90 Day Challenge – Week 6 “The Dirty Cheater”

Well, as you can see by the title this week…I was a dirty little cheater. It’s good to air this stuff and get it off your chest! To cut a long story short, I cheated on Valentines day with the love of my life so who really cares eh? I felt bad for Jenny. She shouldn’t have to get punished for my plan so we had pizza for dinner and a film night with a couple of drinks (and I had some chocolate, a cup of tea, a biscuit and some fudge, if you’re going to cheat, do it properly!). This was the only time I have cheated so, now you know, and I am not living a lie anymore haha!  I shall continue with the blog for the rest of the days!

Monday was not a good day in my opinion. The flare up was getting progressively worse. I had been feeling pretty tired all day and with leg day on the Saturday and football on the Friday, the last thing I wanted to be doing was sprints! Luckily, due to the way I have structured my four training days, it meant that I got another day of rest on the Tuesday. The sprints were fine, just moderate pain in my left shin but I could cope with the 14 sprints. I have started increasing the speed again, now hitting 20kPH. Biceps and Triceps GVT was on the cards, and I’ll level with you…its amazing! I love the pump! My arms look decent for about 30 minutes after! Mix that look with the steam room and you get a lot of satisfaction from your “looking like a dickhead” moments!

Tuesday, the rest day and the dirty cheater day. It was Valentines day and I felt that I had to give Jenny a night off from listening to my boring stories of sport and food. To be fair though, I think Jenny did alright out of Valentines day this year, well I hope she enjoyed it! She awoke to a bunch of roses, chocolates, a nice card and an expensive bottle of wine…can’t be too bad! And I broke my plan…true love! You don’t need to hear anymore about Valentines day…

Wednesday morning was horrendous. My body full on rejected the food I had the night before. I felt hungover! I had two little cider stubbies and a lot of pizza. I felt sluggish, my stomach felt bloated and I didn’t feel like I had slept! Top tip people…cheating isn’t as good as you think! The training session followed suit from my food hangover and was terrible. I completed the whole lot (sprints with chest and back GVT) but the enjoyment wasn’t there! I felt like I was going to be sick the whole time and the pain throughout my abdomen was horrific. At one point I felt like my condition was really kicking in. I had to compose myself and get back to it. In all honesty, this plan has made me feel more like me and more productive in general but I very much doubt that I will revert back to the old me after that feeling on Wednesday!

Thursday; tired, demotivated, pain. That’s the day in general. My stomach is constantly bloated and my intestines are making lots of noises with toilet breaks are becoming more frequent. The blood is back along with mucus. Sorry you don’t want to know that but I have to be honest so now you know, I don’t have to mention it again! The training is doable but it becomes a lot more difficult to get to the gym. When I finish work I have to keep moving and get straight back out otherwise I will fall asleep. It is horrendous.

The whole day on Friday I felt tired and didn’t want to do anything. The pain was getting much worse, in fact, it got to a point where I nearly bailed out of football. I think that would of been wise actually, considering my legs were hanging and I passed out when I got home and didn’t wake up until the dog came in from his creche! Generally the disease is kicking in to a point where its getting difficult to motivate myself to get in the gym or do anything productive. The other problem is how busy the gym appears to have gotten recently. Its not easy to get in and use the machines I need.

The blog is short this week, probably because I felt the need to air my guilt. The biggest problem at the moment is the tiredness. I am still moving in the right direction. The bloating is terrible, the toilet breaks are an annoyance and I know which way this is going…its only going to get worse. I am on week 6 going in to week 7 so I am half way through! I hope I can finish it…scratch that, I will finish it, even if I can’t do all the physical activity but something major would have to stop me!

Have a good week team!

 

90 Day Challenge – Week 5 – The Rocky Road

In summary, this week has been an interesting experience following the plan; its involved new work outs that basically burn in to your muscles for days after but I have started to see the hard work I have been putting in. I have got a new flavour of protein shake which is absolutely amazing! Its Rocky Road which is kind of the theme for this week as you will be aware by the end! It was a good week for the plan! I finally got a chance to put some different combinations together both at the gym and in the kitchen!

