Athlete, Pro Bodybuilder, Online Personal Trainer, Former GB Bobsleigh My whole athletic career has been meat free as I gave up meat at 15 years old (1991)- the year I started athletics! I competed in athletics into my 20's and was then selected to represent Great Britain in Bobsleigh competing for 4 years. When I retired from Bobsleigh, I started Bodybuilding and Masters Athletics.
I am a former masters 200m world champion, current British indoor 200m champion and in bodybuilding, 3 x NPA British Champion, 3 x World Champion, Universe champion and former Olympia Champion.
I wanted to go vegetarian for animal welfare and environmental reasons, after going to a ‘Green Expo’ with my school. My parents who disapproved, made me continue to eat fish, until I left home at 18. They thought I was ‘going through a phase’, that I would end up ill, or with an eating disorder. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
At first I was concerned that being vegetarian could adversely affect my health and have a negative effect on performance. I used to come up against a lot of resistance within sporting circles, but the more I read about farming methods and how different foods can affect your health and sport performance, the more I believed that a vegetarian and vegan diet could be a huge benefit to heath and performance.
I always wanted to go vegan but I believed it would be too difficult. But in 2015, after a year of stomach problems, I had food intolerance tests done, and this turned out to be the push I needed to transition.
The tests showed I was intolerant to milk protein and eggs, so I eliminated them from my diet and, within a few days, all my symptoms had cleared up! I’ve felt so much healthier since I made that decision, and found it wasn’t as difficult as I had thought it might be after all. So after 25 years veggie – I finally went vegan. I’ve not just coped on a plant based diet – I’ve THRIVED, and am having my most successful year in bodybuilding so far!
In 2015, I won British and World & Universe titles, along with winning my pro cards with four federations, and making my Pro debut in the USA. I am fitter, I am stronger, and I also find it easier to stay leaner all year round (since going vegan). I think being a positive role model is the best way to help others think about the issue. I try to inspire others to go meat-free, by trying to be the best example I can be of how you can really thrive on a plant based diet. As a coach there’s no better feeling than helping someone else with their journey to better health through a plant based or plant focused diet.
I also blog about being a veggie now vegan athlete – in the hope that it will help others make the transition easier.