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Battle scars

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Battle Scars is written by Jason “Foxy” Fox, who was formally in the UK’s Elite Special Forces SBS Branch. He had an impressive career in the Armed forces in which he started his career in the Royal Marines. We will know Foxy through the media as he did SAS Who Dares Wins and most recently Meet The Drug Lords: Inside the Real Narcos. Jason is well known for charity work as well such as the Bourne and also Rock2Recovery (which he is an ambassador for). When Jason’s book was announced for release I made the decision to pre-order. So in this post I will be giving my own opinion regarding the book after i have took the time and read it 3 times to try and get a thorough understanding.

Battles Scars was by far the most emotional book that I have had the privilege to read. When I sat and read the first page, I felt physically drawn to the book. The book made such an impact on the first page I had to read more. As I read more of the book I could feel so many emotions being portrayed. I felt sorrow, anguish and worry, there was even a time that I felt as though my heart was going to break and leading to tears (not giving any spoilers i’m afraid). Reading and feeling such raw emotions made me wonder how hard it must be for someone to go through the anguish of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and I even was frightened to know what was going to happen next.

As i got further and further into the book it became apparent that the fight with the condition for Foxy wasn’t easy. I am truly delighted that he was able to share his story and hopefully this will encourage people to speak out. I’m not talking about just PTSD but with mental health in general, as the stigma around it needs to be erased.

The book for me was a true eye opener as I heard of the condition but never really understood it completely. I personally think for Foxy to be able to open up about the ordeal he went through was truly courageous and humbling. Hopefully now the world will have a clear understanding of the battle that someone has been through. For those that have not read the book I would recommend that you read the book as you wont be left disappointed. All I will say is be prepared for an emotional journey that Foxy has had to face. This book is truly inspirational on many levels and the more people are going to read or listen (available on audible) then awareness may hopefully erase the stigma for mental health.

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Easter 25km for Rock2Recovery

After my first half marathon for the year I decided I needed a challenge for myself. I had found an advertisement for an ultra series event which was close to home and they link up to Rock2Recovery so it made fundraising so much easier. So I signed up and I thought great 25km challenge carrying all kit I needed. So I knew I had to get training.

Preparation

So I used my Battle Ready 360 training and focused on getting my body ready as I knew for me it would be a challenge to jogging with weight on my back. It was all going well and then I became ill. On the 18th March I was taken into hospital via ambulance with breathing difficulties. I was masked up and went in as suspected covid, I was terrified after everything you saw with the situation. But it was a negative thankfully. So I was pumped up with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication and an enebuliser. Before going home they pumped me up with morphine and a box of strong medication. Cause a chest infection that never settled causing irritation of the lung lining. I was so high and I slept well considering when I got home, only to realise I felt crap shortly after.

Costochondritis

The week had past and I didn’t feel all that better so the doctor checked me over and he said I had something called costochondritis. All my rib muscles and the cartlidge between each rib was highly inflammed and I was prescribed steroids. I felt better with time and I knew Easter weekend was my event I had to get better to be able to do it.

I took the time to rest and recover, planking away for the Easter event. Before long we had an email saying that it was cancelled however it can be done virtually over the weekend. So I thought perfect I planned a route which covered 10 miles and I would have to the rest the best day. With everything such as recovering from illness and I hadn’t been able to train.

Easter Event

The morning of the event I was up early and stretched. Tried to fit my bunny ears but they kept falling off my head. So I set off at sunrise knowing it was going to be a boiling hot day. I went further than my actual planned route. I was determined to keep going and tackle this head on. I had people say good morning and I was able to hit parts of the route minus a few detours as I live pretty much on the actual route for the event.

I was able to maintain a steady pace as I didn’t want to make any injury worse. It felt strange to be out so early and at an event which I was eggar to do. I found myself at Windsor in no time and I kept going through the town. It was like a ghost town as no one was around no tourists. It was nice to be fair as your always darting and people always cut you up. As I got to the long mile I could hear bagpipes playing at Windsor castle I guess getting ready for Easter service.

It was getting very hot and going up the long mile was an actual killer, it was like an oven. I reached the top and looked down as I felt good but my body started to ache majorly. I have to get home as I had 5 miles to go before reaching my final destination. I kept my legs moving and my playlist going, I was thinking about that nice ice cold protein shake and something to eat. I pushed on and the miles soon became closer to the finish. I got home feeling achieved and happy but aching like mad.

I checked my miles and I had clocked 22.5km out of the 25km. I honestly felt so happy but I came short in my overall run. So I went and got myself sorted out. I decided to go for a walk with Lucas that evening with his scooter and I clocked up the difference. So I completed 25 km in one day which meant goal achieved.

What’s next

So with covid 19 it meant the actual event was cancelled, so I transferred it to another ultra series event which will be the Thames Bridge Trek in September. I also had a half marathon also lined up for raising the funds for Rock2recovery. Under the circumstances the half marathon is cancelled and I am unsure at the moment about my Bridge trek.

I am truly inspired by the work that Rock2Recovery do and their work is vital. I was inspired by the Founders but more so after reading Battle Scars. I can tell you the lives they are saving and the work that’s entailed is phenomenal. Every penny goes to saving the lives of veterans and military. But also now the emergency services. It’s a great honour to be apart of Team Fortitude and making a difference. It’s not only the work I am inspired by but someone I have got to know and she’s called Li. Li is an inspiring veteran who’s been through hell to say the least. She had her own story but she has inspired me more and to help keep going for Rock2Recovery. Li has treatment through Rock2Recovery, and she’s doing amazing. I am privileged to get to know Li.

I know even the smallest of fundraisers make a vital difference. Hand on heart I will keep raising money for Rock2Recovery as I believe in the work that they do. Thank you to everyone for sponsoring but also reading.

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Battle Ready by Ollie Ollerton

Ollie and his 2 incredible books

Battle Ready was released on 30th April 2020, and it was a book I had pre-ordered before the release. The night before Ollie took to Facebook and did a live session answering any questions and I was buzzing to get reading. So I went to my local shop to buy one as my order never turned up I guess I got to impatient. So this is what I think of the book and believe me you need to read this book it’s a LIFE CHANGER.

