Jump 4.2 – Week 5

You know when you have those weeks where you just feel a bit blah, where no matter who much you try and do and even manage to do you have a nagging sense of failure.

That’s been me this week!

I’ve actually been pretty productive and got quite a lot done, I’ve trained, and I’ve eaten reasonably well – hitting a small calorie deficit, if not the 20% I was aiming for. I’ve also hardscaped my garden (which felt like it burnt around four million calories as well as burning my back!).

But I’ve not felt brilliant. The tough thing about these weeks is what do you do if you know you’re basically on track but you still feel a bit rubbish – it’s not the same as knowing you feel crap because you’ve not trained or have eaten nothing but takeaways.

What I have done is follow module 5 of Jump, get the training in, modifying it a bit on the days I felt crap and lethargic so I still did it just at a slightly reduced intensity. I’ve done yoga everyday, noted down things I’m grateful for every day, for more fresh air and generally tried to keep myself plodding along without dwelling to much on the nagging anxiety.

When we sign up to programmes or plans or start new health kicks we want 100% perfection and the moment we slip up or don’t do every single workout or eat every single meal we think I’ve fucked that up, I need to go back to the beginning and start again doing it 100% this time. This is why so many people don’t complete fitness programmes however they are structured.

Life is rarely uniform, things crop up all the time and the most successful lifestyles are ones which allow you to ride the ups and downs, have good weeks and bad weeks but importantly not stop and start again after the bad weeks.

To be fair just writing this reminds me that what I’ve felt of as a bad week really wasn’t bad at all, I’ve just not felt very sprightly and have been a bit run down. That’s not a reason to call a week a failure because if anything getting to the end of weeks like that and being able to brush yourself down and be ready for a new week is part of creating a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Jump 4.2 – Week 4

I’ve reached the half way point of Jump.

This week was a tough week – work, people, my period; you know those weeks where you aren’t feeling it- I’ve had one of those.

But the great thing I’m finding about this programme is that doesn’t matter. Life doesn’t need to be going perfectly to be able to work through it. Even though there’s been frustrations I’ve not felt down about it – I’ve used habits already practiced on weeks 1-3 such as writing down what I’m grateful for and what I have done well to stop myself getting down about what hasn’t worked and to stay upbeat and keep working to get things done nonetheless.

Training has been ok – I’ve not completed everything but I’ve had some good sessions. My food intake has been ok – I haven’t hit a calorie deficit this week – mainly because I’ve craved chocolate. Again what I’m pleased with here is how I feel about that. Sometimes these things would stress me out and make me feel like a failure because I haven’t done things perfectly. Right now I feel like perfect isn’t a necessity and although I’ve things I’d like to improve in week 5 I don’t feel like not being perfect so far has meant my experience on this programme hasn’t been useful so far.

This week’s message from my experience would definitely be that it’s worth changing your mindset towards yourself and your training / nutrition when want to improve how you feel and train.

JUMP 4.2 – Week 3

Week three of eight is almost over.

This week I moved from a Paleo based diet to monitoring calories. This has felt brilliant as as much as I can cope without bread it’s always nice to be able to eat these things when you fancy them.

I’ll openly admit that I’ve had cake or chocolate every day this week and have largely eaten what I fancy whilst sticking to making the majority of my meals rather than relying on ready made stuff.  Despite being quite relaxed I was pleased to come out in a nice 20% calorie deficit, a nice position to be in without actually trying.  That felt especially good as it makes me feel like my habits are strong enough to maintain a balance between eating well and enjoying food without having to fixate on what I’m eating.

Training wise I’m feeling good and despite it being Les Mills Launch week managed to get three training sessions in so I feel in control of my training.

I’ve also started focusing on what I’m grateful for, what I’m doing well and where I can compliment people.  Writing these things down daily takes a couple of minutes but really focusing the brain on thinking in a more positive way.  This really helped on Thursday when after having a horrible day at work I went home and moved on as opposed to letting it completely ruin the rest of my evening, a massive progression for me in terms of managing my own emotions.

After three weeks I’m feeling positive and loving that the exercises, videos and audio recordings don’t take up too much time and I can fit around everything else in my life.

Jump 4.2 – Week 2

Today I’m entering week 3 of Jump 4.2.

Yesterday I finished two weeks of eating a Paleo based diet and having spent last week reviewing my TDEE I am about to embark on a week where I track my calorie intake to help me see where I am food intake wise and hat I need to change to stay on track.

