Happy Armageddon!

So here we are, the day before the day a lot of people have been silently (or not so silently) freaking out about for a while. Ladies and gents, judgement day is almost upon us.

First things first, I don’t personally believe that the world is going to end tomorrow. Maybe that’s cause I quite like the idea that, thousands of years ago, the Mayans sat around their calendar giggling and saying “here, guys, I’ll tell you what will really shit some poor sods up one day – let’s tell them the world’s ending”.

Meanwhile in 2012, chaos ensues. 

For the sake of this blog, let’s not completely rule out the idea of the world ending. If it does, I imagine it to be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy – the human race will unintentionally destroy the earth in their panic and confusion.

It’ll be like the riots in London last year. Most people weren’t actually rioting, they just took an opportunity to trash things and steal stuff. It’ll be like that all over again, the streets overrun with scallies who have jumped on the bangwagon of destroying everything in sight.

I’d actually rather we were all wiped out by a massive comet than have to watch morons set fire to buildings again. 

I do predict that a few people will be getting up to some crazy stuff tonight, just in case we don’t live to see another day. Ever since the term “YOLO” was coined (for nice, normal people, that means ‘you only live once’), people have been taking it to mean “I’m going to do something I know is really stupid and ridiculous but I shall justify it by saying YOLO afterwards, shrugging it off and ignoring the potential long term effects it may cause”. I imagine that even with the slightest chance of the world ending, we will see some extreme YOLOing tonight. It’s the perfect excuse. 

As I sat in front of the TV looking scruffy in man-sized tracksuit bottoms (how’s THAT for partying like it’s the end of the world, Jay Sean?!) I started to wonder if the ruckus had begun anywhere. Then I started brainstorming what havoc I’d wreak if I a) could be bothered, b) had the minerals and c) truly believed that my death was imminent. 

It turns out that I’m VERY boring. I couldn’t come up with anything particularly meaningful or creative. My best idea was probably acquiring a jet pack and flying through the skies of London naked while eating a red velvet cupcake, scattering crumbs like they were confetti and singing I’m Like A Bird by Nelly Furtado in between mouthfuls. Random..?

Bored, I asked my family the same question. The first person to think of an answer was my mum. And with these few sentences, she made my entire day. In fact, I can probably die happy now. 

Conversation went as follows:

Me: If there was absolutely no doubt that the world was ending, what would you do?
Mum: *ponders question for a moment* Well, I suppose I would cry and want to be with my family. Wait, no. I’d make a cake and then NOT wash the bowl up.

She is WILD. I genuinely think my mum’s plan of action is potentially the best thing I’ve heard all day. 

But it seems that instead of flying around spreading goodwill and cake to all men, I’ll be at home enjoying the increasingly sandpapery feeling in my throat. Getting ill just before Christmas is basically a talent of mine. 

I hope to post again soon, you know, if we’re not all perishing in a fiery cesspit that was once planet earth. If we are, I’ll see you all in hell. I imagine. Unless you’re good. Which I sincerely doubt you are since you’re reading my blog… 

