Stephanie Smirthwaite - Wellness Competitor

- UKBFF Midlands Wellness Champ 2018

I joined the gym 5 years ago (aged 26) in hope of improving my health. I was a smoker, I was out drinking every weekend and my diet consisted of anything and everything unhealthy. Over the years I have lost so many people for many different reasons and it was after losing my Nan that I decided I needed to change my life and give myself a better chance at survival. I would walk room to room and be out of breath and it was embarrassing. I quit smoking and I went to my local gym and after years of saying I would never join a gym again I finally joined. I changed little bits of my life at a time.

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My #mondaymotivation Dreaming of hitting that stage again ?? All I can do is hope that the past 6 months I've built a stronger foundation of muscle and that if my knees get better that I'll be able to hold on to some form of leg muscle ?? We're meant to be starting prep next week, not sure I can physically do it but I'd rather try than not try at all and regret it. Where theres a will theres a way ?? @xploapewomen @xploape @xploapenutrition STEPHM10 for 10% off your orders Coached by @shanmack_wellness #girlswhosquat #girlsthatsquat #gymbunny #squatbooty #shesquat #squatbutt #squatspo #gymrat #fitfam #fitchick #fitspo #fit #fitnessaddict #happyhumpday #fitnessfreak #fitnessgirl #musclegirl #girlswithmuscle #girlswithmuscles #girlswholift #girlsthatlift #strongnotskinny #strongisthenewskinny #xplosiveape #xploape #wellness #ukbffwellness #ukbff

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I swapped chips for veg, potatoes for sweet potatoes, burgers and pizzas for chicken and healthy meats, I stopped drinking so much and stayed smoke free. After a month of cardio I started to see massive changes, my body was changing, I was losing excess fat and I was generally happier in myself. I did cardio mostly for the first year or two until a friend of mine showed me the scary weights room. I mainly trained legs to begin as my legs have always been pretty strong after being so athletic at school. It was something I was confident and comfortable with and didn't worry about others wondering what I was doing. I then slowly built up to train other muscle groups and the changes were addictive. I looked healthy and toned and I just wanted to keep changing.

About 3 years in I was obsessed with watching females on Instagram and the thought of competing excited me, I wanted to look how they did, that was what I wanted to do however someone I knew told me I'd have to take steroids so that dream stopped there until I met my partner. He was lay on the floor of the gym training abs when I lunged past his head. We started talking here and there until about 6 months later when we finally were brave enough to ask each other out. He'd competed before and I asked him if it was possible for me to compete without steroids and he said of course it is. That year I watched him prep and watched him on that stage and that's when I was 100% committed to competing myself. I found myself a coach straight away and that's where it began. My first year I competed in body fitness and bikini and placed last in both. My second year I competed in wellness and placed first.


For me my off season diet just involves a lot more calories and the opportunity to eat something off plan without guilt. However, it is still structured and clean apart from a cheat meal once a week. My diet is written by my coach but during off season I may also enjoy family occasions which means I have two cheat meals a week or I may have a slice of cake after my on plan meal. On prep I get so obsessed with off plan food that I need to enjoy food during off season but about 80% of my off season is following my plan to a tee. For me, higher calories during off season in a necessity and my coach will try and add enjoyable foods to stop temptation from treats. We try to keep calories as high as possible for as long as possible to keep the muscles as big and as full as possible. To lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, simple as, last year I believe was a bit too extreme for me though. I had a diet coach and a training coach but the diet did not match the high intensity workouts and let's just say I was crying every single leg day because I had nothing left to give.

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#flexfriday Throwing it back to October when I actually had visible biceps and triceps ?? @xploapewomen @xploape @xploapenutrition STEPHM10 for 10% off your orders Coached by @shanmack_wellness #girlswhosquat #girlsthatsquat #gymbunny #squatbooty #shesquat #squatbutt #squatspo #gymrat #fitfam #fitchick #fitspo #fit #fitnessaddict #happyhumpday #fitnessfreak #fitnessgirl #musclegirl #girlswithmuscle #girlswithmuscles #girlswholift #girlsthatlift #strongnotskinny #strongisthenewskinny #xplosiveape #xploape #wellness #ukbffwellness #ukbff

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Prep diet plans

My first 2 preps were awful. I was given a one diet suits all plan but I trusted my coach and was very naive throughout the whole prep. I also was sneaking peanut butter because I was so hungry which did not help at all. At my first show I was lucky enough to meet an amazing lady who then did my diet plans the following year. She made a diet plan unique for me which made all the difference. We stuck with an old school diet, no flexible dieting, no IIFYM, just strict diet which I actually quite like, I prefer structure and organisation. This year I have a new coach and my meals are slightly different, off season I've been allowed nutella in one of my meals and post workout I've been allowed rice krispie bars or sugary cereal which has been nice too. I literally start my 16 week prep tomorrow with this coach so again I have another year of something new.

