The week before last I hit a bit of a slump – my training and nutrition has slipped and I was eating far too many calories and not nearly enough fresh food. Hello sugar!

When this happens I find the easiest way for me to reset is to have a week of no ‘rules’ but decent food and for me the simplest way to do this is order in some meal prep.

I’d love to be able to afford to buy meal prep every week but it’s a bit beyond my budget however for a week to take away stress, add variety without having the stress of cooking it’s a really good idea.

I used PerfectPrep. They deliver nationally (UK) and I got 14 meals for £72. They were delivered Tuesday and lasted me until the end of Sunday (on Wednesday and Thursday I had 3 meals).

I added in my own breakfasts and snacks and by the end of the week with zero effort or proper planning I’d hit my calorie target and my protein targets for the week. I felt better and this week have eased back into my normal eating habits feeling like my mind has re-see itself.

Have a system that allows you to eat well but accept that sometimes you will need to mix things up for a bit and having some back up plans, like I had here, allows you to re-set without just saying sod it and eating everything and anything you can lay your hands on.

No Jazzy Title, Just an Honest One Today

I’ve struggled to train recently. I’ve also struggled to hit a calorie deficit in the last few weeks, having some really good days food wise and then some days where I’m dramatically overeating all the wrong stuff. This has coincided with not feeling 100% myself.

I don’t know why – nothing has happened to make me feel down and there hasn’t been any reason for my training or food intake to be affected. Often I find the two go hand in hand though – so if my training or diet isn’t great I will feel a bit low and when I feel a bit low I’ll eat my bodyweight in chocolate and train less.

I’ve realised that I, like most people I imagine, get myself caught in self – destructive cycles where if one thing isn’t perfect it feels like nothing is right, and in turn I let myself sabotage other areas of my life. I get a downer on myself where I feel like everything I do is substandard. The last few weeks I’ve questioned myself on so many things that to others may seem ridiculous and been upset about things I should have brushed off.

One thing I’m getting better at though is recognising this in myself, because this is when you can step back, get some perspective and draw a line.

  • Realistically I’ve still trained 2-3 times every week for the past few weeks, as well as teaching and running a half marathon – so I’ve not really been lazy.
  • I’ve finished the last two weeks in a calorie surplus which isn’t great, but I’ve hit my protein goals and I’m not overweight so I’ve not done any lasting damage.
  • I’ve been a bit down but I know I’ve had some stressful situations to deal with plus been poorly so this isn’t the start of something terrible, I’ve just let myself get a bit stressed.

What I’ve started to try and do when this happens is train – no pressure- just go to the gym and do something (and enjoy it) and then eat nice but fresh food that isn’t processed and sugar filled. Normally I’ll start to feel more positive quickly just from this little system.

Three points from this:

  • A week or so ago was Mental Health Week and there were lots of great posts- but people struggle all year round so don’t be afraid to speak up at other times if you feel like everything is getting to be just a bit much.
  • Sometimes depression doesn’t affect you all in. Sometimes you are perfectly fine and functioning just not feeling 100%. This doesn’t mean it’s any less important to recognise and deal with it – and being aware of how you feel and how you can improve your mood can sometimes help you catch yourself.
  • For me – physical wellness and mental wellness are closely linked. Small habits make a big difference to my mind-set.


I had my blog post ideas for the week all lined up.

But I’ve changed my mind.

Instead I want to talk about overtraining.

Overtraining is a strange concept- especially if you talk about it to non gym goers. To those who don’t live in gym land – If you are someone who would like to visit the gym regularly but never quite manage to fit it into your routine – the idea that you can train too much is a bit odd. When you first get into training the idea that more and more and more isn’t necessarily better is confusing.

If you train daily (or almost daily) however overtraining is a real thing.

And the problem is you don’t normally realise this until you have overtrained.

Feeling drained, an increasing number of aches and pains, muscle soreness that won’t ease, a drop in performance, insomnia, headaches, irrationally hating everyone around you, irritability, feeling run down or even poorly, losing all motivation to actually train. These are all signs of overtraining.

Overtraining can cause real damage to your body and take a long time to recover from if you push too hard for too long. Once you’ve overtrained once though and are aware of the signs you can be smarter about spotting it early and acting before you are hit by lots of negative effects.

If you’re really smart you’ll cycle your training so you have periods of intense work followed by lighter weeks, with different focuses so the body can recover. This will reduce the risk of overtraining and allow you to get better results.

Even if you do this however sometimes you will still hit a wall. Just out of nowhere. When you do you need to listen to your body and adjust your routine and recover. This might mean adjusting your goals a little but will also mean you can continue to improve rather than stagnating and becoming the grumpiest person in existence.

