I have been weight training for 20 years now. I started when I was 14 years old, after picking up Muscle and Fitness magazine with the legend Cory Everson on the cover. Wow I wanted to look like that! I started the gym alongside competing in athletics performing on the track in mainly 800m and 1500m and 4 x400m relay. As soon as I walked in to the gym I was obsessed, being super competitive I just loved the challenge and instantly saw the results.
For me training is a way of life, I need it to feel myself mentally as much as physically. I thrive off challenge; I am incredibly driven and self-motivated and just feel completely at home in the gym.
I decided to focus solely on my weight training to see how far I could take my figure. I found out about Fitness shows back in 1999. At the time, this was the only apart from female bodybuilding. I loved the look but soon realized the top women were all very highly trained gymnasts and I just didn’t have the flexibility. It was in 2003 that the IFBB launched “Figure”. One woman inspired me from the start, Monica Brant. She was in the first Olympia Figure line up and it just sparked a passion that has never died since.
I did my first show in 2005 and won, then I went on to take 3rd at the British Finals; I also got an invite to the IFBB Worlds. I also competed in the USA at the NPC Emerald cup that year and literally went from show to show for 5 over years straight, and burned myself out physically and mentally. After my last time competing with the IFBB at the Worlds I received my Invitation and Pro Card from Paul Dillett who had just started the WBFF Federation, to compete in the World Championships in the Pro Figure. This was the best decision I had made, not only that I was to stand onstage against my idol (and now great friend) Monica Brant! The experience was incredible, I felt I was finally in the right federation, and I am grateful for the opportunity that I was given by the WBFF. I placed 4th in the World on my Pro debut.
I love lifting heavy, building my figure was based upon lifting heavy weights and high intensity training. I have learned to listen to my body, now I have developed my figure I don’t have to push quite as hard to maintain it, instead I focus on intensity and training smarter, knowing when to rest and when to step it up is crucial in this sport. Training around injuries and keeping a positive mindset during hard times has not only been a big challenge but has made me become a more rounded professional athlete. My diet is clean all year apart from when I include more carbs and good fats off season, I also use “cheat days” when I am not contest dieting, as this keeps my body in an anabolic (growing) state. I genuinely love eating healthy clean food, but do have a massive sweet tooth and cake is my weakness! As a natural athlete you must learn to give your body more rest and nutrition to let it recover from contest diets and periods of intense training.
I own a gym in the UK with my husband, WNBF Pro Dr Ian Hardy. He trained other competitors which also helped support him throughout his own journey to win the UKDFBA UK championships and go on to win the World Title with the INBF, and get his WNBF Pro card. I feel it is important to be on the other side, to be supporting your loved ones and gain the balance back in your life.
In 2010 that I decided to take some time out of competing due to two serious injuries and feeling burned out. Now I am fully recharged, I have also learned so much from stepping away for a few years, and I have continued to improve my physique. I am ready to return to the WBFF Pro stage this year and I am competing at the WBFF World Championships 10th anniversary in Toronto. I am so excited, and grateful to be supported by, and to represent Glam Fit bikinis in my stage comeback. I can’t wait to present my best package on stage and go after that world title.
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