Competition Prep Diaries – The Conclusion

This will sadly be the FINAL blog to my Competition Prep Dairies that has been all over your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the last 16+ weeks!

As promised, I said I would inform everyone of how the show went… and the post show food. So If you are not linked up to my other social medias, then I will give you the run down…

So, as you may remember, I posted my last blog during ‘Peak Week’, the day before the show, when I was drying out and ‘carbing up’ after depleting…

The last few days looked like so..

Surprisingly, I did not feel quite as bad as my previous prep or even some preps I have done for Photoshoots, presumably because I’ve had excellent guidance and support. I think this time, I felt ready. I was really happy with how I looked and how everything had started to ‘fine tune’ when I was depleting.

In my opinion, I think I depleted for the right amount of carbs for my body and for the exact right amount of time. I woke up every day and assessed how I looked and what I thought my body needed that day and could tolerate. I ended up depleting for 6 days in total and carbing up just for 1 and a half days roughly.


The Night Before

So the day before, my carbs got higher as I’ve mentioned. That evening, I slowly reduced my water in-take to dry out my muscles a little further.

Every hour or so I would asses how I looked and added more carbs or reduced them a little if needed.

The last week is a touchy subject for a few people; ‘Don’t do cardio, do cardio, don’t weight train, lie with your legs in the air, bla bla…’ I did cardio, because I know my own body, I know how it will react to that. I did what I thought was best. And let’s be honest, not a WHOLE lot is going to change in at that point..

By the time I got to my hotel, this was how I looked..

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Plenty of room to still get a little tighter and reduce some further water.

So I lay on the bed for the rest of the evening… drinking WINE.

If you one of those unfortunate people who has ever drank with me, you will know just how terrible I am at it. Baring in mind I was dehydrated as it was and drinking is a very rare thing for me. My legs were like jelly within minutes and all I wanted to do was lie STILL on the bed… I felt like a 16 year old with their first WKD.

Anyway, it’s a hard life but I soldiered on. I then had to tan in and amongst all this going’s on, 4 layers of it..

I slept VERY well that night..


The Day of the Show…

On awakening, here is how I looked..

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From the back anyway..

I was REALLY pleased with this.

So it was time to tan AGAIN, straighten my hair within an inch of it’s life, eat more carbs and get ready..

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TA DAAAA!

Backstage in the girls changing rooms is a sweaty mess..

A mixture of Tan, Hairspray, Drag Queen make-up, Boobs, Rice Cake, T*t tape and Selfie’s.

There were some really good girls backstage, everyone helped each other out and was friendly, which makes it so much more of a pleasant experience. There were athlete’s from all over. A lot of American girls and guys, Swedish, Maltase, French, Brazilian, Portuguese..

It was lovely to meet you all!

Bikini and Heels on and I was ready!

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Now I know the tan looks absolutely obscene, but once on stage and under the bright lights, it’s a wash out.

So, Pre-Judging happened, we all went to the centre of the stage individually to do our T-Walks, the Judges ask for the athletes they wish to see closer to step forward. I got first call out’s which I was very pleased about.

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The feeling of being on stage again was INCREDIBLE, yet nothing like my first experience. My first time I think you could physically SEE me shaking from the audience.

However, this time, standing at the side curtains waiting to walk on, no part of me even felt nervous. I think this time around I felt so happy and comfortable with what I had produced that in my head I though I don’t need to be nervous anymore, I did all I could with what I had and this is the result. I could have done no more.

I will get to the point now.. That evening, we all went back on stage for our awards. I came 3rd out of a great line up of other Muscle Models and received my Pro Status Card.

You can watch the Video here on my YouTube also … https://youtu.be/_TCEQpBDbB0

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The top FIVE..

I will be honest, it is incredibly hard not to compare yourself to the line up once you have received your placing, especially as I adhered to the specifications of the category well, I thought. I can’t lie, I was a little disappointed. But I’m not bitter, I thought I had looked the best I had EVER looked at this point and I was proud of myself. Comparison is the thief of joy, you will never ever look like anyone else and they will never look like you, so why bother? It’s all about being happy with how YOU look and feel and for the first time, I LOVED how I looked.

I received my Trophy and invite back to compete amongst the Pro Athlete’s in the Professional Division next year (potential new blog as I prep for that in January)!

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And then I ate… A LOT.

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But honestly, the best bit about getting off stage was drinking nearly a gallon of water, Fanta and Pepsi!!


Now here is the best bit, in my opinion. The next day as most athletes will tell you, they always feel they look their BEST. Eating LOADS of carbs and filling up their muscles… this was how I looked..

To me, this is how I would choose to look… ALL the time.

My muscles felt full, my stomach felt full and I had loads of energy. I woke up that day, went and did my cardio, then lay in the garden for the entire day, eating s***.

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Now this really is the best part… After eating EVERYTHING and having all my water back on board, my body went CRAZY.

I stepped on stage at 9 st 10 on the Sunday, by the Tuesday morning, I weighed in at 11.2!!!!

