First, I’ll start with a confession, I wasn’t actually going to do the 12 Week Shift (PPTs original body composition program). I thought that I had a reasonable grasp on what it took to maintain a healthy lifestyle as I trained regularly (4-5 times a week) and ate healthily most of the time. It was a last minute decision to sign up and honestly it has been the best decision I have made with respect to my health and well being (FULL STOP!).
When I signed up, Sean O’Sean asked me what my goals were? I replied “lose weight” (obviously). Well if you know Sean or any of the team at PPT, I was then asked what this meant. This is when it became ‘real’ for me. I knew then that I had to have a good think about what my goals were and to be specific about them this made me more accountable about what I wanted to achieve!
- Eat smarter
- Train smarter
- Obtain my previous body fat percentage of 24% (DEXA scan July 2013)
Personally I have never ‘tracked’ my food, counted calories and ‘macros’ was not part of my vocabulary. Initially it was daunting and extremely time consuming to track everything I ate. Admittedly I really didn’t like doing it to start with and was sceptical about the macros I had been given. I decided I just needed to trust the information provided by PPT and follow the process. When the 12 week shift started I would literally have to plan every single morsel of food I was going to consume a few days ahead of time, but after a week or two this became easier and I was able to do it the day before. By the end of the shift I tracked my food and macros literally on the go, if I un-expectantly met up with friends for a meal, it didn’t throw my day into disarray or give me an excuse to just start again the following day. I continue to track my food, it has just become part of what I do each day. I became knowledgeable about the various foods I could consume, interchange or eliminate depending on the carbs:protein:fat ratio they contained by trial and error, through the support of PPT trainers and other 12 week shift members via the FB support page.
The other issue I had at the beginning of the 12 week shift was the extra amount of food that I was going to have to eat. I learnt quickly that I had literally been starving myself. My body thrived on the amount of food I started consuming and better yet it started rewarding me. My body composition was changing, even after 2-3 weeks people were commenting they could see changes, especially around the mid-section! People would often comment to me how was it possible that I ate so much but was still able to lose weight. Even asking me what my secret was!
Over the 12 weeks there was a definite shift in the way I looked at nutrition despite having understood for a long time now the importance of nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. My concept of nutrition now revolves around the role of macros, particularly protein. I did not attribute any significance of its role in maintaining and increasing muscle mass, and it’s follow on effect on weight loss, body composition and shape! The other macro I struggled with was FATS! I had been so used to minimising the amount of fat that I would consume that I could happily eat an average of 35 grams a day, I baulked at having to start at 50 grams at the beginning of the shift and then again when advised to increase it to 60grams a day. I even tried to negotiate it. The concept of macros sounds regimented, boring and inflexible BUT I promise you it isn’t. You can make up these macros in a variety of ways, and you aren’t limited to ALWAYS having to prepare your own meals ahead of time. Being organised and have meals prepared ahead of time is important, but we also have to ‘live’.
Whilst on the shift I went on a holiday, enjoyed several family celebrations, ate cake (I love cake) and even had a day or two where I blew out my macros. This was all part of the learning process and I still managed to achieve my goals!
My training was based on a program provided by PPT. I would train at least 4 times a week. Over this time I would do 3 weights sessions a week and one interval session. I am not a huge fan of weight training but it has been a staple of my training over the last few years. I won’t lie; the program provided by PPT would bring tears to my eyes. I don’t lift extraordinarily heavy weights but I didn’t need to. If I was true to the program, and followed the sets/reps and especially the tempo outlined, each session was difficult and I saw progress in my strength. Additionally I am actually training less, in terms of the length of time I spend at the gym!
I was mortified with the result of my DEXA scan, my body fat percentage was 31.1%, previously it was 24% (July 2013). This was a huge incentive for me and I was determined to reduce this as much as possible. I was very nervous when I had the DEXA at the end of the shift as I really wanted to achieve my goal. When I was given my results, I first told him his machine was broken! Then I nearly hugged him, but decided to settle for a high 5 (lol).
I was elated with the result, I had achieved a body fat percentage of 22.8%, this was literally a loss of 6.44kg of FAT (YUCK) and as a bonus I gained 2.5kg in muscle.
Needless to say I far exceeded my expectations! Over the 12 weeks I lost 20cms overall from my body, the scales changed minimally between the 6 week and 12 week measurement performed at PPT, however I lost 10cms in the last 6 weeks!
I am a huge fan of PPT. They keep things simple, no fancy gimmicks, always educating themselves and best of all practice what they preach! Their motto of ‘NO BS, JUST RESULTS’ is on point. The process isn’t ‘easy’ as most weight loss programs promote, but if you are committed, willing to put in a little bit of hard work, trust in the advice given by the PPT trainers then you will achieve your goals!
Learning how to train smarter & how to eat better is not easy, Linda admits that, but you can see with the right advice and support, it’s certainly possible. The first step to getting the right advice, is getting in touch with our team at PPT.