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It is done! And the world is at peace again…

I can’t believe it. 6 months of prep and it is all over and done. Last Sunday was my competition and what an amazing day it was. I did not place this time but got a medal for taking part. A medal that will always remind me of how I beat all the odds and went to do what I was told would be impossible. I know that hand on heart I have given it my absolute all. There is nothing more I could have done to do any better than I did. And with that, I feel like a winner.

Well and truly, this was a team effort. It may have been me going through the hunger and the pain, but I could not have done it without the amazing people around me. So I thought it was time for a little gratitude and big thank yous.

A time for THANKS

  • First and foremost I have to thank my business partner and bestestest friend in the world Jannette. She founded female empowerment community Scarlet Ladies Talk with me and had it not been for her hard work, undying support for me and picking up all my slack, I would not have been able to train as hard as I did. And while she was nearly buckling under the pressure, she was always there to pick me back up when I started to panic. “Just two more weeks to go now, Sarah” she would say. “You can do this! Don’t give up now!” She really had my back! – Thank you chick. I love you and I could have never done it without you!!!
  • Behold, the whizard, the all-knowing, the amazing Dan Corbett. Dan was my third prep coach and when I contacted him, my previous coach had done an aweful lot of damage. I was far, far behind from where I should have been with lots of weight still to lose and my body not functioning as it should. Dan managed to completely reset my body, got it to work again and the weight started falling off. Just look at my transformation pictures… That was all Dan! I was so far behind that what we agreed on was that he would get me in good enough shape so I would not be “the fatty on stage”. In the end, I was not only in an ok shape. I was in amazing shape. I looked competitive. So much so that I had every chance of winning. In fact, I had people coming up to me after my stage presentation – random strangers – telling me they were surprised I did not place. Above all, Dan gave me my confidence back after it was completely shattered by my previous coach. He is about the most amazing, knowledgeable, kind and supportive man I know! (Except for in the gym where his diabolical side comes out 😀 )
  • Phil Davies who has helped me so, so much in the gym. To support my charity efforts he trained me at what can’t have been more than his cost level. He believed in me and really wanted to help. He is an amazing personal trainer and made sure that I kept at the right intensity during my workouts, pushing myself but keeping good form throughout. Thanks to him I stayed injury free despite working as hard as I did. He is about to step on stage again himself at the BNBF British Finals in Scotland. Good luck Big Guy! You’ve got this!
  • You can have the most amazing physique on stage, but if you don’t know how to show it off, you might as well go sit down. Posing and stage presence is crucial and it was a strike of luck that I found Chrissy Dean. She is probably one of the nicest people I have ever met and after we agreed that she will teach me posing she asked me how I got into bodybuilding during our first session. When I told her my story she said “Your sessions are free and I want to see you twice a week!” I could not believe it. Thanks to her I went from wanting to hide behind the stage curtain to really rocking it on the stage. But it not stop there: she drove me all the way to Leamington Spa and was there for me on the day, backstage and wherever I needed her. An amazing trainer and coach, she has also become a good friend and we are looking to work together to give rape victims confidence through strength training.
  • Special thanks also go to Catfort Fit4Less gym where I trained with Phil and  Soho Gyms Borough where I trained with Chrissy. Both allowed me to come in for free for every single one of my sessions in order to support my cause. The staff in both those gyms were absolutely amazing, friendly and supportive. And I have to thank the random people who endured watching me during my posing sessions in order to get me used to “showing off” in a bikini.
  • The UKDFBA and Lee Kemp who donated both my membership and contest entry fee to Rosa UK. Thanks guys, you are awesome!
  • Brenda Gabriel, PR extraordinaire, who works with – get this – FEMALE DISRUPTORS and agreed to help me to support my cause. Amazingly she got me on the London Live news this Tuesday. How she pulled that off in the short period of time she had is beyond me.
  • Christine who did my hair and make up on the day. She is a real artist and I could not believe the transformation. Incredible.
  • I want to thank all my friends who came all the way to Leamington Spa to cheer for me. I was humbled to see you all. I was so nervous when I got on stage that I was shaking like a leaf. You guys were the loudest crowd in the audience and I clearly had the most enthusiastic supporters. It really got me through and kept that smile on my face. I was working it for you up there!
  • And last but not least I want to thank all of you out there who have been reading my newsletter, been with me in spirit, rooting for me, sending me encouraging messages and engaging on social media with me. All of this means so much to me, I have been overwhelmed by the support I have been getting.
The most epic post-competition cheat meal with my posse, my peeps, the most amazing friends in the world!

