Saturday, 2 April 2016

The End of the Challenge: Day 50 (well...49.5)

The day of reckoning! I have felt so much better in myself the past few weeks and my IBS has improved.  I'm also pretty proud of how much I've resisted sugar and alcohol.   I even achieved my first pull up during the challenge.

DAY 50  

WEIGHT 54.5KG (8ST 10LBS)  -1.5KG

WAIST 68.5 CM (26.9 INCHES)  -1.5CM

BODY FAT 19.4%                          -5.6%BF


Can't deny I'm pretty pleased with that body fat percentage.  One of my original goals was to lose 3-5% BF and I thought that was unrealistic but over 5% has been achieved!  I can feel the difference around my middle, even on the days my IBS has made me bloated.  I'm hoping that means the 1.5KG I've lost has been mainly fat rather than muscle.  I'm a little disappointed with my waist measurement as I didn't realise that this was taken around the belly button as opposed to the traditional narrowest part of the abdomen.  That was the area I'd been measuring weekly and it has reduced from 26.8 inches in Week 2 to 25.9 inches in Week 7.  I'm fitting into my old very small shorts again which is nice.

I'd taken some before (left) and after (right) pictures and I was really indecisive over whether to post them but have decided I'm going to brave it (the messy background is not my room!).

I don't think you can tell a massive difference between the photos - the lighting wasn't great and it was a bloated day -  but I do think you can see some more definition on my stomach in the first picture.  I was surprised by the reduction in BF as I can't tell that much looking in the mirror though I feel lighter in general. I've got loads more definition in my upper back - all the pull up practice!

Did I hit my goals?

  • To lose 3-5% of my body fat  - Yes (5.6%)
  • To train 4-5 times a week (Crossfit, swimming, climbing, Pilates, hiking) - No though this was due to my foot being difficult to walk on some weeks and being away at weekends meant I couldn't do swimming etc.  Exercising regularly and adapting the Crossfit classes for injured me is something I'm going to focus on now.
  • Defeat the sugar addiction - I don't think it will EVER be defeated but I'm learning to manage it (I've not touched a single bit of my Easter chocolate in my kitchen cupboard yet!).
  • Commit to physio and get back running - No, sadly I'm no closer to running than I was 7 weeks ago which makes me pretty depressed. I'm trying to focus on other things whilst I wait for an MRI but nothing quite fills than gaping hole in my life right now.  

What have I learnt?

  • I have developed a love for fancy coffee I never had before!
  • I can get better quality sleep - I was getting 7-8 hours before but it was very restless and light.
  • I cooked many new recipes - especially how to make home-made versions of formally perceived healthy convenience foods - houmous, soup, bread etc.  My boyfriend has been very good at inventing FODMAP friendly bread and pizza recipes based on quinoa, spelt and buckwheat flour.  I've also learnt to pre-soak legumes and cooked new foods such as mung dal, miso and seaweed.  I ate more eggs and less dairy than I would usually.  
  • I can control my sugar addiction - the few times I had sugar I appreciated home-baked goods - not any old chocolate processed rubbish!!
  • Socialising without alcohol is fun - work night outs, time with friends, being the designated driver on a pub tour of Sheffield even!
  • I have found new activities to enjoy including swimming, climbing, pilates and walking.
  • The mental focus of the Challenge has been excellent discipline to stave away depression from lack of running - great to have upped my weight on KB swings and got 2 pull ups in a row now!
  • My boyfriend and friends are pretty awesome supportive people (though I sort of knew that already).

Looking forward...
I don't want to lose all the ground I've gained so the plan is to stick to my new habits as much as possible and keep alcohol and sugar as treats.  I'm aiming to get my BF% done in a few months time and am hoping to maintain it.

If you want to take a nosey at what I've been eating...