Official 6-Week Mini Contest Entry Thread - Contest 10
Time to show us what you've got so far!
You can submit your entry to the 6-week mini-contest here. Can't wait to see your results.
Please post your photos and your essay in this thread.
NOTE: This thread is only for final photos and essays. All other posts will be removed.
DOUBLE NOTE: You can also email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
And stay strong for those final 6 weeks.
What I've Got So Far - My 6 Week Mini-Contest Entry
Iíve been overweight for the last 15 or so years and it somehow just crept up on me. In September 2010, I got weighed at the doctor and was shocked to see that I was at my heaviest weight ever in my life (207lb). I didnít want to be that guy anymore.
My wifeís stationary bike gathering dust in a corner but I didnít relish the idea of long hours of cardio so I searched for bodyweight exercises on the internet and found Turbulence Training. I got the TT For Fat Loss program, joined the forum and started with the introductory and beginner programs. Having no equipment wasnít going to stop me. I substituted bodyweight exercises for the ones that needed dumbbells and although I dropped a little weight and felt fitter than I had in years, there wasnít much of a visible difference.
After a holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I returned to Australia on 1 November weighing 204lb and thatís when I decided to make changes in my diet. I started by following Joel Marionís Cheat Your Way Thin program and subsequently switched to the Slow Carb diet. Craigís saying that you canít out-train a bad diet proved to be right and the weight started dropping off immediately. When I posted photos on the forum showing my changes in 4 weeks, someone suggested I enter the transformation contest and here I am.
I entered the 10th Transformation Content on Jan 2 with the following statistics (my current measurements are in brackets):
Mass: 185 lb (now 170.4 lb)
In inches (current)
Neck 16 (16)
Shoulder 49 (47.25)
Chest 42.5 (42)
Waist around navel 37 (32)
Waist (where I wear my belt) 35 (32)
Upper 14 (14)
Upper 23 (23)
Lower 15 (15)
Workouts so far: TT2K6 and TT2K5
My cholesterol levels have dropped from being high to well within the normal range for the first time since I started measuring it 12 years ago and Iím definitely looking and feeling better than I have in years! I can actually see my abs for the first time in my life (without having to use my imagination) and Iím swapping the barrel for a six pack.
I am well on my way to achieving the 12 week goals I set for myself:
Lose about 26 lbs in 12 weeks Ė Iíve already lost 14.6lb in 6 weeks
Waist around the navel down from 37 to 32 inches (I now have a waist of 32 inches).
Shoulders increased by 1 inch (Iím not sure the original measurement was taken correctly since I didn't have a myotape then but will still aim for this)
Waist down to 31 inches (well within reach in the next 6 weeks)
I still have some way to go and canít wait to see where I will be at the 12 week mark. Iíve had to buy a new wardrobe since the old clothes were just too loose Ė fitting t-shirts are now baggy and even the four week old jeans that were tight when I bought them are way too big around the waist (Iíve only had a chance to wear these once)!
My physical changes so far have already inspired several people (including my sister) to start exercising and eating better. Iíve explained the importance of nutrition to them and asked them to sign up for Turbulence Training since the programs produce definite results in a short time. Also, the support from Craig and the forum members is invaluable. Itís a wonderful feeling to have enabled people to make positive changes in their life.
I used to think that there was something unique about my body and that weight loss and fitness programs only worked for others. Now I realise thereís nothing special about my body and thatís a good thing! One of my friends actually commented that she was always sceptical about the Ďbeforeí and Ďafterí photos shown in a lot of advertising but having seen my results so far, she was convinced. The great part is that Iím only at the beginning of this journey and there is so much more to come!
I am incredibly grateful to Craig for the programs and advice and also to the members of the forum for all their support throughout this process. Youíve supported me in the challenges Iíve faced, indulged me when you didnít really need to and set me straight when I needed it. I really couldnít have gotten this far without all of you. Thank you and hereís to the remaining six weeks!
Jan 02 2011:
Feb 12 2011:
Time Flies with TT- My 6 Week Mini-Contest Entry
Wow, as I sit down to write my six-week TT essay, I am having a hard time believing itís been 6 weeks already. I think that says a lot about the program that Craig has created. Unlike any workout program Iíve done in the past, Iíve looked forward to my workouts and time really has flown by.
