It’s all very well sitting here blogging about fitness and preaching about why people should be the healthiest possible version of themselves, but at the moment I feel like a bit of a fraud. As I’m writing this it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m sitting here eating my third Easter egg of the weekend. When did I become the person who sits around eating chocolate in the middle of the day? A bit of chocolate is absolutely fine, especially at Easter, but the amount I’ve this weekend is a joke and I’m not proud. Worse still, a bit of junk food triggers a lot of junk food, so my entire weekend has been a write-off. After all of this food I feel horrible, which isn’t promising considering our first holiday of the year is only ten weeks away. As excited as I am, the thought of squeezing into a bikini with how I am right now fills me with terror. Body shape aside, I’m tired, grumpy and snappy, and I have no motivation for anything. I didn’t realise until now just how much I depend on my healthy diet. Undoing seven months’ of hard work is the last thing I want to do, so as of Monday 24 April, it’s time I put a stop to this ongoing ‘casual binge’. I’ve never been more ready for a fresh start.
So, other than a bit of a confession, what is this post all about? Like what fitness YouTubers do, consider this the beginning of a ‘summer shred series’. Blogging about my fitness prep gives me a great opportunity to be fully accountable and remind myself of where I’m at along the way, which is something I think we all need. I don’t know how interesting people will find these posts, but if the general response I get from my fitness/food posts is anything to go by, then I have a feeling it could be a good read for some people. On the whole I hope that my post updates will be positive, but I strongly believe in showing the hard times too, which are often hidden from the online world, so I have every intention to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ugly no doubt being me right after a gym session.
MY 10 WEEK PLAN
I always find that starting fresh on a Monday is the best way, because you can pick up where you left off with a completely clear mind-set. I gave myself the weekend to get rid of the junk, gather my thoughts and plan for the weeks ahead. I decided to create my own plan for a change, rather than buy another one like the 90 Day Plan, just to keep things simple. I’ve being doing this, whatever ‘this’ is, for a long time now, so I do actually know what I’m doing. I just need to remind myself of that when things get tough, instead of desperately seeking answers elsewhere.
First and foremost, my nutrition needs to be on point. Diets suck so I won’t be doing one of those, but I will be going back to my intuitive style of eating – where I have treats in moderation, turn down the foods I genuinely don’t want, fill my plate with lean protein, good fats, complex carbohydrates and a decent helping of vegetables at every meal, and keep an eye on my overall calorie consumption. I’m not going to log everything I eat like I used to, because that lead me down a dark path mentally, but I know roughly what my usual meals contain macro-nutrient wise so I can monitor it quite well without the use of an app. Keeping an eye on portion sizes and understanding when I’ve had enough are the most important, I think. That and drinking water like a trooper and hitting the gym four days a week, as I normally do anyway.
Workout wise I’m going to stick to what I’ve been doing, because I love it. I do 20-30 minutes of weight training (2 x upper body and 2 x lower body per week), followed by 20 minutes of HIIT. For those who don’t know, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and basically involves circuit-style workouts based around specific intervals. I choose a few different full-body exercises and work my butt off for 4o seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. It kills you, but that’s the point. Long gone are the days of slogging away on a treadmill! Why am I doing both? The weight training will help me to build muscle, and the HIIT will help to reduce my body fat, so hopefully a combination of them both will allow me to get a much leaner figure overall.
In terms of particular goals, I purposely don’t want to set any. If I had three months or longer, maybe I would, but with only ten weeks to play with, I need to set my expectations fairly low and make the best of the time I’ve got. I won’t be weighing myself at all, I won’t be measuring myself too often, I will only take comparison photos every two weeks and other than that, it’ll be a case of seeing how my holiday clothes fit and how they make me feel. I’m finally over being defined by a number on the scale, so it’s pointless setting goals such as losing 5lbs, or fitting into a new size eight dress. I think it’s healthier for the mind to just go with the flow, put the work in, enjoy the process and watch the results speak for themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I have every intention to try and get the best body I can for our holiday, but I can’t expect to achieve all my fitness goals in only ten weeks. That just won’t happen. It probably could if I gave up all sugar, cut my carbs right down, and basically had no fun whatsoever, but that’s just not good for the mind or the soul. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good in a bikini and feel confident in a new outfit, but it’s important to live too. I don’t want to get to the point where I stop enjoying the good things in life through fear of gaining weight. What sounds better – sampling the local cuisine and sipping cocktails, or sitting there pushing leaves around a plate just to feel slim at the pool the next morning? That’s what I thought.
So, let the challenge begin! The chocolate is gone, I’ve knocked all my cravings on the head with one last mega cheat day, and I’ve meal prepped for the week ahead. I’m genuinely so excited to get back on track and give this everything I’ve got. It feels good to have a real purpose with food and fitness again!