Z. x



A less than gleeful return to the blogosphere

*puts on overly feminine, diary-writing-in voice*
Deeeear diary,
I am bedridden with a severe case of teenage angst. 
All I’m capable of doing is sitting in bed in my own filth watching various episodes of Peep Show, pausing only to have a momentary sob or update my facebook status to a relevant yet vague song lyric. It’s tragic.
This is my woeful tale of self-pity.
I met a boy in August. To protect the ‘innocent’ (hmm), we shall refer to him as Boy.
I reckon August was probably the best month of my entire life. For obvious reasons. Boy and I met maybe less than a week after I competed. We met through a friend I met in the village, who shall also remain anonymous. 
It was still sunny (well, what passes for sunny in lovely England) then, so we did lots of sun based activities, i.e. things that can be done inside, outside. I.e… went for dinner a lot, but sat in the outside part of the restaurant. Glory. 
The first time we met, Boy took my number while we were slightly boozed. I thought nothing of it. Yes, he was attractive. Yes, he was funny. Would we get in touch? I didn’t know. At this point, I had a sort of ridiculous crush on somebody else so I wasn’t too bothered either way. (For the record, nothing came of that either. What is wrong with me?)
But Boy texted me the next day, and we began chatting. We arranged to go for dinner. Why not, I thought. Harmless fun. 
It was during dinner that I decided that actually, I rather liked Boy. 
So for roughly three glorious months, we continued to galavant around London happily. We didn’t do anything particularly spectacular, I was just happy to be in the company of somebody I gelled with so well. I liked his dark sense of humour and I guess he must have found my initial social awkwardness endearing. 
But then one day, Boy realised that I am, in fact, an idiot. 
Ok, so he didn’t put it quite like that. He was actually very nice about it. But the message was clear: we were going to have to stop seeing each other.
In hindsight, it was inevitable that it couldn’t last. Heck, nothing lasts forever. Not even [insert appropriate celebrity couple that we though were solid but have actually split – I can’t actually think of one myself]. Boy is a bit older than me, and we have different interests. But all things considered, we got on well. So I was pretty gutted. We kept in touch though, and continued to meet up occasionally (which probably drove my hormonal, teenage mind a bit bonkers). 
So, the months continue to go by and Boy and I stay good friends. But there’s still an underlying element of “something-used-to-be-here-which-isn’t-anymore-and nobody-feels-completely-comfortable-with-this-current-situation-considering-the-former-one”. This didn’t help things at all.
In between my good days (“I am queen and ruler of the universe and nobody can stop me because I am happy and independent.”) and bad days (“shit. Maybe I should get a cat and prepare for spinsterhood”), i generally tried to get on with my life.  I start chatting to a new guy. New Guy is nice but I still find it hard to completely get over Boy. 
Boy and I are now occasionally bickering with each other. It wasn’t nice. It all came to a head the other day, when Boy says he’s seeing somebody else. And suggests that maybe it’s wise that we don’t chat anymore. Ouch. 
I’m not sure what’s worse. The fact that I’m probably going to lose somebody I now consider to be a good friend, or the fact that I’ve already bought their Christmas present. Or that if I do indeed give them their present, I have to see them again for what could possibly be the last time. Unpleasant.
So, Internet. That’s the story of how I came to be sitting in bed on a Saturday night, sadly blogging away all my troubles with Peep Show minimised on Safari. It was either that or go full psycho and have a complete kitchen floor reset. (For those who aren’t familiar with the kitchen floor reset, allow my pal Russell Kane to educate you on the matter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQccbDwQlMQ. In fact, everything he says in this clip is brilliant).
Not my most entertaining post ever, but quite potentially the most personal. And my first one in several months. 
I’ll attempt to post something more joyful before/around/after Christmas. 
If I fail to do so, hope everyone reading has a bloody brilliant Christmas and a splendid New Year! Make sure to drink lots. 
Z. x

Dear Diary, I have realised I am a bum

I apologise once more for not posting particularly frequently. 

Since the Games I’ve just been having too much fun to think about it! I got back from Sardinia today, where I spent 9 days with Hannah and our friend Martina happily chilling in the sun. 

In the past week, I think I’ve eaten my bodyweight in carbs, particularly pizza. There was this one day where I ate 2 full sized pizzas within the space of a few hours. Yeah, I know. However, that turned out to be the cheapest option – when Martina and Hannah attempted to eat the healthier option of crab, the bill ended up coming to, wait for it… EIGHTY ONE EUROS. The waiter hated us for some unknown reason. We weren’t actually being that ‘English’, either, and you know what I mean by that. He was the most impatient, odious little man I’d ever had the displeasure of encountering. Martina (who is Italian) had to translate the menu for us, but apparently that was such an inconvenience for this man that he just had to let us know about it. So he ended up rushing us into the decision of crab, which on the menu was priced “per hundred grams”.  He brought out a KILO of pasta and crab. Those two meals alone were €54. He looked so smug when he brought us the bill, that we all wanted to punch him. We all momentarily considered doing a dine and dash and let that smug little so and so foot the bill himself. Other than that, it was a good little break. Went to the Sun and Bass festival one night which was a good laugh, and other than that we spent the majority of our time sunbathing on nice beaches. 