Who is Ollie Ollerton?

Ollie started his military career as a Royal Marine but then joined the UK’s Elite SBS Special Forces. Ollie is well know now for his role with the other DS in SAS Who Dares Wins which has been a huge success. Not only that Ollie founded a Company call Break-Point which offer a range of life changing courses for the public. He had also launched a veterans academy under the Break-point name which is incredible. Ollie also with Jason fox have created the latest and biggest fitness hit Battle Ready 360 (that’s incredible and I love it). This is Ollie’s second book and he was No1 with Break Point in the Sunday times.

Battle Ready

My copy

When I started reading the prologue I was already glued to the book. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It send a strange and surreal feeling within this section before the book truly got started. All I knew is I didn’t want to put the book down.

As I got further into the book it became clear Ollie went through a tough time. His marriage ending, alcohol, Valium and the negative doubts he was hopeless and a loser. He then invested in a project which was saving trafficked children. Such a high risk job and without any protection, believe me my watch was going off as my heart went through the roof at this point. It’s truly heart breaking to think what those poor girls had to go through just to survive in their world.

I loved how honest Ollie was through his struggle and then the light bulb came in and he wanted to change for the better. Ollie went through a rough period of self doubt and loomed in a negative cycle (I know what that feels like) and he has had to climb his way out of it and get to the top of where he wanted to be.

The book has some incredible tasks for you to complete, unlocking what could he your true potential. I write it down on paper as I don’t want to write in this book. Some of the techniques are simple and I wish I knew this sooner, others to me will take a little time but they are slowly making my mind tick and truly think.

Negativity

It’s easy to slump into a negative hole and it’s hard to get out. Reading this made me realise how I have been in some dark negative holes and I didn’t want to come out. Having to come out took real strength and courage. Your brain has an automatic negative default and you have a short split of time to stop that from happening. We all as individuals will try and find a shortcut with things. Perfect example I have seen people decide to use steroid injections as it’s quicker for them to build muscle than work hard and ache. The biggest one to deal with I think is EGO.

With the ego you create something you think you are when in reality you are something different. Then you have the subconscious and you have to feed it positive to ensure it thrives. The brain is a complicated piece of kit and it will either make you or break you. Ollie is trying to help you utilise the brain for positive direction. One thing the brain loves is a comfort zone, this is the safety net and it doesn’t grow unless you have faith. You have to push out of this and it’s scary I know but I’ve love living out of it. I push trying events I dream of such as a half marathon.

Goals.

I love a goal I maybe crazy but I want to achieve in life. I’ve learnt to make goals by being SMART. Ollie explains well in the book and believe me goals make a lot of difference and no goal is to small. With a goal as long as it has a structure and is concrete it shouldn’t fail. How have I learnt, let me tell you a secret Ollie Ollerton.

Goals I don’t think can’t work without visualisation. You have to be able to visualise your self. For example for me it was to complete my first ever half marathon. I had a tough time and I only had 5/6 weeks to get ready due to a soft tissue injury on my knee. The night before I got ready and I went to bed early after going over my goal. That morning I was nervous and I visualised crossed that finish line with tears down my eyes and a big smile. Why? I had just completed one of my biggest goals.

The book has everything you need to know about making yourself into a more stronger mentally and above all positive person. Reading this book I have learnt so much and it is going to be used. I considered my self to be a positive persons as when I’ve been in dark Clouds i have found the silver lining. But after reading this I learnt that isn’t the case and I can be a better me. Having a strong mind means I’ll be able to achieve so so much in life and nothing is going to stop me from reaching goals.

Ollie, thank you for sharing these methods with us in this incredible book. Like the first book I found inspiration and you have inspired me and so many others to make a better change in themselves. Ollie was the one who inspired me to change and take on the road of fitness and I am getting stronger mentally and physically. This book is an investment and it’s worth every single penny. You are not disappointed in what you learn and you will learn from the very best.

I like to push out my comfort zone and I learn more about myself and what I am truly capable of. I’m looking forward to taking a small dip into the SF world and go to Break-Point base camp next year. But it’s time for me to get back into my fitness after a long haul with costochondritis. Thanks so much again Ollie truly inspirational !

Ollie and his best friend Murphy

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BR360 Training

Hey guys, so this next blog is about my progression with Battle Ready 360 and where I am roughly now. So it’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster and I’ve had to modify my training a lot since around the middle of February.

There was days I would look pregnant because my core would just swell completely up and I would have a lot of pain. So I have spoken to a doctor and they had ran some bloods and an ultrasound all clear. They have placed me on medication till I have seen the gynaecologist and I am able to train as long as I am smart. The doctors believe I have something called endometriosis.

So I was adapting the Battle Ready 360 instead of kettlebell weight I used small hand held weights and wrist weights. I slowed down the amount of sit ups so it was more form. I was careful at what I ate and ensured lots of fluid was taken. I even went for low intensity jogs, okay they was more like brisk walks. If I was to swollen I wouldn’t train as the pain was often bad. The training was going well up until recently.

Hospital visit

2 weeks ago I took a odd turn, the Tuesday evening I did my workout and I felt great. The next morning I woke up and my chest ached a lot, I thought nothing of it and carried on my day. Then as the day went on I became breathless very easy. That’s very odd for me as I jog often and I don’t normally become so breathless. Put it this way 10 steps I was exhausted and breathless.

I knew something was off when I picked up my son and the excruciating pain that ripped through my chest and shoulders. I put him down and I doubled over with tears. I said to my dad I need to speak to someone and get seen. So I called 111 and I was on hold for just over an hour. My breathing became loud and noisy I didn’t feel to good. After speaking to someone she said we have an ambulance on it’s way and will be 20mins. I got my small bag together purse, phone charger, phone, meds and a snack.

Before long they had arrived and I had to confirm that no one was self isolating or had been in contact with covid-19. They ran some basic observations at home. I was breathless and giving my details I couldn’t breathe. My chest sounded clear but I was sounding loud. They done an ecg and that was normal but my heart rate was through the rough at 115 resting. They was concerned, they saw me in fitness kit and they knew I had just done a half marathon prior as I wore the evidence.

