Friday, 27 November 2015

My Fitness Journey


I'm not really sure where to start with this post.  It's something I find really personal but at the same time I want to talk about my journey in the hope it helps or inspires anyone else who is feeling the way I felt.  I am fast approaching 40 and the realisation that I am going to be hitting this milestone soon made me step back and see a few things differently, one of which is my health.  As I have mentioned before I live in a three storey town house and it had got to the point where if I had to walk from the bottom floor straight up to the top I would be gasping for breath by the time I climbed to the top of the stairs.  This was quite scary and though I didn't want to admit to there being an issue at first, I finally came to terms that this was my reality and that I really needed to do something about it before it was too late. I wrote this post as I started my journey, I bought myself a bit of tech and I got moving.  When you make your own dresses it's easy to kid yourself and just add a few cms here and there to accommodate your growing waistline.

What I didn't say at the time is I also joined Weight Watchers.  I decided I needed to just get on and actually do it this time so didn't want to talk about it and I didn't want any added pressure.  Action speaks louder than words so I needed to buckle down and sort myself out.  I only told Gray and a couple of friends as I was staying with them and needed to make sure I wasn't faced with too many bad options.  Weight Watchers is essentially calorie counting and although that makes me miserable I knew I needed something easy and familiar that would kick start my journey.  I signed up online for three months with the intention to move to something better at the end of that period.  I wasn't sure what that would be I just knew it needed to be sustainable and allow me to eat more than 26 points worth of food per day.  I also went walking every single day.  I had a minimum goal of 10,000 steps per day but often managed around 150,000 steps per week.  My fitness improved rapidly and I really enjoyed the extra quality time walking around for a couple of hours with Gray.  I had a few of holidays and weekends away while on the plan but managed to lose 1.5 stone in the three months.  It was getting harder and harder to get any losses towards the end so I know I would have plateaued if I had continued.  I couldn't have eaten much less either, 26 points per day does not work out to a lot of calories.  For me it was a means to an end, it gave me back both a base level fitness and confidence and with this I was able to work up to something more life changing.  I wish I had have been brave enough to take measurements before I started but I wasn't.



I made the decision to join The Bodycoach 90 day SSS Plan, at £147 for the three months it's not cheap so it's not something I did without thought.  I was inspired by the transformations I had seen on their instagram page and after reading more about the plan on their website it seemed just what I was looking for.  While I wanted to lose weight in the process my main goal was to improve my fitness and start looking after myself by eating better food.  Those 26 points can be made up of whatever food you fancy after all - Weight Watchers is not about healthy eating just eating less.  I had done my research so I knew what I was getting myself into.  The first 30 days are low carb meals with carbs only as a refuel after a workout.  Think lots of vegetables and lean proteins, not a spoon of sugar in sight.  You workout 4-5 times a week for 25 minutes choosing whatever HIIT workout you fancy.  I lack co-ordination so decided to do my HIIT on a treadmill, the progress I made in the first 30 days in terms of both speed and how it made me feel was unexpected.  I couldn't believe how much my fitness had improved.  I ended the first 30 days much fitter than when I started and with a loss of 7" and 7lbs bringing my total weight loss to 2 stone.  I didn't cheat at all and even more surprisingly I didn't miss sugar.  I was eating a bar of chocolate a day on Weight Watchers so this was a concern before I started.  Another thing that has surprised me is how my body has changed shape.  I am pear shaped and usually as I lose weight I lose more from my upper body resulting in me becoming more pear shaped.  This time I actually only lost half an inch from my chest compared with two inches from my hips - it's a miracle!! 

The second 30 days is all about building lean muscle with the addition of weights and eating carbs with every meal on a training day.  You train 4 times a week and each session takes around 40-50 minutes.  From what I have seen some people dread this cycle as your weight can go up and you can also suffer from carb bloat but I have enjoyed it so far, more freedom with the food and the weights add some welcome variety to the training. I'm over three weeks in and am looking forward to seeing how this cycle changes my body.  The final 30 days is similar in structure to the first 30 with carbs only as refuel after a workout but the workouts also include weights.  And they sound brutal! On this cycle you strip back any water weight from the carbs in the previous cycle and continue to build muscle.

I'm not sure what I am going to do once I graduate from the plan, this for me needs to be a lifestyle change that I maintain going forward.  I need to continue to eat good wholesome foods with the occasional treat thrown in and as much as I still hate it I need to continue to work out 4 times per week.  I am hoping I wake up one day and suddenly love exercise but it hasn't happened yet.  I've been sent some awesome Nike Trainers which certainly make working out more fun.  I can't help but stay brand loyal to Nike, their clothing and footwear is of such high quality and makes exercising that much more bearable.  I definitely feel more motivated when I am wearing nice clothes, wearing something that makes you feel good makes everything seem that bit better.  I have purchased a few pairs of their tights recently and they are just so comfortable.  I've even been wearing them outside of the gym, they are great for lounging around in too. 

