We all have our reasons for signing up to the 90 Day Plan. For me it was the promise of change whilst eating real food and it’s something I’ve embraced wholeheartedly. Wouldn’t you like to smash the 90 Day plan and ride into the sunset a more confident, fitter, stronger version of you? Who wouldn’t want that?
I read a post on FB that someone recently posted saying they’d ‘reverted to their old ways/bad habits’, so that makes me question how much do we learn during the plan? We join the FB support groups and we soon become accustom to the language used and start to become part of the crowd asking for MyProtein discount codes to buy things we don’t know we actually need because we’re still waiting for our plan to arrive and of course where’s the best place to order Carb Killer bars?
For me the 90 days wasn’t a magical period which could undo years of over eating and non existent exercise, it is merely the start of what could be something wonderful for your self esteem, your health and your bank balance when you need a new wardrobe!
So the question you need to ask yourself is ‘How am I going to change?‘.
From a personal perspective, my approach to this round of the plan is different. During my previous rounds I really got stuck in, I threw myself into the plan to see if I was up to the challenge of finishing it and I graduated twice with my mantra of ‘just get to the end‘. However, after finishing the plan I was exhausted, broken and needed a period of time to rest and recover and if I’m honest (and I always aim to be) I didn’t get back into regular exercise after my last graduation in May 2017.
The food side was easy. I’d been cooking using pick and mix or it’s new name create your own (CYO) so I was able to maintain my results to a point, but without regular exercise things were squishy and I didn’t feel as toned. This time I’ve decided to do my own workouts, weights followed by a HIIT session, 3 times a week and at the weekend I set aside 30 minutes for a LISS session (Low Intensity Steady State cardio) and listen to a podcast. I know this could affect what I achieve during the 90 days, but I’ve decided to make 2018 a year of slow steady progress and my workouts need to be something I want to do, not something I have to do in the short term.
I’ve decided to steer clear from anything that I wouldn’t consume in ‘real life’ as I’m surrounded by my young children who want to try what mummy’s having. So that means no protein powder, no protein powder based foods and no carb killa bars. It’s not surprising that I’ve embraced CYO from the start as The Body Coach has been kind enough to allow it from Cycle 1 and this makes it easy for me to eat ‘on plan’ and still feed by family the same foods. I recently read another FB post where someone who had done the 90 Day plan and now is doing SAS admitted they hadn’t eaten a meal with their family in over a year and that really saddens me. Mealtimes used to be where we could get together as a family, catch-up and spend time together. Surely in order to effect real change means to build those changes into your everyday life and not just for the 90 days? As The Body Coach reminds us, this isn’t a short term diet, we’re encouraged to cook using fresh ingredients so why wouldn’t we want to feed our families this way? At what point do you decide to put the 214 calorie Carb Killa bar away and just have the 187 calorie Crunchie that you’ve loved since your childhood days? Have you ever seen Joe Wicks heat up protein bar in the microwave for a sweet treat instead of his beloved Haribos?
The point of this blog is to make you think about how you are effecting change during your 90 day journey so that you can continue with it to reach your goal once you’re out of the safety net of The Body Coach and his plan. We sign up for the tailored plan. We’re provided with set recipes and CYO ingredient amounts and workouts, but at what point do you put your stamp on it, or as Louis Walsh would say ‘make it your own?‘. If your way of ‘doing’ the plan is to follow the set recipes and the set workouts, what exactly have you changed?
You need to take yourself aside and ask:-
- What will I do once the 90 days are up?
- What do I eat?
- How much will I eat?
- How many training sessions a week will I aim for?
- What will my training sessions consist of?
There’s a perception that the graduation report is going to provide the missing link required to reaching your goals but the reality is that you’re so exhilarated to reach the end, the report arrives and we go into a blind panic. What we forgot to do throughout the process was to consider life AFTER the plan comes to an end.
The need to compare our progress against others is a bitch and can really mess with your mind, but it doesn’t stop us doing it. The only person who knows your body, understands your commitments/lifestyle and more importantly knows what you want to achieve is YOU. If you work out and set your goals before you start, then work through the plan in a way that you can maintain long after you’ve done your time you’re well on your way to making those changes permanent.
Sometimes it’s hard to get support from your family. Husbands can be more than reluctant to add vegetables to their plate of beige, but if you do it by stealth, soon you and your family can enjoy meals together and the perception of being on yet another fad or diet will soon dissapate. You don’t need to isolate yourself from your family, batch cooking muscle mince to eat while the family order a pizza. Sometimes it’s good to have a slice of pizza and have a glass of wine, just not the whole pizza and the whole bottle of wine.
Something that we all want to achieve is balance and sustainability and those are hard lessons to learn. Be realistic about how much time you want to dedicate to working out and meal prep. Think about what how you’d like to eat in the long term.
I’m at the half way point of the plan, slap bang in the middle of C2 and I’m really loving the changes I’ve seen to my body. I’m trying some different things in my workouts and I’ve started having meat free Mondays to give me a little meat break to the make the plan closer to my real life and how I would to continue to eat once I’ve graduated.
2018 is a big year for me and my goals are set. To study nutrition to qualify as a Nutritionist and to continue to make steady progress to address my problem areas; mum tum, bingo wings and thighs that have a mind of their own.
Enjoy every moment of the 90 day plan, it can really change your life as I can attest to BUT remember to keep your eye on your life afterwards and think about how you’re going to reach your goals and stay there.