A 6 week fling or a lifetime commitment? 

This weekend marks the end of my Fit Body Bootcamp 6 week challenge. Now admittedly when I decided to do this challenge I thought at the end of the 6 weeks I’d look in the mirror and be like “wow Shaena! You look amazing!”. Ok so that might not have happened but here are the things I’ve learned and the changes I have noticed… 

Mood and motivation 

When I started out I was still crawling out of a very dark place. My confidence was in shattered and I was not a happy bunny. As we are told over and over exercise helps release endorphins in us, lifting our mood and making us feel a lot brighter. I’ve always known this to be true but sometimes breaking out of that viscous depression cycle can be hard. When you are down your energy levels are low, your motivation is non existent and you generally just don’t want to make the effort to do anything. That’s where I was and I needed to snap out of it. Thanks to a little push from my friend Becca I signed up for my free 3 day trial with FBBC and enjoyed the sessions so much I embarked on the 6 week program. 

So have those endorphins worked their magic? Yes they have…aside from the odd down day I’ve generally felt more up beat, have more life in me and my motivation to get things done has improved not only in relation to my health and fitness but also at work. I’ve even had people comment on how much more up beat and positive I am. And on those down days I make sure to choose the dumb bells over the duvet! 

Strong not skinny

The most obvious physical change I’ve noticed in myself has been my strength. When I started out with FBBC I was back to doing push ups on my knees, the thought of just one burpee would fill me with dread and commandos….hahaha…what a joke! 

But less then 6 weeks later I’m back doing push ups on my toes (not all, but as many as I can), burpees are slow but the fear has gone and I can actually do commandos!! I’m so proud of myself for making such good progress in quite a short amount of time. I knew it was possible because I’ve done it before, but I guess with me it’s about having someone to push me and tell me that I can do it as I often give into those negative thoughts that tell me otherwise.

Balance 

Round about week 4 of the challenge I started to slip a little….or so I thought. I was still getting my workouts in but I wasn’t quite sticking to the food plan. I was still around 80% on track but I my food portions were a little off and I gave into the odd treat. But rather then feel like I failed I looked at things differently. 

For me, I didn’t want the 6 week challenge to be….well, just that I suppose. I wanted it to be something more. I wanted it to be the start of a new habit. Something that would last longer then 6 weeks…something that I would stay committed too. So the slip ups, days off, cheat meals I decided not to see them that way. Instead I decided that I would call it balance. 

Each time I embark on a new health and fitness journey, I go all or nothing. I’ve mentioned this before. I struggle to find the balance and because of that I end up getting tired, bored or I burn myself out. So to avoid the rest days that turn into rest weeks and the “fuck it” food moments that spiral out of control I will allow myself the time and space to breathe and once in a while let myself be only 80% perfect! 

Mindset 

I don’t think I need to say much about my mindset. I think everything I’ve said so far is proof enough that my mindset is where it needs to be.

Support

The most important thing I’ve learned over the last 6 weeks is that I don’t just want this to be a phase. I want this to be a permanent lifestyle change. In order to do that I don’t think I’m ready to go it alone just yet. I still need more guidance, structure and basically someone to kick my ass when I’m not sticking with the program so to speak. So I’m staying with the FBBC family for a little longer. They’ve been amazing. From Oli’s motivational emails and additional workout options, to the ever supportive ladies in the Facebook group and of course our trainers…Callam, Craig and Adam. You guys have been awesome. I may have wanted to cry at times but you guys have pushed me and made me realise I can always do just one more rep! 

So what’s next?

THE GAME CHANGER!! 

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Fit body bootcamp

Two weeks ago I got my ‘ready to fight’ attitude back. I was all raring to go with the gym, healthy eating and no more negativity. I started well. I signed up to some free trials of Fit Body Bootcamp’s HIIT circuit training sessions.


I found them on Facebook after seeing an advert for a 6 week transformation program. Now even I know 6 weeks is not long enough to drop the weight, get fit and tone up but it’d be a damn good start. So I gave a few of their sessions ago and really enjoyed them. 