No, I did not eat a child.

Within that day (Tuesday) I had my normal diet back on track and got loads of water in me to flush OUT the post show water and ended the day 8lbs lighter by the evening. Insane.


In terms of how I looked on the day. On revision of show pictures I received, I felt my upper body was good, it was tight and my shoulders are always my favourite part. My abs in all honestly, I felt could have been tighter and drier… And as for my legs, they were a massive improvement on the last show. I was pleased with them but I KNOW I can do better and I WILL.


So there it is folks!

It’s been an interesting journey this time around, one of which I have actually enjoyed, almost…

And I think what has made the difference is the people I have surrounded myself with, likeminded individuals. Everyone from the gym has been supportive, always asking how my prep is going, even when I’ve been moody and couldn’t get many words out.

If you are reading, from Total Fitness, thank you very much to those who have taken an interest and supported me.

To Muscle Worx gym and all of their Members, you have been awesome.. I’ve not been there long but their support has really meant a lot. A great bunch of people.

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To my close ones… I really don’t know how you do it. HA!

They have been incredible. You take it out on the ones closet to you, they will tell you that themselves.. but they have not left my side. They all know who they are and, I love you.

Also, everyone who has been reading my blog over the last 16 weeks and has inboxed, emailed me or met me at Body Power, even the girls from Germany and Australia. Thank you SO MUCH. I genuinely thought nobody would really be reading this and felt like I was talking to a brick wall, but the feedback has been amazing, my website has gone from around 15,000 visitors to near 25,000 visitors since posting my blogs.

So thank you for taking the time to read and give me your support..



Finally, to all those whom may be interested, I have been approached by a Production Company based in Manchester who want to produce a short film/documentary on Body Building and the Fitness World. So I begin filming for this in the next couple of week and will have plenty of bits on my website and social media platforms (with cameras strapped to my head) to keep you updated.

I also have several scheduled Photoshoots over the next coming weeks and months for a project I’m working on which will be out in October/November…


Once again, thank you very much to all of those who have supported me, it has not gone unnoticed and has been and will continue to be always appreciated…

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Comp Prep Diaries – ‘Peak Week’

I am writing to you whilst well into my ‘Peak Week…’

What this means is… The WEEK before the show.

The week of sheer panic, extra cardio, last couple of training sessions, loads of water, no water, loads of salt, no salt, carbs, no carbs, rice cake’s… I’ll go into it all.


I have been waiting for a moment to sit down and breathe, where my head is a little bit less full of macros and sodium loading and when I feel a little less irritable to be able to get everything into a blog, so it is currently 3:30AM on a night shift… please know all patients are well and safe and in my capable hands of course, all of my Nurse-y paper work is done and I’m now back to thinking about food.

I am craving absolutely nothing, but CAKE.

I mean I really really cannot stop thinking about it now..

This is what I have planned..

That is a SMALL fraction of it..


Updates:

Firstly, I haven’t really updated a whole lot, social media wise, I’ve not felt great, I’ve just been getting on with it because I’ve been quite concerned about just NOT being ready. I’ll go into this later.


Weight: 10.3 dropped to 9.12st

My Body-Fat has not been checked sadly..


However, it should all be about how you look and feel so here are a couple of developments from the last 2 weeks…

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Sleep & Mood:

Firstly, I have come to find the less sleep I seem to be getting, the more alert I have felt the next day. When I have 5-6 hours and get up for my cardio at 7am, I feel absolutely fine. It’s the days where I think I’ll go to bed REAL early and have 8-9 hours, I feel horrific the next morning.

On the days I have 5 hours sleep, which is most, I will always finish my morning training, come home and eat and will then nap, I’ll try to have a minimum of 20 minutes everyday, never longer than an hour though.. this makes me feel SO much better.

I cannot stress the importance of napping.

That is all for sleep.

Now, Mood

I should say Mood and Mind Games here..

In the last couple of weeks I feel as if my mind has turned against me, in the sense of, it feels like there is a tennis match going on in my head..

Let me explain..

I’ll wake up, look in the mirror and feel lean, I think; ‘Yeah, I’m ready to compete, I look good..’

I’ll go and train and do some posing for example, different mirrors, different lightening and clothing and I’ll look at myself and think; ‘What on earth are you thinking, thinking you can compete, you still have so far to go, you have fat to get off there, more to develop here, cancel it, you cannot compete.’

At this point I have eaten, drank a load of water and do look different, but this completely turns my mind against me and I start to doubt myself.

I feel the  image you see in the mirror can be very distorted sometimes, depending on your mood and mind-set at the time. Sometimes I can feel SO proud of myself for the way I look and the work I’ve put in, sometimes I think, I’m still overweight and very conscious of my body.

What is all of this about?

When will I ever be satisfied?

But if I was satisfied would I still go back to the gym every day and work as hard as I could?

The people around me are extremely supportive, there are some good EGGS, they are there on the days I think I’ll jack it all in and I’m not good enough.

