So my 12 week challenge is done and dusted, which I’m actually in two minds about. (I know: Me, undecided? What?! How unusual!)
The gym experience: I miss my group classes at Les MIlls. BUT I have absolutely loved the personal training. I feel fitter – because I AM fitter.
Completely changing up my routine and my gym was great for my fitness – I worked harder over these 12 weeks than I have for the past year, and I’m sure my switch back to Les Mills will be another good shake up.
I loved the challenge of weights circuits – it’s something that I’ll definitely incorporate into my regular workouts – and I kind of discovered a grudging appreciation for treadmills.
The treadmill thing was helped along by a hilarious trainer who does an uncanny impression of Sid the Sloth… She also had no qualms about using emotional blackmail to keep me running: I mean, when someone’s all ‘I’m only making you do this, because I know you’re capable of it’ well that makes it hard for you to be all: ‘you’re a liar, a sneaky, sneaky complimentary liar!’
So I’m really going to miss that. I’m also going to miss the atmosphere of Contours – people are nice, you can have conversations in the changing room without people looking at you like you might be a crazy serial killer, and there’s something nice about classes being small enough that the instructor can get to know you and say hi.
That being said, Les Mills has the whole BIG thing going on, which is both a plus and a minus.
The nutrition: I’m just going to get this out there: I hate, HATE, hate having to keep a record of what I’m eating. Especially because when I’m stressed and struggling with just getting out of bed in the morning, and staying at work for the whole day, then recording every bite of food I eat is just one of those little things that add up to make facing the day something that takes a ridiculous amount of energy and will-power.
BUT. Doing it actually taught me a lot about my eating habits. It’s helped me put together a few guidelines for the future – like less carbs at night. Less sugar and processed foods overall, and more protein. If I am going to indulge it’s better if I do it before mid-afternoon. Snack small and often.
Overall change: My big win is that I went from something like 40.5% body fat to 31.2% – I’m aiming for 20-30% (Which is in my healthy range.) Also my blood pressure is looking better right now – although it still has an alarming tendency to shoot up when I’m stressed.
I lost a pretty significant amount of centimetres from my waist – which is always good – given that belly fat is the bad fat… (As opposed to butt fat, which is bootylicious?)
(What? I said I learnt a lot, not that I learnt EVERYTHING.)
And lots of people have told me that my face is looking thinner, which is always nice to hear. And my flatties have a nice habit of telling me that I look pretty – mostly I think because of my new confidence related dressing lately! (I love complimentary people.)
As for actual kgs? I actually didn’t lose that many. I’m still a lot heavier than I want to be (*in an ideal world where rainbows appear with fairies and unicorns who sing and dance, and chocolate has fat burning properties.) BUT I feel a lot better about myself than I did 12 weeks ago.
Some of this is from the drop in body fat, some is from the positive reinforcement from my trainers, some is from educating myself about my body, my fitness, and my nutrition, and some is from cognitive behavioural exercises that I’ve been doing on my own to help myself change my patterns of thinking, and manage my depression.
Other Notes: I’m still gutted there were no free massages. Not that I like strangers touching me, but I tolerate it, and I’m told it’s relaxing. Also? I like free. Free is my spirit animal.
At first I was a little worried that the gym would keep passing me around different trainers – which I find hard because it takes me a while to get comfortable with new people, but it was actually quite good for me, and it helped that we eventually found a couple of trainers that I work really well with.
I found the nutrition programme WAY hard on my original student-esque budget. It would have been nice if there were a few more allowances for that kind of thing, but generally speaking, the people who do this kind of thing are a bit more financially flush than I was!
I liked how the programme took into account my TKD training. So it wasn’t just a one size fits all kind of deal, instead my trainers made sure we worked in with my goals for TKD.
I loved all the positive reinforcement! It’s one of the best motivators for me, and it’s kind of a big part of how I learn. Plus it’s nice! (Duh. Who doesn’t like being told that they’re awesome!) (Crazy people. That’s who.)
The future: So yeah. I’m hoping not to go too crazy with the food freedom, and to keep working hard on fitness… The potential TKD nationals comp will definitely keep me on my toes. (*Stay tuned tomorrow to watch as I agonise over that decision.) (Yes I am an indecisive Libra, How did you guess?)
I’m also sitting down tomorrow to work out my new fitness plan. I think I’m going to set myself a formal kind of fortnightly programme, and stick to it as closely at possible. Then I’ll weigh and measure myself, and set a new programme at the end of that period.
I’m not sure how long that will last (Because while I happen to be excellent at planning and setting goals, I tend towards being a little slack on the follow-through) but I’m going to give it my best shot.
I’ve also added my main PT on facebook (because she’s kind of awesome) and I’m thinking another goal should be to stay in touch with her.
(1. Because of the aforementioned awesomeness and
2. because I don’t know anyone else who does a good Sid the Sloth impression, and
3. because it’ll be a good reminder to me to not go eat an entire pizza with deep-fried doughnuts, and a packet of timtams. )
(Although, honestly? You really only do that once in your life. The pain that follows is a pretty good incentive not to do it again all on it’s own.)
So tell me… Have you ever done a nutrition/ exercise programme like this? How did you keep up your good work after you were done? (Or did you fail miserably?)
Also- Did you like Ice Age 1, 2, or 3 best? I like 2 I think. Or 1. But then 3 did have dinosaurs, and I happen to like dinosaurs a lot. It’s a difficult decision for me.