The sessions are 30 minutes of high intensity style exercises. Mostly body weight exercises like burpees, push ups, squats, lunges etc. So very much what I’m used to after doing BBG. You do each exercise flat out for 30 seconds or a minute and take a short 5-10 second rest inbetween. Half an hour seems like nothing but believe me it’s one hell of a sweat session and it’s designed to get your body burning calories even after your done with the workout. The set up is basic but works. No fancy gym equipment other then some weights, battle ropes and some TRX bands. The groups are small and the trainers push you and make you work hard. I knew after a couple of sessions this was for me! 


So I decided to sign up to the next 6 week challenge which starts tomorrow! I’ll write more about it as the weeks go on but in a nutshell it’s 6 weeks of as many boot camp sessions you can do (I’m going to aim for 4-5 a week), a simple and effective food plan and trainers keep you on track and answer all your questions in the sessions and via a private Facebook group. 

As I had a week between my free sessions and the 6 week program starting up, I decided last week i’d just hit the gym to keep me ticking over until tomorrow. Unfortunately after a very fun bank holiday weekend with friends I had a car accident which left me quite sore and not feeling too great. I wasn’t badly hurt and the car can be fixed but it’s been a pain trying to get it sorted and to have to put the gym on hold. Oh and by the way….it wasn’t even my fault!!!! 

Anyway what’s done is done and I need to look to tomorrow and focus on the next step. This morning we had our induction to the 6 week program. I met the other ladies and the trainer, Oli (he also runs fit body bootcamp) and we had a good old chat about mindset. This has always been a big thing for me, mainly the reason I fail so often and have to keep restarting. Oli really made us think about the importance of mindset and how it can have a negative and positive impact on your fitness journey. In order to succeed I need to change my thinking and get rid of as much negativity as I can. My depression will not help me there but I’m hoping that by getting back into a good routine the endorphins and energy boost will help keep those negative thoughts at bay. It’s about breaking the cycle for me…I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again. 


After the induction I went and met my fitness friend Becca who I met through Instagram earlier this year. She joined me for the free bootcamp sessions last week. I’ve appointed her as chief motivator to keep me on track. She works her ass off at home and in the gym, sometimes twice a day. The progress she has made is amazing and she is a massive inspiration to me. Anyway we went for a lovely walk around a local park that until today never knew even existed lol! The sun was shining, we talked about all things fitness and we got a bit of a sweat on! It was lovely and we said we would try to make it a weekly event. 


Now although the 6 week program kicks off tomorrow, I’m away for a couple of days for work so they’ve suggested I start on Wednesday. However, I still intend to hit the hotel gym tomorrow and start the clean eating where possible. I’m generally ok with eating healthy when I need to but, for the first two weeks of this program carbs are banned. I am a little worried about that as my inner carb whore will no doubt struggle. But I want results so I need to do what is required. Like I said though, I officially start Wednesday so I’ll do what I can over the next two days but I won’t give myself a hard time if the odd potato ends up on my plate! 

Time for me to get some sleep now. I’ve an early start tomorrow and a busy week ahead!! 

Confessions of a foodaholic 

Food. It’s a wonderful thing isn’t it?! I myself am quite fond of it and I’m not ashamed to admit my day revolves around what I’m going to eat and when. If I’m not eating food then I’m more then likely thinking about it. But here’s the problem…my love of food has basically meant that after I hit 25 and my metabolism came to a grinding halt I started to pack on the lbs!!

The last 10 years have seen my weight go up and down as if it was in some kind of Japanese yo-yo competition. I’ve tried everything…weight watchers, feeble attempts at the gym, running, PT sessions, Les Mills classes, and I’ve even tried jumping up and down on a trampoline every night. Some of these things worked, others not so much. Either way I couldn’t sustain the weight loss even when it did drop a little. And I now I know why…..god damn FOOD! 

