A couple of weeks ago, I started following Madalin Giorgetta’s 12-week gym guide, ‘Body By MG’ which is focused on weight lifting and specifically building your glutes, with optional HIIT. In a way of forcing myself into committing to the plan, I promised to share my 4-week progress. I’m not going to lie, I was feeling pretty optimistic that in 4 weeks’ time I would have shed all of my body fat and gained an entirely new bum. Last week marked week 4 and I was feeling good, but when I took my progress photos, fully expecting to look like a supermodel, it turned out I hadn’t transformed as much as I’d hoped…
I almost didn’t share an update at all. But I soon got over this First World Problem and started to think about another topic for this blog that I think is an interesting one for those who are continuously working on their fitness: the pace of progress. The last 4 weeks may have not brought major changes but they have made me realise a few vital things:
Change doesn’t happen overnight
Especially when you’ve seen a lot of it already. I’ve been on a bit of a slow ‘fitness journey’ for the past 3-4 years. Back at the start when I had more weight on me to lose, my exercise was mostly HIIT focused and I used to see results pretty quickly. I’d really thrive on seeing the difference on the scales and in how clothes looked on me. But in the past year, I have ‘plateaued’ a bit and I’ve struggled to see any difference in my appearance or weight loss (which I’m not fussed about now – but it’s what I was used to using as a way of tracking my progress).
(My progress so far before starting Madalin’s plan)
From doing a bit of research I decided that a gym plan focused on weight lifting would be the best way to make changes to my body shape that I wouldn’t be able to achieve through HIIT alone. So I suppose by completely transforming my gym regime (and also doubling the amount of time I was previously spending in the gym) I did expect to see a more obvious change. A friend of mine brought me back to reality when reminding me that I’ve seen a massive change in my body already, and the more your body changes or the more weight you lose, the longer it takes to see further results. It’s just the way of it; but when you’re putting so much effort in, it can sometimes make you lose momentum and feel like giving up.
If you’ve reached a plateau, I think the best advice is to refer back to the position you were in a few months or even a few years back, before you started making any changes to diet or exercise. The 2014 version of me would be pretty happy with the body I have now, so even if I’ve not made much progress in 4 weeks, what I’ve achieved so far is something to be proud of – it’s all about little changes from now on.
4 WEEK PROGRESS ON BODY BY MG
Only compare yourself to yourself
I often ask myself “Why do I not look like Emily Ratajkowski yet?” after a tough gym session before realising I am in fact not an alien sent from another planet to make humans feel inferior and wonder why they don’t have massive boobs with a waist like the side of a fiver (I genuinely think she might be an alien – there is no other explanation). I’ve touched on this several times in previous blogs but I think it’s always an important one to highlight: there is absolutely no point comparing yourself to someone else. The same goes with fitness progress and the transformations you see on social media. Everyone carries fat in different places. Some people have fucking good genes; they’ll go to the gym once and suddenly have abs (damn those people). Some people are less lucky and have to really train hard and watch their diet to get results. It may not be fair, but thinking about it doesn’t change the way your own body works. If you forget about other people and focus on yourself, I think it makes life a lot easier.
Progressing or obsessing?
I suppose it’s a good and a bad thing that I am always chasing things I’d like to ‘improve’ about myself. It’s good to have goals, but there’s the risk of getting unhealthily obsessed. And I think I’ve swayed towards the latter category since I’ve started spending 70 minutes in the gym 5-6 times a week, counting calories and macros and having much less in the way of ‘cheats’ and treats. I’ve been trying to put my all into it to see the best possible results, but instead of noticing anything good, I’ve found myself becoming less accepting of the things about my body that I want to change. I was restricting myself a lot more physically, which was making me harder on myself mentally; and it seemed like I was reverting back to a few years ago when all I did was put myself down. It’s a depressing and boring way to live. So I scrapped that madness and treated myself to 20 nuggets, a McChicken Sandwich meal and a strawberry milkshake on Sunday and told myself to get a grip. I still looked the exact same on Monday by the way – which fed my theory that I shouldn’t get so obsessed and completely restrict myself of all the foods I love (and that happens to be anything deep fried with a yellow ‘M’ on the packaging).
Moral of the story:
Be patient and change will come, don’t compare yourself to others, and eat fried chicken regularly. OK not that regularly – maybe just at the weekends. Or not at all if you don’t like it. Or if you’re vegetarian or something. Whatever, I don’t care. Just treat yourself.
OK, so here’s the numbers from 4 weeks of Body By MG:
Hips: 84cm / 33.1 inches
Waist: 68cm / 26.7 inches
Body fat: 24% (I didn’t track to begin with, but good to know for the coming weeks)
So that means I’ve lost .3 of a kilo, and apparently a cm from my waist and hips (taking the measurements with a pinch of salt though because I can’t remember the exact spot on my hips that I measured last time). Personally, I feel a slight bit trimmer on the stomach, have lost more of my boobs (RIP to my once F cup chest), and my arms are looking a bit leaner. I think I’ve got a teeny bit more muscle definition in my legs and bum but that’s where my stubborn fat lives and unfortunately you can’t control where you lose fat from, so my body is just eating my boobs at the moment. Oh and I’ve also realised I desperately need my roots done, on a side note.
Most importantly I’m feeling stronger and I’ve been loving the workouts; I’ve actually been excited to go to the gym every day. I’ve really enjoyed having a structured plan rather than just going to the gym and making things up as I go, and it’s great feeling like I know what I’m doing and finding my way around the weights and machines without getting too embarrassed. I’m pretty positive for the weeks ahead and hoping to see some more (even if small) changes by week 12 of Body By MG. Slow and steady wins the race…