I came to TT being no stranger to working out. Weight control was easier when I was a few years younger (isnít that true for everyone?) because I was naturally more active. I used to ride multiple horses every day, but that fell by the wayside as I went to college and then got a full time job working an hour away from home. Over the course of 5 years, I gained 35-40 pounds and lost all my energy. I was struggling with depression and lacking the drive to even get out of bed and face the day because I knew I would feel sluggish and worn down, no matter how much sleep I had gotten. I felt like such a hypocrite, being in the medical profession and telling people that itís important to eat right and be active every day when I couldnít even motivate myself to do it. What do healthcare workers do after telling a patient that? We eat fried food from the hospital cafeteria or we stop at a fast food burger joint on the way back from an EMS run, and justify it by saying ďoh, Iím too busy taking care of others to really take care of meĒ. Sure, I went to the gym 3 times a week and worked out when I wasnít out of commission with an overuse injury (and I have suffered many of these as a result of traditional high rep exercises and long boring cardio!). I finally decided that it wasnít acceptable for me to not practice what I preach, so I set off looking for a better way to live and I found TT. I canít say enough about Craig Ballantyneís wonderful system and his dedication to his customers. He helped me greatly when I first started the program by picking a suitable workout for me and working around my previous injuries from a horseback riding accident and my overuse injuries from my well meaning but definitely wasted time at the gym. Those who know me on the forums know that I keep a very hectic schedule, and working as a Paramedic I often have trouble getting my planned meals while Iím working the job, and Iím here to say that no matter what your schedule is like, TT can work for you! Iím living proof that despite a long commute, difficult hours and an odd schedule, following TT and a reasonable diet (like The Diet Solution Program by Isabel De Los Rios) 90 percent of the time will yield amazing results. Sure, I was a skeptic when I first found the program, thinking it may be an internet scam, wondering what made it different from what Iíd already tried and wondering if it would work for ME and my unique needs; after only 8 weeks total of TT and 6 weeks in the contest, I can tell you that the 40 USD I spent on the Turbulence Training package was by far the best investment in my health and fitness I have ever made. The support from Craig and the forums is amazing, and I know without everyone on the forums I wouldnít have been nearly as successful as I was. Iím looking forward to the next 6 weeks for the conclusion of the 12 week contest, but more importantly, Iím looking forward to the rest of my life with all my new-found energy and improved fitness. Hereís to practicing what we preach!
TT for Beginners
optional Abs 1000 Challenge
The Diet Solution Program by Isabel De Los Rios
Measurement area: Start/End/Change
Weight: 149.7/132/ -17.7 lbs
Bust: 40íí/35íí/ -5íí
Ribcage: 33íí/28íí/-5íí (wow! This one is crazy impressive to me!! My bras donít have a roll anymore!)
Waist (navel): 34íí/28íí/-6íí
Waist (widest): 36íí/31íí/-5íí
Right Thigh: 26íí/24íí/-2íí
Left Thigh: 25.5íí/24íí/-1.5íí
Right Arm: 12íí/11.5íí/-0.5íí
Left Arm: 12íí/11.5íí/-0.5íí
I feel like my math must be off, because Iím in disbeliefóI lost 28 inches and 17.7 pounds in 6 weeks. I measured myself 4 times today to make sure I wasnít crazy! Iím telling you, TT WORKS- Thank you Craig!
I've enjoyed my 6 weeks
I was out to dinner with friends recently and as I turned down some drinks and asked for items on the side I was asked, "why do you do it?" and my answer was simply, "to see what I could do."
Three years ago I was my heaviest ever, 215 lbs, and I have finally reach a breaking point. One year and 10 lbs, another year of trying and and I didnít really make much progress. This took me to January 2009, I committed to a different 12 week challenge. I was working with a personal trainer and doing pretty good (losing weight) but the workouts took too long, left me tired and I didnít feel like I was really making strength gains. Then I found some interesting workouts in Menís Health and I decided to do some research on the person who wrote them, Craig Ballantyne. It was smart, it was challenging, it really pushed me.
I am grateful to have found Turbulence Training and from it a continued passion to learn more and more about "fitness" and wellbeing. I can understand why people find it confusing, there are so many different methods and so much conflicting advice it can create a state of paralysis, but to this I trusted TT and it has provided. Since starting TT about a year ago I have lost a total of ~20lbs of fat. I've nearly doubled the strength in my deadlift, I've done down ~8'' in my waist size. And I've enjoyed nearly every minute of it. There were some days I was a little tired heading to the gym, and maybe not looking forward to it, but I knew and could count on the feeling I would get when I was done. The feeling is a combination of elation, fulfillment and confidence. I thank the TT methods for being so efficient, no doing more work than necessary and being inventive.
