Day 41

How’s your saturday’s going now that you are changing or even changed your lifestyle?

For some people, it used to be a few pints tonight, last night and maybe tomorrow too. Throw in some fast food, and maybe a couple of takeways, and this would usually mean an avalanche of calories!

Some of you have changed this, some of you are doing less of it.

I think it’s always good to unwind on a weekend, whether it’s a saturday, friday or sunday, whatever day it is for you, the problems always begin when it’s a binge from friday to sunday every week.

On top of that, it’s always a double whammy if you do binge the whole weekend, then seek solace with those close to you because you “were stressed”! The need for self-pity is one of the weaker human traits, and some people play on it more than others. The reality usually is that those close to you may be fed up of it too, but are too afraid to tell you. Let’s get out of all that rubbish and do something positive and whineing about how life’s so bad at times, listen here, it’s bloody not so let’s get out there tomorrow after your big night tonight!

The reason usually for this is trying to get attention for your actions, whatever the reason. This is the opposite of taking responsibility for your actions, the opposite to making progress and it some circles, it’s called being “a drama queen”!

To make this programme really happen, you have to take responsibility for your actions. For example, if you want a few drinks tonight, don’t make the excuse of staying in bed the next day feeling sorry for yourself. Get your behind out of bed and get out there and run, cycle, walk with purpose, anything, as long as it’s active and you can get a good workout out of it.

For every action, there has to be an equal and opposite reaction so the saying goes. So if you pile all those sugary calories in, you’d better be prepared to quit making those excuses, and you’re out there tomorrow come rain or shine!

Schedule it in early too, as you’re leaving yourself open to yet more excuses. If you’re making the effort to get up earlier, you will feel BETTER earlier too!

Most of you have come a very long way now by now, let’s keep up the momentum, have plenty of fun tonight, and hit it early tomorrow morning, and you WILL feel better for it!!

Day 40 Vicky’s first four weeks

This is a fantastic post from Victoria, as it says it all really and i don’t have to add a thing! A great story so far!

