Body Transformation Update…

Wow, my last post was over 2 weeks ago.  In that time I’ve been a busy fella fine tuning my diet and training regimen in the run up to an epic family get together.  Its wedding time, so there is likely to be a lot of love about and it started to focus my mind on my wedding day almost 10 years ago.

My wife made a concious decision to lose some weight for the wedding and I chose not to.  I was not in the best of places and I considered that shredding weight to look good for photos was a little shallow.  The seed hadn’t even been planted at that time about changing my lifestyle.  I was young (er!), enjoying life and not really thinking long term.  It would take another 5 years to have that moment of mental clarity, but what I do remember was getting badgered all the time about losing a few pounds, but I vaguely flirted with the idea!

I remember joining weight watchers with my fiance to give her a bit of moral support, so every week I would go and get weighed, only to find I had put another 2 pounds on.  I also remember the organiser making the comment ‘Andy, you’ve not really grasped the concept of weightwatchers at all have you?, you’re supposed to lose weight not put it on!’, I chuckled, but then my heart wasn’t really in it either.  I was sat listening to the the weekly talk and thinking that the lady didn’t really know what she was talking about.  The premise was basically to cut fat out of the diet, but even then I kind of understood the importance that fat played in the diet.  I kept quiet regardless.  I took about 6 weeks to give up completely because I didn’t see the point.

In August of last year, my wife took a picture of me in a splash pool, its one of many I keep as a mental reminder of where I was at the start of the process.  Over the period of 8 months, I have taken the odd photograph along the way, so I can see the progress of body transformation.  The picture below shows to illustrate just how far I’ve come in a short space of time.

There is still a way to go yet, but I’m happy with the results so far…

Back 2 Basics…

So this weekend has been a nightmare foodwise.  My sons 7th birthday and my dads 65th all in one day.  Two birthday cakes, and none of it healthy.  The contents of which were not my choice, but given what I’ve been through the last two weeks on IF, I made the concious decision to relax the rules.  I’ve been eating clean now for weeks, making some positive food choices, but I’ve made the whole thing a bit monotonous.  I’ve been calorie and macro counting, taking daily measurements, estimating calories deficits through training so its no wonder I got a bit bored of it all.

The net result was eating a tonne of refined sugars and I knew what the outcome would be.  As predicted the scales showed 2kg gain in fat mass, however, I’ve turned this right around into a positive.  I have 2 weeks before a trip to see family, so I’m using the time wisely to prove to myself that making the right food choices can show positive results.  Today alone, I’ve reduced the fat mass by nearly 1kg.  This is not diet alone, this is also making a conscious decision to rest more and on that note, its time for bed…

IF Diary – Week 2

IF Day 8 – 17th March 2012

Work is definitely causing a few issues with training.  I’m having to work late into the night and at very odd hours, so I’m taking a few days off training to recoup.  Having said that I did a 5km run along a very picturesque canal towpath this AM which allowed me to de-stress a little bit.  Trying to keep hormones in check while concentrating on the nutritional aspects of IF by trying a few recipes too.  Today I had a go at a healthy chicken curry and it was one of the finest curries I’ve had in recent times – cooked to perfection!

W: 75.3, L: 60.6, F14.7

IF Day 9 – 18th March 2012

Woke up to rain, so waited for a break in the clouds before heading out for a quick 5km.  Still managed to get all my jobs out of the way today and decided to spend the day with my family.  I sometimes need to slow down every once in a while and take stock of what I do have.  Spending quality time with loves ones can be just the ticket!

Went to the park and had an ice cream before heading back home.  Storm clouds were chasing us on the way back.  Set aside some time for a home workout before doing food prep for the day ahead.

W: 75.2, L: 61.2, F14.0

IF Day 10 – 19th March 2012

So I had a crap nights sleep.  Electric board messing around with a substation all night so therefore house alarms going off ALL night.  Woke up to a beautiful fresh spring morning, so I decided on a swift 2.5km around the block – really enjoyed it, in fact I’m really loving the sprints/jog before work, time to clear my head.  Nutrition has been good today.  Felt a little dizzy before lunch, but had some green tea and felt fine.  Had a couple of cups of coffee today too.  Eagerly waited for my chicken curry for tea and I was in heaven.  Had it with lots of green veg – it went down a treat!  Finished it off with a grapefruit and a healthy paleo banana muffin.  No gym today, just half an hour on the free weights at home.  Life is good.

