So, I’ve reached the end of Phase 1 of 80 Day Obsession, and I’m a mass of contradictory feelings.
Firstly, I’m incredibly proud of myself for how well I’ve stuck to the programme. On the exercise side of things, out of the 24 workouts (plus 4 recovery sessions) I’ve only missed two in total, one legs and one cardio flow. I work out regularly and consistently, but I don’t think I’ve ever reliably managed 6 nearly hour long workouts every week for a whole month.
My nutrition has also been pretty good:
- On weekdays, during the day, I’ve not wavered once. I’ve got prepping my boxes and saying no to colleagues’ homemade cakes down to a fine art.
- In the evenings, me and my husband have cooked for each other as per usual. For these meals, I’ve not stuck rigidly to the boxes, but I have stuck to clean eating, relatively low-cal meals, sensible portions and no snacks or puddings.
- At the weekends, I’ve wavered a little, but have avoided unhealthy snacks and – with about three exceptions – meals that are completely beyond the pale.
- My main weakness, as I expected would be the case, has been booze. I’ve avoided drinking during the week, but at the weekends, I’ve had far more wine than I can really justify on a strict programme like this. That’s the main area where I want to be stricter with myself in Phase 2. Not going completely tee total – I just don’t feel that’s compatible with my lifestyle – but not taking advantage of the bit of slack I’m cutting myself.
When I set it out like that, it sounds like I’ve cut corners in quite a few places, and compared to some of the people I see on Facebook who don’t seem to have deviated from the plan an inch, I suppose I have. But I’ve been stricter with myself that I’ve really managed before, I’ve been good most of the time, and on balance, I’m still quite proud.
This will be heresy to some people, but for Phase 2, I’m moving away from an absolute reliance on the boxes and on timed nutrition, in favour of calorie counting combined with clean eating. In practice, I don’t think I’ll be eating all that differently, but it should simultaneously give me more flexibility and hold me more accountable.
Secondly, I’ve really enjoyed the programme. The individual workouts are good in and off themselves, but what I really love is the fact that no two videos are on the same, so you don’t get bored and you really feel like you’re on a journey with the cast and all the other participants worldwide.
Thirdly, I have found it a challenge to fit everything in. As I stated on Day Zero, I have a demanding job and though I always make fitness a priority, I’m used to 30 minute workouts and/or about four sessions per week. Frankly, I’m amazed and delighted I’ve completed as many as I have, but I’ve only managed it by really prioritising this. It’s been doable for four weeks, and I’m desperately hoping it will continue to be doable for eight or nine weeks more. But realistically, it’s not a schedule I can see myself sticking to long-term. And meal prep is pretty time-consuming too. For now, it works because I’ve embraced the idea of being obsessed for three months.
Fourthly, hand on heart, my results are a little disappointing. In four weeks, I’ve lost two pounds and an inch from my waist, hips and thighs. It’s not bad for a month, particularly considering that I’m relatively small to start with (4 pounds would have been about the most I realistically could have lost), but for the time and effort I’ve put in, I feel like I should have seen more results.
Some people might look at the paragraph above about the two missed workouts and the occasional deviances from the letter of the food law and claim I only have myself to blame, but I know I’ve had months where I’ve worked out for fewer total hours and put far less thought into what I’m eating, and lost quite a bit more. I’m confident I’ve been in a meaningful calorie deficit most days, I’ve walked too and from work every day, which burns around 300 calories, and I’ve worked out 6 times each week, so it’s frustrating.
My after pictures are below, and honestly, I can’t see that much difference. I think I’ve got more noticeable obliques and my abs are starting to show more generally, though the picture doesn’t really capture that. My waist is a bit smaller, as the measurements suggest, and there seems to be less fat on my back. So all good stuff, just again, not quite what I feel would be fair when effort is compared to reward.
All that said, I’m starting Phase 2 tomorrow, and I intend to give it my all. I’m excited to experience the new workouts, interested to see whether changing up the nutrition a bit helps or hinders, and really hoping things suddenly fall into place as far as results go.