It all suddenly dawned on me more or less the second the wheels of our plane touched British soil: I have no idea what I am going to do next. 

For the last year, I’ve spent my time looking forward to stuff. I’ve been busy training for the Olympics and other competitions, moving up north, moving back home, making plans for fun stuff to do after the Games etc. Sardinia was the last of those plans. And now I’ve realised that I haven’t planned any further ahead than that. 

I know, I know. I’m an idiot. Deep down I probably always knew I’d eventually reach a dead end and plans would stop making themselves. But a part of me wanted to believe that I could carry on that way forever, not having to take responsibility for myself, being carefree and doing more or less whatever I wanted outside of training. And I suppose I still could do that. But I couldn’t justify it to myself – what would be the point in sitting around and twiddling my thumbs all day, waiting to go training? I may as well do something productive with my life while I have the time and motivation. 

A few people (including my Dad) seem to have the opinion that being an Olympian will be enough to see me through the next decade or so without having to bother about qualifications, jobs and financial issues. And maybe they’re right, but I doubt it somehow. And anyway, I’m hoping that life won’t just finish at 30ish, and I don’t just want to be left a penniless, unemployed freeloader with no qualifications who still lives with her parents. So I’m now realising that I’m going to have to take the bull by the horns and sort my life out now while I still have time! 

My next problem is that I have absolutely no idea what I actually want to do with it.

At first I thought I wanted to study journalism, because I love writing, as you can probably tell by the way I babble on in these blogs. But then I thought that maybe getting an internship somewhere like at a newspaper or magazine would probably be more useful potentially in the long run if I wanted to somehow get into journalism. Then I realised that I have absolutely no idea how I would go about doing so, seeing as I am currently a bum with no qualifications higher than GCSEs. (I did get an A* in English lit though, of which I am rather proud). 

I also do think that studying might be my best bet at the moment, as my schedule can be a bit random with the odd media appearance, training and other weird, one off opportunities that seem to arise more and more frequently. 

Argh! It is probably too late to be wracking my brain trying to decide my fate. Its currently half 10pm, I’ve been travelling all day (or what feels like all day) and my mind has gone into overdrive. What I would really like to do right now is lie on the floor, weeping whilst screaming “THERE IS NO HOPE AND NO FUTURE”. Melodramatic? Possibly…

I’ll come back to thinking about this tomorrow. For now, I think I need a good night’s sleep to clear my head. Just thought I’d let off some steam first by sharing these thoughts with everyone. Strangely therapeutic. 

Thanks for reading my particularly angsty post. Teenagers, eh?

Z. x

V Festival, marking the beginning of my ‘real’ summer

Good news, I finally got the chance to do something normal this summer!
This is really a delayed post from Monday. But seeing as this morning was my first proper chance to sit down and add the finishing touches to this blog, I thought “better late than never”. Am I right?

But anyway, I went to V festival at the weekend, it was great! It actually felt like summer, too. The sun was shining, so naturally, everyone took the opportunity to wear basically nothing. Myself included.
Decided to rock the short shorts as it was a scorcher, and I’m pretty sure that’s why a few people recognised me as ‘the weightlifter’ – the quads. They could ONLY belong to someone that squats! I was secretly kinda proud.

I managed to wrangle myself a pass into the Louder Lounge hospitality area too. Well, I say that, my agent did all the work – hero. It was pretty awesome to wander round bumping into celebs –  I was buzzed to see James Buckley and Blake Harrison, who you may know as Jay and Neil from The Inbetweeners, in there. I’m actually a bit annoyed at myself for playing it as cool as I did (if I do say so myself!) as a part of me wanted to turn into a gigantic fangirl and bother them for a photo. But I couldn’t, as I was in the Louder Lounge, which means I had to pretend to be cool. Alongside them I saw two of the boys from One Direction (although which ones I’m not 100% sure!), Caroline Flack, Kelly Brook (who both looked fantastic despite being at a festival) and many more.

