Just Do It
So last Monday, I joined a group of nervous (but determined) looking folks hovering in the foyer of the Absolute Body Systems Gym. Like me, they had reached the point where ‘something had to give’ (other than the buttons on our shirts!). And the ‘Six Week Body Challenge’ promised to be our turning point. An active programme of fitness classes and nutrition plans offered to ‘transform our bodies and lives. Well, who could resist that? Certainly not the fifteen people waiting to get started!
Of course, everyone in the foyer had their own reasons for being there – but what am I, Karen Riddick, hoping to ‘transform’ about my body and life? In other words, who and what am I now? And how do I want this to change?
Well, let me share the honest truth with you.
An Inconvenient Truth
Who am I? A forty-eight year old woman, pushing 13 stone. My arse looks like a pair of curtains that won’t close in the middle and my clothes keep getting caught up in folds of flesh that did NOT used to be there. I have half the energy that I had ten years ago. I wake up, every day, with a crippling grogginess and raging morning anxiety.
I used to be 10 stone so where did the extra three stone come from? The move from age forty towards age fifty has given me the ’10 lbs a decade’ that we are told to expect. But this, combined with the cessation of exercise in favour of hectic self-employment; the slowing down in order to care for my Dad and ….. now what was the other thing again? Oh yes – being a greedy bastard…… have all brought me to this point. And the point is that I do not want any of this to get worse!
In acting now, I don’t actually need much from my transformation. Just to lose a couple of stone, eat a bit more healthily, do some exercise and get my energy levels back. In particular, I would like to wake up in the morning and greet the new day with glee. Instead of lying there in a stupor of poor sleep, worrying that a loved one might die that day, I want to throw back the curtains and shout ‘Yes! Today I will be the best I can be! I am ready and eager to embrace everything’. Given that I sleep naked, the neighbours might be a bit shocked, but it is well known that, to state your intention with force, means you are far more likely to achieve it!
Anyway – now you have the background to why I started the six-week body challenge. So how did I survive the first week? Well I’m not sure really – but I did survive! On that first day, we were led from our holding position in the foyer and off to the first class – a circuits session that we all assumed would be a gentle introduction to our six-week programme. No chance! Instead we were ‘beasted’ like new army recruits! We were put through our paces until a couple of folk felt sick. But it was good.
The only reprieve to the class was that we were individually taken off to be weighed and monitored for body fat! Like a fine market pig, I weighed in at 12st 10lb which wasn’t a surprise, but I nearly collapsed when the body fat screen churned out my result. I might have read this wrong as it only flashed up for a moment – but I think it said 38.8% body fat! I thought our bodies were supposed to be 55% water? If I’ve got that much fat on me, it could mean that there is only 6.2% of me left if I get a bit dehydrated and lose all my fat! Dear God, I’ll be like Lord Voldermort every time they kill him, and he comes back as some shrunken half creature.
Truth Will Out
But let’s not dwell on that for now. I returned for the rest of the class and it was a tough hour for sure. Then Coach Lou asked if we had ‘achieved more than we expected’ – and we all thought we had. A great start!
We repeated the classes on Wednesday and Thursday (OK, OK, I confess to missing the Thursday class due to another engagement) but the programme fees mean that we can add voluntary classes whenever we want. For me it was Boxercise on Tuesday and Body Pump on Friday. Four classes in one week – didn’t I do well!!
I can also tell you that last Monday was the first day of our detox – a one-week cleansing session to prepare us for the weeks ahead. I found this surprisingly easy given that I am a well-known sugar addict. My frosties gave way to smoothies and my cheese sarnies were replaced with protein salad lunches, varied enough to have every day. The dinners were a mixture of meat, (quorn for veggies) and lots of greens. Sadly, I had to give up my beloved cups of tea, but I slowly got used to the herbal versions instead.
So, I mostly managed to stick to the detox week, although I can confess that, a few times, I lost the plot and spooned peanut butter straight out of the jar into my mouth. Also, I might, on occasion, (though I can’t be sure of course), have been a little over generous with the portion sizes. All in all, though – the detox week was pretty simple and straightforward.
Moment of Truth
Of course, a week isn’t long but, today, I still hoped to see the first signs of ‘transformation’. There is no official re-weighing and fat monitoring until next week but I could not resist a little half way peek on my own scales. And they tell me that I have lost four pounds. I haven’t lost ANYTHING from my body measurements though and so I am still straining at the waistband but, like I say, a week isn’t long enough to count!
Let’s not focus on weight and loose clothing though. More important is the definite sense that my energy levels have climbed a bit! I feel as if I have a little more Oomph! I am not quite as groggy and fretful in the morning and I find it easier to get up early. The other big change is that I have been singing more whilst going about my business. Mostly old classics like ‘Bless your Beautiful Hide’ but I’ve also belted out a couple of chart toppers whilst loading the dishwasher.
And so, after 7 days, I am feeling pretty happy with progress so far. A four-pound weight loss
plus a small spring in my step. The 7 days ahead will involve a personal meal plan in which protein, carbs, fat and veggies are all assigned according to our body shape and weight – and of course, more boot camp classes.
Next Monday we will have the official weigh in and fat monitoring so I’m hoping to have a fist pumping update to give you! Until then – pass the edamame beans will ya!