I'm appreciative to other members of the forums for posting their journeys and providing motivation. I like competition and seeing the workouts people are putting in and the pounds they are dropping is motivating, I want in!
I initially had planned on a 6 week challenge, but now I'm in for the whole 12 weeks. It's body recomposition time and I'm planning to get jacked.
Workouts - I used TT 2k6 Hardcore and part of Meatheads IV L&J. Off days consisted of walking, foam rolling, yoga.
Diet - I used Leangains style fasts most everyday with ESE fasts included 1-2 times per week. My target was <1,800 calories per day and I was successful >80% of the time, only going over 2,000 3 times. I was focused on getting as much volume of vegetables at every meal as I could, followed by protein, with starchy carbs effectively absent. I enjoyed fruit specifically "an apple a day", blueberries and raspberries. I used whey protein as a supplement to try and make sure I was getting sufficient protein intake.
Started January 3 --> Results February 11th
Weight: 187 --> 178.2 (-8.8lbs)
Weight 7 day average: 187.6 --> 180.2 (-7.4lbs)
BF: 21% per my tanita scale --> 18.5% (-2.5%)
Neck - 15.5'' --> 15.5''
Bicep - 15'' --> 14.5'' (-0.5'')
Chest - 38.5'' --> 39.5'' (+1.0'')
Waist at navel - 35'' --> 32'' (-3'')
Hips - 39'' --> 34'' (-5'' !!!)
Thigh - 23'' --> 23''
Calves - 15'' --> 14.5'' (-0.5'')
Looking forward to the next six weeks!
My Turbulence Training journey started with a particularly horrible picture taken at a family party this fall. I looked tired, out of shape, and worst of all, I still looked as though I was pregnant even though my youngest was now two years old. I hated the example I was setting for my children through poor eating habits and spending most days feeling tired and worn out. Iíve come a long ways in 6 weeks and already I can see the difference and improvements itís made in my life and I feel so much better about what Iím teaching my children through the better choices I am making.
This first 6 weeks has been such a learning experience for me. I was surprised to find that the biggest help has been the support on the forum. The support from other members has really helped kept me focused on the program. From seeing peopleís workouts to their food choices really helped me put together my plans. Iíve been working on my diet and trying to find a balance of healthier eating that I can live with by tackling one bad habit at a time and trying to add a new good habit. Each week Iíve worked on eliminating something that always seems to hold me back from my goals and while Iím a long ways from perfect, Iím so happy with how far Iíve come.
For the last 2 years, my main workout has been spending 30-60 minutes on my elliptical and seeing zero results. Ditching my long slow cardio in favor of Turbulence Training Workouts and fast intense intervals was the best thing Iíve ever done. As I donít really have access to a gym, I loved that there are workouts I could do from home, without a lot of expensive equipment. I also really enjoy Iím not doing the same workout every day and that every 4 weeks itís another new set of workouts. Iíve been doing the Booty for Wife 12 week workout and while the title has a funny name, the workouts are no joke! Every workout I try to do something a little better than the last even it if is only one more rep or a slightly faster finishing time. I am getting results that I can see and results that I never thought I could have unless I spent hours in the gym.
My 6 week results:
Current Weight: 135 starting: 146 (-11lbs)
Chest: 32.5" starting 33" (-.5 in)
waist at smallest part: 27" starting 29" (-2 in)
waist at belly button: 31" starting 33" (-2 in)
hips: 37.5" starting 39.5" (-2 in)
thighs at the widest: 21.5" starting 23" -(1.5 in
bicep:11" no change
I'm pretty excited about my results so far and can't wait to see what the next six weeks brings. My highlight of the contest so far has been fitting into my favorite little black dress that I havenít been able to wear in years. It was such a wonderful feeling knowing that not only did it fit, but I looked and felt great wearing it. I simply can't believe how far I've come. This is the first time in my life I can honestly say Iíve consistently exercised this long without getting frustrated and quitting. And even better, I am getting great results that others are starting to see and it is so fun to know that the hard work is paying off. Iím very excited to see what the next 6 weeks brings and looking forward to meeting all the challenges to get there in the best shape of my life.