Although there was a Mac makeup tent and some sort of hairdressers on offer, I stupidly decided to rough it all weekend, forget all this ‘glamping’ business. This meant that the majority of the time I had no option but to wear a hat – my hair genuinely looked like a birds nest. I’m being serious, I couldn’t properly get a brush through it! My friend Martina and I camped in red camp next to some amusing Irish guys who arrived in the dark on the Thursday evening. Never have I laughed so much at five guys trying to put up a tent. The end result, which we saw properly in the morning, was hilarious. It sort of sagged in the middle and didn’t really resemble a tent much at all. I felt like an experienced tent putter-upper for a moment whilst looking at it from the comfort of my palace. It did look and feel like a palace in comparison. That was until I remembered that I brought a pop-up tent – those things are impossible to get down, by the way! – and I even managed to forget to bring tent pegs so I just had to pray that my bag would stop it flying away while I wasn’t in it. Not so expert after all…

While I love going to festivals (been to Reading for the past 2 years and Hop Farm last year), there are certain elements that annoy me. Yes, I know. Everything annoys me. But you are choosing to read my blog, and by now I’ve written enough of them that you should know what to expect 😉
One of the various things that annoy me about festivals is how slowly everyone walks. Most of the time I was trying to weave through them all – this is the one time that being on the fairly short side is useful. When we finally did slow down to snail’s pace like everyone else, a guy told us to “hurry up, short people. Get a move on”. A short guy, may I add. Hypocrite. Rude festival-goers are the worst. Just be nice for christ sakes! Oh, and while you’re at it, please don’t try to sell me drugs either. Yeah, that happened. A guy who looked like he hadn’t slept for 4 days due to being absolutely wired asked me if I wanted to buy some MDMA. He also asked me if I did the Olympics. Surely the fact that I did the Olympics would suggest that no, I do not want to take any drugs due to the fact that I get tested for that kind of stuff on a regular basis, Mr drug dealer man. Never really understood all of that, anyway. Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel so excited just to be at a festival with great music and occasionally sunshine, that I feel almost ‘high on life’. I think if I took anything like that, I’d probably become so overexcited that I’d have a heart attack and die.

All in all, though, I had a wicked time. My favourite act has to be between The Killers, David Guetta and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Bit of a mix, but they were all great! I am also impressed that it was sunny enough for me to get bra strap and wristband tan lines. Martina managed to get shorts tan lines, always a glamorous look!

I’m supposed to be heading to Reading festival this weekend although I think I’m only gonna go on the Saturday now though. I think the Cribs are playing that day, and they are one of my favourite bands ever. But I can’t be dealing with living out a tent for another weekend. It hurts and it stinks. Why do I enjoy this?!

That’s pretty much all for now, not my most interesting of blogs but just thought I’d check in cause I just knew you’d all be missing me. Obviously…

Hope everybody has a fantasitc bank holiday weekend!

Z. x

I miss the Olympics

What a whirlwind of a fortnight. I cannot believe how quickly it has gone! In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, I am of course talking about the Olympics, by the way. My god, London. You absolutely nailed it. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for putting on such an amazing show. Not only am I incredibly proud to be British, but I’m also equally proud to be from the city where it all happened. I’m still so overjoyed to have been a part of it! 

I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks for obvious reasons, and I’ve decided it is high time that I posted again. I thought I’d share some of my personal best bits from the Games this time. However, these aren’t the bits that everyone gets to see. Of course I had an amazing time actually competing and watching others compete, but that’s just a given. I think I’ve done about a hundred interviews in which I’ve talked about those. These are some of the ‘behind the scenes’ highlights for me. 

Disclaimer: some bits of this are brutally honest, so if you’d like to carry on believing that athletes are wonderful, virtuous creatures who are incapable of sin, please stop reading now. Now, if you choose to continue, you can’t say you haven’t been warned. 

So here goes, the highlights of the Games from an athlete’s perspective. 