It is not too late to donate to my charity Rosa UK. So please, please, please give generously here and share the link far and wide:

With love and gratitude



It’s not about winning. Or is it…?


You can

  • Watch me
  • Mock me
  • Block me or
  • Join me

What you cannot do is STOP ME

Only 4 more days until I step on stage. This final week is known as peak week. Funny name, because most people won’t be feeling at their peak during this week. My life consists of lots of training (all the cardio), egg whites, turkey, enough water to grow gold fish in my belly and a lot of time spent in the bathroom. And weirdly I am loving every moment of it. I have only had a couple of days in the last two weeks where I felt low. For the most part my excitement is growing every day and each time I look in the mirror I cannot believe what I have achieved (I’ll be sharing a picture from the competition next week).

On Sunday it is time to step on stage and compete against 9 other women who are, no doubt, absolutely stunning and they will have all put a lot of work and effort into bringing their best package. Whatever happens on the day, I can’t help but feel like a WINNER right now.

When I first had the idea to compete in a bodybuilding competition it was because I had previously been so ill. I was too ill to get out of bed, let alone leave the house. Every morning I had to decide if I brush my hair or my teeth. I did not have enough energy to lift my arms long enough to do both. I was told to get used to my symptoms as I’d likely not get much better. I did not accept that. I was determined to get my health back. And when I did start to feel better, the nay-sayers were right there: “You are fooling yourself. Just wait until you have a set back!”

Initially I wanted to find something to prove THEM wrong. To prove to them that I was healthy again. And so bodybuilding, being the most physically and mentally challenging thing I knew of, seemed perfect.

My motivation changed pretty quickly and it was actually myself that I wanted to prove something to. I wanted to get my health back. I wanted to be strong again. Not only that, but stronger than I’d ever been. And most of all I wanted to have CONFIDENCE in my body’s abilities again.

4 more days before the stage and I have already achieved all of that and more! I have discovered so many things about myself. That my mental strength far outweighs my physical strength, even though I lift some serious weights. I realised that I have a drive that nobody can mess with and that once I set my mind to something NOTHING is going to stop me. So no matter what happens on Sunday, if I place or not place, I will walk off that stage a winner in my heart. I will have truly given it my all and I stepped on a bodybuilding stage after nobody believed I could even get out of bed for any length of time. I feel healthier, stronger and more confident than ever!


If you want to see me compete, come along to the UKDFBA competition this Sunday from 1pm in Leamington Spa. You can get your tickets here or on the door 🙂

Every Moment Counts


Not the best of pictures, I admit. I was on the treadmill, where I am spending a lot of time right now. Well, when I am not on the cross trainer or stairmaster, that is. So that’s why it is not very sharp. Or maybe I have just become so damn hot that the camera lens can’t cope 😉

Currently I am exercising for about 6 hours a day. Woooah, that seems excessive! And it is not strictly necessary either. BUT a friend of mine always says that no matter how hard you work, there is always someone working harder. Well, I want to make sure that when I step on that stage, whether I win or place or not, I want to know that I have given it my all and that it is unlikely anyone has worked harder for it than I have. My diet is strict, I am hungry all the time now, but I am even hungrier for this competition and for doing well at it. With only 11 more days to go until it is showtime it has only just sunk in now that I am really doing this. It is happening. And I can’t wait!