Category Ė female under 40
Jan 10th Ė Feb 20th
Workouts used - 2K6 and Big Five
Weight Ė 136lbs Ė 131lbs (-5)
Chest Ė 32.5 Ė 31.5 (-1)
Waist Ė 28 Ė 26 (-2)
Belly Ė 34.5 Ė 32 (-2.5)
Hips Ė 34 Ė 33.5 (-0.5)
Thighs Ė 22 Ė 21.5 (-0.5)
Calves Ė 14.5 Ė 14.5 (no change)
HmmÖ this has been a contest of good and bad, ying and yang, chip and dale. The bad stuff? Well, no point dwelling on that. You live and learn, as my granny used to say. Anyway, the good stuff is much more exciting :D
Reasons I am cheerful thanks to TT
I can now do 10 fairly respectable full pushups
I can fit into all my jeans
I have lost pounds of pudge
Even better, I have dropped inches all over
I look like I know what Iím doing in the gym (well, most of the time!)
Iím never bored because thereís so much variety in the workouts
Because Iím not bored I consistently workout 3 times a week
I only spend 45 mins in the gym but still see results
I have started two family members on TT who are also losing weight
I have brilliant support on the TT forums
I will never give up because of that support
I have access to lots of advice and tips from other TT members
Itís because of other TTers I have found myself on a raw food journey (called Raw Food Adventure Quest)
And the best oneÖ
Thanks to TT, for the first time ever I have actually lost weight for a holiday! Iíve been on a lot of holidays and every time Iíve said Ďright, Iíll lose some weight so I look semi-decent in photosí. And did I ever succeed? Did I flip.
Not this time though! Woo! Off to sin city and Iíll be going with a satisfyingly flattened belly, rather than the usual gut. And, while Iíll no doubt indulge in the odd cocktail or five, I know TT will get me back on the straight and narrow once Iím home.
Anyway, one mustnít ramble. And not wanting to sound like a stuck record, but all I can say is thanks Craig. Thanks a massive bunch with giant bells hanging off. Even on a rubbish day, Iím still in a much better place with TT. And I will never quit. Never ever Trevor.
So, casinos, bars and tacky gift shops, here I come!
P.S. The after pictures are on the right, and I don't know why I always bend my left leg. I guess I'm peculiar.
Iím On A Mission!
I’M ON A MISSION!
What a 6 week journey this has been! So far the past 6 wks have been one big learning curve for me. I am glad I made it to the half way point.
Some background info, I first bought the TT manual about 5 years ago when I realised hours and hours of cardio on the cross trainer or treadmill weren’t getting me anywhere. I remember saying to my friends at university how much I wanted to have the body that reflected all the hours I was putting in at the gym. At university though my nutrition wasn’t consistently good and excess calories from drinking and ‘hangover’ eating didn’t help. Over these years I seemed to have fluctuated up and down the same 14lbs. Putting weight on at certain times of the year i.e. at Christmas, after being on holiday and certain times in my life i.e. moving away from home, partying too much, being ‘comfortable’ with my boyfriend and eating man sized portions etc. I cannot express enough how frustrating it is to feel like a hamster on a wheel constantly trying to get results but feeing like I was getting no where.
One thing this contest has shown me is that I was never truly consistent in the past. Often I got close to my goal weight but I would then let things slip and end up back at square one. I also think I have a tendency to self sabotage my efforts and go back to comfortable habits. So the first lesson I have learnt is consistency is essential! I consistently do TT workouts (and have done so for a few years) but I soon realised consistency in eating habits is also key. I am not saying I have it all figured out yet, far from it but I am getting there. I see this contest as one big experiment and I really like tracking my results and seeing what works and what doesn’t. For instance I often found it difficult to maintain a calorie deficit all week so I have begun incorporating ESE fasts into my week to help me achieve this (as recommended by various TTers on the forum).
The next major thing I have learnt is that support is necessary to keep me on track. The support I have received from the forum has been amazing; I can’t thank Craig enough for setting this up. I can honestly say I would not have stuck with the contest if it wasn’t for the brilliant support from other TTers (yes I’m talking about you Gerry, Clare, Tina, Brittanie, Eva, Deb, Robyn, Neil, Rachel to name but a few). The words of wisdom from everyone are great to have at the touch of a button. I also really enjoyed picking people up when they were down. A lot of us seemed to hit a wall towards this 6 wk mark and it was nice to know other people were feeling the same as me and that we would get through it together.
