A week in to my 12 week cutting programme. That went quickly. Seems only yesterday I was getting on the scales for my first weigh-in.
As first weeks go it has been mixed but on the whole positive. Exercise-wise, getting back into cardio has been… well, I can’t say harder than I expected, because I knew it was going to be tough. I feel my level of unfitness and was never under any illusions about how unpleasant it would be getting back up to speed. That hasn’t made it any easier though, and I have not been able to do as much cardio as I planned to. Some of the HIIT workouts I have done I have just been on the floor dying after what used to be my warmup. However much you know, rationally, that you will get better at this, it is still demoralising to be so crap.
However, luckily we are able to be rational, and recognise that it is really just the Ego throwing a tantrum at not being able to do what it wants. Next week will not suck quite as bad, or will suck at a slightly further point, and progress will happen.
I have also made an effort to work more on mobility as I have become aware that as I have increased in size I have lost mobility. I have resumed yoga and got three sessions in, which I intend to keep up throughout the 12 weeks. It has been difficult juggling time to get all of the new work in as well as keeping up weight work, but I am sure this will sort itself out as my new routine establishes itself. I confess I did find lifting a bit harder work than usual this week, which I put down to the amount of energy I was expending elsewhere and also having done a couple of days of very heavy physical work helping a friend move his workshop. I am considering working on a different split for teh cut, with a couple of heavy days and the rest higher volume lower weight.
Nutrition-wise, things have been much happier. I was a bit concerned about going from a 500 calorie surplus to a 300 calorie deficit after having been in surplus for a full six months, but so far, I have really enjoyed eating lighter fare, and being a bit more creative with my food without having to pile in the calories all the time.
This is a selection of my meals from this week. Breakfasts have been either porridge with berries or on alternate days: omelette with chilli and cheese (top left). Scrambled egg and bacon with Rhom Daily Salad (top centre), ground beef and cheese on peas (top right).
Lunches have featured cottage cheese, salads, roast beef (middle row left), pomegranate quinoa (middle row centre) and hard boiled eggs and avocado (middle right)
Evening meals have been largely steak, fish or chicken (bottom row l-r) with a couple of salad varieties with a bit of brown rice or giant couscous here or there. I have been having fermented red cabbage and celeriac with at least one meal a day (because that’s what is in the kraut jar this week. Next week we will move on to jar two which will be ready and bring some variety to the probiotic element)
I also got round to trying Halo Top high protein low calorie ice cream. 360 calories for a whole tub? Eaten between 3 of us that worked out as 120 calories each, which is not going to derail my fat loss strategy, and 8g of sugar per tub, that works out at less than 3g per serving so you could have this and still stay Keto.
The only negatives to the ice cream were: price – at £5 a (smallish) tub that is definitely a treat meal; and the flavour we chose for our trial – Cinnamon Roll… sounds delicious, tastes… well definitely cinnamon-y, but with a slightly odd medicated edge to it. Like eating a pecan plait with Germolene in it. It wasn’t that it was a bad flavour, just not one ideally suited to an ice cream. Next time we will try the peanut butter flavour (if I am choosing) or probably the salted caramel or chocolate chip (if I am not allowed to choose, just pay). It’s definitely a great addition to the arsenal of delicious desserts for Family Friday Feast nights while still cutting.
Other evenings have just been Greek Yogurt with cherries for dessert.
Because there have been a lot of big flavours in everything, I have not really missed the drop in portion quantity, nor felt hungry at any time, really. It has been fun eating fresher lighter food and I have felt enthused to be preparing my meals – I never understand why calorie reduction should have to be monotonous. There is more to life than chicken, broccoli and brown rice. I have been hitting my macros and my calories, I have felt full of energy on the whole, and I feel clearer and lighter. It is as good a start as I could hope for.
So, the big reveal: today’s scale weight is… 92.7kg
Last week I was 93.6, so that is 0.9kg or 2lb lost. Which is absolutely bang on target. I know that might be water weight and all that blah, but I’m going to take that and be happy.
Less happily, I took all my measurements, which I had neglected to do last week. I was somewhat shocked to say the least. I have not been able to find my starting measurements but am hoping to get my measurements from October which I submitted to Craig St Clair, who was online coaching me back then. Going from what I can remember, however, I think I have put on at least 4 inches at the waist, and not more than 1 inch at chest and biceps. I knew I had put on a lot of fat around the middle, mainly in the last couple of months in fact, but had hoped I had gained more to the upper body. This doesn’t really bode well for the final outcome. I will be gutted if after all this work I end up back where I started.
However, no point in letting negativity creep in, certainly not this early on. This week, more cardio, more intensity, more yoga and more volume in the weights, and maintain the good work in the kitchen and let’s see where we’re sitting this time next week.