8-week challenges – Do they work? What do they mean?
Read about the life changing fitness journey one of our members has embraced.
June 2016, I was at a very low point in my life, over 40, over-weight, carrying too much body fat, low energy, working 14-16-hour days, very stressed, poor nutritional habits and generally unhappy with myself. The list is as endless as my excuses for getting to that point.
I met Mo by chance and he encouraged me to join one of his 8-week challenges. I was very apprehensive as I hadn’t done any serious exercise for over 4 years and was probably the heaviest, and most definitely the largest I had ever been.
Anyway, I got over myself, thought “what do I have to lose” and joined the challenge with my daughter Catherine. I can honestly say the first challenge wasn’t a roaring success for me, (Whilst I made changes I didn’t commit fully to the process.) I thought that increasing my exercise would bring the results I wanted and quickly. Life isn’t like that and it is very true that you can’t out train a bad diet. Catherine, however, achieved amazing results and that inspired me to continue with the journey. It’s one thing to hear about people’s successes but it’s another to see people transform.
I used a second 8-week challenge to cement solid exercise habits as well as make significant changes to my nutrition. I refuse to say I went on a diet because I can honestly say I don’t and never have “dieted”.
I am now 2.5 years into my fitness journey, I’m loving the transformation, not only the changes in my body shape, but also my increased energy, my zest for life. The journey hasn’t ended (I don’t think it ever will) as its now a lifestyle that I love. Whilst my weight has now plateaued, I’m still making improvements month by month, Increased strength, body fat % is still falling, increased stamina, and muscle mass is increasing gradually.
My starting point was: My Statistics now (Dec 18)
Weight – 80.6Kg Weight – 60.1Kg
Body fat % – 41.3% Body Fat % – 24.2%
Muscle Mass % – 33.9% Muscle Mass % – 38.7%
Water % – 43.1% Water % – 55.2%
Bone Mass – 1.9Kg Bone Mass -2.1Kg
I’m not for one minute saying that an 8-week challenge is the be all and end all of any fitness journey. but it can provide the kick start you need as a stepping stone to launch yourself into what can become an incredible journey. This is exactly how I began my journey, and I still take part in the challenges when they arise to give myself a little boost. I have always made improvements during the challenges (albeit sometimes only tiny ones), even when I was injured and couldn’t train fully.
Sustainable results are what it’s all about – No gimmick diets, no crash dieting and no short cuts If I can offer any help/advice or tips to anyone considering an 8-week challenge, or embarking on a fitness journey they would be:
Trust the process – It does work if you commit to it.
Be open minded to change
Don’t stress that you don’t appear to be improving every week – that was and still
is my biggest hurdle.
Don’t say you’re dieting
Don’t say “I can’t have” – change it to “I don’t want”
You must want it for YOU – Find (and then remember) “Your Why” for wanting
There will be days when it all feels a struggle, that’s fine and is perfectly normal.
You can’t give 100% to every session and there will be times when you feel
drained – Its ok (again something I’m not good at) to take a couple of days off
training, reset and move on.
Set mini goals as well as big goal.
Don’t just rely on the scales, it really is just a number. A tape measure is a far
better friend, and visual aids are far more indicative of how far you have come.
During periods when I think I’ve stopped progressing, I look back at photos, and
also I have kept a pair of trousers from the very beginning. I get these out just to
remind myself how big I was.
Whatever your reason for embarking on a lifestyle change, Mo and the team will be there to get you started and support you throughout the journey.