Over the next 6 weeks, I hope to continue progressing towards achieving my goals and to continue learning. I want to find a way to maintain my weight, be happy and healthy and in control over the choices I make. As well as this I want to help and support others in their weight loss journeys. Roll on the next 6 wks! In the words of Gabrella Climi ‘I am a woman on a mission. Nothing can stop me I’m stronger than ever I’m gona see this through’.
Nutrition – still figuring it out! Now using ESE style fasts.
TT Workouts - I used TT2K6 and TT2K8.
Age = 26
6 week results
Weight = 142 lbs (-8lbs) (start 150 lbs/68kg*)
Body fat percentage = 21.7% (start 25%)
BMI = 22.2 kg/m≤ (start 23.3kg/m≤)
Chest = 36 inches (-2) (start 38)
Waist = 30.5 inches (-4) (start 34.5)
Hips = 36 inches (-1) (start 37)
Thigh = 20 inches (-0.75) (start 20.75)
Arm = 10.5 inches (same) (start 10.5)
6-week Contest Entry
Start -- End
1/16/2011 -- 2/25/2011
200 pounds -- 179 pounds (-21 pounds)
24% BF -- 16% BF (these are rough estimates)
36" Waist -- 32" Waist
Strength Markers (10 RM)
* I wanted to see if I would lose strength during this process, since I was following what others would call a "fasting" program. I know it's pretentious as hell, but I no longer think of it as "fasting"- it's just how I eat, these days!
Bench Press 150 pds -- 185 pds
Squat 180 pds -- 205 pds
Deadlift 115 pds -- 155 pds
Pullups 3 reps -- 10 reps
Now that the "data" is out of the way, the important lesson of this transformation (for me) is that Craig had it right from the beginning: you just have to experiment and see what works. Personally, I need the hardcore programs that offer plenty of heavy lifting because those kinds of workouts keep me wanting more. Personally, I need to monitor my caloric intake by simply not eating before 2 PM most days, and by offsetting overeating with 24-hour fasts. Personally, I need to continue to be willing to try new things. Maybe that means trying a program that's focused less on heavy weights. Maybe that means taking a 6-week break from daily fasting, or shortening the fasting window, or experimenting with alternate-day fasting. Whatever it means, I am in control of myself again and I can experiment on a weekly basis. I know how to analyze results. I know what to expect from myself. My body is truly a playground, again.
I could say "for the first time" as likely as "again". It's true that I was a 3-hour per day, 6-day per week gym rat in college. It's true that I took in more calories via protein shakes then than I do now in total calories. It's true that my life revolved around chicken breasts, tuna in water, and protein shakes. But is any of that control? Isn't that really slavery? When I think back to those days, and then consider what happened from age 23-29, I realize it was more slavery than control. I wasn't the master. If I had been, would I have gone so stark raving mad toward food- eating out whenever I wanted, gorging myself whenever I wanted, thinking I would get in shape again "another day- when I got out of college?
It took the 24-hour fasting to show me how to control my eating. However, I would be a skinny 30-year old teacher/father of twins if it was not for Turbulence Training. Or I would have gotten myself injured, then tumbled back down the staircase of failure while I recovered. Best case scenario: I would have worked out the "old" way, lost time with my family and friends, and eventually joined the chorus singing "It can't be done when you're a family man and a full-time worker." But Turbulence Training saved me from that fate (and it's just as well... I can't sing for crap). The workouts go by so quickly and, as a former meathead, I appreciate the little nuances Craig adds to the program, e.g. Workout C of Meatheads V includes a Stability Ball JackKnife and a Spiderman Push-up, both of which provide a little work for the arms on what is otherwise a "legs/pain" day.
I figured out how to use the workouts most effectively for me: Week 1 was the time to play with weights and times, decide how much I wanted to lift each session, and to set goals for the following three weeks. Week 2 was about seeing if my goals were on target- had I been too optimistic or too conservative, or could I *really* finish the workout in less than 30 minutes while not dropping weight? Week 3 was when I turned up the intensity- I knew what to do, how much to do, and how quickly it could be done. Week 4 was about outdoing Week 3, reminding myself that I didn't know my limits.
