First of all I wanted to start off by saying a big thank you to all of those that have continued to read this blog each week. I hope that it has been as enjoyable for you to read as it has been for me to write.
At the time you are reading this blog, I will be into my final week (week 10) of my mini transformation. This journey has had its ups and downs. The changes have not been the easiest. Like I have said from the start, yes I am a personal trainer but that does not mean that I don’t struggle just like everyone else to find balance within my daily routine when it comes to diet and exercise. However, at this moment I can truly say with confidence that I believe I will be able to maintain living my life closer to a 90% healthy 10% “just doing me” lifestyle. I have found some great recipes during this time that I really enjoy making and are quite wholesome as well. I have also become very accustomed to meal prepping and this exercise regime. I know that I may not always feel this way and that it is times like these (Christmas time), that living in this manner gets significantly more tough with all of the Christmas parties, family get together, and baking floating around. I know that periods of inconsistency will come and go and that is completely okay. My main goal in all of this is to maintain my new weight and work towards gradually toning up this new figure I have acquired through consistency and hard work.
That brings me to my final weigh in and measurements. My starting weight in October was 185.8lbs. This is a weight that I never thought I was going to get away from as I had been hovering here for quite some time. My new weight is 172.0 lbs! I never thought I would see the day that my weight was under even 180 lbs. This was so exciting for me when it happened. My initial goal was to lose 10lbs. I passed this goal right around the 5-6th week, which was just insane to me. Since then, the weight loss has slowed down to about ½ a pound per week which is a bit more normal and I honestly have not minded because I never have felt hungry during this whole process or overly restricted. Upon doing some final measurements this week I have learned that my total inches lost is nearly 10! This feels like such a HUGE accomplishment. Now I am not asking for any applause or anything here. I only tell you this information so that you can see that this behavioural change has given me exactly what I was looking forward. It takes time and dedication but if you put in the hard work, you too could experience the joy that comes with smashing your goals too!
There is another thing that I have wrestled with mentioning as I don’t require any sympathy for it or direct attention. But I think it holds some worth and value so I will just come right out and say it. From about week 6 onward I have been dealing with a knee injury. At this time the exact details about what is wrong are not well known but it has been a bit of a challenge to work around when it has come to my workouts. When I first started this lifestyle change, it was my goal to incorporate more cardio into my regime. I wanted to add in bouts of cardio exercise about 3 times a week to increase my caloric burn in hopes of seeing result faster. This change was not difficult for me at all as I do not mind the occasional bout of cardio whether that is in the form of sprints or steady state biking. However, with this knee injury persisting through the last half of my journey, I have been unable to do any high intensity cardio, heavy body building style lower body training or anything that involves moderate to intense weight bearing on my knee. My point here is that though I struggled to do any sort of crazy exercising (sometimes I was barely getting in 3 x 30min exercise bouts per week) for the last few weeks of my program, I still lost the weight! I still saw results! You know what this means? It means you don’t need to do crazy amounts of exercise to see weight loss. It certainly helps, but just making simple changes to your diet and changing the way you nourish yourself will benefit you far more than just exercise alone. Now, exercise is still highly important when it comes to chronic disease and illness but as long as you are consistent with your diet over the long haul, that is where the biggest bang for your buck lies!
As this blog comes to a close, I wanted to be very clear about something. Though I have used the term “diet” quite frequently throughout this entire series of blogs, it has been anything but a diet. Dieting these days is such a harsh term. It is often associated with words such as hunger, starvation, restriction, discomfort, etc. The most common sentences used when on a diet go something like “I can’t have…..” or “get that [fill in the blank] away from me” and so on because “I am on a diet.” Here is the key difference between what a diet is and what I have recently undergone. A diet is something that is short lived, restrictive, hard to maintain, as it sets you up for failure. The meal plan that I have been following for the past 8+ weeks has been one that is actually not a diet plan at all. It is a lifestyle change. It is essential to understand that this meal plan has given me the opportunity to clean up my diet while still enjoying my life.
Following this meal plan for as long as I have has given me the opportunity to create a behaviour change for myself. The plan is something that is maintainable. It is the perfect balance between healthy eating with a pinch of indulgence that you crave when you are on a “diet” plan. This difference is paramount! The reason why those who are on a “diet” fall off their plans so quickly is because they go super hard at a super strict plan for a couple of week and then begin to realize that this change is something that they do not enjoy at all and do not see themselves maintaining it long term as it is too difficult to stick to. This nutrition plan has set me up so that I can maintain these behavioural changes over the long haul with the intention of maintaining my desired physique while “living my life” the way that I would prefer to. Isn’t that the dream?!
It is also important to understand that life is about balance. It is so easy to get down on yourself about one bad meal or one poor choice. Be quick to flip that mind set around. Take everything day by day. If you make a mistake it is it not going to hinder your progress unless you continue to make that same mistake over and over again. Also be patient with yourself. Nothing comes quickly. As I like to say, the weight that you want to lose didn’t come on within only a couple of days. It probably took months or years to accumulate, so why is it that we expect it to just fall off in mere days rather than giving your body the appropriate amount of time to lose the weight. The key is to be patient with yourself and your body will reward your consistency over time. Be realistic with yourself!
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