We started re-watching The Walking Dead a few months ago, and I would often say if I was in a zombie apocalypse, I wouldn't be fit enough to survive. Putting that thought to one side for now though, I've wanted to feel fitter for a while and to feel more comfortable in my clothes. I want to be healthier and happier.
I used to be able to just eat a well-balanced diet, and do a few basic workouts and that was that. A few years and two children later, things are very different, including my attitude towards weight loss, and how toxic diet culture can be.
In recent years, I've also learned some really important things about nutrition, and come to the understanding that dieting doesn't work. I've tried so many different diets, and I've come to the conclusion that they will give short-term results, and the key is adjusting our lifestyles so we eat well, and exercise regularly. That needs to be the norm, to achieve results. Different things will of course work for different people, but as a general rule, eat less, work out more, and fuel your body at the right time.
Three months ago, I made a decision. After years of following him on social media, seeing his success stories, and buying (and using) his cookbooks, I finally bought Joe Wicks' 90-day plan. I didn't tell anyone (other than my husband) for fear of failure, and now I'm sharing this very personal journey with anyone who is interested, and I feel quite nervous about it because it's not the sort of thing I normally talk about.
Why the 90-day plan?
Gyms and face-to-face training sessions don't work for me, it's too much for my anxiety, plus I need the freedom of being able to fit the workouts around my work schedule, and being a parent. I can't guarantee that I can turn up to a class at set times, even my anxiety allowed for it.
Even though I have a good understanding of healthy eating, knowing what I should be eating, when, and having a good database of delicious recipes really helps.
I've done a range of workout videos in the past, and I often feel like the trainer isn't putting the effort in. Joe films his videos in his own house, and he works out with you from start to finish, without a break. He's sweating, he's out of breath, he's knackered, and it's so encouraging.
The 90-day plan was able to offer me everything I needed!
never been great at portion sizes, or eating the right things at the right time.
The plan consists of three cycles, and each one offers a new set of recipes to pick from, and five new workouts designed to push you further with each cycle.
How's it gone?
Pretty well, I'd say. At the start, I could barely do a push-up, and now I'm doing weighted squats. Speaking of weights, I've progressed up through them and am lifting heavier. I have muscle definition, I feel healthier, but my results table (see below) really shows the progress I've made.
How's the food?
For the most part, I've really enjoyed the food. As you get to pick the meals, you can tailor it to your tastes, but there have been occasions where I've made something I haven't enjoyed, and unfortunately, there have been other occasions where a meal has aggravated my GERD quite badly.
I've been enjoying pancakes, breakfast bars, pizzas, curries, even the occasional grilled cheese sandwich! There have been instances where I have looked at the meals and thought I can't believe I can eat this!
The results -
I am really pleased with the results. I was worried at the start that I wouldn't see it through, or it wouldn't make a difference but here is my results table, and the photos to show the progress -
What's next -
I feel like I would find it easier to maintain this lifestyle now, but I've decided to do the Graduate plan as well. I feel there is still progress I want to make, so I'm having a week "off" where I'm a bit more relaxed with what I do, and then I'm going to start that. I'm looking forward to it and hoping that by the end of it, I feel like that the progress I've made is enough for me to move forward on my own.
Some other points to take note of -
I had fun with this plan. I actually enjoyed working out, and I've been able to eat food I love. Throughout this workout, I've also enjoyed easter chocolate, the odd takeaway, my husband's birthday, and we've been on holiday. I did take my weights on holiday mind. I've had the odd drink too. It's all about adjusting your mindset. Have a fancy meal come out? Make sure you workout beforehand, and adjust the rest of your meals that day accordingly. Having a drink? Limit it to a couple and get back on it the next day. There are ways to eat well, but still, enjoy yourself. When we went on holiday, I took my weight, and I just didn't overindulge every day. I didn't work out every day, but I did most days.
My kids have seen me doing these workouts too, and they - well, they eldest anyway - get involved too! Between trying to lift my weights, and us getting him his own little toy set, it's setting a good example for them. He now says to me "Mammy, I need to do my exercises!" and they cheer me on too.
There have been times where itsit's been stressful, and there have been times where it has been hard, but it's been worth it every step of the way. Here's to the next 90 days!