I do have parts of my physique that are still concerning me; ‘Will the fat come off? Is it fat? Is it water? My Glute’s hold an awful lot of fat and water as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, but to me, they are not ‘Stage Ready’ kinda glutes, yet.

My Mum keeps telling me to look how far I have come since I first started and that is one way to look at it (on a good day) however, I then think; ‘Well the judges can’t see where I have come from? They see the package in front of them and they want the perfect physique, symmetry, muscle mass, condition etc. and what if I am just not there yet?’

And the tennis match goes on and on… and on.

Cortisol levels rise, causing me to hold onto water..

What is a girl to do?

All in all, my mood has not been great, I’ve been quite down, I think just through self-doubt, hunger and fatigue really. If you think training for a competition is just all about weights, protein, tan and diet, you are very much mistaken, I would say a LARGE part of prepping is Physiological, anyone can go to the gym and train for an hour or two but controlling what you do and eat in the rest of that time is the hard part. There are a lot of mind games and self doubting and the mind can be an awful place when turned against you.

I have no shame in saying I have cried at least 3 times in the past 2 weeks… about absolutely nothing.

Once was when I had finished my cardio, sat down at the dining table for breakfast with Mum and my fish and quite literally burst out crying… ‘I f****** hate fish, I hate cardio… etc, I’m still fat, I’m not competing etc etc etc.‘ Once I had eaten and stopped crying it’s as if nothing had happened, we hugged and I carried on with my day in a great mood..!!

My Mum is veteran in Comp Prep Emotion now, she knows my every mood, when I’m tired, hungry or going to cry she knows before it’s even happened, and she knows exactly what to say and do, every time.

I have never met a woman like her, she is my true hero.


Training:

Training feels as if it is getting a little harder, I am tiring quicker and attempting to rest longer in between sets. Some day’s (the 5 hour sleep days) I can have SUCH GOOD sessions, get into the gym, power through everything within an hour and feel great. Others seem to be long, drawn out and brutal.

I’ve put my cardio up again in my last week or two in attempts to get the irritating jiggely bit off my A**.


Nutrition:

One of the Nurse’s in work said to me; ‘I cannot believe how strict you are all the time..’

Well, I am, but not ALL the time, sometimes I slip up and lose control and let my emotions drag me to the fridge.. There is no point in lying and saying I am spot on with my nutrition, normally I am, in fact up until the last 2 weeks, I feel as if I am starting to crack. I’ll get in from training and feel as if my blood sugar is THAT low, I am shaking.

One day last week I had just had enough, one of the bad days I had described above.. I got home from the gym, felt extremely low and exhausted, that I grabbed a remaining quarter of a Tiger Bread loaf.. and inhaled in. It wasn’t sliced baring in mind, I had the whole thing in both hands ripping it apart as if I’d never eaten before… 20 minutes later I felt so bad about it I went on a power walk in attempt to rectify my behaviour.. This when the ‘Self Doubt’ kind of mood all began..

So there is my big confession. It did me no real damage, I picked up and carried on with my remaining meals for the day and week with no problems, but these things happen.

I’m feeling physically hungry now, within about 30 minutes after eating. My meals are plain, very bland and can be compared to dust or cardboard. And there’s not a lot of it either. It make me genuinely angry my dog sits and waits for it too, as if I’m going to leave ANYTHING!!

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Final Update: 4th June

So as of right now, I’m suffering through Peak Week, it is the day before the show!!

 I don’t think there is any specific diet for this for anyone, I believe it’s based on what you’ve tolerated the past 14 weeks of your diet and just knowing your own body and what you can tolerate and what works for you. So for me, I respond well to low carbs, so I’ve depleted myself for a couple of days, then on this last final days increased carbs to fill my muscles out a bit. I need to be careful I don’t go TOO far and begin to look watery, but just far enough so I appear ‘full’.

In terms of water, I have kept this VERY high all week, I have now began to restrict this slightly also, not drastically because I think that gets a bit silly, but just enough that my body should notice and respond.

I completed my last two training sessions yesterday, my last leg session’s Thursday so I could give my legs chance to rest and rid of the water my a** loves so much.

So today, it has been light cardio and posing, reducing water a little further, before WINE TIME to further dry out or the morning.

Then…

GET MY TAN DONE!!

Here are a few photo’s of my development through Peak Week..

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This morning… after CARBS…

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Again, I don’t believe anything drastic should be done in this final week, if it has been working for the last 14+ weeks and you’ve looked good, why change it? It is just a few minor tweaks and playing out to fine tune what you have been SCULPTING.

So, that leaves me at the end of this blog… I will do a final blog, mainly to tell you about the monstrosities I have been eating post show… and about the show of course.

Show day is tomorrow Sunday 5th May, so please keep checking on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates… and for my BIKINI… all under SarahLouiseFF.

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Half made and all jewlled by your truly..!


