So here it is - the end of our 8 week transformation challenge! What a blast it's been not just because of the speed but because it was a lot of fun. We thought we'd give you a summary of our highs and lows and of course, our final stats to help inspire you with your new year's resolutions for 2017!
I believe that this kind of challenge is the whey ahead! Why? Because it's natural, not overstressed, mindful and most importantly sustainable. My lows were low but my highs were high! The lows started at the beginning of the challenge because my goal was to get fitter after surgery. It was mentally tough to begin. I won't lie and say I was absolutely totally motivated from day one and ran into the gym skipping. I found it hard to restart my fitness regime. However, a couple of days in, I really loved being back in the swing of things.
Real progress didn't come immediately or easily though. Wouldn't it be great if it did? If progress and transformation happened overnight? Shredded abs, good shoulders, defined arms, toned legs. But I am not sure I would actually want that. Sounds crazy but I enjoy the journey. Fitness is like any other journey in life. It's a process we have to go through, work hard for and keep going. It wouldn't be very rewarding or fulfilling otherwise would it?
After about 8-10 days and having seen progress, I hit a wall. A massive brick one. To go from nothing to something, you're bound to feel good about yourself and see some results. The hard part is to carry on. Keep calm and carry on as they say! It's about will and determination. If you experience this like I did, try and refocus your goals. Maybe give yourself a talking to. Sounds simple but it works. I found I was constantly giving myself pep talks at this point until about halfway through at 4 weeks. I switched things up and changed my exercises and upped my weights slowly to give myself a new challenge. It was also great to meet up with Dani to help motivate each other. It was great fun and I'd always recommend training with a buddy from time to time!
Addressing my nutrition was a massive part of these 8 weeks. I did my calculations, meal prepped, and used WHEY AHEAD® organic protein to keep my muscles fuelled and strong. It was a synergy with my fitness. I did ensure balance though. A couple of times I had a cheat meal like a pizza or something but always made sure I ate clean afterwards. I also had a couple of beers and glasses of red wine over Christmas. I am not advocating this is the right thing to do but what I am saying it that it's okay to live and not restrict yourself too much. Everything in moderation. You need to stay happy in order to keep going forward.
To summarise my personal what, whey and why then, my WHAT to do : be kind to yourself. By this I mean, don't set unrealistic expectations. Be strict yes, but realise it's a balancing act so don't beat yourself up if you don't eat clean 100% of the time. Also give yourself some space and be patient - we are all different and individual.
My WHEY is my go-to naked/unflavoured organic WHEY AHEAD®. I love the creamy taste for my post-workout shake and it's so great in recipes like protein cookies and gingerbread - they work well as on-the-go snacks and taste delicious!
Finally my WHY - this is crucial. Finding my why was all about finding sustainability. I needed to rediscover fitness as an ongoing lifestyle choice not a chore. It was hard but I'm there now and want it to continue.
Ethan Starting point vital stats
Ethan Final vital stats
weight: 152lbs (+3lbs)
bodyfat: 14% (-3%)
waist: 32’’ (-1")
I have tried my best to stay off the scales and let the gym be my progress marker throughout this challenge, so I really had very little idea as to what the numbers would say. I know I have definitely felt stronger, fitter, and leaner but with Christmas thrown in at the end of our Challenge, I figured that progress would slow down towards the end.
This challenge was tough to begin with. Getting back in the gym and feeling weaker than ever was quite disheartening I’ll admit! It was hard to stay motivated when I felt a bit disappointed with the weights I was lifting. I remembered to stay focused on that ‘Why’: health and happiness. I’m not in the gym to lift more than the next girl/guy, and it was no longer just about the way I looked. It became easier to hit the gym as I refocused my intentions.
I have lost 8lbs of fat in 8 weeks, which is a very sensible, steady weight loss and I’m pleased to have shifted some of the stuff that serves no purpose to my body. Because I’m leaner, I’m now closer to being able to complete unassisted chin ups (I did two below when I met up with Ethan!), pulls ups and dips with my own bodyweight! Awesome! The fat loss has been all-over, yet I’m pleased to see the difference in my waist as I know the harm it can do when you start carrying too much excess weight around the middle.
The ultimate highlight of the 8 week challenge was when Ethan came to visit at my gym and we worked out together. It was a true reminder that exercise should be fun and rewarding, for both the body and the soul! We had a tonne of fun, and a good paced workout that wasn’t intense nor pressured. There’s a time and a place for going all out and 110% sweat and effort, but when you’re getting back into an exercise programme after some time out – this isn’t it!
The ultimate gain for me was my mindset: stepping away from both sets of scales and really allowing my body to count the calories for me. If I need to eat, I eat, regardless of the amount of exercise I’ve done today! It’s a really relaxed place to be, compared to the “calories in versus calories out” mindset I had before. I’ve also seen some great steady gains in the gym, starting to move closer to the weights I was lifting before. I still have a long way to go before I feel truly back to full fitness, but this time I have the right tools, knowledge and support to make sure the end result really is health and happiness!
Dani Starting point vital stats
Dani Final vital stats
weight: 147lbs (-8lbs)
bodyfat: 22% (-4%)
Thanks for tuning into our challenge and supporting us. We loved hearing from you and hope we helped in some way by sharing our journey with you. We're always here if you need morale support and of course, any help or guidance with how to use our organic protein & incorporating it into your lifestyle.