Monday, 23 May 2016

90 day sss plan - end of cycle one, weight loss by Bex

So I've come to the end of my first 4 weeks on the body coach's 90 day SSS plan.  I've had some pretty good results although not as dramatic as some of the 4 week results I've seen on Joe's social media pages.  Although I was realistic about the fact they are a select few of hundreds signing up, given that I've made some pretty dramatic changes to my lifestyle, I hoped to be one of those amazing transformations with a bit more of a change.  However, I am making great progress and the biggest change is definitely in how I feel.  I absolutely have more energy and more motivation every day and I haven't missed a single workout.

It's recommended that we do 4-5 HIIT workouts per week and I aimed for 5 in case I missed one for some reason.  I've managed all 5 every week despite a few challenging days with the twins/work.  Nik has been an amazing support enabling me to manage both the endless weighing and cooking food as well as my workouts when I didn't do them at 6am.  I've also stuck to the food pretty much 100% other than our night at the ball and FIL's birthday.  I have struggled with the water intake since the first week.  I usually manage around 2 litres (which is probably double what I previously drank) but rarely make the 3.25L.

So, anyway, the results so far...

I've only lost 6.2lbs (just under 3kg) but that's almost half a stone and definitely heading in the right direction!  I still have another couple of stone (about 12kg) to lose to reach my target healthy weight (12 stone).  And I've lost 8 inches overall.  The majority from my hips (2.5") but apparently my right thigh hasn't changed at all!

I have to admit, I wrote all of the above on Sunday morning but had to wait until the evening for Nik to take some photos for me.  (He had to go in to work to take a patient to theatre, and then another so didn't get home until 7am - no 7 day NHS my foot!  He was also supposed to be in today to deal with another 3 emergency operations but luckily, for both him and the patients, he'd swapped last Sunday so was able to go to bed after being up for 26 hours!)  Anyway, despite my initial minor disappointment, I am now thrilled at the changes I can see.  Not bad for 4 weeks but I definitely still have a long way to go to get remotely near the size I used to be.  I miss my old clothes!!

I'm not quite ready to share the full before & after photos on here yet but for now, here's the back view.  Surprisingly I found these the most inspirational anyway although I was relieved to see my belly finally reducing in the side view!  Taken just 4 weeks apart...

You can see I've lost the folds of fat at the sides, my waist is returning and my saddlebags are shrinking!  I lost most of the inches from my hips and although my old bikini is still clearly far too small, it's starting to look a little better!  Not only that but I am happier, fitter and less tired AND my skin is better too.

I think it also helps to remind myself of just how far I've come since the twin pregnancy!  I did get a pretty massive bump despite being slimmer elsewhere and I did put on a lot more weight afterwards but I'm finally heading in the right direction.

34 weeks (3 weeks to go!)

37 weeks!

The first days after the birth with my horrendous PEP rash!

It's funny how many people tell me I look fine whenever I mention needing to lose weight or that I've started a plan (I refuse to call it a diet).  Either they're just being polite (which seems pointless, just be supportive rather than lie) or I am good at hiding it with what I chose to wear.  I know being tall helps and I do try to wear flattering things but people often look surprised when I admit I'm a size 18 at the moment.  (I was in size 20 trousers last year.)  It's good that I don't look overweight as I'm going about life but as you can see when I'm stripped down, my body isn't healthy and I need to lose the fat and tone up.  Plus, like I said, I want to get back into my old wardrobe!  I have some pretty fab clothes :)

I've just submitted my results and photos following Cycle 1 with my testimonial I've copied in below:

As a busy mother of 18 month old twins who works part time, I was extremely nervous to sign up for the plan as I knew it would take a lot of dedication and time but I am SO glad I did.  It has done exactly what I hoped so far and everyone has noticed the change in my energy levels, weight loss and overall fitness already.  

I first discovered Joe's Instagram when my twins were 8 months old and I had put on a lot of weight since giving birth.  I was eating a lot with little exercise and too much quick, rubbish food.  I was still breastfeeding and not at all ready to sign up to the plan but once the twins were walking and I finished breastfeeding, I bought Joe's book and tried out a few of the principles to see if I thought I might manage to stick to it, I knew I had to feel ready to commit to the plan fully.  I have never dieted, I LOVE food and wouldn't manage to stick to a low calorie diet so I loved the idea of big meals (I have a big appetite!) and a structured plan.  I was also drawn to the short HIIT sessions as I hoped I'd be able to fit them in at home.  Luckily my twins sleep well so I have managed to get up early to fit in my HIIT, shakes and breakfast before they wake.  Despite the early starts, I've felt less tired and a lot more organised.  I'm proud to say I've completed all 5 workouts every week and stuck to the food almost 100% (we had a night out and a birthday celebration so I've had a couple of off plan meals, one glass of fizz, one slice of cake and a cream tea today too!)  I found I really got into the swing of the food prep and choosing recipes after a couple of weeks and I genuinely love a lot of the meals.  