There concern was because of the pandemic of covid-19 but they needed me to have tests to see what was happening. So I was instructed to wear a face mask and into the ambulance I went. I was a low risk for covid-19 but as they called the hospital and being respiratory I had to go in a suspected.

Into isolation

We arrived at the hospital and into isolation I went. Seeing the NHS staff in full PPE equipment was unusual but I was seen so quickly. Soon I was on the bed I was hooked to a monitor with my stats on show, another ECG, Bloods and a Canular. My heart was all over the place even reaching to 150. I didn’t know what was happening and they was so quick in my care. So they had me have a chest X-ray which came back clear as did the bloods. I didn’t have covid-19 as one of the bloods didn’t flag up the marker.

But they gave me oral antibiotics, I’ve antibiotics, steroids and an enebuliser. The doctor examined me carefully and watched my heart rate. Every time they handed over they would make me laugh we have a young runner with breathing difficulties or the fact my veins was so up they didn’t need to find them. I heard a lot and got a lot of information on Covid-19 and the effects it has on people as the Person in the bay next door was displaying covid-19 symptoms and he has pneumonia in both lungs.

More tests

So the doctor said everything was normal and they didn’t understand so they decided to ensure I didn’t have a blood clot in the lungs or anywhere. Another blood test in the other arm. By this point I was exhausted and it’s hard to sleep with the monitor going off and the person next door coughing his lungs up. I would happily have fallen asleep in my fitness kit. I was then moved to another part of the hospital and I was given morphine to help ease the pain. That was horrible and I felt like I was on the clouds. The pain magically disappeared and I was soon able to go home.

So it’s a Chest infection that never settled and it’s caused my lung lining to become inflammed and the cartlidge around my ribs. Just as the paramedics thought.

So no training for 7 days. Rest and painkillers safe to say I’m glad I don’t have the covid-19 but I was placed in isolation at hospital and it was a long haul. But they checked me over and it’s all good that it’s just inflammation .

Costochondritis

So I went home and got to bed after having a couple of hours sleep I woke to my little boy “mummy,” he was oblivious the fact I was in an ambulance and I was poorly. I have him the biggest hug even though I felt as though I wanted to throw up. The morphine made me so spaced and drowsy. Soon as it was wearing off it was like the hangover I hadn’t missed. I was also placed on codeine for a little bit to help ease the pain. I was so drowsy with the codeine I just wanted to sleep constantly.

The pain didn’t get any better and I spoke to a doctor he said no you have costochondritis and you need anti inflammatory. So I was put on a weeks course and I was not able to train until I was fully better. The pain was so so sore best way to describe it was someone constantly giving you a bear hug and breathing was restricted. Within 4 days I was feeling stronger and being able to breathe. I tried to train but it was to sore so I had to take a step back.

Valuable lesson

So I have learnt that I need to not let my determination take hold. I push hard and I have gone beyond some days without realising. I have a passion with training and I love the sessions. For me Battle Ready 360 is a challenge and I don’t know what I am capable of. I am slowly getting back into training and I have felt so bad for letting myself slip on the exercise front as I love to train. It maybe a honking training session that Ollie, Foxy and Sam have in store, I may well ache in the morning but I love it !!

Post smile workout with Battle Ready 360

I know that Battle Ready 360 will work for me as I love that kind of workout and I am getting used to using weights to a degree. But I am smiling and staying positive through all of this.

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My Break-Point Journey

Size 14

Hi guys today’s blog is super special, as it’s the time I made a decision to change who i was. So I came across Break-Point advertised on Facebook after looking into the SAS Who Dares Wins DS. I was intrigued and I signed up. So I signed up 20th March 2018 eager for a better and healthier life.

I genuinely didn’t know what to expect and the 3 day prep stage was tough but it is what I needed. I made a very strong start by throwing away every bad food and drink I had. I knew deep down it was going to be tough but I knew I had to change. My journey was underway and I couldn’t have been more excited.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of prime evolution was fun and I can honestly say I enjoyed physical training. The amount of times my yoga mat was soaked in sweat was unreal. The exercises was relentless but its because I gave my all. It wasn’t a magic pill and it was down to me to stay focused and positive. As the weeks progressed i noticed simple changes skin looking healthier, hair stronger and I had more energy. I was enjoying life more and also hanging from trees.

Hanging from a tree

Before long I had completed phase one and it’s time for the assessment. I loved it I felt as though i had achieved something incredible. I was so positive and better minded with the whole process. I had made friends that are going to last a lifetime. But I didn’t stop after phase one no! Hello phase 2……

Phase 2

Phase 2 was the most challenging by far for me. Different movements and different routines, but very interesting. I always looked forward each day to the training programme. By this point I took up jogging and I remember doing an ultra marathon on the top of the phase 2. So it was a race at your own pace 100 miles. So I gave myself 8 weeks as I was a little doubtful I guess. But with my mindset I smashed it in 29 days clocking up 106.5 miles. I couldn’t believe it I achieved so much and it was during the August heat. I had a buzz so I set myself a goal and that was a half marathon. The date was set 29th September 2019 it gave me a year to prepare.

Before Long my phase 2 journey came to an end and it was assessment time. The assessment was tough it was everything you had learnt over the period of time. I was Eager to face this assessment head on, I kept pushing through each day. I pushed hard and dig deep even jogging after each workout. The final day was the most interesting it was the longest assessment to be completed. I went out for a jog first and then I gained an injury but I wasn’t aware till a few days later.

Injury

So I was jogging through the woodlands and I slipped on some mud and I landed on my left knee. I got up and I felt fine, I stretched and carried on. I 3.5 miles in and I wasn’t going to give up. I went home and smashed the 80 minute assessment and I felt exhausted but over the moon. I had finished the toughest programme and I couldn’t have been happier.

End of my pe journey

I took a few days rest and that’s when I knew I had done some damage. My knee swelled right up and I got a lot of fluid. I remember touching it as I never saw anything like that before, but the pain was horrific. So the damage was soft tissue, and it wasn’t good. I was told no training for 6 months and I needed physio therapy. I was not happy, I remember thinking you kidding me 6 months. I tried to do simple exercise but it was to painful. So I had to listen, I had to rest and tell my ego to calm down.