Six weeks into my transformation, the data above don't do justice to how I have changed. Taking control of my eating, taking control of my exercising, has given me the ability to take control of other areas of my life. People treat me differently because I committed to and have followed through with a plan that seemed to them to be relegated to people they would never know, people who use supplements and go on television to show how much weight they lost. I've inspired my cousin and another friend to take on this challenge, to believe that transformation is an interior journey as much as a physical change- to answer the question: Can you change who you are?
For me, the answer is "Yes". I have become the master of both worlds, to borrow a phrase from the imminent comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. On the one hand, I control what goes into my body- whether it is healthy or unhealthy, it goes in because I chose to enjoy the company and the food around me, rather than to simply satiate my tongue (which is never full)! On the other hand, I want to be in the gym, I want to get up at 4:30 in the morning- as I did this morning- to make certain I complete the fourth workout of the week. I didn't get up and get down to the empty fieldhouse at the high school because I was afraid of what would happen if I missed a day; rather, I showed up because it's just who I am. Now I control both worlds: that of fitness lover/health freak and that of father/teacher.
I look at that before picture, SIX SHORT WEEKS AGO, and I know what Whitman meant about a resounding "yawp". I cannot fathom who I was any longer. I am a stranger unto myself, but I'm learning a lot about me. And I like this guy. I can't wait to see who he becomes next.
Because I want to feel GREAT!
In this essay I would like to mostly write what Iíve learned and what has worked or not worked for me these past weeks. I think that will clearly map out my journey. Iím afraid itís quite long, but I am sharing it with the best intentions, hoping that some of the things I discovered about myself might help and inspire others as well!
Iíve had several breakthroughs that have helped me get on the right track, we are all different and go through different processes and stages in our lives, and these are the things that have helped me change.
My 6 breakthroughs:
My 1st breakthrough was accepting myself (and my body) the way I was and being happy, or at least content with it. I have tried to lose weight so many times because Iíve been unhappy about how I look and feel. This has never been enough of a motivation for me and in the end the comfort of not exercising and being able to eat anything I want (lots and lots of chocolate mainly) seems more tempting than forcing myself to try to change. Usually Iíd stop in the 3rd or 4th week, when my weight loss would slow down. But now, by accepting where I was and thinking that was OK I became more confident and my head has been clearer ever since. This has helped me progress and helped me be patient when the scale just isnít cooperating!
My 2nd break through was getting the right motivation. Iíve entered and dropped out of several contests before, simply because I havenít had the right motivation. Iíve tried to come up with fancy thread titles and elaborate explanations why I wanted to change my body, but I never managed to really make myself believe it. This time it was simple, easy, and straight forward. I wanted to lose fat and get fitter and healthier because I want to feel great! Thatís it. No pain or guilt or feeling bad. No trying to get in shape before a holiday or party or reunion to feel less bad about myself in front of others.
Wanting to feel great is very motivational because it means Iím enjoying the journey. Iím happy, and optimistic about the changes Iím making. Feeling great is about so much more than how you look as well. I want to feel healthy, strong, energetic, and this takes healthy eating and sane exercise, not crash and fad diets. Wanting to feel great directs my energy towards making the right kind of changes. I believe finding the right motivation is absolute key. It makes everything a lot easier. I also think a lot of other people as well really just want to feel great! Thereís nothing wrong with wanting to feel great! I believe it will simply make you a happier, more resourceful and more likable person!
The 3rd break through was realising I actually do have the power to make decisions. I donít know how many times Iíve said to myself ďIím deciding not to eat any candy this weekĒ, or made other ďdecisionsĒ along those lines, only to break them a few hours later because a little voice in my head says that I didnít really make the decision. Iíve even written my decisions down here on the forum, only to break them a few days later. So what did I do to change?
I looked at my life and my decision making and I realised there are some decisions I have made that I have not broken. Two of which are never to drink alcohol and never to smoke. I decided that when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and itís never been hard to stick with the decision. Iím simply a person who doesnít smoke or drink. When I go in the grocery store I donít walk slowly passed the wine, considering if maybe I could buy one, looking if there are any sales, or other reasons why I ďshouldĒ buy some. Most times Iím in the grocery store I donít even notice that they sell alcohol. I NEVER consider it. I made the decision once, and I never have had to make it again.
Itís really very easy!
