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Georgina Spenceley is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most prolific and respected fitness writers having been shortlisted for the Fitness Bloggers Awards in 2015.
One read at her honest and refreshingly down to earth blog, and it’s easy to see why she earned such an accolade, and why so many people flock to her site and social media pages. But the lovely Georgina wasn’t always the fitness aficionado…
In fact, she didn’t start working out properly until she turned 21 when her lifestyle of smoking, partying and excess began doing a number on her general well-being and waistline.
You see, it was around this time she found herself desk-bound in an office based 9-5 and the weight simply crept on. This knocked her confidence for six, so, Georgina decided to not just amend her lifestyle, but absolutely decimate it.
She began spinning, running and body pump, ditched the unhealthy diet and quickly saw results. She also discovered a passion for all things fitness and became determined to try out as many forms of exercise she could on her quest to self-betterment.
Upon completion of a gruelling marathon in 2012, Georgina began hunting out her next big fitness adventure and in the same year achieved PBs in her 5k, 10k and 10 mile running races as well as take part in her inaugural sprint triathlon, 20 mile run and Olympic distance triathlon!
Shortly after this, Georgina discovered CrossFit, launched Fitcetera and began her journey to blogging stardom.
Now, she’s training to become a PT, studying for a university degree, creating healthy recipes, hitting her local Box at least 4 times a week AND spending time with her new husband all the while sharing her passion for fitness, leggings and CrossFit with her many loyal followers.
So, when we got the chance to sit down with her and have a chat, there was only one question we really wanted to know the answer to – just where does she find the time?!
I tend not to stick to a strict plan for eating, but a typical week might be:
On top of this I'll have whatever I might want or need at the time – whether it's a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit or a triple chocolate muffin!
My actual training schedule changes week to week, but I try to get 4-5 CrossFit sessions in, or I’ll swap one or two of those for my strength and power programme. I also try to get a run or yoga session in each week… though I have to admit I prioritise these lower than CrossFit, and sometimes even lower than an extra rest day!
|CrossFit 6am or strength and power programme pm||CrossFit 6am||CrossFit 6am, Yoga pm|
|Run or strength and power programme||CrossFit 6am||CrossFit 8:30am|
*Sunday is an rest day.
Hi Georgina, thank you for taking the time to chat with us! We’re going to start off with an easy one – tell us about your sporting history…
Thank you for having me!
I started working out when I was about 21. I’d played netball at school, but hated PE because I felt really self-conscious and uncomfortable. But after gaining weight when I got my first office job I ditched my unhealthy lifestyle of smoking and partying for a life of exercise.
I started out with spinning, body pump and running, which I got really caught up in and did races at varying distances. I then moved on to a self-designed programme of supersets interspersed with 5-10 minute bouts of cardio.
In 2013 I found CrossFit and my training did a complete 180 – now I lift heavier weights than I ever thought I would, do handstand push ups on a regular basis, and got my first body weight pull up!
What inspired you to set up fitcetera.co.uk?
I started fitcetera because fitness and exercise is pretty much all I talk about, so I needed an outlet! I wanted to share my passion for workouts, a balanced lifestyle, fitness clothing and gadgets and a website seemed the perfect way to do it.
It also helps to keep me accountable when I’m struggling for motivation to work out or eat healthily, so it’s been useful for me to grow too.
From reading your blog, we can see you’re a very, very busy lady indeed! How on earth do you find the time to work full time, train, study for your PT qualification and blog so passionately?
Erm… I don’t really! I have a to-do list as long as my arm and yet still want to take on more! I try to be organised with my diary by fitting in my workouts before work, blogging and studying in my lunch breaks, after work and at the weekends, and scheduling dates with friends and family.
My Filofax is my best friend!
I’ve been particularly busy recently as I’m also studying a degree part time with the two Open University, as well as my PT course, work, the blog and general life. I like to be busy though – I get bored and fidgety quite easily.
How would you describe your diet? Clean? Paleo? Just generally healthy?
I can’t really classify my diet as anything in particular – I just try to eat intuitively. I have a history of troubled eating and so now eat with no restrictions and aim for balance. I’ll make more healthy choices than unhealthy ones, though sometimes I have blow-out days where I just fancy a burger and chips and a never-ending supply of chocolate!