On Sunday, I dreaded starting a new cycle. It meant that the routine that I had gotten used to was changing and the prepping for the next weeks meals was going to take longer. I stupidly looked at the new choices and thought that making a full weeks worth of food was a good idea. It wasn’t. I spent the whole day cooking vegetables that tasted awful all week. This was a lesson for the following week as I could make easy meals that would tick all the boxes and they wouldn’t take too long. Another thing to note is the quantity of food that is required on a training day…Its immense! I actually struggle to eat the quantity required. An additional item that’s required on every meal is 130g of green vegetables, which doesn’t sound much but add that to the 135g(ish) of vegetables already on your plate, plus 2 chicken breasts and a load of sweet potato wedges…it makes for a lot of food! Training days consisted of three meals of this size with two snacks whilst the non-training days consisted of the low calorie food I was having in the first cycle except with lots of extra vegetables to fill me up. It is not a good time to be buying vegetables of this amount, especially when there are limits in Morrisons’ to how much you can buy now buy!

Monday gym session saw me doing arms. As explained the week before, the work outs are a mix of GVT (German Volume Training) and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This can be an issue at the gym, especially my gym. The main equipment for getting your heart rate up is on the ground floor whilst the weights are upstairs. On the Monday I really wasn’t sure how to go about it so I decided on doing 30 seconds of high intensity circuits with a 30 second rest. The circuits consisted of press ups (regretted this thoroughly), squat thrusts, star jumps, tuck jumps and a few more. I did the HIIT for 8 sets and then had a 2 minute rest before 10 sets of 10 reps of bicep curls at 9kG per arm with only a 30 second rest between sets. This is one hell of a burn. The weight doesn’t sound too much and normally it wouldn’t be, but lighter weights and more reps really burns deep! Another 2 minute rest followed by another HIIT circuit. The HIIT circuit was beginning to wind me up because you look like a tit in front of people who only want to lift weights, and to be fair, a 90Kg bloke bouncing all over the place is pretty distracting to those guys. After another 2 minute rest it was time for 10 sets of 10 reps of tricep cables. This was well painful! The benefit of doing weights like this is that when you go for your ‘looking like a dickhead’ moment in the changing rooms, you start looking slightly better with muscles bulging!

Tuesday, a rest day! Say whattttt…? I was on dog duty, but on this plan, you can have a day off as long as you get all four training days in and don’t train more than 2 days in a row! So, yeah…

Wednesday was time to get my act together with the HIIT. I decided to get upstairs and shotgun a bench and the weights that I would need and then I went back down stairs and went for a heart pumping treadmill HIIT! You probably have a good idea how it works now, I basically do 8 sprints and then head upstairs, then return downstairs and conduct another 8 sprints and then back upstairs for the final weights circuit. The sprints were conducted at 19kPH which really got my heart rate up and fired me up for the first weights circuit which was on chest; one of my favourites dumbell press. I started with 10Kg but moved down after the 6th set of really struggling! A cheeky HIIT sprint and then back to the weights section for bent over rows with 10Kg! I was literally hanging out my arse when I had finished! The sprints make it really good and I really enjoyed the burn and sweat!

Thursday, back to it again, this time shoulders! I won’t bore you with repetitive statements about the sprints and the weight combinations but it felt good! The mix of sprints and weights really gives a good work out! As many of you who know me will be aware, I have some funky shoulders, double jointed badboys that have always hindered my lifting ability for over-hand pull ups but aided my escape from the police by getting out of handcuffs! But my shoulders were responding well if not very sore! The muscle felt solid which meant feeding them my beloved protein shake and looking like a dickhead in the mirror is getting slightly easier!

Friday was supposed to be a rest day but I was naughty, I played football! I should of had a rest day to be fair because my legs felt really sore afterwards which I knew wouldn’t bode well for the legs session planned in for the Saturday!

Saturdays legs were feeling surprisingly good! I decided to row for the HIIT circuit to try and preserve my legs for the leg extensions circuits and the weighted squats. The leg extensions weren’t too bad but the squats with 10Kg were horrendous, my the 7th set I was struggling to keep form! I managed it but my God I was in pain! Legs are going to be the hardest to do I think, which should be the best for fat burn, especially when you’ve got a fat ass like me!

