My second attempt at losing weight came five months before the start of university. Most of my friends decided to join the gym, so I decided to follow suit.
I joined my local Fitness First gym, paying around £50 monthly. Expensive right! However, I was somewhat happy to pay, as it gave me motivation to go.
My friends and I sorted a time convenient for everyone. We agreed on a 14:00pm start and a workout duration of 45-60mins, five days a week.
With my motivation revving and the sad sight of seeing £50 leave my account (argh! so much money), I quickly got to grips and headed to the gym.
Although it was hard at first, I started getting used to it and even decided to up the ante, waking up early for a bit of cardio and then meeting up with the guys for weightlifting at 14:00pm. I was lifting weights, going hard with cardio and training like a true champion.
I began to see small improvements, my weight was dropping, I was seeing more muscle definition and my stamina was amazing. With all this added motivation, I decided to make good use of that monthly £50, increasing my workout days from five days a week to the full monty (seven days). Everyday I will wake up fully motivated to walk down to the gym for a cardio session, come back home eat like an Olympian, laze around a bit, and then head back to the gym for a focused weightlifting session.
Over time, with introduction from friends, I started incorporating dark chocolate, tuna, fruits, nuts etc. into my diet. According to my friends these were super healthy foods that will help increase muscle mass and lower body fat. Sounded like miracle foods to me. So after workout, I would come back home and eat as usual (same diet as Phase 1, cartload of junk), however now with the introduction of these so-called super foods.
As time went by, my motivation started to reduce, I was getting far more fatigued faster, I wasn’t seeing any more changes in the mirror and that monthly £50 outgoing was depressing me even more, as I was now short of cash. This all resulted in the termination of my membership, a month before starting university.
Now if I am to compare my second attempt to my first, I can confidently say, it was far better, as I was seeing results and I did end up dropping weight.
However, why did it all end up as a waste of effort and time?
Lets look at my first mistake.
I was extremely motivated and eventually upped my workouts to seven days a week. I was training hard, working out twice a day, cardio in the morning and weightlifting in the evening. This all had a toll on my body. Leading to my eventual burnout…
Not understanding that the body needs rest, in order to recover and heal.
After my gym sessions, I would head home and end up gorging on junk, sugary drinks, chocolates, biscuits, cake etc. exactly identical to what I was doing during phase 1. On top of this, I was incorporating foods like dark chocolate, nuts, fruits etc. to my diet. This was my second mistake.
Not understanding the full works of a proper diet and the importance of calorie intake.
Having my friends there, helped in inspiring me to achieve more. I was lifting heavier, lifting harder and seeing more results. Although, it sounds like a positive, this in fact was my third mistake.
Not understanding your own body, its limits and ability.
What should I have done differently?
The first thing before even starting this journey, I should have looked back at my previous attempt and learn from the mistakes I made. However, with confidence on my friends guiding me, and the motivation from the price for membership, I decided to go head on into this second attempt. Similar to my first phase, I should have planned a strategy for attack.
The second thing I should have done as identified in phase 1 is ‘research’ (com’on, same mistake again). I should have researched the importance of diets, the type of workouts I should be doing and the significance of rest.
The third thing I should have done differently is not fully trusting my friends and following their routines blindly, although they had good intentions, their body composition was totally different to mine, and I was forcing myself to do something that my body was not capable/ready to do.
So there you have it, my second attempt at weight loss and building that Greek God physique.
…[To be continued]…