A HR worker has told how she ditched her diet of blue WKD and kebabs to get her dream bikini body.
Carly Taylor, 34, admits her habits were too inconsistent to maintain a healthy lifestyle and that she realized she had to make changes.
She tried various diets but found them to be short-term fixes that ended up taking her even further away from her health goals.
The final straw came at a Christmas party when a rude man commented “you can tell you enjoy your food” which devastated her.
Carly explains: “I was utterly devastated. I wasn’t by any means overweight, however the comment coupled with my insecurity and lack of body confidence was extremely hurtful.
“It was the catalyst for me to make and sustain a change.
“I had no idea what to do or where to start so I found a personal trainer and started to go to them once a week, then I added in circuit training a few times a week and quickly I began to see changes.
“When I established the routine of exercise, I quickly went from feeling like I had to go to looking forward to exercising and trying to improve my physical performance as well as appearance.
“I didn’t really have any clue about nutrition, however I started making mindful choices and was just more considerate to what I was putting into my body.
“I went from drinking blue WKDs, having regular main meals of portions of pakora, swinging to the polar opposite of only eating protein, to then preferring to spend my time at the gym, opting for a Nando’s instead of a Chinese, and cooking fresh food instead of microwave meals.”
Carly’s fitness journey picked up so quickly that she started competing in bikini competitions.
She was successful from the very start before deciding to quit because she wanted a better balance in her life.
Carly says: “I was really happy with my fitness and body, and I wanted to challenge myself with the discipline of a competition and see what I could push myself to do.
“I competed in my first comp in 2015 and took third place which I was ecstatic with.
“It’s an extreme sport. You have to be able to give 1000 per cent dedication in order to achieve the results you need to have a chance of doing well.
“At that time in my life I was in the right mindset to do that. After that show I relaxed, and went back to my balance and training hard.
“The next show was in 2017, again, I found myself in the right mindset to commit to what was needed to be successful. That year I took home first place in two out of three competitions I did.
“I’m at a stage in my life where I travel with work, I have a husband I want to make memories with, friends I want meet with, and I’m not prepared to be in a place where I worry about arranging those things because I’m on a set plan or I have already had a “non plan” meal this week.
“I do however still have a coach and still follow some structure because I want to build muscle and I want to see what kind of changes I can make. I still go out with my husband most weekends.
“I’m very much striving for balance, whilst achieving my goals, whether that be to lose some weight, progress with my weight training, fit into a pair of jeans I have.”
And Carly has tips for others starting out on their health journey. She adds: “My tips for someone looking to start a healthier lifestyle is start small, make small changes.
“If you don’t get to walk much because you’re at a desk all day, maybe get up 30 minutes earlier and go for a morning walk, especially as we come into nicer weather.
“If you are overwhelmed by where to start in a gym, start by going with a friend or taking on a personal trainer until you get the confidence to go yourself – it’s true what they say, no one notices what others are doing, so don ‘t be worried about exploring or looking confused at machines, I still do that.
“I think the biggest thing is just to start, and go at your own pace. Find something that works for you and you can sustain.”
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