From Preggie Mommy To Power Mommy
Real People Real Fitness – Scarlet’s road from preggie mommy to power mommy and Bikini Body Champion!
Meet Scarlet Jackson, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, aka a “booty builder and sexy body maker“ at Virgin Active Claremont. Scarlet is also a proud mommy to 8-year-old Zia and ahem, wait for it… the winner of the Bikini Body Competition in Cape Town. Now this is one inspiring lady who made it her mission to not only lose the baby weight (32kg’s), but also enter herself into a competition where you only wear a teeny-weeny polka dot bikini and nothing else! Nuts! But she did it and has now made it her goal to inspire others to do the same.
We got the scoop on what flipped the switch that lead to her personal training career, getting her body back and going from preggie mommy to power mommy and winning the Bikini Body Competition!
How did you get into personal training and why do you love what you do?
I almost feel like my career chose me. If you had asked me 7 years ago if this is the profession I would have chosen I would have laughed, but after losing 30kg’s and receiving such an outstanding response it just felt like a natural progression. It is the best life path I’ve chosen, I get to help people be better and move better, plus it plays to my sadistic side because I get to make people sweat and tell people what to do all day. Now if only I could get my toddler to listen to me.
The most rewarding part of my job is of course the physical change, but there’s the internal changes too. I love building my clients confidence, seeing the absolute sheer joy when they achieve an obstacle that they put up as a block in the beginning. It can be something as small as not feeling out of breathe walking up the stairs to running their first 10km.
Why did you decide to enter the Bikini Body Competition?
While pregnant with my daughter at 25 years old I picked up 32kgs. I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious in my own skin. I can maybe find one photo of Zia and I together after I gave birth and that made me sad – I was missing out on enjoying life with my new baby. I am competitive by nature and doing a bikini competition was out of my comfort zone, but I work well under pressure so it was exactly what I needed to motivate myself. I spent a complete year prepping for my first competition, it was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but seeing my body transform and knowing that it was because I worked my butt off day in and day out made it all worth while. It was something I couldn’t buy – I had to earn it, so it pushed me even more.
Your eating plan while training for the competition, compared to what you eat normally?
When on competition prep, diet comes down to a science. Every gram and every calorie is calculated according to my body and is constantly being changed as my body changes. How magical is the body? I must say the diet is probably the hardest for me. I eat a combination of good fats, lean proteins and low GI carbs. Many people think we starve ourselves, but it’s actually the opposite. I’m always eating, pretty much every 2.5 hours, it’s just that the food is very basic and not as exciting as a burger or pizza or waffles or Nutella… sorry, what were we talking about again?
The best part about my job?
Seeing my clients thrive and push past their own limitations. It cements that I am following my calling and meant to be doing this.
What are you known for in terms of your training technique and your secret weapon?
I specialise in weight training as that’s where all the magic happens and is the foundation for every other movement. Peaches aka glutes of course are my forte and my favourite body part to work for both my male and female clients. My secret weapon has got to be my waist trainer from Waist Trainer SA. I use it on myself and on other clients for extra support, stability and posture correction.
If you could do 1 exercise everyday, what would it be? Your favourite most effective and functional exercise?
The best compound exercise is the deadlift – hands down. When performed correctly with the right amount of weight loaded it works the entire body – back, core, glutes and legs. I also love explosive box jumps and weighted sled pushes for some extra torture … evil right?
In terms of diet, do you have any advice for followers who are wanting to lose baby weight or just weight in general?
I was once told that one unhealthy meal won’t make you fat, just like one healthy meal won’t make you slim. My advice is go as natural and raw as possible and avoid processed foods that are full of chemicals. We all know what’s good and what’s bad for our bodies, but I’m always surprised at the lack of knowledge surrounding healthy eating. Make your food appetising – fit food doesn’t have to be boring. If I had to eat dry chicken and salad every day I would not be happy, so get creative cos we eat with our eyes first.
Give one piece of advice to someone living an unhealthy lifestyle who wants to get back on track?
Forgive yourself first and then make a commitment to yourself to do better and be better. Start with small changes and then slowly progress. I see too many people go to the extreme and then crash and burn and beat themselves up about it.
Three words that describe you?
Driven, nurturing, sarcastic (English blood).
Your biggest passion in life?
My daughter – she is my all, everything else is secondary.
What is your fitness goal for next year is?
To hopefully compete on an international bikini stage.
Your goal for this week is?
Drink more water, eat less peanut butter and get more sleep.