I thought to myself that if I donít drink alcohol or smoke I can just as well be a person who doesnít eat food with processed sugars (at least for 3 months!). And that was it. The decision was made. (Now I donít even mind if my husband is sitting next to me eating Ben and Jerrieís!) I think we all have some decisions weíve made, and stuck with, it could even be such a thing as not to kill someone, or not to steal. If we can discover such a decision in our self and then transfer that decisiveness to whatever goals we are setting in our fat loss journeys (or any part of our lives really) we can get very far!
My 4th break through was that I didnít look back. At first I was planning on starting on a Monday, because itís just easier... But when I woke up Thursday morning I had already had breakthrough 1-3, and waiting to start feeling great and postponing my decisions felt like such a waste. I didnít feel like I needed a lot of time to prepare since Iíve started dieting so many times and have all the information I need. So, I started by eating healthy that very same morning. I also put down two main goals that I knew would help me through my transformation:
1. To complete all my workouts (except serious disease or injury)
2. To not eat any processed sugars (except in very special occasions, but also then to eat minimal of it.)
My fifth break through was renewing my TT membership. I did do quite well in a transformation contest here a couple of years ago, and one of the main differences between that and all my other attempts after that was that I always stayed active on the TT members forum, even when things werenít going my way. So I decided to pay for a monthly subscription at least for the next three months. I also think that investing money in making these changes has further helped motivate me to stick to the program!
My sixth break through was that I was being flexible about my goals and planning. Iím an all or nothing person, and therefor, when in the past Iíve started overly ambitious programs and slipped up a little Iíve completely fallen off the whole program and gone back to my old ways. This time I decided to be flexible about my decisions and goals in order for my transformation to be sustainable. I have set goals every week, but this time, once I master a goal (for instance drinking a certain amount of water each day) I would loosen up on it a little bit to make it sustainable. If I drink 1.75 litres instead of 2 one day, thatís OK! Trying to do everything absolutely perfectly will only drive us all mad!
I also gave up on a few goals when I noticed they were no longer necessary. For instance, in the beginning I took pictures of everything I ate every single day and posted them on a blog to help me not eat anything I shouldnít. I stopped doing that after a couple of weeks because it simply took too much time and there was really no need for it. Having had all the other breakthroughs I didnít need to take those pictures to make me stay on track. If I had forced myself to continue I would probably have given up on the whole transformation because it was too time consuming and too much of a hassle. Iíve been evaluating my goals and adjusting them every single week after seeing what helps me lose fat that also works for me and my lifestyle. Gradually I am getting a more personalised plan that works better and better and is easier to follow.
So, to summarise, my 6 breakthroughs were:
* Accepting myself the way I was
* Getting the right motivation
* Realising I truly have the power to make decisions
* Not looking back
* Renewing my TT membership
* Being flexible about my goals and planning
There are many, many other things that have helped to, and Iíll try to quickly summarise some of them below.
Other helpful tools:
I keep reading about fitness related topics, listen to podcasts etc. to motivate and inspire me.
I eat as much fruit as I want! Since I donít eat any processed sugar, and little flour (bread) and potato, pasta etc. I allow myself to enjoy fruits! I also spend some extra money buying some more expensive fruits and berries than I would before, but itís still probably less than I used to spend on sweets.
My husband suggested that if I stick to my two main goals we can go to Paris together! (not actually THAT far since we live in a coastal city in southern England, but heís never really wanted to go, so to me that is great motivation as well!)
Iíve adapted fasting to fit my lifestyle. I always struggle with 24 hour fasts, but Iíve noticed fasting helps me lose fat faster, so I researched it more and found out that shorter fasts, 14-16 hours can be done daily and will give the same type of results. My weight loss sped up after I started doing this a couple of weeks ago.
I am still flexible though, and donít fast on Saturdays for instance since my husband and I enjoy having a nice Saturday morning breakfast together.
Iíve also been reading the book ďFrench Women Donít Get FatĒ by Mireille Guiliano which has helped inspire me and also helped me get a healthier relationship with food. Key elements are quality over quantity and to really, really enjoy your food rather than just munching it down.
Having knowledge about a healthy diet from previous dieting attempts has helped immensly. I base my current diet mostly on what Iíve learned from ďThe Diet SolutionĒ by Isabel de Los Rios and Dax Moyís ďThe elimination dietĒ. Iíve basically taken all the principles and adapted them to what I find in the stores close to me, foods I like, and my schedule.
(I would however advice others who are new to eating healthier foods to actually try following one of the first two mentioned programs. It is very helpful to learn which foods are good for you and which are not. And itís not enough to just read it, you have to actually follow it for a while to get used to it and get more experienced before making the choices on your own.)