I have been so worried about having to step on a stage. I am not a showy person. I stopped playing the piano and the saxophone as a child because I would have to perform on stage and I hated it. Now, the closer I get to the competition, the more excited I am to get on that stage. To show off. My body is changing almost on a daily basis. I wake up in the morning, look at myself and think “Well hello there, beautiful. You weren’t here yet when I went to bed!”

The changes are incredible. And I am working so hard for them. Imagine you worked all hours of the day every day because you dream of owning a Ferrari. You sacrifice a social life and downtime and invest everything you’ve got into this dream. Then finally you get your Ferrari. Will you lock it away in the garage as soon as you get it? No, probably not. You are going to put the roof down and take it for a spin. I think this is somewhat similar.

11 more days and I, too, shall take this Ferrari for a spin.


Ice lollies and sweat, sweat and more sweat

I sweat so much, I look like I peed my pants. Luckily there’s frozen water to cool me down.

Just two and a half more weeks and it is an emotional roller coaster. I keep swinging between battle cries and going full on beast mode in the gym to bursting into tears wondering why I ever thought this would be a good idea. I knew it would be hard. I had not anticipated it being quite this hard.

Despite the damage done by my previous coach, my current one is such a wizard, he got me all caught up and I am now where I should be and no longer hanging behind. That is pretty good. But I can always be better. And so I now spend every cardio session in the gym instead of going to the park. I spend an hour in the morning, half an hour in the afternoon and another hour in the evening doing cardio on either the stair-master, cross-trainer or the treadmill doing a brisk uphill walk. Those machine are devices of pure evil, if you ask me. But every minute I am on those machine I am chiselling away at my body and as a friend keeps reminding me: “No matter how hard you work, there is always someone working harder than you!” And so I try to stay focused and make sure that I work as hard as I possibly can. When I step on that stage I want to have no regrets. No matter how much better other people may look, I will know that I have done the very best I could.

In addition to the cardio, I still have to do resistance training (weight) and of course half an hour of daily posing practice minimum. Plus whatever else I’d like to chuck in there (like an extra half an hour of cardio – although that has yet to happen…). Basically I am being drenched in my own sweat 3 times a day on most days. Spend an hour on the stair-master at the right speed and you too can have that sexy look of sweat dripping off your chin and running into your eyes (damn, that burns!).

So for the most part I am ploughing on, pushing myself as hard as I can while finding more and creative ways to battle my cravings and the hunger. For example I have a mould to make ice lollies with. Usually you would put juice in there, but of course they’d be high in sugar and are not allowed on my diet (of course…). But fill them with water and chuck in an orange flavoured Vitamin C tablet and let that dissolve before freezing and voila, a tasty treat that makes me feel like I am eating when I am really just sucking on frozen water. Amazing.

For the times when I wonder why on earth I am doing this to myself, I keep reminding myself: “Just two more weeks. Just two more weeks.” And I have worked too hard and come too far to only get this far 🙂

Whatever you are doing: Keep on keeping on 😀

Shit is getting serious :-)

3 and a half weeks to go before I step on stage. It is getting serious now. My training has been increased, my food intake is being consistently decreased. What you see in the picture was part of my lunch – 20 grams of brown rice, which is about a tablespoon. Not filling, but it’ll be effective. It is about stripping the last ounces of fat off my body and get as lean as I possibly can to look good on stage.

Also incorporated into my regime now is half an hour of posing practice every day. Every day? Half an hour? Of just standing there? Erm, yes. As it turns out, posing is difficult and painful. I did my half an hour after my evening cardio about half an hour ago and I was just dripping with sweat. Not helped by the fact that it is so hot outside.