I am nearly half way through the plan now! I can’t believe I have achieved this much so far! I am fitting in to my old stuff really easily and I’m intrigued to see what the next 7 weeks has in store for me! I will be 100% honest with you guys…I could murder a kebab and a pint pretty much all the time! I am also having to turn down lots of fun things because I know that weakness will ensue! If anyone is thinking of getting involved, discipline is the only way you can do this!

Now for the information on why I have been doing this plan and the new worry which has surfaced this week. I have been getting lots of really sharp pains throughout my abdomen which is normally caused by ulceration in my large intestine which has been affecting my sleep quite badly. On Friday it got so bad that I nearly posted a message on here to say that I was discontinuing the blog until I was feeling OK again. I didn’t, I powered through but I am now starting to struggle with fatigue which is a common feature of bleeding internally and I fall asleep every time I stop moving…not good! I will keep going and this ‘flare’ won’t stop me from achieving my goals!

Sorry for the limited information this week, I think it could be an interesting read next Sunday if the end of this week is anything to go by!

Have a good week viewers and please keep reading and sharing!

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90 Day Challenge Week 4…Completed!!!

…From now on, due to high comments about the length of these posts, I shall pretty much summarise the weeks; shorter blogs from now on.

This week was a busy one, it started on the Sunday with a nice drive up to the Lake District after a day of preparing food (See the featured image)! Two days away means that you have to prep properly, no half measures, all your sports kit needs to be ready, all your supplements need to be ready and of course, all your meals have to be ready! “So, hello Cumbria! Fancy seeing me looking like a dickhead you lucky people!”

Monday was a strange day really, I didn’t sleep much in the hotel and I was in a strange environment. I had the usual “Low carb” breakfast…homemade Granola with berries and greek yoghurt but for lunch, the place where we were conducting factory acceptance tests brought out a massive lunch…pizzas, sandwiches, crisps, Dr.Pepper and the list goes on. I sat there again watching everyone tucking in to the food whilst I ate my tuna salad. I go on about this so much because if you are reading this blog, this is one thing you don’t really expect to hit you. Its almost like an addiction, you see it, you want it! A part of you thinks you’ve missed out. Its rubbish; a real mental fight breaks out every time. The company policy at night is a £25.00 allowance for food, I couldn’t use it obviously which is quite a sombre experience. The ‘phys’ had to be done though and the hotel I requested had a gym…all be it not a very good one! The treadmill HIIT really pissed me off. Every time you jumped off for your 30 second rest; after 18 seconds the machine switched off saying “no user detected”. I battled with the settings for a while but in the end I realised that I’d have to take a few steps to trick it! Really annoying when you’re hanging out!

Tuesday morning I woke up early as usual and carried out my HIIT circuit in my hotel room. No excuses! I did an expert 25 minute HIIT with 25 different exercises to work the full body, I loved it! Someone who didn’t love it was my boss in the room next door! I woke him at 6 am doing tuck-jumps and full sprints in the room. I found this really funny as he kept me awake until 12ish by watching TV and chatting to his wife…the walls were really thin! “Swings and roundabouts boss”. Tuesday was spent doing the same as the day before but because I was heading back to the homeland I made sure that I had a spare dinner in case I got stuck in traffic…we didn’t and I’m glad because the food looked a bit ropey after a couple of days!

Wednesday, back to the gym and it was Sergio Ramos’d. Luckily I got a treadmill but I’m sure it was broke, I sounded like an elephant on the machine, it was banging like mad on every footstep. It was distracting but I smashed out 19kPH for the full 20 minutes and that felt good! On every rest I found myself apologising to all the other users but they didn’t mind. One bloke even commented an asked what I was doing, I told him and his response was “That’s one for the young lads” and started laughing! I’m concerned now though, my shins are getting sore. I don’t want to say the dreaded shin-splints but I’m going to have to move on to other equipment to get my heart rate up and ease off the impact.

Thursday Morning, early riser and smashing a low impact HIIT which comprised of squats, lunges and strange walking press-ups with the odd plank and mountain climber. It was a beasting on my already sore legs. The concern is that my legs are starting to become a weak point and so I may have to continue with just the full body HIITs and lay off the sprints…we’ll see! Next week will be better because of the new routine!