I hated not training I felt as though I had failed because I go so far and then not to train. But within a couple of months I was allowed to gentle train so I was able to swim and they suggested a bike but I found jogging to be less painful. I had physio on my knees and also my hips. He said I may not be able to complete the half marathon as he didn’t feel I was ready.

Achievements

Achievement

So with prime evolution it made me want to achieve and do things I always dreamed of. I did the race at your own pace ultra marathon going over miles and in half the time. Then a bogstacle with Dawn, that was fun and very cold. We had a giggle obstacles, water and mud perfect. As training for my half marathon I did a race at your own pace 160 miles in one month and it was achieved with days to spare.

Then the big day arrived my first half marathon, and I was excited. I had 6 weeks to prepare and I trained for 5 allowing my body to prepare nutritionally. I was also nervous as I had such a bumpy ride up to this point with my knee. I remember what Ollie said and that was until your mentally prepared your never physically ready.

The miles soon went by and I kept a steady pace. I kept saying my positive affirmations and remembered Ollies words. By 11 miles in my body was screaming I thought my knee was going to give in. I thought no that’s negativity and I just took a deep breath and continued on. I saw the 12 mile sign and I could feel tears building up. I kept that emotion inside and I ran down the long mile as quick as I could crossing the finish 2 hours 40 mins.

Where am I now??

So I am now doing Battle Ready 360 programme and loving it. I’ve just done another half marathon in February coming in quicker than my first half marathon. I would have done better but I was tripped up 9.5 miles in and landed on my knee again.

But I remembered everything I was taught and dug deep. I crossed the finish line happy because I could have just given up but I didn’t. I rested up and carrying on with my Battle Ready 360 training. But with suspected endometriosis it makes it painful but you adapt and over come. I have 2 events coming up and I’m super buzzing. First is an ultra series 25km event for rock2recovery then I’m off to Break-Point Basecamp.

The slimmest I’ve been and so happy

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Rock2Recovery 2020

Completed and happy

2020 went off to a strong start for me on the Rock2recovery front. The 2nd of February I completed my first half marathon raising vital funds. The day itself was cold but it was clear and a little sunny in places. We had a complimentary warm by the event holders before the race. I joined my group which was 2 1/2 hours. I always set myself back as I can push hard and move forward accordingly. We went across the start line around the 5 mins mark. I started with the group but I found my pace and I set off. I was going ahead focused and good timing. The first mile was completed in 9 mins. I kept to that pace for the next 3 miles. Then we crossed the motorway bridge and it was very windy which was nice as it was a little warm at that point and the sweat was pouring. Before long I was half way through and coming up a steep hill. My pace slowed to conserve energy and the top cake clear. Next was a steep incline down hill.. yes perfect I ran as fast as my little legs would go. Then it was on to a flat and country roads.

2.5 miles in

My body was screaming but I pushed through, ensuring electrolytes and water was on board. And I slowed down and allowed my breathe to calm. I went back to my pace and it was all good up to this point.

Disaster

So it was just after 9 miles and I noticed another runner at the same pace as me coming reasonably quickly. He cut me up and making me trip over. I went down hard onto the grass verge landing on my left knee. I remember my head screaming no… please no you’ve just had your knee rehabilitated. I then thought I need to breathe, recalibrate and deliver. I checked no cuts and my knee seemed fine. I took a deep breathe and said I will get to that finish line. I started walking and slowly picked up my pace. I could feel pain around my knee and I just thought hard.

I imagined what SAS Who Dares Wins staff would be shouting at me. I refused to crack and dug deep. I had to make it to the finish I got so far. So I got my headphones out and put my play list on breathing through the pain. I kept positive and smiled all the way to the end. I remembered my Master class from Ollie and also the Battle Ready 360 training. These words from Ollie kept going through my mind “ until your mentally prepared your never physically ready.”

My knee was injured at the 11 mile mark but I kept smiling.

Before long I was on the last mile and I know the finish was so close. Then the sense of adrenaline kicked in fuelling me more and emotions was creeping in. I felt a sense of joy and I could feel tears coming knowing I was 500 yards away. I crossed the line with everything I had left in me. Originally I was going to try and get a better time from my first half marathon in September 2019. To my surprise I still got a new personal best. I completed it in 2 hours 38 mins. That was my official time and I was happy but I knew without the injury I would have taken 15 mins off. But that’s now more determination for my next half marathon in September this year.

Once I had crossed and my medal was given I got to the side barrier and I cried a sense of relief. I hobbled round to get my stuff trying to keep composure.

Crossing the finish line with every last inch of energy left

I just got my stuff necked down a couple of painkillers till I could get home and get my knee stretched and ease the pain. On a better examination it was nothing more than bruising from the fall.

What’s next ?

So my next adventure for Rock2recovery is 11th April 2020. I am taking part in an Ultra Series 25km through Windsor. I will be carrying my Ospray Backpack with all vital kit such as food, water, first aid kit and water proofs. This is a big challenge as I have to navigate my way around. Not that I can read a map but you get the route for your phone. But I also have another half marathon later in the year. That’s right I am going back to Windsor to tackle the half marathon.

Ultra series route

Training

Training for the events has been hard but I am loving it. I’m hitting the training with positivity and a smile. So my main training is with Battle Ready 360, which is totally beyond words. The guys have made it so diverse and I create my own workout choosing what I like to do. I also go for runs also keeping a good pace.

Handstand practice

Training hasn’t been easy as I’ve had to modify a lot. I was taken with what the doctors suspect is endometriosis. So test are being done but I have been able to train seriously taking it easy without further injury . So it’s upper body which I am struggling but I’m getting there slowly. Also ensuring my lower body gets done to. I do a lot of mobility even tackling the core as it’s important to keep muscles flexible.

I’m on medication but the painkillers are strong and make me tired. The most key thing for me is listening to my body not my ego. I love to exercise I have to be careful and not injure myself. The key this is meditation and knowing my body. Diet is stable and keeping with the programme. Over all progress is good.