FOUR weeks into the programme and four inches off my waist…
Not to mention my shrinking hips, thighs, calves, arms, neck, and shoulders. I can hardly believe it.
A month of hard graft, healthier eating, a few hiccups here and there and still smaller measurements all round.
As I look at my flatter and more toned ‘mum tum’ and my lack of ‘love handles’ I am really excited at the prospect of what the remaining eight weeks will bring.
With only a third of the way into the programme, and such positive results, it’s hard not to get excited – especially if someone had told me a month ago how my last four weeks would have been…
Running up steep hills (Denham Avenue and Penyfai Lane – my legs are weak at the thought), 15 minute-jogs round the water park, bench presses, boxing, sprints, lunges, weights, sit ups, rolling around on balls and press ups..
Don’t be soft I couldn’t possibly do that…?
Well, actually, no one is more surprised than me.. Because I can, have and will continue to improve with the help of a little patience, give and take and will power.
Previously, I would have chuckled at the thought of the above … but now, I’m chuckling at the results – which is far more satisfying. I have come to realise that only one thing really holds us back in life.. And that’s us.
If we THINK we can’t do something, it doesn’t mean we REALLY can’t. I am proof of that.
Before this opportunity, I would never have thought it possible to fit in regular exercise, most of which I do either at home, or around the area I live, and during my lunch hour! Who’d have thought?
My routine is fitting in nicely around the rest of my hectic lifestyle as a single, working mum with a baby and toddler to care for… not to mention the daily washing and cleaning, food shopping, bin changing… the list goes on!
By exercising at home, I have cut out the ‘need’ and ‘worry’ to find babysitters.
The children watch me in the throws of my new lifestyle, laughing when I can’t quite get it and smiling when I finally do.
They can see that as well as being quite tiring – exercise is actually rather fun and enjoyable – so much so they try to join in.
Keri’s patience has been much appreciated in working around my personal circumstances which has made it possible for me to fulfil my ambitious streak to give this programme 100 per cent – well, most of the time anyway!
No one’s perfect. We all get tired, stressed and ratty, lose a bit of faith in our ability to do things- but it’s short-lived and being aware of that, I know these feelings will pass and how fab I feel after a work out.
Can you imagine exercise more addictive than a bar of chocolate??
Well, it can be and a lot more satisfying as well.
A number of exercises that Keri has taught me over the past four weeks could comfortably be done at home without the aid of necessary ‘extra’ equipment.
Such as the arm dips using my kitchen chair, the stairs to run up and down, the floor to conduct sit ups, lunges and various stretches.
Tins of food can be used as an alternative to weights if needs be…
On the subject of food, over the past month, my taste buds have had the luxury of being tempted by a far wider range of things to eat than ever before including fresh fish, greek yogurt and nuts – not all at once of course!
Although, I am aware of what things I ‘should be eating’ and which ‘are better for you’ I am human and make mistakes. Life is all about rules, some we make, some we break and some we bend…
At the end of the day, we need to break a few of them at times to learn from them.
One of the most important lessons I have learnt is that compromise is key to any lifestyle change if it’s to be a success.
If you’re tired don’t hammer it, take it easier…
If you’re hungry don’t binge, have something to hand that satisfies that craving until you get home.
As a food lover, I have been known to succumb to the rather ‘naughty but nice’ treats and meals as opposed to the better, healthier and more nutritional dishes.
Now, as an adult, in control of what I eat, there’s no excuses why I binge, it’s my own personal choice..
Some may say a habit, and as we all know bad habits die hard. I am no exception to this rule.
However, I may be an adult, but I’m also a mum, which over rides everything else.
That is why the last few weeks have helped me considerably.
Being introduced to a wider variety of fruit, making an effort to cook freshly prepared meals from scratch as opposed to the, at times, more convenient, and not half as nice, microwave meals.
We’re all guilty, at times, of choosing things which we know we shouldn’t always but with stressful lives, and from experience, it can be hard which is why preparation is key. Now instead of mulling around the house after the boys go to bed, I lay out the breakfasts ready and get to work on something simple for the following day’s lunch.
So, after zipping home from work for my training session, to jumping in the shower when I’m done to tucking into something tasty that I have prepared myself so know it’s all good – to retuning to work for the afternoon shift- before the night shift with the little ones.
This may seem like hassle but so is rushing around to buy food before my session which means I’m hungry late afternoon and wasting cash because ‘I haven’t got time to make anything- I’m flat out!’. 
Well, I’ve leant a lot about preparation and the advantages of being organised and this works a treat for me- allowing me to have a treat.
The last month has also seen a couple of (rare) social occasions crop up- which could have thrown my training and will power into disrepair. This includes a charity meal for the Haiti appeal in a local Indian restaurant famed for its yummy food (how could I refuse, it’s for charity!) and my dad’s milestone 50th birthday (well, a once in a lifetime celebration- say no more).
Now, I love Indian food – tikka massala has always been a favourite – and vodka and diet coke was my tipple… any calorie hunter will know this is the ‘best option‘… well, maybe not.
As Keri has taught me, it’s quality that’s most important … so instead of a tikka massala, I opted for chicken tikka and boiled rice.. Which turned out to be just as delicious.
Leaving aside my vodka, I was told wine was a ‘cleaner’ drink and – low and behold – a night on the wine spritzers left me surprisingly hangover free!
So, tasty food and a lovely drink.
Main lesson learnt is the fact that life goes on – so no matter what healthy lifestyle you lead..
A little rule bending and compromise goes a long way.
Having had such an enjoyable time and far from being restricted which would have seen me go ‘off the rails’ I simply ensured that the remainder of my training went well. I got my head down and it’s clearly paid off.
One happy mummy indeed! Life doesn’t seem so hard anymore.
Surprising what a bit of inner confidence in your ability to achieve your dreams can do.Eight weeks left and counting…
Welcome the new me

DAY 39 Let’s bloody make it happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Challenges are coming your way thick and fast now, and most of you are starting to question your own abilities, and then some of you are taking action, going back to what you know now to be true, and rescuing your challenge and getting yourself well and truly back on course.

Chris L who has done so well in losing over a stone in the first month feels he has a major roadblock in his way, and feels as if the “wheels have come off the wagon” in a big way as he says.

He now works in Newport 15 hours a day, to put food on the table for his family, so he feels as if this challenge is over for him, despite his amazing progress so far!

He asks me what to do, and here’s my response.

First of all I tell him how fantastically well he has done so far and he ought to be proud of his achievements. Then the next step is how to salvage the rest of this challenge for him?

