I am now two weeks into the final cycle of my body coach plan and as you may be able to tell my motivation is lacking a bit.
As I said in my last blog, I had found cycle 2 really tough to stick to in terms of food. Owain is following a different food plan so every night we are coming home and preparing different dinners and then prepping different lunches. It means that during the week we are constantly on the go and even with exercising in the morning I feel I don't have time to sit down to relax even for five minutes.
Cycle three is almost like a combination of cycles 1 and 2. The food options revert to cycle 1 in that you eat a carb refuel meal after exercise and all other meals are reduced carb meals. I wasn't bothered too much by this as I had been tending to have sandwiches for lunch for convenience and had wondered if having bread had bloated me. With cycle three, you are provided with some recipes for inspiration but can also follow pick and mix and create your own recipes. In cycle two, I really struggled to find lunches and so I decided to sit down and write out a list of lunch ideas. For cycle two, I had tried to combine all the food elements in one meal but often struggled as you needed to fit in meat, veg x 3, side sauce, carbs or fat. For this cycle, I decided to have a main lunch and then opt to have yoghurt (my side sauce option) or cheese (my additional fat) as a little extra after my main lunch and this seems to have worked much better.
However, when it has come to nights and weekends, I have just been tired and have went off plan a bit more than I would have liked. Work has been really busy and I have to say I have reverted to using food to make me feel better. It hasn't been as bad as it could have been but I have had a few pizzas - albeit with sour dough bases! After a hard day at work the last thing I want is to stand in the kitchen making a dinner and lunch while Owain is doing the same and try to time the cooking so that we can sit down together. I know it sounds like excuses and it probably is. I lost motivation in cycle 2 and the difference in results from cycle 1 is evident - you clearly get back what you put in. For me, the snack options on this cycle aren't great and I end up eating nuts for my morning and afternoon snacks - that's not a bad thing necessarily, it just becomes a bit samey.
That being said, it isn't all bad. So far in weeks 1 and 2, I have only went off plan a few times. Three meals out of the two weeks have been off plan. At the time, I have felt I have sabotaged my plan but actually that is only three meals out of 42 meals - as a percentage that is 92%, not as bad as you think. In the past, I would have probably have just continued my unhealthy eating for a few days but being on this plan has certainly changed my mindset.
I am pleased to say that throughout my full plan so far I have managed to stick to the exercise element 100%. Thankfully this has been much easier to follow. Cycle three is tough, however, I would say it is not as bad as cycle two. The training in cycle three is pyramid HIIT training. This incorporates high and low rep weight training combined with HIIT cardio to further improve fitness. It follows cycle two principles of 4 sessions per week, working on different body areas each session. The HIIT is still broken down into 2 rounds but you start with the resistance training rather than the HIIT. I am not sure what difference it makes, time will tell! Thankfully it takes less time than cycle two but it is tough - below is the leg/abs training:
This time round, I am trying to do the sessions at home using dumbells rather than going to the gym as I think it was just too much running to and from the gym on top of doing the session as well. As with the previous cycles, I am trying to keep in one constant run per week but I am feeling that my running fitness has deteriorated. I don't mind that too much though as I know I can build my running back up during the year and hopefully the body strength I am building will help with my running.
Hopefully this blog gives me the kick up the backside I need to stay focused for the final two weeks of my plan!!