I have been having a seriously struggle with the January Blues. I am unmotivated, lethargic, lazy, exhausted, and cba doing anything other than tanking a bottle of wine and napping. (Okay, so not that different from usual, I guess.)
Browsing the Drafts folder of my blog and I stumbled across this post, because as it happens I was having a serious case of the January Blues back in July, except back then it was called having a Quarter-Life-Crisis. I began to delve into how I could be sure it was crisis-mode, and had some convincing arguments...
In my office it seems that looking chic is second nature. My manager struts in every morning with her go-to lazy-girl outfit of leather ankle
boots, straight leg jeans, some sort of amazing vintage blouse and a
long tailored coat. (A look that would take me
months to come up with.)
If you've been following my weight-loss journey you'll know I started a 12 week fitness and nutrition plan with Leanne Conroy. (More details on the plan itself here.) I've just gotten to the end and wanted to share some more chat about how I got on with it, my struggles and the results...
So I'll be honest - it's been tough. And my hopes of looking like Megan Fox in Transformers unfortunately didn't happen, but the key thing to take away from this is that I just need to keep going, and maybe by next summer I'll be almost Megan worthy!
So, this is how I got on with...
I found it very easy to slip into a comfortable routine with my training. I went four times a week and the gym is right next to my office so I went before work. I preferred going to the gym than not going because of my rank 8am commute - leaving an hour earlier to get my training session in was quicker and I got a seat on the tube!
But... once it started getting super cold and dark I really struggled with getting up for the gym. This meant some days I had to go after work when I was tired and it was super busy, but this just helped to motivate me to wake up early for my next session.
I hated the cardio when I first started (it was introduced a month and a half into my plan).... and I still hate it! I am not a cardio person at all! Treadmill, cross-trainer, bike.. the only cardio I enjoy is boxing and I don't think that will change any time soon. But I did find it got easier. After four weeks I could get through my cardio at the end of my session without dying, feeling dizzy or wanting to be sick. So that is an improvement. (I still struggle to start it at the end of the session though, it's like forcing yourself to eat something that you know is good for you but tastes rank at the time!)
I've loved the weight training and am super shocked at how much stronger I've gotten - I actually have (baby) shoulder muscles now, which is an improvement from my chicken-leg-arms before! Some exercises I couldn't do at all at the start I can now do with ease, whereas some things are still a struggle... (Superman planks - how do people have the balance?!)
I can't wait to continue training - the weights programme really saw changes to my body and it has helped with my anxiety and mental health struggles. I feel happier, healthier, stronger and more confident. Last week I was doing deadlifts and had forgotten my gloves. My hands were starting to blister and felt super sore, so I took off my t-shirt to complete the set. I would never have dreamed of working out in public wearing just a sports bra 3 months ago, and even though I whipped it back on as soon as I was done it really illustrated how much more confidence I've built in the last 3 months working with Leanne.
I really can't imagine not going to the gym now and am already planning how to squeeze sessions in when I'm in Scotland for Christmas - if I stopped I would feel sluggish, lethargic and as if I was wasting all my hard work!
The Food This was tough. And I'm 100% sure that the reason my results weren't as instagram-worthy as some is because I really wasn't as strict with myself as I needed to be with the food, and even with Leanne calling me up and telling me off and trying to set me goals to help me with it.. I just struggled.
This is a list of the things I have struggled with...
Eating so much! I was supposed to be hitting 1650 cals a day and 120g of protein - it doesn't sound like much but I wasn't used to eating this much food! Leanne explained I need to be eating the right amount of calories for my BMI so that my body was getting the right amount of nutrition to fuel my day, turn my fat into muscle easier, speed up my metabolism and generally just help me to lose weight. Yep, you heard right - you have to eat more to lose weight! Towards the end I found myself just reaching for crisps to up my calorie count, which I'm pretty sure is not the way to do it...