I apologise if this blog has all been a bit depressing, it’s not all ‘looking awesome and feeling awesome’ because I don’t but that is all part of the process and like I said in my first post, I wanted to attempt to highlight the good, bad and not so glamorous side to competing.

And that’s it…!


One final note..

As I have said, I have not STOPPED thinking about cake, my friend Susan made me a little booklet to attempt to distract me from thinking so much..

She is one of a kind, thank you!

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Competition Prep Diaries – 16th May 

This is going to be a long one.. brace yourselves.

An awful lot can happen in two weeks – since my last update – and not just in terms of my physique.

First of all, we don’t have long left.. And this is my current condition.

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Weight: 10.7st dropped to 10.3st

Body-Fat: 10.6% dropped to 10.1%


Updates:

Firstly, the most important update. My calories have dropped AGAIN.

AGAIN.

Cardio has also increased rather dramatically!

I have had a week of annual leave.

I had a morning OUT of gym attire, wore a DRESS and went out!

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 I’m not dealing well with warm weather.

I worked BodyPower on The Meat Man stand.

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And one of my best friends got MARRIED.

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Sleep & Mood

I definitely think these pair go hand in hand and I have realised how apparent that is within these last two weeks.

I find I stay up late, yet I’m extremely tired, then get up super early to go and get my first session done which leaves me having to have a jar of coffee after only having 6 hours sleep, but that seems to be the norm for me at the moment.

When I haven’t had much sleep, I can SEE it.

My stomach and abs are ‘watery.’ By this I mean, the they are not quite as defined, my veins coming down my ribs are invisible.. basically I feel I look like I have an extra layer of skin on me some mornings.

Then when I have had a better sleep, loads and loads of water the day before, I can wake up, look at myself in the mirror, see striations on my shoulders, veins in my oblique’s, abs, delts, the tops of my legs and forearms and it looks amazing.

I feel lean, therefore.. I feel happy. I go to the gym or go and do my cardio and I feel like I LOOK like I train and I LOOK like I am ready to compete.

The watery days; I instantly feel p***** off. I feel like.. what is the point? I feel I look as if I don’t train, just completely smooth all over and it is extremely frustrating.

This happens at least 3 out of 7 days a week and is perhaps 30% of what contributes to my irritation..

I will go onto the remaining 70%… Don’t worry.

Furthermore, my calories have gotten lower again and cardio has increased as mentioned, at the same time as attempting to keep my training exactly the same. So as you can imagine my mood hasn’t been the best..

If I thought a few weeks ago, conversations were getting to be effort… Now they REALLY are…

*Nod, agree, smile.. Try not to put hand over their mouth*

Zzzzz.


Training:

My strength feels as if it is dwindeeling away slowly.. I have tried to keep training consistent, but with the lack of calories, I’m struggling to get the same weight up as I normally am, which is to be expected I guess. Although it makes me feel like a WEAK HUMAN.

Some training sessions haven’t been too horrific.. But don’t get me wrong, I have been glad to see the back of them.

Then others.. mainly lower body, I will admit, we were a couple sets close to the end, the session had gone on for an hour and a half at this point.. Of quads. The hack squat was the last remaining drop set, my legs were numb, I reached 10 and wondered how I was going to make it through the rest, I reached 20 I started crying… yeah, I reached 30 and finished.. Then went to sit on a bench and cried during my rest and got back up and carried on with another 2 sets.

So if you ever think, ‘Oh it must be great looking like that…’

..Reduce your calories for me, do your cardio then your first weight training session of the day and you can sit next to me and have a cry on the bench.

It’s not nice and this is the not so glamourous side.. when you feel you have nothing left in you but still have to carry on because your ‘competitions’ legs might be their strong point.

Cardio is not killing me, it’s just very long and boring. I’ve stayed away from HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) this time around because the steady state cardio seems to be working better for me. And I’ve made it through two new books as well..


Nutrition:

Nutrition Is getting hard, I look forward to every single meal, as boring as the meal might be. And it cannot come quick enough. I’m having to split my meals into two. For example, I’ll have my normal 5-6 meals a day but I’ll split at least 2-3 of those in half so I’m not going for 4 hours in between meals. The hard part is stopping half way through your meal to save it for an hours time as it takes me about 30 seconds to eat the ENTIRE meal.

I FINALLY think I’m at the stage now where Refeeds are benefiting me. I feel at the end of the week, I’m flat, deflated, tired, dead, p**** off, all of the above.

So by Sunday evening, I will have.. (probably WAY more than I should) loads of CARBS.

Within about 20 minutes I can see my veins, my mood has lifted and I’m lying on the floor covered in crumbs and quite frankly I could not be happier.

The next morning I’ll wake up and look fuller, have a lot more energy and my sessions in the gym improve greatly. I love the look of my body the morning after Refeeds.

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The area’s I have really seen great development again are my legs and back. I am SO pleased with how their tuning out now.

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Finally.. BODYPOWER.

