90 Day Challenge – Week 2 smashed! Derby, not NYC!

Well, its Sunday which means its time for my blog of events for the past week!

First of all, thank you to everyone for sharing, commenting and sending me messages about the plan. It has been really encouraging to hear of everyone’s support, especially since I was expecting a torrent of abuse!

A couple of questions which came in this week were about my ‘Disease’ or Inflammatory Bowel Disease as its commonly known and what have I actually given up? I shall start by answering these…

Firstly, I have been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis which is a form of Crohns Disease which people are more familiar. Please don’t confuse it with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), they are different conditions which affect people differently. I am on medication for the rest of my life, although my symptoms at present are well managed. The purpose of this blog is to hopefully give an insight in to some of the issues that people face with IBD. I have placed a link at the bottom of the page for anyone who wants to know more…

IBD is beginning to get more media attention due to the amount of people being affected by it. The statistics from NHS England state that 1 in 250 people in the UK suffer from the condition which is quite high but no one talks about it. The disease itself is awful when you get ‘flare ups’. It is painful, tiring and embarrassing. I have joined the Crohns and Colitis UK charity who issue people with the condition a card to allow them to use the loo and give you a radar key that allows you to access disabled toilets in case of emergency. Recently, it was documented in the news about a young lad who was suffering from a flare up and trying to go to the toilet in McDonald’s on a night out when a bouncer threw him out in agony, he produced his card but no one knows much about the condition. The problems associated with the condition are long but one key issue that I have dealt with is the fact that I don’t look poorly. I look like a normal 30 year old that goes to the gym, goes for a drink with the lads and generally I am seen as healthy. A common misconception is that to be considered disabled, you have to have a visible ailment. Supermarkets such as Asda and Morrison’s have begun putting new signs on disabled toilets for this reason.

So, what have I given up? Well technically I’m not giving up anything other than the fags but at the moment but I am inputting specific foods in to my body so I can detect what was causing me flare ups. I am also making sure that I drink 5 litres of water everyday. The list below shows what I have not eaten so far during this plan:

Bread, Milk, Sugar, Alcohol, excess hot drinks, cheese, crisps, any sugary drinks inc squash, pasta, bacon, fried foods, cigarettes, chocolate; generally all processed foods.

The plan consists of 3 cycles and cycle one is the toughest by far as its designed to help you lose weight and get rid of excess fat (Ideal for after the Christmas break).

So for week 2…

A week full of energy, less hunger and smashing the gym. Week 2 has been thoroughly enjoyable as my life hasn’t been wasted by waiting for food or fantasising about foods I can’t eat. The sugar cravings have really shut down and my body is starting to use the excess fat to fuel my body. I have really seen a difference…even Jenny noticed! When she asked if I had shaved my beard, it turned out that I had shaved my chin! no more two chins!

Day one, Monday; I never claim to be a good morning person, but you can go to hell if you think I’m getting up at 5 am on a Monday! Its difficult enough doing it on a Tuesday and Thursday but on a Monday, you must be mad…its a recipe for failure and puts you on a bad footing for the rest of the week. Just be honest with yourself and go to the gym at night. The Monday night work out is fantastic! I know you’ll think that I’m turning in to a gym buff saying that but its true. The plan says that you have 2 days off at the weekend and that’s exactly what I do. My body is absorbing all that healthy food over the two days but by Monday, I’m like a coiled spring! I want to blow out and I want to get rid of my excess energy, its wonderful! This Monday was a treadmill HIIT, 17.5kPH for 30 seconds and 30 seconds rest for 20 minutes continuously. I was literally breathing out my arse and sweating like a maniac…if you were to see me, I would of looked deranged! A quick ‘Looking like a dickhead moment’ being fat walking round the changing rooms thinking I’m big time with a protein shake in my hand with the obligatory look in the mirror to see if I could make out any changes in the belly…non to what I could see, just a sweaty fat man! Anyway, off to the steam room to reap my reward of hard work! Later that evening was a meal which I personally love…A Build up bagel! For those of you who follow my Instagram account, you will notice that I have put a few pics up so far…its quick, its simple and it tastes amazing! I would definitely recommend it to you! If you want the recipe, let me know!

A quick trick which I learnt this week was the morning cook up. Its a pain, so I made Granola, properly! I slaved last Sunday on my big meal prep and this was the best idea I have had. The only problem is the sugar alternative, which led me to a natural foods shop and accidentally ran me in to a head case! She had lots of ideas to scare me in to thinking I had lots wrong with me; turns out she had lots wrong with her…absolute nutter! Anyway, back to the Granola…73g of Granola, 55g of berries (forfeit my morning snack) and a tablespoon of fat free Greek yogurt…quick, easy and good for you…I’d recommend it to all of you, however, its not sweet and its quite dry but at the end of week two of cycle one I can safely say that food is something that is functional rather than enjoyable, it fills you up!