We have 45 days left and he had amazing progress in just 28 days, so I think 45 days is enough for a major transformation against the odds especially after the great start!

A couple of things happen when you work away. You are tempted to go out for a drink after a long hard day, its be expected in some circles. Then, you are eating rubbish you just grab here and there, and the thought of a workout at the end of a 15 hour day is not the most appetising thing in the world!

So let’s take it back and start from scratch for Chris and any of you who are struggling with the “lifestyle” imposed on you!

First of all Chris, remember why you are up there, to earn money for you and you children, that has to be number one I would guess.

Number two, if you want to save more money again, stop eating the rubbish in shops etc and start doing a weekly, or daily shop in a supermarket. Get your wholemeal bread as your job is labour intensive, no margarine or butter (useless calories), buy some cans on tuna in brine, mackerel, salmon, they are very cheap around 70p each, or a cooked chicken and make it last a bit in the fridge.

Buy a ready to eat bag of veg every two days, they are very cheap too and there’s always some on offer. Buy some fruit too every two days. And drink a big bottle of water throughout the day you have filled up in the morning.

Your workouts? Remember what I am always banging on about working out in the morning first thing, because things always “crop up” later, and you won’t feel like working out later in the day or evening. This takes many excuses away for all of us at times.

The home workout you can do in your room and there’s no excuse for your numbers to go down, you have performed really well so far and I believe you have plenty of fight in you so let’s do it, and really crank it up!!

The alcohol thing? In my experience, everyone I know who has worked long hours or worked away and drunk every night looks usually 10-15 years older than they actually are by the time they reach 45-50! Is that where you want to go? It’s not glamorous with these guys, men bitching about life by an empty bar every night? Doesn’t sound too great to me!!

Let’s get back to your children again, are you going to make them proud and tell them the time that the time you went to work away for them to put food on the table for them, you had many challenges come your way, and instead of “joining in with the crowd”, you actually turned it around and worked on your body, you worked on your health and you actually came back with more energy the weekend, so your time with them was higher quality, because you wanted to watch them growing up properly?

And, you put even more money in the family’s bank account by not sending yourself to an early grave or being a burden to your family in the future through ill health, you fought back and you lived the next 45 days like a man possessed and got another stone off? You regained your old strength, your lung capacity and your old sense of drive and enthusiasm??!!!!

Do you really believe this can happen and are you ready to MAKE IT HAPPEN?!! I know you can do it Chris against the odds, and keep inspiring people on this site like you have already.

You have to get life strategies that work in any situation and I have offered you the opportunity to follow them. I don’t wake up every morning at 4am and feel TOTALLY motivated, I have strategies that get me that way.

I eat well, I never drink in the week, I exercise inside and out in the fresh air, and all this helps me sleep well. THEN, I get motivated by most people’s progress, and trying to turn around sometimes so called “lost causes”, that REALLY gets me motivated!!

You have these choices too, you won’t be working away forever and when you do get back home, it will lay down the foundations for you becoming even more successful!

Good luck and make the right choice for you! Let us know your weekly progress, don’t “settle” in life Chris for mediocrity, your future is in your own hands and it looks very good to me!!!

Day 38 Let’s go down the supermarket!

Day 38

Okay, here it is! This is for all of you who don’t know what to do, or know what to do and haven’t quite “done it” yet!!

Food? Is this a problem for you? Is it a conundrum that would rival the crystal maze, the krypton factor, the worst kind of puzzle imaginable?

Okay, maybe it is to some of you but it needn’t be I can assure you!

Imagine we are going shopping in a supermarket, because it all starts here, and ends here if you get it wrong! Let’s clear the uncertainties out the way right now.

We are walking into the supermarket and the first thing I come to is the fruit. This is an excellent energy source, and the type of food that can protect you from illness and tiredness, this is where it’s at!! Also, full of nutrients that do us no end of food and a natural way of looking after everything in the body.

I always like strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, tangerines, mangos, pears, bananas, plums, kiwis, just about any fruit so take your pick! I mean straight fruit now and no “VERSIONS” of fruit, that’s no good! Are you with me and do you understand me, are we staying simple here? Good!

Same with vegetables too, eat a variety of these, keep them colourful and keep it a good selection, these are vital for your internal workings, keeping your cells and vital organs healthy, and generally creating a better you over the next few months. Make the change right now and aim to include as many veggies as possible, then try another selection next week, and change it again the week after! Endless possibilities when you have your health and wellbeing as your number one concern!!