You may think of 3 and a half weeks as a lot of time. It’s nearly a month, after all. However, this time will fly by and with my food intake decreasing further the closer I get to the competition, my energy levels will possibly take a little dip. So I am busy trying to get all of my ducks in a row, such as sorting out my posing shoes, stage bikini and sparkly jewellery. What tan to get? And what am I doing about hair and make-up? Those who know me know that I rarely even wear make-up. So do I splash out on getting it done professionally? Lots to decide while also having to sort out transport to my competition, which is, unfortunately, in a land far, far away…

Well, in Leamington Spa that is. Or, as I call it, “Leamington Far”. See what I did there?

If you would like to see me on stage and support me on the day, here are some details are about the competition:

What: UKDFBA Heart of England (UK Championship Qualifier)

When: Sunday 18 September – doors open 12:30, show starts at 1pm

Where: The Assembly, Leamington Spa, CV31 3NF

Tickets: £15 in advance (here) or £20 on the door


Don’t forget to spread the word of Rosa UK and my #strongforgirls campaign. Keep those encouraging messages coming, they are really helping me to stay focused.

What’s with the Hashtag?


Like any good campaign these days, I wanted to find a way to start a movement on social media. That’s how it’s done now, right? So I decided to start the hashtag: #strongforgirls.

You may notice it is also part of the URL for my fundraising page and it sums up exactly what I am doing and why. You see, we often think how women and girls have a hard time – in other countries or in days gone past. Yet women and girls still don’t quite enjoy the same privileges as men. Today. Right here. It starts with still existing gender expectations and ends with rape culture and violence.

Let me give you a couple of current examples:

  • Sex education is no longer mandatory. This is bad news for everyone, really. But it certainly disadvantages girls even more. Because let’s face it, teenagers are going to get at it whether they learn about it or not. But the one that falls pregnant and as a result misses out on a decent education will be the girl. Another fact we have to face is that pornography is freely available online and is swiftly replacing sexual education. But guess what, there is one MAJOR element missing from pornography that differentiates real life sex from the fantasy world that is porn – CONSENT. Boys and girls don’t learn how to ask for it or how to give it.
  • Women are still paid less. Don’t tell me it isn’t so – I earned #5k less than my male pears when I worked in IT.

I am using the hashtag #strongforgirls because my journey onto the bodybuilding stage will benefit Rosa UK, who will be able to fund vital work across their four pillars:

  • Leadership and Representation
  • Safety
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Economic Justice

My journey is literally one of strength. Having gone from bedridden to bodybuilding, building strength and muscle is now my objective. But there are so many ways we can be strong for women and girls and I hope that my hashtag will catch on.

How can you help?

For the hashtag to gain popularity, it needs to be shared and used far and wide. Use it every time you see a post or article on someone standing up or doing something for women’s rights. For example Khloe Thompson that sews bags and fills them with hygiene products for homeless women. Or the letter from Jared Mauldin highlighting the inequality as he sees it in the engineering industry. And all those people that work tirelessly to support women across the many rape centres we luckily have in this country.

If you see a similar story, why not share it using #strongforgirls?

Did you miss me on the Radio?

You can still catch the show on Healthy Wandsworth here.

Victim or Survivor?


Today I had my radio interview with the beautiful Nicolette at Wandsworth Radio on their HealthyWandsworth hour. It was so much fun and I feel so blessed that I was able to share my story and mission for charity.

I was able to talk about one thing that I feel very strongly about: Are we victims or survivors? If you have been reading my previous posts, you may think that of course, I should think of myself as a survivor. After all, I have always picked myself back up, no matter what. But you see, here is the problem with that: you may survive an accident or survive cancer. In both cases you just got very unlucky to endure it and very lucky to survive it. When it comes to physical attacks and rape, there is a perpetrator. Another person who decided to do you harm. That makes you a victim.

Why is that important? Think about it: If there is no victim, there is no crime and so a simple word has the power to perpetuate a culture in which rape and violence is such common place.


But back to my bodybuilding journey and fundraising efforts.

