New challenges, new goals and becoming The Lean Cook

New challenges, new goals and becoming The Lean Cook

It’s been a little while since I last sat down and really looked at my goals, but since graduation in May it’s been pretty busy as you can imagine, but never before have I set goals and actually achieved them.

During the 1st round of 90 Day SSS my goal was pretty much to finish the plan writing as many recipes as possible to share. When I did the 2nd round and restarted the plan after my time out injured (one month of no exercise and several sessions with my osteopath), my goal was to make it onto The Body Coach’s transformation page and appear on the social media pages, yes in my underwear and I achieved that too!  It was such a boost the day my transformation went out and I have to admit that I ducked for cover because I’ve seen other transformations receive the harshest of comments, saying that they’re staged, not the same person or other hateful things that I couldn’t quote, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Coming down from that high I signed up to SAS, the graduate plan to give me some focus while I figured out what to do long term.  Since graduation in May I’ve successfully maintained my results.  While some may not see that as progress, for someone who has ‘previous’ for yo-yo dieting, believe me when I say it’s progress.

I’ve always strived to eat real food while on the 90 Day SSS plan, although I have been known to have the occasional macro adjusted Chunky Monkey Smoothie from the Lean in 15 Blue Book.  I’ve spent the last few months experimenting to see how different foods suit me. For me food in the real world post plan isn’t protein pancakes, smoothie bowls and Carb Killa bars.  I’ve spent the last year learning to cook again, but making lean versions of dishes I’ve loved to eat in the past so that after I finished the plan I didn’t to revert to eating like I did before and undo everything I’ve worked for.

I’ve come to realise that having a carb meal even on a rest day helps me to remain ‘normal’  (don’t make me hangry, you won’t like me when I’m hangry) and on training days I stretch to 2 carb meals. I had a period of around a week where I just cooked what I wanted and I found that I unintentionally ate less vegetables, so now I have days where I cook off my pick and mix list, and other days I cook to a calorie goal only measuring proteins, carb sources and cooking fats.  May I state for the record that I won’t be calorie or macro tracking.  For some reason if I start tracking everything I become anxious before I start cooking and cooking has always been an enjoyable experience and calorie/macro tracking for me feels like dieting – apologies to anyone macro tracking, I mean no offence, it’s just not for me.

Even though I’ve been under the comfort blanket that is SAS and I’ve completed M1, I feel that it’s time to do my own thing. I know what I can and should eat, and over the last year I’ve learned a lot about my body and I’ve been really surprised at the physical changes brought about by exercising.

I always said that if I ever joined a gym I’d love to get into more strength training as I’ve really enjoyed that part of the workouts, and I’ve decided to pursue that area of training and joined a gym in recent months.  To support my new training regime, I’ve been researching supplements and placed an order.  I’m going to be starting in a couple of weeks after the family and I take a little holiday.

I’ll explain more about the supplements nearer the time and go into the reasonings behind my decision to take them, but I remember when my mum visited and I took my BCAA drink post workout and noticed this weird look on her face. She then asked me if I was taking steroids (?????), I guess to her I was doing workouts including weights and I’m drinking weird drinks made with white powder and well she came to her own conclusions!

I’m also really interested in eating for wellness, foods that enhance your gut health, foods that reduce inflammation and I’ve had a recent dalliance with kefir and I’m considering making my own.  Plant based eating is something else that interests me, vegetarianism, the Mediterranean way of eating (I don’t like to refer to it as a diet as that has negative connotations for me).  It’s taken me a while to concede to the fact that if I’m to explore these new avenues the way I eat has to be more adaptable and living under the confines of a strict/rigid food and fitness plan will make that impossible.

Even with these new areas of food to explore I’m still coming up with new recipes, some are Body Coach plan friendly and others will sit under the category of lean so of course when they appear in the app they’ll have full macros and calorie info in a new lean category and recipe pack that will be added soon.