I know with my Battle Ready 360 training and the positive mindset anything is going to be possible. I can’t thank the people that have sponsored me helping me meet over half of my fundraising thank you. A massive thank you to Ollie Ollerton, Jason Fox and the Battle Ready 360 team. But a deep heartfelt thank you to Rock2recovery and the work that they do. Knowing they make a difference to the lives they are changing. I am honoured to be apart of Team Fortitude .

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Transformation

Me now

No In March 2018 I made a conscientious decision to change my life for the better. My journey started with Break-Point and their Prime Evolution Programme. I loved the idea of a fitness programme created by ex-military. The programme caught my eye after watching SAS Who Dares wins, and researched into the DS at the time. Then out of the blue an advert come up for Break-point within 2 days I was signed up.

Phase 1

Me at a size 14

I had got myself into a right mess I was eating bad food and little exercising. I was just focused on my son being a single parent and not looking after myself. But making the change and sticking to it was going to be hard.

The 3 days prep was tough I felt achy with muscles I hadn’t used properly in ages since I left college. I studied public services so it was a lot fitness, Royal Marines came in beasted us senseless. I felt good. When it came to week one of the 12 weeks I was excited. I had made changes throwing away every bad food I had lucozade, chocolate and crisps went into the bin. It felt good knowing out of sight out of mind. I kept a diary knowing that I could read back and see how far I have come.

Weeks into it I got my first injury, great!! I was on painkillers and light fitness thanks to a cast iron hanging basket landing on my foot causing bruising. I got it checked only after I watched the live talk from Ollie and Laura 😅. Just bruising nothing major.

After my resting up and light exercise I was back onto it. Smashing each day with the a positive attitude. There was days where I didn’t do the Break Point warm up or cool down as I did my own thing. But I kept pushing forward. Before long it was the assessment and I was excited to have reached the finish line.

Phase 2

Phase 2, oh that was a nemesis of its own. That was so so hard and some of the movements meant a lot of face planking. I set challenges along side Prime Evolution to make it a lot more challenging (explain separate). I loved Prime Evolution 2 it was like a new form of fitness some of the exercises was brutal but your body screamed especially with the As Fast As Possibles or Every Minute On The Minute. I got into jogging and started to run short distances.

My diet had completely changed I was more aware of food but being careful as I’m a recovered anorexic. Having small amounts of bad fats. I knew if I had a take away because it made me feel physically sick as I ate clean then having that your body knows.. strange I know! I was eating food I never knew about such as avocado and lentils. To my amazement my little boy Lucas was even eating the food and wanting seconds. We have always eaten a balanced diet but eating cleaner and healthier was best.

Back to a size 10-12

It amazed my how my training changed and results showed with the diet and exercise. I didn’t feel exhausted even on little sleep. Going out and eating clean was amazing as everyone had chips for me it was a salad or sweet potato fries.

Injury

So I got an injury while on the Prime Evolution Phase 2 assessment. It was the final day of the assessment the hardest one yet. I decided to go on a 7 mile jog as I was half marathon training. I slipped on some mud and landed in arkward splits. I landed on my left knee, I got up, brushed it off and carried on. It didn’t bother me. Got home and completed the 80 min assessment without hesitation.

A few days later I knew something was wrong my knee swelled up and it has fluid. I had horrific pain shooting down my leg into my foot. So it was to A&E as I tried for days to ease the pain and Use the method R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression and elevation). So I got it examined and the nurse took a look and was like it bends okay your in pain. You have movement you have muscle bruising have some pain killers and crutches. I tell you know I was off my face on pain killers waiting to be seen. They gave me paracetamol and co-drydamol that wasn’t a good idea. I was giggling and hopping around like a bunny. I didn’t feel pain on those. They didn’t listen to the fact I had ibruprofen before I came 🤦🏻‍♀️.

So it was home with crutches and co-codamol to ease the pain. So let’s put it this way I was on 4000mg a day. 2×500 mg tablets 4 times a day. I couldn’t cook or drive let alone be able to deal with a bouncing 3 year old at the time. After the medication period was over I still wasn’t right. Doctors and X-Ray confirmed soft tissue damage was done. So I had a good round of physio therapy to try and alter things. It’s helped but my knee still plays up. It’s never deterred me from training and pursuing my goals and dreams.

Half marathon

Completed 2hrs 40 mins

I used every inch of my Break-Point training as once I got the all clear from physio for running I had 6 weeks till the event. I wasn’t allowed to run as my injury had to recover ☹️. So I knew time was running short and 5 weeks out of the 6 to train as I had to prepare my body for a week with nutrition and mobility to minimise injury. I trained hard and it wasn’t easy I was just coping with 6 miles. I was so worried I wouldn’t cross that finish negativity creeping in. I don’t think so, I remember Ollie saying “your never physically ready until your mentally prepared.”

That hill 🥵

That was the push I needed and the day came around. I was super excited having 2 bowels of porridge and banana for breakfast. I was munching on a Battle Ready Fuel Triple Chocolate Protein Bar on the way to the event. I was ready I dropped my bag off and I got ready. Headphones in, running playlist on.

The course was tough as it had some very steep hills. You slow your pace down up the hills then, pick up again down the hills and on the flats. Pace was good all the way through and before long I was on the second loop.

I was smiling even though my body screamed in parts as you felt it in your muscles. The miles soon went by. Before long I got to the 12 mile sign and I could feel emotion. I wanted to cry a sense of relief knowing I nearly finished it. I could see the finish line and I pounded down the long mile and crossed the finish. I smiled such a Cheshire Cat smile. I completed it in 2 hours 40 mins, coming in 50 mins better than my registered chip time as that was registered at 3 hours 30mins plus.

What’s next!!!

At the moment I am just over 2 weeks into the Battle Ready 360 programme and it is amazing. I am feeling good about the programme and it’s well structured. I struggle a little as I don’t do a lot of weight lifting. But I am giving it my all and with time I will see improvements with my fitness.

I love the battle ready 360 and looking forward to seeing it evolve and also gaining more fitness levels and strength. I may be struggling now but I know with time it will get better and form will be a lot better.

I have a half marathon just over a week away and then an ultra series 25 km event raising vital funds for Rock2recovery. Then I am off to Break Points Base Camp literally 2 weeks after the ultra series. I’m not the strongest but I am going to give it my best shot even with anxiety as that will make an appearance.