Its Friday! Football is back on the cards at DW and that has cheered my day right up. I’m sure I’ve got a bit of dog in me, 5-a-side is amazing for a work out and you don’t even realise that you’ve done that much running. Following a ball around like a dog is brilliant, but I noticed that my fitness levels have gone through the roof! I felt fine running from box to box for the full hour, not tiring at all really! Footy is basically grid sprints with a ball chucked in! I also got the winner at the end even though I had a pretty shocking game, first game back after a full month out and I couldn’t string a pass together or keep on my feet. Awful for me, awful for the guy I kept taking out all night…oops.

So, this part of the blog is reminiscent of a Jerry Springer moment… if you have been reading these posts since I started you will be aware that I started this plan based on the weight I was given at the consultants when I had my last appointment on the 23rd December. The weight given to me was 104.8Kg. It was the kick up the arse that I needed to do this plan and it was enforced by the consultant who was telling me that the disease could get worse if I didn’t get a handle on it. Harsh words were said, potential surgery, increased bowel cancer risks, osteoporosis etc etc scaremongering with a terrifying fact of reality, so here I am, about to start cycle 2 for the next 4 weeks and i’m at 90kg! Quite incredible really! I have lost 15kg.

I said that I wouldn’t weigh myself but that’s where my weak point has been. I haven’t cheated on this plan at all, no sneaky treats, no milk, no tea, no alcohol, no chocolate and my wife will vouch…trust me, she has eaten all the chocolate available! This has stopped me! Marital team work! I can’t say that I have seen the difference yet, but I am wearing clothes that I haven’t been able to wear…ever. I bought them, they never fitted but I knew some day I would get myself in shape…that someday started 4 weeks ago today and I’m feeling positive and proud that I am going in to cycle two thinner and more determined than ever…

Cycle two, I will be combining HIIT training with German Volume Training. The training will involve doing 6 HIIT exercises for 45 seconds with a 30 second rest followed by weights training which will focus on four muscle group options. The weights will be 10 sets of 10 reps at speed with a maximum rest of 30 seconds between sets. The plan gives you four options and you are only allowed to do one option in any one week but you must complete all four options in the week to ensure a full muscular work out is achieved. It even takes in to account legs so no danger of a chicken wandering around!

Food in cycle two is a little more important, it isn’t about shifting fat at this point, its about shaping your body. On training days you must eat 3 carb meals and 2 snacks and on rest days it is back to the low carb meals. The carbs meals appear to be massive! I have been shrinking my stomach for the last month and now the plan expects me to smash in the scran…this could be interesting!

I will leave you with those thoughts for this week! If you want to give me any more ideas on how to improve my blog, or if you want me to concentrate on specific parts of the plan don’t hesitate to contact me. I like answering questions about it and I hope I can educate you further on Inflammatory Bowel Disease!

The support from you guys has been really incredible so thank you for all your words of support!

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90 Day Challenge…Week 3 complete…Torture Techniques!

So, week 3…I’m glad to see the back of you! It was by far the worst week I have had on this plan! I was demotivated and grumpy all week and generally struggled to keep myself on track. I didn’t break the cycle, I kept going but it took all my strength to not say “Screw this! I’m going to the takeaway and binning off the gym tonight”. I’m glad that I’m writing this blog to show my success!

As you will all be aware by now about how this cycle works…eat low carbohydrate meals twice a day, go and do some High Intensity Interval Training and eat one carbohydrate meal. It becomes a boring and repetitive routine of eating the same things day in day out. It gets boring, this exercise however, doesn’t!

The exercises that I have been doing are; evening treadmill sprints and rowing circuits on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings whilst doing online HIIT circuits on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Saturdays and Sundays are my days off training but I still have to eat low carbohydrate meals (no fun meals) for every meal on a weekend…contrary to what one of my colleagues seems to think, there is no day off! This blog should set the record straight…discipline is getting up every morning and defeating the challenges the world throws at you whilst maintaining a strong mindset to go again tomorrow and the next day!

