Summer bodies are made in the winter

That's what Gemma at work likes to say.  And she does have a point. Every single year I say to myself that I won't overdo it over the holidays, and every year I give in to temptation and thoroughly enjoy all the foodie treats over Christmas and New Year. What with it being cold and wearing jumpers all the time a little extra 'insulation' is easier to overlook. Which means that from January 2nd, some major restorative work is usually needed to get myself back on track, feeling fit and like myself again.

I'm not going to lie; I would also like to be a 7lb lighter myself too. I virtually spend all year on some kind of food/fitness regime (clearly with limited impact - probably due to weekends. And cheese). One of the shameful things about blogging is I can look back, see all my good intentions in a variety of posts and also see I'm no further forward! So this January I'm going to put the work in at the gym and in the kitchen,  reset, then hopefully establish a decent foundation going ahead. 

What's different this time? 

Totally jumping on the band wagon (so in some ways not a lot). This time with Joe Wicks the Body Coach and his Lean in 15 philosophy. He's everywhere right now but I figured that might be good for keeping me focused. I'm following on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, got 2 out of the 3 books full of recipes, and had a pre Christmas pilot fortnight. 

Joe Wicks the Body Coach Lean in 15 books

What is it all about 

Joe Wicks posts work outs, recipes and creates tailored eating/fitness plans for £150 a time. He also has recipe books out for £8 each that use the same principles (it appears),  and seem to correlate to the three phases of the 90 day paid plan.

Basically it's about ditching the scales and the calorie counting, doing efficient work outs and eating smarter. In month 1 you do 4-5 HIIT sessions a week, and after these sessions you eat carbs and proteins. If it's a rest day is proteins and fats. Plus veg the rest of the time. The point is to 'Shift' the fat. Then month 2 steps up the carbs and the weights too (to 'Shape'). Month 3 ('Sustain') is similar to Month 1 - I think (haven't really looked that far ahead).

What this means for me... 

Watch the weekends

I tend to have a bit of a weekends off approach to my food intake. This is the time that I will eat more, and drink liquids that prevent fat burning (ahem, Friday night Prosecco). I do still usually get some exercise on a Saturday morning with a 5k Park Run but that's about it.

Though my weekends aren't terrible, to get to where I really want to be I'm going to have to be more mindful of what I eat and drink, and keep the same principles in effect that I apply to the rest of the week. I'm also going to use Sundays for additional exercise sessions too - If I haven't been to work all day then I can do my work out in the morning when I still have lots of energy!

Not starve

I have previously tried to shed pounds by limiting my intake to 1000 calories a day. I did this for well over a fortnight - almost a month actually. What happened? Nothing, except that I was tired and had headaches. The Lean in 15 approach says stop counting, just eat the right balance of protein, fat etc. If you don't work out the your body uses fats for energy. If you do work out it needs carbs and protein. So carbs only before/after work outs. I do like the recipes in the books, but I'm still counting calories because some of these portions look enormous! 

I'll be posting about the recipes I've tried here and on social media (links on the right) - which ones are best and any I come up with too that fit the guidelines. I'm not great at food photography but at least you can see what they look like in real life!

HIIT up the exercise

This kind of links to not starving. Basically I am small, within a healthy BMI, and work long stressful days that don't involve a lot of physical exertion. I don't really need a lot to keep me going in comparison to most people. If I enter my measurements and daily activity levels to any calculator it tells me I will only lose a small amount slowly as there is only so much you can reduce your intake to. So increasing workouts is going to have to happen, and means I won't be starving. I'm also going to focus on HIIT workouts more often to take advantage of the additional calorie 'after burn'. 

Right now I'm liking the free work outs on You Tube that Joe Wicks has posted (here's a good one above), and he has a January boot camp on Facebook with live sessions 3 mornings a week (that I'll have to do after work). I'm a bit apprehensive about how I'll manage month 2 which adds weight training on top, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. 

So now I've taken all my measurements and got a plan. I'll post progress at the end of the month so you can see if it's something you might also want to do.

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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