I have to admit, when I was sat writing the post where I first said that I was about to embark on The Body Coach’s 90 Day Plan, I wasn’t one hundred percent sure I’d make it to the point where I was able to write this blog post. When I wrote my Cycle One post, I was still questioning it, and by the time I had to sit and write my Cycle Two post, although I was over half way through, part of me still wondered whether or not there would be a Cycle Three post. But there is, which can only mean one thing. I did it!
Let’s forget about the results for a minute, because although that’s the entire point of doing this plan, there’s something equally as important to focus on. For the first time in my life, I have finished a challenge. A challenge that genuinely did challenge me, consistently. Better still, I put all my heart and soul into doing the best I possibly could. For me that stands miles ahead of any results, even though they’re a huge bonus, because I proved myself wrong. I should be confident in my abilities, but I never have been up until now. I began this plan expecting to fail, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were friends or family who predicted the same. So, go me, I suppose. If there’s ever been a time for a bit of self-appreciation, it’s now.
I was feeling positive at this point because I knew that two thirds of the plan were done and dusted, and I’d had eight weeks of sussing it all out. I spent some time going over the plan and whilst I was anxious about the lack of carbs and the even more intense training, I was excited, because I’d heard great things about Cycle Three and was so ready for the remaining fat to drop off. Pyramid training is hard and again quite mundane at times, but it was ten times better than the training in Cycle Two in my opinion. The only problem I had were Christmas events, all involving food, which began to fill my calendar. Usually I’d be over the moon about this, but being on plan meant it was a lot harder. Some people said to eat what I wanted and add days onto the cycle, others said the opposite, so I decided to find a medium and at the end of week one I had an ‘on-plan’ Nandos and half a mulled wine at Bath Christmas Market. In Cycle One I would never have done this, but by this cycle I’d earned my own trust and knew that I wasn’t going to fall into a downwards spiral. If I’d had six doughnuts, ten beers and two pizzas, then that might have been a step too far, but I was pretty confident that a bit of spicy chicken and fino slaw with a minimal mount of mulled wine wasn’t going to be detrimental to my progress.
Another successful week went by with plenty of delicious meals and more promising training sessions. At this point time was going fast, possibly because Christmas was quickly approaching and I had way too much to be doing to have time to stress about my meal prep and workouts. The Saturday of week two involved four solid hours of intense Christmas shopping, so I decided to treat myself to a well earned Christmas coffee from Starbucks. Karma was a b*tch that day because despite going to great lengths to make sure I ordered the healthiest possible version of a gingerbread latte, I got completely the opposite, which led me to battle with the Barrister until I got what I’d asked for. Karma saw me order that treat and played me, big time. I regret nothing, gingerbread lattes are life.
One day into week three and all I could think was “oh my god, two whole weeks left. How am I supposed to do this when Christmas is so close?”. Seeing people graduating from the plan left, right and center made it harder, but I knew my time was soon, and as if I was going to quit with only thirteen days to go. As if. Again, avoiding the odd treat was hard, so I did allow myself one small glass of wine on the Friday of week three, and another ‘on-plan’ Nandos the next day when we visited London with friends. The wine could have been avoided, granted, but running around Oxford Street with a prepped meal in a tub is not really an option. I did enjoy that wine though, even if it did take me two hours to drink and left me feeling hungover the next day. A tad embarrassing, but I guess that’s what happens to your body when you spend weeks and weeks convincing it to be nothing but healthy.
The fourth and final week! And approximately one week away from Christmas. Enter, the annual work Christmas buffet, more opportunities to eat out and well, the generic festive temptations that come in the form of mince pies, prosecco, yule log and anything carb-heavy. Luckily by this point I was on a mission and nothing was standing in my way, so I avoided every single treat going and completely stuck to the plan. After eighty-three days of eating stupidly healthy and working my ass off in the gym, what was another seven days? Piece of cake, or broccoli in my situation. I was getting seriously excited about results day by midweek, because I was almost a “lean winner”, as Joe would say, and I felt proud of that.
And here we are, day twenty-eight of Cycle Three. Christmas Eve! I’m meant to finish on Boxing Day, day thirty, but as I refuse to give up my Christmas dinner, my ‘Support Hero’ at The Body Coach HQ suggested I submitted two days early. Seeing as I added a day in between each cycle, today is technically day ninety, so I’m done. Officially, done. So, the results. How did I get on? In total I’ve lost 11.2lbs and over 13 inches. I can’t believe it! I am genuinely so happy by these results, and I truly feel as though I have earned them. I did every workout, I kept my off plan food/drink as minimal as possible, which isn’t bad going considering it’s Christmas, and I made sure I put in as much effort as physically possible. I’m not 100% happy with my body even after all of this hard work, probably because I assumed my results would be like what I saw on Joe’s ‘Hall of Fame’, but whenever I feel down about it, I just think to myself what damage I would have done if I had waited until the New Year to do this plan. During these three months I had so many people say to me “why are you doing this? You don’t need to.” But to those that said “you’re doing so well, I don’t know how you do it” – thank you, because it’s those comments that made me see it through.
Now every good movie has it’s bloopers, and my experience of this plan isn’t too different. Day one I passed out in the gym, during Cycle One I sat in the Harvester with nothing but a glass of water looking like a prat whilst everyone else ordered burgers and chips, during Cycle Two I took my lunch in a tub surrounded by ice blocks on a three hour road trip to Margate, at the end of Cycle Two I basically cried over consuming on singular Smartie, I had multiple dreams about binging on cake and woke up in a total panic, I became the laughing stock many times for turning down junk food when offered it, I got seriously drunk on two small glasses of wine in between Cycle Two and Cycle Three, I divided the office with half of my colleagues loving the smell of my food and the other half wanting to evacuate, and I had at least three toddler-style strops in Tesco over not being able to find certain ingredients. Classic Katie.
So, what’s next? I know there are people who’ve done this plan who are going to severely limit themselves even on Christmas Day, but for me, that’s just not going to happen. If you can’t let your hair down and get a bit merry at Christmas, when can you? I want to enjoy myself on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, get back in the game for two days, and then enjoy my Birthday on the 29th. Then, apart from a few drinks on New Year’s Eve, it’s time to continue onwards with my healthy, fit lifestyle. I’m undecided as to whether I will follow the principles of Cycle Two or Cycle Three, or follow my macros that I’ll get in my grad report, or just go with the flow and see what happens. Who knows. One thing I do know is that I won’t be going back to the sluggish, miserable, bloated version of myself who can put away a share bag of Doritos and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s in an hour. I have no desire to do that ever again. That said, life is for living, and cake, wine and pizza will most definitely still be a part of it – just a lot, lot more limited.
I’ve learned so much from this plan and, despite the struggles at times, I’m really glad I’ve completed it. Would I do it again? No, but if I had more weight to lose then perhaps I would. For me, it’s now about building lean muscle, becoming stronger, and finding more foods and more recipes that I love. Thank you to Joe and my ‘Support Hero’ for the support and motivation, to the thousands of supportive people on the Facebook groups, to the few fellow 90 day plan’ers who stuck it through with me and made me laugh hysterically on our WhatsAapp group chat, to my family and friends for putting up with me being horrendously awkward at meals, and to Darryl for being a total saint the entire time.
To think that three months ago I hated my body is mad, and to think that I so nearly waited until January to make a difference is crazy. Seriously, if you’re thinking of doing it, do it, and do it now. If you don’t give it a go, you’ll never know what could have been. On that note, I’m off to finish my ninetieth and final day in style, before getting fully stuck into Christmas tomorrow morning. Have a very, Merry Christmas everyone!