DAY 84

This is it, the final day of the LiveFit Trainer.  I took my final measurements this morning and was very happy with the results.  I decided to leave my body fat percentage for my last reading as per my scale readings, for comparison purposes (as that’s how I started).

In summary, I achieved the following results in the program:

Weight: -6.1kg (-11.0%)
Body Fat: -5% (-22.6%)
Chest: -2cm (-2.3%)
Right Upper Arm: -2cm (-7.4%)
Hips: 6cm (-6.5%)
Waist: -5cm (-7.7%)
Right Thigh: -2cm (-4.3%)
Right Calf: -2cm (-5.7%)
Right Forearm: -2cm (-10.0%)
Shoulders: -5cm (-4.9%)
Neck: -3cm (-8.1%)

For a complete listing, please have a look at the Body Stats PDF I made.  This includes ALL measures from the past 12 weeks and also graphs to show gains and losses.

Interestingly enough, in Phase 2 of the program I lost the most body fat and centimetres, despite Phase 3 being the “fat loss” phase.

I have uploaded my before and after photos and I can see the most change in my lower back.  You can also see how the fit of the shorts I’ve been wearing have changed.  They went from being somewhat fitted to baggy.

I also took some “muscle” shots this morning and have uploaded the collage of pictures here.  The bottom row of pictures are exactly the same as the top, except I have added some Photoshop effects for enhancement.  (I didn’t have time to get a spray tan or apply cooking spray unfortunately.)

I opted in the end not to get professional photos.  Being so close to my trip to Egypt, I don’t have much money to play around with and I can see professional photos being in excess of $200.  I would also have to buy new outfits and possibly get a spray tan.  Time is also an issue as I would have had to get them done this weekend which would not have been possible.  The poses would also be somewhat questionable and I’m sure I’d be highly embarrassed.

So what did I think?  I’ll try to be as honest as possible and summarise:

What I liked:
– I loved the structure of the program.  I knew what I was meant to eat every day and also what as required of me at the gym.
– I love my results.  I reached my goals plus more.  I feel a lot more comfortable and confident in my skin.
– I learned to love lifting heavy weights.  Going into the “men’s section” at the gym was always something I found daunting.  Now it’s my new home.  I no longer feel awkward and I love how I feel after using the equipment.
– I enjoy early morning workout sessions.  Never in my life did I ever think I’d be one to workout at 6:00am.  But these sessions really woke me up and helped me stay focused during the rest of the day.
– I learned to drink water.  Prior to this program I was lucky if I drank 1 glass of water a day.  Now I’m drinking a minimum of 3 x 600ml bottles.
– I appreciate food a lot more.  Since the dawn of time I’ve been a ridiculously fussy eater.  No seafood, no tomatoes, no cheese, etc.  Being so strict with meals has made me aware of other amazing tastes.  I no longer have to wash a small piece of tomato down with a chunk of meat.  I now really enjoy turkey and fish which is something I never thought would be possible.
– I enjoy frequent eating.  Prior to this program my stomach would made noises and I’d feel absolutely exhausted by 2:00pm.  Eating every 2 to 3 hours saw my energy levels up and my stomach noises down.
– I leaned to say “no” to offers of cake etc.  Prior to this program, if someone at work offered me a donut or slice of cake to celebrate their birthday I’d say yes, even if I didn’t really want it.  (I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.)  Now I can say no with confidence and not feel bad about it.
– I don’t know if it’s the extra protein in my diet or what, but my hair no longer falls out in clumps when I wash it.  It’s now thicker and a lot more healthy.
– I proved to myself that I could do it.  I never believed that I’d have the willpower to successfully complete the 12 weeks but I did.  I had no cheat meals and no missed gym sessions.

What I didn’t like:
– This program saw me alienate myself from my friends and family.  I had strict regimes to follow and this often saw me saying no to spending time with people.
– While the extra water intake was great, I had far too many bathroom breaks for my liking.  Sometimes I’d get up 3-4 times in the middle of the night!
– Towards the end of the program (in Phase 2), I found sleeping difficult.  I’d struggle to get to sleep and then wake up an hour earlier than I needed to.
– Hunger pains!  There were so many days when all I could think about was my next meal.  Being so hungry all the time also caused me to be moody and negative.  (I was definitely not a joy to be around!)
– I became obsessive.  I would get annoyed if I couldn’t eat when I needed to. ie: A meeting at work going overtime.
– A lot of my protein meals made me feel quite bloated which was uncomfortable.  This was very common during Phase 1 and also towards the end in Phase 3.
– And the obvious one… I missed delicious foods!

I think that’s about everything.