1) 24h food hall

Anything I want. At any hour of the day. For free. This came in particularly handy when doing the walk of shame back from a club or something at about 6am, when all you really wanted was a free Big Mac. I can feel you all losing respect for me as I type, but that’s fine cause it was wicked at the time. 

2) Everything being free

I’m a bit worried that I’m going to become an accidental kleptomaniac now I’m out of the village as I don’t think I’ve actually paid for anything for a while. I was talking to another athlete (whose name I won’t mention) and they already admitted to accidentally just taking a Powerade out of a fridge at one of the competition venues. Clearly, its easily done! 

3) Guilt-free partying

I won’t lie, in the real world I go out occasionally. Nothing wild, just a few drinks with friends mostly. Occasionally we’ll hit a club and be home by about 2am, but these occasions are few and far between. During the Olympics, I think I partied more than I slept. After my competition, I think I had all of 2 nights where I didn’t actually go out. I think the same applies for most athletes! However, as my competition finished at the beginning of the first week, I may have had a wee bit longer to do so than a lot of them. And why shouldn’t we? We’d just done the biggest competition of our lives, so why not celebrate/drown our sorrows? We have to be sensible for the majority of the year, so a post-Olympic bender was completely necessary. 

4) VIP access to everything

I did try not to abuse my accreditation during the Games. When I forgot my Oyster card, I paid for a ticket rather than using the “I forgot my Oyster card and need to be back in the village ASAP, please let me through the gate” sob story. I waited in queues rather than attempting to flash my pass for speedy service. I didn’t ask for any discounts or anything for free. I’m not asking for a round of applause, as that’s what I should do anyway, but I know that a lot of people did try and wrangle some free stuff. However, a lot of people did choose to treat us like Gods anyway. We were VIP in quite a few big clubs, and free drinks were constantly thrown our way. Not literally thrown, that’d be dangerous, but you catch my drift. A couple of taxis didn’t charge me my full fare (or any fare at all) in exchange for a photograph – I find that funny as I would in no way count myself as famous or anything! When waiting to get into a bar/restaurant once, the bouncer tried not to let us in as we only wanted a couple of drinks and no food. Then another member of staff pointed out that we were the “GB weightlifters”, and the bouncer immediately apologised profusely and let us in. I felt a bit bad to be honest! 

5) Bumping into legends on a daily basis

The thing with being one big team is that nobody feels ‘above’ anybody else, regardless of whether they’ve won a medal or not, are super famous or are just generally very cool. After my competition, Pete (our 94kg lifter) gave me a giant bag of Malteasers. I happily stuffed my face with them while waiting to get in the lift. When it arrived I had a face full of Malteasers. The doors opened to reveal the majority of the British cycling team, to which I almost choked through embarrassment. I muttered something about looking like “the worst athlete ever”, to which we all laughed, and Sir Chris Hoy struck up a conversation with me. He actually knew who I was, which to me was amazing! And that’s when it clicked that we were all one team, all Olympians and all had the same right to be there. 

6) All my new friends

I think the best part of my entire experience at the Olympics was all the new friends I made. There are so many anecdotes I could write here, but I won’t so as not to bore anyone (I can imagine quite a lot of these being ‘you had to be there’ moments), and partly to preserve their dignity in some cases. I can honestly say that my time in the village wouldn’t even have been half as fun without them. I’ll forever look back on the last couple of weeks I spent with them with fond memories, and hopefully I’ll keep in touch with a lot of them and see them all in 2016 if not before! 

7) Not having to think about what I’m wearing

The joy of being able to get up in the morning and knowing you’d look fine in whatever random combination of kit you chose to throw on that day. The only thing you had to watch out for was whether it was a white shirt day or a blue shirt day. Yeah, that was a real thing. But even then, that could be solved by looking out the window of my bedroom and spying on everyone else to see what they were wearing, in the least creepy way possible. 