Next I move on to nuts, and none of that salted rubbish, I like PLAIN almonds, brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts etc. No salt rubbish I repeat or “versions” of nuts, keep it simple and plain!! Is that clear?

Okay next I go to white meats and I always like chicken, turkey now and again, a little lean beef also (red meat) and lean mince now and again, is that simple? Okay I thought so and no “versions” of chicken again or turkey, keep it simple and the plain stuff please!

Next I go to fish and I love tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout now and again, cod now and again, and will try haddock sometimes, again I keep it simple and don’t go for fish in the high fat/high sugar sauce, I care what goes into my body and so should you!

Next I hit the pasta and rice section, I go for wholewheat and wholegrain pasta, no versions again, its plain and simple pasta, the same with brown rice if possible.

You can make the sauce yourself out of tomatoes etc, so no need to put foreign chemicals in your body and loads of sugar, YOU DON’T NEED TO DO IT!

Next up is cereals for me, most cereal boxes belong in the rubbish bin, but porridge, oats of any brand as long there are NO ADDED SUGARS or rubbish like apple sauce flavor etc, it doesn’t wash with me and will get your day off to a REALLY bad start! Are you still with me so far? So straight porridge it is!

Some good stuff sometimes to go with your porridge is dried fruit, and in any supermarket, you have a good selection so take your pick, these are really your flavourings for usually plain food so use them wisely. I don’t eat them so much anymore as my food tastes are probably more bland than most people on here. It did take a long time though to get to that stage!

Where else do we need to go? Orange juice, if I am using apple of orange juice, I always dilute it like I would squash, it keeps my simple sugars under control as well as my calories, you will get used to it and you don’t need all that simple sugar.

I think that’s it off the top of my head! If you are hitting every aisle in the supermarket, chances are that you are bumping into lots of temptation and are likely to fill your trolley up with needless snacks that eventually you are going to consume, don’t kid yourself on that one!

The one main message about shopping, keep it simple and stick to the main food groups, but the natural versions of those food groups. These suggestions will do wonders for the way you look and feel trust me!

Day 37 Your key 5 days-sun to thursday

Day 37-work, rest and play       

Most people will concentrate on one or another, some will train hard but eat what they like, some people will eat very well but not want to put much effort into their training, some will eat well and train hard, but never hit the sack much before 12.

Any of these combinations makes your progress not so good as it could have been. Sometimes you can’t get all three in of course, but that’s life and you should try and still do the best with what you can.

If you look at it like this, you should aim for Sunday to Thursday as solid, no nonsense types of days when you nail it every day, you eat good fresh food, you train with real energy and drive and you make a point of getting to bed on time every night. This should be within most of your abilities.

Obvious exceptions will include those with young children, but I have to be honest and say that many with young children I train are actually some of the very best performers!

Other obstacles to having very good Sunday to Thursday include drinking wine or beer in the week. I love a beer as much as the next man, but you really don’t need it in the week as it will put a big dent in your progress.

Your training drive will be diminished, you simply won’t feel “up for it” all the time. Alcohol will also encourage you to eat higher fat foods on the same night, and the morning after. Alcohol drives blood sugar levels up, then they come crashing back down which in turn creates a savage hunger at times. Then, when you wake up, you crave anything fired to satisfy your hunger upon rising, anyone know what I’m talking about??!!!

One more thing about alcohol, there are over 120 sleep disorders out there, and around 80 of them are linked to alcohol. So you may think that the extra glass of wine will make you sleep well, but the opposite is true. When you don’t have good sleep, you become irritable, your performance goes down, you crave fatty and sugary food etc etc.

You can see now that it’s a great idea to really concentrate on Sunday to Thursday and really get it almost perfect. Most people aren’t invited to social functions in the week, so it’s ideal to get foundations firmly laid around this time every week.

Everyone loosens up the weekend a bit, and when you do, you will be comforted in the fact that you have had a great week, your performances will be at the upper levels, your cravings for fatty foods will be at their lowest and your sleep should improve greatly.

This site is all about performing at your best, feeling your best and trying to live the quality of life that you always promised yourself.

To do this, life is full of challenges and obstacles, this is just one more but you have every ability to get over it again. There’s heck of a difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it, so let’s make it happen!!