This week my blog posts have had to make way for a fantastic blog post by our personal trainer Becky, on Weight Gain Over Christmas, a subject which seems particularly relevant to me this year!
Over the last two weeks I have had three Christmas parties: my own work one, our Hall Training team one, and one with the team at Studio PT in Summertown. I’ve actually been very impressed with myself, as over the three of them I drank two glasses of champagne and two small glasses of red wine. Those of you who know the old me would know that would just be me getting started at a Christmas party usually! But what I’ve found is that I’m not actually missing alcohol anymore. I’m perfectly happy with water or a Coke Zero, and don’t have any worse a time not having any booze. This is a really nice realisation for me and my drinking habits will definitely be different going forward!
It’s my birthday today and we’re going out for a nice dinner with my family. I’m going to try and eat quite sensibly but still enjoy myself and follow the same logic on Christmas Day too. It’s a hard time of year to diet with all the social occasions, but it’s not as hard as I thought. This is down to one word which actually sums up my last two weeks: guilt.
When I started this process I knew it would be mentally tough, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the way it would distort my thinking. When I was younger I struggled with an eating disorder, at times very severe, for seven years. This diet process hasn’t caused me to relapse – although I have had a couple of wobbly moments – but a lot of the thinking processes are the same. For those who compete or take on a short and extreme transformation process like this, everything has to revolve around food for a period. This means extreme guilt when I eat something ‘wrong’, like the half a mince pie I ate last night. It also means feeling like a failure even though I know I’ve done well.
When I started this process I had a certain goal in my head. In all honesty it was unrealistic and I knew it, but I thought it would be best to be over-ambitious than under-ambitious. These last two weeks I have had to come to terms with the realisation that I’m not going to get there, and the difficulty comes in recognising the progress I have made. It’s been since my last blog that everyone has started to say that they can see I am looking leaner, that I’m looking good, but to be honest I feel exactly the same as I did when I started. My perspective has started to go and it feels as if I’ve failed completely because I haven’t reached the goal I set. I am trying hard to reverse this feeling and concentrate on the positives, but it’s something I’ve heard from others in the fitness industry and who compete – you never feel lean enough. That’s something everyone should be prepared for before they start something like this. Not trying and feeling a bit rubbish about yourself is one thing – you’re not doing anything to make a change. Trying really hard for ten weeks and still feeling rubbish is a totally different thing to get your head around. Support from friends who have been through similar (and much more extreme) processes is invaluable.
But on the bright side, I still have a couple of weeks left. My training is better than ever, I will be able to rest a lot over the Christmas period, I think my abs are there somewhere, and when I’ve finished I will have done exactly what I set out to do – show people how hard it is to really apply yourself for a 12-week period and get a solid six pack. Now to try not to eat all the other mince pies at Christmas…
Wishing you a Merry Christmas!