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Today we want to share with you a very special lady who inspires the 5.4 team in SO many ways.  We stumbled across Lettie Barnett’s Instagram page, @lettie_b, and instantly fell in love with her.  Lettie is living proof that if you’re unshakeably passionate about something, there is nothing stopping you but you.  Meet Lettie!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your health and fitness journey …

I am a 24 year old nurse doing shift work, and am currently studying my masters part time. I lead a balanced lifestyle, meal prep and daily exercise and also the occasional wines with friends or afternoons on the couch. My parents were always really healthy when I was growing up, my Mum gave us rye bread before people knew what it was (“ew why is your bread so dark, it’s weird”), and I would have celery and raw sweet potato in my lunch box instead of roll ups and chips. Heading off to boarding school and then moving out of home, discovering white bread, butter and alcohol, I completely neglected my health and packed on the weight.

What was the moment you were inspired to get fit and healthy?

When I was around 20, I was a full time uni student, working in a bar/restaurant, my brother was working full time as a personal trainer. He attempted to gently tell me that I was obese but I didn’t listen, I wasn’t prepared for the hard work and was in complete denial about what I was doing to my body. The real moment was when I was out at a pub one night (I’m not sure if you can publish this!) and a boy went to buy me a drink, I stayed back and was sitting with his friend. The friend texted the boy that was buying me a drink, and I accidentally read it over his shoulder “are you going to pump fatty tonight?”. I was absolutely mortified. I was fatty, I had no respect for myself and neither did anyone else. I took my sorry hungover self to the gym the next day and signed on the dotted line, never to look back.

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What advice would you give to guys and girls who want to live a happier and healthier life?

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, this applies to everything. I do meal prep every week, if the food is ready to go, I will eat it and stay on track. If I need to get up early to do a workout, I will lay my clothes out beside the bed, all I need to do is get up and put them on. If i’m going somewhere where I know healthy options will be limited I will pack my own lunch instead!

Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else. I think that this is one of the most damaging things we can do to ourselves. Sure, it’s nice to appreciate a fit figure, and admire the hard work, but never compare or be jealous of what someone else has. Just always strive to be the best version of yourself. It sounds cliche but it is one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned on this journey.

Keep it real. Life isn’t just about weighing foods, and drinking green smoothies. My parents love to eat cheese and wine on the deck watching the sunset, and that is something I will never say no to. If you make healthy choices, swap out healthy alternatives most of the time, it’s ok to indulge every now and again.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I wish I had a normal day to share! Each day for me seems to be different to the last, depending on what shift I have at work. If I am working a day shift I wake up at 5:45am then take myself off to work, I will do my workout in the afternoon when I get home, whether it be a circuit or a walk/run. If I have an afternoon shift I generally sleep in until around 8amthen do my workout before heading to work. Night duty is something I haven’t got into a routine for. It all depends on my sleep, but usually I’ll be asleep by 8am and wake up around 5pm, I get up and eat (because I’m usually starving) and then do my workout after that.

I’m my happiest when …

I’m with my family and friends. I am a very family orientated person, and am lucky to have a huge immediate family and an even bigger extended family. My newest baby nephew lives interstate, but the daily photos from my sister in law honestly give me the biggest smile, I am so grateful for technology!

The one thing I’m trying really hard right now to do is …

Stick to “Junk Free June”! I was inspired by Chontel Duncan to do it, and then realized the Cancer Council of Queensland was doing an official fundraiser. I am a haematology nurse and so I deal with cancer patients and their families everyday, the Cancer Council is an amazing charity that helps so many so I am trying to give a little back. Many of my patients become so ill they can’t eat, sometimes they have nothing but sips of water for weeks, so admittedly going junk free seems nothing in comparison. Having my 5.4 meals prepped for me has been a huge help! And I just try to keep the patients in mind whenever I get tempted. I normally eat very healthily so I added in a few extras no alcohol, no cheese, no bread, no pasta, no added sugar (and hasn’t that been an eye opener!).

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I stay true to myself when …

I stay true to myself everyday. Maintaining my integrity is something that is of the highest priority to me and I am always a very honest person (admittedly I am working on the occasional abruptness of my honesty!). I feel very privileged to have the chance to influence people and help them with their health and fitness, so I will always stay true to what I believe in, and share my honest opinion. My Mum gave me advice when I was around 16 “if you can manipulate me, you can’t trust me” and that really sums up why I am always true to myself, my beliefs and my values.

Favourite body part to train …

Definitely arms

Fav 5.4 meal …

Italian meatballs! The flavour is so delicious.

Favourite cheat meal …

Haha well firstly, I don’t call it a cheat meal, that word has a negative connotation to it, so I call it a ‘treat’ meal, that’s just what works for me. I work hard and I stick to a meal plan, then I treat myself with a little something if I have had no slip ups during the week. I am a huge fan of a nice glass of wine with a cheese platter – blue cheese, quince paste, salami… all the good things!

Who inspires you …

There are so many incredible women out there it’s going to be hard to narrow it down, but I really enjoy the community on Instagram, particularly the BBG community which is a huge group of women who all follow Kayla Itsines guides. It blew me away how incredibly supportive and encouraging total strangers can be, and seeing these everyday girls achieve some fantastic results has always been really inspiring. To name a few, I am always motivated by Kayla Itsines, Jacqui Giltrow and Chontel Duncan.

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The most important message you would like to share with the 5.4 fam re their health and fitness is …

Be yourself, only aim to be the best version of YOU, doing whatever it is that makes you feel happy and healthy!

Be sure to check out Lettie’s Insta page @lettie_b!