When I first set upon the industry my initial goal was to create an image of health; often people forget that health is not only about physical appearances but equally as important their mental and social wellbeing. My aim was to create an image that woman and even some men would be inspired by thus making choices for themselves and look up to as an attainable look should they give arduous work and also consistency by paying diligence to their health. My intentions were to try and influence positively people’s perception; reducing the stigmas and associations that body building has in terms of extreme and unliveable lifestyles with an unattainable look that people would maybe have to sacrifice their health; again both physically and mentally.
My goals to inspire others to uptake a healthy choice in life potentially to step on stage themselves or to reach a personal fitness goal meant that I had to make a commitment to myself that this was not a fad, phase nor temporary fixation; this was a lifestyle I was changing to make my health and life better. This particular article is a subject quite close to my heart and something I try to instil with anyone I work with or educate along the way. Back in 2011 I first started to compete, I have won 4 British titles 2 of which with the UKBFF in 2 categories both body fitness and bikini fitness. I was not born with a set of dumbbells in my hands and I am a human therefore the physique I have built 100% naturally is down to the patience, time and consistency I have put into my life, training and diet as an athlete, with so little to sacrifice yet so much to gain.
The Bikini industry seems to have gone crazy, there are so many out there that want to compete and inspired to get on stage yet they are in such a rush that they are willing to do whatever it takes or take whatever it takes in order to get the rewards quickly; this being at the expense of their health. I am constantly being presented with diet plans that are low carb, low fat and therefore deficient calories without even considering micronutrients that we need to survive let alone train as an athlete with intentions to compete. This category like men’s physique was supposed to be a category that avoids all the extremes and something achievable for most given that they do all the things said above however on the contrary to this people are doing the opposite particularly bikini girls that I am presented with are experimenting with performance enhancing drugs and following plans that are damaging to their hormonal, digestive and thyroid function and long term well being.
The three and a half years I have competed I have not had a typical body builders off season nor do I think any bikini girls should or need to; obviously this would be down to whether they have been following healthy plans that mean they can easily maintain their look with little weight gains which I see as a healthy fat gain; not much more than 2-3kgs post show. I have competed back to back in many international shows and the time I rest and improve between shows I don’t abuse by taking this an opportunity to eat obsessively resulting in an immense re bound which is detrimental to health both physically and emotionally.
I am a big believer that results on the exterior are built from the foundations you lay by being healthy, understanding and knowing what the body needs. In 12 years I have been researching I have been particularly interested in hormonal and gut health therefore I live my day to day life supplementing this with a number of products that I know will support my diet and health.
Below I will discuss three supplements that I fully recommend and the reasons in which I take these.
Powdered Greens - as discussed in short previously gut health is vital and what many people fail to realise is that the gut is actually the central point of the hormonal system. Ensuring that the guts are working efficiently I think it is vital to maintain gut health which is also down to a healthy diet. Needless to say a decent greens drink will not only contain anti estrogenic vegetables such as those deriving from the Brassica family but it will also be saturated with products containing essential minerals to name but a few spirulina, wheat and barley grass.
Sea kelp – since iodine is needed for the production of thyroid hormone, and the body does not make iodine, we have to obtain it through what we eat such as non-farmed salt water fish, seaweed and sea vegetables. Majority of people do not eat in these foods, in particular those following diets containing that lack variety and often only have a handful of food sources; Chicken, broccoli and sweet potato. People living off this are at serious risks of damaging their thyroid. This is a subject I could write in great lengths however in simple terms taking sea kelp is essential.
Magnesium – there are many uses for taking magnesium but one of the reasons I take this as a supplement is down to the positive effects it has on my sleep as it relaxes muscles. During the sleeping hours the liver is not only detoxifying but the body is repairing and rebuilding by releasing vital hormones such as growth hormone, this is imperative for health and an athletes’ recovery. Magnesium is also significant for enhancing insulin function; without insulin magnesium cannot be transported, and a reduction of magnesium in cells strengthens insulin resistance. Most importantly magnesium is not only necessary for the action of insulin but also the manufacture of insulin.