What a funny old week it has been.
The end of this week means I’m just one month away from the finish line! Although when it comes to a ‘finish line’ I’m not entirely sure what I am expecting. To begin with, I thought I’d to be counting down the days, expecting a sense of accomplishment, achievement and satisfaction.
However, now I feel as though the ending will be bittersweet. The brutally intensive training sessions will be missed when I’m left to the weights room by myself. I have learnt so much training with UP it will be very interesting to see what I will take away with me.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. The point is, it feels suddenly as though I don’t have a lot of time left.
The start of this week wasn’t great for me if I’m completely honest. As inspiring and motivating as this transformation has been, it has also brought out of me a sort of split personality. You might call it mood swings, but my office manager has decided to name this version of me ‘Neg-Jen’.
Neg-Jen makes an appearance every few days (often when I’m a little bit hungrier than usual) and she tends to like a good whinge.
Now Neg-Jen wouldn’t seem so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that usually I would say I’m one of the most positive people I know. I’m one of those people that likes to offset anything bad with something good – one of those ‘every cloud’ kind of folk.
So when Neg-Jen makes an appearance, it is quite a stark contrast to my usual happy-go-lucky self.
This week, I decided I’d had enough of commuting to work every day. Despite doing the three-hour return trip every day for the last three months or so, this week I’d suddenly had enough. I booked viewings at flats in the city, and I moaned about my train journeys to anyone who would listen. I was tired.
The thing with this transformation is, you almost forget how challenging it is. You forget that a big portion of your thoughts are taken up by it – thinking about your training, your food, your meal prep, your sleep cycle, whether you’ve drunk enough water etc.
It is an added mental effort that, by week 8, has become your normality. So, when the little stresses in life occur, they seem worse than ever and harder to brush off. The small dilemmas you encounter seem much more extreme because you are already pretty stressed out.
What they don’t tell you about a body transformation, is that the results aren’t just down to those crazy training sessions and how much Tupperware you’ve got in your bag. Those incredible before and after shots are down to so much more than that.
They are a product of every hour of every day for 84 days – not just the one you spend in the gym three times a week. Those results are borne from getting through your busy day at work, with your Tupperware at your desk, and your 2-litre water bottle constantly being refilled. Those results are born from going to bed when everyone else is settling down with Netflix, because you need those valuable eight hours of sleep. Your downtime may well be cooking meal prep and your idea of a good night may have become a soak in the bath and a cup of chamomile tea.
Everyone embarking on a body transformation will battle with their own personal situation, their own struggles and self-doubts. Some of UP’s clients are big business owners or working parents. Personally, the challenge is balancing some kind of leisure time with my commute, my work and my transformation focus.
This week, much of this came to a bit of a head and I felt quite deflated in all honesty. I was snappy, short-tempered and grumpy. On the verge of tears some nights, brought on by nothing other than a sense of helplessness, I spent my time on the train looking up holiday destinations – fantasising about a little freedom. I guess I was just feeling restricted. Diet, training, sleep, rules, rules, rules…
My time was restricted with the travelling, the training, the workload, the meal prep and the commute. But isn’t everybody’s time often dictated by other commitments?
The answer, of course, is yes, and so by the weekend I’d given myself a big kick up the rear and I’d set aside some time to do things for ‘me’. My trainer, always there to guide me, gave me another carb-dominant refeed on Saturday, and on Sunday I went rock-climbing again with Max.
I scheduled in time to relax with a good book and on Monday, one of my colleagues even treated me to some Lush bath bombs! I think it was most likely to do with the increase in carbs over the weekend, but my mood was much better come Monday morning and I really felt like I was on top form again.
There are just four weeks to go now and it’s not so much a case of wondering what’s to come, it’s expecting the ups and the downs and understanding how to deal with them effectively.
I had a fantastic week really. I can shoulder press 18kg dumbbells for reps, comfortably. I can trap-bar deadlift 125kg, for reps, comfortably. I have an amazing new routine at the end of my sessions that is reminiscent of my Thai boxing training. Circuit based, with no rests between exercises, it gets my heart racing and gets me in that mental zone that I really thrive in.
This transformation has been such an incredible experience so far, and I’ve really learnt a lot about myself. Just four weeks to go, I’m honing in on everything and bracing myself for the final push. It’s so encouraging to receive so many messages and comments online now, pushing me on with this journey. I’m so excited to see just how far I can take this now.