So, I have one week of this diet and training plan left. I should really be done by now but I had a week off over Christmas so have tacked an extra week on the end. Half of me is really relieved it’s about to be over, the other half of me has got used to living like this. I am used to being hungry, I quite like going to the gym on my lunchbreak as it breaks up the day, I don’t mind getting up to train in the mornings as I’ve been doing that for three years anyway.
Once next week is over, I won’t be able to spring straight back to what I was eating and how I was training before this. I will have to ‘reverse diet’, and gradually cut out the cardio and increase my calories. This basically translates to carrying on as usual but with a tiny bit more freedom. I think that will be a nice balance between the lifestyle I have now adapted to and the lifestyle I had before I started.
Christmas wasn’t too much of a disaster. I managed to keep my training up to about 80% of what is usual/what was planned, but my eating wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped it would be. In all I think my training offset the damage but I didn’t make any progress, which is definitely not the worst case scenario. This is all down to my personality type. I am probably a bit too black and white for this kind of process. This is helpful when it comes to sticking to the diet, but I’m either ‘on’ with diet-mode or ‘off’, and Christmas was definitely off. I couldn’t get back into the swing of things until I came back to work this Tuesday.
So now it’s the final push. I am doing four weights sessions per week and at least three hours of cardio, and introducing some interval training. As well as that, Chris and I try to get out for a long walk every weekend, so physically I am quite drained. Mentally I’m feeling better than I have been for ages, and am quite tempted to say that this process, which started out feeling ridiculously tough, is actually okay once you’ve adapted to it. It’s just that the adaptation phase wasn’t very fun.
One thing I’ve learned is that twelve weeks is too long to run this kind of programme for and stay 100% committed to it. It’s a quarter of the year and in that time you’re bound to have social events. I’ve had my birthday, Christmas, four Christmas parties, an anniversary, New Year’s Eve, etc. to contend with. For most of these events I managed to be really sensible, but planning a transformation over Christmas wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. My advice to anyone wanting to do something similar would be to gradually and sustainably diet down to a point at which their ideal weight/body fat percentage is in reach, and then absolutely blitz it for six to eight weeks. That’s a length of time you can plan around and stay committed for. If you try to diet for any longer then unless you’re a superhero or fitness model, or have a really specific purpose (i.e. stage competition) then you’d be wise to accept and expect a tiny bit of flexibility. Staying 100% motivated for quarter of the year is tough.
Going into next week I am feeling really positive. I know I won’t reach the goal I had set out to, but I have learned more about my body now, and know that once I get to a lower body fat percentage the rate of fat loss drops dramatically. I wasn’t realistic about that to begin with, and so am instead concentrating on the progress that I’ve made. We will be shaking up my training which I am looking forward to a lot – I can’t stand to do another deadlift – and just generally trying to take every opportunity available for exercise and good diet during the final push. So close now.
Until next week,