The aim of the 30 day challenge was to acheive ultimate health and wellbeing by re-establishing positive food habits in eating and exercise. We followed a food plan created by nutritionist Giuditta Del Vecchio, and attended 3 exercise classes a week with Jaime Cooke and Sarah Gorman. The classes were fun, and Sarah and Jaime were so encouraging, with their infectious energy. We also had our Facebook group where we could all motivate each other, and it was great to keep in touch with the others and see them regularly for the classes.
During The Plan
I was very strict with myself when following the plan, to the point where I felt guilty for maybe adding too much maple syrup to my Paleo Muesli, and on an evening out I didn’t know whether it was best to have a burger (the only food option available) or to skip dinner completely (I did the latter).
I cut out sugar, I cut out caffeine, I cut out gluten, and I have never felt better. I have never eaten so much food, all of which was delicious, and I was surprised by the fact that I didn’t really ‘miss’ anything.
On day 26 of the challenge I went to Portugal and sticking to the plan was nearly impossible. 8 girls stayed in a villa where we had croissants for breakfast and pizza for lunch, but now we are back I am continuing with my healthy eating and being more mindful about what I eat.
- Regardless of my weight or my dress size, I have always been slightly self conscious about my little pot belly. Whilst in Portugal, I noticed that I no longer have any rolls and the bottom of my tummy is flatter.
- If I squint enough, I can almost see some abs.
- I feel amazing. I have lots of energy, I feel motivated and ready to take on ambitious challenges.
- I am less tired.
- I now enjoy exercise, and the feeling it leaves you with.
- I feel confident. I always wear loose clothing but now I feel like I can wear slightly more fitted things (I happily wore my little black dress in Portugal- something I have had for years but never worn because I was too self concious).
- Although my weight hasn’t really changed, my body composition readings showed that I had lost 3 years from my metabolic age, gained muscle mass and lost fat.
After the challenge
- Since the challenge, I have had a coffee… and I didn’t like it. This is huge for me considering my nespresso machine was in ‘the top 5 things I would grab in a fire’.
- I no longer have dairy. Again, this is huge for me because I LOVE milk, but I now feel noticeably bloated.
- I no longer have gluten. Same as the dairy, I notice such a difference in my body, I feel sluggish and boated.
- I have never really liked the taste of water, but now I make a conscious effort to drink 2L a day because I can feel the difference between feeling hydrated and dehydrated.
- I will always eat breakfast (a meal I always used to skip).
- I wont be as strict on myself when out, for example, I may have the odd pizza or bowl of pasta, and although it wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice, I wont beat myself up about it.
The hardest thing about the challenge was time management, and ensuring there was food available for a ‘quick bite’, but I soon got in to a routine and I now try to keep my Sunday afternoons free for food shopping and meal prep for the week.
I shall also continue to make more conscious decisions about what is in the food I eat. For example- stay away from ‘fat free’ and ‘gluten free’ products (full of chemicals), eat rye bread instead of brown bread, almond milk instead of cows milk, and herbal tea instead of coffee.
Although, ordering a peppermint tea doesn’t seem as satisfying as a Latte with one sugar, but the benefits are worth it…
I concentrated so much on documenting images of the food I was eating, I didn’t pay much attention to images of my body… but here are some images to show the changes over the 30 days, as you can see, I am more toned now…
I hope you have enjoyed following our journey of the Popcylce 30 days to Summer Challenge, it really has been a life changing experience and I would really encourage making more mindful decisions when it comes to diet.