It’s nice to be able to sit down to write this post, nearly 3/4 of the way through my 12 Week Challenge, and be in a positive frame of mind. It probably helps that I’m sitting in a sunny window of a cosy cafe waiting for my breakfast to arrive – scrambled eggs with avocado, sausage and no toast. And a latte with full fat milk – don’t mind if I do! Sorry if I sound like a skite, but it sure does feel nice knowing that I got up early this morning, went for a run and did some hill sprints and body weight exercise and was home by 9am ready to start the day.
This has been a good week (oh, you could tell?) I think the conclusions I came to last week – to chill out a bit, up the carbs, and relax on trying to implement the Naturopath’s advice, were the right ones. I also deliberately messed with my usual routine. So I had an awesome PT session on Monday night and backed that up with a gym workout on Wednesday night and Friday night. Friday night! That’s for drinking and dancing, right? Not necessarily 😉 Tuesday and Thursday I did nothing but lots of walking – which is in itself a bit of a feat considering how foul our weather has been in Melbourne this week.
I also crafted a pretty yummy menu for myself, and enjoyed it so much I’m going to repeat it almost exactly this week. I had a sausage curry with veggies for dinner three nights last week and while it was yummy, it left me with the munchies an hour or so later, so this week I’m going to be smarter with the calories. Sausages can be a bit of a treat but they are fatty and the protein really isn’t enough to justify the calories. Tuesday night I had the munchies after dinner and ended up eating a rice cake with peanut butter and going over my calories by about 150, which I was pretty cross about. It’s not much, but it’s the principle of ‘failing’ which threatens to derail me every time. It was only the next day I looked back at my food diary and realised I’d stuffed up and hadn’t actually eaten the cauliflower mashed with butter, so it’s no wonder I was still peckish after dinner and craving something fatty.
Saturday night I experimented a bit with some vegan, gluten free and sugar free recipes. Only a year or so ago I would have laughed at that and thought, ‘well what the hell is left if you take all that out’? The answer is – plenty! I think it’s really exciting that there’s a whole new world of food possibilities opening up to us, and it’s become such a natural default position now to look for these healthier alternatives to old favourites. I’ll blog separately about what I made. There was nothing low carb about the meal, but it was fun to get creative in the kitchen.
I’m ⅔ of the way through this challenge and I’ve already reconciled myself to the fact that I’m not going to meet the goal I originally set myself of 3% fat loss. However I did cheat the other night and tested my body fat at the gym and found it was down 1.4% so that’s pretty exciting! If I can achieve a 2% fat loss overall, I’ll be happy, since I know (and you now know too if you’ve been reading along!!) that I’ve really only stuck to the plan for probably only 6 of the 9 weeks I’ve been at this so far. I also cheated a couple of weeks ago and tested my body fat and found to my despair that it had gone UP apparently to 31% (!!!) which made absolutely no sense to me considering I felt leaner and the other measurements I’d taken had been encouraging. So I came home feeling like a failure and jumped online to google the accuracy of the bioimpedance machine and found that a +/- 2% margin for error needs to be expected, and one of the possible reasons is levels of hydration. So this time, Wednesday, I made sure I drank plenty of water in the afternoon as well as the morning and the result I think was more accurate.
So! This week the plan looks much like last week:
Breakfast: egg, fetta and spinach scramble with sweet potato
Lunch: Crunchy asian salad with smoked chicken
Dinner: Either ½ a chicken breast or 150gm beef stirfried with a pile of veggies, chili, oyster sauce, garlic and ginger.
This menu gives me a perfect macronutrient split: 20% carbs, and 40% each fat and protein. Total of about 1700 calories which is fine for exercise days.
PT as usual on Monday night (last week we got up to 50kg deadlifts which I’m happy about considering it had been a while since we’d done any proper dead-lifting). And as with last week, I’ll go to the gym basically whenever I feel like it, and hopefully that’s at least 3 times. I also need to try and get in at least one run in addition to the weekend one, as I’m not going to make quick enough progress going only once a week.
I may have mentioned that I’m leaving Australia in October to go travel the world (or a fair portion of it), and I’d dearly love to be comfortably running a 5K again before I leave, as this is something I can likely do just about anywhere in the world I happen to be!
So that’s the plan, I feel good about it. Fingers crossed there are no self-sabotage meltdowns this week!
For previous 12 Week Challenge updates click here.