about me

So you found me, and now you’re probably wondering why, or how you got here right?

Who am I?

charlotte edwards - project manager / graphic designer / intermediate rower

I’m Charlotte, born in Peterborough, raised in a village in Cambridgeshire, went to Sixth Form in Cambridge. After finishing my A-levels I moved up north to Liverpool to study Interactive Design for Entertainment Multimedia at John Moores University, and rather proudly graduated three years later with a 1st Class BA Hons.

Six months after graduating I found work at a learning and communications company where I started work in Sheffield as a designer.

I lived in Sheffield for 3 years, but there came a time when I decided I needed a change of pace, and so moved down to London, and certainly got that!
Not long after moving I also moved over from the production side of things, into management and became a Project Manager at the company.

I’ve now been in London for 2 and a half years, and love everything it has to offer – I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be!

Train Hard

Before London

I was a pretty active child.
I enjoyed school sports, and grew up with a very competitive father – sometimes my downfall!
I hated hockey, loved netball, learnt korfball, and was taught how to dive at a young age.

As a youngster I would join my mother and younger brothers in following my father around the country to watch him compete at the various races he would enter.

Along with some friends in Peterborough, my father set up a running club and cross-country league whilst I was growing up, and when I was old enough I joined the juniors team, and would compete in the same races – obviously at a shorter distance! My younger brother also joined the team when he was old enough, and we ran for the club for a couple of seasons.

There wasn’t much in the way of training, and my father always told us that if we had bothered to put in the training, we could have been really good runners. But let’s be honest, when you’re 13/14, there’s plenty going on in life and so physical exercise became less of a priority whilst going out with friends seemed more enjoyable!

Relocating away from Peterborough made it harder to get to the races, and as my brother and I got older and our enthusiasm less so, we stopped running for the club.

College and university didn’t do much to help the fitness either!
Like most teenagers, I found alcohol and late night partying much more appealing and so my health took a back seat.

It wasn’t until I finished university and moved to Sheffield that I thought about getting back into sport. Whilst up there I ran the Sheffield 10km, after about three weeks of training I managed to complete it in 53 minutes and 15 seconds. I was ecstatic to have crossed the line, let alone finishing sub 55 minutes!

But it wasn’t until I moved down to London that I really took my fitness seriously.

In London

London - 2012 Olympics, Tower Bridge

Once settled in London I signed up for a cheap gym – although the main flaw with it being cheap was that it was a ten minute train ride away. The second flaw, that in it being cheap, I didn’t feel the pressure of having to use it to get my money’s worth!

It was also around the same time that I broke my foot – rather comedically whilst washing my then new car! – and so I was out of action for 12 weeks, and even then I was too afraid to run on it.
But five months after breaking it, I decided it was time to get back on it and get myself fit.

I signed up to the local Virgin gym – three times the price of the budget one I had used previously, but as a result forced myself to go more often. I also managed to persuade my housemate to join, and so had a gym buddy to guilt me into going.

In no time at all I was hitting the gym five to six times a week, and feeling amazing.

Running on a treadmill didn’t feel too bad for my foot, and I started to get into resistance training.
I’d learnt how to enjoy the gym, and use it as my release – an opportunity to blow off any steam built up during the day!

8 months went by, along with the London Olympics, and I decided it was time to put my training to use.
Virgin were organising an event in the gyms country-wide, and so I entered this as my starting point, but having watched the rowing at Eton Dorney, I couldn’t help but wonder how easy – or hard, as it turns out! – rowing was. Given my situation; minimal responsibilities outside of work, and my location – 3 miles from Putney, the rowing capital of the country for facilities! – I decided now was a better time than any to give it a go.

8 months later, I’m still training at my club, competing regularly for Thames Rowing Club, and enjoying the new social life that has come with it.

It also made me come to realise – partly as a result of various posture-related problems – that for anyone with a desk-bound job, exercise is of great importance. By strengthening muscles I had never used before, I have been able to reverse some of the effects of sitting at a computer for the last 5 years. And in my case, it has made me come to realise that there is more to life than sitting at a desk all day!

Find out more about my fitness and training tips in my blog, and on my Train Hard page.

Eat Well

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

The impact rowing, and keeping fit has had on my life covers all aspects – not just physical fitness.

For years I have had problems with my stomach, frequently finding myself with stomach cramps and digestive problems.

2012 was the year I decided to reassess my lifestyle, and whilst changing my activity levels, this alone is not enough to keep you healthy.

Where I had previously put up with the uncomfortable feeling of being bloated after a meal, or had taken tablets to relieve other symptoms, I thought it was time to look at my diet and assess what was causing the problems, rather than curing the symptoms.

The best way of doing this is by keeping a food diary. I started using an app – MyFitnessPal – to record my meals, and activity.
The bonus of an app like this is that – and only if the right information has been input to the database – you can look at the nutritional value of a day’s worth of food and soon spot where you may be missing vital nutrients.
We are all told to eat 5-a-day, but what vitamins are in those 5-a-day? By eating fruit and veg we are led to believe we have healthy diets, however there are many vitamins and minerals essential for the human body, and as I found, my healthy diet of homemade food was lacking in iron – important in red blood cell production, and also a key factor in fatigue.

Through my diet analysis I began to realise what foods were making me more symptomatic, and from my process of elimination it would suggest I am intolerant to milk and dairy, and gluten/wheat.

I went to the doctors for a test for allergy to gluten – coeliac disease – however this came back negative. I read into gluten and dairy intolerance, and became very interested in the effects on the human body, and decided to give it a try

I love cooking, and trying out new recipes, so modifying my diet to take this into account was not so much of a chore, but a challenge, and I still enjoying trying out recipes today.

As a result of my reduction in dairy, and removal of gluten from my diet, I believe I have much more energy – I no longer suffer from the post-lunch slump, and I feel much less bloated. I also noticed a reduction of fat around my waist – which is never a bad thing!

I would highly recommend a reduction in gluten for those either looking to lose weight, or help reduce digestive problems – however as with any diet change, please seek the advice of a doctor before completely removing something from your diet as it can cause more problems than good if not done correctly.

Find out more about my diet tips, and recipes in my blog, and on my Eat Well page.

Be Happy!

Aside from fitness and food, I do get out of the gym and enjoy my time without sweating in lycra!

I love living in South West London, as there are many parks to be explored, and plenty of green space to be enjoyed.

I really enjoy getting out and about in my car for drives – whether it’s driving through central London; I love the buzz of dodging traffic! Or out in the countryside taking in the scenery. Having a sporty little car with a soft-top is great fun in the summer, and when I have the time, I try to take good care of her – I’m no stranger to a tub of T-Cut and detailer!

Silverstone - 2012 Classic Car Event - BMW Parade Lap

I have a huge love for music, and love getting out to gigs and festivals – nothing beats standing in a crowd with music so loud your chest reverberates to the beat!

Travelling, going to the theatre, watching films and eating out are all also pretty high on my list of things to do.

Life is short, and there is lots to be enjoyed – Carpe Diem!

Find out more about what I get up to in my time off and away from the lycra on my Be Happy page.

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2 Responses to “about me”

  1. We Are 2Fit2 Quit May 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Wow! I love your blogs look! I can’ wait to poke around some more 😉

    • charlotte edwards May 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      Ah thanks WeAre2Fit2Quit 🙂

      I’ve made a little update to it since – it needed a spring clean! – I’d love to hear what you think to it now!

      c 🙂

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