More Than An End Goal Week 11 – Make yourself proud.

Week 11 done and dusted. I’m on the home straight now, heading into the final week of my 12 week challenge.

My nutrition is settling down after a few mixed weeks. I’ve increased my daily calorie intake to an average of around 2500 calories per day.  The reason being, I am not looking to lose weight. I want to get stronger and leaner but not smaller. I’ve had a few ‘big’ calorie days over the last week – some due to eating out…but my week days are generally pretty ‘samey’ and my activity levels have remained the same. My weight has stabilised so I know I’m on the right track.

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When it comes to volume of food, it’s easy to over eat – and under eat. Most of my evening meals are approx 1000 cals. From this I can work back through the day and plan what I’m having. Portion control, it’s relatively easy to manage with a little bit of planning. For example, if you like cheese, you’ll know how high in calories it is. And how little you get for a 30g portion. So switching to pre-packed sliced cheese is a great option. Gouda is 100cals a slice. As is cheddar. Easy to manage. The same with rice – packets of microwave rice are approx. 170cals per half pack. Easier to plan and manage than oer consuming from a pan full of rice!

A calorie deficit created via decreased food intake / increased movement is how you achieve fat loss (weight loss). But muscle building is the key component to changing your body composition. In basic terms, the more muscle you have, the more ‘toned’ you look. I’ve been training to get some ‘muscle’ on me. This isn’t going to happen over night. But what I have focused on over my challenge is structured strength training. I’ve followed pretty much the same strength plan for this time, gradually increasing the weights as my strength builds and gradually adding in different exercises as I progress. And I am starting to see the results…

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This week I have been learning to chest press. I had been avoiding the bench chest press purely because I was up to 8kg dumbbells, not feeling my chest working but aggravating my elbows. Therefore I was struggling to progress. So I was sticking to the incline chest press machine. So Mark switched me from dumbbell to Olympic Bar. Initially without weight, I practised the technique. We then added some weight and it certainly got the pecs firing! The only problem is I will need a spotter as I don’t have PT sessions…so I’ll have to plan this exercise a little to ensure I get it done.

My running has been a little on/off over the last few weeks. Not just due to my knees flaring up but also due to my lack of motivation. I’m not coached for running. I just run to enjoy the fresh air, head space and the scenery. But for the last few months, I’ve been stuck to flatter routes due to my knee niggles. Which means I’ve been running the same route every run. As lovely as it is, it’s also quite borrrrring! The same route, by myself, every run I do.

So I entered the Lilleshall 10k which took place today. Even on the 10min walk up to the start, my knees weren’t happy. So I’d already planned on it being a bit of a run walk on a sunny Sunday morning. I ran without data so I had no idea of pace (not that I ever do!).  I ran on feel. I really enjoyed the run and my knees magically settled down as I got into it. I actually managed to run the whole route, including up to the monument (although the pace was more of a walk at this point!). And I’m really chuffed that I actually got a 10k PB (Post Op) of 55’26”. So my strength work and steady cardio work on the Wattbike has done what I wanted it to and I’m still running! Never ever taken for granted.

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So with one week left, I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved so far. What I’m doing is for me and no one else. I’m making myself proud of me. We can all be proud of others and look to others for inspiration and motivation. But we must remember to be proud of ourselves. Life is an echo…what you see in others, exists in you.

Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Remember, life is an echo. It always gets back to you.

Thanks for reading.

Lou

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