For anyone who isn’t directly into the Fitness world, as it were, BodyPower is an Expo that anyone and everyone can go to. Whether they are gym clothing brands, supplements, food, whether you want to compete there or are just interested in it all or want to meet some of the big names.. everything. It’s an annual convention in Birmingham’s NEC.

This year I was there representing my sponsor The Meat Man. The whole team came and we spent our day running competitions, selling tons of meat, chatting to everyone who came over about food.. which suites me.

As a team, we have a great relationship, everyone is extremely easy going and friendly. I had an awesome weekend with them.

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The highlight of my weekend was the lovely people I got to meet.

On the morning of BodyPower I put a post up on all my social medias informing everyone of the location of our stand and to come over and say Hello etc. I was SO extremely happy at the amount of people that came to see me. People who I had not yet met that had followed me on Twitter or Instagram since I first started out and still follow my journey, others that have said they read my Blog on my site every week and it had helped them with their own journeys. Even a couple of ladies from Australia. They had come over to me to say thank you for helping them keep on track and make them realise what they want is achievable and a few others came over for a few pictures.

To all that took the time to come over to have a chat and that have supported me for the years I’ve been doing this, thank you very much. It really meant the world to me and I do hope you are reading this..

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One final note, I have been pondering this entire prep of how to avoid conversations with people in the gym without being rude, but to save you from slapping them out of anger.

I have finally found the solution..

Find a new gym.

That is about all for this week..

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Competition Prep Diaries – May Day!

I LOVE the first day of new months!

MAY DAY!

This week, I don’t feel good…

I have the complexion of a corpse, a sore throat, bags under my eyes, every muscle is sore, bla bla blaaa…. I don’t feel good.

No amount of Fake Bake seems to be taking the ‘dead’ look away either.

BUT… I got leaner.

I’ve been practising my POSING

My calories have dropped… I mean, they REALLY have dropped.

I can’t work out if maybe I actually have been ran over.

HOWEVER – I have decided on the competition.

I’ve ENTERED.

My Bikini has arrived.

I have 5 weeks TODAY to look incredible and muscley and tanned and ripped and NOT-DEAD in it.


Weight: 10.7st stayed the same – 10.7st.

Body-Fat: 11.1% dropped to 10.6%


Updates:

I got ahead of myself and told you pretty much everything in my first breath.

I had to enter my competition because I NEEDED a date to work towards and something to make me s*** myself, quite frankly.

So I booked it. I had a good look at the different type of categories there were to enter and ended up deciding on the ONE. I originally wanted to go for Fitness Model as that is what I would like to ‘brand’ myself as, as it were. However, following on from numerous different opinions, we decided perhaps I had too much muscle for that one, but not quite lean enough for the Figure category I also wanted to enter.

So the mutual ground is Muscle Model.

There are no set quarter turns or mandatory poses to this category, just muscular, yet feminine, without being overly striated.

So, I’ve had the help of Elly Hudson who run’s posing classes here in Chester (and who I first ever stepped on stage with) to spend some time with me and see what we could do with this..

I’m so pleased with the poses and massively grateful to Elly for directing me and giving me her advice.

Here are a few we have come up with..

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Now you understand the description of ‘Corpse’ mentioned earlier..?

Now, I just need to get it down to a T…

And a T WALK.


Sleep & Mood:

I like to think I am really quite a pleasant person, normally I will make time for anyone. But this past week.. I have found the most breif of conversations to irritate the S*** out of me.

I will go into the reasons why in my Nutrition section… if you haven’t guessed it already.

What I have come to realise in this industry, is that ‘Body Building’ is a very selfish Sport. Yes, it is self centred.. Yes we do look at ourselves in the mirror a lot, check our form, bicep veins and all the rest of it.. but rightly so. I believe, I and other Athlete’s have worked so hard for so long on themselves that, yes, it is self centred, I am going to talk about it a lot and for the first time EVER, I am starting to LOVE what I look like. Especially around the time of competition’s or photoshoots, behaviour tends to become a little more ‘obsessive’, or consistent and dedicated – I like to think. And when I have been training this week, I feel I am so completely unconcerned with what is going on around me or what people are talking to me about because I literally cannot think of anything else right now. I do of course moan about the intensity of the sessions and the lack of food, but honestly, I don’t think I have ever been happier, I love this..

I digress..

Sleep has been ok… with me feeling  bit groggy and hungry it hasn’t been the best. But my life has been Train, Eat, Home, Nap, Eat, Train, Home, Eat, Sleep lately – work permitting.

My Naps have probably been my only strong point this week actually.

In fact, I have one friend in particular who is very understanding my delicate condition (as she has also competed herself) and we have NAP DATES.. Susan is a wonderful friend to me and in the process of getting MARRIED whilst having to look after me at the same time… I’m not sure which she is finding most stressful but she does a good job!!


Training:

I said last week that training sessions were hard… This week they’ve got harder.

The other thing about this industry as cliché as it sounds, it never ever actually gets any easier, you just adapt and grow I suppose and I think your mind controls a lot of it. Well, EVERYTHING in fact.