As for my results, I admit I was a little disappointed at first by the numbers (just 6 lbs lost and 8" overall) compared to some other transformations but after seeing the difference in my photos (which I purposefully tried to keep real and not suck my belly in for!) I am delighted with the results so far!  I'm so glad we're asked to take photos as that has really spurred me on to the next cycle despite being worried about using weights, something I've never done before!  Don't let the numbers ruin your motivation, it really helps to see the difference in the pictures!   And actually, for just 4 weeks, I'm very chuffed with the changes so far!  I am already a new person, thank you Joe!

I'm extremely nervous about Cycle 2 with the longer training and added weights, different recipes (in fact I think there might not be recipes, just lists of foods to pick from and combine) and a whole new routine to get used to again.  Fingers crossed I manage to keep it up!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Meeting Alasdair - Impromptu newborn shoot by Bex

Like I said before, sometimes pictures just have to skip the queue!  For those of you who don't know Gemma, she's one of my most amazing friends, (3 of whom have given birth within a month of each other!), and I was so excited to see little A at just 13 days old!  I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the scrumptious new Alasdair on Friday and took my camera in case the equally gorgeous parents wanted any photos.  Not that they had much choice ;)

Not only were they keen to have a few photos taken, including their first as a family of three, they also let me have lots of cuddles with the wee man who snuggled in and fell asleep on me for about an hour and a half, lush squishy newborn-ness!  We had a good old catch up over tea and biscuits (them not me as I'm on my 90 day plan), I can't wait to see our children playing together!

Anyway, here are a few of my favourite pictures from my first meeting with wee Alasdair.  Isn't he adorable?!  Congratulations again Gemma and R!!

Seriously, aren't they just such a gorgeous family!?

Doesn't that smile just say it all?

Gemma has of course seen all of these (and the rest!) and has kindly allowed me to share my favourites here :)  I'm really pleased with how they came out and I'm SO glad Gemma likes them.  I'm really trying to learn to be a better photographer (with such inspirations as Laura, Clare and Anna, to name just a few).  Obviously having stunning subjects, their awesome flat as a backdrop and some lucky bright light helped a great deal but I'm still pretty chuffed :)  It was lovely being able to capture these precious moments with them.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Homemade Mummy's Meals - a review by Bex

One of my friend's from my post-natal class, Hannah, has set up her own business selling home-made toddler meals.  I recently bought a couple of her taster boxes and the twins loved them!  I offered to take a few pictures and write a review as I was so impressed.  Also, she's lovely!

Hannah's meals are an absolute bargain (see full price list below) and home made locally with local ingredients and no added salt or sugar.  Hannah uses eggs from Five Chimney's Farm, meat from Bird in Eye Farm Shop and organic milk and cheeses.   A taster box is just £5 and contains 2 savoury muffins, 1 chicken curry, 1 chilli con carne, 1 sausage and lentil stew, 1 haddock and sweetcorn risotto, 1 bolognese and 2 chicken nuggets!  All you need to do is add pasta, rice or, a handy tip from Hannah - couscous which is much quicker!

Considering the cost of good ingredients and the time taken to cook meals, I think they're a pretty amazing deal!  

The speedy super veggie muffins are perfect for lunchtime.  Just microwave from frozen for 1 minute.  They're jam packed with goodness, they contain peas, carrots, butternut squash, parsnip, sweetcorn and sweet potato.

As for the other meals, they all smell delicious, I had to taste a few and can confirm they are yummy!  I bought the kids an Ella's pouch once and they wouldn't eat it.  I tasted it and it was so bland.  Hannah's meals are full of flavour but still without any nasty additives.

Also, how cute is her daughter, Isla!?  Such gorgeous blue eyes...

The twins obviously thought so too as there was a bit of a snogging sesh before we left ;)

You can check out Hannah's Homemade Mummy's Meals page on Facebook.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Gorgeousness doubled - twin update by Bex

Despite still having a good few photos from the last few months to sort through, sometimes a batch just has to skip to the front of the queue and be edited immediately and tonight was no exception.  I love these images of, yet another, fun bath time.

He runs everywhere these days, despite the fact his feet often can't keep up!

Those little curls! 

Then we had some naked running around time...

 You know, I think he might be a dancer!

Oh and then there was tickling time!

They're 18 months today.  How did this happen?!  Proper toddlers now.

Kalyan's words are very clear now, he often says Mummy and Daddy (and Baby when pointing at pictures of himself and Priya).  

Priya still doesn't have many words but her general noises are getting more varied and she's still making herself very clear with pointing!

They're both sleeping quite a lot at the moment (which is great since I'm getting up at 6am to do my HIIT sessions, I need my nap time rests!) and I'm pretty sure they're having a bit of a growth spurt.

They're both still hilarious and frustrating and lots of fun.  

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