Tights: Nike
T-Shirt: Nike
 
If you've got any questions about the plans let me know and likewise if you have any suggestions as to what I should look at going forward I would love to hear them.

♥♥♥

17 comments:

  1. PROUD OF YOU.with lots of love too. that is all.x

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    1. Thanks cutie! Might have that Five Guys one day ;)

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  2. Well done!
    I made some effort this year to lose some weight and get a bit fitter. I did the Couch to 5k and stuck with running for a while and lost a stone. Now its got colder I haven't ran for a bit and sort of got out of practice, but I have managed to maintain the weight I've got down to.

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    1. It's much harder this time of the year isn't it! I have no excuses, we have a gym in our garage. Get yourself back out there, don't lose that fitness you worked hard for.

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  3. Having lost a stone in the autumn, then stumbling a little when my dad became really poorly, I have found this post really motivational - especially at a time of year when it would be so easy to slip into eat-drink-and-be-merry mode. Thank you.

    I have been doing Slimming World and found it fantastic. You're absolutely right when you say Weight Watchers is about eating less, not eating healthily. I found it very restrictive, especially as I, like you, always used up lots of points on chocolate! SW forces you to cook from scratch and include lots of fruit and veg in your diet, without restricting things like pasta. There's hardly any weighing or measuring so it's easy to follow, varied and satisfying. Anyway, I'm not on commission so I'll stop preaching, but I think it's brill.

    Best of luck in your continuing health and fitness! x

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    1. Thanks Lucy. You've had a really tough time, cut yourself some slack.

      Glad you've found something that works for you, I know SW is not for me after struggling with it in the lead up to getting married. I don't like that my group encouraged diet products and things like batchelors savoury rice over actual real food. I also know that fat is not the enemy. I will end up following some form of clean eating, just not sure what that will be just yet.

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  4. Cute sunglasses :)
    BLOG M&MFASHIONBITES : http://mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr/
    Maria V.

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  5. I also found your post really interesting, and I think it proves what someone can do when they decide to do it. I also used Weightwatchers six years ago and lost 2 1/2 stone in five months. I stuck to it rigidly, and in the end eating like that with a few added points for maintenance was something I was used to, so it didn't feel an effort for me. I kept the weight off for three years, and then put a stone and a half back on moving country and starting a new job. Then I joined Weightwtchers again and the system had changed. I think it depends what type of eater each person is. I don't stick to diets where I have to cut out certain food groups so Weightwatchers works for me, and though it is about eating less (there's no way round this part of weight loss, I don't think) they also try to encourage people to eat filling and healthy foods, and fruit and vegetables are free so you can stock up on those if you're hungry. x

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    1. Thank you Paula. I disagree, this plan has taught me that it's not all about eating less. I was having to eat less and less to get any results and now I am eating around 2000 calories a day - it's just the right calories and the right macros at the right time. It's been a real eye opener, I will never follow a commercial diet plan again.

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  6. Well done that's a brilliant weight loss, you've done amazingly well. I too agree about slimming world. It's a brilliant healthy eating plan that's so easy to follow. I've lost 13 pounds since September with no exercise. I'm now looking at incorporating exercise into my lifestyle and had a programme done at the gym last night. I don't think it matters what plan you follow, it's your mindset that matters. Keep it up x

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    1. It is 100% about mindset, it's hard to get there but once you're there you can do anything! Adding exercise and improving my fitness has been life changing, smash it!!

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  7. Ummmm 40?! Hold the phone. You look ace!! I think my problem is I think that it's okay to munch my way through a sharing bag of crisps because i've been to the gym...oops. Keep up the good work!

    Jess @ www.hifreckles.com xx

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    1. Haha, thank you!! They do always say you can't out train a bad diet and abs are made in the kitchen etc etc. I haven't had crisps in months and haven't missed them. Don't know who I am anymore!!

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  8. I'm a Nike girl through and through! Although Reebok are giving them a run for their money lately...
    Fantastic transformation, you look great! Looking forward to reading your progress by the end of the plan... afterwards maybe experiment with different classes/types of exercise til you find something you enjoy? I love boxing, kettlebells and PiYo!

    Christy x
    Dinner Stories

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    1. I can't stray from Nike for gym wear, their stuff is so good! Thank you. I used to enjoy body combat but don't want to either join a gym or go to classes, I have my own gym in the garage! Will have a search and see what I can find on youtube to follow - thank you!

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  9. I am so.impressed at your success Sarah. You should be proud of your achievements!
    I hope that exercise suddenly becomes fun! I'm not keen either. I do love swing dancing and swimming though!Xx

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    1. I am, thank you Kezzie! I voted for you and sent out a tweet btw. Swing dancing sounds fun, I wish I had some co-ordination. I did used to enjoy swimming but now react badly to the chlorine so have to avoid it, sucks!

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I love comments, thank you for making me smile xx

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