 I thought this is the worst it’s going to get last week, but this week has shocked me and made me realise, the worst is yet to come. I couldn’t even find the energy to talk after most sessions this week. EVERY part of me hurts. Everything is aching… but it does feel GOOD.

My strength however, seems to be deceasing..

Whilst my cardio, is increasing..!


Furthermore, as promised when I originally began my blog, I would tell you the good, the bad and the horrific..

This week I have been EXHASUTED.. Did I mention? I felt terrible all day yesterday, from training. I went back for my second session, 17 minutes in and 6 sets done, vomit was coming up. I could feel it. I did all I could to prevent it but I knew I was in trouble. I had to leave abruptly and managed to get 10 minutes down the road before pulling over to what was the inevitable..

I slept for 45 minutes, had some food and felt a lot better. Back to the gym today as if nothing had happened.

I’m telling you this so you get an understanding of how, yes you may look awesome, but it does come at a price.

Lots of sweat and vomit.


Nutrition:

The bit we’ve all been waiting for, my calories have finally dropped.. sadly, very sadly.

As much as 300kcals a day on some days. I am hungry and I cannot take my mind off food.

This is primarily the reason for all of the above; mood, sleep, training.

But it needs to be done and it WILL be worth it. My body-fat has decreased again and weight has stayed the same, so I am doing a good job of maintaining my muscle mass.

So I was granted a REEEFEEEED

Unfortunately for me, with weeks without any refeed, I didn’t make it through. A bowl and a half of each cereal and 2 Pop Tarts and I was fast asleep..

HOWEVER, as discussed at Posing Practice this week and with Rich, I do have a fair amount of FAT still remaining around my Glutes and Hamstrings, mainly on the Hamstring tie. I have ALWAYS struggled with this, so I knew the time would come during this prep that I would have to put extra effort in to eliminate this..

My upper body is shaping nicely as well as my abs, but there is always room for more.

5 weeks more..

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Competition Prep Diaries – 24th April

This is going to be a whistle-stop tour of my last 2 weeks..

I feel AWESOME.

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Last update roughly… 14ish days ago now and A LOT seems to have changed.


Weight: 10.10st dropped to 10.7st.

Body-Fat: 12.0% dropped to 11.1%


Updates:

I AM GETTING REALLY VEINY!

I have my first Bicep vein which looks cool as s***!!

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In all seriousness, I have seen a big change in little things like this since my last update and it feels so good. It makes all the times when family or friends are eating Take-Away’s in front of you, eating food that tastes of cardboard, flicking through Instagram at Food Porn pages SO WORTH IT.

Also, I am 3WEEKS without any Cheat or Refeed. It irritated me badly at first, but once you’ve got it in your head, it’s a WANT not a NEED in my particular case at the moment, your over it.

My BIKINI has been ordered!! Thank you to the lovely show team over in Las Vegas who make stunning Bikini’s for the girls over there… it is beautiful..!


Sleep & Mood:

My mood has been relatively stable, although some may disagree ha ha!

 I don’t feel half as bad as I did in the previous blog.. Lucky for the general population.

I don’t know whether this is because I’ve finally started to see some good results, it’s made it all feel like it is worth it and that I’m getting somewhere and finally starting to feel proud of myself.

In  terms of sleep, I have been on a long set of night shifts consecutively this past 2 weeks, but I find now that I seem to have a great sleep in the day, whether that be because I’ve been running around all night covered in someone else’s blood… and other bodily fluids.., or the fact I drive home knowing I’m going to have the entire day in bed while everyone is heading to work.. The combination of both results in a good 7 hours sleep.

This will also be contributing to the elevated mood!


Training:

Training, again has been great this week. There have been some REALLY hard sessions, so much so that it put me in bed for an hour and a half after training my Back a few days ago. At the end of this week my entire body has been hurting.. I haven’t had that in quite a while. But everywhere has been sore. Nothing a bath can’t sort.

The type of sessions I feel proud of myself that I’ve got through.. you know the ones.

Cardio: Not a single session missed. Yes!

Still remaining on the every day steady state cardio after a session which seems to be working well for me right now.

The best bit of this update… MY LEGS.

They have FINALLY started to get leaner. Never EVER have I seen definition in my legs. This was something I was marked down for in my previous competition. My legs being too big. I hold SO MUCH water in them.. and fat, don’t get me wrong, they do wobble. I know I have a lot further to go with them, but as it stands, I am so pleased. I have worked for 2-3 years for this… That is why it is such a big deal.

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Nutrition:  

My nutrition has been spot on. To the last gram. Even when surrounded by Chocolate and Pringles every night shift. I have passed that point now of wanting crap. The goal is too important to me now. Plus I’m still nailing the Pepsi Max. HA!

As mentioned above, I am 3 weeks clean.. Completely clean. No NOTHING. Just cardboard. And it actually feels good, I feel healthier. However, I am scheduled to have one this week, so rest assured I will let everyone and their Nan know about it.

