My fitness journey part 2... macros, more calories and no cardio!

 Early 2015 vs early 2016 (1 year progress)

Early 2015 vs early 2016 (1 year progress)

So, as I was saying, my fitness journey continued... January 2015 came and went... I was slimmer, I was comfy in my skin. I had been doing a play and I was planning for a trip to spend three months in LA. To be honest, I didn't really freak out about LA and all the obnoxiously fattening food. I had been drinking and going for dinners out. I had even survived Christmas and New year. I was being mindful and I had just completed Kayla BBG for the first time for the full 12 weeks. I wasn't posting much on Instagram at the time. I was just plodding along. I felt like results were nice, but not amazing, so I planned to move onto BBG2...

But first LA. The plan had been to complete BBG 2 whilst I was there, but life, auditions and a million excuses got in the way. 

I put on ten pounds TEN POUNDS) in the 1st 3 weeks of being in LA, even whilst being mindful. I was angry at my body. Like the years progress didn't matter. Id ruined it, and felt resentful that I had a body that would react so quickly to more food/less exercise... whatever it was. I was so peed off that I couldn't just relax for more than a second as I would bloat, get thick, put on weight. I didn't know then that it was certain foods (dairy and gluten specifically) and the fact that some food in America is pumped full of hormones etc to make it last longer and what not. I also didn't account for the portion sizes being HUMUNGOUS. A starter salad is the size of a main salad (times 2) So my point is. Things regressed. By the time my boyfriend arrived for a ten day holiday I had decided to eat pancakes everyday with chicken and waffles every other day. We drove up the Big Sur and snacked and ate and snacked some more and I didn't exercise for a good 4 weeks. 

If you are on a fitness journey, if you know anything about consistent exercise and mindful eating and then a full on month in the opposite direction, you know that a lot of progress will be ruined. One missed day here, one pancake there will NOT affect you. One month and 28 plus portions of pancakes, really, unfairly, will. 

So March 2015 I arrived back from LA sun kissed and bloated. I was miserable. Mainly because I felt like I had undone so much work. I wasn't back a week when I decided to restart BBG1 and week 10 I started using IG to really hold myself accountable. 

This may seem a little boring, but when I was at the start of my journey I was really interested in how people really got the before and after pictures. So here is a breakdown of what I did.

During what I like to think of as phase 1, I trained BBG with minimal and inconsistent LIIS (steady state cardio) I was following macros roughly. I was eating clean and non processed 80% of the time. And treating myself when I felt I needed it or wanted it. My head space was in a very good place about food, but I was still scared of calories. This is where reverse dieting sort of began, without me really knowing it. I was introducing more food as time went on. Here is a breakdown of what I typically ate during phase 1. March to July.

My marcro breakdown was typically 30% carbs 25% protein 45% fats and my calories went from 1350 in April, 1450 in May, 1500 in July. 

Typical day in phase 1 (March-July)

Greek yogurt and fruit with seeds and oats or eggs and veg

Quinoa and salad with chicken/fish

Salmon, sweet potatoes, phillidelphia, pesto

Ham with veggies/Cottage cheese and veggies/greek yogurt and fruit

 March-May PHASE 1

March-May PHASE 1

 May-July

May-July

I lost 3 pounds in the first month, but then my weight plateau'd for a long while doing this, but I didn't gain weight at all. Doing BBG you are reminded that weight loss shouldn't come into it. As a PT I knew weight loss wasn't the most important thing. Progress pics and measurements are the best thing to go by, but even in my pictures I didn't feel completely satisfied. I lost an inch here and there and saw slight changes in my body. I was less bloated, more toned ie) I was building muscle slowly. This was the aim. Inside I was still anxious about my weight plateuing and eating more, but I had a niggling thought inside from the personal trainers that I used to work with. Whatever I had previously done, did not work, or if it did, it hadn't lasted, so I needed to persevere. 

