PROGRESS UPDATE NO. 2 – “You can have results or excuses – not both.”

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I just had my third body composition testing to see how far I’ve come in the last 4 weeks. This test marks the end of week 10. I’m starting to get tests closer together now so that if something isn’t working, we can change it. Going into this test I was feeling pretty deflated. I’ve been on the second phase of training for 4 weeks now and didn’t feel like I had changed. The only real changes I had noticed were a bit more size in my upper body and legs. If I had to guess, I would have thought my body fat percentage had gone up.

However the results of the test surprised me! The most exciting part is that I gained 2kg of lean muscle mass in the space of 4 weeks! The goal of this phase of training is moreso about building muscle than it is about losing fat. The weights are heavier and the reps lower. Being naturally small it is a fight for me to build muscle, so I couldn’t be happier that the training is working.  I also dropped 0.2% body fat during this phase. Although this isn’t huge, it’s good if I can still maintain my body fat level or lose a bit of fat as I build muscle, so losing 0.2% to bring me to 16% overall is a good result.  My coach was happy with this too. He is confident he will be able to get me lean easily and the most important thing is holding on to muscle mass.

I honestly thought my coach was going to ask me what the hell I’d been doing and why I hadn’t got any results this time around! I just didn’t feel different. This goes to show I need to have faith in the process – my body was responding the way it was supposed to, I just couldn’t see it. I know if I follow my coach’s instructions to a tee, I should get the results I’m after.

Dealing with setbacks 

The major set back I had this last week was coming down with a cold, losing my appetite and only really being able to stomach fresh fruit and veggies. I rarely get sick but I ran myself down after functioning on little sleep, working full time and maintaining my intensity of training. Having a cold made me crave sweet foods for a pick me up – mainly fresh fruits and soothing cold drinks for my sore throat. I prefer to rely on natural medicines when I get sick – like eating more vitamin c through oranges, carrots and berries, and taking manuka honey and green tea in order to remedy a cold. But unfortunately these things all contain sugar, which is not technically part of my comp prep diet. However I chose to put my health first and include more fresh fruit and manuka honey to try and kick the cold so I can get back into my training fast. I do believe in listening to my body, and wanted to give it the best chance to recover quickly. I’m feeling better for it and only had to take one extra rest day this week as a result.

Where to now… 

I’ve worked out that I’m sitting 18 weeks out from comp, and I’ve already been dieting for 10 weeks. I’ve still got so far to go, and it’s difficult to maintain motivation when your goal is not really in sight. I had a chat to my coach and he thinks I’ll need 12 weeks for my strict comp prep. So instead of dieting for 26 weeks in a row without a break (which would be the longest comp prep ever and not sustainable!), I’m going to get a week of ‘flexible dieting’ starting on November 30th. Essentially this is a week off from my diet so I can enjoy meals out a bit more. I won’t go completely nuts, but it will be nice to enjoy health foods like fruit smoothies, raw treats and protein bars that are not really part of my comp prep diet. I will still stick to my training regime during this time. I don’t find adhering to the training difficult, but dieting is very time consuming and can get a bit boring. It will be nice to have more variety in my foods for a week before knuckling down. Now that I have a date set for this in the foreseeable future, it should be easier to maintain discipline with something to look forward to in just 3 weeks time. 🙂

I’m looking forward to the last week on this phase of training. The goal is to keep gaining muscle mass while maintaining a low level of body fat! Bring on the gains! 😛

With love,
B. xx

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PROGRESS UPDATE NO. 1 – “Strive for Progress Not Perfection”

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The results from my first five weeks of training are IN! And I’m pretty stoked! I felt like I was getting leaner, but seeing the result in numbers is very motivating.

I started off my journey on 8th September at 18.5% body fat. My results from yesterday, the 15th of October showed I have decreased this to 16.2% body fat – a total loss of 2.3% in five weeks. Inevitably I have lost some weight and some of my lean muscle mass as well. The goal is to stay the same weight on the scale but increase the muscle mass and decrease the fat percentage. My trainer said it’s common with the first phase of training, but as the training gets harder my muscle mass will increase again.

My main problem areas that we noted in the initial assessment are my hamstrings, calves and stomach. On all of these areas I have lost 3-4mm in five weeks. My trainer said he couldn’t ask for a better result in that time frame – so I must be doing something right!  I’ve also lost 3mm off my quads and 1-2 mm off most areas in my upper body (which is not as much of a priority at this stage).