Weighing out all the food! In all honesty, I couldnt be bothered most of the time. I tried to do it meticulously the first few weeks but it all got super difficult when it was a homemade bake and I was sharing it with Steven and didn't know what percentage of the meal I had eaten. By the end of it I was just guestimating portion sizes based on what I learnt in the first few weeks. (Sorry Leanne!)
Cutting out cravings - especially when I was on my time of the month, hungover and ill. (I've had a lot of colds recently and it's made me want to curl up in bed and not eat at all!) Leanne was good at allowing flex for this though, especially during my menstrual cycle. Sometimes you just gotta eat chocolate or a pizza and not let yourself feel guilty for it.
My appetite in general - some days I could eat and eat and eat, some days I'm not in the mood for anything at all. On these days I really had to force myself to eat.
Things that helped me:
Having Leanne on constant call to motivate me and keep giving me ideas to make my life easier. She also let me know I shouldn't feel guilty if I did slip up - we're all only human after all!
My protein shake - this really helped me up my protein to reach my 120g a day. At the end of the day if I was far off I would just have a shake after my dinner as desert - it helps that it tastes great! Mine is from Protein World and the Chocolate flavour.
All in all my food plan itself wasn't a struggle, everything was tasty and I never felt restricted or like I was on a diet. My struggle was keeping track of what I was eating to make sure I hit the cals and macros needed to lose weight quicker - this is something I'll have to really try to work on going forwards to make the changes I want to see.
The Results Mentally I am calmer, more confident, and happier in general.
Physically I feel.. okay. If I'm being completely honest when I look in the mirror I don't see any difference. It's not until I look at my progress photos side by side that I can see how far I've come - I really encourage taking photos every week. When I was feeling a bit unmotivated and disheartened (this happened every other week if I'm being honest) Leanne would send me my photos and remind me to see how far I had come.
Week 1 on the left - Week 12 on the right. (Obviously, I hope!) Black and Whited them because they were all taken on different phones/ lights so I was trying to make it an easier comparison - I obviously picked my most flattering shorts to fold down - not! Also - how quickly has my hair grown?! I use Argan Oil after washing to keep it healthy.
I lost a lot of weight from my back, which was one of my main areas of concern. It's fallen away from around my bra strap and also started to melt at the bottom around the love handles. My stomach is tighter and I can see my legs, bum and arm muscles are much more defined than they used to be - this is really clear to see at the gym when they're working hard!
I wasn't that bothered about numbers and scales but as part of the plan we weighed myself every other week. For me it was all about how I looked in the mirror rather than what number popped up on the scales, but it's been really interesting to see. I weighed myself using the gym scales every Monday morning on an empty stomach and wearing underwear to try to keep it fair. Scales are so inconsistent that apparently I've grown 6 inches in height so I really wouldn't take it as bible!!
But just in case you want to know...
63.1k, 23.7 BMI, 27.8% body fat and 17.5k body fat mass
62.9k, 23.1 BMI, 23.9% body fat and 15k body fat mass
I can't wait to carry on with my plan although I bet Christmas will be a struggle! I plan on reporting back in the New Year with hopefully even more progress. Realistically for December I'll be looking to maintain my weight by continuing my training but probably allowing for more drink and naughty food over the holidays (I cut out weekday drinking as part of my plan, which was hard come Thursdays as I love a glass of red!).
Come January I'll be back on it and giving it 110% to go back into weight-loss mode rather than maintain-mode. I can't wait to see how far I've come by the summer time, and to be able to wear a bikini without being embarassed. If I've come this far in 3 months imagine what another 6 could do...
I've loved every second working with Leanne and just can't recommend her enough! This isn't a sponsored post, I chose to work with Leanne from seeing her online posts and I really recommend following her for motivational advice and tips.
Full-time writer and blogger. I write about fashion and occasionally scathing accounts retelling instances where people have wronged me. I am a strong believer, proud advocator and solemn enforcer of the Wine Wednesday movement.