In July the boyf and I happened to watch a lot of documentaries on factory farming, animal slaughter and veganism. I was suffering from bloating (all of the time) and certain things would make me smell/give me hives and make me constipated. That along with ethical reasons led me to try to be vegan for 5 days. The boyf did it with me, and to celebrate the 5 days we went out for burgers lol... I know, this is backwards. After our meal we were so tired and bloated that the boyf decided he wanted to go veggie... and I decided to challange myself to one month being vegan. Which happened to turn into 4 months with one hiccup in Italy (it was Italy guys, I needed cheese) During phase 2, (my vegan phase) my calories went from 1700 in July to 1800 by the end of November.

My macros were typically 50% carbs, 20% protein and 30% fat. I was lean during this phase. Abs still weren't showing, but I dropped an extra 4 pounds and stayed there for a good while.

On a typical vegan day I ate

A smoothie with oats, dates and non dairy milk

A buckwheat salad or brown rice pasta with piles of veggies and beans

Noodles with veggies and tofu for dinner

I snacked on nuts, fruit and one vegan protein shake a day.

 July-September PHASE 2 (Vegan phase)

July-September PHASE 2 (Vegan phase)

From July I had begun weight training alongside round 2 of BBG1. I was doing all the LIIS and HIIT training and my weeks were generally 3 days BBG, 2-3 days weights with 3 LIIS and 2-3 HIIT sessions. 

September I began BBG2. I had had 3 holidays and 3 weddings and 1 big birthday celebration by the time we got to mid October. I had beat the bloat with a month in November of eating cleaner and as December approached I was far more comfy in my skin after getting used to eating more without putting on weight. I was now in what I am calling phase 3. In this phase weight training became my focus. I also added in fish to my diet, but still avoided dairy. I was lifting heavy 3 times a week and doing BBG 3 times. I was doing LIIS about 4 times a week and HIIT twice. 

On a typical day in phase 3 Sept-Nov

My macros were 45% carbs 25% protein and 30% fat and my daily food looked something like this:

Oats and a quest bar

Pasta/fish and loads of veg or tortilla wraps with veg/quorn sausage and veg

Tofu and veg and sweet potatoes/eggs/fish and greens with sweet potato

Rice cakes with humous/soy yogurt/quest bar/fruit/protein shake

 Sept (after all the hols and weddings)-November PHASE 3 (Post hols)

Sept (after all the hols and weddings)-November PHASE 3 (Post hols)

My treats daily during all phases were always a pudding made with dark choc/raw cacaoa/dates/oats/peanut butter etc and I would generally eat out at least once a week and include dessert in my trips out. I was very mindful all week, filling in my fitness pal and making sure I was roughly within my weekly calorie allowance along with my macros being hit. I never went hungry, deprived or starved. Ever. I drank alcohol on average once a month, but I did have spurts of holidays to Ibiza and Italy etc where I drank far more than usual. 

During December I decided to challenge myself to see results, in real life, during the busiest season ever. I reduced my calories over the course of the 3-4 weeks from 1800-1300 (this is a lot but I was ill so I dropped more than I had wanted to) I dropped another three pounds and I was the leanest I had been in ages. My training programme was consistent. I removed hiit and 1 BBG2 training because I decided all the exercise was putting stress on my body and therefore probably causing me to plateau. My periods had also stopped and I wanted to ease off a little bit. I felt in a very good place with my nutrition and my mindset. Throughout these phases I had always had treats and cheats. Usually incorporating them into my macros. I was a flexible dieter and I calorie cycled. (More on how to do that in part 3) This meant that some days I had higher calories and other days I had lowers calories. I would try to stick to the same amount of protein throughout (although I was rubbish at this) and up my cals with higher carbs or fats/treats or no treats. 

In my training I would lift for strength doing 5 x 5 on all compound moves spread over the week and increase my weight weekly. I then would do all assisting exercises in a hypertrophy range of 8-12 reps.

My weeks looked like this in December.

