Our first guest post is from Charlotte who is a newbie blogger looking to start a blog soon! For now, catch her on Instagram
“My name is Charlotte, I’m originally from Stockport but now living over Lancashire way with my husband and our English Pointer! Family is everything to me. My hobbies include travelling, the gym and going out for meals with family and friends, oh and cake…… I love cake! I have recently left a nine year career in the Criminal Justice field to pursue my passion of helping to transform people’s lives as a Personal Trainer.
Follow me on Instagram- charlottejanept
Or if you have any Personal Training Enquiries please email me- firstname.lastname@example.org“
Is it Ok to Change?
Im Charlotte and I contacted Diane when I saw her post asking for guest bloggers as she was lucky enough to be jetting off on her honeymoon! I have been wanting to start a blog for a good few months but keep thinking of excuses as to why I shouldn’t. So when I saw she was looking for guest bloggers I thought I would see if I could write a post as a trial run before I start mine and to see if any one actually likes it!
So here goes…….
Let me take you back to 2012, I was overweight, not massively, but still over weight. I used to go to the gym because I thought it was what you had to do, slogging it out on anything Cardio related seeing little or no results and eating what I believed to be a relatively healthy diet Monday- Friday. Weekends revolved around poorer food choices such as, takeaways, convenience food and alcohol, lots of alcohol.
I was in the gym one day when I was approached by a Personal Trainer (who went on to become one of my best friends!) and we bonded over a love of chicken! She took the time to sit down with me and find out about me and my goals and why I wanted to lose weight. Looking back I said I wanted to lose weight but never taken the time to actually think about why I wanted to do this. For me at the time it was to look like my friends, they were all slim and had abs and I felt like I was the ‘fat friend’. So my fitness journey at that time was to lose weight and to look good stood next to them.
I actually ended up winning a competition for months free Personal Training. This was the turning point for me, I began to love the gym…. I actually looked forward to my workouts, I even ventured in to the ‘mens weights area’. For anyone that goes to the gym this was a massive achievement because there is often a lot of anxiety often surrounding this area……’is he looking at me?’, ‘am I doing this right?’, ‘people are judging me!’. I began experimenting with food and enjoying cooking myself nutritious foods instead of my often very beige diet which I had deemed to be ‘healthy’.
If someone would have said to me to stop in the main doing cardio and eat more than you have eaten and you will lose weight I would have laughed. I was scared about doing it but it actually worked!! My body shape started to change and I began to feel more confident and wear tighter clothes which I would have never worn before! I stopped drinking as much and didn’t feel the need to massively binge at the weekends because I could see I was looking better every day and more importantly, feeling better. I felt more motivated, less fatigued, less grumpy, full of energy and was sleeping better.
I kept training with my trainer on and off and felt confident in the gym. Fast forward to 2015 and I was really struggling with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), this is something I had suffered with since I was 18 but it was really starting to rule my life. In January 2015 I thought enough was enough and I cut out what I believed to be the two main contributors to my IBS…..gluten and dairy. I noticed a big change in a short space of time. I was feeling the best I have ever felt. Now this wasn’t easy and I wouldn’t advise anyone to do this unless they have genuine intolerances as it is very limiting and involves a lot of forward thinking with your food preparation. It can also be awkward when going out, but generally places are very accommodating now. When I first tried to control my IBS when I was 18 (failed miserably, I was at Uni and it wasn’t cool to be gluten free!), the gluten free bread was like eating sawdust and it wasn’t really a ‘thing ‘ back then, but now it seems too be a massive craze to be ‘gluten or dairy free’ because people perceive it to be healthier……anyway that’s another blog post entirely!
Around this time I was getting in shape for my wedding as I was getting married in the September of 2016 (nearly my wedding anniversary!). I was going to the gym 5 days a week, exercising on my rest days and religiously counting my macros. I definitely became obsessed with this, I cut out alcohol where I could, obviously not totally but I wouldn’t drink just for no reason. As alcohol, for me anyway, makes me put on a lot of weight. My trainer made me see that I was doing too much, I was giving myself no days off. She made me see rest days are just as important as training days, as I wasn’t giving my body anytime to recover. I went back to just the 5 days a week and not 7!
Around this time, I noticed that my friends weren’t happy with me when I would go out and say I was driving and not drink. It caused them to confront me on numerous occasions about this. I was being made to feel like I was doing something wrong because I was not drinking. I was still going out and staying out….and let me tell you, I don’t just sit in a corner miserably because I’m not drinking…. I’m probably up dancing more than the drunk people!! I came to realise over time that they were just not happy with the fact I was changing. I wasn’t the drunk Charlotte that would fall over the floor and not remember how she got home because she was too drunk. Don’t get me wrong I loved my party days but there comes a time when you have to look at yourself and think is this really the life I want? And for me it wasn’t……. I wanted to become healthy and I enjoyed going to the gym. For me to drink alcohol every weekend would be counterproductive to my goals. If people are interested in this I will do a further blog post on this and go into more detail. I’m trying to just write an over view of my journey rather than bombard you all with wayyyyy to much info!
So anyway……over the past 18 months I had probably become a bit obsessed with macro counting as for anyone who has used My Fitness Pal you can become obsessed! For the last 3 months I have been introducing bits of dairy and gluten back in to see exactly what I am intolerant to, to see if there are things I can now tolerate which I couldn’t before. I am also trying to regain a bit of balance. I am now going out not worrying about not being able to track my food and just going with the flow and enjoying myself!! Throughout my fitness journey I have come to realise that it is finding out what works for you and then just doing that. It has taken me four years so far to get to this point but I finally feel that I am at the point where I don’t beat myself up about having a slice of cake (I had one last night….ok actually I had 2!)or going out for a meal with friends. Because those are memories that we make in life and if I was to restrict myself and was too busy macro counting I wouldn’t be able to make these fantastic memories! For me now I don’t go to the gym and eat healthy because I don’t want to be the ‘fat friend’, I do it because that is what makes me happy and it is a lifestyle that I enjoy living.
I honestly believe that meeting my Personal Trainer at that gym that day went on to change my life. My fitness/ journey to a healthier lifestyle has been up and down since 2012 but now I have such a better understanding and knowledge around fitness, nutrition and mindset and more importantly a greater understanding about me!
In February of this year I took the plunge and completed my Personal Training qualification, originally I did it just for my own knowledge but I have since gone on to leave my career to be a Personal Trainer. I want to help and inspire others to reach their goals and transform their lives like I have done. I have left working within the Criminal Justice System which is all I have ever known for the past 9 years, but I wasn’t happy within that field and hadn’t been for some time. Now I am truly living my passion and what’s more I get to meet and help fantastic people reach their goals!
This was just an over view of my journey so far, I would love to go into more detail about specific bits I have talked about. I hope you enjoyed this and would like to read more!