I am now four weeks into the programme going into my fifth week and wow! What a transformation. I am so happy, pleased, joyful, and generally feeling on top of the world I want to share it with everyone.
Okay, it’s not an easy programme and I am not pretending it is, but if you are truly committed to getting fit and losing weight- this is the one for you.
Four weeks ago I checked in at 76.9 kilos and 40.4% body fat. To be healthy you should have body fat of no more than 30%! That was enough of a shocker to see that in front of me. I was way over and in fact, the highest in the small group. So, feeling really determined, I was going for this.
After one week I had lost over 2 kilos and the fat had reduced by 3% again the second week more weight loss, leading to my weigh in on 2nd July. I am down to 71.5 kilos (11 stone 2lbs in old money) and I am feeling fine and dandy. Plus, my fat content is down again.
So what has worked/not worked for me?
Firstly, there is nothing that has not worked. This is a tried and tested weight loss formula. The foods include tuna, white fish, quinoa, cottage cheese (zero fat), zero fat greek yoghurt, blueberries, strawberries, salad, green vegetables…there’s nothing not to like and of course, two litres of water, diet cokes, diet drinks, anything with no calories is allowable. For me, someone who has always tried to eat well, this is all good stuff.
I suppose though, there’s the inevitable ‘snacking’. Of course, we have probably all done it and therein lies the problem. A little piece of cake, a biscuit, a chocolate someone offers you, a healthy bar (most of which contain dates which are full of sugar)…you know the ones I mean. And before you know it, you are already stocking up on the calories and you haven’t even started your day. One of the best things this diet has done has shown how much I do snack or used to. I used to get in the car, get some fuel, grab a coffee and then it would be like, ummmmmm…cake, biscuits. Even if it were a little pack of dried mango – mango is full of sugar. So, do not kid yourself. Snacks, unless they are almonds, are not healthy. Even many fruits are full of sugar and of course; mangos and bananas are the worst. If you snack at all, make it ‘the berries’ in particular Blueberries, which are both healthy and nutritious.
That has been very hard for me and in the first two weeks I came to realise how ‘snacks’ filled me up. It wasn’t what I was eating at home – plenty of vegetables, salads, fish and chicken and no hidden temptations. No, it was those pesky snacks. Of course, alcohol plays its part. There’s no getting away from it. Did you know that a bottle of white wine (specifically Pino Grigio contains 623 calories so an average class contains 156 calories). It’s a lot isn’t it? That’s why Gin & Tonic has become so popular as a social drink. I remember many years ago I worked out with a Nutritionist and PT called Gemma Wilkins. She gave me some amazing advice. She said that although she did not encourage drinking, it wasn’t the drink per se that put on the weight. It was the cravings the next day. Oh, how right she is. The number of times I have felt virtuous, G&Ts, healthy eating, maybe a walk. What’s wrong with that? Well, it’s the next day. I have never ever felt like eating a salad after a night of partying on G&Ts!
So snacking is a thing of the past.
As for alcohol I have literally stopped drinking – well, to be fair, I had a drink on Saturday – just two glasses of white wine with lots of soda water. I was therefore really shocked on Sunday to find that I was feeling hung over. It just shows what alcohol does do to your system and three + weeks of not drinking showed how my body did not really like alcohol. Have I become teetotal? Maybe/maybe not. But from now on, alcohol will be consumed moderately to cut down on those next day cravings and frankly I cannot handle how I feel the next day – dreadful!
As to the exercise, the classes are just half an hour (hit classes). I say ‘just’ it’s all you could do (probably) and in fact, they don’t encourage you to do back to backs. Quite honestly, I don’t think you could. You are exhausted and dripping by the time you leave, your face (or at least my face) red. But boy, do you feel good. The trainers push you, that’s their job, but not unfairly and if you report an injury they understand. I always say to them I am doing my best but if I can’t do an exercise because of my painful knees, I can’t do it. They ‘get it’ and often come up with an adaptation so that you can still work out.
I do three ‘hit classes’ a week and I love them. I find they stretch me – all four trainers are different and have a different style, which works well. It’s a mixture of kettle bell swings, squats, TRX, lunges, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, plank, walk outs, mountain climbs. All the exercises are do able, it’s a case of mind over matter. Even today I found that I was stretching my legs far more than I had been before which means I am becoming more flexible. My strength on my arms is pretty poor though and that is something I need to work on. There is even, if you fancy it, a boxing class (not my thing personally) but there are different levels too so you can work even harder! In between my three sessions I try and do a four-mile walk. Most days I do make it but if my body is aching I give it a miss to ensure I repair. A warm bath full of Epsom salts seems to do the trick.
I have two more weeks to go and I want to get down to 10.12lbs or thereabouts. I might, or might not, achieve it in the next two weeks but I am working hard, and I am so very pleased with the way I now feel. My brain is ‘fired up’, I feel positive and full of energy and I can now get into that jumpsuit which has sat in my cupboard for over two years (yes!). Saturday 15th July sees me at the Sandbanks Polo and that jumpsuit will be worn with pride. I like rewards, doesn’t everyone? This is mine.
Dorset based Lifestyle Consultant