This February, I took part in the F45 Challenge, an eight-week challenge focusing on HIIT and resistance training as well as following a specific nutrition plan, with a daily calorie and macro intake to meet.
I’ve previously written about the challenges of food when you’re a foodie. Well, the Challenge was the first time ever that I’ve been so regimented about what I eat. To be clear, I also saw it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet – focusing on eating healthier, filling foods, matching my nutritional requirements. I also started 2020 by doing Dry January (no booze for that month) and continued it throughout the Challenge.
- Weight: 113.5kg
- Body Fat: 31.4%
I tried to impose a ban on chocolate, sweets, crisps and diet cola (the latter is sugar free but I clearly have a dependency on it so thought this was a good time to try to reduce that dependency, if not give it up altogether!)
The focus on food was intense. Some weeks, I cooked, following the plans. Other weeks, I used a local food company that was making meals based on Challenge recipes.
Sadly, Week 8 of the Challenge didn’t happen as the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown came into place. But the seven weeks were transformational for me. As part of the Challenge, photographs are taken and a body scan is done, both before and after, so that you can physically see what impact the graft has (hopefully!) had.
- Weight: 106.2kg
- Body Fat: 29%
That’s the first time I’ve ever shared any pictures of me like that. Again, clearly a long way to go but it was nice to see the difference the seven weeks had made.
I mentioned transformational – not just in terms of my body but almost a rewiring of my brain in my attitude towards food. I’ve become much more mindful about what I am eating and drinking.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy any treats at all but I focus much more now on moderation. It’s been particularly tough in lockdown. I tend to go for sugar when I’m feeling under pressure so there have been some REALLY, REALLY bad days but in the past week, I’ve been able to get a handle on it and have been able to get back into moderating more what I’m eating but still being able to enjoy life. It ain’t easy – but it’s worth it! Reflecting on my progress, both by writing this blog and by looking at pictures from then and now remind me of the good work done and the good work to come!