A huge welcome to Project HB; the place to get fit, happy, healthy and sassy! Project HB was created by me, Carly Wilko, to help women feel empowered, confident and comfortable in their bodies. I champion achievable and enjoyable health, fitness and wellbeing for normal women.
These pages offer you class and studio reviews, blogs, news of pop-up events, and (soon) fitness classes and online workouts too – because 4 years after fitness changed my life, I’ve just become a qualified fitness instructor! YASSSS!
So, grab a cuppa and get to know what Project HB is all about. You’ll be inspired to move your body in ways that feel joyful, and learn how doing this helps you cultivate a positive body image and grow your self-worth. No, seriously, you need to put the kettle on before you read any further. This is gonna be life-changing stuff. Go on, I’ll wait.
How to be an HB
Anyone can be a Hot B*tch – that’s the whole point. Becoming a Hot B*tch isn’t a weight loss regime or a strict diet. It’s deciding to do something for YOU. It’s an attitude… a pledge to respect your damn self. A promise to move your body, freely and with easy abandon. A decision to nurture yourself. Becoming a Hot B*tch is you, choosing to be totally cool with who you are. Here’s how!
MOVE your body in ways that feel joyful. Exercise and sweat to feel good, not to punish yourself. You’ll feel more connected to your body, learn its language, and treat it well.
EAT proper, nourishing food – you need fuel! Take time to cook for yourself. Don’t deprive yourself, but know you have choices. Enjoy the odd cake, because you’re a human.
REST when you need it. Sleep is both vital and powerful. Your body will tell you when it’s tired, and it’s your job to listen.
RESPECT your body for the incredible journey you’ve been on with it. Love it for what it can do, instead of fixating on what it looks like.
JUDGE no one else’s body or their relationship with it. You don’t know their story, or where they are in their journey. Focus on you. And put good vibes only out into the universe.
BELIEVE in yourself and your right to express your opinions. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or to say “no” when you feel uncomfortable. Your opinions are valid and they matter – YOU matter.
STRUT into every class or gym like you are 10 feet tall, even if you’re feeling scared and small. Head high, chest proud, take up space with your body. Own it, Hot B*tch!
How it all began
Project HB was founded in 2013 and it’s been quite a journey…
I was a normal girl with a normal job in questionable flatshare in Bermondsey. Life was just “happening” to me. I was coasting. I took stock of myself on my 29th birthday. It hurt to admit it, but I felt uncomfortable in my own skin, and in my own head.
I put on my trainers and spent the night of my birthday going for The Saddest Little Run Ever. I needed some thinking space.
On this flailing journey along the Thames, I searched my soul. I was unhappy with every area of my life; home, work, social life, appearance… I was unhealthily obsessed with internet dating too. I realise now, I was looking for someone or something who would magically make me happy.I decided that it was time I took responsibility for my own happiness, instead of blaming everyone around me and defaulting on big life decisions because I was always waiting for someone to give me the answers.
Time to take control of me. I wanted to reach 30 and have a body I felt comfortable being “me” in, and a mind I felt like I wasn’t fighting with.
Project Hot B*tch was born. It was originally what the girls and I at work called a trip to the gym. My own personal version of Project Hot B*tch saw me exercising like a mad woman for about 5 weeks, in a desperate attempt to avoid going home to my grotty flat-share.
And then… the endorphins started firing. Those fitness classes became a sacred time of the day that I was finally making the decision to do something for me and no one else. I was spending this time getting to know myself. I was respecting my body.
I didn’t really know what I was hoping to achieve when I started it, but by the end, I liked my extra energy. I liked the tiny changes to my body. I was learning to like and value myself.
By August of that year, I’d started to feel better in my job, I’d moved to a far happier house, and I’d banned myself from online dating for the rest of the year. The Project Hot B*tch blog burst into life. My confidence was growing for the first time in 29 anxious years.
The fitness classes continued. I felt like they were a safe space where I could be myself. They were making me happy. And the happier I got, the more I wanted to look after myself and my health. It was a pretty compelling cycle to be “stuck” in, and one I absolutely advocate to women today.
The story today…
And now? I’m still just me! A normal woman who likes cake and cheese, and who presses snooze when the alarm goes off for a 6.30am run.
The biggest difference? I feel a really grounded and happy in my body nowadays. I weigh the same as I did back in 2013, but I have changed shape. I’ve become a lot stronger and I feel full of life and quietly confident in my own skin. I like my body. I’m friends with my mind. Happiness and healthiness have blossomed, hand in hand. I’ve spread my message to anyone I can, and I feel compelled to do so, because I meet women every day who can identify with my story.
For now, this website is both a hug and a high five to you if you’ve arrived here recognising the anxious, lost girl I’ve described above. I’m here to tell you, you are NOT alone. Today – you become an HB. Welcome to the club!
Today, you look at your body and you be nice to it. Sign up to a class before you talk yourself out of it, get off the crappy diet you start every Monday, and throw out your bathroom scales. This journey lasts for a lifetime, and it’s about liking yourself and being comfortable with you. Life’s far more fulfilling when you’re not fighting against who you are.
HB, promise me this. Today is the day you put out into the world what you want back. It starts with you, and it starts right now, ok?
Now let’s fill this town with happy, sassy HBs!
ps. Get in touch and tell me your story or to collaborate, I’d love to hear from you!