transformation

Being Fit: What Does That Mean?

Please note I write these posts on the tube, on the bus, on the loo. They are not essays for the spelling police. If you hate bad grammar and spelling, I'd advise you to walk away. I'm sorry. But this is just mind farts blurted out as I think on paper. If you don't mind bad spelling, read away :) 
 Monday morning check in January 9th 2017

Monday morning check in January 9th 2017

A topic of conversation the other day with a friend got onto the fact that she had begun to eat organic eggs (for health reasons) despite her being "vegan" for a good while. She talked of how she was slightly embarrassed or knew that some people in the "vegan world" would ridicule her/shame her. Which led us on to talking about how some people on social media (in real life too) lie, mainly because they give themselves a label and then feel guilty of faltering from it. 
I think the same is said for people in the fitness industry. When I entered this world of fitness, which ultimately meant, training consistently and mindfully eating nutricious foods consistently, I remember thinking that was it. There was no way back. If I was making this decision I couldn't faulter or back track because that would be like giving up on the diet. And I was so bored of that, I didn't wanna be that person anymore. So now I was committed to being a "real" fitness person. One that ate clean, never binged, trained at 110% all the time. This was magnified greatly when I got a fitness IG account. You start by posting smoothie bowls or nutribulleted green veg. You bird's eye view your dinner to hold yourself accountable and also to share your way of life. You take transformation pics to share your progress, to encourage others, to boost your own motivation, to be your own competition. And it's all fab. You keep making that progression, you are "fitness" in all its glory and this.is.your.life!
And then, real life comes in, hits you im the face and reminds you that nope, you must sometimes get ill, you need to ease off all that training, you need to eat some 'soul food' cos you've been getting rathe grumpy on just "clean, whole foods" Your friends are going for drinks, why don't you join them? 
"Well I said that I was ya know, a fitness person and like, fitness people don't do that stuff. They have the will power of an Ox and they have fun without drinking, drinking is for loosers and I have to be in the gym anyways, cos... I can't miss a workout, if I do, I'll let the whole team down"

hmmmmmmm.

The idea when smothering yourself in a world that is not a world your familiar with, is to immerse yourself so deep that it becomes your world. I get it. I needed it. I needed to be at the forefront of it all. I wanted to be *insert any IG fitspo account here. Not for their millions of followers or their free #womensbest protein but because they were "fitness" personified. They were what it was all about. They were lean all yr round. They had got to a position where they had done the hard work, managed to achieve the body they desired and then they managed to stay there, maintaining there fitspirational Physique day in day out, if not, bettering it as time went on. You'd read things in their posts about how they just don't crave chocolate, and they eat with no restrictions so they never binge. They love getting up at 5am to workout because... endorphin's. They have a burger and they don't bloat the next day because, well, because they are angels from the fitcamp, and then I started to question, would I ever be that? Hold on... did I want to be... wait a second, were they even all they said they were?

Here's what I want to share with you.

The number of followers someone has does not determine how immersed in the fitness world they are. Some people have 10 million followers, aren't PT certified, and they may have not ever even deadlifted (shock horror) that's OK. That's not to say they are not worthy of their fitspo status. They may still be fit. 
The amount of abs on show, 2/12/0 does not determine how healthy you are, or if you really are working out 7 days a week. 
If you eat burgers and bloat, that doesn't mean you're not living a fitness led lifestyle. Jeez just cos you ate the burger at all, it doesn't mean your not allowed into the "fitness community"
If you do cardio even though people are shaming such an exercise etc, that doesn't mean your doing it wrong. If your not doing #bbg or your not squatting double your weight or you avoid hiit, or you have never seen glute muscles, biceps, or a V line... that's ok. You are still allowed to say your into fitness.
If you haven't got a big bottom, it doesn't mean you should go suddenly start hip thrusting your way to Khloe Kardashian but bum cheeks... I mean, because I'm telling you, kick backs, and resistence bands won't get you that butt anyways, surgery might help but kick backs, those alone won't cut it...

