I have followed a few different Health & Fitness Plans over the last couple of years. Some have not made much impact on my life but others have taught me new ways to exercise, educated me and led me to change the way I eat and live. Last year I signed up to the Bodycoach 90 Day SSS Plan and completed it with a high degree of success. It completely changed how I exercised and ate. I lost 1 ½ stone in weight and dropped two dress sizes. I have to confess it took me slightly longer than 90 Days to complete as I had a couple of major life changes in the middle (moving house and a new job). When I finally graduated from the plan in September last year I was back to my pre-menopausal size. Unfortunately I only managed a couple of months of staying on track. Work became a major priority in my life and I struggled to find the time to exercise. Working long hours meant my diet went out the window particularly during the Winter months when my Seasonal Affective Disorder set in. Unsurprisingly, I gradually put on half the weight I lost on the Bodycoach plan and was teetering on having to wear a larger clothes size. I felt disappointed in myself and unhappy with the fact that everything I had worked so hard for the previous year was slowly unraveling.
As my mood darkened I also became disillusioned with the one thing that always kept me going, Instagram. My insecurities were not helped by the rise of the “fashion blogger” that seemed to be taking over my feed. Beautiful “skinny minnies” constantly showcasing a constant stream of new clothes on a daily basis only made me feel even more unattractive and worthless. Not a good combination for someone who is prone to depression. The one place that was always my savior when I felt down suddenly became fuel for my low self esteem.
A kick up the proverbial backside, by my ever supportive husband, saw me step away from social media and take a break from my Instagram page. He also dragged me out of the house for a few short walks to try and stop me from making the sofa my permanent home. He encouraged me start looking after myself again and so I created a new Instagram account @wigglewhenyouwalk to start posting daily pictures related to wellness and well-being. This led me to follow new accounts in Instagram that were health and fitness based and after following @figuremagician for a couple of weeks I purchased her book, Lean for Life.
I read the book in one sitting and felt inspired for the first time in Months. Her plan consists of simple but effective exercises and easy to make tasty recipes. But it is not just another recipe book. It also includes elements of well-being and lifestyle, which particularly resonated with me. It had everything I was looking for to reiginite my passion for food and fitness. I started her 42 Day Transform Plan in the middle of May and within a few days I felt my physical and mental energy return. Suddenly I was excited about food again and enjoying trips to the gym. I even took a couple of days off work, for the first time since Christmas and felt confident to ask the personal trainer at my gym to show me how to use some of the new equipment such as TRX and Sand Bags.
This weekend I finally complete the 42 Day Plan. It has not been a difficult plan to follow. It allows quite a lot of freedom, which is where it differs from the Bodycoach SSS Plan. I did not feel restricted in my food choices and although I didn’t follow the specific exercises everyday I did use them as a basis for circuit training in the gym.
I did struggle to keep to the plan in the last 10 days, but this is more to do with my personality than the plan itself. I have a very short attention span and struggle to stick to any one routine for too long. I am not going to continue with the next phase of the plan. I feel I have taken from it what I need. However, Lemonizing is going to be a permanent fixture in my morning routine.
At the end of the plan I feel lighter and trimmer. I have seen some small changes including a 4lb weight loss and over an inch off my waist, hips and thighs. I can see a little muscle definition appearing but I don’t feel that it helped me shift any of the stubborn fat from my tummy area.
That does not mean this plan is a failure, I think that it would be a great to follow after a fat loss plan. The Cardio Sculpt exercises are brilliant for toning and shaping, but for me are not as high intensity as the bodycoach HIIT workouts. If like me, you have stubborn fat to shift, it may be better to follow a fat loss plan first and then move onto this plan to sculpt and tone your body.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has fallen out of love with food and fitness, as the simplicity of it helps ease you gentally back into a healthy routine. There are lots of elements to love and I will continue to use this book as inspiration for designing my own plan. Which is the next step in my quest to be fit, strong and healthy before I hit 50.
If you want to take a look at this book I have posted a link on my blog page “Things I Love” under Health & Fitness Books.
Thanks for reading.