Stage self confidence

I have always had low self confidence so to sass it up on stage in a bikini seems completely out of character for me but I can't tell you how amazing it is to get on that stage. For me I take on another persona. When you have had your tan, hair and make up done by someone else and you're wearing a beautiful sparkly bikini and you look the best you ever have you literally feel like a different person and you want to show everyone. You've spent 16 weeks (maybe shorter or longer for others) in a calorie deficit, you've woken up super early to get your cardio in, you've cried through workouts, you've doubted yourself so to get to that stage is an achievement itself. The one thing I can't recommend enough is to get a posing coach, get a posing coach see them when you can and practise EVERY DAY! You may have a weak area but your posing can give the appearance that your physique is stronger than it actually is and poor posing can make the best muscles not look now they should so make sure you show off your hard work.

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It's #flexfriday so here's my favourite pose ?? @xploapewomen @xploape @xploapenutrition #girlswhosquat #girlsthatsquat #gymbunny #squatbooty #shesquat #squatbutt #squatspo #gymrat #fitfam #fitchick #fitspo #fit #fitnessaddict #happyhumpday #fitnessfreak #fitnessgirl #musclegirl #girlswithmuscle #girlswithmuscles #girlswholift #girlsthatlift #strongnotskinny #strongisthenewskinny #xplosiveape #xploape #wellness #ukbffwellness #ukbff

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Training programme

So my training programme consists of 3 lower body and 2-3 upper body and no cardio at all off season. On prep my training programme will remain similar, still super high intensity but my cardio has always been LISS. My diet last year did not compliment my training at all so I really struggled through my workouts. I cried during every leg workout because my body was so exhausted but we pushed through because I wanted to win, I wanted to be the best version of me I could be. This year I have one coach so the diet and training will compliment each other and believe me it will still be tough but the calorie deficit won't be as harsh. And hopefully not doing 2 hours + cardio a day again.

Show day

Well last year was a whirlwind. I arrived at the venue to get my make up, tan and hair done. Everyone was amazing, being my third ever show I had a better understanding of how it would run and had already competed at this venue so knew where most things were. I got registered for the show, spent some time outside the venue in the sunshine with my partner, got numerous tan checks, practised where I could in front of a mirror, spoke to fellow competitors and it flew by so quickly. The 3 times I'd competed I'd never took part in an athletes meeting but I think that's because it happened whilst my hair and make up appointments were. We don't get pre-judging at our show so it is literally go on stage for comparisons, top 3 do their I-walk and then top 3 called back on stage for placing. Everything has always ran so smoothly for me at my shows.


Being an athlete changes your life quite a lot. Off season isn't too bad because you can relax a little more however being on prep is a struggle for me. You get easily tired and grumpy and people judge you more. People constantly say to you 'just have one, it won't do you any harm' about sweets or chips etc, they slate your food, tell you to eat a burger because you've lost weight, they question your health. They don't understand what you're doing and it can be quite frustrating. You struggle to go to social gatherings because you're too tired, you need to make sure you get your training in, you need to make sure you get enough sleep or you just literally don't have the energy. You need to try and get the right balance but I've not managed that yet. And it's difficult to explain your lifestyle to people who don't understand.

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#tbt to that pre show practise before heading on stage ?? @xploapewomen @xploape @xploapenutrition #girlswhosquat #girlsthatsquat #gymbunny #squatbooty #shesquat #squatbutt #squatspo #gymrat #fitfam #fitchick #fitspo #fit #fitnessaddict #happyhumpday #fitnessfreak #fitnessgirl #musclegirl #girlswithmuscle #girlswithmuscles #girlswholift #girlsthatlift #strongnotskinny #strongisthenewskinny #xplosiveape #xploape #wellness #ukbffwellness #ukbff

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Future plans

In a dream world I would love to become pro, I would love to compete internationally and become a known athlete. However I would also love to become a Mother and I know which is more realistic. But never give up on a dream.


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