 I am grateful for my genetics, but I wasn't always 

I am grateful for my genetics, but I wasn't always 

Because this is my point. You might read that these people lead this life, or see that these things make you 'fit' You might feel like your failing just because you can't get it all right or do it all week, or avoid all the foods. You might feel shamed into lying about the eggs you ate or the pizza you scoffed or the workout you didn't do. You may even post throw backs to the time when you were leaner, because you don't want to disappoint the lean bean fitness gods.


For a good while after comp I felt like a fraud. 


I felt like I was failing my followers because I wanted to show them that you could stay lean (not comp lean) but fit and tight and muscly and whatever ideologies I had attached myself to, I wanted to be proof that I was what I was proclaiming to be, what I had wanted to be. A fitness person, a PT. Someone who coaches others and can get you on your journey because I was on mine. 
So when the abs started to hide and the fluff began to show up, I had a panic that I was not deserving of being in this world. 
It took a second, but not too long to remember why I started my account. Why I started my journey even. To share, relate, be motivated and also to motivate. And to be comfy in my skin. Leading a real life. I didn't want to become someone that was so into fitness that I forgot to have a life.

So here we are, 3 years into changing my life. Not avoiding the gym. 3 years since i promised myself id just try not to binge, no diet, but no binging/starve routine. This is me... and this is the reality of a life that includes some (a lot of) fitness, rather than fitness that includes "some" life. 
I train 6 days per week, I count macros, I haven't eaten a mac d's in exactly 3 yrs. I lift weights, I do some cardio, I eat protein and I avoid putting myself in vulnerable situations that may lead to triggers for binging... but... 
I have relapsed. I do eat processed food sometimes, I'm addicted to sugar. I don't buy chocolate bars but I will eat dessert, everyday and I don't stick to my macros, always. My will power slips often. I go out to eat a lot. I do have French fries with mayo and I also love at least one rest day. 
I am still leading a fit, healthy, life. And this is what it looks like (for me)

Stop comparing your fitness journey, your fit body, your lifestyle... to anyone else's. You are living it your way, for you. And however you look, I hope that whatever stage it's in, you know you are worthy and you are enough. Yes you can work on yourself, your body and progress and change and still have self love. That doesn't mean you cheated on the whole #loveyoself movement.  But nor does eating cheese on toast mean that you cheated on your fitness lifestyle. Allow yourself to be human whilst achieving your fitness goals. There is no exclusivity club we are all included in this journey. All of us learning from each of us. From the one with abs to the girl that doesn't lift, to the one that does all the spinning and to the vegan girl who eats eggs.

We are all doing the best we can. Together. A real fitness person doesnt just look like *insert IG fitspo here. They look like you. Like me. Like all of us!

A Week Of Eating: Week 1 Mini cut

Monday

Breakfast 

2 slices of Medium hovis wholemeal bread

 1 tbsp lemon curd

4 egg whites scrambled & 50g raspberries

Snack 

Grenede bar and soy flat white

Lunch

150g prawns

with 140g cod

pan fried in stock with 100g cauliflower rice

Dinner

130g Quorn chicken style pieces

In half can chopped toms

100g spinach & 100g frozen peas & 50g sweet potato

1 slice garlic bread 

Dessert

Sugar free jelly made with unsweetened almond milk

10g peanut butter on top

                       

Tuesday

Breakfast

30g oats with 75g soy yogurt & 50 frozen raspberries

Lunch

100g quorn chicken pieces with 100g chopped toms

50g peas & 50 spinach with 100g sweet potato

Snack 

Soya flat white

Grenede bar

Dinner

Egg fried rice made with

100g tofu, 130g tuna with jalapenos, sundried tomatos, 100g cauliflower rice and one egg