In a size 8/10 dress days after the half marathon.

health and fitness

Nutrition and fitness

So it’s everyone’s favourite topic lately, food and nutrition. So for me nutrition has to be a balance as I have seen what it’s like to completely eat clean for an event and training. It’s amazing results but it wasn’t what I actually wanted. So I have to keep a very close eye on my weight as I can eat clean but the weight goes down to quickly for me.

Let me explain

So I am a recovered anorexic and I have been since the age of 12 (16 years). I have a good relationship with food I don’t have any fears or negative thoughts. But I still won’t eat certain foods such as any sea food, macorni cheese or even certain pasta dishes. But I enjoy cooking and experimenting with food and what works best for me.

I have experienced certain foods such as avocado and also lentils. I never thought of eating those and the benefit that comes from them. I love a mashed avocado on toast with a poached egg. Sometimes I have to sit and eat things like a portion of chips now and again to replace the fat I have lost through training.

My home made hotpot and steamed veg

I love to cook and eat some of the home foods I know well. I make it all from scratch because that way you know exactly what your putting into it. I like to go through the training programme and read the nutrition side of it and think. For me I have to adapt as I don’t like most nuts so it’s improvisation.

Chocolate brownies with cherries and triple choc battle ready fuel protein

Healthy options.

We hear of how important your 5 a day is and also you need to eat so much of each food group. That can be an issue to get all that in. But i some how manage to eat a good amount of the various food groups. Some are more than others at times but it works best for me. I have tried vegan and vegetarian options, but I am a meat eater but the consumption has decreased. I tend to make better judgement in my opinion as regards to what I buy and also even the oils I use for cooking.

I love to use coconut oil a lot I find it gives the food a good taste and it’s also a good alternative. I refuse to use palm oil due to the poor orangutang and their habitats. If I don’t use coconut I will use olive oil for cooking. I love to use fresh produce and I also cook in batch at times for meals in the week(s).

The joys of nutrition I am able to encourage my 4 year old with ASD to try new foods and I can tell you 9/10 he eats it and loves it. He loves fruit and vegetables like his mum. Okay there are some he won’t eat but he rather have healthy food over sweets and chocolate.

Results of clean eating and training with Break Point

Do I ever have negative thoughts on food?

I am far from perfect with thoughts of food and what effect it has. As you can see in the picture above I was able to get into this dress which is a size 8/10. I was eating clean and cutting out on intake of sugar. I was preparing for a half marathon during this point. I was cutting low on protein and increasing carbs. I trained wi thy breakpoint and then going for regular jogs from 3-12 miles a day. I pushed hard and eating clean meant I slimmed right down.

But after the event I had to bulk back up as my body struggled a little with the shift in weight due to my intensity of training. But I am at a balance of weight and eating. But the process is starting again preparing for the various events ahead. It’s a battle but I know what I need to do. I won’t allow my body to slip dangerously low but I am in control enjoying food and fitness.

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Battle Ready 360

Battle ready app 😁😁

Good evening guys, so Monday 6th January 2020 the anticipated Battle Ready 360 app went live. So for those that don’t know the inspirational Matthew “Ollie” Ollerton and Jason “Foxy” Fox created this amazing app with an incredible team. The pair are well known for SAS Who Dares Wins and also the incredible Break-Point. This was announced through their Social media and I believe it was a massive hit.

I was super excited for this after completing both phases of Prime Evolution (Break-Point), this was obvious to be my next step. Once it was announced something epic was coming I pre registered on the Battle Ready Website and also on the App platform. On the day of release it went chaos as the server went crazy causing a huge crash. To be honest, with these two inspirational guys I’m so glad it was huge hit.

The perfect way to start the new year!! So I am going to give you a little feedback on my thoughts so far as regards to Battle Ready 360. The whole idea of a fitness app on the go is the best decision, it saves a computer and a login saved on your internet. The background and the lettering perfect and eye catching. The sign up process for me went smoothly no glitches and simple. The only thing was converting the metrics for height and weight but thanks to Siri it was no issue. I love how you had a choice of 3 subscriptions and the cost was very fair. So I have signed up for 90 days at the moment while I trial it and see how I personally get on.

Once you are in the app it’s so easy to navigate and it’s simple. Everything for that day is on your screen. Even the bottom sections in which you can look at news, favourites and your profile. I am looking forward to seeing what the Prism results say.

day one post workout selfie

So I have completed 2 days of the body exercises. I will say WOW my body knows about this 😂. The videos are easy to follow and you have the levels of fitness. So when you sign up they ask you questions and I answered honestly and it gives you your level of fitness. You don’t have to be an athlete just give it your all. You will progress with time. It fully explains on each video and it runs through with you. I love how there is 15,30 and 45 minute videos for exercises. Even one for reps 🏋️‍♀️. My boy saw one video and got super excited “mummy look Ollie foxy” and for me to hear that is inspiring and he will try some bits and pieces. All I will say is make sure you warm up first and stretch after. You will sweat a lot believe me I was so surprised.

Love Battle Ready Suppliments

This app is the best decision so far and you are able to squeeze it into your day no matter where you are or what your doing.

For me I am a single mum who works from home. I am a full time carer for my dad with a medical condition and disability. My son also has autism and a birth defect that has physio done by me every day. I can tell you I don’t get a lot of sleep as my son doesn’t sleep a lot. But I always ensure my workout is done and I just juggle my day around.

Nothing is going to stand in my way regarding my Battle Ready 360 journey, half marathon and an Easter 25km event. I’m determined to make sure I am positive and mentally ready. But also to ensure I am physically better.

Thanks for reading guys please share ect. Remember you got this and keep smashing it

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My Life

Hello guys 2020 is finally here a new vibrant decade. So it’s time for me to be open and honest with myself and truly explain who I am as a person. Here is my journey up till now opening up to the person I am. So I am a mentally damaged girl… please read and you will see and understand.

