“DREAMING, EXCESSING, ACCOMPLISHING”
When have you been bold, made a change and what were the results?
I recently took on a 30-day challenge where I trained with a female body builder. This was filmed for the BBC iPlayer so it gave me a lot of motivation to see it through – it’s called “Get Muscly In A Month”. I went from not going to the gym at all to working out for 30 days straight. It was a tough challenge but I’m so happy I did it. I lost 10% body fat and gained 2kgs of muscle.
I didn’t know I could change that much in such a short space of time! The most rewarding change was mentally, it helped me believe in myself and lead a much healthier lifestyle. I’m so much happier now, I have more energy and I feel great.
Why did you begin your fitness journey?
I was inspired by the rise in girls strength training and body building. I think this is such a positive movement and it was good for me to get involved and also have a goal to aim for. It made me feel energised and reinvigorated. It wasn’t easy at first, during the first week I thought I was going to give up.
I hadn’t been to the gym in years but I got through it, kept going, learned a lot and changed a lot! Most importantly it helped me focus, achieve something and feel so much better inside & out. Best thing I’ve done in years.
What motivated you to change your lifestyle?
I did a bodybuilding show a long time ago in memory of someone very close to me who sadly passed away. I’d never done body building prior this and after the show, I didn’t train again, I went straight back to the old me.
Over the years I’d become lazy, demotivated, sluggish and had low confidence. I ate the wrong things at the wrong time. Something inside me thought enough was enough and I had to do something about it. I also started doing the early breakfast show on Radio 1. I get up at 2 am and start my show at 4 am so I knew I was going to have to make a change if I was going to survive!
Do you feel the sports industry has gender equality?
I think things are much better now. It makes me happy to see so many talented high profile women who are great role models for the next generation. Seeing young girls playing football, rugby, boxing etc… is fantastic! I hope it keeps growing and more sports embrace both girls and boys at a grassroots level.
There’s still work to be done but it’s definitely moving in the right direction.
What is your favourite exercise?
I like working out my chest, it’s the day that hurts the least! I like the bench press or dumbbell press. I quite like training back too. Legs are worst!
Have you ever felt self-conscious at the gym? How did you deal with it?
I don’t often feel self-conscious in the gym as I’ve usually got my headphones on listening to music. I usually zone out and go into my own little world. If I forget my headphones I want to cry! That’s probably when I’d feel self-conscious. I applaud anyone who gets up and goes to the gym, though. The hardest part is getting there.
Do you have a specific diet plan that you follow?
I didn’t before the 30-day challenge. My diet was horrific! Mostly takeaways, fast food, chocolate and sweets! Now I try to eat natural food that hasn’t been manufactured in any way and I try to cook everything from scratch.
Do you have a cheat day?
I don’t really have a cheat day but if I have a treat, I try to have it in moderation (since the 30-day challenge). I’m still learning about what’s good for me. I now enjoy finding healthy new recipes and foods online. Instagram is brilliant for that, I wish I’d found this out sooner!
Who is your favourite superhero and why?
Deadpool. He’s a reluctant superhero, an anti-hero almost. He’s funny, filthy, says all the wrong things but deep down he’s a good guy. He’s hilarious too.
Did anyone or anything, in particular, inspire you to make a difference?
My parents inspire me every day. They’ve done so much with so little. They’ve worked hard and given me the 5 best friends I could wish for (my brothers and sisters).
Do you think social media has an impact on individual’s health and well-being? If so, why?
In some ways, it’s made us so much more connected. I don’t live in Southport anymore but I can still feel close to my friends and family via social media. I think it can also have a negative effect. Sometimes people behave differently on social media than they would in real life. It can also put pressure on people to look or maybe think a certain way.
It’s always important to take time out, live life and remember that social media is only a snapshot of the bigger picture. It’s not absolute.
How do you balance your social life, family and training?
Since starting the early breakfast show I make sure I have a routine and I stick to it! As much as I’m tempted to stay out past my bedtime I know my limits and when it’s time to turn in!
If you could have one advice/quote for all the women in the world what would it be?
I loved my high school, the teachers were brilliant, I went to an all girls school and most of the teachers were women. I always remember one of our teachers saying one day “never let the fact you’re a woman hold you back. You can achieve anything you want to”. That’s always stuck with me.
What is your favourite TV Show/TV character?
At the moment I’m catching up on Parks & Recreation. All the characters are brilliant but if I had to choose one it would be Lesley Knope.