I love to cook…and I had basically convinced myself that by cooking dishes from scratch using fresh ingredients most of the time, the food I was eating wasn’t bad for me. I had an ok balance of protein, lentils and vegetable….not amazing but it wasn’t terrible. I rarely do take-always and my love of eating out comes in phases. So I didn’t think that my diet was all that bad. 

At the end of 2014 I got myself a PT and I worked really hard in the gym and doing various classes in addition to my sessions. I lost quite a bit of weight and started to love the way I felt and looked. I gained back some of my confidence and I thought I’d reached a turning point. However I soon realized what I was doing wasn’t enough to get the results I really wanted….and any time I took more then a week or two off from exercising I noticed the weight creep on every so quickly. 

So this time I knew I had to do more. Exercise alone just wasn’t enough. You can train as hard as you like in the gym but if you put the wrong kind of things into your body, well it’s just not going to thank you for it. Cue clean eating Shaena! 

As you know I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) workout plan at the start of the month. I’ve just finished week 2 and I’m doing pretty well. I’ve also been going to the gym in between and trying to remain as active as possible. In addition to my exercise regime I’ve quite literally cleaned up my eating habits. I started simple…no more skipping breakfast. Starting the day with things like eggs, spinach, smoked salmon. I reduced my carb intake massively at lunch time and tried to stick to bigger quantities of protein and vegetables. And in the evening as mum is home and usually does most of the cooking in the week we reduced our portions, cut down rice to once or twice a week and stuck to lentils, vegetable dishes, fish and lean protein. 

I honestly thought the massive change in my diet would leave me craving things like pasta, rice, crisps and chips….but its done the opposite. Instead I’ve been excited about trying new things, looking for new recipes and just experimenting in general. I even bought some new cook books to add to my collection but this time the theme was slightly different…..

  
Here are a few things I’ve made or eaten  recently…some of which I wouldn’t have even considered eating before now!

  
My new favourite lunch….ham, eggs and beetroot. Odd combination I know but I love ham and beetroot and well…eggs are a good protein boost. I don’t however eat the yolks which I’ve gotten a lot of stick for from folks at work 🙈

   
   
A few breakfast and brunch options mostly involving scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and spinach amongst other things! 

  
Two things ive never been a fan of are oats and avocado. However this last week I had them both. The avo I just mashed up on toast with some scrambled egg and surprisingly enjoyed it. Forgot to take a photo but I’m sure it’ll feature in my food more from now on. And then there’s this bad boy breakfast….one I will save for a post workout morning feed. Over night protein oats….aka proats! A mish mash of oats, almond milk, Greek yogurt, cacao and protein powder…..doesn’t it look amazing?? Tasted it too!!! 😝

  
On Friday I made my first authentic chili con carne made with beef brisket. I used two different types of beans and loads of peppers which I used to hate….turned out pretty amazing! Made my own tortilla nachos to go with it too….yum! 

  
And then this afternoon I cooked up this beautiful chicken and sweet potato curry from a recipe my friend Sehar gave me. I can’t wait to have this for lunch later this week as it smells so good….got 3 batches for the freezer as well. 

So there you have it. Me and my new relationship with food. The old relationship was fun but it didn’t last and it made me unhappy. This time I feel energetic, vibrant and full of life. My tummy is happier, so I’m happier 😊

nb. Feel free to contact me for recipes or follow me on Instagram @shaenas_stuff to see my food and fitness journey xx 

Baby elephant 

That’s what I felt like today. I picked elephant because I like elephants and I’m trying this whole new love yourself thing. So why not associate myself with an animal I like 🙂

Anyway….so it was fitness assessment day at my new gym. Oh dear god, what a wake up call. I knew it wasn’t going to be good but crikey the numbers were bad. In fact they were horrendous and I felt utterly ashamed that I’d let myself get that far. I’m so ashamed that I can’t even confess to what they were. 

  
Yes….scales make you cry!! I didn’t though. I wanted to but what’s the point. I’ve only myself to blame. So enough self pity and time to get on with it and do something about it!! 