Dessert 

sugar free jelly made with light coconut milk

Wednesday 

Breakfast

Brekki burrito made with 

1 wholewheat tortilla wrap 

options hot choc with a splash almond milk to make spread, & 10g peanut butter

1 chopped apple and 2 egg whites, rolled into a burrito

Snack 

4 fruitella sweets 

Soya flat white

1 small bag poshcorn

Lunch

100g tofu & 130g tuna salad with 

100g sweet potato and cherry tomatoes

Dinner 

140g cod, with 

50g peas, 200g cauli rice 130g butternut squash stir fried together 

with added pea protein powder

Dessert 

170g 0% greek yogurt

1/2 Tbsp lemon curd

Thursday 

Breakfast 

Overnight oats

30g oats, 100ml unsweetened almond milk 

soaked with 50g frozen berries 10ml lemon curd

lunch 

Lunch at The Balck Penny Holborn

Shared 

butter beans on sourdough with goats cheese & Poached egg and pesto with polenta hash

Snack 

1 fillet salmon 

3 bournon biscuit

soya flat white

Dinner

Tuna with mixed curry (the boyf bought home) and 100g cauliflower rice

Dessert 

grenede bar

Friday 

Breakfast 

 Shesupps protein shake made with unsweetened almond milk & 50g frozen berries

Lunch

out at The Drake and Morgan 

Egg white omelette

with Smoked salmon & spinach a 1 tbsp butter

Dinner

1 salmon fillet & 100g steamed butternut squash mash 

Aaaaaaat aaaaaat

5 Gin & slims, 2 tequila shots, 2 glasses red wine

3 kinder eggs

1 bag popcorn

2 slices hovis bread one with cheese & jam, 1 with melted cheese & ketchup 

Saturday 

Breakfast 

Grenede Bar 

soya flat white

Lunch 

Tuna sald with capers, jalapenoes, cucumber and spoon light phillidelphia

Dinner 

1 fillet seabass, 1 fillet coley fish with homemade butternut squash sauce & courgette pasta

Dessert 

200g Holy Couch Ben & Jerrys

Sunday 

She supps protein smoothie with 50g frozen berries & unsweetened almond milk 

Late lunch/dinner

Homemade fish cakes 

aubergine fries & minted peas

Dessert 

Grenede bar 

Average weekly Macros:

Calories: 1735

Protein: 125

Carbs: 185

Fats: 55

Fibre: 27

This is at the top end of where my cut is meant to fall. I am aiming for anywhere between 1550 & 1750 with 130g protein, 150g carbs, 45g fats. But I never expect to hit my macros, or jump to lower cals really easily. My previous macros averages over the last 2 to 3 months fell at 1950 cals, 220g carbs, 100g protein and 65g fats. So the numbers above of my mini cut week are enough of a variant to make a difference. Don't beat yourself up for the nights out, for the biscuits or the ice cream. Above is where my life happened. I don't drink every week. And I always try to fit in, eating out and balancing. A mini cut did not mean that I only ate clean whole foods, or went really low on calories. This is NOT a diet. This is about body composition rather than "loosing weight" I think us girls are uneducated in this. Most of my clients come to me and this is what thet are confused with. They want to loose weight when in rality they need to just change their body composition.  Ie Grow more muscle, drop some fat and change your fat percentage. There can be two women weighing 140lb. One will be 30% body fat and the other 20%. Same weight yet, the 20% body fat woman will look aesthetically what my clients will be after. Its not a weight loss game. I can do a post on body composition if you would all like. So watch this space :) 

Goals for this week are... 

More protein, less eating out (mainly to save some money lol) Macro goals will be 1650ish cals 130g protein  165g carbs, 50g fats.

Disclaimer: These macros are specific to me and will not work for everyone. This is after years of figuring out my body likes and dislikes and what works for my goals. I am still learning also, so plaese do not think these calories or macros are something to follow for each individual. 

For help with your own personal macros and online coaching please check here xxx

 

Bikini comp prep: The exercise

 Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

So, training for a bikini comp is like no other training I have done before. Its hard. It takes dedication and a lot of mental strength (that I was unaware I had) to will yourself to just do one more set or one more rep. Your joints hurt, your muscles ache, your bones feel broken. But, its the sort of training I had always wanted to do, I just never had motivated myself to train that hard before. There is something to be said for having a goal. A real life date where you know you will be up on stage in a bikini, and that in itself will set a firework up your bum.

