Seeing as I wrote an update six months’ on from finishing The Body Coach’s 90 Day SSS Plan, I couldn’t not write one when I reached my one year anniversary since starting the plan. A lot can change in a year, and although the plan itself was three months’ long, I’ve had another nine months’ of being plan-free, so I thought it’s about time for a little review.
In my six month update I reflected on the blog posts that I wrote during that period. It was a difficult time because I loved my post-plan body so much that when it came to going it alone, I couldn’t handle losing it, even if the changes were only minor. I know a lot of people managed to keep their figure, but I had to be so strict during the plan, there was no way on earth I’d keep my slim legs and partially visible abs unless I followed the plan for the rest of my life. I really struggled after with not knowing what to do in order to get as lean as possible, and I felt completely lost in the crowd as everyone else who’d finished the plan seemed to be doing better than ever. The saying “comparison is the thief of joy” is absolutely true. Looking back, I had no idea how small I really was, and now I regret spending half a year flapping about the tiniest bit of body fat, but you never realise things like that at the time do you?
If I’m honest, when it got to a year I expected to be writing about how lean I am and how I live an uber healthy life. Truthfully that isn’t the case. In the real world, I’ve spent the last three months off the rails with food and fitness wondering how to get back to my old ways. A combination of the stress of the nine-month-long holiday prep, two holidays, numerous boozy weekends, and the recent death of my grandad has left me feeling like a bit deflated I guess. I’m also currently in Poland for a few days to celebrate a family wedding, so there’s definitely no chance of me being super healthy until I’m back home. I really believe that your head has to be fully in the game, and mine definitely isn’t, so in a way I’m glad I’ve not thrown myself back into something that I’m not committed to. Taking three months out of my strict routine has caused me to undo a bit of the progress I made and I’ve lost a lot of strength, but comparing the ‘before and after’ photos it seems that luckily I haven’t quite gone back to how I was a year ago, so I don’t think it would take me too long to get my post-plan body back if I really tried. That said, as much as I loved it, I’m not sure I want it back. Being lean might look good, but it took its toll on my mental health more than I realised.
I thought that if I ever sat down to write a post like this then I’d failed, but I actually don’t feel like that at all. I’m proud of myself for how I stuck the plan out, saw it through right to the end and saw incredible results – but that was just a phase. It was a small fraction of my life. What’s important is that I took what I learned and found a type of ‘healthy’ that I love, not what I’m told to love, if that makes sense. After all, fitness and diet isn’t just one blanket filter for everyone, everyone has something different that works for them. So no, this pressure-free, borderline lazy attitude that I have now won’t get me the best figure or the healthiest heart. I’m no longer working out five times a week and eating plates and plates of greens and lean protein, but on the other hand I no longer fear calories, carbs, sugar, or missing a workout, and I take everything I see online with a pinch of salt. I have balance now, and I feel like because of that I’m living my best life.
I’m not ruling out getting back into a routine one day soon, but I’m also not in any rush. Right now I’m just enjoying playing with different recipes without weighing out every single ingredient, trying different workouts without feeling like I should be doing this or that, and sometimes just choosing life over body image. This is a refreshing way to live and to be honest I’m not sure I want to change it anytime soon. It’s hard to live a life where you tear yourself apart day after day because you’re not ‘good enough’ in your own eyes, so I owe it to myself to focus more on my mental health than my body fat percentage for a while. If you’re reading this and have also just about had enough of macros, calories and weighing scales, I recommend taking a step back and reassessing where you’re at. It’s good for the soul. And if that means you don’t complete something or you don’t quite achieve what you set out to, that’s ok. We’re not all born to be amazing at the same thing and like I said, one person’s version of ‘healthy’ isn’t the same as another’s.