8) And finally, living with Hannah

I think I might’ve previously mentioned that my best friend and fellow lifter Hannah would be living in my house for the duration of the Games as she was volunteering. Because of this, I came home quite a lot (I only live about half an hour away from Stratford and the Village) to chill out with her. She came out with me most nights too. That’s the thing with great experiences – they’re made greater if you do them with someone you love being around! She left yesterday morning while I was on my way back home. I came back to a Hannahless house, which was a) sad and b) annoying as I had so much to tell her about the athlete after-party thing in the village. 


Although the majority of the Games I loved, there will be certain things that I don’t miss. These being them:

1) Being able to walk through Westfield without being recognised and stopped for a photo every 10 steps. Then other people seeing what was going on and joining the massive photo queue. All I really wanted was to go to Topshop.

2) Not having to walk miles just to get out of the village, and the airport-style security checks. Literally took about half an hour to walk from Westfield to my room purely for this reason. It isn’t even that far. 

3) Waking up feeling slightly to very hungover. I’m not going to lie, things got messy for everyone at least once during the Olympics. Here’s photo evidence of mine: http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/pc/Team+GB+Weightlifter+Zoe+Smith+leaves+Chinawhite+uU_x_OglH4-l.jpg 

Thanks (but no thanks…)

I was overwhelmed by the response I received regarding last night’s documentary! The sheer amount of people who watched it was one thing, but the amount of tweets and messages wishing me luck and cheering the whole team on was absolutely incredible. For the three of us featured in the show, the fact that we, three female British weightlifters, made it to a mainstream TV channel for doing the sport we love is amazing. A few years ago the idea of that would’ve been unthinkable, which really shows how far the sport has come in such a short space of time. While it is still very much a minority sport, the amount of both participants and supporters is growing rapidly.We’ve even had a few people tell us we’ve inspired them to try weightlifting, which means the absolute world to us.

At the risk of sounding slightly up myself, I’d love to be able to personally reply to every lovely message each one of you have sent, but there were so many I’d be sat on my laptop sending messages for the next year! (And I kind of have that thing to do next week…) Basically, what I’m trying to say is if you watched – thank you! And if you didn’t, it will be on BBC 3 more or less daily for the next week I think, and it’s also on iPlayer. So you really don’t have an excuse now. Wink.

While we can’t get enough of the supportive messages (seriously, keep ’em coming, I think I speak for all of us when I say my self-esteem is currently at an all-time high), what we aren’t so crazy about is the few ignorant twerps making rude comments. We did a quick search on Twitter for the title of the programme, ‘weightlifting’ and our names (it isn’t every day you’re on telly for an hour, so of course you’d be interested to see what people are thinking!), and the majority response was still very positive. But there were of course a very small percentage of idiots who seemed to have missed the entire point of the documentary. However after reading for a while it became more and more obvious that these people had never done a moment of exercise in their life, or had the intelligence of a potato.

The obvious choice of slander when talking about female weightlifting is “how unfeminine, girls shouldn’t be strong or have muscles, this is wrong”. And maybe they’re right… in the Victorian era. To think people still think like this is laughable, we’re in 2012! This may sound like a sweeping generalisation, but most of the people that do think like this seem to be chauvinistic, pigheaded blokes who feel emasculated by the fact that we, three small, fairly feminine girls, are stronger than them. Simple as that. I confronted one guy that said “we’re probably all lesbians and look like blokes”, purely to explain the fact that his opinion is invalid cause he’s a moron. And wrong. He came up with the original comeback that I should get back in the kitchen. I laughed.

As Hannah pointed out earlier, we don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.

Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.
And here’s some food for thought – maybe you should broaden your criteria for what you consider ‘attractive’ anyway, because these perfect, feminine women you speak of probably have no interest in you either. 