I’ve been a little distracted of late trying figure all of this out and working with my husband to bring you The Lean Cook app, so I plan to keep blogging my experiences and sharing my progress because I see more and more women turning to strength training to retain muscle mass as they get older and I recently turned 45.  I want to continue to be open about my experiences and to show that strength training doesn’t mean bulking up.

At the start of this blog post I talk about goals and to be honest my goals boil down to a few key things.  To train 3-4 times a week, to improve my core strength because I suffer from back problems, to work on reducing my mum tum, to drop a jean size.  I’ve been on the larger side most of my adult life, and while it’s nice to be in smaller clothes I’ve still got a way to go before I’m at my ideal shape/size.  I don’t have a weight goal.  To be honest, the scales were banished from the bathroom a while ago and I go by how my clothes feel, but I am thinking about looking at a body fat goal to work to but I’m still mulling that over.

My aim from the start was not to be on a diet and for my children to see me exercising.  If a slice of cake happens to appear at my place setting when out with the children I’m not going to beat myself up over it, but I know and understand I have to exercise some control and make sure that it’s a once in a while thing.

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  1. Nicki Warren
    5th September 2017 / 6:06 pm

    I like your honesty. I haven’t done the body coach plan as I’ve decided to try my own approach with my PT. I do like to look at every available recipe to me whether it on an app or in recipe books. I like your honest approach to cooking and that uve been there n done that! Good luck with your own continuing journey and I look forward to your updates 😜

    • Nella
      Nella
      Author
      5th September 2017 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks Nicki. I’m no spring chicken at 45 and I decided that if I was going to see this through that I would have to put myself out there and that’s so unusual for me. Just over a year ago there wasn’t anyone in the fitness world that I could relate to so I set about looking at different areas which brought be to Joe Wicks and his plans. The usual celebs who were transforming themselves were 20 years younger than me and it wasn’t surprising that I couldn’t relate to them, so my approach is pretty basic, honest and I’m going to continue with that. Good luck with your journey, I’m sure your PT is going to work you hard and I hope you enjoy my new food & fitness endeavours!!! Nella xxx

  2. Amanda Dodwell
    5th September 2017 / 6:44 pm

    Well done Nella your amazing & do inspirational, I hope you achieve all you set out to do ( I know you will ) your app is awesome 👏🏼 thank for that have a lovely family holiday you all so deserve it xx😊👏🏼👏🏼

    • Nella
      Nella
      Author
      6th September 2017 / 9:40 am

      Thank you Amanda. Hopefully this is going to keep me busy during the winter months! xxx

  3. Debra
    5th September 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Nella you have achieved so much and I believe with your focus and determination you will continue to reach your goals. Since BC I have kept up weight training and its def the way to go! Good luck x

    • Nella
      Nella
      Author
      6th September 2017 / 9:41 am

      Thanks Debra. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in. Do you take any supplements to support your training?

  4. Heather Chalmers
    6th September 2017 / 7:36 am

    You are amazing and it is so refreshing to read a realistic blog. I have found it quite difficult relating to some of the ‘young ‘ people. I was 54 in June, although I don’the feel like it 😄 Looking forward to keeping up to date with how you are getting on. I know that I need to write down some goals as they have gone by wayside these last 2 months with so many visitors, our sons wedding and holiday, plus an injury. You really are an inspiration to me and to so many people. Loving the app and have a lovely holiday. You deserve it! Heather xx

    • Nella
      Nella
      Author
      6th September 2017 / 10:14 am

      Thanks Heather, I’m glad it’s not just me! Goal setting is helpful to keep you focussed, just keep it realistic and don’t be too hard on yourself! You’ve had a huge family event and holiday but it’s unfortunate that you managed to get injured too. Just don’t rush your recovery. I got injured in December last year. I didn’t give it enough time to recover and I ended up out for a month. Seek advice, get treatment and start when your body is ready. The workouts as you know are hard on the body so give it your all when you’re 100% fit! xxxxxxxx

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