The difference between my normal training and bikini comp training, isnt that much. The same with nutrition. I kept it similar to the way I normally train. A lot of strength and a lot of conditioning. The difference being more sets and more reps. But I focused on compound moves a lot. Only really isolating muscles during phase 3 onward.

Preparing for prep was new to me. Yes I'm a PT, I write programmes, I know how to structure training, but Bikini prep planning had my knickers in a twist. I didn't really know where to start. Because there is so much conflicting info. Some people lift heavy and keep reps lowish (in the 8 to 10 numbers) most stick to high reps for some good ol conditioning. The way people split their days varies greatly. Some opting for back and biceps, legs and triceps, a whole day for core... some stick to lower days and upper days. Some train legs once a week, some 3. It all depends on your goals and also what you believe is the best training method for you. But I wasn't sure. I am indecisive and I find it so bloody hard to stick to something in fear that I should be doing something else. 
So when I say, planning what I was going to do was mentally draining. It is not an understatement. Hours were spent on you tube, googling, asking my PT friends. I would dream about prep. What exercises to include, what to not bother with. Should I add more sets or less reps, should I spend a whole day on core or even bother at all? I lost a lot of sleep. And then one day I just bit the bullet and wrote out a plan.

My main objectives...
*burn fat
*build muscle
*condition muscle
*keep my strength as much as poss
* make sure I have progressive overload
*don't get bored 

I decided to do this is 4 week increments. Microcycles if you will. The body is good at adapting; getting used to something and finding a balance (ie not reacting to it anymore) The body is so clever. It can predict what you are going to do and decide that it is not enough overload on the muscle to do the job to its best ability that you want it to. This is why doing the same programme over and over is never a good idea. It will stop working. 

 Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

Here were my phases

  • I had pre-prep: Get used to consistency in programme, build size
  • Phase 1 Concentrate on higher sets/gain strength and size
  • Phase 2 Up the reps and concentrate on conditioning. 
  • Phase 3 Up the reps and keep the muscles guessing by using drop sets and pyramids on major compound moves.
  • Phase 4 Up the intensity and condition muscles as much as poss/cutting fat

Each phase I would do something slightly different so that my body wouldn't get too used to exercises, by swapping out an exercise or two, and/or changing the order of my super sets.

In pre prep I was eating more calories. I was trying to eat at a slight surplus and trying to gain as much muscle as I could possibly have with the small window I had. I went from 1700 cals to 2200. This phase meant I was lifting heavy with low to mid reps for strength and hypertrophy (size) I wanted to be as strong as possible starting out as I knew I would lose strength (or could) during prep where I would be in a deficit for a while. 


Pre prep went something like:


5 x 5 for a compound move for overall strength.
I would then super set assisting lifts doing 3 x 8 to 12 reps. 
Here I was keeping things simple, doing 4 to 5 super sets with compound lifts. (8 to 10 assisting exercises)

Phase 1 Saw me start my slow cut. During this phase I wanted to get used to higher sets and reps. I begun doing 4 x 12-15 still sticking with my 5x5 on a compound move to start. On one out of two of my upper body days I would do a really heavy low rep day because I wanted to build size in my back if I could, despite being in a deficit.  During this phase I started to add burnout finishers at the end of the session. So a workout would look like


5x5 compound lift
...
4 to 5 exercises
4 x 15-12 assisting lifts on legs and 1 upper day
Or
6-7 x 8 on one upper body day
...
Then a burnout like
4 x 25 leg curls

Phase 2 saw me wanting to concentrate on conditioning. For upper body I concentrated on 4 x 15 reps and legs 4 x 20. I through in 1 or 2 dropsets and the end of my workout and also begun adding a specific day for glutes. 
I decided at this point to cut out my 5 x 5 because of time constraints. But I would do a major compound move with 4 x 10 for some strength/size work so as not to just be conditioning the muscles.

Phase 2 felt like the hardest phase for me as It was smack bang in the middle. I felt most demotivated during this time and think after this phase I knew I needed to ramp up my intensity and also programme, so that I didn't give up.
.

