don’t help matters the amount of stressing I do before a competition. I forget why i started in the first place and it all just ends up about numbers. Ive decided to enjoy my next competition and not go into it with any expectations, it would just be good to actually complete it πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ.

I’m back into a routine with my training, starting a new plan is exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing if my deadlift finally increases 🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼.

Love J πŸ’Œ