I do feel quite comfortable on a Paleo based diet and have in the past done 4 days on / 3 days off for long periods of time, so for me fourteen days wasn’t too tough, although weekends are still tough when you are used to being able to relax your diet a bit and social occasions require thought and planning if you want to stay on track.

The reward for sticking to it however was worth it.  Yes I’ve lost  little weight (around 4kg but my weight fluctuates a lot anyway so this number doesn’t mean lots) and my body fat went down whilst muscle mass increased (according to my scales I would add so again take that as you will depending on how you feel about scales).

More importantly for me I feel better- less bloated, more energetic and like I’m fully back in the habit of eating homemade, fresh food over processed foods.  I think you can see a difference around my waist and I feel like my skin looks brighter.

Today I’ve had toast with my breakfast (which also contained plenty of protein and veg) and a really nice slice of homemade coffee and walnut cake courtesy of a colleague, my lunch has still essentially been chicken and veg.  Mentally I’ve noticed how much I’ve enjoyed adding foods back into my diet without feeling guilt, instead focusing on how much I’ve enjoyed what I’ve eaten today.

Training wise I’ve largely stuck to my normal training routine, although where I’ve had time I have tried out some of the sessions (I’ve done three so far), and these have been challenging but fun.  I like the fact they have all taken less than an hour to complete and that each one has a clear focus and is easily adaptable to your own current fitness levels and equipment availability.

There is also a strong mindset focus each week and this week the focus has been on morning routines.  I have long felt I need to work more on my morning routine as I often feel rushed in the morning.  This week has made me realise that in order to get my shit together in the mornings I need to get a better night time routine to help me get to bed earlier ad get a good night sleep so I’m less desperate to snooze come morning.

A week with a trip to Edinburgh and being away from home over the weekend wasn’t the best week to get into regular night and morning routines but this week I am making it my one goal to really develop a more positive morning routine.

The thing I like most about this programme so far is being able to read through the downloads and listen to the audios and videos when it suits me rather than having to be in a particular place at a set time.

All in all I’ve enjoyed the first fortnight and am looking forward to week 3, and to keep me accountable I will update you again next week!

Jump 4.2 – Week 1

This week I started two weeks of Paleo based eating.  I’m currently on day 5 and feel like I’m starting to get into a rhythm with it.  The first couple of days I find hunger always hits a little no matter how much I eat and I often feel a bit of a drop in energy as my body adjusts to not having some of the things it’s used to.

I’ve tried to keep my meals varied with eggs, chicken, pork, salmon, different vegetables, salad and fruits as well as nuts and so far haven’t missed chocolate too much- although all the nice cakes and biscuits people keep leaving in the kitchen at work don’t make this easy!  Thankfully I normally drink black coffee so the lack of milk isn’t too much of an issue.

The reason I’m doing this is that I’ve decided to work through the 8 week Jump 4.2 Programme with Ricky Long.

I’ve trained with Ricky for a couple of years and his coaching has always extended beyond simply giving you a training plan, so he has encouraged the formation of numerous habits and mindset shifts for me in that time.

This has allowed me to be in a position where I am able to be involved in helping support those who are going through (and have previously gone through) Jump.

I realised however that what I haven’t yet done however is actually fully work through the full 8 weeks from start to finish in the format and order the programme lays them out in myself.  This is something I felt would be both useful in allowing a greater understanding of the challenges within the programme so I can provide more support whilst also continuing to work on my own mindset, habits and fitness.

I haven’t started the workouts or mindset work as yet but plan to get going with that this weekend.

I’m committing this down on my blog to hold myself accountable to you for the next 8 weeks and plan to keep a regular diary of my progress on here over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about what I’m doing please contact me and I’ll be happy to answer anything you may want to know.

Patience, Honesty, Yoga

Over the last two weeks I’ve taken on my own little personal challenge.

I think I’ve mentioned before how I struggle with my flexibility (I know planks of wood that bend more) and as much as I’m aware I need to work on this and it’s something I would always say to clients and class members it’s an area of my health that I neglect.

With this in mind and knowing that tightness in my hip and quad is very probably the cause of a recent knee injury I sign up for a twelve week yoga course.  Several things appealed to me about this course.

