Week 8 of my 8 Week Challenge

It’s been a challenge that’s for sure! And I think 8 weeks is long enough. I say that because it becomes all consuming. Planning ahead to ensure ingredients for meals, preparing all the meals, and ensuring Birchers and meals that need pre preparation is done, and the regular exercise and constantly being on your game to get the best result in 8 weeks. Phew, I’m exhausted just writing and thinking of it. I have found that at 8 weeks I was becoming very body conscious knowing I had to produce an after photo, and impress the judges so to speak as there’s a prize of a trip to Port Douglas to be won. At no point do I think I will win. There’s so many others with much more impressive results than mine. I’m one of thousands doing this challenge. Here’s how my week went.

Day 1 Week 8

Day 2 week 8

Late to get up, throws the meal times out. But I’m on the wagon. Today’s workout was a good one.

I followed Wednesday’s menu today

Love the Bircher and the salmon dish was also really tasty.

I bought this grater for $25 of a facebook sponsored page. So much easier to do the grating

Day 3 Week 8

I’m getting nervous. The challenge is nearly over and although I have noticed my waist, abdomen and hips feel smaller, and the tape measure says they are, I feel when I take my post challenge photos there won’t be a lot of visible difference. I’m sort of embarrassed to present them to the challenge assessor/judges.

But what I have gotten is refocus, learnt some strengths and weaknesses in my diet. By stepping outside my comfort zone I have found some new favourite or likeable meals. Realised what new, and although healthy, bad habits I had developed. My fitness and strength has improved. I’m back to what I was before I let the workouts slowly slip.

But yes I am nervous about doing those after photos because as much as I know there will be no great visible difference, I really don’t like the physical appearance of my aging body. Young people won’t understand but even if I’m following the menu and exercising I’m also trying to age gracefully but it’s hard to see your skin texture change. It becomes dryer, more dimply, less smooth and droops more no matter how much muscle toning you do. It just doesn’t look as nice anymore. And looking at those against ‘the blank wall’ photos really won’t do my self esteem a lot of good.

But aging gracefully is key, albeit hard. At a certain age it all looks better with clothes on that’s just how it is! I think, I try not to see all the flaws and focus on the things that I’m lucky to have. My health, I’m short so having a waist is good to give shape to clothes, I have legs that walk & arms that move and there’s some people who love me. You’ve got to work with what you’ve got. Look a Turia Pitt and how she has overcome her unfortunate burn scars. As I once heard a psychologist say when after my husband had died and I was discussing new relationships and mentioned how men like women with big boobs etc etc. She said, well you’re more than a set of boobs and if a guy only wants to be with you for your boobs you probably don’t really want to be with him. I often think of that comment when I’m feeling like Im turning to seed. We are more than our bodies, we are our minds and all the individual wonderness that make you you. The animated person. Our connections with others is more important than beauty, money & fame & today I thoroughly enjoy lunch with a couple of intelligent, interesting great women. That gave me more pleasure today than anything.

Have you ever sat and talked to an older person in their 80’s and been captivated by their richness of life and all they’ve done and what they’ve seen. Last week I spoke to an 80 year old man in a cafe who was working on the Westgate bridge when it collapsed. Once many years ago in my general nursing days I cared for a WW1 veteran who was in his 90’s. There was a elderly mathematician Alison Harcourt interview this week, she’s fascinating They are so interesting to talk to. I hope to grow old gracefully and be interesting. I’ve got about 30 years to become interesting in my 80’s. 😂😂😂😂. No one will be worried about boobs and body image then, it’s definitely about the brain!

I’m pleased with my efforts over these past weeks. I really have tried. And that’s all one can ask of oneself. I never got top marks at school I sat in the average and my mum would say. The main thing is that you’ve done your best that’s what’s important. Well in this challenge I really have tried to put my best foot forward.

This morning I set the alarm, got up early and did my workout before going out for the day. I’m not sure what the heck I did with my online shop but missed a few veggies I needed so have improvised for tea. It’s still better than many other alternatives, fish and chips did run thru my mind, but instead I cooked. (The new winter warmer smoothie was so much better than I anticipated, I really liked it)

Day 4 Week 8

Wow wow wow. 8 weeks is almost over. How fast it’s gone. So happy I can look back and say I made a decision to change my direction. At the start it’s daunting but at the end it’s rewarding. Very rewarding, because I put the brakes on my weight gain and reversed back to a weight I’m more comfortable within my clothes.