What makes me sad is that some girls had this opinion too! How ironic that the title of the show was Girl Power. You’d think that young women around the same age as us would commend us for doing something different and with our lives, and putting 100% effort into it in order to make something of ourselves. But apparently we’re ‘weird’ for not constantly eating crap, binge drinking regularly and wearing the shortest, tightest dresses that the high street has to offer. Sigh…

Anyway, that’s all I can be bothered to say for now as it’s probably a lost cause. It’s the first sunny day we’ve had in weeks, and I have loads of summer clothes that I bought ages ago that I’ve not had a chance to wear yet. It is going to take me hours to decide which to wear first! See, I can do girly…

Anticipating tonight’s documentary

I briefly mentioned in my first blog that there was going to be a documentary about Hannah Powell, Helen Jewell and I on TV tonight. Its title is now Girl Power: Going for Gold and its on BBC 3 at 9pm. And to be quite honest, I am already quite horrified about what might be shown.

We started filming the documentary in July 2011 when Hannah and I were just moving up to Leeds. I think my first session of filming was the day I moved. I’d attended the Hop Farm music festival the day before – I’d seen Morrissey that night, so I was on a high – but I think I probably looked a bit worse for wear. I also vaguely remember being pretty stressed out by the fact that I was going to have to drag a few heavy bags up on the train with me. In all honesty, I could’ve probably done without having a camera held in my face at that point in time, but I prevailed for the sake of the documentary. I’m good like that.

My next concern is the video diaries I also briefly mentioned. We were supposed to do a few a week (but I don’t think I did) and as you can imagine, outside of training, not a massive lot happened to me most weeks. As I sat there, rambling absent-mindedly about my (probably dull) week to the camera in the privacy of my own bedroom, it was all too easy to forget that it could possibly be broadcast to the entire nation. The worst part of it all is that I know for a FACT that 99.9% of my diaries were done makeupless and on bad hair days. I think I might’ve even done one in the bath once (it was an ice bath, and I was appropriately attired, stop panicking). I really hope that the editor was kind enough to cut most of the bad ones out!

Speaking of my quite regularly atrocious appearance, I am now going to take this opportunity to ask you all to kindly turn a blind eye to how fat I look in parts of this documentary. I compete in the 58kg category these days, but for quite a while last year I was in the 63kg category and sadly, I remember weighing about 65kg at one point. Weight, I know, is a touchy subject for women everywhere (except for the annoying ones with naturally perfect figures). And ladies, there is no shame in weighing 65kg. But when you are just over 5″2 and that extra stone – yes a whole stone – goes on your belly and face, it doesn’t make you feel particularly excellent. I am aware I sound very paranoid and self-concious at the moment, but I assure you that my self-esteem is completely intact. Maybe due to the fact that I’m now back down to my normal size, but present day me will almost certainly be watching the 2011 version of me in horror later. 

As you’re all now aware (to my own amusement), I can be a very angry person anyway. This is often because I basically can’t eat anything. Bold letters were necessary there. There is in fact, a direct correlation between how much a person can eat and how happy they are. Take Victoria Beckham for example – has anyone ever seen her so much as nibble on a grape? Have they ever seen her crack a smile either? And c’mon, it isn’t like she hasn’t got anything to smile about. She’s a millionaire, lives in sunny LA and she’s married to Becks. I wouldn’t STOP smiling. So there’s your proof, so you can forgive me for being potentially rather grouchy in parts of this documentary. I think there’s a bit where I fight with my sister for having a takeaway, which in hindsight is a stupid thing to argue about, but when you’re starving and your sister sits there stuffing her face with McDonald’s, it really does feel like you against the world. 

Aside from the aforementioned potential disasters, it should be quite a good piece of film! In the bio which can be found on the BBC 3 website, it says “We see how they cope with living away from home for the first time, serious injury, a relentless training schedule, travelling the world and being under the spotlight. Finding out if it’s possible to balance being a serious athlete with growing up, getting an education and falling in love”. I’ve not seen it yet myself, but they must’ve edited it very well because as I recall it, it was a year of the three of us running around saying and doing ridiculous things (and the odd bit of weightlifting). 

Look out for it tonight (July 22nd 2012) on BBC 3 at 9pm! Please feel free to comment on here to let me know what you think, alternatively you can message me or Hannah (unfortunately Helen isn’t on it) on Twitter  – @ZoePabloSmith and @hannahpowell92 and give us your feedback.