Strutting about a stage in a bejewelled bikini, you might think I’m the most confident of people. 
Or ‘one of those body beautifuls’ that love parading themselves in front of an audience. 
Yet the reality is, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 
I recently took part in my latest fitness challenge – the Pure Elite Championships Bikini and Bodybuilding Contest, in Margate. 
As anyone who follows my social media feeds will know, I did indeed don a sparkly bikini and high heels. 
But as anyone who knows me will know, this kind of thing is emphatically NOT within my comfort zone. 
The motivation behind me doing so was much more deep-rooted, and less superficial than that. 
Inspiration – from the inside out 
I talk to people, every day, about how they are struggling to achieve their desired weight or shape, and I give them advice on how to get there, through a blend of healthy eating and exercise. With life-changing results. 
Yet it’s struck me lately just how confused many of those who approach me are about what they should be eating, for optimum health. And that’s not at all surprising really, given the conflicting news reports they hear from one day to the next, about which foods are considered super, and which have been relegated to ‘devil’ status. 
One minute fat is bad, the next it’s better for you in moderation than reduced fat varieties of things, and sugar, well, don’t get me started on that. 
I’ve spent a lot of time learning about nutrition and the reality is that, if you pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth, keep an eye on the amount you’re consuming and its calorific and fat content, and – the absolute golden rule – avoid anything in a packet or wrapper where possible, you will find a slimmer, healthier version of yourself. 
I wanted to put all of this properly to the test, though, by challenging myself to follow a stricter eating regime than I have ever done before. After all, my mantra, is ‘practice what you preach’. 
Hence, the idea of taking part in the Pure Elite competition was born. 
No margin for error 
I’m pretty fit, I suppose. That goes without saying, given my chosen career. 
And I’ve even taken part in challenging fitness-based competitions in the past – one being Miss Galaxy Universe. 
However, Pure Elite, in my opinion, is even tougher, as a recognised gateway to professional competition. So I had to go after it, and pit myself against some of the UK’s most beautiful bodies. 
I’m not a body builder, so I entered the Bikini Divas Over 35s and Mums That lift amateurs categories, where contestents are judged on their tone and poise. Every sinew and every muscle must be the right shape and size, and you have to be able to present yourself effectively, too, by holding the correct poses. 
I had 90 days to get ‘match-ready’, and the regime I had to follow to get there tested me to the very limit. 
I followed a rigorous gym training schedule, which meant being at the gym for 6am every single day; chose my food strategically and weighed every single morcel I put in my mouth. 
By the time the competition came around, I have to say it was taking all my reserves of will power to stave off temptation. I was running at a daily calorie deficit of around 500 to maintain my peak physique; I was hungry all the time and lacked concentration as a result. 
Yet it was all so worth it in the end. Why? Well, I didn’t win but I delved into reserves of personal strength and focus I didn’t know I had, and working for the perfect body gave me a renewed sense of myself and greater perspective on other areas of my life. I could do anything, conquer any challenge. 
My two kids witnessed me striving for the heights, too, and I hope what I achieved will encourage them to have faith in their own abilities, whenever they face inevitable challenges in their lives. 
Most importantly of all, though, I learned so much about the delicate balance between what we eat and who we are. 
Now, I’m looking to share that learning with others, via a new 90-day eating plan I’ve developed based on what I know, from my Pure Elite experience, really works. 
It will be a roadmap based on what I learned, for anyone who has struggled to strike the right balance with food. It’s not anywhere near as extreme as what I had to do for the competition, of course, but following it will help those who follow it, be fitter, leaner and healthier than they thought they could be. 
A healthier you, in just 90 days 
Inspired by my experience, I’m launching a new 90-day meal plan service where, for a set fee, I will design a bespoke eating regime tailored to suit each individual, based on factors like their start weight, typical daily resting calorie intake, and how active they are in their daily life. 
Based on a detailed metabolic rate analysis, I will recommend how many calories they should be eating, with exercise, and prescribing a shopping list and daily recipes. I’ve done this because people tell me, time and time again, that one of the reasons they succumb to eating the wrong things, is not having the right things in the kitchen cupboard, or getting caught out hungry during their working day when there is nothing healthy around for them to eat. Therefore, my meal plans take the uncertainty and temptation away, by telling what you need to eat, and what to shop for, to make sure you’ve got all the right things in, and avoid falling off the wagon. 
It’s not about gimmicks, calorie counting or yoyo diets, it’s based on solid, healthy eating with a goal in mind – and the golden rule of avoiding anything processed! 
If the above appeals to you and you’d like to find out more about my new 90-day plan, visit [XXX insert link] 
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