I have just had a couple of light / deload weeks. I’ve been learning new choreography for classes and this and all the associated adrenaline rushes take it out of you so my own training has been deliberately lighter. I’d dipped a bit but thought I’d recovered well.

Despite this on Monday when I almost burst into tears for reasons known only to my hormones (and possibly related to severe tiredness caused by a day of 9.5 hours in an office, a spin class, a Body Pump class, a HIIT class and a 4.5km run) I knew I was possibly at the point of having over trained. When people start asking if you are being irrational again and when you’ve eaten 3 slices of chocolate cake in one day, that’s also another clue that perhaps you need a break!

So I’ve pulled back a bit for a few days. I’ve taught my classes and done some light stuff in the gym just to keep moving but reduced intensity dramatically and have booked Friday off work to have a lie in and just generally slow down the pace. I don’t think I have reached the point of actually having overtrained but I might have physically done a bit too much recently.

I think when people think about overtraining often the question is ‘how do I know if I have’? I’m not an expert but my thought process is if you are questioning whether you have overtrained chances are you have or are seriously close to it.

Caring less about labels and symptoms and just listening to your body and reacting to what you feel can make a world of difference in staying physically and mentally well.

What I did for Lunch Today

Well obviously I went to the gym.  This blog is about the gym so I was hardly likely to be writing about anything else!

I like using my lunch times for a workout.  I’m lucky to have a basic gym onsite at work so I can do some form of training instead of just sitting on my bum and eating cake.  Sometimes I’ll go for a run instead, and today I was tempted because we are having the first nice weather in months but in the end I decided to train inside.

This was largely as I’ve had a tough week mentally.  Work has been stressful, learning new Les Mills stuff has drained me and time wise I’ve been limited and so I have got to Thursday without having done a single workout (I’ve taught 8 classes but no actual ‘me’ training to speak of) so I felt I needed to do a decent weights based session to avoid falling into a slump and went in with just the intention of getting myself moving again.

I had 45 minutes – this is what I did:

Alt Lunges 10/8/6/4/2/15/15- two 12kg dumbbells.

I hate lunges – I suspect I have at some point in the past broken my left toe and so the range of movement in it is poor and I struggle with range on that side.


12 Cleans

9 Rows

6 Cleans

3 Push Press

X 10  sets with 60 seconds rest between sets – 25kg bar

This was a forearm killer.  Although it wasn’t a heavy bar the sheer number of reps (180 cleans, 90 rows and 30 push press) took me to the point of fatigue and by the end of the session I was sweating without doing a single second of cardio.   

Now I’ve got a proper workout in this week I feel so much better.  It’s made me want to eat better today compared to the last couple of days and coupled with the weather I feel so much more brighter an positive.

Life lesson- if you are feeling a bit rubbish getting moving (and by moving I mean whatever type of activity you enjoy and will make you feel good) and eating some decent food is a great way to start making yourself feel better.

*Workout designed by Ricky Long @rickylong42

Climbing Over That Wall

This time last week I wrote about how I’d hit a wall. When that happens you have two choices: wallow or get over it. I chose to try and climb over it and decided to keep a diary of the ups and downs of how I went on.


My alarm went off at 5am and I immediatey started to calculate how soon I could get back into bed this evening- 8 classes over the weekend (and 18 across the week) had definitely taken it’s toll on my body. But I dragged myself into the kitchen and had a pint of ice cold water (Tip- put a glass of tap water in the fridge before you go to bed each night – it will wake you up!) and took my supplements (Omega 3- when I don’t take this I really feel a difference in my mood and a multi vitamin). Having woken up I quickly got ready and headed for the gym. The great thing about morning classes is whatever mood I’m in when I arrive I leave feeling great. My classes are filled with hard working regulars and everyone always pushes so hard it makes the early morning start worth it so I got to work determined to have a better week. I had breakfast at 10 am (pancakes, bacon and banana) and treated myself to a slice of my favourite Cosco Carrot cake mid morning (one plus of working in a big office is there is always free cake!). My plan for the week is eat well 80% of the time but not to be too hard on myself, allow treats and above all eat with purpose. The cake made my busy Monday brighter so the value it bought me outweighs any negatives (and it fit my macros anyway so win win!). My day didn’t go to plan and 3 unplanned meetings meant I didn’t get to train at lunch time, so I made sure I fitted in an intense 20 minute workout (courtesy of online coach Biceps and Burrittos – you need to follow their Instagram page: biceps_and_burritos) before my Body Combat class. Result – I finished the day feeling like I was starting to get back on track!

Monday Training:

21 Kettlebell swings (16kg)

15 Push ups

9 Burpee tuck jumps

3 Rounds for time

5×5 Kettlebell Squats (64kg)


Snow day! Despite the snow my morning spin class was full and this made up for the fact I managed to leave my food for the day on the train AND loose my favourite gloves on the way to the office (cue red raw hands!). Got my new training plan through so made sure I got down to the gym at lunch time to ty a session out. For the first time in a few weeks it has started to feel good to train. Happy Heather and an evening off because planned rest is also important!