I also try out new foods and dishes to expand my culinary experiences rather than narrowing them down!
I also track my calories in fitday from time to time to make sure I stay on track, and just out of interest really. It is very helpful to do this to make sure your portions donít start kreeping up, and also to discover caloric dense foods, and then cut back on or eliminate them. But again I am flexible, and do not force myself to constantly track everything I eat!
Good workout music always helps me a lot as well. If I donít feel like doing my workout Iíll start playing music from my workout playlist and in not too long Iíll have started doing my warm up, and before you know it Iím done with the whole workout!
Iíve also made special tracks for my interval training, using intense music for the fast paced intervals and calm music for the rests in between. This allows me to have more fun, to not have to look at a stop watch all the time and to only focus on my performance! It takes some time to do the editing, but it really is worth it!
I also write down how many reps I do of each exercise in each workout I do, and how long every workout takes, then I try to do more reps in a shorter amount of time next time! This really helps me push myself!
What Iíve achieved:
I havenít lost as much weight as I had hoped, and not as many centimetres as I would have preferred, but the scale is slowly moving in the right direction, my measurements are going down, and Iím running faster and doing more reps and better form in my workouts!
Iím also quite happy that Iím doing this without any supplements, and no equipment at all. No gym, no kettlebells, no dumbells, not even a stability ball. And I only need less than 2 square metres to do my workouts! (Except for my intervals which I do running outside, come rain or shine)
Iím proud to say that I haven't missed a single workout and Iíve only had sugar on two occasions, once at a dinner party where I had some home made brownie for dessert, and the other time was valentines dinner with my husband. I shared my dessert with him though (to prove to myself I was in control), and only had water to drink.
I am also quite excited to see that the changes I've made in my attitude and how I think is spreading to other areas of my life as well, and I'm looking forwards to seeing where all of this will take me!
But I think what Iím most happy with is that I feel confident I can keep this up. I feel happy, at ease, calm and in control, and honestly Iím not too worried about reaching my fat loss goals this competition because I feel I have found something that is sustainable to me. I can keep going without the contest, and I will keep going until I reach my goals and feel great! And when that happens Iíll feel so great and Iíll be so used to living like this that Iíll keep eating and exercising in a very similar way. I really truly believe this now, Iím not just wishing for it, or trying to make myself believe it. I believe it with all my heart, and it makes all the difference in the world.
6 Week Contest Statistics:
Iíve been using ďTT Bodyweight AbsĒ, beginner/intermediate and advanced
Hight: 174 cm
Weight: 156lbs -- 151.8lbs (-4.2lbs)
BMI: 23.72 -- 23.05 (-0.68)
BF%: 28.72/33.0 -- 25.20/30.8 (online calculator -3.5%, home scale -2.2%)
Lean body mass: 111.7lbs -- 113.54lbs (+1.84lbs)
Lbs of Body fat: 44.81 -- 38.26 (-6.55lbs of fat)
Measurements in cm:
R Upper arm - 31 -- 29.5 (-1.5cm/-0.6Ē)
R lower arm - 24.5 -- 24 (-0.5cm/-0.2Ē)
Chest (under bust) - 78 -- 74 (-4cm/-1.6Ē)
Waist (narrowest) - 72 -- 68.5 (-3.5cm/-1.4Ē)
Belly button (b.b.) - 84 -- 75.5 (-8.5cm/-3.3Ē)
"bump" below b.b - 90 -- 82 (-8cm/-3.1Ē)
Hips (above bum) - 94 -- 92 (-2cm/0.8Ē)
Hips (widest) - 106.5 -- 103 (-3.5cm/-1.4Ē)
R Thigh (widest) - 63.5 -- 61.5 (-2cm/-0.8Ē)
R Thigh (middle) - 51.5 -- 50 (-1.5cm/-0.6Ē)
R Above knee - 43 -- 41.5 (-1.5cm/-0.6Ē)
R Calf - 38 -- 37 (-1cm/-0.4Ē)
A big thanks to Craig Ballantyne for a great workout program, motivational e-mails and podcasts and to my husband for dealing with everything and cooking differently for my sake and so forth, and also a big thank you to everyone on the forum whoís been reading and replying to my posts, helping me stay motivated, and most of all helped me help myself find the right methods for me!
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