So, why was week 3 so bad? Firstly, Sleep deprivation. It is common knowledge that sleep deprivation is a torture technique and my god it works. It sends you nuts and one bad night takes a week to sort out! This started on the Sunday night for me, I couldn’t get to sleep and when I did, I woke every 2 hours or so. This is not good when the plan is to work all day and train at night! I got to the gym and I was actively looking for excuses not to perform…I think we’ve all been there; I didn’t have any energy and when someone spoke to me at the gym, I continued talking in the hope that the exercise and blow out would disappear, it doesn’t. I did my treadmill HIIT and was absolutely hanging! I felt awful…I felt good that it was done but my mind set fast-forwarded to the thought of the Tuesday morning, this made me feel really down…to top it off…after walking round the changing room looking like a dickhead I thought that the steam room would perk me back up…the steam room had been on previous to my arrival and had gone cold and wouldn’t warm up properly again. This, in a tired, grumpy persons mind was the end of the world and it mean’t that the drive back home was full of swearing at everyone on the road. Monday was the worst day for me on this cycle…I couldn’t concentrate properly, I was in a bad mood…

Tuesday Morning, time to put yesterdays bad mood to one side, park it and move forward. I got up and was met by my cheerful dog at 5:20am…odd because he is the laziest dog normally, who I have to drag out of bed to go to his doggy daycare! As I bent over to give him a morning cuddle, the back of my legs felt ridiculously tight! I remembered at that moment that in my bad mood the night before, I hadn’t stretched off properly and this morning was going to be painful! I did an intermediate HIIT circuit in order to prevent injury with a decent warm up, but the first exercise was high knees…a wonder on your ass and abs but when you’re stiff, its painful! I spent the cool down using a foam roller in the hope that it would ease out the stressed legs and it did to an extent. I’m quite lucky in my job at the moment that when I have sore legs, I can get up and move around. Most of the people I need to liaise with on a daily basis are located within a 5 minute walk which is really handy to keep myself limber! The worst part of my Tuesday was a meeting held over lunch time. The chair of the meeting had ordered lunch in and by 12pm I was starving! I literally had to sit there and watch everyone else stuff their faces with lots of nice looking food; spring rolls, sandwiches, crisps, chocolate brownies etc etc, it was torture! I went and grabbed myself a nice bottle of cold water and sipped it whilst they ate, dreaming of my beef and sausage low carb casserole upstairs! The meeting went on until 1:30 and by the time I got to my food I was literally starving! When I got home, I was shattered and a bit defeatist, all I wanted to do was chill out and eat pizza…I didn’t, I ate my turkey stuffed peppers and fantasised about my honey and camomile tea before bed. Its odd, when you’re on a diet you actively look forward to sleep because you don’t think about food for a whole 8 hours, but when you get up that’s all you think about for the rest of the day! Week 3 is going to be known as “The shit week” from now on.

Wednesday, I slept really well, I didn’t have circuits in the morning so I got a lie in…06:20am! A whole hour, whoop! Wednesday is half past week and therefore morale gets a boost. Always has, Wednesday to me is almost as good as Friday because you can almost see the light of the weekend…its still a long way to go, but its  a relief to get there! Wednesday evenings circuit hurt, that’s all I can really say about it. My shins were starting to hurt from all the sprints and this got me thinking that I could be getting shin splints…not what I need in the first cycle especially since the next cycle will more than certainly be asking for a lot more from me! The first 8 minutes of sprints was agony, I felt like my legs may go at any point…pain and weakness. I was always told in the Navy that pain was weakness leaving the body…I disagree, pain comes in different forms, whether that is a broken bone or muscles burning…its your body’s protection from your brain pushing through. It is true that your brain deceives you to protect your body, but it is also true that your brain is wrong sometimes. Its the mental attitude that gets people to climb the tallest mountain in the world or an explorer to push themselves to the north or south pole. My brain is fat, that is a fact! It tells me stupid things like “Why are you doing this to yourself when you could just be relaxing at home” and “You’re getting on now, there’s no need to go through all this”. My attitude is different…I have come to the conclusion that I am a bit of a psychopath. I can tell myself things when I’m on my last legs to push that bit harder. It gets so bad at times that I personally offend myself…”Come on you fat f*ck, you started smoking thinking you were big and clever, you drank your twenties away and ate stupid things, this is what you deserve” and “You’re useless, you’re not worthy of achieving your goals, you’re too weak”. All these abusive conscience outbursts make me work harder, they allow me to zone in on the moment…almost like mindfulness but a negative version in order for me to prove myself wrong! Wednesday was an evening filled with abuse at myself…I need to contain it once I stop the exercise, I need to get a handle on it because for the rest of the evening, I genuinely think that I am a disgusting human being and as such stayed in the zone all evening and was very distant from Jenny, and for that I am sorry to her. Its amazing the power of the mind…use it positively and train it for strength.