This week after my check-in with Richq, we are going to start speeding things up, drop my calories and change a few things in my plan to see how lean I can get. So I’m excited for that!


Now for a few progress pictures…

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That is all I got for you this week.

Short and concise, it’s been a great two weeks.

Keep checking my Instagram for mini updates during the humongous gap between blogs at @SarahLouiseFF

One final note! Please make sure to check out The Meat Man for some really good deals on FOOD this weekend.. Use SL10 for a discount on top of your order!

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Competition Prep Diaries – 10th April

‘DRAGON LADY’

It has been roughly 12/13 days since my last update which I think is working out to be a nice amount of space in between as I have more to moan write about..!

So, I feel I’ve had a really good few days of training since my last update and really feel, looking at myself i’m starting to see new bits and bobs and veins emerging I’ve not yet seen.

For example..

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Medium carb day, training upper body, completed my second session and had my post work-out shake and carbs and there they were, little rib veins. HELLO.


Weight: 10.9st up to 10.10.

Body-Fat: 12.7% dropped to 12.0%


Updates:

In terms of my weight in the last couple of days, I’ve managed to train twice a day, more or less every day, which is TIRING. Therefore, I have given myself no low carb days as I’ve NEEEEDED them. Badly. So I can only think that that is effecting my weight.

During my last update with Rich, he has now increased my cardio to DAILY, post-work out. So that has been enforced for the last 8-9 days now. I must admit, I moaned at first, but this is the alternative to lowering my calories. So really, I would prefer to eat 2,000 odd kcals still and do a bit of cardio. Suites me fine!


I had a little photo shoot also just to see how i’m looking from a different perspective..

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This is NOT stage ready or nearly as lean as I’d like, might I add.

The photographer – Colin Grist, I used to work with a lot when I was younger. It must have been around 4 years since I last shot with him and he could not believe the change in me!

That felt nice.

We got a good few shots and have arranged to return every couple of weeks for a few progress shots he has agreed to incorporate into my blog.

He is a great photographer with great talent.

Two days after the shoot I had a refeed. This time round it was not absolutely ridiculous like it normally is. But instead of eating everything in sight I based it mainly on high carbs, low fats – thank you to the good source for providing me with this information.

So…

Lucky Charms, I picked out ALL the Marshmallows and ate the cereal.

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I’d love to tell you I threw away the Marshmallows like i’m some sort of Pro BodyBuilder.. but I didn’t. I just put them on top of a massive piece of CAKE.

And it was AWESOME.

Life is for living. HA!

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Sleep & MOOD:

I feel MOOD needs to be added to this section now as I feel I have more to write about that aspect as the blog’s go on and competition’s grow closer.

I’ve had quite a settled week, nothing has gone wrong, things rarely go wrong in fact and I have absolutely nothing to complain about with regards to my day to day life. But, oh my GOSH. The last couple of nights I have not had a great sleep, sleeping for around 6 hours and restless and awake for perhaps 20-60 minutes each night (Thank you Fitbit).

From the moment I woke up I could feel anger!! My face must have been sympathising as everyone seemed to notice from the moment I opened my eyes.

Being up early for training and going to bed late is a problem as I have to spread my meals RIGHT out, leaving me starving for big gaps in my day.

Anything. Everything. Everyone. Annoyed me. To the point where I was training and got myself so wound up about people using the equipment I wanted to use that I thought I was either going to scream or cry, I couldn’t tell which. The mood didn’t end there. It lasted the entire day, my second gym session was equally as bad. And for that, I am sorry.

The next day did not get much better but anything was an improvement.

I have noticed I am getting increasingly more tired and moody, but that is to be expected… just wait until my calories go down..


Training:

Training has been awesome.

I’ve trained with a few different people this week AND at a different gym which has made a difference I think.

I’m based in Chester and there are a few good places to train. The one I tried this week, I was kindly invited to by the owners of Muscle Worx Gym. They have a big warehouse with dark lightning, loud music and loads of good equipment.  I trained Hammies (Heavy) and Back there this week. Using different equipment I feel targets different areas of the muscle and takes the same complacent-routine feeling out of your session.

The guys asked for a few pictures for their page which was very nice and i’m looking forward to heading back there next week.

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ALSO, I got the s*** kicked out of me, or my a** did this week by Rich, my coach. He wanted to film an entire Glute Session for his page which I will upload under the Training tab on my site this weekend.

It was horrific. I did genuinely feel my eyes starting to water, from sweat or tears – I’m not sure which. But that hurt. Furthermore, the Magnesium Oil I mentioned in my previous post worked WONDERS for DOMS.


Nutrition:

Nutrition I think has been the best and most accurate it has been this whole prep so far. I began looking at pictures or previous competitors shows and quite frankly… s*** myself. They looked awesome.

That was the kick I needed.

So, no refeed for me this weekend. I am going to train HARD and work for it next week. When I actually will deserve one. Right now it psychological, I don’t NEED one, I WANT one. My calories aren’t down so really this doesn’t warrant me a refeed. Sadly.