Those who have lost weight, it’s kinda weird when you run your hand over your skin and can feel, hey that fatty bulge feels smaller, even softer. It’s a moment when you know your on the right track. When the muffin is getting less above the jeans or undies put a smile quietly on ones face, or the extra coverage around the ribs disappears is a sign your hard work is taking shape 😊and you know you made the right choice to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

Day5 Week 8

Day 6 Week 8

Day 7 Week 8

I had a goal to get back to my best 28 weight starting this challenge. Tomorrow is the end of the challenge and I’m 800gms off that weight.

I must admit I felt like why try with my workout this morning it’s not going to drop off 800gm in 1 day but I re corrected my thoughts are started thinking of my mid term goal and got stimulated into it.

I celebrated my birthday in week 7. I dare say some of the choices I made that week may have potentially prevented me from getting to my goal weight. I had choices and chose to enjoy foods I really enjoy that week. There’s always sacrifices one way or another. I sacrificed getting to my goal and have to be ok with that now.

I could of done extra exercise and perhaps that would of got me over the line but I didn’t. No point with the could of’s, I just need to look forwards. Although the challenge officially may end tomorrow, being my best 28 weight by the end of the 8 weeks was my short term goal. Reaching my initial goal of loosing 10 kg when I started 28 (2016) is my mid term goal. It might take me 3 years to finally reach that goal but better sometime in the future than never. I’m going to keep soldiering on to drop more weight between now and September. And my long term goal is to sustain that 10 kg loss to March next year when I go to Europe, then I will set new goals.

It’s hard looking at the photos coming onto my page of people with great transformations. I feel mine has been much more subtle.

Tomorrow I will do my measurements. I have lost 2.1 kg since buying my scales on the 9th of May 5 weeks ago. I think overall I may have lost about 4-4.5 kg throughout the challenge.

Another 2 goals for me this challenge was to step out of my comfort zone and try running and try new recipes on the 28 program.

The running went by the way when it turned cold. I’m a woose I know but I don’t think I was enjoying it enough to keep going with it and the cold was perhaps an excuse. I know heaps of you runners still kick arse rain hail and shine. But I have given it a go and that’s a start. I haven’t necessarily hung up my running shoes but for now parked them at the back step 😬.

As for the meal plan, wow, I have given this my absolute best effort. I have persisted for the 8 weeks. I have made almost every meal on the plan. I have found some nice new meals to expand my selection of foods.

Today’s carrot cake whip I found bland and had to add extra coconut milk and a touch of honey for flavour. There are so many other nicer Bircher and Porridge’s on the program I would swap my precious oat filled meals for. Can’t be eating oats and not enjoying them! 😂 that’s non negotiable for me.

The green potato salad is now on my favourites list which I think will be great in summer. And I also have added the spicy steak burritos to the favourites list.

I have improved my strength to a point I need to go and buy heavier weights. Can I ask Sam Crew or Sam Wood about going up in weights. I find in the first couple rounds it’s a bit easy but harder in the 3rd and 4th but still ok but pushing myself the last 20 seconds of those rounds. How many kg’s should I go up and should I do round 1-3 with heavier weights and round 2-4 lighter weights or should I just go up 1 kg and do all 4 rounds with a slightly heavier weight?

Day 8 Week 8

Today I took my after photos my measurements and weighed myself for the end of the 8 week challenge. To be honest it feels bittersweet. My measurements have dropped. Since the 25 th April when I did my initial measurements these are my results

Waist ⬇️9cm

Arm ⬇️1cm

Bust ⬇️5cm

Hips⬇️5cm

Thigh ⬇️3.5cm

Calf down 2cm

Neck⬇️1cm

Wrist no change

Abdomen ⬇️3.5cm

I’m 400grams off reaching my best 28 weight again and I know in a week or so I will have done that. My clothes feel better on me and I reached a goal to get my waist back under 80cm. It’s now 74cm.

BUT my visual appearance, my before and after photo look no different in my bathers, in fact I’m never wearing those bathers again.