First breaths

I was born on 1st November 1991 at 32 weeks gestation. This was because of my biological father, who denies I am his daughter after all he doesn’t breed girls. My mum and dad had a slight disagreement and he threw her against the wall. She started to bleed heavily and I was born. I was tiny so tiny and i weighed less than a small bag of sugar. I even had to be dressed in dolls nappies and clothes from toys r us for a while due to my size. A tiny bundle of joy is what my grandad called me.

My dad didn’t want to know he said i wasn’t his daughter, so mum raised me single handed while he lived with us. But he was hypercritical around people making out he was hands on, lying git. He never once helped, he outcasted me straight away. To him I was an inconvenience and someone who got in the way. Him and mum would always argue and he would beat her. I grew up in domestic violence and it used to break me to hear my mum cry begging him to stop, if he saw me he would shout at me “ this is all your fault”. I would often hide away with my hands over my ears, it was always best I kept out of the way.

As I got older my mum fell pregnant again with baby no 2, and he was the father. My brother Liam was born and my dad was over the moon. He had a child who was his pride and joy. I thought that would change him and I tried to bond with my dad but he pushed me away even more, I wasn’t allowed a bond with my brother. Things over time became messy and they ended up in court with a custody of the children. I don’t exactly know what went off in court but all I know is I never saw my brother again until 23 years later.

New Figure..

So mum found another partner Grahem I thought he was okay but I was defiantly wrong. He was all nice at first but he then showed his true colours. He was happy because it turns out mum was pregnant again. Before long my brother Tom was born. But he didn’t like me I was to lively and loud. He always made it clear through psychological warfare. He would always shout and scream at me whenever he could at the littlest of things. But the one thing I remember him shouting at me for was because of my eating and the fact I was chubby.

I enjoyed food

I loved food and yet I would often have seconds if there was any. It never bothered me at first all the hatred coming from someone who was supposed to look after me. Maybe because I was young and it was over my head. If it wasn’t about my eating he would always have something to blame me for. As a child I was often getting a clip around the ear hole and I have even had the belt. Apparently I was defiant and disobedient towards him, my other brother Tom used to cause trouble when he could. I was a handful I won’t lie but never that bad.

Then it all went wrong terribly wrong

As a child I was being bullied because of the way I looked. I was short, fat and wearing glasses. Yes i was the short, fat, for eyed freak. I was the class clown and I was alway hurt for it. I was name called and no matter how I stood my ground I was always victimised more. I was physically kicked, beaten, glasses broke and they ensured they got their chance. I was also the pig of the class because I was never afraid to try foods when we had food culture week and even getting cake at school for my birthday. I endured this day in and out at school. Then when getting it at home from him about my eating, there was no peace or sanctuary I had enough.

Many nights I would be sat crying because I felt alone and afraid. I didn’t even like the way I was looking every word said played in my head. If I spoke out I would be beaten more. I had this weird feeling deep in my core… I wasn’t hungry.

Dangerous Game

So I got to the point where I didn’t feel hungry, and it worked for a while. So in other words I didn’t eat or I ate very little (mostly to distract the attention off me). At school I would throw away my lunch and go and sit and read a book out of the way. I was able to do this without the teacher looking often making out I ate my lunch and the rubbish went straight into the bin more like my lunch. At home was the same principle throwing food away or even hiding it and sort it later. I didn’t realise I was being watched at school and before long I was caught out.

The teacher rung my parents … what a snitch! I knew about it when I got home, he decided to have words that evening. “You are one selfish and spiteful bitch” he would refer me as. He was keeping a close eye on me every meal time. I never liked eating after that talk I didn’t want to eat I think I just wanted to run away. He watched me eat every mouthful even when I struggled he wouldn’t let me leave till my plate was clear. If I didn’t eat it I would have it for breakfast as punishment. Honestly I still didn’t eat it then. My tummy couldn’t handle the food it had shrunk. The pains in my tummy made me cry. Then I was sick and I felt better, a very strange feeling. It became vital for me or more like a ritual that I had to be sick it was necessary for everyday. I didn’t like the feeling of food within my tummy and I would feel guilty when I wasn’t sick. My mind had become very dark and I became very hostile and unbearable to deal with. Lets put it this way I was extremely moody and very snappy. The only calmness I had for me was after I was being sick, sounds bad but it was the only thing that would relieve me. I thought I had total control but I was wrong when in fact it was the total opposite. This routine had consumed me and I didn’t know who I was anymore or what I had become. It became an obsession which took me at a very young age.

It could have killed me

It was sports day at school my favourite running and it was a class race and I was overtaking my class mates even passing Amber. She made some snide comment and everything went black, pitch black as I collapsed. I was drifting in and out of consciousness not being able to hold my head up. I felt weak and exhausted I was rushed to the hospital and placed on a drip. The hospital ran a lot of tests and I mean a lot. But what was alarming my bloods flagged my electrolytes was dangerously low and many of the nutrition markers. I was badly malnourished and I was transferred to Great Ormand Street Hospital London.

It sounds horrible but some days I would have to make myself sick and I had many ways. It would consist of wrenching my stomach, drinking huge amounts of water and I used to be sick that way or even fingers down the throat. I’m not proud but I had a lot of guilt and I couldn’t or didn’t know how to deal with it any other way. I was so alone and frightened beyond compare. My mum had to sign a form giving consent for any treatment that would be needed till she got there. I was transferred soon as that form was signed, being closely monitored. I had became distressed during the transfer and I was sedated. I remember feeling a burning sensation in my chest when I got to the hospital and the doctor said my heart went into arrest and they brought me back. I had to be dreaming surely .

I was lying in bed to weak to lift myself up and I was sedated from the travel which left me drowsy. I heard parts of the conversation and that made me realise how serious it was. The consultant said “Don’t expect her to live till the end of the week, Her vital organs are shutting down and her heart is struggling.” I had never seen such fear in my mums eyes till that day and I then realised that I needed help to get better. I broke into tears as I didn’t want to die. The specialist diagnosed me with anorexia and he explained the treatment to mum.

Getting better

Recovery for me was very hard and that was a battle that only I could either fight and win or surrender and die. I fought hard and it was never easy. I was getting better then I would have down falls. But being diagnosed at 8 1/2 and being recovered at the age of 12 was a huge mile stone. My weight stayed stable and my appetite was thought it never disappeared. However I have some foods I refuse to eat but over all it is good.