So would I do it again?  No, not the full 12 weeks.  It was far too long for me.  I personally saw some great results in the first 6 weeks so should I want to do it again, I will only do a 6 week program.  I have no regrets doing the 12 weeks this time, but next time I’ll step it down a notch.

And what now?  Well, I will continue to calorie count and eat frequent meals.  I will be a lot more conscious about the food I consume and I will be continuing with regular exercise and weightlifting.  In the short term, I will focus on bringing my body fat percentage back up by slowing increasing my carbohydrate and calorie intake.

Thank you for sharing the past 12 weeks with me.  I have enjoyed writing about it and hope that you have enjoyed reading it.  🙂

DAY 83

While researching body fat percentages, I found the two above pictures very enlightening so I thought I would share.  🙂

I have been trying to research to increase my body fat percentage (with healthy fat) while still maintaining my new look.  It’s surprisingly difficult to find some good advice on this.  A few websites recommend introducing natural fats into your diet, like almonds, bananas and avocado.  Some also suggest adding peanut butter and cheese.  One blog I found suggested starving yourself to force your body to go into “fat conservation mode”.  I want to increase my body fat, not suffer from malnutrition! I will not be following this person’s blog.

The two websites I found the most interesting are:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/514756-how-to-healthily-increase-the-body-fat-percentage/

http://www.ehow.com/how_5071100_increase-body-fat.html

I will start off by adding almonds to my meals from now on.  I’ve already bought cherry tomatoes, cucumber, rocket and tuna to make tuna and brown rice salad for lunches next week.  I’ll now throw in some almonds which should add a nice flavour.

I will also add bananas to my morning oats.  I love bananas so I’m definitely looking forward to this.  In terms of exercising, I’ll lay off the fat burning cardio and focus more on Phase 1’s muscle burning workouts.  I enjoyed these workouts and they weren’t overly time consuming either.

I had to perform some work from home this morning so I got up really early to start that.  I had a few hiccups along the way, but by 10:30am I was satisfied that the business unit could perform their testing.  I was originally going to go to the gym during one of the hour-long processes but decided to stay at home and make sure that everything ran smoothly.

This morning’s final gym session was 60 minutes of cardio.  When I got to the gym, most of the elliptical machines were taken.  The only two remaining was one that squeaked every time you moved, or one that vibrated under your feet.  I choose “good vibrations” but as soon as someone got off the new elliptical machine, I jumped ship and started the 60 minutes all over again.  I managed to watch two episodes of South Park but the time still felt like it dragged.  One of my right toes was numb throughout the entire workout as well!  I wish the final workout had been a bit more exciting.  It would have been great to go to the gym in a muscle shirt and do some biceps work.

Time for some stats:

– In the past 84 days (well, 83 days but I’m going with 84), I have had 66 workout days and 17 rest days.
– I’ve kept a training log and I’ve calculated that the total weight lifted during the 12 weeks is 427,407.5kg.  (It’s probably more – I only recorded single weights.  Eg: For Alternative Dumbbell Curls I recorded 7.5kg instead of [2 x 7.5kg].  I tried to double up in my calculations where appropriate.)

I will upload some more stats tomorrow.

If you’re interested, you can see my training log here.

One more day to go!  And oddly enough, it’s a rest day.  It seems a bit silly – no exercise yet still following the diet.

DAY 82

Warning, this will be a long one and I have a lot to say.

I managed to make an appointment yesterday to get my skinfold readings taken this afternoon.  The latest they could see me was at 4:30pm which meant that I had to leave work at 3:00pm.  I still had to work my required 7.5 hours so I got to work at 6:45am.  The lights were out and I was the only one there for a good 45 minutes!!  It was difficult though because I obviously didn’t go to the gym so I was really tired.  It also felt really weird not going to the gym and I felt like I was missing out – weird right?

Anyway, onto the appointment.  The nutritionist/dietician (I’m not sure what he was) first got me to step on his scales while he took two readings.  Both readings were 50.3kg.  He then took my height three times.  (I’m 1cm shorter than I thought I was!)  Then he used a tape measure to mark my skin with pen crosshairs.  He would feel for the bone, measure distances and then mark midway points.  He marked my biceps, triceps, back, thigh, calves, and three points on my abdomen.  This was somewhat awkward considering I had gym tights on and had to remove them for the thigh marking but it needed to be done.

