I can’t quite believe that I am at the start of my 4th week on this programme. The time is flying by and I am still really enjoying it. I stepped on the scales this morning and was pleased to see that I’d lost another pound but a bit perplexed to see that my body fat % had gone up a small amount.
I’m perplexed because:
a) I can see and feel that I am building muscle – I am noticing tone in places that I’ve not had it before
b) I can see that my tummy (always my main area of concern) is getting smaller
c) If I’ve lost weight but am building muscle then surely my body fat% should also have come down.
Anyway – I’m not getting too hung up on the numbers. I am pleased with my progress and feel that things are moving in the right direction so I don’t think that there’s anything to worry about. Julia agrees and has given me some hints and tips for my diet that should help me make even better progress.
A few breakthroughs and milestones of note….
Diet wise I feel like my body has got used to this new way of eating. I am no longer craving sweet things – caramel macchiatos rarely enter my mind whereas just 3 weeks ago I was having to use a lot of willpower to walk past Starbucks. It’s been 3 weeks now since I’ve had bread, pasta or rice and I’ve genuinely not missed them. I’ve got used to filling up on lean protein and veg and am enjoying trying out new recipes. This was today’s lunch – a sweet potato and courgette frittata with bacon and a bit of feta. It was delicious and made loads for other lunches this week
I’m particularly pleased about a fitness breakthrough this week. There are 3 sets of stairs at my DLR station and before Julia’s programme when I walked up them I would be very out of breath once I got to the top. Well, no more! Last week I realised when I got to the top that I wasn’t out of breath – my heart rate was up, sure – but no huffing and puffing! So in just three weeks Julia’s way of working out has done what even training for a marathon had failed to do for my cardiovascular fitness. Impressive.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject of running….
When I joined the programme Julia told me that regular long distance running wasn’t an effective way of losing fat and that she wanted me to keep it to a minimum. I thought this through long and hard. I love my running but I also really want to shed fat and get into great shape before my 40th. So I agreed to modify my training for the Brighton Half – I was happy with the compromise that still let me take part in the race.
This week I’ve been talking through with Julia my running strategy post Brighton and she asked me to consider not doing ANY long slow running at all for the second half of the programme. She’s provided me with a fair amount of evidence which suggests that while not just being ineffective for fat loss, regular long slow running might actually inhibit fat loss! I’m still making my way through the reading material and drawing my own conclusions but I have agreed that post Brighton Half and for the during of the programme I will cut out the long slow runs.
This is quite a big decision for me. I am a runner after all! But six weeks is a small amount of time in the great scheme of things and it will be an interesting experiment to see what happens to my fat loss during that time. At the end of those 6 weeks I’ll be stronger and leaner and that will help my running overall. Julia’s promised that there’s much more to come in the programme to keep me feeling challenged so I’m sure I’m not going to get bored.
So with that decision made off I go into week 4!