90 Day Challenge…Lifestyle Change

Its Sunday evening, the 8th January 2017 and my new years resolutions are starting tomorrow, Monday. That’s the deal isn’t it, no one starts on a Thursday or a Tuesday, its always the start of the week. This years resolution is a lifestyle change.

For those of you who know me, you will be aware that I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) last year which has left me lacking in energy and self-confidence. The disease itself is not contagious and no one knows how we get it. The disease manifests itself by the victims immune system attacking healthy cells in the large intestine, this causes bleeding from ulceration’s.  In turn, the body loses blood causing extreme fatigue and potential anaemia, regular visits to the toilets and some serious pain, and when i say serious, it can be crippling. Secondary effects are the weight gain and losses that happen, big bags under the eyes, loss of motivation, moodiness, depression etc etc.

In short, leaving the Navy in April 2016 and going from a healthy young male that was fully able bodied and fit to someone who was now faced with a disability was very difficult for me. I tried to put a brave face on it, but I was struggling…mentally and physically. I started smoking again on holiday in Rhodes because it eased the stress for me, but deep down I felt like I had failed myself for smoking. On top of this I had always gone to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, played football and gone walking the dog for hours at a time but now I was struggling to get the motivation just walk my beloved dog. As 2016 dragged on (a crap year for all) I realised that I needed to start looking after myself better, but in true male fashion I decided that I would wait until the New Year to pull my finger out and start making changes.

The 90 day challenge, a Joe Wicks training schedule which enables you to Shift, Shape and Sustain has been popping up all over the place recently; whether its on TV, social media or in the book stores. I have decided (and on my consultants advice) that I would follow this plan to try and get healthy again, whilst also monitoring my diet in the form of a meal plan. The meal plan schedule is ideal because you make the meals from scratch and you can see everything that is going in to the food. A boon for someone with IBD who is trying to figure out if something sets off a flare!

The plan works in three cycles. Cycle One consists of fat burning, Cycle Two consists of Shaping the new body shape and Cycle Three teaches you how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. By the sounds of it, Cycle One will be the shock to the system. Sustenance will consist of eating 2 low carb meals a day and 1 carb meal a day, whilst also conducting 5 High Intensity Training (HIIT) work outs a week which last around 30 minutes each with a warm up and cool down. You are allowed two snacks a day which are detailed in the plan.

The first step was to order the supplements for repairing the body and rebuilding the body. The hammering a HIIT workout does to your body is astonishing, its the kind of workout that leaves you writhing in pain whilst throwing up! So I decided to invest in decent supplements to help me get through…as I haven’t yet started, I will let you know if I think they are worth the cost…but they are very costly! By the looks of it, I will be taking about 11 pills a day (A meal in itself), mainly omega 3 and BCAA!

Provided in the plan are recipes which must be used in conjunction with the exercise plan. The choices sound very nice and nutritious and the plan makes it sound as though I will be eating for Great Britain, but again, we’ll find out next Sunday how my first week has gone. The next step after deciding what you want to eat is to go shopping. A little tip, do your shopping at Aldi, it saves you a fortune! Once you have your food, you need to prepare the meals and your plan for exercise for the week, Joe calls this prepping like a boss, and I must admit, so far, this is what I have enjoyed! Sunday from now on is going to be a prepping day!

So, now you are introduced to what is probably going to bore you for the next 90 days, I am going to explain my current position on how its going to go…

I am terrified, I love a treat! Chocolate, kebabs, pizza, night out with the lads, cheeky glass of wine with the wife but this all has to stop (for the time being). I hope my willpower holds! I am concerned with the lack of sugar in the plan and the lack of milk but I am excited to see the changes that await. Tonight, I have to take a before photo as I’m not allowed to stand on scales during the process, pictures will show all they need to. I won’t post these until I’m further in to the plan.

If you wish to follow me more on this route, follow my instagram http://instagram.com/jamesfletcher4