Life before Lockdown 

In January this year I knew life was going to be different! Tony & I bought Body & Soul Gym in Malton. 
Excited about our new venture we started to make changes and develop the membership. I also continued to serve my Mobile Personal Training Clients as Katherine Bray Fitness Coach. 
I had a wonderful group of ladies I was training in the gym, The Ladies Transformation Club, business was starting to blossom and I felt lucky to have found my niche in life. 
Then life threw us all a curve ball with COVID-19! The government issued a statement on Thursday 19th March saying that all gyms and hospitality business would have to close by mid-night on Saturday night for what could be at least 3 months. I was scared and devastated but powerless to do anything other than follow suit. 
New Year New Challenge... 
At the start of each year lots of people make New Years Resolutions, I am not really a big believer in the New Year New You philosophy. The main reason is that it gives the impression that there is something wrong with who you are already, you don’t need to be fixed and you are enough! We are all capable of achieving whatever we put our minds to. There is no need to change who we are we just need to know that we all have the ability to realise our dreams. All we need is the courage to take the steps towards whatever they may be. 
Lead by example... 
As a Coach it’s important to reflect on yourself, lead by example, how can you inspire others to do the same if you’re not doing it yourself? 
After Christmas last year (2018) I found myself thinking of how I could challenge myself, what could I do to help me learn what my full potential is, how could I grow as an individual, as a Coach, as a Mum and as a friend? I believe you don’t really find out how brave, strong or capable you are until this is put to the test. We grow as individuals in times of adversity when the going gets tough we get tougher, we learn new things and we get stronger. The smaller things that scared us before no longer bother us because we have been through tougher times. I don’t think you should make your life hard intentionally that would be a bit silly – but I do think there is a lesson to be learned from all things we experience in life both good and bad. After all the bad can be good if you have learned something from it! 
Unfinished Business... 
I wrote a reverse bucket list of everything I had achieved in 2018. It was a great exercise of reflection and it inspired me to think further back to 5 years ago when I had trained for The Chester Marathon. I got up to 18 miles and developed tendonitis and was forced to drop out. I had a choice of carrying on and making it worse or resting so I could still do my job. Rest it was. I kind of fell out with running after that – it put me right off! So there was unfinished business here. Before I could back out of the idea I found the first UK marathon I came across, The Manchester Marathon, I registered and paid right away – no turning back! 
If you follow me on social media you may have noticed I have been running a lot! This is because I am currently in training for The Manchester Marathon. Believe me running is not my favourite form of exercise so you may question why I have chosen to run a marathon? 
Well lots of reasons. Firstly I like to challenge myself! I do not like to be comfortable for long and to be honest my legs are certainly not feeling like my own at the moment! When you push yourself to do something challenging like this you realise how much you are capable of once you go beyond your comfort zone. 
2018 – What a year! 
This year I will be entering my 4th year of working for myself! In some ways it doesn’t feel as long as that but in others it feels twice as long! If you work for yourself you will know exactly what I mean. It has been a steep learning curve and I am sure there is still plenty more to learn yet! 
One of my top learning points is to look back at the last year and previous years and write a list of all the things you have achieved. It’s kind of a Reverse Bucket list! It can be a very rewarding exercise; as human beings we tend to focus on the things we’ve yet to achieve rather than giving ourselves credit for the goals we have already met. 
The gap between Christmas and New Year can be a bit of a none event! Like no man’s land, no one really wants to do much. I thought I would use the time to reflect a little myself. I thought I would share some of my experiences this year and maybe it will inspire you to do the same. I have really enjoyed this exercise and it has left me with a real sense of gratitude. I have been very fortunate to have some really great experiences and share some successes with clients too! 
Yes the children have finally gone back to school! I understand that not everyone has children but it does seem to be a marker in the calendar from a health and fitness perspective! I guess that is because of the change in the weather, most people have had their annual summer holiday and is getting back into the swing of their routine again. Well that is certainly the case for me! 
And like everyone else I have over indulged a little (well it has just been my birthday – that’s no excuse by the way!) I have definitely put on some weight not just muscle either I have a little too much fat too! 
But what has this got to do with a line? Well this is about something my business coach has taught me and it applies to all aspects of life not just my business! The line I am talking about is The Line of Choice! 