Tuesday Morning, a big full body work out in the garage at 5:30am! Its horrible, I won’t lie but its well worth it. A bit of ‘man up’ attitude is required! “If you can’t get up, that’s your own fault, you should of gone to bed earlier” is my mantra. I am disciplined, I did the best part of ten years being told when to get up so, just get on with it and start your day! The best part of the morning work out is the quietness of the house, the dog refuses to say hello, Jenny is still fast asleep and not nagging me and the world is full of people asleep. Its fantastic, the feeling of productiveness in the morning will put a spring in your step (maybe not so much at 4 pm when you finish work). I am loving it, I am feeling healthy, I am feeling like me! What makes a morning work out even better…another build up bagel…I couldn’t walk past the bagels without wanting one, and you know what, I deserved it! Fresh ground black coffee, bagel…I could of been in New York…I wasn’t, I was in Derby but I felt incredible and was ready to start my day!

Wednesday…energy levels are high, mood is high, productivity at work is up and I have just about finished my last Post Graduate Diploma assignment…just the dissertation for my Masters to get next and my whole life is definitely moving for the better! A downside…my colleague wore the same jumper as me…fuming! I am now texting him to see what he’s wearing each day…ridiculous! Anyway, Wednesday…Sorry I have been off piste but I am feeling good about it! Wednesday night is rowing HIIT! Very painful and I am really struggling to get my heart rate up no matter how hard I go! It doesn’t feel as fulfilling as the sprints but my arms are hanging out! I decided, again, that I had more to give and as such went on to the treadmill for 7 minutes and did 7 sprints to make sure I was suitably tired! I really was after that, after the 3rd sprint I was talking myself in to not doing another four but I carried on and actually, the mind over matter philosophy worked a treat! Just another trip to the changing rooms, where this time a couple of eighteen year old’s were talking about how they can eat and do what they want…ridiculous…when I was eighteen I could also eat what I wanted, now I just so much as look at a hamburger and I can feel it snuggling in to my love handles! Even more embarrassing is the fact that I had to have a ‘looking like a dickhead’ moment with them. They were looking at me as though I was a beached whale! “Fair call” I thought, but screw you, I’m going to look better at 31 than you! Its the small things that get you by…i’m going in the steam room because that’s what cool people do! King prawn green curry and rice for dinner…rice…a carbohydrate God when you have worked hard and so tasty! The only problem is there’s never enough!

Thursday morning, I slept in the spare bed (Not because I was in the shit… I’m always in the shit, it just depends on the severity) but because I wanted to make sure that I got my 8 hours before I got up, I was beginning to feel tired after the previous evenings work out. My bum was so tight I actually thought that I had pulled a muscle…a tip for all reading this, make sure you spend adequate time stretching the old bum, I had obviously paid lip service to it the previous night and this mornings ‘high knees’ warm up was killer! The work out was completed, but it was rather mundane in my opinion, but I got a good sweat up and my heart was pounding so I was proud, but I felt rather tired! Overnight oats with fruit and honey put my Mojo  back on point and I went to work with looser legs and more importantly a looser arse (even though its loose generally).

Weekend is here, I am feeling good, as good as everyone on a Friday…its casual Friday and I’m making an effort! No football tonight, a bit of a pig, would much rather be doing grid sprints chasing a ball than sprinting on a treadmill…but oh wait…I was naughty! I said that I wouldn’t weigh myself, I said that I would let the pictures do the talking, but I lied this week. The last time I stood on scales was at the Consultants at the Royal Derby having my check up before Christmas…Remember that, BEFORE Christmas, this means that you can add at least 2 kg on to this figure. The weight at the Consultants was 104.8kg, it astounded the nurse who said that I had put on some timber. Having just weighed myself I can confirm that I have lost 9 Kg! I’m impressed! I won’t do it again I promise…maybe. That gave me a massive boost and I went big on the treadmill HIIT! I ramped up the speed to 18.5 kph and did an extra five sprints. This plan is working and I’m ready for the weekend! No training until Monday, so I have time to refuel and reset after a brilliant week of not failing at this plan! A funny moment in the changing rooms…I went to shake up the protein…didn’t hold the lid down and sprayed that room full of chocolate protein! It looked like someone had a dirty protest everywhere! It took ages to clean it up! Nevermind, at least I did clean it up…for all you fellow choices gym-goers and readers.

I hope you are enjoying reading about my journey, please share it and help me raise more awareness about the condition and it may help others who are currently in the process of getting a diagnosis.

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram:

http://twitter.com/@jamesfletcher4

http://instagram.com/jamesfletcher4

The links below will answer any questions you may have about the condition and please show your support to the Crohns and Colitis UK charity…

https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/about-inflammatory-bowel-disease

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Inflammatory-bowel-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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