There’s officially only 3 weeks left of the “No Alcohol Experiment”, it has gone very quickly and has come with a huge amount of learning and mini-epiphanies, but it’s still too early to talk about those. I am holding out for lucky week number 13. The thing is, that challenge ends on 13 October but the SleekGeeks Challenge continues for 4 weeks beyond that, so the learning doesn’t stop and no alcohol probably doesn’t either.

 

I’ve got the all-clear for Kettlebells. YAY, I think. I’ve heard it’s fun but PTs are entirely sadistic, and a little masochistic, so their idea of fun is probably not the same as most normal people. I’ve finished all other requirements for my PT Certification so I just need to attend the workshop and complete the assessment and then I will be a PT. Finally. This is another of those challenges I set myself but for this one I have fought with everything in me to complete, I am going to have a HUGE celebration when I finally get the qualification through the mail. I think only a few people actually know how hard I’ve had to fight for this particular goal, it may have been one of my hardest yet, not because the content is difficult but because repeated illness and then serious injury had me on the sidelines for way, way longer than I wanted to be and mentally, the challenge of the sidelines was my Everest. I felt I was being tested all the way, from watching my weight loss, fitness and muscle gains disappear repeatedly while I faced several training bans, to enduring carb (read: sugar) cravings of madness-inducing proportions during recoveries to beginning again and again and again. Many tears were shed, even more moments of almost defeat and many, many moments of sheer frustration to many moments of endorphins highs and elation to obstacle conquering, the tests kept on coming and just as I would get ahead, I would be dealt another fateful blow. Yet, I conquered and I just kept on getting back up as I have done for my entire life. Only this time, the critics are not invited into this arena. I don’t care what they think and even better, I don’t care if they like me, that is their problem to endure. Summary of Illness and Injuries (I’m totally fine now by the way): Failing liver, failing pancreas, broken fibula (right ankle ORIF with plate, 8 pins and ankle cable tie thingy), broken foot, ACL sprain, followed by total Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (knee) which required a reconstruction using my Hamstring. The knee was the worst injury BY FAR as the recovery time is ridiculously long and tedious. Michael Jordan sums up the ACL Injury the best- “My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn’t stand the sideline.”

 

Weights and Measures
Week 10 was a positive one for me, despite a few bumps in the road. I am focused, I am determined and I have an end goal in mind. My brain is playing along and doing what it is told, rather than trying to convince my body to curl up under a blanket with a good book when it rains and ignore the bad weather. I am however reading, High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People become that Way by Brendon Burchard and it is excellent. Not a great bedtime book as there are exercises to complete/ notes to take and it’s also pretty heavy and will hurt if it smacks you in the face.

 

 

 

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5
 Left Bicep  DNM  No change  No change  -1cm
Right Bicep   DNM -1cm  +1 (YEAH Gun Show)  -1.5cm
Neck   DNM No change  No change  No Change
Breasts   DNM -4.5cm (YAY)  -2cm (YAY)  No Change 🙁
Above the Breast   No Change -1cm  -2cm  -1cm
Below the Breast  -2.5cm No change  -0.5cm  -1.5cm
 Waist -1cm -2cm  -1.5cm  -0.5cm
Belly Button  -2.5cm -1.5cm  -0.5cm  -2cm
Hips  -4cm -3cm  -2cm  -3cm
Bum -2cm No Change  -0.5cm  -1cm
Left Quad DNM -1.5cm  No change  -0.5cm
Right Quad  DNM -0.5cm  No change  -1cm
Left Calf DNM -0.5cm  -0.5cm  No change
Right Calf DNM No change  No change  -0.5cm
Total -12cm -15.5cm  -9.5cm  -13.5cm

Another 13.5cm and 1.4kg down this week. The scale finally moved significantly, to say I am pleased is probably an understatement of epic proportions.  More on my progress under the SleekGeek Challenge below.

 

Gym Sessions

Preparation for my Personal Training module is in full swing and I have now roped in my victim, ahem I mean client and took him along for his first session, I think this could be a long road ahead since he started to moan after the first weight-based exercise. This week’s Strength and Conditioning workouts were:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superset: TRX Unilateral Squats 10 reps per side 4 sets
Crunches 3 second hold 10 reps 4 sets
Single Sets: Barbell Split Squats 12 Reps 40kg 4 sets
Singles: Lat Pull Down 12 Reps 35kg 4 sets
Superset: Unilateral Cable Press 12 reps per side 30kg 4 sets
Unilateral bent over dumbbell row 12 reps per side 10kg 4 sets

 

Beginners Full-body Workout (weights adjusted for me, not the beginner. Always use the weight appropriate to your fitness and ability.)

