I haven’t been naming these blog posts so far, but if I was doing so, this one would be called “The two Me’s”, who have shown themselves in force this week.
The first me is the one I was this morning, who desperately didn’t want to get out of bed but then thoroughly enjoyed every second of the training session. The second one is the one who was curled up in a heap on the floor last weekend because there was no hot water and I wanted a bath, and then because I couldn’t iron a pair of trousers properly. This me was a sobbing, wailing wreck.
Unfortunately, over the last couple of weeks this second me has made a couple of appearances. A lot of it is down to sheer exhaustion – recently we’ve moved house twice, I’ve changed jobs and everything has been pretty crazy. This is not helped at all by my training schedule and the whacking great calorie deficit I find myself in. Although most of the time my energy levels are fine, when they drop my mood follows them down. When usually any of the things that are upsetting me would be just one straw on the camel’s back, now every straw breaks it. I am actually feeling worse about my body than I have been in a long time, which is silly because I’m in better shape than I have been in a long time, but somehow now perhaps as there are less imperfections, those imperfections seem bigger. I have been forcing myself to be more cheerful since the breakdown last weekend and that seems to help, but I hadn’t realised the impact this project was going to have on my mental health. It’s definitely something I am going to be monitoring closely going forward.
I have also had a couple of setbacks with my progress. My body fat only dropped 0.5% this week, which is nothing compared to previous measurements, and my strength plummeted in one of my gym sessions. For a motivated perfectionist, both of these things were bad news, but I am focusing on the next few weeks rather than the one just gone. I can’t expect everything to go perfectly all the time, because it won’t. What I can do is stick in a bit of extra cardio, try to rest a bit more, and keep a close eye on my eating. It’s tough trusting the process but hopefully over this week it will have worked. Since my bad gym session, I have had two good ones, so that’s a step in the right direction!
During this process I have already learned a lot about nutrition and fitness and my body. I am also learning a lot about what is possible. I am pleased with what I have achieved so far, but it is tough. I feel more strongly than ever about these personal trainers pretending that such an extreme, unsustainable process is easy or fun, or even to be recommended. I know the team at Hall Training would never usually suggest something like this to a client unless there was a bloody good reason, and now I can see why. In order to get anywhere your training has to become before anything else, and that’s not something most people are willing to put into action. My top tip for anyone else looking to go down this path would be to be fully prepared for everything that lies ahead before you commit: socially, emotionally and physically.
I am now half way through the regime. Over the last six weeks I have had some incredible highs, but also some beastly lows, and as a summary I am much leaner but tired. I am looking forward to the next six weeks, and most importantly to overcoming the challenges that they bring. At this point, I just need to keep going.