Loss

I have been unfortunate and lost 3 very good friends of mine at a young age. My first friend was at 4. She was out with her dad as they had been out. She never returned home, they was involved in a horrific car accident. She died on impact and realising it was instant. Another friend at 6 and it was unlucky. She was struck by a drunk driver. She was in a coma for a while and it came clear after she was getting better she was brain dead. She had an anoruism that they never saw as it was hidden. Her parents had to turn off the life support. The final blow was during my battle of anorexia and my best friend Mi-Mi.

We both was battling the condition hard and she died of a cardiac arrest in theatre. I thought she went home as she was getting better and stronger. I was told on my last session with the psychologist she had died. I broke and I sobbed my heart out completely. But I remembered a promise I had made and I never have gone back on that not even now. We promised to get better and stay strong.

Mental Health

In the Pyrenees 2011 college expedition

I studied hard aiming to be the best I can be and I had mental health lurking in the shadows. I used to be able to go out care free and not think about anything but what fun was going to be ahead. I loved learning things and feel my heart race with adrenaline from zip wiring, rock climbing and fitness. I loved doing fitness at college even doing the tough fitness with the Royal Marines and being the only girl as it involved getting wet and muddy. I would go for opportunity to learn. Even going away with the Army carrying weapons, paint balling, assault course and a night exercise. Got to love a 24 hour ration pack box it was great.

When I went away to France my first ever trip abroad I felt edgy and really nervous. My heart racing and feeling like I couldn’t breath. I was buzzing for this trip; mountaineering, canyoning, white water rafting and caving. I loved it after all I used to do snowdonia a lot when the trip came along.

24 hours experiencing the Army.

But things got worse I feel as though I couldn’t go out. I used to hear voices in my head and back flashes of things I had seen. That’s when I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic attack disorder. They put me on various medication over the years since 2012. I was a bugger I hated taking them as they made me feel worse and some just made me sleep. I battled on without the medication learning coping methods.

Me and my son Lucas

I even became a mum to a healthy boy in May 2015 after a relationship ended the August before. I felt strong because I had gone through the pregnancy and delivery with just my parents at my side. But it was me that had to be ready things couples was supposed to so I was in my own. Depsite losing my job as I found out I kept positive and strong.

2020

I feel great and better than I have been, okay I had a tumble late last year. But I have been able to achieve so much. In March 2018 I joined an incredible company called Break -Point and I’ve been so happy doing fitness I once loved. I’ve grown so much and I lost weight. All my pregnancy weight gone. I went from a size 14 down to size 8-10. I was doing things I used to dream like half marathon.

2020 has got me to a good start as I have a half marathon feb 2020 and a 25km Easter ultra challenge. I’ve even taken another step with my fitness joining Battle Ready 360, the people that created Break-Point and I have never felt so humbled and honoured to be apart of something they have created.

Completion of my first half marathon Windsor 2019

So this year I’ll be blogging my way through the year of various aspects and thank you for reading this.

Prime evolution founder member heading off to battle ready 360
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Mental Health Awareness Day

Today 10th October is mental health awareness day, and we come together to help understand the stigma of mental health. Mental health affects everyone and every walk of life. It’s a journey that many will face and unfortunately some people never make it out of the journey. We have come more aware of mental health through the work of people such as Jason Fox, Jamie Sanderson, Ollie Ollerton and many high profile celebrities who cast a light on mental health. There are so many organisations out there that help with mental health and they are Rock2recovery, Strongmen and mind matters. We are familiar of the issue especially suicide with tv programmes such as Eastenders, Coronation Street and 13 reasons why. You will also watch real life tv show like SAS Who Dares Wins and you will see people open up about mental health struggles.

Myself I am a mental health survivor and fighter. I have embarked on a journey which has made me the person that I am today. My first encounter with mental health was at the tender age of 8 1/2. I was diagnosed with anorexia and yes it’s a mental health condition. I hated who I was and that was due to the horrific bullying I had to undertake at school. That was a long battle seeking help from many mental health doctors at the time. I know know that anorexia has a lot more understanding as it is mental health as it’s your mind showing you that you are fat and in reality your skin and bones. Your perception of who you are becomes frosted over. Over time I became strong and I came out the other side stronger.

But I also fight mental health with anxiety, and that’s sometimes a challenge. I won’t lie I refuse to take the medication I hate the way it makes me feel. But I am never quiet I am thankful to have someone I am able to talk to without being judged and they listen. Anxiety hit me very hard and it was a fight at first, but after CBT I am able to deal with anxiety a lot easier and I also have an understanding. I know at times I can get edgy and very nervous but sometimes I just have to take a step back and breathe.

But my mental health took a very dark turn 13th November 2018, I wanted to end my life. I was failing at everything and I was in a really dark place. I had even written 3 letters explain everything putting things into place. I even went out and I remember sitting in my local woods looking at the river and something hit me. I had my phone and I sent a message to a special someone and they answered. If it wasn’t for them sensing I was out of character I may not be alive today. That person saved my life and I am forever grateful. Sometimes reaching out to someone can really help you even if they are a phone call away.

So what’s the message I’m trying to get across. Well firstly if you are suffering your not alone. I know it’s a dark and bumpy ride but believe me you will over come this. Easier said than done I understand but please speak out. A friend, a doctor, family or anyone you can truly trust. It takes a lot of courage and you will be stronger in the end. You should never feel alone, you are not judged I see it as a difficult time and you need pointing in the right direction. With the help you will overcome anything.

Lastly guys please take an extra bit of time to check on people. People may say they are okay after all mental health is invisible but can leave physical signs sometimes. Taking that extra little bit of time could save someone’s life. That person will feel appreciated and may well be able to open up. You don’t have to have answers just listen with an open mind and a kind heart.

Mental health is a journey in which people face day to day. Without the work that charities, organisations and NHS do, we would be in a different situation. People that help with mental health Thank you. Thank you for the vital work you are providing, it’s remarkable and you are highly appreciated. It’s never easy but if we come together and help with the stigma of mental health it will help people come forward and try and make the vital change they need.