A typical day in phase 2

4 x 10 BB row

4 x 15 on 4 to 5 super sets on assisting lifts

Dropset on the seated row as an example

 Week 1 through to comp day at various stages of prep

Week 1 through to comp day at various stages of prep

Phase 3: Here I decided to make sure I added in drop sets and pyramids wherever I could. I wanted to cover all rep ranges. Going for strength and conditioning. I also needed the variation. I kept my major compound move at the beginning, I also made sure all reps were at least 20 no less (except for shoulders/biceps and triceps as I wanted to keep their size as I am very lean up top. Sometimes adding a super set and then threw in pyramids throughout and drop sets at the end of the session.

A typical phase 3 workout looked like this:  

SS Hack squat and reverse hack 4 x 10

...

Pyramid (8 10 12 15 reps)dropping weight as I go, smith lunges SS with 4 x 20 smith squat

Pyramid leg press SS with 4 x 20 (es) curtsy lunge

Pyramid Bulgarians SS with 4 x 20 front squats

Pyramid Smith step up with 4 x 20 goblet squats

...

Dropset cable squat starting with heavy weight 5 reps working my weigh down in weight up in reps with no rest.

Phase 4: The homeward stretch. Ahh phase 4 was my fav and worst phase. You were so close to the end yet your intensity had to ramp up. In this phase I added active rest and also added in 100+ rep challenges for a lot of moves. I also made my super sets into trisets or giant sets

A typical phase 4 day looked like

10/10 20/10 20 30/failure Chest press

4 x 20 SS single arm row with 4 x 12 bb shoulder press and (active rest 30 secs burpees)

10/10 20/10 20 30/failure T bar row with 4 x 12 bicep cable curls and 4 x 12 tricep cable pulls

4 x 20 Triset; seated cable row with single arm lat pull down with wide seated row (active rest 30 secs weighted high knees)

10/10 20/10 20 30/failure standing rope pull with 4 x 20 lat push down

4 x 25 hyper extension

My splits: roughly stayed the same and the structure also throughout, depending on if I missed out something earlier in the week. 

Monday: Posterior chain day

Tuesday: Plyo and abs

Wednesday: Upper body day 1 (lats and shoulders)

Thursday: Glutes and abds

Friday: Upper body day 2 (Lats and lower back)

Sat: Leg day quad focused and abs

Sun: Rest added spinning in the last 4 weeks

My cardio went from nothing in pre prep. Then went from 3 x 20 minutes a week to 6 x 40 mins a week.I mainly used the stair climber for my LIIS, with uphill incline walks on the treadmill at least once a week. Hiit consisted of 10 to 15 mins of 30 secs on 30 secs off sprints on the treadmill and plyo was mainly Kayla BBG 1 thrown in. My ab days would mainly consist of 20 min sessions focusing on isolation exercises and obliques. Such as hanging leg raises, rope crunches, side planks, russian twists and pikes or roll outs.

Cardio looked something like:

16 weeks out 3 x 20

15 3 x 25 mins

14 3 x 25 mins

13 3 x 30 mins

12 3 x 30 mins

10 4 x 30 mins plus 2 hiit

9 4 x 30 mins plus 2 hiit

8 4 x 35 mins plus 2 hiit 1 plyo

7 4 x 35 mins plus 2 hiit 1 plyo

6 4 x 40 mins plus 2 hiit 2 plyo

5 4 x 40 mins plus 2 hiit 2 plyo

4 5 x 40 mins plus 3 hiit 2 plyo

3 5 x 40 mins plus 3 hiit 2 plyo

2 6 x 40 mins plus 4 hiit 2 plyo

1 Not too much cardio. A few 40 minute sessions as well as a couple of hiits. I eased off towards the end of peak week. 

So there you have it. I hope this info is somewhat helpful and sheds a light on the sort of training that prep involves. Most days I would be training anywhere between 1.5 and 3 hrs with posing thrown in too. Honestly, I'm a bit lost post prep when my sessions are done within an hour. I'm not sure who or where I am lol.

If you have any questions, please give me a DM on IG or send me an e mail to dannitabor@freefanni.com

Love, light and lifting (with a side of french fries)

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