I would say the only downside to starting this weight loss plan is the negative effect it’s had on my relationship with exercise.
They say once you find the right exercise for you, you will love what you do. Just before embarking on my Cambridge Weight Plan Journey, I fell in love with combining HIIT and GVT workouts in the gym. The workouts were inspired by Joe Wickes, daddy of the Lean in 15 Plan (another failed project I paid an obscene amount of money for). Despite his food plan not working out for me (I don’t know how eating that amount of food could work for anybody) his workout plans did. For the first time in my life I enjoyed working out, I felt like my body was changing instantly, after each workout I felt leaner and stronger and more motivated to make the positive changes needed to alter my body shape for good.
There’s something bad ass about weights that makes you feel like a warrior, even if you are only lifting 10kg dumbbells.
However, with my wedding only 10 weeks away, the results weren’t happening quick enough for me, in desperation, I turned to the Cambridge Weight Plan.
I tried to keep HIIT and GVT going when I began CWP. But sadly it was the reason for my failure for the first three weeks of being on plan. Burning an average of 700 kcals per workout meant that coming home and having a shake for dinner wasn’t going to cut it, and would have also been incredibly unhealthy for my body. After each workout I would cook up a storm of proteins and healthy fats and as great as I felt, it meant I was completely wasting my time following CWP.
After three weeks of no success, and a serious chat with my consultant, we decided I would have to give up the gym in order to benefit from the plan. A compromise was made that I could still do some light cardio and weights as long as I didn’t go overboard on the reps. This seemed like a great idea at the time but it has quickly transpired that this is not a solution that works for me. And here’s why…
I’m an all or nothing kind of girl
I’m not someone who would ever waste my time motivating myself to go to the gym, get changed, pack my workout bag and get the bus into town, just to walk on a treadmill. I like to go hard and go home. Going to the gym to take it easy seems like an alien concept to me and really, who’s got that kind of time?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone who does do this is wasting their time. There are people with injuries or health conditions who do this to build their strength back up or to ensure that they incorporate some sort of exercise into their day. And that’s admirable; it’s just not for me.
I am a bit concerned that I am now too stationary to be healthy. As someone who works in a call centre sitting down for 10 hour shifts, my chances of having a heart attack have already increased by 40%. Combine that with the fact I smoke, and it feels like I’m sitting on a ticking time bomb.
You need to move up the steps to work out.
Being on CWP doesn’t mean that exercise is over for me, for life. It just means I have to make it through the ‘cutting phase’ (Step 1 and 2) before I can begin Step 3 and start introducing more food and exercise into my life again.
I do worry that by the time I make it to that stage (as even Step 2 is only slowly working for me) my muscles will be so weak and out of practice that it will take me months to get back to the fitness levels that I left off on.
As a result of all this overthinking, today I’ve had to sit down and ask myself, ‘what’s more important to me right now?’
The answer: losing weight.
As much as I would love to be a lean, sculpted goddess with perfectly toned arms and skull crushing thighs, I need to nail the basics first. I need to remove the dangerously unhealthy layer of fat from my gut and give myself a starting platform to work from before I can start working towards the toned physique of my dreams.
‘This can be done through the correct diet and exercise!’ I hear the CWP sceptics cry. Trust me, I’ve tried that one, I’ve paid the personal trainer fees, I’ve had my macros perfectly planned out for me, I’ve put in the daily meal prep graft and paid the extortionate shopping bills, and got up before the birds to sweat it out in the gym. It didn’t work.
So, for now I need to stick to my shakes and my low kcal healthy meal each day, make sure I consume my 3ltr of water, pretend I’ve gone blind in the chocolate aisle of my local co-op and dream of the days when I can fit comfortably back into my size 14 RI jeans. Once I have got back down to a healthy weight (which right now feels like it may never happen, but I remain optimistic; pessimism is the breeding ground for failure), I can then move up the steps and introduce HIIT and GVT back into my life. Diet and Exercise have always gone hand in hand for me, so this is just another area of my life and way of thinking that I have had to adjust if I want to be successful at completing this plan.