Although these stats indicate overall body fat loss, they also show that I have been able to make positive changes in the way my body functions. My calf measurements were showing that I had poor sleeping patterns, which I have able to fix through supplementation. Getting a better sleep has not only made me feel amazing during the days, but it is reflecting in my body composition. Also, the decrease in my hamstrings shows that I have been able to decrease my exposure to environmental toxins and/or improve the detoxification process in my body. I have probably achieved this through strict clean eating and switching a majority of my beauty and skin care products to certified organics.

Overall, I’m happy with the results. I have been pretty disciplined with my diet and training, making sure I commit fully to every session, so it’s good to see that what I’m doing is working. 🙂

I also started my next training phase yesterday! This phase is much harder – I’m starting to decrease reps and increase the weight. There are also more big compound movements like squats, dead-lifts and chin ups. I LOVE this kind of training so I’m really looking forward to this phase. And another plus side of increasing the intensity of training is… more carbs! I now get two carb meals a day, pre and post workout. Can’t say no to that!

I think the first phase of training has taught me to not be too hard on myself. No one is perfect. We’re all going to have slip ups. I tend to be a perfectionist in a lot of things, and my diet and training is no exception. But it’s important to strive for progress, not for perfection. We’re all human after all. I’ve had some amazing results so far, so I can be assured that I’m on the right track 🙂

With love,

B. xx

If you never try, you’ll never know

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Today I mustered up the courage to share my blog with my family and friends via Instagram and Facebook. A few close friends had encouraged me to do so, but I couldn’t help but hold doubts – What if no one reads it? What if people put me down? (Let’s be honest, there are a lot of people who are negative about #fitspo style posts, and I’ve copped my fair share of it).

An even bigger, scarier thought is what if I fail? What if I share my goals and dreams with the world, and then fail to achieve them? Everyone would know that I failed.  Then I realized that no matter the outcome, I will still be a winner; for I will have learnt so much about myself, become a stronger person both mentally and physically, and developed the confidence to hold my head high and say “I’m proud of what I’ve achieved”. After all, it’s all about the journey not the destination.

So, I went ahead and shared this blog (along with some of my goals and dreams) with the world! And I was met with overwhelming support. I can’t believe how many wonderful, encouraging people I have in my life – people I know, and people I don’t know. So publicly, I want to say THANK YOU to every single one of you who has sent me a message of encouragement or taken the time to look at this blog or check out my Instagram @bec.cameron – it really is heart warming 🙂

And for a quick wrap up of where I’m at:

I’ve just finished my second cycle of training – I say cycle because my training program is over 6 days (2 days on, 1 off, 2 days on, 1 off = 1 cycle). I’m feeling strong, and have already started increasing my weights.

I’ve noticed in particular, my legs and stomach are looking leaner. I didn’t expect to see my body changing so quickly, when I’m still in the early days of the training program. I guess it just goes to show that it really is ‘80% diet, 20% gym’!

With love,
B. xx

“Your dreams don’t work unless you do”

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I started my new training program this week. My first session training with my trainer was rough. We only went through a quarter of my legs session together, and already I had jelly legs and could hardly walk. I was surprised how amateur he made me feel, when I have been lifting heavy weights in the gym for over a year.  It was such an incredibly hard session that I wondered what I have gotten myself into. However, I enlisted help because I wanted to be challenged, so I wasn’t going to give up now.

I went off and started doing the training program he gave me at my own gym. I tried to make sure I pushed myself as hard as he had pushed me, sticking to form and tempos as well as I could. The first time it was a very hard session, but I got through it, and at the end I felt like I had achieved so much! Never have I trained so hard in a weights session. I felt so focused during my workouts.
I pulled up pretty sore after the week of training. There is a huge focus on technique and engaging the right muscles, which made me sore in places I didn’t know was possible! But I love being sore after a good workout – it’s such a satisfying feeling.

In other news, my sweet cravings have virtually disappeared throughout the week! It definitely gets easier as you go. I feel amazing, as if I have made great progress in eliminating the toxins from my body and allowing my body to function at the best level possible. My skin is glowing, and I feel fresh and energised to attack every day 🙂  It’s amazing what a big difference strict clean eating makes!

With love,
B. xx