Warm-up: Brisk Walk Outdoor 1.2km
 Elliptical Trainer  Level 10  5 minutes
Superset:  Leg Press 12 reps 75kg 3 sets
Hamstring Curl 12 reps 40kg  3 sets
Superset:  Shoulder Press 12 reps 15kg  3 sets
Lat Pulldown 12 reps 30kg  3 sets
Superset:  Upright Row 12 reps 35kg  3 sets
Chest Press 12 reps 25kg  3 sets
Superset:  Back Extension 12 reps 35kg  3 sets
Pallof Press 30 second hold 7.5kg 3 sets
Cool-down: Casual Walk Outdoor 1.5km

And the usual five minutes rolling my calves, hamstrings, quads and IT-bands on the FIVE Mobility Equipment – Fascia Massage Simulator (Third Space really need to get more of these, it’s the most popular item in the gym and the only one with a queue).

 

Injuries to the Athlete continued… 

None to speak of, I am literally fighting fit which leads to complaints from my trainer about me hitting really hard. I do, I train especially for that. Seriously foam-rolling is THE BOSS! Do it, I know it hurts but do it anyway.

 

SleekGeek 8-Week Summer Challenge

And just like that Week 1 of the SleekGeek 8-week Summer Challenge is over. It was a largely successful week and I am pretty proud to say my eating was clean, my training was filthy and my sleep was en pointe. I completed 4 of 5 gym sessions, mainly because I wasn’t feeling 100% and my tummy was not up to the challenge and I have promised to respect the messages received from my body, rather than listening to my Brain which was saying “train anyway’, tummy was saying ‘I promise you, I will vomit on the gym floor if you test me”. Tummy won, mainly because vomit makes me vomit so it’s not a great cycle and why I try to stay out of Emergency Rooms, very drunk people and away from too many small children.

 

With the help of my lovely friend Heidi, I managed to start the week off right with a Park Walk of well over 15,000 steps. And went on to complete 61,399 steps for the week, which is not quite at my goal of 70,000 a week. I don’t want to go too much over this, otherwise with my gym sessions I will be upping my TDEE too much and will, therefore, have to adjust my daily calorie allowance of 1,800 up and it can be hard to hit 1,800 already, especially if I am keeping it “Clean”. I will say again though, I hate the concept of eating “clean”, it is not sustainable and only makes the clean eater miserable, leading to a binge and a bit of a fall off the wagon, mainly because most people will ruin their eating plan for one meal (sometimes whole day) and reckon the whole challenge is ruined, instead of just starting again at the very next meal. If we continue to eat some of what we want while sticking within our calorie allowance, it is much more likely we will stick to the plan without cravings.

Challenge Goals:

  • 8 hours sleep ✅
  • No screen time 2 hours before bed (this will help my neck too) (OOOPS, only made it to 1 hour, I think 2 will be much harder than expected but I’m not giving up)
  • 5 workouts per week (if no gym, 15,000 steps a day, this is 10km)
  • 2 Recovery Days (Wednesday and Sunday) ✅ (3 actually)
  • No alcohol ✅
  • 1,800 calories/ day (800 calorie deficit from TDEE) ✅
  • 1kg/week loss ✅
  • Macros (Carbs: 50% 900 calories, Protein: 30% 540 calories and Fat: 20% 360 calories) ✅

 

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Victoria Canham, founder of Ahead Together, is a coach, mentor, writer, learning and change management specialist. Victoria is currently studying towards a qualification in Personal Training with Future Fit UK and is already qualified as a Sports Nutrition Advisor and Gym Instructor. With a background in many industries and a wealth of skills as diverse as her experience, Victoria is the Coach who sees the best in you, even when you can’t see it yourself. Victoria grew up in Cape Town, South Africa where she studied Food and Beverage Management and Adult Education. Having lived in London for 12 years, Victoria has had the opportunity to work as a contractor in many different styles of industries and locations, most recently Compliance within Financial Services. Victoria is an iPEC accredited Certified Professional Coach and a member of the ICF. Victoria is also a Mentor for the Prince’s Trust, helping young people get into work and develop their potential.

 

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