W: 75.9, L: 61.0, F14.9

IF Day 11 – 20th March 2012

So did a short 2.5km again this AM and having spoken to Ben Coomber, we’ve decided that running every day is counter productive to the CNS.  I need to be a little more aware of hormonal changes that can affect the results.  By my very nature, I’m analytical and keen to understand what’s happening but I’ve been overlooking the part that stress plays in all this.  Working in a stressful environment its easy to see why the gains haven’t been as expected, but now its been made clear by a few choice words, I remain more focused than ever, so starting tomorrow I’ll be more relaxed and work hard to achieve the results I’m after.  The diet remains in tact, it’s the way I’ve approached training that needs re-evaluating!

W: 75.5, L: 61.0, F14.5

IF Day 12 – 21st March 2012

So today I had a renewed interest in my diet.  I played by the rules and made certain to stay with the macros.  I was really ready for lunch and savoured every moment.  Usually I wolf my food down, but I took my time and enjoyed every minute of it.  The mid afternoon snack was some cuts of meat and some blueberries – loved them and tonight for my evening meal, I tried something new and tasty…Cauliflower mash with parsnip, a side order of green veg and some king prawns.  A smashing meal and healthy to boot.  Can’t wait to have that again it was awesome!

W: 75.0, L: 60.0, F: 15.0

IF Day 13 – 22nd March 2012

Today is rest day and boy do I need it.  Been a frustrating week this week.  The weight loss has stopped altogether now.  The diet has been bang on, so it has to be the training volume.  Not sure if its too much or too little right now, but that is something I’m going to look into.  Hopefully things will start to pick up again imminently.

W: 74.9 L: 60.4, F14.5

IF Day 14 – 23rd March 2012

Woke up with a spring in my step despite the lack of sleep.  The thing that’s letting me down at the minute is the late nights.  I had every intention of hitting the sack early but then I got engrossed in a health documentary, so it was midnight again before I finally climbed into bed.  Need to start making a huge effort with sleep over the coming days.

W:75.2, L: 60.6, F14.6

Inspirational Videos…

Before I post week 2 of my IF Plan, i’d like to take  a moment to share a couple of inspirational videos that have made me sit up and take notice.  Both videos are the reason why I want to get involved in nutrition.  I have paved the way to start a fully recognised nutrition course that will hopefully give me every opportunity to become more involved from October.  In the meantime, research and lots of it…!

Dr. Terry Wahls learned how to properly fuel her body. Using the lessons she learned at the subcellular level, she used diet to cure her MS and get out of her wheelchair.!

This is more a documentary than a video and I would urge anyone with 90 minutes of free time to watch it, I personally couldn’t take my eyes of it!

IF Diary – Week 1

IF Day 1 – 10th March 2012

Woke up feeling tired because I had friends round until 12.30am and then I had to be up to take my little boy swimming.  I grabbed a cup of green tea before starting out with my run at 11am.  I ate my first meal at around midday (mackerel / spinach) followed up with a cup of coffee. I felt a little hungry at around 2pm, so had another drink of green tea.  I decided to make cottage pie for tea and filled a large pyrex dish with the intention of eating half and then saving the other half for later in the week.  I spooned half the cottage pie out onto a plate and thought, how the hell am I going to eat that!  It went down easier than I thought, but its now 9.30pm and I still don’t feel hungry, although I am thinking about tomorrows food already!  I had lots of green beans, broccoli, courgettes and washed it down with a cup of green tea.  I’ve been alternating BCAAs and EAAs throughout the day, but I have to be honest, I had to neck the EAA powder down with a glass of goats milk this evening.

W: 76.0 L: 60.2 F:15.8

IF Day 2 – 11th March 2012

Managed to get a lie-in this AM which is a rarity these days.  Went for a quick 2.5km run this AM, took exceed pre-run and EAAs post run.  EAA powder is rank, so I’ve taken to mixing it up with VitC tablets.  Can now tolerate it, and been sipping it throughout the day.  Beautiful day outside so decided to have lunch, then head out on the MTB for an hour (On-call today, so can’t stray too far from home).  Took BCAAs this afternoon and drank a few cups of green tea to keep me going.  Had some celery with peanut butter around 3pm and then had salmon with mash and green veg and couldn’t eat it all, but then there was quite a lot of it.  Been occasionally doing upper body work throughout the afternoon too and don’t feel that tired.  Been asked to work throughout the night until 8am.  Was reluctant at first, but then its paid OT and a day off + a day in lieu, so we’ll see how tomorrow goes….

