Diet and training update: 3 weeks out: feeling sh*t, dieting and cutting 

​The title says it all really! I’m just taking a moment to share some of the downsides of dieting because I think it would be unbalanced to gloss over it, I also think social media and content often highlights only the good bits!

As the weeks have spun on my calories have dropped little by little and I’m now in quite a substantial deficit while the last few bits of fat loss are chipped away. At last check I was sitting around 13% body fat at 50kg.

Dieting for a competition or goal is very stressful on the body… I doubt that’s news to you, it sure isn’t news to me! As expected cutting/dieting is having an impact on several physical and mental aspects of my mind and body, such as:

  • I’m tired
  • I’m grumpy
  • I miss my boobs
  • I miss socialising over food with my boys and friends
  • I miss my sex drive
  • I keep falling asleep sitting up
  • I’m near constantly hungry
  • I can’t concentrate
  • My strength seems low
  • And all I talk about is the gym and my food!

So all in all, feeling pretty sh*t right now and I’m pretty delicate. I got real sad when Laurie took my morning protein oats out and I had to give my head a wobble… There are far more serious things going on in the world; war, famine, injustice, and here I am having a melt down over a few weeks without oats. Pretty pathetic right?

My body perception is completely warped now too. One day I think “OK I’m looking on track” and another day I’m thinking “why am I still so fat”.  These swings of perception seem to have ramped up now I’ve got less time to play with (20 days to go). It’s a phenomenonal mental challenge to not allow yourself to be drawn in to self loathing and criticism. This whole process absolutely magnifies every aspect of your body, and I consider myself to be relatively level headed, but even so, this is tough!

I think one thing that’s really driven home to me now is that all of the above really indicates how this kind of diet and lifestyle is just not sustainable long term, at least not for me anyway!

In the digital world we’re blasted with images of fit girls and competitors who look incredible seemingly day in, day out. These girls have millions of followers and fans wanting to know what the secret is, what the diet plan is, what the training plan is. But there isn’t really any big secret. I truly believe looking like that is a full time job, and it has to be one you’re truly dedicated to.

I have no doubt that people do really love and enjoy this process with the good and the bad, but I just feel like it’s not for me. I’m certainly pleased that I’ve done it, it’s been an exploration of myself, my motivation and my will power. It’s definitely taught me some valuable lessons that I can apply to other areas of my life, like self discipline and restraint.

So what’s next?

Right now I probably look the best I ever have… So wouldn’t it be great to sustain that long term? Well of course, but do I want to do this every year, F*£K no!

I work full time and I’m studying for a diploma and so all my weekends are spent studying and all my evenings after work are spent training in the gym. My body and mind are starting to cry out for some balance. As it is I have little time for my creative projects – and the horror I’ve had to give up my favourite hobby, baking! This is really nagging at my soul, and although diet and training are definitely a huge part of my life, I don’t want it to be my life!

I’ve been on the path to a healthier lifestyle since early 2013 and I intend on continuing it. I love eating for health, I enjoy training and seeing my body change and I’m not going to return to circa 2010 Amy who used to eat chocolate for tea – though that does sound like #lifegoals right now I have to say.

Once this prep is over I’m going to really work out what my long term aspirations are, and never say never, but I have a feeling year round abs are probably not going to make the cut! ?

Review: Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion – Keratosis Pilaris and Dry Skin

Unequivocally nothing has made a difference like the product I am reviewing here and so I wanted to share my experience with the Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Lotion (now renamed Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion).

The great escape from smokers corner

It took me a while to realise that cigarettes were truly keeping me captive. Sure, sometimes they felt like a great release, a little break, a moment to think and chat with friends; a social bond. But really, I was a slave to a rolled up piece of paper with a bunch of cut up leaves. And frankly I felt quite ridiculous for that fact.

How I finally found the motivation to start

I was the kind of girl at school that would forge notes to get out of PE (sorry mum). I hated it. I’ve got asthma and I ran like a pigeon (I probably still do), so for me anything involving sport was just a means of me hideously embarrassing myself.

Taking that through to adulthood I still had a phobia of anything that was going to push my body too far, because it was uncomfortable and a horrifically pointless waste of energy to me. I have dipped in and out of going to the gym on occasion. And by that I mean sitting on a treadmill for two minutes and rewarding myself with some congratulatory chocolate immediately afterwards.

Alongside my irrational fear of anything heartbeat inducing, I’ve always had quite an unhealthy relationship with food. If I felt down some days I would eat nothing at all, or worst case I would eat 7 chocolate bars and an onion ring sandwich. I knew nothing about nutrition and little about cooking. Baking on the other hand, well, I can whip you up a batch of cookies in 15 minutes flat!

I’ve never been very big but I’ve yoyo’d from my smallest at a size 4-6 (7st 6lbs), to my biggest at a size 10-12 (8st 9lbs). The weights don’t sound that different I know, but I am short and a small weight gain is a big difference on me!

The most important thing, though, is I was not healthy or physically fit…

That defining moment

The turning point for me was on a holiday a couple of years ago. I noticed a mum playing with her child in the swimming pool and she had an incredible figure, slim but muscular. She was probably ten years older than me and I was in awe of her.

I looked back on the photos of myself in a bikini from that holiday and I was suddenly very ashamed of myself. There was no excuse for me, I was young, I had few responsibilities and yet here I was looking like an absolute blob in comparison. And yes maybe you shouldn’t compare… but I did, and I’m glad for it.

I had a really tough year last year, it’s not something that I am going to go in too much detail with just yet (we lost a close family member to cancer). But personal challenges left me having to reconfigure my life, find a new home and start a new chapter in my life. At this point I was very contemplative and my health and fitness was one thing I thought I could drive all that negative energy in to.

After that I read hundreds of articles. Hundreds. I confused myself, went round in circles, and then finally settled on Paleo and yep I lost a stone in weight. But… I looked bad for it. I looked skinny and flat… nothing like slim-muscular-goddess-swimming-pool lady. Not only that but I suffer with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also known as Seasonal Allergy Syndrome) and the paleo diet was leaving me with very few options.

Now I needed some guidance, I didn’t know what to do in a gym or what I should be eating to get where I wanted to be… so I chose a local PT and approached them for a nutrition and training plan.

Armed with more knowledge and direction I gained the confidence to go to the gym by myself. I was no longer bumbling around looking lost meagrely picking up a dumbbell and holding it like it might give me rabies. I went with purpose, knowing what I was doing and I got my training done.

If you’re struggling to find the motivation, I strongly suggest you find a coach or PT to get you started!

Amy-Kate