Week 7 – Rest Week by Nicole

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Seven weeks of a routine that had become my day to day ended this week when I directed my new short film ‘WanderLand’. I’ve been working with Chris for a few years now and he knows that when I go to direct a film, I come out the other end ready to sleep for a week and then it takes me a few weeks to get back into a routine again.

I wanted to make sure that this time around I didn’t do that and I worked hard making sure that I wasn’t a zombie at the other end. In essence, I treated the week like a rest week from exercising, ate sensibly most days and got the amount of sleep I needed. I was still tired at the end, but because I took care of myself during the shoot I felt the bigger benefit afterwards and I was straight back into exercise from the Wednesday the week following.

One of my priorities was to keep as hydrated as possible, but I even found that a challenge. Not a challenge to drink water, but because there weren’t many available loos (unfortunately, portaloos were out of the budget) I made my water intake less and that’s one thing I hate doing because I drink a lot of water. I’d usually get home and have a mouth like the Sahara Desert on most film shoots, but I made sure to drink as much water when I could this time.

During the shoot, I cooked for two of the days and made a really healthy Chilli for everyone one day and then cooked everyone Cheese & Spinach pie with chips for the other day. I still had some leftovers, so I didn’t eat this – mainly because I’ve cut out most dairy and gluten. There was only one day that I went well over my calories and that was on the Saturday when I had a big lunch but also had a cheeky McDonalds for tea. We all know how many calories are in those!

A good thing about being on a film shoot is that over the twelve hour period of shooting, you are mostly always on your feet. For me, that’s whether walking to a location, going over to an actor to give them direction or pacing back and forth trying to think of the blocking. Apologies, some of these words may be foreign to some people. I easily got over 11,000 steps a day, so I was always getting the exercise I needed and what a difference it made over the week.

When I took my pictures on Monday, I had dropped even more – not just in weight, but also my body composition had changed considerably Week 7 to 8.

Something I’ve learnt over the 12 week period is that there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself and once a week I do. Originally, I planned to cut out everything, but then I realised I wasn’t living and having that one treat has not affected me at all. In fact, most of the time it adds to muscle! No, I don’t have a pizza or takeaway every week, I can’t afford that, but I wouldn’t stop myself if I wanted that.