Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their encouragement, support and empathy over the past few weeks. It’s lovely to hear that others have been through, or are going through, something similar and that has really helped me to take one step at a time and stay on track.
So What’s The Latest?
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been (mostly) staying on the diet and training hard. As someone who mainly does weight training and has a natural aversion to anything that resembles cardio, I have found my metabolic (fancy term for “circuit”) sessions with Fee Pocock a particular shock to the system. I have also learned that counting down reps is a lot more encouraging as a training method versus doing something for a certain amount of time. Would you be more motivated to do 20 kettlebell swings or 30 seconds of kettlebells? I rest my case.
I have also been taking advantage of my once a week cheat meal. My first cheat was a Chinese takeaway; my second a night of steak, triple cooked chips and red wine at Hawksmoor. To be honest, the takeaway was a bit of a disappointment after a week of my strict diet; I just felt incredibly bloated and (best described as) “bleurgh. The second was better than I could ever have expected: succulent steak, the best macaroni cheese in London topped off with dessert wine. Just heavenly. Having experienced first hand the highs and lows of the cheat meal, here are my top tips:
- Make it something to remember. Having worked so hard over the previous week to keep on track, there’s nothing better than rewarding yourself with something totally scrumptious.
- Always plan your cheat meal; there’s nothing worse than being good all week, only to “reward” yourself with something you would normally consider a second thought on the scale of tastiness.
- Don’t stray too far off your diet; stuffing yourself with carbs and sugar after being off them for so long is a digestive recipe for disaster.
- Have your cheat meal on a social occasion; it’s doubly great not feeling like the one left on the sidelines while everyone else is tucking into red wine and stilton.
The First Fitting Since The Day I Bought My Dress
So it’s just 8 days until the big ND day and the final few days are really going to be make or break. Last night, I took the plunge and tried on ND for size, partly to see I was progressing, partly to measure by how much I needed to bring up the bottom seam as I’m such a shortie.
All in all I was quite pleased: it’s a much better fit than at Christmas, however, in the most unfavourable of lighting, there is still a little bit too much of a stretch in the fabric across the lower abs, upper leg and hip area. Damn!
It’s Do Or…. Don’t Look Good
With a week to go, it’s time to get serious. Time for some confessions of a sunshine related nature:
Over the past few days, the whole of London town has been heating up following the arrival of the sun, and my inability to drink enough water throughout the day could be a hindrance to my progress. I’ve never been a big water drinker. Coffee, tea, alochol (in my former days) I’ll lap it up, but regular fresh untainted water? Nope. Not even a pint a day. Minimising water retention will be a major influence my success and it’s about time I put my Bobble to full use. I’m aiming for 3-5 litres a day, reducing this down to 1-3 litres for two days before the big day.
Now, please excuse the following poor excuse: the sudden appearance of sunshine has caused the queue outside Patisserie Valerie’s ice cream stand to grow and snake around Spitalfields market at a ridiculous pace. The first day, I refrained; the second day, I refrained; the third day, I couldn’t resist that glorious ice cream and I had to give in – one scoop of after eight mint deliciousness in the sunshine. What can I say? It was just as good as I had hoped, but a definite no-no going forward.
In fact, it’s amazing how the sunshine affects your desires and behaviour. Firstly the positives:
- Naturally I want to drink more water, instead of the usual hot drinks, in particular coffee, to quench my thirst (hopefully I can prove that this week).
- My cycle to work is a joy in the sunshine and a sneaky way to fit in some extra daily cardio without even realising. It doesn’t feel like exercise at all, although it could be suggested that I “pootle” around town as opposed to properly cycle!.
- I find it easier to eat clean in hot weather (apart from the ice cream slip up!); in the middle of the day, all I want is salads and fish, as opposed to pie and mash.
- It’s a great feeling putting on those summer shorts and skirts, especially if they look better on you one year on.
And now the negatives:
- Ice cream cravings (see earlier slip up story)
- After a long day at work, there’s nothing better than sitting in the last of the sunshine with a chilled glass of white wine or cider (or so I recall… it was so long ago)
- Pimms, lemonade and strawberries… need I say more!
And Finally, The Figures
As I suspected, it has been harder to keep up the pace of the gains (or, more accurately, the losses) of my first week. Today my body fat is at 15%, down from 15.4%, two weeks ago. My calves and quads have been highlighted as my priority areas, but on the positive side I’m also now getting the hint of a six pack around the midriff.
My weight on the scale has actually gone up slightly to 51kg suggesting that my muscle mass has actually increased over these past couple of weeks. In addition to the noticeable changes to my physique, this has highlighted the importance of my training as well. More importantly it’s a lesson that whatever the scales say, you don’t always get the full story.
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