A common problem for us all. 
This came up yesterday whilst training my client Louise. Louise has been with me a year now and really enjoys her sessions. She is much fitter and is maintaining her current weight. However, she feels she has plateaued and still not entirely happy with how she looks. She told me “I still do not like myself in trousers they just don’t fit like they should”. 
All the small things! 
After seeing my video on social media about my 28 day plans it made her look her eating habits again. “I admit they have slipped” she said. I asked her why she felt they had slipped. Louise said, “I just, over indulged at the weekends, have the odd glass of wine in the week and snack here and there”. It does not sound like much, it’s just what we all do, but it’s the small things over time that add up. 
In fact, food is essential to life! Without it we can’t function. This is a bit of a Blinding Flash of the Obvious otherwise known as a BFO! 
So why is it we deny ourselves food when we know we need it? When we feel bad about ourselves or how we look the first thing we often do is say “I am going on a diet”, or “I am a fat cow and I need to stop being such a piggy!” We aren’t exactly kind to ourselves, are we? And I am as guilty of it as the next person! 
I had a lovely coaching session with a client this morning, it was all about getting the fuel right. Like lots of people she was confused about the right amount to eat, skipping meals, not eating breakfast. Only eating tiny amounts as she has no appetite. After weighing her with my body composition scales and explaining to her how our metabolisms work she now understands the importance of getting the right fuel in. If you want a toned and firmer body you need to provide the muscles with the fuel to grow lean muscle. This increases your metabolic rate, in other words you burn more calories when you are not doing anything! 
After training my client this evening I have felt inspired to write about why it is actually a really good thing to not be ok and recognise you’re not ok! The moment you become aware that you are not ok is the moment you can take steps to change. 
We all tend to say to everyone else and even more so to ourselves that yeah, I’m alright. Its normal to be unhappy and dissatisfied with work, life, body shape, fitness, financial situations or whatever your gripe may be. Its common to hear well everyone else has the same problems, I’m not the only one! Then we just settle for our lot. Make our beds and sleep in it. We play the victim to life and circumstances and wallow in our own little world and think is this as good as it gets!? 
Sometimes we feel everything is going wrong for us as we as so unwilling to address our unhappiness that we attract more of the same and end up being even more unhappy. The law of attraction is a powerful thing be careful what you wish for as you may just get it. I know you are all thinking I have not wished for negative to things to happen, but our minds only recognise the thoughts we have. For example, I once reversed my car into a skip. The skip had been outside my house for a whole week, so I knew it was there. I remember thinking I bet I reverse into that soon if its not moved! The next day I did exactly that at 5.30am, it was dark and I was on my way out to a bikini posing camp in London! I smashed the rear light and needed a new back wing and tail gate. Another insurance claim!! ARGGGHHH 
The only person you should compare yourself with is yourself! 
If you follow me on social media, you will realise I am a bikini competitor and I have been competing since 2014. Since then I have changed so much both physically and mentally. 
When I did my first competition I had absolutely no clue of what I was doing but I did it anyway! I constantly was comparing myself with other girls on social media who were also doing the competition and other Fitness and bikini models I was aspiring to be like. Don’t get me wrong it’s great to get inspiration from others and very important to surround yourself with others of similar goals and values but it’s a different thing entirely to compare yourself and your body to anyone else! 
I know it’s a bit cliché but the only person you should compare yourself with is yourself! Everybody is different, has different background and circumstances and environments to work with and in. Also every BODY is different, genetics play a huge factor in how we all lose or gain weight and build muscle, we are all different height, shapes and have different leg lengths! So, it is impossible to be like anyone else so don’t try to be. 
We are all conditioned over time to be afraid of failing as by doing so we often feel like we aren’t up to the mark. Like we are not good enough to be doing what we want to do or are unable of reaching our dreams and goals. True for many people how choose to think like that but I have learned that it’s the hardships, knocks and curve balls that life has thrown at me that have made me stronger. Each time life has not worked out as I have expected for me, something better has arrived around the corner. A few times I have lost sight of what is important, and I have received a jolt to reset me back on my destined path! I do believe in fate and I feel I have really found my niche in my career, and I feel incredibly lucky and grateful for all my failures for without them I would not have come as far as I have or be going as far I am! For I have not finished yet by a long shot! 
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