Jenny’s Fitness Journey: Small Changes Make a Big Difference

I’ve made it to half way!

I would do a little victory dance, but things have suddenly changed. Reaching this milestone means that this challenge no longer seems like a long-distance feat, but now more of a gruelling sprint to the finish. Albeit an uphill sprint with 50-odd hurdles coming my way, but it’s certainly time to ramp it up and get this transformation well and truly in the bag!

This week has been a funny one. As always, it’s come with its highs and lows, but mostly it’s come with the realisation that I can do this. I didn’t doubt myself at the start, but I was curious to see how far I could push myself and how compliant I would be as a ‘client’.

I wondered if my passion for all things edible would derail my progress or whether my three-hour total daily commute to work would prove to be too tiring. Yet, I am quietly confident that I have got this.

The food is simple, I’m in such a good routine with my meal prep, and I have such tasty go-to meals that it doesn’t ever feel like a chore. On non-training days, I look forward to my Greek yoghurt, and on training days I look forward to my steak dinner.

I’ve made it this far, and this week I have had the realisation that things have started to become part of a strange, new routine; a routine that I quite enjoy and am likely to miss in six weeks’ time. They say it takes 28 days to build a habit and I feel as though I’ve built a hundred habits in the last six weeks. Meal prep every evening – easy. Vomit-inducing training multiple times a week – nailing it. Planning what to eat before going out with friends – simple. Washing enough gym wear for the week ahead – well, nearly cracked it.

The one big struggle this week has been with my energy levels.

I haven’t felt tired; it’s more that everything seems to require a little extra effort. I usually race around everywhere (mostly across the city centre between trains and buses) but this week involved approaching stairs with a big sigh, and sometimes I would get back home from work and just sit in my car on the drive for five minutes, not quite ready to be out of a seated position. I mentioned this to my trainer throughout the week, and he told me to keep a check on it.

The personal trainers at UP are known as the best in the business for a reason.

On Friday’s session when I went for a 125kg trap-bar deadlift on my final set I pulled just one. The bar wouldn’t budge even when we lowered the weights again, so I pushed out a high-rep final set at 115kg, and my trainer factored in a mini-refeed for the following day.

When I say a ‘mini refeed’, I’m talking about an extra portion of rice. That’s 50g of extra carbs – nothing massive, but just a trial to see if it helped with my energy levels and hopefully had a positive impact on my weight.

It did the trick. The following few days my weight dropped again, and my energy levels (and positivity levels!) seemed to increase. I’m sure part of this was a psychological effect of thinking ‘Hey, I had more food, so I’m going to feel amazing now,’ but whatever the reason I’m so pleased for the expertise of my trainer to help me to feel a bit more like myself again.

On Sunday, I was out for a family lunch for my mum’s birthday – something that I would have been nervous about a few weeks back. Instead, I had a look at some local places to eat and scoured the menus in search of something that fit into my plan. I came up with an absolute winner with a sirloin steak salad and a side of house-made sauerkraut. Delicious. Who says you can’t eat out on a diet?!

Overall, this week has left me feeling excited for what’s ahead, and ready to tackle the next half of this transformation with full force.

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