I think that is all I have for you this week. I am getting closer to entering the Competition I want to do… I need to work on my posing this next coming week so will attempt to get a video up shortly of my quarter turns… Uh ohhhh!


On a final note, this week whilst being in my bad mood and sulking, I have actually done some thinking too.. This last few days I have noticed what a difference it makes being around like minded people and individuals that genuinely care and take an interest in what your doing. As cliché as it may sound, to have someone ‘believe in you’ and believe you have what it takes has ACTUALLY got me through a few crappy days this week. Thank you..

One FINAL thought, just when you thought ‘ahh she does have a heart’ . The tip I gave you last week about how to stop people from conversing with you whilst training no longer works. There are individuals that will come over, stand within your personal space and WAVE until you are that uncomfortable that you HAVE TO REMOVE your head phones to hear about how their day is going. Yes, WHILST you have head phones in… So I need to work on my strategies. To the people that do this. Don’t.

Back to the drawing board on this one..

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Competition Prep Diaries – 28th March

Hello Friends!

I apologise for the lack of updates..

With family parities and my friends hen party.. I won’t lie, I’ve gone off track with my plan on a couple of occasions.. It happens.

But what is important is that ‘slip’ doesn’t turn into an entire day or week.

Now that all the social events are over for a while (which does not happen very often for me), I have decided on a competition I’d like to enter, well 3 I actually have in mind at the moment which all start roughly 12 weeks from now.

So, I am focused.

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In terms of updates, I will attempt to keep it to weekly, but I won’t make any promises!

Update wise… I haven’t managed to have a check in with Rich (my coach) for a good two weeks due to conflicting schedules so I can’t update on the body-fat percentage…

 Nor do I think I want to…


Weight10.10 st dropped to 10.9 st.


The initial honey mood period (weight drop) from beginning my prep has slowed now and it has been roughly 5+ weeks so we are aiming for a change of plan, a few tweaks to my diet and a review of my cardio sessions.


Also, as promised in the last update, I wanted to show you about the ‘bloat’ I mentioned.
I have worked out, this is a combination of salt, lack of sleep and… Pepsi Max.

This picture is on the left is all of the above.

The picture on the right is a few days later when I had caught up with sleep and back to day shifts, drank my water and chilled out on the Pepsi Max a bit.

And I can REALLY hold water.
I look fluffy..

Following on from the picture on the right, if anyone saw my update on Instagram after this picture.. I was feeling incredibly flat, tired, de-motivated and wanted a cheat meal.

I waited a few more days to see how I felt, then I had one.. That spilt into two.
Then I went out for the first time in nearly a year… Which really did me good in a psychological sense and was exactly what I need to be able to re focus again..

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Unless you have a good support network around you and people that understand why you do what you do because you have to and why you’re moody and don’t drink and go out, then it can be a very lonely life ha ha!


Sleep:

You will be pleased to know, sleep has IMPROVED.

I have been using a Magnesium Spray recommend by Rich.
It’s used widely in Sports Medicine for injuries or post work outs.
There are a few different types you can purchase, the one I went for is the actual ‘Sleep Aid’ and works by spraying this onto the skin before you go to sleep, ideally in your arm pits due to the thin skin and rapid absorption rate thanks to you lymph nodes being there. It then transports through the bloodstream and to the tissues most needing the magnesium.

So, perhaps psychological to begin with but my sleep duration and quality has improved. But that could also just be that I am SHATTERED. And stuck on a very boring chapter of my book…


Training:

Now, in my personal opinion, I believe my training sessions have improved.
The mentality I am trying to adopt is: get in, train, get out, talk as least as I can and make eye contact with nobody, always keep headphones in.. And look a bit angry…
And it’s working well for me.. I’d recommend it.

I’ve also been watching a lot of YouTube video’s of all the physique girls I love and taking bits from their training to try in my sessions. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and I can honestly say I see a difference again in my Glutes and Back..

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Changing my routine, reps, sets and super sets is working wonders for me.


Nutrition:

As mentioned above, my diet has slipped on the odd occasion.
Not to the point where I have binged, I have managed to control it and ensure a big muscle group was trained that day, but with that being said it should not have happened.

I seem to loose control for about an hour and think ‘Why am I doing this?! What is the point?! I don’t even look like I train! I want cake, I need SUGAR, whaaaa whaaaa whaaa!’

Once all those emotions have settled and I’ve eaten, I feel re focused again. And want to cry.

I now realise I need small, regular goals as well as having my end goal.

With that being said, I have booked in a few photoshoots every couple of weeks to give me a kick up the a… Glutes.

I’ll upload these to my gallery to keep a visual image of my prep also.


I think in terms of updates that is all I have to say for myself this week!

Next weeks update will have some actual structure to it and some progress.

Until then, go and get yourself some MEAT…!

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Use my discount code for a reduction, it’s GOOD!!

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