My Fitness Journey

Part 31: Taking Fitness Advice

Healthy Halloween Chris Brophy

As you’ll know if you’ve followed my fitness journey regularly over the past 15 months, I have tried to do things my way with very little help, support, interference or anything else from others.  Of course, it’s impossible to take on board the biggest challenge of your life without taking some advice along the way, and I’ve done exactly that via magazines and various websites.

One of the reasons people put off dieting or exercise is because there is so much conflicting information out there about how to do it and see the best results. The reason why there is so much information out there is because there isn’t a perfect plan that suits everybody. So, Mr X may be telling us to eat specific foods or do a specific type of exercise,  but Miss X will say something completely different because it’s a system that worked for her. And that’s the thing here, it’s about finding what works for you.

Oh doesn’t he scrub up well!

Oh doesn’t he scrub up well!

Even when you have found what you think is the perfect diet or exercise plan you’ll be tweaking as you go along, because some aspects of the plan will work and other won’t. Plus you’ll read articles in a magazine that will catch your eye and you’ll think “oh I must try that”.

There are also plenty of folk out there who think they know it all, but sadly haven’t got a clue what they’re doing. I know people who call themselves personal trainers, yet they don’t hold a single fitness qualification, read any professional fitness magazines, have only 1 customer and nor do they have any real success story to tell of their own. Yet they advertise as PT/coaches. I took a selfie the other day but it doesn’t make me a top model!

One thing I’ve never done here on my blog is tell people how to do something. I’ve never said “you need to eat this” or “you need to do this type of exercise”. Again, there’s no one-system-fits-all if you know what I mean.

It’s impossible for me to advise on what will work for you because I don’t know you, but also it’s probably going to be difficult for you to know what works until you try it. So don’t be afraid to try different foods, different ingredients, different portion sizes, different meal times and so on. It’s the same with exercise. Long daily walks could be just enough for you, but there’s no harm in trying street running, brisk walks on a treadmill or 30 minutes of HIIT. Allow time to find what is right for you.. what you enjoy… what you think you’ll be able to maintain, and be patient because it will take some time to adjust and to hit your goal.

The type of exercise you choose to do and foods you eat mostly depend on your lifestyle. I’m not saying that busy people have no time to eat healthy, because that’s nonsense. You can prepare food early morning or the night before and freeze it. You can prepare a meal replacement shake in less than a minute. No excuses!  But extremely busy people often don’t find time to exercise, and that’s worrying because exercise would actually help reduce stress, and paired with healthier eating can improve the way you work also, so the benefits are endless.

Since beginning on my fitness journey I’ve not gone on any kind of well-known diet. Sure, I’ve changed how, what, how much and when I eat but it’s been tweaked along the way. It’s a work in progress shall we say…constantly being changed. It was my daughter’s birthday last week and we went to the horrifically expensive Pizza Hut.  Not only did I completely demolish two pizzas with the help of Mrs B and two other kids, I also ended up scoffing birthday cake too, so as you can imagine my weight didn’t change at all last week. If it wasn’t for the exercise, I’d have gained weight. In fact, my son and I were ill afterwards and I spent most of the evening on the toilet. From the reviews I’ve read on Facebook it would appear that I’m not the only one to experience bad stomachs after eating at Pizza Hut Trafford Centre, but I won’t elaborate on this any further.

Happy Halloween 2017

Happy Halloween 2017. Yes I worked out with that make up on!

At the moment I’m drinking two or three healthy shakes a day and having one ‘solid’ meal such as spicy tomato pasta, paella, chicken in black bean sauce or even just fried eggs if I’m in the mood for something simple. My diet isn’t perfect at all, in fact if I’m brutally honest I’d go as far as saying that I don’t eat enough. My body isn’t burning enough fat off at the moment and instead is torching away at some of the muscle I’m adding. I don’t eat enough protein in the day, so I’m not building, repairing or retaining muscle. A person like me who lifts weights five days a week should be far more toned than I am by now but this is something that I need to improve upon and will report on here over the coming months.

As I said a moment ago, the advice I take is usually from a magazine. I don’t read lots of different kinds; I tend to stick to the same one which is the British publication Men’s Fitness (not to be confused with the American one). However, these past couple of weeks I’ve been drawn in to reading two books. One is about the G-Plan diet and the other entitled Get Fit, Get Happy by Harry Judd of the boyband McFly.

The G Plan Diet is all about helping you to lose weight fast (in 21 days) by helping you get the best gut bacteria you can. Yes I said bacteria, and incase you didn’t know our body is full of it too. The plan involves you eating gut healthy foods such as kefir. I saw a review of this on a TV programme and thought I’d see what the fuss was about. Amazon’s rated it highly, so I thought why not have a look and see if it’s something I’d be interested in trying.

As for Harry’s book Get Fit, Get Happy…well… at first glance I can see he’s doing pretty much everything I am doing, so that’s a good sign. There’s a very interesting biographical section in the first third of the book and the rest are exercises, including some rather unique ones such as working out on the bed, in the shower and even as you’re taking selfies on your phone. It’s a bit gimmicky and anybody who takes fitness seriously like I do probably won’t gain any extra knowledge from the book, but it’s full of fun and unique ways to lose weight, tone up, get fit and get happy. I’ll review both of these books shortly here on my site, so look out for those, but upon first glance both seem a great read.

As for progress in October, well it wasn’t as positive as I’d like it to have been, but at least I’ve identified the reasons why and know how to prevent November from being such a ‘drain’. Snacking a few extra times, not putting as much effort into my workouts and illness are all contributing factors. With that said, I am pleased to say that I didn’t gain any weight and have to date lost over 52 pounds since I started on my fitness journey. To put that into perspective for you, that’s the equivalent of 23.5 bags of 1kg sugar!

Progress has slowed down a little. I’m finding it harder to shift as much weight now I’m 15 months into my fitness journey, but that’s because I’ve not got a lot of fat any more. I’m expecting weight loss to be around a pound a week now whereas I’ve shifted as much as 3 or 4 some weeks earlier in the year. I’m not letting this blip get to me though. I am still making progress but at a slower rate, but hey, I’m only around 7 pounds away from my weight goal and its 7 weeks till Christmas, so I am pushing myself harder than ever now in order to hit that target before 2018.

Chris Brophy 2016 and 2017

Front shots; October 16 and October 17

Chris Brophy 2016 and 2017

Side shots; October 16 and October 17

 

 

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