Tag Archives: planning

Halfway through TFBR

Fran Benson portrait-006
Image of Fran Benson

So I’m halfway through phase 2 of The Fat Burn Revolution which is also halfway through the whole programme.

I’m feeling fitter and stronger and pleased to see that my waist has dropped below the 28 inch marker which was my overall goal when starting to exercise again with the first phase.

It’s a different experience second time around.  First time there was a slightly obsessional feel about it.  I was determined to achieve all of my goals inside 12 weeks then dust  myself down and get on with life.

But somewhere along the way things changed which is why I’m here in my second round.

I can clearly remember though that phase 2 of TFBR last year was a testing time.  The enthusiasm of beginning something new had waned and I was looking forward to the end, which felt like a long time away.

Phase 2 was also when I started to make some tweaks to my diet.  Less starches (bread, potato and pasta) and more vegetables, pulses and fats (lentils, chickpeas, avocado and coconut oil).  I probably didn’t get the balance quite right to start with and felt flat and lacking in energy.

I persevered but it was hard sometimes to do my work outs when I hadn’t got my fuelling right.

But then it all started to come together: I was eating the right foods in the right quantities and feeling strong again.

This hasn’t happened to me this time.  Probably because with a pretty solid nutrition base behind me I haven’t had to make those changes – they were already in place.

But there have been different challenges.  Two weeks ago the builders moved in and ripped out our kitchen and I had no cooking or washing facilities.

Whereas normally I plan my week’s menu in advance I didn’t even know if I’d have electricity on any given day.  I was relying on a slow cooker, a steamer and a camping stove and if all else failed the pub or my mum.

I’ve made the best food choices I can under the circumstances but they haven’t always been the ones that I would have made had I had the full range of facilities available to me that I normally do.

But life is settling back into some sort of normality.  My kitchen isn’t quite my own yet – decorators like to cover everything up in sheets for the day – but I am back to planning my weekly menu.

My workouts haven’t slipped once.  I’m generally finished and dressed before the builders have turned up – although there have been a few close calls when I’ve nipped downstairs for a glass of water in my crop top and shorts only to hear the key in the lock just as I’m scurrying up the stairs again.

I think the biggest change this time round is that I no longer see it as something with an end to it.  Yes the programme is 12 weeks so there is an end in that sense but eating more healthily and exercising – really exercising and pushing myself harder – has become embedded into my lifestyle.

So although I’m looking forward to where I’m going to be in six weeks time in terms of results and fitness levels I’m also wondering what I’ll do next.

I’ll certainly do another round of TFBR after a brief gap but I think I’d like to get out and do a bit more running and try a couple of weights based fitness dvds that I’ve seen mixed up with a workout or two from TFBR as well.

It feels like there is a huge world of fitness possibility just waiting for me to explore and that I will get fitter and healthier as I carry on on this journey.

 

 

When life gets in the way…

Common land on a sunny morning
Chapel Common

I’m feeling slightly confessional here today.  It’s three weeks since I last blogged – and I promised myself I’d do it at least weekly.

But I’ve had a lot of work on and I was under the weather – the usual things that can skupper the best laid plans.  And when life gets a little bit out of control in one area it tends to have a knock on effect in all the other areas too.

Take my food.  Normally I sit down on a Tuesday night and plan out all the meals that we are going to eat for the next seven days.  Then I check what we’ve got in stock and make a list of what we need and order it from Sainsburys.

Well I did most of that but, because I was busy, instead of checking to see what was in the cupboard – I guessed.  Which meant that I didn’t have all the ingredients to cook the food that I planned.

Then I wasn’t feeling well and all I wanted to eat was toast and Weetabix anyway.  Which is fine very occasionally but if I eat too much wheat it makes me feel tired.

Add into that a six hour powercut one day and we were all off to the café for scones followed by dinner in the pub.

Let’s face it none of us live perfect lives and there’s always something to juggle or obstacles to navigate.

And that’s the important thing to remember.  We shouldn’t be beating ourselves up when things don’t go perfectly.  We should just aim to do the best we can given the circumstances.

So instead I want to think about what went right last week:

I got up early and exercised before the children were up on four mornings.

I got all my work done in time.

I made myself go back to bed for rest when I wasn’t feeling well (something I find hard to do as there is always something else that I should be doing).

I dragged myself out with the children for a lovely walk across the common when the sun was actually shining – that’s the picture above and I was so glad I’d made the effort.

I cooked five pretty healthy meals for us all and ate plenty of fruit and vegetables.

I did more press-ups than I’ve ever done before.

I’m feeling much better today.  Deadlines have passed and my headachey coldy thing has gone.  I’m tired but I’m quietly plodding away and feel like I’m slotting back into my routine of healthy clean food and drinking lots of water.

It’s also the final week in Phase 1 of The Fat Burn Revolution and I want to give it an extra push this week before I start Phase 2.

I don’t feel like I’ve achieved quite what I wanted to in this phase because I wasn’t able to push myself last week as much as I would have liked.

But I’m fine with that.

I’m taking the long term view.  As someone once said, maybe about life or happiness but for me today it’s about healthy living: it’s a journey, not a destination.  And I for one am enjoying the ride.

 

Round 2, Day 1 of The Fat Burn Revolution

The Fat Burn Revolution Book
The Fat Burn Revolution

It’s back to daily and intense exercise after the lull and recovery period that I have been enjoying.

The first round of The Fat Burn Revolution finished in early December and although I have been exercising over Christmas I have kept it easy and given my muscles chance to rest.  Perhaps a bit too much rest, but having said that although I don’t feel quite as toned as I did six weeks ago the difference is minute.

So here I am back at the beginning with the 12 week programme laid out before me.

What’s different this time?

Well there’s a sense of home coming.  A familiarity.  Like climbing a hill that you’ve climbed before.  You know it’s going to be hard work but the view from the top is worth it.

I know I can do this and I also know that it works.  I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for a very long time.  I know what I need to work on and I’ve set myself some goals.

At the end of this round I want to be measuring a body fat of 25% – which is another 5% down on where I am now.  I don’t care how much I weigh.  I think we are psychologically programmed to always feel good if the scales show a downward shift but if I drop my body fat I’m going to be leaner so what the scales have to say on the matter is irrelevant.

I also want to master press-ups.  I can manage them from my knees but not from my toes so three months on I want to be able to bang out six in a row.  I’m not feeling brave enough to commit to ten, but who knows I may even get there.

I was quite excited last night getting ready.  I’ve moved my workouts back to early morning.  My back protested at this first time round but I’m hoping the strength I’ve built up will help me out there.

I’m also getting up an extra half hour earlier to do a few chores and give my back a chance to warm up and loosen up.

Last night I laid out my clothes, took my weights out of the cupboard and put my notes and the TFBR book (opened to the right page) on the side.

If I’m not completely ready the night before I know that I haven’t fully committed to getting up the next day.  Once it’s all in place it’s very hard to stay under the duvet when the alarm goes off, no matter how tempting.

It’s like the pile of clothes and the weights and the book are a little reminder of how determined I was the night before.  So even if I’m wavering there’s a memory in my mind of how much I really do want to do this.

Why am I going on about all of this? Because it’s the key to success: planning.

Planning the workouts, planning the shopping and the food, planning for when it goes wrong – and it will.

I could be wrong, but I think it’s one of the most important things to do to get the results that you want – in most areas of life but particularly here.

So whether you’re doing the programme for the first time or you’re sitting there comfortably wondering whether to join in (do!) I’ll keep you posted on my progress over the next few months.