Thursday…Now this is the first time I have been away for a day on this plan. Network Rail had a ‘Safe Start’ day in Leamington Spa where you go and participate in safety seminars and pick up free stuff. It was a good day with lots of information gained for work, however, it mean’t that I had to get up at 4am because I knew I would be shattered at night and may be too tempted to skip the exercise…not on my watch! Now, 5am circuits are bad enough but 4am circuits are the definition of commitment! I decided to do a low impact HIIT circuit because of my shins and knees the night before. It was awful, it was basically squats and lunges for 20 minutes! My arse was ridiculously tight all day and my legs resembled a 70 year old with chronic arthritis! I was picked up at 6am by one of my colleagues and was in Leamington Spa for about 7:20…the hosts had put on a breakfast. This is amazing, one thing though, I couldn’t have anything. I was smelling bacon and sausage cobs and I wasn’t allowed one…sleep deprivation is one torture technique, smelling bacon and sausage cobs is definitely on par! Lunch was also provided but I had planned ahead. I took myself the homemade Granola and fruit that I had made the week before which just about sufficed but everyone else was eating chicken roast dinners…this is where most of the pain is now coming from; a feeling of being left out and not enjoying the small things, but if I look and feel better, this could be the new me? Not sure if I believe in that completely but I survived the day! I got home at around 6pm and what was I welcomed home to? Jenny with fish and chips…gutted, they smelt so good! Bless her, she apologised and thought that I wouldn’t be in till later and was trying to sneak food in. Luckily for me (I suppose) her car was having a melt down and the cooling fan relay was stuck which drained the battery, I spent the next hour (Starving again I might add) removing the relay, jump starting the car and driving it round to get some juice in to her battery again! I had been so good with prep for the week but for some reason I hadn’t calculated the amount of low carb meals and so spent another hour cooking myself something to eat. There is a recipe known as “Lean muscle mince”, which is a god send, its basically turkey mince, peppers, red thai curry paste and cajun spice which you eat with steamed vegetables, avocado and sour cream…its good and filling…its a life saver!

Thankfully its Friday people, one more physical session and two days of recovery! Can’t wait…just work to get through! I had moved offices this week and apparently the new office has ‘#FishAndChipFridays’…what the hell! Temptation everywhere again whilst I sit there eating the same thing as always. It’s getting slightly easier but its still horrendous. If you remember the Cathedral City advert about cheese on toast…you see it, you want it; this is exactly what its like! I didn’t get home until late after a long discussion with someone on the phone and time was dragging on…Derby were playing Leicester and I wanted to watch that with my Dad…it was becoming too easy for me to not want to do exercise. I decided that it would take too long to go to the gym so I decided to do a circuit in the garage! I smashed it, I felt so good after one, I decided to do another…it was the weekend after this so I had plenty of time to recover. I did both within 40 minutes, had a shower and a turkey burger with sweet potato wedges! Absolutely delicious! I went to my Dads to watch the game with a water…not quite the normal way of watching the football! This plan works because if you are short on time, you can smash the circuit and shower within 45 minutes…ideal for people with a hectic lifestyle!

The weekend, some nice lie ins, dog walks and chilled evenings…this is what I am all about.

Next weeks blog will be interesting I hope… Week 4 and the end of Cycle One! I am going away for two nights in the Lake District with work…£25 evening meal allowance, free breakfasts…lets see how I get on!

Featured Image – My Jack at 4am

Thanks for reading…next update 5th February!

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