Nicolette kindly gave me the space to also ask, on air, for what I need and I wanted to extend that to you guys. Because there are so many ways in which you can help me spread the word and actively support my efforts. One of the most valuable resources we have are the people we know. I experience that every day with my fantastic support system of a coach, a PT, a clinical nutritionist, my friends, family and you lot rooting for me. So here is a great way to help me:

Who do you know?

What resources do you have sitting in your networks that would love to get involved in a worthwhile cause and could really make a difference?

Here are some examples:

  • Social Media experts – someone who could help me manage a campaign properly online. I do try, but spreading myself very thinly
  • Event managers – someone who can help me think up and organise fundraising events. I already have lots of ideas, but not enough time to implement them all.
  • Media Contacts – do you know any journalists, someone in print, TV or radio you could introduce me to? Or maybe a PR agency that would like to take on a charity case as part of their CSR efforts?
  • Venues – Venues are the highest cost factor for any event. Is there anyone you know of who could hook me up with a free venue for fundraising events?


With only 5 and a half weeks left to go, things are starting to get very exciting indeed. The diet and training regime are getting stricter and I have started to look at the kind of blinged up and bedazzled bikinis the competitors usually wear to the stage. There is so much still to sort out such as my hair and make up, stage tan, how to get to the venue and possible accommodation… The list seems endless right now and I will need to get organised sooner rather than later. A friend told me that he had even his food prepared and in the freezer 2 months before his show that he did not have to worry about it closer to the show. The sooner I have everything sorted the better. And time seems to be in a hurry… Tik tok, I am off to bed and up early tomorrow for more fasted cardio.

Good night folks 😀


I will be on the RADIO!


Oooh, I am ever so excited. I have been invited back to be on Wandsworth Radio’s HealthyWandsworth show with the gorgeous and talented Nicolette Wilson to talk about my journey from bedridden to bodybuilding, the work I do to empower women and my charity challenge for Rosa, UK Fund for women and girls.

Tune in


It would be amazing if you could share the good news on social media:

  • @wandsworthradio
  • #healthywandsworth
  • #nicoradio
  • @nicoyogapilates
  • @fatigueexpert (that’s me)


Join me 😀

Rosa Who?


There have been quite a few historically significant Rosa’s and each one of them had a lasting impact. Be it Rosa Luxemburg, Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and anti-war activist who showed courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. Or Rosa Parks, an African American who refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man and inspired the American civil rights movement with her action. And Rosa May Billinghurst, a suffragette and women’s rights activist who was born in Lewisham, the beautiful borough in south east London I call home.

In my last post I described some of the struggles I have experienced and how bodybuilding is my way of reclaiming control over my body. I mentioned that in order to get my health back I had to learn to be kind to myself and to forgive. Surprisingly, it has been very easy for me to forgive other people. The boss who put my life in danger, the manager who bullied me, the justice system that failed me and even the man who raped me. The part I am still struggling with is forgiving myself, however. For the choices I have made, for the warning signs I did not see and for not fighting harder. And it is affecting my confidence and ability to trust myself.

So it is no stretch to see why I would select a charitable fund that supports female causes:

Rosa is a charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK. Because, while many women and girls here do enjoy freedom of choice and the opportunity for success in their lives, that’s simply not true for all. Our vision is of equality and justice for all women and girls in the UK.

Rosa supports projects under four priority areas that underpin their work:

Leadership and Representation

  • More women should hold positions of leadership and decision-making in the UK.
  • Women are hugely under-represented in politics and public life. And women in minorities – such as black and minority ethnic, disabled, and lesbians – are even less likely to have a public voice.
  • This means that the issues that are important to them, such as care provision, reproductive choice and local community resources, are less likely to reach the top of the agenda.
  • Rosa invests in projects that aim to understand how to get rid of the barriers that prevent women from participating in public life and encourage their equal representation and contribution in politics, the economy, the media and social agencies.


