There are very few experiences that I consider to really change the way I think about things. Having children was certainly the most major one by far. However, I never thought that using nutrition products and taking part in a short three week challenge would have quite such a significant affect on me.
So, we did a baseline test of exercises on Day 1. The exercises took me 13 minutes the first time, as a struggled my way through them desperately unsure if I was going to make it to the end to be honest. I completely forgot about timing it and could only approximately judge it from time stamps where I had taken photos and filmed it. It may have been longer if anything. I then did a 5km bike ride as I didn't think my knees would hold up to the 1km run. I weighed 17st 4lb and had no energy.
I kept track by posting my stories on Instagram every day with Facebook and Twitter sharing too. I posted pictures and videos from my workouts, my differently constructed shakes, snacks and meals. I had steak three times, a McDonalds and many other little treats along the way (including the odd beer). The only times I felt hungry was when I didn't have my snacks or meals on time. I did not once feel hungry from denying myself any food. On Day 21 I performed the baselines exercises again... It took me 4 minutes 44 seconds and this time I know it was correct as I filmed the whole thing. My 5km bike ride came in at 10 minutes 46 seconds down from 12 minutes 21 seconds. Although the focus is on other things than weight, I did weigh myself before and after. I have gone from 17st 4lb to 16st 9lb.
Statistically speaking I took nearly 9 minutes 51 seconds off my total exercise time and lost 9lb in weight. I spent over £120 to by an ideal package for me that included protein drink mix so that I could use water rather than milk in my shakes, apple oat fibre to increase my fibre intake and my welcome pack. It was worth every penny and then some. I saved money from having at least 3 or 4 less takeaways, not constantly buying lunches and snacks from having nothing prepared. Overall, my food budget didn't change much, but what I put into my body was just so much better for me.
The biggest difference for me was that I actually felt so much more energetic and determined. The high caffeine tea gives you a real boost and the shakes are tasty, nutritious and surprisingly versatile. Being in the challenge was great as everybody shared healthy snacks and meals they had prepared. Quick easy and realistic things prepared by people who were at least as busy as me! Simple and healthy alternatives or substitutions that I never would have thought of on my own. Using wraps as a pizza base or putting spinach in a shake to name a couple. The nutrition challenges set were simple but also helped trigger ideas and raise your awareness of what you were doing.
Then there was the dreaded exercise, a place where we often struggle. It's never easy when you're struggling with your weight and are out of shape, simply living life can be exhausting. But seeing people post their efforts, the time and care taken over the challenges themselves really helped inspire me to put the work in. The variety, with some simple and fun challenges to music versus some more detailed core workouts that focused on position and form. The mix meant you worked all areas and didn't get bored. If I didn't have the time or something got in the way, I could simply shift it to the next day and I could see I wasn't alone in that. The group helped to keep me motivated and give myself a bit of a break.
I am already signed up for the November challenge, which is aptly named "Fired Up" as that's very much how I feel at the moment! I have been part of a product sampling night, mostly just sharing my experience with others as those I invited couldn't make it. I have now also organised a small Sunday brunch on the 3rd of November at my house. The plan being to make some delicious protein pancakes, a few other treats made with the products and to prepare some for direct sampling as well.
The idea is to get people around for a catch up and to then share a bit of my experience, hopefully inspiring others to take action. Whether they want join me in my approach or simply decide to action in some way, I aim to inspire others to take action to improve their health and nutrition. I am sure glad that I did, the potbelly purge has begun...
Peace, love and good health