I paid the fee a few months ago, with the intention of starting following my house move in May. A series of friends and family visits meant that this was pushed back, but my birthday appearing over the horizon made me think that it may be a good time. I completed and submitted the questionnaire and just under two weeks later received my plan through. It was long, but I read through it and made sense of it. Over a couple of nights I came up with a food plan for my first week and it took another night to turn that into a shopping list. I ordered the majority of the food from Ocado, in place of my usual online shopping order, and went to Sainsbury's to collect the fruit and veg, and any other items I couldn't get online. The food shop was a lot more expensive than usual, but that was mainly due to one-off items, such as herbs and spices which will be good for months to come. I also ordered protein powder and Walden's sauces online, followed by BCAA tablets and Quest snack bars. Once everything arrived, I thought I should be good to go. I set my start date for Monday 17th August. We had a final trip to Pizza Express on the Saturday and had three courses, I'll miss that cheesecake!
I spent the Sunday evening before I was due to start prepping the food I'd need for the next day, I'd not heard good things of the reduced carb oatmeal, so I baked that into biscuits and prepared the tasty tuna salad for lunch. I also made a batch of turkey bacon muffins for snacks. It was fairly full-on and exhausting but I felt I was ready to start as I meant to go on. In the morning I got up and had my oatmeal biscuits. They were very solid and even with some Walden's caramel syrup, they took me about 15 minutes to eat. I was a bit deflated, but headed off to work with my tuna salad. I had another disappoitnment at lunchtime, the sauce on the tuna was so mustardy, that I found it really difficult to eat. I struggled through, but it felt like a chore. Alongside all of this, I had to keep remembering to drink water, I have to drink almost three litres a day. I'm spending much more time on trips to the toilet than I ever have before! I had some melon mid afternoon which I enjoyed and which lifted my spirits. Straight after work I headed to the gym for my first HIIT. It went well, My heart rate probably isn't as high as some but my legs won't move any faster and risk buckling, so that'll do.
The rest of the week went much better. I had one breakdown on Tuesday night. I was making reduced oatmeal biscuits (to then break into cereal, eaten with milk they're much nicer), orange chicken salad and Mediterranean stuffed peppers. The fridge had had a panic with all the food we'd loaded into it and it's temperature had gone haywire, freezing my lettuce, spinach and peppers. We had some slightly mushy peppers for dinner and I had to buy (even) more lettuce, but apart from that everything went well.
I've continued with only preparing breakfasts and lunches in advance, I make my evening meal fresh each night. Most of the food has been okay, although the muscle mince is like the magic porridge pot, however much you eat, your plate doesn't seem any emptier! Some of the food was a bit too herby for my tastes, but I can adjust that in week 2.
The exercise had been tiring but doable. I went off plan one day and did a long walk, burning 800 calories, I decided that warranted a refuel mail even though it wasn't HIIT. I have to admit to struggling with the water intake though. I'm just rubbish at remembering to keep drinking, particularly when I'm busy. I'm also having more fruit as snacks than I should but decided it's probably better than skipping them. I'm proud that I only went off plan once, when I had Welsh cakes with a friend. Hopefully I made up for it by missing breakfast and did a HIIT session afterwards.
And so on to week 2. I'll do my next update at the end of Cycle 1. Fingers crossed I'll have something to show for the four weeks in pounds and inches. Until then I'm following the advice of Joe Wicks (the Bodycoach) and staying away from the sad step (aka the scales).
At the end of Cycle 1 I decided not to proceed to Cycle 2. I stuck to the exercise side of the programme 100% and the food around 80% (probably more). However, after four weeks of seemingly endless food preparation I hadn't lost a single inch and although I'd lost three pounds, I just didn't feel my results reflected the amount of effort I'd put in.
I have my programme for Cycle 2 and may pick it up in the future, but for now will put the 90 day SSS programme to one side. I have however bought Joe's new book and so am looking forward to preparing some meals from that in the next few weeks.