Yesterday was day one of the Kayla Movement 2016. Day one was a leg work out. One I’ve done a few times already now. But I have to admit, this time was definitely the hardest. It hurt. It hurt a lot. But I got through it and it felt good. 

So, like I said. Today I had my assessment in the gym and then the trainer talked about my goals and what I want to achieve. Simple answer. Burn fat. All of it!! Well ok, not all but before I even think about strength and toning I need to burn some serious fat off these bones!!! 

Now I obviously have my BBG schedule which will take up most of my week and I’ve got my regular badminton session and I’ll phase the odd class in here and there. But on the odd days I actually set foot in the actual gym I don’t want to be wandering around aimlessly or working out using equipment that’s no use to me. So here’s what the trainer set out for me…nothing crazy but something I can slot in here and there after badminton, before a class or after one of my LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) sessions. 

  
He said to stick with this for 3-4 weeks and then see how I’m progressing before changing it up. Combined with my other workouts I think this will work well. He also recommended a high protein/low carb diet for me for a few weeks get that fat melting. As I’ve mentioned before the inner carb whore in me will find this hard but I’m determined to do what ever it takes this time. I’ve already made some big changes to my diet and I’m looking forward to trying out new recipes and new foods. In fact I already have two clean eating cook books on their way….so watch this space for recipes and reviews!!

So the gym visit wasn’t great but it hasn’t left me deflated or angry. It’s just given me the motivation and ammunition to change my habits, train hard and start eating right! I don’t ever want to be back here in this position again. I’ve already wasted all the effort and hard work I put in last year with my training. I refuse to waste anymore of my time. This time it sticks. This time I’m in it for good!! 💪🏽

Fitspiration

It’s just after 7am on cold and miserable Saturday morning and I’m hiding under my duvet in bed scouring Instagram for some fitspiration! Social media is full of people losing weight, getting fit, being healthy and it’s hard not to get sucked in by the selfies and progress pics and not think ‘I want that body’. I admit I’ve done it myself but I’ve also realised that you can’t be someone else or compete with someone else’s journey to become better. Everyone is on their own journey for their own reasons so for it to work you need to focus on yourself and find your own reasons. Having said that I don’t think there’s anything wrong in following other people’s journeys to help you along your way.

This past year I’ve followed friends of mine and seen what can be achieved with a little hard work, determination and discipline. It’s been amazing to watch them transform into fitter and healthier people and to see how happy this makes them. From 12 week challenges, smashing running goals or monthly boot camps I’ve found it inspiring to see them progress and get some amazing results. I myself have tried a few different things but I think the mistake I was making was trying to do the same as others. So although I did ok for a short time the old habits crept back in and I lost my way again. But thankfully after my minor meltdown a few weeks ago I think I’ve finally found my groove. I thought about my own goals, my own reasons and found what works for me.

I was already enjoying my PT sessions but I know I needed something a little more. Twice a week was going to get me nowhere and now that I’ve settled into a better daily routine I have found I do have plenty of time to workout during the week. Over the summer I was running up to 3 times a week but honestly, I knew that with winter here as much I’d have liked to I just don’t have it in me to brave the elements and the dark nights. So I tried a few different classes in the gym and have rediscovered my love for spinning. I did 3 classes this week and loved them all. Pushing myself to limits I didn’t know I had and feeling so amazing after. I’ve also found the inner yogi in me again after a few body balance classes. I think it’s important to do something like yoga even just once a week to not only keep your core muscles strong but for the mental health aspect of it. Blasting cardio session and lifting weights is all well and good but if you’re not in the right head space how long will it last? So as of Monday I’m taking part in monthly yoga challenge to make sure I do a little every day 🙂

So admittedly I’ve jumped on the fitspiration band wagon and posting workout selfies, quotes and other bits on Instagram. But rather then the ‘hey, look at me!’ side of it, for me I think it’s more about the feel good factor, having the support and encouragement along the way and holding myself accountable 🙂

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