I did it - after three months following the plan, I am pleased to say that I am a body coach graduate!
By the end of cycle three my motivation had dipped and I was looking forward to just finishing the plan. Whilst I enjoyed the combination of HIIT and weights, I found the weights sessions really tedious. There were 4 different sessions but each session had two sets of 150 reps. The first set went from 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10 and the second set worked back up again. I did stick with the training plan 100% throughout the whole three months but I can't say that I particularly enjoyed these last sessions.
I also struggled with the food options and by cycle three I was very uninspired by the meal options. Cycle three goes back to carb meals only after exercise with all other meals being reduced carbs. As I exercised in the morning it meant lunches and dinners were fish or chicken with veg. In the end I got very bored with eating green veg and actually finished the cycle a few days early as I couldn't handle traipsing around the shops trying to find courgette during this courgette crisis! I even succumbed to stealing some of Owain's sausages and opting for a sausage sandwich for dinner one night.
So to the all important results. Over the three months, I managed to lose 3kg and 10 inches. I have also managed to lose 3% body fat. Whilst this does not seem as transformational as other stories, I have managed to lose the majority of the weight I gained since my treatment. I have been trying to lose this weight on my own unsuccessfully over the last 18 months or so, so it has definitely been worth it. If I am honest, the plan probably isn't aimed at someone like me. Whilst I indulge in the odd treat and a fair few glasses of wine, I exercise regularly and we do cook all our own meals from scratch. However, the plan was great for giving me the discipline I needed to stick with it over a longer period and helped me feel accountable for the results. I did have a holiday, Christmas and New Year and a birthday during my three months so perhaps it wasn't as bad as it could have been. When I signed up for the plan, I decided to let my running take a back seat and follow the training plan with the HIIT and weight sessions and I do feel that my overall fitness has improved. I did manage to run at least 5k once a week so that I could keep some running fitness and I will be looking forward to getting more miles in.
After submitting your final results, you receive a graduation report. This wasn't as detailed as I expected with it simply recording my results at the end of each cycle and telling me which approach seemed to work best in terms of exercise - not really rocket science! It does provide you with a breakdown of your macronutrients and calories moving forwards to ensure you continue to lose body fat. For me, I find this a bit strange as this was not a feature of the plan. Although the food was broken down into protein, fats, carbs veg etc, your options were limited throughout the plan and I am not sure how easy it would be to make the transition of calculating it all on your own.
So what now?
I am still looking to lose a bit of weight and so have opted to join Owain and have signed up for an eatnaturally for everyone plan by Fitnaturally. The huge benefit of this will be that our plans are tailored with the same food options, with the portion sizes being different. I think this will make a huge difference to us as it means we are not both cooking dinner and prepping lunch and might actually have time to sit down together of an evening.
I've now received my plan for next week and am so excited to see that it includes peanut butter, crisps, wine and chocolate! I'll see how I go but at first glance I am feeling really positive as it feels a more realistic long term plan, rather than a 3 month goal. I'll continue to blog to let everyone know how I get on.