Tag Archives: TFBR

End of round 2 of TFBR

Fran Benson working out in the garden
Me in the garden just before working out

The sun has risen into a cloudless blue sky, there’s a warmth to the day and it feels like it’s bulging with promise.

It’s also the London Marathon today and I’ve just completed my last workout in the 12 week schedule of TFBR. I feel much calmer this time contemplating the last three months.  Before I was exhilarated that I’d actually finished it and also anxious about whether I’d continue with all the good efforts.  So, yes I’m chuffed to have another one in the bag but it feels more like it’s a continuation of something bigger rather than an isolated incident.

I’ve lost another six pounds since the last round taking me to nine and a half stone which I’m pleased with.  I haven’t been this weight since before I had the children.  And as I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which affects how my body loses weight ie. it finds it very hard, then that makes it even more of an achievement.

I was hoping to see a reduction in my fat percentage levels, and although they have nudged down a little bit I’ve found that my scales fluctuate between 27% and 29% on such a random basis that I don’t know what the real number might be. However I’ve lost three inches from my hips and pulled in my waist a little bit more so the results are there to see.

Again I feel stronger and healthier although I was tempting fate when I wrote my blog post a few weeks ago about my back getting stronger.  No sooner were the words typed than I put my back out and had to miss a week of exercise, followed by one light week and then this last week where I’ve had to skip the “Belly Shred” exercises.  Which is a shame as I wanted to give those abs a blast.  However my back is recovered now and so after a lighter week this week I’ll be back doing the TFBR exercises immediately after Easter along with the rest of my TFBR buddies.

To all those who have just completed TFBR for the first time – yay! Well done!  I’ve seen some amazing results on Julia Buckley’s facebook page (and her website);  it is so inspiring to see how others have got on with it.

I can’t recommend this approach to exercise enough.  Regardless of your size or your age, if you want to get fitter and lose body fat and you either haven’t tried exercise or you’re doing it and not seeing results then give this a go (here’s a link to the book on Amazon – and no I’m not on any commission I just really believe this is fantastic).  Adapt your eating to be healthier and cleaner too and there is no reason why you won’t see the results that others have done.

It really is yours there for the taking.

PS. If you’ve completed TFBR please drop me a comment below with how it’s worked for you – I’d love to hear from you 🙂

A strong core and a strong back

Image of Fran Benson
Fran

It goes without saying that I’ve been really pleased with the change in my body shape over the last few months of doing The Fat Burn Revolution #TFBR.

But one of the hidden benefits is how much stronger my back has become.

My back has been weak for as long as I can remember…way back in my teens I had time off school to lie still for a week for a particularly bad episode to get better.  (Fortunately the advice these days is to keep moving rather than lie still).

And it has been particularly bad since having children as my core and overall strength decreased.

My chiropractor told me several years ago that I needed to improve my core muscles to improve my back health.

I half heartedly added a few crunchies and the odd plank into my occasional exercise routine and not surprising didn’t see any difference.

When I first did TFBR I had to be really careful with burpees, deadlifts, bent over rows etc and I soon found that I couldn’t work out first thing in the morning without risking my back.

Interestingly a recent report by the British Chiropractic Association and Sealy beds confirmed my own findings.  Apparently disc injuries are more likely to occur with bending movements in the first hour after waking.

In the first round of TFBR it’s fair to say that initially my back wasn’t too happy about the change in my lifestyle.  However I moved my weight workouts to later in the day to give my back chance to “warm up”, took it easy when I had to and was happily doing heavier weights on dead lifts and bent over rows by the end of the programme.

This time around I’m pleased to say that I’ve been able to move all my workouts back to first thing in the morning.

I get up with enough time to make the children’s school lunches which allows my back to warm up a little and then within 20 minutes I’m into my weights.

I’m a little more careful at this time of day than I would be later and pleased to say that so far I’ve had no issues.

I’m also lifting heavier weights and able to pick up heavier boxes and things that I might have avoided previously.

It’s proof to me that my core and back really are stronger.

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.