W: 76.2 L: 61.1 F:15.1

IF Day 3 – 12th March 2012

Worked throughout the night so was a little concerned that I might derail a little bit.  Had a coffee around 3am to keep me going so don’t know fully what the effects of caffeine would have had, but it helped me to stay awake anyway!  Felt slightly delirious this AM so after getting the boys to school, I went to bed having first taken some ZMA to help me sleep.  Woke up feeling a little tired but that’s only to be expected having been awake for nearly 27 hours.  Had a mackerel lunch and some green tea then hits the supplements (Alpha Men, VitD, CLA & Omega3).  Feel slightly more human, so its time to have a steady run to see how things are.  Looking forward to the leftover cottage pie tonight, yum!

W: 76.1 L: 61.5 F:14.6

IF Day 4 – 13th March 2012

Gutted to be honest.  Having been up for 26.5 hours straight, I had made great progress over the weekend.  body fat was coming down quite quickly and I was full of energy.  The body can be quite complicated at times and I guess every day is a school day.  So I woke up tired, still reeling from the lack of sleep, but I went for a run regardless and my legs felt heavy.  I’ve also woke up hungry which is not something I was expecting.  Been on the green tea to suppress the appetite, but I can’t wait for dinner to normalise things.  The stats this morning have taken me back 48 hours, so I’m going to pick myself up and start again.  One thing’s for sure though, I’m hitting the sack early tonight to try and recover rest as much as possible.

W: 75.9, L: 60.4, F 15.5

IF Day 5 – 14th March 2012

Woke up feeling a little tired again but went running regardless, slightly off pace and my legs were heavy but I got round and the fresh air woke me up a bit.  My body is starting to accept the fact its not getting food in the AM, which I’m not really missing to be honest, but I do think I’m overcompensating with the portion sizes.  Had mackerel for lunch with 150g total yoghurt and 3 handfuls of nuts (overkill on the dairy!).  Had raw veg in the afternoon with more almonds before heading home for an hours session on the MTB in the dark!  Ribeye, sweet potato mash and veggies for tea, finished off with a banana…and an apple!

W: 76.0, L: 61.4, F 14.6

IF Day 6 – 15th March 2012

A lot has gone wrong today, turns out that doing 3 sessions in one day causes your CNS to dig its heels in.  Lost lots of Lean Mass despite training really hard yesterday, when I was expecting the opposite to happen.  Every day is a school day, so it’s back to basics. Today was also a rest day, and unfortunately I had to work from home, so I found myself grazing on food when I was actually thirsty.  I knew what I was doing, but I was feeling a bit despondent so baked up some protein muffins and ate the bloody lot! Tomorrow is pick yourself up day, motivate and FOCUS!

W: 75.8, L: 60.3, F15.5

IF Day 7 – 16th March 2012

So today I went for a 5km run in the AM which surprisingly I had a lot of energy but I took it steady as I felt I’d been overdoing it of late.  I also made sure that that my nutrition for the day was in check following yesterdays hiccup.  My evening meal lacked carbs but I made sure that there was an abundance of green veg, so much so that I overdid a little bit, but I love my green veg anyway, so went down quite nicely with a bit of organic sirloin.

Work is doing my head in, problems at work mean we are having to work around the clock, which is throwing a right spanner in the works when it comes to training, so I did some low level pushups and KB swings just to keep thing ticking over.  Did feel a pull in my left pectoral so going to monitor that over the coming days.

W: 76.7, L: 61.2, F: 15.5

So red meat’s bad for you huh?…

So many of you may have already seen the article about red meat on the BBC website (  Yet again these sorts of studies are headline grabbers.  There is no wonder, the general public get confused about what is right information when it comes to nutrition.

Following on from the news report, many nutritionists were swift to dismiss the studies and for good reason.  My good friend Ben Coomber, wrote a piece on it this morning outlining the facts, and separating them from fiction.  You can find his full analysis here.

I wonder what the next big story is likely to be?… 🙄