Week 1: The Real Challenge by Nicole

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On Monday 4th, the year kick started with the 12 Week Challenge, set by my wicked PT Chris Gell. I’ve stuck to more than twelve weeks with fitness, but never with food as well, so I knew it was going to be a challenge in itself. Nevertheless, I was excited to get started and see what I could do.

I remember at the beginning of January wanting to start, but I decided as a final night before the challenge to allow myself whatever I wanted to eat as I’d be giving it all up for those twelve weeks, and even maybe more! We ordered a curry (my favourite is a Paneer Madras with Chips & Peshwari Naan), followed by a very fat dessert from a local dessert parlour and though I managed to eat the curry, really, I didn’t want the dessert and most of it ended up in the bin. I knew on Sunday I was ready to get going so I didn’t actually want it.

The weekend before was a big prep time for me: Scales, Measurements, Food Shop, App Input.

For me, I am halfway between caring and not caring about what the scales say. I used to be 60kg, slim, happy. Then, over a very stressful year (2019, not 2020) I put on 20kg. 20kg is a lot for me and I knew I had to start doing something about it. Back in October 2019, I started with Chris and we worked really hard! You can see the difference between October 2019 and August 2020 below! 

However, I don’t think I worked hard enough. I didn’t really eat well, I just worked out and ate what I want without thinking about the consequences. My body shifted the fat to different places and my physique changed, so it’s not like nothing happened. But here I am 1 year and 3 months later fluctuating between 80-83kg.

Really, it’s no fault of anyone but my own. I was so into fitness over lockdown, worked so hard and it helped because I was furloughed, and it kept me so busy. However, in September I went back to work and basically reversed what I did (see picture below!) because I lost all motivation to get back into it. Plus, I was busier, but that’s no excuse!

So, this challenge has become exactly what I need, even if it’s proving somewhat challenging. No, not challenging to start eating biscuits, but just being strict at what I eat and it’s making me more hungry, even if I’m eating more than I was. I did a little research and apparently there’s a hormone that your body releases when you diet called Ghrelin (the hunger hormone!) – thanks so much body! So, I’m feeling hungry but I’m eating everything on my plate and making sure to not miss a meal.

Roughly, my week consists of 1800 calories per day (give or take) and a 30/35/35 P/C/F split. I have also cut out gluten & dairy, so it’s been interesting finding recipes and changing them. The only milk I now use is Oat No Sugar, which is delicious in everything!

What am I exercising? This week has been a busy week. I’m a really proactive person in my career, so I’ve been concentrating on that and then getting in my exercise routine when I can – with no excuses! I’ve not managed to spend this week getting my steps in, but I do as much as I can to keep myself moving.

I decided on top of doing the workouts set by Chris and our PT sessions, I would join a local online fitness class that Mum has insisted I join for a long time (I haven’t needed to because the gym provided those!). I saw the classes advertised recently and thought that they are something I can commit to for not a lot of money, so starting Monday I thought I would do 4-5 classes per week and see what I can get out of it.

I’m in a lucky position, where working from home means I have a lot more time to do more classes without the added time of getting to and from the office. I think most people are in that position with the new lockdown. In some ways, it’s another blessing in disguise! 

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about myself this week, it’s been that I’m a resilient person and I know that I can put my mind to anything I want to. Having Chris at the end of the group chat, on What’s app and seeing him on zoom a few times a week, is great for motivation and above all accountable.

If you’re on the same journey as me, then let’s connect @directornicpott on Instagram and let’s keep each other accountable and motivated!

Nicole x