Welcome to chapter 2 of my blog. This past week it’s been really encouraging having positive feedback from my 1st blog. Reading the comments on social media, being approached face to face & even people sending personal messages.  I’m glad people have found it to be interesting as I find it quite therapeutic to be honest.

It has been yet another busy week. Working, training, many family & friend visits and we even had a few days in Wales. Going on holiday could be a reason to stress right? The main worry being ‘How am I going to prep my meals’?

Well, have you ever noticed foods precariously balancing on window sills? That would be me.

The picture is our hotel room last weekend. Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you’ve got. This trick keeps foods chilled overnight ready for my breakfast or a quick snack the next day.

Wherever I go I’ll take a packet of nuts with me, nak’d bars, peanut/almond butter & a 6 pack of eggs. Hotel rooms generally will have a kettle in them. Pop 3 eggs in the kettle; boil the kettle 3 times and voila! Boiled eggs on the go.

The key I’ve found is to always have something healthy available rather than having to stop at a garage where the right choices are very limited as it’s so tempting just to pick up a chocolate bar when you are starving.

Oats and Sarah

It is 11 weeks until I step on stage and as I reflect on the week that has passed, I’m pleased. My training has been so varied; foods have generally been on track with the odd Easter treat or two that have been devoured meaningfully & without guilt!

I’ve been thinking about my training this week & why I find it so fulfilling. My birthday is in June – this makes me a Gemini – I’ve read the personality traits of a Gemini & I feel it pretty much sums me up quite well. As a Gemini, I get bored easily and often will do things for a bit then get bored & find something else to do. Gemini’s love to learn and they also love to share what they have learned. It is however, essential that whatever they do keeps them busy, engaged and provides opportunities to communicate.

I believe this is why the fitness training I do now has stuck for almost 2 years. It’s the variety that keeps me engaged, plus I meet so many people along the way, it gives me endless opportunities to communicate! :)

My approach to training isn’t just a standard split routine i.e. Chest one day, back the next & staying within 6-8 rep range. The variety that keeps me engaged is mixing things up. I’ll do push/pull weight sessions, drop sets, supersets, heavy sets and slightly lighter high rep sessions.

One of my last ingenuous ventures for a hobby was to buy an expensive road bike. The positives were that I cycled 60 miles at night around London, raised loads of money for women’s cancer charities and have also got a drawer full of cool matching cycle gear. The reality however is that the bike has been in the garage for over a year now. I found cycling to be a bit one dimensional in my opinion. It had to be the right weather outside or I had to put effort into finding a new, safe & exciting route to cycle. Plus, I fell off twice (still clipped into the pedals :( ), that was just embarrassing, not to mention the bruising to my body and ego!

This is why I feel it’s so important to find what works for you & your personality. Just because I enjoy variety, equally someone else may bloom having structure, routine and having more rigidity to their workouts or fitness venture they choose.

My attitude at the moment is to treat any physical activity as a workout; it’s all going to help towards my end goal. Below is a picture of my training week at work.

Hart435

No, this is not the latest Fancy dress outfit on the market! That’s me on the right fully kitted up ready to be deployed into a chemical incident exercise. The Breathing apparatus we wear is 25kg and the suit must weigh 10kgs at least. Add casualty treatment & lifting the patient out into the equation, that’s my cardio session done for the day!

Imagine if I wore this suit on stage, I don’t think I’d be winning any awards for my choice in stage wear?!

I really like training with other people. Like a leech, I’m eager to suck up information, techniques, food ideas and then endeavour to pass what I’ve learnt to other people. I had the opportunity to train with my friend Jo Stephens and my sister in law Lee last week. Jo has been training with weights for over 3 years and she also competes. I met Jo through my coach and she guided me through the whole process of being a bikini girl. Anything there was to know about the type pf eyelashes to buy, tan, makeup and posing, Jo was the girl to know!

We trained together and I learnt so much from her. We performed bicep curls – 4 reps x 6 sets. 10 second rest in-between sets. A lot of tension and a lot of pump to the muscle – I felt like Popeye for a brief moment.

My sister in law Lee has not long given birth and is eager to get fit & tone up a little. I offered to take her to the gym and have a workout with her. We completed a high rep leg workout.  Lee admitted the ‘muscle gym’ wasn’t as bad as she thought. Surprised by how nice everyone was and that actually it wasn’t stuffed full of massive muscle men sweating, grunting & posing in the mirrors. It had all kinds of shapes and sizes, including a few girls in there too. We trained together the next day and Lee decided to do some cardio after I’d left.  I felt proud to see her walk around in the gym confident & comfortable to be sharing an area typically saturated by men.

I was taken to the gym the first time by a friend. It’s this chain reaction that is getting more women in the gym and getting the physiques they want by lifting weights. It’s really positive to see.

That’s it for this week.

As promised, here’s my Overnight Oats recipe:  You can pick these air tight pots up from any supermarkets. Enjoy!

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats
– 70g Porridge Oats
– 1 x scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
– ½ tsp of Cinnamon
– ½ tsp of Nutmeg
– 250ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
– Sprinkle of chopped nuts or flaked almonds
– Half a banana chopped or handful of blueberries or Raspberries.
– Stir and leave in fridge overnight.