By Sophie Lancaster
'Psychologists will tell you that behaviour and habits can be changed in three weeks; I'm skeptical but very willing to give it a go as I know I need to sort myself out!! I am writing this whilst eating my last bowl of Coco Pops (my dinner) for 6 weeks. Goodbye dear ones, I don't know how I'm going to cope without you and your crispy, chocolatey goodness...
So, I signed up to HG3 Fitness to do the 6 week beginners course. My goals were to get moving again after a knee op, learn more about what I should be eating and to get myself into a better place, both physically and mentally.
After the induction meeting with the lovely Pete the time had come to actually start changing things! My fiancé was doing the course with me so our first step involved a trip to the supermarket. We stocked up on fresh fruit, veg, meat and some weird looking/sounding things that I was told were good for me. The jury's out… To go with this, I bought us a smoothie maker/blender. Breakfast for the next 6 weeks would be smoothies, dinner would be meat, veg and more veg. Pete told us preparation is key, he wasn't lying!
The gym sessions at the beginning weren't as hard as I had expected but then it was mostly technique... That didn't last long!! Every session was different, I never ever found myself getting bored (and I bore easily) and having that team atmosphere around you made it feel more like a sport than a "trip to the gym". That was a massive benefit for me, who really likes to work out on their own?!
After a fortnight we were both hitting our stride, we didn't have to think about the food we were eating as much, nor did we have to keep checking our folders to see if we were ‘allowed’ something. Shopping was much easier too and I might even say I was enjoying my smoothies!?
Week 3 was most certainly the hardest. I did have a little triumph - I could wiggle my skinny jeans off without undoing the button and fly (boom!). However, the whole thing wasn't as "new" anymore so it had lost its appeal, even the ladies in the cafe at work stopped asking about this diet I had been complaining about (sorry Pete). I may have slightly overdone my 80/20 rule that week too, plus there may have been an incident involving alcohol and sick... All in all, not great. Luckily, we did the halfway measurements at the end of that week and seeing the positive results was the kick up the bum I needed! It's in these times I think you need to ask for support from your group. Our little Facebook comments to each other, recipe sharing, weight loss stories always seemed to spur others on. There really was a feeling of team spirit!
By the end of week 4 it occurred to me that our dietary habits had changed hugely. I wasn't even craving Coco Pops?! Furthermore my skin looked amazing, I had bought new jeans a size smaller (yeahhhh!), I had tons more energy and I was being a lot more productive at work. Who wouldn't want that?
By now the classes at the gym were stepping up in intensity. We were adding in some weights and the workouts were getting longer and more challenging. Nothing beats the feeling of waking up in a morning with sore muscles! I was in a really positive frame of mind and I even found myself hoovering the house at 10pm on a weekday. The old me would never have done that. I just had So. Much. Energy!!!!
At the end of the course we repeated the workout from the very first session. I knocked a minute and a half off my time, so something must have worked over the 6 weeks! I was fearful that I might fall back into old habits after the course. Granted I had a binge of all the things I had missed - white bread, pizza, CAKE - but then I got back on track. The weight is still coming off me now, I’m eating the right food and I will be joining the gym after my holiday next week to keep myself moving in this positive direction.
In the sense of "you are what you eat", I would have been described as a chocolate rice ball six weeks ago; now I'm most certainly an avocado. I'll tell you something though, I feel bloody fantastic.
UPDATE: it's now been 4 weeks since the course ended and I've still not had any Coco Pops. Well done, Pete, I honestly didn't think it could be done!! '