Once the points were marked, he took his metal calipers and started measuring the points.  He measured each point three times, but not consecutively.  He then input everything into a spreadsheet and read me the results.  Sum of 8 skinfolds = 57.7mm.  Sum of 6 skinfolds = 47.5mm.  Uh huh… and this means?  Well, if converting to a “body fat percentage”, it means that my result is 10.9%.  I was speechless.  I knew the 18% reading on my scales at home weren’t correct, but 10.9%?  He then went on to tell me that I’m the leanest person he’s measured in a very long time.  He told me that a healthy woman’s body fat percentage is usually 30%.  ”30%??” I exclaimed.  Yes, 30% indeed.  (That seems a bit high doesn’t it?)  He wasn’t concerned about my low reading.  In fact he said that it was brilliant and that I should be thrilled with my results.  He even gave me a tip on how I can lower it even more.  He said that if I put on more muscle mass to get my weight to 54kg, that my body fat percentage will come down.  This is not on my agenda though as Aunt Flo is already a No Show and I find it quite concerning.  (Sorry for the TMI!)

So after that, I put my tights back on and walked to the gym (which is on the same site).  I just could not concentrate though.  And furthermore, it was absolutely packed!  (It was now 5:00pm.)  There were no benches free, some inconsiderate guy was sitting on one while talking on his mobile, and the leg press machine was unoccupied but loaded with about 200kg.  I couldn’t stay there.  So I packed up my gear and drove home.

I forgot to mention above that the nutritionist/dietician and I were discussing how you can’t focus fat loss on a particular area.  He said that most women store their fat in the lower half of their body and men in their abdomens.  He told me that I have almost zero fat in my biceps and that I’d put him to shame.  He said that I have the most fat in my thighs but that it’s genetic.  (Thanks Mom and Dad!)  I was wondering why my quads weren’t showing through as much as my other muscles.

Anyway, I ended up going back to the gym 2 hours later when it was much quieter.  The workout was shoulders and calves.  There was another girl in the weights area and I could feel her eyes on me.  During my last set, the young personal trainer who I spoke to a few weeks ago came up to me and told me that he’s starting Chris Gethin’s 12 week program next week, after I recommended it to him.  We had a good chat about it and he said that I’ve got some really good results.  The other girl was standing with him and he said to her: “Have you seen her results?”  She replied with: “Oh, I’ve seen them.”  It wasn’t the most positive tone I’ve ever heard from someone but that’s ok.  The conversation went on for a bit too long in my opinion (considering I was meant to do a circuit) so I finished it up and then started from the beginning of the set again.  After that, I did my 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and now here I am.

So that’s it…  All of my weights workouts are done.  I just have the final workout tomorrow which is 60 minutes of cardio.  I spent some time today organising my workouts for next week and I think it will be a bit of trial and error in the beginning.  I know what exercises I like and don’t like but I need to make everything fit together nicely and also make it as efficient as possible.  So stay tuned, only two more days to go!

To view my skinfold results click on this link: http://oi46.tinypic.com/347jgpf.jpg.
(Note: Girth measurements were not taken.)

DAY 81

I am in complete disbelief at the moment (hence the early morning post).  While getting my things from the gym locker this morning, the gym manager stopped me and asked if he could see my abs.  I showed him in the middle of the gym (how embarrassing) and he said that I’ve really transformed my body.  I asked him about measuring my body fat percentage and he said to hop on the scales he has there (as a non-PT member, woohoo!).  So I got on.  It was a pretty insane setup.  I had to hold onto these metal prongs while standing on the scale.  Waiting, waiting (or should I say “weighting”)…  Weight = 50.5kg.  Body Fat Percentage = 12.7%!!!  I can’t believe it!  And he thinks it’s actually less than that.

While this was all going on, he told me about someone on the gym site who has metal calipers who can measure body fat percentage.  This person happened to be in the gym at the time so he took me to meet him.  He said that they’re fully booked until next week but Paul (the gym owner) said that I need to be checked before Sunday.  (Go Paul!)  So this guy took my number and said that he’ll get someone to call me this morning.  I’m really excited.  I don’t know how it’ll work with my hours though.  I’ll have to work something out.

But grrr!  Paul told me that there is currently a transformation competition at the gym (which I did not sign up for).  He said that the winner gets a trip for two to Bali and judging on my transformation, I would be leading the competition.  Ahhh!  If only I had known this.  While Bali is not on the top of my travel destinations list, a free trip is a free trip.

This morning’s workout was biceps, triceps and abs.  It was awesome.  My hamstrings are still sore and now so is my chest.  I have no idea why I’m feeling this week more than last.  My weights are roughly the same.  Maybe I’m trying harder?

Last night I had a look at the Taste.com.au website and they have a lot of “healthy recipes”.  Everything looks amazing and I can’t wait to incorporate these meals into my everyday life.