Tuesday’s Training

Bent over Rows 10×10 (30kg)

Chest Press 10×10 (25 kg)

50 Squats 40 Push ups, 30 Lunges, 20 tricep press, 10 burpees – For Time


Morning Spin done and a day off my own training because I teach Body Combat in the evening so find adding training to a Wednesday a bit draining. Feeling like I’m eating well- staying within an 8 hour feeding window and sticking to a 5-15% calorie deficit with lots of protien. Today was World Scouse Day, and as I work with a Scousser he made us all Scouse with Tiger Breadfor lunch- very welcome given the snow! Severe train delays meant 2 hours waiting at the station for a train before giving up and getting a taxi – really wanted to eat rubbish when I got in to warm up but resisted, had a hot shower and lots of water instead- felt angelic!


England cannot deal with weather!!! The journey from hell to get to work (I had to get my morning classes covered) and an ice cold office (to the person who decided it was a good idea to remove the windows in the middle of the coldest spell in the UK for years – well done!) meant my motivation was severely lacking. But I got a lunchtime workout in and made it to the gym to teach Zumba to the 2 brave souls who made it to the gym! Then on the way home I fell over on the ice (doh!) Despite a challenging day (and a sore bum) I ate pretty well but realised my stretching and water consumption has been poor over the last two days.

Thursday’s Training

Sumo Deadlifts 10×10 50kg

Alternate clean front lunge 5×10 20kg

3 Front Squats, 3 Push Press, 3 Front squat, 3 Push Press x 7 30kg


I am over the weather now – the snow needs to leave!. Every journey has taken longer than normal and is mentally and physically draining and training and meal prepping time has been limited because of it so I have struggled to eat as planned. I have tried to make reasonable choices however and have definitely managed to eat better than last week and have got in plenty of good quality training sessions, including a lunch time session today and teaching a one hour class this evening. This perhaps made up for the pic n mix i scoffed at my desk this afternoon and the Krispy Kreme donught someone ave me! I was supposed to be heading to Glasgow this weekend for a Les Mills event but the weather has put a stop to that so I will spend my unexpected weekend off training, meal prepping and setting myself up for an even better week next week.

Friday’s Training

Bulgarian Split Squat 10×10 Body weight

Upright Row superset with tricep press 10×10 30kg

15 min AMRAP: 20 thruster, 20 burpee, 20 sit ups

After a rotten week last week where my mindset was all wrong I’m proud at how I’ve turned it around this week. Training has been strong, diet has been better (not perfect but that’s OK). I still have things I know I’ve neglected (water, stretching) but this week is proof that with a slight change in attitude you can feel so much better about everything.

Have a great weekend!

Hitting a Wall

This week I hit a wall!

After 9 months of focused training and good results I suddenly and inexplicably ground to a halt. The idea of training or eating a vegetable seemed impossible. My diet became 99% McDonalds with the occasional glass of water. Teaching my classes (I have 16 this week) has been mentally and physically challenging.

Perhaps this is a sign of over training? Or maybe it’s a Platau…

So I took the week off from any exercise I wasn’t being paid to do. I took the week off from meal prep and ate what I fancied. The exercise thing made me nervous. The food thing excited me.

The results? Well I do feel more rested five days in, I’ve slept better and had a bit more downtime which has no doubt helped my CNS. But … I also feel bloated and rubbish from the excessive amount of junk I’ve consumed and I can almost feel my body crying out for water! Despite this I didn’t seem to be able to stop myself buying more and more fatty, greasy, sugary food.

I feel like I’ve lost my mojo and confidence a bit. Like I’m back where I started 9 months ago. I just spoke to my coach about it. As soon as I said it I felt stupid. It doesn’t make any sense when you think about it logically, which goes to show how much your nutrition and physical activity can affect your mindset and mood. Sometimes you need to say the crazy things in your head outloud to realise the ridiculous things that are holding you back.

So tonight, I’m going to try and get my diet back on track. I’m still not going to train again until Monday but some proper meals feel like a necessity now. So on my way home I’m going to buy some nice (and microwavable because it will be 10 pm by the time I get home) meat and veg. Tomorrow I will shop, Sunday I will meal prep and I will try not to overload on chocolate or cake.

Next week I need to put my big girl pants on and get back into the gym, eat well 80% of the time and not dwell on a bad few days. I was going to weigh myself to see where I am currently at (that’s a whole other topic for a future post) but instead I’m just going to see how I feel this time next week in comparison to now.

This week I hit a wall. Now it’s time to climb over it.