Last time you heard from me, I was feeling a bit blue. I’d ditched the PT, ditched the gym and suffered a world of pain from spinning. Since then, I’ve done zero exercise. Diet-wise, I’ve not been too bad, nor have I been too great, so my weight has stayed more or less the same. I have felt de-motivated, de-skilled, bored.
My sister came to stay with me in September. We had previously been discussing this thing called “The Body Coach“. Basically, this guy is like a hotter, possibly more annoying, Russell Brand. If, like me, you occasionally enjoy the feeling of being enraged by other human beings, check out some of his Lean in 15 meal video thingies on Instagram.
Are you feeling suitably irritable? Great stuff.
Aside from the videos, the other thing that he puts on his Instagram the body transformations of people that have done his “90 Day Shift, Shape and Sustain” plan. Now, I’m a fairly sceptical person. I tend to err on the side of my glass being half empty (always where there’s wine involved), but there’s no getting away from the fact that some of these transformations are pretty amazing. Yes yes yes, I know, I’m sure lots of them are sucking their tummies in and so on, but so many of them have properly changed shape. And loads of them have changed dramatically in just four weeks.
After some pondering, a lot of freaking out and a bit of alcohol induced bravado, my sister and I signed up. The basic idea of the plan is lots of protein, minimal carbs, lots of HIIT (for those, like my brother, who are blissfully ignorant as to what HIIT is, it is “high intensity interval training”. Here is Hotter Russell Brand doing some HIIT and nearly dying. And he is stacked.) The plan is divided into three cycles, each of 30 days.
After submitting my lengthy questionnaire and The Dreaded Photos of me in my underwear (utterly revoting, and that’s after I’ve lost 2 stone) I disappeared on holiday for a week which was utterly blissful. What was less blissful was that cycle 1 of the plan landed in my inbox the day I arrived. THE HORROR. Firstly, it was 100 pages long. Granted, lots of those are recipes, but 100 is still a little much to take in on an iPhone. Secondly, there is a lot of turkey involved. Not to get all TMI on your ass, but FatFran can’t eat turkey. Turkey is massively illness-inducing. I had told them this; they appear to have ignored it.
When I returned from holiday, I sat down and made a shopping list. Chicken. Chicken. More chicken. Spinach. Chicken. Eggs. MISERY. And, man alive! Expensive. I was feeling very deflated. The recipes all sounded weird, the quantities were odd (12g coconut oil, anyone?) and the exercise looked terrifying. But despite all my misgivings, I started on Tuesday…sort of. I had intended to do HIIT on the first day. This was scuppered by a long, late call with my boss, so I was going to do it on Wednesday. This was scuppered by getting home from work at 9:15pm, needing to eat dinner and make breakfast and lunch for the following day. So the HIIT actually started on Thursday.
In the interests of full disclosure and shiz (the “shiz” being “maybe this will motivate me to actually get off my arse and do the HIIT), I’ve decided to be brave and show you my pre-workout photo. WARNING: Lycra is involved.
HORRENDOUS. You see why I need to do something about this, yes? HIIT session one didn’t feel very successful – it’s incredibly hard and sweating gives me major anxiety. I only managed to do two-thirds of what I intended to do, so I felt pretty defeated. Since then, I’ve only done one other HIIT session which was yesterday morning, before I’d eaten anything. It went a lot, LOT better. I did it all, so HURRAH! I had been meaning to do it again today, but it turns out that I’ve spent all of today feeling nauseous and like I’ve been hit (HIIT?) by a bus. This means that I’m going to have to get On It next week.
Onto the food! There’s been a lot of it. The quantities have stressed me out. Part of the reason that I’ve already lost 2 stone is because I’ve been eating a lot less, so I wasn’t particularly thrilled to suddenly be faced with enormous portions. I freaked out a considerable amount on day 1, but I’m starting to get used to it.
Clockwise from top left: omelette with spinach and feta (this is the first omelette I’ve had in years following an incident in America where I was force-fed an omelette filled with bananas and sour cream – I’ve thus avoided them for the last 22 years); cashew chicken curry (delicious but too darn big); post-workout fragrant brown rice with spiced chicken; chicken stir fry.
5 kilos of chicken for £20 (SUCH a bonus working near Smithfield Market); revolting chia/flaxmeal/oatmeal stuff – slimy and disgusting – the one truly unpleasant thing I’ve eaten this week; post-workout bagel with three types of protein; satay chicken with courgetti;(really delicious).
Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, spring onions, feta and spinach; aaaand again, because it was SO GOOD – Ralphie even wanted to get involved and she doesn’t even like human food; teriyaki tuna with courgetti; mushroom and mozzarella omelette (check me out with my omelettes!)
So. Much. Food. Until today, it was going quite well, but I think I’m in the midst of a protein overload. I feel a bit nauseous, I feel like I’m cooking constantly, eating constantly, washing up constantly. I’m making double of every meal to have for lunch the following day. Breakfast is difficult – Hotter Russell Brand basically wants you to eat these types of meals for breakfast which just isn’t happening. It takes me a lot to even get a coffee down me in the morning so chicken stir fry just isn’t going to happen. I’ve therefore become overly reliant on this:
No, not a liquidised Mr Blobby, it’s an avocado, lime and raspberry smoothie. Apparently this should only be had twice a week due to its low calories (it has avocado in it…low calorie? Really?) but I’m sticking two fingers up to the plan and doing what I need to get through this. The smoothie stays.
So there we are. This is me for (hopefully, if I can manage it) the next 3 months. It is not going to be easy; the food is better than I’d expected it to be, but the volume is borderline stressful. The exercise is going to be my biggest challenge as I just hate everything about it. My aim: 5 HIIT sessions this week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday. Tune in next week to see whether I came even close to managing it.