DAY 80

It’s crazy that I’m already up to Day 80!!  It seems like everything has flown by so quickly.  As mentioned previously, I’m both nervous and excited about finishing.  As I go overseas soon, I’ve started scheduling some catch-up dinners/lunches with friends.  It’s making me a bit anxious though as I don’t want to put too much fat back on.  I will have to be a lot smarter with my meal choices but at the same time I don’t want to miss out.  I’ll quote my mother here: “You don’t want to be the best looking skeleton in the cemetery!”  Thanks Mom!

Hello hamstrings!  They are still tight from Monday’s leg circuit.  It might be because up until last week I did two leg sessions a week but now it’s down to one.  I didn’t think that I’d miss the leg sessions but I sort of do.  I can’t believe that some people don’t even have a leg session in their workout plan.  I see so many guys at the gym with big upper bodies and chicken legs.  It’s very unattractive.

This morning’s workout was chest and calves.  I increased last week’s bench press weight by 2.5kg (ok, it’s a lot for me) and was wondering why I was struggling.  I kept thinking: “But it’s only 12.5kg, why is it so difficult?”  During the second set I realised that the bar itself was 10kg, so I was actually bench pressing 22.5kg!  I know it’s not much, but I’m small and doing 20 reps of 22.5kg is hard work!!

I attempted to watch the newest episode of 2 Broke Girls this morning.  I say attempted because I actually transferred last week’s episode by mistake.  I re-watched it anyway and it helped to pass the time.  I didn’t feel like I got much of a workout though for some reason.  My heart rate was higher than it usually is but I didn’t break a sweat.  😦

I’ve been thinking a lot about bread lately, which is weird considering I’m not really a fan.  I was even considering buying a bread maker when someone pointed out that I have bread tins and a working oven.  I don’t just want any bread though, I want something exciting and different.  I found this recipe online for Blueberry Lemon Bread.  I am so going to make that next week!

I called my gym today to find out about measuring my body fat percentage and the lady on the phone told me that the service is only available to personal trainer customers.  Wow, really?  What am I paying high gym fees for?  I asked her if I could pay to get it done and she umm’d and ahh’d and said that she supposes so.  I then asked about their method and it’s just body scales.  No thank you!

DAY 79

If this post comes across as hyper and extra positive, it’s because I just bought myself Robbie Williams concert tickets for when I’m in London.  He’s my all-time favourite performer so I’m super excited!!!  🙂

This morning I worked my back and abs at the gym.  It was good.  The bent-over rows were so tough after doing deadlifts.  Oh, I haven’t really spoken about my lifting straps since getting them.  They are great.  They make the lateral pull down machine so much better as you can really feel your back muscles tensing and working.  I used to hate that machine but now I see its importance in a back workout.  The lateral pulldown machine really does give you wiiiiings!

Cardio this morning was a chore as usual.  Saturday’s hour session was bearable with the video on my phone so I think I will find some < 30 minute shows to transfer later tonight.  Hopefully it’ll make the time go quicker.

After yesterday’s unsubstantial legs workout, my hamstrings are really tight!  So I guess it did a whole lot more than I originally thought it did.

Today was my second-to-last high carb day and I went over my calorie limit again.  😦  It’s far too easy.  I’ve found that high carbs = high calories.  Well, at least the carbs I’m eating.

I found this transformation video on YouTube today.  It’s hilarious – check it out if you can.  It makes me realise that I’ve been taking my weekly photos incorrectly.  Mmm now where’s that cooking spray??

DAY 78

Last leg workout of the program! I wish it has been more substantial. I’m not a fan of the leg circuit. It’s over too quickly and I don’t feel as if I get as much from it. Having said that, I still worked up a sweat this morning.

I managed to hog all the machines right up to my last cycle when sometime tried to jump onto the leg press machine. Luckily he asked if I was done so I quickly finishes my calf exercises (out of order). It was nice of him to ask otherwise who knows how long I would have had to wait for him.

It was depressingly early and dark when I got up this morning. My alarm even woke me up!

I am obsessed with my orange Xtend. I drink it all the time at home. It gives the water a really nice flavour. It’s annoying to clean the bottle afterwards though.  My friend gave me a sample of his blue raspberry Xtend after work today. It felt like a drug deal (see picture). It was awesome! I think I may have to opt for blue raspberry next time instead of orange.

I called a sports clinic today enquiring about getting my body fat percentage accurately measured and the lady on the phone had no idea what I was talking about.  I had to say “body fat percentage” three times over the phone.  It was embarrassing as I was at my desk at work.  She said that they don’t do that there and that my best bet would be a dietician or personal trainer.  Another sports clinic I called over the weekend said that their physiotherapists do it so I’m not sure why today’s sports clinic doesn’t.  Anyway, I’ve emailed the gym owner to see if he can recommend someone to me.  They might even have the facilities to do it on-site.  I’m crossing my fingers!