Monday Deadlifts 5 x 5 (assisting posterior chain either 4 x 8 or 3 x 12) & LIIS

Tuesday BBG leg day & LIIS

Wednesday Chest press 5 x 5 (assisting upper body 4 x 8 or 3 x 12) 

Thursday BBG abs & LIIS

Friday Squats 5 x 5 (assisting quad 4 x 8 or 3 x 12)

Sat Rows 5 x 5 (assisting upper body 4 x 4 or 3 x 12) 

 Nov-Dec 4 week challange

Nov-Dec 4 week challange

Over xmas I continued to exercise minimum of 4 x a week. The week of xmas when I wasn't in the gym I made sure I did a few interval sprints and BBG 2 from home getting in all my resistance days that I had mapped out. I also flexible ate. So I made sure I had some low cal days (trying to reach my protein goal) knowing full well that I would have some high cal days too. Along with cheese and booze and a lamb on xmas day. Over that 2 weeks (my birthday is the 18th Dec) up to Jan 4th I managed to balance my cals at roughly going from 1300 to 1700 slowly increasing them over the xmas period. I gained three pounds but managed to keep my measurements all in tact. with some bloating battle wounds and minimal damage on the scales I felt very settled in my head that I had found a very good balance with food and diet.

I think I knew now how much my body could handle without gaining weight. 1800. I knew loosing cals down to 1300 would help me loose weight. I knew that the biggest hurdle I could face in the journey (xmas) was not going to set me all the way back to the beginning of my journey and I knew that for me, lifting heavy made all the difference. For me, I see most results when I lift. I still love BBG and still incorporate it. I find it to be such a good workout and structure that there is no way I would stop it. It fits in with my gym routine perfectly and my mindset too. 

January felt awesome, my mind and body image seemed balanced and at ease and the last few months seemed like such great learning curves that I felt I wanted a new challenge. I felt ready, mentally, for using this new knowledge about what my body liked and disliked, what it reacted to and didn't, to try something so out of my comfort zone that I may poop my pants. 

This is when I decided to try a prep for a bikini competition. See here...

Over Jan, phase 4, I have increased my cals from 1700-2100, with only 2 pound weight gain. I will do my fat percentage this week to see muscle gains and fat loss.

My macros are now 40% carbs 30% protein and 30% fat on average. My workout programme is a little more intense and I am doing no cardio, NO CARDIO whatsoever. Life is currently immensely blissful.  

My current workout schedule

Mon Deadlifts 5 x 5 plus(hammys/gluets/quads/lower back)About 10 exercises at 4 x 15 or 25 x 4 plus 20 mins handstands

Tues Kayla leg day plus 20 mins abs (3 x 15) 6 exercises

Weds Chest 5 x 5 plus (Upper body day lats focused) 10 exercises 7 x 8

Thurs Kayla abs day plus 20 mins glutes (4 x 15) 6 exercises plus 20 mins handstands

Fri Squats 5 x 5 plus (quads/abductors/glutes) 4-5 x 15 plus 20 mins handstands

Sat Row 5 x 5 plus (Upper back lats focused)3-4 x 12-15 plus 20 mins abs

Sun REST DAY

 Mini bulk Jan-Feb 2 pound heavier :) UKBFF Bikini comp PRE PREP

Mini bulk Jan-Feb 2 pound heavier :) UKBFF Bikini comp PRE PREP

 

Tomorrow I start PHASE ! BIKINI PREP after my 4 weeks pre prep. I will do a post on macros and reverse dieting in more detail if you would like me to. I just want to point out everyone's journey is so different. So unique and something I may do may not work for you. I know bananas, cashews, kidney beans and quinoa bloat me slightly. I know that I can handle carbs far more than I ever imagined. I know that dairy is something that slows my progress greatly, therefore I chose to have it sporadically (because who can live without ice cream)I know that I see results lifting heavy, but I also know that the consistency of BBG has lead me to where I am now. I literally don't think I would have seen the results without BBG, the community and my IG account holding me accountable. Not all one thing will work for all of us, but the things that will make every difference to your progress are simple. 

If you want to see results, make the unfamiliar familiar.

Be consistent, create habits, be positive, have a routine, be patient, there will be trial and error, drink lots of water, eat EAT, reset your body to get used to more food so that when you do want to lose fat, you have somewhere to go. Let go on any resistance you have to getting the body you want, let go of the expectation and just take each day as it comes. Let go of the fear of failing. Sleep. SLEEP. rest, stretch, foam roll, eat yummy foods for the soul, and trust your journey. You will look back and be grateful you kept going. 

Part 3 next week xxx