So about 3 years ago I decided to overhaul my body and get it into top shape. By this I mean complete muscle tone, low body fat and capable of doing a wide range of sports to a good level. I have always been in decent shape in that I have not been overweight but I was what I now refer to as ‘skinny fat.’ This means I might  have looked slim, size 8-10 but in relation to muscle I was holding a high percentage of fat and had very little tone. This was my body 10 years ago on the left and this is the new version on the right:

     

The me in the left picture was being paid to model but at this point I was quite curvy and was not comfortable with my body. Indeed this picture was from a shoot in which the magazine picked me because they wanted a model with boobs and bum! I went up and down in weight around that time but that didn’t make a difference because even when I was skinny I felt untoned and uncomfortable. Now ten years on from that image I am happy in a bikini, will walk around in hotpants and have never felt better. I did it simply by changing my frame of mind and learning that the body and mind go together, they are not separate things and the way to become the best you can at everything you chose to be is to find balance between the two. It is difficult to achieve that and I went via many different routes before I got there. I controlled my eating to the point of misery at first, then I exercised to the point of exhaustion , did both at the same time and spent a fortune on different pieces of equipment, supplements and books. The only way I got a body that for me is the best it can be is to listen to it and to accept that it knows best. If it is asking for something give it, if it feels tired rest it, if it feels depressed entertain it, make it move and above all I now realise that like any machine it has to be fuelled and the performance depends on that quality of that fuel. Starve yourself and you end up with bad hair and skin and you won’t be able to lift a weight or run so you will not get toned and firm. I stay a UK size 6 with body fat at 16%, I stay firm and defined and I have the energy to deadlift 100KG and squat 65KG when I weight 52KG by keeping focussed without being obsessed. I eat lots but I eat clean; vegan so no meat, diary just lots of pulses, lentils and vegetables. Treats are a must; dark chocolate, vegan cakes, and almond milk smoothies. I have cute little Paperchase boxes full of snacks like walnuts, brazil nuts, liquorice, squares of chocolate, dried cherries and mango so whenever I have the urge to eat I have something good. You do not have to go without, you just have to eat the right things and once you know you can eat decent size portions again you will stop craving and feeling hungry.

I am not going to go into all the different exercises or food tips right now. I am going to use this blog to give tips and ideas to you because I believe we each have to find our own path and we will be different in how we find the point of complete balance and happiness.  Hopefully you will find this blog interesting enough to tune in routinely and take away a few ideas to try. All I know is it took my quite a while to through all the books, the articles, the blogs, to trial things, to fail, to understand and I am simply hoping to help you get there by bringing as much of it as possible into one place and signposting the good bits I discovered.

Mx