  • It’s all video based so you can do it in your own time following the instructor via a weekly video.
  • The yoga instructor is also a Body Combat instructor and having seen a previous video they had produced on mobility wok for Body Combat I felt this was likely to a type of yoga beneficial to my mobility.
  • Each week has a different focus which appealed to both my limited concentration span and learning a variety of moves to be able to use going forward as and when I want or need to focus on one area.
  • The sessions are around 20-25 minutes long and you are encouraged to practice several times across the week rather than just doing one hour long yoga practice- this for me seemed much more manageable.
  • You are also part of a group with weekly Facebook lives where you can ask questions and get feedback, for someone not from a yoga background that is really useful and increases your accountability.

So far I’ve practiced three times in week one, twice on week two and once so far this week (week three) although I intend to get another two to three sessions in this week.

In my head when I signed up I said to myself – I will practice every single day.  That obviously hasn’t happened, but that’s OK, because I’ve gone from zero mobility work to 50 minutes plus a week over the last couple of weeks.  However you look at it, that is progress.

Another thing that I have gleaned from the last couple of weeks – and it’s been centred around the yoga practice but is really key to how you approach all aspects of your own health / fitness regime – is about being honest with your practice.

By being honest with your yoga practice they mean accepting your body and it’s current ability.  That means not progressing a move to progress it until you are comfortable and performing the current move week.  It means acknowledging when you need to adapt a move to get the best out of your session and not being too proud to do so.

These two key elements of the mindset of your yoga practice are equally beneficial when applied to the rest of your training.

I’ve had lots of conversations with people over the last few weeks, and can openly admit it’s something I’m prone to do as well, about the all or nothing approach to fitness.  We want to be fit and healthy – and we want it now.  Society is result oriented and whilst we all want change we also want it now, we tend to be less keen on the idea that those results can take time and require gradual change.  It’s why we do often start a new plan or course with the intention to commit 100%  and then get disheartened and feel like we have failed when we aren’t 100% perfect in week one.  Then we get the urge to quit, start again, that this isn’t for me.

The reality is few of us will ever do anything 100% perfectly.  Life will get in the way, require adaptations and compromises and if we give up on things when the first stumbling block comes along we will not reach our goals.

What experience does show me however is that if you do stick to things for ‘most of the time’ results come.  Set backs are just that, they aren’t the end of the road, simply something to overcome and move on from.  If you are doing nothing and this week you do something you have progressed.  Results may be slower but they will be more long lasting.  Quick fixes tend to be quickly back to ‘where you were before’ as well.

Equally, being honest about where you are and want to be with your fitness is important.

Your goals need to be reflective of the effort you can put in.  If you can train twice a week then training for a physique show is unlikely to be a realistic goal for you.  However, reducing your body fat and getting fitter in two sessions a week is entirely possible.

You also need to be honest about what you are really doing.  Putting weight on even though you’re eating less? Yet you aren’t using my Fitness Pal to track your calories and aren’t really counting the calories in your two coffee shop coffees or the sauces that you put on food because they are barely anything.  It’s easy to think you are in a calorie deficit but when you track EVERYTHING realise you aren’t.  It really comes down to being honest about what you are doing.

You could even go more specific- what do you lift?  Do you lift it was strong technique?  Would you get more out of your session if you lifted less, better?

My message for this blog, which following the conversations I’ve had recently more than just me needs to remember, is this.

Wherever you are at with your fitness goals, it is a continuous journey, when you reach a goal it doesn’t end, new goals will arise and you will keep on working.  What you can do and, indeed, want to do will change over time.  Sometimes you will not do everything right, maybe for days and weeks on end, that doesn’t mean starting over or failure.  Sometimes you will meet people who can lift more than you, are leaner, more flexible and this doesn’t mean you have failed because the only progress that genuinely matters is what you can do now compared to what you could do before.

Patience and honesty are key tools to have in your fitness armour.

Also, I can highly recommend adding a bit of yoga to your life!

I have been practicing Yoga with The Kicking Asanas 12 Week Yoga Challenge.  You can find more information on the services Michelle offers here:

The Kicking Yogi

What are you prepared to do?

How often do you look at someone on Instagram or Facebook with a before and after picture showing a  massive transformation?  When you do, do you ever think I wish that was me?

People like change, lost six stone, gone from couch to marathon runner.  How appealing does that sound.

So why do we not see more transformation pictures?  Because we don’t like changing.

See to make a massive change in your life you have to makes changes to the way you do things.  That’s the hard thing; that’s why people like the idea of skinny coffee or diet pills; because the idea of doing the same things and getting results just by drinking a magic potion each day sounds amazing.