  • All women and girls have the right to live free from violence and the threat of violence.
  • Safety for women in the UK is a huge issue, as crimes of rape, domestic violence, sex trafficking and ‘honour killing’ continue at shockingly high rates. Yet many projects that support women who are at risk or seeking refuge are in funding crisis. Some organisations are being forced to close through lack of funds, leaving vulnerable individuals with even fewer places to turn for support.
  • Rosa invests in projects that are improving safety for women and girls in the UK, and helps raise awareness of the funding crisis to other potential funders.

Health and Wellbeing

  • All women and girls should feel good about themselves – and be able to get the help and healthcare they need.
  • Some of the health issues we’re concerned about include poor body image, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and increased alcohol consumption among young women. And some women are especially susceptible to ill health, poor support services and access to treatment – purely because they come from black and ethnic minority communities.
  • Rosa invests in projects that tackle these issues – from awareness raising projects to support groups and initiatives to reach women and girls from all backgrounds with the information they need to help keep them well.

Economic Justice

  • All women in the UK should have the opportunity for economic stability and success in their lives.
  • More women than ever before are earning now – but usually far less than men, even if they’re doing the same job. Women also lose out when it comes to moving up the career ladder or having flexible working options. Girls from disadvantaged backgrounds find it hardest of all to get ahead.
  • And lack of affordable childcare keeps talented women out of the job market altogether. Rosa invests in projects that will help create a more even playing field of opportunity for women – benefiting individuals, families and employers alike.


The Identity Crisis Of The Permanently Tired

If you are tired, you are just tired, right? You are still the same person, only tired? Except you are not.  At least I am not and I wonder if there is anyone out there suffering from any form of chronic fatigue who is.

Not only am I not the same person I used to be, my adrenal fatigue has thrown me into a full blown identity crisis. Some days I keep myself over water believing that I will be myself again. Some day. Hopefully soon. Other days, like today, I am struggling with the fact that I am not myself any more. And I appreciate that everyone changes and I actually embrace change. However, this is different. There is a difference between being a changed person or not being yourself. I suppose it has to do with authenticity and my body is not allowing me to be my authentic self.

Let me explain what I mean by that: Today I really felt the urge to go for a run. For the first time in a long time did I have this burning desire to feel the wind in my hair and rain on my face and just be out there, moving, sweating, breathing. I went for a walk instead. A short one. I have been to yoga last night and found myself being very dizzy every time I had to come up, moving from one pose to the next and I still have that feeling of dizziness today every time I get up. Plus my whole body is a little achy. So I knew that going for a run would cost me dearly.

The real Sarah loves to be active, she loves to run and she is not scared of the pain or the exhaustion. She is strong both mentally and physically and loves a challenge. She naturally pushes herself to her very limits and loves every second of it. I know that this mindset has had a role to play in my current condition, albeit a small one in my case.

Why does that cause a full blown identity crisis though? Well, words that resonate with me are things like power, strength, machine, beast, animal, unleashed etc. All very powerful, strong words describing, in my mind, very strong and powerful things or people. I am a big fan of sports such as extreme callisthenics and free running and everything that demonstrates both superior physical strength and discipline. As fit as I used to be, I never used to be able to do the kind of stuff those athletes could do, such as a human flag. Hell, I can’t even do a handstand. And yet, I felt a little bit like a part of the tribe. The crazy people that go out for a run in any weather, the ones that sign up to gruelling assault course races, the ones that can’t get enough of it. The ones that have the same feeling I do, like there is an inner beast that needs to be unleashed, let out for an epic run and roar its mighty roar.

I can still feel the roar inside of me, only when I try to let it out, it is a measly little sound, barely there and a far cry from what it once was and what it wants to be.

As you can see from this post, I am a little down in the dumps about it all today. But the little, cute video below has given me a hopeful thought: This little tiger knows that a big roar lives inside him. It comes out as a measly little sound now and people may even laugh at it. But all he needs is time and the right care and one day his roar will be so mighty that anyone who hears it will shake at the knees!