Week 12 sucked balls. Honestly, Week 12 was the worst week of the 13 so far. It could easily have been the end of the No Alcohol Experiment and no one would have been any the wiser. Nobody but me I guess. Believe me, the thought crossed my mind to fall unceremoniously off the wagon face first into an excessively large G&T with extra cucumber. Or I could have wandered down the road to the Erdinger Oktoberfest right next door to The O2 and face planted myself into a Stein or two but a promise is a promise, even if only made to oneself.

Firstly, I developed a nasty cold, the nastiest I’ve had in a long time. It was so bad, I was ready to blame a man or all the men for cross-contamination but in reality, I had to dose up and get on with it. I managed to kick it into touch reasonably quickly and have been returned to full health again. I am just emotionally exhausted, but exhausted does not feel strong enough. My brain is foggy, my lifting is light and my emotions are all over the place.

Secondly, on Thursday, 5 October any emotional stability I had been feeling was completely destroyed as I found out that my Super Awesome Uncle has in cold, sanitary medical terms been given a “guarded life expectancy”. The wonderful Welsh rugby supporting, Henley rowing, Molesey Rowing Club Captain of 1971 Uncle who I talk about all the time has a “guarded life expectancy”, following failed treatment for Throat Cancer. FOR FUCK SAKE CANCER – JUST STOP YOUR SHIT AND STOP IT NOW!!! I am devastated. It felt like a continuous kick in the guts, one which instinctually had me thinking about reaching for a bottle of wine or two.

Therein lies the problem and it scared me. In the instance of feeling an overwhelming emotion(s), in this case – sorrow, regret for future occasions missed, fear and pure grief for the impending result, deep love, huge appreciation and gratitude, as well as the confusion of already missing someone who is still here –  my first thought was to reach for the alcohol to drown the feelings, to shut the voices up, to return to a numbness which just does not come to me from anything else. For some, this numbness comes from food, prescription meds, OTC meds, self-harm, disordered eating, shopping, the arms of strangers or even narcotics. Anything rather than feel, right? The problem is, this happens with all emotions – grief, sorrow, anger, frustration and even happiness. (Think about celebrations in which we have alcohol because we are so happy.) Increasing levels of numbness are becoming more common. Had I not been “dry” already, I am pretty sure I would have just spent the next 4 days hammered, instead, however, I did not fall off the wagon. I sat with the emotions and let them consume me and consume me they did but I did not resist, I let them in and I let them flow through me feeling each one. I can’t say it was easy, it was not, it was deeply uncomfortable and it was a huge wake-up call. I know now that I have self-medicated my emotions away for so many years, probably decades is more accurate and it cannot continue.

So instead of reaching for the wine, I went to the movies, courtesy of Vitality, I watched Kingsman 2 which was mindless entertainment. I don’t go to the cinema as I can’t sit still but I can highly recommend Cineworld at The O2 – it is clean and spacious and the seats are very comfortable. I even treated myself to a salty popcorn which was delicious and definitely lower in calories than wine.

It’s been a tough week, but I will persevere. Week 13 is upon us now.

Weights and Measures
No progress this week in the measurements in Week 12, but I did lose another 1kg. I am putting that down to the salty popcorn at the movies  creating water retention. Hopefully, this will improve through Week 13.

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7
 Left Bicep  DNM  No change  No change  -1cm No change No change
Right Bicep   DNM -1cm  +1 (YEAH Gun Show)  -1.5cm No change No change
Neck   DNM No change  No change  No Change No change No change
Breasts   DNM -4.5cm (YAY)  -2cm (YAY)  No Change 🙁 -1cm No change
Above the Breast   No Change -1cm  -2cm  -1cm No change No change
Below the Breast  -2.5cm No change  -0.5cm  -1.5cm No change No change
 Waist -1cm -2cm  -1.5cm  -0.5cm No change No change
Belly Button  -2.5cm -1.5cm  -0.5cm  -2cm -2cm No change
Hips  -4cm -3cm  -2cm  -3cm No change No change
Bum -2cm No Change  -0.5cm  -1cm -2cm No change
Left Quad DNM -1.5cm  No change  -0.5cm No change No change
Right Quad  DNM -0.5cm  No change  -1cm No change No change
Left Calf DNM -0.5cm  -0.5cm  No change No change No change
Right Calf DNM No change  No change  -0.5cm No change No change
Total -12cm -15.5cm  -9.5cm  -13.5cm -5cm No change


Gym Sessions

My training was limited to two PT sessions, no Couch 2 5k, not enough steps and was generally pretty rubbish. My PT is also without sympathy unless he is displaying any symptoms of a cold, in which case you had better come bearing gifts in the form of double espresso, so Strength & Conditioning continues. This week’s Strength and Conditioning workouts were:

Superset; Split Squat – barbell 12 reps 40kg 4 sets
Plank 45-second hold N/A
Superset: Lat Pull Down 12 Reps12 Reps 35kg 4 sets
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 10kg
Superset: Bent Over Barbell Row 12 reps12 reps 22.5kg 4 sets
Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 10kg each


Injuries to the Athlete continued… 

None. Every week injury-free is a reason to celebrate.

SleekGeek 8-Week Summer Challenge

Another week of the SleekGeek 8-week Summer Challenge is over. It was not a particularly successful week although I kept my eating clean, my training was lacking and my sleep interrupted when I managed to get to sleep. I would rate this week 4/10.




Challenge Goals:

  • 8 hours sleep X
  • No screen time 2 hours before bed  ✅ (I reduced my screen time significantly this week and that led to a significant increase in productivity, if I ignored your messages or Social Media interactions, I’m sorry.)
  • 5 workouts per week (if no gym, 15,000 steps a day, this is 10km)  X
  • 2 Recovery Days (Wednesday and Sunday) ✅
  • 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.