Reality check.  That isn’t how it works.  If you want results you need to work for it.  And to be brutally honest, you need to work at it for a bloody long time.

Let me introduce you to my friend Emma.

Emma has just finished a 16 week nutrition, training, mindset programme called JUMP 4.2.  Here are her results from those 16 weeks.

Now here’s the thing.  You know what she did?  She ate extremely well for 16 weeks without exception.  She didn’t eat chocolate for 16 weeks – I mean my mind is boggled by that!  She followed the JUMP 4.2 programme and more.

She trained. Hard.  Think of hard and then times it by two to get what I mean.  She did the workouts on the programme and taught her classes and did extra training on top of that.

 

She didn’t need to do that.  I know, as does she, that she would have got amazing results following the programme without extras.  It worked for me, it’s worked for so many others.

But she decided that she was in the right place to really commit and push her body to see what it could do.  She made a choice to do more.  Jump is massively about mindset as much as it is about eating and training- because mindset is crucial to succeeding and being happy with your nutrition and training.  Emma used the mindset work to transform her routine and outlook on her life to allow her to work so hard to make such a dramatic change.

Background done, here’s point one.  Emma made a choice.

Emma decided she wanted to see how far she could go.  She then made the changes, the sacrifices, put in the work to get there.  Those results show her effort over 16 weeks.  She didn’t sign up for a course and assume that would change her.  She knew she had to work and her effort levels are how she got the results she did.

Point two.  Taking that on board – how hard do you WANT to work?  There isn’t a right answer here.  I am fit, healthy, eat well, am in good shape.  I don’t have a six pack.  But you know what- I don’t eat or train like someone who wants one.  I enjoy food, train often but in short sharp bursts, so I know I won’t get those same results from what I do.  I admire Emma massively, I’m also aware that if I want those results I would need to work as hard as she has, which right now I don’t want to do.  I’m happy with that, I work to a level that provides me the results I have and I’m happy with that position.  I know if I want to change my results I will need to change my lifestyle.

Emma and I discussed this and agreed the thing we would love people to understand is you get out what you are willing to put in. Everyone’s happy place, everyone’s goal is different so the level of work rate will also be different.  To be happy you need to find where you honestly want to be and what you are honestly prepared to do to get it and check those two align.

If they do then you will be in a position to reach your goal and be satisfied with your achievement. There are others who have recently completed 16 weeks and reached their goals which looked completely different – some were aimed at achieving certain milestones they set out at the start which were specific sport performance based, for instance. Honesty with yourself about what you want and what you are prepared to give to get it matters if you do want to create change.

Final point, Emma’s journey didn’t really take 16 weeks. It took around six years. Emma was overweight, she lost weight, became a fitness instructor. That in itself was a transformation worthy of pictures and praise. She knew she still was not where she wanted to be. She had confidence issues, didn’t quite feel as happy as she felt she was meant to, having lost lots of weight. She had succeeded but still didn’t feel at ease with her relationship between her diet, training, life.

So the last 16 weeks were an extension of the last six years – a continuation on a journey where she honed new skills to bring herself to a happy place which allowed her to take her results that one step further. The physical transformation in these pictures was 16 weeks, the mental transformation took years.

So if things aren’t moving fast enough for you don’t worry – there are no deadlines for when you must hit a goal, and there’s no harm in reaching one goal and realising as pleased as you are it wasn’t the goal you really needed to hit and taking more action. That wasn’t a failure on the first transformation, just acknowledgement that striving to improve will always lead you to want to improve further and further. I know Emma won’t just stop now, whether she change focus or continues to work as she is she won’t stop growing.

Saturday thoughts:

  • If you want change you need to change things.
  • It’s OK not to aim for what anyone else is aiming for. Pick you goal and work to that. That doesn’t have to be a certain dress size that could be to feel in control of you eating. That’s a transformation too.
  • Change takes time and change is continuous.
  • Don’t be afraid to celebrate your successes.
  • Don’t be afraid to look for help.

This is genuinely not an advert, I wanted to do a blog about something relevant to me and also celebrate my friend’s success but if you want to find out about the programme JUMP 4.2 and how it can help you reach your goals let me know and I’ll be happy to chat.

If you’ve had enough of me talking you can log interest here and get emails about how to join instead!

JUMP 4.2