The key for me is not feeling guilty about it – I train hard enough to eat what I enjoy and for me, that’s what counts.
Top three Muscle Food products?
I love Muscle Food for introducing me to exotic meats so I’d have to say the ostrich fillet steak and llama burgers. Also a carton of egg whites is probably one of the handiest things to have in the kitchen – I use them in my oats for the fluffiest high-protein porridge!
How do you like to cheat?
I don’t really “cheat”, I just have what I want pretty much whenever I want it… but my favourite typical junk meal would be a burger and chips, but a good quality one from somewhere like Gourmet Burger Kitchen or Five Guys. I’ll sometimes have a milkshake too!
Number 1 foodie weakness?
Chocolate… it would have to be chocolate!
Are there any foods you simply won’t touch with a bargepole?
Not many to be honest! I don’t like foods with particularly bitter or sour tastes, like grapefruit, liquorice, etc. And, this might be controversial, but I can’t stand Quest bars! Please don’t send me hate mail!
What’s your favourite thing about CrossFit Vs traditional training?
I love the variety and the challenge – no two days are the same and I have learned skills that I never imagined I would be able to achieve.
But something else I have to mention is the community - I have made so many friends through CrossFit. CrossFitters have this sense of mutual respect, support and teamwork that sets them apart as a community.
Favourite exercise and why?
I love anything with a barbell! The Olympic lifts especially are my favourite – they make me feel strong and powerful.
And the one you dread?
I’m going to have to say burpees… though I have a slightly weird love-hate relationship with burpees.
If you could only give one reason for someone to try out CrossFit, what would it be and why?
Confidence! CrossFit has made me so much stronger and fitter, and that, along with the community, has made me more confident in general. I feel as though I can take on almost anything – physically or mentally.
It’s taken me a long time to be able to feel more confident in myself, and having the self-development that comes with CrossFit and the realisation that I am totally unique in my strengths, weaknesses and physique has been a huge part of that.
You’ve also taken part in quite a few running races over the past few years – which has been your standout race and why?
I think it would have to be the marathon. That has got to be my biggest physical challenge to date and it pushed me to my limits. I’ve never experienced so many emotions in one physical task like I did with the marathon.
I had complete and utter highs in the crowd cheering as I ran past feeling strong, coupled with miserable lows of having to slow down through sickness and being overtaken by a chicken!
It was an amazing experience, and a painful one, all at the same time, but I’m so proud for having done it.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration?
I look up to lots of different people! Who I draw inspiration and motivation from changes depending on what my focus is. But overall, I’d have to say my family. They have always put in time to work, learn and better themselves outside of a 9-5 scenario, and that has probably been a driving force in the way I fill my days.
What’s been your proudest achievement to date?
In fitness it would be winning the Female Senior award at my local running club in 2012 – I’d had a great year of running and got personal best times in 5k, 10k, 10mile and sprint triathlon, as well as debuts at half marathon, 20 mile, marathon and an Olympic distance tri. Or last year, I came 808th in the UK in the CrossFit Games Open – it might not sound like much, but it was a huge achievement for me.
In professional terms, I was honoured to be included in an article about fitness bloggers in the Healthy Food Guide, was shortlisted for a Fitness Bloggers Award in 2015, and have written for various print and online publications – I even had a cover story – all of which makes me incredibly proud.
You’ve tried out so many different sports and ways of keeping fit – why?
I am a bit of an excited puppy when it comes to fitness – I love to try new ways of getting, and keeping, fit. But also, I know I love CrossFit now, but you never know what might change and, for me, keeping active is incredibly important, so I guess it’s good to know what else is out there.
What's next for you?
I have no idea what the future holds, but I know I’ll make the most of it! I hope to finish my PT qualification and my degree with the Open University, and I want to grow my blog and my position in the fitness industry.
I also want to personally get stronger and fitter, and I want to share that passion with as many people as possible, but who knows what opportunities will come up!
I only plan so far in advance; I prefer to spend most of my time and attention on the here and now.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
For anyone considering trying CrossFit for the first time but not sure what to expect – take the leap! You could just find it’s the exercise format that will take you to the next level! And even if you don’t enjoy it… what have you got to lose by trying?