It’s finally the end of week 12 – well, actually it’s about a week after my shoot now so thought I’d better getting writing about my final week.
I’m so happy that I reached and passed my goal of 52kg and around 10% body fat. I never in a million years thought I’d be able to reach my goal but I’ve done it and I couldn’t be prouder. I've also lost around 4cm on each thigh which is amazing as this area has always been my most stubborn to reduce. Another amazing thing my hubby pointed out when I was sitting with one leg crossed over the other was that I had almost no cellulite anymore. It used to be quite bad on my legs when I crossed them but looking at it now it's almost all gone! This isn't something I'd even thought about but I'm over the moon that it's disappeared!
It’s been a tough 12 weeks but surprisingly, not as tough as I’d anticipated. I thought I’d be starving and super grumpy all the time but as I’ve lost the weight over a long period, I’ve slowly reduced my calories every few weeks and ended up on around 1300 for my final week so my body has got used to the gradual calorie drop and I still feel like I have enough energy to tackle my workouts and carry on with daily tasks.
The most mentally tough part of the 12 week journey was in the first few weeks when I wasn’t losing any weight. As you will have read in my other blog posts, I’d been ‘bulking’ for 2 months in July & August with an aim of gaining a small amount of lean muscle. I’d been eating over my maintenance calories by around 500 calories and forgot to drop back down to my maintenance and reduce from there when I started the cut, so I only reduced by 250 calories from my bulking amount. No wonder the scale wasn’t moving! It would have been easy to give up at that point but I knew there had to be a reason. Once I’d calculated my weight loss calories (after around 3 weeks), I was back on track and the scale was moving in the right direction. I was pretty annoyed as I felt like I’d just lost 3 weeks and had to speed up the weight loss as I only had 9 weeks to get to my goal but I persevered and managed to pull it out of the bag.
Other mentally challenging times were around the time of my period as the scale would start to slow down and not move as much due to my fluid levels being all over the place but I tried to stay positive, trust the process and stick to my plan. It was hard not to cut more calories when the scale was ‘stuck’ for a week but I knew it would start to move again afterwards which it did.
PREPARING FOR THE SHOOT
I wanted to test my tan out for my shoot so I got my hubby to tan me up with Fake Bake which I've never used but had heard good reviews. I've never really liked fake tan but this is probably because I've never been able to put it on properly and have always ended up streaky. Anyway, we got the tan on and it actually looked pretty amazing! It really brought the definition out in my abs, arms and back and I felt so much better.
Obviously I had to pop some poses to show off the hard work haha. I actually gasped when my hubby showed me my back photo as I was completely shocked that it was my back!
So here it is, the 12 (more like 9) week transformation photo. I've lost 5.5kg in total and dropped about 10% body fat going from around 20% to 10-11%.
Before I started my strip down for my fitness shoot, I planned the 12 weeks out on my whiteboard with help from my hubby. We calculated how many calories I would need to be on at each 4 week stage and also calculated the macronutrient split as this has a massive effect on your goal. We measured my bodyfat % with calipers at the start of the journey and estimated that it was at around 20%. Half way through the 12 weeks, we measured again and estimated it to be around 13-14% so this progress was amazing to see along with the weight dropping on the scales.
This 12 week plan is one of the things that kept me on track during my photoshoot prep. I had it placed on my fridge so it was always there in front of me and I kept track of my weight after each week so I could see my progress. I definitely think having a plan like this with your training split written out helps you to stay on track. As you can see I did one full cardio day every 5 days and initially planned to do HIIT and plyo circuits but towards the halfway point I found that steady state cardio worked for me and was much less effort so I would get on the stairmill for 45 minutes to 1 hour and watch stuff on youtube to keep me entertained as it isnt the most exciting thing to do. When I say it was less effort, I mean it was still tough but I feel like it was way easier on my body after tough weight training sessions and I didn't want to hammer it too much with HIIT as I wanted enough time to recover for the training days to follow.
I'm going to write a separate blog post about my photoshoot experience but for now, here are a few of my favourite shots from the day that made the last 12 weeks worth every single second...
Until next time...
x Jen x