I don’t even want to submit them for the end of challenge. I’m not even going to show my partner that’s how much I dislike them. I was dreading taking them because they make me feel so bad about myself. I look terrible. And I’m not feeling great. There’s no wow factor. There’s no gosh look at you, what a transformation.

I have given this a big effort. Eating so many meals I didn’t really want to but was prepared to, to get results and expand my horizons. I’ve stepped up with workouts which I know has been beneficial to my overall well-being so no regrets there. I have to be happy that I pretty much got to my weight loss goal, my clothes feel better and my waistline is in a healthy place. Now I just need to work on loving the body I have.

Feeling a bit flat to be honest, but I honestly do in my heart feel I’ve really tried and that’s my saving grace. I didn’t cheat myself. I honestly tried for me

After doing my measurements, photos and weight, I sat on the couch, and quietly to myself, had a few tears.

I think the fact that visually there is not any visible change is what has been so disappointing amongst all the positives, especially when my fb feed constantly sends me so many 😲wow amazing transformations of people of all shapes and sizes. The winners in this game of fitness and health. I’m am truely envious of their results and so happy for their achievements because I understand the hard work and determination that has taken.

I did end up showing my partner my photos and of course he said all the right things! Which was nice.

I initially thought to myself, stuff it, I’m going to have my favourite blueberry smoothie for breakfast, then thought nah stick to the plan and keep going. Just keep trying, you’ve come this far.

As I made the golden tumerac breakfast bowl which last week I had swapped in as a choice option rather than snez’d Macedonian baked beans( sorry Snez) I thought, well if the worst comfort food I was going to turn to was a cashew and blueberry smoothie then that’s a win in itself. That’s when you know a ‘diet’ is now your lifestyle. And overall that’s the most important. Yes, I now feel I could try to lose another 10 kg like Amy Kingstons story of thinking of 10 but looks amazing at 20 kg loss, but our bodies are our bodies and in 53 years I’m still learning to try to love the one I have genetically been given and accept menopause and all its challenges to my changing body.

And if that takes avoiding back view mirrors in fluorescent lit change rooms in my underwear that tell a horrid truth, and enjoying a side glance IN CLOTHES in an elevator or a front view in my mirror before I head out the door and the occassional selfie at an angle that flatters more, then I think that’s ok. If all that tricks us into liking what images we see of ourself and thus liking ourselves more then I see no need to ruin my day with anymore blank wall good lighting straight on photos.

It’s how we feel about ourselves that matter. And I feel proud for really giving this a really good go. And if not for the photos I took for the challenge entry I feel much better in my clothes, I know I have lost cms and a few kg’s.

Really this before and after underwear photos I don’t want to let bring me to tears again.

I will enjoy feeling better in clothes and photos and at angles that trick my mind into liking myself and remember how good I felt on my birthday celebrating with friends and family. That’s happiness!

So instead of before and after photos , I’ve posted photos IN CLOTHES, enjoying life. That’s what matters most, enjoying life.

I honestly had a cry when I looked at those pictures. We are very hard on ourselves and to often feel shamed by beautiful women on social media, much younger girls.

It’s hard dealing with aging bodies. Not that I want to look 20 but I really find my flaws confronting in those blank wall shots. I really feel they do nothing for your self esteem, unless you have had a big transformation.

That’s either the quite obese women or young women who may be thinish but can still get muscle tone.

My skin is changing and it’s not a nice feeling . Something we go through and we are lucky we are healthy and live good lives but our heads affect us as women and we are conditioned to think you need to be physically beautiful to be attractive or really smart and doing great things in your working life. For those in the middle it’s hard sometimes to feel good about yourself, like really good.

In someways the challenge was great to refocus but it almost opens up Pandora’s box about your body image issues and you can lose sight of all the good things. Friends family and just the life we have.

I love catching up with friends that’s the stuff of life that actually gives me the most pleasure . 😊

Other than my physical body and what that looks like😂. I did lose the weight I wanted and am happy with that.

Love Lucy x

One thought on “Week 8 of my 8 Week Challenge

Add yours

  1. Girlfriend you are a winner in my book. I think you have helped support so many 28 ers through your daily fb posts, Instagram posts or via your blog and that my friend has been a winning task you fulfilled. You look fabulous (but you always do) you and your sister are classy chicks.
    Good luck!

    Like

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